Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Current Affairs and GK Update 31st January 2017

Current Affairs and GK Update 31st January 2017
1. Economic Survey pegs GDP growth at 6.75 to 7.5% in 2017-18:
  • Today, the Budget session of Parliament has begun and President Pranab Mukherjee addressed the joint sitting of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.
  • The Economic Survey has tabled in Parliament by Finance minister Arun Jaitley on the first day of Budget Session.
  • The Union Government expects the real Gross Domestic Products (GDP) to be in 6.75% to 7.5% during fiscal year 2018.
  • The survey pegs GDP growth rate at constant market prices for the current year 2016-17 is placed at 7.1%.
  • Agriculture sector to grow at 4.1% in the current year which is up from 1.2% in 2015-16. 
  • Gross domestic product (GDP) growth in 2016-17 to dip to 6.5%, down from 7.6% in last fiscal.
  • Economic Survey sees fiscal windfall from Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, low oil prices.
  • Growth rate of industrial sector estimated to moderate to 5.2% in 2016-17 from 7.4% last fiscal.
  • The survey was prepared by the finance ministry's chief economic adviser Arvind Subramanian.  Read More
2. Bombay Natural History Society launches climate change programme in Central Himalayas:
  • The Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) has launched climate change programme to conduct study to assess the status, distribution and conservation of Pheasants and Finches in Central Himalayas
  • It is long-term monitoring project funded by Oracle and facilitated by CAF-India. It will focus on their conservation in the context of climate change with the help of community participation.
  • It will help in making an inventory of pheasants and finches, documentation of local specific conservation issues, and designing local as well as species specific conservation action plan with the community participation.
3. Ashok Amritraj UN in India goodwill ambassador for the SDGs:
  • Ashok Amritraj has been appointed the United Nations(UN) in India Goodwill Ambassador for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • Amritraj is the Chairman and CEO of the Hyde Park Entertainment Group.
  • He has been a pioneering force in bridging India and Hollywood through film and media.
4. Amulya Patnaik appointed as Delhi Police Chief:
  • IPS officer from Union Territories cadre, Amulya Patnaik is appointed as Chief of Delhi police on January 30, 2017. 
  • He is succeeded by Alok Verma, who has been moved as the director of CBI.Patnail is currently workig as Delhi police special commissioner (administration).
5. Future Generali India Insurance ties up with Bank of Maharashtra:
  • Future Generali India Insurance Company Ltd (FGIL) has announced an agency tie-up for its products with Bank of Maharashtra (BOM).
  • Now, customers of BOM's will be able to avail of motor, home, shopkeeper and rural insurance products at any of the 1,896 branches of the bank.
6. First Edition of the North East Investors Summit Held in Shillong:
  • The first edition of the North East Investors Summit was inaugurated on January 29, 2017 by the Union Textiles Minister, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani in Shillong, Meghalaya.
  • The North East Investors Summit 2017 was jointly organized by the Union Ministry of Textiles and the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) of the Government of India in collaboration with industry associations Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). 
  • The two day Summit concluded on January 30, 2017.
  • Theme of the summit is Exploring Opportunities in North East Region.
7. Vampire star caught in the act by ASTROSAT:
  • India’s first dedicated space observatory, ASTROSAT has captured the rare phenomenon of a small six-billion-year-old vampire star preying on a bigger celestial body. 
  • The vampire star phenomenon is observed when smaller star sucks material (mass and energy) out of the bigger companion star, causing its eventual death. 
  • It is also called a blue straggler as small star becomes bigger, hotter and bluer, giving it the appearance of being young, while the ageing companion burns out and collapses to a stellar remnant. 
  • Astrosat is India’s first dedicated multi-wavelength space observatory launched in September 2016. It is one of the major scientific missions of ISRO after the highly acclaimed Chandrayaan-I and Mangalyaan.
8. Atomic clocks of Satellite IRNSS-1A Develops Technical Snag:
  • The atomic clocks on the first satellite IRNSS-1A of the NAVIC, an indigenously built satellite system has developed technical complications.
  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman, A.S. Kiran Kumar informed that one of the three crucial rubidium clock on IRNSS-1A spacecraft failed six months ago while the other two failed subsequently.
9. UberMOTO launches service in Hyderabad:
  • Cab-hailing firm Uber has launched two-wheeler aggregation service UberMOTO in Hyderabad. The firm, which has signed an agreement with the Hyderabad Metro Rail Ltd recently, formally launched the services.
  • Using the app, people can hire two-wheelers for short-distance commute at cheaper rates. 
  • The agreement was aimed at providing the last-mile connectivity from and to the upcoming Metro railway stations. 
  • Uber Founder and CEO Travis Kalanick came to Hyderabad last month to seal the deal.
10. Chad's Moussa Faki Mahamat named AU Commission chair:
  • 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.
  • Mahamat got 38 votes in the seventh round of voting, which gave him the necessary two-thirds majority to take up the position.
  • Earlier, Moussa Faki was Prime Minister of Chad from June 24, 2003 to February 4, 2005.
11. Trump Bans 7 nations from Entering US on Security Issues:
  • American President Donald Trump has signed an executive order to temporarily ban visas for refugees belonging to seven Muslim-majority countries namely Trump Bans 7 nations from Entering US on Security Issues, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.
  • The decision aims at protecting United States from the entry of foreign terrorists to keep the nation safe. The ban is not aimed at restricting Muslim countries from entering US.
12. Dushyant Chautala is new TTFI president:
  • Dushyant Chautala has been elected as president of the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) at the annual general body meeting at Gurugram (Haryana).
  • He is the youngest president of the apex body and his term is for four years.
  • The Table Tennis Federation of India is the official sports body and currently ranked 30th in the world.
13. Reliance Defence Signs Contract with Ministry of Defence to Construct 14 Fast patrol Vessels for Indian Coast Guard:
  • Reliance Defence and Engineering Ltd (RDEL), a wholly owned arm of Reliance Infrastructure Ltd (RInfra), has signed a contract worth Rs. 916 crore with the Ministry of  Defence to design and construct 14 Fast Patrol Vessels for the Indian Coast Guard
  • The medium range, high speed vessels would be deployed for patrolling within the exclusive economic zone, costal surveillance, anti-smuggling, anti-piracy, search and rescue operations. It will also provide support as front-line warships during emergencies.
14. IT Ministry urges tax incentives for PC manufacturers too:
  • The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) in its key recommendations for Union Budget 2017-18, has suggested differential excise duty regime and tax exemptions to be expanded to personal computers and servers. 
  • Ministry’s suggestions were as per the Phased Manufacturing Roadmap, it had worked out in consultation with the NITI Aayog. 
  • Recommendations for Budget Retain differential excise duty regime and tax exemptions granted for the manufacture of mobile handsets and tablets, under the impending GST regime, to boost domestic manufacturing of electronic products.
15. Govt. constitutes task force to prepare action plan for next three Olympic:
  • 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.
  • The members of Task force are Pulella Gopichand (Olympian and Coach), Abhinav Bindra (Olympic Gold Medallist), Rajesh Kalra (Chief Editor,Times Group Online), G.L. Khanna (Professor and Dean), Om Pathak (School Sports Promotion foundation) , Viren Rasquinha (CEO – Olympic Gold Quest), S. Baldev Singh (Coach) and Sandeep Pradhan (Director General, Sports Authority of Gujarat).
16. India Post Payments Bank starts pilot services:
  • India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) kicked off its operations by rolling out pilot services in Raipur and Ranchi.
  • The bank will offer an interest rate of 4.5% on deposits up to Rs25,000; 5% on deposits of Rs25,000-50,000 and 5.5% on Rs50,000-1,00,000.
  • The paid up equity of the new bank is Rs800 crore, of which the government has already infused Rs275 crore.
  • The idea is to have a branch in every district and make 3 lakh postmen come alive in payment bank function.Also 1,000 ATMs of India Post will be transferred to IPPB.Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha stated that IPPB plans to have 650 branches across the country by September 2017.
17. RBI lifts ATM withdrawal limits from Feb 1, 2017:
  • In a big relief to people, RBI has announced lifting of restrictions on daily withdrawal of money from ATMs with effect from 1 February 2017 and has also withdrawn all limits on Current Accounts and overdraft accounts with immediate effect.
  • In a circular to the banks the RBI however stated the weekly limits of 24 thousand rupees on Savings Bank accounts will continue.
18. Priyanka Chopra among 150 most fashionable women:
  • Indian actress Priyanka Chopra has made it to the list of Harper's Bazaar's 150 most fashionable women
  • The 34-year-old "Quantico" star features on the list under the section of New Guard. Priyanka took to Twitter to share the news with her fans and followers.

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