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January 25, 2016

25th January 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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National Affairs
  • Today is 6th National Voters’ Day.
    • Theme of National Voter's Day 2016 : Inclusive and Qualitative Participation
    • Theme of National Voter's Day 2015 : Easy Registration, Easy Correction
    • Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi released the book titled, Belief in the Ballot, and present the first copy to the President.
  • The Election Commission has moved a step forward towards procuring nearly 14 lakh new Electronic Voting Machines (EVM), with the Finance Ministry giving in-principle approval for buying the new devices which are required ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
    • An estimated Rs 1,872 crore would be required in 2016-17 for the new EVMs, but final figures will be available when the EC issues tender.
  • A senior government functionary explained that the two government undertaking Bharat Electronics Ltd, Bengaluru and Electronic Corporation of India Ltd, Hyderabad will not be in a position to produce new EVMs in one go and would provide it to the Commission in batches.
  • Today is National Tourism Day.
    • This day was established by the Indian government to raise awareness of the importance of tourism for the country's economy.
  • Today (25th January) is Himachal Statehood Day.
    • Himachal Pradesh was established as the 18th state of India on January 25, 1971. 
    • Himachal, a part of Punjab province during British rule, was declared a Union Territory in 1950. 
    • Sanskrit scholar Acharya Diwakar Datt Sharma named the place Himachal which means 'in the lap of Himalayas'. 
    • Its capital, Shimla, was earlier British India's summer capital.
    • Important Note : 
      • Don't be confused between Himachal Statehood Day and Himachal Day. The foundation of Himachal was laid on April 15, 1948 which is celebrtd as Himachal Day but it was on Jan 25, 1971 when Himachal was carved out as 18th state of India and we celebrate it as Himachal Statehood day.
  • According to SocialCops analysis, India has 10.1 million child workers as of Census 2011. 
    • The 10 districts with lowest percentage of working children are in 
      • Kerala (8 districts), 
      • Lakshadweep (1) 
      • Puducherry (1). 
    • The 10 districts with highest percentage of working children are in 
      • Nagaland (5), 
      • Himachal Pradesh (4) and 
      • Chattisgarh (1)
  • A two-wheeler taxi service, 'Bikxie Pink', for women has been launched in Gurgaon that is completely run by women. 
    • Started by a couple Divya Kalia and Mohit Sharma, the service includes a fleet of pink two-wheelers to ferry women between 8 am to 6 pm. 
    • The app-only service keeps a pepper spray and disposable shower cap handy for commuters.
People in News
  • After being trained by the Hasiru Dala, an organisation working towards improving the lives of waste workers, Lakshmi is all set to become Bengaluru’s first woman garbage truck driver
    • She is currently working at the Kempegowda Institute of Medical Sciences as part of its housekeeping staff and is awaiting a commercial vehicle permit.
Science & Technology
  • On-demand TV service Lukup Technologies will launch a new wireless network transmitter, Lightup, to offer high-speed internet of 1 GBPS at homes. 
    • Lightup works on LiFi, that uses light to transmit information and does not involve any cables and wires. 
    • Reportedly, the fastest internet provider in the country, Lightup aims at enabling users to live-stream media content seamlessly at their homes.
New Appointments
  • Alice Vaidyan has been appointed as the Chairman and Managing Director of the General  Insurance Corporation of India (GIC Re).  
    • She would hold the office till July 31, 2019.
    • Important Note : She is the first woman to be appointed in such post not only in the GIC Re, but the first in the Indian insurance sector. 
    • The GIC Re is the 14th largest reinsurer globally and is the only reinsurance company in India.
  • Online fashion retailer Koovs Co-founder Rajesh Kamra today joined fashion discovery app Wooplr as the Head of Commerce
    • Wooplr also roped in fabric manufacturer Arvind Lifestyle's CEO Rajiv Mehta for a senior advisory post
    • Note : Founded in 2013, Wooplr is a mobile-based fashion discovery platform that guides users with fashion and suggests buying options based on their interest and location.
Places in News
  • Karnataka’s Malpe beach became India's first beach to provide free 24/7 WiFi service to visitors as the telecom company BSNL launched the facility today.
    • The service is available for free usage for 30 minutes per number and 4G speeds can be accessed. 
    • BSNL will be paid ₹1 lakh quarterly for providing the service by the state's Department of Tourism.
  • In collaboration with the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy, the Gujarat government is ready to set up a 750 MW solar park in the Banaskantha district. 
    • With an area of 1,500 hectares, this would be the 2nd biggest solar power park in the country after the Charanka Solar park in Gujarat, which is spread in 2178 hectares of land.
Awards & Honors
  • Government announces Padma awards to 112 personalities.
  • SS Rajamouli's 'Baahubali' today won seven awards at 'IIFA Utsavam', the first edition of the International Indian Film Academy Awards (IIFA) for the South Indian film industry. 
    • The awards for 'Baahubali', including 'Best Picture' and 'Best Director', were for the Tamil category. 
    • Meanwhile, Malayalam movie 'Ennu Ninte Moideen' won the 'Best Picture' award in the Malayalam category.
  • On this day (24th January) in the year 1980, Mother Teresa was awarded India's highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna, for her humanitarian work. 
    • Born to an Albanian family in Macedonia, her original name was Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu. 
    • She left home at the age of 18 and came to India the following year. 
    • She founded a Roman Catholic religious congregation, Missionaries of Charity, in 1950.
  • National award-winning South Indian actress Kalpana Ranjani (51) passed away.
    • She bagged the National Award in 2012 for the best-supporting actress for her role in the Malayalam movie 'Thanichala Njan'. 
    • In her lifetime, she acted in about 300 films and is best known for films like 'Kaliveedu'.
Business & Economy
  • On this day (25th January) in 1905, the world's largest diamond 'Cullinan' (3106.75 carats and weighing 603.27 gm) was found at the Premier Mine in South Africa. 
    • Named after the mine's owner, Thomas Cullinan, the diamond was sold to Transvaal provincial government, which later gifted it to Britain’s King Edward-VII. 
    • Note : Cullinan's polished pieces are now on display in the Tower of London.
  • Beverage giant Coca-Cola today announced that it will launch milk-based beverages under the brand name 'Vio' starting January 26. 
    • Initially, the drinks will exclusively be available in Reliance Retail's stores and will make their debut across the country next month.  
    • Vio, which was launched in the US in 2009, will be available in 'Kesar Treat' and 'Almond Delight' variants.
  • China's estimated capital outflows for 2015 have reportedly increased more than seven times to over $1 trillion compared to $134.3 billion in 2014. 
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has sought an additional ₹26,000 crore from the government by 2018 for capital infusion into Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) banks for implementing Basel-III norms in the banks. 
    • Important Points to Note : 
    • Basel-III is a global voluntary regulatory framework that measures the market liquidity risks of banks. 
    • The government has already pledged ₹70,000 crore for the purpose by the end of FY19.
  • Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Petroleum and Natural Gas, launched an online payment facility for booking LPG refill cylinders in Mumbai today. 
    • With this, people can now refill their LPG cylinders around the clock and get them delivered even in their absence.
  • Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna with their partners enter quarterfinals of Australian Open Tennis.
  • In Australian Open Johanna Konta becomes first British woman to reach a Grand Slam quarter-final in the last 32 years.
  • The governing body of Olympic games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has eased the guidelines for transgender athletes, making them take part in the competition without undergoing genital reconstruction surgery. 
    • As per the old guidelines, transgenders had to undergo sex reassignment surgery followed by at least two years of hormone therapy before competing at the Olympics.
  • Japan's Izumo Takuto and Hong Kong's Zhu Chengzhu became champions in the boys' and girls' categories, respectively, in the 11Even Sports 2015 ITTF World Junior Circuit Finals at the Abhay Prashal Stadium, Indore, Madhya Pradesh.

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