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January 10, 2016

8th January 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli will in February embark on his first foreign visit post-assumption of office to India.
    • Note : Traditionally, Nepali prime ministers have made it a point to visit India first following their assumption of office.
  • Indo-French military exercise 'Shakti-2016' began at the  Mahajan field firing range in Bikaner, Rajasthan. 
    • Important Points to Note :
    • The exercise is an important step for both the armies to train together and gain from each other's rich operational experience.
    • Both countries have troops deployed in counter-insurgency and counter-terrorist operations and therefore sharing each other's military experiences will pay meaningful dividends.
  • The Union Cabinet under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its ex-post facto approval to the Agreement between India and Bahrain on Cooperation in the field of Combating International Terrorism, Transnational Organized Crime and Trafficking in Illicit Drugs, Narcotic and Psychotropic Substances and Precursors Chemicals and its ratification.
    • Note : The Memorandum Of Understanding (MoU) between the two countries shall come into force from the date of exchange of the instruments of ratification.

National Affairs
  • The Centre has allowed the conduct of Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu by altering a 2011 Ministry of
    Environment notification by exempting the sport from performances for which the bulls should not be used. 
    • Note : Jallikattu is a bull fighting sport played in Tamil Nadu as a part of Pongal celebrations on Mattu Pongal day. 
  • Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has ordered ban on manufacture of food products containing tobacco or nicotine like ‘gutkha’ and ‘pan masala’ in the State with immediate effect.
  • Nearly 12 years after it was set up to improve engagement with the Indian diaspora, the government has decided to merge the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) with the External Affairs Ministry in sync with its broad principle of minimum government, maximum governance.
  • Wattan Ko Jano, an initiative being carried out by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs in coordination with the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Government has came in news after more than 240 youth in the age-group of 15 to 24 from J&K met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi. 
    • The initiative aims at exposing youth from the state to the vibrant development and vitality of culture of people residing in other states of the country.

New Appointments
  • Pavan Kapoor, a 1990 batch Indian Foreign Service officer, was named as India’s new ambassador to Israel.
    • Note : He will replace current ambassador Jaideep Sarkar.
  • Amitabh Kant, secretary in the department of industrial policy and promotion, has been appointed the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NITI Aayog. 
    • He will replace former IAS Officer Sindhushree Khullar.
    • Amitabh Kant is known to be the brain behind two key campaigns of Narendra Modi government - Make in India and the ease of doing business.
  • Devender Kumar Sikri, a former IAS officer of the Gujarat cadre, was appointed Chairman of fair-trade regulator Competition Commission of India (CCI).
    • Sikri will replace current CCI Ashok Chawla, whose over four-year tenure was ended today. 

People in News
  • Two years after registering a case into the country's largest reported Ponzi Scam, CBI has arrested Pearls Group CMD Nirmal Singh Bhangoo along with three others in connection with alleged swindling of Rs 45,000 crore from over five crore investors who were lured with attractive land deals.

Science & Technology
  • Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral R. K. Dhowan has commissioned INS Kadmatt, India's second Anti-Submarine Warfare Corvette (ASWC) at Visakhapatnam.
    • Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited (GRSE) has built the INS Kadmatt for the Indian Navy. 
    • The ship manufacturing company handed the vessel over to the naval authorities in November last year.
    • The corvette will soon be joining the Eastern Fleet of the Indian Navy.  .
  • The central government has given final approval to the proposed Electronic Manufacturing Cluster (EMC) in Chhattisgarh's upcoming capital Naya Raipur.
    • The proposed EMC to come up in 70 acres area as a special industrial park, will see the manufacturing of television set, CCTV cameras, set-top box, LED lights, computer related equipmentand other electronic gadgets.
    • It will be located at Tuta village in Sector-22 of Naya Raipurwhere around 61 industries would be set up which are expected to draw investments worth around Rs 2,000 crore.
  • The Andhra Pradesh state Regional Transport Authority, Vijayawada has launched an software tool – known as the Online Tappal Management System
    • The e-Tappal system was launched on January 8, 2016. 
    • The state Government of Andhra Pradesh have introduced the system at RTA, Vijayawada, Gudivada and Nandigama as a pilot project and can be adopted at other offices of the state Government after being tested for sometime.

Business & Economy
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today relaxed norms for the units of banks operating from International Financial Services Centres (IFSC) and permitted them to open foreign currency current accounts.
    • As per the existing norms, IFSC Banking Units (IBUs) were not allowed to open any current or savings accounts.
  • Online classifieds portal Quikr has announced the merger of real estate listing company, making the combined entity the biggest in the space. 
  • State-owned power equipment maker BHEL has commissioned two substations in Afghanistan, expanding its footprint in the strife-torn nation.
    • The substations have been commissioned at Charikar, around 60 km from Kabul, and Doshi, around 150 km from Kabul.
  • India’s largest private sector lender ICICI Bank has partnered with FINO PayTech to foray into the payments bank space.
    • With this partnership, ICICI Bank joins some of the leading lenders of the country that have partnered with payments banks.
    • Note : Kotak Mahindra Bank (KMB) and State Bank of India (SBI) have picked up stake in payments banks to be floated by Bharti Group and Reliance Industries respectively.

Books & Authors
  • BJP leader Shatrughan Sinha’s biography, “Anything But Khamosh” was released.
    • This biography was written by very famous journalist author Bharathi S Pradhan.

Awards & Honors
  • Shikha Sharma, managing director (MD) and chief executive officer (CEO) of Axis Bank, was honored with the Business Standard Banker of the Year award for 2014-15.

  • India's Siril Verma climbed up a whopping 11 places to occupy the Number One spot in junior men's singles category in the Badminton World Federation (BWF) rankings.
Note : Current Affairs of 9th and 10th January 2016 will be available soon 

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