Thursday, 28 January 2016

Most expected National Current Affairs of 2015-2016

Dear expert readers. brings to you the Most expected National Current Affairs of 2015. These cover all the major events, Government schemes, programmes, Bills passed in the Parliament, personalities that were in the news, and major policy decisions taken by the Union/State Government whose information is relevant for preparation of current Affairs 2015-2016. We have summed up the major National Current Affairs News for candidates which will be helpful in revision and Noting all the major events of 2015, questions from which might be asked in competitive exams like UPSC IAS Prelims, IAS Mains, SSC, NDA, CDS, and other competitive examinations. The top 30 National Level Current Affairs include important events of 2015-16 such as the formation of NITI Aayog, launching of Prime Minister launched the Jan Suraksha Yojana-

1. NITI Aayog replaced the planning commission
The NITI (National Institution for transforming India) aayog replaced the Planning Commission which was established in 1947 on January 1, 2015. The Prime Minister of India has been designated as the chairman of the NITI Aayog, while noted economist Aravind Panagariya was appointed as the first Vice-Chairman of the NITI Aayog by the Prime Minister.

2. R K Laxman passed away
Noted Cartoonist R K Laxman passed away on January 26, 2015 at the age of 94 years. R K Laxman worked with the national news agency Times of India for almost 6 decades and was even awarded with the Padma Vibhushan and the Ramon Magsaysay award for Journalism, literature and creative communication.

3. Delhi Assembly elections 2015
The Aam Aadmi Party won a majority in the elections held in Delhi in February 2015 and won 67 out of 70 seats in the Delhi legislative Assembly. The other major national political parties were routed in the elections, as Indian National Congress didn’t win any of the seat in the Assembly. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) managed to win about 3 seats which had declared former IPS officer Kiren Bedi as the Chief Ministerial candidate. Arvind Kejriwal became the Chief Minister of Delhi on February 14, 2015.

4. Supreme Court of India scrapped section 66A of IT act
The Supreme Court of India on March 24, 2015 declared the section 66 A of the Information Technology Act as invalid and made it null and Void. The referred section gave powers to the law and enforcement agencies to act against a person for posting comments on social networking sites and other internet platforms. The court observed that the referred section infringed the citizens right to freedom of speech, right to dissent and right to know.

5. Prime Minister launched Jan Suraksha Yojana
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched 3 major schemes under the Jan Suraksha Yojana in the sphere of social security, namely the ‘Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana’, the ‘Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Yojana’ and the ‘Atal Pension Yojana’ in May 2015. The schemes were aimed at the poor sections and those in the unorganised sector who did not have access to social securities like insurance, pensions etc. The schemes also aimed at reducing the zero balance accounts opened under the Prime Ministers Jan Dhan Yojana.

6. Union Government launch FAME India scheme
To boost eco-friendly vehicles sales, the union government launched FAME India scheme that envisages to provide Rs 795 crore support till 2020 for the manufacturing and sale of electric and hybrid vehicles on April 1, 2015. The scheme envisages providing demand incentives to electric and hybrid vehicles from two-wheeler to buses in range of Rs 1,800 to Rs 66 lakh.

7. Rajya Sabha passed the Rights of Transgender Persons Bill 2014
Rajya Sabha on April 24, 2015 unanimously passed The Rights of Transgender Persons Bill, 2014 by voice vote. It should be noted that it was a private member’s bill moved by DMK Member of Parliament Tiruchi Shiva to protect the rights of transgender persons. It is the first private members bill to be passed in 46 years. In the past, 14 Private Members’ Bills have been passed.

8. Union Government raised solar power generation capacity target to 100000 MW by 2022
Union Government on June 17, 2015 decided to raise the Solar Power generation capacity target to 100000 MW by 2022. The decision to increase the solar power capacity target by five times was taken by the Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The earlier target was producing solar power of 20000 MW by 2022. The target was raised under Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) which will require an investment of around 6 lakh crore rupees.

9. Union Government launched Insurance pool of Rs 1,500 Crore for Nuclear Insurance
The Union government has launched an insurance pool to the tune of Rs 1,500 crore which is mandatory under the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act (CLND) in a bid to offset financial burden of foreign nuclear suppliers. This was announced by Jitendra Singh who is the Minister of State in the Department of Atomic Energy, on June 13, 2015 at New Delhi. Clauses in the CLND Act, which give the operator the Right to Recourse and allow it to sue the suppliers in case of any accident were seen as being a major hindrance to the growth of the nuclear industry.

10. CCEA approved Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY)
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on July 2, 2015 approved a new scheme Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY). The scheme will have an outlay of 50000 crore rupees over a period of five years i.e from 2015-16 to 2019-20. The allocation for the current financial year is 5300 crore rupees. It will focus on ‘end-to-end solution’ in irrigation supply chain by implementing new programme in a “project mode” with decentralised state-level planning and execution.

11. Supreme Court rejected OBC quota to Jat community
The Supreme Court on July 21, 2015 rejected and ruled out the plea of the Union Government for reviewing its March 17, 2015, verdict that set aside a notification to include Jats in the central list of Other Backward Classes (OBC) category in 9 states to provide quota benefits to them. A bench, headed by Justice Ranjana Gogoi, in the in-chamber proceedings, have concluded to reject the pleas filed by Jats’ bodies, saying that they lacked merit and demanded quota. The Union Government had moved the apex court on April 2 seeking a review of its verdict after Prime Minister Narender Modi had met Jat community leaders and assured them of finding a solution within the legal framework.

12. Former President A P J Abdul Kalam passed away
Former President of India A P J Abdul Kalam passed away on July 27, 2015 in shillong, Meghalaya. He served as the 11th President of India from 2002-2007 and had succeeded K.R.Narayanan. A P J Abdul Kalam earlier served as a senior scientist in the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation). He played an instrumental role in the Pokhran Nuclear test conducted by India in 1998. He was the recipient of Bharat Ratna the highest civilian award of India.

13. 98 cities identified to be developed as Smart city
The Union Minister of Urban Development Venkiah Naidu released a list of 98 cities that will be developed as ‘Smart cities’. States of Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu had the highest number of cities that were announced under the project. Uttar Pradesh had 13 cities identified while 12 cities were identified in Tamil Nadu for development of smart cities. As was earlier announced by Prime Minister that 100 cities would be developed as ‘Smart cities’ names of 98 have been released so far pending nomination of 1 more city from the states of Uttar Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir each. The smart city project has a budget of Rs. 48,000 Crore presently.

14. Population data as per Census 2011 on the basis of religion released by Union Government
As per the data of Census 2011 released by the Registrar General and Census Commissioner on August 25, 2015 the growth rate of all religious communities have declined in the period 2001-2011. However, amongst all the communities the decadal growth rate among the Muslims was the highest, growing by 24.6% while in the same time the Hindu population grew by 16.67 % in the period 2001-2011. There had been marginal increase in the population of other religious communities, as Christians grew by 15.5%, Sikhs by 8.4 %, Buddhists by 6.1 % and Jains by 5.4 %.

15. Union Government and NSCN (IM) signed peace accord
Union Government and the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-IM on August 3, 2015 signed a historic accord that promises to bring peace in a state which has been ravaged by violence for over six decades. The accord was signed in New Delhi in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi who described it as historic. The agreement is expected to end the oldest insurgency in the country.

16. Union Cabinet approved ‘Marginal Fields Policy’ for oil field auction
The Union Cabinet on September 2, 2015 approved a new policy, named ‘Marginal Fields Policy’ (MFP) for development of hydrocarbons discoveries made by the national oil companies as ONGC (Oil and Natural Gas Corporation) and OIL (Oil India Limited). As per the new policy the 69 oil fields that have been under the ONGC and OIL which have not been exploited till now because of various reasons as small sizes of reserves, high developmental costs, technological constraints and monetary constraints will now be available for bidding.

17. Union Cabinet approved Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission (SPMRM)
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission (SPMRM) with an outlay of Rs. 5142.08 crores on September 16, 2015 proposed by the Union Ministry of Rural Development. The programme would help in development of such clusters which are vibrant and will focus on 14 core areas of development. This is being viewed as an ambitious bid to transform rural areas to economically, socially and physically sustainable regions. The Mission aims at development of rural growth clusters which have potential for growth, in all States and UTs, which would also trigger overall development in these regions.

18. Indigenously built INS Kochi commissioned
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar commissioned the Indian Naval Ship Kochi into the Indian Navy on September 30, 2015 at the Naval dockyard at Mumbai. The battleship is a Kolkata class destroyer and is a stealth guided missile destroyer which has been designed by the Directorate of Naval Design and constructed by the Mazagon Dock Ship builders Limited in Mumbai, Maharashtra.The ship has a displacement of 7,500 tons and it is 164 meters in length and 17 meters at its beam. The ship is propelled by four gas turbines and designed to achieve speed up to 30 knots.

19. Prime Minister lays foundation of Amaravati designated new capital of Andhra Pradesh
The Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi on October 22, 2015 laid the foundation stone of building a new capital for the state of Andhra Pradesh, Amaravati a large village situated on the banks of river Krishna lying between Vijayawada and Guntur districts of Andhra Pradesh. The location where the founding stone was laid will serve as the building for the state legislative assembly. The stone laying ceremony was attended by Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Chandrababu Naidu, Chief Minister of Telangana K. Chandrashekhar Rao.

20. Indian Air Force announce Women fighter pilots to be inducted
The Ministry of Defence approved the induction of women into the Fighter (Combat) stream of the Indian Air Force i.e. as fighter pilots. The approval was given on Octoer 24, 2015. It was declared that the women fighter pilots would be selected from the batch presently undergoing flying training at Air Force Academy. After the completion of training, the women pilot would be commissioned in the fighter stream in June 2016. This would be followed by a one-year advanced training. The first women fighter pilots in India would finally enter the cockpit by June 2017.

21. J&K High court rule that Article 370 is a permanent feature of Indian Constitution
The High Court of Jammu and Kashmir ruled on October 9, 2015 that Article 370 of the constitution of India, which granted special status to the state, has assumed place of permanence in the Constitution of India and the feature is beyond further amendment, repeal or abrogation. The court gave its judgement in Ashok Kumar Vs Jammu & Kashmir State regarding reservation in promotion of employees. A division bench of justices Hasnain Masoodi and Janak Raj Kotwal ruled in a 60-page judgement that Article 370 though titled as ‘Temporary Provision’ and included in Para XXI titled ‘Temporary, Transitional and Special Provisions’ has assumed place of permanence in the Constitution.

22. Supreme Court of India continues collegiums system for appointment of Judges
Supreme Court of India on November 19, 2015 announced that the ‘Collegium system’ for appointment of judges can go ahead and appoint judges to fill the judicial vacancies while hearing the case on appointment of Judges. A five judge constitution bench, headed by Justice JS Khehar announced that appointments of judges had been kept pending for the last eight months and appointments through the present system of Collegium will not be put on hold until the Constitution Bench decides on reforms. The Supreme Court of India has three vacancies while 370 positions of High Court judges are lying vacant across the country.

23. Union Government launch inactivated Polio Vaccine
The Union Government launched the inactivated polio vaccine on November 30, 2015 in New Delhi. IPV (Inactivated Polio Vaccine) injection has been launched as part of the global polio endgame strategy in the national capital Delhi. The vaccine was launched by the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare J P Nadda as part of next step in India’s universal immunisation programme to fight against polio in the country. According to the Union Ministry, the injectable vaccine IPV will be used alongside the oral polio to kill the polio viruses.

24. Union Cabinet approved UDAY scheme to revive Distribution companies in India
The Union Cabinet headed by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, gave its approval to a new scheme moved by the Union Ministry of Power – Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojna or UDAY on November 5, 2015. UDAY scheme aims at financial turnaround and revival of Power Distribution companies (DISCOMs) in India, and also aims to ensure a sustainable and a permanent solution to the problems faced by them. As per the UDAY scheme four initiatives (i) Improving operational efficiencies of DISCOMs; (ii) Reduction of cost of power; (iii) Reduction in interest cost of DISCOMs; (iv) Enforcing financial discipline on DISCOMs through alignment with State finances will be implemented.

25. Assembly elections held in Bihar
The results to the elections held to the State legislative assembly of Bihar was announced on November 8, 2015. The incumbent Chief Minister Nitish Kumar led the Mahagatbandhan alliance of three parties namely the Janata Dal (United), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), and the Indian National Congress (INC) into the elections and won by winning over 173 seats out of 243 seats. He defeated the rival coalition of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which won about 63 seats. The term of the previous legislative assembly ended on November 29, 2015. The Governor of Bihar Ram Nath Kovind issued the notification for holding elections in Bihar on September 16, 2015 to be conducted by the Election Commission of India

26. Floods in Tamil Nadu
Heavy rains from November 13 to second week of December caused heavy flooding in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Almost 369 people lost their lives due to flood related incidents in Tamil Nadu. Indian Army, Indian Navy, Indian Air Force and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) conducted rescue operations in the state. The Union Government announced a Rs. 500 crore aid to the Tamil Nadu Government for the damage afflicted to the state capital during floods.

27. First Constitution Day celebrated
The first Constitution Day of India was observed on November 26, 2015. The day was celebrated to spread awareness about Constitution of India as well as about its architect Dr B.R. Ambedkar. Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment notified on November 23, 2015 that November 26 will be celebrated as the Constitution Day in India every year starting from November 26, 2015. It was also decided that Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment will be the Nodal Ministry for celebration of Constitution Day.

28. 3 Digital services launched for Indian Army
The Defence Minister of India Manohar Parrikar inaugurated the Central Data Centre, Army Cloud and Digi-Locker for the Indian Army on November 9, 2015. The Indian Army has launched such initiatives as part of the Digital Army programme. The new digital services can be of great use for faster documentation, information and speedy delivery of services. The facility under the Army Cloud includes a Central Data Centre, a Near Line Data Centre, both in Delhi and a Disaster Recovery site for replication of its critical data along with virtualised servers and storage in an environmentally controlled complex.

29. Accessible India Campaign launched by Union Government
Accessible India Campaign (Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan) was launched by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on December 3, 2015 in Delhi. Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment is the nodal agency for implementing the strategies that are stated under Accessible India Campaign. The Action Plan of Accessible India Campaign includes the creation of Steering Committee and Programme Monitoring Unit (PMU) with representation of Accessibility professionals and experts. Accessible India Campaign aims to increase the accessibility of different platforms for people with disabilities.

30. Justice Tirath Singh Thakur sworn in as Chief Justice of India
Senior-most Supreme Court judge Justice Tirath Singh Thakur sworn in as 43rd Chief Justice of India on December 3, 2015. The oath was administered by President Pranab Mukherjee at a function in Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi. Justice T.S. Thakur took over Justice H L Dattu as Chief Justice of India. Justice H L Dattu retired on December 3, 2015. This is to note that that Article 124 of Constitution of India states that the appointment of every Judge of Supreme Court and Chief Justice of India will be done by the President of India.

Candidates preparing for competitive and entrance exams would find these news items to be helpful, they would be able to preview all the major events and news of 2015 and revise it in a glance. It is highly recommended for the aspirants to take note of these news items as questions relating to these news items can be asked in any Competitive exam, Interview and these would also be helpful in group discussions.

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