Current Affairs Update – 6th January, 2016

Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs Update of 6th January, 2016. These are important for the upcoming SIDBI Assistant Manager, LIC AAO and Syndicate Manipal PO Exams.

Current Affairs At a Glance – 6th January, 2016

  1. The Union Cabinet has given its
    approval for the creation of a Credit
    Guarantee Fund for Micro Units Development Refinance Agency (MUDRA) loans
    . Approval
    has also been given for converting MUDRA
    Ltd into MUDRA Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) Bank
    as a
    wholly owned subsidiary of SIDBI.
  2. The central government has approved an assistance of Rs 815 crore for Odisha for drought relief
    operations. The state government had submitted a memorandum amounting to Rs 2,199.06 crore to the Government of
    India for management of Drought-2015.
  3. The Union Cabinet on 6 January
    2016 approved the Stand Up India Scheme
    to promote entrepreneurship among
    Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribes and Women entrepreneurs
    . It provides for
    refinance window through Small
    Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI)
    with an initial amount of 10000 crore rupees.
  4. The Union Minister of Water
    Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Uma Bharti on 5 January
    2016 launched Ganga Gram Yojana at
    Village Puth in Hapur district of Uttar Pradesh
    (UP).
  5. Sambalpur University today conferred the prestigious Gangadhar National Award for Poetry2014 on noted Bengali poet Subodh Sarkar.
  6. Sam Pitroda, former chairman of the National Knowledge Commission
    and ex-adviser to the prime minister, has been appointed technology advisor of Odisha.



Finance/Industry/Economy
Cabinet nod for
credit guarantee fund for MUDRA loans

  • The Union Cabinet has given its approval for the creation of
    a Credit Guarantee Fund for Micro Units Development Refinance Agency (MUDRA)
    loans.
  • Approval has also been given for converting MUDRA Ltd into
    MUDRA Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) Bank as a wholly owned
    subsidiary of SIDBI.
  • The fund is expected to guarantee more than Rs. 1,00,000
    crore worth of loans to micro and small units at the first instance.
  • The salient features of the scheme are establishment of
    Credit Guarantee Fund for MUDRA Units (CGFMU) for guaranteeing loans sanctioned
    under Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana with effect from April 8, 2015 with the
    objective of reducing the credit risk to banks/NBFCs/MFIs/other financial
    intermediaries, who are Member Lending Institutions (MLIs).
  • National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company Ltd. (NCGTC Ltd),
    a wholly-owned company of the Government of India, constituted under the Companies
    Act, 1956 (2013) to manage and operate various credit guarantee funds, would be
    the trustee of the fund.
  • The guarantee would be provided on a portfolio basis to a
    maximum extent of 50 per cent of the amount in Default in the portfolio.
  • The MUDRA (SIDBI) Bank will undertake refinance operations
    and provide support services with focus on portal management; data analysis
    etc. apart from any other activity entrusted/ advised by the Government of
    India.

Air India signs MoU
to help build MRO facility at Dubai airport

  • Air India Engineering Services Limited (AIESL) has signed a
    memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Delhi-based aircraft services firm,
    Haveus Aerotech, to provide technical assistance to develop Maintenance Repair
    and Overhaul (MRO) facilities at Dubai’s Al Maktoum International Airport. AIESL
    is a subsidiary of Air India.
  • At present, engine servicing is only provided by Air India
    in the country. The public sector company is also expanding its infrastructure
    to service Boeing planes by building a new facility at Nagpur, which will be
    ready by 2018.
  • In order to boost the MRO industry, the Ministry of Civil
    Aviation has proposed sops in the draft civil aviation policy. Some of them
    include tax breaks, zero service tax on MROs, simplification of import
    processes for aircraft spares and exemptions on customs duty on maintenance
    tools and tool kits.

Tata Motors, Petronas
join hands for lubricants

  • Tata Motors in association with Petronas Lubricants
    International today launched Tata Motors Genuine Oil (TMGO) for its passenger
    vehicles range in the India market.
  • TMGO will be the first range of co-branded lubricants
    jointly developed by the two companies.
  • The co-branded range of lubricants – Tata Motors Genuine Oil
    CH-4 15W-40 for diesel vehicles and Tata Motors Genuine Gear Oil 80EP for
    passenger cars – makes part of a bigger range of nine co-branded products that
    will be rolled out in a phased approach.

Centre approves Rs
815 cr drought aid for Odisha

  • The central government has approved an assistance of Rs 815
    crore for Odisha for drought relief operations.
  • The state government had submitted a memorandum amounting to
    Rs 2,199.06 crore to the Government of India for management of Drought-2015.
  • As per reports received from the collectors, 1.34 million
    hectares of crop area has been cumulatively affected in 215 blocks across 26
    districts have sustained crop loss of 33 per cent and above.
  • The fund requirement has been listed under six major heads-
    agriculture input subsidy (Rs 927.77 crore), conversion of crop loans advanced
    during Kharif 2015 (Rs 912.66 crore), revival of minor irrigation projects (Rs
    52.49 crore), provision of fodder/feed concentrate including water supply and
    medicines in cattle crops and strengthening of fodder resources (Rs 81 crore),
    gratuitous relief (Rs 200.35 crore) and emergency drinking water supply (Rs
    24.78 crore).

Union Government
abolished export duty on Iron Ore Pellets

  • To improve capacity utilisation of pellet plants and boost
    the sector, Union Government on 5 January 2016 reduced export duty on iron ore
    pellets to zero from 5 percent.
  • A notification in this regard was issued by the Central
    Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC). The move will make the commodity more
    competitive amid subdued demand and weakening prices.
  • Iron ore pellet makers as well as some miners had earlier
    sought a reduction in the export duty on iron ore to make it more competitive.
    Steel and its related raw material market is facing a tough time on account of
    subdued demand and high production, adversely impacting the prices.

Jharkhand Government,
JBVNL signed MoU under UDAY Scheme
  • The Jharkhand Government and the Jharkhand Bijli Vitran
    Nigam Limited (JBVNL) on 5 January 2016 signed a Memorandum of Understanding
    (MOU) under the Ujjwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY) Scheme.
  • The MoU for operational and financial turnaround of Discoms
    was signed by AK Verma, JS (Distribution), Union Ministry of Power; SKG Rahate,
    Principle Secretary (Energy) of Jharkhand and by Ameet Kumar, MD, Jharkhand Bijli
    Vitaran Nigam Ltd (JBVNL).
  • With this, Jharkhand becomes first state to sign MoU with
    Centre for power scheme UDAY.

Union Cabinet
approved Stand Up India Scheme

  • The Union Cabinet on 6 January 2016 approved the Stand Up
    India Scheme to promote entrepreneurship among Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribes
    and Women entrepreneurs.
  • The Scheme is intended to facilitate at least two projects
    per bank branch, on an average one for each category of entrepreneur. It is
    expected to benefit at least 2.5 lakh borrowers.
  • The expected date of reaching the target of at least 2.5
    lakh approvals is 36 months from the launch of the Scheme.

Highlights of the
Stand Up India Scheme
  • It provides for refinance window through Small Industries
    Development Bank of India (SIDBI) with an initial amount of 10000 crore rupees.
  • It will create credit guarantee mechanism through the
    National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company (NCGTC).
  • It will provide support for borrowers both at the pre loan
    stage and during operations.
  • Its focus is on handholding support for both SC/ST and Women
    borrowers.
  • The aim is to leverage institutional credit structure to
    reach out under-served sectors of the population by facilitating bank loans
    repayable up to 7 years and between 10 lakh rupees- 100 lakh rupees for
    greenfield enterprises in nonfarm sector set up by such SC, ST and Women borrowers.

Tata Trusts, Mars
sign MoU to work on food safety in India
  • The global food manufacturer will help develop methods and
    tools to increase crop productivity, farm income among others.
  • Tata Trusts and leading global food manufacturer Mars
    Incorporated have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to work
    together to advance agriculture development, address malnutrition and improve
    food safety in India, according to a joint statement.
  • Tata Trusts that will participate in the initiative include
    Sir Dorabji Tata Trust, Sir Ratan Tata Trust, and Navajbhai Ratan Tata Trust.
    All these trusts collectively known as Tata Trusts are coalition of
    philanthropic trusts that have been working to improve the quality of life of
    people in India.
  • Under the MOU, Mars and Tata Trusts intend to work together
    to explore how best to improve nutrition in India, especially among children.
  • More than century old Mars, Incorporated has brands like
    M&M’S, PEDIGREE, DOUBLEMINT and UNCLE BEN’S. The company has more than $33
    billion in sales from six diverse business segments.

India
Union Government
launched Ganga Gram Yojana in Uttar Pradesh

  • The Union Minister of Water Resources, River Development and
    Ganga Rejuvenation Uma Bharti on 5 January 2016 launched Ganga Gram Yojana at
    Village Puth in Hapur district of Uttar Pradesh (UP).
  • Under the scheme, 1600 villages of UP situated along the
    banks of river Ganga will be developed.

Highlights of the
Ganga Gram Yojana
  • In the first phase of the progamme, 200 villages have been
    selected initially.
  • In these villages, open drains falling into river Ganga will
    be diverted and alternative arrangements for sewage treatment will be made.
  • The villages will have toilets in every house hold.
  • It is proposed to incur the expenditure of 1 crore rupees on
    every village.
  • These villages will be developed under the Sichewal model.
    Sichewal is situated in Punjab, where cooperation of the villagers has been
    solicited for the water management and waste disposal.

Awards
& Honors –
Subodh Sarkar
Conferred Gangadhar National Award for Poetry

  • Sambalpur University today conferred the prestigious
    Gangadhar National Award for Poetry -2014 on noted Bengali poet Subodh Sarkar.
  • The award, named after Odisha’s eminent poet Gangadhar
    Meher, was given on the occasion of 49th foundation day of the University.
  • The award is given to a poet of national repute and Odisha
    Higher Education Minister Pradeep Kumar Panigrahy, who was the chief guest at
    the function, conferred the award on Sarkar.
  • Sarkar, a recipient of the Banga Bhusan Samman from
    Government of West Bengal, besides a number of others as well as the Kendriya
    Sahitya Academy Award in 2013.

Syed Kirmani
conferred with 2015 Col. CK Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Former Indian Wicket-Keeper Syed Kirmani was on 5 January
    2016 awarded with the 2015 Col. CK Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • On the other hand, Test captain Virat Kohli bagged the Polly
    Umrigar Trophy for Cricketer of the Year in the BCCI awards.

Harper Lee’s Go Set a
Watchman topped 2015 US Bestseller List
  • The book Go Set a Watchman written by Harper Lee was in news
    in the first week of January 2016 as it topped the 2015 US bestseller list.
  • Around 1.6 million copies of the book were sold in the USA
    since it was published in July 2015. The figures were based on US print unit
    sales reported to Nielsen.
  • Go Set a Watchman was published more than half a century
    after Harper’s Pulitzer-winning first book, To Kill a Mockingbird, was
    published.
  • The second and third bestseller in the list was Jeff
    Kinney’s Diary of Wimpy Kid series (1.48 million copies) and British author EL
    James’ Grey: Fifty Shades of Grey as Told by Christian (1.4 million)
    respectively.

Manchester United
skipper Rooney bags ‘England Player of Year’ award

  • Manchester United skipper Wayne Rooney has been named
    ‘England Player of the Year’ for the second consecutive time after becoming his
    country’s all-time leading goal scorer.
  • The 30-year-old, who bagged the award for the fourth time,
    scored 51 goals in 2015 and thereby, surpassed Bobby Charlton’s record of 49 goals,
    Sport24 reported.
  • Rooney also top scored with seven goals to help England
    qualify for Euro 2016 with a perfect record of 10 wins.
  • Meanwhile, Stoke City goalkeeper Jack Butland has been
    elected for the Under-21s Player of the Year for displaying rich vein of form
    during this season.

Appointments
Odisha appoints Sam
Pitroda its technology advisor

  • Sam Pitroda, former chairman of the National Knowledge
    Commission and ex-adviser to the prime minister, has been appointed technology
    advisor of Odisha.
  • Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday announced the
    development through a tweet.
  • Pitroda, who will be given cabinet rank in the state, will
    work for the Vision 2036 of the Odisha government.
  • Notably, Patnaik recently declared a vision document would
    be prepared eyeing 2036 for holistic development of the state.

Filippo Grandi
assumed office as UNHCR Chief
  • Filippo Grandi on 1 January 2016 took over as the new High
    Commissioner for the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
  • Grandi succeeded Antonio Guterres, a former Portuguese Prime
    Minister, who retired on 31 December 2015 after heading the Refugee Agency for
    10 years.
  • Grandi took over the position amid unprecedented
    displacement challenges, with worldwide forced displacement of people reaching
    a new post-World War-II high of 59.5 million.

World
World’s largest blue
star sapphire discovered in Sri Lanka
  • The world’s largest blue star sapphire that weighs 1404.49
    carats was discovered in a mine in Sri Lanka. The sapphire was found in August
    2015 near Ratnapura city in the South of Sri Lanka.
  • The stone is worth at an estimated cost of 100 million US dollars
    but could be valued up to 165 million US dollars.
  • The sapphire has been named as The Star of Adam by its
    current owner. The name came from a Muslim belief that Adam arrived in Sri
    Lanka after being sent away from the Garden of Eden. As per the myth, Adam
    lived on the slopes of a mountain now known as Adam’s Peak, about 15 miles from
    Ratnapura.
  • The Star of Adam Sapphire has also been certified by the
    Gemology Institute of Columbo, Sri Lanka.

Lists
Forbes released 2016
30 Under 30 List; 45 Indian-origin people figured

  • Forbes on 4 January 2016 released the 2016 30 Under 30 List
    featuring 600 men and women who achieved remarkable professional success before
    attaining 30 years of age.
  • They were chosen from an initial screening list of more than
    15000 representing a gamut of 20 segments that include art & style,
    finance, sports, education, etc.
  • The list includes John Boyega (Hollywood & Entertainment
    category), Shawn Mendes (Music), Emerson Spartz (Media) among others.
  • Further, 45 Indians and Indian-origin people figured in the
    annual compilation for their entrepreneurial spirit and breakout talents.

Prominent
Indian-origin people figured in the list are,
  • Ritesh Agarwal, OYO Rooms CEO
  • Karishma Shah, Alphabet’s Google X
  • Divya Nettimi, Viking Global Investors
  • Nisha Chittal, MSNBC
  • Ashish Patel, NowThis Media
  • Saagar Govil, CEO of Cemtrex

Regards

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