Current Affairs for 22 January 2016

World Bank to provide $250-mn loan for Kosi Basin project

  • India signed a $250 million loan agreement with the World Bank for Bihar Kosi Basin Development project, aimed at enhancing resilience to floods and increase agriculture productivity. 
  • The primary beneficiaries will be rural producers and households in the Kosi River Basin who are regularly exposed to floods, it added. 
  • It is a loan for an implementation period of 5 years and the Bihar government is the implementing agency.

Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur is the world’s best hotel

  • According to travel website TripAdvisor, Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur is the world’s best hotel of 2016.
  • Built over 15 years between 1928 and 1943 after its namesake, the Maharaja Umaid Singh, the palatial hotel is literally fit for an Indian king, as the sprawling property is the principal residence of the Jodhpur royal family. 
  • The palace features 347 rooms.

Nathan Hauritz announces retirement

  • Australia off-spinner Nathan Hauritz announced his retirement from competitive cricket on Tuesday, bringing the curtain down on a 15-year career during which he represented the national side in all three formats.
  • The 34-year-old failed to take a wicket in that clash, against Perth Scorchers, and conceded 29 runs in his two overs.

Bihar, Jharkhand to have six-lane highway: Cabinet

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Wednesday approved six-laning of portions of the National Highway-2 (NH-2) in Bihar and Jharkhand, estimated to cost Rs.4,918.48 crore.
  • The total length of the road will be approximately 222 km,” the release said.
  • The cost is estimated to be Rs.4,918.48 crore, including cost of land acquisition, resettlement and rehabilitation and other pre-construction activities.

Uttar Pradesh won 2014-2015 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy

  • Uttar Pradesh on 20 January 2016 won its maiden Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy with a 38-run win over two- time champions Baroda in the final played at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
  • It was Uttar Pradesh’s ninth straight win in the tournament, including five in the preliminary league phase and three more in the super league stage.

Amitabh Bachchan, Priyanka Chopra replace Aamir Khan as 'Incredible India' brand ambassadors

  • The selection of the two actors follows the Centre's decision to discontinue the contract of actor Aamir Khan, who had angered the BJP-led government with his remarks on perceived intolerance in the country. 
  • Khan had promoted Indian tourism for a decade as the brand ambassador. 

RBI asks banks to stop Rs 1,000 notes without security thread

  • The RBI today said it has received complaints about notes of Rs 1,000 denomination without the security thread being in circulation and has asked banks not to issue them in case these are found. 
  • The Reserve Bank has informed all the banks in Mumbai region not to issue such notes if found in stock and to provide exchange value to the customer who approaches with such a note, if it is otherwise genuine.

Oscar for Indian-origin actor, producer Rahul Thakkar in technical category

  • Rahul Thakkar will be presented with the Technical Achievement Award for his contribution to cinema through "groundbreaking design", as announced on the official Oscar Awards website.

PM Narendra Modi released book titled The Z Factor written by Subhash Chandra

  • The Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 20 January 2016 released a book titled The Z Factor: My Journey as the Wrong Man at the Right Time in New Delhi.
  • The book is the autobiography of the promoter of Essel/ Zee Group Subhash Chandra. It is a candid memoir of a ‘truly desi’ self-made businessman who came to Delhi at age twenty with seventeen rupees in his pocket.
  • Now, Subhash Chandra has a net worth of 6.3 billion US dollars and annual group revenues of about 3 billion US dollars.

CCEA approved setting up of over 5000 MW of Grid-connected Solar PV Power Projects

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on 20 January 2016 gave its approval for setting up over 5000 MW of Grid-Connected Solar PV Power Projects on build, own and operate basis.
  • The work will be implemented by Solar Power Developers (SPDs) with Viability Gap Funding (VGF) under Batch-lV of Phase-ll of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM). 
  • The total investments expected under the scheme is about 30000 crore rupees.

ISRO, Kuwait Institute signed MoU on cooperation in space exploration

  • The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and Kuwait Institute of Scientific Research (KISR) on 20 January 2016 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes.
  • It will allow use of data from Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) satellites by KISR for initiating a few research and application projects. 

Eminent dancer Mrinalini Sarabhai passes away

  • Eminent dancer Mrinalini Sarabhai, wife of the late Dr Vikram Sarabhai, father of India’s space programme, passed away here on Thursday following age-related health complications. She was 97.
  • Ms Sarabhai, a Padma Bhushan awardee for her contributions to Bharatanatyam and other classical dance forms, was hospitalised here on Wednesday, Kartikeya, said.

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