Current Affairs Update – 26th – 27th January, 2016

Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 26th and 27th January, 2016. These are important for the upcoming LIC AAO 2016 Exam.

Current Affairs at a Glance – 26th and 27th January, 2016

  1. Transparency International on 27 January 2016 released the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2015.
    While Denmark, with rank 1, was
    adjudged as the most corruption-free country among the surveyed countries, India was placed at the 76th place with
    38 points. India was at the 85th position among the 175 countries surveyed in the
    CPI 2014
    .
  2. India and France on 25 January 2016 inked 14 Agreements/MoUs in Delhi. The agreements including MoU on purchase of 36 Rafale Aircrafts were
    signed
    during the State Visit of President Francois Hollande of France to
    India.
  3. Republic Day 2016 was celebrated on 26 January 2016 across the
    nation. This was the 67th Republic Day of India. President of France Francois Hollande was the Chief Guest at 67th Republic Day parade.
  4. The Reserve Bank plans to procure an Audit Management and Risk Monitoring System (AMRMS) for the central
    bank from five “potential shortlisted” solution providers, including
    PwC and Quadrant 4 Software Solutions.
  5. International Customs Day observed on 26 January
  6. Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with the President of France François Hollande, on 25 January 2016 laid the foundation stone of the International Solar
    Alliance (ISA) headquarters in National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE) in
    Gwalpahari, Gurgaon
    .
  7. Chennupati Jagadish, an eminent professor at Australian National
    University (ANU) in Canberra, Jay Chandra, an eye doctor in New South
    Wales, and Sajeev Koshy, a dentist in Melbourne, received
    Order of Australia medal for the year 2016 announced on the Australia
    Day.
  8. Veteran Bollywood actress Rekha on 25 January 2016 was honoured
    with the third Yash Chopra Memorial
    Award
    in Mumbai.
  9. President Pranab Mukherjee, on 26 January 2016, awarded India’s highest peacetime gallantry
    award Ashoka Chakra, posthumously to Lance Naik Mohan Nath Goswami
    of 9
    Para (Special Forces) of the Rashtriya Rifles.
  10. Tata Trusts collaborates with Massachusetts
    Institute
    of Technology (MIT) and Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) to improve
    learning at secondary school level.
  11. President Pranab Mukherjee on 26 January 2016 approved the Union
    Cabinet’s recommendation for the
    imposition of President’s rule on Arunachal Pradesh
    .
  12. Chhattisgarh government would invest Rs 60,000 on developing infrastructure projects in the state in
    next three years under the ‘Sampark
    Kranti’
    programme.
  13. India and Armenia on Wednesday signed
    a protocol to amend the existing Double Taxation Avoidance
    Convention between the two countries.
  14. Marvin Minsky, the pioneer of artificial intelligence, died on 24 January 2016 at Boston’s
    Brigham and Women’s Hospital due to cerebral hemorrhage.


Finance/Industry/Banking –
RBI Shortlists Five Cos for Audit and Risk Monitoring Mechanism

  • The Reserve Bank plans to procure
    an Audit Management and Risk Monitoring System (AMRMS) for the central bank
    from five “potential shortlisted” solution providers, including PwC
    and Quadrant 4 Software Solutions.
  • The RBI said it has decided to
    implement AMRMS to carry out various audit and risk monitoring related
    activities efficiently in a seamlessly integrated fashion, thereby replacing
    the existing system which is partially computerised.
  • The AMRMS will be a comprehensive
    package to facilitate Internal Audit and Risk Monitoring functions of the
    central bank.
  • AMRMS should also enable
    achieving the objective of paperless office environment, it added.
  • The five short-listed bidders
    based on Expression of Interest (EOI) evaluation are: Auditime Information Systems
    Pvt Ltd, Mumbai; NCSSoft Solutions Pvt Ltd, Chennai; PWC Pvt Ltd, Mumbai;
    Quadrant 4 Software Solutions Pvt Ltd, Chennai; and Thomson Reuters Pvt Ltd
    Mumbai.
  • The envisioned AMRMS, the RFP
    should be capable of providing an end-to-end solution from audit planning to
    final closure of the report.

India, Armenia amend double taxation avoidance convention
  • India and Armenia on Wednesday
    signed a protocol to amend the existing Double Taxation Avoidance Convention
    between the two countries.
  • It will enable the two countries
    to exchange information related to financial and banking transactions under the
    pact and help in preventing tax evasion.
  • It is also expected to further
    strengthen the efforts of Government of India in curbing generation of black
    money.
  • The original Double Taxation
    Avoidance Convention between India and Armenia has been in existence since
    September, 2004.

Chhattisgarh to invest Rs 60,000 cr on ‘Sampark Kranti’
  • Chhattisgarh government would
    invest Rs 60,000 on developing infrastructure projects in the state in next
    three years under the ‘Sampark Kranti’ programme.
  • Under the programme, the state
    would build roads, rail lines besides expansion of electrification and
    communication network in the areas that had not seen much development.
  • The investment of Rs 60,000 crore
    on the execution of the programme would be from public and private sectors,
    Singh said, adding that the state would have 10,000 kilometres of roads in next
    three years that would be built with an investment of Rs 35,000 crore.

Rajasthan signs MoU to join UDAY scheme
  • Rajasthan has become the third state
    to sign a memorandum of understanding for joining the central government’s
    state electricity distribution utility revival scheme.
  • The MoU was signed between the
    central government, Rajasthan government and the three electricity distribution
    utilities in Rajasthan – Jaipur Vidyut Vitran Nigam Ltd, Jodhpur Vidyut Vitran
    Nigam Ltd and Ajmer Vidyut Vitran Nigam Ltd.
  • Under the Ujwal DISCOM Assurance
    Yojana (UDAY) scheme, the Rajasthan government will take over ₹ 60,500 crore of the debt on
    the books of the electricity distribution utilities. The remaining ₹ 20,000 crore will be issued
    as state guaranteed DISCOM bonds at coupon rates of around 3 per cent lower
    than the average existing interest rate.

Cognizant acquires KBACE Technologies
  • US-based Cognizant on Wednesday
    said it has acquired KBACE Technologies, a global consulting and technology
    services company for an undisclosed amount.
  • The terms of the deal was also
    not disclosed by the company.
  • KBACE Technologies specializes in
    cloud strategy, implementation and integration and is a leading Oracle Cloud
    partner.
  • The Nashua, New Hampshire-based
    firm has around 400 KBACE consultants and implementation experts across
    industry and business functions and will become part of Cognizant after the
    completion of the deal.
  •  US-based Cognizant has a significant presence
    in India, including majority of its workforce is based in India.

First in Maharashtra: Nagpur Central Jail inmates get SBI ATM cards
  • Around 140 inmates of the central
    prison here were given State Bank of India (SBI) ATM cards today for use inside
    the premises, with plans to extend the service to all 800 prisoners of the
    facility.
  • The cards were given to select
    inmates by Maharashtra Additional Director General of Police (Prisons), Bhushan
    Kumar Upadhyaya and the SBI Deputy General Manager, Nagpur Zone, B Shankar in
    the presence of Jail Superintendent Yogesh Desai and Assistant GM, SBI, Nagpur
    Zone, Rakesh Sinha.
  • Upadhyaya said over 10,000
    inmates in nine central prisons across Maharashtra will be extended the
    facility.
  • Nagpur has been chosen as a pilot
    project, he said.
  • Any prisoner can spend up to Rs
    2,500 per month. Their relatives can also deposit in their respective saving
    bank accounts up to Rs 2,500 which is the monthly upper limit for inmates, he
    said.

Days –
67th India’s Republic Day celebrated

  • Republic Day 2016 was celebrated
    on 26 January 2016 across the nation. This was the 67th Republic Day of India.
    President of France Francois Hollande was the Chief Guest at 67th Republic Day
    parade.
  • First Republic Day was celebrated
    on 26 January 1950 when India became a Republic with Constitution of India
    coming into force on this day replacing the Government of India Act (1935) as
    the governing document of India.

Main Highlights of 2016 Republic Day Parade
  • For the first time since 1950, a
    foreign army contingent marched down the Rajpath during the Republic Day
    parade. The 76-member French Army contingent was the participant of the parade.
  • The parade witnessed
    participation of some of India’s most highly trained dogs from the army’s
    Veterinary Corps, after 26 years.
  • The celebration was curtailed by
    25 minute. The duration was brought down to 90 minutes from 115 minutes, but
    the format will remain the same.
  • For the first time, an all-women
    stunt contingent named ‘Women Daredevils CRPF’ comprising of 120 soldiers will
    performed stunts on bikes. Apart from this women officers were also 2nd in
    command to the contingents of Air Force, Coast Guard and Navy.
  • For the first time, the tableau
    of ex-servicemen of Army veterans was also showcased in the parade. 
  • The VVIP enclosure had a
    motorised glass roof so as to protect them from rain and cold weather, as in
    2015 Chief guest Barack Obama and Michelle Obama held umbrellas to protect
    themselves from the drizzle at the Republic Day parade event.

International Customs Day observed on 26 January
  • The International Customs Day
    2016 was observed across the world on 26 January 2016. The day is organised in
    commemoration of formation of World Customs Organisation (WCO) on 26 January
    1953.
  • On 26 January every year, the
    Customs administrations of 179 Member States of the World Customs Organisation
    organize various national events to celebrate the first session of the Customs
    Co-operation Council. On its part, the WCO Secretariat chooses a topic for the
    International Customs Day.
  • The WCO is dedicating 2016 to
    promoting the digitalization of Customs process under the slogan Digital
    Customs: Progressive Engagement.
  • The World Customs Organization is
    an intergovernmental organization headquartered in Brussels, Belgium.

India –
India-France signed 14 Agreements including 36 Rafale Aircraft deal

  • India and France on 25 January
    2016 inked 14 Agreements/MoUs in Delhi. The agreements including MoU on
    purchase of 36 Rafale Aircrafts were signed during the State Visit of President
    Francois Hollande of France to India.
  • Hollande was the Chief Guest at
    the 67th India’s Republic Day (26 January 2016) celebrations. He was the fifth
    French leader to be a chief guest at India’s Republic Day celebrations, maximum
    number from any country so far.

The 14 agreements/MoUs are
  1. MoU on purchase of 36 Rafale
    Aircrafts
  2. Indian Space Research
    Organisation (ISRO) and Centre National D’études Spatiales (CNES)
    Implementation Arrangement on hosting Argos-4 Payload onboard India’s
    Oceansat-3 satellite
  3. ISRO and CNES Implementation
    Arrangement on a future joint Thermal Infrared earth observation mission
  4. Letter of Intent on CNES, France
    participation in ISRO’s next Mars Mission
  5. Shareholding Agreement on JV
    between Alstom and Indian Railways for production of 800 electric locomotives
    in Madhepura Bihar
  6. Agreement between Indian Railways
    and SNCF, French Railways for joint feasibility study for the renovation of
    Ludhiana and Ambala railway stations
  7. MOU between Food Safety &
    Standards Authority of India and Agence nationale de sécurité sanitaire de
    l’alimentation (ANSES) in food safety
  8. Partnership Agreement on
    Cooperation in Public Administration between Ministry of Personnel & Public
    Grievances and French
  9. Declaration of Intent for
    conducting next round of Namaste France (Indian festival) in 2016 and Bonjour
    India (French festival) 2017
  10. Cultural Exchange Programme for
    the period 2016-2018
  11. Arrangement for establishment of
    an Indo- French Ministerial level Joint Committee on Science & Technology
  12. MoU for Industry Sponsored PhD
    Fellowship between IIT Mumbai and Thales Systemes Aeroportes
  13. Cooperation Agreement between
    IISER, Pune and ENS de Lyon (France) for joint research, teaching, exchange of
    personnel etc.
  14. Agreement of Cooperation between
    CNRS, TB, UBO, UBS, ENSTA Bretagne, ENIB (French Universities) and IIT Mumbai
    in the field of Higher Education & Research.

President Rule imposed in Arunachal Pradesh
  • President Pranab Mukherjee on 26
    January 2016 approved the Union Cabinet’s recommendation for the imposition of
    President’s rule on Arunachal Pradesh.
  • He gave the assent after hosting
    the traditional ‘At Home’ or reception at Rastrapati Bhavan for French
    President Francois Hollande as part of the Republic Day celebrations.
  • The Union Cabinet approved the
    imposition of President Rule on the state after expiration of six month
    deadline under which the Assembly was supposed to meet. The six month deadline
    for the meet expired on 21 January 2016.

Tata Trusts collaborates with MIT to improve learning at school

  • Tata Trusts collaborates with
    MassachusettsInstitute of Technology (MIT) and Tata Institute of Social
    Sciences (TISS) to improve learning at secondary school level.
  • The collaboration called
    Connected Learning Initiative (CLIx) plans to reach 1,65,000 students across
    1,000 schools in four states: Mizoram, Telangana, Rajasthan, and Chhattisgarh
    by 2018-19.
  • This will offer content in both
    English and in regional languages, starting with Hindi and Telugu.
  • It will offer curriculum in
    English, science, mathematics, and professional values.
  • An additional major focus will be
    professional development for roughly 4,400 teachers in the four states.

Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes Amendment Act, 2015 came into
force
  • The Scheduled Castes and the
    Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act, 2015 came into force
    on 26 January 2016. The act was made to ensure more stringent provisions for
    prevention of Atrocities against Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes.
  • The act came into force after the
    Lok Sabha passed this amendment bill on 4 August 2015 while the upper house
    Rajya Sabha gave its nod on 21 December, 2015. And the final ass ent by the
    President came on 31 December 2015.
  • The bill was provided to make
    amendments in the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of
    Atrocities) Act, 1989, the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes
    (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act, 2015.

Awards & Honors –
Ashok Chakra awarded posthumously to Lance Naik Mohan Nath Goswami

  • President Pranab Mukherjee, on 26
    January 2016, awarded India’s highest peacetime gallantry award Ashoka Chakra,
    posthumously to Lance Naik Mohan Nath Goswami of 9 Para (Special Forces) of the
    Rashtriya Rifles.
  • He exhibited the most outstanding
    gallantry in personally killing two terrorists and also assisted in
    neutralizing another two and saved the lives of three of his wounded colleagues
    in a fierce encounter with four terrorists at Kupwara district of Jammu and
    Kashmir.
  • Ashok Chakra is the highest Indian
    peacetime gallantry award which was constituted on similar lines of the British
    Awards of the George Cross.

Rekha honoured with 3rd National Yash Chopra Memorial Award

  • Veteran Bollywood actress Rekha
    on 25 January 2016 was honoured with the third Yash Chopra Memorial Award in
    Mumbai.
  • Maharashtra Governor C Vidyasagar
    Rao presented the award to the actress in recognition of her talent and
    contribution to the film industry.

Cottalango Leon selected for 2016 Technical Achievement Award of
Academy of Motion Pictures
  • Cottalango Leon, a person of
    Indian origin, was on 22 January 2016 selected for the 2016 Technical
    Achievement Award of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
  • Leon won the award under the
    Scientific and Technical Achievements category for the design, engineering and
    continuous development of Sony Pictures Imageworks Itview along with his two
    team members J Robert Ray and Sam Richards. It is a tool used only within Sony
    Imageworks.

Three Indian-Origin Conferred With Australia’s Highest Civilian Award

  • Three Indian-origin persons have
    been awarded Australia’s highest civilian honour for their contribution in the
    fields of physics, engineering and medicine.
  • Chennupati Jagadish, an eminent
    professor at Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra, Jay Chandra, an
    eye doctor in New South Wales, and Sajeev Koshy, a dentist in Melbourne,
    received Order of Australia medal for the year 2016 announced on the Australia
    Day.
  • Jagadish was conferred with the
    award for his eminent service to physics and engineering, particularly in the
    field of nanotechnology, to education as a leading academic, researcher, author
    and mentor, and through executive roles with national and international scientific
    advisory institutions.
  • Jagadish was appointed a
    Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) for eminent service to physics and
    engineering, particularly in the field of nanotechnology, to education as a
    leading academic, researcher, author and mentor, and through executive roles with
    national and international scientific advisory institutions.

World –
International Solar Alliance headquartered in India with United Nations
as Strategic Partner

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi
    along with the President of France François Hollande, on 25 January 2016 laid
    the foundation stone of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) headquarters in
    National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE) in Gwalpahari, Gurgaon.
  • They also inaugurated the interim
    Secretariat of the ISA at the same place.
  • India dedicated 5 acre land at
    NISE to ISA for hosting its Secretariat and also contributed 175 crore rupees
    for ISA corpus fund for an initial period of five years. Thereafter it is
    expected to generate its own resources and become self-financing.
  • It was jointly launched in Paris by
    India and France on 30 November 2015 during the United Nations climate change
    conference (COP21).
  • It is the India’s first
    international and inter-governmental organization of 121 Countries to have
    headquarters in India with United Nations as Strategic Partner.

Denmark Parliament approved law on seizing valuables from refugees
  • Danish Parliament, Folketing, on
    26 January 2016 voted on a proposal to confiscate asylum seekers’ personal
    possessions in order to pay their upkeep.
  • The minority Liberal Party
    government’s bill was adopted by 81 votes to 27, with the support of the
    opposition Social Democrats and the anti-immigration Danish People’s Party
    (DPP). One politician abstained and 70 others were absent.
  • The policy says that the police
    will be able to seize valuables worth more than 1340 euros (10000 kroner or
    1000 Pound) from refugees to cover housing and food costs. MPs also approved
    plans to delay family reunions for asylum seekers.

Indexes –
Transparency International released Corruption Perceptions Index 2015

  • Transparency International on 27
    January 2016 released the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2015. The Index
    measured the perceived levels of public sector corruption in 168 countries and
    territories across the world.
  • The CPI 2015 showed that although
    corruption is still rife globally, more countries improved their scores in the
    edition than declined. The index further suggested that people working together
    can succeed in the battle against corruption.
  • While Denmark, with rank 1, was
    adjudged as the most corruption-free country among the surveyed countries,
    India was placed at the 76th place with 38 points. India was at the 85th
    position among the 175 countries surveyed in the CPI 2014.

Sports –
West Indies’ Shivnarine Chanderpaul retired from international cricket

  • The West Indies batsman
    Shivnarine Chanderpaul on 22 January 2016 announced his retirement from
    international cricket almost 22 years after making his debut.
  • Chanderpaul had not played for
    West Indies since May 2015. The West Indies selectors dropped him after a weak
    performance during the three-Test series at home against England.

FIH Hockey Stars Awards 2015 announced
  • The International Hockey
    Federation (FIH) on 26 January 2016 announced the winners of its Hockey Stars
    awards for 2015.
  • The Netherlands’ Robert Van der
    Horst and Lidewij Welten won the men’s and women’s FIH Player of the Year
    awards, respectively, for their performances in 2015.

Obituaries –
Marvin Minsky, the pioneer of Artificial Intelligence, died

  • Marvin Minsky, the pioneer of
    artificial intelligence, died on 24 January 2016 at Boston’s Brigham and
    Women’s Hospital due to cerebral hemorrhage. The mathematician and the computer
    scientist died at the age of 88.
  • Minsky, a professor emeritus at
    the MIT Media Lab, helped in work that helped inspired the creation of the
    personal computer and the Internet.

Hollywood actor Abe Vigoda passed away
  • Actor Abe Vigoda, known for his
    work in The Godfather and on the television series Barney Miller, passed away
    on 26 January 2016 in New Jersey following natural causes. He was 94.
  • He was best known for his roles
    as mobster Tessio in the movie The Godfather.

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