16 January 2017 Current Affairs

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16 Jan, 2017

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1) Which team won the 2017 Premier Badminton League (PBL) title after defeating Mumbai Rockets in the finals on 14 January 2017? – Chennai Smashers

Explanation: Chennai Smashers won the Premier Badminton League (PBL) for 2017 as it defeated Mumbai Rockets 4-3 in a pulsating summit clash at the Siri Fort Indoor Stadium in New Delhi on 14 January 2017.

Chennai Smashers, led by Olympic silver medalist P.V. Sindhu, and Mumbai Rockets were locked 3-3 before the final match. In the last match Thailand’s Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk came from behind to clinch the second men’s singles tie 9-11, 11-7, 11-3 against Ajay Jayaram of India to help Chennai clinch the title.

Before this in the women’s singles match between World No.6 P.V. Sindhu and world No.3 Sung Ji Hyun, Sindhu won 11-8, 11-8.

This was the first PBL title for Chennai Smashers. The first edition of PBL (2013) was won by Hyderabad Hotshots while 2016 edition was won by Delhi Acers. PBL was earlier known as Indian Badminton League (IBL) when founded in 2013. It is a franchisee league managed and commercially owned by the Badminton Association of India (BAI).

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2) Former Punjab Chief Minister Surjit Singh Barnala passed away on 14 January 2017 at the age of 91. He served as state’s Chief Minister during which years? – From 1985 to 1987

Explanation: Surjit Singh Barnala took over reins of the state of Punjab in the difficult period when militancy was at its peak in the mid-80s from 1985 to 1987.

He was a five-time member of Punjab Assembly -1967, 1969, 1972, 1980 and 1985 – and twice a member of the Lok Sabha in 1977 and 1998. He served as Union Agriculture, Irrigation, Water Resources, Forests minister in the Morarji Desai-led Janta Party government from 1977 to 1980. He became the minister for Chemical & Fertilisers and Food & Consumer Affairs in the Atal Behari Vajpayee Cabinet in 1988.

He was instrumental in setting of the Guru Nanak Dev University at Amritsar. The historic Ganga Waters Agreement (Farakka Agreement) with Bangladesh was signed by him.

He also occupied the post of Governor of the states of Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand and Andhra Pradesh besides being Lieutenant Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

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3) Which private sector bank during the second week of January 2017 blocked transactions on digital payments app PhonePe, accusing it of breaking the UPI guidelines of interoperability? – ICICI Bank

Explanation: India’s largest private sector bank ICICI Bank, from 13 January 2017 blocked transactions on Flipkart-owned Unified Payment Interface (UPI)-based digital payments app PhonePe, accusing it of indulging in restrictive practices and breaking the guidelines of interoperability. PhonePe CEO Sameer Nigam confirmed that ICICI Bank has blocked all their customers from using PhonePe, and even blocked any other bank’s customers from sending money to ICICI Bank’s customers using the app.

On the other hand ICICI Bank claimed that PhonePe was following restrictive practices allowing users to make payments with only its UPI handle, which is in contravention to the UPI guidelines of interoperability and choice that empowers a customer to choose any app to make payments through UPI.

This was the second instance of mainstream banks blocking services to new-age digital payments companies. Previously, SBI had stopped allowing users from topping up their Paytm wallets using the internet banking feature. The bank claimed it did so because of security concerns.

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4) Securities market regulator SEBI on 14 January 2017 announced how much reduction in the turnover fees levied on stock brokers? – 25%

Explanation: Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) reduced the turnover fees levied on the stock brokers by 25% to Rs. 15 per crore of turnover from the current Rs. 20 per crore of turnover. This was announced in its board meeting at Jaipur held on 14 January 2017.

On the other hand the fee to be charged for open offer/takeover has been increased from Rs. 3 lakh to Rs 5. lakh. SEBI also decided to align the fees payable for buy back of securities with the fees payable for an open offer.

The reduction in turnover fees is expected to result in reduction of overall cost of transactions and will benefit the investors and promote the development of securities market.

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5) What is the name of the new compact sports utility vehicle (SUV) from the stable of Maruti Suzuki that was launched on 13 January 2017? – ‘Ignis’

Explanation: ‘Ignis’ is the name of the new compact SUV series launched by India’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki on 13 January. Through this new vehicle the company wants to attract a larger chunk of young car buyers, a consumer segment it has failed to address in over three decades.

The petrol version of ‘Ignis’ is priced between Rs 4.59 lakh to Rs 6.69 lakh, while the diesel variants start from Rs 6.39 lakh and goes up to Rs 7.80 lakh.

‘Ignis’ is expected to pose a threat to the Mahindra KUV100 and the Renault Kwid for its styling, but also give Hyundai i10 and Honda Brio a run for their money too.

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