Current Affairs 26th January 2018 – Banking, SSC, UPSC Affairs

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Vodafone and Flipkart Tie Up For 4G Smartphones

26 January 2018 Current Affairs: Vodafone India partnered with e-commerce marketplace Flipkart to provide a range of entry-level smartphones at an effective price of Rs999.

As part of the tie-up, Vodafone has rolled out cash-back offers on a select range of entry-level 4G smartphone models available under Flipkart’s #MyFirst4GSmartphone campaign.

For the offer, customers have a recharge least Rs150 per month for 36 months.

UDAN Phase-II: 325 routes awarded; 40% for North East hills

The Union Ministry of Civil Aviation awarded 325 air routes under the second phase of government’s flagship UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam naagrik) regional.

Around 40% or 129 of 325 air routes were awarded to the newly created category of ‘priority areas’ that include Jammu and Kashmir, Northeastern and hill states.

The routes under phase-II were awarded to 15 airlines and helicopter operators after bidding process.

The airports to be connected under phase-II: Total 78 airports i.e. 36 served airports, 13 underserved airports and 29 unserved airports.

Microsoft AI to enhance translations of Indian languages

Microsoft will use Deep Neural Networks to enable high-quality Indian language translations.

It recognizes speech to convert into text, eliminates errors in the data, translates it to the target language, and synthesizes the text-based translation into speech.

It also puts every word within the context of other words in the sentence to better the translation.

India Ranks 81st On Global Talent Competitiveness Index

India moved up on a global index of talent competitiveness to the 81st position, according to the Yale and Columbia Universities along with the World Economic Forum (WEF). 

Switzerland topped the list. India has improved its position from 92nd in 2017 on the index that measures how countries grow, attract and retain talent.

Among BRICS countries, China has topped with 54th position. Among the countries, Switzerland is followed by Singapore and the US.

SARAS PT1N: Upgraded indigenous transport aircraft makes successful maiden flight

SARAS PT1N, the new upgraded version of indigenous transport aircraft SARAS developed by National Aeronautics Laboratory (NAL) successfully made its maiden flight in Bengaluru, Karnataka.

The aircraft took off from HAL airport, Bengaluru and flew for about 40 minutes at the maximum height of 8500 at the speed of 145 knots.

SARAS PT1N is a 14-seater passenger aircraft designed and developed by CSIR-NAL, a frontline aerospace research laboratory.

The indigenous aircraft development is seen as the culmination of efforts of team CSIR-NAL, IAF-ASTE, Centre for Military Airworthiness and Certification.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Holds Bilateral Talks With 3 ASEAN Leaders

On the eve of the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit to celebrate 25 years of India-ASEAN partnership, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had separate bilateral meetings with leaders of three ASEAN nations – Myanmar, Vietnam and Philippines in New Delhi.

The PM first met his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc and held talks with on issues of mutual interest.

Next, he met the Philipino President Rodrigo Duterte and covered a wide range of subjects.

Myanmar’s State Councillor Aung San Suu Kyi also met the PM later in the evening.

Narayanan appointed Director of ISROs Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre

Senior scientist Dr V Narayanan assumed charge as Director of ISRO’s Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC). 

He succeeded S Somanath appointed as Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC).

Prior to this appointment, he was Associate Director of LPSC and was guiding liquid propulsion active of ISRO and was instrumental in finalizing the Liquid Propulsion Roadmap of ISRO for the next 20 years.

He also had played a vital role in the successful launch of GSLV Mk III vehicle in its maiden attempt in 2017 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SHAR), Sriharikota.

India Ranks 177 In Environmental Performance Index

India ranks 177 among 180 countries in the Environmental Performance Index (EPI)2018, according to a biennial report by Yale and Columbia Universities along with the World Economic Forum.

India ranked 141 in 2016 report.

The report was released on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Switzerland leads the list, followed by France, Denmark, and Malta.

Ministry Of Road Transport & Highways Signs MoU With IL&FS For Construction Of Zojila Tunnel

The Memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation (NHIDCL) under the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, and M/S IL&FS Transportation Networks Ltd for construction of the 14.150  km long,  2-lane bi-directional Zojila Tunnel in Jammu & Kashmir.

This would be India’s longest road tunnel and the longest bi-directional tunnel in Asia.

The construction of this tunnel will provide all-weather connectivity between Srinagar, Kargil, and Leh.

The total capital cost of the project is Rs 6808.69 crore.

The construction period of the project is seven years.

NSIC Inks Pact With Malaysias SME Corporation

National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC) signed a MoU with SME Corporation Malaysia for the exchange of information and cooperation in areas such as policies to aid the development of small and medium businesses (SMBs) in the two countries.

Besides, three other agreements were also signed between Indian and Malaysian entities to strengthen cooperation among smaller businesses in these countries.

Bilateral trade (between India and Malaysia) was registered at $12.02 billion in 2015.

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