Daily Current Affairs 8th January, 2017
Donald Trump names Dan Coats as new national Intelligence Director
- US President-elect Donald Trump has named Dan Coats as his National Intelligence Director.
- The Indiana ex-senator formerly served on the Senate Intelligence Committee.
- Mr Trump said Mr Coats would “provide unwavering leadership… and spearhead my administration’s ceaseless vigilance against those who seek to do us harm”.
- The appointment comes a day after an intelligence report accused Russia’s President of ordering a campaign aimed at helping Mr Trump to victory. Mr Coats will need the Senate to confirm his appointment, replacing James Clapper.
China begins building highest altitude telescopes in Tibet
- China has started construction of the world’s highest altitude gravitational wave telescopes in a Tibet prefecture close to Line of Actual Control with India to detect faintest echoes resonating from Universe, which may reveal more about the Big Bang theory.
- The project will cost USD 18.8 million and the construction of the first telescope, code-named Ngari No 1, 30 km south of Shiquanhe Town in Ngari Prefecture
- Nagri is the last Tibetan prefecture at China’s border with India.
- The observatory is being built on a plateau 5,250 meters above sea level.It has been identified as one of the best places in the Northern Hemisphere for possibly observing primordial gravitational waves, state-run China Daily reported today. The observatory is expected to be finished in five years.Gravitational waves, predicted by Albert Einstein in 1915 as part of his general theory of relativity, are generated when celestial bodies collideIt is expected to be operational by 2021, state-run Xinhua news agency reported
China forex reserves fall by USD 320 billion in 2016
- China’s Central Bank says, the country’s foreign currency reserves shrank last year, marking large annual losses for the 2nd year in a row. Officials at the People’s Bank of China said today that foreign reserves stood at over three trillion dollars as of the end of December. For the year as a whole, China’s foreign exchange reserve fell nearly 320 billion dollars from a year earlier, following a drop of more than 512 billion dollars in 2015.
- Chinese firms and individuals concerned about the country’s economic outlook have positive expectations for US President-elect Donald Trump’s economic policies. They have been selling the yuan against the dollar to purchase businesses and properties overseas.The Chinese currency fell about 7 percent against the dollar in 2016
Bengaluru Hosts 14th Edition of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas
- The 14th edition of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, billed as the largest convergence of Indian diaspora, has begun in Bengaluru.
- The ‘Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas‘ was also inaugurated as part of the PBD 2017 with an aim to connect with the youth, the new generation of Pravasis growing up all over the world.
About Pravasi Bharatiya Divas:
- Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) is celebrated on 9 January every year to mark the contribution of Overseas Indian community in the development of India. PBD conventions are being held every year since 2003.
- The theme of this edition is “Redefining Engagement with the Indian Diaspora”.
Why is it celebrated on January 9th?
January 9 was chosen as the day to celebrate this occasion since it was on this day in 1915 that Mahatma Gandhi, the greatest Pravasi, returned to India from South Africa, led India’s freedom struggle and changed the lives of Indians forever.
Significance of PBD:
- These conventions provide a platform to the overseas Indian community to engage with the government and people of the land of their ancestors for mutually beneficial activities.
- These conventions are also very useful in networking among the overseas Indian community residing in various parts of the world and enable them to share their experiences in various fields.
- The event also provides a forum for discussing key issues concerning the Indian Diaspora.
- During the event, individuals of exceptional merit are honoured with the prestigious Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award to appreciate their role in India’s growth.
Budget session of Parliament to begin from January 31st, 2017
- According to official notification :- From January 31, The Budget session of Parliament convened to starta day before the Union Budget is likely to be presented.
- President Pranab Mukherjee has summoned the Rajya Sabha to meet on January 31, 2017. A similar notification is also expected from the Lok Sabha secretariat.
- The practice of separate railway Budget presentation is being scrapped from this year. The railway estimates will be part of the Union Budget.
- While the session will begin with the President’s address to the joint sitting of the two Houses, the same day the pre-budget economic survey will be tabled.
Sania wins Brisbane women’s doubles title but loses No.1 rank
- Sania Mirza picked up her first title of the season
- The top-seeded Indo-American duo triumphed 6-2, 6-3 against the second-seeded Russian team
- The Indian had come into the tournament as a defending champion
- The trophy, however, ended Sania’s 91-week reign as the world No.1 doubles player in the WTA rankings. That position was taken over by her partner Bethanie.
Djokovic Beats Murray For Doha Title
- Novak Djokovic has taken the first battle of the 2017 ATP World Tour season against Andy Murray, beating the Scot 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 to defend his Qatar ExxonMobil Open title and exact revenge on the World No. 1.
- Djokovic missed out on three match points and had to repel a roaring Murray comeback before ending the Briton’s 28-match, five-tournament winning streak.