Current Affairs Update – 17th & 18th January, 2016

Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 17th and 18th January, 2016. These are Important for the upcoming LIC AAO 2016, Syndicate Manipal PO 2016.

Current Affairs at a Glance – 17th and 18th January, 2016

  1. Exim Bank of India
    and the Government of Andhra Pradesh
    have entered into a Memorandum of
    Understanding (MoU) for promotion of exports from the state
    .
  2. The National
    Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog
    on 17 January 2016
    announced that it collaborated with the
    IDFC Bank Ltd
    to conduct an
    enterprise survey of manufacturing firms
    .
  3. Mumbai-based Jet Airways on 15 January 2016 entered into
    a Frequent Flyer Partnership with Bangkok Airways.
  4. Technology giant IBM
    on Monday said it has bagged a 7-year deal
    worth $40 million (about Rs 270.3 crore) from Bank Tech India (BTI) Payments
    ,
    a white label ATM (WLA) operator to transform its IT Infrastructure.
  5. The Somnath Temple
    Trust is all set to become Gujarat’s first temple to deposit its idle gold in
    the Gold Monetisation Scheme
    as its trustees including Prime Minister
    Narendra Modi have given their nod to invest the yellow metal reserves in the
    scheme.
  6. BHEL has
    commissioned the second 660 MW
    supercritical
    unit of Lalitpur Super
    Thermal Power Project (STPP) in Uttar Pradesh
    .
  7. India’s Dinesh Sharma
    on 17 January 2016 was elected to the
    12-member board of directors of the China-sponsored Asian Infrastructure
    Investment Bank (AIIB).
    A secret ballot for the post was held on 16 January
    2016.
  8. Tata Motors has
    appointed former top official of Airbus
    Guenter Butschek (55) as its Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director
    .
  9. Ola appoints
    Raghuvesh Sarup as Chief Marketing Officer
  10. Anuradha Roy won 2016
    DSC Prize for Sleeping on Jupiter
  11. Haryana off-spinner Ajit
    Chandila was slapped with a life ban for
    his involvement in the 2013 IPL spot-fixing scandal
    , while Mumbai batsman
    Hiken Shah was handed a five-year suspension for making a corrupt approach to a
    fellow player as the BCCI disciplinary committee sealed their fate after a meeting
    here today.

Finance/Banking/Industry –
Exim Bank inks MoU with AP Govt for promoting exports

  • Exim Bank of India and the
    Government of Andhra Pradesh have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding
    (MoU) for promotion of exports from the state.
  • The MoU was signed by Yaduvendra
    Mathur, Chairman and Managing Director of the bank, and Shamsher Singh Rawat,
    Secretary and Commissioner for Industrial Promotion, Government of Andhra
    Pradesh.
  • Exim Bank seeks to support
    exporters having operations in Andhra Pradesh in achieving higher exports by
    facilitation of market linkages through its market advisory services, which
    will assist in identifying suitable partners.
  • Besides, it will help develop
    skills through capacity building workshops, help exporters’ participation in
    select trade fairs and exhibitions, and through research activities.
  • Exim Bank would also use its
    strong institutional linkages that it has developed over the years with
    institutions in advanced markets like the US, Singapore, Japan, Australia, EU,
    etc, and facilitate technology transfer to the technology-seeking enterprises
    in Andhra Pradesh.

NITI Aayog collaborated with IDFC for Enterprise Survey of
Manufacturing Firms

  • The National Institution for
    Transforming India (NITI) Aayog on 17 January 2016 announced that it
    collaborated with the IDFC Bank Ltd to conduct an enterprise survey of
    manufacturing firms.
  • The primary objective of this
    Survey is to assess the business regulatory environment in each State and Union
    Territories (UTs) and identify policy and regulatory hurdles faced by
    businesses in the States/UTs.

Features of the survey
  • It will include start-ups across
    all States and UTs.
  • It will bring out a comprehensive
    analysis and report on State-level performance.
  • It will complement the
    governments Make in India initiative by taking stock of issues faced and
    providing impetus for State-level reforms that will make it easier to do
    business in India.
  • It will suggest measures needed
    to foster competitive and cooperative federalism.

Jet Airways and Bangkok Airways entered into Frequent Flyer Partnership

  • Mumbai-based Jet Airways on 15
    January 2016 entered into a Frequent Flyer Partnership with Bangkok Airways.
  • The partnership came into force
    with the tie-up of award-winning loyalty and rewards management programme of
    Jet Airways named JetPrivilege and FlyerBonus, the loyalty scheme of Bangkok
    Airways.
  • JetPrivilege members can now earn
    and redeem reward points JPMiles when travelling across the Bangkok Airways
    network including popular destinations like Samui, Krabi, Phuket and Luang
    Prabang via Bangkok.
  • Members of Bangkok Airways’
    FlyerBonus programme can also earn and redeem their miles across Jet Airways’
    extensive network in India and key international destination in North America,
    Europe, Middle East and SAARC.

IBM bags $40mn deal from Bank Tech India Payments

  • Technology giant IBM on Monday
    said it has bagged a 7-year deal worth $40 million (about Rs 270.3 crore) from
    Bank Tech India (BTI) Payments, a white label ATM (WLA) operator to transform
    its IT Infrastructure.
  • BTI Payments, which runs over
    3,000 “India1” branded white label ATMs, will leverage IBM’s managed
    services solution to deploy and manage an incremental 4,000 automated teller
    machines across the country, IBM said in a statement.
  • IBM will manage, monitor and
    maintain the ATM infrastructure providing BTI better visibility and control of
    its operations and enabling its maximum efficiency, it added.
  • It will take up the maintenance
    and service of ATM assets, including feasibility, supply and installation,
    performance monitoring, availability management, reporting and analysis.

Somnath Temple to invest in Gold Monetisation Scheme

  • The Somnath Temple Trust is all
    set to become Gujarat’s first temple to deposit its idle gold in the Gold
    Monetisation Scheme as its trustees including Prime Minister Narendra Modi have
    given their nod to invest the yellow metal reserves in the scheme.
  • The trust has around 35 kg of
    gold and will deposit the gold which is not in day-to-day use of the temple.
  • The decision was taken during the
    recently held meeting of trustees at Modi’s residence in Delhi on January 12,
    said the trust secretary P K Lahiri, who is also one of the trustees of the
    Somnath Temple, situated in the Gir-Somnath district.

SBT launches online platform for KSEB bill payments
  • State Bank of Travancore (SBT)
    has teamed up with the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) to provide
    customers of the state utility online facility for remittance of electricity
    charges.
  • Jeevandas Narayan, Managing
    Director, SBT, and M Shivasankar, Chairman, KSEB, jointly announced the launch
    of the facility at a function here.
  • Present on the occasion were E.K.
    Harikumar and S. Adikesavan, Chief General Managers, SBT, and B Nina, Director
    (Transmission), KSEB.
  • The online system facilitates
    immediate credit of remittance through the SBT internet banking platform free
    of any additional charges, a spokesman for SBT said.
  • This will enable consumers to pay
    their monthly bills without going to the KSEB offices. They will get
    confirmation of the remittance from the bank as well as KSEB.

BHEL commissions 660 MW Lalitpur supercritical thermal unit
  • BHEL has commissioned the second
    660 MW supercritical unit of Lalitpur Super Thermal Power Project (STPP) in
    Uttar Pradesh.
  • Last month, BHEL has successfully
    commissioned the first unit of 3×660 MW Prayagraj Super Thermal Power Project
    (STPP) at Bara in Allahabad district of Uttar Pradesh.
  • The unit has been synchronised by
    BHEL four months ahead of the schedule agreed with the developer.
  • The commencement of generation
    from the unit will result in a significant improvement of power availability.
  • Besides, the balance 660 MW
    super—critical Units, two each at Lalitpur and Bara, BHEL is also executing a
    500 MW units at Anpara ‘D’ TPS of Uttar Pradesh Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Ltd (UPRVUNL)
    in Uttar Pradesh, it said.

Union Government held first national stakeholder consultation on BIOFIN
project
  • The abbreviation BIOFIN was in
    news in the third week of January 2016 as the Union Ministry of Environment,
    Forest and Climate Change held the first national stakeholder consultation
    meeting on the BIOFIN (Biodiversity Finance Initiative).
  • The meeting was organized to
    understand the BIOFIN project and to seek professional inputs from experts of
    various fields in strengthening the biodiversity conservation efforts in the
    country.
  • BIOFIN is a global partnership
    seeking to address the biodiversity finance challenge in a comprehensive
    manner. Its purpose is to mobilise resources for biodiversity and sustainable
    development across the world.
  • It helps countries to scale up
    their efforts and achieve the 20 Aichi Targets defined in the Convention on
    Biological Diversity (CBD) Strategic Plan for 2011-2020.

Appointments –
India’s Dinesh Sharma elected to Board of Directors of AIIB

  • India’s Dinesh Sharma on 17
    January 2016 was elected to the 12-member board of directors of the
    China-sponsored Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). A secret ballot
    for the post was held on 16 January 2016.
  • It is the first Board of
    Directors of AIIB in which 57 nations are founding members including India.
  • The inaugural meeting of the
    board of the governors of the AIIB was held in Beijing after its formal launch.
    The meeting approved by-laws, rules and codes of conduct for the bank. Union
    Finance Minister of India Arun Jaitley is the designated governor of the AIIB
    from the country. However, he was represented by Sharma at the meeting. Sharma
    is currently serving as the Additional Secretary of Ministry of Finance.
  • AIIB holds authorised capital of
    100 billion US dollars and subscribed capital of 50 billion US dollars. It will
    invest in sectors including energy, transportation, urban construction and logistics
    as well as education and healthcare.
  • China is the largest shareholder
    with 26.06 percent voting shares. India is the second largest shareholder with
    7.5 percent followed by Russia with 5.93 percent and Germany with 4.5 percent.

Tata Motors appoints former Airbus official Guenter Butschek as CEO
& MD

  • Tata Motors has appointed former
    top official of Airbus Guenter Butschek (55) as its Chief Executive Officer
    & Managing Director. Mr. Butschek will lead all operations of Tata Motors
    in India and in international markets including South Korea, Thailand,
    Indonesia and South Africa.
  • He brings broad functional and
    general management skills, and wide international experience to his new role at
    Tata Motors. Mr. Butschek is expected to join the company by February 15.
  • Mr. Butschek joins Tata Motors
    after his last assignment at Airbus Group where he served as Chief Operating
    Officer at Airbus and Member of the Group Executive Committee. Prior to Airbus,
    he worked at German auto giant Daimler AG for more than 25 years in international
    automotive management.
  • The last role he held was
    president and Chief Executive Officer of Beijing Benz Automotive Co. Ltd., a
    joint venture between Daimler AG and Beijing Automotive Industrial Holding in
    Beijing, China.

Ola appoints Raghuvesh Sarup as Chief Marketing Officer

  • Ola, India’s leading mobile app
    for personal transportation, has announced the appointment of Raghuvesh Sarup as
    its Chief Marketing Officer.
  • Raghuvesh brings over 20 years of
    experience in marketing, sales and brand management across some of the world’s
    most respected brands like Microsoft, Nokia, Yum! Brands (Pizza Hut) and
    Procter & Gamble.
  • He joins the company in February
    and will be part of Ola’s core leadership team, focusing on building Ola as
    every Indian’s most preferred mobility brand.
  • Raghuvesh joins Ola from
    Microsoft, where he was most recently Marketing Director after relocating to
    India from global stints in Finland in the headquarters of Nokia. His
    experience across brand management, marketing and managing P&L for large
    brands makes him a distinguished marketing leader.

Resignations –
Analjit Singh resigned as chairman of Max Financial Services Ltd
  • Analjit Singh on 15 January 2016
    resigned as the Chairman of Max Financial Services Ltd following the demerger
    of Max India Ltd. However, Singh will continue to serve as Chairman of Max
    Ventures and Industries Ltd.
  • Singh will also be the Chairman
    Emeritus and a permanent invitee to the boards and committees of all Max Group
    companies.

India –
Goa Legislative Assembly approved reclassification of coconut tree as
palm
  • The Goa Legislative Assembly on
    15 January 2016 approved reclassification of coconut tree as palm. The
    reclassification was approved by the legislature through the passage of the Goa
    Preservation of Trees (Amendment) Bill, 2016.
  • The bill seeks to omit the
    Section 1-A of the Goa, Daman and Diu Preservation of Trees Act, 1984. The
    section, which was inserted through an amendment in 2008, included coconut
    under the definition of tree.
  • Further, to facilitate the
    reclassification, the bill also amended the Section 12-A of the Act
    incorporating changes into the definition of tree.
  • As per the new definition, tree
    means any woody plant whose branches spring from and are supported upon the
    trunk or the body and whose trunk or body is not less than ten centimeters in
    diameter at a height of one meter from the ground level.

Union Government launched 4 Mobile Health Services to strengthen public
health infrastructure
  • The Union Minister of Health and
    Family Welfare J P Nadda on 15 January 2016 launched four mobile health
    (m-Health) services to provide citizen-centric health services.
  • These m-Health services are
    Kilkari, Mobile Academy, M-Cessation and TB Missed Call initiative.

Highlights of Kilkari
  • It is an audio-based mobile
    service that delivers weekly audio messages to families about pregnancy, child
    birth and child care.

Highlights of Mobile Academy
  • It’s a mobile-based application
    aimed at providing training services to 9 million ASHAs.

Highlights of M-Cessation
  • It will be an IT-enabled tool to
    help tobacco users to quit tobacco.

Highlights of the TB Missed Call initiative
  • Under TB Missed Call initiative,
    a dedicated toll free number 1800-11–6666 which will provide round the clock
    counselling and treatment support services for TB patients.

Awards & Honors –
Anuradha Roy won 2016 DSC Prize for Sleeping on Jupiter

  • Indian author Anuradha Roy on 16
    January 2016 won the prestigious DSC Prize for South Asian Literature for her
    novel Sleeping on Jupiter at the Galle Literary Festival in Sri Lanka.
  • Roy was awarded the prize and a
    unique trophy by Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

The six shortlisted authors in contention for the prestigious prize
were:
  • UK-based Indian-origin author
    Akhil Sharma for Family Life
  • KR Meera’s Hangwoman (Translated
    by J Devika)
  • Mirza Waheed’s The Book of Gold
    Leaves
  • Neel Mukherjee’s The Lives of
    Others 
  • Raj Kamal Jha for She Will Build
    Him A City

61st Filmfare Awards presented in Mumbai

  • The 61st Filmfare Awards were
    presented on 15 January 2016 at the Yash Raj Studios in Mumbai. The ceremony
    was hosted by Shah Rukh Khan and comedian Kapil Sharma.
  • Bajirao Mastani won the most
    awards including the Best Film award. Other winners included Piku that was
    awarded with six awards, Dum Laga Ke Haisha, Roy, Talvar, Tanu Weds Manu
    Returns, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Bombay Velvet, Dil Dhadakne Do, Hero, Masaan and
    Tamasha.

Recepients of the Awards
  • Best Actor: Ranveer Singh for
    Bajirao Mastani
  • Best Actress: Deepika Padukone
    for Piku
  • Best Film: Bajirao Mastani
  • Best Director: Sanjay Leela
    Bhansali for Bajirao Mastani
  • Lifetime Achievement: Moushumi
    Chatterjee

21st Critics’ Choice Awards presented in California
  • The 21st Critics’ Choice Awards
    were conferred on 17 January 2016 at the Santa Monica Airport’s Barker Hangar
    in California. TJ Miller hosted the presentation program.
  • These awards honour the finest
    achievements in drama and television filmmaking which were aired between 1 June
    2015 and 31 December 2015.
  • BEST PICTURE: Spotlight
  • BEST ACTOR: Leonardo DiCaprio –
    The Revenant
  • BEST ACTRESS: Brie Larson – Room

World –
First infected case of mosquito-borne Zika virus recorded in the US

  • A mosquito-borne virus called
    Zika was in news in the third week of January 2016. It was found that the virus
    is spreading rapidly through the American continent.
  • The first case was confirmed in
    Texas, USA in January 2016 when a traveler returning from Latin America.
  • The disease caused by this virus
    is not fatal and lasts up to a week, but it was identified that there is a
    possible link between the virus and a birth defect called microcephaly that
    causes babies to be born with abnormally small heads and potential
    developmental problems.

NASA launched SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket with Jason-3 Ocean-monitoring
satellite
  • The National Aeronautics and
    Space Administration (NASA) on 17 January 2016 launched the SpaceX Falcon 9
    rocket from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base in the USA.
  • The rocket carried the ocean
    monitoring satellite Jason-3 on board and successfully inserted it in the
    desired orbit. However, the rocket failed a return landing on a drone platform
    in the Pacific Ocean.
  • The Jason-3 satellite will
    examine the topography of the ocean floor to help study effects of climate
    change or human-induced changes on the ocean.

Sports –
Delhi Acers defeated Mumbai Rockets to clinch Premier Badminton League
title
  • Delhi Acers on 17 January 2016
    emerged victorious over Mumbai Rockets by 4-3 in the summit clash to clinch the
    Premier Badminton League (PBL) title. The match was held at the Siri Fort
    Sports Complex in New Delhi.
  • Tommy Sugiarto, men’s doubles
    pair of Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong, and Rajiv Ouseph won their respective
    matches as Delhi grabbed the trophy and a winner’s cheque of 3 crores rupees.

BCCI Imposes Life Ban on Chandila, Hiken Banned for Five Years

  • Haryana off-spinner Ajit Chandila
    was slapped with a life ban for his involvement in the 2013 IPL spot-fixing
    scandal, while Mumbai batsman Hiken Shah was handed a five-year suspension for
    making a corrupt approach to a fellow player as the BCCI disciplinary committee
    sealed their fate after a meeting here today.
  • However, the committee, headed by
    BCCI President Shashan Manohar and comprising Jyotiraditya Scindia and Niranjan
    Shah,deferred a decision on Chandila’s co-accused Pakistani umpire Asad Rauf
    till February 12, giving him a final deadline of February 9 to file his reply.
  • The 32-year-old Chandila, an
    off-spinner who was found guilty of spot-fixing during his stint with Rajasthan
    Royals, was handed a tougher punshiment for violating the codes pertaining to
    accepting bribes, fixing, underperfoming, trying to induce a fellow player and
    betting.

Obituaries –
Renowned film-maker Lakshman Rao Mohite alias Geethapriya died
  • Renowned Kannada lyricist and
    film-maker Geethapriya died of cardiac arrest on 17 January 2016 in Bengaluru.
    He was 84 and survived by wife, son and two daughters.
  • He was also received the Dr. B.
    Saroja Devi National Award and Sandesha Awards in 2012.

Former Sikkim Governor Ventrapragada Rama Rao passed away

  • Veteran Bharatiya Janata Party
    (BJP) leader and former Sikkim Governor Ventrapragada Rama Rao passed away on
    17 January 2016 in Hyderabad after prolonged illness. He was 80.
  • Rao, who was suffering from
    severe lung infection, is survived by his wife, son and daughter-in-law.










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