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Current Affairs for 13 January 2016
January 13, 2016
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ECI ANNOUNCES BY-ELECTION SCHEDULE, 3 ASSEMBLY CONSTITUENCIES IN UP TO VOTE IN BYPOLLS

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1.As per the bypoll schedule, the issuance of the gazette notification would be done on January 20, while the last date of making nominations is January 27.

2.Scrutiny of nominations would be held on January 28. The last date to withdraw the candidature is January 30. Voting will take place on February 13, while counting of votes would be held on February 16. The entire poll process would be completed by February 18.

3.The Election Commission of India on Tuesday declared the itinerary of bypolls to fill vacancies in various state legislative assemblies including Uttar Pradesh.


 

81 WHALES BEACH ON TN COAST, 45 DIE, REST PUSHED BACK INTO SEA

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1.A school of shortfinned pilot whales beached on Tiruchendur coast in southern Tamil Nadu on Monday night and Tuesday morning, setting off a massive rescue effort by officials and fishermen over a 16km stretch of sand.

2.2.Of the 81 whales washed ashore, 45 were dead by afternoon despite efforts to save them. Weighing from 1,000 to 1,500kgs and about 4metres in length, these enormous sea mammals struggled for life as rescuers made valiant attempts to push them back into the water. Eventually , 36 of them were guided back into the sea though it was not clear how many of them survived.


 

IIP SHRINKS 3.2%, WORST TROUGH SINCE OCT. 2011

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1.A sustainable recovery in the Indian economy remains elusive with industrial output shrinking by 3.2 per cent in November 2015, marking its worst performance since October 2011, while consumer price inflation inched up to 5.6 per cent in December.

2.The dichotomy of rising inflation accompanying a decline in industrial output poses a fresh problem to the government of how to spur domestic demand, say experts.

3.The spike in retail inflation makes it difficult for the RBI to cut interest rates to spur investments, while cramping the Centre’s ability to use fiscal fillip to prop up the economy.


 

BLOOD BANKS ASKED TO POST STOCK DATA ONLINE

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1.The NHP site gives real- time data about blood and blood components at the State and the district level. As the data is updated every 48 hours, families looking for blood can use the web-enabled system, taking away the need to tapping into personal sources, social media platforms etc for blood. The e-Blood bank will enable electronic monitoring of blood collection, testing, storage and final use and even disposal. The app also will maintain a database of regular donors, in case of requirement.

2.The project was launched earlier this month after a pilot in Delhi and Mizoram during which the NACO found nearly 100 per cent reporting from blood banks in both States. According to the NACO data, out of the 2,760 blood banks in India, 2,711 are already on a digital platform.


 

AAHAR TO BE EXTENDED TO 29 DISTS BY FEB 25

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1.Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday directed extension of the cheap food scheme Aahar to 29 districts and ordered the officials to set up 57 centres in the urban areas of the districts to provide the Rs 5-rice and dalma meal by February 25.

2.A total of 30,300 meals would be prepared in these centres daily.

3.The Government on April 1 had opened 21 Aahar centres in five major cities, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Rourkela, Brahmapur and Sambalpur.


 

NOW PROFESSIONAL TAX ON SOUTH DELHIITES

1.Facing mounting expenditures, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) has decided to consider imposing a new ‘professional tax’ on residents from the next financial year.

2.The Standing Committee of the SDMC on Monday decided to put the ball in the court of the House, saying that a proposal for imposing professional tax will be deliberated by the House in the next budget session.

3.As per Article 276 of the Indian Constitution, State or local governments can impose taxes on professions, trades, callings and employments up to Rs.2,500 per person annually.

4.South Delhi Municipal Corporation officials said the exact rate of the professional tax has not been finalised yet, but its collection could net the corporation between Rs. 20 to Rs. 40 crore a year.


 

1.3 CRORE VOTERS IN DELHI

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1.The total number of voters in Delhi now stands at more than 1.30 crore following the summary revision of electoral roll carried out by the office of Delhi’s Chief Electoral Officer (CEO).

2.The office of the CEO had started the summary revision of Delhi’s electoral roll from October 1, 2015, with the publication of the draft roll. Voters were given a month’s time to submit applications for any changes in their details in the roll or for enrolment.

3.Since the last rolls were finalised on January 5, 2015, the number of voters added to the list is 1,32,569. With the deletion of 11,761 voters from the list, the net increase in the electoral roll has been 1,20,808.


 

HARISH RAWAT FORMALLY INAUGURATES ARDHAKUMBH MELA 

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1.Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat today formally inaugurated the four-month Ardhakumbh mela at Har Ki Pauri here, and lashed out at the Centre for “not releasing” funds for the event.

2.Rawat presided over a ceremony to mark the formal opening of this year’s mela, which began on January 1, and made offerings in the presence of eminent seers.

3.Rawat has written several letters to the Centre and even met Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley seeking a one-time assistance of Rs 500 crore to carry out Ardhakumbh-related works of both temporary and permanent nature.


EPFO BAGS NATIONAL AWARD ON E-GOVERNANCE

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1.The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation has won the National Award on e-Governance 2015-16 for launching the Universal Account Number (UAN).

2.The UAN facility enables workers to transfer their provident fund deposits while switching jobs anywhere in India easily.

3.The EPFO won the gold award in the ‘innovative use of technology in e-governance’ category and the retirement body will get a cash prize of Rs 2 lakh.

4.The award will be presented by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions to the EPFO in the 19th National Conference on e-governance to be held in Nagpur on January 22.


 

START UP INDIA SCHEMES TO FINALLY TAKE OFF

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1.The government can finally start deploying funds from the Self-Employment and Talent Utilisation (SETU) scheme and the Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) announced in the Union Budget for 2015-16 to promote startups and scientific research, after over ten months of spadework.

2.An overarching supervisory body with about ten members is being formed to oversee the allocation of funds under the schemes to line ministries. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had allocated Rs 1,000 crore to the SETU scheme and Rs 150 crore for AIM.

3.Half of the funds under SETU would be earmarked for strengthening existing incubators in the country, backed by different departments, so that the support mechanism for budding entrepreneurs is more robust.


 

AP INKS MOUS FOR RS.4.78 LAKH CRORE

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1.Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday announced that they would hold Davos-type interface with stakeholders regularly to extend the benefits of development to the common man after signing pacts worth Rs. 4.78 lakh crore with investors from India and the Middle East, the United States, China and other countries.

2.The pacts were signed during the three-day CII Partnership Summit titled ‘Sunrise Andhra Pradesh Investment Meet’ concluded at APIIC Harbour Park.

3.As many as 328 MoUs signed has a potential to create employment for nearly ten lakh people, Mr. Naidu said Major investment proposals include Essel and ZEE Goup establishing smart industrial parks, including LNG terminal, involving an investment of about $ nine billion indirectly by encouraging various Chinese and Indian companies to set up base in the park.

4.The MoU also covers an investment of $ two billion directly into setting up of a state-of-the-art manufacturing hub for renewal energy equipment manufacturing. Agreements for setting up a Rs.5,000 crore naval facility at Rambilli, near here, by Anil Ambani’s ADA Group and for a Rs.38,000-crore expansion project by RINL were also signed.


CHINA ALLOWS RBI TO ENTER FOREX MARKET

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1.China has allowed a second batch of foreign institutions to enter China’s interbank foreign exchange market, the country’s central bank said on Tuesday.

2.Six central banks and international financial institutions, including Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Monetary Authority of Singapore and Bank of International Settlements, are now allowed to trade spot products, forwards, swaps, currency swaps and options in China’s domestic foreign exchange market, it said.


 

GOVERNMENT’S UDAY SCHEME MAY LIGHT UP POWER DISTRIBUTION COMPANIES: CRISIL

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1.The government’s UDAY Scheme to aid ailing electricity distribution companies (discoms) has a better chance of succeeding than the previous financial restructuring plan, says Crisil.

2.Under UDAY, state governments will take over 75 per cent of the debt held by their discoms as of September 30, 2015. Half the debt will be taken over in 2015-16 and 25 per cent in 2016-17. The balance 25 per cent of the debt is to be serviced through state government-guaranteed bonds issued by the discoms.

3.So far, 15 states have joined the UDAY scheme. Around 90 per cent of the losses made by the discoms are covered by the states that had joined UDAY, Power Minister Piyush Goyal said two weeks ago.


MESSI WINS FIFTH FIFA BALLON D’OR TO CEMENT PLACE AS GREATEST PLAYER EVER

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1.Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has won the Ballon d’Or award for the world’s best player for the fifth time.

2.The 28-year-old Argentine had 41.33% of the vote, with Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo (27.76%) second and Barca’s Neymar (7.86%) third.

3.Either Messi or Ronaldo, who became a three-time winner last year, have won the past eight awards.

4.United States midfielder Carli Lloyd, who scored a hat-trick in the World Cup final, won the women’s award.

5.England coach Mark Sampson was beaten to the women’s football coach of the year award by USA boss Jill Ellis, who was born in Portsmouth.