Thursday, 28 January 2016


Current Affairs Points Jan 27th 28th 2016

  • French army first foreign contingent at R-Day
  • India’s first blind friendly train flagged off
  • MEA allows post police verification for passport
  • India donated ambulances and buses to Nepal on 67th Republic day
  • Railway broadband “Connected India-2020″ project to touch 500,000 homes
  • Services of ex-servicemen may be utilized in schools
  • 2 Indian institutions among world’s top 20 small universities
  • AIR launches 24*7 classical music channel
  • 17 Indian Reserve Battalions approved for Jammu and Kashmir and LWE affected states
  • Denmark Parliament approved law on seizing valuables from refugees
  • Denmark world’s least corrupt country: Watchdog
  • IOC, BPCL, HPCL to setup largest oil refinery
  • India ranks 76 in Corruption Perception Index
  • Goa to impose dress code at its annual Carnival
  • Government Funds Wagah like ceremony at Tripura Border
  • Mahindra, Airbus to build choppers in India
  • 40% of Indian Women own or share property
  • Labour Ministry relaxes startups from Key Inspections
  • Gurgaon gets women only two-wheeler taxi service
  • Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes Amendment Act, 2015 came into force
  • 76% of India’s coast prone to cyclones, tsunami’s
  • International Customs Day observed on 26 January
  • Apple India’s Country Manager Maneesh Dhir Quits
  • RBI seeks additional 26k crore for PSU banks
  • Rohit Sharma vaults into top 10 of ODI Rankings
  • India Lead the 3-matches T20I Series with Australia1-0
  • Arunachal Pradesh comes under President’s rule
  • Chennai floods hero to launch mobile app for youngsters

All India Radio Launches New App-Based Channel for Classical Music Lovers

  • A new app-based audio channel of All India Radio (AIR) was launched which will dish out some of the best compositions in the classical music domain.
  • Named ‘Raagam’, the channel was launched by Prasar Bharati Chairman Surya Prakash and it will be uplinked from AIR Bengaluru station as it will get regular software updates from 13 other stations of the AIR from across the country.
  • ‘Raagam’ will be active round-the-clock and can be accessed from under the mobile application – All India Radio Live – available on Android, iOS, and Windows.

India ranks 76 in Corruption Perception Index

  • The Berlin-based corruption watchdog Transparency International (TI) has put India at rank 76 out of 168 countries in its latest Corruption Perception Index.
  • The country’s 2015 corruption perception score remains the same as last year’s 38/100 showing lack of improvement. India shares its rank along with six other countries: Brazil, Burkina Faso, Thailand, Tunisia and Zambia. China fared worse than India and Brazil at rank 83 with a score of 37.

Govt approves hybrid annuity model for highway projects

  • The government approved hybrid annuity model for building roads to fast-track highway projects, revive the Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) mode and attract more investments in the sector.
  • The main objective of the approval is to revive highway projects in the country by making one more mode of delivery of highway projects.
  • It said by adopting the model, all major stakeholders in the PPP arrangement the Authority, lender and the developer, concessionaire would have an increased comfort level resulting in revival of the sector through renewed interest of private developers/investors in highway projects and this will bring relief thereby to citizens/travelers in the area of a respective project.

Rajasthan Govt. signs MoU to join UDAY

  • The Rajasthan Government and its power distribution companies or discoms signed a pact with the Centre under the Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY) aimed at relieving the debt burden of the most indebted discoms in the country.
  • This signing of the MoUs with Rajasthan is very significant because the state’s discoms have the largest debt and Rajasthan was the first to come to meet us when we came to power to highlight this problem.

CERT-In signs cyber security pacts with 3 nations

  • The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) has signed cooperation pacts with its counterparts in Malaysia, Singapore and Japan for cyber security.
  • CERT-In is the nodal agency responsible for dealing with cyber security threats.
  • The Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) will promote closer cooperation for exchange of knowledge and experience in detection, resolution and prevention of security-related incidents between India and the three countries.

Cognizant acquires KBACE Technologies

  • US-based Cognizant said it has acquired KBACE Technologies, a global consulting and technology services company for an undisclosed amount.
  • KBACE Technologies specializes in cloud strategy, implementation and integration and is a leading Oracle Cloud partner.
  •  The acquisition strengthens and expands Cognizant’s digital capabilities as more clients move critical business applications to cloud-based IT infrastructures to reduce costs and complexity and improve business agility.

HCL acquires UK-based Point to Point for around $11M

  • HCL Technologies Ltd, India’s fourth-largest software services firm, has agreed to acquire UK-based Point to Point Ltd and Point to Point Products Ltd (jointly referred to as Point to Point or P2P) for £8 million (around Rs 78 crore or around $11 million), according to a stock market disclosure.
  • The deal amount also includes contingent payments subject to certain financial milestones.
  • The firm is a Microsoft, Citrix and Google Chrome partner and provides support to over 250 organisations in sectors such as media, finance, travel, public sector and automotive.
  • As part of the deal, about 40 employees from P2P will become part of Noida-based HCL while the existing leadership team of P2P will continue to lead its operations.

Bill Gates Is Once Again the Richest Person in the World

  • Bill Gates, Microsoft co-founder and one the richest people in human history, once again comes out on top, with a net worth of $87.4 billion.
  • Gates crushes the second place finisher, Spain’s Amancio Ortega, by more than $20 billion. Ortega, founding chairman of clothing retailer Inditex, is pegged at a net worth of $66.8 billion (though forgive us for not feeling more sympathetic).
  • Potential presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg ranks as the ninth wealthiest person on earth, with a net worth north of $42 billion. Alice Walton, Walmart heiress, is the wealthiest woman, ranking #15 overall with a net worth of $33.2 billion.

Ghulam Ali music launch event in Mumbai called off

  • Film-maker Suhaib Illyasi claimed that the music launch of his film Ghar Wapsi by ghazal singer Ghulam Ali scheduled in Mumbai on January 29 has been cancelled after there was no confirmation from Maharashtra government that it will provide security for the programme.
  • Mr. Illyasi says he had written to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis seeking security for the music launch in the face of opposition by the Shiv Sena, which had last year forced the cancellation of a concert by Ghulam Ali in memory of ghazal singer Jagjit Singh.

Vodafone deploys Cisco’s SON technology to reduce call drops

  • At a time when telecom companies are under fire for call drops, Vodafone India said it has deployed Cisco’s Self Optimising Network (SON) technology to deliver superior mobile experience, improve voice call quality and reduce dropped calls.
  • Vodafone said it expects Cisco SON would optimise its existing sites and streamline the process of adding new sites to its fast growing network. Vodafone India has already deployed SON over a third of its network. Deployment will continue until the entire network is SON-enabled.

Facebook to expand beyond its ‘like’ button ‘pretty soon’

  • The new reactions will include symbols for “angry,” “sad,” “wow,” “haha,” “yay” and “love.”
  • After four months of testing outside the U.S., Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says that “pretty soon” six new emotions will be added to the social network throughout the world.
  • Facebook has been testing the different reactions in Chile, the Philippines, Portugal, Ireland, Spain, Japan and Colombia.

Heena Sidhu shoots her way to Rio Olympics 2016 with gold in Asian qualifiers

  • India’s top pistol shooter Heena Sidhu secured an Olympic quota for the country after she led from start to finish and claimed the gold medal in women’s 10-m air pistol on day one of competition at the Asia Olympic Qualifiers for Shooting.
  • The current world record holder and former world number one, Heena shot 199.4 in the eight-women finals to finish ahead of Chinese Taipei’s Tien Chia Chen (198.1) and Gim Yun Mi (177.9) of Korea at the Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range.
This was India’s ninth quota from shooting for the upcoming Olympic Games.

Pranab gives assent to Central rule in Arunachal Pradesh

  • President Pranab Mukherjee approved the Union Cabinet’s recommendation for the imposition of President’s rule on Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Sources at Rashtrapati Bhavan said Mr. Mukherjee signed on the dotted line after being satisfied that the law and order situation in the border State was sensitive to this uncertainty in government.
  • The Ministry of Home Affairs appointed two retired civil servants G.S Patnaik and Y.S Dadwal as advisers to the Governor.

India’s first blind-friendly train flagged off

  • India’s first blind-friendly train, from Mysuru to Varanasi, made its maiden journey. All reserved coaches of the Mysuru–Varanasi Express, which leaves Mysuru, have metallic Braille signages indicating the location of toilets, emergency windows and berth numbers.
  • The South Western Railways plans to launch the feature for some other trains by March end.

Passport first, verification later for first-timers

  • Police Verification (PV) has been an integral part of Passport issuance process since its inception. The modalities of police verification have undergone various changes from time to time, whereas the principles have remained the same i.e., ascertaining the applicant’s identity, citizenship and absence of criminal antecedents.
  • Under the Passport Seva Project, the Ministry of External Affairs has streamlined Police Verification System for passport issuance by digitally integrating 685 of 731 Police Districts in the country. This has led to overall reduction in the number of days taken to complete police verification process to 34 days in 2015, as against 42 days in 2014 and 49 days in 2013.

 ‘Mumbai, Delhi among top Asia Pacific cities for millionaires’

  • India’s financial hub Mumbai, which is home to 41,200 millionaires, and national capital Delhi, which houses 20,600 high net worth individuals, have been named among the top Asia Pacific cities for HNIs.
  • According to the Asia Pacific 2016 Wealth Report, by New World Wealth, Tokyo is the top Asia Pacific city for the ultra-rich with 2,64,000 millionaires, while Mumbai and Delhi got featured in the 12th and 20th rank respectively.
  • High Net Worth Individuals or HNWIs (millionaires) were defined as those individuals with net assets of USD 1 million or more.

French soldiers become first foreign military contingent at R-day parade

  • French Army soldiers created history by marching down the Rajpath during the Republic Day parade, becoming the first foreign military contingent to take part in the celebrations.
  • Led by Lt Col Paul Bury of the French Army’s 35th Infantry Regiment, one of the oldest regiments of France, the 76-member contingent marched before an audience that included President Pranab Mukherjee, visiting French President and Chief Guest Francois Hollande and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

SBI Composite Index dips to 12-month low in January

  • The yearly SBI Composite Index for the month of January 2016 has dipped below the 50-mark and stood at 47.3 (implying ‘low decline’ in Index Value terms), the lowest in 12 months, the bank said in its research report ‘Ecowrap’. Last month, this index was at 54.5 (moderate growth).
  • The monthly index also decreased marginally from 52.7 in December 2015 to 52.4 January 2016. SBI Composite Index reading from 52 to 55 translates into an Index Value that indicates moderate growth. According to the report, one of the reasons for the loss of momentum in SBI composite index is the base effect.

Oil PSUs to invest Rs 1.5 lakh crore for setting up biggest refinery in Maharashtra

  • Public sector oil marketing companies Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) along with Engineers India Limited (EIL) will invest Rs 1.5 lakh crore for setting up the country’s biggest refinery with a capacity of 60 million tonnes (MT) per annum on the western coast, oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan.
  • The refinery will produce petrol, diesel, LPG, jet fuel and feedstock for petrochemical plants to cater for the plastic, chemical and textile industries in Maharashtra, said Pradhan, who discussed the setting up of the refinery with Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis in Mumbai.

Paytm all set to go global through Aliyun

  • Paytm, run by One97 Communications Ltd, has signed an exclusive commercial partnership with Alibaba’s cloud computing arm AliCloud, and will be spending about Rs.120 crore to deploy Alipay’s technology via AliCloud (also known as Aliyun).
  • The agreement will allow the payment instruments of the two firms to be integrated in their existing platforms. The two firms will operate on a commission model.

Coca-Cola to enter dairy drinks segment in India

  • Beverages major Coca-Cola announced its foray into value-added dairy drinks segment in the Indian market with Vio brand, which will make its debut across the country next month.
  • The company has tied up with Schreiber Dynamix Dairies Pvt Ltd which will manufacture the product. Vio will be available in ‘Kesar Treat’ and ‘Almond Delight’ variants, priced at Rs 25 per 200ml pack.

Opera Mini adds supports for 13 Indian languages

  • Popular mobile browser Opera Mini just got a new update that adds support for 90 global languages, including 13 from India. With the update, Indian users can browse on Opera Mini in Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu. Users will be prompted with a notification to select their language of choice once they’ve updated the browser.
  • The new update also adds support for QR code reader and generator for Opera Mini.
  • Users can download the latest version of Opera Mini from the PlayStore.

Twitter names AmEx executive Leslie Berland as CMO

Twitter Inc named American Express Co executive Leslie Berland as its chief marketing officer.
About Berland
Berland, who joined AmEx in 2005 and is currently executive vice president of global advertising, marketing and digital partnerships at American Express, confirmed her new job via a tweet.

Rekha honoured with 3rd National Yash Chopra Memorial Award

  • Veteran actress Rekha was honoured with the Yash Chopra Memorial Award for her contribution to the film industry.
  • The award has been instituted by the T.S.R. Foundation of T Subbarami Reddy in the memory of the producer-director, who died in 2012.

Team India beat Kangaroos by 37 runs in 1st T20 clash

  • India defeated Australia by 37 runs in the first cricket Twenty20 International to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. Virat Kohli was declared as man of the match.
  • After having asked to bat first, the visitors posted 188/3, aided by strong middle-order partnership of 131 runs between Kohli and Suresh Raina.
  • The Indian vice-capitain remained not out and scored 90 runs from 55 deliveries. Raina scored 41 before getting dismissed for 41.

India return to No.1 Test spot in ICCRankings

  • The day started on a brilliant note for Team India as they defeated Australia by 37 runs in Adelaide and it seems that there is more good news waiting for them.
  • Following their triumph in the first match of the three-match Twenty20 International (T20I) cricket series in Adelaide, India’s day got even better as they were named the new top ranked Test team after England completed a 2-1 series victory over former leaders South Africa.

India’s Deborah Herold seals historic Track Cycling World Championships berth

  • The 20-year-old cyclist from the Andamans created history again by qualifying for the 2016 Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Track Cycling World Championships for the first time in India’s history, ahead of South Korea and Japan in the main draw.
  • In December, Deborah had become the first Indian female cyclist to reach the heights of fourth place in the UCI individual world ranking.

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