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Current Affairs for 23 January 2016
January 23, 2016
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GOOGLE’S FAST WI-FI SPEED THRILLS BROWSERS AT MUMBAI CENTRAL

1.One gigabit per second. That’s the speed at which you could browse the Web at Mumbai Central railway station for the first hour, and then depending on the number of users and time spent, the speed could vary between 50 Kbps and 1 Gbps. On Friday, Mumbai Central became the first of the country’s 100 railway stations to be equipped with a high-speed wi-fi service, a collaboration between RailTel, the Indian Railways’ telecom arm, and the US-headquartered software firm Google.

2.Google CEO Sundar Pichai, during his visit to India in December, had given a January deadline for the facility at the first station and, extending support to the Digital India initiative, had said that 100 railway stations will be covered by the end of 2016. The service was inaugurated by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu.


 

PM NARENDRA MODI FLAGS OFF MAHAMANA EXPRESS FROM VARANASI, DISTRIBUTES AID TO DIFFERENTLY-ABLED PERSONS

1.Addressing a gathering of local people and around 9250 divyaangs (differently abled) at DLW sports ground in his Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi, Modi said that those making such attacks, want to deviate him his path of working for the nation and they want to drag him in controversies.

2.Modi was in Varanasi to distribute aids and assistive devices to divyaangs in Samajik Adhikar Shivir and he also flagged off a new train-Mahamana Express- that will run between Varanasi to Delhi via Lucknow. PM also distributed sewing machines among widows who have been provided training by an NGO-Loomba Foundation


SPECTRUM AUCTION LIKELY TO BE HELD IN MAY-JUNE: TELECOM SECRETARY

1.Government is likely to conduct next round of spectrum auction around May-June period this year, a top official said today.

2.Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has put out a consultation paper on a reference made by the government to suggest the base or floor price for all available airwaves for mobile services. The government has pegged revenue from communication services for the current fiscal at Rs 42,865 crore including upfront realisation from spectrum sale and licence fee.

3.”Government has given permission for testing TV white space for broadband service. It is being tested in 3-4 places. If results of tests are successful, we will see how we can translate it in to reality,” he said. IT major Microsoft has been advocating for use of white space technology for broadband services. Similarly, he said the government is working for Google’s Loon project technology to deliver wireless broadband using balloon at 18-20 km height.


 

SRI LANKA TOPS SOUTH ASIA IN HUMAN DEVELOPMENT

1.Sri Lanka has maintained its high ranking in human development. But the country’s performance in terms of average annual human development index (HDI) growth rate during 1990-2014 was lower than many other South Asian countries.

2.These findings are among the highlights of the Global Human Development Report (HDR) 2015 released by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) here on Thursday.

3.Sri Lanka has been placed at the 73rd rank with an HDI value of 0.757. In the previous year’s report, it occupied the 74th place. Since the end of the civil war in 2009, the country’s rank went up by five.

4.While Iran is ahead of Sri Lanka, standing at 69th rank, the Maldives is ranked 104th. India and Bhutan fall under the category of medium human development countries and Nepal, Pakistan and Afghanistan come under the group of low human development countries. India is placed at 130th rank and Pakistan, 147th. As for the growth rate during 1990-2014, South Asia’s figure was 1.38, the highest among all regions.


HARYANA CLOSES IN ON $7BN INVESTMENT DEAL WITH CHINA

1.Chief Minister of Haryana, who is seeking big ticket investment in the state, knocked on China’s door Friday to find himself crowded by Chinese businessmen keen to enter India.

2.Within hours of a slickly choreographed road show in a top-end Beijing hotel, six deals, ranging from smart cities to steel technology were already in the bag. “We are expecting investments from Japan, but more than Japan, there is a greater likelihood for investments from China,” said Mr. Lal, in a conversation with the resident Indian media in Beijing.

3.The upbeat mood notwithstanding, the coveted prize — a more than seven billion dollar investment by China’s Dalian Wanda Group — in an entertainment, theme and industrial park, in Haryana was still not in hand.

4.That would generate 4 lakh skilled jobs — a politically significant number, in a relatively small state.


 

BANKS TO GET COMMISSION FOR UNLOCKING HOUSEHOLD GOLD: RBI

1.Govt to pay banks a 2.5% commission to unlock household gold.

2.PM launched Gold Monetisation Scheme on Nov. 5.

3.Banks are allowed to accept gold under medium- and long-term deposit schemes.


 

INDIA TO BUY MORE CRUDE OIL FROM NIGERIA

1.Nigeria has now agreed to increase the term contract from 1.7 million tonnes per annum to three million tonnes in 2016,” Mr. Pradhan said on the sidelines of the fourth India- Africa Hydrocarbon Summit in New Delhi.

2.Nigeria is the third-largest contributor to India’s oil imports, accounting for 11.59 million tonnes (MT) in the first half of this financial year, behind Saudi Arabia (19.56 MT) and Iraq (17.01 MT).

3.The benefit of a term contract is that not only does it assure a certain quantity to be supplied but also ensures a stable price unlike oil bought from spot markets whose price can fluctuate drastically.

4.Apart from Nigeria, Sudan also wants to increase its engagement with India.


 

PM MODI TO RELEASE DIGITAL COPIES OF 100 FILES ON NETAJI TOMORROW

1.Prime Minister Narendra Modi will release the digital copies of 100 files related to Subhash Chandra Bose on his birth anniversary tomorrow. “The National Archives of India (NAI) is placing 100 files relating to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose in public domain after preliminary conservation treatment and digitization. On the occasion of the birth anniversary of Netaji, the Prime Minister will release the digital copies of these files in public domain,” an official release said today.

2.The first lot of 33 files were declassified by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and handed over to the NAI on December 4, last year.


ROGER FEDERER BECOMES FIRST MAN TO WIN 300 GRAND SLAM MATCHES

1.More than 16 years after Roger Federer played in his first Grand Slam event, he’s won his 300th match, becoming the first man to reach that mark. He now trails only Martina Navratilova, who won 306 matches at the highest level of tennis. Federer, 34, is currently ranked No. 3 in the world.

2.Federer is now the oldest man to reach the Australian Open’s fourth round since Andre Agassi did it in 2005. And today’s win led him to look back on the early days of his career — including the need to make mistakes.