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National Current Affairs
January 4th Week 2015 Current Affairs
Author : priya
Category : National Current Affairs
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January 4th Week 2015 Current Affairs

1) Joint India Mongolia Exercise.

  • The tenth India Mongolia Joint Training Exercise commenced with an impressive opening ceremony at Gwalior. The aim of the exercise is to acquaint both armies with each other’s operating procedures in the backdrop of a Counter Insurgency and Terrorism environment.
  • The 15 day exercise is planned to train troops of both nations on crossing of obstacles, special heliborne operations, water patrolling, firing a variety of weapons, handling and neutralisation of improvised explosive devices and conduct of cordon and search operations in a Counter Insurgency and Terrorism environment.
2) India observed 118th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.
  • India observed the 118th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose by paying glowing tribute to his memory at functions held throughout the country.
  • It has been maintained that Bose died in an air crash in Taiwan in 1945. However, the Mukherjee Commission had rejected the opinion that he had died in a plane crash at Taihoku airport in Taiwan on August 18, 1945.
  • Subhas Chandra Bose was an Indian nationalist. Bose had been a leader of the younger, radical, wing of the Indian National Congress in the late 1920s and 1930s, rising to become Congress President in 1938 and 1939. However, he was ousted from Congress leadership positions in 1939 following differences with Mohandas K. Gandhi and the Congress high command. He was subsequently placed under house arrest by the British before escaping from India in 1940.
3) Supreme Court`s decision on IPL Spot fixing.
  • Supreme Court gave verdict that N. Srinivasan can`t contest BCCI polls till he gives up commercial interest in CSK.
  • The Apex court said No BCCI administrator can have commercial interests.Srinivasan held miniscule share in India Cements misleading since his family directly or indirectly holds much more.
  • The court-appointed Justice Mukul Mudgal Committee, also comprising senior advocates L. Nageswar Rao and Nilay Dutta, had found Srinivasan`s son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan guilty of indulging in betting during IPL 2013 despite being a CSK team official.
4) Coal auctions to fetch States $100 billion: Coal and Power Minister.
  • Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal has asserted that investors have no concern over the ordinance route taken by the Centre for the auction of coal blocks and said the entire process will generate more than $100 billion in royalties and proceeds for various States.
  • The ordinance has a weight of law. Any action taken under ordinance has complete protection as if it were done within the legal framework of an Act.
  • The auction process is already on; people have started registering themselves on the website. The bidding process will start next month, and all mines won in the bid would be legally tenable and can never go wrong.

5) Republic Day: Cultural heritage, military might on display at Rajpath.
  • Multi-hued images of India`s rich cultural diversity and military might as well as Achievements in diverse fields unfolded at the 66th Republic Day parade which had a US President--Barack Obama--as the Chief Guest for the first time.
  • As the nearly two-hour-long parade, showcasing the country`s `unity in diversity` marched down the Rajpath in drizzle and overcast skies, thousands of spectators gathered along the route and cheered in joy.  
  • The national capital was wrapped in unprecedented security blanket as thousands of security personnel kept a hawk`s vigil in and around the Rajpath.
  • In a departure from tradition for the Chief Guest at the Republic Day parade, Obama arrived in his own highly-secured bomb-proof vehicle, `The Beast`, at Rajpath.
  • A highlight of this year`s parade was the display for the first time of the recently acquired long-range maritime surveillance and anti-submarine P-8I aircraft and the long-range advanced MiG-29K fighter plane.
  • For the first time in the history of India’s Republic Day, women empowerment in the armed forces was showcased as an all-women contingent from the three forces — Army, Air Force and Navy — marched down the majestic Rajpath
6) India funds Nepal’s Pancheshwar project to counter Kheri floods.
  • India will provide fund of Rs. 1500 crore to Nepal’s Pancheshwar multi-purpose project on Mahakali river for countering the Kheri floods in Uttar Pradesh.
  • This move of Union government comes after a delegation of MPs visited Nepal and had submitted their report to government.
About the Project:
  1. Pancheshwar multi-purpose project
  2. It is located at Narayan Ghat of Dharchula on Mahakali River (also known as Kali Ganga in Uttarakhand) in Nepal. The height of dam is the 315 meters.
  3. After completion dam will be the second largest dam in the world with a capacity of 6720 Mega Watt (MW) power production.
  4. In case of power sharing, India has reached into an agreement with Nepal to procure additional electricity produced by project.
  5. This project will regulate and control the free flow of Karnali and Mohana rivers which cause floods in Kheri, Pilibhit of Uttar Pradesh and other Terai districts of northern India.
7) Special `Kadhua` Banarasi silk saree for Michelle Obama.
  • An exquisite hand-woven Banarasi silk saree with gold and silver threads, which took weavers three months to complete, will be presented to American First Lady Michelle Obama during her three-day visit to the country.
  • The cream-coloured ‘Kadhua’ silk saree, an exclusive product of this region, was hand-woven using gold and silver threads by three classic weavers, weighs around 400 grams and costs about Rs. 1.5 lakh.
  • ``The traditional Indian dress was prepared by three classic weavers and dispatched for New Delhi yesterday from here``, said local businessman Abdul Matin, whose family has been in handloom weaving business for last three generations.
  • Michelle is accompanying her husband and U.S. President Barack Obama, who is in New Delhi to be a part of Republic Day function as the Chief Guest.
  • Keeping in mind Michelle’s fascination for Banarasi silk, Matin said the order for this saree was placed with him by Debbie Driesman, the wife of Indian-American Frank Islam, a trusted man of the U.S. President.
  • Azamgarh-born Frank was recently conferred with Martin Luther King Junior award in the U.S. He is also part of the high-level U.S. delegation which arrived today in New Delhi.
  • The ‘Kadhua’ silk saree is rare, purely hand-woven and takes from three to four months to prepare.
8) `Mann ki Baat` with Modi and Obama.
  • A special radio programme featuring US President Barrack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, devoid of any hard issues like politics and foreign affairs but focused on social issue and personal matters related to the two leaders.
  • The 35-minute special broadcast of `Mann Ki Baat`, which marked the bonhomie between Modi and Obama, touched on issues like girl child, public health and personal experiences of the two leaders, both of whom have risen from humble backgrounds to assume to top positions of the respective countries.
  • At the outset, Modi said most of the questions posed by people were "connected to politics, foreign policy, and economic policy. However, some questions touch the heart. And I believe if we touch those questions today, we shall be able to reach out to the common man in different parts of the country``.
9) Prime Minister Narendra Modi to inaugurate global exhibition on services in April.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate a three-day global exhibition on services in April to showcase India`s strength in the sector and provide platform to the industry to explore business opportunities.
  • Over 40 countries will participate in the exhibition, which will start on April 23. The services sector includes IT, ITeS, telecommunication, healthcare, education, logistics, media and entertainment, R&D and space.
  • Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said besides IT/ ITeS, huge opportunities exist in other areas such as tourism, wellness, yoga and hospitality.
  • The minister also launched a portal for the exhibition. Commenting about the sector, Commerce Secretary Rajeev Kher said that share of India`s services sector in the global services trade is only 3 per cent as compared to 4.6 per cent of China.
  • In global exports of services, India`s rank has been improved from 11th to 6th during 2009 and 2013. India`s services exports are $73 billion more than the imports in 2013-14. India had a trade surplus in services segment unlike in merchandise where India runs a huge trade deficit of $138 billion in 2013-14. It is important to boost services exports to finance the goods trade deficit.
10) Union Cabinet approved MoU on Tourism between India and Oman.
  • Union Cabinet approved Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Tourism between India and Oman. The MoU will strengthen cooperation in the field of tourism between tourism ministries of both the countries.
The main objectives of the MoU are to:
  1. Expand bilateral cooperation in the tourism sector.
  2. Exchange information and data related to tourism.
  3. Encourage cooperation between tourism stakeholders including hotels and tour operators.
  4. Establish exchange programme for cooperation in Human Resource Development.
  5. Invest in the tourism and hospitality sectors.
  6. Promote safe, honorable and sustainable tourism.
11) Reconstitution of Empowered Committee regarding setting up of Semiconductor Wafer Fabrication (FAB) manufacturing facilities in the country.
  • The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved to reconstitute the Empowered Committee to setup the Semiconductor Wafer Fabrication (FAB) projects, with the following composition:
  • Dr. V.K. Saraswat, Member, NITI Aayog….. Chairman.
  • Dr. K. Radhakrishnan, Former Chairman, Indian Space Research Organisation.
  • Secretary, Department of Expenditure.
  • The setting up of FAB units will promote Electronics System Design and manufacturing in India which will stimulate the flow of capital and technology. Besides, these units will also create employment opportunities, help higher value addition in the electronic products manufactured, reduce dependence on imports and lead to innovation.
12) 20th Law Commission submitted 253rd Report titled Commercial Courts Bill 2015 to Union Government.
  • 20th Law Commission of India headed by Justice (retd) A.P. Shah submitted its 253rd report entitled Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts and Commercial Courts Bill, 2015 to Union Government.
  • In its report, the Law Commission sought to set up commercial courts in India to settle any dispute in a time-bound manner so that no dispute shall be dragged over years without conclusion of arguments.
  • These commercial courts will ensure speedy disposal of high-value cases in which delays can discourage foreign investors. It will help to boost Narendra Modi`s Make in India campaign and will encourage foreign investments as well.
  • The draft bill on Commercial Courts will be introduced in the Parliament in the Budget Session that is scheduled to start from February 2015 and will end in May 2015.
13) Union Government launched Website, Logo, Vision, and Mission of NHIDCL.
  • Union Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH) on 28 January 2015 launched Website, Logo, Vision and Mission of National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL).
  • These were launched by the Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari.
  • Logo: Building Infrastructure - Building the Nation.
  • Vision: To be an instrument for creation and management of infrastructure of the highest standard in the country with focus on the North East and Border areas and contribute significantly towards nation building.
  1. To be a professional company which works in most efficient and transparent manner and designs, develops & delivers infrastructure projects in a time bound basis for maximizing benefits to all stakeholders.
  2. Besides, the Ministry also floated first tender for upgrading 2-lane Akajan-Likabali-Bame Road in Arunachal Pradesh at a cost of 272 crore rupees.
14) PETA announced to create India`s first fenced elephant sanctuary near Bengaluru.
  • The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) announced to create India`s first fenced elephant sanctuary within the Banner ghatta Biological Park in Karnataka. The forested space will allow elephants to move around freely within the secure area.
  • The model of the sanctuary was designed by the PETA consultant and elephant expert Carol Buckley and it will come up in an area of 49.5 hectare within the Biological Park which is an extension of the Bannerghatta National Park.
  • The sanctuary will allow the herd to roam and bathe in ponds freely without being restricted by chains or without any human interference and to allow elephants to live naturally.
  • PETA will train local caregivers in the principles of protected contact. Protected contact is a method of ensuring safe interaction between human beings and elephants by keeping them separated by a sturdy barrier and using positive reinforcement techniques instead of the age-old routine of physical punishment to manage the elephants.




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