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January 14, 2016

14th January 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • The World Health Organization has formally announced the end of the Ebola outbreak in Liberia, joining Sierra Leone and Guinea — the epicenters of the latest outbreak — as Ebola-free.
    • WHO director : Rick Brennan
  • India's diaspora population is the highest in the world with 16 million people from India living outside their country in 2015, according to a recent UN survey on international migrant trends.
    • The survey conducted by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) said the number of international migrants - persons living in a country other than where they were born - reached 244 million in 2015 for the world as a whole, a 41 per cent increase compared to 2000.
  • The Union Cabinet today gave ex-post facto approval to a pact between India and Maldives on facilitating greater cooperation between both the nations and also assist the neighbouring country to develop human resources in healthcare.
    • The Union Cabinet gave the approval to the MoU which covers cooperation in areas like exchange and training of medical doctors and other health professionals and medical and health research development.

National Affairs
  • Sikkim has become India's first fully organic state by converting around 75,000 hectares of agricultural land into sustainable cultivation.
    • Around 75,000 hectares of agricultural land was gradually converted to certified organic land by implementing organic practices and principles as per guidelines laid down in National Programme for Organic Production.
    • About Sikkim :
      • Capital : Gangtok
      • Chief Minister : Pawan Chamling 
      • Governor : Shriniwas Dadasaheb Patil
  • India is on track to register its entire 1.25 billion population using its Aadhaar digital ID.
    • This move would help the government to promote the inclusion of disadvantaged groups in its welfare schemes.
  • Jharkhand government today decided to set up fast track courts in five districts for speedy trial of cases relating to witchcraft incidents.
    • The Cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister Raghubar Das, approved the setting up of courts in Ranchi, Chaibasa, Khunti, Palamau and Simdega districts.
Business & Economy
  • The State Bank of India has launched Exclusif and SBI InCube at Bengaluru today.
    • Exclusif’ is a wealth management offering which is targeted at the fast-growing affluent segment in the country.
    • ‘SBI InCube' is a dedicated branch for start-ups, which would offer advisory services to the budding entrepreneurs under one roof.
  • ICICI Bank today launched two new initiatives - Express Home Loans, a fully online home loan approval in 8 working hours, and a mobile app for part disbursement of home loans for under construction projects -- to commemorate the milestone of crossing Rs 1 lakh crore in mortgage loans.
  • Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha today announced that the government will present the Budget for 2016-17 on February 29, which will set a roadmap for the coming three years.
    • The upcoming budget will be the third budget of the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government.
  • The Union Cabinet thas given its approval for India becoming a member country of the International Energy Agency - Ocean Energy Systems (IEA-OES) by signing the Implementing Agreement (IA). 
    • The nodal agency for the membership would be Earth System Science Organisation - National Institute of Ocean Technology (ESSO-NIOT) under the Ministry of Earth Sciences.
    • By becoming a member of the IEA-OES, India will have access to advanced R&D teams and technologies across the world. 
  • Union Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari inaugurated Mumbai Port Trust’s second liquid chemical berth at Pir Pau, Mumbai.
    • With commissioning of this berth, the cargo handling capacity of the Port will increase by 2.5 MMT (Million Metric Tonnes) per annum.
  • Lenovo Group Ltd. has unveiled a new smartphone that can see and maps out its surroundings with help from the US-based company’s 3D technology named Project Tango
    • The Chinese company will become the first to sell devices employing Alphabet subsidiary Google’s Tango technology, which superimposes information and digital images onto displays of the real world. 
    • Note : Google’s Project Tango is a technology platform that uses advanced computer vision, depth sensing, and motion tracking to create on-screen 3D experiences, allowing users to explore their physical environment via their device.

Science & Technology
  • The Indian space scientists are expected to launch the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle C-31 from the Satish Dhawan Space Center (SDSC) at Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh on 20th January 2016
    • This is aimed at putting the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System 1E satellite into a geo-synchronous orbit.

New Appointments
  • WWE has appointed Joji George as Vice-President and General Manager, WWE India.

Awards & Honors
  • The Neerja Bhanot Pan Am Trust has conferred the Neerja Bhanot award on Bengaluru-based activist Subhashini Vasanth.
    • The award was presented by Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor, who is playing the lead role in biopic “Neerja”.
    • This is the 24th year of the annual award which comprises Rs 1,50,000, a citation and a trophy.
    • About Subhashini Vasanth :
      • She is the founder trustee of Vasantharatna Foundation, started in the memory of her husband, Colonel Vasanth V, who was awarded the Ashok Chakra (Posthumous) in 2008 after he lost his life fighting terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir.
      • She was presented the award for her Endeavour to help people in distress and for empowering widows of martyrs and their families across the country.
    • About Neerja Bhanot :
      • She was a flight attendant for Pan Am, based in Mumbai, India, who was murdered while saving passengers from terrorists on board the hijacked Pan Am Flight 73 on September 5, 1986. 
      • Posthumously, she became the youngest recipient of India’s highest peacetime military award for bravery, the Ashok Chakra.
  • Former soccer star and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, David Beckham has received UNICEF USAs Humanitarian Leadership Award.
    • He was honored with this award in recognition of his charity work and has vowed to continue his efforts to help disadvantaged children through the organisation and his own offshoot, the Seven Foundation.

  • Brazilian Football Legend, Ronaldinho has been named as the ambassador of the Nagjee International Club Football tournament to be played in Kozhikode, Kerala
  • Jerome Valcke has been dismissed as secretary general of FIFA.

  • A dedicated website for aspirants seeking recruitment in border guarding force ITBP (Indo-Tibetan Border Police) was launched today.
    • The website is the first-ever initiative by any paramilitary force in the country to help young men and women gain entry in central forces working under the command of the Union Home Ministry.
    • The website--http://www.Recruitment.Itbpolice.Nic.In--provides information about the maximum number of career opportunities in the force, vacancies, pay scales and results and other relevant subjects.

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