Current Affairs: 2 January 2017

Indo-Bangladesh border to get laser walls, smart sensors



  • In order to check infiltration and terrorism, the Border Security Force (BSF) will be installing laser walls and smart sensors along the Indo-Bangladesh border in West Bengal.
  • The satellite-monitored smart sensors will have night and fog operability tools and will blip and alert the border guards. The laser walls are set to become operational from next year.


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Indian-origin entrepreneur gets Kyrgyzstan's top army post


  • An entrepreneur of Indian origin, Sheikh Rafik Mohammed, has assumed a top position in the defence department of Kyrgyzstan.
  • Rafik, who also holds Kyrgyzstan nationality, had worked as an adviser to former Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Saliyevich Bakiyev. Rafik belongs to Kerala and has earlier worked in Iran, Saudi Arabia and Kyrgyzstan, his media adviser said.


Justice Mian Saqib Nisar appointed as Chief Justice of Pak


  • Justice Mian Saqib Nisar on Saturday took oath as the 25th Chief Justice of Pakistan. The oath was administered by the country's President Mamnoon Hussain at the President House.
  • The event was attended by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and other dignitaries.
  • Justice Nisar has replaced Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali who retired after serving as Chief Justice for 15 months.


Credit guarantee for MSMEs doubled to Rs. 2 crore: PM Modi


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday declared an increase in the credit guarantee for the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to Rs. 2 crore from the previous limit of Rs.1 crore.
  • He also announced that all banks have been asked to raise the cash credit limit for small businesses to 25% from 20%.


3% interest waiver on Rs. 12 L loans for constructing rural homes


  • PM Narendra Modi  said the government will waive off 3% interest on loans up to Rs. 2 lakh taken for construction, repair, and renovation of houses in rural areas.
  • Poor and middle-class citizens will get a 4% interest waiver on loans up to Rs. 9 lakh, and a 3% exemption on loans below Rs. 12 lakh, PM Modi added.


4% rebate on home loans up to Rs. 9 lakh, 3% on Rs. 12 lakh: PM


  • While addressing the nation on New Year's eve, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a new housing loan scheme, under which poor and middle-class citizens will get a 4% exemption on interest on loans up to Rs. 9 lakh.
  • Further, home loans of up to Rs.12 lakh will also get an exemption of 3% on the interest.


Sikkim becomes India's first fully organic state


  • Sikkim has become the first state in India to go fully organic.
  • Around 75,000 hectares of agricultural land were gradually converted to certified organic land in accordance with guidelines laid down in National Programme for Organic Production, as per reports.
  • Sikkim was also accorded the status of the cleanest state in India by the National Sample Survey Office in September


Karjakin pips Magnus Carlsen to win World Blitz Chess C'ship


  • Russia's Sergey Karjakin pipped Norway's Magnus Carlsen on the basis of a better tiebreak record to win the World Blitz Chess Championship title in Doha, Qatar
  • Karjakin, who lost his Classical Chess World Championship match to Carlsen last month, ended at par with Carlsen, but was awarded the title for having better individual results between the two.


Britain's Andy Murray conferred with Knighthood


  • World number one tennis player, Britain's Andy Murray, has been conferred the Knighthood in the New Year’s honours list in Britain. 2016 was Murray's most successful year after winning the Wimbledon title for the second time and defending his gold medal at the Rio Olympics.
  • Four-time Olympic gold-winning distance runner Mo Farah was also included in the list.


India's 1st transgender school opens in Kerala


  • India's first transgender school, Sahaj International, was inaugurated in Kochi (Kerala)
  • The alternative learning centre, which works in collaboration with the National Institute of Open Learning, will help the transgenders who dropped out of school to appear in Class X and XII examinations.
  • The school is headed by six transgenders and a woman and has 10 students.


India’s Somdev Devvarman announces retirement


  • Somdev Devvarman, one of India’s best singles players in over a decade, announced his retirement from the sport after he decided to give Chennai Open a miss. 
  • One of India’s most exciting singles careers that briefly promised to leap to the next level as he hared around the court retrieving, seems to have skidded to an inexplicable stop.
  • Somdev led the Indian charge in the Davis Cup singles since his debut in 2008, and has played 14 rubbers – including inspiring victories against Jiri Vesely of Czech Republic and Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic in the World Group Playoffs of 2015 and 2014 respectively. His efforts were instrumental in India making the World Group in 2010.

Rafael Nadal Wins Mubadala Tennis Championships 2016 


  • Spanish tennis veteran Rafael Nadal defeated Belgian David Goffin 6-4, 7-6 to win the Mubadala World Tennis Championships.
  • The world No.9 disrupted 11th ranked Goffin's rhythm as he had planned before the final, by switching sides and changing from slice balls to high balls on the center court of the International Tennis Centre in Abu Dhabi's Zayed Sports City, reports Xinhua.


Bharatiya Jananpith announces Navlekhan award 2016


  • Two new Hindi writers Shraddha and Ghyansham Kumar Devansh have been chosen for Bharatiya Jnanpith Navlekhan Award for the year 2016, the literary organisation announced
  • Two new Hindi writers Shraddha and Ghyansham Kumar Devansh have been chosen for Bharatiya Jnanpith Navlekhan Award for the year 2016, the literary organisation announced


NHPC CMD K M Singh honoured at 10th ENERTIA Awards 2016


  • State-run National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) Chairman and Managing Director K M Singh has been conferred the 'Power & Energy Persona's Award for Individual Excellence' at the 10th ENERTIA Awards 2016 -- India and South Asia's awards for excellence in sustainable energy and power.
  •  Singh received the award from Former Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Upendra Tripathy


Govt permits 12 PSU banks to raise Rs 3,000 cr from market


  • In a bid to strengthen capital base of public sector banks (PSBs), the government has allowed 12 lenders to raise nearly Rs 3,000 crore via preferential shares over and above the Rs 22,915 crore capital support committed to them in July last year.
  • Budgetary provision of Rs 25,000 crore has been made for 2016-17 and the government has already allocated Rs 22,915 crore to 13 PSBs on July 19, 2016 of which 75 per cent has been allocated in first tranche while remaining amount will be released on assessment of performance of PSBs, the Department of Finance in its year-end review for 2016.
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