Daily Current Affairs – 8th January, 2016, Friday

1. Central Banker of the year Award conferred to Raghuram Rajan

i) Recently, The Reserve Bank of India Governor Dr Raghuram G Rajan was conferred the Central Bank of the Year Award (Global and Asia Pacific) for 2016 by the Financial Times Group’s monthly magazine The Banker. 

ii) The award recognises central bank chiefs who have best succeeded in ensuring growth and stability in their country’s economy.

iii) Raghuram Rajan is the current & 23rd Governor of the RBI. Previously, he served as the chief economist in the IMF from 2003-07. He has also served as chief economic advisor to India’s Union Ministry of Finance.

2.   Centre launches Phase-I of River Information System 

i) The Union Minister of Shipping, Road & Transport Nitin Gadkari has inaugurated India’s first ever ‘River Information System’ (RIS). 

ii) RIS is aimed at enabling a safe and accurate navigation on National Waterway – 1 (from Haldia to Farkka on Ganga River). Phase-II of RIS will cover the area from Farakka to Patna & Phase-III will cover area from Patna to Varanasi.  

iii) A total of 30 vessels, which are equipped with Inland AIS system, short-range radar and VHF, will be under this project. 

iv) With the help of modern tracking equipment-related hardware & software, RIS will optimise traffic and transport processes in Inland navigation. 

v) RIS is being implemented by the Inland Waterway Authority of India, a statutory body administered by the Ministry of Shipping. 

3.   Odisha appoints Sam Pitroda as Technology Advisor 

i) Sam Pitroda has been appointed as the Technology Advisor to the Odisha government. He has been appointed for the development of telecom, electronics, IT and ITES sectors. 

ii) To celebrate the centenary of the formation of Odisha in 2036, the state government is working on a vision document called ‘Vision 2036 for [email protected]’. Sam Pitroda will play a vital role in the vision document’s creation.

iii) Pitroda is a telecom engineer, inventor, entrepreneur and policymaker. He is the director of the ‘Young Indian Company’ and founding chairman of India’s Telecom Commission. 

4.   Indo-French military exercise Shakti-2016 begins

i) An eight-day counter terrorism and counter insurgency exercise called Shakti – 2016 has begun between the Indian & French military. 

ii) Shakti-2016 is the 3rd edition of bilateral exercises being held in Mahajan Field Firing Ranges in Bikaner, Rajasthan.

iii) The French contingent is led by Major Thibaut De Lacoste Lareymondie. The French contingent comprises 56 personnel of the 35th Infantry Regiment of 7th Armoured Brigade, which had taken part in the Afghan War.

iv) The Indian Contingent comprises the 2nd Battalion of Garhwal Rifles, which is part of Sapta Shakti Command.

5.   Veteran Gujarati writer Labshankar Thakar passed away

i) Veteran Gujarati writer & poet Labhshankar Thakar passed away in Ahmedabad. 

ii) He was a modernist author whose literature style had an influence of existentialism, which challenged the trends of traditional Gujarati literature.

iii) Some of his famous poems include Vahi Jati Pachhal Ramya Ghosha (1965), Manasni Vaat (1968), Mara Namne Darwaje (1972), Boom Kagalma Kora (1974). 

iv) Akasmat (1968) and Kon? (1968) were his famous novels. 

v) He received the Sahitya Akademi Award (1991) for his poetry, Sahitya Gaurav Puraskar (2002) of Gujarati Sahitya Parishad, Kumar Chandrak (1962), Narmad Chandrak and Ranjitram Suvarna Chandrak (1981) for his literary works.

6.   Cauvery river gallery to be set up in Mysuru

i) A memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed between Karnataka’s Tourism & the National Academy of Sciences in India to set up a Cauvery river gallery in the Karnataka Exhibition Authority (KEA) complex in Mysuru. 

ii) The gallery will present the life, culture and the biodiversity along the Cauvery from its birth in Kodagu till it reaches the Bay of Bengal. 

iii) This gallery will also include multimedia features & electronic display to provide a mesmerising experience of life and culture along the river to tourists. It is expected to enhance tourism in the region.

7.   Pavan Kapoor appointed as India’s ambassador to Israel

i) The government has appointed senior diplomat Pavan Kapoor as India’s ambassador to Israel. Kapoor succeeds Jaideep Sarkar. 

ii) He has served the Indian government in different roles he played during missions in Moscow, London, Geneva & Kiev. He has also served in the Ministry of External Affairs and the PMO’s office. 

iii) His appointment holds a strategic importance as India’s diplomatic relations with Israel are vital to its defence.

8. AB Khare appointed as CMD of Madras Fertilisers

i) Madras Fertilisers Limited (MFL) has appointed AB Khare as the Chairman & Managing Director (CMD) of MFL for a five-year term. Khare will succeed Vijay Kumar. 

ii) Prior to this appointment, AB Khare was Chief General Manager of Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilisers.

9.  Samir Cairae appointed as CEO of Vedanta’s India metals business 

i) Samir Cairae was appointed as the CEO of Diversified Metals (India), which is Vedanta Resources Plc’s domestic metals division. 

ii) He will provide operational and strategic leadership for Vedanta’s aluminium, India copper, power, iron ore divisions besides handling commercial and asset optimisation functions, said Tom Albanese, CEO, Vedanta Resources Plc. 

iii) Previously, Cairae held several leadership positions at Lafarge and Schlumberger.

10. Rajasthan inks deal with Cairn India to provide potable water in Barmer

i) Rajasthan’s Public Health Engineering Department (PHE) signed an MoU with Cairn Enterprise Centre Society (supported by Cairn India) to provide clean drinking water in the state’s Barmer district. 

ii) As per the MoU, water plants will be set up to provide potable water to over 800 villages in Barmer, which is part of the Thar Desert.

iii) The initiative will involve setting up of 333 small scale reverse osmosis (RO) plants (1,000-3,000 litres per hour capacity) over the next three years.

11. Devender Kumar Sikri appointed as the Chairman of CCI

i) Devender Kumar Sikri has been appointed as the Chairman of fair trade regulator Competition Commission of India (CCI). Sikri will succeed Ashok Chawla.

ii) Sikri will hold the office for around two and half years, i.e. till he attains 65 years of age. 

iii) He has held several positions in the Centre and in Gujarat, including as secretary in the Department of Justice and Ministry of Women and Child Development and as Registrar General of Census and Collector of Rajkot and Jamnagar, among others.

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