Current Affairs 16th January 2018 - Banking, SSC, UPSC Affairs

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The Indo-US joint military exercise ‘Vajra Prahar’ will be held at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) in Seattle in the third week of January in line with the increasing military cooperation between both countries. In this edition of bilateral exercise, Indian Army team from the Southern Command will participate. The exercise will mainly focus on special operations in urban areas.

Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore made the announcement during the launch of the official anthem and mascot of Khelo India School Games, beginning January 31.   Now when an athlete wins a medal at Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and Olympics, the coach gets the incentive.  The video features India's eminent sports personalities such as Sardar Singh, Sunil Chhetri, Devendra Jhajharia, Baichung Bhutia, Pullela Gopichand, Leander Paes, Mary Kom, Akhil Kumar, Sakshi Malik and Saina Nehwal.

Bangladesh, India, and Nepal agreed on the text of operating procedures for passenger vehicle movement (Passenger protocol) in sub-region under Bangladesh - Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA). The decision in this regard was taken at a meeting of High-level officials of three decision in this regard was taken at a meeting of High-level officials of three countries held in Bengaluru, Karnataka. It was convened and chaired by India’s Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH).

Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM), under the department of industrial policy and promotion, launched a competition for college and university students to foster a culture of innovation and creativity in the youth.  The competition - IPrism - invites students to submit films on piracy and counterfeiting under two categories of 30 and 60 seconds. Another category in the competition is a mobile gaming app on intellectual property (IP). Cash prizes of Rs 4 lakh will be given to the winning teams along with mementos and certificates. 

Romania's left-wing Prime Minister Mihai Tudose resigned after losing the backing of his party due to internal power struggles, barely seven months after his predecessor suffered the same fate.  He handed in his resignation after senior members of the ruling Social Democrats (PSD) voted to withdraw their support at a leadership meeting.

To enhance the effectiveness of information exchange and transparency, India and United States of America (USA) signed the Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) under FATCA in 2015. The Notably, the two countries are committed to establishing, by January 1, 2017, rules requiring their Reporting Financial Institutions (RFID) to obtain the Tax Identity Number (TIN) of each reportable person having a reportable account as of June 30, 2014 (pre-existing account). The Income-tax Rules, accordingly, provide for reporting of U.S. TIN from the year 2017 onwards in respect of any pre-existing account. The US-IRS has issued guidelines through Notice 2017-46 dated 25.09.2017 providing relaxation to Foreign Financial Institutions (FFIs) with respect to reporting of U.S.TIN for calendar years 2017, 2018 and 2019.

The ‘I4Fund Call for Proposal’ was announced with the joint launch of the website and the unveiling of the brochure by the two PMs (Narendra Modi and Benjamin Netanyahu). The "India-Israel Industrial R&D and Technological Innovation Fund (I4F)" was announced in July 2017.  Under this, the Department of Science and Technology, India and the National Innovation Authority of Israel have established a 40 million US dollar Fund.

The 65th Meeting of the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) was held under Chairmanship of Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar in New Delhi. The Education Ministers of 20 States, representatives of 28 states/UTs, members of CABE, heads of the autonomous organization. The Operation Digital Board will be launched in all schools in five years and will be undertaken jointly by Centre, State, Corporate Social Responsibility. CABE also will ensure to provide Quality, Equity, Accessibility, Accountability and Affordability in education by pro-active action and plan.

The public sector major aviation company given women travelers special thanks to the New Year (2018). Air India announced a reservation of seats for women in all its domestic flight services. This kind of service has become the country's first airline company. Special respect to women on our behalf Air India is booking a full line for all women at an economy class at no extra charge. This is for women who are traveling alone or with their young children. " To avail this facility, female passengers can contact the airline's counter or booking officer at the airport for up to 90 minutes before flying. This facility of the company is only valid for domestic flights only.

Tourism sector of the nation is blooming year by year, as the Foreign Tourists Arrivals have bloomed by 15.2% in December 2017 as compared to December 2016. And also 48.3% Growth in Foreign Tourist Arrivals on an e-Tourist visa in December 2017 Over December 2016. The number of FTAs in December 2017 was 11.76 lakh as compared to FTAs of 10.21 lakh in December 2016 and 9.13 lakh in December 2015. The growth rate in FTAs in December 2017 over December 2016 was 15.2%, compared to 11.9% in December 2016 over December 2015. FTAs in the year 2017 was 101.77 lakh with a growth of 15.6% over 2016, compared to FTAs of 88.04 lakh with a growth of 9.7% is 2016 over 2015. The percentage share of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India during December 2017 among the top 15 source countries was highest from Bangladesh (19.04%) followed by USA (16.90%), UK (10.41%), Australia (5.31%), Canada (3.85%), Russian Fed. (3.79%),Malaysia (3.11%), Germany (2.08%), China (2.06%), Sri Lanka (2.01%), Singapore (1.85%), France (1.81%), Japan (1.64%), Thailand (1.60%) and Italy (1.44%).

India and Israel have signed nine agreements to boost cooperation in the areas of space, cyber security and oil and gas between both countries. The agreements were signed following delegation-level talks headed by Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu in New Delhi. Netanyahu is first Israeli Prime Minister to visit India in the span of last 15 years and second one overall. Agreement on Film-co-production. Protocol on Amendments to Air Transport Agreement MoU on Cyber Security Cooperation between India and Israel Memorandum  MoU between the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and the Ministry of Energy on Cooperation inOil and Gas Sector LoI between IOCL and Yeda Research  MoU between Central Council for Research in Homeopathy and Ministry of AYUSH and Centre for Integrative Complementary Medicine, Shaare Zedek MoU between Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST) and Technion- Israel Institute of Technology for cooperation in the field of space.

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