Home Daily Updates IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 26 -JANUARY - 2016
IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 26 -JANUARY - 2016
Tuesday, 26 January 2016 04:54

 

 

DAILY NEWS UPDATES

26 - JANUARY - 2016

 

PM MODI CONFERRED THE TIMES NOW AMAZING INDIANS AWARDS 2016

Prime Minister Narendra Modi conferred the Times Now Amazing Indians Awards 2016 to all the awardees.

The awards were given by Times Now in recognition of extraordinary achievers, ordinary people whose work shaped many lives

List of Awardees

Name

Category

Achievement

Late Kallen Pokkudan

The Eco Saviours

Known as Mangrove Man of India for preserving the wetlands and the eco system was what he lived for

S Ramakrishnan

Unstoppable Indians

for work done for welfare of people with physical & mental impairments

Sunita Aralikar

Stree Shakthi

for her work championing cause of women empowerment, girl child adoption

Popatrao Pawar

The Grass Roots Soldiers

He has brought along wing of change in his village hiware bazaar in Maharashtra by being a Sarpanch.

Timothy

Indian at Heart

Dedicated to find shelter for homeless kids

Chintakindi Mallesham

Incredible Innovators

Devised the electronic laxmi ASU Machine to put an end to agony of weavers

Malavath Poorna

Young Indians, Big Achievements

She became the youngest female (13 Years) climber in the world to scale Mt. Everest

Damini Sen

Young Indians, Big Achievements

Born without Arms in Raipur and holds a world record of largest number of drawing made by Toes in an hour.

Murugan S

Ordinary Indians,Extraordinary Achievement

For rescuing and rehabilitating thousands of street children by being an auto rickshaw driver.

Mathews K Mathew

Energising India

For devising a solar mosquito trapper cum destroyer to Mosquitoes.

Yashraj Khaitan

Global Indians

An alumnus of university of Berkeley, he returned to India to address the challenges of power supply in the remote corners of the country.

Ruma Roka

Educators of India

A teacher, Mentor & an interpreter who is breaking the language barrier and proving the hearing impaired can also learn and grow

INDIA AND JAPAN CONDUCTED JOINT COAST GUARD EXERCISE SAHYOG-KAIJIN 2016

The Coast Guards of India and Japan on 15 January 2016 conducted their 15th joint exercise off the coast of Chennai.

India’s Coast Guard vessel Samudra Pehredar and the Japanese vessel Echigo were berthed at Chennai Port for the bilateral training called Sahyog-Kaijin 2016.

The highlight of the joint exercise was anti-piracy. However, search and rescue operations and interoperability between the two forces was also given emphasis.

The exercise also involved Indian coast guard ships like Rajkamal, Vishwast, Rajtarang, Hovercraft, C-415, C-417, one Dornier and one Chetak helicopter.

About Sahayog-Kaijin

The Sahayog-Kaijin is a bilateral exercise, which is a part of the cooperative arrangements between two Coast Guards for the last 15 years.

The exercise is also a part of the Memorandum on Cooperation, which was signed between India and Japan in 2006.

It is a biennial bilateral exercise and the venue shifts in both countries on alternate occasions.

UNION GOVERNMENT SIGNED A LOAN AGREEMENT WITH WORLD BANK FOR NEERANCHAL NATIONAL WATERSHED PROJECT

Union Government signed a loan agreement with World Bank in New Delhi for the Neeranchal National Watershed Project.

All 28 states which implement the watershed projects will benefit from this project. However, the nine states, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujrat, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan and Telangana will benefit more from the project as they are implementation of large number of watershed schemes in their states.

Features of Neeranchal National Watershed Project

• The project was approved by the Union Cabinet in October 2015with a total budget of 2142 crore rupees in which India would bear 1071 crore rupees and the rest 50 percent cost will be borne by the World Bank.

• It will be implemented by the Ministry of Rural Development over a six-year period (2016-21).

• It will support the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayi Yojana in hydrology and water management, agricultural production systems, capacity building and monitoring and evaluation.

• Around 12 percent of the area of wasteland will be targeted through this project to make about 336 lakh hectares of land arable.

• The Minister said that the effective implementation of the scheme will go a long way in strengthening the economic conditions of the farming community.

KAMAL HAASAN & GAUTAM GHOSH INCLUDED IN SHYAM BENEGAL COMMITTEE ON FUNCTIONING OF CBFC

Eminent film personalities Kamal Hassan and Gautam Ghosh were included in the Shyam Benegal Committee on functioning of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).

The inclusion was done to give representation to more regions of the country and on the recommendation of the existing four members committee.

Earlier, on 1 January 2016, the Union Information and Broadcasting Ministry set up the panel under the chairmanship of Shyam Benegal to review the provisions of the Cinematograph Act, 1952 and recommend measures for the smooth run of CBFC.

The Other four members who are already in the Committee

• Shyam Benegal-Chairman

• Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra,

• Piyush Pandey

• Bhawana Somayaa

DR JANCY JAMES SELECTED FOR PROF MV PYLEE AWARD FOR THE DISTINGUISHED ACADEMICIAN OF INDIA

Dr Jancy James, the first woman Vice Chancellor of Kerala, was selected for the Prof MV Pylee Award for the Distinguished Academician of India.

The award was instituted by Cochin University of Science and Technology in the name of MV Pylee. He is an Indian scholar, educationist and management guru and widely regarded as the father of management education in Kerala.

The award is given for excellence in teaching and research and contribution to academic community. It carries an amount of 1 lakh rupees and a citation.

About Dr Jancy James

• She is an established author, literary critic, researcher and translator.

• She is the former Vice Chancellor of Mahatma Gandhi University and founder Vice Chancellor of Central University of Kerala.

• She served as member of Kendra Sahitya Akademi and as the National President of the Comparative Literature Association of India.

• She is a post-doctoral Commonwealth Fellow in University of Warwick, UK and also worked as a Faculty Research Fellow in Toronto University, Canada.

• She was a member of the Indian delegation at the Indo-US Higher Education Summit at Washington under the Obama-Singh Initiative in 2011.

DELHI-BASED WRITER ANKITA ANAND WON THE LORENZO NATALI MEDIA PRIZE FOR WORK ON KHAP PANCHAYATS

An independent Delhi-based writer Ankita Anand won the European Commission's prestigious Lorenzo Natali Media Prize for 2015 in Asia and the Pacific amateur category.

She earned the award for her sensitive portrayal of life for young women facing the threat of the diktat of khap panchayats in Haryana with the title Stirrings beneath the peepul published in the journal The Equator Linel.

Arison Tamfu, an editor for the Cameroon Journal, won the Lorenzo Natali Grand Prize for a critical investigative report on how UN Climate change negotiations that are calling on nations to switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy are going to affect the development of African communities living where the resources are found with the titleAfrica’s billions might be buried forever.

About The Lorenzo Natali Media Prize

• It is organized by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development since 1992.

• It is awarded to journalists for outstanding reporting on development and poverty eradication.

• The Prize is divided into two distinct categories: amateur and professional journalism. An independent jury will identify one winner per category and per region.

• The Regions are Africa, the Arab world and the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean and Europe.

• Each winner of the prize will be granted 5000 Euros.

• The Lorenzo Natali Grand Prize of an additional 5000 Euros will be awarded to one of the winners.

About Ankita Anand

• She holds a Master’s Degree in English Literature from Miranda House of Delhi University.

• She is an independent writer.

• Earlier, she worked as secretary for the National Campaign for People’s Right to Information, a copy editor for Penguin Books India, and as a coordinator for the India Habitat Centre’s Indian Languages’ Festival.

• She is also the co-founder of Aatish, a street theatre group that produces plays on socio-political issues, and a member of the People’s Union for Democratic Rights.

UNION GOVERNMENT LAUNCHED 4 MOBILE HEALTH SERVICES TO STRENGTHEN PUBLIC HEALTH INFRASTRUCTURE

The Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare J P Nadda launched four mobile health (m-Health) services to provide citizen-centric health services.

These m-Health services are Kilkari, Mobile Academy, M-Cessation and TB Missed Call initiative.

Highlights of Kilkari

• It is an audio-based mobile service that delivers weekly audio messages to families about pregnancy, child birth and child care.

• Each pregnant woman and infant’s mother would receive weekly voice messages relevant to the stage of pregnancy or age of the infant.
• Those who are registered in Mother and Child Tracking System (MCTS), a web- enabled name-based system to monitor and ensure delivery of full spectrum of services to all pregnant women and children, will be benefitted from the service.

• The 72 messages would reach the targeted beneficiaries from the 4th month of pregnancy until the child is one year old. On an average, the duration of each message is two minutes.

• Such messages will empower and educate women and parents to help create a better environment in maternal and child health. This service will be provided free to the beneficiaries.

• In the first phase of implementation, such messages would be sent to the pregnant women and infants’ mothers in six States in Jharkhand, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and HPDs of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.

• They are being developed in Hindi, English and Odiya languages in the first phase, to be later expanded to other languages to cover the entire country and would benefit over 2 crore pregnant women and 2 crore infants, annually.

Highlights of Mobile Academy

• It’s a mobile-based application aimed at providing training services to 9 million ASHAs.

• This will aid in enhancing their inter-personal skills. Once registered, ASHAs can access the 240-minute course via their mobile phones.

• They can then complete the standardized course at their convenience. Digital bookmarking technology enables ASHAs to complete the course at their own pace.

• ASHAs successfully completing the course by securing more than minimum prescribed marks will receive a Certificate of completion from the Government.

Highlights of M-Cessation

• It will be an IT-enabled tool to help tobacco users to quit tobacco.

• Built on a helpline concept, it will register beneficiaries on the basis of a missed call.

• The counselling would be done through a two-way SMS process, the Minister informed.

Highlights of the TB Missed Call initiative

• Under TB Missed Call initiative, a dedicated toll free number 1800-11–6666 which will provide round the clock counselling and treatment support services for TB patients.

• The callers can give a missed call or call for free to get information related to TB symptoms, treatment services available, address and contact details of the nearest treatment facility etc.

• Initially the service will be available to people in the States of Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi.

These m-Health initiatives were announced by the Union Government on 25 December 2015 on the occasion of the Good Governance Day which is celebrated annually to mark the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

SANIA MIRZA, MARTINA HINGIS WON 2016 WTA APIA INTERNATIONAL SYDNEY TITLE

Sania Mirza and her Swiss partner Martina Hingis won the 2016 WTA Apia International Sydney title of Tennis in the women’s doubles category in Sydney, Australia.

In the final match, the duo defeated French pair Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic by 1–6, 7–5, 10–5. This was their 30th win in-a-row.

Overall, this Sydney International title was their 11th title altogether since 2015. These 11 WTA doubles titles are Indian Wells, Miami, Charleston, Wimbledon, US Open, Guangzhou, Wuhan, Beijing and the WTA Finals, Brisbane (2016) and Sydney (2016).

Record-Breaking Victory of Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis duo

The duo of Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis created a world record on 14 January 2016 by winning their 29th women’s doubles match in a row. The duo defeated Romanian Raluca Olaru and Kazakhstan’s Yaroslava Shvedova 4-6, 6-3, 10-8 in a semifinal.

They broke 22-years old record held by Gigi Fernandez (Puerto Rico) and Natasha Zvereva (Belarus) duo who had notched up 28 straight victories in 1994.

WORLD BANK RELEASED REPORT TITLED WORLD DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2016: DIGITAL DIVIDENDS

The World Bank released a report titled World Development Report 2016: Digital Dividends in Washington DC, the USA.

The report explored the impact of the internet, mobile phones, and related technologies on economic development across the world including India.

Further, it concluded that potential gains from digital technologies are high, but often remain unrealized and proposed policies to expand connectivity, accelerate complementary reforms in sectors beyond information and communication technology (ICT), and address global coordination problems.

In relation to India, the authors of the report that included Kaushik Basu, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of World Bank appreciated the Aadhaar scheme as it saved 1 billion US dollars by bringing down corruption.

Highlights of the report

• The world’s offline population is mainly in India and China, but more than 120 million people are still offline in North America and the digital divide within countries can be as high as that between countries.

• Worldwide, nearly 21 percent of households in the bottom 40 percent of their countries’ income distribution don’t have access to a mobile phone, and 71 percent don’t have access to the internet.

• The increased connectivity has had limited effect in reducing information inequality. For example, there are more contributions to Wikipedia from Hong Kong, China, than from all of Africa combined, despite the fact that Africa has 50 times more internet users.

• Digital technologies, apart from resulting in economic benefits, influenced the participation of women in the labor force, the ease of communication for people with disabilities, and the way people spend their leisure.

• By overcoming information barriers, augmenting factors, and transforming products, digital technologies can make development more inclusive, efficient, and innovative.

• Problem areas: Digital dividends are not spreading rapidly as nearly 60 percent of the world’s people are still offline and can’t fully participate in the digital economy.

• There also are persistent digital divides across gender, geography, age, and income dimensions within each country.

• Some of the perceived benefits of the internet are being neutralized by new risks like vested business interests, regulatory uncertainty, and limited contestation across digital platforms that could lead to harmful concentration in many sectors.

• Quickly expanding automation, even of mid-level office jobs, could contribute to a hollowing out of labor markets and to rising inequality.

• It also cautioned that the poor record of many e-government initiatives points to high failure of ICT projects and the risk that states and corporations could use digital technologies to control citizens, not to empower them.

• Mitigation strategies: Connectivity is vital, but not enough to realize the full development benefits. Digital investments need the support of analog complements like regulations, skills and institutions.

• Regulations are needed which help firms in leveraging the internet to compete and innovate. Improved skills will help people take full advantage of digital opportunities. And, Accountable institutions will ensure governments respond to citizens’ needs and demands.

• Market competition, public-private partnerships and effective regulation of internet and mobile operators encourage private investment that can make access universal and affordable. Public investment will sometimes be necessary and justified by large social returns.

• A harder task will be to ensure that the internet remains open and safe as users face cybercrime, privacy violations, and online censorship.

• Conclusion: The report suggested that Digital development strategies need to be broader than ICT strategies. It cautioned that when the analog complements are absent, the development impact will be disappointing.

• But when countries build a strong analog foundation, they will reap ample digital dividends—in faster growth, more jobs, and better services.

61ST FILMFARE AWARDS PRESENTED IN MUMBAI

The 61st Filmfare Awards were presented at the Yash Raj Studios in Mumbai. The ceremony was hosted by Shah Rukh Khan and comedian Kapil Sharma.

Bajirao Mastani won the most awards including the Best Film award. Other winners included Piku that was awarded with six awards, Dum Laga Ke Haisha, Roy, Talvar, Tanu Weds Manu Returns, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Bombay Velvet, Dil Dhadakne Do, Hero, Masaan and Tamasha.

Moushumi Chatterjee was awarded with the 2015 Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award.

Recepients of the Awards

  • Best Actor: Ranveer Singh for Bajirao Mastani
  • Best Actress: Deepika Padukone for Piku
  • Best Film: Bajirao Mastani
  • Best Director: Sanjay Leela Bhansali for Bajirao Mastani
  • Lifetime Achievement: Moushumi Chatterjee
  • Best Debut Director: Neeraj Ghaywan for Massan
  • Best Debutant (Male): Sooraj Pancholi for Hero
  • Best Debutant (Female): Bhumi Pednekar for Dum Laga Ke Haisha
  • Critics Award for Best Film: Piku
  • Critics Award for Best Actor (Male): Amitabh Bachchan for Piku
  • Best Actor Female Critics Choice (Female): Kangana Ranaut for Tanu Weds Manu Returns
  • Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Female): Priyanka Chopra for Bajirao mastani
  • Best Story: V Vijayendra Prasad for Bajrangi Bhaijaan
  • Best Singer (male): Arijit Singh for Sooraj dooba hai from Roy
  • Best Singer (female): Shreya Ghoshal for Deewani mastani from Bajirao Mastani
  • Best VFX: Prana Studios for Bombay Velvet
  • Best Dialogue: Anupam Roy for Piku
  • Best Action: Sham Kaushal for Bajirao Mastani
  • Best Cinematography: Manu Anand for Dum Laga Ke Haisha
  • Best Choreography: Birju Maharaj for Mohe rang de laal from Bajirao Mastani
  • Best Edit: Talvar
  • Best Production Design: Sujit Sawant, Saloni and Sriram Iyenger for Bajirao Mastani
  • Best Costume Designer: Anju Modi and Maxima for Bajirao Mastani

INDIA SAVED 1 BILLION US DOLLARS ANNUALLY USING AADHAAR: WORLD BANK

The World Bank announced that India saved 1 billion US dollars annually by using Aadhaar. It was revealed in the bank’s publication World Development Report 2016: Digital Dividends that was released in Washington DC, the USA.

As per the report, transfer of fuel subsidy to bank accounts using the Aadhaar-based Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) saved about 1 billion per year when applied throughout the country on account of reduced leakage and efficient gains.

The report further estimated that the DBT has the potential to save over 11 billion US dollars per year in government expenditure if the scheme is expanded to other subsidy programmes.

Findings of the report with respect to India

• China has the largest number of internet users, followed by the United States, with India, Japan, and Brazil filling out the top five.

• A digital identification system such as India’s Aadhaar, by overcoming complex information problems, helps willing governments to promote the inclusion of disadvantaged groups.

• In India, there are an estimated 1.063 billion population are offline.

• Nearly 900 million Indians have been issued digital IDs in the past fi ve years, which they are using to open bank accounts, monitor attendance of civil servants, and identify recipients of government subsidies.

• Digital governance played a role in improving public sector capability. For example, e-procurement helped in injecting more competition into the process by increasing the probability that the winning bidder comes from outside the project’s region.

SUBHASH CHANDRA BOSE’S FILES DECLASSIFIED

  • Prime Minister released the first set of 100 declassified files pertaining to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose at the National Archives of India in the presence of members of the Bose family.
  • The government plans to release in the public domain 25 declassified files each month.
  • The release of the first set coincides with the 119th birth anniversary of the eminent freedom fighter and comes months before West Bengal goes to the polls.
  • Bose family members thanked the Prime Minister for declassifying the files.
  • The files do not seem to throw up any new evidence suggesting the freedom fighter survived the plane crash in Taihoku, now in Taiwan, on August 18, 1945.
  • A cabinet note of February 6, 1995, said that while the government accepted the plane crash theory on Bose’s death, it wasn’t advisable to bring back his ashes from Japan.
  • The government went with the Intelligence Bureau’s view: “If the ashes are brought back to India, the people of West Bengal are likely to construe it as an imposition on them of the official version of Netaji’s death.”

NATIONAL FAMILY HEALTH SURVEY SHOWS LESS DRINKING AND SMOKING

  • Preliminary findings from National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4) released last week have given anti-tobacco campaigners a reason to smile.
  • The survey has found that across the board, people — both men and women — in India are smoking less than they were a decade ago. Not just tobacco, even alcohol consumption among Indians has fallen.
  • According to the NFHS-4 data, in the 13 States surveyed, tobacco use among men has fallen from 50 per cent in 2005-06 to 47 per cent in 2015.
  • Similarly, alcohol consumption among men has fallen from 38 per cent to 34 per cent. Over the last decade, consumption of alcohol among men has fallen in Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Uttarakhand, Haryana, West Bengal and Meghalaya.
  • Smoking kills over one million people in the country annually and is the fourth leading cause of non-communicable diseases such as cancer and heart ailments. It also increases the risk of tuberculosis
  • The data comes at a time when India is on the verge of implementing stricter tobacco control laws.
  • From April 1, 2016, the Indian government will be implementing ‘plain packaging’ as directed by the Allahabad High Court, following a writ petition on the matter.
  • The public health community has been demanding implementation of ‘plain tobacco packaging’ — which means standardised packaging of tobacco products without any exclusive branding like colours, imagery, corporate logos and trademarks.
  • The laws will only allow the manufacturers to print the brand name in a mandated size and font. Australia, the first country to implement these laws, had passed the plain packaging legislation in November 2011.
  • According to the Health Ministry, the economic burden of tobacco con- sumption is around Rs.1,04,500 crore per annum.
  • India became a party to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) on February 27, 2005.
  • Since then India has implemented a series of measures leading to the current status of increased social awareness. Soon after signing the WHO
  • The Indian government has also clamped down on promotion of tobacco consumption, with a complete ban on advertising under the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003 (COTPA).

BOSE HAD RELATIONSHIP WITH VARIOUS COUNTRIES

  • India’s historic ties with Japan, Germany, Russia/ Soviet Union and the United Kingdom came under focus on Saturday as the Netaji papers revealed inconvenient but unverified letters and reports regarding Netaji’s ties with these countries.
  • For example, one document written by the Planning Commission member P.D. Mukherjee rigorously argued that Netaji was imprisoned by the Soviet leaders till the early 1960s.
  • Mukherjee claimed that in 1978, his friend Satyanarayan Sinha had deciphered, with the help of a group of German professionals, a coded message between the USSR-Germany and the United States which convinced him that Netaji was alive till a few months before Jawaharlal Nehru passed away in 1964.
  • In view of such cables and papers, diplomats told The Hindu that ties with important world powers would have been affected if the reports on Netaji were given operational importance in the previous decades.
  • Netaji was part of the international network of sympathisers and supporters of the Nazi Germany and Japan during the World War II which perhaps prevented Berlin and Tokyo from taking up the Netaji mystery with India enthusiastically.
  • Among all the foreign powers, the declassified papers have shed most spotlight on India-Japan ties, especially since the most number of diplomatic exchanges are on the ties of Netaji to Japan.
  • The papers reveal that the issue of Netaji heated up in the mid-1990s as preparations began in India to mark the Bose centenary in 1997.
  • Bringing back the ashes at that time could have disturbed India-Japan political ties as Japan was a major international player under the U.S.-led world order and most of its World War II history was still a taboo.

COUNTRY WIDE RAID AGAINST IS SYMPATHISERS

  • The National Investigation Agency (NIA) said that in the nationwide swoop, altogether 14 persons have been arrested for plotting terror attacks.
  • The suspects were in the process of identifying a “forested area” to organise a training camp where associates could be taught handling of weapons.
  • After conducting raids at 12 locations in six cities, the NIA arrested eight more men.
  • Those arrested have been identified as Syed Mujahid (33), a resident of Tumakuru, Karnataka; Mohammad Aleem (20) of Luck- now; Mohammed Obedullah Khan (33) and Abu Anas (24) of Hyderabad; Asif Ali (21), Muhammed Abdul Ahad (46) and Suhail Ahmed (23) of Bengaluru; and Imran Khan Pathan of Aurangabad.
  • Unlike others arrested in the past for alleged links with the Islamic State (IS), this group had procured explosives and were in the process of carrying out attacks at multiple locations.

EASTERN US FACES MASSIVE SNOWFALL

  • A deadly blizzard walloped the eastern United States, paralysing Washington and other cities under a heavy blanket of snow as officials warned mil- lions of people to remain indoors until the storm eases up.
  • Forecasters said the storm — dubbed “Snow- zilla” — would last into Sunday as it moved menacingly up the coast.
  • Thousands of motorists were stranded for hours on an ice-coated highway in Kentucky.
  • In the capital Washington more than a foot (30 cm) of snow was already on the ground, with another foot expected by midnight.
  • A blizzard warning was in effect for a large swath of the eastern United States from Washington up to New York.
  • The storm is expected to affect about 85 million Americans — about one quarter of the US population.

ZIKA VIRUS IS SPREADING FAST ACROSS LATIN AMERICA

  • Alarm over thousands of birth defects blamed on the mosquito- borne Zika virus spread, as the United States expanded a travel warning for pregnant women.
  • With the sting of a mosquito bite and a fever, many pregnant women may not know that they caught the Zika virus — until it strikes their unborn child.
  • Now authorities in some Latin American countries are warning women to avoid getting pregnant for fear of the virus.
  • Babies across the region, and at least one in the United States, have been born with abnormally smaller heads — a condition doctors call microcephaly, which can cause brain damage.
  • The scare has struck hardest in Brazil, which hosts the summer Olympic Games in August.

INDIA MAKE PITH FOR MAKE IN INDIA AT WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM

  • Colourful lions adorn a salon on the main street of Davos, inviting visiting business leaders to “Make in India”.
  • Optimism about the world’s fastest growing economy contrasts with the economic gloom facing other emerging markets and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s mantra encapsulates a renewed confidence among Indian business and political leaders at the 2016 World Economic Forum.
  • The 140-plus strong India contingent at Davos is confident the turnaround this time is for real, driven by efforts at reform and falling oil import costs.
  • Indeed, the other BRIC emerging economies - Brazil, Russia, India and China - are wrestling with problems. The first two are in a second year of recession, while this week China posted its weakest growth in 25 years.
  • India has finally taken on the mantle of the world’s fastest growing big economy; its equities and bonds are favourites with emerging market investors who are betting that growth will accelerate further.
  • What’s more, direct bricks- and-mortar foreign investment flows into India jumped 75 per cent over 2015, according to a report this week from United Nations trade body UNCTAD.
  • Davos regulars feel India may actually have something to crow about. A PWC survey of more than 1,400 global CEOs found India to be the rare bright spot among big economies, with rising confidence in short-term sales growth.

GOVT. MOBILISES 900 KG OF GOLD UNDER MONETISATION SCHEME

  • The government said it had netted a hefty 900 kg of idle household and temple gold under the monetisation scheme and is hopeful that the number would rise further in future.
  • The Gold Monetisation Scheme, which had not picked up initially, was fine-tuned to make it more attractive and convenient to encourage entities holding idle gold to participate in the scheme.
  • Under the monetisation scheme, launched on November 5, banks were authorised to collect gold for up to 15 years to auction them of or lend to jewellers from time to time.
  • Depositors will earn up to 2.50 per cent interest per annum, a rate lower than savings bank deposits.
  • Currently, there are 46 Assaying and Hallmarking Centres which are qualified to act as Collection and Purity Testing Centres (CPTC) for handling gold under the gold monetisation scheme.
  • All gold deposits under the scheme have to be made at CPTC. Banks could also accept deposits of gold at designated branches, especially from larger depositors.
  • India imports about 1,000 tonnes of gold every year and the precious metal is the second—highest component of the imports bill after crude oil. An estimated 20,000 tonnes of gold are lying with households and temples.

 

 


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Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 January 2016 03:44