Current Affairs – January 17, 2018

Indian Oil signs Letters of Intent with two Israeli firms

Indian Oil Corporation has signed Letters of Intent (LoI) with Phinergy, an Israeli start-up company, and YEDA, a technology spin-off company from Weizmann Research Institute, Israel. The agreement with Phinergy will allow Indian Oil to work on adoption of advanced energy systems for the Indian market both for mobility and stationary industrial applications. This association could lead to the setting up of manufacturing units for these energy systems initially in India.



Rajasthan’s first Oil Refinery Project commenced

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated the project commencement of the Rajasthan Refinery at Pachpadra in Barmer district. This is the first oil refinery in the state. The 43,000 crore rupee project is a joint venture between HPCL and the Rajasthan government. The refinery is expected to be operational in 4 years and the state will have an additional income of 34,000 cr rupees from it. The project is expected to generate thousands of direct and indirect jobs.



Romania’s Prime Minister Resigns

Romania’s left-wing Prime Minister Mihai Tudose resigned after losing the backing of his party due to internal power struggles, barely seven months after his predecessor suffered the same fate. He handed in his resignation after senior members of the ruling Social Democrats (PSD) voted to withdraw their support at a leadership meeting.




  • The capital of Romania is Bucharest.
  • The Romanian leu is the currency of Romania.
  • President of Romania is Klaus Iohannis.

Dept of Industrial Policy and Production launches competition for college students

Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM), under the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), has launched a competition for college and university students to foster a culture of innovation and creativity in the youth. The competition – IPrism – invites students to submit films on piracy and counterfeiting under two categories of 30 and 60 seconds. Another category in the competition is for a mobile gaming app on intellectual property (IP). Cash prizes of Rs 4 lakh will be given to the winning teams along with mementoes and certificates.


I4Fund Call for Proposal website launched

The ‘I4Fund Call for Proposal’ was announced with the joint launch of the website and the unveiling of the brochure by the two PMs (Narendra Modi and Benjamin Netanyahu). The “India-Israel Industrial R&D and Technological Innovation Fund (I4F)” was announced in July, 2017. Under this, the Department of Science and Technology, India and the National Innovation Authority of Israel have established a 40 million US dollar Fund.



Khelo India anthem launched

The official anthem and mascot of the Khelo India programme has been launched by the Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore on 16th Jan 2018. The video features India’s eminent sports personalities such as Sardar Singh, Sunil Chhetri, Devendra Jhajharia, Baichung Bhutia, Pullela Gopichand, Leander Paes, Mary Kom, Akhil Kumar, Sakshi Malik and Saina Nehwal. The anthem also aims to focus on brotherhood, equality, and solidarity in sports. The government of India has approved Rs 1,756 crore for a period of three years for the revamping of ‘Khelo India’.



India and Israel sign Nine agreements

India and Israel signed nine documents to further the cooperation. These include cooperation in Cyber security, cooperation in the field of Petroleum and natural gas, document for the amendment to the air transport agreement, cooperation in film co-production, cooperation in the homoeopathy medicines, co-operation in the field of space science, boosting investment, cooperation in metal-air batteries and cooperation in solar thermal technology. The documents were signed in the presence of the two prime ministers. The two leaders also addressed a joint press conference.



TCS signs deal worth over Rs 690 cr with M &G

India’s largest IT services firm, Tata Consultancy Services has signed a deal worth over 690 million dollars with M&G. Prudential, savings and investments business of Prudential plc. in the UK and Europe.




Chhattisgarh High Court makes Aadhaar mandatory for Bail

The Chhattisgarh High Court has made Aadhaar compulsory for persons seeking Bail from the Court. The order is an attempt to prevent persons from obtaining bail on the basis of forged documents like revenue documents or impersonating the real surety. This is bound to create confusion and controversy as some of the prisoners may not have even applied for an Aadhar Card.




WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange granted citizenship by Ecuador

On 11th January 2018, Ecuador announced that it was granting the country’s citizenship to the founder of WikiLeaks Julian Assange. Julian Assange has been living in refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London ever since 2012. He has not come out of the Embassy even on a single day since then. The case filed against him has been closed by Sweden, but Assange has not moved out since he may be arrested by Britain for jumping bail.



Brazil regulator bans funds from buying cryptocurrencies

The regulators in Brazil have banned investment Banks from buying cryptocurrencies. This was announced on the 12th January 2018. The ban has been imposed on the ground that cryptocurrencies are not financial assets. It is pertinent to note that cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin are decentralised digital currencies which are not backed by any Sovereign Government, Central Bank or monetary authority.



Vijay Kumar appointed as MD and CEO of NCDEX

Vijay Kumar has been appointed as the MD and CEO of the National Commodities and Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX). The appointment has been cleared by the Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI). He was the Chief Business officer at NCDEX. He succeeds Samir Shah who was appointed the MD and CEO in 2013.



Hyderabad Hunters win Premier Badminton League 3 title

On 14th January 2018, Hyderabad Hunters won the 3rd edition of the Premier Badminton League in Hyderabad. They beat Bengaluru Blasters 4-3 in the final. Carolina Marin led the Hyderabad Hunters team.



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