Online Current Affairs based on National


Suresh Prabhu unveils Mission 41k energy plan for Railways


  • Railway minister Suresh Prabhu on unveiled Mission 41k, a plan that would save Rs 41,000 crore over 10 years through an integrated energy management system.
  • In this initiative, railways will electrify 24,000 km of rail tracks over the next five years by doubling the annual rate of electrification from 2,000 km to 4,000 km in the next two years.
  • The railways will award contracts on;
    1.engineering,
    2.procurement, and
    3.construction (EPC) model
    for railway electrification projects, to achieve this target.
  • It also plans to mechanize the execution through self-propelled wiring trains among other initiatives.
  • Under Mission 41k, change in the carrier’s energy mix by using more green energy through 1,000 megawatt (MW) solar and 200MW wind plants, installation of LED lights and bulbs across all railway stations, trains and offices are also included.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Suresh Prabhu unveiled which plan for Railways that would save Rs 41,000 crore over 10 years through an integrated energy management system? 
 - Mission 41k
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IIMC introduces a PG diploma course in Urdu journalism


  • In a bid to promote Urdu language the Indian Institute of Mass Communication launched a full-fledged postgraduate diploma course.
  • The institute was earlier offering a five-month journalism course in the Urdu language.
  • According to the institute, it has kept the fee of the course lower than what is being charged for any other course
  • The Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) is one of India's premier institute for journalism.
  • Besides Delhi, it has five other branches in;
    1. Odisha,
    2.Maharashtra,
    3.Mizoram,
    4.Jammu and Kashmir and
    5. Kerala.
  • The institute offers PG diploma courses in;
    1.English,
    2.Hindi, and
    3. Oriya languages as of now.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Indian Institute of Mass Communication launched a full-fledged postgraduate diploma course in which Indian language? 
- Urdu
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Timothy Gonsalves Committee Suggests 20 Percent Reservation for Girl Students in IITs


  •  A committee formed by the IIT Joint Admission Board (JAB) has recently given its suggestion to create 20 percent reservation seats for the girl students in IITs out of the total number of seats available.
  • The committee headed by professor Timothy Gonsalves recommended the supernumerary seats to address the issue falling number of female students entering the institute.
  • However, the recommendation of the committee will get the final approval after the decision of the Joint Admission Board (JAB) who will decide whether the reservation will come in effect from 2017 or 2018.
  • The decision will not affect the number of seats available for male candidates and only those candidates who have already qualified in JEE-Advanced will be considered.
  • The decision will enable IITs to achieve the 1 lakh target by 2020.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
 A committee formed by the IIT Joint Admission Board (JAB) has recently given its suggestion to create 20 percent reservation for which students in IITs out of the total number of seats available? 
 - Girl students. 
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UNESCO recognises sitalpati or cool mat from Cooch Behar district as 'intangible cultural heritage'


  • Sitalpati or cool mat from Cooch Behar district has been recognised as an "intangible cultural heritage" by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), according to a statement issued by West Bengal government.
  • These mats are used for sitting or to hang on doors or windows during summer. The mats are made up of weaved green cane slips of murta plants which are indigenous to the region.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Which traditional commodity from Cooch Behar district has been recognised as an "intangible cultural heritage" by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)? 
 - Sitalpati or cool mat. 
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India among top 6 promising markets


  • India features among top six for global executives when it comes to overall growth prospects over the next 12 months, but enthusiasm for investing in the country has dropped from three years ago, finds out a survey.
  • According to the annual global CEO survey of consultancy giant PwC, released at the WEF annual meeting, the top two markets from the growth point of view are ;
    the US, as voted by 43 per cent of respondents,
    followed by China (33 per cent).
  • Others in the pecking order are ;
    Germany (17 per cent),
    UK (15 per cent),
    Japan (8 per cent) and
    India (7 per cent).
  • Last year, India was among the top five most promising markets globally.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
According to the annual global CEO survey of consultancy giant PWC, what is the rank of India in the most promising markets globally? 
 - 6th.
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Prasar Bharti hosts International Television Dance Festival in Hyderabad


  • Prasar Bharti hosts International Television Dance Festival in Hyderabad.
  • The first edition of Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) International Television Dance Festival is scheduled to be held in Hyderabad; the city with royal patronage for arts, literature and architecture, on January 15.
  • Prasar Bharati is hosting the event.
  • The Dance Festival is conceptualised so as to bring the cultural diversities from across the world into limelight, by breaking cultural barriers.
  • The festival will showcase dancers from various countries which include:
    1. Maldives,
    2. Afghanistan,
    3. Uzbekistan,
    4. Philippines,
    5. Fiji,
    6. Azerbaijan,
    7. Malaysia,
    8. India and
    9. Indonesia.
  • The finalists from each country will participate in the grand finale of the first (ABU) International Television Dance Festival.
  • All the participants are between the age group of 18-25 years.
  • The festival’s objective is to create a “bridge” between young people from different parts of the world through dance.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
The first edition of Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) International Television Dance Festival is scheduled to be held in which city of India? 
 - Hyderabad. 
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Indians set Guinness record for most layered bed of nails


  • Seven martial artists from Kerala, India established the Guinness World Record for the 'most layered bed of nails'.
  • The record required the man at the bottom to lie on a bed of nails and a layer of nails was placed between each person that formed the human tower.
  • Previously, the most layered bed of nails had four layers.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
How many martial artists from Kerala, India established the Guinness World Record for the 'most layered bed of nails'?
 - Seven martial artists. 
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Indian Railways launches new IRCTC Rail Connect app for Android


# Indian Railways has launched new IRCTC Rail Connect app that will replace the previous IRCTC app that was launched back in 2014.
# Indian Railways E-ticketing System caters to over 10 lakhs passengers daily (comprising 58% of total reserved passengers), said Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu launching the app.
# The new app will increase the ease to users in booking and has been developed to bring the power of next generation e-ticketing system with enhanced security.
# The IRCTC Rail Connect will also be inter-connected with IRCTC AIR, Food on Track mobile apps to facilitate booking of air tickets and food through e-catering.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Indian Railways has launched which new application that will replace the previous IRCTC app that was launched back in 2014? 
- IRCTC Rail Connect app
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UAE’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed to be chief guest at 2017 Republic Day celebrations


  • In a first, Arab soldiers will be marching in New Delhi during the parade.
  • Visiting dignitary will bring a marching band from the UAE's defence forces at the parade on Republic Day.
  • It would be the second time when any foreign contingent will be participating in the parade on January 26.
  • Last year, the French marching band had joined the parade in honour of Francois Hollande, who was the chief guest.
  • India has, however, nixed the UAE's proposal to send a military paratrooper team for live display during Republic Day Parade, citing security concern.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Who will be the chief guest at 2017 Republic Day celebrations? 
 - UAE’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed
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Modi inaugurates India's first international stock exchange at Gift city


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated India's first international exchange-India INX- at International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) in Gujarat International Financial Tech City (GIFT) located in Gandhinagar.
  • India International Exchange (INX), the wholly-owned subsidiary of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), through its global bourse, will start trading initially in;
    1. equity derivatives,
    2.currency derivatives,
    3.commodity derivatives
    including Index and Stocks.
  • Subsequently, depository receipts and bonds would be offered once the required infrastructure for the same is in place.
  • India INX is one of the world's most advanced technology platforms with a turn-around time of 4 micro seconds.
  • It will operate for 22 hours a day to allow international investors and Non Residents Indians to trade from anywhere across the globe
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated India's first international exchange-India INX- at International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) in which city of India? 
- Gujarat International Financial Tech City (GIFT) located in Gandhinagar. 
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Aadhaar mandatory for MGNREGS work from April


  • From April 1, people living in rural areas need to have Aadhaar to work under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) that mandates 100 days work for a household annually.
  • People registered under the scheme will be required to give proof of possession of Aadhaar or undergo the enrolment process till March 31, 2017.
  • Those who have applied for Aadhaar can show their enrolment slip or copy of application made to the authorities concerned for getting the 12-digit unique identification number which acts as a proof of identity and address anywhere in the country.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Which Rural Employment scheme of India made Aadhaar mandatory for its workers? 
 - Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS)
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Visually Impaired Indian Will Participate in the Boston Marathon


  • Sagar Baheti, who has Stargardt's disease, will be the first visually-impaired runner to participate in the upcoming 121st Boston Marathon on April 17.
  • He will be running to raise funds for the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
  • "It will be great if our society could be more inclusive...of those who live with disabilities," said Sagar
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Who will be the first visually-impaired runner to participate in the upcoming 121st Boston Marathon on April 17?
- Sagar Baheti
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EPFO makes Aadhaar mandatory for pensioners, members


  • Retirement fund body Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has made it mandatory for its about pensioners and subscribers to provide either Aadhaar or a proof that they have applied for it till month-end to remain a beneficiary of its social security schemes.
  • Since the government provides subsidy to an EPFO member, it has invoked Section 7 of the Aadhaar Act.
  • Section 7 of the Act provides that where government provides subsidy, benefit or service from Consolidated Fund of India, an individual can be asked to undergo authentication, or furnish proof of possession of Aadhaar number.
  • EIt also provides that where an individual to whom no Aadhaar number has been assigned, such individual can apply for enrollment.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Which Indian organisation has made  mandatory for its pensioners and subscribers to provide either Aadhaar or a proof that they have applied for it till month-end to remain a beneficiary of its social security schemes?
- Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO)
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Arun Jaitley chairs 16th meeting of Financial Stability and Development Council


  • The government expects its measures on elimination of the shadow economy and tax evasion to have a positive impact on GDP and fiscal consolidation in the long run Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said while chairing the Sixteenth Meeting of the Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC).
  • The Council, which has heads of all financial sector regulators as its members, reviewed the major issues and challenges facing the economy in its 16th meeting.
  • The Council also reviewed the status of NPAs of public sector banks and the measures were taken by the government and the RBI for tackling the stressed assets and discussed further action to be taken in this regard.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Who chaired the 16th meeting of Financial Stability and Development Council? 
 - Arun Jaitley. 
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Sitharaman launches IPR Enforcement Toolkit for police


  • Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman launched an IPR Enforcement Toolkit for Police that would help in dealing with IP crimes, specifically Trade Marks counterfeiting and Copyrights piracy.
  • The toolkit has been jointly prepared by Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM) and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).
  • In addition to details of offences under various laws, it provides for checklists for registering a complaint and conducting search and seizures.
  • It also lays down general guidelines for search and seizure in case of IP crimes
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Who launched an IPR Enforcement Toolkit for Police that would help in dealing with IP crimes, specifically Trade Marks counterfeiting and Copyrights piracy?
 - Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. 
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Piyush Goyal To Launch A New Mobile APP and Web Portal on UDAY


  • Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power, Coal & New and Renewable Energy and Mines, Piyush Goyal will launch the web portal and a Mobile App for one of India’s most talked about scheme the Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY) for operational and financial turnaround of state power distribution companies.
  • The App and the web portal, to be launched by Goyal on Wednesday will provide all details on the scheme including the number of states joining the scheme as also the progress achieved by each state under various parameters listed under the scheme including AT&C losses, cost of electricity, bonds issued and others.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Who will launch the web portal and a Mobile App for one of India’s most talked about scheme the Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY)? 
- Minister of State for Power, Coal & New and Renewable Energy and Mines, Piyush Goyal. 
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Institutionalisation Of Arbitration Mechanism: Justice Srikrishna To Head The Committee


  • The Union Government has constituted a High Level Committee in the Ministry of Law and Justice to be headed by former Supreme Court Justice, BN Shrikrishna.
  • According a press note published at the Press Information Bureau website, this committee will review the institutionalization of Arbitration Mechanism in India.
  • Apart from Justice(retd) BN Shrikrishna as its Chairman, the committee will comprise of;
    1.another former Supreme Court judge RV Raveendran,
    2. Justice S. Ravindra Bhat of the Delhi High Court,
    3.Senior Advocate K.K. Venugopal,
    4.PS Narasimha,
    5.Additional Solicitor General of India,
    6.Senior Advocate Indu Malhotra,
    7.Araghya Sengupta, Director, Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy,
    8. a representative of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI),
    9.a representative of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and
    10. Secretary, Department of Legal Affairs as its members.
  • The committee will look into various factors to accelerate arbitration mechanism and strengthen the arbitration ecosystem in the country.
  • It will also examine specific issues and roadmap required to make “India a robust centre for international and domestic arbitration”
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Who will head the committee constituted by Union Government in the Ministry of Law and Justice which will review the institutionalization of Arbitration Mechanism in India? 
- former Supreme Court Justice, BN Shrikrishna. 
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First transgender principal of an Indian college quits


  • The first transgender principal of an Indian college, Manabi Bandopadhyay, submitted her resignation, ending her 19 month-long tenure as the head of Krishnagar Women’s College in West Bengal.
  • Manabi cited indiscipline and lack of cooperation from students and colleagues as the reason behind the decision.
  • “I was tired of...regular agitations...by students and teachers," she said.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Who was the first transgender principal of an Indian college? 
 -  Manabi Bandopadhyay
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PM launches UPI based mobile payment app called BHIM


  • Urging people to make digital payments a "habit" to make the country a cashless economy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a mobile app for the Unified Payment Interface (UPI).
  • The application, which will be common across all banks and financial institutions, is called BHIM (Bharat Interface for Mobile).
  • The BHIM app will empower the poorest of the poor.
  • It is for the small merchant, farmers in far-flung areas, tribals.
  • Adding that the BHIM app doesn't even require an Internet connection since it can also work on simple feature phones
  • Aadhaar-based payments system would be added to the app in the next two weeks.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17: 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched which mobile app for the Unified Payment Interface (UPI)? 
 - BHIM (Bharat Interface for Mobile). 
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Government launches IVRS platform to tackle call drops


  • In a bid to tackle the call drop menace, government has launched an Integrated Voice Response System (IVRS) system at multiple locations including Delhi and Mumbai to obtain direct feedback from subscribers on call quality.
  • The feedback will be shared with operators so they can take corrective steps in the problem areas and address the issue of call drops.
  • The IVRS system will be extended to the entire country
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
What is the full form of IVRS? 
- Integrated Voice Response System (IVRS)
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