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Daily Current Affairs 16th Jan 2018

CIPAM-DIPP launches IP competition for college & university students

  • The Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM), Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), in collaboration with ASSOCHAM and ERICSSON India, has launched a one of its kind Intellectual Property (IP) Competition ‘IPrism’ for college and university students.
  • This competition invites students to submit films on piracy & counterfeiting under two categories of 30 and 60 seconds. Another category in the competition is for a mobile gaming app on IP. The last date for receiving entries is 31st March, 2018. Cash prizes worth INR 4 lacs will be given to the winning teams along with mementos, certificates and recognition on the official CIPAM website (
  • The competition aims to foster a culture of innovation and creativity in the younger generation. It will provide young creators a unique opportunity to see their creations recognized on a national platform.

65th meeting of Central Advisory Board of Education held in New Delhi

  • The 65th Meeting of the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) was held under Chairmanship of Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar in New Delhi.
  • Education Ministers of 20 States, representatives of 28 states/UTs, members of CABE, heads of autonomous organisations, Vice Chancellors of Universities attended the meeting.
  • Operation Digital Board will be launched in all schools in five years and will be undertaken jointly by Centre, State, Corporate Social Responsibility and community. It will improve quality of education. Under it, students will be empowered with 360 degree information with interesting learning experience and increase teacher accountability.
  • CABE also will ensure to provide Quality, Equity, Accessibility, Accountability and Affordability in education by pro-active action and plan.
  • It will also promote Swacch Bharat, Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat, Padhe Bharat, Sugamya Bharat and physical education. It also resolved to promote human value education, life skill education, experiential learning to bring out good human beings out of education system.

West Bengal, Kerala, Odisha opt out of Centre’s aspirational districts scheme 

  • Three opposition ruled states –West Bengal, Kerala and Odisha — have opted out of the Centre’s Transformation of Aspirational Districts scheme, thus reducing the total number of districts under the programme to 102 from 115.

About Transformation of Aspirational Districts scheme:

  • Aspirational districts refer to selected 115 backward districts that are lagging on specific development parameters.
  • Central Government has undertaken a major policy initiative for rapid transformation of these districts and senior government officials have been assigned responsibility to coordinate the efforts of the Centre and states in facilitating development in such districts.
  • With the exit of West Bengal, Kerala and Odisha, total number of districts under this scheme has now reduced to 102 from 115.
  • Government officials have stated that these three states exited from the scheme raising objection that criteria for identifying backward districts was fixed without taking the respective State Governments into confidence.
  • It is to be noted that at the ‘Transformation of Aspirational Districts’ conference, held in New Delhiin first week of January 2018, NITI Aayog said it will come out with a ranking of 115 aspirational districts by April 2018.

PM Modi inaugurates work commencement of Barmer refinery

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday inaugurated the commencement of work at the oil refinery in Rajasthan’s Barmer district.
  • The state of the art refinery will be first of its kind in the country.
  • The refinery is expected to change the growth landscape of Rajasthan and western parts of the state in particular.
  • The project, which is a joint venture of Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) and Rajasthan Government, is worth Rs. 43,000 crore.

Bar Council of India forms 7-member delegation to mediate between Supreme Court judges

  • The Bar Council of India (BCI) has formed a seven-member delegation which will attempt to bridge the apparent rift between four senior Supreme Court judges and Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra.

Odisha announces Mukhya Mantri Kalakar Sahayata Yojana, an assistance scheme for artists

  • The state government has announced an assistance scheme for artists working for popularising and spreading art and culture of Odisha. The scheme named as the Mukhya Mantri Kalakar Sahayata Yojana (MMKSJ) will provide 50,000 artists from across the state a monthly assistance of Rs 1,200.
  • The state government has also relaxed the eligibility criteria for availing the artist assistance. Now under the new scheme, a male artist will be eligible for the assistance after 50 years instead of the present 60 years while the age criteria for female artist has been reduced to 40 years from 50 years. The district administrations have been entrusted with task of artists for getting the assistance.

Centre, J-K sign MoU for education reforms

  • Jammu and Kashmir government has signed a Memorandum of understanding (MoU) to bring normalcy in the state through education reforms.
  • Under the MoU titled, ‘School Education Transformation Roadmap’, signed between the state’s Department of School Education and Union Minister of Human Resource Development (MHRD), over 9,000 J-K students could participate in an exchange programme.
  • Among other measures, Information Communication Technology (ICT) and digital platforms would also be set up in the state’s schools.
  • The document of roadmap was a joint study of the Centre and the Jammu and Kashmir government.

Vajra Prahar: Indo-US joint military exercise to be held in Seattle

  • The Indo-US joint military exercise ‘Vajra Prahar’ will be held at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) in Seattle in the third week of January in line with the increasing military cooperation between both countries. In this edition of bilateral exercise, Indian Army team from the Southern Command will participate. The exercise will mainly focus on special operations in urban areas.

Union Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore launches Khelo India Anthem

  • Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore made the announcement during the launch of the official anthem and mascot of Khelo India School Games, beginning January 31.   Now when an athlete wins a medal at Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and Olympics, the coach gets the incentive.
  • The video features India’s eminent sports personalities such as Sardar Singh, Sunil Chhetri, Devendra Jhajharia, Baichung Bhutia, Pullela Gopichand, Leander Paes, Mary Kom, Akhil Kumar, Sakshi Malik and Saina Nehwal.

Delhi’s Teen Murti Chowk renamed after Israeli city Haifa

  • The iconic Teen Murti Chowk has been renamed after the Israeli City Haifa, a year after the plan was put on hold by the NDMC. The announcement comes after the scheduled visit of Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to India.
  • The idea of renaming Teen Murti road and chowk after Haifa was proposed in the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) council during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Israel last year.

BBIN Motor Vehicles Agreement India, Bangladesh, Nepal approve Passenger protocol

  • Bangladesh, India, and Nepal agreed on the text of operating procedures for passenger vehicle movement (Passenger protocol) in sub-region under Bangladesh – Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA).
  • The decision in this regard was taken at a meeting of High-level officials of three decision in this regard was taken at a meeting of High-level officials of three countries held in Bengaluru, Karnataka. It was convened and chaired by India’s Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH).

India attends its first SCO military cooperation meeting

  •  India, for the first time, took part in a meeting of the international military cooperation departments of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) since joining the bloc last year.
  • An Indian delegation led by Major General Ajay Seth participated in the meeting, which discussed issues of practical cooperation among SCO nations.
  • The two-day meeting concluded on Tuesday.

India and Israel sign 9 agreements in space, defence, cybersecurity

  • India and Israel have signed nine agreements to boost cooperation in the areas of space, cyber security and oil and gas between both countries. The agreements were signed following delegation-level talks headed by Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu in New Delhi.
  • Netanyahu is first Israeli Prime Minister to visit India in the span of last 15 years and second one overall. Agreement on Film-co-production. Protocol on Amendments to Air Transport Agreement MoU on Cyber Security Cooperation between India and Israel Memorandum  MoU between the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and the Ministry of Energy on Cooperation in Oil and Gas Sector LoI between IOCL and Yeda Research  MoU between Central Council for Research in Homeopathy and Ministry of AYUSH and Centre for Integrative Complementary Medicine, Shaare Zedek MoU between Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST) and Technion- Israel Institute of Technology for cooperation in the field of space.

India and US join hands to enhance effectiveness of information exchange and transparency

  • To enhance the effectiveness of information exchange and transparency, India and United States of America (USA) signed the Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) under FATCA in 2015. The Notably, the two countries are committed to establishing, by January 1, 2017, rules requiring their Reporting Financial Institutions (RFID) to obtain the Tax Identity Number (TIN) of each reportable person having a reportable account as of June 30, 2014 (pre-existing account).
  • The Income-tax Rules, accordingly, provide for reporting of U.S. TIN from the year 2017 onwards in respect of any pre-existing account.
  • The US-IRS has issued guidelines through Notice 2017-46 dated 25.09.2017 providing relaxation to Foreign Financial Institutions (FFIs) with respect to reporting of U.S.TIN for calendar years 2017, 2018 and 2019.

Digital launch of I4Fund call for proposal website at India-Israel Business Summit

  • The ‘I4Fund Call for Proposal’ was announced with the joint launch of the website and the unveiling of the brochure by the two PMs (Narendra Modi and Benjamin Netanyahu). The “India-Israel Industrial R&D and Technological Innovation Fund (I4F)” was announced in July 2017.
  • Under this, the Department of Science and Technology, India and the National Innovation Authority of Israel have established a 40 million US dollar Fund.

Home Minister to inaugurate International Workshop on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure

  • The Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh inaugurated the International Workshop on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (IWDRI).
  • The two-day workshop is being organised by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in collaboration with United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR).

India, Sri Lanka sign four agreements for collaboration in ICT sector

  • India and Sri Lanka signed four agreements on 15 January 2018 for collaboration in the Information and communication technology (ICT) sector, setting up of an e-office system and connecting of National Knowledge Network (NKN) for collaboration among universities and academics.
  • The MoU for cooperation was signed by Union minister for Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad with his Sri Lankan counterpart, during his visit to Colombo, the capital city of Sri Lanka. Speaking on the occasion, the Union Minister stated that the agreement is a part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of extending benefits of Digital connectivity to its neighbours.
  • With the move, Sri Lanka has become the first country to be connected to India’s NKN through a Gigabyte optical fibre network.
  • The dedicated high-speed internet connectivity will connect NKN to Sri Lanka’s education & research network (LEARN) through which academic institutions of both the nations would be able to collaborate and share best practices and research ideas.

Indian Oil in tie-ups with Israeli firms

  • Indian Oil Corporation has signed letters of intent (LoI) with Phinergy, an Israeli start-up, and YEDA, a technology spin-off from Israel’s Weizmann Research Institute.
  • A company statement said the agreement with Phinergy allows IndianOil to work on adoption of advanced energy systems for the domestic market for both mobility and stationary industrial applications. This association could lead to the setting up of manufacturing units for these energy systems, initially in India.
  • The LoI signed with YEDA will allow research collaboration between both the organisations for developing solar to green fuel technologies through concentrated solar thermal route.

NCDEX launches India’s first agri-options trading in Guarseed

  • The National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange Ltd (NCDEX) unveiled India’s first agricultural-commodity options in Guarseed designed as hedge for farmers to safeguard against price risks. It was launched by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in New Delhi.

Punjab government inks MoU with IOC to set up biogas, bio-CNG plants

  • The Punjab government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Indian Oil Corporation to set up bio-gas and bio-CNG plants in the state.
  • The pact is part of the state’s concerted efforts to find sustainable solutions to paddy straw burning, which has emerged as a major environmental concern.
  • The MoU with IOC was signed by Punjab Bureau of Industrial Promotion (PBIP) and Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA) here in the presence of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.

India, Israel ink nine pacts on cyber security, other sectors

To upgrade strategic partnership India and Israel inked nine pacts in key areas. They are

  • MoU on Cyber SecurityCooperation between India and Israel.
  • MoU between the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and the Ministry of Energy on Cooperation inOil and Gas
  • Protocol between India and Israel on Amendments to theAir Transport Agreement.
  • Agreement on Film-co-production between India and Israel.
  • MoU between the Central Council for Research in Homeopathy, Ministry of AYUSH and the Centre for Integrative Complementary Medicine, ShaareZedek Medical Center on Cooperation in the field of Research inHomeopathic Medicine.
  • MoU between Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST) and the Technion- Israel Institute of Technology for cooperation in the field of
  • Memorandum of Intent between Invest India and Invest in Israel.
  • Letter of Intent between IOCL and Phinergy Ltd.For cooperation in the area of metal-air batteries.
  • Letter of Intent between IOCL and Yeda Research and Development Co Ltdfor cooperation in the area of concentrated solar thermal technologies.

Bank of Baroda partners with Invoicemart as a TReDS partner

  • Digital invoice discounting marketplace – Invoicemart has tied up with state-run lender Bank of Baroda to discount invoices for MSMEs. Buyers and sellers registered on the marketplace will now be able to access funding from Bank of Baroda. Invoicemart is a joint venture between Axis Bank Ltd and mjunction services ltd.
  • Bank of Baroda had recently announced that it was stepping up its focus on supply chain financing, to provide loans to MSMEs associated with large corporates. TReDS is an online mechanism that helps MSMEs unlock working capital without the hassle of applying for loans.

Vice Admiral AB Singh takes over as Chief of Staff Western Naval Command 

  • Vice Admiral Ajendra Bahadur Singh, AVSM, VSM took over as Chief of Staff, Western Naval Command from Vice Admiral Ravneet Singh, AVSM, NM on  15 Jan 18. Vice Admiral AB Singh was the Deputy Commander-in-Chief, Strategic Forces Command prior to his current appointment.

Romanian Prime Minister Mihai Tudose resigns

  • Romanian Prime Minister Mihai Tudose resigned on Monday after his own party abandoned him in an internal power struggle with the party’s all-powerful chairman who, himself, is barred from political office because of a vote-rigging conviction.

Indian boxers claim 11 gold medals in 7th edition of Nation’s Cup tournament in Sombor, Serbia

  • Indian boxers have claimed 11 gold medals and both the team championship trophies in the Nation’s Cup tournament for junior and youth women in Sombor, Serbia. The junior team won 13 medals, nine gold, two silver and two bronze medals, while the youth team clinched four medals 3 gold (60, 64 and 81 kilogram)and one bronze (54 kilogram).

Premier Badminton League: Hyderabad Hunters Claim Maiden Title

  • Hyderabad Hunters overcame a fighting Bengaluru Blasters in a thrilling summit clash to claim their maiden title at the third Premier Badminton League (PBL)at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium, Hyderabad.Mixed Doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Pia Bernadet put up a dominant display in the last match to clinch the title and the winners’ prize purse for the Hunters.

Assam wins 8th Sub-junior National Hockey Chanpionship

  • Hosts Assam Hockey rallied back in the first half to beat Hockey Rajasthan in the final of the 8th Hockey India Sub Junior Men National Championship 2018 (B Division), at the Hojai Hockey stadium, Assam.

Veteran journalist NK Trikha passes away

  • Veteran journalist NK Trikha passed away today at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences here after a prolonged illness.
  • According to his family, the 82-year-old was suffering from blood cancer and had undergone an open heart surgery in April last year.

Maharashtra senior BJP leader NS Pharande passes away

  • Senior BJP leader and former MLC Prof Narayan Sadashiv Pharande passed away in a private hospital here today’s morning after suffering a cardiac arrest, an official said.
  • He was 78.


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