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January 28, 2016

28th January 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • Today (28th January) is Data Privacy Day (Data Protection Day). 
    • The purpose of this Day is to raise awareness and promote privacy and data protection best practices. 
  • Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has ordered the opening of the border that Sudan shares with South Sudan for the first time since the secession of South Sudan in 2011.
  • Pakistan was named on this day (28th January) in the year 1933.
    • Muslim nationalist Choudhry Rahmat Ali, who is also known as the Founder of Pakistan National Movement, used 'Pakistan' in his pamphlet 'Now or Never' explaining reasons to establish a separate nation. 
    • 'Pakistan' referred to the five northern units of India- 'P'unjab, North-West Frontier ('A'fghan) Province, 'K'ashmir, 'S'ind, and Baluchis'tan' (PAKSTAN).
  • India's first ever all-woman peacekeeping unit, which has been in war-torn Liberia since 2007, is set to depart the country on February 14. 
National Affairs
  • The list of 20 smart cities out of the 98 shortlisted for the 'Smart Cities Mission' was released today.
    • These 20 cities will be the first to receive funds, thus kickstarting the process of developing them into 'smart cities'.
    • The next two years will see the inclusion of 40 and 38 cities, respectively.
      • The 20 cities named in the first list are
      1. Bhubaneswar   
      2. Pune   
      3. Jaipur   
      4. Surat   
      5. Kochi
      6. Ahmedabad   
      7. Jabalpur   
      8. Visakhapatnam   
      9. Solapur   
      10. Davanagere
      11. Indore   
      12. New Delhi   
      13. Coimbatore   
      14. Kakinada   
      15. Belgaum
      16. Udaipur   
      17. Guwahati   
      18. Chennai   
      19. Ludhiana   
      20. Bhopal
  • Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan‬ ordered officials to impose ban on polythene in entire state from January 2017.
  • A Vigilance court orders FIR against Kerala Chief Minister ‎Oommen Chandy‬ in Solar scam case.
  • According to the new rule imposed by Indian Railways, any individual will not be able to book more than six tickets online in a month from IRCTC website from his/her user ID. 
    • The restriction will come into force from 15th February.
    • Note : Under the existing system a maximum of ten tickets can be booked online through IRCTC website. 
  • Union Minister Sarbananda Sonwal will be BJP's Chief Ministerial candidate for the upcoming Assam assembly polls.
  • The Centre today constituted a one-man judicial commission to probe the death of a Dalit scholar of HCU, Hyderabad,  Rohith Vemula. 
    • This commission will be headed by : Ashok Kumar Roopanwal (Retired HC judge) 
  • The 8th Edition of the four-day India Art Fair began in Delhi at the NSIC grounds in the Okhla Industrial Area, today. 
    • The fair is showcasing art from 70 galleries from around the world. 
    • This year the fair focuses on art from South Asia, especially the Indian Subcontinent. 
    • The festival will end on January 31.

Science & Technology
  • India’s indigenously developed surface-to-air Akash missile was successfully test fired by Indian Air Force personnel, from the Integrated Test Range in Chandipur (Odisha). 
    • The missile has a strike range of 25 km and a warhead capacity of 60 kg, while it can travel at speeds ranging from Mach 2.8 to Mach 3.5.
  • In a major breakthrough for artificial intelligence, a computer program has for the first time defeated a professional player in the ancient Chinese board game of ‘Go’
    • Developed by Google-owned company DeepMind, AlphaGo has defeated over three-time European Champion Fan Hui by 5-0. 
    • Note : Earlier, the strongest computer programs were only able to play at the level of human amateurs.
  • The Customs Department today launched a mobile app named 'Indian Customs-Guide to Travellers' to inform people about the Custom rules. 
    • The app is a first-of-its-kind in the world and contains customs baggage rules and entitlements of passengers coming from various countries. 
    • The app which also works in offline mode provides contact details of customs officers at major Indian airports.
  • California-based do-it-yourself app-building application Appy Pie was launched in India today. 
    • Appy Pie lets users design professional-looking apps using themes and media elements from its gallery, without writing any code. 
    • Users can integrate GPS, m-commerce and push notification features in their apps, and can then publish the apps on the iOS and Android app stores.

People in News
  • An Indian Police Service (IPS) officer from the Uttar Pradesh cadre, Aparna Kumar, has successfully scaled the 17000-ft high Mount Vinson Massif, which is the highest peak in the Antarctic sub-continent
    • Note : She had earlier scaled Carstensz Pyramid in Indonesia, Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Mount Aconcagua in South America, and Mount Elbrus in Russia.
  • Reliance Industries chief Mukesh Ambani has emerged as the richest person in India and the 27th richest in the world with a net worth of $24.8 billion, according to a Wealth-X global list of 50 wealthiest people. 
    • Important Note : Wipro chairman Azim Premji (43) and Sun Pharmaceuticals head Dilip Shanghvi (44) were the other two Indians on the list.

Awards & Honors
  • Vice Admiral Ashok Subhedar was chosen for Param Vishisht Seva Medal (PVSM) for his extraordinary services to Indian Navy.
  • The Ministry of Defence today adjudged the Assam Regiment as the best marching contingent in the services category for the Republic Day Parade 2016
    • The Border Security Force was declared the best in the paramilitary and other auxiliary forces category
    • In the tableau category, West Bengal bagged the first position, followed by Tripura and Assam.
Business & Economy
  • India has overtaken Thailand as the world’s largest rice exporter in the year 2015 by shipping (exporting) 10.23 million tonnes of rice.
  • Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das today announced that the government has received subscription for 2,790 kg gold amounting to ₹726 crore under the second tranche of the sovereign gold bond scheme. 
    • Note : The second tranche fared around three times better compared to the first, which had received subscription for 915.95 kg of gold worth ₹246 crore.
  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has announced the implementation of its long due quota reforms which were passed in 2010, but only got the US Congress' approval last year. 
    • Note : As a result of the reforms, four emerging market countries (Brazil, China, India, and Russia) will gain more voting rights and be among the ten largest members of the IMF.

New Appointments
  • Supreme Court‬ today appointed Justice Sanjay Mishra as Uttar Pradesh Lokayukta.
    • Important Point to Note : Earlier, the court has appointed Justice Virendra Singh as UP Lokayukta, but later it had recalled it's earlier order. 

  • The captain of the champion Indian basketball team in the first Asian Games in 1951, Ranbir Chopra (86) passed away.
    • Chopra had been part of the Punjab team that won the national title in 1951 in Ludhiana. 
    • He was also the coach of the Indian team that toured Pakistan in 1962.

Books & Authors
  • The second volume of memoirs of President Pranabh Mukherjee‬ titled “The Turbulent Years: 1980-1996” was released today at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
    • This book was released by Vice President Hamid Ansari. 
    • The book speaks of events in Mukherjee's political life during the time including Indira Gandhi's assassination and Operation Blue Star. 
    • The book also dismisses rumours which claimed that he wanted to be the Interim PM post-Indira Gandhi's death.
  • Australia's opening batsman David Warner has won the All Border Medal and also the Test Player of the Year honours.
    • Glenn Maxwell was named One-Day International (ODI) Player of the Year, while all-rounder Ellyse Perry won her first Belinda Clark Award for the country's best-performed female player.
  • Australian Olympic diving gold medallist Matthew Mitcham‬ will not compete at this year's Rio Games after announcing his retirement from the sport.

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