Daily Current Affairs - 16th Jan 2020

7,990 business people committed suicide in 2018; up 2.7 per cent: NCRB data

  • A total of 7,990 business people died by committing suicide in 2018, up 2.7 per cent from 7,778 the previous year, show government statistics from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). The largest number of such cases were in Karnataka (1,113). This is followed by Maharashtra (969) and Tamil Nadu (931).
  • Separately NCRB data also shows causes of suicide. Over 4,970 individuals died by suicide because of bankruptcy or indebtedness in 2018. Family issues was the second biggest recorded cause of such instances. It rose from 30.1 per cent in 2017 of the cases to 30.4 per cent in 2018.

7th Conference of Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, India Region starts today

  • The 7th Conference of Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) India Region will start today at the legislative assembly building in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.
  • The main theme of the conference is ROLE OF LEGISLATORS and during the Plenary Sessions spread over two days delegates will discuss the Capacity Building of Legislators for Scrutinizing Budgetary Proposals and Enhancing Focus of Legislators on Legislative Business.

Defending champion Saina Nehwal suffers a shock exit, PV Sindhu advances to second round in Indonesian Masters

  • In Badminton, world champion P.V. Sindhu advanced to the second round of the Indonesia Master in women's singles with a hard-earned victory over Japan's Aya Ohori.
  • However, defending champion Saina Nehwal suffered a shock exit from the tournament in Jakarta.

Dharmendra Pradhan to launch ‘Saksham’, annual one-month long, people centric fuel conservation mega campaign of PCRA

  • Saksham’, an annual one-month long, people-centric fuel conservation mega campaign of Petroleum Conservation Research Association (PCRA) under the aegis of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas is going to be launched on 16th January by Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Steel Shri Dharmendra Pradhan.
  • The campaign will create awareness among public about fuel conservation. PCRA is engaged in promotion of energy efficient programmes in different sectors of the country. The major aim of the agency is to make oil conservation a national movement.

First digital exhibition on Indian Heritage inaugurated

  • The Union Minister of State for Culture and Tourism (IC), ShriPrahlad Singh Patel launched a month long special exhibition titled Indian Heritage in Digital Space and a two day long first international heritage symposium in New Delhi.
  • The exhibition was organized in collaboration with Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. The visitors in this exhibition will be able to see the recreations of the socio-cultural life and traditions of Hampi, architectural and conjectural reconstructions of several important structures and experience demystification of many murals.

Govt plans to impose restrictions on imports of products categorized as 'others'

  • Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal warned against imports under the "others" category and said that within a month, high duty will be imposed on all products categorised as "others" if they do not carry the specific globally accepted tariff code (HSN code). Every traded product is categorised under an HSN code (Harmonised System of Nomenclature) which is the global systematic classification of goods.
  • Goyal said India is facing “big” problem in the country's imports of a category called “others” and in that category, all sorts of stuff is being imported into the country.

ICC names Kohli , captain of ICC's both ODI&Test teams of the year

  • India skipper and batting mainstay Virat Kohli named captain of the International Cricket Council's ODI and Test teams of the year. Apart from Kohli, there were four other Indians who were picked in the ICC's Test and ODI teams of the year.
  • While the Test team featured double-centurion Mayank Agarwal, opener Rohit Sharma, speedster Mohammed Shami and left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav found a place in the ODI side.

IMD to change reference dates for monsoon onset, withdrawal: MoES

  • The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) will change the reference dates for onset and withdrawal of southwest monsoon from this year.
  • The four-month monsoon season is from June 1 to September 30. June 1 is the onset date for monsoon over Kerala and it is likely to remain the same but the IMD will change the reference dates for some states and cities.

India and Finland ink MoU to enhance bilateral defence cooperation

  • Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence of Finland Mr Jukka Juusti signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to further defence cooperation between India and Finland. The MoU on co-operation in the field of Production, Procurement, Research and Development of Defence related Equipment and Industrial cooperation has been inked on the sidelines of Raisina Dialogue 2020.
  • Under the broad ambit of the MoU, cooperation between Finnish companies and Indian Defence Public Sector Undertakings could be explored.

January 15: Indian Army Day

  • On January 15, 2020, India celebrated its 72nd Army Day. It is being celebrated every year to honour soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the country. The Army Day Parade was held at the Parade Ground in Delhi Cantonment as a part of the celebrations.
  • It is important to remember such great soldiers as they serve with the motto “Service before Self”.

New rules to sell hallmarked gold artefacts

  • The Government of India announced that Indian jewellers shall be allowed to sell hallmarked gold artifacts that are made of 14, 18 and 22 carat gold alone. Also, it is mandatory for all jewellers to get compulsory hallmark. Currently gold hallmarking is voluntary. The mandatory ruling is to be implemented from January 15,2021.
  • Hall marking is the level of purity certification awarded by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).

No documents will be asked or biometric taken for NPR: Govt

  • Government has said that no documents will be asked for or biometric will be taken for National Population Register (NPR). Home Ministry officials said that a form carrying questions as part of the NPR exercise will be finalised soon.
  • They said most of the states have notified provisions related to the NPR. The NPR is a register of usual residents of the country. The NPR exercise will be carried out between April and September 2020 in all states and UTs, except Assam, along with the house listing phase of the census exercise.

Razorpay unveils 'Instant Refunds' technology

  • To help merchants improve the online payment experience for consumers, Razorpay, which is backed by investors such as Tiger Global and Sequoia, has unveiled a new product called ‘instant refunds’ for businesses.
  • This new feature activates refunds and credits the customer’s source account across payment methods such as credit cards, net banking and Unified Payments Interface (UPI) within a minute of initiation.

RBI issues new credit and debit card rules to improve convenience and security

  • The Reserve Bank of India issued new rules for credit and debit cards to improve user convenience and increase the security of card transactions. RBI asks banks to allow only domestic card transactions at ATMs and PoS terminals in India at the time of issuance/reissuance of card.
  • For international transactions, online transactions, card-not-present transactions and contactless transactions, customers will have to separately set up services on their card.
  • These rules will be applicable for new cards from 16 March 2020. Those with old cards can decide whether to disable any of these features.
  • Users will have 24x7 access to switch ON/OFF or change all transaction limits via all available channels — mobile application / internet banking / ATMs / Interactive Voice Response (IVR).

Russian government resigns as President Putin proposes constitutional changes

  • In Russia, entire federal government resigned after President Vladimir Putin announced that a range of constitutional changes are needed. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has also resigned.
  • Putin, in his annual address to Parliament, proposed a referendum on amending Russia's constitution to increase the powers of parliament, while maintaining a strong presidential system. The unexpected announcement comes four years before Putin's fourth term of office is due to end. Putin asked Medvedev's Cabinet to keep working until the new Cabinet is formed.

World Economic Forum released its Global Risks Report 2020

  • The World Economic Forum released its Global Risks Report. Under the report, the Forum has identified the global risks.
  • The Report has listed 5 top risks in the terms of Likelihood and in terms of Impact. The global risks in terms of likelihood includes extreme weather, climate action failure, natural disasters, biodiversity losses and human-made environmental disasters. For the first time in the history of the report, all the five risks of likelihood are climate related.
  • The Global Risks in terms of impacts include climate action failure, weapons of mass destruction, biodiversity losses, extreme weather and water crisis.