International Current Affairs
- India has announced a $100 million (₹683 crore) line of credit to Kenya for agricultural mechanisation after talks between PM Narendra Modi and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta.
- Further, India is focussing on quick operationalisation of defence cooperation between the two nations, Modi added.
- The outgoing US President, Barack Obama, today delivered his farewell speech where he said America is a better and stronger place than it was when he started.
- Obama said Americans made him a better person and a better President.
- “It has been an honour to serve you. I won’t stop, I’ll be there with you, as a citizen,” added Obama.
- Muslim-majority nation Morocco has banned the production and sale of burqas for security reasons.
- The Museo Atlántico, which is known to be the first underwater museum in Europe, was inaugurated off the coast of Lanzarote, Spain.
- The exhibit features 12 installations and over 300 life-size human figures.
- Designed by British sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor, the art installation aims to promote environmental awareness and social change.
National Current Affairs
- India has turned down United Arab Emirates‘ request to display its para-dropping skills at the Rajpath as part of the Republic Day parade, citing security reasons.
- However, the government has offered to accommodate UAE’s marching contingent in the parade.
- Note : Crown Prince of UAE Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan will be the chief guest at this year’s Republic Day.
- The Centre is going to institute an independent railway regulator that will determine passenger and freight tariffs.
- The Rail Development Authority, which the Union Cabinet is yet to clear, will recommend tariff changes by taking into account direct and indirect costs.
- Note : Train tariffs are heavily subsidised, with 27% of rail revenue coming from passenger tickets.
Awards & Honors
- Filmmaker Karan Johar has been invited to the upcoming 47th World Economic Forum’s annual meeting as a cultural leader.
- The global event will take place in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland from January 17 to 20.
- This year’s Theme of the event : ‘Responsive and Responsible Leadership‘.
- Turkey today renamed the street that serves the Russian Embassy after Andrei Karlov, the Russian ambassador to Turkey who was killed by a gunman in the Turkish capital.
Science & Technology
- Pentagon had successfully tested a swarm of 103 Perdix micro-drones, one of the largest micro-drone swarms ever tested at a single instance.
- The micro-drone swarm, which was tested in California in October, included micro-drones measuring around six inches.
- The drones were launched from three F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jets.
Business & Economic Affairs
- Citibank has launched voice verification for its phone banking clients to replace the current authentication process of remembering PINs or answering verification questions.
- The bank said identifying a user’s unique voiceprint will take 15 seconds, down from an average 45 seconds it takes currently.
- The authentication will be completed automatically while the customers speak to the bank official.
- Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio beat telcos Airtel, Vodafone and others, to become the fastest 4G service provider in India in December 2016, according to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.
- Former German President Roman Herzog (82) passed away.
- Herzog had served as the chief justice of Germany’s highest court before being elected to a five-year term as president in 1994.
- He is best remembered for urging “a jolt” of political and social reform in Germany.
- Clare Hollingworth (105), the veteran British war correspondent who first broke the news that World War II had started died today in Hong Kong.
- Hollingworth, who was born in Leicester, England, covered major historic events including conflicts in India and Pakistan.
Sports Current Affairs
- Indian cueist Pankaj Advani has won the 3rd Kolkata Open National Invitation Snooker Championship today.
- Note : This was Advani’s maiden title win at the Kolkata Open.
- The United Kingdom has become the world’s first country to officially recognise parkour as a sport.
- Parkour, also known as freerunning, is similar to military obstacle training and involves a participant getting from one point to another, tackling terrain using only his/her natural body strength.
- The sport has been considered controversial since it uses minimal protection gear.
- Former world number one Maria Sharapova today announced that she is set to make her return to competitive tennis on April 26 at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart.
- Note : She is currently serving a 15-month doping suspension.