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Top Current Affairs 10 January 2014

  • Justice Kuldeep Singh was today sworn in as additional judge of Punjab and Haryana High Court. With his elevation, the number of judges in the High Court rose to 48.
  • Congress General Secretary Ajay Maken today took oath as a member of the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC).
  • Czech President Milos Zeman will appoint Social Democrat leader Bohuslav Sobotka as prime minister by next week.
  • Amiri Baraka (79), a controversial playwright, poet and activist who set a new path for fellow African-American artists by bringing militancy and verve to works about race in America, died on at at New Jersey.
Science and Technology
  • India is gearing up to launch Chandrayaan-II by 2016-17, Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) chairman Dr K Radhakrishnan said today.
  • An Indian-origin scientist has found how a malaria strain, common in India and Southeast Asia, attacks human red blood cells.
  • With an aim to avoid controversies during the naming of athletes for National Sports Awards, the government on Friday issued guidelines, incorporating a number of conditions to make the selection process transparent and time-bound.
  • World number one Rafael Nadal will play rising Australian star Bernard Tomic in the opening round of the Australian Open in Melbourne.
  • Rohan Bopanna and his Pakistani partner Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi entered the final of the men’s doubles event of Sydney International tennis.
International Affairs
  • Iran and world powers met today to discuss how to implement a landmark deal aimed at containing Tehran’s nuclear drive, less than two weeks before the agreement is due to take effect.
  • The latest Chinese moves to restrict fishing in contested waters of the South China Sea are “provocative and potentially dangerous acts,” the United States has said.
  • The US has stepped up assistance to Iraq to combat al-Qaeda-linked global terrorist groups who have seized the oil-rich country’s two major cities in the western province of Al-Anbar, the White House has said.
  • A magazine reported Friday that Francois Hollande routinely hops on a scooter to spend the night with an actress, a revelation that has created yet another headache for the unpopular French president.
  • The United States has asked South Sudan President Salva Kiir and rebel-leader Riek Machar to sign a ceasefire deal and immediately end hostilities which has left hundreds of people dead.
  • Kenya said on Friday it had killed at least 30 Shebab rebels including top commanders in an air strike on a training camp in Somalia, although the militants quickly denied the claim.
  • Enforcing an anti-graft drive launched by President Xi Jinping, China punished 1.82 lakh officials for corruption in 2013 amid speculation that son of a retired top ruling Communist Party leader has been detained on graft charges.
  • Germany has agreed to join global efforts to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles by disposing residues of the most toxic materials.
  • Pakistan’s Attorney General Munir Malik, the government’s top law officer, resigned today for personal reasons.
  • India on Friday advised its nationals in Thailand to take precautions for personal safety as protesters prepared for a massive rally on Monday aimed at paralysing the capital to intensify an ongoing bid to oust Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
  • Iran’s nuclear envoy Abbas Araghchi in Geneva says an initial agreement has been reached on implementing a nuclear deal with six world powers and that it’s been sent to capitals for approval.
National Affairs
  • Each girl child will get Rs two a day for attending Class 1 in Karnataka government schools under a state scheme aimed at increasing enrollment in government-run schools.
  • The premier Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) has been ranked first in the country in economics research, according to a study by Stanford University.
  • West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today kicked off the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Swami Vivekananda amidst a colorful procession and a cultural program.
  • India on Friday expelled a U.S. diplomat of the same rank as Devyani Khobragade.
  • Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday laid the cornerstone for India’s first Hadron therapy centre for cancer patients at the Tata Memorial Centre in Mumbai. The facility, funded by the department of atomic energy, is expected to cost Rs425 crore and be completed in less than four years.
  • New Delhi:  Delhi government today introduced 1031 – an easy to remember anti-corruption helpline number – replacing the eight-digit number launched two days back which received a whopping 23,500 calls.
  • Buoyed by its spectacular success in Delhi assembly polls, the Aam Aadmi Party on Friday kicked off a nationwide membership drive with an aim of including at least one crore members by January 26 to strengthen the party ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. People can call at 07798220033 and register as a member of AAP.
  • Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today inaugurated the state-of-the-art Terminal 2 or T2 at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai. This 4.4 million square feet project has been inspired by India’s national bird – the peacock.
  • India’s most wanted terrorist Dawood Ibrahim is in Pakistan and joint efforts with the US were being made to nab him, Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said today.
  • The Delhi High Court today declined any interim relief to unaided recognised private schools which have sought quashing of the notification on nursery admission guidelines.
  • The Gorakhpur railway station became the proud owner world’s longest home platform.
  • The Government on Friday notified the new gas pricing policy that would be applicable to all domestically produced natural gas from April 1 for the next five years.
  • The Central Vigilance Commission has recommended penalty against 97 officials of nationalized banks for alleged corruption. Of these officials, a highest of 27 are working in Dena Bank, 13 in Bank of Baroda, 11 in Central Bank of India, ten in State Bank of India, eight in Punjab National Bank, seven in Andhra Bank, five in Industrial Development Bank of India and four each in Allahabad Bank and Bank of Maharashtra.
  • Oil Minister M Veerappa Moily today said the government will seriously consider raising the limit to 12 cylinders a household.
  • The Centre would appoint in a “day or two” a judge to head the judicial commission of inquiry into charges of spying on a woman in 2009 allegedly at the behest of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
  • 18th National Youth Festival to be held in Ludhiana from 12th to 16th January 2014.
  • The Supreme Court today issued notices to the Centre and states of Uttrakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bangal on a PIL seeking its direction to prohibit them from throwing waste material from factories into river Ganga and check pollution.
  • Punjab government has hiked the monetary allowance given to gallantry award winners in the state by 20 percent.
  • Haryana government will provide telephone calling facility to prisoners lodged in various jails of the state to two pre-specified telephone or mobile numbers twice a week.
Business and Economy
  • Infosys Ltd raised its sales growth outlook for the year after posting a higher-than-expected 21.35 per cent rise in consolidated net profit for Q3 (October-December quarter) as improving US and European economies revived demand for outsourcing services.
  • India’s exports in December registered a 3.49 percent increase to USD 26.35 billion.
  • India’s trade deficit narrows to USD 10.14 billion in December from USD 17.59 billion a year earlier.
  • India’s gold and silver imports at USD 1.77 billion in December vs USD 5.6 billion a year earlier.
  • Environment Minister Veerappa Moily stated that Posco’s (a South Korean steel giant) steel plant in Odisha has been cleared.
  • State owned Coal India (CIL) will once again invite fresh applications from interested entities for importing coal that would be supplied to power plants under fuel supply agreements as the earlier tender floated by the PSU elicit no response.
  • Three international airlines (Fly Dubai, Silk Air (Singapore) and Air Arabia) are ready to begin flights from the Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) after the state government decided to slash the VAT on Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF).
  • Housing finance firm HDFC plans to raise $300 million through external commercial borrowing (ECB) to fund its expansion.
  • China’s total foreign trade crossed the USD 4 trillion mark for the first time last year, growing by 7.6 per cent to USD 4.16 trillion.
  • Maharashtra government today sanctioned Rs 403 crore to develop infrastructure facilities in Vasai-Virar, Nandurbar, Deglur and Bhusawal towns.
  • NABARD has reduced refinance rate for banks and other lending agencies by 0.20 percent to promote rural credit and rural infrastructure.
  • Bank of Japan and RBI concluded an agremt that expands the max amount of the bilateral swap arrangement between the 2 countries to USD 50 bn.
  • The US economy added just 74,000 jobs in December, but the overall unemployment rate continued to fall, hitting 6.7 percent.
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