Current Affairs January 1, 2017

INDIAN AFFAIRS

PM Narendra Modi's Key Announcements on New Year's Evening
i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while addressing the Nation on December 31, 2016, on the New Year's Eve, thanked people for patiently bearing the pain caused by the Government's decision to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes.
ii. In his address to the nation, PM Modi also made a series of announcements aimed at the welfare of the entire Citizen of the Country with main focus on the senior citizens, farmers, rural housing, women and small entrepreneurs to lighten the burden of demonetization.

Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani dedicated India's first laser technology-based advanced AVMS RTO check-post at Shamlaji Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani
i. Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani launched India's first laser technology-based advanced AVMS RTO check-post and also laid foundation stones of various developmental works worth Rs 30 crore at Shamlaji of Aravalli district in Gujarat.
ii. This new check-post is equipped with advanced ray technology with a cost of Rs 4.72 crore.
iii. All the check-posts in the state will be made advanced, automatic and transparent with a cost of Rs. 35 crore during next financial year.
iv. The income from this check posts will be used  for welfare of poor, deprived and last-person of the state.
Gujarat :
♦ Gujarat is also known as Jewel of Western India
♦  The first capital of Gujarat was Ahmedabad and  in 1970 the capital was moved to Gandhinagar.


INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

China to Ban Ivory Trade and Processing Activities by the end of 2017
i. China on December 30, 2016, announced a plan to ban all ivory trade and processing activities by the end of 2017, to prevent the mass killing and threat of extinction of African elephants.
ii. The Chinese State Council's plan to end the ivory trade will be carried out over the course of the year. It will first force a select group of legal ivory processing factories and business to close by March 31, 2017 and gradually will completely stop the processing and sales of ivories for commercial purposes by the end of 2017.
iii. The plan also involves strict regulation of legal ivory collection, strengthening enforcement and education and "vigorously" pushing for a transformation of the ivory carving industry.
iv. The plan also involves encouraging ivory carving masters to find work with museums or in preservation efforts.
v. The government will no longer allow ivory products to be displayed in real or online markets only noncommercial sites, such as museums, will be allowed to display ivory.
vi. According to the World Wildlife Fund for Nature report, more than 20,000 Elephants are killed for their tusks each year, with much of the markets designated in China, Hong Kong, and the United States.


BANKING & FINANCE

RBI Extends the Demonetized Currency Exchange Date for NRIs to June 30
i. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has taken a relief providing decision for the Non-Resident Indian and Indian Citizens who were staying abroad since November 9 to December 31post demonetization decision.
ii. As per the decision, the Indian Citizens can exchange their demonetized notes up to March 31, 2017 while the Non Resident Indian (NRIs) citizens can avail this facility up to June 30, 2017.
iii. The bank informed that there would not be any limit for Indian residents while for the NRIs the maximum limit would be Rs 25,000 as per the FEMA regulations 2015.
iv. They can avail this facility only once during the period on submission of valid ID documents and evidence proof of being abroad. The decision also states that third party tender will not be accepted.
v. The facilities will be made available for citizens at Reserve Bank offices at Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Nagpur and Delhi. However, any Indian citizens residing in Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh are not entitled to avail this facility.
vi. Any possession of such notes after this period would be subjected to a fine of Rs. 10000 or five times the cash held, whichever is higher.


BUSINESS

India's Petronet Signs MoU to Set Up $950 Mn LNG Project in Bangladesh
i. India's largest LNG importer Petronet has signed an MoU with Petrobangla on December 30, 2016, to set up $950 million liquefied natural gas import project of 7.5 million tonnes a year in Bangladesh.
ii. The MoU was signed between Petronet LNG CEO and Managing Director Prabhat Singh and Petrobangla secretary Syed Ashfaquzzaman. It also includes laying a 26-Km pipline to connect the LNG project to the consumption markets

iii. The project to be set up on Kutubdia Island in Cox's Bazar is targeted to be completed by 2020.
iv. However, the pact signed is just a preliminary agreement, a formal pact will be signed once a joint venture is agreed between Petronet and Petrobangla.
v. Petronet LNG Ltd is an Indian oil and gas company formed by the government of India to import liquefied natural gas and set up LNG terminals in the country.
vi. Petrobangla (Bangladesh Oil, Gas & Mineral Corporation) is a government-owned national oil company of Bangladesh. It explores, produces, transports and sells oil, natural gas and other mineral resources. It also concludes production sharing agreements with international oil companies for exploration and development of oil and gas resources in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh
♦ Capital: Dhaka
♦ Currency: Taka
♦ President: Abdul Hamid
♦ Prime Minister: Sheikh Hasina

Amazon Wins Patent for Flying Warehouse to Deliver Parcels via Drones
i. The U.S. e-commerce giant, Amazon has been awarded a patent for launching a giant flying warehouse that would acts as a launch pad for drones to deliver items within minutes.
ii. The patent reveals plans for setting up an "Airborne Fulfillment Center" (AFC) such as an Airship or Blimp, floating at an altitude of around 45,000 and stocked with lots of products especially in area where the demand for certain items is expected to be high.
iii. When a customer places an order, a drone or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) will fly down and deliver the package. The patent claims that this would require little or no power because the drone would be gliding down rather than having to take off and land.
iv. The patent also describes using smaller airships, or shuttles, to replenish the AFC with inventory, drones, supplies and fuel.
v. The drones would be able to communicate with each other via a mesh network to give information such as weather and route. UAVs could also recharge on the airship.


AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

NHPC CMD KM Singh Awarded at 10th ENERTIA Awards 2016
i. Shri K M Singh, Chairman & Managing Director of State-run National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) has been conferred the 'Power & Energy Persona's Award for Individual Excellence' at the 10th ENERTIA Awards 2016 - India and South Asia's awards for excellence in sustainable energy and power on December 29, 2016.
ii. Singh received the award from Former Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Upendra Tripathy.
iii. 10th ENERTIA Awards 2016 - India & South Asia's Awards for Excellence in Sustainable Energy & Power" was held on 29th December 2016 at 'The Metropolitan Hotel & Spa, Bangla Sahib Road, New Delhi.
iv. ENERTIA Awards are India's Topmost, Prestigious and Pioneering Awards and attract Leading Power, Renewable Energy, Natural Resources, Oil & Gas + Coal Companies given to both Public and Private Sector Enterprises in India and South Asia.
About NHPC
♦ NHPC Limited is an Indian Hydropower generation company that was incorporated in the year 1975 with an authorized capital of Rs. 2000 million and with an objective to plan, promote and organize an integrated and efficient development of hydroelectric power in all aspects.
♦ Founded: 1975
♦ Headquarters: Faridabad, India
♦ Chairman & MD: K.M.Singh

Two New Hindi Writers Honored Bharatiya Jananpith Navlekhan award 2016
i. Bharatiya Jnanpith have conferred two new Hindi writers, Shraddha and Ghyansham Kumar Devansh, with the 2016 Bharatiya Jnanpith Navlekhan Award on December 29, 2016 for their first creation.
ii. A selection panel chaired by eminent poet Vishnu Nagar named Shraddha for her short story, Hawa Mein Phadphadati Chitthi and Devansh for his poem Akash Mein Deh.
iii. The award consists of a statue of Goddess Saraswati, a citation and a cash prize each, besides Jnanpith will publish their works.
iv. The selection Board also comprised of writer and journalist Madhusudan Anand, poet and critic Om Nischal and Mandloi.

 


SPORTS

Rafal Nadal Defeats David Goffin to win 2016 Mubadala World Tennis Championship
i. Spanish professional tennis player, Rafael Nadal successfully clinched 2016 Mubadala World Tennis Championship title on December 31, 2016 held at the Abu Dhabi International Tennis Complex at the Zayed Sports City.
ii. Nadal defeated his opponent David Goffin with 6-4, 7-6 in the finals. He reached the Abu Dhabi Finals by beating Tomas Berdych in the quarter-final and Milos Raonic in the semi-final.
iii. Nadal who received a cash prize of $250,000 will now head to Australia for the Brisbane International.

Indian tennis player Somdev announces retirement
i. 31 year old professional Indian tennis player Somdev Kishore Devvarman popularly known as Somdev announced his retirement from professional tennis on 01 January 2017.
ii. The decision was taken due to a shoulder injury. He first suffered a recurring shoulder injury in 2012. On his return back to the tennis arena he lost a series matches due to this injury. So starting the New Year on a new node Somdev said goodbye to the tennis.
iii. In his bright career he has won Gold at both singles and men's double event at 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, China. Apart from this he also has a gold in men's singles event of XIXth Commonwealth Games , New Delhi.
iv. In 2011 Somdev received Arjuna Award from the Indian government for his success in tennis. He reached the finals of two ATP title once in 2009 Chennai Open and then other in 2011 South Africa Open.

Lionel Messi wins World's Best Playmaker of 2016
i .Argentine Star Lionel Messi was chosen as the World's Best Playmaker for the year 2016 on December 29, 2016, by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS).
ii. Messi topped the list with 172 points followed by Andres Iniesta at second spot with 66 points and Toni Kross third with 45 points.
iii. Five-time Ballon d'Or winner, Lionel Messi earlier won the Best Playmaker of the World for the year 2015 with 168 points
Top 5 Rankers

Player Team Points
Lionel Messi Barcelona 172
Andres Iniesta Barcelona 66
Toni Kroos Real Madrid 45
Mesut Ozil Arsenal 39
Riyad Mahrez Leicester 36