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January 18, 2016

18th January 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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National Affairs
  • With a total number of 2,33,635 passengers traveling through its station everyday, the Dombivli station has now become the most crowded cum fare generating station in the Mumbai suburban Railway network. 
    • Dombivli which has beaten CST, Thane and Kalyan railway stations has ₹14,94,538 as daily earnings. 
  • With all the trustees agreeing to the proposal of depositing the idle gold of the temple, the Somnath Temple Trust of Gujarat will become the first temple in the State to deposit in the Gold Monetisation Scheme
    • Note : The trust has around 35 kg of gold, out of which the portion not used for day-to-day purposes will be deposited.
Business & Economy
  • India, one of the founding members of the AIIB (Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank), has been elected to the board of directors of the China-sponsored AIIB.
    • This bank is expected to begin loan approvals before the end of this year.
  • Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the Food Processing sector is likely to go up by at least 25% as FSSAI streamlines regulations to ease product approvals, Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal has announced today.
    • FSSAI - Food Safety and Standards Authority of India
  • Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd (R-Jio), the telecom venture of Mukesh Ambani, has signed agreements with his brother Anil Ambani’s Reliance Communications Ltd (R-Com) to trade and share spectrum.
    • The two companies have announced that they had signed agreements “for change in spectrum allotment in 800 MHz band across 9 circles from RCom (R-Com) to RJIL (R-Jio), and for sharing of spectrum in 800 MHz band across 17 circles.”
  • French President Francois Hollande today declared "a state of economic and social emergency", as he unveiled a $2.2 billion plan to revive hiring in France and redefine the country's business model. 
  • WhatsApp has decided to stop charging users with its yearly subscription fee of $1 “over the next several weeks”. 
    • The company will now reportedly monetise from big businesses by providing customer service through WhatsApp. 
    • WhatsApp Founder : Jan Koum
New Appointments
  • India's Dinesh Sharma, Additional Secretary of Ministry of Finance has been elected to the 12-member board Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank(of AIIB).
    • This will be the first board of directors for the new bank in which 57 members joined a founding members.
People in News
  • London Based marathon Runner, Fauja Singh set a milestone as he took part in the 2016 Mumbai Marathon at the age of 104.
    • The Punjab-born marathon runner took up running at the age of 89 and is nicknamed 'The Turbaned Tornado'.
    • Note : The marathon was won by Kenya's Gideon Kipketer (Men) and Ethiopia's Shuko Genemo (Women).

Committees in News
  • The Justice RV Easwar led Committee on simplification of Income Tax laws today recommended a 5% reduction of Tax Deduction at Source (TDS) rates for individuals and Hindu Undivided Families (HUF). 
    • Note : Presently, the TDS rate stands at 10% for individuals and HUFs. 
      • The committee also recommended raising the threshold limits for TDS.

Science & Technology
  • The 48 hour countdown for the launch of the rocket PSLV-C31 began today's morning at Sriharikotta.
    • The rocket will carry the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite Systems, IRNSS-1E at the same time on Wednesday.
    • It is the fifth in the series of seven satellites meant for navigation system.
    • The system will be the Indian equivalent of the Global Positioning System GPS and provide road, air and maritime navigation services over a vast area when all the seven satellites are made operational.
  • NASA launched SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with Jason 3 ocean monitoring satellite from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base in the USA.
    • The rocket carried the ocean monitoring satellite Jason-3 on board. 
    • The satellite will examine the topography of the ocean floor to help study effects of climate change or human induced changes on the ocean.
  • Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has launched a WhatsApp-based complaint redressal system for state-owned telecom operator BSNL in Indore.
Awards & Honors
  • The flagship project of Income Tax Department for the processing of tax returns, the Centralized Processing Centre (CPC), Bengaluru, has been awarded “ISO 9001:2008 standard for Quality Management System” Certificate by the British Standards Institution (BSI).
    • The certificat encompasses all business services and business enabler services of CPC. 
    • Important Points to Note
      • ISO 9001 is an international standard that specifies requirements for quality management system (QMS) addressing the principles and processes that surround the design, development and delivery of services.
      • Organizations use this standard to demonstrate their ability to consistently provide services that meet customer and regulatory requirements.

  • Former Sikkim Governor and senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Ventrapragada Rama Rao (81) passed away.
    • He was one of the founders of Jana Sangh (later became BJP) in Andhra Pradesh. 
    • He was also Andhra Pradesh BJP president during 1993 and 1997. 

  • Delhi Acers were crowned the champions of the inaugural edition of the Premier Badminton League after they defeated the Mumbai Rockets 4-3 in the final at the DDA Badminton Stadium in Delhi.
  • Ajit Chandila of Rajasthan Royals and Hiken Shah of Mumbai have been handed a lifetime ban and a five-year ban respectively for their roles in the IPL spot-fixing scam.  
  • First Grand Slam tournament of the year Australian Open began at Melbourne today.
    • It is the 104th edition of the Australian Open.
    • This tournament will be held from 18th to 31st January 2016.
  • Chris Gayle equalled the record for fastest fifty in T20s as he scored his half-century off 12 balls, thus sharing the record with Indian all-rounder Yuvraj Singh. 
  • The Pune IPL franchise, owned by Sanjiv Goenka, have chosen the name 'Rising Pune Supergiants' for the team. 
    • Note : The team will be lead by India’s one-day and T-20 (cricket) captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

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