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61. Wattan Ko Jano initiative: A programme that aims to expose youth from J&K to rest of India
i. Wattan Ko Jano, an initiative being carried out by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs in coordination with the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Government, was in news on 6 January 2016. The initiative came in news after more than 240 youth in the age-group of 15 to 24 from J&K met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.

ii. Watan Ko Jano initiative was conceived by the J&K State Rehabilitation Council in 2011. It essentially is a Youth Exchange Programme under which the children of militancy-hit victims, orphanages, and weaker sections of society are identified by Jammu and Kashmir State Rehabilitation Council as beneficiaries under the programme in the state.
iii. The initiative aims at exposing youth from the state to the vibrant development and vitality of culture of people residing in other states of the country.
iv. Earlier on 29 December 2015, a group of 250 such youngsters participated in the Watan Ko Jano tour and met Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

62. Paramilitary forces to have 33% reservation for women in constable level position
i. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has approved 33% reservation for women in Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) at constable-level positions.

ii. There will be 33% reservation for women at constable-level posts in Central Reserve Police Force and Central Industrial Security Force, and 14-15% reservation at the constable level in border guarding forces i.e. Border Security Force, Sashastra Seema Bal and Indo Tibetan Border Police, starting immediately, according to an official statement released by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
iii. The Committee on Empowerment of Women in its Sixth Report had advocated elevating representation of women in paramilitary forces. The reservation is, however, limited to only constable-level position.
iv. There are 9 lakh troops in all these forces combined, of which women constitute a mere 20,000. In 2015, 33% positions in the Delhi Police were reserved for women; six other Union Territories also passed this proposal and women were also allowed for combat roles in the Indian Air Force.
v. The Delhi Police employed only 9.27% women when the regulation was passed.

63. IAMAI appoints Freecharge founder Kunal Shah as chairman
i. Industry body Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), which counts companies such as Facebook, Microsoft and Google as members, named Kunal Shah, co-founder FreeCharge as its new chairman.
ii. Shah succeeds Nishant Rao, the ex-managing director of LinkedIn, who recently moved to Freshdesk as the global Chief Operating Officer, the association said in a statement. 
iii. IAMAI also named Vishwas Patel, chief executive officer, CCAvenue as the new treasurer. 
iv. Shah co-founded FreeCharge in August 2010 with an aim to build a business that turned recharges in to rewarding experiences for its consumers. In April 2015, FreeCharge was acquired by Snapdeal. 
v. Vishwas, the founderand CEO of Avenues India Private Limited, launched the company's first initiative, CCAvenue in September 2001. CCAvenue provides payment gateway services to thousands of eMerchants across the world. 

64. Gadkari launches India's first River Information System
i. Union Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday inaugurated the River Information System (RIS) - the first of its kind in India - to facilitate safe and accurate navigation on National Waterway-1 (the Ganga River).

ii. "While it remains a challenge how to develop the waterways of the country, the River Information System is a major step in realising the dream of waterways," said Gadkari, according to an official statement statement.
iii. Phase-II of the system from Farakka to Patna and Phase-III from Patna to Varanasi will be undertaken on priority, the statement said.
iv. "River Information Systems are combination of modern tracking equipment related hardware and software designed to optimise traffic and transport processes in inland navigation," the statement added.

65. International media conference in Mysuru
i. The Global Communication Association (GCA), a not-for-profit professional organisation, to host the 11th international conference of media experts and communication specialists from around the world at Mysuru on January 28-29.
ii. The meet has University of Mysore, which is celebrating its Centenary year, as its academic partner for hosting the conference. “The 2016 India conference focusing on ‘Ombudsman: Media and social responsibility’, has aroused keen interest amongst many participants coming from different academic and industry backgrounds,” said Krishna B Mariyanka, Curator and Organising Secretary, 11th GCA Conference, Mysuru.
iii. At a time when there is a massive explosion of the media across the globe, be it of the traditional variety or the new media, it is increasingly being looked upon as a powerful instrument of social change,” he added.
iv. On the flip side, as with any instrument that can influence vast sections of a society, there are also other ‘powerful forces’ that will misuse the media for vested interests.
v. Established in the year 2007, the GCA objectives are the promotion of academic research in global communication studies among major universities worldwide; facilitation of joint project and research opportunities among scholars and students.
vi. More importantly, GCA provides an eclectic international platform for corporate executives, communication specialists, policy makers, academicians, bureaucrats, political leaders, public relations practitioners and co-related industry professionals to meet, interact and generate new ideas for growth.

66. Mysuru to get Cauvery river gallery
i. Karnataka’s Tourism and the National Academy of Sciences of India (NASI) have signed a memorandum of understanding to set up a Cauvery river gallery in Mysuru.
ii. The gallery, to be built at a cost of Rs. 3.5 crore, is expected to showcase the life, culture and biodiversity along the river from its birth in Kodagu till it reaches the Bay of Bengal. The exhibits at the gallery would also include multimedia features and electronic display to provide the visitors an immersive experience of life and culture along the river.
iii. Tourism Department officials and NASI executives signed the MoU for establishing the gallery at the Karnataka Exhibition Authority (KEA) complex in Mysuru. The project will be completed in 6-9 months and it is expected to become a tourist attraction.
iv. NASI former president Manju Sharma said, “The Cauvery gallery in Mysuru will be third in the country. So far we have completed the Brahmaputra river gallery project in Guwahati and the Ganga river gallery in Allahabad.”
v. RV Deshpande, Karnataka Minister for Large and Medium Scale Industries and Tourism, said NSAI would execute the project and run it for three years before handing it over to the State government.
vi. The Karnataka Knowledge Commission (Jnana Ayoga) headed by K Kasturirangan had recommended the establishment of the gallery and is providing input to the National Council of Science Museums (NCSM) for the implementation of the project.

67. Cabinet okays ‘Sampoorna Arogya Keralam’ medical care project
i. The State Cabinet has decided to implement the ‘Sampoorna Arogya Keralam’ project announced in the 2015-16 State budget. The project aims to bring all major government health services under one umbrella. With this, people will not be required to visit multiple offices or agencies for medical care.
ii. Instead, they can go to enlisted public and private hospitals and get the services through a smart health card. A Sampoorna Arogya Keralam Trust would be set up to implement the initiative. All families with annual income below Rs. 3 lakh will be brought under the project, an official release said here. At least 42 lakh such families are expected to benefit.
iii. The Chief Minister will head the Sampoorna Arogya Kerala Trust, which will monitor and implement the project. A corpus fund of Rs. 20 crore would be set up and a separate head of account formed. Various financial assistance schemes under sundry departments will be consolidated under the project and up to ₹2 lakh made available to beneficiaries through means of the smart card.
iv. The IT platform of a similar project implemented in Telangana by Arogyasri Trust will be customised for use to roll out the project, the release said. Assistance for medical care in Kerala is currently made available through Rashtriya Swayam Bima Yojana (RSBY), Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme (Chis), Chis-Plus, Arogyakiranam, Karunya Benevolent Fund, Thalolam, cancer protection scheme and similar schemes of various welfare fund boards.
v. Beneficiary families, except the 32 lakh enrolled under the RSBY, Chis and Chis-Plus schemes, need to produce an income certificate from the revenue department as a one-time requirement. They would be issued smart cards in due course. A technical committee will be set up to decide on treatment protocols and the various procedures required to be adopted in accordance with the guidelines of the project.

68. India to skip BS-V, leapfrog to BS-VI norms from April 1, 2020
i. In a bid to curb vehicular pollution, the Centre today decided to implement stricter emission norms of Bharat Stage (BS) VI from April 1, 2020, by skipping BS-V altogether. The decision was taken at an inter-ministerial meeting chaired by Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari, which was attended by Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Heavy Industries Minister Anant Geete and Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar.
ii. “Government has decided to leapfrog from BS-IV to BS-VI directly by April 1, 2020. We have decided to skip BS-VI emission norms. It is a bold decision and a commitment to the environment,” Gadkari told PTI here after the meeting.
iii. All the other ministries have assured cooperation to make the implementation successful, he added. At the end of December, Pradhan had stated that India would go straight from Euro-IV compliant petrol and diesel to Euro-VI fuel by 2020. Earlier, a meeting of an inter-ministerial group, including representatives of the Ministries of Road Transport and Highways, Petroleum, Heavy Industries and Environment and Forests, was unable to reach a consensus.
iv. The Road Transport and Highways Ministry was of the view the roll-out of BS-V norms must start from 2019 but the Petroleum Ministry expressed its inability to comply with the deadline. Earlier in November, a draft notification by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoEF), had advanced dates for implementation of BS-V norms to April 1, 2019, and BS-VI norms to April 1, 2021.
v. At present, BS-IV auto fuels are being supplied in the whole of northern India covering J&K, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi, parts of Rajasthan and western UP. The rest of the country has BS-III grade fuel.

69. Uber launches ‘uberEXCHANGE’, start-up mentorship programme
i. Taxi-hailing app Uber today announced a new start-up mentorship programme in the country in partnership with Invest India called ‘uberEXCHANGE’. Over the next years, Uber will host a series of six leadership talks by senior Uber executives, including from their headquarters in San Francisco, the company said in a statement.
ii. The programme will address issues that entrepreneurs face, like fund-raising, product design, engineering and how to scale up a business. At the end of the programme, the top 10 start-ups will travel to San Francisco, where they will be introduced to global investors, fellow entrepreneurs and the team at Uber, it said.
iii. This public-private initiative will enable students, entrepreneurs and industry leaders to learn from each other, helping to create a culture that celebrates risk-taking and views failure as an opportunity to learn. It will also support Prime Minister’s vision to make India a global startup hub.
iv. “Today, more and more people aspire to be entrepreneurs and build something themselves. That’s why Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s start-up India initiative is so important, and that is why we’re excited to share our experience with hundreds of startups and entrepreneurs as they begin their journey,” Uber’s chief executive Travis Kalanick said.
v. Kalanick is expected to give the inaugural speech at the Startup India Initiative on January 16, speaking about his own journey as an entrepreneur. “This mentorship programme will be immensely valuable to Indian entrepreneurs and I am excited about the exchange of knowledge and ideas between the startup culture in India and the Silicon Valley,” DIPP Secretary Amitabh Kant said.

70. AB Khare appointed CMD of Madras Fertilizers
i. The Centre has appointed AB Khare as the Chairman and Managing Director of the state-run Madras Fertilzers for a five-year term. In August last year, the government headhunter Public Enterprise Selection Board (PESB) had recommended the name of Khare for the post of CMD at Madras Fertilizers Ltd (MFL).
ii. Khare will succeed I Vijay Kumar. His name was finalised after interviewing 7 shortlisted candidates. Khare was previously working with state—owned fertiliser firm Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers as Chief General Manager (Commercial).
iii. “The President is pleased to appoint of A B Khare to the post of CMD, MFL in the pay scale of Rs. 75,000-90,000 for a period of five years with effect from the date of assumption of charge of the post or till the date of his superannuation, or until further orders, whichever is the earliest,” the Fertiliser Ministry said in an notification.
iv. MFL was incorporated in 1966 as a joint venture between the Government of India and Amoco India, a subsidiary of Standard Oil Company of the USA. It is under the administrative control of the Fertiliser Ministry.

71. Achyuta Samanta elected as General President of 105th Indian Science Congress
i. Dr Achyuta Samanta was on 6 January 2016 elected as the General President of the 105th Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA) that is scheduled for 2017-18. Samanta is also currently serving as member of Executive Council of Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA).

ii. With this, Samanta becomes the second person from Odisha to be elected as President of the ISC in its 102 years history. On last occasion, Prof Prana Krushna Parija, eminent Odia scientist, was elected as President of the 47th Session of the ISCA in 1960.
iii. He has been the member of Executive Council of ISCA since 2011. He has also been the member of many prestigious educational and other national level apex bodies, including UGC (2008-2014), AICTE, National Coir Board, CAPART and NCTE.
iv. He was the only person from Odisha to be the member of both UGC and AICTE. Samanta has set up institutions like Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) University and Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS), Bhubaneshwar.

72. Noted Gujarati writer Labshankar Thakar passed away
i. Noted Gujarati writer and poet Labhshankar Thakar passed away on 6 January 2016 following prolonged illness in Ahmedabad. He was 80. He was a modernist author of Gujarati literature with influence of existentialism challenging traditional literature styles.

ii. He was born on 14 January 1935 in Sedla village near Surendranagar in Gujarat. Some of his famous poems are Vahi Jati Pachhal Ramya Ghosha (1965), Manasni Vaat (1968), Mara Namne Darwaje (1972), Boom Kagalma Kora (1974), Pravahan (1986), Kalagranthi (1987). He wrote many plays including Asatyakumar Ekagrani Dharpakad, Make Believe (1967), Mari Jawani Maza (1973), Bathtub ma Machhali (1982) etc. 
iii. He is also known for his novels Akasmat (1968) and Kon? (1968). Apart from being Gujarati poet, playwright and story writer he was also an Ayurvedic Practitioner. He also wrote several books on Ayurveda and also had published several magazines including Kriti and Unmoolan.
iv. He had also been awarded several times for his works including Sahitya Akadami Award (1991) for his poetry, Sahitya Gaurav Puraskar (2002) of Gujarati Sahitya Parishad, Kumar Chandrak (1962), Narmad Chandrak and Ranjitram Suvarna Chandrak (1981).

73. Sam Pitroda appointed as Odisha Government’s Technical Advisor
i. Satyanarayan Gangaram Pitroda, popularly known as Sam Pitroda, on 6 January 2016 was appointed Technology Advisor to the Odisha Government. Pitroda was appointed as the technology adviser for development of telecom, electronics, IT, ITES sectors of the state.

ii. Pitroda will have a key role in Vision 2036 for Odisha@100, as the state government is making a vision document for 2036 to celebrate the 100 years of state’s formation. Born on 4 May 1942 in Titilagarh, Odisha, Sam Pitroda is a telecom engineer, inventor, entrepreneur and policymaker. In 1964, he travelled to Chicago to study electrical engineering.
iii. He is a director of the Young Indian Company co-owned by Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. He also served as Advisor to the Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on Technology Missions related to water, literacy, immunization, oil seeds, telecom, and dairy.
iv. He is the founding Chairman of India’s Telecom Commission. He has also served as an advisor to the United Nations.

74. Pavan Kapoor To Be India's Ambassador To Israel
i. Senior diplomat Pavan Kapoor has been appointed India's ambassador to strategically important Israel, where he will succeed Jaideep Sarkar. Mr Kapoor, a 1990 batch Indian Foreign Service Officer, is currently India's High Commissioner in Mozambique capital Maputo. "He is expected to take up his assignment shortly," the External Affairs Ministry said in a statement.
ii. The appointment assumes significance as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is likely to visit India this year. Prime Minister Narendra Modi may also pay a return visit to Tel Aviv. India's relations with Israel are on an upswing. President Pranab Mukherjee had visited Tel Aviv in October last year, becoming the first Indian Head of State to visit the Jewish nation.
iii. India is Israel's largest buyer of military hardware. Israel has supplied various weapons systems, missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles over the last few years but the transactions have largely remained behind the curtains. Mr Kapoor, an MBA from Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, also a has a Master's degree in International Political Economy from the London School of Economics.
iv.  In his diplomatic career of two decades, he has served in different capacities in the Indian Missions in Moscow, London, Geneva and Kiev apart from serving in the Ministry of External Affairs and the Prime Minister's Office. He has also done a stint at the Commonwealth Secretariat in London as Political Adviser on Asia and Europe.

75. Rajan is The Banker's central banker of the year
i. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Raghuram Rajan was named The Banker magazine's Global and Asia-Pacific Central Bank Governor of the Year 2015, for stabilising the Indian rupee, initiating key reforms to attract much needed foreign capital in the country and reining in a runaway price appreciation. The Banker is a prestigious monthly magazine of the Financial Times Group.
ii. "India is the one global economy that arguably weathered the capital outflow and currency storms in emerging markets that were fuelled by uncertainty over the US Federal Reserve interest rate hike in 2015," the magazine said in its article on Rajan.

iii. The RBI governor has been named central bank governor of the year several times by other international magazines. In October 2014, Euromoney and in January 2015, Central Banking awarded him the best central banker award for his contribution in stabilising the Indian economy.
iv.  After he took over in September 2013, the first priority for the RBI governor was to stabilise the local currency, which hit a record low of 68.87 a dollar on August 28. Through a series of innovative measures, including attracting dollars from non-resident Indians by offering higher interest rate on deposits, Rajan stabilised the rupee. The local currency soon moved back below the psychological level of 60 a dollar.
v. Steps like offshore rupee bonds, nicknamed Masala Bonds, and RBI's efforts in pushing green bonds were two other key achievements of Rajan, the magazine noted. The magazine also noted Rajan's efforts in cleaning banks' balance sheets from bad debts and introducing 23 new sets of banks in 2015.

76. Overseas Indian Affairs Ministry, MEA merged
i. In order to avoid duplication of work and to improve efficiency, the government on Thursday merged the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) with the Ministry of External Affairs. Announcing the merger, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted on Thursday, “As Minister of External Affairs and Overseas Indian Affairs, I realised that a substantial work of MOIA is done through our missions abroad. Therefore, I proposed to Hon’ble Prime Minister that MOIA should be merged with the Ministry of External Affairs.”
ii. Sources, however, indicated that the decision to merge MOIA with MEA was taken as senior diplomats wanted officials dealing with foreign workers-related issues and emergencies to have better diplomatic back-up and coordination.
iii. Explaining the official line, a spokesperson of MEA said the merger of MOIA was to avoid “duplication” as most of the work of MOIA was done by Indian missions abroad. “Even the information for answering the questions related to MOIA in Parliament used to be provided by the Indian missions,” said the spokesperson.
iv. But reportedly, the MEA, which has been short of staff, wanted greater number of officials with diplomatic experience in key positions in MOIA to deal with emergencies involving Indians in various crisis-prone countries in West Asia. The merger is expected to increase efficiency in MEA’s emergency work abroad.
v. The post of Protector General of Emigrants is responsible for issuing registration certificates to recruitment agents who send workers abroad, especially to the Gulf region.

77. Indo-French military exercise Shakti-2016 started
i. India and France on 8 January 2016 started their eight-day counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency joint exercise Shakti-2016 in Rajasthan. This is the third edition in the series of bilateral exercises under this banner and is being held in Mahajan Field Firing Ranges in Rajasthan's Bikaner.
ii. The exercise will be focused on counter terrorism operations in backdrop of semi-urban terrain under United Nations Mandate. It is an important step for the armies to train together and gain from each other's rich operational experience.

iii. French contingent comprising 56 personnel of 35th Infantry Regiment of 7th Armoured Brigade, which had taken part in the Afghan war, will participate in the Shakti-2016. The contingent led by Major Thibaut De Lacoste Lareymondie arrived Jodhpur on 6 January 2016.
iv. On the other hand, the Indian contingent to participate in the exercise will be the 2nd Battalion of Garhwal Rifles, part of the Sapta Shakti Command. Both countries have troops deployed in counter-insurgency and counter-terrorist operations and therefore sharing each other's military experiences will pay meaningful dividends.
v. The French 35th Infantry Regiment was raised in 1604 by a member of the gentry from Lorraine whose surname was Nemond. It has at least 12 battle honours to its credit. The battalion has varied combat experiences, having served in Algeria, Africa, Iraq and Afghanistan, amongst other places.

78. First Company of Ganga Task Force deployed Ganga Gram Yojana launched
i. As a major initiative towards fast track implementation of Namami Gange Programme the first company of Ganga Task force Battalion was deployed at Garhmukteshwar yesterday. Speaking on the occasion Union Minister of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Sushri Uma Bharti said that three such companies will be deployed soon at Kanpur, Varanasi and Allahabad.
ii. The Minister said the Jawans of the Ganga Task force will be deployed on the banks of the river Ganga to ensure that industry and civilians do not pollute the river. She said that keeping Ganga clean is not the responsibility of our Jawans only but it is the duty of every Indian living near the river to keep it clean.
iii. In the first phase of the progamme 200 villages have been selected. In these villages open drains falling into river Ganga will be diverted and alternative arrangements for sewage treatment will be made. The villages will have toilets in every house hold. It is proposed to incur and expenditure of Rs. One crore on every village.
iv. These villages will be developed under the Sichewal model. It may be noted that Sichewal is situated in Punjab, where cooperation of the villagers has been solicited for the water management and waste disposal in a meticulous way. 
v. Earlier the Minister inspected two under construction sewage treatment plants at Garhmukteshwar. These STPs are expected to be operational by June this year. The Minister also inaugurated Namami Gange Photo exhibition at Garhmukteshwar and administered the pledge to the people to keep Ganga clean. The Minister also reviewed the progress of Namami Gange progamme at Garhmukteshwar with local officials.

79. Sailesh appointed new Registrar General, Census Commissioner
i. Senior IAS officer Sailesh was today appointed as Registrar General and Census Commissioner. 
ii. Sailesh, a 1985 batch IAS officer of Assam-Meghalaya cadre, is presently Additional Secretary in Home Ministry. 
iii. He has been appointed in place of C Chandramouli, who completed his tenure today. 
iv. The Appointments Committee of Cabinet has approved the appointment of Sailesh as Registrar General and Census Commissioner for a period till July 28, 2017, an order issued by Department of Personnel and Training said.

80. Tata Steel bags PM’s trophy
i. Tata Steel has been declared as the winner of Prime Minister’s Trophy for being the ‘Best Performing Integrated Steel Plant’ in the country for the performance year 2013 – 2014. This Award has been conferred on the Company for the eighth time. In addition it has also received Certificate for Excellence twice and Steel Minister’s Trophy once, since this trophy was instituted in 1992-93.
ii. The Company went through three rounds of rigorous assessment, adjudged by a panel of distinguished judges. The enthusiasm and involvement of its employees including the Union Leadership team was highly appreciated by the panel of judges for the Prime Minister’s Trophy, reaffirming the core strength of Tata Steel – its skilled and motivated workforce that has a will to excel.
iii. Tata Steel has always strived to set the benchmark of excellence in efficiency, quality and sustainability in all it’s operations. The Prime Minister’s trophy, instituted in 1992-93 on the suggestion of the then Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao, recognizes the outstanding performance of the integrated steel plants.
iv. The award is intended to spur steel plants to achieve international standards of efficiency, quality and economy in their operations. The primary objective of the scheme is to generate a sense of competition among the steel plants so that they continuously benchmark themselves with the best and improve their performances.

81. Amitabh Kant appointed as CEO of NITI Aayog
i. Amitabh Kant was on 7 January 2016 appointed as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NITI Aayog. His appointment was approved by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC). Kant will take over the office of CEO in March 2016, when he retires from service.
ii. On 1 January 2016, Kant was given the additional charge of the CEO of NITI Aayog following the completion of tenure of previous CEO Sindhushree Khullar on 31 December 2015.
iii. He is a 1980 batch IAS officer of Kerala cadre. Kant is currently serving as the Secretary in the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion in the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
iv. He has also served as the CEO of India’s largest industrial infrastructure project the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation. He has also been steering the Union Government’s two major campaigns to attract investments and create jobs – Make In India and Start Up India.

82. Devender Kumar Sikri appointed as Chairman of Competition Commission of India
i. Devender Kumar Sikri was on 7 January 2016 appointed as Chairman of fair-trade regulator Competition Commission of India (CCI). He succeeds Ashok Chawla, whose tenure as the Chairman of CCI ended on 7 January 2016 itself.
ii. Sikri will have a tenure of about two and half years, i.e. till he attains the age of 65 years.
iii. Sikri is a former Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of Gujarat cadre. He has held various positions in Centre as well as in his cadre state Gujarat. He superannuated as Secretary, Department of Justice on 31 July 2013.
iv. He had also been Secretary in the Union Ministry of women and child development, Registrar General of Census. He also served as the Collector of Rajkot and Jamnagar.

83. Indigenously Built ASW Corvette INS Kadmatt commissioned in Visakhapatnam
i. Anti-submarine warfare (ASW) corvette INS Kadmatt was on 7 January 2016 commissioned in the Indian Navy at naval dockyard in Visakhapatnam by Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral R K Dhowan. INS Kadmatt is the second ship of Project 28 (P28) class ASW corvettes and is the latest ship after Shivalik class, Kolkata class and INS Kamorta. In all these ships, an excessive amount of weapons and sensors had been integrated to provide a Common Operational Picture (COP).
ii. The ship was manned by 13 officers and 180 sailors with Commander Mahesh Chandra Moudgil as the first Commanding Officer. The ship is an integral part of the Eastern Fleet under the Eastern Naval Command to safeguard the Eastern Seaboard of India.
iii. It was designed 90 per cent indigenously by the Directorate of Naval Design (DND) and constructed by M/s Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd. Directorate of Naval Design (DND) is the Navy’s Design Organisation undertaking indigenous design of all surface combatants.
iv. INS Kadmatt is named after one of the large islands amongst the Lakshadweep group of Islands off the west coast of India. The ship had been constructed using high grade steel (DMR 249A) produced in India. With a displacement of 3500 tonnes, the sleek and magnificent ship spans 109 meters in length and 14 meters at the beam.

84. Operation Green Hunt to hunt Maoists
i. Operation Green Hunt, an all-out offensive by India’s paramilitary forces and the state's forces against the Naxalites came in news on 8 January 2016. The operation which is believed to start in November 2009 along five states in the "Red Corridor” came in news after Maoists called a two-day bandh opposing it in Nuapada, Malkangiri and Kalahandi districts of Odisha.
ii. The bandh call was given by the Mainpur-Nuapada Divisional Committee of the CPI (Maoist). The Committee is protesting against the Operation by security forces against the ultras in the south-western part of the State.
iii. The term Operation Green Hunt was coined by the Chhattisgarh police officials to describe one successful drive against the Communist Party of India (Maoist) in the state. Later, the term was erroneously used by media to describe the wider anti-Naxalite operations. 
iv. On the other hand, Union Government do not use the term Operation Green Hunt to describe its anti-Naxalite offensive. Earlier, the operation also came in news in December 2014 when the outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist) claimed that the Sukma ambush was answer to Operation Green Hunt. Maoists killed at least 14 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel in Sukma district of south Chhattisgarh on 1 December 2014.

85. Union Government allowed traditional bull-taming sports Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu
i. The Union Government on 8 January 2016 allowed the conduct of the traditional bull-taming sports, Jallikattu, in Tamil Nadu. The ban on the sports was lifted few days before the traditional harvest festival will begin in Tamil Nadu. Jallikattu is celebrated around pongal in southern state of Tamil Nadu.
ii. The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change issued a gazette notification with regard to holding traditional sports that use bulls as performing animals including Jallikattu across India.
iii. The notification said that bulls can be exhibited and trained as performing animal at different events of different states as per the customs or tradition of any community.
iv. The events that use bulls as performing animals are Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu and bullock cart races in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Punjab, Haryana, Kerala and Gujarat. But these events are allowed only in those districts where it is being traditionally held annually but with the permission of district collector or the district magistrate. 
v. The notification also specifies that bullock cart race shall be organised on a proper track, which shall not exceed two kilometers. On the other hand, in case of Jallikattu, the moment the bull leaves the enclosure it shall be tamed within a radial distance of 15 metre.

86. Quikr acquired online real estate portal
i. Quikr on 7 January 2016 announced acquisition of the property search website for an undisclosed amount in a majority stock-swap transaction. Quikr bought the website in a distress sale orchestrated by Tiger Global Management Llc.

ii. After the deal, Quikr will be valued at about 1.5 billion US dollars based on the share-swap ratio. The merger is expected to be completed over the next two to three months. It will also give Commonfloor access to Quikr’s 30 million consumers and harness the potential of the cross-category nature of the platform. QuikrHomes will benefit from CommonFloor’s structured data and domain expert.
iii. Quikr is an Indian classified advertising platform. It was founded by Pranay Chulet in 2008. It is headquartered in Bangalore. It has listings in over 1000 cities in India in categories such as mobile phones, household goods, cars, real estate, jobs, services and education.
iv. is an Indian real estate portal founded in 2007 by three computer science graduates from IIT Roorkee and JSSATE. On 8 January 2015, CommonFloor received funding from Google Capital.

87. Miguel Tabuena won Hilton Asian Tour Golfer of the Month
i. The Philippines' Miguel Tabuena on 7 January 2016 was voted as the Hilton Asian Tour Golfer of Month for December 2015. Tabuena won the award ahead of Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai and India's Himmat Rai. The trio were nominated by a selection panel before going into a voting process.
ii. Born on 13 October 1994, Miguel Tabuena is a Filipino professional golfer. As an amateur golfer, he won the events in Malaysia and Singapore and won the silver medal at the 2010 Asian Games in the men's individual event.
iii. He turned professional in 2011. He has played on the Asian Tour since 2011 and picked up his first win at the 2015 Philippine Open.
iv. He became the first Filipino to win his National Open since 2008.

88. French soldiers to march down Rajpath on Republic Day 2016 along with Indian troops
i. The French soldiers will march down the Rajpath on Republic Day along with Indian troops in the presence of President Francois Hollande. Hollande is the Chief Guest for 26 January 2016 celebrations. This is the first time that a foreign army will participate in the 26th January Parade, since 1950. 
ii. A French contingent, comprising 56 personnel of 35th Infantry Regiment of 7th Armoured Brigade, is already in the country to take part in a joint exercise, Shakti 2016, which began in Rajasthan on 8 January 2016. Some soldiers will also fly down from France to form a proper marching contingent.

iii. Earlier similar event occurred in France when Indian troops drawn from the three services (Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force) marched down the Champs Elysees in Paris along with French Army on the Bastille Day. The event was held on 14 July 2009 and saw participation of the Maratha light infantry, which is one of the oldest regiments of Indian Army. 
iv. Bastille Day (French National Day) is celebrated on 14 July each year. The French National Day commemorates the Storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789, an important event in Paris that was the symbolic start of French revolution.

89. Modi to be chief guest at sustainable agriculture meet in Gangtok
i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be the chief guest at the National Conference on Sustainable Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare being held in Gangtok on January 17-18, the Agriculture Ministry said in a statement.

ii. The conference is being held in Sikkim, which has taken the lead on organic farming, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh, said, adding that the conference will be attended by State government representatives, scientists, academics, bankers, experts and practitioners.
iii. Jitendra Singh, Minister for Development of North East (Independent charge), said the greenfield airport at Pakyong near Gangtok is expected to be complete and become functional by 2017.
iv. He said there are also plans to connect Sikkim with the country’s rail network, which would be the third North-Eastern State after Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh to be brought on the rail map of India.
v. Singh also referred to the plan for constructing alternative road highway to Gangtok in Sikkim via West Bengal and two ropeways that will serve the purpose of both tourism as well as transport.

90. Smriti Irani inaugurates 43rd New Delhi World Book Fair
i. Human Resource Minister Smriti Irani on Saturday inaugurated the 43rd edition of the New Delhi World Book Fair which commenced here with China as the guest of honour country and a theme presentation of the cultural heritage of India.

ii. The nine-day fair, touted as the largest in Asia, is hosting about 30 countries in which a series of programmes including panel discussions, dramas, classical and folk dances, workshops, discussions, authors’ meets, conferences, seminars and cultural programmes will be held.
iii. Talking about the Chinese participation, Irani said, “I believe that 50 publishing houses and 9 eminent authors bring with them to this World Book Fair around 5,000 titles so that through this exchange our people across both nations can be enriched.”
iv. China was invited to be the guest country after the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping here last year where he signed a memorandum of understanding with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
v. This year the fair has introduced a special ‘Navlekhan’ programme which seeks to promote and publish young authors under the age of 40 writing in Indian languages. Referring to the same Irani said, while this year they are being published in 6 regional languages by next year she assured that books in 22 languages recognised by the Constitution of India will be published.

DAILY GK UPDATE -- 61 TO 90 Reviewed by sambasivan srinivasan on 6:56:00 PM Rating: 5

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