Current Affairs Updates - 20 & 21 January 2018
We, the Achieversrule team have brought to you the Daily Current Affairs Updates for 20th and 21st January 2018. All the important news of National, International, Appointments and Awards have been sorted out which are most likely to be asked in SSC, Bank and Railway exams. We hope that our articles be of help to all our dear readers.
New Appointments: National
The government today appointed senior IAS officer S Selvakumar as Chairman and Manging Director (CMD) of Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India Ltd (SPMCIL).
Harish Manwani, non-executive chairman of Hindustan Unilever Ltd, has been appointed chairman of the executive board of the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad.
- The 62-year-old Manwani has been on the board of the ISB since April 2006. Manwani has been with HUL, India’s largest consumer packaged goods firm, since 1976.
CRPF special DG Sudeep Lakhtakia has been appointed as the new chief of National Security Guard (NSG).
- Lakhtakia will take over from S P Singh, the current chief of the elite counter terror force, who retires on January 31. The order was issued by the Appointment Committee of the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Axis Bank is partnering with NGO Srijan through an initiative called Buddha Fellowship Programme to help nurture talent for the development sector.
- The bank is mentoring 15 graduates from the Indian Institutes of Management at Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Shillong, who have been taken on board by Srijan as campus hires.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank have commended the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for its “remarkable progress in strengthening banking supervision”
- The IMF and the World Bank had released two separate main Reports of the 2017 India Financial Sector Assessment Programme (FSAP) in December 2017. In continuation, the IMF and the World Bank on Friday released two detailed assessment reports (DARs) relating to the 2017 India FSAP.
Apple has topped Fortune's annual list of the World's Most Admired Companies for the 11th consecutive year.
- Apple finished ahead of Amazon, the runner-up for a second consecutive year, while Google's parent Alphabet, Warren Buffett's holding company Berkshire Hathaway, and coffee chain Starbucks rounded off the top five.
Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri today announced the commencement of the country's first-ever 'Livability Index' to rank 116 cities.
- Among the cities to be assessed for the 'Livability Index', include Delhi's three municipal corporations, Bangalore (Karnataka), Kochi (Kerala), Ghaziabad, Meerut, Varanasi, Allahabad and Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) and Faridabad in Haryana.
- The 'Livability Index' will also take into account physical infrastructure like housing, open spaces, land use, energy and water availability, solid waste management and pollution, among others.
Uttarakhand first to use ultrasound on wild animals.
- The Uttarakhand government granted certification to the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) on Thursday as part of its sterilization project to address man-animal conflict.
India joined the 42-member Australia Group, an elite export control regime against spread of chemical and biological weapons that could fortify New Delhi's efforts to become a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
- The only grouping India is now left out of is the NSG or the Nuclear Suppliers Group where China has been repeatedly blocking New Delhi's entry.
- The Nuclear Suppliers Group or NSG has 48 member countries who control trade in sophisticated civil nuclear technology. China was among the countries that objected to India's admission to the bloc, ratcheting up tension between the two countries.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh launched an official anthem for “Bharat Ke Veer”, an initiative with a corpus fund to help the families of paramilitary troopers killed in the line of duty.
- The anthem, sung and composed by singer Kailash Kher, was launched at an event here attended by Mr. Singh, Ministers of State for Home Kiren Rijiju and Hansraj Ahir, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba and Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar.
Mauritius was the largest source of foreign investment in India, followed by the US and the UK, according to a census by the Reserve Bank.
- Singapore and Japan were the next two sources of foreign direct investment (FDI), said the Census on Foreign Liabilities and Assets of Indian Direct Investment Companies 2016-17, released by RBI on Friday.
- “Mauritius was the largest source of FDI in India (21.8 per cent share at market value) followed by the USA, the UK, Singapore and Japan whereas Singapore (19.7 per cent) was the major ODI destination, followed by the Netherlands, Mauritius, and the USA,” the census said.
Science & Technologies
NASA has successfully applied a new technology that allows aircraft to fold their wings between zero and 70 degrees while inflight.
- Built from a shape memory alloy, the system operates without a hydraulic system, reducing the wing weight by up to 80%. The technology's potential aerodynamic benefit includes increased controllability, which may result in a more fuel-efficient aircraft, said NASA.
The US National Security Agency (NSA) has been using secret speech recognition technology to identify people by their unique voiceprint for years, according to a declassified NSA document.
- The intelligence agency had used the technology in counterterrorism operations and overseas drug busts, the document added. Following the revelation, the NSA had faced criticism for abusing people's privacy.
Defence & Railway
Indian Naval Ship Vikramaditya, the Indian Navy's largest ship and its sole aircraft carrier was formally affiliated to the Indian Army's highly-decorated and battle-hardened Bihar Regiment and the Indian Air Force's No 6 Squadron.
- A glittering ceremony was held onboard INS Vikramaditya at the Karwar Naval Base, nestled amongst the picturesque Western Ghats, attended by Western Naval Command chief Vice Admiral Girish Luthra, and the Army's Military Secretary Lt General Amarjeet Singh, who is also the Colonel of the Bihar Regiment.
Books & Authors
President Ram Nath Kovind unveiled a book on heartfulness techniques and principles titled 'The Heartfulness Way'.
- Authored by Kamlesh Patel, widely known as Daaji, the fourth Global Guide of Heartfulness, and Joshua Pollock, a heartfulness trainer and practitioner, the book promises to be a treat for those who are curious about what is heartfulness and how it can change our day-to-day lives. It was launched by Commerce and Industries Minister Suresh Prabhu.
Application / Portal
In an initiative to empower Persons with Disabilities, 100 websites of various State Governments/UTs under Accessible India Campaign were launched by the Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawarchand Gehlot on the occasion of ‘National Conference on Improving Accessibility’.
- A statement by Ministry of Social Justice said that accessible websites are those websites into which Persons with Disabilities can perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with the Web, and that they can contribute to the Web.
- The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan) initiated a ‘Website Accessibility Project’ for State Government/Union Territories under Accessible India Campaign through ERNET India, an autonomous scientific society under the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY), to make total 917 websites accessible and providing funds for the same.
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) celebrated its 13th Raising Day.
- An MoU was also signed in between NDRF and NSDC. Besides, a co-operation with Facebook took place during the programme. The highlights of the cooperation with facebook includes targeted geographical messaging, disaster information volunteers and community capacity building.
Banking finance company AU Small Finance Bank has signed an MoU with LIC to offer Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY).
- Under the MoU, LIC will give a life cover of 2 lakh in case of death to the customer at a nominal premium of 330 per annum.
- The aim is to provide best services to the customers under one roof, MD and CEO of the company, Sanjay Agarwal said in a statement.
Summit /Conference / Events / Host
The fourth edition of the India International Science Festival will be held in Lucknow.
- The ministry also said the exact dates and other details will be decided later. The decision to hold the Festival in Lucknow was taken at the first preparatory meeting for the 4th India International Science Festival (IISF) chaired by Union Minister for Science & Technology, Environment, Forest & Climate Change and Earth Sciences, Dr. Harsh Vardhan.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said Tamil Nadu will host its first-ever bi-annual defence exhibition in April.
- The exhibition will take place from April 11 to 14 and nearly 80 countries are expected to take part in it.
- Sitharaman said the ministry officials had earlier visited several states to hold the event and the Tamil Nadu government immediately came forward and alloted land for the same on the East Coast Road near Mahabalipuram.
Awards & Honours: Miscellanous
Andhra Pradesh Information Technology (IT) Minister Nara Lokesh was felicitated with Dr. Kalam Innovation in Governance Award 2018 at the Dr. Kalam Centre
- Nara Lokesh outlined a number of innovative initiatives that the Andhra Pradesh Government is taking to improve its governance.
- Lokesh stated that to attain smart governance, RFID cards are being used to track rural garbage collection. To test the quality of water in overhead tanks in real-time in villages, Internet of Things (IoT) is being used.
Awards & Honours: Sports
Indian shuttler Divij Sharan and Rohan Bopanna with their respected partners swiftly entered into the men's doubles third round at the Australian Open which is being held in Melbourne.
- Divij Sharan and his American partner Ram registered a victory over the Fabio Fognini and Marcel Granollers by 4-6, 7-6, 6-2 in the second round which lasted for two hours and eight minutes. However, it was a hard fought win for Divij Sharan and his American partner Ram after clinching few points at a crucial time in the match.
Indian cricket team registered an emphatic victory over Zimbabwe by 10 wickets in the ICC Under-19 World Cup at Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui .
- In-form Indian batsmen chased down the small target in an easy manner as Harvik Desai scored 56 runs unbeaten while Shubham Gill scored 90 runs. The target of 155 runs was achieved by India without losing any wicket. With the win, the Prithvi Shaw led side remain unbeaten in the group B. India have already sealed their spot in the quarterfinals.
Blind Cricket World Cup: India beat Pakistan by two wickets in thrilling final to retain title.
- Sunil Ramesh rose to the occasion as he played a great knock of 93 to help India retain Blind Cricket World Cup title after beating arch-rivals Pakistan by two wickets in a thrilling final played at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in UAE on Saturday.
Iconic cartoonist Chandi Lahiri passes away.
- Cartoonist Chandi Lahiri breathed his last at the state-run R G Kar Hospital at 1.50pm on Thursday after a brief period of illness, marking the end of a chapter in Bengal's history of cartoon.