Current Affairs: 5 January 2017

IBM India appoints Karan Bajwa as Managing Director

  • Software major IBM India on Wednesday announced the appointment of Karan Bajwa as Managing Director.
  • Bajwa succeeds Vanitha Narayanan, who has been elevated as the Chairman of the company. 
  • Prior to joining IBM in 2016, Bajwa was Microsoft India's Managing Director, where he led the company's cloud transition.




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'World's largest open-air theatre' fest begins in Odisha

  • Dhanu Yatra, said to be the world's largest open-air theatre, began in Odisha's Bargarh district on Monday.
  • The 11-day festival is based on Krishna Leela and will showcase the mythological story of Krishna and his uncle Kansa. 
  • At least 3,000 artistes from 120 cultural troupes from across the country will perform during the festival.

Google launches 'Digital Unlocked' for small-scale Indian firm

  • Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Wednesday announced a tool to allow small businesses in India to set up a free website using a smartphone in under 10 minutes. 
  • Pichai also launched a training program called Digital Unlocked for small business enterprises in partnership with FICCI. 
  • Over the next three years, Google will hold 5,000 training workshops across 40 Indian cities.

Many New Projects Under Namami Gange Approved For Haridwar and Varanasi

  • Many new projects under Namami Gange programme in Haridwar and Varanasi have been approved by National Mission for Clean Ganga.
  • In Haridwar, approval for 68 MLD sewage treatment plant (STP) in Jagjeetpur and 14 MLD STP in Sarai have been approved at an indicative cost of Rs 110.30 crore and Rs 25 crore respectively under Hybrid Annuity based PPP mode. 
  • Apart from this, while Rs 8.34 crore has been allocated for tertiary treatment of existing 27 MLD plant in Jagjeetpur, Rs 5.32 crore has been allocated for tertiary treatment of existing 18 MLD plant in Sarai under Design, Build, Operate and Transfer (DBOT) mode.
  • Also, I&D works at Jagjeetpur and Sarai would be done at an indicative cost of Rs 81.15 crore and Rs 29.75 crore respectively under DBOT mode


Swachh Bharat survey in 500 cities

  • In a bid to encourage competition to improve sanitation standards, the government will kick start a survey, Swachh Survekshan from Wednesday to rank 500 cities across the country on cleanliness.
  • The survey will be conducted by Quality Council of India.
  • The areas of evaluations include waste collection, sweeping and transportation, open defecation free and toilets, municipal solid waste-processing and disposal, information, education and behaviour change, and Capacity building - Swachh Bharat Mission e-learning portal.


World Braille Day: 4 January

  • Every year World Braille Day is observed on 4th January across the world to World Braille Daycommemorate the birthday of Louis Braille who is credited with inventing the Braille language which helps blind people to read as well as write.
  • The language developed by Louis Braille is today known as the Braille language which was very useful for those with visual impairment.


UN declares 2017 as International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development

  • The United Nations (UN) General Assembly has approved the adoption of 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. 
  • The decision to adopt 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development comes at a particularly important moment as the international community embraces the new Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), approved by the UN General Assembly last September.
  • Tourism is included as targets under three of the SDGs - SDG 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all; SDG 12: Sustainable Consumption and Production and SDG 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

Arthur Morris inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame

  • Former Australia cricketer Arthur Morris was inducted into the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Hall of Fame by Steve Waugh at a ceremony during the tea break on the opening day of the third and the final Test between Australia and Pakistan in Sydney.
  • Morris, who became the 82nd player to be inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame, was given the honour posthumously.

Haiti: Jovenel Moise confirmed as new president

  • Jovenel Moise has been declared the winner of Haiti's November 20 presidential election, ending a protracted electoral process that has paralysed the Caribbean country's politics for more than a year.
  • The Haiti provisional electoral council said on Tuesday that Moise was the majority winner with 55.6 percent of the vote. Turnout was low at a reported 21 percent.
  • Haiti election 'better organised this time'
  • Moise, previously a little-known businessman, was chosen to run on behalf of the Tet Kale party of former president Michel Martelly, who ended his term without an elected successor.

Yes Bank ties-up with Bajaj Electricals for vendor financing using blockchain

  • Mid-sized private lender Yes Bank entered into a tie-up with Bajaj Electricals for vendor financing using blockchain solution, and announced to use the technology more aggressively as it saves over 70 per cent in cost.
  • As part of the tie-up, the bank has completely digitalised its processes when it comes to transactions with Bajaj Electricals and its vendors in such a way that blockchain solutions can be implemented.
  • Blockchain solutions is a distributed database that maintains a continuously-growing list of ordered records called blocks. The spokesperson said it reduces turnaround times, is transparent and also ensures zero errors.

Finland introduces basic income for unemployed

  • Finland has become the first country in the world to pay a basic income to randomly picked citizens on a national level in an experiment aiming at dismissing poverty, motivate people to join work force and decrease unemployment.
  • The experiment is conducted with 2,000 randomly picked unemployed participants between the ages of 25 and 58. For two years, participants from different parts of the country will receive an unconditional monthly tax-free basic income of 560 euros ($586).

Telangana, Assam to join UDAY scheme

  • Telangana and Assam are slated to join the UDAY scheme meant for revival of loss making discoms.
  • It will result in overall net benefits of Rs 6116 crore and Rs 1,663 crore to them respectively. 
  • The scheme provides that the state government are required to take over 75 per cent of their respective discom debt outstanding as on September 30, 2015. UDAY mandates that the balance debt (25 per cent) would be re-priced or issued as state guaranteed discom bonds.

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