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Current affairs : January 6, 2017 for all competitive exams

PM Narendra Modi Releases special commemorative postage in 350th birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh in Patna
Prime Minister Modi released special commemorative stamps on Prakash Parv in 350th birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh in Patna on 5 January 2017.
  • ii. Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Punjab Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal, Union Minsters Ravi Shankar Prasad Ram Vilas Paswan and Harsimrat Kaur were present on this occasion.

Japan to assist in making Chennai, Ahmedabad and Varanasi Smart Cities
Japan has decided to be associated with the development of Chennai, Ahmedabad and Varanasi as smart cities.

  • So far, leading countries have come forward to be associated with development of 15 smart cities. 
  • These include: United States Trade Development Agency (USTDA) –Visakhapatnam, Ajmer and Allahabad, UK-Pune, Amaravati(Andhra Pradesh) and Indore, France-Chandigarh, Puducherry and Nagpur and Germany –Bhubaneswar, Coimbatore and  Kochi.

DoT to seek nod for Rs. 27,000-crore second phase of BharatNet
The Telecom Commission has given approval to the second phase of BharatNet project that seeks to provide broadband connectivity to 1.5 lakh gram panchayats at an estimated cost of Rs. 27,000 crore.
  • The first phase entailed a cost of Rs. 18,000 crore and for the second phase the estimates are likely to be in ballpark range of Rs. 27,000 crore.

Government officials seek zero import tax on LNG in budget: Document

India’s energy and environment ministries have asked the government to scrap an import tax on liquefied natural gas (LNG) and impose a levy on use of pet coke and furnace oil to promote cleaner fuel.
  • to cut the country’s carbon footprint, the ministries want to raise the use of gas in its energy mix to 15% in three to four years from 6.5% now. For this to happen, they are demanding zero import tax on LNG.
  • LNG imports, which account for 44% of gas use in the country, are duty free only if shipped in for the power sector.

Ban on import of exotic skins
In a landmark decision that will spare the lives of tens of thousands of animals from the exotic leather industry, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade has banned the import of skins of reptiles and fur of minks, foxes and chinchillas.
  • Animal rights bodies have hailed the decision by the Centre to ban such imports, saying that the country is now emulating other nations across the world in adopting “cruelty-free” alternatives to exotic skins.

Sponsored ads in media to be part of candidate’s expenditure
Election Commission has said that sponsored advertisements on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter would be included in the total election expenditure of a candidate.
  • Voice messages of candidates, even if they were received from other states, would be added to the expenditure of the candidate.

SC asked to resolve conflict over ‘rape’ definition in two laws
A chink in the colonial-era Indian Penal Code (IPC) condoning sexual intercourse and exploitation of a 15-year-old child ‘wife’ has been brought to the Supreme Court’s attention.
  • An exception to Section 375 (rape) in the IPC allows a man to go scot-free despite having sex with his 15-year-old ‘wife’.
  • This exception ensures that he will not be charged with rape even though child marriage is a crime.
  • Nobel Peace laureate Kailash Satyarthi, through his organisation Bachpan Bachao Andolan, appealed to the Supreme Court on Thursday for help to end this “statutorily-backed” crime against children.

Haryana achieves sex ratio of 900 girls per 1000 boys
Citing Civil Registration System (CRS) data, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar recently said that Haryana achieved a sex ratio of 900 girls as against 1000 boys in 2016. This is much in contrast to the statistics of 2011, when Haryana had the worst sex ratio of 834:1000 among all states in the country.
  • According to the statistics available for sex ratio, CM said that out of 5,25,278      children born in the state from January to December 2016, there were 2,76,414 boys and 2,48,864 girls and the sex ratio at birth touched the mark of 900.

China develops its version of floating LNG power plant
A Chinese company, Wison Offshore & Marine, has developed its version of a system for floating LNG power plant that can range between 10 mw to 800 mw units.
  • The system features integrated functions of LNG loading and storage facilities, regasification and power generation in a single unit.
  • The smallest unit starts at 10MW capacity, while the largest accommodates an 800MW power plant.

NASA selects 2 missions to explore solar system’s asteroids
Aiming to find important clues to the earliest history of the solar system, NASA has announced two missions — one to explore Jupiter’s mysterious Trojan asteroids and the other to study a unique metal asteroid.
  • The missions, known as Lucy and Psyche, were chosen from five finalists and will proceed to mission formulation, with the goal of launching in 2021 and 2023, respectively.

Amarjeet Sohi will lead a Canadian team to Gujarat summit.
Once branded a Khalistan terrorist with alleged links to Naxals and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, former Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) detenu Amarjeet Sohi will be welcomed officially in India now as a privileged guest next week to attend the Vibrant Gujarat summit as Canada’s Infrastructure and Communities Minister.
  • Mr. Sohi will lead a delegation to the bi-annual investors summit in Gandhinagar.
  • Mr. Sohi’s visit will be one of a series of ministerial trips ahead of an expected visit by Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sometime in March. 

Harvard U.S.-India meet from Jan. 7 in Mumbai
the third annual Harvard U.S.-India Conference will be held on January 7 and 8 in Mumbai.
  • The meet is managed by a team comprising students from Harvard College as well as other colleges in the United States and India.
  • The conference will have panels which will enable students to participate in discussions about critical issues as well as essay competitions, case competitions, and networking events.

Indian-American to join Team Trump
Indian-American Raj Shah has been named deputy assistant to the President and deputy communication director and research director in the incoming Donald Trump administration.
  • Mr. Shah has been leading the Opposition research for the Republican National Committee (RNC) for the last two years and worked closely with Reince Preiubs, the incoming White House Chief of Staff. 

Rajiv Shah is Rockefeller’s first Indian-American head
The Rockefeller Foundation, one of the largest and most influential philanthropies in the United States, was to name Rajiv J. Shah, a trustee, as president.
  • He was to succeed Judith Rodin, who has been holding the post for 12 years.
  • Mr. Shah is the youngest person and the first Indian-American to lead the Rockefeller Foundation.

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