Daily Current Affairs for Competitive Exams: January 26, 27, 2017

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Highlights of the 68th Republic Day of India

The Indian Constituent Assembly on on November 26, 1949, adopted by the Constitution, which came into effect on January 26, 1950. As we celebrate our 68th Republic Day on January 26, 2017.
Highlights:
  • The theme for the 68th Republic day of India was 'Skill India and Beti Bachao Beti Padhao'.
  • Chief Guest - Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who was the first guest from any middle-east country.
  • No. of states participating in the parade - 17
  • First Time in History - Debut show of Sherpa (a bullet-proof NSG vehicle).
  • This was the second time that a foreign military contingent marched down the Rajpath, with the French contingent being the first.
  • India became a Republic at 10:18 a.m. on January 26 in the year 1950.
  • Around six minutes later, Dr. Rajendra Prasad was sworn in as President of India at the Durbar Hall in President House.
  • The Constitution was neither typed nor printed but handwritten and calligraphed both in English and Hindi.
  • After inception of the Indian Constitution, around 101 amendments (alterations) have been done.
  • The members signed the handwritten document on January 24, 1950.
  • The original copies are kept safely in the Parliament's library in helium-filled cases.
  • The Indian Constitution is the longest in the world, comprising of 448 articles, 12 schedules and 101 amendments.
  • Satyamev Jayate (one of the biggest Indian mottos) is taken from the Mundaka Upanishad, Atharvaveda. It was first translated in the Hindi language by Muslim Abid Ali in 1911.
  • It was Madan Mohan Malviya who selected the Indian motto of Satyamev Jayate.
  • From 1950 and 1954, the venues of the Republic Day parade were the Red Fort, National Stadium, Kingsway Camp and the Ramlila ground. It was only in 1955 that Rajpath was chosen as the regular venue.
  • The first Republic Day parade was held in 1955 at Rajpath, five years after India became a Republic.
  • President Sukarno of Indonesia was the first chief guest at the first Republic Day celebrations held on January 26, 1950.
  • A Christian hymn 'Abide With Me' is played at the parade as it was one of Mahatma Gandhi's favourite songs.
  • Jana Gana Mana (National Anthem) was written first in Bengali language by the Rabindranath Tagore.
  • Jana Gana Mana (National Anthem) was first translated into Hindi language by the Abid Ali in 1911 which was later officially adopted as National Anthem of India in 1950 on January 24.
  • The National Anthem of India was first sung in the meeting of Indian National Congress, Calcutta on December 27, 1911.
  • The National Anthem of India takes 52 seconds to sing or play.
  • A 21 gun salute is given every Republic Day when the President of India unfurls the national flag.
  • Republic Day celebration of India lasts for three days and concludes with Mahatma Gandhi's favourite hymn 'Abide by Me' during the Beating Retreat.
  • Beating Retreat ceremony is held on January 29 at Vijay Chowk with the performance of Indian Army, Air Force and Navy bands. It marks the end of the Republic Day celebrations in India.
  • This day is one of three national holidays, the other two being Independence Day on August 15 and Gandhi Jayanti on October 2.

India in Red Zone in Transparency List

A major international index of corruption and transparency has placed India on the watch list for its inability to curb mega corruption scandals and petty bribery.
The annual index of Transparency International issued on January 25, 2017 for 2016 placed India with Brazil and China in the 40th position. India’s condition showed growth with inequality.
Highlights:
  • India’s ongoing poor performance with a score of 40 reiterates the state’s inability to effectively deal with petty corruption and large-scale corruption scandals, said Transparency International.
  • The impact of corruption on poverty, illiteracy and policy brutality showed that not only was the economy growing but so was inequality.
  • India’s current ranking, putting it in the high corruption zone, has drawn critical observations from transparency campaigners.
  • South Asia had performed poorly. Bangladesh at 27th and Nepal at 29th positions were slotted in the highly corrupt section.
  • Pakistan, at 32, also came in the red zone. Afghanistan ranked 15th was in the “highly corrupt” list with South Sudan, North Korea and Libya.
  • The organisation recognised China’s recent anti-corruption campaign under President Xi Jinping which had been targeting ‘tigers and flies’ and slotted it alongside India.
  • China’s latest score was an improvement of three points. India, though it improved two ranks, remained in the same red-zone of corruption.

GSLV’s cryogenic upper stage tested successfully

The Indian Space Research Organisation’s Propulsion Research Complex at Mahendragiri, successfully conducted the stage level test of GSLV MK III’s cryogenic upper stage C-25 on January 25, 2017.
What
  • Accompanied by his colleagues at IPRC, ISRO Chairman A.S. Kiran Kumar witnessed the test that lasted about 50 seconds.
  • The 50-second long test of C-25 of the country’s most powerful launch vehicle that can carry satellites weighing 4,000 kg was successful.
  • The cryogenic upper stage of the GSLV is the large C-25, the most difficult component of the launch vehicle to be developed.
  • It will be powered by the indigenously developed CE-20 engine.

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