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  • Current Affairs 17th January 2018

    Updated : 17-Jan-2018
    Current Affairs 17th January 2018

    Current Affairs 17th January 2018 - Important Points

    • Vice Admiral AB Singh appointed as Chief of Staff of Western Naval Command on - 15th January 2018
    •  Indo-US joint military exercise to be held in Seattle in - Third week of January 2018
    • Coast Guards of India, Japan undertake joint naval exercise on - 16th January 2018
    • Defence Acquisition Council clears procurement of small arms worth Rs 3,547 Crore on- 16th January 2018
    • Haj subsidy ended by - Union Government
    • Five Indian tech companies feature in ‘Top 100 Global Tech Leaders List’ on - 17th January 2018
    • Khap Panchayats can’t interfere in marriages of adults verdict given by - Supreme Court

    Current Affairs 17th January 2018 - Details

    Vice Admiral AB Singh appointed as Chief of Staff of Western Naval Command on - 15th January 2018

    Vice Admiral Ajendra Bahadur Singh, AVSM, VSM took over as Staff Chief, Western Naval Command on 15th January 2018. 

    AB Singh would succeed Vice Admiral Ravneet Singh, AVSM, NM. Before his appointment to the post, Vice Admiral AB Singh served as the Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Strategic Forces Command.

    More about Ajendra Bahadur Singh

    • An alumnus of National Defence Academy, Singh was commissioned into the Indian Navy on 1st July 1983.
    • He is a specialist in Aircraft Direction and Navigation.
    • His significant specialist appointments include INS Kamorta (during Op Pawan) Navigating Officer and destroyer INS Ranjit and Fleet Navigating Officer  of the Western Fleet during Op Prakaram.
    • He has commanded INS Veer (Missile Vessel),INS Trishul (Guided Missile Frigate), INS Vindhyagiri (Frigate) and INS Viraat (Aircraft Carrier) previously.
    • He has also been an instructor at NDA, Khadakwasla, Navigation and Direction School, Kochi and Directing Staff at DSSC Wellington.
    • He has also served as the Deputy Director at the Naval Headquarters and Principal Director at the Directorate of Naval Plans.
    • He also set up the Directorate of Strategy, Concepts and Transformation as the Principal Director too.
    • In 2012, he was promoted to Flag Rank and since then he has served as the Flag Officer AOB Project, Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Policy and Plans) at Naval Headquarters and Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet.
    • In 2011, he was honoured with the Vishisht Seva Medal and In 2016, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal for his exemplary service to the country.

     Indo-US joint military exercise to be held in Seattle in - Third week of January 2018

    The Indo-US combined military exercise ‘Vajra Prahar’ will be organized at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in
    Seattle in 3rd week of January in line with the increasing military cooperation between both nations.
     Indian Army group from the Pune headquartered Southern Command will be  taking part in this edition of bilateral exercise. The move will mainly emphasize on special operations in urban areas.
    Important Points

    • The objective of the Vajra Prahar move is to encourage military relations between 2 nations by
      enhancing inter-operability and mutual interchange of strategy between Special Forces.

    Its aims are to 

    1. Share best practices between both armies.
    2. Develop joint tactics by sharing expertise of controlling operations in a counter-insurgency and
    counter-terrorism environment.
    3. Capitalise on rich repository of experiences of both armies.
    Did you know?
    ‘Vajra Prahar’ is Indo-US Special Forces combined training exercise organized alternately in India and the United States initiated in 2010. It is organized annually, but there was a gap of 3 years between 2012 and 2015. The last edition was organized in Jodhpur in March 2017.

    Coast Guards of India, Japan undertake joint naval exercise on - 16th January 2018

    The biennial search and rescue exercise between Indian Coast Guard and Japan Coast Guard was
    organized near Chennai, Tamil Nadu in Bay of Bengal.
    This was 8th such in series of National Maritime Search and Rescue Workshop and Exercise. Ships and
    aircraft of Coast Guards from India and Japan, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force and National Institute of Ocean Technology participated in it.
    Important Points

    • The objective of the exercise was to expand operational level interaction and power building in areas of rescue and search, pollution reply and maritime law enforcement.
    • It also focused to share best management practices and continuation of workforce interchange.
    • The 2 days exercise consisted of workshop and search and rescue operations in Bay of Bengal.
    • Observers from twenty-seven maritime countries attended exercise, apart from officials of National Maritime Search and Rescue Board from central and state wings.
    • During exercise, rescue demonstrations by ships and aircraft displayed nation’s search and rescue
      abilities and its promise to safety of distress life at sea.
      Did you know?
    • Bonds between the Coast Guards of both nations go back long way with ICG ships calling on ports in Japan for official interactions since 2000.
    • This biennial exercise is continuation of attempts by governments of both nations to increase coordination between both the Coast Guards in field of maritime safety and reliability at sea.

    Defence Acquisition Council clears procurement of small arms worth Rs 3,547 Crore on- 16th January 2018

    The Defence Acquisition Council on 16th January 2017 sanctioned the procurement of 72,000 assault rifles and 93,895 carbines on a quick basis to meet the instant requirement of the troops deployed along the borders.

    Important Points

    • The procurement requires expenditure worth Rs 3,547 crore. The conclusion is believed to address the shortage of small arms for the forces.
    • The council led by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also initiated significant changes in the 'Make II' category of the Defence Procurement Process to uplift participation of private sector in defence outline and production and to give an improvement to 'Make in India' program.
    • The DAC also clarified the Make-II process to make it industry-friendly, with minimal government control. The revised process will now permit the Defence Ministry to accept suo moto plans from the industry and also permit start-ups to produce apparatus for armed forces.
    • The minimum qualification criteria to take part in 'Make II' plans has also been relaxed by seperating conditions related to credit position and decreasing financial net worth criteria.
    • As per the past Make II process, only 2 vendors were finalized to develop prototype equipment. Presently, all vendors meeting the eased eligibility criteria will be permitted to take part in the prototype development procedure. The vendor will not be needed to submit Detailed Project Report.

    Haj subsidy ended by - Union Government

    The Union Ministry of Minority Affairs has marked to finish Haj subsidy from present year as a part of its policy to empower minorities with dignity and without appeasement.
    This conclusion was taken on the guidances basis of Afzal Amanullah Committee and May 2012 Supreme Court instructions.
    Important Points

    • The Hajj is a yearly Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, the holiest place for Muslims. It is compulsory religious duty for Muslims that must be done at least once in their whole life by all adult Muslims who are physically and financially able of undertaking the journey and can assist their family during their absence.
    • The number of Hajj pilgrims from India is largest among all nations around of world. Government’s Haj subsidy primarily contained cheaper air-fare and central aid to pilgrims to reach specially-designed Haj departure terminals at airports. It also included food and medical aid.
    • From now, income from Haj subsidy will be utilized for educational empowerment and well-being of females and girls from minority sections.
      Haj without Mehram
    • In the past, Union Government had permitted Muslim women above age of 45 to go on Haj without male partner, in a group of minimum 4. Earlier, women were not permitted to travel without ‘Mehram’ husband or a male first blood relation as guardian.

    Five Indian tech companies feature in ‘Top 100 Global Tech Leaders List’ on - 17th January 2018

    Thomson Reuters Corp on 17th January 2018 socialized its debut Top 100 Global Technology Leaders list, which was topped by Microsoft, followed by Intel Corp and Cisco Systems at the second and third places respectively.

    Important Points

    • The list, which objects to identify the industry's leading financially successful and organisationally sound organisations, also represents American tech jumbo such as Apple Inc, International Business Machines Corp, Alphabet Inc and Texas Instruments Inc among its leading 10.
    • The other organizations to represent in the Top 10 are Microchip maker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, German business software jumbo SAP and Dublin headquartered consultant company Accenture.
    • The rest 90 firms are not ranked and among them fall the world's biggest online retailer Amazon and social media jumbo Facebook.
      Performance Assessment
    • The results are calculated on a 28-factor algorithm that calculates performance across 8 milestones, including finance, risk and resilience, legal compliance, environmental impact, innovation, management and investor confidence, people and social responsibility and reputation.
    • The evaluation tracks patent performance for technological revolutions and sentiment in the news and nominated social media as the image of a company's public reputation.
    • The selection of the tech organizations is limited to those that have at least $1 billion in yearly income.

    Khap Panchayats can’t interfere in marriages of adults verdict given by - Supreme Court

    The Supreme Court ruled that each and every adult has right to marry anyone and nobody including khap panchayats or similar associations, parents can enquiry their choice of spouse. 

    It also announced that any kind of assault and interference on such adults opting for marriage, especially out of caste marriage as absolutely illegal and unethical. The case has been listed for next hearing in February 2018.
    Supreme Court Ruling

    • The apex court asked Central Government to give its reply on proposals given by senior advocate on ways to stop harassment and killing of young couples in name of family glory who opt for out of caste marriages.
    • It also released strict instructions to government to control such kind of attacks.
    • It also notified Central Government that if it does not act towards restricting Khap Panchayats then, it will come in.
      Did you know?
    • The Supreme Court was hearing petition filed against khap panchayats by NGO Shakti Vahini in 2010 looking for instructions to Centre and state governments for stopping honour crimes.
    • In the past, it had sought ideas from Shakti Vahini, khap panchayats and amicus curiae on the topic. It also had invited khap panchayats to listen their views before issuing order to ban them from harassing and killing couples and females in the name of pride.
      Khaps Panchayats
    • Khaps are caste organisations representing a group of relevant clans. They occasionally make
      pronouncements on social problems and have often ended in controversies unsettled to their diktats.

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