Current Affairs 29th december 2015

  • Reliance Jio launches 4G telecom service
Reliance Jio has launched 4G (4th Generation) telecom service using LTE (Long Term Evolution) Technology.
Image result for Reliance Jio launches 4G telecom serviceThe service was launched by company’s Chairman Mukesh Ambani on the 83rd birth anniversary of Dhirubhai Ambani, founder of the Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) in Navy Mumbai, Maharashtra.
This initial phase of 4G service was launched for limited to 85000 employees and their families of the company. However the commercial services to begin by April 2016 throughout country.
The Jio 4G Service has three-pronged features focusing on broadband networks, affordable smart phones and the availability of rich content and applications. It seeks to provide unique combination of high speed data up to 1 gigabyte per second (Gbps), telecom, media, digital commerce and payment services.
India’s 4G profile
With this launch Reliance Jio became fourth telecom service provider in India to launch 4G service. Sunil Bharti Mittal led Airtel was first telecom service provider in the country to launch 4G service using LTE Technology in Kolkata in 2012. It was followed by Aircel in July 2014 (in 4 circles Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar and Odisha) and Vodafone India on 8th December 2015 in Kochi, Kerala.

  • About 4G

4G LTE is wireless communications standard developed by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP).
Standards: 4G LTE is one of several competing 4G standards along withWiMax (IEEE 802.16) and Ultra Mobile Broadband (UMB). Presently two standards are commercially used world-wide viz. LTE and Mobile WiMax standard.
WiMax standard was first commercially in South Korea in 2007 and LTE standard was first used in Norway and Sweden in 2009.
Speed: Designed to provide up to 10x speeds of 3G networks for mobile devices such as tablets, smartphones, netbooks and wireless hotspots etc. It can provide internet speed of at least 100 Mbit per second (Mbps) to 1 Gbps.
Services: 4G technologies are designed to provide IP (Internet Protocol)-based voice, data and multimedia streaming at high speed.
  • Union Government links LPG subsidy to income
Image result for Union Government links LPG subsidy to incomeUnion Government has announced to link LPG subsidy to income of consumers in order to ensure that the subsidy benefits go to the targeted group.
Henceforth, the LPG subsidy will not be available to LPG consumers if the consumer or his/her spouse has taxable income of more than ten lakh rupees. This income would be as per the previous financial year computed under Income Tax Act, 1961.
This decision will be given effect to initially on self-declaration basis of LPG consumers while booking cylinders January 2016.
This move will affect at least 60 lakh LPG consumers of the total 16.5 crore LPG consumers in the country and Government will save upto Rs. 113 crore from this decision.
Earlier under the ‘Give it Up’ campaign many LPG consumers had given up their subsidy voluntarily but Government felt that consumers in the higher income bracket should get LPG cylinders at the market price. So far, 57.50 lakh LPG consumers have opted out of LPG subsidy voluntarily under the campaign that aims to ensure that the subsidy benefits go to the targeted group.

  • Andhra Pradesh Government ink MoU with Microsoft India on technology initiatives
Image result for Andhra Pradesh Government ink MoU with Microsoft India on technology initiatives
Andhra Pradesh Government has signed a Memorandum of understanding (MoU) with tech giant Microsoft India on various technology initiatives for governance.
The MoU was signed after a meeting between the Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu and Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella in Hyderabad, Telangana.
The technology provided by the Microsoft would be utilized by state government to check school dropouts, improve agricultural productivity and providing better citizen services.

Key features of MoU
The MoU seeks to improve use of Information and communications technology (ICT) drive for digital inclusion and provide better IT-based services to citizens.
For digital inclusion Microsoft India will provide technical knowledge to Andhra Pradesh Government and support building three proof-of-concept (PoC) solutions.
PoC solutions would be supported by applying Microsoft Azure Machine Learning and Advanced Visualization method in the fields of agriculture, eCitizen services and education.
These solutions would use the lab method for data gathering, analysis, predictive analysis and policy planning which would be built and deployed to address specific problems within each of the fields to achieve better outcomes for the State.
The company will set up a Centre for Excellence (CoE) in Visakhapatnam to train state Government’s key IT executives.

  • Legendary cinematographer Haskell Wexler passes away
Legendary American cinematographer Haskell Wexler passed away on 27th December 2015 in California, US. He was 93.
Image result for Legendary cinematographer Haskell Wexler passes awayHe was best known for his work in films like “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and “American Graffiti” and was one of the film history’s most influential cinematographers.

About Haskell Wexler

Haskell Wexler was born on February 6, 1922 in Chicago, US. He was known for his work on films like Coming Home and In the Heat of the Night.
He had worked as director of photography on films including The Best Man and Mulholland Falls. He also produced and directed 1969’s Medium Cool.
He was also recognised for his documentary work on the Emmy-winning Paul Jacobs and the Nuclear Gang and Interviews with My Lai Veterans for which he won Academy Award.
Awards and Honours: He has won Oscar awards for films Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf? (1966) and Bound for Glory (1976). In addition was nominated for Oscars for his contributions to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Matewan and Blaze. He was first cinematographer to receive star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1996.

  • Ministry of Women and Child Development launches e-office
Image result for Ministry of Women and Child Development launches e-office
Union Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) has introduced e-office, an initiative which will help provide efficient services to the people by digitizing more than 12,000 files.
It was formally launched by WCD Minister Maneka Sanjay Gandhi in New Delhi on the lines with the spirit of Good Governance initiative of Union Government.
Key facts
The e-office project of the Ministry was initiated in July, 2015 and more than 12,000 files of the Ministry have been digitized.
Various modules of this e-office are Knowledge Management System, File Management System, Leave Management System and Tour Management System.
Personnel Information Management System module of this e-office is likely to start from the 1 January, 2016. All the attached offices of the ministry are also going to come under the e-office platform.
The e-office will result in substantial decrease of processing time which will directly affect the delivery mechanism of the WCD Ministry. It would also result in better accountability and transparency and will ultimately result in higher manpower efficiency.

  • Amitabh Kant appointed CEO of NITI Aayog
Amitabh Kant
Senior IAS officer Amitabh Kant has been given additional charge as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog.
Decision in this regard was taken by Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.
Mr. Kant’s appointment comes after incumbent NITI Aayog CEO Sindhushree Khullar’s extended tenure is coming on 31st December 2015.
Amitabh Kant is IAS officer of 1980 Batch of Kerala Cadre. Presently, he is serving as Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) and is expected to retire in March 2016.

About NITI Aayog

Union Government had replaced erstwhile six decade old Planning Commission with a new institution named National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog) on 1 January 2015. This new institution aims to serve as Think Tank of the Government. Noted Economist Arvind Panagariya was appointed Vice Chairman of the NITI Aayog. Economist Bibek Debroy and former DRDO chief V K Saraswat were appointed as full-time members.