Daily Current Affairs Update – 14 to 16 January, 2017

Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs Update of 14th, 15th and 16th January, 2017. These are important for the upcoming RBI Assistant Mains, IPPB Mains and Other exams.

Daily Current Affairs at a Glance – 14 to 16 January, 2017

  1. Multilateral lending agency World Bank and India
    on Monday signed a financing agreement for IDA credit of $48 million
    (equivalent) for the ‘Nagaland Health Project’
    .
  2. The Karnataka government and the Railways Ministry today signed a memorandum of
    understanding
    in what is seen as a step towards realising the city’s long
    standing demand for a suburban railway system to address its notorious traffic
    congestion.
  3. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has cut India’s economic growth
    rate  forecast by one percentage point to 6.6 per cent for 2016-17
    — from its earlier estimate of 7.6 per cent —
    because of the effect of demonetisation on consumption and payments.
  4. The Insurance Regulatory and
    Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has constituted a committee to review
    life insurance product regulations. Amitabh Chaudhry, Chief Executive officer,
    HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company, has been appointed as chairman of the
    eight-member panel.
  5. India and the USA
    on 14 January 2017 signed a Memorandum
    of Understanding (MoU) for collaboration in third world countries
    .
  6. India and Sri
    Lanka on 13 January 2017 signed a Memorandum
    of Understanding (MoU) to construct rain harvesting systems in the northern
    Jaffna District
    . The project will be executed at an expense of Sri Lankan
    Rupees (SLR) 30 crore.
  7. India has slipped 3 places to 92nd rank on
    the global index of talent competitiveness

    that measures how countries grow, attract and retain talent, a list
    topped by Switzerland.
  8. Gujarat Cricket Association
    (GCA), along with principal contractor L&T, on Monday laid the foundation stone
    for redevelopment of what will become the world’s largest cricket ground in terms of
    seating capacity at Motera in Sabarmati area of Ahmedabad
    .
  9. The 62nd Filmfare awards were presented on
    14 January 2017 at the NSCI Dome, Mumbai
    . The award is annually
    presented by Filmfare magazine to honour the best Indian films. Aamir Khan’s Dangal swept away three of
    the four major awards, namely Best Film, Best Actor and Best Director. 
  10. The book titled Jinnah Often
    Came to Our House
    was in news as the author Kiran Doshi on 15 January 2017
    was awarded The Hindu Prize 2016.
  11. The first ever Asia-Pacific Broadcasting
    Union Dance festival concluded on 15 January 2017
    . The festival was
    inaugurated by Union Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu at
    the Shilpakala Vedika in Hyderabad.
  12. Ecuador on 14 January 2017 took over the chair of the United Nations
    Group of 77
    . It took the charge of Group of 77 from Thailand.
  13. Kerala Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan on 12 January 2017 launched the first solar-powered
    boat ‘Aaditya’ at Vaikom
    . The boat will do service between Vaikom
    and Thavanakkadavu.
  14. Indian Army on 15 January 2017
    celebrated the 69th
    Army Day
    .

Financial and Banking News:
India inks financing pact with World Bank for $48 million for the
‘Nagaland Health Project’

  • Multilateral lending agency World
    Bank and India on Monday signed a financing agreement for IDA credit of $48
    million (equivalent) for the ‘Nagaland Health Project’.
  • “The objectives of the
    project are to improve health services and increase their utilisation by
    communities in targeted locations in Nagaland,” the Finance Ministry said
    in a statement.
  • Communities in targeted locations
    will benefit from project activities at the community and health facility
    levels while the population of the state as a whole will benefit from
    improvements in higher-level facilities as well as system-wide investments, it
    added.
  • According to the statement, the
    project will directly benefit about 600,000 people.
  • “It will support and
    complement existing systems and mechanisms involving communities under the National
    Health Mission,” it said.
  • The closing date of Nagaland health
    Project is March 31, 2023.
  • The agreement was signed by
    Economic Affairs Joint Secretary Raj Kumar and World Bank (India) Acting
    Country Director Genevieve Connors.

Railway ministry, Karnataka sign MoU for suburban railway system

  • The Karnataka government and the
    Railways Ministry today signed a memorandum of understanding in what is seen as
    a step towards realising the city’s long standing demand for a suburban railway
    system to address its notorious traffic congestion. The MoU for the development
    of suburban railway system in Bengaluru was released by Railway Minister Suresh
    Prabhu and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah at a function here.
  • Counting on the credentials of
    Bengaluru as a global city and technology capital of the country, Prabhu said
    it is the duty of the government, at the Centre and the state, that
    transportation needs of the people are taken care of. With this in mind, a
    decision has been taken to start suburban railway system for the city, he said.
    A special company would be set up for the project and it will be financed
    through an “innovative” way, Prabhu said.
  • Promising that Bengaluru-Mysuru
    track doubling would be commissioned before March-end, Prabhu also sought the
    state government’s cooperation in quadrupling of the line between Bengaluru to
    Whitefield as it will help in easing the traffic congestion.

IMF cuts India’s growth projection to 6.6%

  • The International Monetary Fund
    (IMF) has cut India’s economic growth rate 
    forecast by one percentage point to 6.6 per cent for 2016-17 — from its
    earlier estimate of 7.6 per cent — because of the effect of demonetisation on
    consumption and payments.
  • Last week, the World Bank lowered
    projections by 0.6 percentage points to seven per cent for the year. But this
    was only a shade lower than the Advanced Estimates of 7.1 per cent. IMF
    estimates were more in line with those of other agencies (see chart).
  • IMF also lowered India’s GDP
    forecast for 2017-18 by 0.4 percentage points to 7.2 per cent from its earlier
    estimates. The World Bank had projected the growth rate to be 7.6 per cent — a
    percentage point lower than its previous assessment.

IRDAI forms Amitabh Chaudhry panel to review life insurance product
norms
  • The Insurance Regulatory and
    Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has constituted a committee to review
    life insurance product regulations.
  • Amitabh Chaudhry, Chief Executive
    officer, HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company, has been appointed as chairman
    of the eight-member panel.
  • The members of the committee
    include K S Gopalakrishnan, CEO, Aegon Religare Life Insurance, Sai Srinivas,
    Appointed Actuary, Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance and Sandeep Bakshi, CEO, ICICI
    Prudential Life.
  • The committee will review the
    existing framework of IRDA-linked and non-linked insurance product regulations
    besides other key aspects such as changing economic and insurance market
    environment, customers’ needs and expectations and insurance product
    flexibility and innovations.
  • It should submit its report to
    the regulator on or before March 15, 2017, according to a notification issued
    by IRDAI.

CBDT signed BAPA with Indian subsidiary of Japanese trading company
  • The Central Board of Direct Taxes
    (CBDT) on 13 January 2017 entered into a Bilateral Advance Pricing Agreement
    (BAPA) with an Indian subsidiary of a Japanese trading company.
  • With the signing of this
    agreement, the total number of bilateral APAs entered into by the CBDT has
    reached eight.
  • Recently, the CBDT modified an
    existing Bilateral APA with another Indian subsidiary of a Japanese company.
  • All these bilateral APAs were
    signed as part of the Advance Pricing Agreement Scheme of the Union Ministry of
    Finance.
  • The Union Government has
    introduced the Advance Pricing Agreement (APA) Scheme as part of the Finance
    Act, 2012 and Income Tax (Tenth Amendment) Rules, 2012. The scheme came into
    force on 30 August, 2012.
  • The APA Scheme endeavours to
    provide certainty to taxpayers in the field of transfer pricing through an
    agreement in advance.
  • Such an agreement is entered into
    by the CBDT with the tax payers on the transfer price of international
    transactions between associated entities.

India, USA signed MoU for collaboration in third world countries

  • India and the USA on 14 January
    2017 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for collaboration in third
    world countries.
  • The MoU was signed between the
    Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and Development Partnership
    Administration (DPA) of the Union Ministry of External Affairs in Washington
    DC.
  • The MoU facilitates bilateral
    cooperation between India and the USA for exchange of information and
    experience in sectors pertaining to project development in partner countries.
  • Under the MoU, both the countries
    will provide technical assistance to third countries regarding policy reform,
    project and sector management, project implementation and economic growth
    promotion strategies.

India-Sri Lanka sign MoU to construct 3000 Rain Water Harvesting
systems

  • India and Sri Lanka on 13 January
    2017 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to construct rain harvesting
    systems in the northern Jaffna District. The project will be executed at an
    expense of Sri Lankan Rupees (SLR) 30 crore.
  • The MoU was signed by Arindam
    Bagchi, Acting High Commissioner of India in the presence of Abdul Hameed
    Mohamed Fowzie, State Minister of National Integration and Reconciliation of
    Sri Lanka.

Highlights of the project
  • It envisages construction of
    rainwater harvesting systems for 3000 households in selected divisions of Tamil
    majority Jaffna District.
  • The scope of the project also
    includes training of the households on operation and maintenance of the
    systems.
  • The project aims at assisting
    people by supporting resettlement efforts focused on reintegrating internally
    displaced families in Jaffna. The support includes providing clean drinking
    water supply facility to households.

App named ‘SEZ India’ launched by Commerce Ministry
  • The Commerce Ministry in January
    2017 launched a mobile app named SEZ India under its broader e-Governance
    initiative. The app was launched by the Commerce Secretary.
  • The app will help the Special
    Economic Zone (SEZ) Units and Developers to find information easily and track
    their transactions on Online System. It will also facilitate them to file all
    their transactions digitally through SEZ Online system and track the status on
    the go through the SEZ India mobile app.
  • The app that can be used by SEZ
    Developers, Units, officials and others is available on Android platforms. The
    app has four sections, namely SEZ Information, Trade Information, SEZ Online
    Transaction and Contact details.  Salient
    Features of the four sections are as under:-
  • SEZ Information: It is a
    compendium of the SEZ Act, 2005, MOCI Circulars, SEZ Rules, 2006, details of
    SEZs and Units among others. This section will provide up to date comprehensive
    details on all the above aspects.

Reports & Indexes:
India slips to 92nd rank on global talent competitiveness

  • India has slipped 3 places to
    92nd rank on the global index of talent competitiveness that measures how
    countries grow, attract and retain talent, a list topped by Switzerland.
  • India’s ranking is worst among
    the five BRICS countries. While China was ranked at the 54th place, Russian
    Federation was placed at 56th, followed by South Africa at 67th and Brazil
    81st.
  • Switzerland topped the overall
    index, followed by Singapore and the United Kingdom in second and third places
    respectively, in the list released today by INSEAD Produced in partnership with
    The Adecco Group and the Human Capital Leadership Institute of Singapore
    (HCLI).
  • Others in the top 10 include the
    United States (4th), Sweden (5th), Australia (6th), Luxembourg (7th), Denmark
    (8th), Finland (9th) and Norway (10th).
  • Last year, India came in at 89th
    on the index.
  • The report noted that the BRICS
    countries are not getting stronger and both China and India have slipped from
    their year-ago rankings. “Although China attains an impressive 4th place in the
    sub-pillar of Talent Impact and is solid in the Grow pillar — mainly supported
    by good formal education (23rd) and lifelong learning (20th), the shortage of
    vocational and technical skills shows up clearly,” the report said.

Unemployment in India pegged at 18 million in 2018: ILO

  • The International Labour
    Organisation (ILO) in January 2017 released a report entitled World Employment
    and Social Outlook – Trends 2017. As per the report, the global unemployment is
    expected to rise by 3.4 million in 2017.

Highlights of World Employment and Social Outlook – Trends 2017
  • The global unemployment rate is
    expected to rise modestly from 5.7 in 2016 to 5.8 per cent in 2017. When
    compared to 2016, it represents an increase of 3.4 million in the number of
    jobless people.
  • While the global unemployment
    rate is expected to hold relatively steady in 2018, the pace of labour force
    growth will outstrip job creation resulting in an additional 2.7 million
    unemployed people globally.

Report with respect to India
  • Among all the regions, South Asia
    has created most of the new employment in 2016. In this region, employment
    expanded by 13.4 million in 2016. The majority of this new employment was
    created in India.
  • In 2016, unemployment in India
    was at 3.5%. In 2017 and 2018, it will be 3.4%.
  • The number of unemployed in 2016
    was 17.7 million. This number is set to increase to 17.8 million and 18 million
    in 2017 and 2018 respectively.

Sports News:
Gujarat Cricket Association, L&T lay foundation for world’s largest
stadium

  • Gujarat Cricket Association
    (GCA), along with principal contractor L&T, on Monday laid the foundation
    stone for redevelopment of what will become the world’s largest cricket ground
    in terms of seating capacity at Motera in Sabarmati area of Ahmedabad.
  • Spread over 63 acres, a
    redeveloped Motera Stadium will accommodate 110,000 spectators as against the
    current largest cricket ground at Melbourne, Australia that can have 100,024
    spectators. The foundation stone laying ceremony for redevelopment of the
    cricket stadium was performed by GCA vice president Parimal Nathwani and joint
    secretary Jay Shah.
  • Apart from L&T as principal
    contractor, GCA has roped in STUP Consultant Pvt Ltd as project management
    consultant and Populus as the architect and designer of the new stadium.
    Incidentally, Populus had also designed the Melbourne Cricket Stadium.

Gujarat wins 2016-2017 Ranji Trophy

  • Gujarat on 14 January 2017 won
    its maiden Ranji Trophy title. The team defeated Mumbai by five wickets in the
    final at the Holkar stadium in Indore.
  • Parthiv Patel’s 143 and Munprit
    Juneja’s 54 runs helped Gujarat to chase down a score of 265 on the final day.
    It was the highest successful run-chase in the final of the Ranji Trophy.
  • In the semi-finals, Gujarat
    defeated Jharkhand by 123 runs to reach only their second final in the history
    of the Ranji Trophy. Gujarat had previously played in the finals during the
    1950–51 Ranji Trophy. In the second semi-finals, Mumbai beat Tamil Nadu by 6
    wickets to progress to their 46th final in the tournament.
  • Gujarat’s Parthiv Patel was
    declared as the Player of the match for the final.

Awards & Honors:
62nd Filmfare awards presented in Mumbai

  • The 62nd Filmfare awards were
    presented on 14 January 2017 at the NSCI Dome, Mumbai. The award is annually
    presented by Filmfare magazine to honour the best Indian films.
  • Aamir Khan’s Dangal swept away
    three of the four major awards, namely Best Film, Best Actor and Best
    Director.  The year’s award ceremony was
    co-hosted by Shahrukh Khan, Karan Johar and Kapil Sharma.
  • Shatrughan Sinha bagged the 2016
    Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award.

62nd Filmfare awards winners
  1. Best Film: Dangal
  2. Best Director: Nitesh Tiwari for
    film Dangal
  3. Best Actor: Aamir Khan for film
    Dangal. He played the role of Mahavir Singh Phogat in the film.
  4. Best Actress: Alia Bhatt for film
    Udta Punjab. She played the role of Bauria in the film.

Kiran Doshi’s book titled ‘Jinnah Often Came to Our House’ won 2016
Hindu Prize

  • The book titled Jinnah Often Came
    to Our House was in news as the author Kiran Doshi on 15 January 2017 was
    awarded The Hindu Prize 2016.
  • The book, which is a work of
    fiction, is set against the political turmoil of the Indian Subcontinent from
    the early part of the 20th century, ending with the Partition and Independence.
  • Doshi was among the five authors
    shortlisted from around 60 entries for the seventh edition of the prestigious
    prize. The shortlisted works included Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar’s The Adivasi
    Will Not Dance, Kunal Basu’s Kalkatta, Anil Menon’s Half of What I Say and
    Manjula Padmanabhan’s The Island of Lost Girls.

Rudensky, Sakaguchi and Ramsdell win 2017 Crafoord Prize
  • Immunologist Alexander Rudensky,
    Shimon Sakaguchi of Osaka University in Japan, and Fred Ramsdell of the Parker
    Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy in San Francisco won the 2017 Crafoord
    Prize.
  • They won the honour for “their
    discoveries relating to regulatory T cells, which counteract harmful immune
    reactions in arthritis and other autoimmune diseases.”

World News:
First Ever Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union Dance Festival concluded in
Hyderabad

  • The first ever Asia-Pacific
    Broadcasting Union Dance festival concluded on 15 January 2017. The festival
    was inaugurated by Union Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu
    at the Shilpakala Vedika in Hyderabad.

Highlights of 1st Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union Dance Festival
  • It was aimed at introducing the
    unique diversities of the Asia Pacific region and sharing the joys that varied
    communities across this region feel while they dance.
  • The objective was to create a
    “bridge” between young people from different parts of the world through dance
    as an international language.
  • Countries including the Maldives,
    Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Philippines, Fiji, Indonesia, Azerbaijan, Malaysia and
    India took part in the festival.

Ecuador takes chair of UN group of 134 developing countries

  • Ecuador on 14 January 2017 took
    over the chair of the United Nations Group of 77. It took the charge of Group
    of 77 from Thailand.
  • After taking the chairmanship of
    the group, Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa said that the group will continue
    promoting “social and economic equality.” He also said that this
    quality can be brought only if “poverty, inequality and exclusion”
    are eradicated. This eradication will allow people to live with
    “sovereignty, dignity and in peace.”
  • Thailand Foreign Minister Don
    Pramudwinai said that in 2016 his country focused on how to implement the 17 UN
    goals for 2030, which would help in promoting development and good governance,
    and preserve the environment. Thailand passed the baton of the group to
    Ecuador.

Non-Financial News –India and states:
India’s first solar power boat launched in Kerala

  • Kerala Chief minister Pinarayi
    Vijayan on 12 January 2017 launched the first solar-powered boat ‘Aaditya’ at
    Vaikom. The boat will do service between Vaikom and Thavanakkadavu.
  • Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal
    was also present at the launch event. Goyal launched the service in
    Vaikom-Cherthala-Thavanakadavu waterways.
  • Kerala Government sought
    financial assistance from the Union Government to roll out this solar power
    boat. The government will soon launch ten more solar power boats with an aim to
    replace the existing fleet of diesel boats with solar-powered ones.

Days & Observances:
69th Army Day celebrated on 15 January

  • Indian Army on 15 January 2017
    celebrated the 69th Army Day.
  • The Army Day is celebrated
    annually to commemorate the day, when Lieutenant General (later Field Marshal)
    K M Cariappa became the first Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army in post
    independence period. He took over the command of the Army from General Sir FRR
    Bucher, the last British Commander-in-Chief on 15 January 1949.
  • The day is celebrated in the form
    of parades and other military shows in the National Capital as well as in all
    headquarters.
  • To mark the occasion, General
    Bipin Rawat, Chief of the Army Staff, reviewed the Army Day Parade at the
    Cariappa Parade Ground, Delhi Cantonment. The parade was commanded by Major
    Geneal Rajesh Sahai, Chief of Staff, Delhi Area.

Obituaries:
National award-winning filmmaker Deepak Roy dead at 67
  • Deepak Roy, known for his movie
    “Limit to Freedom” which won him a National award in 1996 under the
    category of best investigative film, has passed away at the age of 67.
  • Roy died on January 11 after
    suffering a cardiac arrest at his residence, here.
  • He started his career as a film
    critic in 1974 and ventured into direction in 1982. Roy helmed more than 90
    documentary films, which he produced under his banner “Angik Films”.

Surjit Singh Barnala, former Chief Minister of Punjab, dies

  • Former Chief Minister of Punjab,
    Surjit Singh Barnala, passed away on 14 January 2017. He was 91.
  • Barnala served as the Chief
    Minister of Punjab from 29 September 1985 until 11 May 1987, a period of Sikh
    militant movement in Punjab. He was a member of the Shiromani Akali Dal
    (Longowal).

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