Current Affairs Daily Updates 19th January 2017

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Current Affairs Daily Updates 19th January 2017

APPOINTMENTS
Bharti AXA General appoints Sanjeev Srinivasan as MD & CEO:
  • Bharti AXA General (Joint venture between Bharti Enterprises and AXA) has appointed Sanjeev Srinivasan as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Managing Director (MD).
  • Earlier, Srinivasan joined Bharti AXA General Insurance in August 2016 as Chief Commercial and Principal Officer.
Former Italian Air Force officer elected President of the European Parliament
  • A former Italian Air Force officer Antonio Tajani has been elected the new president of the European Parliament.
  • After four rounds of voting Antonio Tajani was victorious, receiving 351 votes and beating his fellow countryman Gianni Pittella who achieved a total of 202. 
  • Donald Tusk is the President of European Council while Jean-Claude-Juncker is the president of the European Commission.
AWARDS AND HONOURS
Priyanka bags second People's Choice Award
  • Indian actress Priyanka Chopra has emerged winner of the favourite dramatic TV actress trophy for her role in "Quantico" at the 2017 People's Choice Awards.
  • This is the 34-year-old actress' second People's Choice win, having been named the favourite actress in a new TV series last year.
  • Priyanka was not the only Indian-origin star to be feted at the ceremony. Lilly Singh was named favourite YouTube star.
BANKING AFFAIRS
PNB, India Post Bank team up:
  • Punjab National Bank and India Post Payments Bank have signed a memorandum of understanding.
  • PNB will provide technology platform for pilot launch of IPPB on receipt of regulatory nod from the Reserve Bank of India.
  • IPPB has been incorporated under the Department of Posts with 100 per cent government equity.
30 More Countries to Join Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank
  • The Foreign Ministry spokesperson of China, Hua Chunying on January 17, 2017 informed that thirty more countries have applied for joining the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) besides 57 founding members.
BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC AFFAIRS
3rd Bengal Global Business Summit to begin tomorrow
  • The 3rd Bengal Global Business Summit will begin tomorrow at the Milan Mela Prangan in Kolkata. The two-day summit will bring together policy makers, corporate leaders from around the globe, delegations, academia, opinion makers to explore business opportunities in West Bengal.
  • Businessmen from across India and more than 20 Countries are to participate in the Summit. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is expected to release the Export Strategy Paper for West Bengal, the New Township Policy, Design Policy and Start-UP Policy.
  • In addition, many MoUs and Letters of Exchange cutting across sectors are likely to be signed. President Pranab Mukherjee, West Bengal Governor Keshri Nath Tripathi, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Ms. Mamata Banerjee are lekely to attend the Inaugural Ceremony.
Indian economy projected to grow by 7.7% in FY 2017: UN report
  • The United Nations World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2017 report said India's economy is projected to grow by 7.7 per cent in fiscal year 2017 and 7.6 per cent in 2018, benefiting from strong private consumption.
  • It however cautioned that low capacity utilisation and stressed balance sheets of banks and businesses will prevent a strong investment revival in the short term.
  • China's growth on the other hand is projected to remain stable at 6.5 per cent for fiscal years 2017 and 2018.
Only cash, deposits can be declared under PMGKY: 
  • Undisclosed income in assets such as jewellery, stock or immovable property or in foreign bank accounts will not be accepted under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY).
  • The Central Board of Direct Taxes on stated that only undisclosed income in domestic bank accounts, post offices or stashed elsewhere will be accepted under the scheme.
  • Only income represented in the form of cash or deposit in an account maintained with specified entity can be declared.
ICICI Pru acquires 8.41% stake in Fino Paytech for Rs 100 crore
  • ICICI Prudential Life Insurance has acquired 8.41 per cent stake in Fino Paytech Ltd (FPL) for a total consideration of Rs 100 crore.
  • FPL provides technology-based solutions and services related to financial inclusion. Earlier this month, FPL was granted payment bank licence by the RBI.
DEATHS
Veteran Actress Gita Sen Passes Away
  • Veteran film and stage actor Gita Sen, wife of film maker Mrinal Sen, died at her South Kolkata residence. She was 86.
  • Sen had acted in several films including Kolkata 71 (1971) and Akaler Sandhane (1980).
  • She had also been part of the theatre movement.
Former Chhattisgarh minister Tarun Prasad Chatterjee passes away:
  • Senior Congress leader and former state minister of Chhattisgarh, Tarun Prasad Chatterjee (68-years) has passed away  Raipur(Chhattisgarh)
  • He was elected as Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) for the first time from Raipur (rural) constituency in 1980, 1990, 1993 and 1998.
  • He was the Public Works Department (PWD) minister between 2002 and 2003 in Chhatisgarh government.
INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS
‘One China’ policy is ‘non-negotiable’ is China’s response to Trump
  • The suggestion of the newly elected American President Donald Trump that the “One-China” policy is negotiable has been highly criticized by China. Spokesman of China’s Foreign Ministry Lu Kang said that ‘One China’ policy is non-negotiable.
  • One China Policy means that there exists only one “China” irrespective of the fact that two government claim to be the real China . The two are People’s Republic of China (PRC, Mainland China) and Republic of China (ROC, Taiwan).
World witnesses hottest year on record in 2016
  • The world witnessed the hottest year on record in 2016, surpassing the exceptionally high temperatures of 2015, the UN weather agency said.
  • The globally average temperature in 2016 was about 1.1 degree Celsius higher than the pre-industrial period, according to a consolidated analysis by the World Meteorological Organization.
  • According to WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas, surging concentrations of carbon dioxide and methane for human induced climate change and record breaking average temperature rise in 2016.
Venezuela authorises new currency notes, coins
  • Venezuela's President Nicol├ís Maduro authorised new banknotes ranging from 500 to 20,000 bolivars to deal with the soaring inflation in the country.
  • He also extended the deadline for exchanging 100 bolivar notes, formerly the highest denomination in the country, for the third time until February 20.
  • Notably, inflation in Venezuela is expected to reach 1,600% this year.
NATIONAL AFFAIRS
  • The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between India and Serbia for promoting cooperation in the field of Information Technology and Electronics
  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on November 11, 2016 at Tokyo, Japan for cooperation in the field of outer space.
  • India and United Arab Emirates (UAE) signed a Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation in the field of Small and Medium Enterprises and Innovation.
  • The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was also signed between India and the United Arab Emirates for Institutional Cooperation in Maritime Transport for bilateral and multi-lateral benefit in sustainable trading activities.
  • Union Cabinet also approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and the United Arab Emirates on the Mutual Recognition of Certificates of Competency.
  • A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between India and Vietnam in the field of Cyber Security on September 3, 2016 at Hanoi
  • The MoU signed between India and Russia for cooperation in the field of Youth Affairs
  • The Union Cabinet has approved the 12th Plan Proposal of the DARE/ICAR Plan Scheme for the ‘Establishment of Indian Agricultural Research Institute (lARI)- Jharkhand’.
  • Gov gave its ex-post facto approval for the Augmentation of the Corpus of Credit Guarantee Trust Fund for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE), a package set up for supporting Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs).
  • PM Modi approved amendment in the Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme (M-SIPS) to attract investment in electronics manufacturing.
UDAN scheme set for take off
  • The first flight is likely to take off next month under the government's ambitious regional connectivity scheme- UDAN. The scheme UDAN (Ude Desh Ke Aam Naagrik), seeks to boost regional air connectivity and provides various incentives to airlines.
  • The fare for a one hour journey of approximately 500 kilometre on a fixed wing aircraft or for a 30 minute journey on a helicopter will be capped at two thousand 500 rupees under the scheme.
  • The scheme was launched in October last year, which seeks to provide connectivity to un-served and under-served regions through revival of existing air strips and airports. The Minister said, the scheme is likely to give a major boost to tourism activities and employment generation in hinterland.
Union HRD Minister launches ‘ShaGun’ web-portal
  • The Union HRD Minister Shri Prakash Javadekar launched a dedicated web portal ‘ShaGun’ for the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan at New Delhi.
  • ‘ShaGun’ aims to capture and showcase innovations and progress in Elementary Education sector of India by continuous monitoring of the flagship scheme - Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA).
  • The Union HRD Minister also unveiled the ‘Toolkit for Master Trainers in Preparing Teachers for Inclusive Education for Children with Special Needs’, which has been prepared by World Bank in collaboration with Ministry of Human Resource Development.
Jaipur Literature Festival begins today:
  • Today, the five-day Literature Festival has been inaugurated by the Chief minister 'Vasundhara Raje' with poet Gulzar in the pink city,Jaipur (Rajasthan)
  • Celebrated writers, thinkers, journalists, historians, poets, novelists and musicians are participating in the event.
  • A special session on Freedom to Dream will also be held where writers will discuss their dreams and dreams of India.
Second Raisina Dialogue held in New Delhi:
  • The second edition of Ministry of External Affairs’ annual Raisina Dialogue was held in New Delhi with the theme 'The New Normal: Multilateralism in a multipolar world'
  • The flagship geo-political conference was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and was attended by delegates from 65 countries.
P Mukherjee to inaugurate 28th Dantan Gramin Mela in West Bengal:
  • President Pranab Mukherjee has inaugurated the 28th Dantan Gramin Mela in West Midnapore district in West Bengal
  • He is on a 4-day visit to West Bengal. The fair will display the rural handicraft skills of the people of the region.
  • The different goods ranging from textile to terracotta will be on display.
Anandam Scheme Madhya Pradesh to Help Poor People
  • Madhya Pradesh became the first State of the country to launch Aanandam programme to help the needy persons.
  • Under it, government through volunteers will provide help to the needy and economically sound citizens can donate items for the needy persons.
  • This initiative is of MP Government’s Happiness department, first of its kind in India.
Bengaluru becomes the most dynamic city in the world
  • Bengaluru has emerged as the most dynamic city in Jones Lang LaSalle's fourth annual City Momentum Index of cities around the world, followed by Ho Chi Minh City of Vietnam and Silicon Valley in the U.S.
  • The Index tracks the speed of change of a city's economy and commercial real estate market.
  • It covers 134 major established and emerging business hubs.
  • Top 10 cities in the JLL index are Bengaluru, Ho Chi Minh City, Silicon Valley, Shanghai, Hyderabad, London, Austin, Hanoi, Boston and Nairobi.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY / DEFENCE AFFAIRS
Scientists names 3 diseases that could cause next global health emergency:
  • Scientists have named three relatively little-known diseases they think could cause the next global health emergency. 
  • A coalition of governments and charities has committed 460 million dollars to speed up vaccine development for Mers, Lassa fever and Nipah virus
  • They are asking funders at the World Economic Forum Davos for another 500 million dollars. 
Robot Journalist ‘Xiao Nan’ Writes Its First News Article
  • A first of its kind robot journalist named Xiao Nan on January 18, 2017 made debut in the world of journalism by writing a 300-character-long article in just a second.
  • The article written on the Spring Festival travel rush was published in the Guangzhou-based Southern Metropolis Daily.
NASA Set to Explore Iron-Rich Asteroid 16 Psyche
  • The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has given its approval to explore an iron-rich asteroid 16 Psyche as a part of its mission to learn more about the history and composition of the celestial body.
  • Scientists believe that 16 Psyche is one of the most mysterious objects in the solar system at a distance of about 230 million miles (370 million km) away from Earth and located in the large asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
SPORTS AFFAIRS
65-year-old sets record at National Shooting Championship
  • Nirmal Yadav, a 65-year-old woman shooter from Delhi, set a record at the recently-concluded National Shooting Championship in Pune.
  • She shot 341/400 in the Veteran Women's 10-metre Air Pistol event to claim the national record in the category.
  • Nirmal, wife of a former Major General, started shooting two years back and has won gold at a national championship last year.