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Current Affairs for 17 January 2016
January 17, 2016
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REMOTE CARDIAC MONITOR WINS GOOGLE TECH CONTEST

1.Cardiac Design Labs, a startup that has come up with an innovation to help cardiac patients in rural India access critical care through a wearable device, came out triumphant at a live contest hosted by tech firm Google at the Startup India event.

2.The Bengaluru-based firm combines communications and heart monitoring technology and is designed for use in rugged rural conditions .The patient can be monitored from home. The cardiologist will be able to remotely interact and diagnose the patient using his cell phone.

3.The firm has built MIRCaM, comprehensive suite that comprises of wearable sensors, doctor’s terminal, patient’s bedside and a mobile app.

4.At the startup India contest, people’s choice award was bagged by Bengaluru-based Guru-G which converts existing content into adaptive teaching packs. These packs provide in-class guidance to teachers on different ways in which they can teach a topic. The guidance adapts to the teacher’s past behavior, student moods and the practices that have resulted in best learning outcomes for their students.


 

SOLAR POWER GENERATION CAPACITY CROSSES 5,000 MW MARK

 

 

1.The country’s grid-connected solar power generation capacity has crossed the 5,000 MW mark, with Rajasthan on top, followed by Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.

2.According to the statement, Rajasthan leads the list with 1,264.35 MW capacity, followed by Gujarat (1,024 MW), Madhya Pradesh (679 MW), Tamil Nadu (419 MW), Maharashtra (379 MW) and Andhra Pradesh (357 MW).

3.The target for the current year is 2,000 MW and 12,000 MW for the next year.


 

LIT FOR LIFE: THE HINDU PRIZE FOR 2015 GOES TO EASTERINE KIRE

1.Easterine Kire, poet, novelist and children’s writer from Nagaland, won The Hindu Prize, 2015, for her novel When the River Sleeps, a book about a lone hunter seeking a faraway river, to take from it a stone that will give him untold powers.

2.Ms. Kire was one of the six authors shortlisted from nearly 60 entries for the sixth edition of the prize. The shortlisted books included Amit Chaudhuri’s nOdysseus Abroad; Amitav Ghosh’s Flood of Fire; Anuradha Roy’s Sleeping on Jupiter; Janice Pariat’sSeahorse and Siddharth Chowdhury’s The Patna Manual of Style.

3.The award — a citation and a cash prize of Rs. 5 lakh — was given away by author Alexander McCall Smith on Saturday at the ongoing Lit for Life event organised by The Hindu at Sir Mutha Venkatasubba Rao Concert Hall, Chetpet.


 

CHINA’S HAIER BUYING GE APPLIANCE UNIT FOR $5.4 BILLION

1.Chinese appliance maker Haier is buying General Electric Co.’s appliance unit for $5.4 billion to expand its global presence.

2.Haier and GE announced the sale Friday and said they agreed to form a strategic partnership to cooperate in areas such as the Internet, healthcare, and advanced manufacturing.

3.Haier, headquartered in the eastern Chinese city of Qingdao, is the world’s biggest appliance maker, with 2014 revenue of $32.6 billion.

4.GE’s sale of its appliance unit comes in the midst of an effort by the company to shift its focus to higher-technology and higher-profit areas such as medical equipment.


 

POPOV CLAIMS TITLE

1.Russia’s Ivan Popov suffered a surprise last-round loss but was not to be denied the 14th Delhi International Open chess title here on Saturday. Popov claimed the winner’s trophy and Rs. three lakh.

2.Ukraine’s Valeriy Neverov inflicted a 43-move defeat with white pieces to force a three-way tie at eight points. But Popov clinched the title on a superior tie-break score ahead of runner-up Hungarian Attila Czebe and third-placed Neverov.

3.In fact, Vitaly Sivuk did Popov a favour by holding Czebe in 30 moves on the second board. After Popov’s loss, a victory for Czebe would have given him the title.

4.M.R. Lalith Babu justified his presence in the event as the highest-rated Indian and defeated Ukraine’s Yuri Solodovnichenko in 68 moves to be among the six players tied for the fourth spot with 7.5 points.


 

SUSHMA TO LAY GROUND FOR MODI’S ISRAEL VISIT

1.Beginning the first big diplomatic outreach of 2016, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj left on Saturday on a three-day visit covering Israel and Ramallah, the capital of the Palestinian Authority.

2.After landing at the Tel Aviv airport, Ms. Swaraj, who stopped on the way at Abu Dhabi and Amman, will engage in talks with the Palestinian leadership, in the first half of her trip. The official visit will begin on Sunday morning.

3.At Ramallah, Ms. Swaraj will be welcomed by her counterpart Riyad Al-Maliki.


 

NARENDRA MODI UNVEILS LIBERAL START-UP ECOSYSTEM

1.Prime Minister Narendra Modi sought to infuse more energy into India’s start-up ecosystem with a bouquet of initiatives such as making tax-free the profits of these fledgling units for three years, Rs. 10,000 crore of government funding over four years, no visits by labour inspectors for three years, and quicker and subsidised patent clearances.

2.The “Start-up India, Stand-up India” action plan, unveiled by Mr. Modi on Saturday, promises a new mobile app to enable start-ups to register themselves within a day and apply for clearances online, and easier exits for failed ventures with a provision for winding them up within 90 days under a proposed bankruptcy and insolvency law.


 

ODISHA TRIBAL COUPLE GETS MODI’S R-DAY INVITE

1.They live atop the Bonda hills in Odisha’s Malkangiri district, segregated from the mainstream and have rarely stepped out of their environs, so an invitation to attend this year’s Republic Day parade in Delhi was beyond their dreams.

2.For Dhabalu Sisa and his wife Samari, a letter from Prime Minister Narendra Modi inviting them to Delhi for the parade changed everything and they have not stopped beaming since, an official of the Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA) said.

3.The Bondas are members of the particularly vulnerable tribal group (PVTG).

4.Mr. Sisa and Ms. Samari reside in Bandiguda village under Mudulipada gram panchayat of Malkangiri district. The couple may be first from the community to go to Delhi and shake hands with President Pranab Mukherjee and Mr. Modi, the official said.


 

MOST LUMINOUS SUPERNOVA EVER DISCOVERED

1.Astronomers have discovered the most luminous supernova ever observed, which is up to 50 times brighter than the entire Milky Way galaxy. 

2.The super-luminous supernova, called ASAS-SN-15lh, was discovered by the All Sky Automated Survey for SuperNovae team (ASAS-SN), an international collaboration at the Ohio State University in US, which uses a network of 14-centimetre telescopes around the world to scan the visible sky every two or three nights looking for very bright supernovae.


 

MADHYA PRADESH INKS PACT WITH IFC TO SET UP WORLD’S LARGEST SOLAR PLANT

1.The Madhya Pradesh government has inked a pact with IFC, member of the World Bank Group, to set up the world’s largest solar energy plant with a capacity of 750 MW.
2.The Rewa Ultra-Mega Solar Power Project will be set up in Gurh tehsil of Rewa district over an area of 1,500 hectares at an estimated cost of Rs 4,500 crore.

3.The project will be the largest single-site solar power project in the world, a release said.

4.The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed betw ..


TSAI ING-WEN ELECTED TAIWAN’S FIRST FEMALE PRESIDENT

1.Ms Tsai, 59, leads the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) that wants independence from China.

2.In her victory speech, she vowed to preserve the status quo in relations with China, adding Beijing must respect Taiwan’s democracy and both sides must ensure there are no provocations.

3.China sees the island as a breakaway province – which it has threatened to take back by force if necessary.

4.In her speech, Ms Tsai hailed a “new era” in Taiwan and pledged to co-operate with other political parties on major issues.

5.Ms Tsai had a commanding lead in the vote count when Eric Chu of the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) admitted defeat.

6.Mr Chu congratulated Tsai Ing-wen and announced he was quitting as KMT head. Taiwan’s Premier Mao Chi-kuo also resigned.


 

POLLUTION CONTROL VESSEL COMMISSIONED BY ICG AT PORBANDAR

1.Indian Coast Guard (ICG) today commissioned a pollution control vessel ICGS Samudra Pavak at Porbandar to help deal with any eventuality created by the oil spill.

2.The ship was commissioned at Porbandar by Defence Secretary G Mohan Kumar. 

3.According to the statement, the Gulf of Kutch with its rich biodiversity, living resources, fisheries, coral reefs and mangrove vegetation, and swampy lands around the coast produces 71 per cent of the nation’s common salt, consequent high vulnerability of environment merits the positioning of the Pollution Response Vessel for prompt response to any oil spill contingencies.

4.The ship is equipped with the advanced pollution response and control equipment for mitigating oil spill in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of India. 

5.It can also perform activities like oil containment, recovery, oil separation and dispersion of pollutants. The availability of two rigid sweeping arms enables containment of oil spill in motion as well, the statement said.


 

PRESIDENT OBAMA TO HONOUR IIT ALUMNUS WITH AMERICA’S HIGHEST SCIENCE AWARD

1.President Barack Obama will felicitate a 65-year-old Indian-American professor at the Harvard Medical School with the US’ highest honours for achievement and leadership in advancing the fields of science and technology, the White House has said. Dr Rakesh K Jain, an IIT-Kanpur alumnus and professor of tumor biology at Massachusetts General Hospital in the Harvard Medical School, will receive the National Medal of Science at a White House ceremony early next year.

2.Jain is among the nine latest recipients of the National Medal of Science. Eight persons have been chosen for the latest National Medal of Technology and Innovation.