Current Affairs: 24 January 2017

Published on Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Indian-American Ajit Pai is new FCC head

  • Following the Jan. 20 inauguration of Donald Trump as the United States 45th president, the newly sworn-in leader and chief made quick work in designating Indian American senior GOP member of the Federal Communications Commission Ajit Pai as the commission chairman.
  • Pai is one of the two Republican commissioners on a five-member panel that regulates the country's communications infrastructure, including TV, phone and internet service.
  • The Republicans' FCC majority would help them roll back pro-consumer policies that upset many phone and cable industry groups, including net neutrality rules that bar internet service providers from favoring some websites and apps over others, according to an Associated Press report.
  • Pai opposed online privacy regulations that force broadband providers to ask consumers for permission before using their data, saying they are more onerous than the requirements for internet companies like Google and Facebook.
  • In addition to Pai, Trump has nominated two Indian Americans to high-level positions: Nikki Haley as the cabinet-level ambassador to the United Nations and Seema Verma as the head of the agency for government health insurance programs.
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China builds world's largest solar farm

  • China has reportedly built the world's largest solar park which can produce about 850 MW of power in Qinghai province. 
  • The Longyangxia Dam Solar Park occupies 27 square kilometres and has been expanded several times since its construction began in 2013. 
  • The farm was built at the cost of around $875 million (around Rs.6,000 crore), according to reports.

ISRO plans to launch 103 satellites on a single rocket

  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will set a record when it launches 103 satellites in one go on a single rocket in the first week of February
  • The satellites will be separated from the launch vehicle in different directions. The separation angle and time of separation will be such that one satellite will not collide with another
  • In June last year, ISRO launched 20 satellites in one go. It took about 26 minutes to launch all the 20 satellites. In 2008, ISRO launched 10 satellites in a single mission. The highest number of satellites launched in a single mission so far has been 37 by Russia in 2014; NASA launched 29 satellites in one go in 2013.
  • ISRO’s workhorse PSLV (C37) with 103 satellites will be launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh

India,UAE launch dialogue on security situation in Afghanistan 

  • In a first India and UAE have launched dialogue on the security situation in Afghanistan in the backdrop of recent assassination of five diplomats from the Gulf country by suspected Taliban. 
  • The two sides in their maiden strategic dialogue in Delhi last Friday -- ahead of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan visit -- explored counter-terror cooperation & security coordination in landlocked Afghanistan where five UAE diplomats were killed in a recent terror attack, persons familiar with the development indicated to ET. 
  • The strategic dialogue led by respective deputy foreign ministers discussed various aspects of strategic and defence partnership 

Ola names PepsiCo's Vishal Kaul as COO

  • India's largest cab aggregator Ola has named Vishal Kaul, a former PepsiCo executive as its chief operating officer, a trend that is picking up among large Indian start-ups of bringing experienced hands to run operations as investors look at returns.
  • Ola's peers in the Indian startup space such as Flipkart and Snapdeal have also brought in outside professionals to steer the company's path forward. Early this month, Snapdeal named Jason Kothari, former CEO of, who turned the company and help merge with larger rival NewsCorp's PropTiger, as its chief strategy officer.
  • Kaul, who has expertise in sales and marketing was till PepsiCo's General Manager of PepsiCo's Thailand, Myanmar and Laos units. He replaces Pranay Jivrajka, Ola's first employee, who has been elevated as Founding Partner to drive strategy.

2017 Asia Arts Awards India

  • Asia Society Museum has been a pioneer in identifying and fostering avant-garde artists and engaging new audiences with their work. 
  • With this mission in mind, Asia Society inaugurated the Asia Arts Awards—A Gala Celebration honouring the Asia Arts Game Changers. 
  • This special event, now in its fifth year, will be held for the first time in New Delhi in February. Asia Arts Awards India is an opportunity to recognize and honour ground-breaking artists.

Himachali film awarded at US film festival

  • For the first time, a film made in a Himachali dialect "Saanjh" gets international recognition by grabbing best feature film award at international Borrego Springs Film Festival held in California, US
  • Saanjh, a Himachali feature film finally breaks this jinx and has brought laurels to the state by bagging two international awards. 
  • The best film award was received at the festival by film's co-producer Anil Chandel. 
  • Prior to this, the film also received award of merit at the Accolade Global Film Competition, California, US. 
  • The movie will now be screened at Bayou Film Festival, Louisiana, US, on January 26 and

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