Current Affairs January 2015

Contents

Current Affairs January 2015

Dear Reader,

Thank you for bookmarking Mindfeeders (in advance). Many of our loyal readers found it difficult to browse quality current affairs articles across the web. 

Either the articles are regurgitated or too much painful to digest in one go.

So, we have come up with a new category called Monthly Current affairs. Here, we have compiled a list of the most important and relevant current affairs for the month of January’15.

They have been compiled after hours of dedication from a wide pool of resources and irrelevant content has been scrapped.

Moreover, these current affairs are very crucial for any exam preparation and most likely to be asked in upcoming exams like SSC CGL 2015, IBPS PO/Clerk 2015 and SBI exams.

We have arranged the whole data according to dates, for the ease of reading.

Here we go from the first to the last day of January’2015,

 1st January 2015

1) LPG Subsidy

Government of India launched “PAHAL”(PratyakshHastantritLabh) under which domestic LPG users will get cash subsidy directly into their bank A/Cs so that they can purchase LPG at market price.

2)121st Constitution Amendment Bill

President of India gave his approval to the Constitution (121st Amendment Bill) paving way for setting up the national judicial appointments commission (NJAC) for the appointments of judges of Supreme Court and High court.

Bill amends articles 124(2) and 217(1) which deal with the appointment of judges in Supreme Court and high court respectively.

NJAC would supersede the Supreme Court’s collegiums for appointment of Judges. Once the commission is formed, Govt. has to intimate any vacancies in Supreme Court the High Court within 30 days of arising such vacancy.

Vacancies that would come up within next six months should also be intimated to the commission in advance. Members of NJAC-

  1.  Chairman- CJI
  2.  Members- 2 Sr. Most judges of Supreme Court
  3.  Member- Union Law Minister
  4.  Member- 2 eminent personalities- 1 should be SC/ST/Minorities/OBC/Women

3) Banking Sector Reform

Govt. of India announced to split the post of chairman and MD into two for PSBs

4)Newly appointed MD and CEO of PSB’s

Bank MD/CEO
Indian overseas Bank Koteeswaran
Oriental bank of Commerce AnimeshChauhan
Vijaya Bank Kishor Kumar Sansi
United Bank of India Srinivas

These appointments are made for a period of 3 yrs or date of superannuation whichever is earlier.

5) New Railway Board Chairman

A.K Mittal has been appointed as the new chairman of Railway board succeeding Arunendra Kumar

 2nd January 2015

1) NITI Aayog to replace Planning commission

National Institution for transforming India (NITI) has been set up by Govt. of India which intends to replace planning commission.

The Aayog will provide strategic and technical advice on elements of policy and economic matters in addition to recommendation of national agenda.

Prime Minister would act as chairman of NITI Aayog. NITI Aayog would comprise chairperson, governing council, regional council, vice chairman appointed by P.M, ex-officio members (Central Ministers) and a P.M appointed CEO. Governing council will comprise chief ministers of state and Lt. Governors of union territories while P>M of India and Chief Ministers of state would form regional council.

2) Co-Branded Credit Card

LIC International and First Gulf Bank of Abu Dhabi has planned to introduce a co-branded credit card in UAE to address the need of insurance policy holders.

3) New Governor of Uttrakhand

Krishna Kant Paul has been sworn in as the new governor of Uttarakhand replacing Aziz Qureshi who would be transferred to Mizoram.

4) First Floating Solar Power Plant of India

First Floating Solar Power Plant of India will be inaugurated at Rajarhat, near Kolkata having 10 KW capacity.

3rd January 2015

1) Coast Guard foils terror threat

An infiltration bid by terror groups was foiled by Indian Coast Guard when it intercepted an unlit boat 365 k.m west southwest of Porbander in the Arabian sea. The crew members of the boat blasted the ship after being intercepted by coast guard. No dead bodies could be recovered.

2) KYC norms for NBFC

RBI eased the KYC norms for NBFC’s owing to difficulties and constraints in getting KYC documents at frequent intervals. NBFC’s are required to KYC exercise in atleast every 2 years for high risk individuals.

LEVEL OF RISK TIME PERIOD OF KYC EXERCISE
High Risk 2 yrs
Medium Risk 8yrs
Low Risk 10 yrs

 3) ”GyanSangam”

A unique symposium of top bankers GyanSangam was organised by Union Finance Ministry. It provided a platform to brainstorm on a range of issues that are ailing PSB. This event was held at the National Institute of Bank Management, Pune.

4) VasantGowarikar Passed away

Former director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Center passed away after catching dengue at the ageof 81. He played a major role in India’s space programme.

5) A house plan revealed at Harappan Site

Excavation at the late Harappan Site of Chandian in U.P revealed the plan of house on the Ganga Yamuna doab with its mud walls 4 successive floors levels and post holes.

6) Wikimeet

Wikimeet has been scheduled to be held at Kolkata. Wikipedia contributors from India and Bangladesh will meet on Jan 9,2015 in Kolkata to promote content in Bengali language.

7) Digital Village

To mark 60 yrs of ICICI group, ICICI bank announced the creation of ICICI digital village at akodara in sabarkantha district of Gujarat that will enable villagers to use technology in banking, healthcare, education and other services.

4th January 2015

1) Union Government announced “Panchdeep” Project

Union Government announced Rs. 1900 crore ‘Panchdeep’ project to automate all the transactions between ESIC Employees and other organisations by the help of enhanced ERP(Enterprise Resource Planning) across the country. This project will ease the ESIC employees to get the medical benefits.

 5th January 2015

1) Smart cards for the workers of unorganised sector

Gujarat C.M Anandi Ben Patel, launched a smartcard “U-WIN” with a unique identification number for accessing social schemes and benefit to the workers of unorganized sector. The smart card will be issued under unorganized workers social security act,2008. This card allows workers to self certify that they work in unorganized sector and are eligible to get benefits.

6th January 2015

1) Appointment of Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog

Arvind Panagariya, a Columbia university professor has been appointed as the vice chairman of newly formed NITI Aayog. BibekDebroy and Dr. V.K Saraswat has been appointed as full time members of the Aayog.

2) Solar roof tops

In a bid to encourage home loan/home improvement seekers to roof top solar units, union finance ministry has advised PSB’s to include the cost of roof top solar units in loan proposal. So far 8 PSB’s namely Syndicate bank, Dena Bank, SBI, PNB, Central Bank of India, Indian Overseas Bank, and Allahabad Bank have issued instructions for such loans.

3) Steps to curb wilful defaulters

SEBI has proposed to amend SEBI Act in order to restrict wilful defaulters for accessing the capital market. According to proposal, if the issuer or its promoter group company or director of issuer of such security is in the list of wilful defaulters published by RBI, then it will not be allowed to access capital market.

In addition, a wilful defaulter would not be allowed to take control over the other listed entities in accordance with SEBI (SAST) regulation 2011. However, existing wilful defaulters will be allowed to make rights issues/private placement to qualified institutional buyers after full disclosure in the offered letter.

4) FDA Nod

Jubilant Life sciences received approval from US FDA for mycophenoletmofitil capsule & tablet and rizatriptan tablet.

5) Commemorative Coin Issued

PM released commemorative coin on the name of Industrialist JamsetjiNusserwanji Tata(Founder of Tata Group)

6) New Governor of Meghalaya

KesharNathTripathi has been appointed as new governor of Meghalaya

 7th January 2015

1) US FDA

Lupin , AurobindoPharma and Jubiliant Life Scences received US FDA nod for selling generic versions of Valsarptin tablets used for treatment of Hypertension & Low BP.

2) Lenskart Raises Rs. 135 Crores.

Lenskart raised fresh capital from new and existing investors amount to Rs 135 Cr.

3) Wage Revision for PSB’s by IBA

In a fresh move, Indian Bank Association (IBA) agreed wage increased on pay by 1.5% to 12.5%.

4) First State to ban sale of loose cigarette and tobacco

Punjab became the first state to ban sale of loose cigarette and tobacco.

5) Rural Toilets

Rural toilets will be built from the surplus fund left with the organizers of PM NarendraModi’s medicine Square garden New York , Public Rally. Amount approx. Rs 1.8 Crores will be used for the toilets.

6) Nobel medal to be kept in Rashtrapati Bhavan

Mr.Kailash Satyarthi, winner of Nobel Peace prize for 2014 has decided to hand over his Nobel Prize to President of India to be kept in Rashtrapati Bhavan.

 8th January 2015

1) Country’s first contact less Card

ICICI bank became the country’s first Private sector bank to launch contactless credit & debit card that uses Near Field Communication (NFC) Technology which enable one to make payment by just waving the card near merchant terminals instead of swiping.

2) Neutrino Observatory

Union Cabinet recently approved to establish a neutrino observatory in Theni Dist, Tamil Nadu.

3) New Antibiotic Found

According to the article published in Journal ‘Nature’ Scientist’s extracted an entirely new sort of antibiotic , texiobactin from Eletheria Terrae bacterium. It is believed that resistance may not developed easily to the newly isolated antibiotic.

4) Terror attack on French magazine

Masked gunmen stormed the office of the satirical weekly Charlie Hebedo and shot dead atleast 12 people in the Paris. The attack was in revenge for Prophet Mohammed’s cartoon being published by the weekly.

 9th January 2015

1) PravasiBhartiyaDiwas

Three Day Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas (9th-11th Jan) was inaugurated at Gandhinagar, Gujurat. This year India celebrated 12thPravasiBhartiyaDiwas.

2) World’s Safest Airline

National Airline of Australia “Qantas” has been named as the world’s safest airlines by a report published by airlineratings.com.

 10th January 2015

1) New President of Sri Lanka

Maithreepala Sirisena succeeded Mahendra Rajapaksa to become Sri Lanka’a 6th President. He took his oath at The Independent Square in Colombo.

2) Governor rule in J&K

Owing to Hung Assembly in J&K, governor’s rule has been imposed in J&K under section 92(1) of constitution of J&K with effect from Jan 8 2015. N.N Bohra is the Governor of J&K.

3) Commercial Operations of “Vistara”

TATA-SIA Airline ‘Vistara’ has started its commercial operations in India. Its maiden flight took off from Delhi to Mumbai. The airline will initially operates in Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad.

 11th January 2015

1) CEO of NITI Ayog

Sindhushree Khullar has been appointed as the first CEO of NITI Ayog. In addition Rajnath Singh, ArunJaitley, Suresh prabhu and Radhe Mohan Singh has been appointed as ex-officio members.

2) “Buddha Heritage Walk”

The first ever Buddha Heritage Walk introduced by Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation successfully competed in Patna. People from 11 countries participated to walk through a 13 Km forest trail which Lord Gautam Budhha has taken to reach rajgir from Bodh gaya.

 12th January 2015

1) Vibrant Gujarat

Vibrant Gujarat, a flagship program of Gujarat govt. was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi . The event aims to bring together investors, policy makers, corporations and business leaders on one platform. It explores business opportunities in Gujarat.

This was the 7th edition of this event, first held in the year of 2003. UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, US Secretary of state John Kerry also attended the Vibrant Gujarat Summit. Over 50 CEO’s from top Indian companies, several ministers from Europe, Australia, japan and Canada also participated in the summit.

2) Vikram Sarabhai Memorial Award 2015

Director of Satish Dhawan Space centre, Mr. M.Y.S Prasad has been selected for prestigious Vikram Sarabhai Memorial Award for 2015. This award is presented by Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA)

3) Wavrinka retained his Chennai Open title

Swiss born Stanislas Wavrinka clinched his 3rd Chennai Open title after defeating Aljaz Bebene of Slovenia in straight sets.

 13th January 2015

1) Microsoft and Idea partnership

Windows smart phone with idea network consumers can now purchase application and games from Window’s store directly through operator billing. The maximum purchase that can be made is Rs. 300 per application charges for purchases from the store will be built to costumers on post-paid plans or deducted directly from their prepaid balances.

2) RBI inks MOU with ECS (European Central Bank)

RBI signed a MOU with ECB on cooperation in the field of central banking. The MOU envisages a framework for policy dialogue, technical collaborations in the form of joint seminars & workshops and regular exchange of information.

3) SEBI penalizes Brooks Labs

SEBI imposed a fine of Rs. 11.80 Cr. On Brooks Laboratories along with its 5 Top Executive for fraudulent activities from the company’s IPO proceed.

4) First Women President of Croatia

Miss. Grabarkiterovic, aged 46, has been elected Croatia’s first women president.

5) New ISRO Chief

A.S Kiran Kumar has been appointed as new ISRO Chief for a period of 3 yrs. He succeeded K. Radhakrishnan.

6) Tripartite agreement with world Bank

A tripartite agreement has been signed by Government of Gujarat, the Government of India and the World bank in support of Gujarat Swachhata Abhiyan and Smart City Initiative.

 14th January 2015

1) ‘Nirmal Yamuna’

In a bid to make Yamuna “Nirmal” from “maili” by 2017, National Green Tribunal came out with a restoration plan for Yamuna. Hefty fines have been imposed on dumping any type of waste- religious, construction or any other material. National Green Tribunal has also banned any construction on flood plains of Yamuna. It also imposed a spot fine of Rs. 5000 on dumping religious/ other waste. It also directed all the industrial unit to have fully functional effluent treatment plan.

2) Ordinance on Mines

NDA Government promulgated the ordinance amending the mines & mineral (regulation and development),MMDR Act 1957. The MMDR amendment ordinance 2015 allows auction policy in grant of mining leases for both bulk and notified minerals. The ordinance grants 50 year tenure for the mines from the present 30 years.

This ordinance removes the concept of renewal of leases and makes auction compulsory after the end of the lease period. An additional amount other than royalty has to be paid by the lease owner to a District Mineral Foundation that will be used for the benefit of the people of affected mining activities.

The punishment owing to illegal mining has been increased to 5 years imprisonment or fine of Rs. 5 Lacs per hectare or both. State Government can constitute special courts for illegal mining trials.

 15th January 2015

1) New Chief Election Commissioner appointed

H.S Brahma will succeed V.S Sampath as the next chief election commissioner of India till April 2019 when he turns 65.

2) Sahitya Akademi Award

Prabhu Nath Dwivedi from U.P, a Sanskrit scholar has won the Sahitya Akademi Award  for 2014 for his book Kanakalochanaha- a collection of 16 short stories. The award comprises of an engraved copper plaque, a shawl and a cheque of Rs. 1 lakh.

16th January 2015

1) RBI nod to Banks participation in Insurance Business

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) allowed banks to act as brokers whereby they can take insurance agency or broking business departmentally/through subsidiary. This means that banks can now sell insurance policies of different insurance company’s complaint with IRDA guidelines.

They can also act as corporate agents without prior approval of RBI. Banks are allowed to set up joint ventures (JV) for undertaking insurance business.

 17thJanuary 2015

1) First CNG based Train flagged off

In a Country’s first, CNG based train was flagged off from Rewari by Railway Minister Shri Suresh Prabhu. These trains will run on Rewari-Rohtak and Rewari-Bikaner Section. The train is based on Diesel and CNG dual fuel system.

2) Leela Samsom Resigned from chairperson’s post of Censor Board

Following controversy over screening of film “MSG-Messenger of God” which was earlier rejected by Censor Board for Public Screening, Leela Samson tendered her resignation from the post.

3) “Innovate in India” Fund by Infosys

Infosys announced establishment of “Innovate in India” fund having a corpus of $250 million that would be used to invest in promising new generation companies such as automation, artificial intelligence etc.

4) New World Record in Swimming

Indian Swimmer Bhakti Sharma set a world record by swimming 1.4 miles at Antarctic Ocean for 52 minutes in 1 degree temperature. She is the youngest in world and first Asian to achieve this feat.

5) “The Red Saree”, book written 7 years ago released in India

The book was written by Spanish author Javier Moro on the life of congress President Sonia Gandhi. It was banned for the last 7 years in India apparently due to congress rule in India.

6) “Riddhi Siddhi Bullion Limited” (RSBL) fined by Directorate General of Foreign Trade for violating RBI norms

A Rs. 100 crore fine was imposed upon RSBL on violation of RBI norms on direct import of precious metal. RSBL had imported 550kg of gold during 2014, and had to re-export the quantity as per the norms of RBI. But RSBL exported only 350 kg of gold and rest 200kg were supplied to domestic market which violates RBI norms.Nominated Agency Certificate which is a mandatory document for direct import of precious metals has also been cancelled by Directorate General of Foreign Trade.

7) Book written by Shashi Tharoor released

“India Shastra: Reflections on the Nation in Our Time” written by former Union Minster Shashi Tharoor has been released recently.

18thJanuary 2015

1.Quarterly Buffer Stock and Strategic Reserve limits of Food Corporation of India raised

As per the revised norms

Quarter Revised Earlier
1st Quarter 21.04 21.2MT
2nd Quarter 41.12 MT 31.9 MT
3rd Quarter 30.77MT 21.2 MT
4th Quarter 21.41MT 25MT

 

The strategic and buffer stocks are maintained to run social schemes such as Public Distribution System (PDS) efficiently. These reserves are to held at the start of each quarter.

2) First ingenuously manufactured Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) handed over to Defense Minister

Light Combat Aircraft project was approved but the then govt in 1983 to replace MiG-21 aircraft’s. However the first prototype was tested in 2001 and was named ‘Tejas’. The aircraft is expected to cost around Rs. 220 Crore to Rs. 250 Crore.

19th January 2015

1.Venture Capital Fund for SC Community launched by Union Govt of India

A 200 Crore venture capital has been established with the objective to provide funds to entrepreneurs belonging to SC Community. IFCI will act as sponsor, investor and contribute Rs. 50 crore to the fund.It will also act as settler and Asset management Company for the fund. Up-to Rs. 15 crores will be provided to entrepreneurs of SC community for a period of 6 years.

2) Fastest one Day century by AB de Villiers

AB de Villiers smashed 100 runs off just 31 runs to set record for the fastest ever ODI century.

3) 24 Children Selected for National Bravery Awards

Highest National Bravery Award, ”Bharat Award” was given to Resham Fatma, who survived acid attack from her uncle who forcibly wanted to marry her. Devesh Kumar received Sanjay Chopra Award while Gunjan Sharma received Geeta Chopra award.

20thJanuary 2015

1) Banking Services on Twitter

ICICI became the first bank in India to launch banking services “icicibankpay” on Twitter. It enables the ICICI savings account customer with registered mobile number with ICICI and a twitter account to send money to anyone (ICICI or non ICICI customer) across India in a completely secure manner. Additionally, customers can check account balance, recharge prepaid mobile and view last three transactions through their twitter account.

2)Banks to review lending rate every quarter

RBI has asked banks to notify base rate at least once in a quarter based on the cost of funds. Cost of funds can be calculated using average cost of funds or marginal cost of funds or any other suitable methodology which can be reviewed after a period of 3 years from the date of finalization of methodology.

3) Bandhan Financial Services to receive Rs. 1600 crore equity

Bandhan Financial Services is set to receive Rs. 1600 crore equity capital infusion from International Finance Corporation and GIC of Singapore. Earlier in the month of April 2014, Bandhan had received in principle licence from RBI to set up a new bank . Bandhan has an existing base of Rs. 1500 crore and expects to take it to around Rs. 3200 crore within this fiscal.

4) New Censor Board Chief

Pahlaj Nihalani took over as the chairperson of censor board after resignation of Leela Samson over the release of MSG movie.

 21st January 2015

1) Ban lifted from the export of Indian Mangos to European Union (EU)

After significant improvements in the phyto-sanitary export certification system, EU lifted ban from the exports of Indian Mangos to EU. The ban was imposed on India till the end of Dec 2015.However, EU lifted this ban well in advance following improved quality.

2) PradhanMantri Jan DhanYojana (PMJDY) set record in Guinness Book of World Records

PMJDY made a world record by opening maximum number of bank accounts in one week (23rd August to 29th August 2014). A record 1,80,96,130 bank accounts were opened during the week under the PMJDY.

3) Award for attaining balanced sex ratio

A Rs. 1 crore award has been announced by Women and Child Development Minister Menaka Gandhi for any village attaining a balanced sex ratio.

4) First state to give universal Health Coverage

Karnataka became the first state in the country to provide Universal Health Coverage with the launch of two schemes The Rajiv ArogyaBhagya for APL households and Jyothi Sanjeevini for Govt. employees. Under the scheme, APL family members would be entitled for a health check up to 1.5 lakhs with additional Rs. 50000 in special cases.

The schemes would cover 449 surgical procedures and 50 follow up packages. 160 hospitals have been empanelled in the scheme including 14 hospitals outside the state. Cashless treatment in 124 empanelled private hospitals would be available to the govt employees under Jyothi Sanjeevini scheme.

22ndJanuary 2015

1) Project HRIDAY to revive heritage of 12 cities

Urban Development Minister Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu launched Heritage Development and Augmentation Yojna (HRIDAY), a Rs. 500 Crore project that aims to rejuvenate and preserve rich cultural heritage of the cities. Ajmer, Amritsar, Amravati, Badami, Gaya, Dwarka, Puri, Warangal, Mathura, Kanchipuram, velankanni and Varanasi has been selected for the ambitious project.

2. Highway Projects for Jammu & Kashmir Cleared

With the total investment of Rs. 3382.66 crore, union govt cleared two highway projects in J & K.

 

First Project Four laning of Ramban-Banihal section of NH-1A(now NH-44) Rs 1623.98 Crore
Second Project Four laning of Udhampur- Ramban section of National Highway. Rs 1758.68 Crore

 3) Youngest Entrepreneur launched low cost machines that print Braille

Shubham Banerjee, a 13 yr old Indian-American student launched his own company Braigo Labs that would develop low cost machines capable of printing Braille. His company seeks to offer Braille printer at a cost of around $350 which otherwise cost $2000.

4) New Milestone achieved in Neo Natal Care

Doctors at Imperial College, United Kingdom successfully transplanted kidneys and liver cells from a 6- day old baby girl whose heart had stopped beating owing to some serious ailments to two separate patients. This marked the success of organ transplant from a newborn to ailing patients.

23rdJanuary 2015

1) High Level Committee (HLC) Submits its report on restructuring of Food Corporation of India(FCI)

HLC headed by Shanta Kumar, submitted its report to Prime Minister Narendra Modi with regard to restructuring of FCI. The committee was set in Aug-2014 to give suggestions regarding restructuring FCI. According to the report, major recommendations are as follows:

(a) FCI should concentrate on procurement in the eastern belt where farmers don’t get minimum support price and state should focus on procurement in rest of the areas.

(b)Govt should reduce its coverage from 67% to 40% under National Food Security Act (NFSA).

(c) Food Grain storage should be outsourced to outside agencies like state warehousing corporation (SWC) and central warehousing corporation (CWC).

(d) More emphasis to be given to negotiable warehouse receipts.

(e) To check leakages in the PDS, end to end computerization should be encouraged.

(f) Uniform Mandi Tax on Wheat and Rice in few states.(Min-3% and Max-4%)

(g) 7 Kg instead of 5 Kg food grain per person under NFSA

(h) Cash Transfer in 52 cities having 1 million or more population in 2 years.

S.No Member of Committee
1 Shanta Kumar (Chairman)
2 Viswanath
3 Ram Sewak Sharma
4 G Raghuram
5 G Nancharaiah

 2) “BetiBachaoBetiPadhao” campaign launched by Prime Minister NarendraModi

Campaign was launched with the objective of improving the Child Sex ratio of India. The campaign will focus on 100 districts that are critical with respect to child sex ratio. The campaign was launched from Panipat district of Haryana. The campaign aims to enforce existing laws that criminalize gender selection and improve girl’s school attendance.

Sukanya Samridhi Account Scheme was also launched during the occasion under which accounts can be opened in Post Offices in the name of the girl child below 10 years of age by her biological parents. Such accounts can be opened for a maximum of 2 girl children by the parents. Rs1.5 lakh is the upper limit that one can deposit in a year in this account.

These accounts will offer income tax benefits. An interest rate of 9.1% per annum will be given on such accounts.

 24th January 2015

1) Postal Cover on Dabbawala’s

In recognition of delivering fresh, home cooked food to office goers across Mumbai City, India Post released commemorative special cover on Dabbawala’s.

2) New Ruler of Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah died on 23rd Jan 2015 following which his half brother Salman bin Abdul Aziz was sworn in as the King of Saudi Arabia. Leaders from across the globe expressed their deep grief over the death of King Abdullah and paid tribute to him. Saudi Arabia is the World’s top Oil Exporter.

25thJanuary 2015

1)Khushwant Singh Memorial Prize

Poetess Arundhati Subramaniam won the inaugural Khushwant Singh Memorial Prize for her poetry work “When God is a Traveller”. The award carries a cash prize of Rs. 2 lakhs.

26thJanuary 2015

1) Agreement reached over the long stalled Nuclear Deal with U.S

Prime Minister NarendraModi and US President Barak Obama announced a “breakthrough understanding” that will clear the roads of commercialization of Indo-U.S nuclear deal that was launched in 2005.Two proposals were brought forward by the Indian negotiators that lead to closure of the deal. According to a leading Newspaper, “The Hindu”, proposals involved an insurance pool with a liability package of $200 million, and a clarification/explanation of section-46 of the nuclear liability law.

2) Padma Vibhushanand Padma Bhushan Awards Announced

The second highest civilian award, Padma Vibhushan were announced in the capital. ShriL.kAdvani , Shri Amitabh Bacchan, ShriDilip Kumar, ShriPrakash Singh Badal, ShriK.K Venugopal,ShriM.R Srinivasan, ShriVeerendraHeggade,ShriRambhadracharya, and ShriKarim Al Hussiani Aga Khan were among the awardees.

20 names were also announced who would be awarded Padma Bhushan Awards. To name a few, Rajat Sharma, N Gopalaswami, Bill Gates and his wife Melinda Gates, and Manjul Bhargava were among the awardees.

3) Ashok Chakra presented to Shri Naik Neeraj Kumar Singh

Highest peacetime military award, Ashok Chakra was awarded posthumously to ShriNaikNeeraj Kumar Singh of the 57 Battalion of the Rashtriya Rifles. Naik had sustained a bullet injury in the chest during a search operation at Kupwara in J&K on Aug 24,2014. Despite serious injuries Naik rescued an injured Army Personnel and killed one terrorist.

4) First Woman to lead Ceremonial Tri Service Guard of Honour

Wing Commander Pooja Thakur from Rajasthan became the first woman to lead Ceremonial Tri Service Guard of Honor inspected by U.S President Barak Obama at Rashtrapati Bhawan.

5) Defense Co-operation agreed between India and U.S

Under the Defense Technology Trade Initiative, four projects were identified for joint production and cooperation for jet engines and aircraft carrier systems. This would upgrade country’s domestic defense industry and give a boost to manufacturing sector in India. This agreement would guide defense cooperation for next 10 years. Both the countries agreed to increase bilateral anti-terror cooperation, maritime security and intelligence sharing.

6) Three documents signed between Prime Minister NarendraModi and U.S President Barak Obama

During U.S President Barak Obama visit, three documents were signed between the leaders of India and U.S.

(a) A declaration of friendship with commitment to regular summits.

(b) A joint statement called “Shared effort, Progress for all” and

(c) A joint strategic vision statement for Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean region

7) Eminent Cartoonist Shri R.K Laxman passed away

27th January 2015

1) Draft Rules for Full Mobile Number Portability

TRAI issued draft regulations to facilitate full mobile number portability (MNP). This seeks amendment in the MNP regulations,2009 following which a draft amendment to the Telecommunication Mobile Number Portability Regulation, 2009 has been prepared. Public comments are sought from public on the seek amendment.

MNP will allow users to change the service provider in any part of the country while retaining their existing numbers against the current practice of MNP within a telecom circle. Full MNP is set to start from May 3,2015.

28th January 2015

1) Yes Bank inks MOU with OPIC

OPIC, an arm of US Government’s development finance Institution signed MOU with YES Bank for $220 million loan for lending to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). The loan is for 12 years and is part of the $1 billion OPIC assistance for India as announced by President Barak Obama at India-US Business Summit.

 29thJanuary 2015

1) Mandatory Jute Packaging for Sugar and Food Grains

Govt. of India made packaging in jute bags mandatory upto 90 % and 20 % of food grains and sugar production respectively. Financial assistance in form of subsidy has also been approved by cabinet committee on economic affairs to offset losses incurred by Jute Corporation of India on account of Minimum Support Price.

2) Smart Cities

Germany has extended support in developing smart cities in Ajmer, Allahabad and Vishakhapatnam under the Modi Government’s “Smart City” Initiative. According to the official sources, a committee comprising of two representatives of Ministry of urban development, one from ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation and three from the Govt. of Germany will be set up to identify these cities and draw a plan accordingly.

3) Supreme Court’s direction to Search Engines

Supreme Court of India has directed internet search engines, Google, Yahoo and Microsoft not to advertise or sponsor pre-natal advertisements which is in violation of Section 22 of the Pre-conception and Pre Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994. The search engines have been further directed to upload this order on their ‘policy’ and ‘Terms and Conditions” page to warn persons intending to publicize such advertisements.

30th January 2015

1) New Foreign Secretary of India

Dr. S. Jaishankar took charge as the Foreign Secretary replacing Ms.Sujatha Singh.

2) Banks are free to decide the norms of Non-Performing assets (NPA)

Supreme Court ruled that banks are free to choose norms while classifying a secured loan as NPA. Supreme Court upheld amendment to section 2 which defines NPA under SARFAESI(Securitization and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest )Act,2002. The act allows the banks to classify a bad loan as NPA and seize and sell the assets to recover the amount.

3) Sangeet Natak Academy Chairman

Shri Shekhar Sen, an eminent singer and theatre director has been appointed aa the new chairman of Sangeet Natak Academy for a period of 5 years.

31st January 2015

1) New GDP Base Year

Base year for the calculation of GDP has been changed from 2004-2005 to 2011-2012. This has been done to match up the GDP data with the global standards.

2) Leader of Gorkhaland movement in West Bengal, Subhash Ghisingh passed away

Founder of Gorkha National Liberation Front and an important leader of Gorkhaland Movement, SubhashGhisingh passed away. The movement demanded separate state “Gorkhaland” for ethnic gorkha’s of Nepal. Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council was formed within West Bengal as a result to intensive movement led by SubhashGhisingh. He became the first chairman of Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council and served it for a decade from 1988-2008.

3) Govt. divested 10% stake from Coal India Ltd. (CIL)

Govt raised about Rs. 22600 crores from the divestment of its 10% stake from CIL

The table is all yours now,

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  1. By Hiren Samal

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