January 21′ 2017 – Current Affairs Quick Gyan

AWARDS AND HONOURS

  1. ISKCON’s Govardhan eco village bags UN award

ISKCON’s Govardhan eco village at nearby Wada taluka in Thane district has been conferred the United Nations award for taking innovative measures of ’sustainable tourism’ in country.

  • This is for the first time India has won such recognition from the UN in the NGO sector.
  • The award was presented at the annual United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Awards for Excellence and Innovation in Tourism at Madrid in Spain.
  • Govardhan Eco Village won the UNWTO Award for Innovation in the category of Non-Governmental Organisations, the highest honour given to an NGO for shaping global tourism through sustainable innovative initiatives.

APPOINTMENTS

  1. Amit Singhal former Google Search head joins Uber

Amit Singhal, a 15-year Google veteran and a former senior vice president for search at the company, said that he planned to join Uber as senior vice president for engineering. At Uber, he will work to build out the software and infrastructure that are the foundation of the company’s ride-hailing services.

Mr. Singhal is credited as one of the engineers who built the smarter and faster search engine that gave Google what proved to be an insurmountable advantage in web search.

  1. James Mattis appointed as US Secretary of Defence

The Senate confirmed the appointment of retired general James Mattis as secretary of defense making him the first member of Donald Trump’s cabinet cleared to take office.  The Senate confirmed the appointment of retired general James Mattis as secretary of defense making him the first member of Donald Trump’s cabinet cleared to take office.

  1. Mike Pence becomes the 48th Vice President of USA

Former Indiana Gov. Mike Pence took the oath of office during a swearing-in ceremony on Capitol Hill. He became the nation’s 48th vice president and the sixth from Indiana in the state’s 200-year history. It was a fitting beginning of a new chapter for Pence, who considers his conservative Christian values the driving force of his 16-year political career.

  1. Indian football fed’s Prez Praful Patel becomes a member of FIFA finance committee

All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Praful Patel was appointed member of FIFA’s all-important finance committee for a four-year term.

The FIFA finance committee monitors the financial management and advises the FIFA executive committee on financial matters and asset management. It also analyses the FIFA budgets and the financial statements prepared by the FIFA general secretary and submits them to the FIFA executive committee for approval.

  1. Miss Universe 2017 judge panel includes Former Miss Universe Sushmita Sen

Former Miss Universe Sushmita Sen has confirmed that she is on the judging panel of 65th edition of the Miss Universe pageant.  The 41-year-old model-turned-actress was crowned Miss Universe in Manila in 1994 and she said she is excited as well as overwhelmed to return to the pageant 23 years later. 

INDIAN AFFAIRS

  1. Over 3.81 lakh Winners of Rs 61 cr in NITI Aayog’s Lucky Draw Scheme

More than 3.81 lakh consumers and 21,000 merchants have been declared winners of NITI Aayog’s lucky draw schemes ‘Lucky Grahak Yojana, LGY’ for consumers and ‘Digi-Dhan Vyapar Yojana, DVY for merchants.

  • Prize money worth Rs 60.90 crore to over 3.81 lakh winners of ‘Lucky Grahak Yojana, LGY’ for consumers and ‘Digi-Dhan Vyapar Yojana, DVY’ for merchants have been declared at 24 Digi-Dhan Melas across the country daily as well as weekly.
  • Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka have emerged as the TOP five States with maximum number of winners.
  1. 45th Statehood Day celebrated in Manipur, Tripura, and Meghalaya

The three northeastern states of Tripura, Manipur and Meghalaya have organised numerous programmes and events to celebrate their 45th Foundation Day.

  • In Agartala Tripura Governor Tathagata Roy inaugurated a series of programmes to celebrate the statehood day. Roy released a publication highlighting Tripura’s achievements in various fields since 1972.
  • The erstwhile princely states of Tripura and Manipur were merged with India in October 1949 and became full-fledged states on January 21, 1972.
  • Meghalaya was part of Assam before becoming a full-fledged state under the North Eastern Region (Re-Organisation) Act, 1971.
  1. Government constitutes negotiation committee on Mahanadi and its Tributaries

Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation has constituted a negotiations committee to assess availability and utilisation of waters of Mahanadi and its tributaries. The committee will also examine existing water sharing agreements on river Mahanadi and will consider claims of Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Jharkhand regarding availability and utilisation of waters of these rivers.

The committee has been set up with reference to complaint of State of Odisha under section 3 of the ISRWD Act, 1956 regarding utilisation of waters of Mahandi Basin.

  1. ‘INS Vikramaditya’ India’s largest warship to get its 1st ATM

India’s biggest aircraft carrier ship is set to make history by the becoming the nation’s first warship to have an ATM onboard the vessel via satellite.

  • The ATM belonging to the State Bank of India (SBI) will be operated through satellite link and the services.
  • The warship carries around 1500 naval personnel onboard at a time, which often increased to 2000 when the ship sets sail, which is why the ATM comes as a live saver to the personnel.
  • The ship moves from different small ports and many a times, it becomes a herculean task to locate an ATM, making this development both historic and significant to all those onboard INS Vikramaditya.
  1. India Innovation Index to measure performance of Indian states

The World Economic Forum, NITI Aayog, the World Intellectual Property Organization and the Cornell University will work together to develop an India Innovation Index that will provide impetus to Indian states to drive the innovative spirit.

The index will be based on key pillars of innovation and sub-indices that together will assist in tailoring policies that promote inclusive growth. The pillars include the strength of institutions, capacity of human capital and research, supporting infrastructure and the level of business sophistication, among others.

  1. Changes on rules for Rail Budget merger got approval from President Mukherjee

President Pranab Mukherjee has approved changes in government rules to allow merger of rail budget with the central budget. The Department of Economic Affairs has been entrusted with the work relating to preparation of central budget including rail budget, as per a recent order issued by Cabinet Secretariat.

The President has given nod to amend Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961 in this regard and the department will now prepare both the budgets.

  1. Corps Commander Conference starts in Dehradun

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Dehradun to inaugurate the Combined Commanders Conference, an official said.

  • The Prime Minister has reached the Indian Military Academy (IMA) campus from the Jolly Grant airport in a special Indian Air Force (IAF) chopper.
  • The Prime Minister laid a wreath at Shaheed Smarak (Martyrs Memorial) at IMA after which he crossed over the Chatwood Square where he was accorded the traditional salute by the three armed forces.
  1. Bihar: Govt to launch Nasha Mukt campaign to make state addidction-free

The Bihar government will launch a ‘nasha mukt’ (addiction-free) state campaign, after formation of human chain across the state. The total length of the human chain will be 11,292 kms, covering all panchyats and blocks of the state.

Apart from satellite, drones and low flying aircraft will also be used for taking images of the human chain. Kumar said ‘nasha mukti’ in Bihar would herald a new era in the country as no one will be permitted to use intoxicating substance and tobacco products.

  1. WEF, UCSB partner to protect world’s $2.5 trillion ocean economy

The World Economic Forum and the UCSB’s Marine Science Institute have announced a partnership to improve health of world’s oceans and maritime resources.  The new partnership aims to protect world’s USD 2.5 trillion ocean economy.

This partnership will harness the potential of public-private cooperation and the fourth industrial revolution to help the international community meet the ocean sustainable development goal.

  1. Kerala Gramin Bank to propagate financial literacy among school children

Kerala Gramin Bank has conceived a novel programme called [email protected] Under the project, every branch of the bank has to identify and enter into a virtual tie up with a school in its locality preferably an upper primary school to organise various programmes such as formation of financial literacy clubs, account opening camps at schools, junior debit card distribution, financial literacy related classes, distribution of financial literacy booklets, competition on financial literacy etc.

  1. Cooperative banks can’t accept deposits under PMGKY: Government

The government has barred cooperative banks from accepting deposits under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY). There have been irregularities discovered in cooperative banks during the demonetisation process that the income tax department is investigating. It is clarified that co-operative banks are not authorised banks to accept deposits under PMGKDS, 2016.

  1. Shri Kalraj Mishra Inaugurates Workshop on MSME Cooperation among IORA

Union Minister of MSME, Shri Kalraj Mishra has  inaugurated Workshop on MSME Cooperation amongst Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Member countries.

  • This workshop will strengthen economic relationship amongst the member countries in the field of trade and investment facilitation especially in MSME sector.
  • India has Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) with 18 countries for cooperation in MSME sector.
  • The National Small Industries Corporation of India, Public Sector Enterprise under the Ministry of MSME has 34 MoUs with its counterpart organizations of foreign countries for cooperation in MSME sector.

FOREIGN RELATIONS

  1. India, UAE hold first strategic dialogue

INDIA and the UAE held the first meeting of their strategic dialogue in an attempt to finalise the cooperation agreement. Pursuant to the decision to elevate their relations to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership during the exchange of visits at the highest level between India and United Arab Emirates in August 2015 and February 2016, the two sides held the first meeting of Strategic Dialogue between the two Foreign Offices on January 20 in New Delhi

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

  1. Hong Kong withdraws visa-free facility for Indians

Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China, has withdrawn the visa-free facility for Indians who will have to complete a pre-arrival registration.

  • The Pre-arrival Registration for Indian Nationals will be implemented on January 23. The online service for Pre-arrival Registration for Indian Nationals is now open.
  • Indian nationals must apply for and successfully complete pre-arrival registration online before they can visit or transit the HKSAR visa-free (if seeking to enter the HKSAR during transit).
  • Pre-arrival registration is not required for Indian nationals in direct transit by air and not leaving the airport transit area.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

  1. Astronomer studies ‘habitable’ exoplanet Wolf 1061c

An astronomer has studied an exoplanet called Wolf 1061c and found that the celestial body could be habitable.

  • Astronomer Stephen Kane from San Francisco State University focused on finding “habitable zones” where water could exist in a liquid state on a planet’s surface.
  • Examining a habitable zone on a planetary system 14 LIGHT years away, Mr. Kane found that unlike Earth, which experiences climatic changes such as an ice age because of slow variations in its orbit around the sun.
  • Wolf 1061c’s orbit changes at a faster rate, which may mean its climate could be quite chaotic.