Daily Current Affairs - 26th Jan 2018

ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit issues Delhi Declaration

  • The ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit was held in New Delhi to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the establishment of sectoral dialogue between two two sides under the theme of “Shared Values, Common Destiny”. It issued joint statement titled Delhi Declaration after the plenary session focusing on counter-terrorism, identity security, military cooperation, and bilateral financial support.
  • India and 10 ASEAN countries for first time mentioned cross-border movement of terrorists and made commitment to counter the challenge through close cooperation as part of the declaration.
  • ASEAN is regional intergovernmental organisation comprising ten Southeast Asian countries which promotes Pan-Asianism and intergovernmental cooperation amongst its members and other Asian countries.
  • ASEAN consists of 10-member countries- Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. It was established on August 8, 1967 through ASEAN declaration (also known as Bangkok Declaration). Its secretariat is located in Jakartaa, Indonesia.

Australian Open Tennis

  • Marin Cilic defeated British hope Kyle Edmund in straight sets to become the first Croatian to reach the final the men's singles. The world No. 6 powered into his third Grand Slam decider with a 6-2, 7-6, 6-2 win. He will face either defending champion Roger Federer or unseeded South Korean Chung Hyeon.
  • Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki and Simon Halep of Romania will clash for the women's singles title. Wozniacki beat unseeded Belgian Elise Mertens 6-3, 7-6 to reach her first Australian Open final.

Chinese scientists for first time successfully clone monkeys

  • Chinese scientists for first time have successfully cloned two identical long-tailed macaques (monkeys), named Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua using same technique that produced Dolly sheep two decades ago. This development makes them world’s first primates – the order of mammals that includes monkeys, apes and humans – to be cloned from non-embryonic cell.
  • These two identical long-tailed macaques were cloned using process called somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), which involves transferring the nucleus of cell, which includes its DNA, into egg whose nucleus is removed.
  • This development breaks technical barrier for the cloning of primate species, including humans. It will make possible to study diseases in populations of genetically uniform monkey and test new drugs for a range of diseases before clinical use.

India Ranks 177 In Environmental Performance Index

  • India ranks 177 among 180 countries in the Environmental Performance Index (EPI) 2018, according to a biennial report by Yale and Columbia Universities along with the World Economic Forum. India ranked 141 in 2016 report.
  • The report was released on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Switzerland leads the list, followed by France, Denmark and Malta.
  • Overall, India (at 177) and Bangladesh (179) come in near the bottom of the rankings, with Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Nepal rounding out the bottom five.

India, Vietnam Release First-Ever Commemorative Stamps

  • India and Vietnam today released first ever set of commemorative postage stamps to mark the long term friendly bilateral relationships between the two countries.
  • The first ever joint issue of commemorative postage stamps between India and Vietnam on the theme of ancient architecture is a symbol of strong friendship between the two countries.
  • The two set of stamps released carry picture of Sanchi Stupa and Thien Mu Pagoda.
  • Vietnam Capital-Hanoi,
  • Currency- Vietnamese dong.

India, Vietnam sign two agreements

  • India and Vietnam signed a MoU to enhance cooperation in the field of information and broadcasting, based on principles of equality and reciprocity pursuant to their national laws and regulations , following meeting between the prime ministers of the the two countries ahead of ASEAN Summit.
  • Another implementation arrangement between ISRO and National Remote Sensing Department of Vietnam was also concluded on the occasion, for establishment of tracking and data reception station and data processing facility in Vietnam under ASEAN India Space Cooperation.
  • The arrangement would define the framework and conditions of cooperation for establishment of facility to provide Indian remote sensing satellite data over ASEAN region to enable remote sensing applications, which include natural resources management, ocean development and disaster management by ASEAN member states.
  • Vietnam is a key pillar in India's Act East Policy and strategic partner in South East Asia.

IOB, NHB Tie Up For Rural Housing Push

  • Indian Overseas Bank has signed an MoU with National Housing Bank for the Rural Housing Interest Subsidy Scheme (RHISS) of the Ministry of Rural Development. The aim of the RHISS is to provide subsidy for housing loans taken by those living in rural areas for construction and modifications of their dwelling units.
  • The interest subsidy under the scheme is 3 per cent for a loan amount of Rs2 lakh for 20-year tenure. Indian Overseas Bank has become one of the first public sector banks to implement the scheme. The subsidy is offered at three per cent for a loan amount of Rs. 2 lakh and with a loan tenure of 20 years.
  • CEO of Indian Overseas Bank--- R Subramaniakumar
  • IOB Headquarters---Chennai
  • CEO of the National Housing Bank---Sriram Kalyanaraman
  • NHB Headquarters----New Delhi

Kolkata becomes first Indian metro to get a floating market

  • Kolkata has become the first Indian Metro to get a Floating Market. The market will be located on a water-body with boats doubling up as shops. The market, located on the eastern fringes of the city, was inaugurated by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
  • The aim is to rehabilitate over 200 shopkeepers from a nearby market that was demolished for the widening of the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass. The market will host at least 114 boats, each one accommodating two shops.
  • Shops will sell regular or daily-use items that include vegetables, fruits, flowers, fish and meat and poultry. Shoppers will approach the boats through wooden walkways.

Ministry of Road Transport & Highways signs MoU with IL&FS for construction of Zojila tunnel

  • An MoU was signed between National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation (NHIDCL) under the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, and M/S IL&FS Transportation Networks Ltd for construction of the 14.150 km long, 2-lane bi-directional Zojila Tunnel in Jammu & Kashmir . This would be India’s longest road tunnel and the longest bi-directional tunnel in Asia. The construction of this tunnel will provide all weather connectivity between Srinagar, Kargil and Leh and will bring about all round economic and socio-cultural integration of these regions.
  • The main objective of the project is to provide all whether connectivity to strategically important Leh region in Jammu & Kashmir which at the moment is limited to at best 6 months in a year because of snow on the passes and threat of avalanches. This project, along with other ongoing projects like 6.5 km long Z-Morh tunnel at Gagangir would ensure safe, fast and cheap connectivity between the two regions of Kashmir and Ladakh.

Nation Celebrates 69th Republic Day

  • The Country celebrates its 69th Republic Day on 26th January in Rajpath, New Delhi to be resplendently displaying the country's pride and glory. Heads of ten ASEAN countries are chief guests at Republic Day.
  • This year, the guests of honour are-
  • 1. Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah-Sultan of Brunei
  • 2. Hun Sen- Prime Minister of Cambodia
  • 3. Rodrigo Roa Duterte- President of The Philippines
  • 4. Joko Widodo- President of Indonesia
  • 5. Najib Razak- Prime Minister of Malaysia
  • 6. Nguyen Xuan Phuc- Prime Minister of Vietnam
  • 7. Halima Yacob- President of Singapore
  • 8. Htin Kyaw- President of Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi-state counsellor of Myanmar
  • 9. Prayuth Chan Ocha-Prime Minister of Thailand
  • 10. Thongloun Sisoulith- Prime Minister of Laos.

Padma awardees 2018

  • President Ram Nath Kovind has announced names of recipients of year 2018 Padma awards. The 2018 list includes 3 Padma Vibhushan, 9 Padma Bhushan and 73 Padma Shri Awardees. 14 awardees are women, 16 awardees are from category of foreigners, NRIs, PIOs while 3 are posthumous awardees.
  • PADMA VIBHUSHAN: It is the second highest civilian award.
  • Name - Field - State
  • Illaiyaraja - Art-Music - Tamil Nadu
  • Ghulam Mustafa Khan - Art-Music - Maharashtra
  • P. Parameswaran - Literature - Kerala
  • Padma Bhushan: It is the third highest civilian award given to 9 members including former India cricket captain M.S.Dhoni.
  • Pankaj Advani , Philipose Mar Chrysostom ,Mahendra Singh Dhoni, R. Nagaswamy, Laxman Pai, Alexander Kadakin(Foreigner/Posthumous), Ved Prakash Nanda (Overseas Citizen of India), Arvind Parikh, Sharda Sinha.

Prime Minister’s Shram Award for 2016 announced

  • The Government of India announced the Prime Minister’s Shram Awards for the year 2016 to be awarded to 50 workers. Although, the total number of Shram Awards conferred this year are 32 but the number of workers receiving the Awards are 50 including 3 women. 34 workers from Public Sector and 16 workers from Private Sectors have won the Awards.
  • Shram Awards are given in four categories namely ‘Shram Ratna Award’, ‘Shram Bhushan Award’, ‘Shram Vir/Shram Virangana’ and ‘Shram Shree/Shram Devi Awards’.
  • Shram Ratna Award: No nomination was found suitable for it.
  • Shram Bhushan: 12 workers from SAIL, BHEL and TATA Steel Ltd. were selected.
  • Shram Vir/Shram Veerangana Award: 18 workers from Naval Dockyard, Ordinance Factory, Rashtriya Ispat Nigam, TATA Steel, Hindalco Industries, Paradeep Phosphates Ltd., Brahmos Aerospace were selected.
  • Shram Shree/Shram Devi Award: 20 workers from Cement Corporation of India, Naval Ship Repair Yard, TATA Motors, Surat Lignite Power Plant, Larsen & Toubro Ltd. etc were selected.
  • Shram Awards were instituted in 1985 and are announced every year by Ministry of Labour and Employment. These awards are given people employed in the Departmental undertakings and PSU’s of the Central and State Governments and Private Sector units employing 500 or more workers.

Rapid Reporting System Scheme for Adolescent Girls launched

  • Ministry of Women and Child Development, launched the Phase -1 i.e. the beneficiary module of the Rapid Reporting System for the Scheme for Adolescent Girls a web based on line monitoring for the Scheme for Adolescent Girls . The RRS will facilitate the monitoring of the scheme and taking corrective measures by ensuring faster flow of information, accurate targeting of the beneficiaries and reduction of leakages.
  • The scheme aims at providing them nutritional support, motivating out of school girls to go back to formal schooling or skill training under its non-nutrition component. It also provides nutritional support and girls are also equipped with information on health, hygiene and guidance on existing public services.
  • It is centrally sponsored scheme implemented using platform of Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme. Anganwadi Centres (AWCs) are focal point for delivery of services. Ministry of WCD is implementing scheme in selected 508 districts across country.

SARAS PT1N: Upgraded indigenous transport aircraft makes successful maiden flight

  • SARAS PT1N, the new upgraded version of indigenous transport aircraft SARAS developed by National Aeronautics Laboratory (NAL) successfully made its maiden flight in Bengaluru, Karnataka. The aircraft took off from HAL airport, Bengaluru and flew for about 40 minutes at the maximum height of 8500 feet at the speed of 145 knots.
  • SARAS PT1N is a 14-seater passenger aircraft designed and developed by CSIR-NAL, a frontline aerospace research laboratory. The production version aircraft will have 19-seat capacity.
  • The aircraft programme is named after Indian crane Saras. It was first conceptualised in the 1990s to establish short-haul civil aviation market. SARAS PT1N is upgraded version of plane, after second prototype of SARAS that had crashed during test flight killing all three crew members on board in March 2009.

The President Confers Ashok Chakra to Jyoti Prakash Nirala of Indian Air Force

  • President Ram Nath Kovind awarded India’s highest peacetime military decoration Ashok Chakra (31) posthumously to Indian Air Force (IAF) Garud commando Corporal Jyoti Prakash Nirala. He had laid down his life after gunning down two terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir.He is the third Ashok Chakra for the IAF and its first for ground combat. Other two IAF officers are Rakesh Sharma (first and still only Indian citizen to go to space) and Flying Officer Nirmaljit Singh Sekhon posthumously decorated with the Param Vir Chakra in 1972.
  • Ashok Chakra is India’s highest peacetime military decoration awarded for valor, courageous action or self-sacrifice away from the battlefield It is the peace time equivalent of the Param Vir Chakra and is awarded for the most conspicuous bravery or some daring or pre-eminent valour or self-sacrifice other than in the face of the enemy.

U-19 World Cup: Afghanistan stun New Zealand to enter semi-final

  • Afghanistan sprung a surprise on New Zealand by handing them a massive 202-run drubbing in Christchurch to storm into the semi-finals of Under-19 World Cup.
  • A 23-ball 66 from Azmatullah Omarzai was backed up by some precise bowling by spinners Mujeeb Zadran and Qais Ahmad as Afghanistan recorded a thumping 202-run victory over New Zealand to reach the semi-final of the ICC U-19 World Cup.

Usha Ananthasubramanian is first woman IBA chief

  • Usha Ananthasubramanian, MD and CEO, Allahabad Bank, has been elected the first woman chairman of Indian Banks’ Association (IBA). Usha was elected IBA Chairman for the year 2017-18 by its Managing Committee.
  • IBA Chairman’s position fell vacant following the superannuation of Jatinder Bir Singh. Rajnish Kumar, Chairman, State Bank of India, was elected Deputy Chairman of IBA for the year 2017-18.
  • IBA is the banking sector’s industry body, whose objective, among others, is to promote and develop sound and progressive banking principles, practices and conventions and to contribute to the developments of creative banking in the country.

Vodafone, Flipkart Tie Up For 4G Smartphones

  • Vodafone India has partnered with e-commerce marketplace Flipkart to provide a range of entry-level smartphones at an effective price of ?999. As part of the tie-up, Vodafone has rolled out cash-back offers on select range of entry-level 4G smartphone models available under Flipkart’s #MyFirst4GSmartphone campaign.
  • vodafone CEO----Vittorio Colao

WEF launches Global Centre for Cybersecurity

  • The World Economic Forum (WEF) has launched new Global Centre for Cybersecurity in a bid to safeguard world from hackers and growing data breaches especially from nation-states. The centre will be headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland and will become operational from March 2018.
  • The Global Centre for Cybersecurity will function as an autonomous organization under WEF. .It will help to build a safe and secure global cyberspace. Its aim is to establish first global platform for governments, businesses, experts and law enforcement agencies to collaborate on cybersecurity challenges.
  • In the last five years, Cyber breaches have almost doubled to an average of 130 breaches per business in 2017.
  • WEF is Swiss nonprofit foundation, based in Geneva. It is recognized as international institution for public-private cooperation. WEF is best known for its annual winter meeting for five days in Davos.