Current Affairs Update – 29th January, 2016

Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 29th January, 2016. These are important for the upcoming LIC AAO 2016 Exam.

Current Affairs at a Glance – 29th January, 2016

  1. Government has marginally revised downward the economic growth for 2014-15 to 7.2 per cent from the
    earlier estimate of 7.3 per cent
    after factoring in latest data on agriculture and industrial production.
  2. India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Thursday signed an $80 million loan agreement for
    improving the infrastructure in the two North-Eastern cities of Agartala and
    Aizawl
    , according to a government statement.
  3. JS Deepak appointed as new Telecom Secretary.
  4. Sania Mirza and her
    Swiss partner Martina Hingis on 29 January 2016 won the 2016 Australian Open title of
    tennis in the women’s doubles category
    .
  5. India and Pakistan have extended their agreement relating to rail
    communication
    by mutual consent through diplomatic channels for next three years.
  6. Lt Governor of Puducherry AK Singh on 28 January 2016 launched the MITRA mobile application to ensure
    safety and security of women in the Union Territory
    . The app was launched
    in the presence of the Chief Minister N Rangasamy in Puducherry.
  7. Gurdeep Singh appointed as CMD of NTPC.
  8. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) launched a 2.8 billion US
    dollar appeal to reach 43 million children in humanitarian emergencies
    worldwide
    on 26 January 2016. It included the 54.3 million US dollar appeal
    to help conflict-affected children in eastern Ukraine in 2016.
  9. India on 28 January 2016 test fired its indigenously-built
    surface-to-air Akash missile
    from complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range
    (ITR).at Chandipuri in Odisha.
  10. The second volume of memoirs of President Pranab Mukherjee titled The
    Turbulent Years – 1980-1996
    was
    released
    on 28 January 2016 by Vice President Hamid Ansari in function held
    at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.
  11. Iran and Airbus on 28 January 2016 signed two agreements covering new aircraft orders and a comprehensive civil
    aviation co-operation package
    . The agreement includes purchase of 118 new Airbus aircrafts
  12. Graham Ford Named Chief Coach of Sri Lanka Ahead of India Tour.

Finance/Economy –
Govt lowers GDP growth rate to 7.2%

  • Government has marginally revised
    downward the economic growth for 2014-15 to 7.2 per cent from the earlier
    estimate of 7.3 per cent after factoring in latest data on agriculture and
    industrial production.
  • GDP growth rate for 2013-14 has
    also revised downwards to 6.6 per cent from earlier estimate of 6.9 per cent.
  • According to the statement,
    estimates of GDP and other aggregates for the years 2011-12 to 2013-14 have
    also undergone revision due to use of latest available data on agricultural
    production and industrial production.
  • Last year, the CSO had estimated
    the GDP growth rate for 2014-15 and 2013-14 at 7.3 per cent and 6.9 per cent,
    respectively.
  • The office said in terms of real
    GVA (Gross Value Added) at constant (2011-12) basic prices, there has been a
    growth of 7.1 per cent in 2014-15 as against growth of 6.3 per cent in 2013-14.
  • The GVA for 2014-15 was earlier
    estimated at 7.2 per cent.
  • GVA as a concept was introduced
    by the CSO last year to measure value addition in the economy.

Agartala, Aizawl get $80 mn loan from Asian Development Bank

  • India and the Asian Development
    Bank (ADB) on Thursday signed an $80 million loan agreement for improving the
    infrastructure in the two North-Eastern cities of Agartala and Aizawl, according
    to a government statement.
  • The loan is the third tranche of
    a $200 million financing facility under the North-Eastern Region Capital cities
    Development Investment Program and will be used for investments in water
    supply, solid waste management and sanitation in Agartala and Aizwal. It will
    also support urban reforms, benefiting nearly a million people in the two
    cities.
  • The previous two tranches were
    aimed at improving the infrastructure in Shillong, Aizawl, Kohima, Gangtok and
    Agartala.

Fiscal deficit at 87.9% during April-December 2015

  • The Centre’s balance sheet
    continued to be under control in the first three quarters of the financial
    year, with its fiscal deficit at 88 per cent of the full-year target.
  • The fiscal deficit at the end of
    December 2015 was ₹4,88,185
    crore or 87.9 per cent of the Budget estimate, according to data released by
    the Controller-General of Accounts on Friday. It had exceeded the full-year
    target at 100.2 per cent in the same period a year ago and was at the same
    level of 87 per cent in November 2015.
  • Similarly, the revenue deficit
    too remained in check at ₹3,22,234
    crore or 81.7 per cent of the Budget estimate between April and December 2015.
    It was 106.2 per cent of the full-year target in the corresponding period a
    year ago.

India –
Puducherry Lt Governor AK Singh launched MITRA app for women safety

  • Lt Governor of Puducherry AK
    Singh on 28 January 2016 launched the MITRA mobile application to ensure safety
    and security of women in the Union Territory. The app was launched in the
    presence of the Chief Minister N Rangasamy in Puducherry.

Features of MITRA app
  • The Android based application can
    send emergency SOS messages when in danger or emergency.
  • To launch the application, the person
    in danger need only press the power button of his/her mobile three times.
  • At present, it is available only
    in smart phones.

Indo-Pak Agreement on Rail Link Extended for Three Years

  • India and Pakistan have extended
    their agreement relating to rail communication by mutual consent through
    diplomatic channels for next three years.
  • The agreement has been extended
    from January 19, 2016 to January 18, 2019, a statement issued by the Ministry
    of External Affairs said here today.
  • The Agreement, signed on 28 June,
    1976, enables India-Pakistan rail communication both in respect of goods and
    passenger traffic.
  • Currently, passenger and goods
    traffic operates on Delhi – Lahore route via Attari – Wagah, and passenger
    traffic between Jodhpur and Karachi via Munabao – Khokhrapar.

National Conference on Social Entrepreneurship begins

  • A three-day National Conference
    on Social Entrepreneurship, organized as part of XLRI’s mission to promote
    management education with a social conscience and to propagate dialogue on
    social development, was inaugurated on Friday.
  • Organized under the aegis of Fr
    Arrupe Centre for Ecology and Sustainability and SIGMA, a society of a group of
    budding future corporate managers, the theme of the conference is Social
    Innovations: Changing Lives and Society.

India successfully test fired Akash missile at Chandipur

  • India on 28 January 2016 test
    fired its indigenously-built surface-to-air Akash missile from complex-3 of the
    Integrated Test Range (ITR).at Chandipuri in Odisha. It was as part of a user
    trial mission.
  • Three rounds of test were carried
    out by Indian Air Force (IAF) personnel aiming at para-barrel targets.

Madhya Pradesh to impose ban on polythene from January 2017
  • Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister
    Shivraj Singh Chouhan on 27 January 2016 directed officials to impose ban on
    polythene in entire state from January 2017.
  • The Chief Minister’s decision
    came after his review of the activities of Urban Development and Environment
    and Housing Department in capital Bhopal.
  • As per the decision, the ban on
    polythene will be strictly enforced at tourist destinations and holy cities
    Ujjain, Amarkantak, Khajuraho, Pachmarhi, Maheshwar, Omkareshwar and Orchha
    from September 2016.

Commemorative Coin of 150 rupees & Circulation Coin of 10 rupees on
Lala Lajpat Rai released
  • Ministry of Culture on 28 January
    2016 released a commemorative coin of 150 rupees and a circulation coin of 10
    rupees on Lala Lajpat Rai.
  • The Commemorative Coin of 150
    rupees is made of Quaternary alloy with diameter of 44 mm and weight of 35
    grams.
  • The Circulation coin of 10 rupees
    is made of bi-metallic material with diameter of 27 mm and weight of 7.71
    grams.

World –
31 countries signed MCAA to boost transparency in international tax
matters

  • 31 countries on 27 January 2016
    signed the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement (MCAA) to boost
    transparency in the functioning of multinational enterprises (MNEs) by allowing
    automatic exchange of Country-by-Country reports by tax administrators.
  • The signing of the agreement
    marks an important milestone towards implementation of the OECD/G20 Base
    Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project.

Features of the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement
  • Under this multilateral
    agreement, information will be exchanged between tax administrations, giving
    them a single, global picture on the key indicators of multinational
    businesses.
  • With Country-by-Country
    reporting, tax administrations will get aggregate information annually,
    starting with 2016 accounts, relating to the global allocation of income and
    taxes paid, together with other indicators of the location of economic activity
    within the MNE group.

UNICEF launched 2.8 billion US dollar humanitarian appeal for children

  • The United Nations Children’s
    Fund (UNICEF) launched a 2.8 billion US dollar appeal to reach 43 million
    children in humanitarian emergencies worldwide on 26 January 2016. It included
    the 54.3 million US dollar appeal to help conflict-affected children in eastern
    Ukraine in 2016.
  • It is for the first time ever
    that the largest portion of the appeal, that is, 25 per cent is dedicated
    towards educating children in emergencies.
  • It planned to increase the number
    of children in crises who are given access to education from 4.9 million at the
    beginning of 2015 to 8.2 million in 2016. 
    More than half of 5 million will be Syrian children inside the country
    or in neighbouring countries.

UNICEF’s Humanitarian Action for Children 2016
  • Its appeal targets a total of 76
    million people in 63 countries.
  • The largest section of the appeal
    1.16 billion US dollars are allocated to life-saving aid needed for Syria and
    the Syrian refugee crisis in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. Key needs
    include safe water, immunizations, education and child protection.
  • 30.8 million US dollars are being
    requested by UNICEF to respond to the refugee and migrant crisis in Europe.

IMF implemented 2010 Quota and Governance Reforms
  • The International Monetary Fund
    (IMF) on 27 January 2016 implemented the long-pending 2010 Quota and Governance
    Reforms.
  • The reforms represent a major
    step towards the increasing role of dynamic emerging market and developing
    countries. The entry into force of these reforms will reinforce the
    credibility, effectiveness, and legitimacy of the IMF.

Highlights of the Reforms
  • For the first time, four emerging
    market countries- Brazil, China, India, and Russia will be among the 10 largest
    members of the IMF.
  • Other top 10 members include the
    United States, Japan, and the four largest European countries France, Germany,
    Italy, and the United Kingdom.
  • India’s voting rights increased
    to 2.6 percent from the current 2.3 percent and China’s voting rights increased
    to six percent from 3.8.
  • The reforms also increased the
    financial strength of the IMF by doubling its permanent capital resources to
    659 billion US dollars.

China, Iran signed 17 agreements to broaden bilateral cooperation

  • China and Iran on 23 January 2016
    signed 17 documents & letters of intents to broaden bilateral cooperation.
    The agreements were signed in Tehran during the Chinese President Xi Jinping’s
    visit to Iran.
  • The agreements cover various
    fields such as energy, industrial capacity, finance, investment,
    communications, culture, judiciary, science and technology, news media,
    customs, climate change and human resources.

Iran, Airbus signed deal to buy 118 Airbus planes

  • Iran and Airbus on 28 January
    2016 signed two agreements covering new aircraft orders and a comprehensive
    civil aviation co-operation package. The agreement includes purchase of 118 new
    Airbus aircrafts. 
  • The agreement for 118 new
    aircraft includes 21 A320ceo family, 24 A320neo family, 27 A330ceo family, 18
    A330neo (-900), 16 A350-1000 and 12 A380.

Sports –
Sania Mirza, Martina Hingis won 2016 Australian Open women’s doubles
tennis title

  • Sania Mirza and her Swiss partner
    Martina Hingis on 29 January 2016 won the 2016 Australian Open title of tennis
    in the women’s doubles category.
  • To win the title, the top seeded
    Indo-Swiss pair defeated seventh seeded Czech duo Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie
    Hradecka 7-6 (1), 6-3 at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia. With the
    win over the Czech duo, they extended their unbeaten run to 36.
  • For Sania-Hingis pair, it was
    their maiden Australian Open title and the third successive Grand Slam doubles
    title after their victories in the 2015 Wimbledon and US Open.

Graham Ford Named Chief Coach of Sri Lanka Ahead of India Tour
  • South African Graham Ford will
    take over as the chief coach of the Sri Lankan cricket team for his second
    stint replacing Marvan Atapattu, who had stepped down five months back.
  • Ford is expected to join the side
    in February before the three-match T20 International series against India.
  • The news was announced in Surrey
    county’s website as they confirmed their current coach Ford’s decision to leave
    for international assignment.
  • Ford had earlier coach Sri Lanka
    for two years starting from 2012.

Navneet Kaur, Santosh Kadale won gold in Senior National Rowing
Championship
  • Punjab’s Navneet Kaur on 28
    January 2016 won two gold medals in the 34th Senior National Rowing
    Championship at Hussainsagar Lake, Hyderabad. It was her maiden gold at the
    country’s highest level in the senior category.
  • Kaur took 8:26.83 seconds to take
    the first place in the 2000mts Open Single Scull. Later, Navneet and Harpreet
    Kaur won the women’s doubles sculls timing 7:42.94 seconds.
  • In the men single scull, Nasik’s
    Santosh Kadale won his maiden national gold.

Appointments –
JS Deepak appointed as new Telecom Secretary

  • Amid the high-decibel debate
    around Net neutrality, call drops and the upcoming mega spectrum auction,
    Telecom Secretary Rakesh Garg on Friday was moved to the low-profile Minority
    Affairs Ministry, as part of a bureaucratic reshuffle.
  • JS Deepak, a UP cadre officer
    from the 1982 batch, who is currently Secretary, Department of IT (DeitY), will
    replace Garg.
  • This will be Deepak’s second
    innings in the Department of Communications (DoT).
  • As Joint Secretary, DoT, he was
    among those who had played a lead role in ensuring the smooth auction of 3G and
    broadband wireless access spectrum in 2010, which fetched the government
    revenue of ₹1.06 lakh
    crore.

Gurdeep Singh appointed as CMD of NTPC

  • Gurdeep Singh on 28 January 2016
    was appointed as the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of NTPC Ltd.
  • Singh will be the first person to
    be appointed to the top job at a Maharatna company through a search committee
    route.
  • The Appointments Committee of the
    Cabinet (ACC), headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved the
    appointment of Singh for a period of five years from the date of assumption of
    charge of the post.
  • The post of chairman and managing
    director at NTPC fell vacant after Arup Roy Choudhury completed his five year
    term on 31 August 2015.

Books & Authors –
The Turbulent Years, Volume II of memoirs of President Pranab
Mukherjee, released

  • The second volume of memoirs of
    President Pranab Mukherjee titled The Turbulent Years – 1980-1996 was released
    on 28 January 2016 by Vice President Hamid Ansari in function held at Rashtrapati
    Bhavan in New Delhi.
  • In this book, he reminisced about
    crucial events of his political life including Indira Gandhi’s assassination,
    Babri Masjid demolition, operation Blue Star and his ouster from Rajiv Gandhi’s
    Cabinet.
  • The first volume of President’s
    memoir titled The Dramatic Decade- The Indira Gandhi Years was released on 11
    December 2014.

Obituaries –
Former minister and freedom fighter Maheswar Baug died
  • Former minister and freedom
    fighter Maheswar Baug died on 28 January 2016 at the district headquarter
    hospital in Balasore, Odisha. He was 85.
  • He was minister for works and
    health during chief ministership of Nilamani Routray in 1977.



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