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Current Affairs for 20th Jan to 27th Jan 2017

Current Affairs for 20th Jan to 27th Jan 2017

  1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed concern over the functioning of government’s departments in isolation and stressed on coordination among the departments of Central and State governments. Delivering the inaugural address on a three-day National Conference of Central and State Ministers and Secretaries of Tourism, Culture and Sports at Kutch in Gujarat through video-conferencing, the Prime Minister asked the participants to share their best practices to solve the outstanding problems. He asked the Departments to chalk out a blue-print to channelize youth power for the betterment of the country and the world. He said, digital movement in the nation is going on and the youth are at the core of this. He said, the youth have also given strength to Swachh Bharat Mission. Prime Minister called for an institutional arrangement to enable excellence in sports as every government wants to popularize sports. The Prime Minister said, India has a lot more in sports than just cricket for which there is a need to map sport persons at District level to identify talents.
  2. Prime Minister has said, Indian youth have successfully resisted radicalization, which has affected several parts of the world. He said, its credit must go to the long, shared heritage of the country and now, it is peoples’ collective responsibility to take the heritage forward. In a meeting with a delegation of Muslim ulema, intellectuals and academicians in New Delhi, Mr. Modi said, the culture, traditions and social fabric of India will never allow the nefarious designs of terrorists or their sponsors to succeed. The Prime Minister stressed on the importance of education and skill development, which is a key to gain employment and upliftment from poverty. Appreciating Saudi Arabian government for increasing the number of Hajji pilgrims for India, Mr. Modi asserted that there  is a positive image of Indian Muslims abroad.
  3. Delhi Police Commissioner and Senior IPS officer Alok Kumar Verma has been appointed as new Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation. He will have tenure of two year. He was selected by a three-member committee comprising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Justice J S Khehar and Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge. He will take over from interim director Rakesh Asthana, who was handed the reins of the premier investigating agency after former director Anil Sinha retired on December2, 2016.
  4. RBI Governor Urjit Patel appeared before the Public Accounts Committee and briefed the panel about government’s recent decision to demonetize high value currency. The committee is headed by Congress MP K V Thomas. According to sources, Mr. Patel has assured the committee that cash situation will be normalized soon. Earlier, Mr. Patel had appeared before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance and briefed about the decision to demonetize high value currency and the impact on note ban. Mr. Patel had informed the committee that Rs. 9.2 lakh crore, in new currency has been introduced in the system after the decision.
  5. Over 3 lakh 80,000 consumers and 21,000 merchants have won prize money worth around Rs. 61 crore at 24 Digi-Dhan Melas across the country, so far. This was disclosed by the Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in New Delhi. He said, the government’s efforts to give a boost to the digital payment systems and cashless economy have evoked good response from the people. Mr. Prasad said, people from different age groups, occupations and walks of life have taken part in a big way in the Lucky Grahak Yojana and Digi-dhan Vyapar Yojana giving a fillip to digital transactions.
  6. The Centre has sanctioned over Rs. Crore to Jammu and Kashmir as special assistance during current financial year to expedite completion of area-specific schemes. The Finance Ministry in a release said, the Centre has also decided to provide further special assistance of over them Rs. 1,129 crore to Bihar during 2016-17 for completion of the approved ongoing projects under the special plan for Bihar. The Ministry said, with this the centre has so far released over them Rs. 6,934 crore to Bihar. According to the release, special assistance of nearly Rs. 368 crore was given to Odisha for funding of projects under special plan for Districts of Koraput, Bolangir and Kalahandi.
  7. The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the 28th Dantan Gramin Mela-2017 at Dantan, Paschim Medinipur, West Bengal on 19th of this month. Speaking on the occasion, the President Pranab Mukherjee expressed concern over growing tensions and difference of opinion in society. Referring to the violence in different parts of the world, the President said the general trend of human society is for people to love each other and co-exist, not spread hatred. Rural fairs like Dantan Gramin Mela promote brotherhood, harmony and peaceful co-existence among people. They reflect the eternal wisdom of rural areas and increase friendship amongst different sections of society.
  8. Government will facilitate Tangaliya weavers in purchase of looms, by providing them an assistance amounting to 90% of the price of looms. The Union Textiles Minister Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani made this announcement during her interaction with Tangaliya weavers in Surendrangar district of Gujarat. Upon listening to their concerns, the Minister also announced the formation of a special association of Tangaliya workers, which will work for their interest. Expressing appreciation for the Tangaliya embroidery, Smt. Irani said that the work needs to be marketed through international platforms; she requested the district administration to make proper arrangements for the same.
  9. Bihar government has launched a Nasha Mukti campaign to make the state addiction-free with formation of over 11 thousand km long human chain across the state. Over two crore people participated in this human chain. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Deputy Chief minister Tejaswi Prasad Yadav and RJD Chief Lalu Prasad Yadav joined their hands in human chain at Gandhi Maidan in Patna. Besides teachers of schools and college students of 71 thousand schools took part human chain. The human chain covered all panchayats of the state. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said ‘nasha mukti’ in Bihar will herald a new era in the state as no one will be permitted to use intoxicating substance and tobacco products. Mr. Kumar said Bihar will become an ideal state of the country as dreamed Mahatma Gandhi.
  10. Union Cabinet has given its nod for amendment in the Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme (M-SIPS) for electronics manufacturing. These modifications will further incentivize investments in electronic sector and move towards Union Government’s goal of ‘Net Zero imports’ in electronics by 2020.
  11. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs gave its ‘in principle’ approval for listing the five Public Sector General Insurance companies owned General Insurance Companies in the stock exchanges. The companies are New India Assurance Company Ltd, United India Insurance Company Ltd, Oriented Insurance Corporation of India. The shareholding of these PSGICs will be divested from 100% to 75 % in one or more tranches over a period of time as per Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) rules and regulations.
  12. The first flight of the government’s ambitious regional connectivity scheme-UDAN is likely to take off next month. The scheme UDAN (Ude Desh Ke Aam Naagrik), seeks to boost regional air connectivity and provides various incentives to airlines. The fare for a one hour journey of approximately 500 kilometre on a fixed wing aircraft or for a 30 minute journey on a helicopter will be capped at two thousand 500 rupees under the scheme. Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, Minister of state for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said, the Airports Authority of India has received 45 initial proposals from 11 bidders covering more than 190 routes under the scheme.
  13. India has reiterated that there is no place for a third-party intervention on Jammu and Kashmir. In reply to a question on a reported discussion on the matter in British Parliament, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said, the issues between India and Pakistan should be resolved bilaterally. To a query on Nuclear Suppliers’ Group, NSG membership, Mr. Swarup said, India does not want the membership as a gift.
  14. Mr. Donald Trump has taken over as the 45th President of the United States. He took over the reins from Barack Obama amid expectations or radical change in policies and apprehension at home and abroad. Mr. trump, 70, took the oath of office in front of about 8 lakh people who braved chilly weather to gather on the National Mall in the center of the capital to celebrate the occasion. He was administered the oath of office by Chief Justice John Roberts. Mike Pence was also sworn-in as the Vice President of the US. In his maiden address to the nation from the US Capitol, Mr. trump promised to rebuild the country to bring back their dreams wherein America First will be the key to his governance. He vowed to address the ills he sees plaguing the nation, including gun violence, drugs and crime.
  15. United Nation’s Security Council has unanimously approved a resolution expressing full support to Gambia’s new President Adama Barrow and calling on ex-leader Yahya Jammeh to step down. The UN resolution also condemned Yahya Jammeh’s attempts to usurp power. A last-minute revision to the resolution after Barrow took the oath of office backed efforts by the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) to ensure that Barrow’s election victory is respected. The deputy ambassadors of Russia and Britain said that Barrow is now president and he can ask ECOWAS for military action to oust Jammeh. Meanwhile, Senegalese army spokesman said that their troops have entered the Gambia to ensure Adama Barrow assumes power as the country’s new president.
  16. India clinched the three-match series 2-0 after defeating England by 15 runs in the second One-Day International at Cuttack. At the Barabati Stadium, India compiled a massive total of 381 for six after being put into bat on flat track. In reply, England despite skipper Eoin Morgan’s 102, could manage only 366 for 8 in the stipulated 50 overs. On the Indian side, Yuvraj made 150 which was his 14th ODI hundred and his careers best, while Dhoni scored 134 which was his 10th ODI hundred.
  17. The largest warship of the Indian Navy, INS Vikramditya, will be equipped with its own dedicated ATM. It will cater to over two thousand naval personnel deployed on the aircraft carrier. India’s largest public sector bank State Bank of India is providing the Navy the services for the ATM which will be on the satellite link. A currency chest will also be provided to keep running the ATM. The much-needed facility is expected to ease out cash problems of a large floating population of the warship as they run out of money during long period of deployment of the carrier.
  18. The Union Government launched a dedicated web portal “ShaGun” for monitoring the progress of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. The portal “” has been developed by World Bank in collaboration with Human Resource Development Ministry.
  19. Indian Space Research Organization Chairman A.S. Kiran Kumar has said, ISRO has successfully maneuvered the orbit planes of Mars Mission to enhance the capacity of battery. Speaking at Ahmedabad, he said, Mars orbiter was not getting sun light during eclipse, so they had changed the direction of orbit plane to cut the eclipse duration. He said, Mars Mission has still 30 kilograms of energy, which will provide service for many more years.

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