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1. Government constitute Kamlesh Chandra Committee to study wage structure of Gramin Dak Sevaks
1. The Union Government has constituted a committee to examine the wage structure, service conditions of the Gramin Dak Sevaks (GDS) in the Department of Posts (DoP). It is one member committee comprising of Kamlesh Chandra, Retired Member of Postal Services Board. The Committee will be assisted by Senior Administrative Grade Officer T.Q. Mohammad who will act as Secretary to the GDS Committee.
2. The Committee will go into the service conditions of GDS and suggest changes as considered necessary. Examine the present system of Branch Post Offices, engagement conditions and existing structure of wage and enrolments paid to the GDS and recommend necessary changes. Review the existing Services Discharge Benefits Scheme and also other social security benefits for the GDS and suggest necessary changes.
2. Vocalist Sanjay Subrahmanyam conferred 2015 Sangita Kalanidhi award
1. Foremost south Indian classical vocalists Sanjay Subrahmanyam has conferred with prestigious 2015 Sangita Kalanidhi award. The prestigious award was bestowed upon him by renowned mathematician Manjul Bhargava at 89th annual conference of the Madras Music Academy in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. With this, he became seventh artistes to be conferred with this award before completing 50 years of age.
2. Others are Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar, Musiri Subramania Iyer, Maharajapuram Viswanatha Iyer, Semmangudi R. Srinivasa Iyer, G.N. Balasubramaniam, M.L. Vasanthakumari and M. Balamuralikrishna
3. India, Pakistan exchange lists of nuclear facilities
1. India and Pakistan have exchanged the list of their nuclear installations and facilities under the Agreement on the Prohibition of Attack against Nuclear installations. This exchange is done on 1st of January every year between the two neighbouring countries that bars them from attacking each other’s atomic facilities.
2. This is the 25th consecutive exchange of such list between the two countries, the first one having taken place on 1 January 1992
4. Javed Ahmed appointed as Director General of Police of Uttar Pradesh
Javed Ahmed was appointed as Director General of Police (DGP) of Uttar Pradesh by the state government. He succeeds Jagmohan Yadav, who retired from the post on 31 December 2015.
5. Grammy-winning singer Natalie Cole passed away
1. Grammy-winning singer Natalie Cole passed away on 31 December 2015 due to congestive heart failure following complications from a kidney transplant in Los Angeles. She was 65.
2. Cole, daughter of late jazz legend Nat King Cole, was known for carving out her own success with R&B hits like Our Love and This Will Be.
6. DAVA project of Department of Commerce won 2015 eASIA Award
1. DAVA or Drug Authentication and Verification Application Project won the 2015 eASIA Award under Trade Facilitation categoy. The award was announced by Asia Pacific Council for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (AFACT) in Tehran, Iran.
2. DAVA is an integrated platform for implementation of the Track and Trace system both for exports and domestic markets of Drugs and Pharmaceuticals.
Features of DAVA Project
• It was launched on 29 June 2015 by the Department of Commerce.
• It will provide simpler means to the consumer and regulatory agencies for establishing drug authentication and protect the India’s Brand image in international trade.
• The application has value-added features like availability of stocks for a drug in area/wholesalers/retailers at a point of time
• Whenever required, drugs can easily be identified and recalled due to traceability of stocks, prevention of black marketing which especially arises during epidemics.
• It aims to cover all the drugs manufactured in India. Indian Pharmaceutical industry has approximately 250 large units and more than 8000 small and medium scale units.
• It is in the pilot stage and will be subsequently made mandatory for all pharmaceutical exports from India.
7. India’s Petronet LNG ink revised contract with RasGas of Qatar
1. India’s biggest state owned gas importer Petronet LNG has signed a revised contract with RasGas of Qatar to import gas at a significantly lower price than earlier. Under the new contract, 2. Rasgas will supply Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to Petronet at 6-7 dollar per million British thermal units (mmBtu) from January 1, 2016. It would supply to 7.5 million tonnes of LNG India until the long-term contract ending in April 2028 The new rate is sharply lower than 12-13 dollar per mmbtu agreed earlier and has been revised after falling global prices of oil and gas, saving consumers around Rs.4,000 crore.
8. Telangana become first state to accept e-motor insurance policies
1. Electronic motor insurance policies are legally accepted by the police and transport authorities in Telangana from today, making it the first state in the country to do so.
2. The e-Vahan Bima, an electronic motor insurance policy issued in digital form with Quick Response (QR) code, has been formally launched.
3. As these policies can be stored and accessed on smart phones, the process of verification will become easier for commuters as well as police. There are 84 lakh vehicles in the state and 50 per cent of them do not have insurance.
4. Driving a vehicle without a motor third party insurance is an offence under Motor Vehicle Act 1988 as it pays for legal liability in case of any injury or damage to any third party life or property caused by the use of vehicle in a public place.
9. PNB launches digital banking solutions
1. Punjab National Bankhas launched host of digital banking solutions including green PIN and enhancement of its mobile app.
2. The bank launched mobile apps enabling the customer to locate PNB ATM with PNB ATM Assist.
3. The Android app facilitates the customer to use GPS and reach the nearest PNB ATM, it also assists customer to instantly lodge operational issues, reducing the resolution time considerably, PNB MD Usha Ananthasubramanian said.
4. The bank also launched another Android app to undertake basic banking.Green PIN facility was also launched under which customer can obtain duplicate PIN for debit card instantly through SMS request.
5. Besides, the bank will provide customer SMS based facility to block and unblock Internet banking and mobile banking.
The bank has installed cash acceptor cum ATM at their Sansad Marg branch where customers can deposit cash up to Rs. 2 lakh per transaction and can avail the ATM feature.
10. Arunima Sinha conquers Mt Aconcagua in Argentina
1. Arunima Sinha, the amputee mountaineer who set a record by climbing the Mount Everest, has added another feather in her cap by conquering Mount Aconcagua in Argentina.
2. Aconcagua is the highest mountain outside Asia, at 6,960.8 metres, and by extension, the highest point in both the Western Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere.