1. Djibouti to use renewable resources to meet energy needs

(i) As a part of its efforts to meet all the energy needs from renewables within the next five years, island-nation Djibouti recently launched a project to build a 300-megawatt (MW) solar power plant and is planning to develop a 60 MW wind farm. 

(ii) The solar power plant is expected to cost €360 million ($394 million) and will be constructed by German firm Green Enesys in phases. 

(iii) The President of Djibouti Ismail Omar Guelleh laid the foundation stone at the Grand Bara plain site, south of the capital. Presently, Djibouti heavily depends on neighbouring country Ethiopia to meet its power needs. With this initiative, Djibouti hopes to generate all its power from renewables by 2020.

2. French President Hollande announces €2 billion job creation plan

(i) Recently, French President Francois Hollande announced that the country is facing an “economic and social emergency.” Therefore, he announced a €2 billion job creation plan to revive the economy.

(ii)Under this two-year plan, firms that have less than 250 staffs will get subsidies if they employ young and unemployed persons for six months or more. He added that 500,000 vocational training schemes will be created. Hollande stressed that France’s social emergency is a result of unemployment and he called upon help to “build the economic and social model for tomorrow.”

(iii) France’s unemployment rate is 10.6% as against the European Union average of 9.8% and 4.2% in Germany.

3. China records slowest economic growth in 25 years 

(i) As per data recently released by China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the country’s economy grew by 6.9% in 2015, which is its slowest growth pace since the 3.8% recorded in 1990.

(ii) Chinese PM Li Keqiang said that the government had targeted an annual economic growth of around 7% for 2015. 

(iii) Analysts have stated that any growth below 6.8% may call for further economic stimulus. China had experienced rapid economic growth over the last decade, however, the last two years have been sluggish for the nation. This slowdown has been attributed to the transition towards an economy led by consumption and services, rather than by exports and investment.

4. Gujarat’s Somnath Temple to invest in Gold Monetisation Scheme 

(i) The Somnath Temple Trust will soon become Gujarat’s first temple to deposit its idle gold in the Gold Monetisation Scheme. 

(ii) The decision came after the temple trustees, including PM Narendra Modi, agreed to invest the gold reserves that are not used in the temple daily. The trust has close to 35kg of gold. 

(iii) Gujarat has three prominent temples- Somnath Temple, Dwarkadhish Temple and Ambaji Temple. However, no other temple has shown interest to invest in the scheme. 

5. India’s LCA Tejas to fly at Bahrain Air Show 

(i) Indigenously designed and developed Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas made history by touching foreign soil at Sakhir Airbase, Bahrain to participate in the Bahrain International Airshow – 2016. 

(ii) This was the first time an LCA has flown in foreign airspace. Apart from LCA Tejas, the DRDO is set to showcase other indigenously developed defence systems to highlight India’s expertise in the advanced defence technologies sector in order to attract potential buyers for Indian defence systems and equipments.

6. Tata Mototrs appoints Guenter Butschek as MD & CEO 

(i) Guenter Butschek was appointed as the MD and CEO of Tata Motors. Butschek is the former COO of Airbus Group and brings forth functional and general management skills and international experience to the company. 

(ii) He is expected to join by February 2015 and will lead Tata Motors’ operations in India, South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia and South Africa. The post had been vacant since the demise of Karl Sym in January 2014.

(iii) Prior to Airbus, Butschek was associated with German auto firm Daimler AG for over two decades. 

7. Guitarist Glenn Frey passes away 

(i) Glenn Frey, renowned guitarist, singer and songwriter and one of the founding members of American rock band The Eagles, passed away aged 67 in New York. 

(ii) As per reports, Frey died due to complications from rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis and pneumonia. 

(iii) The Eagles, formed in 1971, helped create the best soundtrack of the 1970s America, which continued to dominate the rock radio for close to half a century. Its albums ‘Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975’ became the second bestselling record of all the time in the US. 

(iv) Frey joined hands with drummer Don Henley to co-write many of the band’s biggest hits. His performances on “Take It Easy” and “Peaceful Easy Feeling” on the band’s debut album in 1972 helped shoot the Eagles to fame, and he later sang lead on hits “Lyin’ Eyes” and “Already Gone.”

8. Serbian Viktor Troicki retains Sydney International title 

(i) In the recently concluded 2016 WTA Apia International in Sydney, Serbian tennis player Viktor Troicki retained the men’s singles title by defeating Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov 2-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7). 

(ii) Before Troicki, the last tennis player to have won consecutive titles in Sydney was American player James Blake in 2006-07.

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