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UPSC

current affairs as on 18th jan 2017

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International Current Affairs
  • United Kingdom’s Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Boris Johnson is on a Two Day visit to India.
    • Today he met PM Narendra Modi
    • Johnson spoke at the Raisina dialogue and emphasised the need for a free trade agreement between India and UK.
  • Libyan military commander General Khalifa Haftar visited Russian aircraft carrier ‘Admiral Kuznetsov‘ in the Mediterranean today.
    • On the tour, Haftar and Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu discussed the fight against terrorist groups in the Middle East.
    • Note : The visit is seen as a show of Russian support to Libya in its fight against terrorism.
National Current Affairs
  • The 2nd edition of Ministry of External Affairs’ annual Raisina Dialogue was held in New Delhi.
    • This year’s Theme : “The New Normal: Multilateralism in a multipolar world”.
  • As many as 20,000 youths in Ganga basin states will be trained and deployed as ‘Swachhta Doots‘ in about 2,336 villages to spread a message of keeping the river clean.
    • The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) has approved a ₹10 crore project for training and deployment of the 20,000 youngsters for the purpose, Union Water Resources Ministry said today.
  • Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad today said the Union Cabinet has approved to repeal 105 more obsolete and redundant laws.
    • Note : The BJP-led Centre has repealed in total 1,280 old laws while the previous central governments in 64 years had repealed only 1,301 such outdated laws.
  • Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao today announced that the state ministers will contribute ₹25,000 per year for the Army Welfare Fund.
    • Further, he added that MLAs, MLCs, and MPs will contribute ₹10,000 each per year towards the same.
  • The Telangana government will bring a bill with a provision of 12% reservation for backward sections among Muslims in the Budget session of its Legislative Assembly.
  • The Union Cabinet has given its approval to the proposal for India’s taking full membership of the International Vaccine Institute (IVI) Governing Council.
    • This decision involves payment of annual contribution of US $5,00,000 to the IVI (headquartered in Seoul, South Korea).
  • Madhya Pradesh became the first State of the country to launch Aanandam programme to help the needy persons.
    • Under it, government through volunteers will provide help to the needy and economically sound citizens can donate items for the needy persons.
Awards & Honors
  • Actress Shabana Azmi has been nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category for the upcoming 11th Asian Film Awards, to be held on March 21 in Hong Kong.
    • She has been nominated for her role in the film ‘Neerja’.
    • Note : She is the only person from Indian cinema who has received a nomination for an award this year.
Business & Economic Affairs
  • Five government-owned insurance companies – New India Assurance, United India Insurance, Oriental Insurance, National Insurance and General Insurance, have been cleared by the Cabinet for listing in stock exchanges.
    • Note : The government holds 100% stake in all five companies.
  • Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro today authorised new banknotes ranging from 500 to 20,000 bolivars to deal with the soaring inflation in the country.
    • He also extended the deadline for exchanging 100 bolivar notes, formerly the highest denomination in the country, for the third time until February 20.
    • Note : Inflation in Venezuela is expected to reach 1,600% this year.
  • E-commerce platform Flipkart has launched an SOS feature on the mobile app meant for its delivery staff which will alert the nearest field executives in case of an emergency.
    • The project has been titled ‘Nanjunda‘ after a delivery man who was murdered in Bengaluru last month by a gym trainer who did not have money to pay for his order.
  • Tata Elxsi, a design firm part of the Tata group, will become the first company to test self-driving cars in India.
    • The company is said to have sought permission to test re-engineered sedans equipped with ultrasonic sensors and LIDAR radars in Bengaluru.
    • Tata Elxsi is not building its own autonomous cars, but working on software for other carmakers.
  • The Indian Air Force has placed orders with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for black boxes.
    • This comes after a successful trial of the black boxes which were developed by HAL.
    • Note : Now India will not have to purchase black boxes from other countries as they will be manufactured within the country itself.
New Appointments
  • Delhi Police chief Alok Kumar Verma has been chosen to take over as the next CBI Director.
    • Verma was selected by a committee comprising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Justice JS Khehar and Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge. However, Kharge had reportedly given a dissent note saying he didn’t get enough time to check the shortlisted candidates’ credentials.
  • Italian conservative Antonio Tajani was elected the new President of the European Parliament (EP).
Sports Current Affairs
  • Former Indian captain Kapil Dev was inducted into the Legends Club ‘Hall of Fame’ at the Cricket Club of India in Mumbai today. 
    • Note : Gavaskar was already inducted in the Hall of Fame in 2013.
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