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Sunday, May 11, 2014

Current Affairs 2014:Top Current Affairs of January 2014

National Affairs
  •  The central bank of India, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has re-allocated his portfolios among Deputy Governors after Anand Sinha quits his post as Deputy Governor. H.R. Khan, K.C. Chakrabarty and Urjit Patel are among the remaining three Deputy Governors. Anand Sinha was heading eight departments including Risk Management, Information Technology, Departments of Banking Operations and Development and Expenditure and Budgetary Control.
  •  North Eastern states Tripura, Manipur and Meghalaya have celebrated their foundation day on January 21. These North Eastern states got full statehood on Jan 21, 1972.  The states have always been a favourite tourist destination that celebrated their 42nd statehood. In Manipur, the day is celebrated as ‘Manipur Divas’.
  • Ahead the Lok Sabha elections,  the Joan community has been granted minority status by the central government which will facilitate them to avail benefits of government programmes, scholarships and schemes for the minorities. After Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs and Parsis, Jains community of about 50 lakh have become the sixth community to have minority status. During a meeting of Union Cabinet in New Delhi, the decision was taken to grant minority status to the community. Jain community can also manage and run their own educational institutions.
  •   Jind and Karnal districts of Haryana have now become part of the National Capital Region Planning Board (NCRPB) in the National Capital Region, NCR. The approval of inclusion of Jind and Karnal districts was given at the 34th meeting of NCRPB that was held in New Delhi. The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Kamal Nath, Urban Development Minister.
  •  India’s first ‘Milk ATM’ will be soon launched by Amul. Amul will now sell milk through “Any Time Milk” vending machines. Amul’s pilot project of this 24×7 ATM has commenced with the installation of a vending machine at the gate of Amul Dairy in Anand, Gujarat. For this, 1,100 ‘mandalis’ (village-level milk collection centres) will set up Milk ATM in Anand and Kheda districts. The ATM will read through a sensor  a Rs 10-currency note and will dispense a 300 ml pouch of Amul Taaza milk and will be fitted with refrigeration facility. The ATM will have a capacity to hold 150 pouches at a time.
  • Shinzo Abe, the Prime Minister of Japan will be the chief guest of India’s 65th Republic Day celebrations. He has already visited New Delhi at the invitation of Manmohan Singh. The PM has visited India along with his wife Akie Abe. President Pranab Mukherjee will also meet the Japanese PM. Abe and Singh will discuss content and substance to the India-Japan global partnership and strategic.
  • India and Pakistan will soon ink a pact on electricity trade as energy-starved Pakistan wants to buy electricity from India. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed during a meeting between both countries which was attended by Anand Sharma, Commerce Minister and Shahbaz Sharif, Chief Minister of Punjab. The issue of electricity trade had come up for discussion as India has showed off its objective to export electricity to the tune of 500 MW to Pakistan if infrastructure for broadcast of power is made available.
  • Punab has witnessed India’s first Climate Change theatre which was opened at Pushpa Gujral Science City in Kapurthala, Punjab.  The second theatre in the world to be opened after Canada, will educate people on climate change. The theatre has a seating capacity of 125 persons which is 18 metre in diameter and is set up in a dome-shaped building. The 25-minute film depicts what terrible can happen if humans do not take stern action on current problems which could intimidate civilization.
  • Geological Survey of India’s Advanced Light Helicopter named Garuda Vasudha was launched with the help of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), Bangalore. A Dhruv category built “Garuda Vasudha” which was launched by Dinsha Patel, Minister of Mines is dedicated to the nation. The Advanced Light Helicopter will be used for broad surveys by the GSI for tracing hidden mineral health. To locate mineral resources to fulfil the rising demands, the Remote Sensing and Aerial Survey Wing of Geological Survey of India will be using both the aerial and heliborne survey.
  • The central bank of India, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has declared that currency notes printed before 2005 will remain legal. The rule was about to be enacted to curb black marketing from the market through withdrawing currency notes printed prior to 2005.
  • India and France are working jointly to build the third Indo-French satellite which has been designed for climate change studies. The new satellite is being built by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)and National Centre for Space Studies (CNES) of France.
  • On 23 January, India celebrated the 117th birth anniversary of Neta ji Subhash Chandra Bose to pay him rich tributes. Pranab Mukherjee, President of India offered floral tributes to Netaji at Rashtrapati Bhavan. Various programmes were being organized in nationwide to mark the birth anniversary of Netaji Subash Chandra Bose. On this occasion, Cuttack his birth place has witnessed a good number of visitors.
  • National Girl Child Day was observed nationwide on 24 January.  In order to raise awareness and consciousness towards the girl child, this day is observed every year. The focus is to make sure that every girl is valued, respected and treated uniformly in society. Earlier, the Indian Post has launched a special savings scheme for the girl child aged between 10 and 20 of India. According to the scheme, the parents of girls have to open a Savings Bank account or Monthly Income Scheme (MIS) or Recurring Deposit (RD) or Fixed Deposits and they can also buy National Savings Certificate (NSC).
  •  According to India’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the economic growth of India is expected to fall below 5 % in 2013-14 in absence of pick-up in manufacturing sector but is likely to recover to 5.5% in 2014-2015. The headline CPI inflation is expected to range between 7.5 and 8.5 % with an upside risk for the fourth quarter.
  • According to United Nations (UN) report, the economic growth of India is expected to 5.35% in 2014. The UN World Economic Situation and Prospects 2014 (WESP) report has revealed it which exposes that full-year growth slowed down to 4.8 % in 2013 from 5.1 % in the year 2012. While the global economy is expected to take at a pace of 3 % in 2014 and 3.3 % in 2015 which will be compared to an estimated growth of 2.1% in 2013. This year, India’s economic growth pace is expected to grow at a slower-than-projected rate of 5.3 % this year.
  • The LPG Connection Portability Scheme has been launched by the Union Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas across the country. This scheme is covering 480 districts of India and all expected LPG markets which have multiple LPG distributors. Through this scheme, an LPG consumer can switch to the distributor of his or her choice within a group of LPG distributors in the surrounding area. In order to facilitate LPG to consumers, Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) itself have made more than 1400 group distributors. To opt for portability procedure is very simple. Any transfer fee or additional security deposit will not be charged for transfer of connection under this scheme. The scheme has already been launched as a pilot project in 24 districts covering 13 states by OMCs which includes Indian Oil, Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum.

International Affairs

  •  Bashar al-Assad, President of Syria government may face war crimes charges in international court.  This happened after top war crime prosecutors claimed to have direct proof of ‘systematic torment and killing’ of about 11,000 prisoners by his army forces. It includes dead bodies of detainees’ thousands of photographs who were allegedly killed in government custody and many of them were brutally half-starved and showed signs of strangulation. The evidence came from a military policeman who worked secretly with a Syrian opposition group and later blemished and fled the country.
  • Chilika lagoon of Odisha which is famous for being hotspot for biodiversity has received coveted UN status. United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has named it ‘destination flyways’ along with its inclusion in a list of eight such sites worldwide as it is sustainable and flexible destination for migratory birds. This year, about 7.19 lakh migratory birds have been viewed in the 1100-sq km lagoon , which is less than the last year which was around 8.77 lakh birds of 180 species.
  • A financial assistance of $400 million has been provided by Asian Development Bank (ADB) for first tranche line of credit to India Infrastructure Finance Company Ltd (IIFCL). The loan has been given to help speeding up infrastructure growth through increased private sector investment. The line of credit will be used to advance direct loans by state-owned IIFCL which will have two years to utilise this limit. Nilaya Mitash, Joint Secretary in the Finance Ministry and Narahari Rao, Officer-in-charge of ADB’s India Resident Mission signed the loan agreement for the first tranche. The project agreement was signed by Sanjeev Ghai, Chief General Manager, IIFCL.
  • The first public university to accept fees in digital currency, Bitcoin is Cumbria University of UK. The new system for processing the payments is already working effectively. The payment of fees via Bitcoin will be only pertinent to two new courses on the roles of complimentary currencies in economic systems that will be taught from May 2014 at the Institute for Leadership and Sustainability (IFLAS). It’s worth mentioning here that Cumbria is considered to be the first public university in the world to accept the digital currency, Bitcoin.

Appointment

  •  Sudhir Gupta is now the new Secretary of Telecom regulator TRAI as he has been elevated to the post of Secretary from principal adviser with TRAI. Gupta has played a vital role in almost all the key, recommendations, regulations and directions in the past 10 years in TRAI. His decisions include rules to control annoying calls, mobile number portability facility and quality of service standards. He has also been responsible for creating recommendations related to 3G, spectrum auctions and BWA spectrum auctions. These two had helped government gain over Rs 1 lakh crore.
  • T. Nanda Kumar will be the newly appointed Chairman of the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB). He will succeed Amrita Patel who was service since 1998. Currently Kumar is member of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and will take over his post from March 1.
  • Kailash Meghwal is the newly unanimously elected Speaker of Rajasthan Assembly. Vasundhara Raje, Chief Minister of Rajasthan has proposed his name while Rameshwar Dudi, leader of Opposition seconded this proposal. Kailash Meghwal has prior served as Mines Minister.

Awards & Honours

  •  Arogya Swami Joseph Paulraj, Coimbatore-born scientist and Emeritus Professor of Stanford University has been awarded with the prestigious Marconi Society Prize, a top global IT technology awards for the year 2014. He is the only India-born scientist who has been awarded with two top global IT technology awards the Marconi Prize and the Bell Medal. He has been honoured for his invention and progression of MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) technology which is at the heart of 4G and WiFi technologies that millions of people use at world level.
  • The annual United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Awards for Excellence and Innovation in Tourism has been bagged by none other than Gods own country Kerala. For the first time India has received this award. Kerala Tourism was conferred with this honour at Madrid in Spain. The Kerala Tourism bagged this coveted award for its sustainable development programme in the world famous backwater resort of Kumarakom.
  •  R.A. Mashelkar famous scientist, Dipika Pallikal, Yuvraj Singh is among those personalities who have been awarded with the Padma awards, India’s highest civilian honours ahead of 26 January, the Republic Day. It’s worth mention here that on the occasion of Republic Day, Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan and Padma Shri are announced every year.
  • Personalities who were honoured with Padma Vibhushan include Dr. Raghunath A. Mashelkar famous scientist and B.K.S. Iyengar Yoga Guru.
  • Actor Kamal Haasan, Author Ruskin Bond, ace shuttler Pullela Gopichand and famous tennis sportsmen Leander Paes are among those who received Padma Bhushan awards.
  • While Bollywood actor Paresh Rawal, actress Vidya Balan, Indian cricketer Yuvraj Singh and ace squash player Dipika Rebecca Pallikal are among those who got Padma Shri awards. Recently Dipika has entered the top 10 of WSA ranking which the official woman’s squash world ranking.

Death

  •  Akkineni Nageswara Rao, an actor of Telugu cinema has passed away recently in Hyderabad at the age of 91. He was suffering from cancer. Dada Saheb Phalke awardee and Padma Vibhushan Rao was known as the tragedy king of Telugu cinema. He has acted in romantic dramas such as Anarkali, Laila Majnu, Premabhishekam, Prem Nagar, Batasari and Meghasandesham. He has acted in 256 Telugu films.

Sports

  •  Eugenie Bouchard has finally reached the semi-final of the Australian Open while beating Ana Ivanovic, 2008 French Open champion with 7-5, 5-7, 6-2. The first Canadian to enter the Australian Open semi-finals, a 19-year-old Bouchard has played against Ivanovic, the former No. 1-ranked tennis ace.
  • India has again continued to retain its number two spot in ICC Test rankings. India was at number two, lagging behind South Africa according to the latest ICC Cricket Test rankings that were issued in Dubai recently. India scored 117 points and is followed by Australia that scored 111 while topper South Africa has scored 131. England remained at the fourth position with 107 points.
  • Sania Mirza has lost in Women’s Doubles, Quarter Final in Australian open Tennis Tournament. The sixth seeded Indo-Zimbabwean pair Sania Mirza and Cara Black was crushed by the top seeded Italian duo Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci 2-6,6-3,4-6 in doubles quarter final.  While in Men’s Singles, David Ferrer, world number 3 has lost to Czech Thomas Berdych 1-6, 4-6, 6-4, 4-6 in Quarter Final match of Australian Open.
  • Mahesh Bhupathi, Tennis ace has recently launched the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) which was held in Melbourne, Australia. Bhupathi has even announced the name of the teams during the launch of IPTL. Mumbai, Singapore, Bangkok, Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur will be the host cities or the teams which will participate. While the fifth host city will be from the Middle East.
  • World Number Two Belarusian Victoria Azarenka was ousted of the first Grand Slam of the season, Australian Open Tennis tournament in Melbourne. Azarenka was defeted by Polish Agnieszka Radwanska 1-6, 7-5, 0-6 in the Women’s Singles quarterfinals. World Number one Rafael Nadal cushed BulgarianGrigor Dimitrov 3-6, 7-6, 7-6, 6-2 in the semi-final of the Men’s Singles.
  • India was smashed by New Zealand by 15 runs and took 2-0 lead in 5-match series which was organised in New Zealand. India was given target of 297. Virat Kohli contributed 78 runs during the match while captain MS Dhoni made 56. While Mohammed Shami has bagged the maximum of 3 wickets for Indian team.  New Zealand’s Kane Williamson made top scores 77.
  • Swiss Roger Federer will face Rafael Nadal as he has reached straight in semi-final of the first Grand Slam of the season, Australian Open Tennis tournament 3 after defeating Andy Murray a 6-3, 6-4, 6-7 (6-8) 6-3.
  • Karnataka has entered the final at Ranji Trophy and will clash against Maharashtra in Hyderabad. Due to persistent rain, umpires cancelled the semi-final match without a ball being bowled on the fifth day. The first day of the encounter was also wiped out.
  • Title of world’s richest soccer club was continued to retain by Spain’s Real Madrid. 519 million euros ($704 million), revenue of Real Madrid put the club at the top while lagging behind domestic rivals Barcelona in fiscal 2012/2013. Bayern Munich, European champions stood at third place. Revenue for the top 20 teams has risen by 8 %  to 5.4 billion euros, It’s worth mention here that Barcelona and Real Madrid are two most constantly successful teams in Europe which has fielded top players such as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo and respectively.
  • The 12th edition of National Inter-District Athletics meet will be hosted by Haridwar. The three-day national meet will be held from April 25 this year at Haridwar. Coincidentally, this year will observe both the 11th and 12th editions of the meeting as the 11th edition which was to be organised last year was postponed to this month.
  • Badminton ace Saina Nehwal has slipped to number 9 as per the latest Badminton World Federation (BWF) ranking. It happened after she lost during the second round at the Malaysia Open Super Series Premier. India’s Olympic bronze medallist may rise up if she qualifies to the semi-finals or final in the ongoing India Grand Prix Gold held in Lucknow. While P.V. Sindhu, World Championship bronze medallist has retained her No.11 ranking and her ranking is also expected to improve when the next ranking will be issued.
  • After beating Dominika Cibulkova in the Australian Open final, Li Na of China has become the first Chinese woman to clinch the title. Lina has crushed Cibulkova 7—6 (3), 6—0 and has also to become the oldest woman to clinch the title in the open era. 32 year old Lina missed the title in finals to Kim Clijsters in 2011 while Belarusian Victoria Azarenka beat her last year Australian Open finals. In her third attempt, she grabbed the title. Meanwhile, Lina has also grabbed the French Open of year 2011 to become the first Chinese woman to clinch a major.

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