CURRENT AFFAIRS 2014-JAUNARY 2014 | SSBMADEEASY

CURRENT AFFAIRS 2014-JAUNARY 2014

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INTERNATIONAL

Colorado Becomes First US state To AllowMarijuana Sale
Colorado has on 1 January become the first U.S. state to license the sale ofthe drug for recreational use. In November 2012, Colorado voters approved thesale of recreational marijuana, as did voters in Washington state. Under thenew state law, residents are now able to buy marijuana like alcohol.

 US Senate Passed USD 1.1 Trillion SpendingBill
The US Senate has passed the USD 1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill thateliminates the threat of another government shutdown at least until October2014 and puts conditions on
Pakistan for continuation of aid. Passed by theHouse of Representatives on 16 January, the bill now goes to the White Housefor President Barack Obama to sign it into law, thus preventing anothershutdown.

Bolivian President Evo Morales Assumes G77Chairmanship
Bolivian president Evo Morales has assumed the Chairmanship of the Groupof  77 nations.Bolivia was chosen head of the G-77, which actually groups133 developing nations, by consensus, and Morales was at the United nations on8 January to take over the chairmanship from outgoing Fiji. The organizationwas created in June 1964 with the purpose of formulating and promoting the neweconomic interests of southern countries within the United Nations system.

South Sudan Government and Rebels SignedCeasefire Agreement
South Sudan’s Government and Rebels have signed a ceasefire agreement .Theagreement was signed in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa by representatives ofSouth Sudan’s President Salva Kiir and rebel delegates loyal to ousted vicepresident Riek Machar on 23 January . As per the deal, the government hasagreed to release 11 officials close to Machar, who were detained after thefighting broke in the country.


INDIA & WORLD

India and Maldives Signed 3 MoUs
India and the Maldives on 2 January agreed to amicably resolve all differences,including over cancellation of Indian company GMR’s contract to run MaleInternational Airport. Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen held talks in NewDelhi with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the two sides signed threeMemorandum of Understanding (MoUs).Two agreements are related to health andhuman resource development and one on the diplomatic front.

India and Canada Signed LOI for Co-operationin Iron and Steel Sector
India and Canada have signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) for co-operation in Ironand Steel Sector. The letters were signed on 13 January in New Delhi by BeniPrasad Verma, the Union Minister of Steel and Minister of Natural Resources,Government of Canada, Joe Oliver.

India and South Korea Signed Nine Agreements
India and South Korea have signed 9 agreements in different areas to boostbilateral ties between the two countries.The agreements were signed on 16 Januaryafter delegation level talks between Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister ofIndia and Park Geun-hye, the President of South Korea in New Delhi.

India and Japan Signed 8 Agreements
India and Japan have agreed to boost defence ties and signed eight agreementswith Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, pledging another tranche ofinfrastructure loans worth 200 billion yen, during his talks with PrimeMinister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on 25 January.

Pakistan and India Ranked 97th In Global FoodIndex 2014
According to the ‘ Global Food Index 2014 ‘ released on 17 January , Pakistanranked 97th in a list of 125 countries with regard to availability, quality andaffordability of food and dietary health.The listing means Pakistan is one ofthe countries with the most unhealthy and scarce food. India got the same rankas Pakistan.The Netherlands emerges as the country with the most nutritious,plentiful and healthy food leaving France and Switzerland behind at the jointsecond place.The Index namely “Good Enough to Eat” has been compiled by theUK-based international relief and development organization ‘Oxfam’.


NATIONAL

Government Launched India’s FirstComprehensive Adolescent Health Programme
Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad on 7 Januarylaunched the nation’s first comprehensive adolescent health programme named ”Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK)”  in New Delhi.The programmewill include a sharp focus on adolescents’ sexual health.The RKSK defines anadolescent as a person within 10-19 years of age, in urban and rural areas,includes both girls and boys, married and unmarried, poor and affluent, whetherthey are in school or out of school.

Government Notified New Natural Gas PricingFormula
The Government of India on 10 January notified the new natural gas pricingformula, which will be in effect from 1 April 2014. As per the newly issuednotification, the rate of all domestically produced fuel will be almost doubledto 8.2 to 8.4 dollar per unit.

Government Grants CBI greater FinancialAutonomy
The Central Government on 14 January relaxed its control over the CentralBureau of Investigation (CBI) and granted the CBI director a rank equal to aSecretary.

Ghulam Nabi Azad Launches National UrbanHealth Mission
Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad on 20 Januarylaunched the National Urban Health Mission (NUHM)  in Bangalore to providetimely quality health services to the urban poor.The scheme will now beintroduced as a sub-mission under the National Health Mission (NHM).The missionwill be implemented in 779 cities and towns, each with a population of morethan 50,000, and cover over 7.75 crore people.


STATES

Manmohan Singh Launched Total E-literacyProject In Kerala
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has launched the total E-literacy projectimplemented by PN Panicker Vigyan Vikas Kendra in Thiruvanathpuram on 4January.This would act as the corner-stone of the Kerala model ofdevelopment.The programme was aimed at achieving total e-literacy in the statein 33 months, marching from total literacy to complete-literacy.

Maharashtra Govt. Launched Unique ‘ Blood OnCall ‘ Scheme
Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on 7 January rolled out “JeevanAmrut Yojana” (blood-on-call scheme) across the state.The ambitious plan isaimed at facilitating blood supply to patients scheduled to undergo surgeriesand medical procedures, at cheaper rate by dialling a dedicated helpline number“104″. Under the scheme, the request for blood will have to be placed by hospitals.

Chhattisgarh Govt. Launched Toll Free Number1100 For Graft Complaints
Chhattisgarh government has on 7 January launched a toll free helpline number1100 where people could lodge graft-related complaints against the stategovernment officials.The facility will help provide better governance to thepeople.Now, the people can just dial 1100 to lodge complaints regardingcorruption.

Anu Vidyut Pariyojana Launched In Haryana
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh laid the foundation of 2,800 Megawatt nuclear powerplant in Fatehabad district of Haryana on 13 January.The project named as AnuVidyut Pariyojna, will have four units of 700 MWes each and it will be built ata cost 23502 crore rupees. The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited(NPCIL) will build these reactors. This is the first time Haryana will have anuclear project.


CONFERENCES

12th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Held in New Delhi
The 12th edition of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) was held in New Delhifrom 7 – 9 January 2014 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. The theme of the event was” Engaging Diaspora – Connecting across Generations “.The convention wasinaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on 7 January. Malaysia’s Ministerof Natural Resources and Environment Y B Datuk Seri Palanivel ,was the ChiefGuest. On 9 January President Pranab Mukherjee conferred the Pravasi BharatiyaSamman Awards and addressed the closing session of the Convention.


AWARDS & HONOURS

President Pranab Mukherjee Conferred PravasiBharatiya Samman Awards
President Pranab Mukherjee conferred the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards on 9January during the 12th edition of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD). Peaceactivist Ela Gandhi, who is a grand-daughter of Mahatma Gandhi, was among the13 non-resident Indians (NRIs), persons of Indian origin (PIOs) andorganizations honoured with the prestigious Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards.Ela Gandhi was given the award for public service and for enhancing India’simage and for promoting ties between India and South Africa. Lisa Maria Singhis the first member of Australian Parliament of South Asian descent and hasheld several ministerial portfolios in the past.  She is a senator fromTasmania. Singh was given the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman for public service andfostering friendly relations between India and Australia. Ramkrishna Mission,serving in Fiji since 1937, was honoured for community service andphilanthropic activities and enhancing India’s prestige abroad.

Three Security Personnel Selected For ‘ KirtiChakra ‘ Award
Three personnel of the armed forces have been selected for the year 2014 ‘Kirti Chakra’ award , the second highest peace time gallantry award, for theiracts of bravery on the Line of Control (LoC), anti-maoist operation and reliefoperation in flood-hit Uttarakhand, respectively. The three are among 368gallantry award winners this year including 10 Shaurya Chakra awardees.

Indian-American Wins Top US Teaching Award
India-born Meera Chandrasekhar, professor of physics and astronomy andCurator’s Teaching Professor of Physics at the University of Missouri, has on18 January won Baylor University’s ” 2014 Robert Foster Cherry Award ” forGreat Teaching.

Mohinder Singh , Radhakrishnan Selected ForCommunal Harmony Awards
National Communal Harmony Award for Mohinder Singh for his work done inrestoring peace after the 1984 anti-Sikh riots and noted academician NRadhakrishnan for his promotion of Gandhian values were announced on 25January. Singh, along with Gandhian Radhakrishnan of Kerala, have been selectedfor the coveted award in the individual category while the Centre for Study ofSociety and Secularism, Mumbai has been selected in the organisation category.


SPORTS & GAMES

Rafael Nadal Won Qatar ExxonMobil Open Title
Rafael Nadal of Spain won the Qatar ExxonMobil Open title on 4 January.Hedefeated France’s Gael Monfils in the Men’s Singles final at Doha.It was his61st ATP title.

Brisbane International Tennis TournamentWinners – 2014
Women’sSingles :- Serena Williams ofthe U.S. on 4 January won the Brisbane International Tennis Tournament Women’sSingles title after defeated Victoria Azarenka of Belarus in the final inBrisbane, Australia. Williams has now won 58 tour singles titles.
Men’sSingles :- Australia’s LleytonHewitt won the Men’s Singles Title. He defeated Roger Federer of Switzerland inthe Brisbane International final. It was Hewitt’s 29th title on the ATP tourbut his first since 2010, when he also beat Federer in the final at Halle.

Ana Ivanovic Won Auckland Open Tennis Title
Ana Ivanovic of Serbia won the Auckland Open Tennis Title on 4 January. Shedefeated Venus Williams (U.S) in the final at Auckland, New Zealand.It is the12th title for the Ivanovic and second seed but her first success since victoryin Bali in 2011.

Anju Bobby George Declared World AthleticsGold Medalist For 2005
Indian Long jumper Anju Bobby George on 13 January became the first Indiantrack and field athlete to win a gold medal in a major world event afterinternational governing body International Association of Athletics Federation(IAAF) upgraded her second place finish at the 2005 Monaco World AthleticsChampionships final to the top spot , following a dope violation by a Russiancompetitor Tatyana Kotova.Anju’s fifth place finish at the 2005 Helsinki WorldChampionship’s long jump event was also upgraded to fourth.

Netherlands Won Hockey World League 2014
The Netherlands on 18 January won the first ever Hockey World League finalafter defeating New Zealand by 7-2 in New Delhi. Belgium retained his fifthplace , while India secured sixth place.


ECONOMY

Government Retains 100 Per cent FDI inExisting Pharma Units
Government of India on 8 January decided to retain the policy of allowing 100per cent foreign investments in the existing pharma firms, brushing asideconcerns about non availability of affordable drugs in view of MNCstakeovers.India permits 100 per cent FDI in pharma through automatic approvalroute in the greenfield, or new projects.

India’s Growth Projected To Rise To 7.1Percent By 2016-17
According to the World Bank’s Global Economic Prospects (GEP) report releasedon 16 January , India’s growth is projected to rise to over six percent infiscal 2014-15, increasing to 7.1 percent by fiscal 2016-17 with the worldeconomy expected to strengthen this year.

Indian Economy Projected To Grow At 5.35% In2014
According to the UN World Economic Situation and Prospects 2014 (WESP) reportreleased on 24 January , India’s economy is projected to grow at aslower-than-expected rate of 5.3 per cent in 2014. Full-year growth deceleratedto 4.8 per cent in 2013 from 5.1 per cent in the calendar year 2012.

RBI raised Repo Rate By 25 Basis Points To 8Percent
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) raised the Repo rate under Liquidity AdjustmentFacility (LAF) by 25 basis points from 7.75 percent to 8 percent. Besides, itkept the cash reserve ratio (CRR) of scheduled banks unchanged at 4 percent ofnet demand and time liability (NDTL). The decision to raise the repo rate andkeep the CRR unchanged was announced by the RBI in its Third Quarter MonetaryPolicy Review on 28 January. As a result, the reverse repo rate under the LAFstands adjusted at 7 percent, and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate andthe Bank Rate at 9.0 percent.


SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

GSLV-D5 Rocket Carrying CommunicationSatellite GSAT-14 Successfully Launched
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on 5 January successfully launchedits heavy-duty rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Development 5(GSLV-D5) having indigeneous cryogenic engine that placed a 1,982 kg GSAT-14communication satellite into the orbit. The 49.13-metre tall rocketGSLV-D5  lifted off from Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota ,Andhra Pradesh .The launch vehicle successfully injected the GSAT-14communication satellite into the intended orbit.With the successful launch ofGSLV-D5 flight India has now become the sixth nation to possess the cryogenic enginetechnology, and has joined the elite club of the United States, Russia, France,Japan and China.

India Successfully Test Fired Nuclear Capable‘ Prithvi – II ‘ Missile
India on 7 January successfully test-fired its indigenously developed nuclearcapable surface to surface Prithvi II missile , which is capable of carrying500 kg to 1,000 kg of warheads and has a strike range of 350 km, from a testrange at Chandipur near Balasore (Odisha).The launch was part of a user trialby the Army.Prithvi-II missile is already inducted into the Indian Armedforces.The last trial of Prithvi-II was successfully carried out from the samebase on 3 December 2013.

Astronomers Discovered Two New Exoplanets
In the month of January 2014 A team of Astronomers from Harvard-SmithsonianCenter for Astrophysics (CfA), have discovered two new extrasolar planetscircling a dim, red dwarf star about 200 light-years away from our planet.Oneof the planets, dubbed KOI-314c, weighs the same as Earth, but around 60percent larger in diameter.The second planet, named KOI-314b, is about the samesize as KOI-314c but significantly denser, weighing about 4 times as much asEarth.The team discovered the planet using data from NASA’s Kepler spacecraft.

World’s Fastest Organic Transistor Developed
In the month of January 2014 Scientists claim to have developed the world’sfastest thin-film organic transistor that could operate more than five timesfaster than previous examples of this technology.Researchers from theUniversity of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) and Stanford University explained thatthis experimental technology has the potential to achieve the performanceneeded for high-resolution television screens and similar electronic devices.Engineers created the thin-film organic transistors that could operate morethan five times faster than previous examples of this experimental technology.


PERSONS IN NEWS

A) APPOINTMENTS

R Chandrashekhar is new NASSCOM President
Former Telecom Secretary (Government of India), R Chandrashekhar on 5 Januarytook over as the President of Information Technology trade body Nasscom(National Association of Software and Services Companies).He succeeds SomMittal, who served as President from 2007-2013.This is the first time thatNASSCOM has appointed a former bureaucrat as the president.

US Senate Confirmed Janet Yellen as newFederal Reserve Chairperson
The US Senate has on 6 January confirmed Janet Yellen as new leader of theFederal Reserve. She is the first woman to lead the central bank in its100-year history. She succeeds the Chairman Ben Bernanke as the next head ofAmerica’s central bank.

Sheikh Hasina Sworn In As Bangladesh PrimeMinister
Sheikh Hasina was on 12 January sworn in as the Prime Minister of Bangladeshfor the third time. She had won an overwhelming majority in the Bangladeshgeneral election held on 5 January 2014 by defeating opposition party, Jatiyaparty.The Awami League has secured absolute majority in the 10th Parliamentelections by bagging 232 seats – 105 contested and 127 uncontested.

B)RESIGNS

Tunisia Prime Minister Ali Larayedh Resigned
Tunisia’s Islamist Prime Minister Ali Larayedh has resigned from his office on9 January . With his resignation, the country will be led by the caretakerGovernment of technocrats led by led by new Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa. Heresigned following a deal between the Islamist Ennahda Party of Ali Larayedhand the secular opposition for a transition to the democracy in the country.

C)DEATHS

Israel’s Former Prime Minister Ariel SharonDied
Israel’s former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon died on 11 January .The formergeneral of Israeli Army had been in coma since 4 January 2006. He served as the11th Prime Minister of Israel until he was incapacitated by a stroke. Sharonwas a commander in the Israeli Army from its creation in 1948.Nicknamed ‘TheBulldozer’, the veteran soldier fought in all of Israel’s major wars beforebeginning a turbulent political career in 1973.

D)VISITORS

Bhutan King Jigme Khesar Namgyel WangchuckVisited India
Bhutan King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck Visited India from 6 – 10 January2014. During his visit , Bhutan King held extensive talks with Prime MinisterManmohan Singh in New Delhi. The two leaders exchanged views on bilateralrelations and on regional and international issues of mutual interest. Theprime minister and other Indian leaders reiterated their full commitment andsupport to Bhutan’s socio-economic development and to further development ofBhutan’s hydropower resources. This is King Wangchuck’s second visit in 12months. He was also the chief guest at India’s Republic Day celebrations inJanuary 2013.

E)MISCELLANEOUS

Sachin Tendulkar 5th Most Admired Person InThe World
Microsoft founder Bill Gates has been named as the most admired person on theplanet with cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar fifth on a list of 30 peoplecompiled after a poll in 13 countries, including India.The ‘World’s mostadmired people poll’ was conducted by YouGov for The Times by surveying almost14,000 people.


PLACES  IN  NEWS

Odisha’s Chilika Lagoon Named DestinationFlyways By UNWTO
Chilika lagoon in Odisha was named Destination Flyways by the United NationsWorld Tourism Organization (UNWTO) on 21 January .The lagoon was named so forits sustainable and resilient destination for migratory birds. Chilika is theonly site to be selected from Asia by the UNWTO and was included in a list ofeight such sites. The Destination Flyways initiative of UNWTO aims at promotionof sustainable tourism.


ABBREVIATIONS

GPS – Global PositioningSystem

TCS – Tata ConsultancyServices

NASSCOM – NationalAssociation of Software and Services Companies

GSLV – GeosynchronousSatellite Launch Vehicle

FSLRC – Financial SectorLegislative Reforms Commission

NBFC – Non BankingFinance Companies


BOOKS IN NEWS

“  Incredible Opportunities Back Home ”Book Released
The Prime Minister Manmohan Singh released the book entitled “IncredibleOpportunities Back Home” on 8 January during the 12th Pravasi Bharatiya Divasin New Delhi .This book will provide access to credible information, essentialfor meaningful engagement.


COMMITTEES

Nachiket Mor Committee’s Report on FinancialInclusion
The committee constituted by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI’s) on 23 September2013 to suggest steps for promoting financial inclusion headed by veteranbanker and ex-ICICI Bank executive director Nachiket Mor. The committee on 7January 2014 suggested setting up of specialised banks to cater to low incomehouseholds to ensure that all citizens have bank accounts by January 1, 2016.


IMPORTANT DAYS AND DATES

“World Braille Day” was Observed on 4thJanuary
“World Braille Day” is celebrated today (4th January) across the world toobserve the Birthday of Louis Braille. Louis Braille, born in 1809, was theinventor of braille, a system of reading and writing used by people who areblind or visually impaired. Braille became blind after an accident at the ageof three. He created a language based on the patterns of raised dots on paper,which could be felt and one can read anything that is unable to see. He didthis to have an access to works of literature.

National Girl Child Day Observed on 24 January
National Girl Child Day observed on 24 January 2014 across India by theGovernment. This day is observed every year to raise awareness andconsciousness of the society towards girl children. The day is being observedevery year on 24 January since 2008. Government of India has started NationalGirl Child Day as a national girl’s development mission. The mission raises theawareness among people all over the country about the importance of girls’promotion. It helps in enhancing girls’ meaningful contribution in decisionmaking processes by active support of the parents and the community members.

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 INTERNATIONAL
Colorado Becomes First US state To Allow Marijuana Sale
Colorado has on 1 January become the first U.S. state to license the sale of the drug for recreational use. In November 2012, Colorado voters approved the sale of recreational marijuana, as did voters in Washington state. Under the new state law, residents are now able to buy marijuana like alcohol.

US Senate Passed USD 1.1 Trillion Spending Bill
The US Senate has passed the USD 1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill that eliminates the threat of another government shutdown at least until October 2014 and puts conditions on Pakistan for continuation of aid. Passed by the House of Representatives on 16 January, the bill now goes to the White House for President Barack Obama to sign it into law, thus preventing another shutdown.

Bolivian President Evo Morales Assumes G77 Chairmanship
Bolivian president Evo Morales has assumed the Chairmanship of the Group of  77 nations.Bolivia was chosen head of the G-77, which actually groups 133 developing nations, by consensus, and Morales was at the United nations on 8 January to take over the chairmanship from outgoing Fiji. The organization was created in June 1964 with the purpose of formulating and promoting the new economic interests of southern countries within the United Nations system.

South Sudan Government and Rebels Signed Ceasefire Agreement
South Sudan’s Government and Rebels have signed a ceasefire agreement .The agreement was signed in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa by representatives of South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir and rebel delegates loyal to ousted vice president Riek Machar on 23 January . As per the deal, the government has agreed to release 11 officials close to Machar, who were detained after the fighting broke in the country.


INDIA & WORLD

India and Maldives Signed 3 MoUs
India and the Maldives on 2 January agreed to amicably resolve all differences, including over cancellation of Indian company GMR’s contract to run Male International Airport. Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen held talks in New Delhi with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the two sides signed three Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs).Two agreements are related to health and human resource development and one on the diplomatic front.

India and Canada Signed LOI for Co-operation in Iron and Steel Sector
India and Canada have signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) for co-operation in Iron and Steel Sector. The letters were signed on 13 January in New Delhi by Beni Prasad Verma, the Union Minister of Steel and Minister of Natural Resources, Government of Canada, Joe Oliver.

India and South Korea Signed Nine Agreements
India and South Korea have signed 9 agreements in different areas to boost bilateral ties between the two countries.The agreements were signed on 16 January after delegation level talks between Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister of India and Park Geun-hye, the President of South Korea in New Delhi.

India and Japan Signed 8 Agreements
India and Japan have agreed to boost defence ties and signed eight agreements with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, pledging another tranche of infrastructure loans worth 200 billion yen, during his talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on 25 January.

Pakistan and India Ranked 97th In Global Food Index 2014
According to the ‘ Global Food Index 2014 ‘ released on 17 January , Pakistan ranked 97th in a list of 125 countries with regard to availability, quality and affordability of food and dietary health.The listing means Pakistan is one of the countries with the most unhealthy and scarce food. India got the same rank as Pakistan.The Netherlands emerges as the country with the most nutritious, plentiful and healthy food leaving France and Switzerland behind at the joint second place.The Index namely “Good Enough to Eat” has been compiled by the UK-based international relief and development organization ‘Oxfam’.


NATIONAL

Government Launched India’s First Comprehensive Adolescent Health Programme
Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad on 7 January launched the nation’s first comprehensive adolescent health programme named ” Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK)”  in New Delhi.The programme will include a sharp focus on adolescents’ sexual health.The RKSK defines an adolescent as a person within 10-19 years of age, in urban and rural areas, includes both girls and boys, married and unmarried, poor and affluent, whether they are in school or out of school.

Government Notified New Natural Gas Pricing Formula
The Government of India on 10 January notified the new natural gas pricing formula, which will be in effect from 1 April 2014. As per the newly issued notification, the rate of all domestically produced fuel will be almost doubled to 8.2 to 8.4 dollar per unit.

Government Grants CBI greater Financial Autonomy
The Central Government on 14 January relaxed its control over the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and granted the CBI director a rank equal to a Secretary.

Ghulam Nabi Azad Launches National Urban Health Mission
Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad on 20 January launched the National Urban Health Mission (NUHM)  in Bangalore to provide timely quality health services to the urban poor.The scheme will now be introduced as a sub-mission under the National Health Mission (NHM).The mission will be implemented in 779 cities and towns, each with a population of more than 50,000, and cover over 7.75 crore people.


STATES

Manmohan Singh Launched Total E-literacy Project In Kerala
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has launched the total E-literacy project implemented by PN Panicker Vigyan Vikas Kendra in Thiruvanathpuram on 4 January.This would act as the corner-stone of the Kerala model of development.The programme was aimed at achieving total e-literacy in the state in 33 months, marching from total literacy to complete-literacy.

Maharashtra Govt. Launched Unique ‘ Blood On Call ‘ Scheme
Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on 7 January rolled out “Jeevan Amrut Yojana” (blood-on-call scheme) across the state.The ambitious plan is aimed at facilitating blood supply to patients scheduled to undergo surgeries and medical procedures, at cheaper rate by dialling a dedicated helpline number “104″. Under the scheme, the request for blood will have to be placed by hospitals.

Chhattisgarh Govt. Launched Toll Free Number 1100 For Graft Complaints
Chhattisgarh government has on 7 January launched a toll free helpline number 1100 where people could lodge graft-related complaints against the state government officials.The facility will help provide better governance to the people.Now, the people can just dial 1100 to lodge complaints regarding corruption.

Anu Vidyut Pariyojana Launched In Haryana
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh laid the foundation of 2,800 Megawatt nuclear power plant in Fatehabad district of Haryana on 13 January.The project named as Anu Vidyut Pariyojna, will have four units of 700 MWes each and it will be built at a cost 23502 crore rupees. The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) will build these reactors. This is the first time Haryana will have a nuclear project.


CONFERENCES

12th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Held in New Delhi
The 12th edition of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) was held in New Delhi from 7 – 9 January 2014 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. The theme of the event was ” Engaging Diaspora – Connecting across Generations “.The convention was inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on 7 January. Malaysia’s Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Y B Datuk Seri Palanivel ,was the Chief Guest. On 9 January President Pranab Mukherjee conferred the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards and addressed the closing session of the Convention.


AWARDS & HONOURS

President Pranab Mukherjee Conferred Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards
President Pranab Mukherjee conferred the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards on 9 January during the 12th edition of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD). Peace activist Ela Gandhi, who is a grand-daughter of Mahatma Gandhi, was among the 13 non-resident Indians (NRIs), persons of Indian origin (PIOs) and organizations honoured with the prestigious Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards. Ela Gandhi was given the award for public service and for enhancing India’s image and for promoting ties between India and South Africa. Lisa Maria Singh is the first member of Australian Parliament of South Asian descent and has held several ministerial portfolios in the past.  She is a senator from Tasmania. Singh was given the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman for public service and fostering friendly relations between India and Australia. Ramkrishna Mission, serving in Fiji since 1937, was honoured for community service and philanthropic activities and enhancing India’s prestige abroad.

Three Security Personnel Selected For ‘ Kirti Chakra ‘ Award
Three personnel of the armed forces have been selected for the year 2014 ‘ Kirti Chakra’ award , the second highest peace time gallantry award, for their acts of bravery on the Line of Control (LoC), anti-maoist operation and relief operation in flood-hit Uttarakhand, respectively. The three are among 368 gallantry award winners this year including 10 Shaurya Chakra awardees.

Indian-American Wins Top US Teaching Award
India-born Meera Chandrasekhar, professor of physics and astronomy and Curator’s Teaching Professor of Physics at the University of Missouri, has on 18 January won Baylor University’s ” 2014 Robert Foster Cherry Award ” for Great Teaching.

Mohinder Singh , Radhakrishnan Selected For Communal Harmony Awards
National Communal Harmony Award for Mohinder Singh for his work done in restoring peace after the 1984 anti-Sikh riots and noted academician N Radhakrishnan for his promotion of Gandhian values were announced on 25 January. Singh, along with Gandhian Radhakrishnan of Kerala, have been selected for the coveted award in the individual category while the Centre for Study of Society and Secularism, Mumbai has been selected in the organisation category.


SPORTS & GAMES

Rafael Nadal Won Qatar ExxonMobil Open Title
Rafael Nadal of Spain won the Qatar ExxonMobil Open title on 4 January.He defeated France’s Gael Monfils in the Men’s Singles final at Doha.It was his 61st ATP title.

Brisbane International Tennis Tournament Winners – 2014
Women’s Singles :- Serena Williams of the U.S. on 4 January won the Brisbane International Tennis Tournament Women’s Singles title after defeated Victoria Azarenka of Belarus in the final in Brisbane, Australia. Williams has now won 58 tour singles titles.Men’s Singles :- Australia’s Lleyton Hewitt won the Men’s Singles Title. He defeated Roger Federer of Switzerland in the Brisbane International final. It was Hewitt’s 29th title on the ATP tour but his first since 2010, when he also beat Federer in the final at Halle.

Ana Ivanovic Won Auckland Open Tennis Title
Ana Ivanovic of Serbia won the Auckland Open Tennis Title on 4 January. She defeated Venus Williams (U.S) in the final at Auckland, New Zealand.It is the 12th title for the Ivanovic and second seed but her first success since victory in Bali in 2011.

Anju Bobby George Declared World Athletics Gold Medalist For 2005
Indian Long jumper Anju Bobby George on 13 January became the first Indian track and field athlete to win a gold medal in a major world event after international governing body International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) upgraded her second place finish at the 2005 Monaco World Athletics Championships final to the top spot , following a dope violation by a Russian competitor Tatyana Kotova.Anju’s fifth place finish at the 2005 Helsinki World Championship’s long jump event was also upgraded to fourth.

Netherlands Won Hockey World League 2014
The Netherlands on 18 January won the first ever Hockey World League final after defeating New Zealand by 7-2 in New Delhi. Belgium retained his fifth place , while India secured sixth place.


ECONOMY

Government Retains 100 Per cent FDI in Existing Pharma Units
Government of India on 8 January decided to retain the policy of allowing 100 per cent foreign investments in the existing pharma firms, brushing aside concerns about non availability of affordable drugs in view of MNCs takeovers.India permits 100 per cent FDI in pharma through automatic approval route in the greenfield, or new projects.

India’s Growth Projected To Rise To 7.1 Percent By 2016-17
According to the World Bank’s Global Economic Prospects (GEP) report released on 16 January , India’s growth is projected to rise to over six percent in fiscal 2014-15, increasing to 7.1 percent by fiscal 2016-17 with the world economy expected to strengthen this year.

Indian Economy Projected To Grow At 5.35% In 2014
According to the UN World Economic Situation and Prospects 2014 (WESP) report released on 24 January , India’s economy is projected to grow at a slower-than-expected rate of 5.3 per cent in 2014. Full-year growth decelerated to 4.8 per cent in 2013 from 5.1 per cent in the calendar year 2012.

RBI raised Repo Rate By 25 Basis Points To 8 Percent
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) raised the Repo rate under Liquidity Adjustment Facility (LAF) by 25 basis points from 7.75 percent to 8 percent. Besides, it kept the cash reserve ratio (CRR) of scheduled banks unchanged at 4 percent of net demand and time liability (NDTL). The decision to raise the repo rate and keep the CRR unchanged was announced by the RBI in its Third Quarter Monetary Policy Review on 28 January. As a result, the reverse repo rate under the LAF stands adjusted at 7 percent, and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate at 9.0 percent.


SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

GSLV-D5 Rocket Carrying Communication Satellite GSAT-14 Successfully Launched
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on 5 January successfully launched its heavy-duty rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Development 5 (GSLV-D5) having indigeneous cryogenic engine that placed a 1,982 kg GSAT-14 communication satellite into the orbit. The 49.13-metre tall rocket GSLV-D5  lifted off from Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota , Andhra Pradesh .The launch vehicle successfully injected the GSAT-14 communication satellite into the intended orbit.With the successful launch of GSLV-D5 flight India has now become the sixth nation to possess the cryogenic engine technology, and has joined the elite club of the United States, Russia, France, Japan and China.

India Successfully Test Fired Nuclear Capable ‘ Prithvi – II ‘ Missile
India on 7 January successfully test-fired its indigenously developed nuclear capable surface to surface Prithvi II missile , which is capable of carrying 500 kg to 1,000 kg of warheads and has a strike range of 350 km, from a test range at Chandipur near Balasore (Odisha).The launch was part of a user trial by the Army.Prithvi-II missile is already inducted into the Indian Armed forces.The last trial of Prithvi-II was successfully carried out from the same base on 3 December 2013.

Astronomers Discovered Two New Exoplanets
In the month of January 2014 A team of Astronomers from Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA), have discovered two new extrasolar planets circling a dim, red dwarf star about 200 light-years away from our planet.One of the planets, dubbed KOI-314c, weighs the same as Earth, but around 60 percent larger in diameter.The second planet, named KOI-314b, is about the same size as KOI-314c but significantly denser, weighing about 4 times as much as Earth.The team discovered the planet using data from NASA’s Kepler spacecraft.

World’s Fastest Organic Transistor Developed
In the month of January 2014 Scientists claim to have developed the world’s fastest thin-film organic transistor that could operate more than five times faster than previous examples of this technology.Researchers from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) and Stanford University explained that this experimental technology has the potential to achieve the performance needed for high-resolution television screens and similar electronic devices. Engineers created the thin-film organic transistors that could operate more than five times faster than previous examples of this experimental technology.


PERSONS IN NEWS

A) APPOINTMENTS

R Chandrashekhar is new NASSCOM President
Former Telecom Secretary (Government of India), R Chandrashekhar on 5 January took over as the President of Information Technology trade body Nasscom (National Association of Software and Services Companies).He succeeds Som Mittal, who served as President from 2007-2013.This is the first time that NASSCOM has appointed a former bureaucrat as the president.

US Senate Confirmed Janet Yellen as new Federal Reserve Chairperson
The US Senate has on 6 January confirmed Janet Yellen as new leader of the Federal Reserve. She is the first woman to lead the central bank in its 100-year history. She succeeds the Chairman Ben Bernanke as the next head of America’s central bank.

Sheikh Hasina Sworn In As Bangladesh Prime Minister
Sheikh Hasina was on 12 January sworn in as the Prime Minister of Bangladesh for the third time. She had won an overwhelming majority in the Bangladesh general election held on 5 January 2014 by defeating opposition party, Jatiya party.The Awami League has secured absolute majority in the 10th Parliament elections by bagging 232 seats – 105 contested and 127 uncontested.

B)RESIGNS

Tunisia Prime Minister Ali Larayedh Resigned
Tunisia’s Islamist Prime Minister Ali Larayedh has resigned from his office on 9 January . With his resignation, the country will be led by the caretaker Government of technocrats led by led by new Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa. He resigned following a deal between the Islamist Ennahda Party of Ali Larayedh and the secular opposition for a transition to the democracy in the country.

C)DEATHS

Israel’s Former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon Died
Israel’s former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon died on 11 January .The former general of Israeli Army had been in coma since 4 January 2006. He served as the 11th Prime Minister of Israel until he was incapacitated by a stroke. Sharon was a commander in the Israeli Army from its creation in 1948.Nicknamed ‘The Bulldozer’, the veteran soldier fought in all of Israel’s major wars before beginning a turbulent political career in 1973.

D)VISITORS

Bhutan King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck Visited India
Bhutan King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck Visited India from 6 – 10 January 2014. During his visit , Bhutan King held extensive talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi. The two leaders exchanged views on bilateral relations and on regional and international issues of mutual interest. The prime minister and other Indian leaders reiterated their full commitment and support to Bhutan’s socio-economic development and to further development of Bhutan’s hydropower resources. This is King Wangchuck’s second visit in 12 months. He was also the chief guest at India’s Republic Day celebrations in January 2013.

E)MISCELLANEOUS

Sachin Tendulkar 5th Most Admired Person In The World
Microsoft founder Bill Gates has been named as the most admired person on the planet with cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar fifth on a list of 30 people compiled after a poll in 13 countries, including India.The ‘World’s most admired people poll’ was conducted by YouGov for The Times by surveying almost 14,000 people.


PLACES  IN  NEWS

Odisha’s Chilika Lagoon Named Destination Flyways By UNWTO
Chilika lagoon in Odisha was named Destination Flyways by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) on 21 January .The lagoon was named so for its sustainable and resilient destination for migratory birds. Chilika is the only site to be selected from Asia by the UNWTO and was included in a list of eight such sites. The Destination Flyways initiative of UNWTO aims at promotion of sustainable tourism.


ABBREVIATIONS

GPS – Global Positioning System

TCS – Tata Consultancy Services

NASSCOM – National Association of Software and Services Companies

GSLV – Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle

FSLRC – Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission

NBFC – Non Banking Finance Companies


BOOKS IN NEWS

“  Incredible Opportunities Back Home ” Book Released
The Prime Minister Manmohan Singh released the book entitled “Incredible Opportunities Back Home” on 8 January during the 12th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in New Delhi .This book will provide access to credible information, essential for meaningful engagement.


COMMITTEES

Nachiket Mor Committee’s Report on Financial Inclusion
The committee constituted by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI’s) on 23 September 2013 to suggest steps for promoting financial inclusion headed by veteran banker and ex-ICICI Bank executive director Nachiket Mor. The committee on 7 January 2014 suggested setting up of specialised banks to cater to low income households to ensure that all citizens have bank accounts by January 1, 2016.


IMPORTANT DAYS AND DATES

“World Braille Day” was Observed on 4th January
“World Braille Day” is celebrated today (4th January) across the world to observe the Birthday of Louis Braille. Louis Braille, born in 1809, was the inventor of braille, a system of reading and writing used by people who are blind or visually impaired. Braille became blind after an accident at the age of three. He created a language based on the patterns of raised dots on paper, which could be felt and one can read anything that is unable to see. He did this to have an access to works of literature.

National Girl Child Day Observed on 24 January
National Girl Child Day observed on 24 January 2014 across India by the Government. This day is observed every year to raise awareness and consciousness of the society towards girl children. The day is being observed every year on 24 January since 2008. Government of India has started National Girl Child Day as a national girl’s development mission. The mission raises the awareness among people all over the country about the importance of girls’ promotion. It helps in enhancing girls’ meaningful contribution in decision making processes by active support of the parents and the community members.

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Deepak Tomar

I’m Deepak Tomar. I have completed my M.Tech in Computer Science and now i am working as a Govt. Employee in UP Police, I Love to help others and making friends, you can connect to me on facebook for any help- I will be happy to help you .

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