Current Affairs Weekly Roundup January 4th Week 2017 (23rd - 31st)

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  • Vishal Kaul appointed as Chief Operating Officer of Ola Cabs He is an alumnus of IIT, Bombay, Jivrajika had earlier served as Associate Vice-President and Vice-President of Ola Operations before taking over as COO in February 2015.
  • President Donald Trump has appointed Ajit Pai to head the powerful US communications regulatory agency, becoming the third Indian American picked for key positions in his administration. 
  • Nikki Haley confirmed as US envoy to the United Nations The Senate approved Haley, the South Carolina Governor, on a 96-4 vote. Senate Foreign Relations Committee had earlier approved Haley’s nomination as the next US Ambassador to the UN.
  • Denmark has announced it will appoint a 'digital ambassador' to manage its relationship with technology giants like Google and Apple, becoming the first country to do so. 
  • President appoints Banwarilal Purohit as Governor of Meghalaya. Besides the President also gave Governor of Nagaland PB Acharya additional charge of Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Dr. Vijay Bhatkar appointed new vice-chancellor of Nalanda University. He is best known as the architect of India’s first supercomputer Param series.
  • Wipro Vice-Chairman T K Kurien announced retirement Jan 26, 2017 In 2016, Kurien was elevated to the role of Executive Vice-Chairman along with the appointment of Abidali Z Neemuchwala as Wipro’s CEO and Executive Director.
  • P Vishwanath Shetty sworn in as Karnataka Lokayukta He will be responsible for clearing all the pending cases and will work to re-establish the credibility of the anti-corruption ombudsman after the disgraceful exit of his predecessor Y Bhaskar Rao.
  • SC appoints Committee of Administrators headed by Vinod Rai to run BCCI Board of Control for Cricket in India.
  • Amulya Kumar Patnaik appointed Delhi Police Commissioner  He is a 1985 batch Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram and Union Territory (AGMUT) cadre IPS officer and is currently posted as Special Commissioner of Police (Administration).
  • Ashok Amritraj appointed as UN in India Goodwill Ambassador for the SDGs He is an award-winning Hollywood film producer and Wimbledon tennis player.
  • The Union Government has appointed A P Singh (Indian Postal Service officer- 1986 batch) as the interim Managing Director (MD) and Chief executive officer (CEO) of India Post Payments Bank (IPPB).
  • The African Union has elected Chadi’s foreign minister Moussa Faki Mahamat as the new African Union (AU) commission chairman. He will replace South Africa’s Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who was elected to the post in 2012.
  • Dushyant Chautala has been elected as president of the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) at the annual general body meeting at Gurugram (Haryana).

  • Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) won the prestigious Golden Peacock Award for Corporate Social Responsibility in the aviation transport sector for the year 2016.
  • PM Narendra Modi confers National Bravery Awards to 25 Young Recipients It is an initiative by ICCW (Indian Council for Child Welfare) to give due recognition to the children who distinguish themselves by performing outstanding deeds of bravery and to inspire other children to emulate their example.
  • Padma Awards 2017 announced K J Yesudas, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, Sharad Pawar, Murli Manohar Joshi and Prof. Udipi Ramachandra Rao are among the seven winners of the prestigious Padma Vibushan awards.
  • Keshav Krishna selected for 2016 National Geoscience Award in the field of Geo-environmental studies in applied geosciences. Besides him, chief scientist at the NGRI N Purnachandra Rao was also selected for National Geoscience Award in the field of Geophysics.
  • Havaldar Hangpan Dada posthumously awarded Ashok Chakra country’s highest peacetime military decoration for his selfless service to the nation.
  • Miss France Iris Mittenaere wins Miss Universe 2016 Pia Wurtzbach of the Philippines crowned her successor Iris Mittenaere at the end of the event.

  • Punjab National Bank launches Contactless Credit Card dubbed as PNB Wave N Pay and launched on Visa Platinum platform. It can be used for making transaction (up to Rs. 2,000) by just waving across the terminal without entering any PIN.
  • IndiaPost gets Payments bank licence with this, it became the third entity after Bharti Airtel and Paytm to receive final payments bank licence to roll-out of banking operations commercially under the permit.
  • The State Bank of India has launched a new wealth management product named “SBI Exclusif” in Kochi, Kerala. SBI Exclusif offers an electronic wealth center that equips the customers with a convenience and flexibility to track their portfolio, conduct transactions and make investments through digital channels such as internet and mobile

  • Cisco Systems agreed to buy AppDynamics for USD 3.7 billion The combination of Cisco and AppDynamics will allow the Cisco to provide end to end visibility and intelligence from the network through to the application.
  • India's economic growth is projected to reach 7.7 per cent in the Financial Year (FY) 2017 and 7.6 per cent in FY 2018 amid strong private consumption, as per the 2017 Report of United Nations World Economic Situation and Prospects (UNWESP) that was released on 18 January 2017.
  • Dairy firm Kwality Ltd has signed an agreement with Bank of Baroda for providing Rs 4,000 crore loans to the former's one lakh farmers from whom the company procures milk. 
  • MakeMyTrip launches India’s first social luxury travel magazine called ‘Luxury Travel Times’. It is India’s first social luxury travel magazine. The mobile only magazine is targeted at luxury travellers.

  • Renowned Urdu poet Jaswant Rai Sharma, known to the world by his pen name Naqsh Lyallpuri, passed away on 22 January 2017 following a prolonged illness. He was 89.
  • Alexander Kadakin, Russian ambassador to India, passed away on 26 January 2017 following a brief illness. He was 67.
  • Legendary British actor who starred in ‘The Elephant Man’ and ‘Harry Potter’ Sir John Hurt (77-year) passes away at his residence in Norfolk (London).

  • 24 January observed as National Girl Child Day with an objective of raising consciousness of the society towards the girl child so that she can be valued and respected.
  • India celebrated 68th Republic Day on 26 January 2017 The first Republic Day was celebrated on 26 January 1950 to mark the enforcement of the Constituiton that replaced the Governemnt of India Act, 1935 as the governing document.
  • Anti-Leprosy Day observed on 30 January 2017 The day is celebrated in the memory of Mahatma Gandhi to re-memorize his selfless efforts and care for the people affected by leprosy.

  • Nepal launches 10-year-plan to cut reliance on vegetable imports from India The plan seeks to make the land-locked nation self-reliant in food by boosting domestic production.
  • China develops World’s Biggest Solar Park Longyangxia Dam Solar Park, in the western province of Qinghai in an effort to become the super powerful occupier of green energy.
  • Seven new countries Lithuania, Gabon, Hungary, Indonesia, Malta, Mauritius and Russia – have signed Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement for Country-by-Country Reporting (CbC MCAA).  With this, the total number of signatories has increased to 57 including India (signed in May 2015).
  • India ranks 79 in Corruption Perception Index, 2016 by the Berlin-based corruption watchdog Transparency International (TI). The index has been complied by using World Bank data, the World Economic Forum (WEF) and other institutions

  • Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana 2017 approved by Union Cabinet It aims at providing social security during old age and protecting elderly persons aged 60 years and above against a future fall in their interest income due to uncertain market conditions.
  • Union Government launched Rubber Soil Information System for rubber growers As per an estimate, India is the world’s largest producer and third largest consumer of natural rubber.
  • National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) is allowed to make short term borrowings at the prevailing market rate of interest for about Rs 20,000 crore. The money raised will be utilized to lend to cooperative banks at 4.5 per cent rate of interest.
  • Indian Railways taking help of Russian Railways to increase the speed of its passenger trains up to 200 km per hour from present 120 kmph.
  • Committee constituted to set rules for implementation of Disabilities Act, 2016 It will be headed by Secretary from Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD).
  • Himachal Pradesh overtakes Kerala in learning outcomes according to Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2016.
  • Goa becomes first state to send postal ballots via electronic mode This facility allows service voters (who are either in the defence, para-military forces or on diplomatic missions) to download the postal vote, cast their vote and send it via e-mail to returning officer.
  • Union Cabinet approved interest subsidy scheme to boost rural housing The interest subsidy scheme will help the government to achieve the goal of Housing for All by 2022.
  • Over 3.5 lakh people in Gujarat set new world record by singing National Anthem at an event at Kagvad in Rajkot. It broke previous record of 2,54,537 people who had sung the national anthem in Bangladesh in 2014.
  • GAAR will be effective from April 1, 2017 In this regard Income Tax (IT) department has issued a slew of clarifications on implementation of GAAR, seeking to address concerns of foreign investors over implementation of the anti-evasion measure.
  • Arunachal Pradesh Government launches Dulari Kanya scheme to check infant mortality
  • Pune City Police launches “Beat Marshall Monitoring Mobile App” to map the real-time locations of patrolling teams from police stations on experimental basis.
  • Karnataka set to celebrate Kambala festival It is an annual buffalo race held traditionally under the patronage of local landlords and households in the state.
  • The Prime Minister Modi has approved the constitution of 8 members task force committee for preparing action plan for next three Olympic Games 2020, 2024 and 2028. The task force committee will submit its report (short, medium, long-term) in 3 months.

  • ISRO to launch record 103 satellites on a single rocket  It will carry three satellites from India and rest from other countries.
  • Researchers created world’s first stable semi-synthetic organism, a single-celled bacterium with an expanded genetic code.
  • Japan successfully launched its first military communications satellite Kirameki-2 (kee-RAH-meh-kee 2) satellite. It has been designed to upgrade Japan’s existing communication network in the face of China’s increasingly assertive maritime activity and North Korea’s missile threat.
  • The Airports Authority of India (AAI) on 26 January 2017, on the occasion of 68th  Republic Day, launched  the Central - Air Traffic Flow Management (C-ATFM), a system designed to cut flight delays.

  • AIFF launches professional league for women footballers with an aim to make football a professional sport for women in the country.
  • Roger Federer beats Rafael Nadal to win 18th Grand Slam title He is a Swiss professional tennis player and currently ranked world No. 10 by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP).
  • Serena Williams wins 2017 Australian Open Women’s Singles title Margaret Court of Australia is the only player ahead of Serena in terms of Grand Slam singles titles.
  • Sindhu, Sameer Verma won Syed Modi International Badminton Championships titles It was held between 24 January and 29 January 2017 in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.
  • Wesley So wins 2017 Tata Steel Chess Tournament He defeated Ian Nepomniatchi of Russia in the 13th and final round to grab the tournament.