Current Affairs: 20 January 2017

PM Narendra Modi Inaugurates Raisina Dialogue In Delhi


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi told 69 nations participating in the flagship geo-political conference "Raisina Dialogue" that reform would not be enough "unless it transforms economy and society". 
  • Pointing out that he had got a "mandate to take bold decisions", he said for his government, this means a "path of international engagement" -- focused on "restoring bridges, shaping relationships, making India human resource to be reckoned with". 
  • More than 250 representatives of 65 nations are participating in the second Raisina Dialogue.
  • With a theme of "New Normal: Multi-lateralism with Multi-Polarity", the meet is focussing on deliberate on strategic issues including new challenges and cyber security. 
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Delhi Police Commissioner Alok Verma appointed Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi today approved the appointment of Delhi Police Commissioner Alok Kumar Verma as the new Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation.
  • Verma will take over from interim director Rakesh Asthana, who was handed the reins of the investigating agency after former director Anil Sinha retired on December 2. He'll serve for a period of two years.
  • Verma, a 1979 batch IPS officer of the Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram and Union Territory cadre, was the Director General of Tihar jail before he took charge as the Commissioner of Delhi Police in February last year.
  • He has served the Delhi Police in number of positions, including Deputy Commissioner of Police (south district), Joint Commissioner of the Crime Branch, Joint Commissioner of Police (New Delhi Range), Special CP (Intelligence) and Special CP (Vigilance).


Govt. launches 'ShaGun' - a web-portal for Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan

  • To put an innovative progress in elementary education sector of the country by continuous monitoring of the flagship scheme - Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar yesterday launched a dedicated web portal 'ShaGun', which has been prepared by World Bank in collaboration with Ministry of Human Resource Development.
  • On this occasion, the Union Minister also reiterated government's commitment for improving the 'Quality' of Education.
  • Learning Outcomes are assessment standards indicating the expected levels of learning that children should achieve for that class. These outcomes can be used as check points to evaluate learning at different points of time.
  • The learning outcomes would help teachers to understand the learning levels of children in their respective classes individually as well as collectively. Learning outcomes should be the point of reference for conducting achievement surveys. 
  • Hence it is necessary that the defined Learning Outcomes are also shared with parents and community at large


Birender Singh Yadav concurrently accredited as the High Commissioner of India to the Republic of Sierra Leone


  • Shri Birender Singh Yadav (IFS: 1997), presently High Commissioner of India to Republic of Ghana, has been concurrently accredited as the High Commissioner of India to the Republic of Sierra Leone, with residence in Accra (Ghana).
  • He is expected to take up his assignment shortly

"Quantico" actress Priyanka Chopra wins her 2nd People's Choice Award

  • Priyanka Chopra has become a star in the west, all thanks to her larger than life role of Alex Parrish on the popular TV show Quantico. 
  • The Indian actress has won her second People's Choice Award for Favourite Dramatic TV Actress.
  • This is Priyanka's second award in a row and we are so proud of her.


PNB to provide technology platform for pilot launch of IPPB


  • State-owned Punjab National Bank (PNB) will provide technology platform for pilot launch of India Post Payments Bank (IPPB). 
  • The memorandum of understanding (MoU) in this regard was signed between PNB and IPPB.
  • As per the agreement, PNB shall provide technology platform for pilot launch of IPPB on receipt of regulatory approval from Reserve Bank of India, the bank said in a regulatory filing to stock exchanges. 
  • The bank will be headquartered in New Delhi and plans to launch 650 branches across the country during the year. 
  • The first PSU under the Department of Posts, IPPB expects to complete the rollout of its branches all over the country by September 2017. 
  • IPPB aims to become the most accessible bank in the world, riding on advanced banking and payments technology. 
  • Coupled with physical presence across 1.55 lakh post offices and the reach of the postman, it plans to become a powerful and effective vehicle of real financial inclusion in the country.

Govt inks MoU to set up 1,000 Janaushadhi Kendras

  • The government signed an agreement with the National Yuva Cooperative Society to set up 1,000 Janaushadhi Kendras across the country and targets to open such medical stores in every block and gram panchayat to provide quality medicines at an affordable price.
  • At present, 750 Janaushadhi Kendras, providing more than 600 medicines and 150 medical devices, are operational and the target is to open 3,000 by end of this fiscal for achieving health safety
  • BPPI is the nodal implementation agency for the PMBJP, which is an an initiative of the Department of Pharmaceuticals under the Chemicals and Fertilisers ministry to make quality medicines accessible to all citizens at an affordable price.
  • The PMBJP scheme would drastically reduce the out of pocket health expenditure for the common man and give an impetus to the Make in India mission in the pharma sector.

Entrepreneurship Development Scheme inaugurated in Mizoram


  • Mizoram Chief Secretary Lalmalsawma inaugurated the Entrepreneurship Development Scheme (EDS) under the New Economic Development Policy (NEDP), an official statement said. 
  • Lalmalsawma said the state government gave high priority to entrepreneurship development and has allocated Rs two crore under the NEDP during the current fiscal.
  • Planning Secretary Dr C Vanlalramsanga said entrepreneurship was important for acquiring sustainable resources, knowledge and market, which would be instrumental in the state government's efforts to achieve market economy from subsistence economy. 
  • The EDS could be instrumental in implementation of 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations with minimum harm to the environment.

Karnataka allows sale of kerosene in open market

  • The Karnataka government has decided to allow the sale of white kerosene in open market.
  • Addressing the media in Mangaluru, State Food and Civil Supplies Minister UT Khader said that the government has issued an order this effect.
  • Those interested in selling white kerosene in open market can approach the office of the Food and Civil Supplies in their districts
  • Sunflower oil will be distributed to PDS cardholders below poverty line in Bengaluru and Mangaluru from next month, he said people from these regions did not prefer palm oil


10th Jaipur Literature festival begins


  • The 10th edition of the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) begins with Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, veteran lyricist Gulzar, American poet Anne Waldman and spiritual writer Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, inaugurating the five-day event. 
  • Touted to be world's largest free literary festival, this year JLF has been themed on "The Freedom to Dream: India at 70" and will see over 250 authors, thinkers, politicians and popular culture icons engaging in stimulating discussions and sessions at the historic Diggi Palace.


58th India International Garment Fair begins in New Delhi


  • The 58th edition of India International Garment Fair (IIGF) is beginning today in New Delhi.
  • Organized by Apparel Export Promotion Council India, the event is one of the largest and most popular platforms in Asia, from which overseas garment buyers can source products and forge business relationships with India's finest players in the apparel and fashion accessories domain.
  • Textiles Minister Smriti Zubin Irani will inaugurate the three-day long fair.
  • A total of 312 participants from 14 states are participating in the Fair.
  • The major participating states are Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Gujarat and Karnataka.
  • The sellers will be showcasing women's wear, accessories, kids wear and menswear.
  • The event will have fashion shows for exhibiting the collections and developing business.

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