Daily GK Update - Current Affairs - 20th January 2016

1. PSLV-C31 successfully launched IRNSS-1E satellite
i. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on 20 January 2016 successfully launched the Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System (IRNSS) 1-E satellite. The satellite will provide navigation, tracking and mapping services to the Indian sub continent.
ii. The satellite is the fifth of the IRNSS constellation. It was launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SHAR), Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on-board the PSLV-C31. The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV)-C31 was the 32nd consecutively successful mission of the PSLV. The 'XL' configuration of PSLV was used for this mission.

iii. This is the eleventh time ‘XL’ configuration was flown, earlier ten being PSLV-C11/Chandrayaan-1, PSLV-C17/GSAT-12, PSLV-C19/RISAT-1, PSLV-C22/IRNSS-1A, PSLV-C25/Mars Orbiter Spacecraft, PSLV-C24/IRNSS-1B, PSLV-C26/IRNSS-1C, PSLV-C27/IRNSS-1D, PSLV-C28/DMC-3 and PSLV-C30/ASTROSAT  missions.
iv. IRNSS-1E, weighing 1425 kg, is the fifth of the seven satellites constituting the IRNSS. IRNSS-1A, 1B and 1C and 1D, the first four satellites of the constellation, were successfully launched by PSLV in July 2013, April 2014, October 2014 and March 2015 respectively.
v. The navigation payload of IRNSS-1E will transmit navigation service signals to the users. This payload will be operating in L5-band and S-band. A highly accurate Rubidium atomic clock is part of the navigation payload of the satellite.
vi. It is an independent regional navigation satellite system designed to provide position information in the Indian region and 1500 km around the Indian mainland. It would provide two types of services, namely, Standard Positioning Services (SPS), which will be provided to all users, and Restricted Services (RS) that will be provided to authorised users only.
2. Andhra Pradesh Government reconstituted the Commission for Backward Classes
i. Andhra Pradesh Government on 18 January 2016 reconstituted the Commission for Backward Classes with immediate effect. AP Commission for Backward Classes (APCBC) will be a two member commission with Justice KL Manjunath, (Retd.) as its chairman and Member Secretary, APCBC as the other member.
ii. The Chairman of APCBC shall hold office for a term of three years from the date of assumption of office. The Commission was not constituted since, 24 September 2011, when the previous commission term expired.
iii. In compliance with the directions of the Supreme Court in Mandal Case (Indra Sawhney Vs Union of India 1992) to set up permanent B.C. Commissions, the Andhra Pradesh Commission for Backward Classes was constituted under the A.P. Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993 and started functioning from 31 March 1994.
3. Veteran journalist Aroon Tikekar passed away
i. Senior journalist and scholar Aroon Tikekar passed away on 19 January 2016 in Mumbai. He was 72. Tikekar, who has written over 20 books, passed away due to breathing-related complications.
ii. Aroon Tikekar worked as a college teacher for some years. Then, he became the Language and Literature Expert and Acquisitions Specialist at the US Library of Congress Office in New Delhi.
iii. His career in newspapers started with a job as Reference Chief with the Times of India. As Archival Research Chief at the Times of India, he was responsible for writing the official history of the 150 years old newspaper.
iv. From 1991 to 2002, he worked as an editor of the Marathi newspaper Loksatta. He is also the recipient of several literary and journalism awards.
v. In June 2010, as President of the Asiatic Society of Mumbai, he inaugurated the Observer Research Foundation's Maharashtra@50 Study Centre. In October 2010, he lashed out against the University of Mumbai's decision to drop Rohinton Mistry's controversial book Such a Long Journey from its syllabus.
4. BSE launches algorithm trading test
i. Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) Ltd has launched a new service for algorithm trading test facility for investors on its derivatives and equity platform. The new service has been launched in partnership with Mumbai based Symphony Fintech Solutions Pvt Ltd and is free-of-cost for market participant.
ii. Enable all market participants to test their trading algorithms in different trading segments including equity, equity derivatives and currency derivatives segments. Help members to test their trading strategies based on the live market data feed during market hours and also from historical market data.
iii. Algorithmic trading in financial markets refers to transaction orders generated by using advanced mathematical models that involve automated execution of trade. It uses mathematical models and software codes to make transaction decisions on exchanges and execute them at high speed.
iv. This technology-driven trading enables traders to take advantage of any profit making opportunities arising in the market much before a human trader can even spot them.
5. Maharashtra government inks MoU with Tata Trust for skill training of youth
i. Maharashtra Government has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Tata Trust for a skill training programme for the youth in the state. This programme has been undertaken under the state government’s ambitious Kushal Maharashtra, Rojgaryukt Maharashtra initiative.
ii. Tata Trust will train around one lakh youths in the state in order to make them employable. It will set up skill development and vocational training centres in 10 districts across the state.
iii. The Trust will also set up virtual classrooms in 100 Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) in Maharashtra. It will improve infrastructure these of ITIs.
6. India slips to 89th rank in global talent competitiveness: Report
i. Reflecting an acute shortage of skilled labour force and difficult business conditions, India has slipped 11 places to rank 89th on a global index of talent competitiveness, a list which has been topped by Switzerland.
ii. Switzerland is followed by Singapore, Luxembourg, the US and Denmark in the top five positions on the annual Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTC) released today by INSEAD business school in partnership with Adecco Group and the Human Capital Leadership Institute of Singapore.
iii. ndia’s ranking is worst among the five BRICS countries, with China leading the pack with a global rank of 48. Last year, India was ranked 78th on the index that measures a nation’s competitiveness based on the quality of talent it can produce, attract and retain. It is released every year on the first day of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting here.
iv. The improvement of India would have the greatest impact in terms of the pool of talent not only in the region but also globally
7. Union Government sanctioned 33000 crore rupees for infrastructure projects in Tamilnadu
i. Union Government on 19 January 2016 sanctioned 33000 crore rupees for the development of infrastructure projects in Tamilnadu.
ii. Union Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari announced the sanctioned amount and at his discretion, he announced additional 17000 crore rupees. With this, the total amount sanctioned was raised to 50000 crore rupees.
iii. The infrastructure projects include construction of Rail-Over-Bridges, upgradation of state highways into National Highways and major bridges in the state.
iv. Four-laning of 3 National Highways (NH) accounting a length of 105 kilometers and two flyovers in Marthandam and Parvathipuram, at an estimated cost of 2766 crore rupees. 39 NH projects for a length of 1974 kilometers at an estimated cost of 12000 crore rupees, which already are under progress.
v. 9 new NH projects for a length of 1300 kilometers at an estimated cost of 12500 crore rupees. 4 flyovers in Kanyakumari district in Ozhiginaseri, Vadaseri, Thuckalay and Chettikulam at a cost of 300 crore rupees.
8. Light combat aircraft, Tejas to fly at Bahrain Air Show
i. Country’s own fighter aircraft light combat aircraft (LCA), Tejas, will take part in the three-day Bahrain International Airshow starting from Thursday (January 21 to 23).
ii. “Two limited series production (LSP) aircraft will take part in the Bahrain International Air Show to enthral the visitors from various countries during the flying display through a series of aerobatic manoeuvres such as 8-g pull, vertical loop, slow fly past, barrel roll”, said T Suvarna Raju, CMD, HAL.
iii. “It is important that indigenous aircraft fly outside India in international air-shows. HAL is proud to be associated with design, development and production of Tejas. We have set-up state of the art, environmentally controlled dedicated Division at Bengaluru for production of LCAs,” he added.
iv. Tejas is a single engine, light weight, highly agile, multi-role supersonic fighter. The Tejas light combat aircraft is a 4.5 generation aircraft with supersonic capability at all altitudes. It has the fly by wire, state of the art open architecture computer for avionics and better weapon and combat capability. With the advanced avionics, the pilot load is also reduced.
9. Cabinet approves new power tariff policy
i. The Cabinet today approved a new power tariff policy that aims at promoting clean energy, better regulation of discoms, and faster roll-out of investments.
ii. “The Union Cabinet today approved a new power tariff policy which will promote clean energy, support the Swachh Bharat programme, better regulation for discoms, and encourage faster roll-out of investments in the sector,” said a source after the Cabinet meeting here. Besides encouraging faster roll-out of investment, the new policy will reflect a concern for the environment and encourage renewable energy.
iii. It will also look to strengthen the regulatory mechanism so that discoms become more efficient and conscious towards their duties to consumers. In 2006, the Centre had approved the National Tariff Policy under the provisions of the Electricity Act, 2003.
iv. Indicating that the policy will focus on clean energy, Power Minister Piyush Goyal had recently said: “Now that we have a challenge to add 1.75 lakh MW of renewable energy, we are also bringing in certain more elements in the tariff policy which will promote renewable energy.”
v. Under the policy, the power plants will have to use processed municipal waste water available in their vicinity (in 100 km radius). The proposed policy will bring in several unique aspects which have not been touched in the past. It will allow distribution companies to buy any amount of power produced from the waste.
10. Mamta Binani elected President of ICSI
i. Mamta Binani has been elected President of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) for 2016. She took charge on January 19. A commerce and law graduate and a fellow member of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India, Binani was the all-India topper in the Intermediate examinations of The Institute of Company Secretaries of India, amongst all the lady candidates in India and had ranked 14th on an all-India basis.
ii. In the final examinations, she stood all-India first in the subject 'Company Law'. She has been practising as a Company Secretary for over 19 years now. Binani has been an empanelled trainer with ICICI Bank, and also with the mutual fund industry. She is also associated with the financial sector, the education sector, and is an experienced mentor and counsellor to young professionals and students. She also serves as an independent director on a few of the boards.
iii. She has been the Chairperson of the Eastern India Regional Council of The Institute of Company Secretaries of India in 2010.
iv. Binani was also the first CS to be conferred the 'Bharat Nirman Awards' in 2010.
11. Indian driver Jehan Daruvala won Lady Wigram Trophy motor race
i. Sahara Force India Academy racer Jehan Daruvala on 16 January 2016 won one of New Zealand's most prestigious events, the Lady Wigram Trophy. It was Daruvala’s maiden victory in Formula cars since making the switch from karting in 2015.
ii. In August 2015, Daruvala won Rookie of the Year at the Formula Renault 2.0 NEC series championships in the Netherlands.
iii. The Lady Wigram Trophy is a New Zealand motorsport race trophy formerly awarded to the winner of the Wigram Airfield race.
iv. It made up part of the Tasman Series and classes like Formula Holden, Formula 5000, Formula Pacific and Formula Three.
v. Formula 1 greats like Jackie Stewart, Jack Brabham, Stirling Moss, Jim Clark and Bruce McLaren were all former winners of the Lady Wigram Trophy.