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International Current Affairs
- Ecuador has taken over from Thailand as Chair of the Group of 77 (G77) countries of the United Nations for the year 2017.
- The group promote collective economic interests of the 134 developing countries at the United Nations, including India.
- About Group of 77
- Founded on – 15th June 1964
- Founding Members – 77
- Current Members – 134
- Current Chairman (2017) – Ecuador
- After the lifting of international sanctions on Iran in 2015, the country today received its first new aircraft in 40 years.
- A commercial passenger jet for airline Iran Air, Airbus A321 arrived at Tehran on a flight from the Airbus headquarters in France.
- The jet is the first of the 100 aircraft Iran ordered after sanctions were lifted.
- The US has announced the end of a 20-year economic embargo on Sudan by lifting trade and financial sanctions.
- The announcement made by outgoing President Barack Obama’s administration in an effort to foster ties with the Sudanese government to improve security in the region.
- Note : This will be for the first time in two decades Sudan will be able to receive imported goods and services from US.
National Current Affairs
- The 1st edition of ABU (Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union) International Television Dance Festival was held in Hyderabad (Telangana).
- The Mumbai Police has banned the use and sale of glass-coated manjas ahead of Makar Sankranti.
- The West Bengal government has replaced the traditional name for rainbow in Bengali ‘Ramdhenu‘ (meaning Lord Ram’s bow) with ‘Rongdhenu‘ (meaning bow of colours).
- After a jawan alleged in a video that poor quality food was being served at border posts, BSF has launched two helpline numbers for its personnel to register their complaints anonymously till January 31.
- BSF Director General : KK Sharma
MOUs & Agreements
- India and the US have signed MoU to collaborate in the fields of developmental activities and aid in third world countries.
- The MoU was signed between the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and Union Ministry of External Affairs’ Development Partnership Administration (DPA).
- India and Sri Lanka signed MOU to construct 3000 rain water harvesting systems in Rin Jaffna District at a cost of 300 million Sri Lankan Rupees.
- The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has entered into a Bilateral Advance Pricing Agreement (BAPA) with Indian subsidiary of a Japanese trading company.
- Freedom fighter Mohan Singh Josan (92) passed away.
- He had taken part in Quit India Movement.
- Senior Congress leader and former Tourism Minister of Maharashtra Chandrakant Chhajed (67) passed away.
Banking & Economic Affairs
- India‘s retail inflation eased to a three-year low of 3.41% in the month of December, as against 3.63% in November 2016.
- This was due to weak demand as consumers grappled with cash crunch following demonetisation.
- Further, food inflation also fell to 1.37% in December, from 2.11% in November.
- Mexico today appointed Geronimo Gutierrez, head of the North American Development Bank, as the new ambassador to the US.
Science & Technology
- India today successfully test-fired guided rocket Pinaka Mark-II from a defence test facility off Odisha coast.
- The rocket was fired from a multi-barrel rocket launcher (MBRL).
- Nauru is the only country in the world without an official capital.
- Once known as Pleasant Island, it is the third smallest country by area and second smallest by population.
- The 21-square-kilometre island country, located in Micronesia in the Pacific Ocean, houses a little over 10,000 residents.
- Note : Nauru has no armed forces and Australia is responsible for its defence.
Recent Committees in News
- The Expert Committee set up to prepare Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC) has submitted its report to the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD).
- The objective of this committee was to study criteria for allocation of resources to States and identification and prioritization of beneficiaries under various programmes using SECC data.
- Head of this committee : Sumit Bose (Former Finance Secretary)
Sports Current Affairs
- China faces a one-year ban from international weightlifting competitions after three of its weightlifters failed doping retests and were stripped of their Olympic 2008 gold medals.
- Note : The International Weightlifting Federation had announced in 2016 that countries with three or more athletes failing doping retests will be disqualified from all international competitions for a year.