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1. Union Cabinet approved Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana to boost the farming sector
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the New Crop Insurance Scheme,‘Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana’ to boost the agricultural sector.
The theme of the Scheme is One Nation – One Scheme. In this, all shortcomings and weaknesses of all previous schemes were removed and incorporated with the best features of all schemes.
Highlights of the scheme are:
• Farmers will pay a uniform premium of only 2 percent for all Kharif crops and 1.5% for all Rabi crops.
• In case of annual commercial and horticultural crops, farmers will pay a premium of only 5 percent. The balance premium, after farmers paying the premium at very low rate, will be paid by the Government to provide full insured amount to the farmers against crop loss on account of natural calamities.
• There will not be any upper limit on Government subsidy. Even if balance premium is 90%, it will be borne by the Government.
• Earlier, there was a provision of capping the premium rate which resulted in low claims being paid to farmers. This capping limited the Government outgo on the premium subsidy. Now, this capping was removed and farmers will get full sum insured without any reduction against their claim.
• The usage of technology will be encouraged to a great extent. Smart phones will be used to capture and upload data of crop cutting to reduce the delays in claim payment to farmers. Remote sensing will be used to reduce the number of crop cutting experiments.
2. Subhashini Vasanth honoured with Neerja Bhanot Award
1. Bengaluru-based activist Subhashini Vasanth was honoured with Neerja Bhanot Award. She was presented the award for her endeavour to help people in distress and for empowering widows of martyrs and their families across the country.
2. Bollywood actor Sonam Kapoor presented the award to Vasanth at a ceremony held in Chandigarh.
3. FIFA dismissed Secretary General Jerome Valcke
1. The FIFA Emergency Committee decided to dismiss Jerome Valcke from the position of FIFA Secretary General with immediate effect.
2. FIFA said that Markus Kattner will continue to serve as acting Secretary General.
3. Frenchman Valcke was provisionally suspended from football for his alleged involvement in a scheme to profit from the sale of World Cup tickets. He was released from his duties on 17 September 2015 after being accused of a series of FIFA ethics code breaches. Formal adjudicatory proceedings against him were opened on 7 January 2016 by the adjudicatory chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee chaired by Hans-Joachim Eckert.
4. UNICEF presented David Beckham with Danny Kaye Humanitarian Leadership Award
1. David Beckham was presented with the Danny Kaye Humanitarian Leadership Award at the sixth biennial UNICEF Ball in Los Angeles.
2. Sir Elton John and David Furnish presented the award to Beckham at the event, honouring him for his tireless work to save and improve the lives of children around the world.
3. Beckham has been a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 2005. In 2015, the footballer launched 7: The David Beckham UNICEF Fund, making a personal commitment to use his voice, influence and connections to raise vital funds and rally for lasting change for children.
5. Veteran stage actor Brian Bedford passed away
1. Acclaimed stage actor Brian Bedford passed away due to cancer in Santa Barbara, California, the USA. He was 80.
2. Bedford, who won a Tony Award on his first of seven nominations, appeared on the stage and in film, and is known for both acting in and directing Shakespeare.
6. Kerala became first State to achieve 100% primary education
1. Kerala became the first state in the country to achieve 100 percent primary education. To this effect, a declaration was made by the Vice President of India Hamid Ansari on 12 January 2016 at a special ceremony organised at Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala.
2. The success of Kerala in achieving total primary education can be attributed to various initiatives undertaken by the Kerala Literacy Mission in the last two decades.
3. Especially, the Athulyam Scheme, which was implemented in two stages, played a key role in addressing the educational needs of illiterate adults.
7. India to join the International Energy Agency – Ocean Energy Systems
1. India has decided to become member country of the International Energy Agency – Ocean Energy Systems (IEA-OES) to boost for country’s quest for tapping ocean energy sources. 2. Proposal for signing the Implementing Agreement (IA) in this regard was approved by Union Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.
8. Gadkari inaugurated 2nd Liquid Chemical Berth of Mumbai Port Trust
1. Union Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari inaugurated Mumbai Port Trust’s second liquid chemical berth at Pir Pau, Mumbai.
2. With commissioning of this berth, the cargo handling capacity of the Port will increase by 2.5 MMT (Million Metric Tonnes) per annum.
9. SBI enters wealth management space
1. State Bank of India, the country's largest bank, announced its foray into the wealth management space and also launched a dedicated branch for the start-ups in technology capital Bengaluru
2. 'SBI Exclusif', the wealth management offering is targeted at the high networth individuals (HNIs) and also the aspiring HNIs.
3. The bank has adopted a multi-channel approach to offer wealth management service. Exclusif customers will have access to dedicated relationship manager to take care of all their banking and investment needs. Clients can also opt to be in touch with their relationship manager remotely through video calls. The wealth management service, initially launched in Bengaluru, will be rolled out in other cities during the course of the year.
4. SBI InCube, the dedicated branch for start-ups launched in Bengaluru, would offer advisory services to entrepreneurs under one roof from the setting up of a company to issues related to taxation and regulations among others, Bhattacharya said. Initially, the bank would only offer the advisory services and not extend any commercial loans to the start-ups
10. Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena wins Pritzker Prize
1. Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena has won the 2016 Pritzker Architecture Prize for work that “epitomises the revival of a more socially engaged architect”.
2. Tom Pritzker, chairman and president of the Hyatt Foundation, which sponsors the prize, announced the award . Mr. Aravena, 48, is the first Pritzker laureate from Chile, and the fourth from Latin America.
11. World record by Sania-Martina as they win 29th match on trot
1. India’s Sania Mirza and her Swiss partner Martina Hingis broke a 22-year-old world record by winning their 29th women’s doubles match in a row en route to their entry into the women’s doubles final of the WTA Sydney International, in Sydney.
2. The World No 1 pair came from behind to beat the pair of Romanian Raluca Olaru and Kazakhstan’s Yaroslava Shvedova 4-6, 6-3, 10-8 in a closely-fought semifinal.
3. They now surpassed the pair of Puerto Rican Gigi Fernandez and Belarus’ Natasha Zvereva, who won 28 matches on the trot during their successful pairing back in 1994.
4. The Indo-Swiss pair has continued their good show from 2015 when they won 9 titles which included the Wimbledon, US Open and the year-ending WTA finals.