Current Affairs

Feb. 25, 2017

PM Narendra Modi unveils 112-foot Shiva statue in Coimbatore.

Details :

On the occasion of Maha Shivratri, Prime Minister Narendra Modi ounveiled a 112-foot-tall Shiva statue in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.

The statue was constructed by The Isha Foundation, which plans to set up similar statues in other parts of the country.

The statue and the foundation are located in the foothills of Velliangiri mountains in the Western Ghats.

The face of Lord Shiva is made of steel, the whole structure is estimated to weigh around 500 tonnes.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/maha-shivratri-pm-narendra-modi-shiva-statue-coimbatore-isha-foundation/

India’s first hill station bicycle path inaugurated in Darjeeling.

Details :

India’s first hill station bicycle path was inaugurated in Darjeeling, West Bengal at an altitude of over 2,000 metres. 

Darjeeling’s new cycle-only path, which runs through Senchal wildlife sanctuary, one of India’s oldest nature reserves

It runs from near Jorebunglow, south of Darjeeling, to Chatakpur, a small eco-village resort in west Bengal.

Former Chief Minister Zeliang appointed Finance Advisor to Nagaland government.

Details :

Former Nagaland Chief Minister T R Zeliang  appointed as Finance Advisor to the state government in the rank of a cabinet minister.

Zeliang, appointed by the Governor P B Acharya.

He will receive the pay and allowances and all other facilities admissible to a cabinet minister.

Zeliang had resigned from the chief ministership on February 19, 2017 following protest of the Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) and Nagaland Tribal Action Committee (NTAC) for his decision to hold elections to urban bodies with 33 per cent reservation for women and subsequent incidents.

http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2017/feb/25/former-chief-minister-zeliang-appointed-finance-advisor-to-nagaland-government-1574618.html

Pakistan, Turkey sign 10 agreements to enhance bilateral ties.

Details :

Pakistan has signed 10 agreements with Turkey to enhance bilateral cooperation in various fields, including exchange of financial intelligence relating to money laundering, hydrocarbon and defence cooperation.

These agreements were signed during Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to Turkey.

The agreements and MoUs were signed in the fields of hydrocarbons, environment, forestry, information, exchange of financial intelligence relating to money laundering and exchange of armed forces personnel.

http://indianexpress.com/article/world/pakistan-turkey-sign-10-agreements-to-enhance-bilateral-ties/

India win all three medals at Asian Para-Road Cycling Championship.

Details :

India at the sixth Asian Para-Road Cycling Championship, bagged all three medals in the 12.8 Km Individual Time Trial on the opening day of the tournament at Bahrain.

Abhishek from Chandigarh won the gold medal, Divij Shah from West Bengal won silver and Harinder Singh from BSF bagged the bronze medal.

 In this edition of tournament, 9 members of Indian Para Cycling team are participating under the aegis of Cycling Federation of India.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/india-win-all-three-medals-at-asian-para-road-cycling-c-ship-117022500594_1.html

India likely to be less affected by global economic shocks: IMF.

Details :

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Indian economy is in fairly good shape and is likely to be less affected than other emerging economies if there is a further shock to the global economy.

Until demonetisation there was very healthy consumption spending in India, which was basically propelling economic growth.

India has an inward domestically demand-oriented economy, which is good when global growth factors are not exactly healthy.

Earlier, IMF in its annual report had forecasted India’s growth to slow to 6.6% in the 2016-17 fiscal due to temporary disruptions caused by demonetisation.

It, however, demonetisation would have only short term impact on the economy and it would bounce back to its expected growth of more than 8 per cent in the next few years.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/indicators/india-likely-to-be-less-affected-by-global-economic-shocksimf/articleshow/57327886.cms

FDI inflow increases 18% to USD 46 billion in 2016: DIPP

Details :

Foreign direct investment (FDI) in India grew 18% during 2016 to touch $46 billion, data released by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).

The country attracted FDI of $39.32 billion in 2015.

The main sectors which attracted the highest foreign inflows include services, telecom, trading, computer hardware and software and automobile.

Bulk of the FDI came in from Singapore, Mauritius, the Netherlands and Japan.

http://www.thehindu.com/business/Economy/fdi-inflow-zooms-18-to-usd-46-billion-in-2016-dipp/article17360359.ece

CBEC launches mobile application for GST updates.

Details :

The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) has launched a mobile application for Goods and Services Tax (GST) to inform the taxpayers of the latest updates on GST.

Migration to GST-Approach and guidelines for migration

Draft Law-Model GST Law, IGST Law and GST Compensation Law

Draft Rules-Rules related to Registration, Returns, Payment, Refund and Invoice

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on GST

Various resources on GST such a videos, articles etc.

The mobile application can be downloaded free of cost on Android platforms. The iOS version will be made available shortly.

Feb. 24, 2017

Cressida Dick Named Scotland Yard's First Female Top Cop.

Details :

Cressida Dick (56) was named police commissioner London’s Metropolitan Police Service, better known as Scotland Yard.

It is Britain's oldest and biggest police force. More than 43,000 officers and staff work for the organization.

She was named as the first female police commissioner in the organization's 188-year history.

Previously she was a senior officer in the Metropolitan Police in London. Dick served as acting deputy commissioner in the interim between Deputy Commissioner Tim Godwin's retirement and his permanent successor, Craig Mackey, taking office at the end of January 2012.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cressida_Dick

Nobel-winning economist, mathematician Kenneth J Arrow dies at 95

Details :

Nobel-winning economist and mathematician Kenneth J. Arrow passed away at his home in Palo Alto, in the San Francisco Bay Area in US. He was 95

He was the joint winner of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics with John Hicks in 1972. To date, he is the youngest person ever to have received this award, at the age of 51.

His most significant works are his contributions to social choice theory, notably "Arrow's impossibility theorem", and his work on general equilibrium analysis.

He has also provided foundational work in many other areas of economics, including endogenous growth theory and the economics of information.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenneth_Arrow

Cabinet approves MoU between India and Australia for promotion and development of cooperation in civil aviation security.

Details :

The Union Cabinet  has given its approval for signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Australia for promotion and development of cooperation in civil aviation security.

 The MoU will provide an opportunity to Indian aviation security authorities to share the expertise of their Australian counterparts and enhance the overall aviation security environment in India.

 The MoU will provide compliance of international obligation as well as enhance promotion in the area of security cooperation between the two countries.

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=158625

9th BRICS Summit to be held in Sept in China's Xiamen city.

Details :

The 9th BRICS Summit will be held in China's Xiamen city from September 3-5, 2017.

The theme of this year's event is 'BRICS: Stronger Partnership for a Brighter Future'

China expects the Xiamen BRICS summit will promote members strengthening solidarity and collaboration, and improving global governance, deepening pragmatic cooperation to achieve mutual benefit, increasing people-to-people exchanges, and enhancing public support, and strengthening institutional mechanism and improving cooperation platform, which are the four objectives.

The 9th BRICS Summit’s first Sherpas Meeting was held in Nanjing, the capital of east China’s Jiangsu Province.

The First BRICS Sherpa Meeting scheduled for two days.

It aims to lay the groundwork for the BRICS leaders' summit in September. 

The meeting attracted more than 100 participants, including coordinators from all sides, foreign diplomats, and representatives from the BRICS New Development Bank (NDB).


http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/9th-brics-summit-to-be-held-in-sept-in-china-s-xiamen-city-117022301199_1.html

74th Central Excise Day Celebrated By CBEC.

Details :

The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) celebrated 74th Central Excise Day on 24th February in New Delhi.

The Central Board of Excise and Custom  is the nodal national agency responsible for administering Customs, Central Excise, Service Tax & Narcotics in India.

Currently the Customs and Excise department comes under the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Board_of_Excise_and_Customs

Sikkim becomes 22nd State to join UDAY .

Details :

The Government of India and the State of Sikkim signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) under the Scheme Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY) , for operational improvement of the State’s Power Distribution Department. 

With the signing of MoU, the total number of States covered under UDAY has reached 22.

Sikkim would derive an Overall Net Benefit of approximately Rs. 207 crores through UDAY by way of cheaper funds, reduction in AT&C and transmission losses, interventions in energy efficiency, etc. during the period of turnaround.

The MoU paves way for improving operational efficiency of the Power Distribution department of the State.

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=158654

First in India: Kerala to set up a sex offenders registry.

Details :

Kerala will launch a registry of sex offenders.

It is the first of its kind in the country.

It was announced by governor Justice (retd) P Sathasivam in state capital Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.

The registry will contain all identification details of sex offenders and would be kept in the public domain.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/first-in-india-kerala-to-set-up-a-sex-offenders-registry/story-bBjMhhIbDpuruxDj1mCGaI.html

Visa-Andhra Pradesh sign MoU to make Vizag India’s first 'less cash' city.

Details :

Global payments network Visa signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Andhra Pradesh government to help transform Vishakhapatnam into India's first 'less cash' city.

This initiative is designed to provide the foundation for the city to emerge as India's 'Fintech Valley'.

To accelerate its journey to less cash and to becoming India's Fintech Valley, Visa will focus on driving payments digitisation, and work with the city to help build the talent pool required in city organisations and in academia on emerging technologies like blockchain.

Visa will be to provide support to FinTech start-ups by providing access to Visa's APIs, providing subject matter expertise, and participating in boot camps and hackathons.

http://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/current-affairs/220217/visa-ap-sign-mou-to-make-vishakhapatnam-indias-first-less-cash-city.html

'India aims to bring broadband to every village by 2018'.

Details :

Government aims to bring high-speed broadband connectivity to every village by 2018.

Department of Telecom is working to achieve this target under the Universal Services Obligation fund (USOF).

In his Union Budget presented on February 1, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the government would allocate Rs 10,000 crore to expand the Bharat Net project in 2017-18 for high-speed broadband. 

Bharat Net was rebranded from the earlier National Optic Fibre Network (NOFN) project in April 2015, and aims to cover a total of 2.5 lakh village panchayats. 

The Bharat Net project is funded under the USOF set up in 2012 for providing telecom services in rural areas at subsidised rates. 

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/policy/india-aims-to-bring-broadband-to-every-village-by-2018/articleshow/57270699.cms

R Ashwin breaks Kapil Dev’s record of most wickets in home season.

Details :

Premier off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin,  broke Kapil Dev’s 37-year-old Indian record of most Test wickets in a domestic season.

 He broke the record on first cricket Test against Australia in Pune.

http://indianexpress.com/article/sports/cricket/india-vs-australia-2017-r-ashwin-breaks-kapil-devs-record-of-most-wickets-in-home-season-4541374/

Government to issue Sovereign Gold Bonds 2016 -17 – Series IV.

Details :

Government of India, in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India(RBI), has decided to issue Sovereign Gold Bonds 2016-17–Series IV.

Applications for the bond will be accepted from February 27, 2017 to March 03, 2017.

The Bonds will be issued on March 17, 2017.

The Bonds will be sold through banks, Stock Holding Corporation of India Limited (SHCIL), designated post offices and recognised stock exchanges viz., National Stock Exchange of India Limited and Bombay Stock Exchange.

The tenure of the bond will be for a period of eight years with an exit option from the fifth year to be exercised on the interest payment dates.

An individual can minimum invest one gram in the scheme per fiscal year while maximum limit according to the scheme is set at 500 grams for the same period.

The bonds will give an interest at the rate of 2.5% per annum paid twice a year on the initial value of the investment.

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=158652

Tata Power Renewable commissions 15 MW solar plant in Telangana.

Details :

Tata Power Renewable Energy Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Power, has synchronised its 15 MW solar plant at Bellampally in Telangana, thereby taking the Tata Power's total installed operating capacity past 10, 500 MW mark.

The solar plant has been built over 80 acres of land and includes an 18 km transmission line.

Sale of power from solar plant has been tied up under a 25 year Power Purchase Agreement with the Northern Power Distribution Company of Telangana Ltd. at a tariff of Rs. 5.72.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/national/tata-power-renewable-commissions-15-mw-solar-plant-in-telangana/article9557382.ece

Feb. 23, 2017

Cabinet approves signing of Air Services Agreement between India and Greece.

Details :

Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the signing of Air Services Agreement (ASA) between India and Greece.

At present there is no ASA between India and Greece. The delegations of two sides met in New Delhi on 6-7th September, 2016 and finalized the text of ASA.

The agreement is as per latest International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) template keeping in view the latest developments in civil aviation sector and with an objective to improve the air connectivity between the two countries.

The essential features of the ASA are as follows:

Both countries shall be entitled to designate one or more airline.

The designated airlines of either country shall have the right to establish offices in the territory of the other country for the promotion end sale of air services.

The designated airlines of the two countries shall have fair and equal opportunity to operate the agreed services on specified routes.

The designated Airline of each party can enter into cooperative marketing arrangements with the designated carriers of same party, other party and third country.

As per the Route Schedule, Indian carriers can operate to Athens, HerakIion, Thessaloniki and any 3 points to be specified later in Greece from points in India. Whereas the carriers from Greece can establish direct operation to 6 metros viz. New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Chennai. 

Any points shall be available as intermediate and beyond point for the designated carriers of India as well as the designated carriers of Greece.

The Agreement has the potential to spur greater trade, investment, tourism and cultural exchange between the two countries bringing it in tune with the developments in the civil aviation sector.

It will provide enabling environment for enhanced and seamless connectivity while providing commercial opportunities to the carriers of both the sides ensuring greater safety and security.


http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=158628

Cabinet approves signing of an Agreement between India and Poland on cooperation in the field of agriculture and allied sectors.

Details :

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for signing of an Agreement between India and Poland on cooperation in the field of agriculture and allied sectors.

The agreement covers various activities in the field of agriculture and allied sector including exchange of information on the current situation in agriculture,

It also includes the phytosanitary conditions of crops, threats posed by harmful organisms and the threats posed by animal infectious diseases.

 It also covers the participation in fairs, exhibitions, seminars and conferences related to agriculture and agri-food processing;

It includes undertaking and developing joint economic initiatives including the support or agrifood trade between the states of the Contracting Parties. 

The Agreement provides for constitution of a Joint Working Group (JWG) comprising of representatives from both countries.  

The JWG will prepare plans of cooperation and to provide solutions to the problems arising during the implementation of the Agreement.

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=158623

India's GDP projected to slow to 6.6% due to demonetization Strains: IMF

Details :

India's growth is projected to slow to 6.6% in 2016-17 fiscal due to the strains that have emerged in the economy as a result of temporary disruptions caused by demonetization.

The post-November 8, 2016 cash shortages and payment disruptions caused by the currency exchange initiative have undermined consumption and business activity, posing a new challenge to sustaining the growth momentum.

Growth is projected to slow to 6.6 per cent in FY 2016-  17, then rebound to 7.2 per cent in FY 2017- 18, due to temporary disruptions, primarily to private consumption, caused by cash shortages.

India's economy grew at 7.6 per cent in 2015-16.

In its annual report, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said demonetisation would have only short term impact on the economy and it would bounce back to its expected growth of more than 8 % in the next few years.
http://www.deccanherald.com/content/597716/indias-gdp-projected-slow-66.html

Airtel acquires Telenor in no-cash deal.

Details :

Bharti Airtel  announced acquisition of Telenor India.

The spectrum payment will be made in phases for the next 10 years.

Bharti claimed the acquisition will bolster its footprint with the additional spectrum band, besides eliminating smaller and fringe players.

While Bharti would gain around 44 million new subscribers, adding to its current base of 269 million, once the deal fructifies by end of the year.

As part of the agreement, Bharti will acquire Telenor India’s running operations in seven circles — Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Gujarat, UP (East), UP (West) and Assam. 

http://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/bharti-airtel-to-buy-telenor-india-unit-in-response-to-jio-onslaught-117022300353_1.html

N Chandrasekaran elected chairman of Indian Hotels.

Details :

N. Chandrasekaran has been elected as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Indian Hotels Company Ltd, a Tata Group firm.

He was initially appointed as a Member of the board on January 27, 2017 Chandrasekaran had taken over as Chairman of Tata Sons on February 21, becoming the first non Parsi Chairman of the USD 103 billion Tata Group after heading its crown jewel TCS for years.

He succeeds Cyrus Mistry, who was removed as Tata Sons Chairman on October 24 and Ratan Tata was named the Interim Chairman.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/indian-hotels-elects-n-chandrasekaran-as-chairman-117022300803_1.html

Govt doubles maternity leave for women workers in industries.

Details :

The government has allowed women working in industries to take six months maternity leave pre-empting parliamentary approval on the maternity benefit amendment bill that is pending in the Lok Sabha.

Through an executive order, the labour and employment ministry has doubled maternity leave to six months from three for industrial women workers.

However, the benefit will be restricted to women who make a monthly contribution to the employees’ state insurance corpus from their salaries.  This means about 2.9 million women working across various industries will get the benefit.

Under the Employees State Insurance Act, eligible employees contribute 1.75% of their salary (basic + allowances) and employers contribute 4.75% to the ESI corpus every month.

There are at least 20 million insured persons under the ESI scheme, of which 2.9 million are women.

India, China hold strategic dialogue.

Details :

The first Strategic Dialogue between India and China was held in Beijing, China to shore up bilateral ties.

The meeting was co-chaired by India’s Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and China’s Executive Vice Foreign minister Zhang Yesui.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/defence/india-china-hold-strategic-dialogue/articleshow/57285177.cms

WTO's trade facilitation agreement comes into effect.

Details :

The WTO's trade facilitation agreement, which seeks to ease customs norms, has come into effect from with its two-thirds members ratifying the pact.

The TFA, which has been ratified by India, will give a boost to the global trade, which has been impacted due to slowdown in the world economy.

According to experts, the agreement comes at a time when India's efforts to improve exports are gaining momentum.

The 164-member World Trade Organisation (WTO) in a statement stated that a major milestone for the global trading system was reached as the first multilateral deal concluded in the 21-year history of the multi-lateral trade body entered into force.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/wtos-trade-facilitation-agreement-comes-into-effect/articleshow/57297241.cms

Maneka Gandhi announces compensation fund for child abuse victims

Details :

Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi  announced the setting up of a compensation fund under Nirbhaya scheme to provide financial help to children who are victims of sexual crimes.

The money for this fund will be drawn from Nirbhaya Scheme and will be monitored directly by the Women and Child Development Ministry.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/maneka-gandhi-announces-compensation-fund-for-child-victims-of-sexual-abuse/articleshow/57295905.cms

India to host Combined World Cup for shooting in 2019.

Details :

India will be hosting the Combined World Cup for shooting in 2019, a qualifying event for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which will further boost the country's profile as a global shooting destination.

The National Rifle Association of India's (NRAI) bid was approved by the International Shooting Sport Federation's Executive Board in its meeting held in New Delhi.

Combined World Cup comprises all the three categories — shotgun, rifle and pistol, and at stake in the 2019 edition will be a number of quota places for the Tokyo Games.

Karnataka Bank bags 2 awards.

Details :

Karnataka Bank has bagged two ‘IBA-Banking Technology’ awards.

The bank was the winner in ‘Best financial inclusion initiatives (small bank)’ category, and was runner-up in ‘Best use of digital and channels technology (small bank)’ category.

IBA-Banking Technology award recognises and rewards individuals, professionals and banks who have recorded noteworthy technology and business benefits in the previous year.

Pak army launches nationwide military ops 'Radd-ul-Fasaad'.

Details :

Pakistan army  launched nationwide military operation 'Radd-ul-Fasaad' to eliminate terrorists and consolidate gains of its counter-terrorism operations.

The operation aims include the elimination of the residual and latent threat of terrorism, consolidating gains of operations made so far and ensuring the security of Pakistan's borders.

This operation launched days after a wave of suicide attacks that killed more than 125 people, including 88 at a Sufi shrine in Sindh.

Feb. 22, 2017

Government launches Bharat QR code to push less - cash economy.

Details :

The Union Government has launched Bharat QR code, a quick response (QR) code, in a bid to promote digital economy in the country.

BharatQR code, the world's first interoperable payment acceptance solution, as part of efforts to move towards less-cash economy at an "insignificant cost".

Bharat QR code developed by jointly by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), Visa, MasterCard, BharatQR code would require merchants to only display one QR code instead of multiple ones. 

It is Devised on the direction set by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in September 2016, it will make payments seamless for buyers as they just have to "scan to pay" for transactions instead of swiping their credit/debit cards. 

QR code or Quick Response code is a two-dimensional machine-readable code made up of black and white squares and are used for storing URLs or other information. These can be read by the camera of a smartphone. 

A number of leading banks are already operationally ready to deploy BharatQR, including SBI, Axis Bank, Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, Citi Union Bank, Development Credit Bank, Karur Vysya Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, IDBI Bank, RBL Bank, Union Bank of India, Vijaya Bank and Yes Bank. 

Many other banks are at various stages of implementation. 

Government launches Cyber Swachhta Kendra in New Delhi.

Details :

The Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has launched Cyber Swachhta Kendra in New Delhi (a new desktop and mobile security solution for a secure cyber space in the country).

The new solution will notify, enable cleaning and secure systems of end-users to prevent further infections.

It was launched by Union Minister of Electronics and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad.

USB Pratirodh is a desktop security solution that controls the usage of removable storage media like pen drives, external hard drives and other USB-supported mass storage devices.

M-Kavach tool offers a comprehensive mobile device security solution for Android devices addressing threats related to mobile phones.

AppSamvid is a desktop solution which protects systems by allowing installation of genuine applications through white listing. This helps in preventing threats from malicious applications.

The Cyber Swachhta Kendra is part of the government of India’s Digital India initiative under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-launches-cyber-swachhta-kendra-to-protect-citizens-4536440/

Cabinet approves the investment proposal for generation component of Arun-3 Hydro Electric Project in Nepal.

Details :

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved an investment proposal for generation component of Arun-3 Hydro Electric Project in Nepal.

The project is implemented by Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVN) Limited, a Central Public Sector Enterprises of Government of India.

Investment for generation component of Arun-3 HEP (900 MW) for an estimated cost of Rs. 5723.72 crore at May 2015 Price Level.

The project will provide surplus power to India strengthening power availability in the country and will also strengthening economic linkages with Nepal.

The power from the project shall be exported from Dhalkebar in Nepal to Muzaffarpur in India.

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=158627

Cabinet approves capacity hike for solar parks & projects.

Details :

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved the enhancement of capacity from 20,000 MW to 40,000 MW of the Scheme for Development of Solar Parks and Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects.

The enhanced capacity would ensure setting up of at least 50 solar parks each with a capacity of 500 MW and above in various parts of the country.

The Solar Parks and Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects will be set up by 2019-20 with Central Government financial support of Rs.8100 crore.

The total capacity when operational will generate 64 billion units of electricity per year which will lead to abatement of around 55 million tonnes of CO2 per year over its life cycle. 

All the States and UTs are eligible for benefits under the scheme.

The State Government will first nominate the Solar Power Park Developer (SPPD) and also identify the land for the proposed solar park.

The solar parks will be developed in collaboration with State Governments/UTs. The State Governments/UTs are required to select the SPPD for developing and maintaining the solar parks.

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/pmreleases.aspx?mincode=28

Government notifies protocol amending tax treaty with Israel.

Details :

The government has notified the protocol amending the India-Israel tax treaty to provide for exchange of information on tax matters including bank details with a view to check black money flows.

The amended treaty provides that information received from Israel in respect of an Indian resident can be shared with other law enforcement agencies like the Enforcement Directorate, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence and CBI with authorisation of Competent Authority.

The amended treaty provides for levy of capital gains tax in India on sale of shares or interest in a partnership, trust or other entity if it derives more than 50% of the value directly or indirectly from immovable property situated in the country at the time of the sale of any time during preceding 12 months.

It also provides for ‘Limitation of Benefits’ Article as an anti-abuse provision, that would enable triggering of domestic law in case of misuse of the treaty.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/government-notifies-protocol-amending-tax-treaty-with-israel-4536818/

Justice Sapre appointed chairman of Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal.

Details :

Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre has been appointed the chairman of Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT).

He was nominated for the post by Chief Justice J.S. Khehar.

The post fell vacant following the resignation of Justice Balbir Singh Chauhan.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/justice-sapre-appointed-chairman-of-cauvery-water-disputes-tribunal/article17342133.ece

India’s first dedicated heliport to open in Delhi on February 28.

Details :

India's first dedicated "heliport" for flying in and out of Delhi to nearby areas in choppers. 

It will be inaugurated by Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju in North Delhi on 28 February 2017.

It is Owned by Pawan Hans Helicopters Ltd (PHHL), the hugely-delayed heliport will have a large number of parking bays and an AC passenger terminal building with car parking area for the flyers. 

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/57264609.cms

India beat South Africa in final of ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier 2017.

Details :

India has defeated South Africa by one wicket in the final match of ICC Women World Cup Qualifier 2017 held at Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Chasing 245 to win, Opener Mona Meshram (59) and Deepti Sharma (71) were the star players for India as they added 122-run innings for the first wicket to lay the foundation for the runchase.

Rajeshwari Gayakwad (3/51) claimed three wickets in her nine overs, while S Pandey took two wickets to help India bowl out South Africa for 244 in 49.4 overs.

Both teams had already qualified in this year's ICC World Cup tournament.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sports/cricket/news/india-women-beat-south-africa-by-1-wicket-in-world-cup-qualifiers-final/articleshow/57273900.cms

3rd National Biodiversity Congress 2017 Begins In Kerala.

Details :

The National Biodiversity Congress (NBC) 2017 begins in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.

The event is hosted by the Kerala State Biodiversity Board.

It is being held from 22nd to 26th February 2017 is governed by a national advisory committee comprising of experts in the field of biodiversity conservation. 

The focal theme of NBC 2017 is Mainstreaming Biodiversity for Sustainable Development.

South Africa's decision to leave ICC ruled 'invalid'.

Details :

South Africa's decision to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC) has been ruled "unconstitutional and invalid" by the High Court.

South Africa notified the UN of its intention to leave last October, saying the ICC pursued "regime change".

The decision to pull out came after a dispute over Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir's visit to the country in 2015.

South African authorities refused to arrest Mr Bashir despite him facing an ICC arrest warrant over alleged war crimes.

Punjab bans manufacture, sale of gutkha, pan masala for one year.

Details :

Punjab government has prohibited the manufacture, storage, sale or distribution of food products containing tobacco or nicotine like gutkha and pan masala in the state for one year.

The ban also applies on processed, flavoured, scented, chewing tobacco, whether they are packaged or unpackaged or sold as one or separate products.

The decision has been taken in view of the orders of the Supreme Court wherein it observed that to circumvent ban of sale of gutkha.

60,000-year-old microbes found in Mexican mine: NASA scientist.

Details :

NASA scientists have discovered living microorganisms trapped inside crystals for as long as 60,000 years in a mine in Mexico.

These strange ancient microbes have apparently evolved so they can survive on a diet of sulfite, manganese and copper oxide.

https://phys.org/news/2017-02-year-old-microbes-mexican-nasa-scientist.html

India, Japan ink pact on rail safety.

Details :

India signed an agreement with Japan for enhancing railway safety in the Indian Railways with focus on railway track and rolling stock safety.

The Memorandum of Cooperation was signed  between Railway Board Chairman A.K.Mittal and Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan Vice-Minister Hiroshi Tabata.

Under this agreement, the areas of cooperation include rail inspection, rail wielding, automatic railway track safety inspection, maintenance of rolling stock. 

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-business/india-japan-ink-pact-on-rail-safety/article17343985.ece

Abhijit Sarkar appointed Vice President of Asian Hockey Federation.

Details :

Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) appointed Abhijit Sarkar as it’s new Vice Chairman and also the chief of AHF Commercial and TV Committee.

Sarkar has been associated with the Sahara India Pariwar since 2004 and served as the Head of Corporate Communications, Corporate Affairs and Relations, and the Sports Division.

http://indianexpress.com/article/sports/hockey/abhijit-sarkar-appointed-vice-president-of-asian-hockey-federation-4536676/

Dish TV joins hands with ICICI Bank for digital payments.

Details :

Direct-to-home operator Dish TV has tied up with private lender ICICI Bank for digital payments.

This alliance with ICICI Bank through UPI will drive higher customer adoption and allow them to be a part of the digital economy.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/money-and-banking/dish-tv-partners-with-icici-bank-for-digital-payments/article9553658.ece

SIDBI, Vijaya Bank combine to provide concessional loans to micro, small units.

Details :

Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Vijaya Bank for providing concessional finance to micro and small enterprises (MSEs).

The MoU aims at promoting and strengthening units in the MSE segment through concessional funding — that is, at the marginal cost of funds-based lending rate (MCLR) of Vijaya Bank under refinance from SIDBI.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/money-and-banking/sidbi-vijaya-bank-combine-to-provide-concessional-loans-to-micro-small-units/article9554052.ece

Feb. 21, 2017

21st February - International Mother Language Day.

Details :

International Mother Language Day (IMLD) is a worldwide annual observance held on 21 February to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.

2017 Theme: Towards Sustainable Futures through Multilingual Education

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Mother_Language_Day

India-Rwanda sign three MoUs in innovation, aviation, visa requirements.

Details :

India and Rwanda signed three MoUs for promoting innovation, easing visa requirements and boosting air connectivity between the two countries.

These agreements were signed in Kigali in the presence of Vice President Mohammed Hamid Ansari and Rwandan Prime Minister Anastase Murekezi during a business forum meet. 

The countries will soon set up an entrepreneurship development centre in Kigali while in aviation, Rwanda Air will start services to India in coming months and both countries will mutually exempt visa requirements.

The bilateral relations between the two countries will grow further with more frequent exchanges between businesspersons for mutual benefits.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ani/india-rwanda-sign-three-mous-in-innovation-aviation-visa-requirements-117022100405_1.html

Shurhozelie Liezeitsu elected new Nagaland CM.

Details :

Nagaland People’s Front (NPF) president Shurhozelie Liezeitsu will be sworn in as the state’s eleventh Chief Minister.

Zeliang stepped down on Sunday in the wake of violent protests that broke out when his government wanted to hold municipal elections with 33% reservation for women.

Various tribal groups opposed the civic elections on the ground that certain provisions of Nagaland Municipal Act framed under Article 243(T) of the Constitution allegedly infringed upon Naga tradition and customs that are protected under Article 371(A).

The Nagaland Assembly has no Opposition and all 60 MLAs in the House belong to DAN — 49 NPF, four BJP and seven Independents.

58 DAN MLAs signed in favour of 81-year old Shurhozelie

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/shurhozelie-liezeitsu-elected-new-nagaland-cm-to-take-oath-on-wednesday-4534753/.

Government launches SAATHIYA Resource Kit and SAATHIYA SALAH mobile app for adolescents.

Details :

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has launched SAATHIYA Resource Kit and SAATHIYA SALAH mobile app for adolescents as part of the Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK) programme. 

The most important component and driving force of RKSK program are its Peer Educators and this resource kit has been launched to enable them to communicate with the adolescents of their community.

This Resource Kit comprises i) Activity Book, ii) Bhranti-Kranti Game iii) Question-Answer Book and iv) Peer Educator Diary. 

The Resource Kit has been developed by United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and Population Foundation of India (PFI).

In addition to the kit is the mobile app ‘Saathiya Salah’ (downloadable from Google play-store) which acts as a ready information source for the adolescents in case they are unable to interact with the Peer Educators.

The mobile app is also linked to another important piece of cost-effective information platform of a toll-free Saathiya Helpline (1800-233-1250) which will act as an e-counselor. 

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=158578

Govt announces expansion of rotavirus vaccine in 5 states.

Details :

The government announced the expansion of rotavirus vaccine in five additional states under its Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP). 

The announcement came after 38 lakh children were vaccinated in four states - Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha when the vaccine was first introduced.

Now, the vaccine will be expanded to Assam, Tripura, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu. 

The vaccine will prevent Rotavirus diarrhoea in children which accounts for approximately 40% of hospitalizations from diarrhoea in India. 

Rotavirus diarrhoea is responsible for nearly 78,000 deaths, 32 lakh out-patient visits and nearly 9 lakh hospitalizations every year. 

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/govt-announces-expansion-of-rotavirus-vaccine-in-5-states-117021800676_1.html

Apple acquires Israeli start-up RealFace.

Details :

Apple has acquired Israel-based start-up "RealFace" that develops deep-learning-based face authentication technology, In a bid to boost its prospects in the world of artificial intelligence (AI).

RealFace founded by Adi Eckhouse Barzilai and Aviv Mader has developed facial recognition software that offers users a smart biometric login.

Aiming to make passwords redundant when accessing mobile devices or PCs.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/small-biz/startups/apple-acquires-israeli-start-up-realface/articleshow/57247954.cms

SBI rebrands its corporate website as 'bank.sbi'.

Details :

The country's largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) has rebranded its corporate website as "bank.sbi" from the earlier sbi.co.in.

The new domain name bank.sbi is the highest domain protocol known as generic top level domain (gTLD). 

With this, SBI has become the first banking organisation in India to use a gTLD for its internet presence. This is expected to provide enhanced security to its customers.

The existing web address will remain active till customers become familiar with operating through the new address.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/finance/sbi-rebrands-its-corporate-website-as-bank-sbi-117022000447_1.html

Iran launches ‘advanced’ rockets during military exercise in desert.

Details :

Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard has launched sophisticated rockets during a military exercise.

The launch of “smart and advanced” rockets took place during an annual three-day manoeuvre in Iran’s central desert.

The channel that rockets with ranges of more than 100 kilometers (62 miles) as well as the Fajr-3, Fajr-4 and Fajr-5 rockets, all believed to have under 100-kilometer range, were all successfully tested in the exercise.

Lt. Gen. Herbert Raymond McMaster appointed as new National Security Advisor of US.

Details :

US President Donald Trump has appointed Lt Gen Herbert Raymond McMaster as new National Security Advisor (NSA).

His current military assignment is Director of the Army Capabilities Integration Center, and Deputy Commanding General, Futures, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H._R._McMaster

Gujarat Assembly passes Aadhaar Bill, 2017.

Details :

The Gujarat Assembly has passed Gujarat Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill, 2017.

That linking the Aadhhaar number with various schemes will help the government create a credible system to authenticate the identity of actual beneficiaries.

The Gujarat government provides various subsidies and financial assistance to the citizens under 119 schemes. We pay them using RTGS or through cheques.

All the residents of Gujarat above 18 years have been issued Aadhaar cards, 85% citizens in the age group of 5 to 18 have been issued such cards having unique identification number.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/gujarat-house-passes-aadhaar-bill-in-absence-of-congress-mlas-4535213/

Kashmir to observe 2017 as the ‘Year of Apple’.

Details :

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti  declared 2017 as ‘Year of Apple’ in a major bid to promote the famed Kashmiri apples in domestic and foreign markets.

The Chief Minister launched the High Density Apple Plantation Scheme in Srinagar.

These high-density plants will be routed through J&K Bank along with the subsidy.

under the scheme 50% subsidy would be provided by the government to the farmers.

The high density plants have a yield of 50-70 metric tonnes per hectare against 10-12 tonnes in case of conventional plants. 

Jammu and Kashmir is the largest apple producing State in India at 11.2 metric tonnes, which accounts for 71% of national production.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/kashmir-to-observe-2017-as-the-year-of-apple/article17326453.ece

MoU signed for welfare of Handicraft Artisans belonging to Scheduled Castes.

Details :

The Union Ministry of Textiles and Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment have signed MoU to step up interventions for the welfare and economic development of scheduled caste artisans.

 An MoU was signed  between Development Commissioner (Handicrafts), Ministry of Textiles and National Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation (NSFDC), a Central PSU under Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

The MoU provides for continuous and extensive collaboration between Office of DC (Handicrafts) and NSFDC.

Aim:

 Need assessment and gap identification through popularising various schemes by holding awareness camps

Extensive need-based skill upgradation in the identified clusters having dominant presence of Scheduled Caste artisans, in the field of innovative and market-friendly designs, and adoption of modern tools and techniques

Enhanced participation of Scheduled Caste artisans and their producer groups in domestic and international marketing events

Working capital credit for Scheduled Caste artisans at concessional rates, by combining the benefits provided by Ministry of Textiles and Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=158567

Britannia signs pact with Greek company.

Details :

FMCG major Britannia Industries has signed an MoU with Greece’s cakes and confectionery major Chipita.

It has signed a non binding memorandum of understanding with Chipita, a Greek company for exploring certain business opportunities.

Chipita is already operating in India. The company has been operating outside Greece since 1995 by setting up manufacturing plants in Bulgaria, Portugal and Egypt, followed by Poland, Romania, Russia and Saudi Arabia and more recently India, and Turkey.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/companies/britannia-inks-pact-with-greek-firm-chipita/article9553439.ece

Buying jewellery over Rs 2 lakh in cash will attract 1% TDS from April 2017.

Details :

Cash purchases of jewellery will attract 1% TCS (Tax Collected at Source) from April 1, 2017 if the amount exceeds Rs 2 lakh,as against the current threshold of Rs 5 lakh. 

Once the Finance Bill 2017 is passed, jewellery will be treated on par with general goods, which attract 1% TCS on cash purchase of above Rs 2 lakh.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/buying-jewellery-over-rs-2-lakh-in-cash-will-attract-1-tds-from-april-117021900231_1.html

Tata Steel's Katamati Mine wins Best Green Award.

Details :

Tata Steel's Katamati iron mine has been honoured with the the Best Green Organisation of the Year Award at the Global Green Future Leadership Awards in recognition of its environmental protection measures. 

The award was presented at a function organised by World CSR Day on February 18 in Mumbai.

The Global Green Future Leadership Awards is for any organisation that participates in environmentally friendly or green activities to ensure that all processes, products, and manufacturing activities adequately address environmental concerns while maintaining a profit.
http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/tata-steel-s-katamati-mine-wins-best-green-award-117022000231_1.html

Feb. 20, 2017

20 February - World Day of Social Justice.

Details :

World Day of Social Justice is observed on 20th February every year.

2017 Theme: "Preventing conflict and sustaining peace through decent work”
World Day of Social Justice is a day recognizing the need to promote efforts to tackle issues such as poverty, exclusion and unemployment.

Many organizations, including the UN and the International Labour Office, make statements on the importance of social justice for people.

The United Nations General Assembly has decided to observe 20 February annually, approved on 26 November 2007 and starting in 2009, as the World Day of Social Justice.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Day_of_Social_Justice

20 February - Statehood Day for Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram.

Details :

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 20 February  greeted the people of Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram on their statehood day.

While Arunachal Pradesh was granted statehood on 20th February in 1987. Mizoram was declared a state in 1972.

India approves $340 million loan to Nepal’s infrastructure development programmes.

Details :

India has sanctioned a soft loan of 340 million US dollar to Nepal for various infrastructure development programmes.

Under this programme Mahalaki bridge and 15 roads will be constructed in various parts of Nepal.

Completion of infrastructural projects will not only strengthen physical connectivity but also emotional bonding between the people of both the countries.

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-india-sanctions-soft-loan-usd-340-million-to-nepal-2328543 

Shahid Afridi announces international retirement.

Details :

Legendary Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi (36-year) has announced his retirement from international cricket.

The 36-year-old star had already quit Test and ODI cricket but still skippered the Pakistan Twenty20 team at the 2016 world championships in India.

Afridi finishes his international career having played just 27 Test matches which yielded 1,176 runs with a highest score of 156 and 48 wickets.

He played 398 one-day internationals with 8,064 runs, a highest score of 124 while taking 395 wickets with his leg spin.
His Twenty20 international career saw him play 98 matches with 1,405 runs and 97 wickets.

India to Host Next Davis Cup tie in Bangalore in April, 2017.

Details :

the All India Tennis Association (AITA) announced that Bengaluru will host the second round of the Asia/Oceania Group 1 tie between India and Uzbekistan which is due to start on April 7.

The last time Bengaluru hosted a Davis Cup tie was a World Group play-off against Serbia in 2014.

http://www.news18.com/news/sports/davis-cup-2017-bengaluru-to-host-india-uzbekistan-tie-1349925.html

MS Dhoni removed as Rising Pune Supergiants captain, Steve Smith to replace him.

Details :

Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been removed as skipper of Rising Pune Supergiants for the 2017 Indian Premier League.

Steve Smith, the current Australia captain, will be the new skipper of the franchise.

This move has ended his innings as skipper in both international and franchise cricket.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/cricket/mahendra-singh-dhoni-removed-as-rising-pune-supergiants-skipper-for-ipl-2017/story-4bS6Uk0Vf641HWkZPHJSFN.html

Virat Kohli first Indian sportsperson to ink Rs 100-cr deal with Puma

Details :

Virat Kohli became the first Indian sports personality to strike a Rs 100-crore endorsement deal with a single brand.

Kohli signed an eight-year deal with sports apparel brand Puma worth Rs 110 crore.

The Indian cricket captain is now set to join the likes of Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell and Thierry Henry, among others, as a global ambassador for the brand.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/virat-kohli-first-indian-sportsperson-to-ink-rs-100-cr-deal-with-puma-117022000220_1.html

Oriental Bank launches mobile wallet ‘Batuaa’.

Details :

Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC) launched of mobile wallet ‘Oriental Batuaa’ on the occasion of its 75th Foundation Day.

Besides introducing a new version of mobile banking, OBC has also launched two new cards, While the Oriental Premium card is a RuPay based Platinum international debit card with airport lounge access, the other card-Oriental Prepaid Card is a RuPay card for individuals and corporates.

The two MSME schemes that have been launched are ‘Oriental Sanjeevani’ and ‘Oriental Budget Hotels and Restaurants’.

Oriental Sanjeevani is a specialised scheme for doctors for setting up new hospitals and clinics. The other scheme is for individuals, proprietors, companies etc for setting up new hotels, restaurants, lodges, motels etc.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/money-and-banking/oriental-bank-launches-mobile-wallet-batuaa/article9550510.ece

Former Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir passes away.

Details :

Former Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir died in kolkatta following a brief illness. He was 68. 

Kabir served as the 39th Chief Justice of India from September 29, 2012, to July 19, 2013.

Born on July 19, 1948, Kabir enrolled as an advocate in 1973, taking up both civil and criminal cases in the district courts and the Calcutta High Court. 

He was appointed as a permanent Judge in the Calcutta High Court on August 6, 1990, and went on to become the Chief Justice of the Jharkhand High Court on March 1, 2005. 

He was elevated to the Supreme Court of India on September 9, 2005.

Hindi novelist Ved Prakash Sharma passes away.

Details :

Popular Hindi novelist Ved Prakash Sharma passed away in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh. He was 62. 

He was counted among the highest-selling Hindi writers in the country.

He was famous for novels with unique titles like Dahej Mein Revolver (Revolver as Dowry), Widhva Ka Pati (Husband of a Widow) and Dulhan Maange Dahej (Bride Asks For Dowry).

Mr. Sharma started his writing career at the age of 14 and initially ghost written novels for others.

But it was Vardi Wala Gunda (Goon in Uniform), published in 1993, that gave him the big break. The novel, based on atrocities committed by a cop, broke many records and is supposed to have sold more than eight crore copies. 

In all he wrote over 176 novels. He also also had written scripts for about half-a-dozen Hindi films and a few of his novels were adapted into films.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Hindi-novelist-Ved-Prakash-Sharma-dies/article17327485.ece

Eminent Bengali singer Banasree Sengupta passes away.

Details :

Celebrated Bengali singer Banasree Sengupta passed away in Kolkata following protracted illness. She was 71.

Sengupta recorded a large number of evergreen romantic songs since 1966.

Among her hit songs are Aaj Bikeler Dake Tomar Chhithi Pelam, Amar Angey Jaley Rangmoshal, Chhi chhi Eki Kando Korechi, Dur Akashay Tomar Sur and Sundar Boney Sundari Gachh.

She also lent her voice to Bengali, Hindi, Assamese and Odia films.

In recognition of her contribution to music, West Bengal government had bestowed Sangeet Samman (2012) and the Mahasangeet Samman (2013) on Sengupta

http://www.hindustantimes.com/music/eminent-bengali-singer-banasree-sengupta-passes-away/story-X1GCy5GXsfGDRL8vpZCsgK.html

Two Indian films win award at 2017 Berlin International Film Festival.

Details :

Two Indian films at the world renowned festival bagged awards - Amit Masurkar’s Newton and Amar Kaushik’s Aaba.

Newton brought home the CICAE Art Cinema Award in the Forum section of the fest.

Aaba won the Special Prize of Generation KPlus International Jury for Best Short Film.

The special prize for Aaba reportedly includes cash award of  € 2,500 by the Deutsches Kinderhilfswerk (The Children’s Charity of Germany).

Khajuraho Dance Festival begins in Madhya Pradesh.

Details :

The Khajuraho Festival of Dance is conducted every year of February from the 20th to the 26th.

It is organised by the Madhya Pradesh Kala Parishad, is a one-week-long festival of classical dances held annually against the spectacular backdrop of the magnificently lit Khajuraho temples in Chhatarpur district of Madhya Pradesh state in central India. 

This cultural festival highlights the richness of the various Indian classical dance styles such as Kathak, Bharathanatyam, Odissi, Kuchipudi, Manipuri and Kathakali with performances of some of the best exponents in the field. Modern Indian dance has also been added recently.

The dances are performed in an open-air auditorium, usually in front of the Chitragupta Temple dedicated to Surya (the Sun God) and the Vishvanatha Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, belonging to the western group.

IRB InvIT Fund gets SEBI approval to launch IPO.

Details :

IRB InvIT Fund, an investment trust sponsored by IRB Infrastructure Developers has received markets regulator Sebi's approval to raise Rs 4,300 crore through initial public offering (IPO). 

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/markets/stocks/news/irb-invit-fund-gets-sebis-approval-to-launch-ipo/articleshow/57232012.cms

First foreign airline AirAsia lands at Srinagar airport.

Details :

AirAsia became the first foreign airline ever  to start its operations from Srinagar international airport in Jammu and Kashmir. 

Srinagar airport is christened 'The Sheikh-ul-Alam International Airport' for the last five years, but no foreign airlines has operated services from there so far. 

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/transportation/airlines-/-aviation/first-foreign-airline-airasia-lands-at-srinagar-airport/articleshow/57234568.cms

Microsoft, Flipkart announce strategic cloud partnership.

Details :

Microsoft announced a strategic partnership with Flipkart, wherein as a first step, the online retailer will adopt Microsoft Azure as its exclusive public cloud platform.

This partnership allows us to leverage our combined strength and knowledge of technology, e-commerce and markets to make online shopping more relevant and enriching for customers.

Karnataka Bank inks pact with Daimler India.

Details :

Karnataka Bank Ltd has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Daimler India Commercial Vehicles Pvt Ltd (DICV) for extending finance to customers for the purchase of commercial vehicles manufactured by the company.

DICV has nominated Karnataka Bank as a preferred financier for the purchase of commercial vehicles manufactured by the company.

Cash withdrawal limit for savings account increases to Rs 50,000 per week.

Details :

The weekly limit on withdrawal of cash from savings bank accounts increased to Rs 50,000, from the current Rs 24,000, from 20th feb 2017.

The limit will be removed from March 13, 2017.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/note-ban-you-can-withdraw-rs-50-000-from-your-savings-accounts-from-today-117022000208_1.html

T.R. Zeliang steps down as Nagaland chief minister.

Details :

Ending more than two weeks of standoff with Nagaland Tribes Action Committee (NTAC), Nagaland chief minister TR Zeliang resigned from his post.

T. R. Zeliang (born 21 February 1952) is an Indian politician who has been Chief Minister of Nagaland, a state in northeast India, since 2014.

A leader of the Nagaland People's Front, Zeliang took over the reins from Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio following the latter's shift to national-level politics in Delhi.

Zeliang previously served as a Member of Parliament, representing Nagaland in the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian Parliament.

Feb. 19, 2017

ISRO successfully tests India’s largest cryogenic engine for 400-ton GSLV Mark III rocket.

Details :

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully ground tested India’s largest indigenously developed Cryogenic Upper Stage engine for GSLV Mark III.

It was tested for full 10 minutes at ISRO’s Liquid Propulsion Complex (ILPC) at Mahendragiri in Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu.

The rocket will be a successor to the GSLV Mark II which was first launched in 2001 and can carry a heavier payload than the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle or PSLV.

This engine has been developed after two decades of hard work as the technology was denied to India by Russia under pressure from the US.

Only Russia, USA, France, China, and Japan have the technology to manufacture such engines and India has now joined the elite group.

INSV Tarini inducted into Indian Navy.

Details :

Indian Navy’s second ocean-going sailboat INSV Tarini was inducted at the INS Mandovi Boat Pool in Goa.

It is Built by Goa-based M/s Aquarius Shipyard Pvt Ltd, INSV Tarini is a sloop, which is slated to be the platform for first Indian all-women circumnavigation of the globe expedition of the Indian Navy.

The boat has been built to a stock design by Van de Stadt, Netherlands called Tonga 56.

 The hull is made of wooden core fiberglass sandwich construction for a better performance than aluminum and steel.

INSV Tarini carries a suite of six sails including a Main sail, Head sails (Genoa and stay sails), Downwind sails and Storm sail.

Its mast is 25 meters tall and has been custom built by M/s Southern Spars, Cape Town, for sailing in extreme conditions. 

INSV Tarini is almost identical to her illustrious predecessor, the iconic Mhadei which has sailed over 115000 nautical miles in the past eight years.

This includes path breaking voyages like the first Indian solo circumnavigation undertaken by Capt Dilip Donde (Retd) in 2009 and first solo, non-stop and unassisted circumnavigation by Cdr Abhilash Tomy in 2013.

 The construction was diligently overseen by the Warship Overseeing Team, Goa and the vessel is being delivered before the scheduled date of delivery by the boat builder.

The successful construction of both the Mhadei andTarini in Goa are a tribute to the Government’s ‘Make in India’ policy.

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=158527

Indian Coast Guard ship Ayush commissioned

Details :

Indian Coast Guard Ship ICGS AYUSH was commissioned at Kochi, Kerala by Vice Admiral AR Karwe, Flag Officer Commanding-in- Chief, Southern Naval Command.

It is the final vessel in the series of twenty (20) fast patrol vessels (FPVs) designed and built by the Cochin Shipyard Ltd (CSL).

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kochi/coast-guard-ship-ayush-commissioned/articleshow/57226321.cms

SC introduces Middle Income Group Scheme.

Details :

The Supreme Court (SC) has introduced Middle Income Group Scheme, (MIGS) a self-supporting scheme for the people of middle and lower income groups to approach it to avail legal aid.

It is a self-supporting scheme and people whose gross income does not exceed Rs 60,000 per month or Rs 7,50,000 per annum can now avail its services.

A case will be registered under the MIG Legal Aid Scheme and forwarded to Advocate-on-Record/Arguing Counsel/Senior Counsel on the panel for their opinion.

If Advocate-on-Record is satisfied that it is a fit case, then the society will consider that applicant is entitled to legal aid.

The view expressed by Advocate-on Record will be final in determining eligibility of the applicant for obtaining the benefit under the scheme.

http://www.financialexpress.com/india-news/seeking-legal-aid-at-supreme-court-becomes-easier-for-middle-class-poor/554552/

European Union Parliament approves free trade deal with Canada amid protests.

Details :

The European Union’s Parliament approved a landmark free trade deal with Canada that has been in the works for five years.

The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement got 408 votes in its favour, while 254 lawmakers opposed it.

It will eliminate almost all trade tariffs between the European Union and Canada.

Jharkhand sign MoU with Microsoft in Momentum Jharkhand.

Details :

Jharkhand government and Microsoft India inked an MoU to leverage cloud technologies to drive the state's digital ambitions. 

The MoU will support the state government to explore cloud, machine learning and mobile based solutions to improve citizen services and provide better facilities in the fields of education and agriculture.

The MoU was signed at the 'Momentum Jharkhand: Global Investors' Summit & Trade Exhibition'. 

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/jharkhand-sign-mou-with-microsoft-in-momentum-jharkhand-117021701017_1.html

India bag silver medal at women’s Asian Rugby Sevens Trophy.

Details :

India won the silver medal at the women’s Asian Rugby Sevens Trophy having won five matches and lost one at Vientiane, Laos.

In the seven-nation round-robin competition, India defeated Laos 22-7, Philippines 12-5, Nepal 43-0 and Malaysia by 26-12.

On the second day, India defeated Pakistan by 5-0.

But in the last match Indian team got defeated by South Korea ( 0-29).

http://www.financialexpress.com/sports/india-bag-silver-medal-at-womens-asian-rugby-sevens-trophy/557010/

Tata Motors Signs Strategic Technological Agreement with Microsoft.

Details :

Tata Motors and Microsoft India  announced a strategic agreement to redefine connected and personalized driving experiences for Indian customers. 

Tata Motors will leverage Microsoft’s connected vehicle technologies that bring together artificial intelligence (AI), advanced machine learning, and the Internet of Things (IoT) capabilities on the global hyper-scale Azure cloud, to traverse the digital and physical worlds and create a highly personalized, smart and safer driving experience across the digital life of a vehicle owner.

The first vehicle showcasing the vision for these enhanced driving experiences will be unveiled at the 87th Geneva International Motor Show on 7th March 2017.

RBI will Reimburse Banks MDR Charges Effective January 1, 2017.

Details :

The Reserve Bank will start reimbursing MDR charges to banks for payments made since January 1 through debit cards by citizens, in line with the government's move to further digital solutions.

In December 2016, the government had decided to absorb the merchant discount rate (MDR) charges in respect of debit card transactions for making payments to it. 

The move was aimed to encourage people to use digital payments post demonetisation.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/finance/rbi-to-reimburse-mdr-of-debit-card-transactions-117021600802_1.html

Regional rural banks can offer gold loans up to Rs 2 lakh.

Details :

Reserve Bank of India has raised the ceiling of gold loans given by regional rural banks (RRB) to Rs 2 lakh from Rs 1 lakh, expanding the access to credit for farmers and artisans willing to pledge gold as collateral. 

The limit has been doubled for the loans not exceeding 12 months from the date of sanction.

This facility comes with bullet repayment option. This means the loans will become due for payment only at the end of the tenure. But the interest will be charged at monthly rests. 

RBI has also directed that the gold loans should not exceed 75% of the value of the gold pledged for taking the loan.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/banking/finance/banking/regional-rural-banks-can-offer-gold-loans-up-to-rs-2-lakh/articleshow/57188429.cms

Sunil Mehta appointed non-executive Chairman of PNB.

Details :

Sunil Mehta appointed as Non-Official Directors of Punjab National Bank.

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the proposal of the Department of Financial Services (DFS) for the appointment of Mehta as non-executive Chairman of PNB.

He has been appointed for a period of three years.

Mehta's appointment is subject to a condition that he needs to resign from the board of State Bank of India before joining the new post.

T C A Ranganathan appointed as Non-Official Directors in Indian Overseas Bank.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/ranganathan-mehta-appointed-non-official-director-in-iob-pnb-117021700267_1.html

Unicef Launches U.S.$110 Million Appeal for Sudan Children.

Details :

The United Nations International Children's Fund (UNICEF), Sudan office,  launched an appeal to raise 110 million U.S. dollars to meet humanitarian needs for children in Sudan.

The appeal is part of a UNICEF annual global Humanitarian Action for Children, which aims at mobilizing resources and drawing attention to the plight of children worldwide.

UNICEF in Sudan is planning to reach over two million children this year across the country.

Sudan is home to around 13% of all children suffering from acute malnutrition across Africa. Two million children under five in Sudan are acutely malnourished.

Feb. 18, 2017

Aadhaar mandatory for University students availing scholarship

Details :

Union Human Resource Development Ministry has made Aadhaar mandatory for students to avail benefit under the Central Sector Scholarship Scheme for College and University. 

Those receiving these scholarships but who don’t have an Aadhaar card will have to apply for enrolment by June 30 2017.

Students who wish to avail the National Means-cum-Merit Scholarship Scheme will also have to apply for Aadhaar by June 30 2017, though it exempts the states of J&K, Assam and Meghalaya.

This move will bring in transparency and enable beneficiaries to get their entitlements directly in a convenient and seamless manner, and Aadhaar obviates the need for producing multiple documents to prove identity.

The notification shall come into effect from the date of its publication in all states except Jammu and Kashmir.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/to-avail-scholarship-aadhaar-now-mandatory-for-college-and-varsity-students/story-Qm1KELK1P5IfilQr2iDp6M.html

‘Science Express’ train flags off to create climate change awareness in India.

Details :

Science Express Climate Action Special train was flagged off to spread awareness about climate change across the country.

It is collaborative efforts of ministries of Railways, Environment and Science and Technology. 

The 16-coach train on a seven-month journey that will cover 68 stations across the country, including Agartala and Lumding in the northeast, to spread awareness about climate change.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/science-express-train-flags-off-to-create-climate-change-awareness-in-india-4530165/

Eight executive directors appointed in PSU banks.

Details :

The Banks Board Bureau has appointed eight executive directors (EDs) in various public-sector banks for three years.

Neelam Damodharan and Atanu Kumar Das have been appointed as EDs in Bank of India. Presently, Damodharan serves as the General Manager in Bank of Baroda and Das is General Manager in Vijaya Bank.

K Swaminathan, the General Manager in Indian Overseas Bank, has been appointed as ED in Indian Overseas Bank.

Ashok Kumar Pradhan has been appointed as the ED in United Bank of India. Presently he serves as the Chief General Manager with State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur.

P Ramana Murthy will be Executive Director of Central Bank of India. He is GM of Allahabad Bank.

Fareed Ahmed Khan, General Manager of Corporation Bank, has been appointed as the ED in Punjab and Sind Bank.

M K Bhattacharya, Chief General Managers of State Bank of Mysore has been appointed as the EDs of Indian Bank

S Harishankar who serves as Chief General Managers of State Bank of Travancore has been appointed EDs of Allahabad Bank.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/banking/finance/banking/eight-executive-directors-appointed-in-various-banks/articleshow/57203110.cms

India's vaccine regulatory body NRAI gets highest WHO ratings.

Details :

The National Regulatory Authority of India (NRAI) has been given the maximum ratings by global health body World Health Organisation for vaccine regulations.

The ratings were given by WHO after completing the assessment of the status of the NRAI system against WHO NRA Global Benchmarking Tool and measured the maturity of the system in India.

The assessment has been done in respect of 9 different functionalities and Indian NRA has been declared 'functional' with a maturity level of 4 which is the highest level as per currently evolved definitions in respect of 5 functions, and maturity level 3 in respect of 4 functions.

While, maturity level 4 indicates good results and sustained improvement trends, level 3 reflects systematic process based approach, early stage of systematic improvements, data availability regarding conformance to objectives and existence of improvement trends.

The result reflects growing maturity of NRAI emanating from a concerted effort by Government in consultation with WHO to build capacity and capability of NRAI over last several years.

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/596897/indias-vaccine-regulatory-body-nrai.html

SIB bags award for tech security practices.

Details :

South Indian Bank (SIB) has been awarded with ISO 27001: 2013 certification for its Information Security Management System (ISMS).

The certification process involved an extensive audit, which was conducted by British Standards Institution against the criteria set out by the ISO 27001:2013 standards on various domains of IT functions.

The bank had already received ISO 9001 Quality Management certification for its Credit Department, Personnel Department and Data Centre.

The certification demonstrates the bank’s total commitment to benchmarking technology framework and processes with international standards, and forms part of our long term vision for security best practices.

Adhering to the internationally recognized ISMS standards adds yet another layer of security for Bank’s customer data and assures customers of the quality of our service.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/money-and-banking/sib-bags-award-for-tech-security-practices/article9547087.ece

Canara Bank signs MoU with HRD Ministry to start higher education financing agency.

Details :

Canara Bank  has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) to operationalise the Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA).

It will allow MHRD and Canara Bank to jointly promote HEFA with an authorised capital of Rs. 2,000 crore. 

HEFA has been formed as a special purpose vehicle. It would leverage the equity to raise up to Rs. 20,000 crore for funding projects for infrastructure and development of world class Labs in IITs/IIMs/NITs and such other institutions.

HEFA would also mobilise CSR funds from PSUs/corporates, which would in turn be released for promoting research and innovation in these institutions on a grant basis.

HEFA would finance the civil and lab infrastructure projects through a 10-year loan.

The principal portion of the loan will be repaid through ‘internal accruals’ (earned through fee receipts, research earnings etc.,) of the institutions.

The Government would service the interest portion through regular Plan assistance.

All the Centrally Funded Higher Educational Institutions will be eligible to join as members of the HEFA.

For joining as members, the educational institution must agree to escrow a specific amount from their internal accruals for a period of 10 years to the HEFA.

This escrow will secure the future flows that would be securitised by the HEFA for mobilising the funds from the market.

Each member institution would be eligible for a credit limit based on the amount agreed to be escrowed from the internal accruals as decided by HEFA.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/money-and-banking/canara-bank-signs-mou-with-hrd-ministry-to-start-higher-education-financing-agency/article9546321.ece

South Asian Speakers’ Summit held in Indore.

Details :

The two-day South Asian Speakers Summit was held at Indore in Madhya Pradesh.

It was inaugurated by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.

It will be attended by presiding officers and delegates from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Nepal. 

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bhopal/south-asian-speakers-summit-starts-in-indore-today/articleshow/57213769.cms

Lata Mangeshkar honoured with Legendary Award.

Details :

Melody Queen Lata Mangeshkar has been honoured with the 'Legendary Award'  2017 by Brand Laureate.

The Brand Laureate recognises world-class achievement in branding amongst individuals and companies.

In 2012, Shah Rukh Khan was honoured with the Brand Laureate Legendary Award for his unmatched contribution to Indian Cinema.

The Brand Laureate Legendary Award has been earlier given to the likes of former South African president Nelson Mandela, Nobel Laureate Mohammad Yunus, Indian businessman Ratan Tata, late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, Facebook CEO Marck Zuckerburg and F1 ace Michael Schumacher.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/hindi/music/news/lata-mangeshkar-gets-legendary-award/articleshow/57221946.cms

Former MP Jambuvantrao Dhote passes away.

Details :

Former Nagpur MP and firebrand leader Jambuwantrao Dhote, who always stood for the cause of separate Vidarbha, passed away at Yawatmal following a massive heart attack. He was 78.

Popularly known as “Lion of Vidarbha”, Dhote was also a legislator for two terms from Yavatmal district.

He had won his first election to Lok Sabha in 1971 from Nagpur as a Forward Bloc nominee. Later in 1980, he joined Congress and won the Nagpur. After leaving Congress he had founded Vidarbha Janta Congress party in 2002. He was elected to Maharashtra Assembly five times.

http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2017/feb/18/former-mp-jambuwantrao-dhote-popularly-known-as-lion-of-vidarbha-passes-away-1572008.html

Mastercard to provide payment processing solutions to Airtel Payments Bank

Details :

Mastercard will provide payment processing solutions to Airtel Payments Bank.

This collaboration will enable Airtel Payments Bank to offer a safer, innovative and faster payments experience to its customers.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/money-and-banking/mastercard-to-provide-payment-processing-solutions-to-airtel-payments-bank/article9546687.ece

Karnataka Bank Launches National Pension System in Mangaluru

Details :

Karnataka Bankhas launched 'National Pension System' (NPS) at its corporate office in mangaluru.

NPS was introduced by the Government of India with an intention to provide old age financial security by way of regular income in the form of pension. 

Under the scheme, one can contribute to NPS while earning and eventually start receiving the pension on his/her attaining the age of 60 years to meet their financial needs.

To avail the benefit, any individual between the ages 18-60 years can register their name with the bank branch to contribute and to get pension benefit.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/banking/finance/banking/karnataka-bank-launches-national-pension-system-in-mangaluru/articleshow/57202526.cms

Corporation Bank Bags 2017 National MSME Excellence Award.

Details :

Corporation Bank has bagged the “National MSME Excellence Award 2017”.

It is instituted by the Federation of Industry, Trade and Services.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-karnataka/Corporation-Bank-bags-award/article17316930.ece

PV Sindhu Ranked No. 5 in BWF Rankings.

Details :

Ace shuttler PV Sindhu attained her career best Badminton World Federation (BWF)  women’s singles ranking, jumping to the 5th spot. Previously the top seeded player was placed at sixth position. 

Saina Nehwal ranked No. 9, is the second Indian in the top 10 spots of the BWF rankings.

In men's singles, Ajay Jayaram is the best-placed Indian at world No. 18, while K Srikanth and HS Prannoy are at the 21st and 23rd spots respectively.

Men's doubles pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy is ranked at the 24th place, while the duo of N Sikki Reddy and Pranaav Jerry Chopra is at the 14th spot.

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/pv-sindhu-saina-nehwal-ajay-jayaram-kidambi-srikanth-bwf-world-rankings/1/885724.html

Scientists develop high-quality graphene from soybean.

Details :

Scientists from Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) have made world’s strongest material graphene commercially more viable by using soybean.

They have developed a novel “GraphAir” technology which eliminates the need for such a highly-controlled environment.

Previously, graphene was grown in a highly-controlled environment with explosive compressed gases, requiring long hours of operation at high temperatures and extensive vacuum processing. 

The technology grows graphene film in ambient air with a natural precursor, making its production faster and simpler. 

Soybean oil breaks down into a range of carbon building units when heat is applied. It makes it essential for the synthesis of graphene films.

This ambient-air process for graphene fabrication is fast, simple, safe, potentially scalable, and integration friendly.

Graphene has excellent electronic, mechanical, thermal and optical properties as well. Its uses range from improving battery performance in energy devices, to cheaper solar panels.

http://indianexpress.com/article/technology/science/scientists-develop-high-quality-graphene-from-soybean-4529641/

Tamil Nadu govt headed by Edappadi Palaniswami wins trust vote.

Details :

The Edappadi K Palaniswami government in Tamil Nadu  won the trust vote with 122 MLAs favouring him in assembly.

Rebel AIADMK leader O Panneerselvam got 11 votes.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/tamil-nadu-govt-headed-by-edappadi-palaniswami-wins-trust-vote-after-chaos-in-assembly/articleshow/57220932.cms

BCCI General Manager RP Shah resigns from his post.

Details :

RP Shah, one of the three General Managers of BCCI, resigned from his post citing his age as a “reason”.

Shah was the General Manager (Commercial) and was considered to be one of the big decision makers in board’s commercial interest.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/cricket/bcci-general-manager-rp-shah-resigns-from-his-post/story-29NBkErOG7EqZhtKQWZpWL.html

China bans coal imports from North Korea.

Details :

China says it will halt all coal imports from North Korea for the rest of 2017, amid growing tensions on the Korean Peninsula following Pyongyang's most recent missile test.

Raytheon signs MoU with TASL for co-production of Stinger missile components.

Details :

Raytheon Company has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU)with Tata Advanced Systems Ltd (TASL) to engage in the co-production of Stinger air defence missile components.

As part of the agreement, TASL will produce components of the Stinger missile in India. Stinger has both surface-to-air and air-to-air applications against a variety of airborne targets.

In 2016, India was one of three international customers to order Stinger missiles. India will equip its AH-64 Apache helicopters soon to enter service with the Indian Air Force.
http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/logistics/raytheon-signs-mou-with-tasl-for-coproduction-of-stinger-missile-components/article9548825.ece

Feb. 17, 2017

Hindi Scholar and writer Surendra Verma selected for Vyas Samman award 2016.

Details :

Well known Hindi Scholar and writer Surendra Verma has been selected for Vyas Samman-2016.Mr Verma has been chosen for this prestigious award for his novel Kaatna Shami Ka Vriksha : Padma Pankhuri Ki Dhar Se, published in 2010.

The award instituted by K K Birla Foundation carries a cash award of 3.50 lakh rupees ..

Surendra Verma born September 7, 1941 is a leading Hindi litterateur and playwright.

He started out as a playwright, when his play Surya Ki Antim Kiran Se Surya Ki Pahli Kiran Tak (From sunset to sunrise, 1972) became quite well known; it has been translated into six Indian languages.

He has had a long association with the National School of Drama.and has published about fifteen titles of short stories, satires, novels and plays.

He has won the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1993 and the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1996.

RBI allows multilateral FIs to invest in masala bonds.

Details :

Reserve Bank of India permitted multilateral financial institutions to invest in rupee denominated bonds popularly known as ‘masala bonds’ issued by Indian entities.

In order to provide more choices of investors to Indian entities issuing rupee denominated bonds abroad, it has been decided to also permit multilateral and regional financial institutions where India is a member country, to invest in these rupee denominated bonds.

Masala bonds are bonds issued outside India but denominated in Indian Rupees, rather than the local currency.

The term was used by IFC to evoke the culture and cuisine of India. Unlike dollar bonds, where the borrower takes the currency risk, masala bond makes the investors bear the risk.

The first Masala bond was issued by the World Bank backed International Finance Corporation in November 2014 when it raised 1,000 crore bond to fund infrastructure projects in India.

Later in August 2015 International Financial Corporation for the first time issued green masala bonds and raised Rupees 3.15 Billion to be used for private sector investments that address climate change in India.

In July 2016 HDFC raised 3,000 crore rupees from Masala bonds and thereby became the first Indian company to issue masala bonds.

In the month of August 2016 public sector unit NTPC issued first corporate green masala bonds worth 2,000 crore rupees

India ranks 143rd in 2017 Economic Freedom Index.

Details :

India was ranked 143rd out of 186 economies in the annual Index of Economic Freedom 2017 that measures the degree of economic freedom in the countries of the world.

The annual index was released by a conservative US political thinktank, the Heritage Foundation.

 India’s overall score of 52.6 points is 3.6 points less than that of last year, when India was ranked 123rd.

Top 5 countries in this edition of index are Hong Kong (1st), Singapore (2nd) and New Zealand (3rd), Switzerland (4th) and Austria (5th).

India’s neighbours, Nepal (125th), Sri Lanka (112th), Pakistan (141st), Bhutan (107th), and Bangladesh (128th) have surpassed India. 

Among South Asian countries, only Afghanistan (163) and Maldives (157) were ranked below India.

The world average score of 60.9 is the highest recorded in the 23-year history of the index.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/india-ranks-143rd-in-economic-freedom-index-behind-pak-bhutan-us-thinktank/story-qKL7Xb68M33eiVkSVhVzdO.html

Cabinet approves signing of Air Services Agreement between India and Rwanda.

Details :

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the signing of Air Services Agreement between India and Rwanda. 

The Agreement has the potential to spur greater trade, investment, tourism and cultural exchange between India and Rwanda, bringing it in tune with developments in the civil aviation sector.

 It will provide enabling environment for enhanced and seamless connectivity while providing commercial opportunities to the carriers of both the sides ensuring greater safety and security.

President appoints five new SC judges.

Details :

President Pranab Mukherjee has appointed five new judges to the Supreme Court as per Article 124 of the constitution.

The new judges are Chief Justice of the Madras High Court Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court Shantanagoudar Mohan Mallikarjunagouda, Chief Justice of the Rajasthan High Court Navin Sinha, Chief Justice of the Chhattisgarh High Court Deepak Gupta and Karnataka High Court judge S. Abdul Nazeer.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/President-appoints-five-new-SC-judges/article17308395.ece

Dassault, Reliance form JV for Rafale.

Details :

Reliance Aerostructure Limited has incorporated a 51:49 joint venture with Dassault Aviation to capture a major share of the offset business arising from the €7.87 billion deal for Rafale fighter jets.

The joint venture has been named as Dassault Reliance Aerospace Limited (DARL). 

The facility will come up at Dhirubhai Aerospace Park at Mihan, Nagpur and the construction work on the greenfield facility will start in May 2017.

The facility will come up at Dhirubhai Aerospace Park at Mihan, Nagpur and the construction work on the greenfield facility will start in May 2017.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-business/Dassault-Reliance-form-JV-for-Rafale/article17316209.ece

Airbus signs MoU for setting up centre of excellence in Hyderabad.

Details :

Airbus has singed MoU with Telangana government, National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) of India and AEROCAMPUS France to establish centre of Excellence at Hyderabad.

The Centre, which will come up at Begumpet Airport, will train candidates ranging from high school graduates to experienced aviation personnel on aircraft manufacturing, logistics, Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO), ground handling and special aviation processes. 

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/transportation/airlines-/-aviation/airbus-signs-mou-for-setting-up-centre-of-excellence-in-hyderabad/articleshow/57166880.cms

First Indian genomics beacon launched in UK.

Details :

The Global Gene Corp and Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH)  launched the first-ever beacon for Indian genomics data.

It is expected to help scientists develop more effective drug delivery systems.

A Genomic beacon is an online web service that allows researchers to determine whether an institution has particular genomic data in its data set.

The aim of the Indian beacon is to address the gap in shared Indian genomics data, which helps scientists better understand disease and develop more effective drug delivery systems and therapeutics.

http://indianexpress.com/article/technology/science/first-indian-genomics-beacon-launched-in-uk-4525043/

UAE announces 100-year plan to finish building ‘first city on Mars’ by 2117.

Details :

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) will build the first city on the Red Planet as part of the 2117 Mars project in collaboration with specialised international organisations and scientific institutes.

The 100-year plan will involve scientific research programmes to nurture national cadres specialised in space sciences at universities in the UAE.

The new project will be associated with research themes featuring the exploration of transportation means, energy and food on Mars. It will also try to find faster transportation methods for travelling to and from Mars.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/uae-announces-100-year-plan-to-finish-building-first-city-on-mars-by-2117/story-U4SRaQ5jWnVLc0NF9R38bM.html

Indian-origin officer Shand Panesar wins UK’s Bravery Award.

Details :

Indian-origin Scotland Yard officer Shand Panesar along with his colleague Craig Nicholson was awarded 2017 Outstanding Bravery of the Year Award in special award ceremony of the Total Excellence in Policing Awards.

They were honored with this UK’s top bravery award for risking their own lives to save a family trapped in a burning house in Hillingdon in September 2016.

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/indian-origin-scotland-yard-officer-wins-bravery-award/1/883059.html

International Conference on NexGen Technologies for Mining and Fuel Industries held in New Delhi.

Details :

The 2017 International Conference on NexGen Technologies for Mining and Fuel Industries (NxGnMiFu-2017) was held in New Delhi.

 It was organised by CSIR-Central Institute of Mining and Fuel Research, Dhanbad as a part of CSIR’s platinum jubilee (completing 75 years) celebration. 

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=158481

Shah Rukh Khan to host TED Talks India.

Details :

Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan will soon host the Hindi version of popular international show TED Talks.

Star India will air the Indian version - TED Talks India

Itis to be created in partnership with non-profit TED, the deal marks the first time TED is collaborating with a major network and star to produce a TV series featuring original TED Talks in a language other than English.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/bollywood/it-s-confirmed-shah-rukh-khan-to-host-ted-talks-india-nayi-soch/story-kKwrXCWiKImgNcBlZNqLzO.html

BEL launches communication radio.

Details :

PSU Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) has unveiled a new communication radio for the Indian armed forces, called STARS-V Mk III, at the Aero India 2017 show. 

The radio is completely designed, developed and made in BEL.

It is a multi brand, high data rate, software intensive IP radio with mobile ad hoc networking (MANET) functions supporting up to 64 notes.

Vetiver Network launched.

Details :

India Vetiver Network (INVN) has been launched at Tamil Nadu Agricultural University.

INVN is a not-for-profit scientific network to promote vetiver in India. 

Vetiver has worldwide application to tackle many environmental issues like soil erosion, mitigation of soil and water pollution.

The mission of INVN is environmental protection using vetiver. Promotion of research in vetiver — identification of varieties, improved production technologies and distillation techniques.

Feb. 16, 2017

CCEA approves contract awards for 44 small oil and gas fields.

Details :

Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) gave its approval to award contract in 31 contract areas (44 fields – 28 onland and 16 offshore) of discovered small fields of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and Oil India Limited (OIL).

The award of contract is expected to provide faster development of oil and gas fields and facilitate production of oil and gas thereby increasing energy security of the country.

These areas were discovered long back but these discoveries could not be monetized due to various reasons such as isolated locations, small size of reserves, high development costs, technological constraints, fiscal regime etc. 

It is expected that in-place locked hydrocarbons volume of 40 MMT oil and 22.0 BCM of gas will be monetised over a period of 15 years.

The production from these contract areas will supplement the domestic production. 

For early monetization of these fields, in September, 2015, Cabinet approved 69 marginal fields for offer under Discovered Small Fields Policy.  

Out of these, 67 Discovered Small Fields were clubbed into 46 contract areas and put on offer through online international competitive bidding.

A total of 134 e-bids were received for 34 contract areas. A total of 47 companies submitted their bid, out of which 43 are Indian Companies and rest 04 are foreign companies.

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=158497

Cabinet approves Establishment of Food Legumes Research Platform (FLRP) at Amlaha.

Details :

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved establishment of Food Legumes Research Platform (FLRP) at Amlaha in Sehore, Madhya Pradesh with Satellite Hubs in West Bengal and Rajasthan.

Cabinet approval confers FLRP an international status as contemplated in Clause 3 of the United Nations (Privileges and Immunities) Act, 1947. 

The FLRP will be established by International Centre for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA) for meeting the emerging food security challenges.

ICARDA will carry out research through a multi-disciplinary team of scientists for enhancing productivity of crops range-land and livestock.

This platform will contribute significantly towards reducing poverty, improving food security, improving nutrition and health, and sustaining the natural resource base.    

The research output would benefit farmers of all regions, whether big, small or marginal; and as technologies developed would be eligible for use by all farmers, the project is equitable and inclusive.

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=158499

Government launches TAMRA Portal and Mobile Application.

Details :

Union Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines, Shri Piyush Goyal launched TAMRA (Transparency, Auction Monitoring and Resource Augmentation) portal and Mobile Application, With an objective to enhance transparency and accountability as a part of the Ease of Doing Business in the Mining sector.

The TAMRA covers block-wise, state-wise and mineral-wise information of mines to be auctioned. It monitors various statutory clearances and also highlights the additional resources generated through e-auction.

In case of delay in obtaining any clearances, TAMRA will send triggers to the concerned authority so that the remedial steps can be taken immediately by those responsible.

The Ministry of Mines will also receive triggers generated by TAMRA and will facilitate in expediting clearances. This portal also enables successful bidder to give suggestions/inputs.

TAMRA will be an interactive platform for all the stakeholders to compress the timelines for statutory and other clearances as it would help minimize the gestation period for commencing production.

Cabinet approves Amending the Collection of Statistics Act, 2008.

Details :

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved a proposal to introduce a Bill in Parliament to extend the jurisdiction of the Collection of Statistics Act, 2008 to Jammu & Kashmir.

The amendment on statistics relevant to any matters under any of the entries specified in the List-I (Union List) and the List- III (Concurrent List) in the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution, as applicable to Jammu & Kashmir under the Constitution (Application to Jammu & Kashmir) Order, 1954.

The Amendment will strengthen data collection mechanism in the State of Jammu & Kashmir.

The Amendment will:

Provide for extending the jurisdiction of the Act to Jammu & Kashmir State in respect of matters not reserved for the State as per the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order 1954;

 Provide for appointing a nodal officer at the Centre and in each State/Union Territory to effectively coordinate data collection activities and provide consultation to Government Departments for avoiding unnecessary duplication, etc.

Background

 The Collection of Statistics Act, 2008 was enacted to facilitate the collection of statistics on economics, demographic, social, scientific and environmental aspects etc.

The Act extends to the whole of India, except Jammu & Kashmir. The Jammu & Kashmir State legislature enacted the Jammu & Kashmir Collection of Statistics Act, 2010, which extends to the whole of the State of Jammu & Kashmir and is almost a replica of the central legislation.

The Collection of Statistics Act, 2008 and the Jammu & Kashmir Collection of Statistics Act, 2010 are not applicable to statistical subjects falling in the Union List, as applicable to the Jammu & Kashmir under the Constitution (Application to Jammu & Kashmir) Order 1954.

This has created a legislative vacuum. Moreover, the concurrent jurisdiction to be exercised by the Centre in Jammu & Kashmir has also not been provided for, in the Collection of Statistics Act, 2008. The amendment is intended to address this vacuum.

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=158493

Cabinet approves merger of 5 associate banks with SBI.

Details :

The Union Cabinet has approved the merger of State Bank of India (SBI) with five of its associate/subsidiary banks.

The five associate banks are State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Patiala and State Bank of Travancore.

The acquisition under Section 35 of the SBI Act, 1955 will result in the creation of a stronger merged entity. It will minimize vulnerability faced by subsidiary banks to any geographic concentration risks.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/finance/cabinet-approves-merger-of-5-associate-banks-with-sbi-117021501073_1.html

Hockey international Sandeep Singh gets honorary doctorate.

Details :

Indian professional hockey player Sandeep Singh has been honored with an Honorary Doctorate.

He was bestowed with the honour by Desh Bhagat University, a private educational institution in Amloh, Fatehgarh Sahib district of Punjab.

Sandeep is only the second Indian player after former captain and sitting Member of Parliament, Dileep Tirkey, to have an honorary degree for sporting excellence.

http://indianexpress.com/article/sports/hockey/hockey-international-sandeep-singh-gets-honorary-doctorate-4524583/

Usain Bolt wins Laureus 'Sportsman of the Year' award.

Details :

Jamaica’s sprinter Usain Bolt won the ‘Sportsman of the Year’ award at the Laureus World Awards or the ‘Oscar of Sports’ held in Monaco.  

Usain Bolt received his award from legendary Michael Johnson.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sports/more-sports/others/usain-bolt-wins-laureus-sportsman-of-the-year-award/articleshow/57159014.cms

HDFC Life Launches ‘Pragati’ Plan For Low Income Group.

Details :

HDFC life launched Pragati, a traditional life insurance plan that has been specifically designed to empower low income families.

With Pragati, HDFC Life wants to offer the dual benefit of systematic savings (with guaranteed premium returns) and wholesome life protection, making it an ideal financial product for every Indian household.

Edappadi Palaniswami takes oath as 13th Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.

Details :

 Edappadi K Palaniswami was sworn in as the 13th Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu by Governor C Vidyasagar Rao.

Palaniswami took oath first, followed by 30 ministers in four batches. 

Palaniswamy will seek vote of confidence on the floor of the state Assembly.

Edappadi K. Palaniswami (born 2 March 1954) is an Indian politician who is the 13th and current Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, having assumed the office on 16 February, 2017.

He is a senior leader of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK).

A member of the Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam political party, he is the incumbent Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) for Edapadi in the Salem district in Tamil Nadu.

He previously served as Minister for Highways & Minor Ports in the Jayalalithaa and O. Panneerselvam-led ministries of the Government of Tamil Nadu.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edappadi_K._Palaniswami

Vikas Swarup appointed as India’s High Commissioner to Canada.

Details :

Vikas Swarup, who is currently serving as the official spokesperson of Ministry of External Affairs, appointed as High Commissioner of lndia to Canada.

Swarup is an officer of the Indian Foreign Service batch of 1986 and is famous for penning down the novel Q & A, adapted in film as Slumdog Millionaire.

In April 2015, he replaced Syed Akbaruddin as the official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs of India to head its Public Diplomacy divisions in New Delhi.

Two-day Global Investor Summit 'Momentum Jharkhand' begins in Ranchi.

Details :

A two-day mega event of Global Investor Summit, branded as "Momentum Jharkhand" begins at Khelgaon of Ranchi. 

More than one thousands delegates, including many leading industrialists, both Indian and from other countries, will take part in this. 

http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ani/two-day-global-investor-summit-momentum-jharkhand-begins-in-ranchi-117021600155_1.html

Mamata declares Kalimpong as separate district.

Details :

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee declared Kalimpong as 21st district of West Bengal  Kalimpong as separate district of West Bengal .

The new district craved out from Darjeeling.

Rs 220 crore road link project will be taken up to connect Kalimpong with Sikkim via the old Silk Route.

A Rs 50 crore water supply project by the public health engineering department will be taken up soon to address Kalimpong's water scarcity problem.

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-wb-cm-mamata-banerjee-declares-kalimpong-as-separate-district-announces-slew-of-projects-2323039

Feb. 15, 2017

ISRO sends 104 satellites in one go, breaks Russia's record.

Details :

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) created history by successfully launching a record 104 satellites in single rocket.

These satellites were launched on board of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C37, on its 39th mission from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.

with the 104 satellites, of which 101 belongs to international customers 3 belongs to India.

Of 101 co-passenger satellites, 96 belong to USA, five from International customers of ISRO -- Israel, Kazakhstan, Netherlands, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, respectively 

India’s three satellites included earth-mapping Cartosat-2 satellite (main payload) and nanosatellites INS-1A and INS-1B.

PSLV first launched the Cartosat-2 and then its 103 co-passengers (together weighing about 664 kg) into the polar Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO), about 520 km from the Earth.

Cartosat-2 Series, which is the primary satellite, will be similar to the earlier four satellites in Cartosat-2 Series. 

It weighs 714 kg and has a mission life of five years.

The two Indian Nano-satellites INS-1A and INS-1B were developed as co-passenger satellites to accompany bigger satellites on PSLV. 

The primary objective of INS (ISRO Nano Satellite) is to provide an opportunity for ISRO technology demonstration payloads, provide a standard bus for launch on demand services. 

INS-1A carries Surface Bidirectional Reflectance Distribution Function Radiometer and INS-1B caries Earth Exosphere Lyman Alpha Analyser as payloads. 

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/science/isro-sends-104-satellites-in-one-go-breaks-russias-record/articleshow/57159365.cms

FSSAI constitutes scientific panel on food fortification and nutrition.

Details :

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), has constituted a scientific panel on food fortification and nutrition. 

The Panel will identify critical nutritional gaps in the Indian diet in general and also in specific target groups based on credible scientific evidence and diet surveys.
The scientific panel has eleven distinguished experts and scientists and includes 10 members from various research institutions. Apart from these, members from scientific panels dealing with fortification of food such as wheat flour, refined flour, rice, milk, edible oil and salt will also be a part of this panel. 

IAF inducts indigenous early warning system.

Details :

The Indian Airforce (IAG) has formally inducted the first indigenously built Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AEW&C) dubbed as NETRA.

It was developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation and it was unveiled at the Aero India exhibition 2017.

These airborne warning systems, capable of long range surveillance, are huge force multipliers. Netra is based on Embraer aircraft and three systems are to be developed.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/IAF-inducts-indigenous-early-warning-system/article17303780.ece

India joins UN network to halve number of maternal, newborn deaths by 2030.

Details :

India has joined Network for Improving Quality of Care for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health.

This network focused on improving the quality of care for new mothers and babies and strengthen national efforts to end preventable deaths of pregnant women and newborns by 2030.

The network is supported by World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and other partners.

India is among nine countries that will be part of the network. Other countries are Bangladesh, A Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/india-joins-un-network-to-halve-number-of-maternal-newborn-deaths-by-2030/story-omGknUMDDgZibqDItBcBQP.html

IMF opens technical assistance and training centre SARTTAC in New Delhi.

Details :

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has opened a first-of-its-kind South Asia Training and Technical Assistance Centre (SARTTAC) in New Delhi for economic capacity building in South Asia.

SARTTAC is a collaborative venture between the IMF, the member countries (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka) , and development partners.

The Center aims at helping its member countries strengthen their institutional and human capacity to design and implement macroeconomic and financial policies that promote growth and reduce poverty in a rapidly growing region that is home to one fifth of the world’s population.

SARTTAC will allow the IMF to meet more of the high demand for technical assistance and training from the region.

Need not stand for National Anthem if it is in film: Supreme Court

Details :

The Supreme Court has clarified that there is no need to compulsorily stand up when the national anthem is sung or played as part of a film or documentary.

It is clarified that when the national anthem is sung or played in the storyline of a feature film or as part of the newsreel or documentary, apart from what has been stated in the order dated November 30, 2016, the audience need not stand.

The apex court’s clarification came after several applications were filed on the question, including from the Kodungallur Film Society and the Conference for Human Rights.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/need-not-stand-for-national-anthem-if-it-is-in-film-says-supreme-court/articleshow/57155987.cms

UNESCO Nature Fest Held in Himachal Pradesh.

Details :

The 2017 UNESCO Natural Heritage Festival was held at Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP) in Sairopa, Himachal Pradesh from February 11th to 12th, 2017.

The fest was held in collaboration with the Wildlife Institute of India (WII).

The festival feature a media workshop on environmental journalism, discussions on natural and cultural heritage of the Himalayan region and a heritage walk.

Indian Seed Congress 2017 held in Kolkata.

Details :

Indian Seed Congress 2017 held in Kolkata.

The theme of this edition of annual forum was “Seed of Joy”, which is very much in line with vision of this government to bring happiness and prosperity in the lives of farmers by doubling their farm income by 2022.

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=158415

Annual 'Cobra Gold' Exercise Commences In Thailand.

Details :

The annual Cobra Gold joint military Exercise commenced in Thailand.

It is jointly hosted by the US and Thailand.

Now in its 36th iteration, Cobra Gold is the largest theater security cooperation exercise in Asia.

Approximately 3,600 U.S. soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines are involved in the activities, which include shore and afloat training.

Nearly 30 nations are taking part in the Thailand-hosted exercise including  Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea are among the nations joining the United States and Thailand in the training.

Racer Jehan Daruvala wins New Zealand Grand Prix.

Details :

Young Indian racer Jehan Daruvala has won the Toyota Racing Series’ New Zealand Grand Prix held at the Chris Amon Circuit in Manfeild, New Zealand.

Jehan amassed 781 points in the 15-race series held in January-February 2017 and finished it in fifth position. 

Thomas Randle of New Zealand, with 855 points, was crowned champion of the series.

Brazilian Pedro Piquet (850 points), son of former F1 world champion Nelson Piquet, came at second place ahead of Dutch driver Richard Verschoor (843 points).

http://www.hindustantimes.com/other-sports/jehan-daruvala-wins-new-zealand-gp-finishes-fifth-in-toyota-series/story-SJxaPzEeVXOsqpVBM9fK8I.html

France’s Jean-Pierre Lacroix named new UN peacekeeping chief.

Details :

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced the appointment of Jean-Pierre Lacroix of France to head UN peacekeeping for a year pending a review of the world body’s functions and structure.

He will succeed Herve Ladsous, who will step down in March 2017after six years of service.

http://indianexpress.com/article/world/frances-jean-pierre-lacroix-named-new-un-peacekeeping-chief-4525478/

Veteran journalist T V Parasuram passes away.

Details :

Veteran journalist T V Parasuram, a former correspondent of the Press Trust of India, died in the US due to age-related illness.

He had started his career in the 1950s in the US as the PTI correspondent at UN. 

He also had served as the correspondent for The Indian Express for two decades till his retirement at age 58. Later he became the PTI’s Washington correspondent till he quit journalism at age 82.

He had won a Harvard Niemen Fellowship in journalism.

 Parasuram authored two books, 'A Medal for Kashmir' - a first hand account of the Indian Army's operations in 1947-48 in Jammu and Kashmir - and 'India's Jewish Heritage'.

http://www.newindianexpress.com/world/2017/feb/14/veteran-journalist-t-v-parasuram-dead-1570561.html

Govt allocates Rs 500 cr to India Post Payments Bank.

Details :

Government has allocated Rs 500 crore to India Post Payments Bank for financial year 2017-18 as it gears up to set up 650 branches across country by September 2017.

125 crore has been allocated as capital infusion into corporate entity for India Post Payments Bank” and Rs 375 crore as grant in aid to India Post Payments Bank (IPPB).

Haryana govt imposes curbs on liquor consumption.

Details :

Haryana government has notified that no person will be allowed to consume liquor at a place which is not licensed or authorized under the Punjab Excise Act, 1914 except his dwelling unit. 

consumption of liquor on or along the road, in a park/garden/market, along a river side as well as in a vehicle, whether running or parked, shall now be an offence.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/haryana-govt-imposes-curbs-on-liquor-consumption-117021400677_1.html

Feb. 14, 2017

59th Annual Grammy Awards.

Details :

The 59th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony was held on February 12, 2017.

It was announced by the Recording Academy announced at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.

The ceremony recognized the best recordings, compositions, and artists of the eligibility year, which runs from October 1, 2015 to September 30, 2016.

The nominations were announced on December 6, 2016.

Sandeep Das has joined the league of a few ‘extraordinary’ Indians after winning the prestigious Grammy Awards.

The famous tabla player won Best World Music Album with Yo-Yo Ma at the 59th Grammy Awards.

Winners List:

Record of the year: Hello – Adele

Album of the year: 25 – Adele

Song of the year: Hello – Adele

Best new artist: Chance the Rapper

Best pop solo performance: Hello – Adele

Best pop duo/group performance: Stressed Out – Twenty One Pilots

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album - Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin – Willie Nelson

Best pop vocal album: 25 - Adele

Best dance recording: The Chainsmokers – Don’t Let Me Down 

Best Dance/Electronic Album: Skin – Flume

Best Contemporary Instrumental Album: Culcha Vulcha – Snarky Puppy

Best rock performance: David Bowie – Blackstar

Best metal performance: Megadeth – Dystopia

Best R&B performance: Solange – Cranes In the Sky.

Best R&B song: Maxwell – Lake By the Ocean

Best urban contemporary album: Beyonce – Lemonade

Best rap performance: Chance The Rapper featuring Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz – No Problem.

Best rap/sung performance: Drake – Hotline Bling.

Best rap album: Chance the Rapper – Coloring Book.

Best country solo performance: My Church – Maren MorrisBest rock song: Blackstar – David Bowie

Best Country Duo/Group Performance: "Jolene" – Pentatonix featuring Dolly Parton

Best Country Songl: "Humble and Kind"

Best Country Album: A Sailor's Guide to Earth – Sturgill Simpson

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/59th_Annual_Grammy_Awards

India's Rankings in Different Indexes 2016-17.

Details :

India ranks 130th in 2017 Ease of Doing Business index:

India has been placed at 130th position among the 190 countries in the recently released World Bank’s ease of doing business index for the year 2017.

The index was released as part of the World Bank’s annual report Doing Business 2017: Equal Opportunity for All.

Top 5 Countries: New Zealand (1st), Singapore (2nd), Denmark (3rd), Hong Kong (4th), South Korea (5th).


India ranked 10th in the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI):

India has been ranked 10th in the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows in the world , as per the latest 2016 World Investment Report by the United Nations Conference for Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

The list is topped by United States followed by Hong kong, China, Ireland, Netherlands, Switzerland, Singapore, Brazil and Canada.


India ranks 39th in 2016-17 Global Competitiveness Index:

India has been ranked 39th among the 138 countries in the 2016-17 Global Competitiveness Index (GCI).

The index was released as part of the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Competitiveness Report for 2016-17.

Key Facts Top 5 Countries: Switzerland (1st), Singapore (2nd), United States (3rd), Netherlands (4th) and Germany (5th).


India ranks 70th on 'Good Country' index 2015:

 India figured ranked 70th position on a list of 163 nations.

According to the 'Good Country' 2015 index which seeks to measure how countries contribute to the global good.

The top 5 best countries: Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, the UK, Germany.


India ranks 77th on 2016 World Risk Index:

India has been ranked 77th among the 171 countries in the 2016 World Risk Index (WRI).

The index was released as part of the World Risk Report 2016 released by the United Nations University Institute for Environment (UNUIE) and Human Security (UNU-EHS) and Bundnis Entwicklung Hilft in cooperation with the University of Stuttgart in Germany.


W10 Report 2016:

According to the report by New World Wealth, India has been ranked 7th in the list of top 10 wealthiest countries in the world, which was topped by the United States with total individual wealth of USD 48,700 billion.

Other countries in the top five list are China in the second position with a total individual wealth of USD 17,300 billion, Japan (3rd, USD 15,200 billion), Germany (4th, USD 9,400 billion) and United Kingdom (5th, USD 9,200 billion).

India ranks 133 in 2016 World Press Freedom Index:

2016 World Press Freedom Index (WPFI), India ranked 133rd out of 180 nations surveyed worldwide in terms of press freedom in 2015.

Top 5 Countries: Finland (Rank 1st), Netherlands (2nd), Norway (3rd), Denmark (4th), New Zealand (5th).

India ranks 118th on UN’s World Happiness Index 2016:

India ranked 118th out of 157 countries on the United Nations’ World Happiness Index (WHI) 2016.

It was revealed by the fourth World Happiness Report 2016 published by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), a global initiative for the UN.

Top 5 countries: Denmark (1st), Switzerland (2nd), Iceland (3rd), Norway (4th) and Finland (5th).

India ranks 112th in 2016 World Economic Freedom Index:

India has been ranked 112th out of 159 countries in the 2016 World Economic Freedom Index (WEFI). The index was release as part of the 2016 annual report of the Economic Freedom.

Top 5 Countries in 2016 WEFI: Hong Kong (1st), Singapore (2nd), New Zealand (3rd), Switzerland (4th), Canada (5th).

India ranks 110th on Sustainable Development index:

India has been ranked a low 110th out of 149 countries on Sustainable Development index (SDI).

Top 5 Countries: Sweden (1st), Denmark (2nd), Norway (3rd), Finland (4th), Switzerland (5th).

India ranks 35th in 2016 Logistics Performance Index: World Bank Report.

Bi-annual Logistics Performance Index (LPI) 2016 of World Bank Group, India ranked 35th among 160 countries. The index was published in the World Bank bi-annual report ‘Connecting to Compete 2016.

Top 5 countries in 2016 LPI: Germany (score: 4.23 points), Luxembourg (4.22), Sweden (4.20), Netherlands (4.19) and Singapore (4.14).

India ranks 43rd out of 45 nations in 2017 International Intellectual Property Index:

India ranked low 43rd among the surveyed 45 nations in 2017 International Intellectual Property Index (IIPI).
Top 5 Countries in 2017 IIPI: United States (1st), United Kingdom (2nd), Germany (3rd), Japan (4th), Sweden (5th).

India ranks 92nd in 2017 Global Talent Index:

India was ranked 92nd among 118 countries in the 2017 Global index of talent competitiveness (GTI) list. 

Top 5 Countries: Switzerland (1st), Singapore (2nd), United Kingdom (3rd), United States (4th), Sweden (5th).


India ranked 141 out of 163 countries on 2016 Global Peace Index:


India was ranked 141 on a Global Peace Index (GPI) for year 2016 out of 163 countries, making it less peaceful country.

Top 5 peaceful countries: Iceland (1st), Denmark (2nd), Austria (3rd), New Zealand (4th), Portugal (5th).

70th British Academy Film Awards.

Details :

The 70th British Academy Film Awards,  more commonly known as the BAFTAs, were held on 12 February 2017 at the Royal Albert Hall in London, to honour the best British and international contributions to film in 2016.

Presented by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), accolades are handed out for the best feature-length film and documentaries of any nationality screened at British cinemas in 2016.

Winners List:

Best Film: La La Land

Best Director: Damien Chazelle (La La Land)

Best Actor In Leading Role: Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea)

Best Actress In Leading Role: Emma Stone (La La Land)

Best Actor In Supporting Role : Dev Patel (Lion)

Best  Actress In Supporting Role : Viola Davis (Fences)

Best Original Screenplay: Manchester by the Sea

Best Adapted Screenplay: Lion

Best Original Screenplay: Manchester by the Sea

Best Adapted Screenplay: Lion

Best Cinematography: La La Land

Best Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer: Babak Anvari (Writer/Director), Emily Leo, Oliver Roskill, Lucan Toh (Producers) for Under the Shadow.

Best Documentary: 13th

Best Original Music: La La Land

Best Sound: Arrival

Best Production Design: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Best Special Visual Effects: The Jungle Book

Best Costume Design: Jackie

Best Make Up and Hair: Florence Foster Jenkins

Best Editing: Hacksaw Ridge

Best Film Not in the English Language: Son of Saul

Best Animated Film: Kubo and the Two Strings

Best  Short Animation: A Love Story

Best Short Film: Home

EE Rising Star Award: Tom Holland

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/70th_British_Academy_Film_Awards

India’s first floating elementary school inaugurated on Manipur’s Loktak Lake.

Details :

India’s first floating elementary school named Loktak Elementary Floating School was inaugurated at Langolsabi Leikai of Champu Khangpok floating village on Loktak Lake in Manipur.

It aims to provide education to drop outs students, who were rendered homeless due to the recent evacuation of phumdis.

The first of its kind loktak floating elementary school. 

It was opened under the initiative undertaken by All Loktak Lake Fisherman’s Union with the support of an NGO People Resources Development Association (PRDA). 

The Loktak Lake is referred as the “lifeline of Manipur” as it is highly productive and many lives depend on the lake for endurance. 

This ancient lake serves as a source of water for hydropower generation, irrigation and drinking water supply.

The lake is also a source of livelihood for the rural fisherman who lives in the surrounding areas and on phumdis, also known as “phumshongs”.

http://indianexpress.com/article/education/indias-first-floating-elementary-school-inaugurated-on-manipurs-loktak-lake-4522383/

DAE plans to develop uranium deposits in Meghalaya: Govt

Details :

The Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) has planned to develop large deposits of uranium in Meghalaya that have the potential to generate substantial nuclear fuel for atomic power plants in the country.

It was announced by Jitendra Singh (In a written reply), Union Minister of State (MoS) in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), which looks after DAE, in a written response to a question in the Lok Sabha.

Uranium mineralisation in Meghalaya has been found over a large area around Domiasiat, Wahkyn, Lostoin. 

Environmental clearance for this project has been obtained from the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change in December 2007.

An agreement has also been signed between UCIL and the land owners of the project site in May 2007 for acquisition of land on annual lease rent basis.

At present, the Uranium Corporation of India Limited has uranium mining projects in Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh.

Reliance Defence signs pact with US Navy.

Details :

Reliance Defence and Engineering Limited (RDEL) has signed a Master Ship Repair Agreement (MSRA) with the US Navy.

The agreement will see warships from the US Navy's Seventh Fleet visiting the Indian facility for complex repair and alteration works. 

Under this agreement, RDEL will maintain the vessels of US Seventh Fleet involving 100 vessels operating in the Indian Ocean.

At present the US Navy uses yards in Singapore and Japan for these works. 

The company expects major work after the signing of the logistics exchange memorandum of agreement (LEMOA) in August 2016 that enables either side to use facilities for refuelling and replenishment. 

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/defence/reliance-defence-signs-warship-repair-pact-with-us-navy/articleshow/57124124.cms

Karnataka assembly passes bill to allow 'Kambala'.

Details :

Karnataka assembly passed a bill to facilitate the conduct of "Kambala", a traditional annual buffalo race in marshy fields, held in the coastal districts of the state.

Karnataka assembly on Monday passed a bill to facilitate the conduct of "Kambala", a traditional annual buffalo race in marshy fields, held in the coastal districts of the state.

In November 2016, the Karnataka high court had banned the kambala along with bull-cart race in the state while hearing a case filed by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) citing animal cruelty.

The high court had stayed these traditional sports in view of the Supreme Court’s ban on jallikattu, a traditional bull taming sport of Tamil Nadu. 

Kambla in its traditional form is non-competitive with buffalo pairs made to race one after another in paddy fields, which is considered a thanksgiving to the Gods for protecting the animals from diseases.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/karnataka-assembly-passes-bill-to-allow-kambala/articleshow/57123055.cms

J&K govt launches e-Prison project.

Details :

The Jammu and Kashmir government launched the e-Prison project to enumerate jail inmates in the State, where numbers of detainees keep swelling during unrest.

The government has already digitised records of 500 inmates.

The project will digitise 25 district jails, two Central jails and one sub-jail in the State.

The second phase of the project will focus on videoconferencing between jails and prison headquarters, e-court, tele-medication in jails.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/JK-govt-launches-e-Prison-project/article17299690.ece

11th edition of Aero India begins.

Details :

The 11th biennial edition of the International Aerospace and Defence exhibition Aero India began at the Air Force Station, Yelahanka in Bengaluru, capital city of Karnataka.

It was inaugurated by Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.

The five day event is being organised and conducted by the Defence Exhibition Organisation (DEO).

Nearly 270 Indian and 279 foreign companies from 51 countries are taking part in the expo. 

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/Live-updates-Aero-India-expo-2017-Day-1/article17300601.ece

Nilesh Shivji Vikamsey elected as new ICAI President.

Details :

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI)appointed CA Nilesh Shivji Vikamsey.

Vikamsey has been a member of the ICAI since 1985. He has served the ICAI Council as a member since 2010 and then as vice-president of the institute in 2016-17

Besides, Naveen N D Gupta was appointed as vice-president.

Gupta has over 20 years of experience in auditing, banking and finance. He has an experience of handling intricate accounting, auditing, corporate governance and finance issues. Gupta has been serving as a Central Council member since 2010.

ICAI is a statutory body established by the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949 for the regulation of the profession of Chartered Accountants in India.

The affairs of the ICAI are managed by a council in accordance with the provisions of the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949 and the Chartered Accountants Regulations, 1988.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ani/nilesh-shivji-vikamsey-elected-as-new-icai-president-117021300128_1.html

Tehmina Janjua becomes Pakistan’s first woman foreign secretary.

Details :

Pakistan’s senior diplomat Tehmina Janjua was appointed as the Foreign Secretary.

With this, she became Pakistan’s first woman Foreign Secretary to UN and Permanent Representative to the UN.

Janjua will replace outgoing foreign secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry. Tehmina Janjua will assume the post of foreign secretary in the first week of March 2017.

She will serves as the 29th Foreign Secretary of Pakistan.

Previously, she served as Pakistan's Representative to the United Nation's Geneva and as its ambassador to Italy.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/tehmina-janjua-becomes-pakistan-s-first-woman-foreign-secretary/story-E61KjooiJOTY62zviKUcxI.html

US National Security Adviser Michael Flynn resigns over his contacts with Russia.

Details :

President Donald Trump's national security adviser (NSA), Michael Flynn, resigned after revelations that he had discussed U.S. sanctions on Russia with the Russian ambassador to the United States before Trump took office.

Retired Lieutenant General Joseph Keith Kellogg has been appointed the acting NSA. 

L&T, European co MBDA tie up for missiles.

Details :

Engineering conglomerate Larsen and Toubro (L&T) and European missile major MBDA have announced to set up of a joint venture (JV) to develop and produce new-generation tactical missiles for the Indian armed forces.

In this JV, L&T holds 51% share and the MBDA hold the remaining 49%. 

The joint venture (JV) L&T MBDA Missile Systems Ltd, is expected to be incorporated after necessary approvals in the first half of 2017.

The JV will initially work to develop and supply fifth-generation, anti-tank guided missiles, missiles for coastal defence batteries and high-speed target drones to the Indian forces.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/lt-european-co-mbda-tie-up-for-missiles/articleshow/57137731.cms

Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizers Limited declared India’s first cashless township.

Details :

The National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Ayog) has declared Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizers Limited (GNFC) Township at Bharuch as India’s first cashless township.

Around 10,000 people will be benefited by the initiative.

The restaurants, floor mill, pan and cold drink shop, retail outlet, laundry shop, college, schools and sports and recreation clubs within the township are equipped with POS machines for cashless transactions. GNFC has also asked its suppliers, transporters to use cashless method for all transactions.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/surat/gnfc-countrys-1st-cashless-township/articleshow/57133959.cms

UFC 208: Germaine De Randamie crowned first UFC women’s featherweight champion.

Details :

Germaine de Randamie defeated Holly Holm by unanimous decision in a clinch-filled bout at UFC 208 to become the first UFC women’s featherweight champion.

The featherweight division was newly introduced by the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in 2016.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/other-sports/ufc-208-germaine-de-randamie-crowned-first-ufc-women-s-featherweight-champion/story-awbfVLYaLdWaCkp993C5bI.html

Sachin Tendulkar adopts another village for transformation.

Details :

 Indian cricket icon and Rajya Sabha MP Sachin Tendulkar is now set to adopt Donja in Osmanabad (Maharashtra) under the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojna.

Tendulkar has sanctioned over Rs 4 crore from his MPLAD fund for development of Donja.

The amount will be spent on development of a new school building, a water supply scheme that would provide potable water to each household, concrete roads and a sewage line attached to the same, a press release stated.

Previously he adopted and transformed the lives of villagers in Puttamraju Kandriga in Andhra Pradesh.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sports/off-the-field/sachin-tendulkar-adopts-another-village-for-transformation/articleshow/57142041.cms

Longest elevated cycle path in the world opens in China.

Details :

The longest elevated bike path in the world has been opened in the Chinese city of Xiamen.

The path is five miles long and 16 feet wide having 11 entrances and connects to 11 bus stops and two underground rail stations.

The route is set to be open from 6.30am to 10.30pm during an initial month-long trial period, and individuals who are without bicycles can hire one of 300 hire bikes along the route.

Feb. 13, 2017

India to host counter-radicalisation conference with ASEAN.

Details :

India is planning to host a conference on counter-radicalisation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in October 2017.

It will provide common platform to countries for sharing experiences and ideas on prevention of radicalisation.

The plan is to share India’s experience and benefit from that of ASEAN countries, especially Malaysia. More countries could be invited as observers depending on the interest.

The UAE is one such country — it has expertise in deradicalisation that was one of the key areas of discussions during the recent bilateral interactions.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-plans-to-host-counter-radicalisation-conference-with-asean-4518638/

INS Sarvekshak becomes India’s first ship to go green.

Details :

Indian Navy’s survey vessel INS Sarvekshak has gone green by installing a solar power system on board. By this it becomes India’s first ship to go green.

The system is 100% reliable for power source that can be used for communication equipment, general lightings onboard and battery charging round the clock with battery outputs during night.

By installing the 5 KW solar power system, the vessel will be able to avoid around 165kg of carbon a day, 60,225 kg of carbon a year plus 22,995 litres of diesel.

The solar power system capable of generating 5.4KW electricity and replacing the ship’s traditional 4.4KW emergency diesel alternator. 

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/ins-sarvekshak-goes-green-solar-power-system-installed-on-board/story-5MsWAocWMezCB2WRTwCwkI.html

February 13: World Radio Day.

Details :

World Radio Day is an observance day held annually on 13 February.

World Radio Day is about celebrating radio, why we love it and why we need it today more than ever.

A day to remember the unique power of radio to touch lives and bring people together across every corner of the globe.

It was proclaimed on 3 November 2011 by UNESCO's 36th General Conference after originally proposed by the Kingdom of Spain.

2017 Theme: “Radio is You”. It is a call for greater participation of audiences and communities in the policy and planning of radio broadcasting.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Radio_Day

Frank-Walter Steinmeier elected President of Germany.

Details :

Germany's parliamentary assembly has elected Frank-Walter Steinmeier, a Social Democrat, as the country's president. He will take office on 19 March 2017, succeeding Joachim Gauck

Frank-Walter Steinmeier  born 5 January 1956.

He previously served as Minister for Foreign Affairs from 2005 to 2009 and again from 2013 to 2017, and as vice chancellor from 2007 to 2009.

He was chairman-in-office of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in 2016.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank-Walter_Steinmeier

FSSAI sets up panel to finalise laws on food fortification.

Details :

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has set up a scientific panel to frame final regulations on fortification of foods and prepare strategies to address malnutrition problem. 

The panel has 11 experts and scientists.

FSSAI has already issued the draft guidelines on fortification for five food items -- salt, milk, wheat flour, rice and edible oil -- to boost production and consumption of fortified foods.

Members from Scientific Panels dealing with food fortifying vehicles such as wheat flour, refined flour, rice, milk, edible oil and salt will also be a part of this committee.

The panel will also address regulatory and related technological issues, review proposals from industry using modern risk assessment methods, and prescribe standard sampling and test methods for effective monitoring, surveillance and enforcement of the relevant regulations.

http://www.deccanchronicle.com/business/in-other-news/120217/fssai-sets-up-panel-to-finalise-laws-on-food-fortification.html

Second edition of International Spice Conference Begins at Thiruvananthapuram.

Details :

The second edition of the International Spice Conference has began at Kovalam in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala from February 12 - 14, 2017.

It will deliberate on effective strategies and innovative technologies to improve the livelihood of spices farmers and address challenges being faced by the industry. 

The three days conference has been hosted by All India Spices Exporters Forum (AISEF) in association with the Cochin Chamber of Commerce and Industry. 

The theme of the conference is '21st Century Spic Industry-Disrupt or be Disrupted'. 

Sandeep Jajodia appointed Assocham president.

Details :

Monnet Ispat & Energy Ltd. CMD Sandeep Jajodia has been appointed the new president of industry chamber Assocham.

Balkrishan Goenka, Chairman, Welspun Group and Kiran Kumar Grandhi, vice-chairman of GMR Infrastructure Ltd, have taken over as senior vice-president and vice-president respectively.

Assocham will continue to play a transformational role both nationally and globally and the chamber will empower Indian enterprises by focusing on the most critical and relevant issues in a highly impact-oriented manner.

Manga comic art legend Jiro Taniguchi dies at 69 in Japan.

Details :

Jiro Taniguchi, a legend in Japan's comic art of manga, died in Tokyo. He was 69.

He was born  on 14 August 1947.

Taniguchi began his career as an assistant of manga artist Kyota Ishikawa.

He made his manga debut in 1970 with Kareta Heya (A Desiccated Summer), published in the magazine Young Comic.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jiro_Taniguchi

SC extends ban on firecracker sale in Delhi-NCR.

Details :

The Supreme Court on Friday extended its November 2016 ban on the sale and stockpiling of firecrackers in Delhi-NCR despite pleas made by traders to modify the order.

The Bench refused a suggestion by traders to allow them to sell their existing stock outside Delhi-NCR

A Bench of Justices Madan B. Lokur and P.C. Pant further directed the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to prepare an inventory of existing firecrackers with traders and suggest measures for their disposal.

In November 2016, the court had sent a clear message that religious and wedding celebrations took second place to the basic fundamental right to breathe clean air.

The ban was imposed on the basis of a petition filed last year by three Delhi children immediately after Diwali.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/SC-extends-ban-on-firecracker-sale/article17287685.ece

US AND JAPAN VOW TO STRENGTHEN DEFENCE, STRATEGIC TIES.

Details :

US and Japan have vowed to work together to strengthen their relationship in defence, strategic ties and agreed to make bilateral trade more fair. 

Decision in this regard was taken after talks between US President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Washington. 

The two leaders announced a three-pronged approach of mutually-reinforcing fiscal, monetary, and structural policies to strengthen domestic and global economic demand.

They discussed opportunities and challenges facing each of their economies and the need to promote inclusive growth and prosperity in their countries, the Asia-Pacific region, and the world. 

The two leaders affirmed the commitment of the US and Japan to the realignment of US forces in Japan, to ensure the long-term, sustainable presence of US forces.

The US army maintains a significant presence on the island of Okinawa and elsewhere in Japan, a key security lynchpin in the vast region

Hindustan Motors sells Ambassador to Peugeot for Rs 80 crore.

Details :

The C K Birla Group-owned Hindustan Motors (HM) has sold Ambassador, the iconic Indian car brand to French carmaker Peugeot.

Hindustan Motors selling it to European auto major Peugeot for Rs 80 crore.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/autos/iconic-car-brand-ambassador-sold-to-peugeot-for-rs-80-crore/story-MAVBJBryElYhWzCf0FqNPN.html

Feb. 12, 2017

India successfully test-fires interceptor missile off Odisha coast.

Details :

India successfully test-fired its home-grown Advanced Air Defence (AAD) interceptor missile from Launch Pad No 4 of the Abdul Kalam Island off Odisha coast.

The test assed missile’s killing capability by intercepting a target, mimicking an incoming enemy missile in mid-air.

The 7.5-metre tall interceptor is a single stage solid rocket propelled guided missile equipped with an inertial navigation system and an electro-mechanical activator totally under command by the data uplinked from the ground-based radar.

The AAD interceptor, dubbed as Ashwin, will destroy the incoming missile in the endo-atmospheric region at a low altitude of less than 30 km.

The success of test has boosted India’s position in the exclusive club of AAD countries United States, Russia and Israel.

India has a double-layered BMD system capable of tracking and destroying hostile missiles both inside (endo) and outside (exo) the earth's atmosphere. 

The first phase BMD system capable of killing enemy missiles fired from 2,000 km away is expected to be inducted in the armed forces soon. Development is on for second phase anti-ballistic missile defence system, capable of destroying enemy missiles fired from 5,000 km away.

India Beat Pakistan To win T20 Blind World Cup.

Details :

India beat Pakistan by 9-wickets to win T20 Blind World Cup at Bengaluru's M Chinnaswamy Stadium. 

India have successfully defended the title they had won in 2012.

Prakash Jayaramaiah became Man-of-the-match for unbeaten 99 runs.

Man-of-the-series Badar Munir for his 570 runs in the tournament.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sports/cricket/news/india-beat-pakistan-to-win-second-straight-t20-world-cup-for-blind-title/articleshow/57109471.cms

Govt. sets up inter-departmental task force to crack down on benami firms.

Details :

The Union Government has constituted inter-departmental task force comprising members of various regulatory Ministries and enforcement agencies to crack down on benami firms. 

It is first major post-demonetisation move undertaken by Government for unearthing black money from shell companies used for large-scale money laundering and tax evasion.

The task force has been constituted under the co-chairmanship of the Revenue Secretary and the Corporate Affairs Secretary to monitor the actions taken by various agencies.

The agencies will invoke the stringent Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act against the shell companies, freeze their accounts and strike off the names of dormant companies.

Disciplinary action will be initiated against professionals abetting the companies and entry operators, who are used to launder unaccounted-for incomes into the banking system for projecting them as white money.

There are about 15 lakh registered companies in India and only 6 lakh of them file their annual returns, raising suspicion that a large number of these companies are indulging in financial irregularities.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Govt.-sets-up-inter-departmental-task-force-to-crack-down-on-benami-firms/article17285457.ece

National Productivity Week Celebrations from Feb 12-18, 2017 .

Details :

National Productivity Week’ is celebrated from 12th-18th February every year.

The theme chosen for this year’s observance is “From Waste to Profits-through Reduce, Recycle and Reuse”. 

National Productivity Council, an autonomous body under Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India was established on 12th February, 1958.

With the objective of stimulating and promoting productivity and quality consciousness across all sectors in the country. 

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=158385

Neelu Rohmetra is the first woman to be appointed director of an IIM at Sirmaur.

Details :

The government  appointed 10 heads of IIMs which includes Dr. Neelu Rohmetra. The tenure of a new director will be for five years or until they turn 65 years of age.

The government appointed directors in IIM Bodhgaya, IIM Sirmaur, IIM Visakhapatnam, IIM Trichy, IIM Nagpur, IIM Sambalpur, IIM Raipur, IIM Rohtak, IIM Ranchi and IIM Bangalore.

Dr. Neelu Rohmetra of Jammu University is the first woman to be appointed director of an IIM at Sirmaur. 

Dr. Neelu Rohmetra is specializing in Human Resource Development, Organisation Behaviour, Change Management and Cross-Cultural Management and has been working as  Professor of Management for the last 12 years in the Jammu University Business School in which she joined as an Assistant Professor in Management Studies in 1989. 


http://www.ndtv.com/education/dr-neelu-rohmetra-first-woman-indian-institute-of-management-director-1658359

Yusuf Pathan to feature in Hong Kong T20 League.

Details :

Yusuf Pathan has become the first Indian male cricketer to sign a deal with an overseas franchise-based T20 league. 

He was unveiled by Kowloon Cantons for the second edition of the Hong Kong Twenty20 League, which is scheduled to run from March 8 to 12, 2017.

R Ashwin becomes fastest to 250 Test wickets.

Details :

R Ashwin, on Sunday, became the fastest bowler to get to 250 wickets  With the dismissal of Bangladesh batsman Mushfiqur Rahim. 

Ashwin achieved the feat in his 45th Test.

The previous record of 48 by Australian pacer Dennis Lillee. 

 Ashwin will become India's fifth highest wicket-taker in Test cricket.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sports/cricket/bangladesh-in-india/india-v-bangladesh-r-ashwin-becomes-fastest-to-250-test-wickets/articleshow/57107038.cms

Govt approves single exam for engineering and architecture across India from 2018.

Details :

The Centre has approved the proposal for a single entrance exam for engineering and architecture at the undergraduate level from 2018.

It has been done on lines of the National Eligibility-Cum-Entrance Test (NEET), a single, all-India test for entry to medical and dental colleges launched in 2016.

The Union human resource development ministry has asked the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) to issue a "suitable regulation" for the implementation of the proposal from the academic year 2018-19.

The test will, however, not include admissions to IITs, which will continue to hold their own entrance exams. IITs, unlike private and state colleges, are not seen to be affected by fluctuating standards and admission processes.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/education/news/now-single-entrance-test-for-engineering-architecture-seats-from-2018/articleshow/57090829.cms

Andhra Pradesh Government constitutes 33 member committee for Sagarmala Project.

Details :

A 33 member committee has been constituted under the chairmanship of Andhra Pradesh’s Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu for the speedy implementation of the Sagarmala Project in Andhra Pradesh.

Sagarmala project aims to improve the state’s  coastline and inland waterways.

Haryana CM Manohar Lal lays foundation stones of 21 govt colleges.

Details :

The chief minister of Haryana Manohar Lal has laid the foundation stones of 21 government colleges to be set up in 13 districts of the state from Chandigarh through video conferencing.

These buildings will cost about Rs 276 crore and would be disabled-friendly. 

These colleges are to be constructed at Manesar in Gurugram, Jundla, Taraori and Assandh in Karnal, Kurukshetra, Unhani and Chhilro in Mahendragarh, Kalanwali and Rania in Sirsa, Mohna, Mandkola and Nacholi in Faridabad, Bilaspur and Radaur in Yamunanagar, Badoli in Palwal, Raipur Rani in Panchkula, Bhuna in Fatehabad and Punhana in Nuh district. 

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/khattar-lays-foundation-stones-of-21-colleges-via-video-conf-117021000988_1.html

Feb. 11, 2017

Quantitative Aptitude Sectional Tests (Premium Package) :

Details :

Good Morning Members , we are planning to launch a premium sectional test package for "Quantitative Aptitude" covering all the topics listed below. Though we have planned to launch it in the 1st week of April (as discussed with the institutes with whom we have ties ) but due to early notification of SBI PO, we will start the tests from 15th of March and all the tests will be available by 30th April. 

Please have a look at the topics noted below and kindly let us know if there is any topic which we missed.

1. Number System

2. Sequence & Series

3. Simplification

4. Simplification by approximation

5. Surds & Indices

6. Square & Cube roots

7. HCF & LCM

8. Fractions

9. Average

10. Percentage

11. Profit and Loss

12. Partnership

13. Ratio & Proportion

14. Mixture and Alligations

15. Problem based on Ages

16. Chain rule/ unitary method

17. Simple & Compound Interest

18. Time & Work

19. Pipe & Cistern problems

20. Time, Speed & Distance

21. Problems on Trains

22. Problems on boat and streams

23. Linear Equations

24. Quadratic Equations 

25. Inequalities

26. Set Theory

27. Function

28. Maxima and Minima

29. Logarithm

30. Geometry

31. Mensuration

32. Co-ordinate geometry

33. Trigonometry

34. Height & Distances

35. Permutations and Combinations

36. Probability

37. Problems on Clock

38. Problems on Calendars

39. Races and Games

40. Data Sufficiency

Kindly comment below if you find any topic missing  

- Thanks.

India ranks 43 out of 45 countries in USCC intellectual property index.

Details :

India ranked 43rd out of 45 nations in 2017 International Intellectual Property Index (IIPI),Just above Pakistan, which was added to the index this year, and Venezuela.

The fifth annual index was released by US Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Centre (GIPC) in its report titled ‘The Roots of Innovation’.

Top 10 Countries in 2017 IIPI:

United States (1st),

United Kingdom (2nd),

Germany (3rd),

Japan (4th),

Sweden (5th),

France (6th),

Switzerland (7th),

Singapore (8th),

South Korea (9th) and

Italy (10th).

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/indicators/india-ranks-43rd-out-of-45-nations-in-ip-environment-report/articleshow/57043325.cms

Senior IAS officer Ajay Tyagi appointed Sebi chief for five years.

Details :

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has appointed senior IAS Officer Ajay Tyagi (58) as the new chairman of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

He will succeed Upendra Kumar Sinha, whose extended tenure ends on March 1, 2017.

Mr. Tyagi will have tenure of 5 years or till the age of 65 years or until further orders.

Tyagi, a 1984 batch IAS officer of Himachal Pradesh cadre, is at present Additional Secretary (Investment) in the Department of Economic Affairs and handles capital market, among others.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/markets/senior-ias-officer-ajay-tyagi-appointed-sebi-chief-for-five-years-117021000938_1.html

Pakistan’s naval exercise Aman 2017 begins in Karachi.

Details :

The Pakistan Navy has kicked of  multinational AMAN 2017 naval exercise in Karachi, Pakistan. with 37 countries taking part in the event.

Aman-17 is the fifth such exercise which Pakistan has been holding every alternate year since 2007.

In all, 37 countries, including Australia, China, Indonesia, Turkey, Sri Lanka, UK, US, Japan and Russia, are participating in the exercise.

The theme of AMAN 2017 is “together for peace”. It is intended to devise procedures and techniques against conventional and non-conventional threats.

Shri Ananthkumar inaugurates Orientation Programme for launching of 1000 Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Kendras (PMBJKs).

Details :

The union Chemicals and Fertilizers Minister Ananth Kumar has inaugurated orientation programme for launching of one thousand Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Kendras in New Delhi.

The workshop was targeted to educate and channelize youth to synergize their efforts for taking ahead the mission to open 3000 PMBJKs by March 2017.

The MoU signed earlier between Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India (BPPI) and NYCS for establishing 1000 PMBJKs in the country, the workshop served the purpose of laying the details of the Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) threadbare and presented a future model of a PMBJK before the district conveners of NYCS.

Representatives from 24 States and 106 districts from across the country attended the programme to further help spread the scheme in their respective zones and bring momentum in opening of PMBJKs.

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=158371

Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi inaugurates 2nd edition of 'Hunar Haat' in New Delhi.

Details :

Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs (Independent Charge) and Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi inaugurated the second edition of “Hunar Haat”.

It is being organized by the Minority Affairs Ministry to encourage, promote and provide national and international market to master artisans/craftsmen belonging to the Minority communities from across the country.

With the theme “Craft Aur Cuisine Ka Sangam”.

The second “Hunar Haat” is being organized from 11th to 26th February, 2017 at State Emporia Complex, Baba Kharak Singh Marg, Connaught Place, New Delhi.

100 artisans and 30 culinary experts from about 24 states and UTs are participating at about 130 stalls in it.

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/mbErel.aspx?relid=158391

Sports Ministry Launches Mission XI Million in New Delhi.

Details :

Union sports ministry has launched ‘Mission XI million’, the biggest school sports outreach programme. 

The programme will encourage children to play football and the approach is to work with school principals and sports teachers and encourage and incentivise them to make children play football games on a regular basis.

The program will be rolled out in every state and the initial activity has already started. Vying to reach out to over 37 cities and 12,000 schools across all 29 states of India, the initiative will focus on games that can be adapted to different field sizes and conditions, with special emphasis on small-sided games. 

It is divided into three phases: Seminars for teacher and educators, in-school activities and football festivals, which will run up to September 2017.

http://www.newindianexpress.com/sport/football/2017/feb/11/with-fifa-u-17-in-india-centre-launches-mission-xi-million-1569321.html

I&B Team Win Inter-Ministry Hockey Tournament 2016-17.

Details :

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Hockey Team has won the inter-ministry Hockey tournament 2016-17 at the Central Secretariat Ground Vinay Marg, New Delhi.

They beat Ministry of Health in the final match.

Most entertaining player Chandan Singh was declared Player of the match.

Sudarsan Pattnaik creates Guinness World Record for making tallest sand castle.

Details :

Famous sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik on Saturday created a Guinness World Record by building the world’s tallest sand castle which is 48 feet and 8 inch (14.84 metre) at the Puri beach, Odisha.

The previous Guinness record was reserved in the name of American artist Ted Siebert, who had built a 13.97 metre high (45 ft) sand castle at Miami beach in 2015. 

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bhubaneswar/sudarsans-tallest-sand-castle-storms-into-guinness-world-records/articleshow/57084260.cms

GMR Hyderabad Airport bags CAPA award.

Details :

GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd, which operates Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, has won the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) Chairman’s Order of Merit for its focus on environmental sustainability and becoming the first airport in Asia Pacific to become carbon neutral.

Airports Council International (ACI) has certified Hyderabad International Airport with Level 3+ Neutrality under its Airport Carbon Accreditation programme.

CAPA India is a specialist aviation consulting and research practice in South Asia, with the region’s largest team of analysts and a portfolio of more than 125 advisory and research projects.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/logistics/gmr-hyderabad-airport-bags-capa-award/article9534059.ece

Feb. 10, 2017

Govt to open 56 Post Office Passport Seva Kendra facilities.

Details :

The Government has decided to open 56 Post Office Passport Seva Kendras (POPSK) at different locations in various states for delivering passport related services to the people. 

The ministry of external affairs and the department of posts had earlier decided to join hands to deliver passport- related services to the citizens.

MEA and department of posts are working closely for the early commencement of passport-related services at such Kendras located in various states including Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Jharkhand and West Bengal.

The pilot project between the MEA and Department of Posts had started in Mysuru and Dahod (Gujarat), on January 25.

With the successful operationalisation of these two pilot projects, the Government has now decided to scale up this programme, by opening 56 POPSKs.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/govt-to-open-56-post-office-passport-seva-kendra-facilities/story-zXHMeSEkRzEDRAycE7RMaL.html

Aadhaar mandatory for availing subsidised foodgrains from PDS.

Details :

The Government has made Aadhaar card mandatory for receiving subsidised foodgrains under National Food Security Act (NFSA) 2013 from all Public Distribution Scheme (PDS) shops with a view to better target ₹1.4 lakh crore subsidy under the food security law.

The government has given time to those not having the biometric-based unique identification number to apply for Aadhaar by June 30.

Till Aadhaar is assigned to the beneficiaries, the government said foodgrains would be provided on production of ration card and either Aadhaar enrolment ID slip or copy of his/her request made to State government for Aadhaar enrolment along with any of the 8 documents — Voter ID Card, PAN, Passport, Driving License, Certificate of Identity with photo issued by Gazetted Officer/ Tehsildar on official letter head, address card having name and photo issued by Department of Posts, Kisan Photo Passbook and any other document as specified by State/UT Governments.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Aadhaar-mandatory-for-availing-subsidised-foodgrains-from-PDS/article17278536.ece

Centre appoints 3 directors to RBI central board.

Details :

The Centre  appointed three part-time non-official directors on the Reserve Bank of India’s Central Board for a four-year term.

The Central Government has nominated Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Dr. Ashok Gulati and Shri Manish Sabharwal as directors on the Central Board of the Reserve Bank of India for a period of four years.

Manish Sabharwal is a businessman and entrepreneur, who is currently the chairman of Teamlease, which he co-founded. Prior to this, he also co-founded India Life, a human resource outsourcing company.

Mr. Kumar is a senior fellow at the Centre for Policy Research and has authored several books on India’s economy. He is also currently chancellor of the Gokhale Institute of Economics and Politics in Pune and is also the founding director of Pahle India Foundation, a non-profit research organisation.

Mr. Gulati is currently the Infosys Chair Professor for Agriculture at the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER). Prior to that, he was the chairman of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP), the body responsible for recommending Minimum Support Prices (MSPs) of agri-commodities to the government.

The Cabinet also approved the proposal by the Department of Financial Services for appointment of three members on the local board of the RBI.

These include Prasanna Kumar Mohanty (Southern Local Board), Vallabh Roopchand Bhanshali (Western Local Board) and Sunil Mitra (Eastern Local Board), each of whom have been appointed for a period of four years.

http://www.thehindu.com/business/Economy/Centre-appoints-3-directors-to-RBI-central-board/article17278720.ece

India and UK inked a pact to ease restrictions on number of scheduled flights.

Details :

India and the UK have inked a pact to ease restrictions on the number of scheduled flights between the two countries.

The MoU was formally signed by Union Minister of Civil Aviation Pusapati Ashok Gajapathi Raju on behalf of India and Lord Tariq Ahmad of UK during his visit to India.

Limits on flights from key Indian cities including Chennai and Kolkata have been scrapped, allowing for a greater range of flights for passengers while providing a boost to trade and tourism for the UK and India.

The increase in number of flights between the UK and India is encouraging news for our businesses and tourists.

This agreement will bring direct and indirect benefits to many sectors of the economies of our two countries.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/india-uk-to-ease-restrictions-on-number-of-flights-117020901409_1.html

Kerala’s Nilambur teak to get GI tag.

Details :

Nilambur teak will soon be added to the select list of Kerala produce with GI (geographical indication) tag.

IPR Cell of the Kerala Agricultural University (KAU) with the support of the Nilambur Teak Heritage Society, the Kerala Forest Research Institute (KFRI) and the Department of Forests have applied for GI tag.

The British identified the superior quality of the teak grown in the Nilambur plantations and forests and the region became the major supplier of timber in the world.

Nilambur was christened the Mecca of teak and tonnes of timber was taken to London and other parts of the world. The Nilambur- Shoranur Railway line was laid for transporting the logs.

The GI tag is an indication which is definite to a geographical territory. It is used for agricultural, natural and manufactured goods. For a product to get GI tag, the goods need to be produced or processed or prepared in that region. It is also essential that the product has special quality or reputation.

http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/kerala/2017/feb/10/nilambur-teak-too-to-get-gi-tag-1568979.html

ISRO develops Telemetry and Telecommand Processor

Details :

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has indigenously developed Telemetry & Telecommand Processor (TTCP) and its productionisation will be initiated with the help of Indian industry.

The processor, whose indigenous development was taken up by ISRO as part of 'Make in India' campaign, replaces the expensive imported equipment.

TTCP will be used in Integrated Spacecraft Testing of Low Earth Orbit, Geostationary Orbit and Interplanetary Spacecraft, ISRO.

It is configurable to meet uplink and downlink requirements of both CCSDS (Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems) and ISRO standards and multiple clients to remotely access for data and monitoring.

This indigenously developed Processor was successfully deployed for the first time in checkout of GSAT-19, which is scheduled to be launched shortly.

TTCP has been developed by Bengaluru based of ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC). Besides, Spacecraft Checkout Group of ISAC is responsible for testing it.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/science/isro-develops-telemetry-and-telecommand-processor/articleshow/57043868.cms

Govt approves Revenue Insurance Scheme for plantation crops.

Details :

The Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry has approved pilot Revenue Insurance Scheme for Plantation Crops (RISPC) for protecting the growers from the risks such as pest attacks, yield loss and income decline caused by fall in prices.

It was announced by Union Minister of State (MoS) Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.

The Price Stabilization Fund (PSF) Scheme, 2003 was closed on September 30, 2013 and Revenue Insurance Scheme for Plantation Crops (RISPC) is an improved form of the PSF.

RISPC was approved on September 16 in 2016 and will be implemented on a pilot basis for two years covering tea, coffee, rubber, cardamom and tobacco in eight districts in West Bengal, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Sikkim and Tamil Nadu by the commodity boards. 

On the basis of performance of the scheme in pilot project, it will be considered for extension to other districts.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/agriculture/govt-approves-revenue-insurance-scheme-for-plantation-crops/articleshow/57040809.cms

Government unveils first phase of Station Redevelopment Programme.

Details :

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu unveiled the first phase of the Station Redevelopment Programme as part of which tenders are being floated for 23 of a total of 400 stations set to get a facelift.

It is the world’s largest transit-oriented development programme ever executed.

Stations being modernised in this phase include Lokmanya Tilak, Pune, Thane, Visakhapatnam, Howrah, Kamakhya, Faridabad, Jammu Tawi, Udaipur City, Secunderabad, Vijaywada, Ranchi, Chennai Central, Kozhikode, Yesvantpur, Bangalore Cantt, Bhopal, Mumbai Central, Bandra Terminus, Borivali and Indore.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/prabhu-launches-railway-station-redevelopment-programme/articleshow/57063509.cms

MRI pioneer and Nobel laureate Sir Peter Mansfield dies

Details :

English physicist and Nobel laureate Sir Peter Mansfield who had developed Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) passed away. He was 83. 

Sir Peter Mansfield  was born  on 9 October 1933.

He was awarded the 2003 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, shared with Paul Lauterbur, for discoveries concerning Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).

Mansfield was a professor at the University of Nottingham.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Mansfield

At least 39,000 Pakistani nationals deported from Saudi Arabia in 4 months.

Details :

Saudi Arabia has deported more than 39,000 Pakistanis in the past four months because the Pakistani nationals had violated rules of residence and work.

Pakistanis were held in the crimes of drug trafficking, thefts, forgery and physical assault.

They are 82 Pakistani suspects of terror and security issues who are currently held in intelligence prisons.

http://indianexpress.com/article/world/saudi-arabia-deports-39000-pakistanis-in-4-months-report-4512356/

Hemant Bhargava appointed as LIC's MD.

Details :

Hemant Bhargava was today appointed Managing Director of state-owned Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India.

He is at present LIC’s Zonal Manager, Delhi.

The top LIC management consists of the Chairman and three Managing Directors.

Bhargava’s appointment to the post till his superannuation, i.e., July 31, 2019, 

Official mascot of FIFA U-17 World Cup unveiled.

Details :

The official mascot of  FIFA Under-17 World Cup India 2017 'Kheleao' was unveiled at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi.

A clouded leopard called Kheleo, was introduced to hundreds of football fans.The clouded leopard is an endangered wild cat whose habitat extends from the Himalayan foothills to mainland Southeast Asia.

Kheleo will participate in numerous activities in the run-up to the first-ever FIFA tournament to be hosted by India, which will be played from October 6 to 28 2017.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sports/football/top-stories/official-mascot-of-fifa-u-17-world-cup-unveiled/articleshow/57079051.cms

Feb. 9, 2017

81st National Badminton Championship Winners.

Details :

Sourabh Verma has won the men’s singles title in the 81st Senior National Badminton Championships tournament,  he defeated Lakshya Sen by 21-13, 21-12 score.

Rituparna Das won the Women’s Singles title by defeating Reshma Karthik by 21-12, 21-14 score.

Duo of Aparna Balan and Prajakta Sawant won women's doubles title by defeating the pair of Shikha Gautam and Sanyogita Ghorpade by 21-9, 21-11 score.

Duo of Satwik Sai Raj and Chirag Shetty won men's doubles title by defeating Nand Gopal K and Sanyam Shukla by 21-17, 16-21 and 21-16 score.

Duo of Satwik Sai Raj and Maneesha K won mixed doubles title by defeating the pair of Venkat Gaurav Prasad and Juhi Dewangan by 21-14, 21-18 score.

http://indianexpress.com/article/sports/badminton/sourabh-varma-ends-lakshya-sens-dream-run-wins-mens-national-title-4513003/

Cabinet approves MoU between India and Senegal in the field of Health and Medicine.

Details :

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Senegal in the field of Health and Medicine. 

The main areas of cooperation between the Parties will include the following: 

i.Integrated Disease Surveillance

ii.Medical Research 

iii.Emergency Relief 

iv.Hospital Management 

v.Drugs and Pharmaceutical products/hospital equipments 

vi.Traditional Medicine 

vii.AIDS Control 

viii.Any other areas of mutual interest 

A Working Group will be set up to further elaborate the details of cooperation and to oversee the implementation of this MoU. 

Hyderabad surgeon Raghu Ram wins B C Roy award.

Details :

Dr P Raghu Ram, president of Association of Breast Surgeons of India, has won the prestigious Dr B C Roy national award for 'outstanding service in the field of socio medical relief' for 2016. 

The award will be conferred on him by President Pranab Mukherjee on the occasion of the Doctors day observed every year on 1st July.

He is claimed to be the youngest surgeon ever from the Telugu states (Andhra Pradesh and Telangana) to receive this award.

The award recognises Dr Ram's significant contribution towards improving the delivery of breast health care in India, and equally, creating the much needed awareness about importance of early detection of breast cancer in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh through a number of initiatives.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/hyderabad-surgeon-raghu-ram-wins-b-c-roy-award-117020800617_1.html

Cabinet apprised of India-Vietnam space agreement.

Details :

The Union Cabinet has been apprised of the Framework Agreement between India and Vietnam on cooperation in the exploration and uses of outer space for peaceful purposes.

The Framework Agreement on cooperation in the exploration and usage of outer space for peaceful purposes was signed during the Prime Minister's visit to Vietnam in September 2016.

The agreement would enable the two countries to explore the potential interest areas of cooperation in the space science, technology and applications like remote sensing, satellite communication and navigation and other areas.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/cabinet-apprised-of-india-vietnam-space-agreement-117020801476_1.html

Cabinet apprised of MoU between India and France in the field of Science, Technology and Innovation.

Details :

The Union Cabinet has been apprised of the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) of Cooperation in the field of Science and Technology and innovation.

The MoU was signed between India’s Technology Development Board (TDB), Department of Science & Technology and France’s public Investment Bank Bpifrance.

The agreement will ensure exchange of best practices and setting up of coordinated measures to foster technological exchanges in the field of Science, Technology and Innovation through collaboration between companies, organizations and institutions of France and India. 

The agreement aims to carry out activities related to exchange of best practices in the field of Science & Technology through the Technology Development Board and Bpifrance.

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=158290 

RBI to set up separate Enforcement Department.

Details :

The Reserve Bank of India will set up enforcement department to effectively monitor banks in case they violate regulations.

The RBI has decided to establish a separate Enforcement Department which will start operations from April 1, 2017. 

Currently each department of the RBI takes action against banks for violations of rules.

This will help RBI follow-up and maintain a record on banks performance.

Enforcement will deal with cases of non-compliance with regulations noticed either through the surveillance process or otherwise.

Regulation, surveillance and enforcement are three important facets of financial sector oversight mechanism.

Regulations determine the framework in which financial entities function so that prudence, transparency, and comparability are ensured on the one hand and customer interests are protected on the other.

Surveillance is the process through which adherence to the regulations is monitored.

Currently, in the Reserve Bank, there is a clear demarcation of the regulatory and surveillance functions which is not the case with enforcement of rules. 

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/policy/rbi-to-set-up-separate-enforcement-department/articleshow/57039671.cms

RBI to set up panel to strengthen security.

Details :

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) decided to set up an inter-disciplinary panel on cybersecurity to examine various threats and suggest measures to deal with it.

Panle is being set up in a bid to strengthen cyber security system

The panel will review the threats inherent in the existing or emerging technology on an ongoing basis.

It will also study adoption of various security standards/protocols and also act as the interface with stakeholders.

The committee will suggest appropriate policy interventions to strengthen cybersecurity and resilience.

RBI has issued guidelines to banks, mandating cybersecurity preparedness for addressing cyber risks.

In biggest-ever breach of debit card data, as many as 3.2 million cards were compromised  in 2016. 641 customers across 19 banks were duped of Rs 1.3 crore using stolen debit card data.

There are around 750 million debit cards operational in India, of which 190 million are indigenously developed by RuPay while the rest are Visa- and MasterCard-enabled

http://www.business-standard.com/article/finance/rbi-to-set-up-panel-to-strengthen-security-117020900024_1.html

Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo elected Somalia's president.

Details :

Somalia's Parliament elected former Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, a dual US-Somali citizen, as the country's new president.

Mohamed Abdullahi "Farmajo"  born 5 May, 1962 is a Somali diplomat, professor and politician who is the current 9th President of Somalia.

He was previously Prime Minister of Somalia from November 2010 until June 2011 and is the founder and Chairman of the Tayo Political Party.

He became the President of Somalia after winning the the 2017 Somali presidential election with 184 votes out of a total of 328.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohamed_Abdullahi_Mohamed

Russia banned from London World Athletics Championships: IAAF.

Details :

Russia banned from World Athletics Championships in London after their doping ban was extended.

It was announced by world governing body president Sebastien Coe. 

Russia has been barred from international competition since November 2015 following a damaging report alleging that state-sponsored doping was rife in the country.

The ban had already been extended in March and then June 2016, preventing Russia’s athletes from competing at the Rio Olympics.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/other-sports/russia-banned-from-london-world-athletics-championships-iaaf/story-av2LhwaVp6X5flcdamwA3L.html

Jeff Sessions as next US Attorney General.

Details :

The Senate voted to confirm Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama as the next attorney general.

The 52-47 vote was mostly along party lines, though one Democrat, Sen. Joe Manchin, joined the Republicans to back their Alabama colleague.

About Jeff Sessions:

Jefferson Beauregard "Jeff" Sessions III (born December 24, 1946) is an American politician who is the 84th Attorney General of the United States.

Sessions served as the junior United States Senator from Alabama from 1997 until 2017, and is a member of the Republican Party.

From 1981 to 1993, he served as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama.

Sessions was nominated to be a judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama, but his nomination failed due to allegations that he had made racially insensitive remarks and criticism over his record on civil rights.

Sessions was elected Attorney General of Alabama in 1994, and to the U.S. Senate in 1996, being re-elected in 2002, 2008, and 2014.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeff_Sessions

Feb. 8, 2017

6th bi-monthly monetary policy review - RBI

Details :

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) headed by RBI Governor Urjit Patel has kept the key policy rates unchanged.

It was the sixth bi-monthly and last policy for the financial year 2016-17.

Repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF): Unchanged at 6.25 %.

Reverse repo rate under the LAF: Unchanged at 5.75 %.

Marginal standing facility (MSF): Unchanged at 6.75 %.

Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) : Unchanged 4 %.

Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR): Unchanged 20.75 %.

Bank Rate: Unchanged at 6.75 %.

The RBI has lowered the FY17 Gross Value Added (GVA) projection to 6.9% from the existing 7.1%. For FY18, the central bank has projected the GVA at 7.4%, with risks evenly balanced around it. 

http://www.business-standard.com/article/markets/rates-unchanged-here-are-5-key-highlights-of-rbi-s-monetary-policy-117020800612_1.html

India will host the first meeting of national security advisers of BIMSTEC countries.

Details :

India will host the first meeting of national security advisers of BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) countries in the coming months to cooordinate action against terrorism, extremism and radicalization.

This was offered by India at the BIMSTEC senior officials meeting in Kathmandu.

India’s offer comes as concerns about the growth of radicalization of ethic Rohingyas of Myanmar by Pakistani terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) in recent months.

This issue was part of the conversation between Indian leadership and NSA Ajit Doval and the Myanmar NSA U Thaung Tun, who visited India recently.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/india-will-host-the-first-meeting-of-national-security-advisers-of-bimstec-countries/articleshow/57024977.cms

Supreme Court Issues Contempt Notice To Calcutta High Court's Justice Karnan.

Details :

For the first time, the Supreme Court today issued contempt notice to a sitting high court judge, Justice CS Karnan for levelling allegations against former judges of the Supreme Court and sitting judges of Madras High Court.

A seven-Judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India Justice JS Khehar and comprising of all senior judges - that is hearing the contempt case suo motu - also ordered that no judicial and administrative work be given to him.

http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/in-a-first-supreme-court-issues-contempt-notice-to-calcutta-high-court-judge-1657157

PSU banks to join BHIM by February-end.

Details :

The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has announced that all Public Sector Banks (PSBs) will be joining the Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) mobile application for digital payments by end of February 2017.

It was Introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in late December 2016, the BHIM app enables digital transactions using the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and has been downloaded by 13.8 million users by the end of January. However, just 3.6 million users have linked the app to their bank account.

http://www.thehindu.com/business/Economy/PSU-banks-to-join-BHIM-by-February-end/article17242836.ece

China becomes world’s largest solar energy producer.

Details :

China has become the world’s largest producer of solar energy,  according to a new report from the country’s energy administration.

China's National Energy Administration announced that their photovoltaic (PV) capacity reached an impressive 77.42 gigawatts.

Germany, the former global solar-power leader, produced 40.78 gigawatts in November 2016.

The NEA claims that 11 % of China's energy use comes from renewable supplies such as solar and wind power. China also leads the world in wind-powered energy.

Beijing intends to get its total renewables number up to 20 % by 2030, and plans to spend some 2.5 trillion yuan ($364 billion) to make that a reality.

US makes changes in defence export control laws to benefit India.

Details :

United States (US) has made changes in its export control laws that will benefit India by facilitating smoother transfer of technologies and arms. 

The new rule that makes necessary changes in the export control laws "creates a presumption of approval" for Indian companies seeking to import Commerce Department-controlled military items, except Weapons of Mass Destruction-related goods. 

The new rule also amends the law so that companies will not need a license at all after becoming a Validated End User (VEU). 

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/foreign-trade/us-makes-changes-in-export-control-laws-to-benefit-india/articleshow/57017564.cms

Arunachal Pradesh Government introduces Arunachal Civil Service Award.

Details :

CM Pema Khandu has introduced Arunachal Civil Service Awards for excellence in public administration.

The award aims to encourage good governance in the State by the government employees.

The award consists of a medal, a scroll, and a cash award of Rs 1 lakh for an individual and Rs 5 lakhs for an organization, group, team.

Indian National Army veteran Nizamuddin dies at 116.

Details :

Indian National Army (INA) veteran ‘Colonel’ Nizamuddin died in  Azamgarh district’s Dhakwa village, Uttar Pradesh. He was 116.

He was a close associate of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. He was Born in 1901 and had served as a driver-cum-guard of Bose after the INA was formed in 1942. 

He also accompanied Bose during his trips to Japan, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore.

Freedom fighter Racharla Samrajyam passes away.

Details :

Freedom fighter Racharla Samrajyam passed away following age-related illness at Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. She was 98.

Samrajyam was born to Goparaju Venkata Subba Rao and Rajyalakshmi at Rajahmundry on April 26, 1919. She was social reformer Gora’s younger sister.

Samrajyam was inspired by the Quit India Movement, when she was undergoing Hindi Pracharak training at Anantapur in 1942. She quit the training programme and joined the Quit India Movement.

She was arrested in Bezawada and imprisoned in Raya Vellore Jail for six months.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Visakhapatnam/Freedom-fighter-passes-away/article17206271.ece

Union Cabinet approves Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan for rural digital literacy.

Details :

The Union Cabinet has approved 'Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan' (PMGDISHA) to make 6 crore rural households digitally literate.

PMGDISHA is expected to be one of the largest digital literacy programmes in the world.

Under the scheme, 25 lakh candidates will be trained in the FY 2016-17; 275 lakh in the FY 2017-18; and 300 lakh in the FY 2018-19.

To ensure equitable geographical reach, each of the 250,000 Gram Panchayats would be expected to register an average of 200-300 candidates.

Digitally literate persons would be able to operate computers/digital access devices (like tablets, smart phones, etc.), send and receive emails, browse internet, access government services, search for information, undertaking cashless transactions, etc. and hence use IT to actively participate in the process of nation building.

The implementation of the Scheme would be carried out under the overall supervision of Ministry of Electronics and IT in active collaboration with States/UTs through their designated State Implementing Agencies, District e-Governance Society (DeGS), etc.

BackGround:

As per the 71st NSSO Survey on Education 2014, only 6 percent of rural households have a computer. This highlights that more than 15 crore rural households (at 94 percent of 16.85 crore households) do not have computers and a significant number of these households are likely to be digitally illiterate.

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=158292

Arunachal Becomes First NE State to Implement e-Cabinet Solution.

Details :

Arunachal Pradesh became the first state in the northeast to implement e-Cabinet solution for the state cabinet members.

Using this system, the cabinet members can access the cabinet notes before the meeting. The entire business of the Cabinet can be conducted using the e-Cabinet solution.

It is a powerful governance tool that will be used to streamline its decision-making process. 

The e-Cabinet system is being implemented by the state department of Information Technology and Communication.

The e-Cabinet solution will give remote access to the Ministers to view Cabinet notes and the same will be circulated well in advance for proper analysis and feedback.

The system is a multi-user secure solution that keeps relevant information organised and updated in real time, giving ministers a clear overview of each item under discussion.

http://www.news18.com/news/tech/arunachal-becomes-first-ne-state-to-implement-e-cabinet-solution-1346434.html

Education nominee Betsy DeVos wins Senate confirmation vote.

Details :

The US Senate has confirmed President Donald Trump's controversial nominee for education secretary, Betsy DeVos, by the slenderest possible margin.

US Vice-President Mike Pence cast the tie-breaking vote to secure her cabinet role, splitting the chamber 50-50.

It was the first time ever that a vice-president has interceded in such a way for a cabinet secretary.

Samsung Pay to Launch in India.

Details :

South Korean tech giant Samsung is planning to launch its mobile payment wallet in India in the first half of 2017.And the American Express may be the company's launch partner in the country.

 Samsung has partnered with American Express and is mulling over "exploring opportunities with giants such as Visa and MasterCard as well.

According to market research firm Counterpoint, Samsung has over 2.5 million Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge, Galaxy S6 Edge Plus, Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge, and Galaxy Note 5 (the smartphones that support Pay) customers in India.

ICICI Securities inks partnership with Denmark's Saxo Bank.

Details :

Largest retail brokerage ICICI Securities announced a strategic partnership with Saxo Bank, the Denmark-based online multi-asset trading and investment specialist.

The partnership will enable ICICI Securities' 4 million clients to diversify their investments outside of the domestic market and access multi-asset investment opportunities on 36 stock exchanges across 24 countries

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/icici-securities-inks-partnership-with-denmark-s-saxo-bank-117020700787_1.html

Axis Bank ties up with Earthport.

Details :

India's third largest private bank, Axis Bankhas tied up with Earthport Plc, a cross-border payment network, to enable faster outbound cross-border payments for its customers through Earthport’s state-of-the-art global payments network. 

Axis Bank has become the first bank in India to connect with Earthport’s global payments network, which spans over 60 countries. 

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/banking/finance/banking/axis-bank-ties-up-with-earthport/articleshow/56999530.cms

Feb. 7, 2017

SC clears plan to verify mobile phone users through Aadhaar.

Details :

The Supreme Court on Monday approved the government‘s plan to record the identification details of mobile subscribers through an e-KYC (Know Your Customer) mechanism linked to Aadhaar in a bid to enhance national security and prevent fake users.

A Bench led by Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar asked the government, represented by Attorney-General Mukul Rohatgi, to put in place the mechanism within a year.

The mechanism could cover at least 100 crore mobile phone subscribers, 90% of whom use pre-paid cards.

The court was considering a petition by NGO Lokniti Foundation, which had contended that fake SIM cards were a major threat to national security.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/SC-clears-plan-to-verify-mobile-phone-users-through-Aadhaar/article17205615.ece

23rd International Conference & Exhibition on Terrestrial and Satellite Broadcasting Held In New Delhi.

Details :

The 23rd edition of International Conference and Exhibition on Terrestrial & Satellite Broadcasting was held in New Delhi.

It was 3 day conference held from 2-4 February 2017.

The conference was organized by the Broadcast Engineering Society (India).

The theme of the conference was Hybrid Technologies in Broadcasting – New Opportunities.

Nearly 300 companies from 25 countries displayed their products in BES EXPO 2016 directly or through their dealers and distributors in India. Exhibiting companies included those from Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, U.K. and U.S.A.

Broadcast Engineering Society (India) is the biggest Society of broadcast professionals in India. Established in 1987 with the objective of disseminating knowledge in Radio & TV broadcasting among engineers and scientists in India, the Society encourages education, research and training in broadcast engineering through active cooperation with academic institutions, industry and Govt. 

Indian Railways approves first Rail Project in Andaman and Nicobar.

Details :

The Union Railway Ministry has approved 240-KM broad-gauge railway line project in Andaman and Nicobar.

It will be part of an ambitious rail link connecting Port Blair with Diglipur on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands

It is a first in the country that will bring the archipelago on the rail map.

It is currently linked by a 350-km bus service that takes over 14 hours and a ship that takes around 24 hours. There is no air connectivity.

On completion, it will give fillip to tourism from the current 4.5 lakh visitors a year to around 6 lakh a year.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/railways-to-show-green-signal-to-a-train-in-andaman-and-nicobar-port-blair-diglipur-4509732/

World's longest commercial flight lands in New Zealand.

Details :

The world’s longest commercial flight landed in New Zealand with the arrival of Qatar Airways’ Boeing 777-200LR flight QR920  completing 14,535 kilometres Doha-Auckland service.

The long-range Boeing 777-200LR crossed 10 time zones on its marathon flight.

There were four pilots on board as well as 15 cabin crew who served 1,100 cups of tea and coffee, 2,000 cold drinks and 1,036 meals during the flight.

In March 2016, Emirates airline launched what was then thought to be the world’s longest non-stop scheduled commercial flight, with a service from Dubai to Auckland, spanning 14,200 kilometres.

Air India’s Delhi-San Francisco flight claims the world’s longest by flying distance but when measured on the surface of the earth Doha and Auckland are further apart.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/world-s-longest-flight-lands-in-new-zealand/story-eQjjyjFqeSzGmx25OrBYPI.html

Israel passes controversial law on West Bank settlements.

Details :

Israel's parliament has passed a law that retroactively legalizes almost 4,000 settler homes built unlawfully on private Palestinian land in the West Bank.

The Knesset  (Israel's parliament )approved the legislation in a 60-52 vote.

Andhra Pradesh gets its first smart police station in Guntur city.

Details :

Andhra Pradesh’s first Smart Police Station was inaugurated by Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu at Nagarampalem in Guntur city in the capital region Amaravati.

First Smart Police Station, having look and feel of a corporate-style office, equipped with a “custody” room and under watch of CCTV network.

The fully air-conditioned station has a staff room, dormitory, mini control room, a reception chamber and individual enclosures for the Station House Officer and three Sub-Inspectors.

Andhra Police administration has drawn up plans to build another 100 Smart Police Stations across the state.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/aps-first-smart-police-station-to-be-inaugurated-tomorrow-4509416/

Telangana launches India's first social innovation hub in Nizamabad.

Details :

The Telangana government has launched India's first social innovation centre  named The ‘Kakatiya Hub For Social Innovation’ in Nizamabad.

The hub is funded by the Telangana government.

The government will make sure that the rural incubator in Telangana will be run exactly in the same as any other high-end incubator like the T-Hub, the country’s biggest, located in Hyderabad.

The move is expected to create a model for promoting entrepreneurs in rural and semi-urban areas in the country.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/national/telangana-launches-countrys-first-social-innovation-hub-in-nizamabad/article9522810.ece

Indian-Origin British Sculptor Anish Kapoor wins 2017 Genesis Prize.

Details :

Renowned Indian-origin British sculptor Anish Kapoor, who has emerged as a champion of Syrian refugees' rights has won Israel's prestigious one million dollar Genesis Prize for his commitment to Jewish values.

Kapoor created the Holocaust Memorial for the Liberal Jewish Synagogue in London and the 70 candles for Holocaust Memorial Day in Britain in 2015, commemorating the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz from the Nazis.

Some of his well-known work includes, ‘Cloud Gate’ in Chicago’s Millennium Park, Orbit’ in London and ‘Turning the World Upside Down’ at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. 

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/nri/nri-achievers/indian-origin-sculptor-anish-kapoor-wins-genesis-prize-pledges-to-use-the-money-to-help-refugees/articleshow/57013395.cms

Lok Sabha passes Payment of Wages Bill.

Details :

The Lok Sabha passed the Payment of Wages (Amendment) Bill, 2017 which seeks to enable employers to pay wages to workers through cheque or directly crediting to their accounts.

 The bill, moved by Labour and Employment Minister Bandaru Dattatreya in the House, will replace the Ordinance promulgated by the President on 28th December last year.

CBDT signs four 'Advance Pricing Agreements'.

Details :

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has entered into four more unilateral Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs).

The four APAs signed pertain to the manufacturing, financial and Information Technology sectors of the economy.

The international transactions covered in these agreements include contract manufacturing, IT enabled services and software development services.

With this, the total number of APAs entered into by the CBDT has reached 130. This includes eight bilateral APAs and 122 Unilateral APAs.

In the current financial year, a total of 66 APAs (five bilateral APAs and 61 unilateral APAs) have already been entered into.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ani/cbdt-signs-four-advance-pricing-agreements-today-117020700307_1.html

New technology to make data transfer 10 times faster than 5G.

Details :

Researchers have developed a terahertz (THz) transmitter capable of transmitting digital data at a rate 10 times or more faster than that offered by the fifth-generation mobile networks (5G).

The THz band is a new and vast frequency resource expected to be used for future ultrahigh-speed wireless communications.

The research group from japan has developed a transmitter that achieves a communication speed of 105 gigabits per second using the frequency range from 290 gigahertz (GHz) to 315 GHz. 

This range of frequencies are currently unallocated but fall within the frequency range from 275 GHz to 450 GHz, whose usage is to be discussed at the World Radio communication Conference (WRC) 2019 under the International Telecommunication Union Radiocommunication Section (ITU-R). 

In 2016, scientists had demonstrated that the speed of a wireless link in the 300-GHz band can be greatly enhanced by using quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM).

Later in 2017 they showed six times higher per-channel data rate, exceeding 100 gbps for the first time as an integrated-circuit-based transmitter.

The research group from Hiroshima University, Japan's National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, and Panasonic Corporation plans to further develop 300-GHz ultrahigh-speed wireless circuits. 

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/science/new-technology-to-make-data-transfer-10-times-faster-than-5g/articleshow/56996124.cms

ED Director Karnal Singh gets two-year fixed term.

Details :

Enforcement Directorate (ED) Director Karnal Singh has  given a fixed two-year tenure to head the anti-money laundering investigation agency following a recent Supreme Court directive.

The Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) has approved two-year fixed term for Singh effective from October 27, 2016, as per a fresh official order.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/ed-director-karnal-singh-gets-two-year-fixed-term-117020701380_1.html

181 Irrawaddy dolphins counted in Odisha census.

Details :

According to new census carried out by the Odisha State Forest and Environment department in 2016, as many as 181 Irrawaddy dolphins have been sighted in the state.

The Chilika Lake, the largest brackish water lagoon of the country, has recorded a marginal drop in the population of Irrawaddy dolphins from 144 in 2015 to 134 this year.

About 55 dolphins were sighted this year in Bhitarakanika, compared to 58 spotted in 2015. In the Bhadrak Wildlife Sanctuary jurisdiction, only five Irrawady dolphins were sighted.

The dolphin census in Odisha in 2016 was suspended because of lack of visibility due to cloudy weather, high wind speed and surging waves.

The 2016 dolphin census in Odisha reported Humpback dolphins (34), bottlenose dolphins (31) and five pantropical spotted dolphins were also sighted.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/181-Irrawaddy-dolphins-counted-in-Odisha-census/article17205572.ece

Feb. 6, 2017

Sasikala to be next Tamil Nadu chief minister, Panneerselvam resigns.

Details :

AIADMK general secretary VK Sasikala was elected as legislature party leader by MLAs during a party meeting, paving way for her to become next Tamil Nadu chief minister.

Tamil Nadu CM O Panneerselvam has submitted his resignation. Panneerselvam proposed her name at the meeting of AIADMK legislators.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/sasikala-to-be-next-tamil-nadu-chief-minister-panneerselvam-resigns/articleshow/56983560.cms

India to host international nuclear security meet.

Details :

India is going to host Implementation and Assessment Group Meeting of the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT), on February 8-10, 2017.

It is being hosted by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in coordination with the Department of Atomic Energy. 

Approximately 150 delegates from various GICNT partner countries and international organisations will participate in this event.

The event highlights India’s commitment to global nuclear non-proliferation and peaceful uses of nuclear energy and is part of its overall engagement with the international community on nuclear security issues.

GICNT was launched in 2006 jointly by the Russian Federation and the United States.

In the past 10 years, it has grown to include 86 partner nations and five official observer organisations and has held several multilateral activities in support of its Statement of Principles.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-to-host-international-nuclear-security-meet-next-week/

Indian Coast Guard, UAE counter parts to take part in joint exercise.

Details :

Indian Coast Guard (ICG) and its UAE counter parts will take part in Joint exercise and sharing of operational expertise in Dubai. 

Samudra Pavak, the third of the Pollution Control Vessel series of the Indian Coast Guard. ICG Repersents Samudra Pavak.

It was indigenously designed and commissioned in January 2016.

Samudra Pavak or "Purifier of the Seas" has 15 officers and 99 other personnel under the Command of Deputy Inspector General Satish Kumar.

The ship has been tasked with EEZ surveillance, search and rescue, pollution response and such other duties as enshrined in the Coast Guard charter.

Later, the Indian ship will sail to Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ani/indian-coast-guard-uae-counter-parts-to-take-part-in-joint-exercise-117020600099_1.html

India, Norway set up body to accelerate research for epidemics.

Details :

India and Norway have founded a Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to accelerate life-saving research and development for epidemics.

CEPI has been founded by governments of India (Department of Biotechnology, Indian Council of Medical Research and Department of Health) and Norway, the Welcome Trust, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Economic Forum in collaboration with industry, other governments, foundations regulatory bodies, civil society and the WHO. 

The CEPI will prioritise list of diseases against which vaccines are most feasible to overcome barriers for development of vaccines.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/india-norway-set-up-body-to-accelerate-research-for-epidemics-117020300839_1.html

Top Indian diplomat Achamkulangare Gopinathan re-appointed to UN Joint Inspection Unit.

Details :

Achamkulangare Gopinathan, a top Indian diplomat, has been re-appointed by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) to the Joint Inspection Unit, the only independent external oversight body of the UN system.

Gopinathan, along with Sukai Prom-Jackson (Gambia), Jean Wesley Cazeau (Haiti) and Nikolay Lozinskiy (Russia) were appointed members of the Joint Inspection Unit for a five-year term beginning January 1, 2018.

Gopinath's re-appointment follows his nomination by India and endorsement as the sole candidate of the Asia-Pacific Group.

Gopinathan was first appointed to the UN body for a term from January 2013 to December 2017.

At that election, he had secured 106 votes out of 183 votes and had defeated Ambassador Zhang Yan of China. He was serving as Chairman of the Joint Inspection Unit.

http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2017/feb/04/top-indian-diplomat-achamkulangare-gopinathan-re-appointed-to-un-joint-inspection-unit-1566911.html

Renowned Urdu author Bano Qudsia passes away.

Details :

Renowned Pakistani Urdu novelist and playwright Bano Qudsia has passed away here. She was 88. 

She was Born in November 1928 in Ferozepur, India, Qudsia migrated to Pakistan after partition. 

She began writing short stories since childhood and shot to instant fame after her novel Raja Gidh (The Vulture King) earned her accolades within the country and outside. 

Some of her prominent writings include Aadhi Baat, Aatish-i-zer-i-paa, Aik Din, Amer Bail, Asay Pasay, Chahar Chaman, Chhotaa Sheher Baray Log, Footpath ki Ghaas, Hasil Ghaat and Hawa Kay Naam. 

She was awarded Sitara-i-Imtiaz in 2003 and Hilal-i-Imtiaz in 2010. 

Eminent litterateur Pathani Patnaik passes away.

Details :

Eminent educationist and litterateur Pathani Patnaik passed away in Cuttack, Odisha. He was 89.

A former principal of Christ College, Patnaik had served as president of Odisha Sahitya Akademi and received the Kendriya Sahitya Akademi Award in 2010 for his autobiography “Jeebanara Chalapatha”.

He had written over 50 books on different aspects of literature, including short stories and poems.

Utkal Sahitya Samaj, the oldest literary organisation of the state, had felicitated Patnaik with its Lifetime Honorary membership in 2015.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/eminent-litterateur-pathani-patnaik-passes-away-4508090/

India to host FIBA Women’s Asia Cup in July in Bengaluru.

Details :

India will host FIBA Women’s Asia Cup basketball tournament in july at Bengaluru, Karnataka.

The continental flagship tournament for women will be held here from July 23 to 29.

India has also been given another continental level tournament, the FIBA U-16 Women’s Asian Championship, which will be held from October 22 to 28 in Hyderabad.

This will be the first time since 2009 that India will host a major FIBA (International Basketball Federation) event.

In 2009, the BFI was allotted the same two Championships,  the 1st FIBA Asia U-16 Championship for Girls in Pune and the 23rd FIBA Asia Championship for Women in Chennai.

http://indianexpress.com/article/sports/sport-others/india-to-host-fiba-womens-asia-cup-in-july-in-bengaluru-4509466/

Indian boys win team gold in Asian Junior Squash.

Details :

India defeated Malaysia 2-0 to win the gold medal in the boy’s team event at the Asian Junior Squash championship held in Hong Kong.

India’s no.1 player Velavan Senthilkumar first defeated second seed Malaysia’s Ong Sai Hun in quick time.

Then Abhay Singh prevailed over Darren Rahul in hard-fought five games to lift the title for India.

Indian boys had won the title for the second time, the earlier being in 2011 when they defeated arch-rivals Pakistan in Colombo.

http://indianexpress.com/article/sports/sport-others/indian-boys-win-team-gold-in-asian-junior-squash-4509225/

Assam Government launches Chief Minister Samagra Gramya Unnayan Yojana.

Details :

Assam Government has launched Chief Minister Samagra Gramya Unnayan Yojana (CMSGUY)  to bring about paradigm shift towards holistic development of villages in the state. 

The Yojana, a mega mission with a financial outlay of Rs 30,000 crore, will be implemented in all the villages in Assam in the next five years culminating in 2021-22.

The programme will be implemented through ‘saturation model’ by covering each revenue village through focused interventions in direct economic activities, logistic support including market linkages and community support.

It has been aimed at bringing in revolutionary changes by doubling the farm income in the State.

Pointing that as per the Situation Assessment Survey of the period from 2002-03 to 2012-13, the farm income in Assam was recorded only 0.88% as against the national average of 5.2 %.

http://www.assamtribune.com/scripts/detailsnew.asp?id=feb0617/city055

Health Ministry launches Measles-Rubella vaccination campaign.

Details :

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare launched Measles Rubella (MR) vaccination campaign in the country at a function in Bengaluru.

The campaign against these two diseases will start from five States/UTs (Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Goa and Lakshadweep) covering nearly 3.6 crore target children.

The MR campaign targets around 41 crore children across the country, the largest ever in any campaign.

All children aged between 9 months and less than 15 years will be given a single shot of Measles-Rubella (MR) vaccination irrespective of their previous measles/rubella vaccination status or measles/rubella disease status.

MR vaccine will be provided free- of- cost across the states from session sites at schools as well as health facilities and outreach session sites.

Measles vaccine is currently provided under Universal Immunization Programme (UIP). However, rubella vaccine will be a new addition.

After the completion of the campaign, MR vaccine will be introduced in routine immunization and will replace measles vaccine, given at 9-12 months and 16-24 months of age of child.

Measles is a deadly disease and one of the important causes of death in children. It is highly contagious and spreads through coughing and sneezing of an infected person.

Measles can make a child vulnerable to life threatening complications such as pneumonia, diarrhoea and brain infection. Globally, in 2015, measles killed an estimated 1, 34,200 children—mostly under-5 years. In India, it killed an estimated 49,200 children. 

Rubella is generally a mild infection, but has serious consequences if infection occurs in pregnant women, causing congenital rubella syndrome (CRS), which is a cause of public health concern.

CRS is characterized by congenital anomalies in the foetus and newborns affecting the eyes (glaucoma, cataract), ears (hearing loss), brain (microcephaly, mental retardation) and heart defects, causing a huge socio-economic burden on the families in particular and society in general. 

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=158067

Vijay Goel lays the Foundation Stone at Gandhinagar, Gujarat for the first ever training center dedicated for Para Athletes.

Details :

Minister of State (I/C) for Youth Affairs & Sports Shri Vijay Goel took the initiative and approved a Center of Excellence for Differently Abled Sportspersons at SAI Gandhinagar, Gujarat.

The first ever training centre dedicated for Para athletes in the country.

shri Vijay Goel laid the foundation stone of Boundary wall for the Center of Excellence Para Center at Sector – 25 Gandhinagar.

The center is proposed for an estimated budget of over Rs. 50 crores.

It will have the World Class facilities where Para athletes will be trained for various International Competitions including Asian Games, Common Wealth Games and Olympic Games and will also here Classification center.

The center will also hold Seminars, Educational Programmes and Workshops throughout the year with the help of International Paralympic Committee.

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=158069

Uber launches UberHIRE in 9 Indian cities.

Details :

US-based cab aggregator Uber has now launched ‘UberHIRE’ in 9 Indian cities, including Delhi, Mumbai and Pune that will allow users to hire a cab for up to 12 hours.

The minimum fare ranges between Rs 449-649 for up to 2 hours or up to 30km, post which they will be charged at Rs2 per minute and Rs12 per km.

After a successful pilot run in Kochi, UberHIRE. It will go live starting  in New Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Vizag and Nagpur with more cities slated for launch in the weeks to come.

India to host World Billiards Championship for next four years.

Details :

India will host the World Billiards Championship for the next four years, the Billiards and Snoooker Federation of India (BSFI).

Bureau of Civil Aviation Security suspends IndiGo's security training centre licence.

Details :

The apex aviation security agency Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) has suspended the license of budget carrier IndiGo's aviation security training facility.

The training academy is run by IndiGo's parent company, InterGlobe Aviation.

BCAS has suspended the licence of IndiGo's aviation security training centre after several lapses were detected in the examination procedure that it was following.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/bureau-of-civil-aviation-security-suspends-indigos-security-training-centre-licence/articleshow/56982021.cms

Feb. 5, 2017

Frank Lampard announces retirement from football.

Details :

Former English midfielder Frank Lampard announced retirement from football , finishing a 21-year professional football career.

The 38-year-old midfielder made his debut in the mid-1990s and played for West Ham United and Swansea City before he joined London-based football club Chelsea F.C. in 2001 for £11million.

He had scored 211 times for Chelsea and won every major club honour, netting the goals which in 2005 secured the club’s first championship title in 50 years.

Lakshya Sen becomes World No.1 Junior Badminton player.

Details :

Lakshya Sen,  became the number one junior singles badminton player in the world in the latest rankings of the Badminton World Federation (BWF).

Lakshya has moved ahead of Chia Hao Lee of the Chinese Taipei, to attain the top spot.

 Lakshya has 16,903 points in eight tournaments he has played in the season while Chia Hao, who is at the second spot, has 16,091 points.

Lakshya is the first shuttler from Uttarakhand to attain the numero uno spot at the international level.

He won the Senior India International Series Badminton Tournament along with the All India Senior Ranking Badminton Tournament at Itanagar.

He was youngest ever player and the first ever from Uttarakhand to win the title at senior level.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sports/badminton/lakshya-sen-becomes-world-no-1-junior-badminton-player/articleshow/56936876.cms

Gujarat Technological University sets up centre of excellence in automation technologies.

Details :

Gujarat Technological University (GTU) has set up centre of excellence in automation technologies at its Ahmedabad campus.

The centre had been set up in cooperation with German company Bosch Rexroth India Limited.

The Center of Excellence will be open for students of engineering students from across the state and also for the industry to conduct research in automation and hydraulics.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/national/gtubosch-rexroth-open-centre-of-excellence-in-automation/article9520058.ece

India Pakistan border to soon have smart fencing: Government.

Details :

The government expressed hope that work on installing 'smart fence' along 3,323-km-long the Indo-Pakistan border will begin soon. 

Testing for this smart fence is in final stages. 

The new fence will have a multi-tier security ring comprising an alarm to security force personnel in case of any infiltration bid or attempts to cut the fence.

India's border with Pakistan runs through four states, Jammu and Kashmir (1,225 km which includes 740 km of Line of Control), Rajasthan (1,037 km), Punjab (553 km) and Gujarat (508 km). 

The government has set a target of completely sealing the India-Pakistan border by December 2018.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/defence/india-pakistan-border-to-soon-have-smart-fencing-kiren-rijiju/articleshow/56940473.cms

Right to Information Act comes into force in Sri Lanka.

Details :

The Right to Information (RTI) Act came into force in Sri Lanka, a piece of legislation aimed at restoring transparency and good governance in a country that has been plagued by corruption and misrule.

The government has gazetted the categories of public authorities that fall within the purview of the RTI.

The public authorities then become liable to respond to these requests within the specified timelines, subject to a maximum of 28 days.

RTI was one of the major reform plans of the current unity government announced ahead of the 2015 presidential election.

http://www.newindianexpress.com/world/2017/feb/03/right-to-information-act-comes-into-force-in-lanka-1566576.html

Sanjeev Sanyal appointed as Principal Economic Adviser.

Details :

The Appointments Committee has approved the appointment of Sanjeev Sanyal, former Global Strategist and managing director, Deutsche Bank, to the post of Principal Economic Adviser in the Department of Economic Affairs.

He has been appointed in a pay scale of Rs 67,000-79,000 for a period of three years.

In 2007, he was awarded the Eisenhower Fellowship for his work on urban issues and was also honoured by the Singapore government at the World Cities Summit, 2014.

http://indianexpress.com/article/business/economy/sanjeev-sanyal-appointed-as-principal-economic-adviser-4508357/

Centre to divest Rs. 11,000 cr. stake in PSU insurers.

Details :

The government plans to divest Rs. 11,000 crore worth of stake in PSU general insurance companies to meet the steep disinvestment target of Rs. 72,500 crore next fiscal.

Of the total target, Rs. 46,500 crore will be mobilised through minority stake sale and Rs. 15,000 crore from strategic disinvestment.

The goal of Rs. 72,500 crore is higher than Rs. 45,500 crore the government has estimated to raise in the current fiscal. A sum of Rs. 11,000 crore is budgeted from the listing exercise.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-business/Centre-to-divest-Rs.-11000-cr.-stake-in-PSU-insurers/article17155663.ece

Government forms panel to assess haj subsidy.

Details :

The Centre has formed a six-member committee to give a report on ways to improve India's Haj policy and also look into the issue of subsidy to the pilgrimage in light of 2012 Supreme Court order on gradually reducing and abolishing it by 2022. 

Former Consul General of India (CGI) in Jeddah Afzal Amanullah has been appointed as convener of the high-level panel.

The members include retired Bombay high court judge S S Parkar, ex-Haj Committee of India chairman Qaiser Shamim, former Air India CMD Michael Mascarenhas and Muslim scholar Kamal Faruqui.

Joint secretary in-charge of haj in the ministry of minority affairs J Alam is the member secretary.

The panel to submit report in two months on how the haj pilgrimage can be managed better. 

At present, national carrier Air India provides highly subsidised air tickets to the haj pilgrims.

The panel will also figure out whether the pilgrims can travel to Saudi Arabia by paying less in the absence of the subsidy.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/government-forms-panel-to-assess-haj-subsidy/articleshow/56977464.cms

NASA’s Juno spacecraft completes fourth flyby of Jupiter.

Details :

NASA’s Juno spacecraft successfully completed a close flyby of Jupiter on February 2, 2017.

During its closest approach it was roughly 4,300 km above Jupiter’s cloud tops and travelled at a speed of about 208,000 kmph. Currently, Juno is locked in a 53-day orbit around Jupiter.

During its flybys, Juno probes beneath the cloud cover of Jupiter and studies Jupiter’s auroras to learn more about its origins, structure, atmosphere and magnetosphere.

Juno Launched on August 5, 2011, from Cape Canaveral, Florida, Juno arrived at Jupiter on July 4, 2016.

During its mission of exploration, Juno soars low over the planet's cloud tops - as close as about 2,600 miles (4,100 kilometers). 

Iran tests missile and radar systems.

Details :

Iran had a military exercise to test its missile and radar systems, a day after U.S. President Donald Trump's administration imposed sanctions on Tehran for a recent ballistic missile test.

The United States sanctioned 13 individuals and 12 entities related to Iran's missile program.

The aim of the military exercise in Semnan province was to showcase the power of Iran's revolution and to dismiss the sanctions.

Google sells satellite imaging business Terra Bella to Planet Labs.

Details :

Alphabet Inc's Google would sell its satellite imaging business, Terra Bella, to Planet Labs, a San Francisco-based private satellite operator founded by former NASA scientists.

As part of the deal, Planet Labs will acquire the Terra Bella business including the SkySat constellation of satellites.

Google will enter into a multi-year contract to purchase Earth-imaging data from Planet Labs after the deal closes.

Google had acquired Terra Bella, originally known as Skybox Imaging, for $500 million in 2014.

The deal will help Planet Labs broaden its available data and add new customers.

Planet Labs is one of several startups aiming to harness technology allowing satellites to become smaller and less expensive, making it easier to deploy large networks of satellites at less risk and lower cost than previously.

Arun M. Kumar elected Chairman and CEO of KPMG in India.

Details :

KPMG in India has a new Chairman and Chief Executive Officer in Arun M. Kumar.

He succeeds Richard Rekhy, who led the firm as CEO for over four years.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/companies/arun-m-kumar-elected-chairman-and-ceo-of-kpmg-in-india/article9522566.ece

Feb. 4, 2017

SC asks govt to prepare plan for eradication of leprosy.

Details :

The Supreme Court  asked the Centre to prepare a comprehensive policy for implementation of a plan within four weeks for eradication of leprosy.

A bench of Chief Justice J S Khehar and justices N V Ramana and D Y Chandrachud said the Centre should also submit in the plan as how it intends to fill the large scale vacancy at the ground level.

The bench which was hearing a PIL filed by advocate Pankaj Sinha had earlier rapped the authorities for their "apathy" in eradicating leprosy from the country, saying despite it being "curable", the disease still remains a stigma.

The PIL had mentioned that leprosy affects over 1 lakh 25,000 people in the country annually.

He had also alleged that governments have failed to eliminate the disease despite medical treatment available since 1981.

President Opens Rashtrapati Bhavan’s Annual ‘Udyanotsav’.

Details :

The President of India, Pranab Mukherjee opened the annual ‘Udyanotsav’ of the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The major attractions for this year's 'Udyanotsav' are special roses named after President Pranab Mukherjee and his wife Suvra Mukherjee.

This is the first time a special rose is named after a President.

The rose named after President Mukherjee is yellow, the one in name of his wife is pink-purple.

The special roses are developed by plant breeders from Pushpanjali rose nursery, Jakpur, West Bengal.

For this event, about 14,000 Tulip bulbs in seven different colours were planted in Mughal Gardens.

Apart from the main Mughal Gardens, other gardens including Circular, Spiritual, Herbal, Bonsai and Cactus, Nakshatra, Musical and Tactile will also be open for public from February 5 to March 12 except on Mondays which are maintenance days between 9:30 am and 4:00 pm.

http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/president-pranab-mukherjee-inaugurates-rashtrapati-bhavans-annual-udyanotsav-1656102

Former CBI chief Joginder Singh passes away.

Details :

Former CBI chief Joginder Singh passed away after prolonged illness. He was 77.

He was 1961 batch IPS officer of Karnataka cadre was chosen to head the premier investigative agency when H D Deve Gowda was the Prime Minister.

He had joined Police Service at the age of 20 and rose to take charge of CBI in July 1996.

He had overseen investigation of several high-profile cases including Bofors scam and Bihar’s fodder scam, securities scam, JMM MPs bribery scandal, Rs. 133 crore urea scam, telecom deals by the then Union minister Sukh Ram, among others.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/former-cbi-chief-joginder-singh-passes-away-after-prolonged-illness/articleshow/56960165.cms

Pankaj Advani Wins the National Snooker Championship title.

Details :

Champion cueist Pankaj Advani won the Indian National Snooker Championship with a 6-0 win over Pandurangaiah of Railways in a one-sided final.

Advani has become the only Indian player to win all the national titles in both the long and short formats of snooker, 6-red Snooker and 15-red Snooker.

http://indianexpress.com/article/sports/sport-others/pankaj-advani-pockets-the-national-snooker-championship-title-4504697/

Virat Kohli features on Wisden 2017 cover.

Details :

Indian skipper Virat Kohli has been featured on the cover of the 2017 edition of the Wisden Cricketers' Almanack.

With this he becomes the second Indian to feature on the cover of Wisden Cricketer’s Almanack after cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar.

Wisden Cricketers' Almanack (or simply Wisden or colloquially "the Bible of Cricket") is a cricket reference book published annually in the United Kingdom. It is considered the world's most famous sports reference book.The description "bible of cricket" was first used in the 1930s by Alec Waugh in a review for the London Mercury.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wisden_Cricketers'_Almanack

UIDAI clamps down on 50 fraud sites offering Aadhaar services.

Details :

Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has shut down 12 such websites and 12 mobile apps available on the Google Playstore.

This action was taken on unauthorised agencies offering Aadhaar-related services illegally and charging excessive money from the public.

The UIDAI has further directed authorities for the closure of another 26 such fraudulent and illegal websites and mobile applications.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/uidai-clamps-down-on-50-fraud-sites-offering-aadhaar-services-117020300719_1.html

Vikram Limaye appointed as MD of NSE.

Details :

Managing Director of IDFC Vikram Limaye, was appointed as new Managing Director of the National Stock Exchange (NSE).

The approval of the board, chaired by Ashok Chawla, comes after a four-member search panel suggested Limaye's name from amongst the shortlisted candidates.

Vikram Limaye will succeed Chitra Ramakrishna.

 Limaye started his professional career with Arthur Andersen in Mumbai in 1987 and has also worked with Ernst & Young and Citibank.

He has worked at Wall Street for eight years with Credit Suisse First Boston before returning to Mumbai in 2004.

He was recently named in a four-member panel appointed by the Supreme Court for administering cricket body Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
http://www.business-standard.com/article/markets/idfc-md-vikram-limaye-the-new-ceo-md-of-nse-117020300787_1.html

Anand Kumar Gupta appointed new Director of NTPC.

Details :

Anand Kumar Gupta has taken over the charge as director commercial at NTPC.

In his new role, he will be responsible for the activities relating to Commercial, International and Domestic Business development and Consultancy business of NTPC. 

Gupta (56 years) is graduate in electrical engineering from Moti Lal Nehru National Institute of Technology, Allahabad.

He has a career spanning over 36 years of contribution in the company in various positions including those of executive director – incharge of commercial and executive director (Engineering). 

He also headed business development department of NTPC and plant operations & maintenance at power stations.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/energy/power/anand-kumar-gupta-takes-over-as-director-commercial-at-ntpc/articleshow/56956627.cms

Rail Museum celebrates 40th anniversary.

Details :

The National Rail Museum in New Delhi celebrated its 40th anniversary on 01st February 2017.

It houses the largest collection of life-size rail exhibits.

It was recently renovated and reopened for public.

Its attractions include the saloons of the Maharajas of Indore and Mysore and Fairy Queen, the oldest working steam locomotive still in operation.

Centre of Integrative Oncology inaugurated to help develop integrated approach to cancer prevention and management .

Details :

The Centre of Integrative Oncology (CIO) was inaugurated at the National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research  (NICPR) at Noida (New Delhi) on the eve of  world Cancer Day (4th February).

The Centre was inaugurated by Dr. Saumya Swaminathan, Secretary, Department of Health Research, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare & Director General, Indian Council for Medical Research and Shri Ajit M. Sharan, Secretary, Ministry of AYUSH in the presence of Prof. Ravi Mehrotra, Director, NICPR-ICMR.

This collaboration will definitely lead to development of novel drugs for cancer prevention and management.  

5 Senior Research Fellowships and 5 Post-doctoral  fellowships will be released every year (in both modern medicine and Ayurveda) to facilitate quality research in the country in the area of cancer research.

The main objective of the Centre is to build collaborations in the areas of cancer prevention, research and care in an integrated approach involving both modern and traditional medicine.

This would pave the way to carry forward the ongoing bilateral dialogue and facilitate collaboration with stake holders, both national and international, like National Cancer Institute, USA. 

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=158049

Feb. 3, 2017

Padma Award:

Details :

Winner list 2017 padma award

Padma Awards 2017 Winners List: Virat Kohli, chef Sanjeev Kapoor, Sakshi Malik get Padma Shri; MM Joshi, Sharad Pawar get Padma Vibhushan

Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli has been rewarded for his consistent performance as he has been conferred with Padma Shri on Wednesday. Olympic hero Sakshi Malik, singer Kailash kher

Padma Vibhushan

1. Shri K J Yesudas Art-Music Kerala
2. Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, Spiritualism, Tamil Nadu
3. Shri Sharad Pawar, Public Affairs, Maharashtra
4. Shri Murli Manohar Joshi, Public Affairs, Uttar Pradesh
5. Prof. Udipi Ramachandra Rao Science & Engineering Karnataka
6. Late Shri Sunder Lal Patwa, (Posthumous), Public Affairs Madhya Pradesh
7. Late Shri PA Sangma, (Posthumous), Public Affairs Meghalaya

Padma Bhushan
8. Shri Vishwa Mohan Bhatt Art-Music Rajasthan
9. Prof. (Dr.) Devi Prasad Dwivedi, Lit, rature & Education, Uttar Pradesh
10. Shri Tehemton Udwadia Medicine, Maharashtra
11. Shri Ratna Sundar Maharaj Others-Spiritualism, Gujarat
12. Swami Niranjana Nanda Saraswati, Yoga, Bihar
13. H.R.H. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn (Foreigner), Literature & Education, Thailand

14. Late Shri Cho Ramaswamy (Posthumous) Literature & Education – Journalism Tamil Nadu

Padma Shri

15. Smt. Basanti Bisht, Art-Music, Uttarakhand
16. Shri Chemanchery Kunhiraman Nair, Art-Dance, Kerala
17. Smt. Aruna Mohanty Art-Dance, Odisha
18. Smt. Bharathi Vishnuvardhan Art-Cinema Karnataka
19. Shri Sadhu Meher Art-Cinema Odisha
20. Shri T K Murthy Art-Music Tamil Nadu
21. Shri Laishram Birendrakumar Singh Art-Music, Manipur
22. Shri Krishna Ram Chaudhary Art-Music, Uttar Pradesh
23. Smt. Baoa Devi Art-Painting, Bihar
24. Shri Tilak Gitai Art-Painting, Rajasthan
25. Dr. Prof. Aekka Yadagiri Rao Art-Sculpture, Telangana
26. Shri Jitendra Haripal Art-Music, Odisha
27. Shri Kailash Kher Art-Music, Maharashtra
28. Smt. Parassala B Ponnammal Art-Music, Kerala
29. Smt. Sukri Bommagowda Art-Music, Karnataka
30. Shri Mukund Nayak Art-Music, Jharkhand
31. Shri Purushottam Upadhyay Art-Music, Gujarat
32. Smt. Anuradha Paudwal Art-Music, Maharashtra
33. Shri Wareppa Naba Nil Art-Theatre, Manipur
34. Shri Tripuraneni Hanuman Chowdary Civil Service, Telangana
35. Shri T.K. Viswanathan Civil Service, Haryana
36. Shri Kanwal Sibal Civil Service, Delhi
37. Shri Birkha Bahadur LimbooMuringla, Literature & Education, Sikkim
38. Smt. Eli Ahmed Literature & Education Assam
39. Dr. Narendra Kohli Literature & Education Delhi
40. Prof. G. Venkatasubbiah Literature & Education Karnataka
41. Shri Akkitham Achyuthan Namboothiri Literature & Education Kerala
42. Shri Kashi Nath Pandita Literature & Education Jammu &Kashmir
43. Shri Chamu Krishna Shastry Literature & Education Delhi
44. Shri Harihar Kripalu Tripathi Literature & Education Uttar Pradesh
45. Shri Michel Danino Literature & Education Tamil Nadu
46. Shri Punam Suri Literature & Education Delhi
47. Shri VG Patel Literature & Education Gujarat
48. Smt. V Koteswaramma Literature & Education Andhra Pradesh
49. Shri Balbir Dutt Literature & EducationJournalismJharkhand
50. Smt. Bhawana Somaaya Literature & EducationJournalism Maharashtra
51. Shri Vishnu Pandya Literature & EducationJournalism Gujarat
52. Dr. Subroto Das Medicine Gujarat
53. Dr. (Smt.) Bhakti Yadav Medicine Madhya Pradesh
54. Dr. Mohammed Abdul Waheed Medicine Telangana
55. Dr. Madan Madhav Godbole Medicine Uttar Pradesh
56. Dr. Devendra Dayabhai Patel Medicine Gujarat
57. Prof. Harkishan Singh Medicine Chandigarh
58. Dr. Mukut Minz Medicine Chandigarh
59. Shri Arun Kumar Sharma Others-Archaeology Chhattisgarh
60. Shri Sanjeev Kapoor Others-Culinary Maharashtra
61. Smt. Meenakshi Amma Others-Martial Art Kerala
62. Shri Genabhai Dargabhai Patel Others-Agriculture Gujarat
63. Shri Chandrakant Pithawa Science & Engineering Telangana
64. Prof. Ajoy Kumar Ray Science & Engineering West Bengal
65. Shri Chintakindi Mallesham Science & Engineering Andhra Pradesh
66. Shri Jitendra Nath Goswami Science & Engineering Assam
67. Shri Daripalli Ramaiah Social Work Telangana
68. Shri Girish Bhardwaj Social Work Karnataka
69. Shri Karimul Hak Social Work West Bengal
70. Shri Bipin Ganatra Social Work West Bengal
71. Smt. Nivedita Raghunath Bhide Social work Tamil Nadu
72. Shri Appasaheb Dharmadhikari Social Work Maharashtra
73. Baba Balbir Singh Seechewal Social Work Punjab
74. Shri Virat Kohli Sports-Cricket Delhi
75. Shri Shekar Naik Sports-Cricket Karnataka
76. Shri Vikasa Gowda Sports-Discus Throw Karnataka
77. Smt. Deepa Malik Sports-Athletics Haryana
78. Shri Mariyappan Thangavelu Sports-Athletics Tamil Nadu
79. Smt. Dipa Karmakar Sports-Gymnastics Tripura
80. Shri P R Shreejesh Sports-Hockey Kerala
81. Smt. Sakshi Malik Sports-Wrestling Haryana

82. Shri Mohan Reddy Venkatrama Bodanapu Trade & Industry Telangana
83. Shri Imrat Khan
84. Shri Anant Agarwal (NRI/PIO) Literature & Education USA
85. Shri H.R. Shah (NRI/PIO) Literature & EducationJournalism
USA

86. Late (Smt.) Suniti Solomon (Posthumous) Medicine Tamil Nadu
87. Shri Asoke Kumar Bhattacharyya (Posthumous) Others-Archaeology West Bengal
88. Dr. Mapuskar (Posthumous) Social Work Maharashtra
89. Smt. Anuradha Koirala (Foreigner) Social Work Nepal

Captain of Indian cricket team of blind Shekhar Naik and Paralympian MariyappanThangavelu got Padma Shri. Dipa Karmakar also got Padma Shri.

History of Padma Awards

Padma Awards were first instituted in 1954. The government only instituted two awards–Bharat Ratna and Padma Vibhushan. The Bharat Ratna was to be the highest civilian award of the country. The Padma Vibhushan was to have three categories–Pahela Varg, Dusra Varg and Tisra Varg. In 1955, there three categories were rechristened Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan, and Padma Shri respectively.

Padma Vibhushan is the second highest civilian award

Padma Bhushan is the third highest civilian award

Padma Shri is the fourth highest civilian award

45 people have received the Bharat Ratna so far. The latest recipient of the award was late social reformer Madan Mohan Malviya. He was awarded with Bharat Ratna posthumously in 2014. Before him, iconic cricketer Sachin Tendulkar had received the awards.


Padma Awards are awarded every year to people who do well in the field of politics, arts, sports and social work. The list of Padma awardees cannot exceed more than 120 names. Except for the years 1978 and 1979 and 1993 to 1997, the awards have been announced every year since their inception.

SPORTS VENUES

Details :

Summer Olympics
2012 – London, UK
2016 – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
2020 – Tokyo, Japan
Winter Olympics
2014 – Sochi, Russia
2018 – Pyeongchang, South Korea
2022 – Beijing, China
Commonwealth Games
2010 – New Delhi, India
2014 – Glasgow, Scotland, U.K.
2018 – Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
Asian Games
2014 – Incheon, South Korea
2018 – Jakarta, Indonesia
Hockey World Cup
2010 – New Delhi, India (Winner- Australia)
2014 – The Hague, Netherlands (Winner- Australia)
2018 – New Delhi, India
Women Hockey World Cup
2010 – Argentina (Winner- Argentina)
2014 – The Hague, Netherlands (Winner- Netherlands)
2018 – London, England
FIFA World Cup
2010 – South Africa (Winner- Spain)
2014 – Brazil (Winner- Germany)
2018 – Russia
2022 – Qatar
Women Football World Cup
2011 – Germany (Winner- Japan)
2015 – Canada
ICC Cricket World Cup
2011 – India, Bangladesh & Sri Lanka ( Winner- India)
2015 – Australia and New Zealand
2019 – England
2023 – India
Women Cricket World Cup
2013 – India (Winner- Australia)
2017 – England
2021 – New Zealand
ICC World T-20 World Cup
2014 – Bangladesh (Winner- Sri Lanka)
2016 – India
Women ICC World T-20 World Cup
2014 – Bangladesh (Winner- Australia)
2018 – West Indies
2022 – South Africa

India to construct multi-ethnic tri-lingual school in Lanka.

Details :

India and Sri Lanka have signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to construct a new multi-ethnic tri-lingual secondary school in Polonnaruwa District of Sri Lanka.

The MoU was signed by India's High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Taranjit Singh Sandhu and Secretary to the Ministry of Education Sunil Hettiarachchi.

The project envisages construction of class rooms, laboratories and library, as well as procurement of furniture and other equipment. 

It will be constructed using a grant of SLR 300 million from the Indian Government. 

The school would provide opportunities to Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim students to learn in a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural environment.

The project would also contribute to President Maithripala Sirisena's efforts to promote and strengthen reconciliation and unity in Sri Lanka.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/india-to-construct-multi-ethnic-tri-lingual-school-in-lanka-117020200812_1.html

China tests missile with 10 nuclear warheads: Report.

Details :

China has tested a new version of a missile that can carry up to 10 nuclear warheads.

The flight test of the DF-5C missile was carried out last month using 10 multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles, or MIRVs.

It was carried from the Taiyuan Space Launch Centre in Shanxi province and to an impact range in the western Taklamakan desert.

China is estimated to have about 20 DF-5 missiles, which have two stages and range of over 12,000 kilometers. 

The missile is a new variant of the DF-5, an intercontinental ballistic missile that first went into service in the early 1980's.

India signs $201.50 million Financing Agreement with World Bank for TEQIP III.

Details :

The Union Government has singed Financing Agreement for IDA credit of $201.50 million with World Bank for the ‘Third Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme’ (TEQIP III).

The agreement was signed by Raj Kumar, Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs and Junaid Kamal Ahmad, Country Director, World Bank India.

The objective of the Program is to enhance quality and equity in participating Engineering Education Institutes and improve the efficiency of the Engineering Education System in Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, 8 North Eastern States and Andaman & Nicobar Islands.

The Project has two main components,

(i) Improving quality and equity in engineering institutes in those states; and

(ii) System-level initiatives to strengthen sector governance and performance.

The project has been designed as a disbursement linked one, that is, the World Bank loan will be disbursed on achievement of specific outcomes. 

The closing date of TEQIP III is 31st March, 2022.

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=157904

Health Ministry Notifies Medical Devices Rules, 2017.

Details :

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has notified Medical Devices Rules, 2017 on 31.01.2017.

The new Rules seek to remove regulatory bottlenecks to make in India, facilitate ease of doing business while ensuring availability of better medical devices for patient care and safety.

The new Rules, be classified as per GHTF practice, based on associated risks, into Class A (low risk), Class B (low moderate risk), Class C (moderate high risk) and Class D (high risk).

The manufacturers of medical devices will be required to meet risk proportionate regulatory requirements that have been specified in the Rules and are based on best international practices.

The Rules also seek to evolve a culture of self-compliance by manufacturers of medical devices and, accordingly, the manufacturing licences for Class A medical devices will be granted without prior audit of manufacturing site.

The manufacturer will, in such a case, be required to do self-certification of compliance with the requirements and based on such certification, the licence will be issued.

However, post approval audit of manufacturing site will be carried out by the Notified Bodies to check conformance with Quality Management System.

Manufacture of Class A and Class B medical devices will be licenced by State Licensing Authorities concerned after Quality Management System audit by an accredited Notified Body.

For all manufacturing sites, Quality Management System will need to be aligned with ISO 13485. Manufacture of Class C and Class D medical devices will be regulated by the Central Licensing Authority and, where required, assistance of experts or notified bodies will be taken. Import of all medical devices will continue to be regulated by CDSCO.

A network of NABL accredited laboratories will be set up both, by the Government and by other entities, for testing medical devices.

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/mbErel.aspx?relid=157955

Mahila Shakti Kendra will be set-up at village level.

Details :

The Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs announced that Mahila Shakti Kendra will be set-up at village level with an allocation of Rs. 500 crores in 14 lakh ICDS Anganwadi Centres.

This will provide one stop convergent support services for empowering rural women with opportunities for skill development, employment, digital literacy, health and nutrition.

Under nationwide scheme for financial assistance to pregnant women Rs. 6,000 each will be transferred directly to the bank accounts of pregnant women who undergo institutional delivery and vaccinate their children.

For the welfare of Women and Children under various schemes across all the Ministries the allocation has been stepped-up from Rs.1,56,528 crores in BE 2016-17 to Rs. 1,84,632 crores in 2017-18.

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=157863

NITI Aayog launches India Innovation Index.

Details :

NITI Aayog, Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) together launched a mega initiative “India Innovation Index” .

 It will rank states on Innovations through country’s first online innovation index portal that will capture data on innovation from all Indian states on innovation and regularly update it in real time.

The index has been jointly developed by NITI Aayog, DIPP and CII in consultation with World Economic Forum (WEF), World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Cornell University, UNIDO, ILO, OECD, UNESCO, ITU etc.

The India Innovation Index Framework will be structured based on the best practices followed in Global Innovation Index (GII) indicators and additionally by adding India-centric parameters those truly reflect the Indian innovation ecosystem.

This initiative will be the point of reference for all international agencies to collect India’s up to date data points for global indices and analytic.

This portal will be a first-of-its-kind online platform where Global Innovation Index indicators and India–centric data from various states will be coalesced and disseminated and updated periodically.

India currently ranks 66th out of 128 countries on the Global innovation Index (GII) 2016.

To improve India’s rank in GII and other international indices, NITI Aayog jointly with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), organized the Global Innovation Index – India Roundtable on 31st January in the capital.

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=157941

Feb. 2, 2017

2nd February : Important news

Details :

• Start-up firm that launched an integrated accreditation and ERP technology solution to enable higher educational institutions to better manage their multiple accreditation standards - E-paathsala

• Bank that launched mobile App Mission FINFIT in collaboration with Bangalore startup Fisdom - Lakshmi Vilas Bank

• The cab hailing firm Uber launched its two-wheeler aggregation service UberMOTO in - Hyderabad

• Star that was captured performing an unusual act of preying on its companion star by the space observatory ASTROSAT - Vampire Star

• This cricketer has been banned from all forms of cricket for one year for violating the doping code - Andre Russel

• The person appointed as the Managing Director of BAE Systems’ India operations is - Nik Khanna

• The 19th Bharat Rang Mahotsav or National Theatre Festival commenced on 1 February 2017 in - New Delhi

• The Union Government recently approved the amendments in the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950, to modify the list of SC in - Odisha

• The veteran journalist, who witnessed Mahatma Gandhi assassination, who recently passed away is - Devdutt

• The Indian singer, whose composition will be a part of an album for United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund project titled 'Music To Inspire - Artists UNited Against Human Trafficking," is - Neeti Mohan

• The 69th United States Secretary of State under Donald Trump’s government is - Rex Tillerson

• The SAARC programming committee meeting is being conducted in – Kathmandu, Nepal

• This country has suspended the issuance of visas to travellers from Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria and Afghanistan – Kuwait

• This country planning to launch its first-ever mission to Mars in 2020 – The United Arab Emirates

• This space orbiter will be the first-ever from an Arab country to embark on a Mars mission - Hope

Cabinet approves Introduction of The Indian Institutes of Information Technology (Amendment) Bill, 2017.

Details :

The Union Cabinet has given its approval for introduction of The Indian Institutes of Information Technology (Amendment) Bill, 2017 in Parliament.

The amendment Bill provides for inclusion of Indian Institute of Information Technology Design and Manufacturing (IIITDM), Kurnool along with the other IITs in the Principal Act. 

With this, IIITDM. Kurnool will be the fifth Member as a Centrally Funded IIIT.

Background

The Indian Institutes of Information Technology Act, 2014 confers the status of Institutions of National Importance on the IIITs and also provides for matters connected with administering these IIITs.

The Government has approved creation of a new NIT at Kurnool in Andhra Pradesh as embodied in the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act, 2014.

Due to addition of a new IIIT, amendment has to be made in the IIIT Act, 2014.

Academic session has commenced in IITDM Kurnool in two branches of study in 2015-16.

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=157828

Toxins in litchi fruit may kill children.

Details :

Scientists from US and India have found that consumption of litchi fruit on an empty stomach can result in very low blood glucose level and acute encephalopathy leading to seizures and coma, and causes death in Children in many cases.

Litchi fruit contains the toxins hypoglycin A and methylenecyclopropyl-glycine (MCPG). 

The toxins block enzymes involved in normal glucose metabolism and this results in an inability to synthesis glucose leading to acutely low level of blood sugar.

The build-up of other metabolic by-products could also have an adverse effect (encephalopathy) on the child. These two cause death in many children.

Background:

In 2014, fever and convulsions had killed 122 and hospitalised 390 children within three weeks in Muzaffarpur.

All the sick children had eaten litchis without eating evening meal and had developed high fever, seizures and convulsions followed by coma before daybreak.

http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/health/Toxins-in-litchi-fruit-kill-children-in-Bihars-Muzaffarpur/article17128731.ece

Kuwait Bans 5 Muslim-Majority Countries, Including Pakistan.

Details :

Kuwait has suspended the issuance of visas for nationals of Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran.

Kuwait was the only nation to prohibit the entry of Syrian nationals prior to Trump's executive action. Kuwait City previously issued a suspension of visas for all Syrians in 2011

http://www.ndtv.com/world-news/kuwait-bans-5-muslim-majority-countries-including-pakistan-1655311

Arun jaitley unveils education reforms, to set up National Testing Agency.

Details :

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley unleashed measures to revamp the country's education system, including setting up of a National Testing Agency to conduct all entrance examinations for higher education institutions.

The government proposes to establish a National Testing Agency as an autonomous and self-sustained premier testing organisation to conduct all entrance examinations for higher education institutions.

This would free CBSE, AICTE and other premier institutions from these administrative responsibilities so that they can focus more on academics

The government also proposes to create an innovative fund for secondary education for ensuring universal access, gender parity and quality improvement.

The government proposes to leverage information technology and launch the SWAYAM Platform with at least 350 online courses, which will enable students to virtually attend the courses taught by the best faculty, access high quality reading resources, participate in discussion forums, take tests and earn academic grades.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/education/jaitley-unveils-education-reforms-to-set-up-national-testing-agency/article9514496.ece

Govt proposes Payments Regulatory Board in RBI

Details :

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley  proposed creation of a six-member Payments Regulatory Board in the RBI, as part of bringing about structural reforms in the payment eco-system.

For the purpose, necessary amendments are proposed in the Finance Bill 2017 to create a Payments Regulatory Board in the Reserve Bank of India by replacing the existing Board for Regulation and Supervision of Payment and Settlement Systems.

RBI Governor will be ex officio Chairperson, Deputy Governor who is in—charge of the Payment and Settlement Systems will be member, and one officer of RBI will be nominated by its Central Board will be its members.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/budget/govt-proposes-payments-regulatory-board-in-rbi/article9514907.ece

Government to launch TIES to fund export infrastructure.

Details :

The Union Budget 2017-18 has announced that Union Government will launch Trade Infrastructure for Export Scheme (TIES) to create infrastructure for exports.

Indian exporters face huge challenges in terms of infrastructure, particularly in states. Inadequate infrastructure pushes their transactions costs, impacting competitiveness of Indian goods in the global markets.

The scheme will help create modern infrastructure like last mile connectivity to ports, testing labs and certification centres.

 The scheme will help in modernising infrastructure in states for exporters.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/govt-to-launch-new-scheme-to-fund-export-infrastructure/articleshow/56913122.cms

Government to set up dairy development fund with corpus of Rs 8,000 cr.

Details :

The Union Budget 2017-18 has proposed setting-up of a Dairy Processing and Infrastructure Development Fund with a corpus of Rs 8,000 crores over three.

It is an important source of additional income for the farmers. 

A Dairy Processing and Infrastructure Development Fund would be set-up in NABARD with a corpus of Rs 8,000 crores over 3 years.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/b2b-connect/govt-to-set-up-dairy-development-fund-with-corpus-of-rs-8-000-cr-117020100872_1.html

Lucideus wins Best IT Startup of India award.

Details :

Lucideus, IT risk assessment and digital security services provider Lucideus bagged the government’s ‘Best IT Startup of India’ award. 

It won award under the IT (Information Technology) and ITES (Information Technology Enabled Services) category at the National Entrepreneurship Award 2016 organised by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship at the DRDO auditorium in New Delhi.

It is incubated from IIT Bombay in 2012.

http://www.deccanchronicle.com/technology/in-other-news/310117/lucideus-bags-best-it-startup-of-india-award.html

Anushka Sharma appointed ambassador of Swachh Bharat campaign.

Details :

Anushka Sharma appointed as the new ambassador of the Swachh Bharat Campaign. 

She will join Swach Bharat Abhiyaan along with Mr Amitabh Bachchan for the same.

She is the female ambassador of this massive country wide campaign, and has been picked for her popularity with youth across rural and urban India, particularly women.

In her new role as the female ambassador of the campaign, she will highlight the women-centric aspects of open defecation in rural and semi-rural area. 

Tata Motors launches new sub-brand 'TAMO'.

Details :

Auto major Tata Motors launched a sub-brand TAMO with an aim to introduce new technology equipped vehicles faster to the market.

Under the TAMO sub-brand, the company will launch vehicles that are low in volumes requiring low investment.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/auto/miscellaneous/tata-motors-launches-new-sub-brand-tamo/articleshow/56935814.cms

Tokyo 2020 Olympics: Medals to be made from mobile phones.

Details :

Olympic and Paralympic medals for the Tokyo 2020 Games will be made from recycled mobile phones.

For this Japanese public will be asked to donate old phones and small appliances to gather two tonnes of gold, silver and bronze required for making 5,000 medals. 

The project hopes to promote sustainability and reduce costs.

But Japan, which lacks its own mineral resources, is keen to take the theme of a sustainable future a step further.

Feb. 1, 2017

Highlights of Union Budget 2017-18.

Details :

Highlights of Union Budget 2017-18:

The 2017 Union Budget, presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on 01 Feb 2017 was broadly focused on 10 themes — the farming sector, the rural population, the youth, the poor and underprivileged health care, infrastructure, the financial sector for stronger institutions, speedy accountability, public services, prudent fiscal management and tax administration for the honest.

Following are the highlights:

Demonetisation

Demonetisation is expected to have a transient impact on the economy.

It will have a great impact on the economy and lives of people .

Demonetisation is a bold and decisive measure that will lead to higher GDP growth.

The effects of demonetisation will not spillover to the next fiscal.

Agriculture sector

Sowing farmers should feel secure against natural calamities.

A sum of Rs. 10 lakh crore is allocated as credit to farmers, with 60 days interest waiver.

NABARD fund will be increased to Rs. 40,000 crore. 

Government will set up mini labs in Krishi Vigyan Kendras for soil testing.

A dedicated micro irrigation fund will be set up for NABARD with Rs 5,000 crore initial corpus.

Irrigation corpus increased from Rs 20,000 crore to Rs 40,000 crore.

Dairy processing infrastructure fund wlll be initially created with a corpus of Rs. 2000 crore.

Issuance of soil cards has gained momentum.

A model law on contract farming will be prepared and shared with the States.

Rural population

The government targets to bring 1 crore households out of poverty by 2019.

During 2017-18, five lakh farm ponds will be be taken up under the MGNREGA.

Over Rs 3 lakh crore will be spent for rural India. MGNREGA to double farmers' income.

Will take steps to ensure participation of women in MGNREGA up to 55%.

Space technology will be used in a big way to ensure MGNREGA works.

The government proposes to complete 1 crore houses for those without homes.

Will allocate Rs. 19,000 crore for Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana in 2017-18.

The country well on way to achieve 100% rural electrification by March 2018.

Swachh Bharat mission has made tremendous progress; sanitation coverage has gone up from 42% in Oct 13 to 60% now.

For youth

Will introduce a system of measuring annual learning outcomes and come out with an innovation fund for secondary education.

Focus will be on 3,479 educationally-backward blocks.

Colleges will be identified based on accreditation.

Skill India mission was launched to maximise potential. Will set up 100 India International centres across the country.

Courses on foreign languages will be introduced.

Will take steps to create 5000 PG seats per annum.

For the poor and under privilege health care

Rs. 500 crore allocated for Mahila Shakthi Kendras.

Under a nationwide scheme for pregnant women, Rs. 6000 will be transferred to each person.

A sum of Rs. 1,84,632  crore allocated for women and children.

Affordable housing will be given infrastructure status.

Owing to surplus liquidity, banks have started reducing lending rates for housing.

Elimination of tuberculosis by 2025 targeted.

Health sub centres, numbering 1.5 lakh, willl be transformed into health wellness centres.

Two AIIMS will be set up in Jharkhand and Gujarat.

Will undertake structural transformation of the regulator framework for medical education.

Allocation for Scheduled Castes  is Rs. 52,393  crore

Aadhaar-based smartcards will be issued to senior citizens to monitor health.

Infrastructure and railways

A total allocation of Rs. 39,61,354 crore has been made for infrastructure.

Total allocation for Railways is Rs. 1,31,000 crore.

No service charge on tickets booked through IRCTC.

Raksha coach with a corpus of Rs. 1 lakh crore for five years (for passenger safety).

Unmanned level crossings will be eliminated by 2020.

3,500 km of railway lines to be commissioned this year up from 2,800 km last year.

SMS-based ''clean my coach service'' is put in place.

Coach mitra facility will be introduced to register all coach related complaints.

By 2019 all trains will have bio-toilets.

Five-hundred stations will be made differently-abled friendly.

Railways to partner with logistics players for front-end and back-end solutions for select commodities.

Railways will offer competitive ticket booking facility.

Rs. 64,000 crore allocated for highways. 

High speed Internet to be allocated to 1,50,000 gram panchayats.

New Metro rail policy will be announced with new modes of financing.

Energy sector

A strategic policy for crude reserves will be set up.

Rs. 1.26,000 crore received as energy production based investments.

Trade infra export scheme will be launched 2017-18.

Financial sector

FDI policy reforms - more than 90% of FDI inflows are now automated.

Shares of Railway PSE like IRCTC will be listed on stock exchanges. 

Bill on resolution of financial firms will be introduced in this session of Parliament.

Foreign Investment Promotion Board will be abolished.

Revised mechanism to ensure time-bound listing of CPSEs.

Computer emergency response team for financial sector will be formed.

Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana lending target fixed at Rs 2.44 lakh crore for 2017-18.

Digital India - BHIM app will unleash mobile phone revolution. The government will introduce two schemes to promote BHIM App - referral bonus for the users and cash back for the traders.

Negotiable Instruments Act might be amended.

DBT to LPG consumers , Chandigarh is kerosene-free, 84 government schemes are on the DBT platform.

Head post office as the central office for rendering passport service.

Easy online booking system for Army and other defence personnel.

For big-time offences - including economic offenders fleeing India, the government will introduce legislative change or introduce law to confiscate the assets of these people within the country.

Fiscal situation

Total expenditure is Rs. 21, 47,000 crore.

Plan, non-plan expenditure to be abolished; focus will be on capital expenditure, which will be 25.4 %.

Rs. 3,000 crore under the Department  of Economic Affairs for implementing the Budget announcements.

Expenditure for science and technology is Rs. 37,435 crore.

Total resources transferred to States and Union Territories is Rs 4.11 lakh crore.

Recommended 3% fiscal deficit for three years with a deviation of 0.5% of the GDP.

Revenue deficit is 1.9 %

Fiscal deficit of 2017-18 pegged at 3.2% of the GDP. Will remain committed to achieving 3% in the next year.

Funding of political parties

The maximum amount of cash donation for a political party will be Rs. 2,000 from any one source.

Political parties will be entitled to receive donations by cheque or digital mode from donors.

An amendment is being proposed to the RBI Act to enable issuance of electoral bonds .A donor can purchase these bonds from banks or post offices through cheque or digital transactions. They can be redeemed only by registered political parties.

Defence sector

The defence sector gets an allocation of Rs. 2.74,114 crore.

Tax proposals

India’s tax to GDP ratio is not favourable.

Out of 13.14 lakh registered companies, only 5.97 lakh firms have filed returns for 2016-17.

Proportion of direct tax to indirect tax is not optimal.

Individuals numbering 1.95 crore showed an income between Rs. 2.5 lakh to Rs. 5 lakh.

Out of 76 lakh individual assessees declaring income more than Rs. 5 lakh, 56 lakh are salaried.

Only 1.72 lakh people showed income of more than Rs. 50 lakh a year.

Between November 8 to December 30, deposits ranging from Rs. 2 lakh and Rs. 80 lakh were made in 1.09 crore accounts.

Net tax revenue of 2013-14 was Rs. 11.38 lakh crore.

Out of 76 lakh individual assessees declaring income more than Rs 5 lakh, 56 lakh are salaried.

1.95 crore individuals showed income between Rs. 2.5 lakh to Rs. 5 lakh.

Rate of growth of advance tax in Personal I-T is 34.8% in the last three quarters of this financial year.

Holding period for long term capital gain lowered to two years

Proposal to have a carry-forward of MAT for 15 years.

Capital gains tax to be exempted for persons holding land from which land was pooled for creation of the state capital of Andhra Pradesh.

Under the corporate tax, in order to make MSME companies more viable, there is a proposal to reduce tax for small companies with a turnover of up to Rs 50 crore to 25%. About 67 lakh companies fall in this category. Ninety-six % of companies to get this benefit.

The government proposes to reduce basic customs duty for LNG to 2.5% from 5%.

The Income Tax Act to be amended  to ensure that no transaction above Rs 3 lakh is permitted in cash.

The limit of cash donation by charitable trusts is reduced to Rs 2,000 from Rs 10,000.

Net revenue loss in direct tax could be Rs. 20,000 crore.

Personal income tax

Existing rate of tax for individuals between Rs.  2.5- Rs 5 lakh is reduced to 5% from 10%.

All other categories of tax payers in subsequent brackets will get a benefit of Rs 12,500.

Simple one page return for people with an annual income of Rs. 5 lakh other than business income.

People filing I-T returns for the first time will not come under any government scrutiny.

Ten % surcharge on individual income above Rs. 50 lakh and up to Rs 1 crore to make up for Rs 15,000 crore loss due to cut in personal I-T rate. 15 surcharge on individual income above Rs. 1 crore to remain.

http://www.thehindu.com/business/budget/Highlights-of-Union-Budget-2017-18/article17127298.ece

Income Tax Department (ITD) launches Operation Clean Money.

Details :

The Income Tax Department (ITD) launched Operation Clean Money.

Initial phase of the operation involves e-verification of large cash deposits made during 9th November to 30th December 2016.

In the first batch of the operation,around 18 lakh persons have been identified in whose case, cash transactions do not appear to be in line with the tax payer’s profile.

ITD has enabled online verification of these transactions to reduce compliance cost for the taxpayers while optimising its resources.

The information in respect of these cases is being made available in the e-filing window of the PAN holder (after log in) at the portal https://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in.

The PAN holder can view the information using the link “Cash Transactions 2016” under “Compliance” section of the portal.

The taxpayer will be able to submit online explanation without any need to visit Income Tax office.  

Email and SMS will also be sent to the taxpayers for submitting online response on the e-filing portal. Taxpayers who are not yet registered on the e-filing portal (at https://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in) should register by clicking on the ‘Register Yourself’ link.

Registered taxpayers should verify and update their email address and mobile number on the e-filing portal to receive electronic communication. 

The response of taxpayer will be assessed against available information. In case explanation of source of cash is found justified, the verification will be closed without any need to visit Income Tax Office.

The verification will also be closed if the cash deposit is declared under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojna (PMGKY). 

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=157815

India, Russia hold high level consultations on counter terrorism issues.

Details :

India and Russia, as special and privileged strategic partners, held high-level consultations on counter terrorism issues in New Delhi.

The Indian delegation was led by Preeti Saran, Secretary (East) in the Union Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) while the Russian delegation was headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Mr. Oleg V. Syromolotov.

Both sides shared views and assessment on the threats posed by the scourge of terrorism, including state-sponsored, cross border terrorism faced by India.

They also shared concerns regarding the emergence of Af-Pak region as the epicentre of terrorism. They discussed successful experiences in curbing terrorism and countering radicalisation.

Both sides agreed that the UN Security Council (UNSC) Sanctions List 1267 processes for blacklisting various terrorist individuals and entities must be stringently complied.

They also emphasized on prospects for deepening engagement on counter-terrorism under the United Nations, BRICS and SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organisation) mechanisms.

They also agreed to frame joint action plan to focus on enhancing capacity building, frequent expert-level meetings, sharing of insights, exchange of best practices in curbing terrorism and countering radicalization.

http://www.sify.com/news/india-russia-hold-high-level-consultations-on-counter-terrorism-issues-news-national-rb5xLDjbhhhgg.html

Scientists find 'oldest human ancestor'.

Details :

Researchers have discovered the earliest known ancestor of humans - along with a vast range of other species.

The microscopic sea animal " Saccorhytus "is the earliest known step on the evolutionary path that led to fish and - eventually - to humans.

Saccorhytus coronarius is an extinct species of animal belonging to the superphylum Deuterostomia. Having lived approximately 540 million years ago, it is the oldest known confirmed species of this superphylum.

Fossils of the species were first discovered in the Shaanxi province of China by a team of scientists from the UK, China and Germany,and the findings were first published in January 2017.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saccorhytus

Cabinet nod to modify Scheduled Castes list in Odisha.

Details :

The Union Cabinet had approved the amendments in the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950 to modify the list of SC in Odisha.

It also approved amending the Constitution (Pondicherry) Scheduled Castes Order, 1964 to change the name of the Union territory to Puducherry from Pondicherry.

The Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Orders (Amendment) Bill, 2017, incorporating the above changes, will be introduced in the parliament.

The proposal of Sualgiri/Swalgiri caste was eligible for inclusion as a synonym of Sabakhia caste in the list of SC in Odisha.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/cabinet-nod-to-modify-scheduled-castes-list-in-odisha-117020100870_1.html

Rajasthan, Telangana bag eGov awards.

Details :

Rajasthan and Telangana  (under the State category,) emerged Winners of Excellence while the Award of Recognition went to Odisha and Nagaland.

eGov awards instituted by the Computer Society of India’s (CSI) Special Interest Group with sponsorship from Nihilent Technologies.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/rajasthan-telangana-bag-egov-awards/article9512894.ece

31st Surajkund International Crafts Mela begins.

Details :

The 31st Surajkund International Crafts Mela begins at Faridabad (Haryana).It was inaugrauted by Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal.

Over 20 countries are participating in the event with Egypt as a partner country this year and Jharkhand as the theme state.

Every year, one country becomes the partner country and an Indian state is selected to set the theme of the mela.

This year more than 20 countries are participating. Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Tunisia, Mongolia and South Africa are the first timers.

With Jharkhand being the theme state, it will showcase its unique culture and rich heritage.

Hundreds of artists from Haryana, Jharkhand and countries such as Egypt, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan will enliven the mood of the visitors with their performances.
http://www.hindustantimes.com/delhi/surajkund-international-crafts-mela-begins-today/story-ClVd4a1FgbZ7kUfFXk3UCP.html

Meghalayas first ever Apparel and Garment Centre inaugurated at Ampati.

Details :

Meghalayas first ever apparel and garment making centre was inaugurated near Ampati in South West Garo Hills.

It was inaugurated by Union Minister for textiles Smriti Zubin Irani.

The centre covers an area of 45,000 square feet. It has been set up under the North East Region Textiles Promotion Scheme (NERTPS).

http://www.business-standard.com/article/government-press-release/meghalayas-first-ever-apparel-and-garment-centre-inaugurated-at-ampati-117013001086_1.html

Ireland just became the world's first country to stop investing in fossil fuels.

Details :

Ireland has become the world’s first country to completely divest from fossil fuels. 

Irish Parliament passed legislation that will drop coal, oil, and gas (fossil fuel) investments from its €8 billion (US$8.6 billion) Ireland Strategic Investment Fund.

The bill, introduced by Deputy Thomas Pringle, is likely to pass into law in the next few months after it is reviewed by the financial committee.

Once enacted, the bill would force the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund to sell its investment in fossil fuel industries over the next five years.
In 2015, Norway's sovereign pension fund divested from some fossil fuel companies, but not all.

Madhya Pradesh: Rs 1500 crore defence unit to be set up in Morena district.

Details :

The Defence Ministry would be setting up its unit of national importance in Madhya Pradesh at Morena district’s Kailaras and Sabalgarh tehsil areas.

It was announced by Union Minister for Panchayati Raj and Rural Development Narendra Singh Tomar.

The proposed Defence Ministry Unit would be set up on a 969.735 hectare geographically secured, strategic and technically suited land with an investment of Rs 1500 crore.

The Madhya Pradesh government already allotted 334.58 hect revenue land for the purpose free of cost.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/madhya-pradesh-rs-1500-crore-defence-unit-to-be-set-up-in-morena-district-4500825/

SAARC meeting begins in Kathmandu.

Details :

The 53rd meeting of SAARC Programming Committee begins in Kathmandu.

The two-day meeting at joint secretary/director general level only entails discussions about the budget allocation of five SAARC regional centres.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/saarc-meeting-begins-in-kathmandu-117020101181_1.html

Alok Verma takes charge as CBI chief.

Details :

ormer Delhi police commissioner Alok Verma took charge as the new Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) chief.

Verma’s appointment was approved for a period of two years by a three-member selection panel headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and comprising Chief Justice of India Jagdish Singh Khehar and Congress leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/former-top-cop-alok-verma-takes-charge-as-cbi-chief-4501891/

Former Union Minister E Ahmad passes away.

Details :

Former union minister and Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) MP E Ahamed passed away.

He passed away suffering from heart attack in the Central Hall of Parliament during the President’s address. He was 78.

E. Ahamed (29 April 1938 – 1 February 2017) was an Indian politician who served as Minister of State for External Affairs in the Manmohan Singh government (2004–14).

He represented the Malappuram Lok Sabha constituency of Kerala and was the National President of the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E._Ahamed

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/former-union-minister-iuml-mp-e-ahamed-passes-away-4501531/

Jan. 31, 2017

Economic Survey 2016-17.

Details :

Union finance Minister Arun Jaitley tabled the Economic Survey 2016-17 in Parliament budget session. The survey prepared by chief economic adviser in the finance ministry Arvind Subramanian.

India’s economic growth has been pegged at 6.5 % for the current fiscal, down from 7.6 % recorded in the last financial year, but is expected to rebound in the range of 6.75-7.5 % in 2017-18. 

The Survey’s GDP growth figure for the current fiscal is lower than 7.1 % the Central Statistics Office had forecast earlier this month.

HighLights:

* GDP growth for next fiscal pegged at 6.75-7.5%

* Growth this fiscal to be 6.5 %

* Prescribes cut in individual I-T rates, real estate stamp duties

* Income Tax net could be widened gradually by encompassing all high income earners

* Time table for cutting corporate tax should be accelerated

* Tax administration could be improved to reduce discretion and improve accountability

* Growth to return to normal as new currency comes in circulation

* Demonetisation to affect growth rate by 0.25-0.5 per cent, but to have long-term benefits

* GST, other structural reforms should take the trend growth rate to 8-10 per cent

* Fiscal windfall likely from Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, low oil price

* Farm sector to grow at 4.1 per cent this fiscal, up from 1.2 per cent last year

* Fiscal gains from GST will take time to realise

* Demonetisation may affect supplies of certain agricultural products like sugar, milk, potatoes and onions

* Growth rate of industrial sector to moderate to 5.2 per cent this fiscal, from 7.4 per cent last fiscal

* Efforts to collect taxes on disclosed and undisclosed wealth should not lead to tax harassment

* Universal Basic Income Scheme is an alternative to plethora of state subsidies for poverty alleviation.

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=157810

Government Constitutes Task Force to prepare Action Plan for Next three Olympic Games.

Details :

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the constitution of eight members Task Force committee for preparing action plan for next three Olympic Games 2020, 2024 and 2028.

The members of  Committee are as follows:

Pulella Gopichand, Abhinav Bindra, Rajesh Kalra, Om Pathak, Viren Rasquinha, S. Baldev Singh, Prof. G.L. Khanna and Sandeep Pradhan.

The suggested Terms of Reference of the Task Force are:

 To suggest a comprehensive action plan including short-term, medium term and long-term measures for effective participation of Indian sportspersons in the next three Olympic Games to be held in 2020, 2024 and 2028.

To suggest effective methods to identify core probable/medal prospects for 2020 Olympics, their coaches and support staff.

To suggest effective talent identification system for 2024 and 2028 Olympics.

To identify components of world class support system for elite sportspersons and lay down the pathway.

To suggest ways to achieve synergy in the efforts of key stakeholders within Government of India and across State Governments, IOA, National Sports Federations, NGOs, etc.

To suggest ways to significantly improve the standards of coaching and sports scientist within the country.

To suggest ways to create and upgrade sports infrastructure necessary to train top-level athletes.

To make suggestion regarding foreign training and exposure of top-level athletes.

To make recommendations on any other matters referred to the Task Force by the Government of India.

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=157775

IT Ministry urges tax sops for PC manufacturers too.

Details :

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) in its key recommendations for Union Budget 2017-18, has suggested differential excise duty regime and tax exemptions to be expanded to personal computers and servers.

Retain the differential excise duty regime and tax exemptions granted for the manufacture of mobile handsets and tablets, under the impending Goods and Services Tax regime, to prop up domestic manufacturing of electronic products.

The current duty dispensation is 12.5% countervailing duty (CVD) versus 1% excise duty (without input credit of excise duty paid on the goods).

Differential duty makes imports of mobile handsets more expensive compared with making them locally, encouraging smartphone players to set up manufacturing units in India.

Specified capital goods for the manufacture of electronic goods be exempted from basic customs duty and countervailing duties.

Extension of income tax benefit for research and development (R&D) to software products and the chip design industry.

The proposal is expected to boost the generation of intellectual property in the country.

http://www.thehindu.com/business/Economy/IT-Ministry-urges-tax-sops-for-PC-manufacturers-too/article17113139.ece

Finance Ministry to aid rail safety fund.

Details :

The Union Finance Ministry has agreed to contribute partially to a new dedicated railway safety fund named as ‘Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh’ in the upcoming Union Budget 2017-18.

The Finance Ministry is likely to grant a fresh infusion of only Rs. 5,000 crore in the upcoming financial year out of the initial proposed corpus of Rs. 20,000 crore.

About Rs. 10,000 crore will likely be earmarked from the Central Road Fund (CRF) that is collected by levying a cess on diesel and petrol at present for safety-related work.

The Railway Ministry, which was expecting an annual budgetary support of Rs. 20,000 crore over five years from the Finance Ministry for the proposed Rs. 1.19 lakh crore safety fund, may now be asked to fund the remaining Rs. 5,000 crore for the initial corpus from its own resources.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-business/FinMin-may-aid-rail-safety-fund/article17114535.ece

Bombay Natural History Society launches climate change programme in Central Himalayas.

Details :

The Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) has launched climate change programme to conduct study to assess the status, distribution and conservation of Pheasants and Finches in Central Himalayas.

The Himalayas hold a rich natural heritage with diverse flora and fauna enhancing the beauty of the region.

The study will focus on their conservation in the context of climate change with the help of community participation.

The Indian subcontinent is home to nearly 50 species of pheasants and 62 species of finches, with several species listed in 'Globally Threatened' category by IUCN. Both these groups are spread across the Himalayas.

Shrinking habitats combined with several biotic factors, along with trapping and poaching pressures in many areas have pushed several of them to near extinction.

This long-term monitoring project also aims to assess the socio-economic activities of local communities and involve them in conservation efforts and sensitize the local forest department staff.

Ashok Amritraj Appointed UN in India Goodwill Ambassador for the Sustainable Development Goal.

Details :

Ashok Amritraj has been appointed the United Nations(UN) in India Goodwill Ambassador for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Amritraj is the Chairman and CEO of the Hyde Park Entertainment Group.

He has been a pioneering force in bridging India and Hollywood through film and media.

Future Generali India Insurance ties up with Bank of Maharashtra.

Details :

Future Generali India Insurance Company Ltd (FGIL) has entered into a corporate agency tie-up for its products with Bank of Maharashtra (BOM), a public sector bank.

With this tie-up, BOM's customers will be able to avail of motor, home, shopkeeper and rural insurance products at any of the 1,896 branches of the bank.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/money-and-banking/future-generali-india-insurance-ties-up-with-bank-of-maharashtra/article9509355.ece

UberMOTO launches service in Hyderabad.

Details :

Cab-hailing firm Uber has launched two-wheeler aggregation service UberMOTO in Hyderabad.

The firm, which has signed an agreement with the Hyderabad Metro Rail Ltd recently, formally launched the services.

Using the app, people can hire two-wheelers for short-distance commute at cheaper rates.

The agreement was aimed at providing the last-mile connectivity from and to the upcoming Metro railway stations.

Uber Founder and CEO Travis Kalanick came to Hyderabad last month to seal the deal.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/national/ubermoto-launches-service-in-hyderabad/article9510067.ece

RBI lifts ATM cash withdrawal limit from Feb 1.

Details :

RBI announced lifting of restrictions on daily withdrawal of money from ATMs and from current accounts but the weekly limit of Rs 24,000 on savings bank accounts will continue.

It will come into effect from 1 February 2017

http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/rbi-lifts-atm-cash-withdrawal-limit-from-feb-1-117013000697_1.html

India Post Payments Bank starts pilot services.

Details :

India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) kicked off its operations by rolling out pilot services in Raipur and Ranchi. 

The bank will offer an interest rate of 4.5% on deposits up to Rs 25,000, 5% on deposits of Rs 25,000-50,000 and 5.5% on Rs 50,000-1,00,000.

The paid up equity of the new bank is Rs 800 crore, of which the government has already infused Rs 275 crore.

The idea is to have a branch in every district and make 3 lakh postmen come alive in payment bank function. Also 1,000 ATMs of India Post will be transferred to IPPB.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/banking/finance/banking/india-post-payments-bank-starts-pilot-services/articleshow/56877193.cms

Jan. 30, 2017

Government launches Sparsh Leprosy Awareness Campaign.

Details :

The Union Government has launched nationwide “Sparsh Leprosy Awareness Campaign (SLAC)” on January 30, which is also marked as Anti-Leprosy Day.

Leprosy affected 2,12,000 more people globally in 2015. Of them 60 % were in India.

The other high-burden countries were Brazil and Indonesia.

Of the new cases, 8.9 % were children and 6.7 % presented with visible deformities.

Despite being eliminated globally as a public health problem in 2000, leprosy continues to mar the lives of people, and impacts families and communities.

World Leprosy Day, observed on the last Sunday of January, focuses on the target of zero cases of leprosy-related disabilities in children. 

The thrust of SLAC campaign is to promote community participation in diagnosis and treatment of leprosy in its early stages and to spread awareness about the disease to help in early diagnosis and treatment.

http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/pune/anti-leprosy-day-sparsh-leprosy-awareness-drive-on-jan-30-4498225/

India Post gets payments bank licence.

Details :

India Post has received payments bank licence from the Reserve Bank of India.

With this, India Post became the third entity after Bharti Airtel and Paytm to receive final payments bank licence to roll-out of banking operations commercially under the permit.

Payments banks can accept deposits up to Rs. 1 lakh per account from individuals and small businesses.

The new model allows mobile firms, supermarket chains and others to cater to banking requirements of individuals and small businesses.

Operations are expected to start before March 31 and will be gradually rolled out in 650 districts using the network of 1.54 lakh post offices.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/india-post-payments-bank-gets-rbi-nod-to-start-ops/articleshow/56821401.cms

Karnataka government to amend Act to conduct kambala.

Details :

The Karnataka government has decided to bring an amendment to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (PCA), for conducting traditional sports of Kambala and bull-cart race in the State.

State Cabinet meeting presided by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah approved amendments to the Act and announced that bill will be placed before both Houses of the State legislature.

The State would follow the model of the Tamil Nadu government and bring changes to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

The Bill passed by the legislature would require an assent from the President.

Kambala  is an annual Buffalo Race (he-buffalo) held traditionally under the sponsorship of local land lords and households (Aramane, Beedu, Guthu/Mane, Dodmane) or Patel of village, in coastal Karnataka, India. The Kambala season generally starts in November and lasts till March.

Of late, Kambala Samithis are formed to arranged Kambala in a systematice way and 18 kambalas are being held under the banner of Kambala Samithi (Kambala Association).

Currently, more than 45 races are held annually in Coastal Karnataka, including smaller remote villages like Vandaru, Gulvadi etc.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/Karnataka-government-to-amend-Act-to-conduct-kambala/article17111298.ece

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kambala

Supreme Court appoints Vinod Rai to handle BCCI’s affairs.

Details :

The Supreme Court has appointed former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Vinod Rai as head of four-member Committee of Administrators to run Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

Others named to the panel to oversee the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) were Vikram Limaye, managing director and CEO of IDBI Bank; former Indian women’s cricket captain Diana Edulji; and historian and writer Ramchandra Guha. 

They will function as the new interim bosses of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and run the day-to-day administration of the cricket body till Lodha reforms are fully implemented and elections held.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/sports/supreme-court-appoints-4member-panel-of-administrators-led-by-vinod-rai-to-run-bcci/article9509456.ece

1st North East Investors Summit Held in Shillong.

Details :

The first ever Investors’ Summit for the north eastern states was held in Shillong.

The Summit is  organized exclusively for the North Eastern Region, focusing on manufacturing in textiles and allied sectors.

The two–day summit aimed to showcase the region as a global destination for investments.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/government-press-release/union-textiles-minister-inaugurates-1st-north-east-investors-summit-in-shillong-117013000007_1.html

IMD plans weather stations in 660 district for better forecast.

Details :

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has decided to set up weather stations in 660 districts of the country by 2019. 

In the first phase, the IMD plans to set up the system in 130 districts which have already been shortlisted.

The IMD has also tied up with the Ministry of Agriculture to use the Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs), under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) in the districts, to use them as weather forecasting observatories.

Weather forecasts will be issued four days a week between Monday to Thursday.

Presently, weather forecasting systems are present in 130 districts which give forecasts for a cluster of neighbouring districts.

This project will now be diversified and every district will have its own weather forecast.

It currently gives region-specific weather forecasts namely for the southern peninsula, northwest, central and northeast regions during monsoons.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/imd-plans-weather-stations-in-660-dist-for-better-forecast-4496899/

99% of Indians over 18 now have Aadhaar cards.

Details :

Government has announced that over 99% of Indians aged 18 and above now have Aadhaar cards more than 111 crore residents have enrolled themselves for the unique identification number.

The increase in enrolments will come as a boost to the government's drive to make India a less-cash society as it is encouraging the use of AadhaarPay, a merchant version of Aadhaar-enabled payment system (AEPS).

Now, 91.7% of the total population has been covered under Aadhaar cards.The government is set to accelerate the use of Aadhar numbers for its social welfare schemes for disbursing entitlements and subsidies as it will help check duplication and pilferage.

The government saved Rs 36,000 crore in two years even though the use of Aadhaar was restricted to a handful of schemes like PDS, household LPG supply and MGNREGA.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/99-of-indians-over-18-now-have-aadhaar/articleshow/56820818.cms

Denmark to appoint world’s first ‘digital ambassador’.

Details :

Denmark  will become the first country in the world to appoint a special “digital ambassador” in its administration to work on building ties with the globe’s tech giants with Apple, Google, and Microsoft.

The new official will be charged with establishing and grooming Denmark’s relations with the tech giants.

The new appointment reflects diplomatic power shift between the established nations and privately-owned conglomerates.

Seven new countries join BEPS agreement.

Details :

Seven new countries Lithuania, Gabon, Hungary, Indonesia, Malta, Mauritius and Russia – have signed Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement for Country-by-Country Reporting (CbC MCAA),to enable automatic sharing of country-by-country information.

The CbC MCAA, which aims to boost transparency by multinational enterprises (MNEs), allows signatories to bilaterally and automatically exchange country-by-country reports, as part of Action 13 of the base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) Action Plan.

The agreement helps ensure that tax administrations obtain a better understanding of how MNEs structure their operations, while also ensuring that the confidentiality and appropriate use of such information is safeguarded.

With this, the total number of signatories has increased to 57 including India (signed in May 2015). 

Serena Williams wins 2017 Australian Open title.

Details :

Tennis player Serena Williams won the 2017 Australian Open title in the women’s singles category.  she defeated her sister Venus Williams by 6-4, 6-4 score. 

It was her seventh Australian Open title and overall record 23rd Grand Slam title.

PV Sindhu wins 2017 Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold Title.

Details :

Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu has won her maiden Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold badminton tournament title in women’s singles category.

In the final match held at Lucknow, Sindhu defeated Indonesia’s Gregoria Mariska by 21-13, 21-14 score.  

Other category winners:

Men: 8-Sameer Verma defeated  Sai Praneeth 21-19, 21-16.

Women: 1-P.V. Sindhu defeated Gregoria Mariska (Ina) 21-13, 21-13.

Men’s doubles: 1-Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen (Den) defeated Lu Ching Yao and Yang Po Han (Tpe) 21-14, 21-15.

Women’s doubles: 1-Kamila Rytter Juhl and Christinna Pedersen (Den) defeated Ashwini Ponnappa and N. Sikki Reddy 21-16, 21-18.

Mixed doubles: 2-Pranav Chopra and N. Sikki Reddy defeated  Sumeeth Reddy and Ashwini Ponnappa 22-20, 21-10.

http://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/Syed-Modi-Grand-Prix-Gold-PV-Sindhu-Sameer-Verma-triumph/article17112853.ece

AP Singh is interim head of Postal Bank.

Details :

The Centre has appointed AP Singh, who was earlier Joint Secretary in the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management, as the interim Managing Director and CEO of IPPB.

He is a 1986 batch Indian Postal Service officer.

Singh was also in the founding team of the Unique Identification Authority of India.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/money-and-banking/ap-singh-is-interim-head-of-postal-bank/article9508280.ece

Amulya Patnaik appointed new Commissioner of Delhi Police.

Details :

Senior IPS officer Amulya Kumar Patnaik was appointed as the new Commissioner of Delhi Police.

He succeeded Alok Kumar Verma, who has been appointed as the new chief of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Patnaik is an AGMUT cadre IPS officer from 1985 batch. He is a native of Odisha.

He is currently holding charge as special commissioner in Delhi Police.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/amulya-patnaik-to-be-the-next-delhi-police-commissioner/articleshow/56871228.cms

Miss France crowned Miss Universe 2016.

Details :

France’s Iris Mittenaere was crowned Miss Universe 2016 at the pageant held at the Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay, Metro Manila, Philippines.

Miss Haiti, Raquel Pelissier,  was named first runner up while Miss Colombia, 23-year-old, Andrea Tovar, was second runner up.

Mittenaere’s victory was the first by a French contestant in more than 60 years.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/Miss-France-crowned-Miss-Universe-2016/article17116079.ece

Abu Dhabi to set up a court for non Muslims.

Details :

Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Judicial Department, has issued a resolution setting up a Personal Status and Inheritance Court for non-Muslims in Abu Dhabi.

The move is in line with the strategic goals of the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department to enhance the effectiveness and sustainability of the judicial procedures and ensure access to services for all segments of the society.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/abu-dhabi-to-set-up-a-court-for-non-muslims-117012800752_1.html

Abdul Hossain wins Kolkata Marathon.

Details :

Abdul Hossain of Siliguri crossed the finish line in 2 hours, 34 minutes and 2 seconds to win the inaugural IDBI Federal Life Insurance Kolkata Marathon.

Biswnath Pal,took the second place, while Paritosh Roy  ended up third in the race.

In half-marathon, Subhankar Ghosh  and Mangali Tamang  emerged the winners among men and women respectively.

http://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/Abdul-Hossain-wins-Kolkata-Marathon/article17112734.ece

Veteran British actor John Hurt passes away

Details :

Veteran British actor John Hurt passed away after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 77.

He was versatile actor and was known for his roles in Elephant Man and Harry Potter.

He played Mr Ollivander in “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” and in two other films in the series.

He starred in the movie adaptation of George Orwell’s novel “1984” and played the role of Kane in “Alien”, who dies when the creature dramatically bursts from his chest in one of the most memorable death scenes in movie history.

He was twice nominated for an Oscar, in the best supporting actor category for his performance in the 1978 film Midnight Express and for his role in Elephant Man two in 1980.

He received a BAFTA award for “Midnight Express” as well as a Golden Globe in the best actor in a supporting role category.

He was born on January 22, 1940 in Chesterfield, England. He had started his career as a teacher of drawing.

Jan. 29, 2017

Havildar Hangpan Dada posthumously awarded Ashok Chakra.

Details :

Havaldar Hangpan Dada of the Rashtriya Rifles (RR) was posthumously awarded “Ashok Chakra”, country’s highest peacetime military decoration.

The award was presented by President Pranab Mukherjee on the 68th Republic Day of India.

The highest peacetime gallantry award for valour and courageous action was accepted by Dada's wife Chasen Lowang, who struggled to hold back tears while receiving the honour.

Pune cops launches app to map real-time locations of patrolling teams.

Details :

The Pune City Police has launched the “Beat Marshall Monitoring Mobile App” to map the real-time locations of patrolling teams from police stations on experimental basis. 

The data collected would then be used for effective response during the emergencies.

The application will be installed on the cell phones of Beat Marshals or patrolling cops so their movements can be mapped real-time by the control room staffers.

http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/pune/pune-cops-launch-app-to-map-real-time-locations-of-patrolling-teams-4488412/

US President Donald Trump appoints Indian-American Ajit Pai as FCC chairman.

Details :

United States President Donald Trump has appointed Ajit pai as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Pai, 44, will be the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the federal authority regulating cellphone spectrum and services, radio, television, phone, internet and satellite and cable. 

The FCC also has a major role in controlling the content of television and radio, a sensitive issue given Trump’s contentious relations with the media. 

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/international/world-news/donald-trump-appoints-indian-american-ajit-pai-as-fcc-chairman/articleshow/56768056.cms

Roger Federer beats Rafael Nadal to win Australian Open men's final.

Details :

Roger Federer  defeated Rafael Nadal to win the Australian Open 2017.

The 35-year-old Swiss won 6-4 3-6 6-1 3-6 6-3 to claim his fifth Melbourne title and extend his lead at the top of the all-time men's major winners' list.

With this Roger Federer won his 18th Grand Slam title.

MakeMyTrip launches India’s first social luxury travel magazine.

Details :

India’s largest online travel portal MakeMyTrip has launched the social travel magazine ‘’Luxury Times’’ the social travel magazine in India for the first time.

It has been launched through innovative advertisement platforms like Facebook Canvas and Instagram-Stories.

The first few themes of the magazine included Spa-cation’, ‘Heaven on Earth’ & ‘Heritage’.

China develops World’s Biggest Solar Park.

Details :

China has built Longyangxia Dam Solar Park, the world’s biggest solar park in the western province of Qinghai in an effort to become the super powerful occupier of green energy. 

India, UK join hands to launch project to tackle air pollution in Delhi.

Details :

Indian and British experts are joining hands on a project to help tackle health problems associated with air pollution in Delhi, which affect some 46 million people in and around the country’s capital city. 

The project ASAP-Delhi stands for An Integrated Study of Air Pollutant Sources in the Delhi National Capital Region.

It will be led by University of Birmingham and also involve experts from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi, Indian National Physical Laboratory (INPL) and the University of Surrey.

With air pollution levels at times up to 30 times greater than those found in the UK, Delhi was rated the most polluted city in the world for ambient air pollution by World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2014.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/uk-experts-launch-project-to-tackle-delhi-air-pollution-risks-4488061/

Pokemon Go crosses 4.2mn download mark after three days of official launch in South Korea.

Details :

Pokemon Go" has surpassed 4.2 million download just three days after its official launch in South Korea.

Jan. 28, 2017

President appoints Banwarilal Purohit as Governor of Meghalaya.

Details :

President Pranab Mukherjee has given Governor of Assam Banwarilal Purohit additional charge of Meghalaya. 

These appointments come after President accepted the resignation of V. Shanmuganathan, as Governor of Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh.

President also gave Governor of Nagaland PB Acharya additional charge of Arunachal Pradesh.

Banwarilal Purohit was appointed as the Governor of Assam by President in August 2016.He had succeeded Padmanabha Acharya who was the additional in-charge of Assam. Padmanabha Acharya was appointed as the Governor of Nagaland in July 2014 after the President accepted the resignation of of Tripura Governor Vakkom Purushothaman.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/pranab-mukherjee-accepts-shanmuganathan-resignation-appoints-banwarilal-purohit-as-gov-of-meghalaya-4494326/

Sports Minister Vijay Goel reconstitutes committee to identify athletes under TOP Scheme.

Details :

The Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has reconstituted TOP committee with objective of identifying and supporting potential medal prospects for 2020 and 2024 Olympic Games under Target Olympic Podium (TOP) scheme.

The committee will be headed by Abhinav Bindra, Olympic Gold Medalist. Its members are Anil Khanna, Prakash Padukone, Karnam Malleshwari, P. T. Usha, Murlidhar Raja, Anjali Bhagwat, Rekha Yadav, Dr. S.S. Roy and Inder Dhamija.

The Committee will decide on its own procedures and will be competent to invite subject experts as and when required. The Initial tenure of the committee will be one year from the date of notification.

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=157711

ISRO Successfully tests Cryogenic Engine for Upper Stage of GSLV Mk III.

Details :

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully tested indigenously developed cryogenic engine for the upper stage ‘GSLV Mk III’ rocket.

Cryogenic engines are used in the upper stage of a rocket launch as they provide the maximum thrust to a launcher vehicle.

The cryogenic upper stage, designated as C25, was tested for 50 seconds at ISRO Propulsion Complex (IPRC) at Mahendragiri in Tamil Nadu demonstrating all the stage operations. The next one was planned for a flight duration of 640 seconds.

The development of C25 cryogenic stage started after approval of GSLV MkIII, ISRO’s next generation launch vehicle, capable of launching heavy four tonne class spacecraft in Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO).

C25 stage was conceptualised, designed and realised by Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC) with support from Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), ISRO Propulsion Complex (IPRC) and Sathish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC).

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/cryogenic-upper-stage-for-gslv-mk-iii-tested-successfully-117012700711_1.html

Founder of Indian supercomputing Dr Bhatkar appointed new VC Nalanda University.

Details :

President Pranab Mukherjee has appointed Dr Vijay Bhatkar, architect of India’s first supercomputer the Param series, as the chancellor of Nalanda University.

He will hold the office for a three-year period from the date of his appointment as per the Nalanda University Act, Sec 11(3).

Bhatkar, 70, replaces Gopa Sabharwal who resigned on November 24 2016, followed by the resignation of Chancellor George Yeo, after the dissolution of the Mentor Group which functioned as the governing body of the university.

He was born on October 11, 1946 in Pune, Bhatkar was educated at IIT, Delhi, Sir Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology, Nagpur and MS University, Vadodara.

He is known as the architect of India’s initiative in supercomputing, the Centre of Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) in Pune founded in 1988, leading to the development of the first indigenous supercomputer Param 8,000 in 1991, followed by Param 10,000 in 1998.

http://indianexpress.com/article/education/nalanda-university-gets-a-new-vice-chancellor-dr-vijay-bhatkar-4495647/

Indian Navy’s Theatre Level Exercise, TROPEX 17.

Details :

The Indian Navy’s Annual Theatre Readiness Operational Exercise (TROPEX) 2017 begins.

The exercise is being conducted off the Western Seaboard.

The last edition of the exercise was conducted in January 2015.

The month long exercise will see participation of ships and aircraft of both the Western and Eastern Naval Command and also assets from the Indian Air Force, Indian Army and the Indian Coast Guard.

The exercise is aimed at testing combat readiness of the combined fleets of the Indian Navy, and the assets of the Indian Air Force, Indian Army and the Indian Coast Guard.

It will also strengthen inter-operability and joint operations in a complex environment.

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=157717

GAAR will be effective April 1, 2017, onwards: CBDT.

Details :

The Union Finance Ministry has announced that the General Anti Avoidance Rule (GAAR) will be effective from the 1 April, 2017.

The General Anti-Avoidance Rules (GAAR), which seek to prevent companies from routing transactions through other countries to avoid taxes, can be invoked through a two-stage process involving a nod at the level of principal commissioner of income tax and a panel headed by a high court judge.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/gaar-will-be-effective-april-1-2017-onwards-cbdt-117012700715_1.html

Telangana signs MoU for aero skill academy.

Details :

The Telangana government has signed a memorandum of agreement with French firm Aerocampus Aquitaine, known for aircraft maintenance skill training,  to create a world-class aero skill academy.

The project deliverables include identifying skill gaps, designing courses and enabling European Aviation Safety Agency and Directorate General of Civil Aviation certifications for the academy and its courses.

This partnership focuses on developing skills among the youth as well as experienced professionals. The new academy will offer specialised aeronautical courses in engineering, manufacturing and maintenance domains.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/national/telangana-signs-mou/article9505993.ece

Army sets up WhatsApp number for direct complaints to Gen Bipin Rawat.

Details :

Chief of Army staff General (CoAS) Bipin Rawat launched a Whatsapp helpline to receive grievances of the army personnel.

The WhatsApp number to register complaints is: +91 9643300008.

Using this helpline, the aggrieved armed personnel will be able to directly communicate with the Army chief. 

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/army-sets-up-whatsapp-number-for-direct-complaints-to-gen-bipin-rawat/articleshow/56816816.cms

SBI wealth management product launched in Kochi.

Details :

The State Bank of India has launched a new wealth management product named 'SBI Exclusif' in Kochi, Kerala.

SBI Exclusif is targeted at the fast-growing affluent segment and was launched in Bengaluru and Delhi last year. It aims to provide a comprehensive and best-in-class banking experience to customers.

The product was launched by Chief General Manager, SBI, Kerala Circle, S Venkataraman.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/money-and-banking/sbi-wealth-management/article9500201.ece

Three Indian-origin conferred with Australia's highest civilian award.

Details :

Three Indian origin persons have been awarded Order of Australia medal, Australia’s highest civilian honour for their contributions in the field of medicine and community work.

Purushottam Sawrikar received Order of Australia medal for the year 2017 for his service to medicine, and to the Indian community. He is Sydney-based medical practitioner.

Makhan Singh Khangure from Perth was given the award for his for significant service to medicine in the field of neuroradiology, to education, and to a range of professional medical associations.

Vijay Kumar, a nuclear medicine specialist and a researcher, was given the award for his significant service to medical research in the disciplines of nuclear medicine and biology, to professional organisations, and to the community.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/nri/nri-achievers/3-indian-origin-conferred-with-australias-highest-civilian-award/articleshow/56804339.cms

Jan. 27, 2017

Padma Awards 2017

Details :

Padma Awards : 

one of the highest civilian Awards of the country, are conferred in three categories, namely, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri.

The Awards are given in various disciplines/ fields of activities, viz.- art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports, civil service, etc.

‘Padma Vibhushan’ is awarded for exceptional and distinguished service; ‘Padma Bhushan’ for distinguished service of high order and ‘Padma Shri’ for distinguished service in any field. The awards are announced on the occasion of Republic Day every year.

These awards are conferred by the President of India at ceremonial functions which are held at Rashtrapati Bhawan usually around March/ April every year.

This year the President of India has approved conferment of Padma Awards to 89 persons as per the list below.

The list comprises of 7 Padma Vibhushan, 7 Padma Bhushan and 75 Padma Shri Awardees.  

19 of the awardees are women and the list also includes 5 persons from the category of foreigners, NRIs, PIOs and 6 Posthumous awardees.

PADMA VIBHUSHAN:

It is the second highest civilian award. It is awarded for exceptional and distinguished service.

Awardee                                                                                         Field of Prominence

Sharad Pawar                                                                                              Public Affairs

Murli Manohar Joshi                                                                                 Public Affairs

P.A. Sangma (posthumous)                                                                    Public Affairs

Sunder Lal Patwah (posthumous)                                                       Public Affairs

K.J.Yesudas                                                                                                     Art -Music

Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev                                                                Others - Spiritualism

Udipi Ramachandra Rao                                                          Science & Engineering


Padma Bhushan

Awardee                                                                               Field of Prominence

Vishwa Mohan Bhatt                                                                  Art - Music

Devi Prasad Dwivedi                                                           Literature & Education

Tehemton Udwadia                                                                      Medicine

Ratna Sundar Maharaj                                                         Others-Spiritualism

Swami Niranjana Nanda Saraswati                                      Others-Yoga

H.R.H. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn (Foreigner)  Literature & Education

Cho Ramaswamy (Posthumous)                  Literature & Education –Journalism

Padma Shri

Awardee                                                                                   Field of Prominence

Basanti Bisht                                                                                   Art-Music

Chemanchery Kunhiraman Nair                                              Art-Dance

Aruna Mohanty                                                                                Art-Dance

Bharathi Vishnuvardhan                                                              Art-Cinema

Sadhu Meher                                                                                     Art-Cinema

T K Murthy                                                                                           Art-Music

Laishram Birendrakumar Singh                                                  Art-Music

Krishna Ram Chaudhary                                                                 Art-Music

Baoa Devi                                                                                               Art-Painting

Tilak Gitai                                                                                               Art-Painting

Aekka Yadagiri Rao                                                                             Art-Sculpture

Jitendra Haripal                                                                                    Art-Music

Kailash Kher                                                                                            Art-Music

Parassala B Ponnammal                                                                    Art-Music

Sukri Bommagowda                                                                             Art-Music

Mukund Nayak                                                                                          Art-Music

Purushottam Upadhyay                                                                        Art-Music

Anuradha Paudwal                                                                                  Art-Music

Wareppa Naba Nil                                                                                     Art-Theatre

Tripuraneni Hanuman Chowdary                                                      Civil Service

T.K. Viswanathan                                                                                       Civil Service

Kanwal Sibal                                                                                                Civil Service

Birkha Bahadur Limboo Muringla                                      Literature & Education

Eli Ahmed                                                                                      Literature & Education

Narendra Kohli                                                                            Literature & Education

G. Venkatasubbiah                                                                     Literature & Education 

Akkitham Achyuthan Namboothiri                                      Literature & Education

Kashi Nath Pandita                                                                     Literature & Education

Chamu Krishna Shastry                                                            Literature & Education

Harihar Kripalu Tripathi                                                            Literature & Education

Michel Danino                                                                                Literature & Education

Punam Suri                                                                                     Literature & Education

VG Patel                                                                                             Literature & Education

V Koteswaramma                                                                          Literature & Education

Balbir Dutt                                                              Literature & Education-Journalism

Bhawana Somaaya                                              Literature & Education-Journalism

Vishnu Pandya                                                        Literature & Education-Journalism

Subroto Das                                                                                         Medicine

Bhakti Yadav                                                                                         Medicine

Mohammed Abdul Waheed                                                            Medicine

Madan Madhav Godbole                                                                  Medicine

Devendra Dayabhai Patel                                                                 Medicine

Harkishan Singh                                                                                    Medicine

Mukut Minz                                                                                              Medicine

Arun Kumar Sharma                                                                         Others-Archaeology

Sanjeev Kapoor                                                                                   Others-Culinary

Meenakshi Amma                                                                              Others-Martial Art

Genabhai Dargabhai Patel                                                             Others-Agriculture

Chandrakant Pithawa                                                                 Science & Engineering

Ajoy Kumar Ray                                                                               Science & Engineering

Chintakindi Mallesham                                                                Science & Engineering

Jitendra Nath Goswami                                                               Science & Engineering

Daripalli Ramaiah                                                                           Social Work

Girish Bhardwaj                                                                                Social Work

Karimul Hak                                                                                        Social Work

Bipin Ganatra                                                                                      Social Work

Nivedita Raghunath Bhide                                                            Social work

Appasaheb Dharmadhikari                                                           Social Work

Baba Balbir Singh Seechewal                                                       Social Work

Virat Kohli                                                                                               Sports-Cricket

Shekar Naik                                                                                            Sports-Cricket

Vikasa Gowda                                                                                   Sports-Discus Throw

Deepa Malik                                                                                       Sports-Athletics

Mariyappan Thangavelu                                                               Sports-Athletics

Dipa Karmakar                                                                                  Sports-Gymnastics

P. R. Shreejesh                                                                                   Sports-Hockey

Sakshi Malik                                                                                        Sports-Wrestling

Mohan Reddy Venkatrama Bodanapu                                     Trade & Industry

Imrat Khan  (NRI/PIO)                                                                       Art-Music

Anant Agarwal (NRI/PIO)                                                       Literature & Education

H.R. Shah (NRI/PIO)                                           Literature & Education-Journalism

Suniti Solomon (Posthumous)                                                      Medicine

Asoke Kumar Bhattacharyya (Posthumous)                  Others-Archaeology

Dr. Mapuskar (Posthumous)                                                   Social Work

Anuradha Koirala (Foreigner)                                                 Social Work


http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=157675

GM mosquito trials to control dengue, chikungunya launched.

Details :

Outdoor caged trials to demonstrate the efficiency of genetically modified (GM) mosquitoes to suppress wild female Aedes aegypti mosquito populations that transmit dengue, chikungunya and Zika were launched in Dawalwadi, Badnapur, in Maharashtra’s Jalna district.

The trials are conducted by Oxitec and uses the Release of Insects carrying Dominant Lethal genes (RIDL) technology.

Oxitec’s technology uses genetically modified male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that carry a dominant lethal gene.

When male GM mosquitoes mate with wild female mosquitoes the lethal gene is passed on to offspring.

The lethal gene in the offspring kills the larvae before they reach adulthood.

Since male mosquitoes do not bite humans, the release of these GM mosquitoes will not increase the risk of dengue, chikungunya and Zika.

It has 99% efficiency to kill offspring.

http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/health/GM-mosquito-trials-to-control-dengue-chikungunya-launched/article17093840.ece

RBI prohibits investments in non-cooperative countries.

Details :

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has prohibited Indian entities from making direct investments in any entity located in Non-Cooperative Countries and Territories (NCCT) as identified by Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

The prohibition on investment is "in order to align" instructions under FEMA with the objectives of the FATF. 

At present, there is no restriction on an Indian entity with regard to the countries where it can undertake Overseas Direct Investment. 

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) currently comprises two regional organisations and 35 member jurisdictions, including India, US, UK, China and the European Commission. 

FATF was established in 1989. Its objectives are to set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system. 

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/policy/rbi-prohibits-investments-in-non-cooperative-countries/articleshow/56782984.cms

Government launches Rubber Soil Information System (RubSIS) for Rubber Growers.

Details :

The Union Government has launched Rubber Soil Information System (RubSIS), an online system for recommending appropriate mix of fertilizers to plantations of rubber growers depending upon their soil nature.

RubSIS has developed by Rubber Research Institute of India (RRII) under the Rubber Board in collaboration with three other agencies.

They are Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management, Kerala, National Bureau of Soil Survey and Land Use Planning, ICAR and National Remote Sensing Center, ISRO.

It brings soil data to the fingerprints of rubber growers and recommends the optimum mix and quantities of chemical fertilizers that his holding requires.

It is a cost effective tool for sustainable &scientific management of rubber growing soils.

Apart from preventing indiscriminate use of chemical fertilizers and soil degradation, adoption of RubSIS will lead to reduction in the cost of production of rubber, increase in productivity and reduction in environmental pollution.

It was launched for Kottayam (Kerela), the largest rubber growing district of India which will be extended to the entire traditional rubber growing region i.e. the states of Kerela and Tamilnadu. 

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=157609

AIFF launches professional league for women footballers.

Details :

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) launched India’s first ever Women’s Football League (IWL) with an aim to make football a professional sport for women in the country.

It will be held at the Ambedkar Stadium in New Delhi from January 28 till February 14.

The inaugural edition of the IWL will feature six teams — Jeppiar (Puducherry), Eastern Sporting Union (Imphal), Rising Student’s Club (Cuttack), Football Club Alakhpura (Haryana) and a team each from I-League and ISL clubs, Aizawl FC and Pune City FC.

At present, Indian women’s football team is ranked at the 54th position in the world, much higher than the men’s team which is placed at 129th position.

http://indianexpress.com/article/sports/football/aiff-launches-professional-league-for-women-footballers-4489784/

Trump appoints Indian-American attorney to key White House post.

Details :

 US President Donald Trump has appointed prominent Indian-American attorney Uttam Dhillon to a key White House position to assist him on ethics and compliance matters.

In this position, he would be part of the legal team to serve under White House Counsel Donald F McGahn with respect to compliance and ethics matters.

Dhillon had served as Chief Oversight Counsel for the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee.

Prior to joining Financial Services, Dhillon served as chief of the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Counternarcotics Enforcement.

Dhillon graduated from Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley in 1987.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/nri/us-canada-news/trump-appoints-indian-american-attorney-to-key-white-house-post/articleshow/56796994.cms

Charge on digital payments above Rs. 50,000 mooted: Committee.

Details :

The Committee of CMs headed by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu has recommended levying a handling charge for cash payments above Rs. 50,000.

The committee also wants the merchant discount rate (MDR) -- the charge levied on transactions, to be abolished. 

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/policy/impose-tax-on-cash-withdrawal-above-rs-50000-panel-on-digital-payments-suggests-pm-modi/articleshow/56764884.cms

Surya Namaskar Yajna now recognised in US Congress.

Details :

The annual “Surya Namaskar Yajna” or “Health for Humanity Yogathon” was recognised in the US House of Representative on the occasion of its 10th anniversary.

Surya Namaskar integrates simple yoga postures in ten steps that along with teaching easy breathing techniques, can provide immense health benefits to both the body and the mind.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/surya-namaskar-yajna-now-recognised-in-us-congress-117012600085_1.html

Mysuru gets India’s 1st post office passport kendra.

Details :

Mysuru  (at Metagalli post office) got India's first Post Office Passport Seva Kendra (POPSK), which will offer all passport related services on the lines of PSKs.

It was inaugrated by Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers Ananth Kumar.

It has been named as POPSK because the ministry of external affairs (MEA) has tied up with the postal department to offer passport related services through a network of post offices.

A similar service was launched at Dahod in Gujarat the same day.

Mysuru is the fifth place in Karnataka to get a passport office after Bengaluru (two centres), Mangaluru, Hubballi and Kalaburgi.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mysuru/city-gets-indias-1st-post-office-passport-kendra/articleshow/56786280.cms

AAI launches new system to manage air traffic.

Details :

State-run Airports Authority of India (AAI) launched the Central - Air Traffic Flow Management (C-AFTM) system.

The new C-ATFM system will cover the entire Indian airspace and major airports across the country.

With this it is expected to enhance fuel savings to the tune of Rs 1680 crore per year besides ensuring superior safety and reduction in operating cost of the airlines while also contributing to the green environment.

http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2017/jan/26/airlines-to-save-rs-1680-crore-every-year-with-new-air-traffic-system-launched-by-aai-1563817.html

National Geoscience Award for Keshav Krishna.

Details :

A Keshav Krishna, a scientist at the National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI) has been selected for the National Geoscience Award for 2016.

The award given by the Union Ministry of Mines is in recognition of his work in the field of geo-environmental studies.

Krishna is presently involved in studies on environmental risk assessment related heavy metal contamination in soil, sediments and water in industrial areas, abandoned mine sites and their interactions with the environmental pollutants.

Australian Open: Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Lucie Safarova win women’s doubles title.

Details :

The American-Czech pair of Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova beat Czech Republic’s Andrea Hlavackova and Chinese Peng Shuai 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-3 to win the women’s doubles final at the Australian Open.

They have now won four of the last nine majors. 

http://www.hindustantimes.com/tennis/bethanie-mattek-sands-and-lucie-safarova-lift-women-s-doubles-title/story-4PI6WyOlopf2PNlZTIlGjL.html

Dr G N Rao inducted to Ophthalmology Hall of Fame.

Details :

Gullapalli N. Rao, has been selected to the 2017 Ophthalmology Hall of Fame instituted by the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery.

He is the Founder and Chair, L V Prasad Eye Institute,Hyderabad.

He would be honoured at the induction ceremony in Los Angeles on May 6 at the ASCRS annual meeting.

The Hall of Fame honours pioneers in ophthalmology for their distinguished careers and contributions, with the physicians selected by their peers - more than 30,000 ophthalmologists across the world.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/dr-g-n-rao-inducted-to-ophthalmology-hall-of-fame-117012700835_1.html

Kerala CM launched e-Health Kerala scheme at Peroorkada Hospital.

Details :

The Chief Minister of Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan launched the IT Project, e-Health Kerala named Jeevan Rekha at Peroorkada Model Government Hospital.

The project envisages to create an effective IT-enabled integrated framework to ensure effectual health care to the common citizen and create a centralized database of healthcare information.

The project has been developed by the Health Department in association with the state IT Mission. 

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/thiruvananthapuram/e-health-kerala-scheme-launched-at-peroorkada-hosp/articleshow/56785762.cms

Jan. 26, 2017

26 January - Republic Day.

Details :

India celebrated its 68th Republic day of the country.

Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan was the chief guest of 2017.

A major highlight of the parade was 149-member marching contingent from UAE comprising personnel from UAE comprising personnel from Presidential Guards, the Air Force, the Navy and Army. They were led by a band comprising 35 musicians from that country.

For the first time a contingent of the National Security Guard (NSG), popularly known as the Black Cat Commandos, was part of the march past.

Republic Day honors the date on which the Constitution of India came into effect on 26 January 1950 replacing the Government of India Act (1935) as the governing document of India.

The Constitution was adopted by the Indian Constituent Assembly on 26 November 1949, and came into effect on 26 January 1950 with a democratic government system, completing the country's transition towards becoming an independent republic.

26 January was chosen as the Republic day because it was on this day in 1930 when Declaration of Indian Independence (Purna Swaraj) was proclaimed by the Indian National Congress as opposed to the Dominion status offered by British Regime.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/republic-day-celebrated-in-all-corners-of-india-4492814/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic_Day_(India)

Madhya Pradesh CM announces total ban on polythene bags.

Details :

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan  announced a total ban on polythene carry bags in Madhya Pradesh in a bid to conserve environment, protect cows and promote cleanliness.

It Will come into action from May 1st , 2017.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/madhya-pradesh-chief-minister-announces-total-ban-on-polythene-bags-lauds-simi-encounter/

India scores 40 out of 100 and ranks 79 in Corruption Perception Index 2016.

Details :

India has been ranked 79th out of 176 countries in the recently released Corruption Perception Index (CPI) for the year 2016 by the Berlin-based corruption watchdog Transparency International (TI).

The Berlin-based anti-graft organisation has used World Bank data, the World Economic Forum and other institutions to rank 176 countries by perceived levels of corruption in public sector. 

The score runs from zero, which is highly corrupt, to 100, which is very clean.

India, China and Brazil with a score of 40 each figured in the 10 key economies in the mid-range. 

Top Countries:

New Zealand and Denmark in joint first place (with a score of 90), followed by Finland (3rd), Sweden (4th), Switzerland (5th), Norway (6th), Singapore (7th), Netherlands (8th), Canada (9th).

India has marginally improved its ranking index for 2016 by two points from 38 score in 2015.

At the bottom of the index:

Somalia was ranked the most corrupt country. Other countries with lower rankings were Syria, South Sudan, North Korea, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/indicators/india-improves-on-transparency-corruption-index-scores-40-out-of-100/articleshow/56787651.cms

Japan’s Defense Ministry successfully launches first communications satellite.

Details :

Japan has successfully launched its first military communications satellite Kirameki-2 satellite.

An H-IIA rocket carrying the Kirameki-2 defense communication satellite was launched by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Tanegashima Space Center.

The Kirameki-2 satellite is one of three defense communications satellites that will replace three civilian satellites currently used by the Self-Defense Forces.

The launch of the Kirameki-2 precedes that of the Kirameki-1, which is undergoing repair after it was damaged during transportation to a launch site in French Guiana in South America.

India, France sign pact on maritime information sharing in Indian Ocean Region.

Details :

India and France have signed White Shipping agreement to enable information sharing on maritime traffic and maritime domain awareness in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).

The agreement was signed in New Delhi after both countries held their second dialogue on maritime cooperation for the IOR.

The White Shipping Agreement will be implemented over the next few months enabling Navies of India and France to coordinate their roles in stabilising Indo-Pacific region, persons familiar with the developments indicated.

It will enhance Indo-French maritime security cooperation in the region. 

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/defence/india-france-sign-pact-on-maritime-information-sharing-in-indian-ocean-region/articleshow/56762456.cms

Gujarat govt pardons 439 prisoners on the eve of 68th Republic Day

Details :

Gujarat government has released 439 prisoners on humanitarian grounds on the eve of 68th Republic Day. 

The decision to pardon the remaining sentences of these 439 prisoners were taken by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani.

This is for the first time that such a large number of prisoners have been pardoned by the state.

India, UAE sign 14 agreement.

Details :

India and the UAE (United Arab Emirates) inked 14 agreements in various areas to boost bilateral cooperation between both countries.

Agreements were signed after delegation level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan in New Delhi.

MoU aims to establish cooperation in the identified fields of defence manufacturing and technology, including through studies, research, development, innovation and cooperation between public and private sector institutions of the two countries.

The two sides will cooperate in areas of armaments, defence industries and transfer of technology.

MoU on Institutional Cooperation on Maritime Transport.

MoU on Mutual Recognition of Certificates of Competency.

 MoU on  signed are on bilateral cooperation in road transport and highways sector,

MoU on cooperation in preventing and combating human trafficking, cooperation in the field of small and medium enterprises and innovation.

MoU On agriculture and allied sectors

MoU on mutual exemption of entry visa requirements to the holders of diplomatic.

MoU for the cooperation in the field of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and innovation .

MoU on mutual exemption of entry visa requirements to the holders of Diplomatic, special and Official Passports.

http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2017/jan/25/india-uae-sign-comprehensive-strategic-partnership-and-13-other-agreements-1563427.html

Indian techie sells company to Cisco for $3.7 billion.

Details :

Jyoti Bansal  has just sold the company he founded eight years ago in the US, AppDynamics, to Cisco for $3.7 billion.

Bansal now owns 14% of the company, after having diluted his stake to many venture funds over the years. So he'll get about $520 million (Rs 3,400 crore).

The announcement came a day before AppDynamics was to launch its IPO, which valued the company at $2 billion. AppDynamics' last round of funding had valued it at $1.9 billion. So the price that Cisco agreed to pay is almost twice of that.

Bansal graduated from IIT Delhi in 1999 and moved to the US soon after.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/indian-techie-sells-company-to-cisco-for-3-7-billion/articleshow/56787950.cms

Burj Khalifa lights up in tricolour ahead of India’s 68th Republic Day.

Details :

The world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa, lit up  in tricolours – saffron, white and green – on the eve of India’s 68th Republic Day.

The building, which stands at 823 metres, was named in honour of the ruler of Abu Dhabi and president of the United Arab Emirates Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Dubai is one of the seven emirates of the UAE.

Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan will be the Chief Guest at the Republic Day parade.

http://indianexpress.com/article/world/burj-khalifa-to-be-lit-up-in-tri-colour-to-mark-indias-68th-reupublic-day-4491414/

Emmy award-winning actress Mary Tyler Moore dies aged 80.

Details :

Emmy-winning actress Mary Tyler Moore has died at the age of 80 after a long battle with diabetes.

Mary Tyler Moore (December 29, 1936 – January 25, 2017) was an American actress, known for her roles in the television sitcoms The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970–1977), in which she starred as Mary Richards, a thirtyish single woman who worked as a local news producer in Minneapolis, and The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961–1966), in which she played Laura Petrie, a former dancer turned Westchester homemaker, wife and mother.

Her film work includes 1967's Thoroughly Modern Millie and 1980's Ordinary People, in which she played a role that was very different from the television characters she had portrayed, and for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress

Russian ambassador to India Alexander Kadakin dies at 67.

Details :

The Russian ambassador to India, Alexander Kadakin has been died in Delhi.

Alexander Mikhailovich Kadakin (22 July 1949 – 26 January 2017) was a Russian diplomat and the Russian Ambassador to India from 2009 until his death in 2017.

He had earlier served as the ambassador to India between 1999 and 2004.

He died from heart failure while in service in New Delhi in 2017.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/russian-ambassador-to-india-alexander-kadakin-dies-4492419/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Kadakin

Jan. 25, 2017

Pakistan conducts first flight test of nuclear-capable ‘Ababeel’ missile.

Details :

Pakistan successfully conducted the first flight test of Ababeel surface-to-surface medium range ballistic missile.

The missile is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead up to 2,200 kms, which brings many Indian cities within its striking range.

Ababeel is capable of delivering multiple warheads using Multiple Independent Re-entry Vehicle (MIRV) technology.

The test flight was aimed at validating various design and technical parameters of missile’s weapon system.

This development comes just weeks after the neighbouring country successfully test-fired the nuclear-capable Babur-3, its first Submarine-Launched Cruise Missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead up to 450 kms.

The development of the Ababeel weapon system was aimed at ensuring survivability of Pakistan’s ballistic missiles in the growing regional Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) environment.

http://indianexpress.com/article/world/pakistan-nuclear-missile-test-4489709/

Cabinet clears interest waiver for farm loans.

Details :

The Union Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval for an interest waiver of farmers accessing short-term crop loans from cooperative banks for the two months of November and December, 2016.

The decision intends to ensure availability of resources with cooperative banks helps farmers in easily accessing crop loans from cooperative banks to overcome the difficulties in view of the reduction in availability of cash for carrying out Rabi operations.

The decision also provides for interest subvention to National Bank for Agricultural and Rural Development (NABARD) on additional refinance provided by NABARD to Cooperative Banks.

A sum of Rs 15,000 crore allocated during 2016-17 to implement the Interest Subvention Scheme (ISS) has already been utilised.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/cabinet-approves-interest-waiver-for-farmers-affected-by-demonetisation/articleshow/56755610.cms

Cabinet approves a New Scheme for promotion of Rural Housing.

Details :

The Union Cabinet has approved a new scheme for promotion of Rural Housing in the country.

Government will provide interest subsidy to every rural household who is not covered under the Pradhan Mantri Aawas Yojana (Grameen)-PMAY(G).

It will enable people in rural areas to construct new houses or add to their existing pucca houses to improve dwelling units. 

he beneficiary who takes a loan under the scheme would be provided interest subsidy for loan amount upto Rs. 2 Lakhs.

National Housing Bank would implement the scheme. 

The Government would provide net present value of the interest subsidy of 3% to the National Housing Bank upfront which will, in turn, pass it to the Primary Lending Institutions (Scheduled Commercial Banks, NBFCs etc.).

As a result the equated monthly installment (EMI) for the beneficiary would be reduced.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/government-press-release/cabinet-approves-a-new-scheme-for-promotion-of-rural-housing-in-117012400514_1.html

Cabinet approves IIM Bill 2017.

Details :

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Bill, 2017.

Under which the IIMs would be declared as Institutions of National Importance which will enable them to grant degrees to their students.

The Bill also provides for complete autonomy to the institutions, combined with adequate accountability.

Management of these institutions would be Board driven, with the chairperson and director being selected by the Board, an official statement said.

A greater participation of experts and alumni on the Board is amongst other important features of the Bill.

Provision has also been made for inclusion of women and members from the Scheduled Castes/Tribes on the Board.

The Bill also provides for periodic review of the performance of the institutions by independent agencies and placing the results of the same in the public domain.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/education/cabinet-approves-iim-bill-2017/article9499398.ece

Union Cabinet approves ratification of the Second Commitment Period of Kyoto Protocol.

Details :

The Union Cabinet has given its approval to ratify the Second Commitment Period of the Kyoto Protocol on containing the emission of Green House Gases (GHGs). 

The second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol was adopted in 2012. So far, 75 countries have ratified the Second Commitment Period.

This decision further underlines India's leadership in the comity of nations committed to global cause of environmental protection and climate justice. 

Ratification of the Kyoto Protocol by India will encourage other developing countries also to undertake this exercise.

Implementation of Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects under this commitment period in accordance with Suslainable Development priorities will attract some investments in India as well.

Background:

The Kyoto Protocol was adopted in 1997 and the 1st commitment period was from 2008-2012. At Doha in 2012, the amendments to Kyoto Protocol for the 2nd commitment period (the Doha Amendment) were successfully adopted for the period 2013- 2020. Developed countries have already started implementing their commitments under the 'opt-in' provisions of the Doha Amendment.

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=157629

Improved Pinaka rockets test-fired.

Details :

Improved Pinaka rockets, with a guidance system and an enhanced range were successfully test-fired for the second time from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur in Odisha.

The earlier Pinaka version was an unguided one, now it has been transformed into guided version with a navigation, guidance and control kit developed by the DRDO’s Research Centre, Imarat (RCI), Hyderabad.

It was developed jointly by the Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE), Pune, RCI, and the Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL), Hyderabad.

The conversion helped in enhancing the range and accuracy of Pinaka. If its range was earlier 40 km, it is more than 70 km now. Radars, electro-optical systems and telemetry systems at the ITR tracked and monitored the rocket all through its flight path.

The guided version named as Pinaka mark-II, which evolved from Pinaka mark-I.

http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/Improved-Pinaka-rockets-test-fired/article17089958.ece

Pankaj Advani wins seventh national billiards championship.

Details :

Pankaj Advani won his seventh national title here on Tuesday (January 24), beating Rupesh Shah 5-1 in the final.

The ace from Bengaluru won (150 (83) - 135, 150 (150) - 54 (54), 151 (109) - 122 (113), 104 - 151 (144), 151 (74, 67) - 112 in the final of Manisha National Billiards and Snooker Championship at PYC Hindu Gymkhana.

Retired Watson bags Australia's T20I Player of the Year award.

Details :

Retired all-rounder Shane Watson has been adjudged Cricket Australia's T20 International Player of the Year.

The 35-year-old Watson, who retired from international cricket just after the World T20 in India last year, was the second highest run-getter behind Maxwell during the voting period from January 8, 2016 to January 7, 2017 but bagged the award on the back of his equally potent bowling.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/retired-watson-bags-australia-s-t20i-player-of-the-year-award-117012300610_1.html

Virender Sehwag Named Kings XI Punjab Brand Ambassador.

Details :

Kings XI Punjab have appointed Virender Sehwag as their head of cricket operations and strategy, and brand ambassador for the  10th edition of the Indian Premier League.

Nikki Haley confirmed as new US envoy to UN.

Details :

The US Senate has confirmed Nikki Haley as the next Ambassador to the United Nations.

With this she the first Indian-American to serve on a Cabinet rank position in any presidential administration in the US.

With this, Haley, 45, becomes the first Indian-American to serve in a presidential administration at a Cabinet level position.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/nikki-haley-confirmed-as-new-us-envoy-to-un/articleshow/56770369.cms

Jan. 24, 2017

24 January - National Girl Child Day.

Details :

National girl child day is celebrated every year on 24th of January as a national observance day for the girl child.

The day was celebrated at a special function organized by the Women and Child Development Ministry in the light of exemplary achievements by nation’s daughters during 2016.

On this occasion, National Plan of Action for Children 2016 was released.

Under the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao scheme, 10 districts were felicitated for setting examples. 

It is celebrated to increase the awareness among people about all the inequalities faced by the girl child in the society. Inequality about girl child is a vast problem which includes many areas like inequality in education, nutrition, legal rights, medical care, protection, honour, child marriage and so many.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/on-girl-child-day-tales-of-defiance-and-hope/articleshow/56766858.cms?

Goa becomes first state to send postal ballots via electronic mode.

Details :

Goa will become the first state in the country to opt for electronic transmission of postal ballot to service voters in the upcoming Assembly polls.

This facility allows service voters  to download the postal vote, cast their vote and send it via e-mail to returning officer.

Goa would also be the first state where all assembly constituencies will be covered by (VVPAT) Voter- Verified Paper Audit Trail machines.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/elections/assembly-elections/goa/news/in-a-first-postal-ballots-to-be-sent-via-electronic-mode-in-goa/articleshow/56717333.cms

Cabinet approves Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana.

Details :

The Union Cabinet gave post-facto approval for the Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana 2017 (VPBY-2017) as part of financial inclusion and social security programmes.

The scheme would be implemented through Life Insurance Corp (LIC).

The scheme aims at providing social security during old age and protecting elderly persons aged 60 years and above against a future fall in their interest income due to uncertain market conditions.

The scheme would provide an assured pension based on a guaranteed rate of return of 8% per annum for 10 years, with an option to opt for pension on a monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or annual basis.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/cabinet-approves-varishtha-pension-bima-yojana-117012401016_1.html

‘Use Aadhaar e-KYC to verify mobile users’.

Details :

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has recommended the use of Aadhaar-based e-KYC for verification of existing mobile subscribers and for outstation customers.

“Aadhaar linked e-KYC service provides a robust mechanism to verify the identity of a person electronically and instantaneously from the source itself, based on the biometrics of a person. 

TRAI has also recommended that the use of Aadhaar-based e-KYC be permitted for outstation customers.

http://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/%E2%80%98Use-Aadhaar-e-KYC-to-verify-mobile-users%E2%80%99/article17083043.ece

PM Modi presents National Bravery Awards to 25 young recipients.

Details :

Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave National Bravery Awards to twenty five children, including 13 girls, at a ceremony at his residence in New Delhi.

Four of the awards have been given posthumously.

The awardees will participate in the Republic Day parade at Rajpath on January 26th, 2017.

The coveted Bharat award has been conferred on 8 year old Late Kumari Tarh Peju of Arunachal Pradesh, who sacrificed her life while saving two of her friends from drowning.

The awardees receive a medal, certificate and cash.

The Indian Council for Child Welfare has given awards to 945 brave children which include 669 boys and 276 girls, since the inception of the National Bravery Award Scheme.

N.K. Singh panel submits report on FRBM Act.

Details :

The Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Committee has submitted its 4 volume report on changes in FRBM Act, 2013 to the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

The 5 member committee was headed by N.K. Singh, former Revenue and Expenditure Secretary and former MP. Its member included RBI Governor Urjit Patel, Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian, former Finance Secretary Sumit Bose, and National Institute of Public Finance and Policy Director Rathin Roy.

The first volume of the report dealt with the issues of fiscal policy, fiscal roadmap, international experience and the recommendations on these issues.

The Volume 2 is on the international experience.

The Volume 3 deals with the Centre and states.

The Volume 4 incorporates papers by lots of experts.

http://www.thehindu.com/business/N.K.-Singh-panel-submits-report-on-FRBM-Act/article17083134.ece

U.S. Senate confirms Pompeo to be Trump's CIA director.

Details :

The US Senate has confirmed Mike Pompeo as the new Director of CIA (Central Intelligence Agency).

66 senators backed Pompeo and 32 voted against.

Earlier he was the US Representative for Kansas’s 4th congressional district from 2011 to 2017. 

He is a member of the Tea Party movement within the Republican Party.

He was a Kansas representative on the Republican National Committee.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Pompeo

Virat Becomes Fastest Batsman to Score 1000 Runs as ODI Captain.

Details :

Indian test and ODI captain Virat Kohli became the fastest captain to score 1000 runs.

He achieved this feat in 17 innings as captain. 

He is the seventh Indian batsman to reach this landmark. Before Kohli the other Indian ODI skippers who achieved this feat are Kapil Dev, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, Mohammad Azharuddin and Mahendra Singh Dhoni. 

Players who have made a record till now on achieving 1000 runs as ODI captain 

17 innings - Virat Kohli 

18 innings - AB deVilliers 

20 innings - Kane Williamson 

21 innings - Alastair Cook 

22 innings - Sourav Ganguly 

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/sports/virat-kohli-creates-another-record-becomes-fastest-batsman-to-reach-1000-runs-as-odi-skipper/articleshow/56728757.cms

Restructured education loans not to be treated as NPAs: RBI.

Details :

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has said rescheduling of payment period of such loans due to unemployment of borrower will not be treated as restructured accounts for computing NPAs.

This move will encourage banks to provide education loans. 

Banks may allow up to three spells of moratorium (not exceeding 6 months each) during life cycle of education loan, taking into account spells of unemployment/underemployment, without treating the exercise as restructuring.

Ola appoints former PepsiCo executive Vishal Kaul as COO.

Details :

Transportation app Ola has appointed former PepsiCo executive Vishal Kaul as its Chief Operating Officer (COO).

Kaul in his new role he will head Ola’s operations, strengthen Ola’s market leadership, expand its reach to the nooks and corners of the country and widen the customer base customers and driver-partner fraternity.

Kaul, who has been with PepsiCo since the start of his career in 1999, most recently served as the General Manager of PepsiCo Foods for Thailand, Myanmar and Laos.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/ola-appoints-former-pepsico-executive-vishal-kaul-as-coo-117012300428_1.html

Delhi airport wins award for CSR.

Details :

The Delhi International Airport (Private) Limited (DIAL) has won the ‘Golden Peacock Award for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in the transportation sector under the Aviation category for the year 2016.

Delhi Airport has also been adjudged the world’s number one airport in ACI ASQ survey in 25- 40 Million Passengers Per Annum (MPPA) category for two consecutive years - 2014 and 2015.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/Delhi-airport-wins-award-for-CSR/article17079191.ece

Tamil Nadu Assembly passes Jallikattu Bill.

Details :

Tamil Nadu Assembly has unanimously passed Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Tamil Nadu Amendment), Act, 2017 to lift Supreme Court imposed ban on the traditional sport of Jallikattu. 

The bill will now replace the ordinance promulgated in this regard by the Governor on the recommendation of state government. 

The Supreme Court in May 2014 banned the conduct of Jallikattu. 

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/tamil-nadu-assembly-passes-jallikattu-bill/articleshow/56735021.cms

T-Hub launches ‘GIS Innovation Hub’ powered by Esri India.

Details :

T-Hub, the start-up engine catalysing innovation, today announced the launch of ‘GIS Innovation Hub’ (GIH) for start-ups. 

The GIH is powered by Esri India, the Geographic Information System (GIS) software and solutions provider.

The facility was inaugurated by Jack Dangermond, Co-founder, President and CEO of Esri Inc.

Esri India will induct startups into a three year startup program where they would receive free access to Esri’s ArcGIS, a cloud-based mapping platform, software development tools and ready-to-use content. 

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/small-biz/startups/t-hub-launches-gis-innovation-hub-powered-by-esri-india/articleshow/56738653.cms

Vodafone to invest Rs 3,000 cr in West Bengal in next 3 years.

Details :

Vodafone India will invest Rs. 3,000 crore in West Bengal over the next three years.

Investments will be towards capacity augmentation and new business initiatives.

An MoU in this regard was signed with the State Government on the sidelines of Bengal Global Business Summit 2017.

The aim of the investment will be to strengthen Vodafone's leadership position in the State by offering customers better internet connectivity through enhanced network capacity.

Vodafone India serves more than 2 crore customers in Kolkata & West Bengal circles. (In telecom parlance Kolkata and West Bengal are considered as two separate circles.)

Jan. 23, 2017

Examination Calendar - 2017 By GovJobAdda

Details :

The Examination Calendar for 2017 is released with tentative Exam dates and Nos. of free Tests that will be provided by  GovJobAdda  :


S.No:

Name of the Examination:

Date of Exam :

Nos. of Free Tests

Nos. of Premium Tests (Only for Institutes)

1

LIC AAO

Mar/Apr

5

2

SBI Clerk - Pre

May (Last Week)

10

15-20 #

3

SSC CGL  TIER : 1

19 June - 02 July

10  + 5(Previous)

20-25  + 30(Previous) #

4

SBI PO - Pre

June (Last Week)

10

15-20 #

5

SBI CLERK - Mains

July (First Week)

5*

6

SBI PO - Mains

July (Last Week)

5*

7

SSC CGL  TIER : 2

05 - 08 Sep

5-10

10-15 #

8

IBPS RRB OFFICER - Pre

09,10,16,17 Sep

10

15-20 #

9

IBPS RRB CLERK - Pre

16,17,23,24 Sep

10

15-20 #

10

IBPS CWE PO - Pre

7,8,14,15 Oct

10

15-20 #

11

IBPS RRB OFFICER - Mains

05 Nov

5*

12

IBPS RRB CLERK - Mains

12 Nov

5*

13

SSC CHSL  TIER : 1

17 - 30 Nov

10

15-20 #

14

RBI OFFICER - Pre

Nov (Last Week)

5-10

15

IBPS CWE PO - Mains

26 Nov

5*

16

IBPS CWE CLERK - Pre

02,03,09,10 Dec

10

15-20 #

17

RBI CLERK - Pre

Dec (Mid Dec)

5-10

18

RBI OFFICER - Mains

Dec (Last Week)

5*

19

IBPS SO - Pre

30,31 Dec

5-10

20

SBI SO

Dec/Jan

5-10*

21

SSC JUNIOR ENGINEER : 1

05 - 07 Jan

10*

22

RBI CLERK - Mains

Jan (Mid Jan)

5*

23

IBPS CWE CLERK - Mains

21 Jan

5*

24

IBPS S0 - Mains

28 Jan

5*

25

SSC JUNIOR ENGINEER : 2

01 Apr

5-10*

26

SSC CHSL  TIER : 2

15 Apr

10*

27

RAILWAY - Technical

10*

28

RAILWAY -  Non Technical

10*


We will update the schedule for Mock Tests in the month of March.

*  :   Creation of these tests will depend on the availability of time and resources. 

Creation of mock tests for Examinations like  - LIC ADO , IB , NDA , CDS, AFCAT, NIACL , IPPB, IDBI , NABARD, ICICI and other bank exams will depend on the availability of time and resources.

#  :  These are the premium tests and will be created only for few coaching institutes as per their requirements and will not be available for general users of our websites. 

Note:   All these tests will be in English only. We are sorry as we won't be able to create any tests in Hindi.

Follow the discussion forum for updates : https://govjobadda.co.in/d/examination-calendar-2017-by-govjobadda/582c251692172d0bb306e5f1/



Wish you all the best for your future and Career :-)

GovJobAdda

Health Ministry to launch population based prevention, screening and control programme for five non-communicable diseases .

Details :

The Union Health Ministry will soon launch population based prevention, screening and control programme for five common non-communicable diseases (NCDs) On February 4th coinciding with World Cancer Day.

This programme will be launched as part of the National Health Mission.

In the first phase, the population based screening component will be rolled out in 100 districts in 32 states and UTs with about 1000 sub-centres undertaking screening before March 31st of this year.

ASHAs will also be capturing information on major risk factors so that persons at risk could be counselled on leading healthy lifestyles to prevent onset of NCDs.

In subsequent phases, Chronic Obstructive Respiratory diseases will be included and the programme will be scaled up to cover other districts.

Support to states will also be provided for community health promotion and prevention efforts, and referral and treatment.

Non-Communicable diseases (NCDs) which are Cardiovascular Diseases (CVDs) such as heart attacks and stroke, Diabetes, Chronic Respiratory Diseases (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases and Asthma) and Cancer inter alia account for over 60% of all mortality in India.  

Of these, nearly 55% are premature mortality.

This imposes a financial and social cost on families and the country.  According to the World Economic Forum, India stands to lose $ 4.58 trillion (Rs 311.94 trillion between 2012 and 2030 due to non-communicable diseases.

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=157571

Centre shifts disinvestment advice to new department.

Details :

The Union government transferred the role of advising the government on how to utilise the proceeds from disinvestment from the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) to the Department of Economic Affairs.

This announcement comes after the Union Cabinet approved an alternative mechanism to decide the modalities to do with stake sales in PSUs, so as to speed up the process.

http://www.thehindu.com/business/Centre-shifts-disinvestment-advice-to-new-department/article17069491.ece

ISRO plans to launch 103 satellites on a single rocket.

Details :

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will set a record by launching 103 satellites in one go on a single rocket in the first week of February 2017.

These satellites will be launched on board of ISRO’s workhorse PSLV (C37) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. The mission will carry three satellites from India and rest from other countries.

The satellite separated from the launch vehicle will have a relative velocity of one metre per second. So after 1,000 seconds the distance between a satellite and the rocket will be 1,000 metres.

The satellite that gets launched first will move at a relatively faster velocity than the next satellite that is launched.

Due to different relative velocities, the distance between the satellites will increases continuously but the orbit will be the same.

Even one degree difference in separation angle combined with relative velocity will ensure that no two satellites would collide.

The satellites will be injected into orbit at different locations at different angles, at different times and different orientations.

http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/How-ISRO-plans-to-launch-103-satellites-on-a-single-rocket/article17075073.ece

Committee formed to set rules for implementation of RPD Act.

Details :

The Union Government has constituted a  committee to frame uniform rules for the states to avoid delay in proper implementation of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act across the country. 

The Committee will be headed by Secretary from Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD).

The committee will comprise of representatives from the Ministry of Health, DoPT, Labour, Legislative Department, and representatives from NGOs as members.

The Working Group may also be requested to suggest model draft rules for the states so as to have a uniform rules across the country and also to avoid delay in finalization of rules by any state.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/committee-formed-to-set-rules-for-implementation-of-rpd-act-117012200604_1.html

Urdu poet and lyricist Naqsh Lyallpuri passes away.

Details :

Renowned Urdu poet and lyricist Jaswant Rai Sharma, known as Naqsh Lyallpuri, passes away. He was 89.

Born in Llallpur in the part of Punjab now in Pakistan.

He got his first ever break as a lyricist in the 1952 film ‘Jaggu’ where he had given lyrics to the song ‘Agar Teri Aakhon Se Aakhein Mila Doon’. Since then, he went on to be the lyricist for films like ‘Chetna’,’Tumhare Liye’, ‘Aahista Aahista’ and ‘Gharonda’ amongest many others. In 2005, he had written lyrics for the ‘Taj Mahal- An eternal love story’ and also for ‘Yaatra’ in 2006.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/hindi/bollywood/news/urdu-poet-and-lyricist-naqsh-lyallpuri-passes-away/articleshow/56717793.cms

Anurag Thakur elected Himachal Olympic Association president.

Details :

Ousted BCCI President Anurag Thakur was unanimously elected head of the Himachal Pradesh Olympic Association (HPOA). 

Anurag Thakur was removed from the post of BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) President by the Supreme Court for not complying with its orders for implementation of Lodha Committee reforms.

http://indianexpress.com/article/sports/cricket/anurag-thakur-elected-himachal-olympic-association-president-4485426/

China commissions 31st stealth warship.

Details :

China has commissioned its 31st stealth warship as it got its battle group under its first aircraft carrier ready amid tensions with the U.S. and other nations over its assertiveness in the disputed South China Sea.

The CNS Ezhou with a hull number of 513 was delivered to the East Sea Fleet in a naval base in East China’s Fujian province.

The ship will perform coastal patrol, fishery escort, anti-submarine and anti-ship operations.

Russia has the world’s largest corvette group that consists of about 80 vessels, but most of them were built in the 1980s and 1990s and cannot compete with the Type—056 in terms of technology and equipment, the report quoted defence observers as saying, adding that China’s fleet is now the biggest force of modern corvettes of all navies.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/China-commissions-31st-stealth-warship/article17077870.ece

Kerala Gramin Bank to propagate financial literacy among school children.

Details :

The Kerala Gramin Bank (KGB) launched a novel programme “FI@School” to propagate financial literacy among school children.

Under the project, every branch of the bank has to identify and enter into a virtual tie up with a school in its locality preferably an upper primary school to organise various programmes such as formation of financial literacy clubs, account opening camps at schools, junior debit card distribution, financial literacy related classes, distribution of financial literacy booklets, competition on financial literacy etc.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/national/kerala-gramin-bank-to-propagate-financial-literacy-among-school-children/article9493490.ece

Jan. 22, 2017

Wolf 1061c could be the next habitable planet after Earth.

Details :

Astronomer Stephen Kane from San Francisco State University, US has studied an exoplanet called Wolf 1061c and found that it could be habitable  in the future.

Kane and his team examined a habitable zone on a planetary system 14 light years away.

The Wolf 1061 system is important because it is so close and that gives other opportunities to do follow-up studies to see if it does indeed have life.

One of the three known planets in the Wolf 1061 system, a rocky planet called Wolf 1061c, is entirely within the habitable zone.

http://indianexpress.com/article/technology/science/wolf-1061c-exoplanet-could-be-the-next-habitable-planet-after-earth-4484780/

IORA finalises MoU for cooperation in MSME sector.

Details :

The Ministry of MSME has finalised MoU on micro, small and medium enterprises cooperation with Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) member countries. 

The MoUs were finalised during the Workshop on MSME Cooperation amongst IORA member countries held in New Delhi. They will take effect for each party upon signature by 5 countries.

The focus areas of the pact are to finalise linkages and alliances amongst MSMEs organisations, associations and various institutions engaged in MSME development in their countries; and exchange best practices, policies and programmes for development of the sector. 

Exchange best practices, programs and policies for MSME development. Exchange greater involvement of MSMEs in the global supply chain and increase their market access.

Promote women and youth’s economic empowerment.

Encourage synergies with the IORA forum.

The IORA member countries includes Mozambique, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Kenya, Seychelles, Malaysia, Mauritius, Singapore, Australia, UAE and Yemen. 

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/small-biz/policy-trends/india-finalises-mou-on-msme-cooperation-with-iora-nations/articleshow/56687790.cms

Saina Nehwal wins Malaysian Masters Grand Prix Gold tournament.

Details :

Saina Nehwal has won the Malaysian Masters Grand Prix Gold tournament.

She defeated Pornpawee Chochuwong 22-20, 22-20 in the final match.

This was her 23rd title overall and the first after last year's Australian Open.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/other-sports/saina-nehwal-back-to-her-best-wins-malaysia-masters-badminton-title/story-a4DoLajaizmQD0VuB5wlhM.html

PVR Cinemas launches its ‘theatre on demand’ service VKAAO.

Details :

PVR Cinemas unveiled its ‘theatre on demand’ service called VKAAO.

The service, which is based on crowdsourcing, allows users to book a show of their choice from PVR’s collection of movies and watch it at a theatre nearby. 

VKAAO app is now live on Android and iOS.

Customers can book tickets on their website as well.

It is similar to video on demand services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, except that one can watch movies in a nearby theatre with your friends with VKAAO.

Currently, PVR has 562 screens in 48 cities and VKAAO is now available for all of PVR’s screens.

http://indianexpress.com/article/technology/tech-news-technology/pvr-cinemas-launches-its-theatre-on-demand-service-vkaao-483689/

PNB launches Contactless Credit Card.

Details :

Punjab National Bank (PNB) has launched a Contactless Credit Card.

This new credit card, which has been named PNB Wave N Pay --Contactless Card, was launched by Usha Ananthasubramanian, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer.

This card could be used by just waving it across the terminal and the transaction will be through.

There is no need to enter any PIN for transactions up to Rs. 2,000.

This contactless credit card has been launched on Visa Platinum platform.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/money-and-banking/pnb-launches-contactless-credit-card/article9495568.ece

Apple named most innovative company of 2016.

Details :

Boston Consulting Group has named technology giant Apple as the most innovative company in 2016 in its annual list of the world's 50 "Most Innovative Companies."

Internet search-giant Google, ranked second, and the electric carmaker Tesla in third place. Meanwhile, ride-hailing service Uber and home rental platform Airbnb made it to the list for the first time.

Top Ten Companies:

Apple, Google, Tesla, Microsoft, Amazon, Netflix, Samsung, Toyota, Facebook, and IBM are BCG’s ten most innovative companies of 2016.

Facebook and Dupont both jumped 19 positions in 2016.

4 of the top 10 most innovative companies in 2016 are entirely cloud-based.

Over 3.5 lakh people Had sung National Anthem in Gujarat, set new world record

Details :

Over 3.5 lakh people set a new world record by singing the national anthem at an event at Kagvad in Rajkot district of Gujarat.

The occasion was installation of idol of goddess Khodiyar at a newly-built Khodal Dham temple in the town.

Earlier, 2,54,537 people had sung the national anthem in Bangladesh in 2014 and set a record. 

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/over-3-5-lakh-people-sing-national-anthem-in-gujarat-set-new-world-record-4485374/

Russian Railways to help India get train speed to 200 kmph.

Details :

Russian Railways is helping India's national transporter increase the speed of its passenger trains up to 200 km per hour (kmph)

Russian Railways is at present collaborating with Indian Railways on a 575-km stretch between Nagpur and Secunderabad and submitted a preliminary report last week. 

A protocol for this project was signed between the railway ministries of the two countries in October 2016.

The high-speed project will be jointly financed and the cost will be split equally between the two countries. 

Currently, the fastest train in India is Gatimaan Express with top speed of 160 km per hour. 

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/transportation/railways/with-russias-help-india-to-increase-train-speed-to-200-kmph/articleshow/56713649.cms

Special Task Force for women safety reconstituted.

Details :

A special task force (STF) for women safety has been reconstituted under the Chairmanship of Lieutenant Governor (L-G) Anil Baijal.

The L-G will be chairperson of the special task force and including him there will be 17 members in it.

The task force will conduct a meeting in every 15 days. 

http://www.hindustantimes.com/delhi/special-task-force-for-women-safety-reconstituted/story-4rhoEYygQSiu2wQhfuKQJP.html

Himachal Pradesh beats Kerala in learning outcomes: ASER.

Details :

According to the Annual Status Education Report (ASER) 2016, Himachal Pradesh has the country's highest reading and mathematics learning levels. 

Himachal Pradesh has the highest rate of children who can read a standard II level of text in the country.

This stands at 47% for standard III level of learning, a 70.5% for standard V and an 87.9% for standard VIII.

http://indianexpress.com/article/education/himachal-pradesh-has-highest-ratings-in-reading-and-maths-aser-2016-4485074/

Jan. 21, 2017

Government constitutes negotiation committee on Mahanadi and its Tributaries.

Details :

The Union Ministry of Water Resources has constituted negotiations committee to assess availability and utilisation of waters of Mahanadi and its tributaries.

The committee will also examine existing water sharing agreements on river Mahanadi and will consider claims of Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Jharkhand regarding availability and utilisation of waters of these rivers. 

It has been set up with reference to complaint of State of Odisha under section 3 of the ISRWD Act, 1956 regarding utilisation of waters of Mahandi Basin.

It will also have member representatives of Union Ministries of Agriculture, Environment, Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, India Meteorological Department and CWC.

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=157512

Hong Kong withdraws visa-free facility For Indians.

Details :

Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China, has withdrawn the visa-free facility for Indians who will have to complete a pre-arrival registration.

Thus, Indian nationals must successfully complete pre-arrival registration online before they can visit or transit Hong Kong if seeking to enter the region during transit.

A Pre-Arrival Registration is normally valid for a six-month period or until the expiry date of the Indian passport linked to it, whichever is earlier.

Pre-arrival registration is not required for Indian nationals in direct transit by air and not leaving the airport transit area.

This is a major set back for over half a million Indians who visit the former British colony for business, trade and holidays.

Till now Hong Kong has permitted Indians to enter with valid passport for a period up to 14 days without a visa.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/huge-setback-to-indian-travelllers-hong-kong-withdraws-visa-free-facility-117012100465_1.html

India, UAE hold first strategic dialogue.

Details :

India and the UAE held their first strategic dialogue keeping with the decision to elevate the bilateral relationship to Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. 

The meeting was co-chaired by Minister of State (MoS) for External Affairs M J Akbar and MoS in Ministry of Foreign Affairs of UAE Anwar Gargash.

Two sides discussed several issues ranging from cooperation in the areas of trade and investments to expanding the bilateral cooperation to new areas under the strategic partnership.

Discussion in the areas of energy security and renewable energy, defence and security, electronics and information technology and space.

The two sides agreed on a number of new initiatives to further strengthen the bilateral cooperation and on signing of fresh instruments of cooperation. 

Bilateral trade between India and the UAE stood at about $50 billion in 2015-16. 

UAE is among the top investors in India in terms of foreign direct investments (FDI) and was the fifth largest supplier of crude oil to India in 2015-16. There are also more than 2.6 million Indians living in the UAE.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/defence/india-uae-hold-first-strategic-dialogue-in-defence-and-security/articleshow/56690815.cms

India Innovation Index to measure performance of Indian states.

Details :

The World Economic Forum (WEF), NITI Aayog, World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and Cornell University  will work to develop an India Innovation Index that will provide impetus to states to drive innovative spirit.

It will be based on key pillars of innovation and sub-indices that together will assist in tailoring policies for innovation that will promote inclusive growth.

The pillars of index include the capacity of human capital and research, strength of institutions, supporting infrastructure and the level of business sophistication, among others.

The index will measure and rank the innovation performance of all Indian states with the aim of moving India towards an innovation-driven economy. 

This index will encourage states to compete with each other and, in turn, lead to better policies for inclusive growth.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/indicators/india-innovation-index-to-measure-performance-of-indian-states/articleshow/56663915.cms

Centre awards ₹60.9 crore as prize money for digital payments.

Details :

The Centre has so far awarded ₹60.9 crore as prize money to over 3.81 lakh consumers and 21,000 merchants under its two lucky draw schemes – Lucky Grahak Yojana and Digi-Dhan Vyapar Yojana.

The winners includes small farmers, anganwadi workers, housewives and labourers.

Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka have emerged as the top five states with the maximum number of winners.

Most of the winners were in the age group of 21-30 years.

http://www.thehindu.com/business/Economy/Centre-awards-%E2%82%B960.9-crore-as-prize-money-for-digital-payments/article17062515.ece

Cooperative banks can’t accept deposits under PMGKY.

Details :

Government has clarified that Co-operative Banks are not authorised to accept deposits under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Deposit Scheme (PMGKDS).  

Application for the deposit in the form of Bonds Ledger Account shall be received by any banking company,other than Co-operative Banks, to which the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, applies.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/finance/cooperative-banks-now-cant-accept-deposits-under-pmgkds/articleshow/56694982.cms

INS Vikramaditya to be India’s first warship to have ATM onboard.

Details :

India’s biggest aircraft carrier ship  INS Vikramaditya  became the nation’s first warship to have an ATM onboard the vessel via satellite.

The ATM belonging to the State Bank of India (SBI) will be operated through satellite link.

INS Vikramaditya is a modified Kiev-class aircraft carrier purchased from Russia. It had entered into service with the Indian Navy in 2013 and was commissioned in November 2013 at a ceremony held at Severodvinsk, Russia. It was formally inducted into the Indian Navy and dedicated it to the nation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June 2014.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/ins-vikramaditya-to-be-india-s-first-warship-to-have-atm-onboard/story-nQQ7Njwko7hmoh64o1qZ6M.html

Dharamsala declared the second capital of Himachal Pradesh.

Details :

The Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh has announced Dharamsala will be second capital of Himachal Pradesh.

The announcement is significant as 25 out of 68 assembly seats fall in Kangra, Una and Hamirpur districts, and Dharamsala was important for lower areas of Himachal Pradesh including Kangra, Chamba, Hamirpur and Una districts.

Dharamsala already figured prominently in national and international map due to its significance owing to many reasons including religious, natural and adventurous tourism and also being abode of Tibetan Spiritual head Dalai Lama.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/dharamsala-is-the-second-capital-of-himachal-pradesh-declares-cm-virbhadra-singh/story-3IRaQKvAGRTjzsh8Vn7NWN.html

Bihar Govt launches "Nasha Mukt campaign" to make state addiction-free.

Details :

Bihar government launched Nasha Mukt campaign to make the state addidction-free with formation of over 11 thousand km long human chain across the state.

Over two crore had people participated in this human chain that covered all panchayats of the state

Apart from satellite, drones and low flying aircraft will also be used for taking images of the human chain.

The campaign will herald a new era in the state as no one will be permitted to use intoxicating substance and tobacco products.

Bihar will become an ideal state of the country as dreamed by Father of Nation Mahatma Gandhi.

Donald Trump sworn in as 45th US President.

Details :

Donald Trump has been officially sworn in as the 45th president of the United States.

He was administered the oath of office by Chief Justice John Roberts.

He succeeded Barack Obama who completed his second four year term. 

First flight under UDAN scheme to take off in February 2017.

Details :

The first flight is likely to take off next month under the government's ambitious regional connectivity scheme-UDAN.

The scheme UDAN (Ude Desh Ke Aam Naagrik), seeks to boost regional air connectivity and provides various incentives to airlines.

Under UDAN scheme the fare for 500 km one hour journey in aircraft and 30 minute journey in helicopter will be priced for Rs.2500.

RBI imposes Rs 75 lakh penalty on Bombay Mercantile Co-op Bank.

Details :

The Reserve Bank  has imposed a penalty of Rs 75 lakh on Bombay Mercantile Co-operative Bank for violations of norms related to KYC and anti-money laundering.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/finance/rbi-imposes-rs-75-lakh-penalty-on-bombay-mercantile-co-op-bank-117011901397_1.html

PM Modi addresses Combined Commanders Conference at Dehradun.

Details :

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the Combined Commanders Conference (CCC) at Dehradun, Uttarakhand . 

The conference was hosted at the Indian Military Academy, and attended by all Army commanders and their equivalents from the Air Force and the Navy. 

This will be the first CCC for the three military chiefs since taking over as head of their services last year (2016).

The conference  focused on the surgical strikes across the Line of Control, the prevailing situation on the LoC, terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir and the emerging security situation.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ani/pm-modi-to-today-address-combined-commanders-conference-in-dehradun-117012100129_1.html

Tamil Nadu Governor signs ordinance for jallikattu.

Details :

Tamil Nadu Governor C Vidyasagar Rao promulgated an ordinance for the conduct of jallikattu.

The Union government  cleared the state's draft ordinance+ to amend the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, enabling the conduct of jallikattu.

Now, Tamil Nadu Governor can promulgate ordinance as per Article 213 of the constitution. 

With the ordinance, people form Tamil Nadu now for conducting the bull-taming game that banned by Supreme Court in May 2014.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/tamil-nadu-governor-signs-ordinance-for-jallikattu/articleshow/56703340.cms

ISKCON’s Govardhan eco village bags UN award.

Details :

ISKCON’s Govardhan eco village at nearby Wada taluka in Thane district has been conferred the United Nations award for taking innovative measures of ’sustainable tourism’ in country.

The award was presented at the annual United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Awards for Excellence and Innovation in Tourism at Madrid in Spain.

This is for the first time India has won such recognition from the UN in the NGO sector.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/ISKCON%E2%80%99s-Govardhan-eco-village-bags-UN-award/article17068450.ece

Jan. 20, 2017

20 January : Important news at a glance.

Details :

• The Pro Wrestling League Season 2 title was won by – Punjab Royals

• President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the 8th Dantan Gramin Mela 2017 in – West Bengal

• A three-day National Conference of Central and State Ministers and Secretaries of Tourism, Culture and Sports is being organised in – Kutch, Gujarat

• Union Government released Rs 2207 crore to this State as special assistance for FY 2016-17 – Jammu and Kashmir

• His named was cleared for being the Director of CBI - Alok Kumar Verma

• Adama Barrow was recently sworn-in as the President of The Gambia. He is a member of - the United Democratic Party

• St Petersburg recently launched an official emblem for the 2020 UEFA Euro Cup. The city is located in - Russia

• Karang, which has become first cashless island of India, is located in - Manipur

• As per a study published in journal ‘Science Advances,’ 60 per cent of primate species in the world are in danger of - becoming extinct

• City chosen as the second Capital of Himachal Pradesh recently- Dharamsala

• Person who won the prestigious The Hindu Prize 2016- Kiran Doshi

• Person appointed as CEO and MD of Bharti AXA General recently- Sanjeev Srinivasan

• President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the 28th Dantan Gramin Mela -2017 in- West Bengal

• It is with this country Union Cabinet approved signing of a MoU in the filed of cyber security - Vietnam

• Country that recently became an associate member of European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)- India

• Village declared as the cleanest village in Asia - Mawlynnong village

FIPB clears 6 FDI proposals worth Rs 1,187 cr.

Details :

The Inter-ministerial body Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approved six investment proposals envisaging foreign investments of Rs 1,186.5 crore. 

It has approved the proposals of Sanofi Synthelabo India, Star Den Media Services, Idea Cellular Infrastructure Services, Boehringer Ingelheim India Pvt. Ltd, Menarini India Private Limited and Recipharm Participation B.V. Netherlands.

The panel rejected three proposals.Decision was taken by FIPB meeting headed by Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das.

India allows FDI in most sectors through the automatic route, but in certain segments considered sensitive for the economy and security, the proposals have to be first cleared by FIPB.

The government has taken a slew of measures in the recent past to boost foreign direct investment into the country.

With growth in FDI in important sectors like services and manufacturing, overall foreign inflows in the country rose by 30% to USD 21.62 billion during the first half of 2016-17.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/fipb-clears-6-fdi-proposals-worth-rs-1-187-cr-117011900875_1.html

‘Church courts’ cannot veto divorce law: Supreme Court

Details :

The Supreme Court says Canon law and decrees of divorce given by ecclesiastical tribunals or ‘Church Courts’ cannot veto the statutory law of divorce.

It was given by SC Bench of Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud on writ petition filed in 2013 seeking a judicial declaration that divorce decrees passed by ecclesiastical tribunals are valid and binding.

The Supreme Court referred to its 1996 judgment in the case of Molly Joseph versus George Sebastian upholding the binding nature of the Indian Divorce Act of 1869, which governs divorce among Christians.

After Divorce Act, 1860 came into force, dissolution or annulment under Christian personal law cannot have any legal impact as statute has provided a different procedure and a different code for divorce.

In Molly’s case:

The implication of the Canon law is confined to either theological or ecclesiastical, but has no legal impact on the divorce or annulment of marriage between two persons professing the Christian religion.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/%E2%80%98Church-courts%E2%80%99-cannot-veto-divorce-law-says-Supreme-Court/article17063297.ece

Indian economy projected to grow by 7.7% in FY 2017: UN report.

Details :

According to the United Nations World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2017 report, India’s economy is projected to grow by 7.7% in fiscal 2017 and 7.6% in 2018

The UN flagship report has not mention of the withdrawal of the high-denomination Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 currency notes nor its impact on the country’s economic growth.

India has positioned itself as the most dynamic emerging economy among the largest countries and is expected to remain the fastest growing on the back of robust private consumption and significant domestic reforms gradually being implemented by the government.

China’s growth is projected to remain stable at 6.5% for fiscal years 2017 and 2018 due to domestic demand and accommodative fiscal measures, including off-budget fiscal support through policy banks and public-private partnerships.

Implications of China’s ongoing economic rebalancing will inevitably be felt by the region in medium and long-run through trade (including commodity prices) and financial channels.

UN's flagship publication on expected trends in the global economy, comes just a day after the International Monetary Fund cut India's growth rate for the current fiscal year to 6.6% from its previous estimate of 7.6 % due to the "temporary negative consumption shock" .

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/indicators/indias-economy-projected-to-grow-by-7-7-in-fy-2017-un-report/articleshow/56629889.cms

Entrepreneurship Development Scheme inaugurated in Mizoram.

Details :

Mizoram Chief Secretary Lalmalsawma inaugurated the Entrepreneurship Development Scheme (EDS) under the New Economic Development Policy (NEDP) in the state.

The state government gave high priority to entrepreneurship development and has allocated Rs 2 crore under the NEDP during the current fiscal.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/entrepreneurship-development-scheme-inaugurated-in-mizoram-117011800860_1.html

Three Day National Conference in Kutch.

Details :

Three Day National Conference has began in Kutch, Gujarat.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has delivered inaugural address on a three-day National Conference of Central and State Ministers and Secretaries of Tourism, Culture and Sports.

The conference aims at achieving the necessary convergence among tourism, culture, youth affairs and sports areas and synergy between the Centre and states.

Ministry of AYUSH and Advertising Standards Council of India sign MoU to co-regulate misleading advertisements in the AYUSH sector

Details :

The ministry of AYUSH and Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) signed a MoU to co-regulate misleading advertisements in the AYUSH sector in New Delhi.

The MoU was signed by  Advisor (Ayurveda), Ministry of AYUSH Dr, Dinesh Chan Katoch and Chairman, ASCI Shri Srinivasan K Swamy in the presence of Secretary AYUSH Shri Ajit M Sharan at New Delhi.

Addressing the cases of misleading advertisements with respect to Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy drugs, treatments and related services, ASCI will comprehensively monitor these advertisements across print and electronic media.

ASCI has been given a self-monitoring mandate by the Ministry of AYUSH to identify potentially misleading advertisement in the AYUSH sector and process complaints through its Consumer Complaints Council (CCC).

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=157548

Alibaba becomes a top sponsor of the Olympics Games through 2028.

Details :

E-commerce Giant Alibaba became major sponsor of the Olympic Games after signing a deal with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that runs until 2028. 

Alibaba’s deal with IOC comes as Asia prepares to host three consecutive Olympic Games with South Korea’s Pyeongchang hosting 2018 winter edition, Japan hosting 2020 summer Olympics in Tokyo China hosting 2022 winter Olympics in Beijing.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/sports/alibaba-becomes-worldwide-olympic-partner-through-2028/article9490333.ece

World Bank Sanctions Rs 1,376 Cr For Tripura Power Upgradation.

Details :

Washington based World Bank has sanctioned Rs 1,376 crore for upgradations and improvement of the Tripura power system network in the state.

This was announced by Tripura’s power minister Manik Dey.

The Power Upgradation project is divided into 5 phases.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/energy/power/world-bank-sanctions-rs-1376-crore-for-tripura-power-upgradation/articleshow/56669796.cms

Lloyd's gets final approval from IRDAI to open branch in India.

Details :

Lloyd's, specialist insurance and reinsurance company, has got final regulatory approval from the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India (Irda) to set up branch in India. 

The specialist insurance and reinsurance company would open its first branch office in India before April 2017 in Mumbai. 

Lloyd’s will bring expertise and specialist capacity to India’s insurance market and work in partnership with local insurance businesses to develop innovative solutions that meet the unique needs of the growing economy.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/banking/finance/lloyds-gets-final-approval-from-irdai-to-open-branch-in-india/articleshow/56665640.cms

Dantan Gramin Mela held in West Bengal.

Details :

The 28th edition of Dantan Gramin Mela was inaugurated by President Pranab Mukherjee in West Midnapore district in West Bengal.

The fair will display the rural handicraft skills of the people of the region. 

The different goods ranging from textile to terracotta will be on display.

Cabinet approves the exclusion of States from the investments of National Small Savings Fund.

Details :

The Union Cabinet has given its approval to exclude State Governments States/UTs (with Legislature) except Arunachal Pradesh, Delhi, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh from National Small Savings Fund (NSSF) investments from 01.04.2016.

 It also approved providing a one-time loan of Rs. 45,000 crore from NSSF to Food Corporation of India (FCI) to meet its food subsidy requirements. 

Arunachal Pradesh will be given loans to the tune of 100% of NSSF collections within its territory, while Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi (UT) will be provided with 50% of collections.

The repayment obligation of the FCI in respect of NSSF Loans would be treated as the first charge on the food subsidy released to the Food Corporation of India.

In addition, FCI shall reduce the amount of its current Cash Credit Limit with the banking consortium to the extent of the NSSF loan amount.

Background:

 The 14th Finance Commission (FFC) had recommended that the State Governments should be excluded from the investment operations of the NSSF. The main reason given was that NSSF loans come at an extra cost to the State Governments compared to the market rates which are considerably lower. Following this, Union Cabinet in February 2015 held that this recommendation will be examined in due course in consultation with various stake holders. Barring, all states except Arunachal Pradesh, Delhi, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh expressed their desire to be excluded from NSSF investments.

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=157440

English poet Jacob Polley wins 2016 TS Eliot prize.

Details :

British poet Jacob Polley has won the 2016 T.S. Eliot prize for his fourth collection, 'Jackself', a sequence of narrative poems partly inspired by his childhood in Cumbria.

With this he won the coveted £20,000 award at the Wallace Collection Gallery in London, United Kingdom (UK). 

http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/poet-jacob-polley-wins-2016-t-s-eliot-prize-117011700101_1.html

CCI imposes Rs 207-cr penalty on 7 cement firms.

Details :

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has imposed penalties aggregating to almost Rs 207 crore on seven major cement companies for rigging of bids and cartelisation to get tenders in Haryana government orders.

These seven companies are Shree Cement, UltraTech Cement, Jaiprakash Associates, JK Cement, Ambuja Cements, ACC and JK Lakshmi Cement.

CCI imposed the penalty at 0.3% of their average turnover for three financial years. 

They have been penalised for violating competition norms with regard to a tender floated by a Haryana agency back in 2012. 

http://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/cci-imposes-rs-206-crore-penalty-on-seven-cement-companies-117011901565_1.html

Jan. 19, 2017

IMPORTANT : Do not lose heart, keep trying and you will definitely succeed !

Details :

We received a lot of messages from our members of GovJobAdda, a lot of them were thanking us for the mock tests that we provided which helped them clear the exam, while others who could not clear it were a little depressed and were worried if they would be able to clear though this cut-throat competition. 

Let me take this opportunity to address  all of you who missed the exams this time. Let me tell you that the competition is really really tough and the only ones who will finally triumph are the ones who will not quit.

You have to be really determined and understand that the ones who are clearing the exams are not from some other planet, they are the ones who did not quit. In fact almost all the toppers are the ones who could not clear the exam last year but then worked hard, identified their weaknesses and improved themselves.

You all have to do the same ! Learn the concepts really well, solve a lot of practice problems and then take as many mock tests as possible. We provide you a very detailed Result Analysis page, use that to find out where you are not performing well, the topics that you got incorrect , identify the problems where you lose time and then work rigorously to become better at them.

If you  feel that there are topics that slow you down, try to solve a lot of questions from that topic, you will eventually become very good at it.

Never skip any topic that seems difficult to you, simply put more effort on it and make it your strongest topic. 

Aim to top the exam, not just clear the cut-off. Only then will you succeed !

Never lose hope ! Keep trying! Keep improving ! Take every failure as a lesson and instead of losing heart or feeling sad, accept the fact and move on. Do not waste time feeling sad, instead study more and more. There is no one who can stop you from succeeding if you put in all your effort. 

"Jab tak fodenge nhi, tab tak chodenge nahi !" .

Our Team is always here to help you all, this is the reason that we try to respond to each and every comment. We are working day and night to create tests for you that will help you clear the exams.


Regards,

Prajjwal,

Co-Founder, GovJobAdda.co.in

Feel free to connect with me on Facebook, Here is my profile link:

https://www.facebook.com/prajjwal.deepraj1


Here is an excellent poem  that you all must read.

The Man Who Thinks He Can (by Walter D. Wintle)

If you think you are beaten, you are;

If you think you dare not, you don't.
If you'd like to win, but you think you can't,
It is almost a cinch that you won't.

If you think you'll lose, you're lost;
For out of the world we find
Success begins with a fellow's will
It's all in the state of mind.

If you think you're outclassed, you are;
You've got to think high to rise.
You've got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win the prize.

Life's battles don't always go
To the stronger or faster man;
But sooner or later the man who wins
Is the one who thinks he can!

LIST OF LONGEST AND LARGEST

Details :

1.Longest river (India)-- Ganges

2.Longest river (World)-- Nile
3.Longest Railway(World)-- Trans-Siberian railway
4.Longest Railway Station (World) -- Grand Central Terminal, Chicago (U.S.A.)
5.The longest tributary river of India-- Yamuna
6.The longest river of the south India-- Godavari
7.Longest Electric railway line in India-- From Delhi to Kolkata via Patna
8.Longest Road in India --Grand Trunk Road
9.State with longest coastline in India-- Gujarat
10.Longest railway route in India-- Dibrugarh in Assam to Kannyakumari in Tamil Nadu
11.Longest tunnel in India-- Jawahar tunnel (Jammu & Kashmir)
12.Longest national highway in India-- NH-7 which runs from Varanasi to Kanyakumari
13.Longest Dam in India --Hirakund Dam (Orissa)
14.Longest River Bride in India-- Mahatma Gandhi Setu, Patna
15.Longest Populated City in India-- Mumbai (1.60 crore)
16.Longest Railway Platform-- Gorakhpur (Uttar Pradesh)
17.Longest river which forms estuary in India--Narmada
18.State with longest coastline of South India -- Andhra Pradesh
19.Longest Railway Bridge in the World-- Huey P. Long Bridge, Louisiana (U.S.A.)
20.Longest Irrigational Canal--- The Kalakumsky Canal
21.Longest Canal in World--Suez Canal
22.Longest Beach in India--Marina Beach, Chennai
23.Longest Tunnel in World (Railway)-- Tanna (Japan)
24.Longest Tunnel in World (Road)---- Mont Blanc Tunnel between France and Italy
25.Longest Wall (World) --Great wall of China
26.Largest Zoo (World)-- Kruger National Park, South Africa
27.Largest Bird-- Ostrich
28.Largest Church in India-- Saint Cathedral (Goa)
29.Largest Museum in India--- National Museum, Kolkata
30.Largest Delta --Sunderban Delta, W. Bengal
31.Largest Dome in India-- Gol Gumbaz, Bijapur (Karnataka)
32.Largest Zoo (India)--- Zoological Gardens, Alipur, Kolkata
33.Largest man-made Lake in India---Govind Vallabh Pant Sagar (Rihand Dam)
34.Largest Desert in India--- Thar (Rajasthan)
35.Largest Mosque in India --Jama Masjid,

Important Books & Authors

Details :

Some important lists of Books and their Authors :

01 My experiments with Truth : Mahatma M.K.Gandhi 
02 Far from the Madding Crowd : Thomas Hardy 
03 Geetanjali : Rabindra Nath Tagore 
04 One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch : Alexander Solzhenitsyn 
05 The Merchant of venice : William shakespeare 
06 The Moon and Six pense: Somerset Maughan 
07 Pilgrim's Progress from this world to that which is to come:John Bunyan 
08 A Tale of Two Cities: Charles Dickens 
09 Utopia: Sir Thomas Moor 
10 Origin of species: Charles Darwin 
11 David Copperfield : Charles Dickens 
12 A passage to India : E.M.Forster 
13 Gulliver's Travels : Jonathan Swift 
14 Discovery of India : Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru 
15 The Vicar of Wakefield: Oliver Goldsmith 
16 The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire:Edward Gibbon 
17 The Lady of the Last Minstrel: Sir Walter Scott 
18 Pride and Prejudice: Jane Austen 
19 Time Machine: H.G. Wells 
20 Arthashastra : Kautilya 
21 Le Contract Social: Jean Jacques Rousseau 
22 Avigyan Sakuntalam : Kalidas 
23 Anand Math : Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay 
24 Mein Kampf : Adolf Hitler 
25 Ain-i-Akbari: Abul Fazal 
26 Akbar-Nama : Abul Fazal 
27 Shakuntala : Kalidas 
28 War and peace: Leo Tolstoy 
29 A Dangerous place: D.P. Moynihan 
30 Raghuvamsa : Kalidas 
31 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes :Arthur Conan Doyle 
32 Adventures of Tom Saweyer : Mark Twain 
33 Agni Veena : Kazi Nasrul Islam 
34 Alice in Wonderland: Lewis Carrol 
35 Ancient Mariner : Coleridge 
36 Animal Farm : George Orwell 
37 Anna Karenina: Tolstoy 
38 Antony and Cleopatra: Shakespeare 
39 Arms and the Man : G.B.Shaw 
40 Around the World in eighty days: Jules Verne 
41 Baburnama : Babur 
42 Ben Hur : Lewis Wallace 
43 Bhagwat Gita: Ved Vyas 
44 Bisarjan : R.N.Tagore 
45 Canterbury Tales: Chaucer 
46 Chitra : R.N.Tagore 
47 Count of Monte Cristo : Alexander Dumas 
48 Crime and Punishment: Dostoevsky 
49 Das Kapital : Karl Marx 
50 Divine Comedy :Dante 
51 Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde: Stevenson 
52 Don Quixote : Cervantes 
53 Dr.Zhivago : Boris Pasternak 
54 For whom the Bell Tolls: Ernest Hemingway 
55 Forsyte Saga : John Galsworthy 
56 Freedom at Midnight: Dominique Lapierre 
57 Gathering Storm : inston Churchill 
58 Geet Govind : Jaya Dev 
59 Gora : R.N. Tagore 
60 Hamlet: Shakespeare 
61 Harsha Charit: Bana Bhatt 
62 Hunchback of Notre Dame : Victor Hugo 
63 Hungry Stones : R.N.Tagore 
64 Illiad : Homer 
65 Invisible Man : H.G.Wells 
66 Ivanhoe : Walter Scott 
67 Jungle Book : Rudyard Kipling 
68 Kadambari : Bana Bhatt 
69 Kidnapped : R.L.Stevenson 
70 King Lear : Shakespeare 
71 Kumar Sambhav : Kalidas 
72 Last Days of Pompeii: Bulwar Lytton 
73 Les Miserable : Victor Hugo 
74 Life Divine : Shri Aurobindo 
75 Mahabharata: Vyas 
76 Man and Superman: G.B.Shaw 
77 Meghdut : Kalidas 
78 Mother : Maxim Gorky 
79 Odyssey : Homer 
80 Oliver Twist: Charles Dickens 
81 Othello : Shakespeare 
82 Panchatantra: Vishnu Sharma 
83 Paradise lost : John Milton 
84 Pickwick Paper: Charles Dickens 
85 Plague : Albert Camus 
86 The Post Office: R.N.Tagore 
87 Principia : Issac Newton 
88 Ramayana : Valmiki 
89 Robinson Crusoe : Daniel Defoe 
90 Shah Nama : Firdausi 
91 Shape of things to come: H.G.Wells 
92 Three Musketeers : Alexander Dumas 
93 The Tempest : Shakespeare 
94 Tom Sawyer : Mark Twain 
95 Treasure Island R.L.Stevenson 
96 Ulysses : James Joyce 
97 Uncle Tom's Cabin : Mrs.Harriet Stowe 
98 Waste Land : T.S.Eliot 
99 Nineteen Eighty-four : George Orwell 
100 Sunny Days : Sunil Gavaskar 
101 Faust : Goethe 
102 Arabian Nights : Sir Richard Burton 
103 The City of Joy : Dominique Lapierre 
104 The One Day Wonders : Sunil Gavaskar 
105 Silas Marner : George Eliot 
106 Bachelor of Arts : R.K.Narayan 
107 China Passage : John Kenneth Galbraith 
108 A Suitable Boy : Vikram Seth 
109 A Voice For Freedom : Nayantara Saigal 
110 A Week with Gandhi : Louis Fisher 
111 A Woman's Life: Guy de Maupassaut 
112 Age of Reason : Jean Paul Sartre 
113 Asian Drama: Gunnar Myrdal 
114 The Bubble : Mulk Raj Anand 
115 Ben Hur : ewis Wallace 
116 The Castle : Franz Kalka

Government launches 'ShaGun' - a web-portal for Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan

Details :

The Union Government launched a dedicated web portal ShaGun.

 The 'ShaGun' will help monitor progress of implementation of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) by assessing performance of states and UTs on key parameters and thereby serve as a platform for the central government for effective planning and deliver on the promise of providing quality education to all.

The SSA ShaGun web portal can be accessed at http://ssashagun.nic.in.

It has been prepared by World Bank in collaboration with Ministry of Human Resource Development.

ShaGun, which has been coined from the words ‘Shala’ meaning Schools and ‘Gunvatta’ meaning Quality, has been developed with a twin track approach.

Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) is a centrally sponsored flagship scheme for providing universal access to education to children in the age group of six to fourteen years of age.

Also Toolkit for Master Trainers in Preparing Teachers for Inclusive Education for Children with Special Needs (CWSN) was also unveiled. The toolkit is part of the series of 5 training modules that will provide the teachers with practical information on the effective inclusion of CWSN.

It will help in building pedagogical practices that will address the needs of all children with special needs.

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=157488

Cabinet gives approval to the package for supporting MSEs - Augmentation of Corpus of CGTMSE.

Details :

The Union Cabinet has given ex-post facto approval to the package for supporting Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) - Augmentation of the Corpus of Credit Guarantee Trust Fund for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE).

The proposal entails the following:

 Augmentation of the corpus of the Trust from Rs. 2,500 crore to Rs. 7,500 crore, to be fully funded by the GoI;

To increase coverage of the loans covered under the credit guarantee scheme from Rs. 1 crore to Rs. 2 crore;

To increase coverage of the credit guarantee scheme for loans being extended to micro and small enterprises by NBFCs also. This would enable the Trust to enhance the quantum.

The measures would result in the following benefits:

a. Lowering the level of leverage;

b. Improving sustainability of the Fund;

c. Enable the Trust to enhance the quantum of credit guarantee to larger number of MSEs;

d. Improving financial management; and

e. Limit the unfunded contingent liabilities.

Augmentation of the corpus of the fund will facilitate larger flow of credit to MSEs. This in turn, will lead to increase output and employment and thereby promote equity and inclusiveness. Start-ups will also be encouraged to set up enterprises based on innovation and new ideas as the scheme provides credit without collateral and third-party guarantee.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-cm/cabinet-gives-approval-to-the-package-for-supporting-mses-augmentation-of-corpus-of-cgtmse-117011800789_1.html

Bengaluru most dynamic city in world: Study.

Details :

 Bengaluru has been ranked the most dynamic city in the world, according to a study released Jones Lang LaSalle’s City Momentum Index (CMI).

The ranking is based on a broad range of real estate and socio-economic factors.

Top 10 cities in 2017 CMI:

Bengaluru (India 1st),

Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam 2nd),

Silicon Valley (US 3rd),

Shanghai (China 4th),

Hyderabad (India 5th),

London (UK 6th),

Austin (US 7th),

Hanoi (Vietnam 8th),

Boston (US 9th) and

Nairobi (Kenya 10th).

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bengaluru/bengaluru-most-dynamic-city-in-world-study/articleshow/56656837.cms

CCEA approves listing of 5 general insurance PSUs.

Details :

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs gave its nod  to the listing of five government-owned insurance companies in stock exchanges. 

The companies are New India Assurance,United India Insurance, Oriental Insurance, National Insurance and General Insurance.

The listing will allow companies to raise capital for expansion and not be dependent on government. 

Cabinet approves amendment in Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme.

Details :

The Union Cabinet  has given its approval for amendment in the Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme (M-SIPS) to further incentivize investments in Electronic Sector and moving towards the goal of ‘ Net Zero imports’ in electronics by 2020.

The salient features of the amendment are:

 The applications will be received under the scheme upto 31st December 2018 or till such time that an incentive commitment of Rs 10,000 crore is reached, whichever is earlier.

In case the incentive commitment of Rs 10,000 crore is reached, a review will be held to decide further financial commitments.

 For new approvals, the incentive under the scheme will be available from the date of approval of a project and not from the date of receipt of application.

 The incentives will be available for investments made within 5 years from the date of approval of the project.

 Approvals will normally be accorded to eligible applications within 120 days of submission of the complete application.

 A unit receiving incentives under the scheme, will provide an undertaking to remain in commercial production for a period of at least 3 years.

 The Appraisal Committee recommending approval of project will be chaired by Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and IT.

 A separate Committee headed by Cabinet Secretary and comprising of CEO, NITI Aayog, Secretary Expenditure and Secretary, MeitY will be set up in respect of mega projects, envisaging more than Rs. 6850 crore (approx. USD 1 Billion) investments.

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=157445

Delhi Police Commissioner Alok Verma appointed as new CBI chief.

Details :

Delhi Police Commissioner Alok Verma appointed as the next chief of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).  He will have tenure of two years.

He was selected by a three-member committee comprising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Justice J S Khehar and Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge.

Verma, a 1979 batch IPS officer of the AGMUT (Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram and Union Territory) cadre,

He has earlier served as the Director General of Tihar jail.

He has served in the Delhi Police in number of positions, including DCP (south district), JC of Crime Branch, JCP (New Delhi Range), Special CP (Intelligence) and Special CP (Vigilance).

He has also served as the Inspector General (IG) of Police in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and as the Director General of Police (DGP) of Puducherry.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/alok-verma-appointed-as-new-cbi-chief-delhi-police-commissioner/

Jaipur Literature Festival begins.

Details :

Jaipur Literature Festival begins  in the pink city jaipur (Rajasthan). It is a five-day Literature Festival.

Celebrated writers, thinkers, journalists, historians, poets, novelists and musicians are participating in the festival.

A special session on Freedom to Dream will also be held where writers will discuss their dreams and dreams of India.

Anandam Scheme Launched in Madhya Pradesh to Help Poor.

Details :

Madhya Pradesh government has launched Aanandam programme of the newly-formed Aanand Department.

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan launched the Aanandam programme of the newly-formed Aanand Department on the occasion of Makar Sankranti.

Aanandam scheme will help the poor people to get the daily needs like like jackets, sarees, blankets, utensils, school bags from the wealthy people.

Madhya Pradesh is the first state in the country which has constituted Anand department.

Cabinet approves MoU on cooperation on Youth matters between India and Russia.

Details :

The Union Cabinet has approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Russia for cooperation on Youth matters.

Exchange programmes in the field of Youth Affairs between India and Russia will help in promoting exchange of ideas, values and culture amongst Youth through establishment of people-to-people contacts and in consolidating friendly relations between the two countries.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/government-press-release/cabinet-approves-mou-on-cooperation-on-youth-matters-between-india-and-117011800760_1.html

Cabinet approves MoU between India and the United Arab Emirates on Institutional Cooperation in Maritime Transport .

Details :

The Union Cabinet has approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and the United Arab Emirates on Institutional Cooperation in Maritime Transport.

The proposed MoU will pave way for facilitation and promotion of maritime transport, simplification of customs and other formalities, wherever possible, observed in Ports and facilitation of the use of existing installations for the disposal of waste.

The MoU will enable Shipping Companies in both countries to enter into bilateral and multi-lateral arrangements for sustainable trading activities.

Cabinet approves MoU between India-UAE for cooperation in field of SME sector.

Details :

The Cabinet gave its approval for signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and United Arab Emirates for cooperation in the field of Small and Medium Enterprises and Innovation.

The MoU would benefit Indian SMEs and lead to equitables and inclusive development. It will help for the exposure to best practices in SME sector abroad to provide an opportunity to Indian SMEs to improve and innovate further.

It will also provide to SME sector in India an opportunity to have a mutually beneficial relation with SME sector of the UAE and to explore their markets.

Cabinet approves MoU between India and Vietnam In the field of cyber security.

Details :

The Union Cabinet has given ex-post facto approval to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Vietnam in the field of Cyber Security.

It was signed between Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), India and the Cyber Security Department, Ministry of Public Security, Vietnam on 3rd September 2016 at Hanoi.

The MoU intends to promote closer cooperation for exchange of knowledge and experience in detection, resolution and prevention of cyber security-related incidents between India and Vietnam.

Implementation of the MoU will result in significant mutual benefits in the cyber security sector, through institutional and capacity-building in the field of cyber security in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

Cabinet approves MoU between India and Serbia for cooperation in the field of Information Technology and Electronics.

Details :

The Union Cabinet has given ex-post facto approval to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between India and Serbia for promoting cooperation in the field of Information Technology and Electronics. 

The MoU aims to promote cooperation between India and Serbia in the field of IT and Electronics, and to foster active cooperation and exchanges between the private entities, capacity building institutions, the Governments and other public and private organizations of the two countries in IT & Electronics. 

Cabinet approves Alternative Mechanism to decide on the quantum of disinvestment in case of minority stake sale in CPSEs .

Details :

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, has given its approval to Alternative Mechanism, who would decide on the quantum of disinvestment in a particular Central Public Sector Undertaking (CPSE) on a case by case basis .

It is  subject to Government retaining 51 percent equity and management control.

In addition to the present functions performed by Alternative Mechanism as has been approved by CCEA in August, 2014.

This will reduce speculation and overhang and expedite the disinvestment process.

Haryana CM approves installation of solar energy.

Details :

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal approved the installation of solar energy devices in all 25,962 anganwadi centres in the state at a cost of Rs 44 crore. 

The use of solar energy to run three LED lights and two fans would be encouraged in anganwadi centres.

This scheme would reduce electricity bills of 'Anganwadi centers' by Rs. 12 crore annually.

Priyanka Chopra wins People's Choice Awards for Favourite Dramatic TV Actress.

Details :

Indian actress Priyanka  win the favourite dramatic TV actress trophy for her role in 'Quantico' at the 2017 People's Choice Awards.

This is priyanka chopra' second People's Choice win, having been named the favourite actress in a new TV series last year. 

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/magazines/panache/win-win-priyanka-chopra-is-favourite-dramatic-tv-actress-at-peoples-choice-awards/articleshow/56659533.cms

Jan. 18, 2017

17th January important news at a glance :

Details :

• The winner of the 15th edition of the Delhi International Chess tournament is - Farrukh Amonatov

• The winner of the 2016 T S Eliot Prize for Poetry is - Jacob Polley

• India and World Bank recently signed a Financing Agreement to improve the quality of health care services in - Nagaland

• The Border Security Forces recently launched Operation Sard Hawa at the western international border of Rajasthan to - check the instances of infiltration due to the dense fog in the area

• The International conference for peace talks between Israel and Palestinians will be held in - Paris

• The report entitled ‘An economy for the 99 percent’ was released by – Oxfam

• The World Economic Outlook Update 2016 was released by - International Monetary Fund

• This country handed over two ships to the Pakistan Navy for joint security along the sea route of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) – China

• The GST Council decided to rollout the Goods and Services Tax on – 1 July 2017

• It is with this country India signed a MoU for cooperation in cooperative sector – Mauritius

• RBI raised the cash withdrawal limit from ATMs from Rs 4500 to – Rs 10000

• The RBI Note Mudran printing press that broke all its past record by printing highest number of currency notes in December 2016 is located in - Mysuru

• RBI has revised the limit for cash withdrawal limit from ATM for current accounts to - Rs 100000

• Election Commission recognised his faction as the Samajwadi Party and permitted it to use the name of the party and its symbol Bicycle - Akhilesh Yadav

• Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the market regulator of India, tightened the norms for mergers and amalgamation of an unlisted company with - a listed entity

• Union Government has empowered the Supreme Court-mandated Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) to enforce the Graded Response Action Plan to tackle air pollution in - Delhi-NCR

• Breaking a 3-month declining trend, wholesale inflation in December 2016 rose to -3.39 per cent

India becomes associate member of CERN.

Details :

India became an Associate member of CERN on Monday with the Indian government completing its internal approval procedures in respect of the agreement it had signed with CERN on November 21, 2016.

As an Associate member India will have full access to all data generated at CERN.

India can take part in meetings of the CERN Council and its committees (Scientific Policy Committee and Finance Committee). 

 Indian scientists will become eligible for staff appointments, it will enhance the participation of young scientists and engineers in operation and maintenance of various CERN projects.

The CERN convention was signed in 1953 by the 12 founding state. Currently, CERN has 22 member states.

Besides India, Turkey, Pakistan, Ukraine are Associate members and Serbia and Cyprus are associate members in the pre-stage to membership.

European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) as an organisation is world’s largest nuclear and particle physics laboratory. It is situated in North West suburbs of Geneva on France-Swiss Border. It was established in 1954.

http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/India-becomes-Associate-member-of-CERN/article17050579.ece

Railway Ministry unveils Mission 41K to save energy worth Rs 41,000 crore.

Details :

Union Railway Ministry  suresh prabhu has unveiled ‘Mission 41K’ to save Rs. 41,000 crore on the Indian Railways’ expenditure on energy consumption over the next 10 years.

This target of ‘Mission 41K will be achieved by taking a slew of measures which include moving 90% of traffic to electric traction over diesel from present 50% of the total rail traffic.

The railways  also aims to procure more and more electricity at cheaper rates through open market instead of sourcing it through DISCOMs. Thereby it hopes to save as much as 25% on its energy expenses.

New technologies are also being explored to bring down electric consumption and change the energy mix of Indian Railways.

In the 2016-17 Budget, Indian Railways already had set a target of generating 1000 MW of solar power and 200 MW of wind energy.

During 2014-2015 period, Indian Railways had consumed over 18.25 billion units of electrical energy for its traction and non-traction application for which it paid a total of Rs 12,635 crore. In the same period, for diesel traction it spent Rs 18,586 crore.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/transportation/railways/railways-on-a-mission-41k-to-save-energy-worth-rs-41000-crore/articleshow/56630062.cms

Ministry of Earth Sciences Commissions Higher Resolution Weather Prediction Model.

Details :

The Union Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) has commissioned a very high resolution (12 km) global deterministic weather prediction model for generating operational weather forecasts.

The model has been on trial since September 2016. It has shown significant improvements in skill of daily weather forecasts. This model has been made operational from January 16, 2017.  

The present model replaces the earlier version which had a horizontal resolution of 25 km.

 It was very helpful, especially in predicting the track and the intensity of the recent Very Severe Cyclonic Storm Vardah and the cold wave over the northern parts of India.

MoES’s operational Ensemble Prediction System (EPS) will also be upgraded to 12 km. For this the High Performance Computing (HPC) system resources available with MoES is to be augmented to 10 Peta Flops from the current 1.2 Peta Flops. 

The latest model replaces the earlier version that had a horizontal resolution of 25 km.

The EPS was adopted to overcome problem of uncertainties in the forecasts. It involves the generation of multiple forecasts using slightly varying initial conditions.

The EPS also help generate probabilistic forecasts and quantify the uncertainties. 

MoES provides climate, weather and hydrological services to various users round the year and 24/7. Both operational and research aspects for these services are implemented through India Meteorological Department (IMD), Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF), and Indian National Centre for Ocean Information System (INCOIS).

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=157373

Cabinet approves Trade Agreement negotiations with Peru.

Details :

The Union Cabinet has approved holding negotiations for Trade Agreement with Peru on trade in goods, services and investment.

The trade agreement would be an important landmark in India-Peru relations and consolidate the traditional fraternal relation that have existed between India and LAC countries.

The salient features of the amendment are:

The applications will be received under the scheme upto 31st December 2018 or till such time that an incentive commitment of Rs 10,000 crore is reached, whichever is earlier. In case the incentive commitment of Rs 10,000 crore is reached, a review will be held to decide further financial commitments.

 For new approvals, the incentive under the scheme will be available from the date of approval of a project and not from the date of receipt of application.

 The incentives will be available for investments made within 5 years from the date of approval of the project.

 Approvals will normally be accorded to eligible applications within 120 days of submission of the complete application.

 A unit receiving incentives under the scheme, will provide an undertaking to remain in commercial production for a period of at least 3 years.

 The Appraisal Committee recommending approval of project will be chaired by Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and IT.

 A separate Committee headed by Cabinet Secretary and comprising of CEO, NITI Aayog, Secretary Expenditure and Secretary, MeitY will be set up in respect of mega projects, envisaging more than Rs. 6850 crore (approx. USD 1 Billion) investments.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-cm/cabinet-approves-trade-agreement-negotiations-with-peru-117011800724_1.html

Cabinet approves India’s Membership in the International Vaccine Institute (IVI), South Korea.

Details :

The Union Cabinet has given its approval to the proposal for India’s taking full membership of the International Vaccine Institute (IVI) Governing Council.

This decision involves payment of annual contribution of US $5,00,000 to the IVI (headquartered in Seoul, South Korea).

Background

International Vaccine Institute (IVI), Seoul, South Korea, established in 1997 on the initiatives of the UNDP, is an international organization devoted to developing and introducing new and improved vaccines to protect the people, especially children, against deadly infectious diseases.

In the year 2007, with the approval of Cabinet, India joined IVI. India is a long-term collaborator and stake-holder of IVI. In December, 2012 the Board of Trustees (BOT) of IVI approved the formation of its new governance structure.

As per the new governance structure of IVI, a member State has to contribute to the IVI by paying a portion of its core budget.

Since India is classified in Group-I, it has to pay an annual contribution of US $ 50,000. 

Second Raisina Dialogue held in New Delhi.

Details :

The second edition of Ministry of External Affairs’ annual Raisina Dialogue was held in New Delhi.

It was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and was attended by delegates from 65 countries.

More than 250 representatives of 65 nations are participating in the second Raisina Dialogue.

With a theme of "New Normal: Multi-lateralism with Multi-Polarity".

The meet is focussing on deliberate on strategic issues including new challenges and cyber security. 

Raisina Dialogue is an annual conference held in New Delhi. It is envisioned to be India’s flagship conference of geopolitics and geo-economics.

Manipur’s Karang is India’s first cashless island.

Details :

Karang, a small lake island in Manipur, has become the country’s first cashless island.

The Union ministry of electronics and information technology under its Digital India programme announced Karang as the first cashless island in India

The Karang island is located in the middle of Loktak, the largest freshwater lake in Northeast India.

Akodara, a village in Gujarat, had attained the unique status to be India’s first digital village in 2015.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/manipur-s-karang-is-india-s-first-cashless-island/story-XO4w0Uqso5dMtLrCvSEYqK.html

58th India International Garment Fair begins in New Delhi

Details :

The 58th edition of India International Garment Fair (IIGF) began in New Delhi.

It is organized by Apparel Export Promotion Council India (AEPCI). 

The event is one of the largest and most popular platforms in Asia, from which overseas garment buyers can source products and forge business relationships with India's finest players in the apparel and fashion accessories domain.

A total of 312 participants from 14 states are participating in the Fair.

The India International Garment Fair was started in 1988.

The objective of the event is to showcase the latest trends in garment and fashion accessories and to leverage brand India across the globe.

The major participating states are Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Gujarat and Karnataka.

Karnataka allows sale of kerosene in open market.

Details :

The Karnataka government has decided to allow the sale of white kerosene in open market.

State Food and Civil Supplies Minister UT Khader stated that the government has issued an order this effect.

Those interested in selling white kerosene in open market can approach the office of the Food and Civil Supplies in their districts.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/national/karnataka-allows-sale-of-kerosene-in-open-market/article9485562.ece

India ranked 78th in global ‘Passport Index’:.

Details :

India ranked low at 78th position on the recently released global Passport Index 2017 with a visa-free score of 46. 

Ranking  is  based on the number of nations their citizens can visit without a visa or on arrival.

Germany ranked no.1 in 2017 Passport Index with a visa-free score of 157 followed by Singapore with a visa-free score of 156.

Afghanistan’s is the least powerful passport with a visa-free score of just 23.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/germany-tops-global-passport-index-india-ranks-78th/story-l3lioLoGWpHh0dsovjIiNL.html

Antonio Tajani is the new president of the European Parliament.

Details :

Italian conservative Antonio Tajani has been elected the new president of the European Parliament.

He defeated another Italian, Gianni Pitella, and will take over from Germany's Martin Schulz.

Mr Tajani secured 351 votes, against 282 for Mr Pittella, a socialist. The contest ran to the maximum four rounds.

He was one of the fourteen vice-presidents of the European Parliament and the European Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship, and was also one of the vice-presidents of the European Commission.

Kapil Dev inducted into Legends Club 'Hall of Fame'.

Details :

Former Indian cricketer, Kapil Dev Ramlal Nikhanj (Kapil Dev) has been inducted into Legends Club "Hall of Fame".

He was presented with a citation by former India player and Legends Club President Madhav Apte. Kapil Dev had led India to the emphatic World Cup victory in 1983, is considered as the country’s greatest all-rounder. 

Gavaskar, who was the first batsman to score 10,000 runs in Test cricket, was also presented a citation by Wadekar. He was already inducted into the club's Hall of Fame on July 11, 2013.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sports/cricket/news/kapil-dev-inducted-into-legends-club-hall-of-fame/articleshow/56630909.cms

Yes Bank launches customisable savings account.

Details :

YES Bank  have launched the industry’s first customisable savings account which will protect customers from “unwanted charges” levied in current offerings.

YES bank has become the first bank in India to launch such type of account that enables the customer to choose various features of a savings accounts that suits one’s own lifestyle.

Customers can choose from options like debit cards, alternatives to minimum balance requirements, and banking benefits such as ATM usage, digital banking products, branch banking and family grouping.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/money-and-banking/yes-bank-launches-customisable-savings-account/article9485302.ece

Yes Bank launches business accelerator program ‘Yes Fintech’.

Details :

Yes Bank  has launched ‘Yes Fintech’, a business accelerator program in collaboration with T-Hub a startup incubator set up by the Telangana government and Anthill (a speed scaling platform for early growth stage start-ups.)

BSNL launches mobile TV service Ditto TV.

Details :

State-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL)  announced mobile TV service ‘Ditto TV’.

BSNL also launched limited fixed mobile telephony, an app that virtually turns mobiles into cordless phone working in sync with landline phones,  within home premises.

Ditto TV is a mobile TV service wherein subscribers can view live TV for over 80 channels including HD channels.

The service has multiscreen option as it can be viewed on both iOS and Android devices, that is, mobile, tablet, TV or on PC.

UNESCO recognises sitalpati or cool mat from Cooch Behar district as 'intangible cultural heritage'.

Details :

Sitalpati or cool mat from Cooch Behar district has been recognised as an "intangible cultural heritage" by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

The Sitalpati are the mats that are used for siting or hanging on the doors or windows during summer season. 

They are made up of weaved green cane slips of murta plants widely found in the region. 

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/unesco-recognises-sitalpati-or-cool-mat-from-cooch-behar-district-as-intangible-cultural-heritage/articleshow/56623350.cms

Jan. 17, 2017

Richest 1% own 58% of total wealth in India: Oxfam.

Details :

According to study conducted by rights group Oxfam, India’s richest 1% now hold a huge 58% of the country’s total wealth, indicating rise income inequality. It is higher than the global figure of about 50%.

It shows that 57 billionaires in India now have same wealth ($216 billion) as that of the bottom 70% population of the country. Globally, just 8 billionaires have the wealth as the poorest 50 % of the world population.

 In India:

There are 84 billionaires  with a collective wealth of $248 billion.

The list is led by Reliance Industries’ Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani ($19.3 billion), Sun Pharma Managing Director Dilip Shanghvi ($16.7 billion) and Wipro’s Azim Premji ($15 billion). 

http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/time-to-end-tax-havens-richest-1-own-58-of-india-s-total-wealth-117011600158_1.html

Panel recommends reservation for girl students in IITs.

Details :

A panel has recommended reservation for girl students in IITs to address the issue of slump in number of female students entering the prestigious institutes.

The recommendation of the committee will be taken up in the meeting of the joint admission board (JAB) for a final decision, which will decide whether the reservation will come in effect from this year or from 2018.

A sub-committee under the chairmanship of professor Timothy Gonsalves was formed to find ways to rectify the situation in the institutes.

 It was learnt that there has been a 2% dip in the number of girls who cleared JEE-Advanced in 2016 as compared to 2015. 

The committee has suggested creating up to 20% supernumerary seats for girls out of the total number of seats. But only candidates who have already qualified in JEE-Advanced will be considered.

The number of seats for male candidates will not be affected and this will help IITs achieve the 1 lakh target by 2020. 

http://www.hindustantimes.com/education/reservations-for-female-students-in-iits-could-soon-be-a-reality/story-FxBUmOE3AMbedw3xW51wBL.html

IMF cuts India's growth rate to 6.6% from 7.6%.

Details :

International Monetary Fund (IMF) has cut India’s growth rate for the fiscal year 2016–17 to 6.6% from its previous estimate of 7.6%.

It is due to the "temporary negative consumption shock" of demonetisation.

India’s growth by 1% point in the FY2017 and 0.4% point in FY2018, compared with IMF’s earlier projections.

Global economic activity will pick up pace in FY17 and FY18, especially in emerging markets and developing economies. Global growth is forecast at 3.4% in FY17 against 3.1% in FY16.


http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/indicators/imf-cuts-indias-growth-rate-to-6-6-due-to-note-ban/articleshow/56601116.cms

Environment Ministry notifies Graded Response Action Plan to combat air pollution in NCR.

Details :
The Union Ministry of Environment  has notified the Graded Response Action Plan to combat air pollution in NCR Delhi region.
Environment Ministry in its notification assigned the task to implement the plan to Environment Pollution Control and Prevention Authority (EPCA) under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.
The Delhi specific comprehensive action plan was prepared by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and was submitted to the Supreme Court in December 2016. The court had accepted the plan and asked the Union Government to notify it.
Based on the air quality the grades have been classified as Emergency, Severe, Very Poor and Moderate poor.
It will be enforced by Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA).
Once the plan is notified, emergency measures like odd-even car rationing scheme and ban on construction activities will be automatically enforced in the city if level of PM 2.5 breaches 300 micrograms per cubic metre and PM 10 levels stay above 500 micrograms per cubic metre for two consecutive days.
The prescribed standards of PM 2.5 and PM 10 are 60 and 100 micrograms per cubic metre respectively.
The plan also recommends that during 'very poor' air quality, diesel generators must be banned and parking free increased by 3-4 times.
The plan has enumerated a number of other measures which include closing brick kilns, hot mix plants, stone crushers, intensifying public transport services besides increase in frequency of mechanised cleaning of road and sprinkling of water on roads.

India ranks 60th in Inclusive Development Index.

Details :

India ranked 60th among the 79 developing countries in 2017 Inclusive Development Index (IDI) released in World Economic Forum’s (WEF) ‘Inclusive Growth and Development Report’ 2017.

neighbouring nations are ahead in the rankings. China is ranked at the 15th position, Nepal (27th), Bangladesh (36th) and Pakistan (52nd).

BRIC nations, Russia and Brazil, are at 13th and 30th places, respectively.

Top 10 developing economies in 2017 IDI: Lithuania (1st), Azerbaijan (2nd), Hungary (3rd), Poland (4th), Romania (5th), Uruguay (6th), Latvia (7th), Panama (8th), Costa Rica (9th) and Chile (10th).

Top 10 advance economies in 2017 IDI: Norway (1st), Luxembourg (2nd), Switzerland (3th), Iceland (4th) and Denmark (5th), (6th), Netherlands (7th), Australia (8th), New Zealand (9th) and Austria (10th).

IDI scores are based on a scale of 1-7. Advanced and developing economy IDI scores are not strictly comparable due to different definitions of poverty.

http://www.dnaindia.com/money/report-india-ranks-60th-in-inclusive-development-index-below-china-pakistan-2293166

India ranks 92nd in 2017 Global Talent Index.

Details :

India was ranked 92nd among 118 countries in the 2017 Global index of talent competitiveness (GTI) list. Last year, India came in at 89th on the index.

The measures are how countries grow, attract and retain talent.

Top 10 Countries:

Switzerland (1st), Singapore (2nd), United Kingdom (3rd), United States (4th), Sweden (5th), Australia (6th), Luxembourg (7th), Denmark (8th), Finland (9th) and Norway (10th).

BRICS Countries:

India’s ranking is worst among the five BRICS countries. China (54th), Russia (56th), South Africa (67th) and Brazil (81st).

The report noted that the BRICS countries are not getting stronger and both China and India have slipped from their year-ago rankings.

India stood on a relatively solid pool of global knowledge skills compared with other emerging markets, the country is not able to retain and attract talent.

The top 10 global cities in terms of talent competitiveness include Zurich, Helsinki, San Francisco, Gothenburg, Madrid, Paris, Los Angeles, Eindhoven and Dublin.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/india-slips-3-places-to-92nd-rank-on-global-talent-competitiveness-117011600516_1.html

Farrukh Amonatov wins Delhi International Chess meet.

Details :

Top seeded Grandmaster Farrukh Amonatov of Tajikistan won the 15th edition of the Delhi International Chess tournament.

In the 10th and final round, Farrukh settled for a draw with Grandmaster Diptayan Ghosh of India.

Scoring 8.5 points out of a possible ten, Amanotov stayed a half point ahead of Ghosh and Dzhumaev Marat of Uzbekistan, who both tied for the second spot on eight points.

But Ghosh was declared the runners-up based on his better tiebreak.

China's Zhou Youguang, father of Pinyin writing system, dies aged 111.

Details :

Chinese linguist Zhou Youguang, who created the writing system that turns Chinese characters into words using letters from the Roman alphabet, has died aged 111.

Mr Zhou and a Communist party committee spent three years developing the Pinyin system in the 1950s.

It changed the way the language was taught and helped raise literacy rates.

Mr Zhou, who was born in 1906 during the Qing Dynasty, later became a fierce critic of China's communist rulers.

Gita Sen passes away.

Details :

Veteran film and stage actor Gita Sen, wife of film maker Mrinal Sen passed away in Kolkata. She was 86.

She was known for her excellent portrayal of character roles. She had acted in a number of films including “Chorus”, “Calcutta 71”, “Kharij”, “Akaler Sandhane”, “Ekdin Pratidin” and “Khandahar”. She also was part of the theatre movement.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/gita-sen-passes-away-117011700017_1.html

Gene Cernan, last man to walk on Moon, dies aged 82.

Details :

US astronaut Gene Cernan (the last man to walk on the Moon) has died aged 82.

Captain Cernan was one of only three people to go to the Moon twice and the last man to leave a footprint on the lunar surface in 1972.

He was the commander of the Apollo 17 mission at the time.

Jan. 16, 2017

Facebook to roll out fake news tools in Germany.

Details :

The world’s largest social network Facebook is going to introduce new tools in Germany to help combat the spread of fabricated news stories.

It would enable German users to flag potentially false stories. The stories will then be passed to third-party fact-checkers and if found to be unreliable, will be marked in users' news feeds as "disputed".

One China policy is non-negotiable: China.

Details :

China made it clear that the 'One China' policy is "non-negotiable" and "no one can change it".

China’s reaction came following US President-elect Donald Trump’s statement that the US policy on Taiwan is up for negotiation and that he is not fully committed to it.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/international/one-china-policy-is-non-negotiable-china-tells-trump-117011500162_1.html

China hands over two ships to Pakistan Navy for Gwadar Port security.

Details :

China has handed over two ships to Pakistan Navy to ensure joint security of the trade route along the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and the Gwadar port.

These ships have been named as Hingol and Basol, after two rivers near Gwadar.

The Chinese government will be providing two more ships to Pakistan Navy, named Dasht and Zhob .

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/china-hands-over-2-ships-to-pak-navy-to-secure-gwadar-port/story-jTYPQRLhQdY6AlRpmIWHXL.html

BSF launches operation 'Sard Hawa' at Rajasthan border.

Details :

The Border Security Force (BSF) has launched operation Sard Hawa at the western international border of Rajasthan to check the instances of infilteration due to the dense fog in the area.

The operation will continue till January 28.

The purpose of the operation is to keep a hawk's eye on the international border, where vigil has been beefed-up and officers have also been asked to be part of operation to motivate jawans.

Former Punjab Chief Minister Surjit Singh Barnala passes away, aged 91

Details :

Former Punjab Chief Minister Surjit Singh Barnala passed away in Chandigarh. He was 91.

Barnala served as Punjab's Chief Minister from 1985 to 1987. He took over reins of the state when militancy was at its peak in the mid-80s,

He had served Agriculture Minister at the Centre in the Moraji Desai government and Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Cabinet. He also had served as Governor of Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand and Andhra Pradesh and also held additional charge of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/former-punjab-chief-minister-surjit-singh-barnala-passes-away-aged-91/articleshow/56538368.cms

Sony Pictures enters Hindi film music space with Sony ROX HD.

Details :

Sony Pictures Networks India has entered the Hindi film music space with the launch of Sony ROX HD. 

Sony ROX HD showcases the latest Hindi film music in high definition visual format of 1080i resolution that is enhanced by Dolby Audio.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/companies/sony-pictures-enters-hindi-film-music-space-with-sony-rox-hd/article9482577.ece

Social activist Mangal Negi passes away.

Details :

Noted political and social activist and president of All India Tribes and Minorities Front Mangal Singh Negi passed away in Chandigarh. He was 86.

He was Born in tribal Kinnaur district in Himachal Pradesh and later settled in Shimla, Negi was a versatile genius with a vast knowledge of the Constitution and was a crusader of rights of tribals and minorities.

He was one of the first civil servants from the tribal region of Himachal Pradesh who served in various senior positions in the governments of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir and at the Centre, including on the Constitutional post of Deputy Commissioner for Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes.

He also served as an advisor to the Asian Bureau of Indigenous People from 2005 to 2010 and was the senior vice president of Lok Dal and vice president of Himachal Pradesh unit of Janata Dal from 1988 to 1992.

Negi has authored five books on Buddhist philosophy, Tibetan culture, Indian polity and Tribal history. Two of his books are under publication.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/social-activist-mangal-negi-passes-away-4473093/

WPI inflation rises to 3.39% in December 2016.

Details :

The Wholesale Price Index (WPI)-based inflation for December rose to 3.39% from 3.15 % in November, with rising prices of petrol and diesel. In December 2015, WPI inflation was a negative (-) 1.06 %.

According to Commerce Ministry data, overall wholesale food inflation fell to minus 0.7% in December 2016, from 1.54% in November. But inflation in manufactured articles rose to 3.67% in December, from 3.2% in November.

This rise in the December WPI is in contrast to a marginal deceleration of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the month.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/wpi-inflation-rises-to-3-39-in-december-2016-117011601125_1.html

Important Updates - 16 Jan

Details :

• The team that won the 2016-2017 Ranji Trophy is - Gujarat

• Former Punjab CM Surjit Singh Barnala passed away recently. He had also served as the Governor of - Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Uttarakhand

• The author of the book titled ‘Jinnah Often Came to Our House,’ which was recently awarded with The Hindu Prize 2016, is - Kiran Doshi

• The Army Day is celebrated in India on - 15 January

• Digital Dakiya scheme inaugurated in Madhya Pradesh to - encourage cashless transactions

• It is in this city the first ever Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union Dance festival was held – Hyderabad

• Australian Open 2017 tennis tournament began in – Melbourne

• Adoption Regulations, 2017 were notified by the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development to replace the - Guidelines Governing Adoption of Children 2015

• It is with this country India signed an agreement for collaboration in third world countries – The USA

• The World Employment and Social Outlook – Trends 2017 was released by – International Labour Organisation

• The Commerce Ministry launched a mobile app named SEZ India under its broader - e-Governance initiative

• The film bagged the best film award at the 62nd Filmfare awards – Dangal

• This actor won the best actor award at the 62nd Filmfare awards – Aamir Khan for Dangal

• This actress bagged the 62nd Filmfare awards – Alia Bhatt for film Udta Punjab

• This film bagged the best film award in Critics award category at the 62nd Filmfare awards - Neerja

• He/they bagged the best actor (male) in Critics award category at the 62nd Filmfare awards - Manoj Bajpayee and Shahid Kapoor

• She bagged the best actor (female) in Critics award category at the 62nd Filmfare awards - Sonam Kapoor

• SpaceX, the American rocket company, on 14 January 2017 launched a Falcon 9 vehicle into space with 10 satellites of – Iridium, a global leader in mobile voice and data satellite communications

• A major international conference is being held in the French capital, Paris to try to kick-start peace talks between - Israel and the Palestinians

Jan. 15, 2017

62nd Filmfare Awards 2017: Complete winners list.

Details :

62nd Filmfare Awards ceremony, presented by the Filmfare magazine, honored the best films of 2016. 

Here is the complete list of those who won big at the 62nd Jio Filmfare Awards 2017.

Best Actor (Male): Aamir Khan for 'Dangal'

Best Actor (Female): Alia Bhatt for 'Udta Punjab'

Best Film: 'Dangal'

Best Director: Nitesh Tiwari for 'Dangal'

Filmfare Critics Award for Best Film: 'Neerja'

Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor (Male): Shahid Kapoor for 'Udta Punjab' and Manoj Bajpayee for 'Aligarh'

Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor (Female): Sonam Kapoor for 'Neerja'

Best Actor (Male) in a Short Film: Manoj Bajpayee for 'Taandav'

Best Short Film People's Choice: Khamakha

Best Short Film (Fiction): 'Chutney'

Best Short Film (Non-fiction): 'Matitali Kusti'

Best Actor (Female) in a Short Film: Tisca Chopra for 'Chutney'

Best Debut Director: Ashwini Iyer Tiwari for 'Nil Battey Sannata'

Best Male Debut: Diljit Dosanjh for 'Udta Punjab'

Best Female Debut: Ritika Singh for 'Saala Khadoos'

Best Dialogue: Ritesh Shah for 'Pink'

Best Screenplay: Shakun Batra and Ayesha Devitre Dhillon for 'Kapoor & Sons (Since 1921)'

Best Story: Shakun Batra and Ayesha Devitre Dhillon for 'Kapoor & Sons (Since 1921)'

Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Male): Rishi Kapoor for 'Kapoor & Sons (Since 1921)'

Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Female): Shabana Azmi for 'Neerja'

Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award: Shatrughan Sinha

Best Music Album: Pritam for 'Ae Dil Hai Mushkil'

Best Lyricist: Amitabh Bhattacharya for 'Channa Mereya' from 'Ae Dil Hai Mushkil'

Best Playback Singer (Male): Arijit Singh for 'Ae dil hai mushkil' from 'Ae Dil Hai Mushkil'

Best Playback Singer (Female): Neha Bhasin for 'Jag Ghoomeya' from 'Sultan'

Filmfare RD Burman Award for New Music Talent: Amit Mishra for 'Bulleya' from 'Ae Dil Hai Mushkil'

Best Visual Effects: Red Chillies for 'Fan'

Best Editing: Monisha Baldawa for 'Neerja'

Best Costume: Payal Saluja for 'Udta Punjab'

Best Action: Shyam Kaushal for 'Dangal'

Best Background Score: Sameer Uddin for 'Kapoor & Sons (Since 1921)'

Best Choreography: Adil Shaikh for 'Kar Gayi Chull' in 'Kapoor & Sons (Since 1921)'

Best Cinematography: Mitesh Mirchandani for 'Neerja'

About FilmFare Awards:

The Filmfare Awards are presented annually by The Times Group to honour both artistic and technical excellence of professionals in the Hindi language film industry of India. The Filmfare ceremony is one of the oldest film events in India.The awards were first introduced in 1954, the same year as the National Film Awards. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filmfare_Awards

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/62nd_Filmfare_Awards

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/hindi/bollywood/news/62nd-filmfare-awards-2017-winners-list/articleshow/56541241.cms


Credits: Hari kannan 

Issue of bringing water into concurrent list being discussed with States.

Details :

The Union Government is discussing the issue of bringing water into concurrent list with States. 

 It was announced by Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti after inaugurating the Jal Manthan-III in New Delhi.

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=157319

1st edition of ABU International Television Dance Festival held in Hyderabad.

Details :

The first edition of Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) International Television Dance Festival was held in Hyderabad.

Maldives, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Uzbekistan, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Fiji and Indonesia are among the participating countries. 

Asia- Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) was established in 1964 to assist the development of broadcasting in the region. 

Indian pepper may be a cancer fighter.

Details :

 According to a new study, the Indian long pepper, widely popular for spicing up food, may soon be used as a potential cancer treatment drug.

The Indian long pepper contains a chemical called Piperlongumine (PL) that could stop your body from producing an enzyme that is commonly found in tumours in large numbers.

It has shown activity against many cancers including prostate, lung, breast, colon, leukaemia, lymphoma, primary brain tumours and gastric cancer.

http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/health/Indian-pepper-may-be-a-cancer-fighter/article17037628.ece

US lifts 20-year economic embargo on Sudan.

Details :

The United States of America (US) has announced the end of a 20-year economic embargo on Sudan by lifting trade and financial sanctions.

The announcement made by outgoing President Barack Obama's administration comes after an executive order to permanently repeal a range of sanctions as a result of Sudan's efforts to improve security in the region.

For the first time in two decades, Sudan will be able to receive imported goods and services from the US, as authorised by the US Department of the Treasury.

The lift will also release frozen Sudanese property and assets held in the US, and permits the trade with the oil and gas industry in Sudan.

Australia, Japan agree to boost defence ties.

Details :

Leaders of Australia and Japan have agreed to boost cooperation between their militaries.

In this regard, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Australian counterpart Malcolm Turnbull signed an upgraded defence agreement after talks in Sydney on trade and regional security issues. 

The pact would allow their militaries to provide each other with logistical support during exercises, and are working toward an agreement that would make it easier to participate in joint military exercises. 

Both countries also agreed to enhance their coordination on activity in the disputed South China Sea and the nuclear threat posed by North Korea. 

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/defence/australia-japan-boost-defense-ties-amid-chinas-growing-military-might/articleshow/56537524.cms

Ecuador takes chair of UN group of 134 developing countries.

Details :

Ecuador has taken over from Thailand as chair of the Group of 77 (G77) countries of the United Nations for the year 2017. 

It promotes the interests of the 134 developing countries it represents at the United Nations, including China.

Two-day camel festival begins in Bikaner.

Details :

The two-day annual camel festival has began in Bikaner.

The event organised by the Rajasthan Tourism Department and the Bikaner district administration.

The festival, dedicated to the ship of the desert, will see camel dance, milking and fur cutting design competitions and camel races. 

15th January - Army Day.

Details :

The 69th Indian Army Day was observed on 15 January 2017.

On this day in 1949, Lt. General (later Field Marshal) Kodandera Madappa Cariappa became the first Indian Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army (of the independent India).

He had succeeded British Army General Roy Butcher (last British Commander-in-Chief of India). 

The day is celebrated in the form of parades and other military shows in the national capital New Delhi as well as in all headquarters.

Army Day marks a day to salute the valiant soldiers who sacrificed their lives to protect the country and the people living in it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Army_Day_(India)

SBI in pact with Oman's SGRF.

Details :

State General Reserve Fund of Oman (SGRF), a Sovereign Wealth Fund and the State Bank of India will infuse $150 million and $50 million respectively in private equity fund Oman India Joint Investment Fund (OIJIF).

OIJIF Fund II is targeting a corpus of $300 million by 2017-end.

OIJIF will continue with its investment strategy of focussing on mid-market companies that are market leaders where it is able to deploy a combination of capital and experience to unlock the companies' true potential and spur growth.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/sbi-in-pact-with-oman-s-sgrf-to-invest-50-mn-in-oman-india-fund-117011300926_1.html

Sports minister Goel inaugurates Khelo India competitions.

Details :

The Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports Vijay Goel  inaugurated the Khelo India National-level competitions for various sports for Under-14 and Under-17 children.

The seven day Sports competitions are being organized by Sports Authority of India (SAI).

Khelo India competitions are being conducted not only to promote sports at grass-root level but also to help create sports infrastructure in the country.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sports/more-sports/others/sports-minister-goel-inaugurates-khelo-india-competitions/articleshow/56568147.cms

Alphonce Simbu and Bornes Kitur win 2017 Mumbai Marathon.

Details :

Tanzania's Alphonce Simbu won the men's elite full marathon event. (Simbu clocked 02:09:32)

Kenya's Bornes Kitur won the women's title at the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon. ( Bornes Kitur  clocked 02:29:02.)

Among the Indian Men, Kheta Ram won the race by clocking 2:19:51 followed by Bahadur Singh (2:19:57) and T H Sanjith Luwang (2:21:19).

Among Indian women, Maharashtra’s Jyoti Gawte won the race by clocking 02:50:53 followed by West Bengal’s Shyamli Singh (3:08:41) and J&K’s Jigmet Dolma (3:14:38).

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/simbu-kitur-win-mumbai-marathon-117011500328_1.html

Gujarat becomes 16th team to win the Ranji Trophy.

Details :

Gujarat won its maiden Ranji Trophy title by defeating defending champion Mumbai.

They beat Mumbai by five wickets on Day 5 o f the Ranji Trophy final at Holkar Stadium in Indore.

http://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/Parthiv-guides-Gujarat-to-maiden-Ranji-title/article17040127.ece

Madhya Pradesh Government launches Digital Dakiya scheme.

Details :

Madhya Pradesh Government launched Digital Dakiya scheme to encourage cashless transactions.

It is first of its kind scheme in the country.

It was launched by State Finance Minister Jayant Malliya in Indore.

Under the scheme,  Digital Dakiya (Digital Postman) would visit door to door in both urban and rural areas to train households specially women and elderly people about digitized transactions.

Tamil Nadu Government launches mobile app Pinakin for Tourism.

Details :

Tamil Nadu Tourism Department has launched a mobile app ‘pinakin’ with information on tourism in Tamil Nadu with audio facilities.

The app will be in two languages Tamil and English.

It covers world heritage tourist sites like Mamallapuram, Thanjavur Big Temple, Gangaikonda Cholapuram and Darasuram.

The app can be downloaded free of cost from iStore or Playstore.


http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/A-new-mobile-app-for-tourists/article17037984.ece

Union Commerce Ministry launches SEZ India app.

Details :

The Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI) has launched a mobile application named “SEZ India” under its broader e-Governance initiative to help the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Units and Developers.

The app is available on Android Platform for use by SEZ Developers, Units, officials and others. The app has four sections i.e. SEZ Information, SEZ Online Transaction, Trade Information, and Contact details. 

1. SEZ INFORMATION:

This is a compendium of the SEZ Act, 2005, SEZ Rules, 2006, MOCI Circulars, details of SEZs and Units etc. It gives up to date comprehensive details on all the above aspects. 

2.TRADE INFORMATION:

This provision gives access to important information / tools such as Foreign Trade Policy, Hand Book of procedure , Duty Calculator , Customs & Excise Notification and MEIS Rates. 

3.CONTACT DETAILS:

We see that the contact details of all Development Commissioners Office, DGFT, DG System, DGCI & S and SEZ online. 

4. SEZ online Transaction:

This is a dynamic submenu that tracks the Bill of Entry / Shipping Bill processing status and also does verification. The app also helps the Importers / Exporters to track the status of 'Bill of Entry / Shipping Bill” integration and processing in the EDI system of the ICEGATE.

Jan. 14, 2017

भारत में पंचवर्षीय योजनाएँ:- Five Year Plans.

Details :

भारत में पंचवर्षीय योजनाएँ:- 
► 1 पंचवर्षीय योजना (1951-56) - कृषि की प्राथमिकता
► 2 पंचवर्षीय योजना (1956-61) - उद्योग क्षेत्र की
प्राथमिकता
► 3 पंचवर्षीय योजना (1961-66) - स्व रिलायंस
► 4 पंचवर्षीय योजना (1969-74) - न्याय के साथ गरीबी,
विकास का हटाया
► 5 वीं पंचवर्षीय योजना (1974-79) - गरीबी और आत्म
निर्भरता का हटाया
► 6 पंचवर्षीय योजना (1980-85) - 5 वीं योजना के रूप में में वही
जोर दिया
► 7 वीं पंचवर्षीय योजना (1985-90) - फूड प्रोडक्शन, रोजगार,
उत्पादकता
► 8 वीं पंचवर्षीय योजना (1992-97) - रोजगार सृजन, जनसंख्या
का नियंत्रण
► 9 वीं पंचवर्षीय योजना (1997-02) - 7 प्रतिशत की विकास
दर
► 10 वीं पंचवर्षीय योजना (2002-07) - स्व रोजगार और
संसाधनों और विकास
► 11 वीं पंचवर्षीय योजना (2007-12) - व्यापक और तेजी से
विकास
► 12 वीं पंचवर्षीय योजना (2012-17) - स्वास्थ्य, शिक्षा और
स्वच्छता

Banking Awareness

Details :

1. Which is the First Bank in India ?

Answer: Bank of Hindustan

2. Which is the first Bank managed byIndians ?

Answer: Oudh Commercial Bank

3. Which is the first bank started with Indian capital (Indian owned bank) ?

Answer: Punjab National Bank

4. Which is the first foreign Bank inIndia ?

Answer: HSBC

5. Which is the first bank to get ISO certificate ?

Answer: Canara Bank

6. Which is the first bank in India to start its branches outside India ?

Answer: Bank of India

7. Which is the first bank in India to introduce ATM ?

Answer: H.S.B.C bank

8. Which is the oldest public bank in India ?

Answer: Allahabad Bank

9. Which is the paper used for making Indian currency ?

Answer: Ra