Current Affairs – 11 Jan 2018

Current Affairs – 11 Jan 2018

Today is

“International Thank You Day”

11th Jan marks the International Thank You Day, a day dedicated to appreciating our blessings and special people in our lives!

Each year January 11th is marked as International Thank You Day and it being a slightly magical 1/11/11 today makes it even cooler!


Dr Sivan K appointed as the new ISRO Chairman

Noted rocket scientist Sivan K is appointed as the 9th chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

He has replaced A.S. Kiran Kumar.

The appointment has been made for the tenure of three years. Sivan was the Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Kerala. Sivan joined the ISRO in 1982 in Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) project.

Quick Facts about ISRO:

  • ISRO was established in 1969.
  • Founder and 1st Chairman of ISRO- Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai, Headquarters in- Bengaluru, Karnataka.


President Ram Nath Kovind Inaugurated 4th International Dharma Dhamma Conference

President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated a three-day International Dharma-Dhamma conference at Rajgir in Bihar. The conference has been jointly organised by India Foundation, Nalanda University, Ministry of External Affairs, Asean-India and Vietnamese Buddhist Sangha.

The inaugural session was chaired by Mr Kovind. The conference was attended by Sri Lanka’s foreign Minister Tilak Marapana.

Important Notes:

  • Bihar Governor- Satya Pal Malik
  • Chief Minister- Nitish Kumar.


Ministry of Railway Launches SFOORTI Application

In a major digital initiative to help plan the traffic flows and optimize freight operations, Ministry of Railways has launched Smart Freight Operation Optimisation & Real Time Information (SFOORTI) App for Freight Managers which provides features for monitoring and managing freight business using Geographic Information System (GIS) Views and Dashboard.

Salient features of SFOORTI Application are as below:

a. With this application, movement of freight trains on Geographic Information System (GIS) view can be tracked.

b. Both passenger and freight trains can be tracked over Zones/Divisions/ Sections in single GIS View.

c. Freight business can be monitored.

d. Comparative Analysis of Zonal/Divisional Traffic.

e. Analysis of new traffic captured and traffic lost.

f. This app provides a Bird’s eye view of all Freight Assets in a single window.

Important Notes:

  • John Mathai was the first Railway Minister of Independent India.
  • Piyush Goyal is the present Railway Minister of India.


Child Sex Ratio at Birth in Haryana Touches 900-mark in Two Decades

i. The Child Sex ratio at birth (SRB) in the State of Haryana crossed the 900-mark in the year 2016 for the first time in almost two decades. In December 2016, the SRB in the state was 914.

ii. As per the data registered, of the total 5,25,278 children born in the state from January to December 2016, there were 2,76,414 boys and 2,48,864 girls taking the SRB to 914. However, the state government is working to achieve the ratio of 950.

iii. As of 2011, India’s child sex ratio was 914 girls to 1000 boys, while the same in Haryana was far worse than the national average which stood at 834 girls to 1000 boys.

iv. The continuous effort of Haryana government led by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has led to such development. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also launched the “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” (B3P) campaign against female foeticide in Panipat in January 2015. Special forums were established for monitoring the progress of B3P programme.

v. The State government made effective implementation of the law including Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act, 1994, and the Medical Terminal of Pregnancy (MTP) Act against illegal sex determination and female foeticide.


Delhi Airport Adopts World’s First Digital Platform “ARC”

i. The Delhi Airport on January 10, 2017 informed that has adopted a unique performance and benchmarking digital platform, ARC, and claims that it is first in the world to adopt such platform.

ii .The dynamic platform, developed at the Airport’s Terminal 3, has been developed by Green Business Certification Inc (GBCI) and US Green Building Council (USGBC). These are the global certifying body for all Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) projects.

iii. The platform would enable the airport operator to measure, manage and improve performance of airport regarding resource consumption, carbon emissions and quality of passenger space. Airport authorities can benchmark their performance with international best performance of similar type.

iv. In 2011, the Delhi Airport’s Terminal 3 had earned LEED Gold certification under the new construction category.


Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar inaugurates International Conference & Exhibition on Reinforced Plastics (ICERP)
i. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar inaugurated the 8th edition of the International Conference & Exhibition on Reinforced Plastics (ICERP) on January 10, 2017 at the Bombay Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC) in Mumbai, India.

ii .The three day international event will provide an ideal opportunity for the Global Composites Industry to focus its attention to India.

iii. The conference will focus on the latest developments on mechanization, automation and innovation to meet growing challenges of end user requirements. It will also provide update on composites in terms of raw materials, process developments, machinery, new applications, case studies among others.

iv. While inaugurating the event, the Defence Minister also informed about the government’s ambitious ‘Design in India’ policy to promote product designing in the country. It is an extension of ‘Make in India’ programme and aims to develop and promote the capabilities of Indian manufacturers to produce world class standards to compete global counterparts.

v. The ICERP event is an important event of the Indian composites industry organized by FRP Institute once in two years since 2002. It is the biggest event on Composites in India and second largest event in Asia.


Telanagana Government Signs MoU with Civil Aviation Ministry for Regional Connectivity Scheme

i. The Telangana government has signed a MoU with the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Airports Authority of India on January 11, 2017 under the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) for air connectivity by developing small airports and airstrips in the state.

ii. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was between Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju and Telangana Minister for IT and industries K T Rama Rao in New Delhi.

iii. The RCS would be in operation for a period of 10 years and provide connectivity to un-served and under-served airports of the country through revival of existing air-strips and airports.

iv. The Central Government would be providing concessions in the form of reduced excise on VAT, service tax and flexibility of code sharing at the RCS airports to reduce the cost of operation. State governments would also lower the VAT besides other concessions.

v. The fare for a one hour journey of approximately 500 km on a fixed wing aircraft or for a 30 minute journey on a helicopter would be capped at Rs 2,500, with proportionate pricing for routes of different lengths.



Indian Standards on Gold Hallmark Revised by Bureau of Indian Standards

i. Indian Standard on gold hallmarking has been revised by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) on January 9, 2017 and has been made effective for implementation with BIAeffect from January 1, 2017.

ii. From now the hallmarked gold jewellery will be available in three grades: 14 carat, 18 carat and 22 carat. These caratage would also be mentioned on the jewellery besides the fineness for the convience of the customers.

iii. For 22 carat jewellery 22K will be marked in addition to 916 (22K916), for 18 carat jewellery 18K will be marked in addition to 750 (18K750) and for 14 carat jewellery, 14K will be marked in addition to 585 (14K585).

iv .Besides, Hallmark on gold jewellery will now have four marks: BIS Mark, purity in carat and fineness, assaying centre’s identification mark and jeweller’s identification mark.

Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) :

♦ The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is the national Standards Body of India working under the aegis of Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Government of India for the formulation, recognition and promotion of the Indian Standards to help the industry in upgrading the quality of their products and services.
♦ Headquarter: New Delhi
♦ Founded: 1986
♦ Director: Alka Panda


HDFC ERGO Launches Credit Insurance Policy to Safeguard Business

i. HDFC ERGO General Insurance Company launched a new policy, Trade Credit Insurance Policy, on January 9, 2017 to which safeguards businesses against the risks of non-payment for the goods or services delivered to the buyers.

ii. India’s third largest private sector non-life insurance provider informed that the policy would offer cover against payment defaults and insolvency, apart from providing political risk cover to exporters.

iii. Under the new policy, the insurer covers a portfolio of buyers and pays an agreed percentage of the invoice or receivables that remain unpaid as a result of insolvency, bankruptcy or protracted default.

iv. Already two state-owned companies New India and United, and private sector players like ICICI Lombard, Bajaj Allianz and Iffco Tokio offer similar products.

About HDFC ERGO General Insurance Company

♦ HDFC ERGO General Insurance Company Limited is a joint venture between HDFC Ltd. and ERGO International AG, a Germany-based company that is part of the Munich Re Group.
Headquarters: Mumbai
CEO: Mr. Ritesh Kumar


IBM Receives Record Breaking 8000 US Patent for 2016

i. IBM has become the first company to break the US patent record by receiving 8,088 patents in 2016 with a rate of 22 patents per day. The achievement also marked the 24th consecutive year of the computer hardware giant’s innovation leadership.

ii. IBM’s 2016 patent output covers a diverse range of inventions in artificial intelligence and cognitive computing, cognitive health, cloud, cyber security and other strategic growth areas for the company.

iii. In India, IBM inventors received 658 patents while in New York over 2,700 patents were received and in California and Texas over 1,000 patents each.

The list of top 5 US patent recipients 2016
1.IBM: 8,088 patents
2.Samsung Electronics: 5,518
3.Canon: 3,665
4.Qualcomm: 2,897
5.Google: 2,835

International Business Machines Corporation (IBM)
♦ Headquarter: New York
♦ Founded: June 1911
♦ President: Ginni Rometty


Atos & NASSCOM Collaborates to Set Up NDLM Centre in Gujarat

i. Digital Services firm Atos and NASSCOM Foundation has collaborated on January 11, 2017 to launch National Digital Literacy Mission (NDLM) centers at Vadodara, Gujarat to conduct skill development programs in the area of Information Technology.

ii .Under the NDLM Scheme both the firms would work together to impart Digital Literacy to make people IT literate, so that they can operate digital devices, like mobile phones, tablets among other electronic devices and send & receive emails and search the internet for information among other things.

iii. Atos in India will facilitate the training infrastructure and the trainers at these NDLM centers with the help of NASSCOM nominated NGO’s at its respective location centers.

iv. Atos is a European IT services corporation headquartered in Bezons that provides hi-tech transactional services, unified communications, cloud, big data and cybersecurity services.

v. The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) is a trade association of Indian Information Technology (IT) and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry established in 1988, and headquartered in New Delhi to facilitate business and trade in software and services and encourages the advancement of research in software technology.


‘Fly For Sure’ scheme Launched by Air India

i. The national carrier Air India (AI) has launched a ‘Fly For Sure’ scheme on January 11, 2017 that will ensure that passengers reach their destination the desired day without the need to buy expensive last-minute tickets in case of missing booked flight.

ii. Under the scheme, the customer will have to pay extra Rs. 2,000 while booking the ticket and get to board any Air India flight on the same day and same sector in case of missing or cancelled flight.

iii. These vouchers will be non-refundable and can be availed on all domestic routes offered by AI. A similar scheme was launched by Spice-Jet in 2016




Shalabh Seth appointed CEO of Ola Fleet Technologies

i. Shalabh Seth has appointed as the CEO of Ola Fleet Technologies on January 11, 2017 by Indian online transportation network company Ola 

ii. Seth will drive supply growth through leasing and other driver focused initiatives to consolidate Ola’s position as the market leader in the Indian ride sharing space.

iii. Prior to this, Shalabh was the managing director in SABMiller India and he responsible for business expansion and growth in the country.

iv. He has also worked with ITC for over eight years across operations, supply chain and sales.

About Ola Fleet Technologies :
♦ Ola Fleet Technologies Pvt. Ltd or  Apra CabsIndia Pvt. Ltd is a wholly-owned subsidiary of ANI Technologies Pvt. Lts
♦ It is a Radio Taxi Company & holder of Radio Taxis in the states of Haryana & Uttar Pradesh.




Daniel Ortega Sworn in Nicaragua’s President for Third Consecutive Term

i. Daniel Ortega was on January 10, 2017 sworn in as the President of Nicaragua for the third consecutive term while his wife, Rosario Murillo was elected as the new vice president.

ii. 71-year-old, Ortega, took the oath in Managua in the presence of the presidents of Venezuela, Bolivia and Taiwan. Former Sandinista guerrilla fighter, Ortega has been President of Nicaragua since 2007.

iii. Ortega and Murillo were elected in November 2016 with 72.5 percent of the vote, but with a high rate of abstentions. Their party won 71 of the 92 seats in parliament.

Important Notes
Nicaragua :
Capital: Managua
♦ Currency: Nicaraguan córdoba


Vikram Pawah appointed as President of BMW Group India

i. German based car maker BMW has appointed Vikram Pawah as the President of India. He replaced Frank Schloeder who will return to German as the position of Head of Business Steering – Luxury Class.It will effect from March 1, 2017.

ii. Prior to this, Pawah was worked as  the Managing Director of Harley-Davidson India.


Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) is a German luxury vehicle, motorcycle, and engine manufacturing company founded in 1916
Headquarters: Munich, Germany
♦ CEO: Harald Krüger



Research finds Human Appendix to Support Immune System

i. As per a study published in Comptes Rendus Palevol and conducted by the Researchers from Midwestern UniversityHuman Appendix which is regarded as a vestigial organ can actually serve an important biological function.

ii .Researchers traced the appearance, disappearance, and reemergence of the appendix in several mammal lineages over the past millions of years, to figure out how many times it was cut and bought back due to evolutionary pressures.

iii. The research conducted on appearance and disappearance of appendix on over 533 mammal species over the past 11,244 million years and found that it was for ‘good’ intestinal bacteria that help us keep certain infections away and keep the immune system strong.

iv. They found that the organ has evolved at least 41 times throughout mammalian evolution and has only been lost a maximum of 12 times suggesting that appendix did have some important role.

v. The study found that individuals without an appendix were four times more likely to have a recurrence of Clostridium difficile colitis, a bacterial infection that causes diarrhoea, fever, nausea, and abdominal pain.


Study Reveals New Fault Forming in Indian Ocean May Trigger Quakes in Future

i. A team of researchers from Singapore, France and Indonesia in a study found the evidence of the possibility of formation of a new plate boundary on the floor of the Indian Ocean in the Wharton Basin.

ii. The study published in the journal Science Advances estimated that the new plate may be forming because of the largest earthquake that shook the Andaman-Sumatra region in 2012 and it may further lead to more earth quakes in future.

iii. According to the researchers, Slip-Strike Quake occurs when two plates slide horizontally against one another. Such quakes can be caused by deformations that occur in plates distant from fault lines as pressure builds up across a plate.



Russian Gymnast Yana Kudryavtseva Retires at 19

i. Russian rhythmic gymnast, Yana Alexeyevna Kudryavtseva, announced her retirement at the age of 19, following several leg injuries including a fracture in the left foot during the 2016 World Cup in Kazan, Russia.

ii. Her retirement ends her glittering career. She was the latest in a long line of world-class rhythmic gymnasts from Russia, who won every Olympic gold medal in the discipline since 2000 with stars such as Alina Kabaeva and Evgeniya Kanaeva.

iii. During her entire career, she had won 13 All-around World Championships from 2013 to 2015. In 2016 Kudryavtseva had to settle for an All-around Silver medal at the Rio de Janeiro Olympic due to her injury against fellow Russian Margarita Mamun.


Rajasthan Cricket Association adopts Lodha Committee reforms at EGM

i. Rajasthan Cricket Association in an Emergent General Meeting (EGM) accepted all the reforms recommended by the Lodha Committee as per Supreme Court directive.

ii. The Lodha committee was constituted by Supreme Court in January 2016 and had accepted its major recommendations in July 2016.

iii. The Supreme court had given six months deadline to BCCI to implement the recommendations.




Jazz musician Buddy Greco dies at 90

i. An American jazz and pop singer and pianist Buddy Greco was dead in Las Vegas, USA on January 10, 2017. He was 90.

ii. Greco recorded more than 60 albums and had a hit with a version of “The Lady Is a Tramp” which was released in 1962 and sold over a million copies. 

iii. He also appeared in TV series and films including “Away We Go” and “The Girl Who Knew Too Much”.

iv. He well known for his popular pop, jazz and country songs are “Oh look a-there”, “Ain’t she pretty”, “Up, up and away” and “Around the world”.


Renowned Daily Telegraph’s Correspondent Clare Hollingworth Dies at 105

i. Veteran British war correspondent Clare Hollingworth, who reported the news that World War II had started, died on January 10, 2017 at the age of 105 in Hong-Kong.

ii. She was a journalist of the UK’s Daily Telegraph and is best known for reporting the outbreak of World War II in 1939 mostly described as the scoop of the century.

iii. During her career she went on to report war outbreaks in Vietnam, Algeria, the Middle East, India and Pakistan, as well as the Cultural Revolution in China.

iv. Hollingworth received the James Cameron Award for Journalism in 1994 and a lifetime achievement award at the What the Papers Say awards in 1999.



HRD Minister Releases Cyber Vocabulary book Cyber Pathshala authored by Tarun Vijay.

i. Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar released a book on cyber vocabulary named Cyber Pathshala authored by BJP leader and writer Tarun Vijay on January 10, 2017 at World Book Fair at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi.

ii. The book presents an innovative way of learning the alphabets by relating them to popular terms related to demonetisation for instance, A for ATM, B for BHIM (Bharat Interface for Money), C for cashless, D for Demonetisation etc.

iii. The book aims to familiarise people of all ages including kids and adults and rural to urban with the new vocabulary and prepare them especially the kids for cyber security and to groom them as cyber warriors.

iv. Other internationally known cyber experts who contributed towards the book includes Sameer Chandra, Virginia, US, Dr Vidya MS, Bangalore, Chinnu Senthil Kumar, Chennai and Rajesh Kalra, Editor in Chief, Times of India, Internet

Current Affairs – 11 Jan 2018 . For more update on any competitive exams visit