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January 26, 2016

26th January 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • Today (26th January) is International Customs Day.
    • This day recognizes the role of custom officials and agencies in maintaining border security.
    • It focuses on the working conditions and challenges that customs officers face in their jobs.
    • Themes of International Customs Day
      • Theme of the year 2011 : “Knowledge, a catalyst for Customs Excellence” to effectively implement the mandatory services by the customs fraternity.
      • Theme of the year 2012 : “Borders divide, Customs connects”.
      • Theme of the year 2013 : “Innovation for Customs progress”.
      • Theme of the year 2014 : “Communication: sharing information for better cooperation”.
      • Theme of the year 2015 :  “Coordinated Border Management: an inclusive approach for connecting stakeholders”.
      • Theme of the year 2016 : “Digital Customs: Progressive Engagement”.
  • India today gifted 40 ambulances and eight buses to Nepal
    National Affairs
    • India celebrates 67th Republic Day today.
      • The Constitution of India came into force on January 26, 1950, replacing the Government of India Act (1935) as the governing document of India. 
      • To commemorate this, January 26 is celebrated as Republic Day every year. 
      • Note : This day was also chosen as the Republic Day because, on January 26, 1930, the declaration of complete independence was proclaimed by the Congress.
    • French army soldiers became the first foreign military contingent to take part in India’s Republic Day parade
    • French President France Francois Hollande is the Chief Guest of this year's Republic Day celebrations 2016.
      • Important Points to Note :
        • This will be the fifth time that a French leader will be a Chief Guest at India's Republic Day celebrations, the maximum number from any country so far.
        • Earlier leaders from that country had presided in 1976, 1980, 1998 and 2008.
        • Bhutan has presided four times so far in 1954, 1984, 2005 and 2013.
    • President's Rule has been imposed in Arunachal Pradesh.
    • India’s first blind-friendly train, from Mysuru to Varanasi, made its maiden journey today's morning. 
    • Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav today launched a dedicated helpline for journalists with number 1880
      • Yadav also launched a computerised file tracking system to track the development of a file and ensure its time-bound disposal.
    • Sikkim CM Pawan Chamling inaugurated the Red Panda Winter Festival in Gangtok  in the presence of state officials and tourism stakeholders. 
      • The nine-day event follows the Sikkim Organic Festival and will celebrate the state’s culture and food. 
      • The festivities included cultural events and a parade, which was led by the festival mascot, a Red Panda.
    Awards & Honors
    • Lance Naik Mohan Nath Goswami of the Army's elite Para Special Forces, was conferred the Ashok Chakra posthumously for saving two injured soldiers and eliminating terrorists in Kashmir, before succumbing to injuries. 
    • Indian-origin physicist Professor Chennupati Jagadish was awarded Australia's highest civilian honour, the Companion of the Order of Australia (AC)
      • The award was in recognition of his service in physics and engineering
    • Veteran actress Rekha was honoured with the Yash Chopra Memorial Award for her contribution to the film industry. 
      • The award was presented to her by Maharashtra Governor C Vidyasagar Rao at an event held in Mumbai. 
    • According to SocialCops analysis, the Indian constitution is the longest constitution (at 1,46,385 words) and one of the most amended constitutions in the world
      Business & Economy
      • Online payments and m-commerce platform Paytm today signed a ₹120 crore agreement with its lead investor Alibaba's cloud computing arm AliCloud. 
        • Under the agreement, Paytm users will be allowed to access Alibaba's online payment platform Alipay for shopping in US, China, Japan and the UK. 
        • In return, Alipay's users can shop in India through Paytm.
      • Under the Centre's new strategy, Khadi will now be projected as an organic, green fabric under the name 'Harit Vastra' to make it an international brand. 
        • he Micro Small and Medium Enterprises Ministry plans to tie-up with private textile mills and revamp Khadi stores across the country. 
        • The market potential for Indian Khadi goods reportedly is over ₹40,000 crore.
      • Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan today announced that the public sector oil firms IOC, BPCL, HPCL, and EIL will invest ₹1.5 lakh crore to set up India's largest refinery in Maharashtra. 
        • The refinery, with a total capacity of 60 million tonnes a year, will be built in two phases. Reliance Industries currently has the largest refinery in India at Jamnagar (Gujarat).
      • British adventurer Henry Worsley (55), who was replicating Sir Ernest Shackleton’s solo expedition across the South Pole, died from severe dehydration and exhaustion. 
        • He had covered 913 miles in 71 days and was only 30 miles short of becoming the first man to cross Antarctica by himself. 
      • Marvin Minsky, a founder of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Artificial Intelligence Project, passed away.
        • Minsky invented the first head-mounted graphical display in 1963 (modern-day Oculus Rift) and was among the first to develop artificial neural networks, a key technology in the field of deep learning. He received the Turing Award in 1969.
      • India beat Australia by 37 runs in the first Twenty-20 International at Adelaide Oval.
      • Indian women's cricket team defeat world champions Australia by 5 wickets in opening Twenty-20 International.
      • Deborah Herold from Andamans created history by becoming the first Indian to qualify for the Track Cycling World Championships to be held in London in March. 
        • This qualification came based on her performance in the past 12 months which included a total of eight medals in the Taiwan Cup Track International Classic and the 2015 Track Asia Cup.

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