7-9 January 2017 Current Affairs

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09 Jan, 2017

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1) 14th edition of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 8 January 2017. This event is hosted by which city? – Bengaluru

Explanation: The 14th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas, celebrating Indian diaspora across the world, kicked off in style with huge participation of Indian diaspora at Bengaluru on 7 January 2017. The first event of the 2-day PBD, addressing the stakes of young Indians living abroad, was titled as “Youth Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas”.

Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa is the Chief Guest of this edition of PBD.

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2) What is the name of the new skill development scheme aimed at Indian youth wishing to seek jobs abroad that was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 8 January 2017 on the occasion of 14th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas? – ‘Pravasi Kaushal Vikas Yojana’

Explanation: ‘Pravasi Kaushal Vikas Yojana’ is the name of the new scheme launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 8 January 2017. It was launched in Bengaluru on the occasion of the inauguration function of 14th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas (PBD).

This scheme aims to boost the confidence level of the Indian youth so that they did not feel strangers when they land in a country of their choice for vocation and assured.

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3) Talented actor Om Puri, who delivered riveting performances in Hindi films, passed away in the early hours of 6 January 2017. Mainly known for varied character roles, Om Puri, won the National Award for Best Actor how many times? – Twice

Explanation: 66-year old Om Puri was one of the best actors of all time in the Indian film industry. Apart from performing some outstanding roles in Hindi films, he had also acted in English and Pakistani movies.

He won the National Award for Best Actor twice – for ‘Arohan’ (1982) and ‘Ardhya Satya’ (1983). He won a Filmfare award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in ‘Aakrosh’ (1980). He also played a much-acclaimed cameo in Richard Attenborough’s ‘Gandhi’ (1982).

Puri made his film debut in 1976 Marathi film ‘Ghashiram Kotwal’. Some of his most notable films include ‘Sandgate’, ‘Mirch Masala’, ‘Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron’, ‘Dharavi’, ‘Maachis’, ‘Gupt’, ‘Dhoop’, ‘Yuva’, ‘Don’, ‘Agneepath’, ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ and others. He also appeared in Hollywood films such as ‘City of Joy’, ‘Wolf’, ‘The Ghost’ and ‘The Darkness’.

He was also an alumnus of the 1973 class of National School of Drama (NSD), where Naseeruddin Shah was a co-student.

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4) The SEBI on 4 January 2017 relaxed its rules for investment by angel funds with the view of giving a fillip to start-up funding in India. Under the new rules what is the upper limit for number of angel investors in a scheme? – 200

Explanation: To give a fillip to start-up funding, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) relaxed its rules for investment by angel funds. According to the notification issued by the SEBI on 4 January 2017, the upper limit for number of angel investors in a scheme will be increased from 49 to 200. The SEBI has also allowed the angel investors to invest in up to five-year old entities, which was earlier three years.

To diversify risks, SEBI also allowed angel funds to make overseas investments, up to 25% of their investible corpus, in line with other Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs).

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5) The Union Sports Ministry constituted a committee after it had to suspend the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) for appointing Suresh Kalmadi and Abhay Chautala as life presidents. Who is heading this committee? – I. Srinivas (Sports Secretary)

Explanation: Keen to avoid a repeat of the furore caused by IOA’s decision to name scam-tainted Suresh Kalmadi and Abhay Chautala as Life Presidents, Sports Minister Vijay Goel on 2 January 2017 constituted a committee to suggest improvements in the National Sports Code.

The committee is headed by Injeti Srinivas who is currently the Secretary (Sports) in the Ministry. It will suggest improvements in the present National Sports Development Code on the basis of suggestions and feedback given in meetings held by the Ministry with the various stakeholders. The committee is expected to submit a report within a month.

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6) Which entity is poised to become the first major public sector undertaking (PSU) to be sold through the route of strategic disinvestment, as announced during January 2017? – Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML)

Explanation: According to an announcement made on 5 January 2017, Union Government will sell 26% stake in defence equipment manufacturer Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML), making it the first major PSU to be sold through strategic disinvestment. The proposed disinvestment is expected to fetch the exchequer over Rs 1,000 crore.

After the strategic sale, government stake in the PSU would come down to 28.03% from the present 54.03%.

The strategic sale approval is just the third in over 12 years. In September 2016, the Cabinet had cleared strategic sale of Bharat Pumps and Compressors Ltd, while in December 2016 it had approved sale of India’s first pharma company Bengal Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals Ltd as well as Hindustan Antibiotics Ltd.

These PSUs will be the first privatisation since sale of Jessop and Co. in 2003-04 under the NDA government headed by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

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7) What is the name of the former Portuguese President and Prime Minister who was known as ‘Father of Democracy’ in his country and who passed away on 7 January 2017? – Mario Soares

Explanation: Former Portuguese President and Prime Minister Mario Soares, regarded as a father of the country’s democracy, died in a Lisbon hospital at the age of 92 on 7 January 2017.

He played a key role after the 1974 Carnation Revolution, a military coup that put an end to 48 years of Salazar rule, led by dictator António de Oliveira Salazar. Later Soares served as Portugal’s Prime Minister, twice, and then as President (1986-96).

He then spearheaded the country’s entry into the European Union. But, in recent years, he became a vocal critic of the austerity policies associated with the massive eurozone bailout Portugal sought in 2011.

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8) Abdul Halim Jaffer Khan, who passed away on 4 January 2017, was a legendary classical musician associated with which instrument? – Sitar

Explanation: Abdul Halim Jaffer Khan was the last survivor of the ‘Sitar Trinity’ of India along with the late Pandit Ravi Shankar and Ustad Vilayat Khan. He passed away at the age of 88 at his Mumbai residence on 4 January 2017.

Khan was born in Jawra, Madhya Pradesh. He was associated with the ‘Indore Gharana’ and is credited for innovating the unique music style of ‘Jafferkhani Baaj‘. Apart from solo performances he was famous for playing the sitar for various Bollywood films, including “Mughal-E-Azam“, “Kohinoor“, “Goonj Uthi Shehnai” and “Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje“, among many others.

He was conferred with the Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan and Sangeet Natak Akademi awards.

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9) Which country is poised to become the first country in the world to turn-off its FM radio network and switch entirely to digital broadcasting? – Norway

Explanation: Norway is set to become the first country in the world to turn off its FM radio network. This process will start with the northern town of Bodoe switching off its local network on 11 January 2017.

By the end of the year, all FM broadcasts in Norway will have ended, replaced by Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) transmissions that generally offer better sound quality.

The decision to shut down Norway’s FM radio system was made by the country’s parliament in 2011. The government suggested that the cost of having both an FM radio network and a DAB network was prohibitive in a country with only 5 million people.

Estimating that the cost of FM was eight times higher than digital, Norway’s government argued that the savings could be spent on improving radio content.

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10) Who won the men’s open title of Chennai Open 2017 on 8 January 2017? – Roberto Bautista Agut (Spain)

Explanation: Spaniard veteran Roberto Bautista Agut won the men’s singles title of the Chennai Open 2017 by defeating 20-year-old Daniil Medvedev (Russia) in the final on 8 January 2017. Agut defeated Medvedev 6-3, 6-3 to claim his first ATP title of the career.

Medvedev was chasing his first ATP title while Agut had already won four singles titles including two in 2016 when he won in Sofia and Auckland.

The Chennai Open acts as the prelude to the first Grand Slam of the season at Australian Open which begins on 16 January 2017 in Melbourne.

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