Current Affairs: 31 January 2017

Martyrs Day: 30 January

  • Martyrs day in India is celebrated to pay homage to the victims who fought for the freedom, welfare and progress of the India and sacrificed their lives. It is celebrated every year all over the country on 30th of January. 
  • India is the country among other 15 countries of the world where Martyrs Day is celebrated every year to pay homage to the freedom fighters
  • artyrs Day (Sarvodaya Day or Shaheed Diwas) in India 2017 will be celebrated on 30th of January
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PM Narendra Modi announces task force to prepare for next three Olympics

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced that his government would set up a task force to create a strategy to help sportspersons prepare for the next three Olympics. 
  • The task force would cover infrastructure, training and selection.
  • PM Modi made the announcement at a Cabinet meeting and said the task force would be set up in the next few days.
  • The PM announced that "a task force will be set up to prepare a comprehensive action plan for effective participation of Indian sportspersons in the next three Olympic Games - 2020, 2024 and 2028
  • The task force will prepare the overall strategy for sports facilities, training, selection procedure and related matters. 
  • The task force will comprise of members who are inhouse experts as well as those from outside
  • The announcement comes against the backdrop of India's two medals at the recently concluded Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, which brought into focus the lack of facilities and support+ for sportspersons in the country. The task force may also look into steps to make officials accountable, to address repeated charges of apathy and lack of interest.


‘Vampire’ star caught in the act by Indian space observatory ASTROSAT

  • India’s first dedicated space observatory, ASTROSAT, has captured the rare phenomenon of a small, 6-billion-year-old “vampire” star “preying” on a bigger celestial body.
  • Scientists say the smaller star, also called a “blue straggler”, feeds off its companion star by sucking out its mass and energy, causing its eventual death.
  • The most popular explanation is that these are binary systems in which the smaller star sucks material out of the bigger companion star to become a blue straggler, and hence is called a vampire star.
  • The small star becomes bigger, hotter and bluer, which gives it the appearance of being young, while the ageing companion burns out and collapses to a stellar remnant
  • The stars are part of a “cluster” called NGC 188 formed some 6 billion years ago, and are much older than the sun, which is believed to have come into existence nearly 4.5 billion years ago.

PV Sindhu wins maiden Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold title

  • Ace Indian shuttler PV Sindhu on Sunday came out with yet another dominating performance as she defeated Indonesia's Gregoria Mariska to clinch her maiden Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold women's singles title.
  • Sindhu, the Rio Olympic medalist, defeated Mariska 21-13, 21-14 in an arguably one-sided contest.
  • Top seed Sindhu, earlier in the semis, had to do little to brush aside fourth seed Fitriani Fitriani of Indonesia 21-11, 21-19 to make it to her maiden final.

Supreme Court appoints Vinod Rai to handle BCCI’s affairs

  • The Supreme Court  appointed a four-member committee headed by former comptroller and auditor general of India Vinod Rai to manage the Indian cricket board, pressing ahead with its efforts to reform the country’s richest sporting body.
  • Others named to the panel to oversee the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) were Vikram Limaye, managing director and CEO of IDBI Bank; former Indian women’s cricket captain Diana Edulji; and historian and writer Ramchandra Guha. 
  • The court selected the administrators from names suggested by the BCCI, the central government and lawyers Gopal Subramaniam and Anil Diwan, amicus curiae in the case.

INSAT-3DR to map farm fires in Haryana, Punjab

  • Next generation satellite INSAT-3DR has opened new frontiers in India’s weather forecasting and is set to equip the country with the ability to detect farm fires, which intensifies air pollution in the northern region seasonally, leaving Delhi gasping for breath. 
  • A team of the Satellite Meteorology Division of India Meteorological Department (IMD), housed in New Delhi’s Mausam Bhawan, has amassed a huge tranche of data relayed by it over the past few months, at an average rate of a whopping 142 GB per day.
  • Launched in September last year, INSAT-3DR works in tandem with INSAT-3D, operational since 2014, in sending raw data and high-resolution images, zoomed up to 1 kilometre near the earth’s surface, every 15 minutes.

Amulya Patnaik is new Delhi Police Chief

  • Amulya Kumar Patnaik, a 1985-batch IPS officer, was appointed the next Delhi Police Commissioner on Monday.
  • Having become the police chief at a relatively younger age of 57, Mr. Patnaik will have one of the longest tenures till January 2020 when he is scheduled to retire. He replaces Alok Kumar Verma, who was appointed as the CBI Director.
  • Currently Special Commissioner of Police (Administration), Mr. Patnaik has handled several critical assignments in the Delhi Police, the key among which was heading the Crime Branch and the Southern Range as Joint Commissioner.
  • In 1995, Patnaik took the initiative to launch ‘Pratidhi’, a Delhi Police programme to extend counselling and other assistance to victims of traumatic crimes, an initiative that is working successfully till date.

Ashok Amritraj Appointed UN in India Goodwill Ambassador for the Sustainable Development Goals

  • Award-winning Hollywood film producer and Wimbledon tennis player, Ashok Amritraj has been appointed the United Nations in India Goodwill Ambassador for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Chairman and CEO of the Hyde Park Entertainment Group, Mr. Amritraj is the first Ambassador for the UN in India.
  • Accepting the honour, Mr. Amritraj said “I look forward to working with the United Nations in India to amplify awareness about the SDGs. It is a tremendous opportunity that brings together my personal desire to serve the country of my birth, and my passion to leverage the power of the media for the creation of diverse, socially-relevant content”.
  • The United Nations has a long history of close co-operation with the Government of India and today the United Nations system in India includes 26 organisations that have the privilege to serve in the country.

Dushyant Chautala is new TTFI president

  • A new set of office-bearers, led by president Dushyant Chautala, today took charge of affairs at the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) following the Annual General Body meeting where they were elected unopposed.
  • The election to all posts, conducted and supervised by Justice Ranjit Singh (Retd.) of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, was as smooth as it had been all these years, as they were returned unopposed.
  • Chautala, incidentally, is the youngest president of the apex body and his term and that of others, which is for four years, extends until 2021.

Miss Universe 2017: Miss France Iris Mittenaere lifts the crown; Miss India not in top 13

  • Iris Mittenaere, a 23-year-old dental student from France, won the Miss Universe crown in Manila, the Philippines, where it was held this year.
  • However, Miss India, the 22-year-old Bengaluru-based Roshmitha Harimurthy failed it to make it to the top-13.
  • It's been over 17 years since an Indian contestant was crowned at this pageant. Sushmita Sen (1994) and Lara Dutta (2000) are the only two winners of the Miss Universe crown from India so far.
  • Miss Haiti, Raquel Pelissier, a 25-year-old survivor of the devastating 2010 earthquake that destroyed her hometown, was named first runner up while Miss Colombia, 23-year-old, Andrea Tovar, was second runner up.

Anil Ambani's Reliance Defence Bags Rs. 916 Crore Contract From Indian Coast Guard To Build 14 Fast Patrol Ships

  • Reliance Defence and Engineering Ltd (RDEL) has signed Rs 916 crore contract with Defence Ministry for design and construction of 14 fast patrol vessels for Indian Coast Guard.
  • RDEL is a wholly-owned arm of Reliance Infrastructure Ltd (RInfra).
  • RDEL emerged winner through a competitive bidding process undertaken by Ministry of Defence with participation from almost all the private sector and public sector shipyards namely, L&T, Cochin Shipyard Ltd, Goa Shipyard Ltd, Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd (GRSE)
  • Fast Patrol Vessels (FPVs) are medium range, high speed vessels; they are primarily utilised for patrol within Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), coastal patrol, anti-smuggling, anti-piracy, search and rescue operations. They also support front line warships in the hour of need.
  • Reliance Shipyard, with the largest dry-dock of the country, has successfully mastered the block-construction technique through unique 'modular construction technology' for building large ships for both commercial usage and Navy

FGII enters into bancassurance tie-up with Bank of Maharashtra 

  • Future Generali India Insurance Company (FGII) has entered into a corporate agency tie-up with Bank of MaharashtraBSE 1.08 %. 
  • Bancassurance is one of the key avenues to distribute products. Our focus is to offer customised products, best customer service and sustain the trust of customers of Bank of Maharashtra 
  • Currently bancassurance accounts for 5 per cent of Future Generali's total business. It has tie-up with over 100 banks across the country. 
  • Through this partnership, we aim to immensely benefit our customers by providing them an ease of access while choosing from a diverse range of non-life insurance products, all under one roof 

President Trump bans people from seven majority Muslim nations from entering the US 

  • American President Donald Trump has signed an executive order on January 27, 2017 to temporarily ban visas for refugees belonging to seven Muslim-majority countries namely Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.
  • The decision aims at protecting United States from the entry of foreign terrorists to keep the nation safe. 
  • The ban is not aimed at restricting Muslim countries from entering US.
  •  As per the order, the travelers including legal permanent US residents residing in any of the seven mentioned countries would be prohibited from entering US for 90 days. Besides, refugee admission would also be banned for 120 days.
  • The ban is not limited to these 7 nations. A further expansion of the list may be done as per the order of the US president.
  • However, the ban would not apply to diplomats and members of international organizations.

In a first, India gets its own multi-sports museum at Kolkata

  • Sporting exploits, achievements, records and memorabilia frozen in time and feted across the world are set to be showcased in the country's first multi-sports museum.
  • Presented jointly by sports historian Boria Majumdar and industrialist Harsh Neotia, the Fanattic Sports Museum (FSM) at EcoSpace in New Town, Rajarhat, will showcase rare artefacts collected by the former over two decades. Cricket legends Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly and Olympic champion Abhinav Bindra and Para-Olympic medalists Devendra Jhajharia and Deepa Malik inaugurated the museum.
  • The gloves which Sachin Tendulkar wore while scoring his 100th hundred, a boot owned by Lionel Messi, a Chelsea shirt of the 2012 Champions League winning team member Didier Drogba, a chess board signed by Viswanathan Anand, Pele’s 1970 Brazil shirt are some of the reference points for sports nuts at the Fanatic Sports Museum, India’s first multi-sports museum.
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