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January 31, 2017

31st January 2017 Important Daily Current Affairs

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Dear Great Ambitionists, here are today's (31st January 2017) Important Current Affairs updates. Happy Reading :)

Daily Current Affairs of 31st January 2017

International Current Affairs
  • African Union today re-admitted Morocco "back into the family" after a 33-year absence as 39 out of 54 member states voted in favour of its return at the 28th African leader's summit in Ethiopia. 
    • Note : Morocco left AU in 1984 after it recognised the independence of Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara. 
  • Representatives of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) will meet in Nepal on February 1-2 to attend a session of the Programming Committee. 
    • This will be their first meeting since the postponement of the SAARC Summit which was to take place in Pakistan last year. 
    • The members will reportedly discuss the SAARC Secretariat's budget among other issues.
  • Pakistan has declined an invitation by the Indian Parliament and the Inter-Parliamentary Union to attend South Asian Speakers' Summit to be held in Indore next month. 
    • The summit will be attended by Speakers of Parliament from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Sri Lanka among other countries. 
    • Note : India had boycotted a Commonwealth Parliamentary Union meeting in Islamabad in 2015.
  • The Gambia's new President, Adama Barrow, has removed 'Islamic' from the official name of the country pledging more reforms in the West African nation.
    • Important Points to Note
    • Muslims constitute 90% of the total Gambian population.
    • The word 'Islamic' was added by former Gambian President Yahya Jammeh in 2015, making it the Islamic Republic of The Gambia.
  • In an effort to provide their tax administrations with tools to combat corporate tax avoidance through transfer pricing, officials from 7 new countries (Lithuania, Gabon, Hungary, Indonesia, Malta, Mauritius and Russia) have signed Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement for Country-by-Country Reporting (CbC MCAA). 
    • With this, the total number of signatories has increased to 57 including India (signed in May 2015). 
    • CbC MCAA is a tax co-operation agreement to enable automatic sharing of country-by-country information.
National Current Affairs
  • On the occasion of Anti-Leprosy Day, the Union Government has launched nationwide “Sparsh Leprosy Awareness Campaign (SLAC)”.
  • The Karnataka government has decided to bring an amendment to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (PCA), 1960 for conducting traditional sports of Kambala and bull-cart race in the State. 
  • Bengaluru Traffic Police has installed Red Light Violation Detection cameras at ten important junctions in the city to book offenders.
    • The cameras can identify the licence plate of vehicles and generate challans.
  • Delhi Tourism has entered into an agreement with BookMyShow for an online ticketing platform for major tourist attractions in the capital. 
    • Online ticketing facilities are available for Dilli Haat and Garden of Five Senses, among others, as part of the pilot project.
New Appointments
  • Actress Anushka Sharma has been appointed the Ambassador of the Swachh Bharat campaign by the Ministry of Urban Development. 
    • She will be focussing on women-centric aspects of open defecation.
    • Note : Actor Amitabh Bachchan is also an ambassador of the Swachh Bharat campaign.
  • Chad's Foreign Minister Moussa Faki Mahamat was elected as the Chairman of the African Union (AU) commission at the 28th AU summit in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa.
    • He will replace Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who was the first female AU chief.
Banking & Economic Affairs
  • Ahead of the Union Budget tomorrow, the Union finance minister Arun Jaitley today tabled the Economic Survey 2016-17 in Parliament budget session. 
    • The Economic Survey reviews the developments in the Indian economy over the previous 12 months, summarizes the performance on major development programmes, and highlights the policy initiatives of the government and the prospects of the economy in the short to medium term.  
    • Read the Highlights of Economic Survey 2017 from here
  • The India Post Payment Bank (IPPB), a basic financial services facility, was launched simultaneously in Raipur and Ranchi as a pilot over a video conference by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitely in presence of Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha with plans to scale it up to 650 branches by the end of September. 
    • IPPB received a licence from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 20 January. 
    • IPPB is the second payments bank to start operations after Airtel Payments Bank, which launched on 12 January. 
  • The Union Finance Ministry has agreed to contribute partially to a new dedicated railway safety fund named as ‘Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh’ in the upcoming Union & Rail Budget 2017-18. 
    • The proposed safety fund will be utilised for track improvement, bridge rehabilitation, rolling stock replacement, human resource development, improved inspection system and safety work at level crossing, among other things.
  • Saudi Arabia is set to end its decades-old tax-free status after its cabinet approved an IMF-backed 5% value-added tax to be imposed across six Gulf countries from next year. 
    • Note : A collapse in the prices of crude oil had hit the world's biggest oil exporter, with the government reporting a record budget deficit of $97 billion (₹6.5 lakh crore) last year.

Science & Technology
  • Online file hosting service Dropbox today launched a collaborative editing software called 'Paper' in 21 languages to compete with Google Docs. 
    • Users can add text, tables, images and elements like YouTube videos to the document. 
    • Paper allows highlighting, commenting and tagging or 'mentioning' teammates in real-time, it also lets users add stickers to their conversations within the document.

Sports Current Affairs
  • Bengaluru Police has made it mandatory for people to give their Aadhaar card details to watch IPL matches in the city
    • People buying tickets at the stadium will have to undergo a biometric test before purchasing passes, while online buyers will be required to key in their Aadhaar number.
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