Current Affairs

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

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: Rag

10. The currency of IMF is known as ?

Answer: SDR ( Special Drawing Rights )

11. Which is known as Artificial currency or Paper Gold ?

Answer: SDR

12. Which is the Biggest public bank in India ?

Answer: SBI

13. What was the old name of StateBank Of India ?

Answer: Imperial Bank of India

14. Which bank has the most branches in India ?

Answer: SBI

15. Which Committee recommended the formation of State Bank of India ?

Answer: Gorwala committee

16. Where is the headquarters of SBI ?

Answer: Mumbai

17. Which is the biggest commercial bank in India ?

Answer: State Bank of India

18. Who is the present Chairman of SBI ?

Answer: Arundhati Bhattacharya

19. Which is the largest private sector bank in~India ?

Answer: ICICI

20. Which is the first universal bank in India ?

Answer: ICICI

Banks and Their Taglines.

Details :

1. State Bank of India - Pure banking nothing else, with you all the way.

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


2. Bank Of Maharashtra - One family one bank.

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


3. Bank of Baroda - India's International Bank.

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


4. Allahabad Bank - A Tradition of trust.

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


5. IDBI Bank - Banking for all.

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


6. Dena Bank - Trusted Family Bank.

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


7. Punjab National Bank - The Name You Can Bank Upon.

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


8. UCO Bank - Honours Your Trust.

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


9. Indian Overseas Bank - Good People To Grow With.

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


10. Indian Bank - Your Tech-Friendly Bank.

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


11. Oriental Bank of Commerce - Where Every Individual Is Committed.



12. Bharatiya Mahila Bank - Empowering Women, Empowering India.

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


13. Punjab and Sind Bank - Where Service Is A Way Of Life.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punjab_%26_Sind_Bank


14.  Andhra Bank - For All Your Needs

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


15. Canara Bank - Much MoreE To Do With You In Focus.

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


16.  Central Bank of India - Central To You Since 1911.

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


17. Bank of India - Relationship Beyond Banking

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


18. Union Bank of India - Good People To Bank With

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


19. Axis Bank - Badhti Ka naam Zindagi.

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


20. HDFC Bank- We understand your world.

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


21. ICICI Bank- Hum Hai Na, Khyal Apka.

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


22. United Bank of India - The Bank that begins with “U”.

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


23. Vijaya Bank - A friend you can bank on.

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


24. Yes Bank - Experience our Expertise.

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


25. Karnataka Bank - Your Family Bank, Across India.

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

Books And Authors.

Details :

1. "The Walking Dead: A Continuing Story of Survival Horror"  -  Robert Kirkman


2.  "Dipa Karmakar: The Small Wonder" - Vimal Mohan, Digvijay Singh Deo and Dipa Karmakar’s coach Bishweshwar Nandi.


3.  "The Other One Percent: Indians in America" - Sanjoy Chakravorty and Devesh Kapur.


4.  "Many Everests: An Inspiring Journey of Transforming Dream Into Reality" - Ravindra Kumar .


5.  " Asura: Tale of the Vanquished: The Story of Ravana and His People" - Anand Neelakantan.


6. "Parijat" - Nasira Sharma.


7. "On the Front Line: The Collected Journalism" - Marie Colvin.


8. "Emperor Chandragupta" - Adity Kay.


9. "I am a troll" - Swati Chaturvedi.


10. "Watership Sown" - Richard Adams


11. "That thing called love" - Tuhin Sinha

India, US sign MoU for collaboration in third world countries.

Details :

India and the US have signed an MoU to collaborate in the fields of developmental activities and aid in third world countries.

The MoU was signed between the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and Union Ministry of External Affairs’ Development Partnership Administration (DPA).

The two countries would collaborate on exchange of information and experience in sectors or issues pertaining to project development or implementation in partner countries.

India and US might also provide advisory or technical assistance to third countries regarding sector policy reform, project and sector management, project implementation, and economic growth promotion strategies in relevant sectors.

Officials of both countries will conduct site visits to cross-border or other relevant projects and capacity building of partner countries.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-us-sign-mou-for-collaboration-in-third-world-countries-4473555/

CBDT inks Bilateral Advance Pricing Agreement.

Details :

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has entered into a Bilateral Advance Pricing Agreement (BAPA) on the with Indian subsidiary of a Japanese trading company.

Recently, the CBDT has also modified an existing Bilateral APA with another Indian subsidiary of a Japanese company to include rollback provisions. Thus, total three Bilateral APAs are now signed with Indian subsidiaries of Japanese companies all including rollbacks. The total number of bilateral APAs entered into by the CBDT is now eight.

The APA Scheme was introduced in the Income-tax Act in 2012 and the “Rollback” provisions were introduced in 2014.

Signing of bilateral APA is an important step towards ascertaining certainty in transfer pricing matters of multinational company cases and dispute resolution.

Under BAPA, certainty in tax treatment is provided for the next 5 years while rollback provides dispute redressal for a maximum of four past years preceding APA years.

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=157339

Unemployment in India to increase marginally in 2017-18: UN Report.

Details :

According to recently released World Employment and Social Outlook for 2017, that unemployment in India has been projected to increase from 17.7 million 2016 to 17.8 million in 2017 and 18 million in 2018. The unemployment rate will remain at 3.4 per cent in 2017-18.

The report was released by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) with projections based on econometric modelling carried out in November 2016.  The report has clubbed India in the category of emerging nations.

India performed slightly well in terms of job creation in 2016, as majority of the 13.4 million new employment were created.

The number of unemployed people in emerging countries is expected to increase by approximately 3.6 million between 2016 and 2017 (during which time the unemployment rate in emerging countries is expected to climb to 5.7 %, compared with 5.6 % in 2016)

The report noted that workers in Southern Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa have more than a 70 % chance of falling into vulnerable employment.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/unemployment-in-india-to-increase-marginally-in-2017-18-un-report/articleshow/56512962.cms

4th International Kite Festival begins in New Delhi.

Details :

The fourth International Kite Festival began in New Delhi.

Professional kite flying experts from across India and the globe are taking part in the three-day festival, which will have an exhibition on the history of kites as well.

A special kite making demonstration will also be organised where professional kite flyers will showcase their expertise and demonstrate the art of kite making.

Three Chinese weightlifters lose 2008 Beijing Olympic titles for doping.

Details :

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) had disqualified weightlifting gold medallists Cao Lei (75kg), Chen Xiexia (48 kg) and Liu Chunhong (69kg) from the Beijing Games after they tested positive for prohibited substances (Doping).

China faces a one-year ban from international weightlifting competitions after three of its athletes were stripped of their 2008 Olympic gold medals.

The IOC also disqualified five more athletes from both the Beijing and London 2012 Olympics.

http://indianexpress.com/article/sports/sport-others/three-chinese-weightlifters-lose-2008-olympic-titles-for-doping-4471489/

Former Congress minister Chhajed passes away.

Details :

Former Congress minister and mayor Chandrakant Chhajed (67) passed away in pune after a brief illness.

He served as Pune mayor in 1987-88 and was leader of the House in PMC from 1992 to 2002.

He was elected twice as MLA from Bopodi Assembly constituency in 1999 and 2004. Chhajed became minister for tourism in 2003.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/pune/former-congress-minister-chhajed-passes-away/articleshow/56529598.cms

Week-long Anand Utsav begins in MP.

Details :

A week-long Anand Utsav- Happiness Festival begins across Madhya Pradesh on the occasion of Makar Sankranti.

Madhya Pradesh is the first state in the country to set up Happiness Department. Anand Utsav is the first programme of this department.

The state government is also setting up "Anandam Kendras" at district headquarters.

Anand Utsav aims to provide happiness to the needy.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ani/week-long-anand-utsav-begins-in-mp-117011400178_1.html

Kerala's first solar-powered boat launched.

Details :

The Chief Minister of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan has inaugurated the first solar-powered boat of the state water transport department "Aditya" at a function held in Vaikom boat Jetty in Kerala.

The boat will do service between Vaikom and Thavanakkadavu.

The construction of the Rs 1.50-crore boat took nearly two years. The boat has a seating capacity of 75.

The boat was manufactured based on the studies conducted at the ship technology department of the Cochin University of Science and Technology (Cusat).

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kochi/keralas-first-solar-powered-boat-launched/articleshow/56512131.cms

William Peter Blatty, author of 'The Exorcist,' dies at 89.

Details :

Author and filmmaker William Peter Blatty, the best-selling novel and Oscar-winning movie "The Exorcist," has died.

He also wrote and directed the sequel The Exorcist III. Some of his other notable works are the novels Elsewhere (2009), Dimiter (2010) and Crazy (2010).

Blatty was born in New York City,[2] on January 7, 1928.

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

Car carrier service starts between Gujarat and Mangaluru.

Details :

The New Mangalore Port Trust (NMPT) has introduced Car carrier service between Gujarat and Mangaluru.

The pure car and truck carrier - MV Dresden sailed out to Cochin after discharging Tata Cars and loaded trucks at the port on Friday.

The vessel will be plying between Gujarat-Mangaluru-Kochi-Ennore. 

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mangaluru/car-carrier-service-starts-between-gujarat-and-mangaluru/articleshow/56520846.cms

Airtel rolls out payments bank, to invest Rs 3,000 crore.

Details :

Bharti Airtel will invest Rs 3,000 crore in its payments bank.

With it became the first payments bank in the county to start its nationwide operations.

The company launched Airtel Payments Bank services across 2,50,000 banking points in all the 29 states. 

It is joint venture between Bharti Airtel Ltd and Kotak Mahindra Bank 

Bharti Airtel owns 80 % of the payments bank unit, with Kotak Mahindra Bank holds 20 %.

It will offer annual interest of 7.25 % and an insurance cover of Rs 1 lakh, a hook that the company feels will help excite customers outside the Airtel brand as well to use the services. 

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/banking/finance/banking/airtel-payments-bank-launches-nationwide-operations/articleshow/56502339.cms

Jan. 13, 2017

Delhi declared free of bird flu.

Details :

National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi was declared free from bird flu (H5N8 avian influenza).

In October 2016, cases of mortality among the birds due to H5N8 avian influenza were reported in National Zoological Park, Delhi NCR.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-newdelhi/Delhi-declared-free-of-bird-flu/article17031919.ece

NGT orders inspection of bio-medical waste plants in Delhi.

Details :

The National Green Tribunal has directed inspection of the plants to treat such waste in the hospitals of the national capital and ensure their proper collection, segregation and disposal. 

The waste plants will be inspected by joint inspection team of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC).

The NGT also directed the team to report about the manner in which bio-medical waste was being handled by hospitals and the situation prevailing in medical institutions adversely affecting human health and environment. 

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/ngt-orders-inspection-of-bio-medical-waste-plants-in-delhi-117011100846_1.html

Govt Forms panel to look into Haj subsidy issue.

Details :

The centre has decided to set up a six-member committee to look into the Hajj subsidy issue.

Decision has been taken in light of a 2012 Supreme Court order on gradually reducing and abolishing subsidy given to pilgrims by 2022.

 The committee will look into whether giving subsidy has benefits or can pilgrims travel paying less if there no subsidy is offered.

The committee will engage all the stakeholders concerned before submitting its report.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/govt-forms-panel-to-look-into-haj-subsidy-issue-4471284/

Niti Aayog calls for review of RTE Act.

Details :

The Niti Aayog has called for a review of the provisions of the Right To Education Act that stipulate that children who don’t perform well cannot be held back up to class VIII.

The Right To Education (RTE) Act, which aims to provide primary education to all children aged 6-14 years, stipulates that no child can be held back in a grade, regardless of his performance, all the way up to the eight grade.

This means that a child is entitled to an eighth grade diploma even if he cannot recognise a single letter or a number if he has spent eight years in school.

The Aayog pointed out that the purpose behind this provision is to minimise the drop-out rate, since demoralisation resulting from failing a class leads to children withdrawing from school altogether.

However, despite good intention, the provision has a detrimental effect on learning outcomes, since it takes away the pressure to learn and to compete. So the NITI Aayog called revision of the RTE Act.

The education quality trend between 2010 and 2014 has been worsening instead of improving performance.

The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2014 report, the proportion of children aged 6-14 years enrolled in school in rural areas has been above 96% for the past six years but more than 50% of the 5th graders cannot read second standard level text.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Niti-Aayog-calls-for-review-of-RTE-Act/article17029895.ece

Central government employees to get Rs9000 minimum pension: Jitendra Singh.

Details :

The Government of India has increased the minimum monthly pension to 9,000 per person.

The exgratia amount for the employees has been increased from 10 -15 lakh to 25-35 lakh rupees

 There are about 50-55 lakh pensioners in the country,   almost 88% of pension accounts have been seeded to Aadhaar.

It was announced by union minister Jitendra Singh in the 29th meeting of the Standing Committee of Voluntary Agencies (Scova) in New Delhi.

Russia to ban cigarette sale to those born after 2015.

Details :

The Russian health ministry has unveiled plans to ban the sale of cigarettes to anyone born after 2015.

Russia the first country in the world to completely phase out tobacco.

The ban proposal, obtained by Russian newspaper Izvestia, will go into effect in 2033, when the affected Russian citizens (now babies) turn 18 years old.

The number of smokers in Russia dropped by 10% in 2016, according to Russian news agency Tass

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/russia-to-ban-cigarette-sale-to-those-born-after-2015/story-3uJjOJtATM9OZx5vls60aO.html

Japanese PM Shinzo Abe signs 1 trillion yen aid package to the Philippines.

Details :

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has signed a 1-trillion yen (about $8.7 billion) aid package to the Philippines over the next five years. 

It is meant to improve economic and political relations between the two island nations. The package is focused on infrastructure and energy.

https://sputniknews.com/asia/201701131049545148-japan-philippines-aid-package-deal/

Europe’s first underwater museum opens in Lanzarote.

Details :

Europe’s first underwater contemporary art museum, Museo Atlantico, is now open for public. Situated just off the coast of Lanzarote, in the Bahía de Las Coloradas, Canary Island in Spain.

People have to dive 12 meters underwater to experience the amazing world.

It exhibits 12 art installations and more than 300 life-size human figures, all crafted from high quality marine cement that guarantees to survive corrosive sea water for 300 years.

The museum is spread over a 2,500-square-metre area and is accessible to snorkellers and divers. It can also be observed through glass bottom boats with going into water.

http://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/art-and-culture/museo-atlantico-the-first-underwater-museum-in-europe-under-the-atlantic-ocean-just-opened-for-public-4471288/

Manish Tewari appointed senior fellow of US think tank.

Details :

Congress leader and former Union Minister Manish Tewari has been appointed senior fellow of US-based think tank Atlantic Council, headquartered in Washington DC.

TCS CEO N. Chandrasekaran appointed Tata Sons Chairman.

Details :

Tata Consultancy Services CEO Nataraja Chandrasekaran was named the new Chairman of Tata Sons, the holding company of the $103 billion Tata Group.

His appointment comes after the Tata sons removed Cyrus Mistry as the Chairman. 

N Chandrasekaran has been the CEO and Managing Director of Tata Consultancy Services since 2009. Since October 2016, he has also served on the board of Tata Sons.

Rajesh Gopinathan has been appointed TCS' new CEO.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/n-chandrasekaran-ceo-and-md-of-tata-consultancy-services-is-new-chairman-of-tata-sons/articleshow/56501228.cms

Citi India unveils voice biometrics authentication.

Details :

Citi Bank India has introduced voice biometrics authentication system for its phone banking clients. 

The technology allows clients to use their voiceprints for authentication rather than having to remember multiple PINs or respond to questions used for verifying identities

The voice biometrics authentication capability uses voiceprint, similar to fingerprint, which is unique for each person

The solution is fast, secure and convenient as verification is completed automatically within 15 seconds while clients speak to the (bank) official when they call CitiPhone Banking.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-business/Citi-India-unveils-voice-biometrics-authentication/article17020787.ece

Ashish Shelar appointed as MCA president.

Details :

Ashish Shelar has been appointed as Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) president.

Shelar takes over from the former ICC president and political heavyweight Sharad Pawar.

Shelar was elected as Vice President of Mumbai Cricket Association on 17 June 2015.

He is the president of Mumbai unit of Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP).

http://indianexpress.com/article/sports/cricket/ashish-shelar-appointed-as-mca-president-to-succeed-sharad-pawar-4471090/

Mahindra Asset Management launches new scheme.

Details :

Mahindra Asset Management Company Pvt. Ltd (MAMCPL) announced launch of Mahindra Mutual Fund Dhan Sanchay Yojna scheme. 

The scheme will close on January 24, 2017 and will open again for continuous sale and repurchase from February 8, 2017.

The scheme is for investors who seek to take a calculated exposure in both equity and debt wit a long-term investment outlook.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/mahindra-asset-management-launches-new-scheme-117011200869_1.html

NTPC inks pact to take over Chhabra Thermal Power Plant.

Details :

State-run NTPC has signed a non-binding agreement with Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Ltd and Rajasthan Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd for takeover of Chhabra Thermal Power Plant.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is to takeover four operational units of 250 MW capacity each and two other under-construction units of 660 MW capacity each at Chhabara Thermal Power Plant.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/ntpc-inks-pact-to-take-over-chhabra-thermal-power-plant-117011200268_1.html

Jan. 12, 2017

India, US sign MoU over cyber security.

Details :

India and the US have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for close cooperation and exchange of information pertaining to cyber security. 

The MoU between Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) and US CERT was signed by Electronics and IT Secretary Aruna Sundararajan and Richard Verma, the US Ambassador to India.

The MoU has been signed for the continuation to the cooperation in cyber security areas between both countries on the basis of equality, reciprocity and mutual benefit.

It intends to promote closer co-operation and the exchange of information pertaining to the Cyber Security in accordance with the relevant laws, rules and regulations of each economy.

Previously, the two countries had signed an MoU on July 19, 2011 to promote a closer cooperation and timely exchange of information between the organisations of their respective governments responsible for cybersecurity. 
Since, then regular interactions between CERT-In and US CERT are taking place to share the information and discuss cyber security related issues.

January 12 - National Youth Day.

Details :

National Youth Day is celebrated in India on 12 January on the birthday of Swami Vivekananda.

In 1984 the Government of India declared the day as the National Youth Day and since 1985 the event is celebrated in India every year.

Swami Vivekananda was born on 12th of January in the year 1863 in the Pausha Krishna Saptami tithi.

The theme this Festival was ‘Youth for Digital India’.

India, Kenya sign MoU on cooperation in agriculture sector.

Details :

India and Kenya have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the agriculture sector and allied sector and Line of Credit for $100 million for agricultural mechanisation.

The agreement was signed after delegation level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Kenyian President Uhuru Kenyatta in New Delhi.

This is the first state visit from Kenya to India, since 1981.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ani/india-kenya-sign-mou-on-cooperation-in-agriculture-sector-117011101007_1.html

Environment Ministry Invites Comments on Draft Notification for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Dog Breeding and Marketing) Rules, 2016 .

Details :

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has invited comments on the draft notification of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Dog Breeding and Marketing Rules), 2016.  

The objective of the Rules is to make dog breeders and their marketers accountable and to prevent infliction of any cruelty in this process. 

proposed Rules

 1. It will be mandatory for all dog breeders and the dog breeding establishments to register themselves with the State Animal Welfare Board of the respective State Governments.  

2.  It defines the breeding requirements/conditions for sale.

3.  It defines the requirements to be met by the breeders and the establishments used for breeding, or housing dogs, such as health-related requirements, housing facilities, manner of housing dogs, conditions for sale, breeding, micro-chipping, vaccination etc.

4.  An inspector authorised by the State Board can inspect the establishment.

5.   It is mandatory for dog breeders to maintain proper records of both male and female dogs, their breed, micro-chip number, number of litters, sale, purchase, death, rehabilitation etc.

6. Every dog breeder is required to submit yearly report to the State Board regarding animals sold, traded, bartered, brokered, given away, boarded or exhibited during previous year or any other information asked for by the State Board.

Violation of Rules:   Non-compliance of the proposed Rules will lead to cancellation of the registration of the dog breeder.

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=156258

Guided Pinaka successfully test fired.

Details :

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully test-fired the Pinaka Rocket converted to a Guided Pinaka from Launch Complex-III, ITR, Chandipur (Odisha).

The Guided Pinaka is developed jointly by ARDE Pune, RCI Hyderabad and DRDL Hyderabad.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/guided-pinaka-successfully-test-fired-at-odishas-chandipur/articleshow/56504656.cms

Second Scorpene class submarine INS Khanderi launched in Mumbai.

Details :

INS Khanderi, second of the Scorpene class submarine, was launched at the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) in Mumbai.

Union Minister of State (MoS) for Defence Subhash Bhamre  launched the submarine. 

Khanderi is the second of the six submarines being built at MDL in collaboration with M/s DCNS of France, as part of Project 75 of Indian Navy. 

INS Khanderi is designed to operate in all theatres, including the tropics. All means and communications are provided to ensure interoperability with other components of a Naval Task Force.

It can undertake multifarious types of missions typically undertaken by any modern submarine such as anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence gathering, area surveillance, mine laying etc.

INS Khanderi is named after the Island fort of Maratha forces, which played a vital role in ensuring their supremacy at sea in the late 17th century.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/scorpene-kalvari-class-submarine-ins-khanderi-launched-mumbai-4470239/

Arunachal signs MoU with NDDB to promote dairy development.

Details :

Arunachal Pradesh has signed a MoU with National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), with a view to promoting the dairy sector and rural livelihoods.

It has been signed during the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2017.

NDDB will conduct a study related to milk production and consumption to identify areas of intervention, based on which it will prepare a road map in consultation with the State Government. A breeding policy will be prepared to enhance milch animal productivity.

 NDDB will help strengthen dairying and make it more meaningful and sustainable occupation for the milk producers of Arunachal Pradesh.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/national/nddb-inks-mou-with-arunachal-for-dairy-development/article9473708.ece

Pakistan to renovate Katas Raj temple.

Details :

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif visited the Katas Raj Hindu temple in Chakwal district of Punjab on to inaugurate its renovation.

The work includes installation of a water filtration plant in the Amrat Jal area.

The Katas Raj temple is revered by Hindus across the globe as legend has it that the foundation of the sacred site was laid by Lord Shiva. Pakistan Government says that the temple is over 5,000 years old and had been the focal point of four civilisations. Even it is said that Persian scholar and polymath Al-Biruni had computed the earth’s circumference from here.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/Pakistan-to-renovate-Katas-Raj-temple/article17024209.ece

World’s first gender literature fest to be held in Patna.

Details :

The world’s first ‘Gender Literature Festival’ will be held in Patna in the second week of April 2017.

It will organised by the Gender Resource Centre of Bihar’s Women Development Corporation.

The objective of this initiative is to create a platform to exchange ideas and to share and learn experiences of renowned people in the field of gender based literature.

The festival will also act as a platform to increase visibility for gender equity and advocacy in Bihar.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/World%E2%80%99s-first-gender-literature-fest-in-Patna/article17025447.ece

Jimmy Adams appointed new West Indies director.

Details :

Former batsman Jimmy Adams was named as the new director of West Indies cricket. 

He replaces Englishman Richard Pybus who had been in the position since November 2013.

http://indianexpress.com/article/sports/cricket/jimmy-adams-appointed-new-west-indies-director-4469196/

PR Sreejesh becomes member of FIH Athletes' Committee

Details :

The Indian hockey team captain PR Sreejesh became a member of International Hockey Federation (FIH) Athletes’ Committee.

FIH Athletes' Committee comprises a total of eight current and former hockey players who have the responsibility to act as a liaison between the FIH and the athletes and make sure the athletes have voice in the federation's decision making process.

Sreejesh' role will also cover seeking and providing feedback to the FIH on behalf of all athletes.

The Committee also gets to interact with the current Athletes' in a number of ways, including post-event surveys for the athletes and coaches to get direct feedbacks from the FIH events.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ani/pr-sreejesh-becomes-member-of-fih-athletes-committee-117011100694_1.html

Air India to reserve seats for women passengers.

Details :

National carrier Air India will reserve two rows or six seats for female commuters, With an intention to ensure the safety of woman passengers,

The six seats will be reserved in third row in the economy class of the aircraft for female passengers travelling alone. This will be done without charging any additional fee.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/in-a-first-air-india-to-reserve-seats-for-women-passengers-117011200454_1.html

Vikram Pawah appointed as President of BMW India.

Details :

German luxury carmaker BMW has appointed Vikram Pawah (45) as the President of India operations with effect from March 1, 2017. 

He has more than 25 years of international experience both in the automotive and non-automotive industry.

Most recently,he was the Managing Director of Harley-Davidson India. 

Pawah graduated in Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) from Delhi University and holds an MBA in International and Strategic Management from Victoria University in Melbourne. 

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/auto/news/vikram-pawah-appointed-as-president-of-bmw-group-india/articleshow/56446023.cms

Saudi Arabia hikes India's annual Haj quota by 34,500.

Details :

 Saudi Arabia today increased India's annual Haj quota by 34,500.

It is  the biggest hike in nearly three decades.

Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Saudi Arabia's Haj and Umrah Minister Dr Mohammad Saleh bin Taher Benten inked an agreement in this regard in Jeddah,  increasing the size of India's Haj quota from 1,36,020 to 1,70,520.

The latest increase in quota will be effective from the current year. 

The Saudi authorities had five years ago slashed quotas for foreign pilgrims coming from each country by 20 % in view of safety of the devotees as they undertook expansion of Grand Mosque there. 

Accordingly, India's quota was brought down to 1,36,020 from 1,70,000 in 2012.

Last year, a total of 1,35,903 devotees from India performed Haj. Of these, 99,903 devotees went to Jeddah through Haj Committee of India.

The remaining 36,000 pilgrims had proceeded through private operators.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/saudi-arabia-hikes-india-s-annual-haj-quota-by-34-500-117011101407_1.html

Lalu Prasad to get Rs 10,000 monthly JP Senani Samman pension.

Details :

Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad will be now getting a monthly pension of Rs 10,000 under JP Senani Samman Pension Scheme. 

As per the JP Senani Samman Yojna's rules, those who remained in jail for more than six months under the MISA and Defence of India Rules (DIR) during the Emergency from March 18, 1974, to March 21, 1977, would be entitled for a monthly pension of Rs 10,000.

And, those who served jail for less than six months including one month would be entitled for a monthly pension of Rs 5,000.

Lalu comes under the first category as he remained in jail for more than six months.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/patna/lalu-prasad-to-get-rs-10000-monthly-jp-senani-samman-pension/articleshow/56477791.cms

Tisca Chopra wins Best Actress Award for Chutney.

Details :

Actress Tisca Chopra named as Best Actress for Chutney at the Jio Filmfare Short Film Awards. 

This year, the 62nd Jio Filmfare Awards introduced a new category ‘Jio Filmfare Short Film Awards’, where among 45 nominations, Chutney bagged two awards.

It was also chosen as Best Film (Fiction). “Chutney” director Jyoti Kapur Das

http://indianexpress.com/article/entertainment/bollywood/tisca-chopra-wins-best-actress-award-for-chutney-4469459/

Jan. 11, 2017

Obama selects four Indian-Americans for presidential awards.

Details :

US President Barack Obama chose four Indian-American scientists for the highest honour.

The four are part of the list of 102 scientists and researchers who are recipients of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).

These scientists are Pankaj Lal from Montclair State University, Kaushik Chowdhury from Northeastern University, Manish Arora from Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Aradhna Tripati from University of California, Los Angeles.

Railway minister launches new IRCTC app to promote digital ticketing.

Details :

The Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu launched new passenger mobile application named ‘IRCTC Rail Connect app’ to promote ease of ticketing through digital transactions.

The new mobile-based application will replace the old existing IRCTC connect app.

The new application has features like 24/7 service with no time-based checks, synchronisation of mobile app with NGET (Next Generation e-Ticketing) for ticket booking.

It has simple and easy user interface and supports general, ladies, Tatkal and Premium-Tatkal quota.

The new application sports other features like advanced security of self-assigned PIN (Personal identification number) to login without entering the username and password on each login.

The new app will provide payment gateway to over 40 banks to facilitate payments through net Banking, credit or debit cards and wallets like Paytm, PayU, Mobikwik.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/railway-minister-launches-new-irctc-app-to-promote-digital-ticketing/story-bMGtbWB1tyjGLNNdZ3ZosL.html

PM Modi inaugurates India's first international stock exchange at Gift city.

Details :

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated India’s first international exchange India INX at the International Financial Service Centre (IFSC) of GIFT (Gujarat International Financial Tech) City Gandhinagar, Gujarat.

India International Exchange (INX), the wholly-owned subsidiary of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

It  will start trading initially in equity derivatives, currency derivatives, commodity derivatives including Index and Stocks. Subsequently, depository receipts and bonds would be offered once the required infrastructure for the same is in place.

The international exchange would work for 22 hours a day. It will start when Japan exchanges begin and close when US markets end. The exchange will work from sunrise to sunset.

250 trading members, including commodity and overseas brokers, have expressed interest to function from India INX.

India INX is one of the world's most advanced technology platforms with a turn-around time of 4 micro seconds.

It will operate for 22 hours a day to allow international investors and Non Residents Indians to trade from anywhere across the globe.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/modi-inaugurates-indias-first-international-stock-exchange-at-gift-city/articleshow/56424313.cms

Measles-rubella vaccine to roll out in February.

Details :

The Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare will roll out measles-rubella (MR) vaccine in the Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP) in February 2017.

The MR vaccine will be introduced in five states and Union territories viz. Goa, Karnataka, Lakshadweep, Puducherry and Tamil Nadu.

In addition, from March, Pneumococcal conjugate (pneumococcal pneumonia) vaccine will also become a part of the UIP basket in three other states.

Both the new vaccines will be launched by Health Minister J P Nadda in separate programmes

This vaccine will be introduced three years after the National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC) r recommended the introduction of the MR vaccine in the UIP.

The Pneumococcal conjugate (pneumococcal pneumonia) vaccine will be introduced in Himachal Pradesh and parts of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/measles-rubella-vaccine-to-roll-out-in-february-4467248/

Telangana to Host International Kite Festival from January 12.

Details :

The second international kite festival coinciding with the 'Makar Sankranti' fest would be held for six days from January 12 in Hyderabad and two other districts in Telangana.

The event is committed to a social cause of raising awareness about the importance of education and empowerment of girl children and expects a footfall of around 50,000 visitors.

Festival will have participation from 17 countries with 70 international and 40 national kite flyers.

http://www.news18.com/news/travel/telangana-to-host-international-kite-festival-from-january-12-1334445.html

Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards-2017.

Details :

The 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas celebrations are being held in Bangalore from January 7-9,2017.

PBD conventions are being held every year since 2003 and we have been honoring our Pravasis since the first edition.

President Pranab Mukherjee conferred 2017 Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award (PBSA) upon 30 prominent non-resident Indians (NRI’s)/ organisations on the concluding day of 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas.

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=156225

Former German President Roman Herzog dies at 82.

Details :

Former German President Roman Herzog has died. He was 82.

Herzog, a former law and politics professor, served as the chief justice of the Federal Constitutional Court — the country's highest — before he was elected president in 1994, serving until 1999.

World Bank cuts India’s GDP growth forecast to 7% for FY17.

Details :

The World Bank report  has decelerated India’s growth for 2016-17 fiscal to 7% from its previous estimate of 7.6%.

The one of the reason given for decline in growth figures is to unexpected demonetisation of high-value currency notes. 

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/world-bank-drops-indias-growth-rate-to-7-post-demonetisation/article9473321.ece

Yana Kudryavtseva, 13-time gymnastics world champion, retires aged 19.

Details :

13-time gymnastics world champion Russian rhythmic gymnast Yana Kudryavtseva has announced retirement from the sport at aged 19. She had won 13 world championships from 2013 to 2015. 

 She had to settle for silver in Rio.

Her retirement announcement comes after she had suffered a fracture while preparing for Rio Olympics.

http://indianexpress.com/article/sports/sport-others/yana-kudryavtseva-13-time-gymnastics-world-champion-retires-aged-19-4468281/

Shreyas bags Scottish Junior Open title.

Details :

India U-13 squash player Shreyas Mehta won the Scottish Junior Open Squash championship at Edinburgh.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sports/more-sports/others/shreyas-bags-scottish-junior-open-title/articleshow/56442407.cms

Axis Bank becomes third lender to offer block chain service.

Details :

Private sector Axis Bank  became the third lender in the country to announce usage of block chain solutions for its operations, after its peers ICICI Bank and Yes Bank.

Block chain solutions is a distributed database that maintains a continuously growing list of ordered records called blocks. It is said to reduce turnaround times, is transparent and also ensures zero errors.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/banking/finance/banking/axis-bank-becomes-third-lender-to-offer-block-chain-service/articleshow/56424441.cms

Jan. 10, 2017

74th Golden Globe Awards.

Details :

The 74th Golden Globe Awards honored the best in film and American television of 2016.

It was organized at Beverly Hills, California, United States (US).

Complete winners list:

Movies:

Best Motion Picture Drama: Moonlight.

Best Motion Picture Musical/Comedy: La La Land.

Best Actor in Motion Picture-Drama: Casey Affleck for Manchester by the Sea.

Best Actress in Motion Picture-Drama: Isabelle Huppert for Elle.

Best Director in Motion Picture-Drama: Damien Chazelle for La La Land.

Best Actor in Motion Picture or Musical or Comedy: Ryan Gosling for La La Land.

Best Actress in Motion Picture Musical or Comedy: Emma Stone for La La Land.

Best Actor in a Supporting role in Motion Picture: Aaron Taylor-Johnson for Nocturnal Animals.

Best Actress in a Supporting role in Motion Picture: Viola Davis for Fences.

Best Original Score Motion Picture: Justin Hurwitz for the La La Land.

Best Original Song: “City of Stars” (Justin Hurwitz, Pasek & Paul) for the La La Land.

Best Animated Feature Film: Zootopia.

Best Foreign Language Film: Elle (France)


Television:

Best Series Drama The Crown

Best Series Musical or Comedy Atlanta

Best Performance in a Television Series – Drama - Actor - Billy Bob Thornton – Goliath 

Best Performance in a Television Series – Drama - Actress - Claire Foy – The Crown 

Best Performance in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy - Actor - Donald Glover – Atlanta

Best Performance in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy - Actress - Tracee Ellis Ross – Black-ish 

Best Performance in a Miniseries or Television Film - Actor - Tom Hiddleston – The Night Manager 

Best Performance in a Miniseries or Television Film - Actress - Sarah Paulson – The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story

Best Supporting Performance in a Series, Miniseries or Television Film - Supporting Actor - Hugh Laurie – The Night Manager

Best Supporting Performance in a Series, Miniseries or Television Film - Supporting Actress - Olivia Colman – The Night Manager

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/74th_Golden_Globe_Awards

January 10 - World Hindi Day

Details :

The World Hindi Day is observed every year on 10 January. 

The World Hindi Day was first observed on 10 January 2006.

It is in addition to present National Hindi Divas which is being observed annually on 14 September.

Sex ratio in Haryana touches 900-mark for first time in 20 years.

Details :

Sex ratio at birth (SRB) in Haryana touched the 900-mark for the first time in almost two decades.

This improvement was made possible due to effective implementation of the law against illegal sex determination and female foeticide.

As part of its strategy, the State initiated an aggressive drive against female foeticide by ensuring stringent implementation of the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act, 1994, and the Medical Terminal of Pregnancy (MTP) Act.

As a result, 391 first information reports were lodged in the State since May 2015 and more than 1,000 offenders arrested.

Creating awareness through regular meetings, street plays and rallies in urban and rural areas was another key aspect of the programme.

Those associated with the programme admitted that Haryana girls, including Sakshi Malik, Geeta Phogat, Babita and Deepa Malik, winning laurels for the country in sports helped the cause “tremendously”.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/Sex-ratio-in-Haryana-touches-900-mark-for-first-time-in-20-years/article17014745.ece?homepage=true

ISRO, CNES ink pact on satellite launch.

Details :

Indian Space Research Organisation and French Space agency (CNES) signed a partnership agreement in satellite launch technology.

The agreement was signed between ISRO Chairman Kiran Kumar and CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall in the presence of visiting French Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Marc Ayrault.

Space cooperation is one of the cornerstones of the Indo-French strategic partnership and spans over 50 years. ISRO is the second partner of CNES, in terms of volume, after NASA.

Strengthening the CNES-ISRO partnership will enable France to benefit from the Indian model of streamlining the costs of space programmes.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/indian-french-space-agencies-ink-pact-on-satellite-launch-117011000005_1.html

Cristiano Ronaldo named the world’s best player for 2016.

Details :

Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo received FIFA's best player 2016 award for the fourth time.

He beat runner-up and great rival Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann to complete a sweep of top individual awards. 

Ronaldo got 34.54 % of total voting points. Messi received 26.42 %, and third-place Griezmann got 7.53 %. 

Best FIFA Women’s Player: Carli Lloydll (US).

Best FIFA Men’s Coach: Claudio Ranieri (Italy).

Best FIFA Women’s Coach: Silvia Neid (Germany).

FIFA Puskas Award: Mohd Faiz Subri (Malaysia).

FIFA Fair Play Award: Atletico Nacional

FIFA Award for an Outstanding Career: Falcao (Brazil).

FIFA Fan Award: Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool supporters.

http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/international/cristiano-ronaldo-worlds-best-player-best-fifa-football-awards-a7518206.html

PM Narendra Modi Inaugurates Nobel Prize Exhibition.

Details :

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Nobel Prize Series Exhibition in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.

It has been organised by Nobel Media and coordinated by the Department of Biotechnology. Nine Nobel laureates are attending it and interact with students of Indian Universities.

Ramakrishnan won 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on ribosome structure. He shared the prize with fellow scientists Thomas A Steitz and Ada Yonath.

The others are Dr Richard J Roberts (1993, Medicine), Dr Harold Varmus (1989, Medicine), Dr David J Gross (2004, Physics), Dr Serge Haroche (2012, Physics), Dr Randy Schekman (2013, Medicine), Dr W E Moerner (2014, Chemistry), Dr H C Harmut Michel (1988, Chemistry) and Dr Ada Yonath

http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/pm-modi-inaugurates-nobel-prize-exhibition-1646984

China launches 1st commercial space mission with new rocket.

Details :

China successfully launched first commercial mission using an updated version of the low-cost Kuaizhou-1A rocket.

The rocket, carrying the satellite JL-1 and two CubeSats XY-S1 and Caton-1.

The rocket was launched form northwestern China’s Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Gansu province. 

KZ-1A rocket  is improvised and advance version of erstwhile Kuaizhou-1 rocket. It is a low-cost solid- fuelled carrier rocket with high reliability and short preparation period. It has been designed to launch low-orbit satellites weighing less than 300 kg.

JL-1 Satellite is a multifunctional remote-sensing satellite providing high-definition video images. It is expected to be used for environmental protection, land resource and forestry surveying, transport and disaster prevention and relief purposes.

XY-S1 and Caton-1 Satellites are experimental satellites to test technologies of low-orbit narrow-band communication and VHF Data Exchange System (VDES) respectively.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/science/china-launches-1st-commercial-space-mission-with-new-rocket/articleshow/56422445.cms

Pakistan test-fires first nuclear-capable submarine cruise missile Babur-3.

Details :

Pakistan  successfully test-fired its first Submarine-Launched Cruise Missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead giving the country a "credible" second-strike capability.

The Babur-3 missile was fired from an underwater mobile platform from an undisclosed location in the Indian Ocean and hit its target with precise accuracy.

SLCM Babur-3 is a sea-based variant of Ground Launched Cruise Missile (GLCM) Babur-2. It has a range of 450km.

The Babur-3 SLCM incorporates state-of-the-art technologies including underwater controlled propulsion and advanced guidance and navigation features, duly augmented by Global Navigation, Terrain and Scene Matching Systems.

It features terrain hugging and sea skimming flight capabilities to evade hostile radars and air defences. It also has certain stealth technologies, in an emerging regional Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) environment.

Babur-3 SLCM in land-attack mode, is capable of delivering various types of payloads including conventional as well as nuclear warheads. 

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/pakistan-claims-it-has-fired-first-submarine-launched-nuclear-capable-missile/articleshow/56423333.cms

Maharashtra Government launches WiFi services connecting 500 hotspots.

Details :

The state launched WiFi services connecting 500 hotspots across Mumbai under the smart city project.

The facility, inaugurated by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in Mumbai.

The list of hotspots include prominent tourist places such as Gateway of India, Churchgate, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, Prabha Devi, Shivaji Park, Tarapore Aquarium, Bombay Stock Market, among various places across Eastern, Western and Harbour railways. 

Flipkart replaces Binny Bansal with Kalyan Krishnamurthy as CEO.

Details :

Flipkart has elevated former Tiger Global Management executive Kalyan Krishnamurthy as its new chief executive, replacing co-founder Binny Bansal.

Binny Bansal has been named as the group chief executive of India’s largest online marketplace.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/small-biz/startups/former-tiger-global-executive-kalyan-krishnamurthy-to-be-flipkarts-new-ceo/articleshow/56424429.cms

BIS revises standard for hallmarking of gold jewellery.

Details :

The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has revised the Indian Standard on gold hallmarking, effective from January 1, 2017. 

The hallmarked gold jewellery will now be available in three grades of 14 carat, 18 carat and 22 carat.

The caratage will also be marked on jewellery in addition to fineness for convenience of consumers, that is for 22 carat jewellery 22K will be marked in addition to 916 (22K916), for 18 carat jewellery 18K will be marked in addition to 750 (18K750) and for 14 carat jewellery, 14K will be marked in addition to 585 (14K585).

The hallmark on gold jewellery will now have four marks, BIS Mark, purity in carat and fineness, assaying centre’s identification mark and jeweller’s identification mark.

http://www.moneycontrol.com/news/business/bis-revises-standard-for-hallmarkinggold-jewellery_8233961.html

Gionee signs Virat Kohli as brand ambassador.

Details :

 Gionee has roped in Indian test captain Virat Kohli as the brand ambassador.

The announcement of Kohli's appointment was made alongside the announcement of Gionee clocking 1.2 crore customers in India.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/gionee-signs-virat-kohli-as-brand-ambassador-117010900936_1.html

Jan. 9, 2017

Government makes Aadhaar mandatory for MGNREGA work.

Details :

The Union Government has made mandatory for people living in rural areas need to have Aadhaar under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme that mandates 100 days work for a household annually.

People registered under the scheme will be required to give proof of possession of Aadhaar or undergo the enrolment process till March 31, 2017.

The government has invoked Section 7 of the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act 2016 for this purpose.

This section allows Government to ask an individual to undergo authentication or furnish proof of possession of Aadhaar when the government gives subsidy, benefit or service from Consolidated Fund of India (CFI).

The move to make Aadhaar mandatory for MGNREGS work will help in checking leakages of government subsidies and to ensure that the beneficiaries get their due.

It will ensure effective implementation of the Aadhaar-linked Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme aimed at checking leakages of welfare funds.

The 20th National Conference on e-Governance began in Visakhapatnam.

Details :

The 20th National Conference on e-Governance began in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.

The theme of this year's conference is 'Internet of Things and e-Governance' and newly evolving areas of e-Governance would be discussed over five plenary sessions.

The Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances, Government of India is organized the 20th National Conference on e-Governance along with the Department of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India and State Government of Andhra Pradesh.

It will conduct plenary session on: 

(I) Cyber security policy for the future.

(ii) Technology led monetary transactions leading to financial inclusion.

(iii) Digital connectivity to the last mile.

(iv) Use of IoT and Data analytics in transforming in government processes and service delivery. 

The mantra for our Government  has been Minimum Government and Maximum Governance.

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=156241

http://nceg.gov.in/sites/nceg.gov.in/files/nceg2017/nceg_Call_for_paper_2017.pdf

SC wants paper trail in EVMs for fair poll.

Details :

The Supreme Court (sc) has reiterated the necessity to implement the Vote Verifier Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) in electronic voting machines (EVMs) to ensure 100 % transparency in elections.

This is the second time the Supreme Court is insisting on the implementation of VVPAT in EVMs. Earlier in 2013, the apex court, on a petition filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, had directed the Election Commission to introduce the paper trail in EVMs in a phased manner for the general elections in 2014.

In the VVPAT system.

when a voter presses the button for a candidate of his choice in the EVM, a paper ballot containing the serial number, name of the candidate and poll symbol would be printed for the voter.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/SC-wants-paper-trail-in-EVMs-for-fair-poll/article17009568.ece

PM Narendra Modi launches Pravasi Kaushal Vikas Yojana.

Details :

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the 'Pravasi Kaushal Vikas Yojana' which is targeted at the Indian youth seeking overseas employment.

It was launched after inauguration of 14th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas in Bengaluru, Karnataka. 

The new skill development scheme is aimed at Indian youth going overseas to seek employment.

It will be implemented by the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) through its training partners and in consultation with the Union Ministry of External Affairs and the Union Skill Development Ministry.

Anti-avoidance tax rule to start from April 2017.

Details :

The Central Board for Direct Taxes (CBDT) has announced that the General Anti-Avoidance Rule (GAAR) will start from April 1, 2017.

General Anti-Avoidance Rule (GAAR) was part of the 2012-13 Budget speech of the then Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee to check tax evasion and avoidance.

However, its implementation was repeatedly postponed because of the apprehensions expressed by foreign investors.

GAAR, which was originally to be implemented from April 1, 2014, will now come into effect from April 1, 2017 (Assessment Year 2018-19).

Foreign investors fear that government may tax participatory notes (p-notes), which could attract a tax rate of up to 15%.

http://www.thehindu.com/business/Economy/Anti-avoidance-tax-rule-to-kick-in-from-April-2017/article17008388.ece

Piyush Goyal unveiled world's largest street light replacement programme in SDMC.

Details :

Power Minister Piyush Goyal unveiled the world’s largest street light replacement in South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC).

In this programme two lakh LED lights will replace inefficient lamps.

The Street Lighting National Programme (SLNP) is being implemented by state-run Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a joint venture under the Ministry of Power.

The SLNP programme is presently running in Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Tripura, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Goa, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan.

http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/piyush-goyal-to-unveil-largest-street-light-programme-tomorrow-4464947/

PM Narendra Modi inaugurates 'Vibrant Gujarat Global Trade Show'.

Details :

Prime Minister Narendra Modi  inaugurated Vibrant Gujarat Global Trade Show (VGGTS) 2017.

The show will have two parts - on January 10 and 11, there will be business seminars, and on January 12 and 13, the exhibition will be open for visitors. 

VGGTS 2017 will provide a forum for global businesses from over 25 different industry and social sectors to showcase themselves. The 2017 edition has nearly 1,500 companies participating.

Some of the participants are ISRO, DRDO, Maruti, Tata, Ford, IT Department, Axis Bank, SBI, GIFT, GIDC, Civil Aviation Department Utra Tech. 

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ahmedabad/prime-minister-narendra-modi-inaugurates-global-trade-show-2017/articleshow/56432372.cms

8-year-old Kashmiri boy honoured wins gold in national boxing championship.

Details :

Eight-year old boy from Jammu and Kashmir's Rajouri has won gold medal in Thai Boxing Championship at the national level.

Abbu Ammaz, a class 2 student was felicitated by the district authorities and the civil administration as well as by the police.

First student startup fund has Rs 200 crore.

Details :

Gujarat government has come up with India's first student startup and innovation policy, which aims to provide Rs 200 crore in the form of grants to ideas developed by them. 

The policy aims to support over 1,000 innovation per year and create pre-incubation support in all universities of the state. 

Under the policy, Gujarat government would provide Rs 200 crore as State Innovation Fund during the next five years, of which Rs 100 crore will be allocated by the state government and the remaining amount will be created by internal sources, like university funds and CSR funds. 

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/small-biz/money/first-student-startup-fund-has-rs-200-crore/articleshow/56412825.cms

11th blind challenge car rally held in Bhopal.

Details :

The annual 11th Blind Challenge Car Rally was organised in Bhopal to create awareness among the masses regarding the issues concerning persons with visual impairment.

For last 10 years, Arushi is organising car rally, where the vehicle is driven by a sighted person and the navigator is a blind person, who reads the route given to them on the spot in Braille.

It will help in boosting the moral of the participants. The rally covered 30 kms within Bhopal. First three winners were awarded cash prices and trophies and mementos and certificates were given to all participants.

McDonald's sells China operations for $2.08 billion.

Details :

US fast-food giant McDonald's will sell a controlling stake in its mainland China and Hong Kong franchise business to a consortium of Citic Group and the Carlyle Group for up to $2.08 billion.

Citic and Citic Capital will have a stake of 52 %, Carlyle will take 28 %, and McDonald's will hold 20 % of the new company.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/international-business/mcdonalds-sells-china-operations-for-2-08-billion/articleshow/56415777.cms

SBI Pension Funds appoints Kumar Sharadindu new MD & CEO.

Details :

SBI Pension Funds, a subsidiary of State Bank of India, has appointed Kumar Sharadindu as its managing director and chief executive.

Prior to this appointment Sharadindu was a general manager at SBI Corporate Centre, Mumbai, heading the private equity business.

http://indianexpress.com/article/business/companies/sbi-pension-funds-appoints-kumar-sharadindu-new-md-ceo-4466455/

Iran's former president Rafsanjani passes away.

Details :

Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Iran’s greatest political survivor who served as president for two consecutive terms, has died aged 82.

He was also the fourth president of Iran from 3 August 1989 until 3 August 1997. He was the head of the Assembly of Experts from 2007 until 2011.

Rafsanjani was a founding member of Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution.

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

Roberto Bautista Agut beats Daniil Medvedev, wins Chennai Open 2017.

Details :

Spain’s Roberto Bautista won the 2017 Chennai Open title in the men’s single category.

In the final match, he defeated Russia’s Daniil Medvedev by 6-3, 6-4 score to claim the first ATP tournament of the season.

http://indianexpress.com/article/sports/tennis/chennai-open-final-roberto-bautista-agut-wins-first-set-6-3-vs-daniil-medvedev-4465076/

Jan. 8, 2017

Budget session of Parliament to begin from Jan 31.

Details :

The Budget session of Parliament will start from 31 January 2017.

President Pranab Mukherjee will address a joint sitting of both Houses of Parliament on the first day of the session. 

http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/budget-session-of-parliament-to-begin-from-jan-31-117010700795_1.html

Djokovic wins Qatar Open tennis title.

Details :

Novak Djokovic has won the Qatar Open tennis title. He defeated Andy Murray 6-3, 5-7, 6-4.

Andy Murray’s sequence of 28 consecutive victories was ended by Novak Djokovic.

Sania Mirza, Bethanie Mattek-Sands wins 2017 Brisbane women’s doubles title.

Details :

Indian tennis ace Sania Mirza combining with American Bethanie Mattek-Sands wins  the Brisbane International women's doubles title.

In the final the top-seeded Indo-American duo triumphed 6-2, 6-3 against the second-seeded Russian team of Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina.

The trophy ended Sania's 91-week reign as the world No.1 doubles player in the WTA rankings.

The No.1 position was taken over by Bethanie.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sports/tennis/top-stories/sania-mirza-wins-brisbane-doubles-title-but-loses-no-1-rank/articleshow/56392386.cms

Nana Akufo-Addo sworn in as President of Ghana.

Details :

Nana Akufo-Addo has been sworn in as Ghana's new president after beating John Mahama in last month's election by winning 53.83% of the votes.

He previously served as Attorney General from 2001 to 2003 and as Minister for Foreign Affairs from 2003 to 2007.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nana_Akufo-Addo

Donald Trump names Dan Coats national intelligence director.

Details :

US president-elect Donald Trump has named  Dan Coats as his National Intelligence Director. 

He is ex-senator  from Indiana formerly served on the Senate Intelligence Committee.

The appointment comes a day after an intelligence report accused Russia's president of ordering a campaign aimed at helping Mr Trump to victory.

Dan Coats entered Congress in 1981, representing Indiana in the House. He took Dan Quayle's place in the Senate in 1989 when Mr Quayle became President George HW Bush's vice-president.

Mr Coats had earlier served in the US Army in the 1960s and left the Senate in 1998, becoming US ambassador to Germany in the early 2000s.

After that he became a lobbyist for pharmaceutical, defence and energy companies, returning to the Senate in 2010. 

Former Bengal minister Saral Deb passes away.

Details :

Veteran All India Forward Bloc leader and former West Bengal minister Saral Deb passed away following a prolonged illness.

He was 82. He was a six-time state legislator, winning from Barasat constituency of North 24 Parganas district.

He was the state Library Minister from 1977 to 1982 and held the Cooperative portfolio from 1982 to 1987.

http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2017/jan/07/former-bengal-minister-saral-deb-passes-away-1557141.html

Olympic champion David Rudisha to be Mumbai Marathon event ambassador

Details :

Reigning Olympic and world 800m champion and world record holder, David Rudisha is the International Event Ambassador for the 14th Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon.

Mumbai Marathon to be held on January 15.

http://indianexpress.com/article/sports/sport-others/olympic-champion-david-rudisha-to-be-mumbai-marathon-event-ambassador-4463401/

Karan Bajwa appointed as Managing Director of IBM.

Details :

IBM has appointed Karan Bajwa as Managing Director of IBM India Pvt Ltd.

He is succeeding Vanitha Narayanan who has been appointed as chairman of the Indian subsidiary.

In his new role, Bajwa will be responsible for all strategic and operational matters related to IBM’s sales, marketing, services and delivery operations in the India/SA region, including Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

He will lead IBM’s partnership with clients for a cloud and cognitive led digital transformation of their businesses.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/info-tech/ibm-india-names-karan-bajwa-as-md/article9458771.ece

S Padmanabhan appointed as Chairman of Tata Power Company.

Details :

Tata Power  has appointed S Padmanabhan as its chairman, in place of Cyrus Mistry who resigned last month.

In December, Tata Power brought back S Padmanabhan, who was executive director of operations at the company until 2014, as an additional director on the board.

He is also the executive chairman of Tata Business Excellence Group. Recently he was appointed as the head of group for human resources for Tata Sons. He is associated Tata group for 34 years, of which 26 were with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS).

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/company/corporate-trends/tata-power-appoints-s-padmanabhan-as-chairman/articleshow/56342028.cms

Sir Tim Barrow appointed as Britain's EU ambassador.

Details :

UK Senior diplomat Sir Tim Barrow was appointed the new ambassador to the European Union (EU)

He replaced Sir Ivan Rogers.

Barrow was the UK ambassador to Moscow until 2015 and in March 2016 succeeded Sir Simon Gass as political director at the Foreign Office.

He has extensive European experience and acted as first secretary at UKRep. His appointment is also a victory for the Foreign Office, which lost the UKRep post to former Treasury officials in 2012.

Sitar Maestro Abdul Halim Jaffer Khan Dies At 88.

Details :

Renowned sitar player Abdul Halim Jaffer Khan passed away in Mumbai after a brief illness. He was 88. He was last survivor of the ‘Sitar Trinity’ of India along with the late Pandit Ravi Shankar and Ustad Vilayat Khan.

He was Born in Jawra, Madhya Pradesh,.

During his music career spanning over six decades, played the sitar for various Bollywood films, including "Mughal-E-Azam", "Kohinoor", "Goonj Uthi Shehnai" and "Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje", among many others.

He Conferred with the Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan and Sangeet Natak Akademi awards, Mr Khan hailed from the Indore Gharana and is credited for innovating the unique music style of 'Jafferkhani Baaj'.

Jan. 7, 2017

New Delhi World Book Fair kicks Begins.

Details :

The 44th edition of the New Delhi World Book Fair began at Pragati Maidan.

The theme for this year's event is 'Manushi', which will focus on writings on and by women.

Minister of State for Human Resources Development, Mahendra Nath Pandey  inaugurated the fair.

It is a nine-day fair,  the fair will exhibit the rich tradition of women writings from ancient times till present.

Posters and panels of some of the eminent women scholars of ancient and medieval India, and women pioneers of modern India be showcased in the presentation.

Around 20 countries, including China, Egypt, France, Germany, Japan and Iran, are participating in the Foreign Pavilion.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ani/new-delhi-world-book-fair-kicks-off-today-117010700118_1.html

Delhi Government unveils ‘Good Samaritan Policy’.

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The Delhi government has approved “Good Samaritan Policy’, to encourage people to help accident victims.

Under the scheme, people, who are helping road accident victims, will be rewarded with Rs 2,000 and appreciation certificate by the government.

Most of people are unwilling to help, mainly because they are scared they will land in trouble or be harassed.

http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/delhi-government-unveils-good-samaritan-policy-4462466/

India’s GDP growth estimated to fall at 7.1 per cent in 2016-17.

Details :

India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth is expected to fall at 7.1% in 2016-17 as compared to 7.6% in 2015-16 , according  the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

As per the data, the per capita net national income (current prices) during 2016-17 is estimated to be Rs 1,03,007 showing a rise of 10.4 % as compared to Rs 93,293 during 2015-16 with the growth rate of 7.4 %.

Manufacturing is expected to slow to 7.4 % (from 9.3 %) and construction activities to 2.9 % (from 3.9%).

Agriculture, forestry and fishing’ is expected to expand by 4.1 % in 2016-17 from 1.2 %. 

http://indianexpress.com/article/business/economy/indian-economys-growth-estimated-at-7-1-in-2016-17-government/

Pravasi Bhartiya Divas begins in Bengaluru.

Details :

The 14th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas (PBD) convention begins in Bengaluru.

The theme of which is 'Role of Diaspora Youth in the Transformation of India'.

The main convention will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Indian-origin Portugal Prime Minister, Dr. Antonio Costa who is the chief guest in the PBD convention.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/bengaluru-set-to-host-14th-pravasi-bhartiya-divas-from-today-117010700108_1.html

Raheel Sharif appointed head of Islamic anti-terror alliance.

Details :

Former Pakistan Army chief Raheel Sharif has been made the head of a 39-nation military coalition formed by Saudi Arabia to fight terrorism.

The Islamic Military Alliance to Fight Terrorism (IMAFT), created by Saudi Arabia in December 2015 to combat the Islamic State and other groups, currently has 39 members, including Turkey and Malaysia. It is based at a command centre in Riyadh.

Raheel retired as the army chief in November and has been succeeded by General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

The coalition was envisaged to serve as a platform for security cooperation, including provision of training, equipment and troops, and involvement of religious scholars for dealing with extremism.

It is envisaged to serve as a platform for security cooperation, including provision of training, troops and equipment, and involvement of religious scholars for dealing with extremism.

It has been established in pursuance with objectives and principles of the charter of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

The Saudi government had surprised many countries by announcing that it had forged a coalition for coordinating and supporting military operations against terrorism in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Egypt and Afghanistan.

The coalition includes countries like Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Tunisia, Sudan, Malaysia, Egypt, Yemen among others.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/ex-pak-army-chief-raheel-sharif-appointed-head-of-islamic-anti-terror-alliance/story-gyPY02mYlY7NiaKf5cqiMK.html

India, Portugal sign six agreements.

Details :

India and Portugal have signed six memorandum of understandings (MoUs) including in defence cooperation.

Agreements were signed after delegation level talks Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his visiting Portugal counterpart António Costa who is chief Guest of 2017 Pravasi Bharatiya Divas.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/narendra-modi-antonio-costa-india-portugal-sign-6-agreements-including-defence-cooperation-4463864/

All India Conference of Waqf Boards begins.

Details :

The All India Conference of Chairpersons and Chief Executive Officers of States and Union Territories' Waqf Boards has begun in New Delhi.

The conference  inaugurated by Minister of State for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.

Various issues, including review of progress under the schemes relating to grant of financial assistance for computerization of waqf properties, strengthening of waqf boards and development of waqf properties by National Waqf Development Corporation Ltd. will be discussed during the conference. 

Japan to assist in making Chennai, Ahmedabad and Varanasi Smart Cities.

Details :

Japan has decided to be associated with the development of Chennai, Ahmedabad and Varanasi as smart cities.

It was announced by Japan's Ambassador to India Mr.Kenji Hiramatsu during his meeting with Minister of Urban Development Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-cm/japan-to-assist-in-making-chennai-ahmedabad-and-varanasi-smart-cities-117010600150_1.html

Droom Partners with Axis Bank for quick sanction of loans.

Details :

Online automobile marketplace Droom as tied up with Axis Bank India’s third largest private sector bank, to provide quick sanction of loans on both new as well as used cars.

Loans will be provided for up to 85% of the value of the car with a tenure of 1-5 years.

Furthermore, loans on Used Cars can be availed on vehicles upto the age of 10 years at the end of the loan tenure.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/banking/finance/banking/droom-partners-with-axis-bank-for-quick-sanction-of-loans/articleshow/56330382.cms

Jan. 6, 2017

Manipur based historian Gangmumei Kamei dies at 77.

Details :

Noted Manipur-based historian, litterateur and scholar Gangmumei Kamei, who had also served as a minister, passed away in Imphal following protracted illness. He was 77.

Kamei was currently a member of the North Eastern Council (NEC).

Gangmumei Kamei was born on October 21, 1939 in Imphal. He was specialised in the history of the North-eastern region, and more particularly of Manipur.

Kamei’s most well-known books are:

A History of Modern Manipur (1826-2000), A History of Manipur: Pre-colonial Period, On History and Historiography of Manipur, History of Zeliangrong Nagas: From Makhel to Rani Gaidinliu, Ethnicity and Social Change, Lectures on History of Manipur.

Awards and Honours:

Platinum Jubilee Samman in 2010 by the Manipuri Sahitya Parishad for his contribution to history and tribal culture, National Fellowship by Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla in 2010-2012.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/manipur-based-historian-gangmumei-kamei-dies-at-77-4460724/

United Nations declares 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.

Details :

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has declared the year 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.

Veteran actor Om Puri passes away.

Details :

Veteran actor Om Puri passed away following massive cardiac arrest in Mumbai, Maharashtra. He was 66.

He was born on October 18, 1950 in Ambala, Haryana.

He had made his film debut in 1976 with the Marathi film Ghashiram Kotwal.

He studied at the Film and Television Institute of India and at the National School of Drama,where Naseeruddin Shah was his classmate.

The acclaimed actor delivered some stellar performances in mainstream commercial Pakistani, Indian and British cinema and Hollywood, independent films and art films.

Puri featured in films like 'Ardh Satya', 'Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro', 'Aakrosh', 'Mirch Masala' and many others. More recently, he was seen in the movies, 'Dabangg', 'Bajrangi Bhaijaan' and 'Ghayal Once Again'.

He had won two time National Award winner for his roles in Arohan and Ardh Sathya. He was honoured with Padmashri, the fourth highest civilian award of India in 1990.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/hindi/bollywood/news/veteran-actor-om-puri-passes-away-bollywood-mourns-his-demise/articleshow/56367905.cms

India and Kazakhstan sign Protocol to amend the Double Taxation Avoidance Convention (DTAC).

Details :

India and Kazakhstan signed  in New Delhi a Protocol to amend the existing Double Taxation Avoidance Convention (DTAC) between the two countries.

Earlier it was signed on 9th December, 1996 for the avoidance of double taxation and for the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income.

Salient features of the Protocol are as under:

(i) The Protocol provides internationally accepted standards for effective exchange of information on tax matters. Further, the information received from Kazakhstan for tax purposes can be shared with other law enforcement agencies with authorisation of the competent authority of Kazakhstan and vice versa.

(ii) The Protocol inserts a Limitation of Benefits Article, to provide a main purpose test to prevent misuse of the DTAC and to allow application of domestic law and measures against tax avoidance or evasion. 

(iii) The Protocol inserts specific provisions to facilitate relieving of economic double taxation in transfer pricing cases. This is a taxpayer friendly measure and is in line with India’s commitment under Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Action Plan to meet the minimum standard of providing Mutual Agreement Procedure (MAP) access in transfer pricing cases. 

(iv) The Protocol inserts service PE provisions with a threshold and also provides that the profits to be attributed to PE will be determined on the basis of apportionment of total profits of the enterprise.

(v) The Protocol replaces existing Article on Assistance in Collection of Taxes with a new Article to align it with international standards.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/government-press-release/india-and-kazakhstan-sign-protocol-to-amend-the-double-taxation-avoidance-117010600454_1.html

Island Tourism Festival begins in Andaman and Nicobar

Details :

The Island Tourism Festival begins at Port Blair in Andaman and Nicobar islands.

Lieutenant Governor Jagdish Mukhi  inaugurated the mega event at ITF Ground.

The 10-day event, performances by the cultural troupes from mainland will help the Islanders renew their cultural ties with mainland India.

An International Cultural Group from Khazkhistan will also perform the ITF Ground.

4th Assam International Agri-Horti show begins.

Details :

Fourth Assam International Agri-Horti begins  in Guwahati, Assam. State Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal inaugurated the show.

10 foreign countries are also taking part in the show, Nearly 600 farmers from Assam will be trained on doubling farmers' income, more crop per drop and agri-preneurship development.

Union govt slaps anti-dumping duty on jute goods from Bangladesh, Nepal.

Details :

The government has imposed anti-dumping duty on jute products imported into the country from Bangladesh and Nepal.

The duty, ranging from $8 to $350 per tonne, would apply to varying categories of jute goods originating in Bangladesh and Nepal and dumped into India.

The anti-dumping duty would be in force for a period of five years unless superseded or revoked and is mandated to be paid in Indian currency.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/union-govt-slaps-anti-dumping-duty-on-jute-goods-from-bangladesh-nepal-117010600311_1.html

Delhi’s Connaught Place to go vehicle-free from Feb.

Details :

The middle and inner circle roads of Delhi’s Connaught Place will be made vehicle-free for three months  as part of a pilot smart city project.

The traffic will be barred on these roads as part of 'pedestrianization' of the area.

The ban on vehicles is meant to offer a “congestion free, accident free and crime free” experience to those visiting the area.

http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/delhi-connaught-place-cars-buses-ban-vehicle-free-february-4460705/

Karnataka Bank launches accident insurance scheme.

Details :

Karnataka Bank has launched a month-long campaign to promote a group personal accident insurance scheme for savings bank account-holders.

‘KBL Suraksha’, which was launched on January 2, will be in force till January 31.

It was Launched in association with Universal Sompo General Insurance, KBL Suraksha provides coverage against all types of accidental deaths.

All savings bank account holders of the bank in the age group of 18-70 years can subscribe to this scheme by paying an annual premium of Rs. 100 for Rs. 10 lakh and Rs. 50 for Rs. 5 lakh coverage.

Single-window customs clearance extended for exporters.

Details :

The revenue department extended single window interface for facilitation of trade  (SWIFT) the facility for customs clearance of export consignments with a view to bringing down transaction cost.

A pilot project for exporters has been started at Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai air cargo complexes for CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) and wildlife items.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/single-window-customs-clearance-extended-for-exporters-117010501039_1.html

Jan. 5, 2017

Cabinet approves signing of MoU between India and Portugal in the field of agriculture and allied sectors.

Details :

The Union Cabinet has given its approval for signing of an Agreement for cooperation in the field of Agriculture and allied sectors between India and Portugal.

Decision  was taken by Union Cabinet meeting chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.

The Agreementcovers various activities in these fields which include exchange of scientific and technical information, trade in plants and plant products, exchange of information in phytosanitary issues, training programmes, seminars and visits of experts and consultants.

It provides constitution of a Joint Working Group (JWG) comprising of representatives from both countries to monitor the implementation of the present MoU.

The AoC will enter into force on the date of its signing. It will remain in force for a period of five years and shall be automatically extended for a subsequent period of five years unless either Party gives written notice to terminate it.

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=156124

Cabinet approves MoU between India and Kenya on bilateral cooperation in the field of agriculture and allied sector.

Details :

The Union Cabinet has approved signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Kenya on bilateral cooperation in the field of agriculture and allied sectors.

Decision  was taken at the Union Cabinet Meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.

The MoU covers various activities in these fields which include agricultural research, animal husbandry and dairy, livestock and fisheries horticulture, natural resource management, post-harvest management and marketing, soil and conservation, water management, irrigation farming systems development and integrated watershed development integrated pest management, agricultural plant, machinery and implements, sanitary and phytosanitary issues.

The MoU provides for constitution of a Joint Working Group comprising of representatives from both countries, the task of which would be to develop detailed cooperation programmes and monitorimplementation of the MoU.

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=156122

Union Government launches IPR Enforcement Toolkit for Police and IPR Awareness Campaign for Children .

Details :

The Union Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman launched an Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Enforcement Toolkit for Police.

The toolkit has been jointly prepared by Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM) and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).  

This toolkit will be provided to all state police departments across the nation to assist them in dealing with the cases relating to Trademarks and Copyrights infringements.

This toolkit will be a ready reckoner for police officials across the country in dealing with IP crimes, specifically Trade Marks counterfeiting and Copyrights piracy.

In addition to details of offences under various laws, it provides for checklists for registering a complaint and conducting search and seizures.

It also lays down general guidelines for search and seizure in case of IP crimes. 

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=156135

Bunkar Mitra Helpline for Handloom Weavers went live.

Details :

A helpline for handloom weavers called 'Bunkar Mitra' set up by the Union Ministry of Textiles’went live.

The helpline was launched by Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani on December 25. 

It can be accessed by dialling the toll free number 1800-208-9988.

Through the helpline, weavers can obtain assistance on technical issues, guidance for raw material supply, availing credit facility, quality control, access to marketing linkages and information about various schemes and procedures to avail benefits. 

The service is available in seven languages: Hindi, English, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Kannada and Assamese.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/helpline-for-handloom-weavers-goes-live-117010401021_1.html

Scientists Discover a New Organ in the Human Body.

Details :

Scientists recently discovered a new human organ that exists in the digestive system.

Named Mesentery connects the intestine to the abdomen.  The organ was previously thought to consist of fragmented and disparate structures.

The mesentery is a double fold of the peritoneum, which is the lining of the abdominal cavity.

http://time.com/4621074/mesentery-organ-human-body/

Telangana and Assam join UDAY scheme

Details :

Telangana and Assam signed MoUs for being a part of the Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojna in a bid to better performance of state run power distribution companies. 

An overall net benefit of approximately Rs. 6,116 crore to Telangana and Rs. 1,663 crore to Assam will come from joining the scheme.

The government also launched the UDAY portal and mobile app to enable transparency in working of state run power distribution companies.

The portal would track and monitor the progress of DISCOMs on operational and financial parameters under UDAY scheme of Ministry of Power.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/telangana-and-assam-join-uday-scheme/article9458895.ece

China launches longest bullet train.

Details :

China  launched its longest bullet train “Shangri-la of the World” from Kunming, capital of south-west China’s Yunnan Province to Beijing.

It will cover about 20,000 kms connecting almost all provinces.

According to the government’s plan, the mileage will increase to 45,000 km by 2030.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/China-launches-longest-bullet-train/article16993400.ece

Mahendra Singh Dhoni quits as Team India captain.

Details :

Mahendra Singh Dhoni resigned as India’s cricket captain.

He was leading the Indian team in ODIs and T20 internationals.

Earlier he retired from Tests on December 30, 2014 in Australia.

Under his captaincy, India had won all three ICC Trophies –

WT20 (in 2007),

World Cup (2011) and

Champions Trophy (2013).

He is the only captain to lead a team winning all three ICC Trophies .

http://www.hindustantimes.com/cricket/mahendra-singh-dhoni-steps-down-as-india-cricket-captain/story-ijtFnlB5TamIuIbhn5ijvJ.html

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

India women win fourth straight SAFF championship title.

Details :

India women's football team lifted their fourth consecutive SAFF Championship.

They defeated Bangladesh by 3-1 goals score in the SAFF Women's Championship 2016 final at the Kanchenjunga Stadium, Siliguri.

Australian legend Arthur Morris inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame.

Details :

Former Australia cricketer Arthur Morris was inducted into the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Hall of Fame.

Morris, who became the 82nd player to be inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame, was given the honour posthumously.

He was inducted by ex-skipper Steve Waugh during the tea break on the opening day of the third Test between Australia and Pakistan in Sydney .

Sunil Gavaskar, Bishan Bedi, Kapil Dev and Anil Kumble are the Indian cricketers who are part of the elite list.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/cricket/australian-legend-arthur-morris-inducted-into-the-icc-cricket-hall-of-fame/story-YMa0thNPZhJ86UwHgFqrbO.html

Rs. 5 discount for online payment of LPG cylinder.

Details :

Discount of Rs 5 on every LPG refill to all LPG customers who will book and pay for it online by State-owned fuel retailers, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL).

To provide cashless transactions, the government had asked oil companies to pay consumers 0.75 % discount on cashless fuelling of petrol and diesel at petrol pumps.

This has now been extended to cooking gas (LPG).

http://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/Rs.-5-discount-for-online-payment-of-LPG-cylinder/article16983400.ece

Paytm gets final approval for payments bank.

Details :

The Reserve Bank of India has given it the final permission to open a payments bank to Paytm.

Paytm and 11 other players, including Vodafone, Airtel and Fino PayTech, had applied for a payments bank licence in 2015.

While Airtel has already gone live with its payments bank in a few States, Fino plans to launch it the first half of this year.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/info-tech/paytm-gets-final-approval-for-payments-bank/article9457470.ece

Jan. 4, 2017

Supreme Court sacks Anurag Thakur, Ajay Shirke from BCCI.

Details :

The Supreme Court has sacked Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Anurag Thakur and BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke.

The court disqualified all those office-bearers who do not fulfil the court-mandated guidelines to hold office. 

For now, the senior most vice-president will act as the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), and its joint secretary will hold the fort as secretary. 

A three-judge bench, led by outgoing Chief Justice TS Thakur and also comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, said those qualified under the new guidelines could stay on provided they gave an undertaking to carry out reforms intended to make the cashrich board more accountable and transparent 

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/sports/supreme-court-sacks-anurag-thakur-shirke-from-bcci/articleshow/56288727.cms

RBI appoints Surekha Marandi as Executive Director.

Details :

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has appointed Surekha Marandi as its Executive Director (ED). She was appointed in place of U S Paliwal who retired on December 31, 2016.

Marandi  will look after Consumer Education and Protection Department, Financial Inclusion and Development Department, and Secretary's Department.

She has also served on the Boards of United Bank and Bank of Baroda.

Prior to being promoted as ED, Marandi was Principal Chief General Manager and Chief Vigilance Officer in the Reserve Bank.

She has rich experience of three decades in regulatory and supervisory, financial inclusion and development and human resource management areas in the RBI.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/rbi-appoints-surekha-marandi-as-executive-director-117010301089_1.html

Justice JS Khehar sworn in as Chief Justice of India.

Details :

Justice Khehar sworn in as the 44th Chief Justice of India and also the first Sikh to hold the office.

He was administered oath to the office by President Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi.

He succeeded Justice Tirath Singh Thakur. 

He will remain in office from January 4, 2017 till August 4, 2017  till he attains the age of 65.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/justice-khehar-sworn-in-as-chief-justice-of-india-4458224/

Government launches Swachh Bharat Survekshan 2017 in 500 cities.

Details :

The Union Ministry of Urban Development launched Swachh Survekshan 2017 to rank 500 cities across the country on cleanliness.

The survey will be conducted by Quality Council of India.

Swachh Survekshan 2017 will judge cities on the basis of data provided by Municipal bodies, data collected through direct observations and independent assessment and citizen feedbacks.

The areas of evaluations include waste collection, sweeping and transportation, open defecation free and toilets, municipal solid waste-processing and disposal, information, education and behaviour change, and Capacity building - Swachh Bharat Mission e-learning portal.

The citizens can also give their feedback by either filling up a feedback form on the Swachh Survekshan website or by giving a missed call on 1969 to record their response.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/swachh-bharat-survey-in-500-cities-from-today/story-qiFBLOfbGmVQoOPOb6437M.html

Election Commission announces dates for assembly elections in five states.

Details :

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has announced the dates for the assembly elections in five states: Manipur, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand & Goa.

It will be held between February 4 and March 8, the results of which to be announced on March 11.

Uttar Pradesh will go to polls in seven phases for 403 seats on 11th February, 15th February, 19th February, 23rd February, 27th February, 4th March and on 8th March 2017.

Punjab and Goa will vote on February 4 while Uttarakhand on Feb 15.

While the Code of Conduct has come into force with the announcement, the state-wise notification process will begin with Punjab and Goa on January 11. 

Manipur  will go to polls  in two phases on 4th and 8th March.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/election-commission-announces-dates-of-assembly-polls-of-five-states/articleshow/56328065.cms

Assembly polls: EC limits cash expense per candidate at Rs 20-28 lakh.

Details :

The Election Commission of India  set the campaign expenses limit per candidate.

In Goa and Manipur the limit on election expenses per candidate is Rs 20 lakh.

In Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand the election expenses limit per candidate is Rs 28 lakh.

Cabinet approves agreement between India, Uruguay.

Details :

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi  approved signing and ratifying an Agreement between India and Uruguay regarding Cooperation and Mutual Assistance in Customs Matters.

The Agreement will help in the availability of relevant information for the prevention and investigation of customs offences

http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ani/cabinet-approves-agreement-between-india-uruguay-117010400374_1.html

Government approves new projects under Namami Gange for Haridwar and Varanasi.

Details :

The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) has approved new projects under Namami Gange programme in Haridwar (Uttarakhand) and Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh). 

In Haridwar, 68 MLD sewage treatment plants (STP) and 14 MLD STP in Sarai was with Central government funding and also under Hybrid Annuity based PPP mode. Besides, 50 MLD sewage treatment plant at Ramana in Varana under Hybrid Annuity-based PPP mode was also approved.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/government-press-release/many-new-projects-under-namami-gange-approved-for-haridwar-and-varanasi-117010200734_1.html

Table tennis Olympic champion Li Xiaoxia announces retirement.

Details :

China's table tennis Olympic champion Li Xiaoxia has announced her retirement through social media.

Li helped China win the team gold medal at the Rio Olympic Games last year when she also finished the runner-up in the singles event.

She is the eighth table tennis Grand Slam winner in history with singles crowns from the 2008 World Cup in Kuala Lumpur, 2012 Olympics in London and 2013 world championships in Paris.

Mithali Raj to lead India in Women's World Cup Qualifier.

Details :

Mithali Raj will lead a 14-member Indian squad to the ICC Women's World Cup Qualifiers to be held in Colombo from February 3-21. 

India are in Group A alongside Sri Lanka, Ireland, Zimbabwe and Thailand while South Africa lead Group B comprising Pakistan, Bangladesh, Scotland and PNG. 

Team: Mithali Raj (captain), Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, Thirush Kamini, Veda Krishnamurthy, Devika Vaidya, Sushma Verma (wicket-keeper), Jhulan Goswami, Shikha Pandey, Sukanya Parida, Poonam Yadav, Ekta Bisht, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Deepti Sharma.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/mithali-raj-to-lead-india-in-women-s-world-cup-qualifier-117010300597_1.html

Google CEO Sundar Pichai launches India first tool for small businesses.

Details :

Online search major Google launched a brand new tool My Business and Digital Unlocked  in India.

 Google My Business would help small businesses set up website from their mobile devices. All they need is a smart phone.

The company has also launched Digital Unlocked, an education programme in association with industry body FICCI and Indian School of Business.

The programme will impart mobile and online courses to help small businesses.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/google-ceo-sundar-pichai-launches-india-first-tool-for-small-businesses-117010400311_1.html

Finland becomes 1st Country to introduces basic income for unemployed.

Details :

Finland has started paying a basic income of €560 a month to randomly selected unemployed people. 

It is conducted with 2,000 randomly picked unemployed participants between the ages of 25 and 58.

Jan. 3, 2017

Andhra Pradesh Government launches NTR Arogya Raksha Scheme.

Details :

Andhra Pradesh Government has launched NTR Arogya Raksha Scheme.

It is intended to provide health insurance cover to every individual in a family on payment of a monthly premium of Rs.100 per head for a year.

It was launched by Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu in Vijayawada. The new health scheme offering medical insurance to those who were not covered under any of the existing health schemes of the state government.

Under the Aarogya Raksha, end-to-end cashless services would be rendered for 1044 diseases under secondary and tertiary care through 432 government and private hospitals.

One can Register for scheme through www.ntrvaidyaseva.ap.gov.in are open till February 28.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/CM-begins-New-Year-with-%E2%80%98Aarogya-Raksha%E2%80%99-for-all/article16974936.ece

President appoints David Syiemlieh as UPSC chairman.

Details :

President Pranab Mukherjee  appointed Professor David R. Syiemlieh as the Chairman of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).

Syiemlieh, a UPSC member, has been asked to take over charge on January 4 and will remain the head of the organisation till his retirement on January 21, 2018 or till further orders. 

He will take over from Alka Sirohi, a former IAS officer of the Madhya Pradesh cadre.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/david-r-syiemlieh-appointed-new-upsc-chairman/articleshow/56298888.cms

Union Government launches mobile app for Haj Pilgrimage.

Details :

The Union Ministry of Minority Affairs has launched Mobile App for Haj Pilgrimage. The app will provide information and facilitate e-payments for the pilgrimage.

It is for the first time that Haj application process is going to be digital.

It is also a major initiative in the government’s ‘Digital India’ programme. 

The mobile app will be available on Google Play store.

The main features of the app include applying for Haj, enquiry and information, news and updates and e-payment.

Five adults and two infants can apply as a group.

A PDF copy of the form will go to applicant’s email.

After affixing the photo, the printout with documents is to be sent to the State Haj committees. Registration fees can also be paid through this app.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Now-apply-for-Haj-using-app/article16977691.ece

Seeking votes on religious basis a corrupt act: SC.

Details :

The Supreme Court in its latest verdict has held that election candidates cannot seek votes on the grounds of the religion, caste, creed, community or language of voters.

It held that if the candidate is found violating the order will result into call for his disqualification.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/Seeking-votes-on-religious-basis-a-corrupt-act-SC/article16980854.ece

Bengaluru to host 'Pravasi Bharatiya Divas' from January 7.

Details :

The Ministry of External Affairs announced that the annual overseas Indians' gathering "Pravasi Bharatiya Divas"  will be held from January 7-9 in Bengaluru.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) on January 8 in the presence of Prime Minister of Portugal Dr Antonio Costa, the chief guest at the convention.

"The Pravasi Divas had traditionally been held on January 9 every year to commemorate the return of Mahatma Gandhi as 'Pravasi' from South Africa to India."

http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/bengaluru-to-host-pravasi-bharatiya-divas-from-january-7-117010201106_1.html

Maharashtra Government Bans use of Purse Seine Nets for Fishing.

Details :

Maharashtra Government has declared to ban the use of Purse Seine Nets for fishing across Maharashtra from January 1, 2017 to safeguard the Fingerlings, a fish species. 

http://www.hindustantimes.com/mumbai-news/purse-seine-fishing-nets-banned-across-maharashtra-from-jan-1-fishermen-allege-violations/story-yIU0lQATApQ7UMYnh41HAP.html

Maha Government organise Digi Dhan Mela in Mumbai.

Details :

The Maharashtra Government will organise the Digi Dhan Mela  under the aegis of Central Government's Lucky Grahak Yojana for Consumers and Digi-Dhan Vyapar Yojana for traders.

The day-long event to be held at Mumbai University aims to promote digital payment methods and inculcate a digital payment habit among all citizens.

Digi Dhan Mela in Mumbai will have 50 stalls manned by banks, e wallet, telecom and transport companies.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ani/maha-govt-to-organise-digi-dhan-mela-in-mumbai-today-117010300158_1.html

Nepal Hosts Elephant Festival in Chitwan to Boost Tourism.

Details :

Nepal celebrated the 13th Chitwan Elephant Festival to boost tourism. 

The 5-day event showcases elephant walk, elephant polo, elephant calf football, elephant beauty contest, elephant picnic, and elephant painting. 

The festival was attended about 20,000 domestic and foreign tourists.

http://www.news18.com/news/travel/nepal-hosts-elephant-festival-in-chitwan-to-boost-tourism-1330594.html

British government to launch new one-pound coin at end of March:

Details :

The British government has announced that it would launch a new one-pound coin at the end of March this year and scrap the current one pound coin by October.

The new 12-sided one pound coin would become legal tender on 28th March and the new coin would be produced by the Royal Mint in Wales.

A total of 1.5 billion of the coins will be issued in the first minting.

The public are being urged to use their current £1 coins or bank them before they lose their legal tender status

The government estimates around a third of the £1.3 billion worth of coins stored in piggy banks or saving jars around the UK are the current £1 style.

Some of those returned by the public will be melted down and used to make the 12-sided version.

Jan. 2, 2017

British-Indian professor knighted in New Year's honours.

Details :

An Indian-origin British professor of chemistry and DNA expert at Cambridge University Shankar Balasubramanian received Knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II for their contributions.

He has been recognised for his work as a co-inventor of Next Generation DNA sequencing, described as the most transformational advance in biology and medicine for decades.

Solexa sequencing allows an individual genome to be sequenced in a day or two at a cost of less than 1,000 pounds; previously, sequencing the human genome took years of work and cost billions. 

Balasubramanian Born on 30 September 1966 in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. He had received PhD for research on the Reaction mechanism of the enzyme Chorismate synthase from University of Cambridge.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/nri/nri-achievers/british-indian-professor-knighted-in-new-years-honours/articleshow/56272333.cms

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

Shraddha, Ghyansham Kumar Devansh chosen for 2016 Bharatiya Jananpith Navlekhan award.

Details :

Two new Hindi writers Shraddha and Ghyansham Kumar Devansh have been chosen for Bharatiya Jnanpith Navlekhan Award for the year 2016.

The decision to confer the award on Shraddha for her short story, 'Hawa Mein Phadphadati Chitthi' and on Devansh for his poem 'Akash Mein Deh' was taken unanimously by a selection panel chaired by eminent poet Vishnu Nagar.

The award is given to young authors in Hindi for their first creations. It was instituted in 2006 by Bharatiya Jnanpith trust.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/bharatiya-jananpith-announces-navlekhan-award-2016-116122900756_1.html

Key announcements of PM Narendra Modi’s new year eve’s speech.

Details :

key highlights: 

- Home loans for poor and middle class people upto Rs 9 lakh will get 4 per cent subvention on interest and upto Rs 12 lakh will get 3 per cent subvention. 

- For home loan in villages upto Rs 2 lakh for home renovation, banks will give loan with 3 per cent subvention on interest rate. 

- Banks have been asked to raise cash credit limit to small business to 25 per cent from 20 per cent. 

- All pregnant women will get Rs 6,000 in their bank accounts in an attempt to reduce child and woman mortality. 

- Government to pay interest for 60 days on loans taken by farmers for Rabi season from district cooperative banks and societies. 

- Credit guarantee for small traders to be raised to Rs 2 crore from existing limit of Rs 1 crore. 

- In the next 3 months, 3 crore Kisan credit cards will be converted to RuPay cards which will enable them to buy/sell directly through the card and there will be no need to rush to banks. 

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/key-announcements-of-pm-narendra-modis-new-year-eves-speech/articleshow/56274762.cms

India, Pakistan exchange lists on nuclear installations.

Details :

INDIA AND Pakistan exchanged for the 26th consecutive year a list of their nuclear installations under a bilateral agreement that prohibits them from attacking each other’s atomic facilities.

The list of nuclear installations and facilities covered under the Agreement on the Prohibition of Attack against Nuclear Installations.

Under it, both countries inform each other about their nuclear installations and facilities that need to be covered under the Agreement on 1 January every year.

It was signed on 31st December 1988 and entered into force on 27 January 1991. 

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-pakistan-exchange-lists-on-nuclear-installations-4454899/

Nuclear-capable Agni-IV missile successfully test-fired.

Details :

India  successfully test-fired its nuclear-capable strategic ballistic missile Agni-IV with a strike range of 4000 km as part of a user trial from a test range off Odisha coast.

Agni-IV is two-stage surface-to-surface nuclear capable intercontinental ballistic missile.

The sleek missile having 4000 km strike range is a two stage missile. It is 20 meter-long weighing 17 tonnes.

Agni-IV missile is equipped with state-of-the-art Avionics, 5th generation on board computer and distributed architecture. It has the latest features to correct and guide itself for in-flight disturbances.

It is Equipped with most accurate ring laser gyro-based inertial navigation system (RINS) and supported by highly reliable redundant micro navigation system (MINGS) that ensures it hit target within two-digit accuracy.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/agni-iv-ballistic-missile-successfully-test-fired-from-balasore-117010200344_1.html

Petronet signs pact to set up $950 mn LNG project in Bangladesh.

Details :

India's largest LNG importer Petronet has signed an agreement to set up a $950 million liquefied natural gas import project in Bangladesh.

Petronet signed a MoU with with Petrobangla to set up a 7.5 million tonnes a year project to receive and regasify LNG on Kutubdia Island in Cox's Bazar and lay a 26-km pipline to connect it to the consumption markets.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/petronet-signs-pact-to-set-up-950-mn-lng-project-in-b-desh-117010100168_1.html

India’s first laser technology-based advanced AVMS RTO check-post launched in Gujarat.

Details :

Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani dedicated India's first laser technology-based advanced AVMS RTO check-post at Shamlaji of Aravalli district.

The check-post is equipped with advanced ray technology with a cost of 4.72 crore Rupees to check overloaded vehicles and fine them.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ahmedabad/gujarat-cm-dedicates-indias-first-laser-technology-based-check-post/articleshow/56258130.cms

Govt permits 12 PSU banks to raise ₹ 3,000 cr from market.

Details :

The Finance Ministry granted approval to 12 proposals of public sector banks (PSBs), to raise a sum of Rs 2,914.038 crore through preferential allotment and permission given to raise Rs 200 crore by United Bank of India through QIP mode.

The government had already infused a sum of ₹ 25,000 crore in 19 PSBs during FY 2015—16.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/money-and-banking/govt-permits-12-psu-banks-to-raise-3000-cr-from-market/article9453741.ece

26 crore accounts open under Jan Dhan Yojana across country.

Details :

ccording to latest data released by Finance Ministry over 26 crore accounts have been opened under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) across the country.

out of which 15.86 crore accounts are in rural areas and 10.17 crore in urban areas.

Deposits of ₹ 71,557.90 crore have been mobilised and 19.93 crore RuPay Debit cards have been issued under PMJDY.

Zero balance accounts has been reduced to 23.86 per cent.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/money-and-banking/govt-permits-12-psu-banks-to-raise-3000-cr-from-market/article9453741.ece

NRIs can exchange defunct notes till June 30, others till March 31: RBI.

Details :

Resident Indian citizens who were abroad from November 9 to December 30 can avail this facility up to March 31, 2017 and NRI citizens, who were abroad during this period, can exchange their defunct notes up to June 30, 2017.

The limit for NRIs will be as per the relevant FEMA Regulations (Rs 25,000 per person).

This facility will be available through Reserve Bank offices at Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata and Nagpur.

According to RBI, Indian citizens resident in Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan and Bangladesh cannot avail this facility.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/nri/other-news/nris-can-exchange-defunct-notes-till-june-30-others-till-march-31-rbi/articleshow/56287226.cms

BHIM app tops Google Play Store charts.

Details :

Government online payments app BHIM tops Google Play Store charts.

BHIM app has been downloaded more than 1 million times and has a 4.2 rating on the Play Store. Interestingly, the app has received reviews from more than 86,000 users in just over three days of its launch.

BHIM app is only available for Android users.

http://indianexpress.com/article/technology/social/bhim-app-tops-google-play-store-charts-top-points-to-note-4455536/

Indian-origin appointed to top military post in Kyrgyzstan.

Details :

An Indian-origin Saudi-based entrepreneur Sheikh Rafik Mohammed has been appointed major general of Kyrgyzstan.

He hails from Kerala, was appointed by Ali Mirza.

It is a rare military position occupied by an overseas Keralite.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/nri/middle-east-news/indian-origin-appointed-to-top-military-post-in-kyrgyzstan/articleshow/56290887.cms

Jan. 1, 2017

China to build $1.5 billion power line across Pakistan.

Details :

China’s State Grid Corporation is set to build a $1.5-billion power line across Pakistan to enable the transmission of 4,000 megawatts of electricity from the country’s north to south.

In this regard both countries have signed an investment agreement in Beijing.

The power transmission line will link the national grid between the southern Pakistani town of Matiari and easternmost city of Lahore, located 1,000km apart. It will be Pakistan’s first high-voltage, direct current line

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/China-to-build-1.5-billion-power-line-across-Pakistan/article16966792.ece

China announces ban on ivory trade by end of 2017.

Details :

China has announced a ban on all ivory trade and processing activities by the end of 2017.

A move that conservationists hope will stymie the mass killing -- and threat of extinction -- of African elephants.

This decision is consider historic and a game-changer for the future of elephants.China has the biggest ivory market in the world- some estimates suggest 70% of the world’s trade ends up there.

CITES is multilateral treaty between governments to protect endangered animals and plants.

Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.

Apple’s partner to make iPhones in Bengaluru.

Details :

Apple’s partner Wistron, a Taiwanese original design manufacturer (ODM), is planning to set up a manufacturing unit in the Bengaluru.

The company will set up the unit in Peenya Industrial Area and start work with the assembling of the Apple phones.

Earlier, Wistron in partnership with Optiemus Infracom Ltd. had set up a manufacturing unit in Noida for manufacturing HTC phones.

The new manufacturing centre will be Apple’s second major plan for the IT capital.

In May this year Apple had announced setting up of a Design and Development Accelerator in Bengaluru to support engineering talent and accelerate growth among India’s iOS developer community.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-business/Apple%E2%80%99s-partner-to-make-iPhones-in-Bengaluru/article16966848.ece

Navy Chief Sunil Lanba takes over as head of Chiefs of Staff Committee.

Details :

The Union Defence Ministry has appointed Navy Chief Sunil Lanba as the Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff committee (COSC). 

Lanba received the baton from the outgoing Chief of Air Staff (CoAS), Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha in a ceremony held in New Delhi.

Mori village in Andhra gets Smart Digital village tag.

Details :

Mori, a tiny village under Sakhinetipalli mandal in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh, sealed its place on India's digital map by transforming completely into a Smart Digital Village.

Mori also recently bagged the Swachh Village award at the national level after all the households got individual sanitary latrines and became open defecation-free. 

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/mori-in-andhra-gets-smart-digital-village-tag-116122900761_1.html

M.P. plans 1,100 ‘climate-smart’ villages.

Details :

Madhya Pradesh has  plan to develop 1,100 ‘climate-smart’ villages with the aim of preparing farmers to manage the climate change risks on time.

100 villages in each of the 11 agro-climatic zones of the state would be taken up under the plan, which would incur a cost about ₹150 crore every year.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/national/mp-plans-1100-climatesmart-villages/article9451746.ece

S.P. Singh Telangana's new Chief Secretary.

Details :

Senior IAS officer  Shekhar Prasad Singh  assumed charge as the new Chief Secretary of Telangana. He succeeded K. Pradeep Chandra.

Prior to this appointment, Singh was serving as the Special Chief Secretary, Panchayat Raj department.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/s-p-singh-telangana-s-new-chief-secretary-117010100390_1.html

Olympic heroes and entertainers recognised in New Year Honours 2017.

Details :

Andy Murray, Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis-Hill are among the Olympic stars recognised in a New Year Honours list. 

Rio 2016 men's tennis champion Murray and double gold-winning athlete Farah receive knighthoods, while heptathlete Ennis-Hill becomes a dame. 

A host of Paralympians also receive honours, including 11-times gold medallist dressage rider Lee Pearson who receives a knighthood.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-38470732

SBI cuts lending rate by 0.9%.

Details :

The country's largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) on Sunday slashed its benchmark lending rate by 0.9% across various maturities.

The new rates are effective from January 1, 2017.

http://www.timesnow.tv/india/article/state-bank-of-india-cuts-lending-rate-by-09-percent-effective-from-today/53685

Mumbai chess prodigy Kush creates history in UAE tourney.

Details :

Mumbai’s  Kush Bhagat made history after winning three gold medals in the 1st Western Asia Youth Chess Championship held in Al Ain Chess Club, UAE. 

The second standard student of the NSS Hill Spring International achieved the feat in all the three categories, rapid, blitz and standard, and became the only Indian in the world to bag all the crowns in the competition.

He overcame the challenges from 158 participants from 20 countries across the world.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/mumbai-chess-prodigy-kush-creates-history-in-uae-tourney-116123000723_1.html

Somdev announced retirement from professional tennis

Details :

India’s star singles player Somdev Devvarman announced his retirement from professional tennis.

He made announcement on his Twitter page.

The 31-year-old’s career was hampered by a recurring shoulder injury in 2012. 

Somdev was India’s star singles player since he first broke into the scene in 2008.

He was conferred the Arjuna award — the country’s second highest sporting honour — in 2011.

http://www.thehindu.com/sport/tennis/Somdev-announces-retirement-from-professional-tennis/article16973271.ece

Dec. 31, 2016

RBI extends period of enhanced PPI limit.

Details :

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has extended the period of enhanced Prepaid Payment Instruments (PPI) limit of Rs 20,000 as part of efforts to promote digital payments.

While balance in such PPIs cannot exceed Rs20,000 at any point of time, the merchants can transfer funds from such PPIs to their own linked bank accounts up to Rs50,000 per month, without any limit per transaction.

Government extends Direct Tax Dispute Resolution Scheme's window to Jan 31.

Details :

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has extended the last date for availing the Direct Tax Dispute Resolution Scheme to January 31, 2017 from the earlier deadline of December 31, 2016.

The scheme provides for waiving interest and penalties if the principal amount involved in retrospective tax cases is paid.

The Direct Tax Dispute Resolution Scheme, announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the budget for 2016-17, seeks not just to settle disputes in retrospective taxes, but end nearly 2.6 lakh pending tax cases where Rs 5.16 lakh crore are locked in.

Under it, a disputed tax amount of up to Rs 10 lakh and the penalty will be forgone. However, in cases where the disputed tax amount is above Rs 10 lakh, a penalty of 25% will be levied.

The scheme provided for waiver of the interest and penalty for retro tax cases only if the company in question withdraws all appeals against the government at all judicial forums.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/govt-extends-direct-tax-dispute-resolution-scheme-s-window-to-jan-31-116123000296_1.html

CSL completes construction of 20 FPV series for Indian Coast Guard.

Details :

The Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) has delivered ICGS AYUSH, the 20th Fast Patrol Vessel (FPV) to the Indian Coast Guard.  

CSL has completed construction of 20 FPVs for the Indian Coast Guard.

ICGS Ayush will be operated from the Coast Guard Station at Krishnapatanam.

It is last in the series (CSL Yard No BY 520) and was delivered three months ahead of schedule.

During the current financial year, CSL has delivered four FPV’s and one Deck Cargo / Jacket Launch Barge built for National Petroleum Construction Company (NPCC) Abu Dhabi.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/logistics/csl-completes-construction-of-20-fpv-series-for-indian-coast-guard/article9451540.ece

General Bipin Rawat takes over as new Chief of Army Staff.

Details :

Lt General Bipin Rawat has took charge as the new Army Chief replacing General Dalbir Singh Suhag. Lt Gen Rawat was the Vice Chief of Army Staff.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/New-Army-Air-Force-Chiefs-assume-charge/article16970134.ece

Romania's president appoints Sorin Grindeanu as PM.

Details :

Romania's president Klaus Iohannis  appointed Sorin Grindeanu as the country's new prime minister.

Grindeanu was proposed for the position by a government coalition comprising election winners Social Democrat Party (PSD) and junior partner Liberal-Democrat Alliance (ALDE).

Grindeanu, 43, has been a PSD member since 1996. He graduated from the Faculty of Mathematics of Timisoara West University in 1997.

In the period December 2014-November 2015 he served as minister of telecommunications and information society in Victor Ponta's cabinet. Starting June 2016, he is president of Timis county council. 

Sasikala takes over as AIADMK general secretary.

Details :

V.K. Sasikala  formally took over as the general secretary of the AIADMK , Tamil Nadu.

She became the second woman and sixth leader to lead the party after Jayalalithaa.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/Sasikala-takes-over-as-AIADMK-general-secretary/article16968463.ece1

Cash withdrawal limit from ATMs increased to Rs 4,500 per day from January 1, 2017.

Details :

The RBI has decided to increase the cash withdrawal limit from ATMs to Rs 4,500 per day from the present Rs 2,500 with effect from January 1 , 2017.

However, there is no change in the weekly withdrawal limits, which stays at Rs 24,000.

People still have time to exchange the currency notes at designated RBI counters till March 31 after giving valid reasons for not depositing defunct notes in their accounts by December 30.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/cash-withdrawal-limit-from-atms-increased-to-rs-4500-per-day-from-january-1/articleshow/56263151.cms

State Bank of India ties up with Magicbricks.com.

Details :

State Bank of India the country’s largest bank has tied up with online classifieds portal magicbricks.com, to conduct joint marketing activites and help rejuvenate the real estate sector. 

To kick start the MOU, SBI and Magicbricks are launching the 'Seal the Deal' campaign. 

Under Seal The Deal, SBI and Magicbricks will be hosting a mega online property show for SBI Approved Projects. This will be the first housing carnival in the industry at this scale. 

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/banking/finance/banking/state-bank-of-india-ties-up-with-magicbricks-com/articleshow/56255709.cms

Mother Dairy introduces Aadhar enabled payment system at its booths.

Details :

To promote cashless transactions amongst its consumer, Mother Dairy Fruit and Vegetable Pvt. Ltd. has announced Aadhar Enabled Payment System in its Milk and Safal Booths.

This service will now be available in addition to the existing modes like E-wallets and SmartChange Cards.

The service was commissioned in association with CSC e-Governance Service India Ltd. under the aegis of Department of Electronics and Information Technology (Deity), Government of India.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ani/mother-dairy-introduces-aadhar-enabled-payment-system-at-its-booths-116123000812_1.html

Narinder Batra resigns as IOA's associate VP.

Details :

The associate vice president of Indian Olympic Association (IOA) Narinder Batra resigned from his post in protest against the nominations of Suresh Kalmadi and Abhay Singh Chautala as Life Presidents. 

 Batra, who recently became the International Hockey Federation (FIH) president, said he was strongly against the backdoor entry of Kalmadi and Chautala in the IOA.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sports/more-sports/others/narinder-batra-quits-as-ioa-associate-vice-president-in-protest/articleshow/56257748.cms

Dec. 30, 2016

CBDT signs 2 unilateral APAs with taxpayers.

Details :

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) signed two unilateral Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs) with Indian taxpayers.

The two APAs signed  pertain to the Information Technology and automobile sectors.

The international transactions covered in these two agreements include software development services, IT enabled services (ITES), manufacturing and business support services.

With this, the total number of APAs entered into by the CBDT has reached 117. This includes 7 bilateral APAs and 110 Unilateral APAs. 

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/cbdt-signs-2-unilateral-apas-with-taxpayers-116122901090_1.html

FIPB clears 6 FDI proposals worth Rs 1,200 cr.

Details :

The Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) has approved six Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) proposals worth Rs 1,200 crore.

It has approved the proposals of, Star Den Media Services, Sanofi Synthelabo India, Idea Cellular Infrastructure Services, Menarini India, Boehringer Ingelheim India and Recipharm Participation.

6 out of 17 FDI proposals got approval.

Decision was taken by FIPB meeting headed by Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/fipb-clears-6-fdi-proposals-worth-rs-1-200-cr-116122900768_1.html

Government proposes setting up Financial Data Management Centre.

Details :

A government appointed panel has suggested setting up a financial data management centre (FDMC) for managing the repository of financial regulatory data to ensure stability in the economy.

The Committee was headed by Ajay Tyagi, Additional Secretary in Union Finance Ministry and has submitted its report and a draft bill titled The Financial Data Management Centre Bill, 2016. 

Govt meets PMUY target of 1.5 crore LPG connection.

Details :

The Union Ministry for Petroleum & Natural Gas has met the 1.5-crore target for LPG connections that were to be added under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) in the 2016-17 financial year.

Target of 1.5 crore connections fixed for the current financial year for Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) has been achieved within a span of less than eight months and the scheme is being implemented now across 35 States/UTs.

The top five states with the highest number of connections are Uttar Pradesh (46 lakh), West Bengal (19 lakh), Bihar (19 lakh), Madhya Pradesh (17 lakh) and Rajasthan (14 lakh).

14 States/UTs with LPG coverage less than the national average. They are J&K, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and all North-East States. They have been identified as priority States for implementing PMUY.

http://www.thehindu.com/business/Govt-meets-PMUY-target-of-1.5-crore-LPG-connection-additions-this-financial-year/article16960147.ece

Constitution of high level committee to review Institutionalization of Arbitration Mechanism in India.

Details :

The Union Ministry of Law and Justice has constituted a High Level Committee (HLC) to review institutionalisation of arbitration mechanism in India.

The committee will be headed by Justice B N Srikrishna, the retired Judge of Supreme Court. 

The terms of reference for the High Level Committee are as under:

 1.To analyze & review effectiveness of present arbitration mechanism.

 2. To review the facilities, resources, funding and manpower of existing ADR    institutions.

 3. To review working of the institutions funded by the Government of India for arbitration purposes.

 4.  To assess skill gaps in ADR and allied institutions for both national and international arbitration.

 5. To evaluate information outreach and efficacy of existing legal framework for arbitration.

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=155959

PM Narendra Modi launches Aadhaar-based mobile payment app BHIM.

Details :

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched UPI based mobile payment application called BHIM (Bharat Interface for Money) at the Digi Dhan Mela held in Talkatora stadium, New Delhi.

The app is a rebranded version of UPI (Unified Payment Interface) and USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data).

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/trend-tracking/modi-launches-bhim-payment-app/articleshow/56255859.cms

Haryana signs MoU with Andhra to prepare citizen database.

Details :

Haryana government signed a memorandum of understanding with Andhra Pradesh to assist it compile a centralised database of its population to ensure efficient and effective implementation of welfare programmes. 

The MoU for State Resident Data Base (SRDB) was signed by Haryana Principal Secretary, Information Technology Devender Singh and Secretary Andhra Pradesh, Information Technology, Vijayen. 

Andhra already has a database of this sort. It's described as a comprehensive portal for managing demographic (name, gender, age, photograph and address) and biometric information for facilitating "Unique ID" based identity authentication. 

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/haryana-signs-mou-with-andhra-to-prepare-citizen-database-116122900709_1.html

Railway Minister lays foundation of Nadikudi-Srikalahasti project in Andhra Pradesh.

Details :

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu laid the foundation of Nadikudi-Srikalahasti railway project and initiated several other development works in Andhra Pradesh. 

The 309-km-long line was in fact sanctioned in 2011-12, but figured in the Railway Budget of 2014-15. It was estimated to cost approximately Rs.2,300 crore.

Coming to the present, the Railways allocated Rs.110 crore for the project in 2015-16 and Rs.180 crore in 2016-17.

He also flagged off the Double-Decker train between Visakhapatnam-Tirupathi .

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-andhrapradesh/Fillip-to-%E2%80%98Nadikudi-Kalahasti-spine%E2%80%99/article16967569.ece

Bihar Government approves 50% reservation of Backward Class in judicial services.

Details :

Bihar Government has declared 50% reservation in all judicial services for aspirants belonging to the Extremely Backward Classes (EBCs), Other Backward Classes (OBCs), Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs). 

Lakshmi Vilas Bank launches QIP to raise Rs 600 crore.

Details :

Major Private sector Lakshmi Vilas Bank has launched QIP to raise over Rs 599.88 crore by issuing 4.25 crore shares in domestic or international markets. 

The Committee of Directors for Capital Raising of the bank, at a meeting held yesterday, approved the floor price for the QIP issue at Rs 141.15 per equity share.

http://www.thehindu.com/business/Lakshmi-Vilas-Bank-launches-QIP-to-raise-Rs-600-crore/article16958937.ece

BoB signs MoU with HFL to provide dairy loans to farmers.

Details :

State-run Bank of Baroda and Heritage Foods Ltd (HFL) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to provide dairy loans to farmers through the lender's branches across the country. 

BoB and HFL will work jointly to provide dairy loans to the farmers which will benefit them in increasing their productivity and earnings under allied activities.

Dec. 29, 2016

Union Cabinet approves ratification of International Solar Alliance.

Details :

The Union Cabinet gave its approval to the proposal of Union Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) for ratification of International Solar Alliance (ISA) Framework Agreement by India.

The Agreement invokes the Paris Declaration on ISA and encapsulates the vision of the prospective member nations. 

Till now, 25 nations have signed the Framework Agreement. World Bank and UNDP also have announced their partnership with the ISA.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/policy/cabinet-nod-for-ratifying-international-solar-alliance-agreement/articleshow/56220197.cms

CCEA approves road projects for Maoist-hit areas.

Details :

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved Road Connectivity Project for Left Wing Extremism (LWE) Affected Areas.

The project will be implemented under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) to provide all weather road connectivity in 44 worst affected LWE districts and adjoining districts.

The fund sharing pattern of LWE road project will be same as that of PMGSY i.e. in the ratio of 60:40 between the Centre and States for all States, except for eight North Eastern and three Himalayan States (Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh & Uttarakhand) for which it is 90:10.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/ccea-approves-road-connectivity-project-for-left-wing-extremism-affected-areas/article9447591.ece

China launches two high-resolution remote sensing satellites.

Details :

 China successfully launched a pair of high-resolution remote sensing satellites to get commercial images.

The satellites,named SuperView-1  01/02.

These satellites were launched on-board of Long March 2D rocket from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre in Shanxi Province. They will provide commercial images at 0.5-meter resolution.

 China plans to form a BeiDou network consisting of 35 satellites for global navigation services by 2020. It is expected to compete with America's Global Positioning system.

China plans to start providing basic navigation services to countries along the Silk Route One Belt One Road Economic route and 21st-century Maritime Silk Road in 2018.

China will launch a lunar probe in 2018 to achieve world’s first soft landing on the far side of the Moon to show case its ambitious space programme including manned missions, building permanent space station and reaching to Mars.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/china/china-launches-two-high-resolution-remote-sensing-satellites/articleshow/56214083.cms

Ordinance will make possession of old Rs 500, 1,000 notes criminal offence.

Details :

The Cabinet approved the promulgation of an ordinance extinguishing the Reserve Bank of India's liability for cancelled Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes as the logical conclusion to the government's demonetisation initiative. 

It will come into force once it gets Presidential assent as per Article 123 of the Constitution. It will make possession of a large number of demonetised 1,000 and 500 rupee notes beyond threshold amount a penal offence.

Ordinance is expected to  provides a limited window for depositing the cancelled notes at select RBI branches until March 31, 2017.

And also prescribes a monetary penalty for anyone holding such currency in large quantities after the deadline. 

Furnishing wrong information while depositing the old currency between January 1 and March 31 will attract a fine of Rs 5,000 or five times the amount.

In 1978, a similar ordinance was issued to end the government's liability after Rs 1,000, Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000 notes were demonetised by the Morarji Desai-led government. 

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/policy/modi-government-makes-it-illegal-to-hold-notes-post-march-31/articleshow/56215531.cms

Government launches IVRS platform to tackle call drops.

Details :

The Union Government has launched Integrated Voice Response System (IVRS) system in a bid to tackle the call drop menace.

The system was launched at multiple locations including Delhi and Mumbai to obtain direct feedback from subscribers on call quality.

 The feedback will be shared with operators so they can take corrective steps in the problem areas and address the issue of call drops. 

It is launched in Delhi, Mumbai, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Maharashtra and Goa.

Subscribers will receive an IVRS call from the short code 1955 and will be asked a questions such as whether they are facing or not (facing) call drops in their area.

Mobile users can also send a toll-free SMS to the same short code 1955, containing the location of city/town/village, where they might be facing the problem of frequent call drops.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/government-launches-ivrs-platform-to-tackle-call-drops/

27th meeting of Southern Zonal Council held at Thiruvananthapuram.

Details :

The 27th meeting of the Southern Zonal Council held at Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala was chaired by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

The Council reviewed progress of implementation of various recommendations made in the last meeting relating to issues of fishermen, Peninsular Region Industrial Development Corridor, Extension of High Speed Rail Corridor between Thiruvananthapuram up to Mangalore and Udupi, introduction of peninsular tourism trains in the zone and Amendments to the New Road Transport & Road Safety Bill.

The Southern Zonal Council consists of Kerala, Karnataka, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry (UT) and Andhra Pradesh.

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=155934

Government launches Swachh Swasth Sarvatra initiative.

Details :

Union Government launched Swachh Swasth Sarvatra initiative to strengthen health centres in open defecation-free (ODF) blocks.

The objective is to strengthen community health centres in 708 open defecation-free blocks across the country to enable them to achieve higher levels of cleanliness and hygiene.

The initiative is a part of the Swachh Bharat Mission, under the National Health Mission

It is joint initiative of Ministry of Health and Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation  and Human Resource Development.

Under it, 10 lakh rupees of financial assistance will be given to the community health centres so that they can be strengthened to meet the standards of sanitation, hygiene and infection control.

India, Bhutan sign MoU for green construction.

Details :

India has signed an agreement with Bhutan for assistance in green and sustainable construction of infrastructure.

The MoU was signed between Central Public Works Department (CPWD), under India’s Ministry of Urban Development and the Department of Engineering Services, under Bhutan’s Ministry of Works and Human Settlements. 

http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/india-bhutan-sign-mou-for-green-construction-116122700616_1.html

Government approves Rs 266 crore investment for Delhi under AMRUT.

Details :

The Centre has approved investments of Rs 266 crore for improving water supply and sewerage networks in Delhi under the 2016-17 action plan in AMRUT scheme. 

With the approval, the Urban Development Ministry has now given nod to a total investment of Rs489 crore rupees for improving urban infrastructure in the national capital under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) guidelines. 

As per AMRUT guidelines, the Centre will provide a total of Rs 804 crore to Delhi for the five-year mission period. 

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/policy/govt-approves-investment-of-rs-266-cr-for-delhi-under-amrut/articleshow/56220324.cms

S.P. Vaid to be J&K’s new Director General of Police.

Details :

Senior Indian Police Services (IPS) officer S.P. Vaid as new Director General of Police (DGP) of Jammu and Kashmir.

The decision was taken in the State Cabinet meeting headed by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti in Jammu.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/S.P.-Vaid-to-be-JK%E2%80%99s-new-Director-General-of-Police/article16955159.ece

South Indian Bank unveils mobile banking app for NRIs.

Details :

South Indian Bank has introduced a full-fledged NRI-focused mobile banking application called SIB Mirror+ across major mobile platforms. 

The new app was launched after the path-breaking 'E-Lock' feature that provided a single tap solution to fully secure all digital transaction from frauds.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/money-and-banking/south-indian-bank-unveils-mobile-banking-app-for-nris/article9447760.ece

Ana Ivanovic announces retirement from tennis at age of 29.

Details :

Ana Ivanovic, the former world No1 and 2008 French Open champion, has announced retirement from tennis at the age of 29.

Ivanovic, of Serbia, won 15 WTA Tour titles, including the 2008 French Open, and was ranked 63rd at the time of her announcement. 

Dec. 28, 2016

List of Stadiums in India.

Details :

 Wankhede Stadium

The Wankhede Stadium is a cricket stadium in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

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


M. A. Chidambaram Stadium

M A Chidambaram Stadium or Chepauk Stadium is a cricket stadium in Chennai, India

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M._A._Chidambaram_Stadium


Eden Gardens

Eden Gardens  is a cricket ground in Kolkata, India. 

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


JSCA International Stadium Complex

Jharkhand States Cricket Association International Cricket Stadium,also known as JSCA International Stadium Complex, is situated in Ranchi, India an eastern city of India.

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


 DY Patil Stadium

The Dr. DY Patil Sports Stadium is a football and a cricket stadium at D. Y. Patil campus, Nerul, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.

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


Feroz Shah Kotla Ground

The Feroz Shah Kotla Ground is a cricket ground located at Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, New Delhi

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


 Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium

The Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium also known as New VCA stadium is a cricket ground built in 2008 located in Nagpur, Maharashtra, India.

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


Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium 

The Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium is the principal cricket stadium in Hyderabad, Telangana.

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


 Barkatullah Khan Stadium

Barkatullah Khan Stadium is located in Jodhpur, Rajasthan. It is currently used mostly for cricket.

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


Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium (Kochi)

Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium locally known as Kaloor International Stadium is a multipurpose international stadium situated in Kochi, Kerala. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jawaharlal_Nehru_Stadium_(Kochi)


 K. D. Singh Babu Stadium.

The K. D. Singh Babu Stadium, Lucknow, formerly known as Central Sports Stadium, is a stadium named after the famous hockey player K. D. Singh, Lucknow.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K._D._Singh_Babu_Stadium,_Lucknow


 Fatorda Stadium.

The Fatorda Stadium, officially known as the Jawarharlal Nehru Stadium, is a multi-purpose stadium situated in Margao, Goa.

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


 Maulana Azad Stadium

The Maulana Azad Stadium (also spelled Molana Azad Stadium) is a stadium in Jammu.

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


Indira Priyadarshini Stadium

Indira Priyadarsini Stadium is located in the coastal city of Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.

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


Captain Roop Singh Stadium

Captain Roop Singh Stadium, is a cricket ground in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh.

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


Nahar Singh Stadium

The Nahar Singh Stadium previously known as Mayur Stadium is a cricket stadium in the Indian city of Faridabad.

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


Madhavrao Scindia Cricket Ground

Madhavrao Scindia Cricket Ground also known as Municipal Ground or Racecourse Ground Corporation Ground is located in Rajkot, Gujarat.

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


 Sector 16 Stadium

The Sector 16 Stadium is a cricket stadium in Chandigarh, India.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sector_16_Stadium


M. Chinnaswamy Stadium

The M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, located in Bengaluru, Karnataka.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M._Chinnaswamy_Stadium


Brabourne Stadium

The Brabourne Stadium is a cricket ground in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

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


Green Park Stadium

Green Park Stadium is a 33,000 capacity floodlit multi-purpose stadium located in Kanpur, India,

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


Gandhi Stadium

Gandhi Stadium  or Burlton Park or B.S.Bedi Stadium is located in the city of Jalandhar, Punjab and is used for cricket matches

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


Indira Gandhi Stadium, Vijayawada

Indira Gandhi Stadium (formerly:Municipal Stadium) is located in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh and is also known as the Municipal Stadium.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indira_Gandhi_Stadium,_Vijayawada


Moti Bagh Stadium

Moti Bagh Stadium is a cricket stadium located in Vadodara, Gujarat.

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


Nehru Stadium, Pune

Nehru Stadium,  formerly known as Club of Maharashtra Ground, is a multi-purpose stadium in Pune, India

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nehru_Stadium,_Pune


Barabati Stadium

The Barabati Stadium is an Indian sports stadium located in Cuttack, Odisha

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


Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium

The Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium  formerly known as Fateh Maidan is a football and cricket stadium in Hyderabad, Telangana.

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


Moin-ul-Haq Stadium

Moin-Ul-Haq Stadium or Rajendra Nagar Stadium is located in Patna, Bihar, India.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moin-ul-Haq_Stadium


Sawai Mansingh Stadium

The Sawai Mansingh Stadium is a cricket stadium in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India

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


Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium

Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium, abbreviated as HPCA Stadium, is a cricket stadium located in the city of Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh, India. The town of Dharamsala is best known internationally as the home of the Dalai Lama of Tibet.

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


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

Important Revolutions In India.

Details :

1. Blue Revolution - Fish Production 

2. Green Revolution - Food grains 

3. Yellow Revolution - Oil Seeds production

4. Red Revolution - Meat and Tomato Production

5. Pink Revolution - Onion production/Pharmaceutical/Prawn production 

6. Grey Revolution – Fertilizer

7. Evergreen Revolution - Overall development of Agriculture 

8. White Revolution  - Milk/Dairy production 

9. Brown Revolution - Leather/non-conventional /Cocoa production 

10. Black Revolution - Petroleum Production 

11. Golden Fiber Revolution - Jute Production 

12. Golden Revolution - Fruits/Overall Horticulture development/Honey Production 

13. Round Revolution – Potato 

14. Silver Fiber Revolution – Cotton 

Gujarat government announces Biotechnology Policy.

Details :

Gujarat Government announced its ‘Biotechnology Policy-2016’.

With an aim to establish Gujarat as a preferred destination for manufacturing of biotechnology products.

The policy has various incentives for investors who are keen to set up their units in the state.

State government will provide capital subsidy up to Rs 25 crore on the total investment for developing a Biotechnology (BT) Park.

In addition, the developer of such park will be eligible for 100% reimbursement of stamp duty paid on lease or sale of the land for setting such park.

BT Park developer will be given 100 per cent reimbursement for electricity duty paid for a period of five years.

For individual BT manufacturing units having gross fixed capital investment(GFCI) up to Rs 50 crore, government would give capital subsidy up to Rs 10% of the GFCI with a ceiling of Rs 5 crore. 

BT units borrowings up to Rs 50 crore will be entitled to an interest subsidy at the rate of 5% with a ceiling of 2.5 crore per annum.

Government would give 100% reimbursement of stamp duty paid on sale or lease of the land o encourage new start-ups in this sector.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/gujarat-government-announces-biotechnology-policy-116122601053_1.html

Astronomers Discover Universe’s Biggest Galaxy Supercluster Near The Milky Way.

Details :

A team of international astronomers has discovered Vela super cluster, one of the biggest super galaxy clusters near the Milky Way.

The cluster, undetected for long and masked by stars and dust in the Milky Way, was spotted by a research team of astronomers from Australia, South Africa, and Europe.

http://www.techtimes.com/articles/189880/20161225/astronomers-discover-universe-s-biggest-galaxy-supercluster-near-the-milky-way.htm

Kerala to seek Union government’s approval for using deer antlers in Ayurveda medicines.

Details :

The Kerala Government has approached the Union Government for allowing use of antlers of spotted deer and sambar of Ayurveda medicines.

Kerala State Board for Wildlife (SBWL) under chairmanship of CM Pinarayi Vijayan has forwarded proposal to National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) and Ministry of Environment and Forests.

Antlers are the extensions of the deer’s skull. All three deer varieties found in Kerala, including spotted deer, sambar, and barking deer, shed their antlers annually, said a wildlife specialist.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/Antlers-could-end-up-in-medicines/article16952446.ece

Status of tribal development remains poor: Ministry report.

Details :

According to recently released annual report of the Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs, the tribal population in India lags behind other social groups on various social parameters, such as child mortality, infant mortality, number of anaemic women.

Tribal population, with a vast majority engaged in agricultural labour, has a higher incidence of anaemia in women.

The community also registered the highest child mortality and infant mortality rates, when compared to other social groups.

While educational achievements on the whole has improved,  the gross enrolment ratio among tribal students in the primary school level has declined from 113.2 in 2013-14 to 109.4 in 2015-16. Besides, the dropout rate among tribal students has been at an alarming level.

The overall poverty rates among the tribal population have fallen compared to previous years. They remain relatively poor when weighed against other social groups.

Health infrastructure has also been found wanting in tribal areas. At an all-India level, there is a shortfall of 6,796 Sub Centres, 1267 Primary Health Centres and 309 Community Health Centres in tribal areas as on March 31, 2015.

Gaps in rehabilitation:

There are gaps in the rehabilitation of the tribal community members displaced by development projects.

Only 21 lakh tribal community members have been rehabilitated so far of the estimated 85 lakh persons displaced due to development projects and natural calamities.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Status-of-tribal-development-remains-poor-Ministry-report/article16951999.ece

Viral V Acharya appointed as RBI Deputy Governor.

Details :

The Union Government has appointed Viral V Acharya (42) as new Deputy Governor at the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).  

He will have regular three-year tenure.

His appointment was cleared by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.

He will fill the post that fell vacant after Urjit Patel was made RBI Governor to succeed Rajan with effect from September 4. The existing three Deputy Governors of RBI are S S Mundra, N S Vishwanathan and R Gandhi.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/policy/rbi-appoints-viral-acharya-as-deputy-governor/articleshow/56215987.cms

Anil Baijal to be new Delhi Lieutenant Governor.

Details :

Former Union home secretary Anil Baijal was appointed as the new Lieutenant-Governor of Delhi.

The post of Delhi Lieutenant Governor fell vacant after the resignation of Najeeb Jung.

Baijal, a 1969 batch IAS officer, was home secretary in 2004 under the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government. 

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/former-top-ias-officer-anil-baijal-likely-to-be-new-delhi-lg/articleshow/56220220.cms

Indian Army partners with IIT Gandhinagar for critical technology requirements.

Details :

Indian Army has partnered with IIT Gandhinagar to set up a research and development (R&D) cell at the IIT campus.

The research cell will work with the faculty and research students to identify problems and possible solutions for the Indian Army. 

The agreement also enable the IIT and Indian Army to collaborate in areas including critical technology requirements of Indian Army, sharing of professional and technical knowledge.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/defence/indian-army-partners-with-iit-gandhinagar-for-critical-technology-requirements/articleshow/56202380.cms

Bank of Maharashtra Adopts Village in Sangli for Digital Transactions.

Details :

Pune based public sector lender Bank of Maharashtra, has helped to make the village of Malangaon, in Sangli district, Maharashtra, a completely cashless village.  

Bank of Maharashtra has fully supported the government’s push to a cashless society and our initiative of making Malangaon cashless from end to end is a testament to the fact.

Aadhar linked bank accounts make it easy for everyone in the village to perform banking transactions by the simple use of their fingerprint.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/banking/finance/banking/bank-of-maharashtra-adopts-a-village-in-sangli-for-digital-transactions/articleshow/56200845.cms

Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher passes away at 60.

Details :

Actress Carrie Fisher, known for playing Princess Leia in the 'Star Wars' film series, passed away at the age of 60 in a Los Angeles hospital following a heart attack. 

The actress and advocate, who got her start in Hollywood as a seductive teen in the 1975 film "Shampoo," was the daughter of screen legend Debbie Reynolds and singer Eddie Fisher.

But her biggest break as an actress came just a few years after she dropped out of high school to appear alongside her mother on Broadway.

Former Madhya Pradesh CM Sunderlal Patwa, 92, passes away

Details :

Veteran BJP leader and former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Sunderlal Patwa (92-year) has passed away in Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh).

He was Born on November 11, 1924.

He was Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh twice from 20 January 1980 to 17 February 1980 as member of Janata Party and from 5 March 1990 to 15 December 1992 as leader of Bharatiya Janta Party.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bhopal/former-madhya-pradesh-cm-sunderlal-patwa-92-passes-away/articleshow/56214510.cms

Cristiano Ronaldo, Fernando Santos honored at Globe Soccer Awards.

Details :

Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal's Euro 2016-winning coach Fernando Santos were honored at the Globe Soccer Awards, Dubai. 

It’s the fourth time Ronaldo has claimed the award in its seven-year history.

Ronaldo claimed the best player award after he helped his team win year's European Championship. 

Santos (62) was named best manager after masterminding Portugal's success in France.

Gujarat’s Samit Gohel Creates World Record Score of 359.

Details :

Gujarat's 26-year-old opening batsman Samit Gohel broke a 117-year-old record in first-class cricket by notching up the highest score while carrying his bat through the innings of 359 not out during his team's Ranji Trophy quarter-final against Odisha.

Virat Kohli chosen as captain of Cricket Australia’s ODI team of the year.

Details :

India's dynamic Test captain Virat Kohli has named skipper of Cricket Australia's ODI team of the year which also featured young yorker specialist Jasprit Bumrah.

Kohli, who was earlier also picked captain of the ICC’s ODI team of the year, was preferred over Australia’s Steve Smith. Smith was, however, picked in the ‘All-Star’ team.

Cricket Australia’s ODI Team of Year:

Virat Kohli (India, captain),

David Warner (Australia),

Quinton de Kock (wk) (South Africa),

Steve Smith (Australia),

Babar Azam (Pakistan),

Mitchell Marsh (Australia),

Jos Buttler (England),

Jasprit Bumrah (India),

Imran Tahir (South Africa).

http://indianexpress.com/article/sports/cricket/virat-kohli-chosen-as-captain-of-cricket-australias-team-of-the-year-4447233/

Dec. 27, 2016

China to levy environment tax to fight pollution.

Details :

China  has passed Environment Tax to levy environment tax on polluters, especially on heavy industries. It will enter into force on January 1, 2018.

The Environment Tax Law was adopted by the legislature, the National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee.

The law aims to improve taxpayers’ environmental awareness, force companies to upgrade technology and shift to cleaner production.

Under the new law, companies will pay taxes ranging from 350 yuan ($60) to 11,200 yuan ($1870) per month for noise.

It also set rates of 1.2 yuan on stipulated quantities of air pollutants, 1.4 yuan on water pollutants and a range of five to 1,000 yuan for each tonne of solid waste.

Punishment for evasion or fraud are not specified, but offenders will be held liable in line with the law on administration of taxation and the environmental law.

China is the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, due to its heavy reliance on coal to provide electricity to its population of 1.37 billion.

In 2015 china collected 17.3 billion yuan (about $2.5 billion) from some 280,000 businesses,

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/China-to-levy-environment-tax-to-fight-pollution/article16945779.ece

China tests new jet fighter FC-31 Gyrfalcon prototype: Report.

Details :

China has successfully tested the latest version of its fifth-generation stealth fighter jet J-31.

The newest version of the J-31 -- now renamed the FC-31 Gyrfalcon.

The newest FC-31 has better stealth capabilities, improved electronic equipment and a larger payload capacity than the previous version which debuted in October 2012.

The jet is manufactured by Shenyang Aircraft Corp., a subsidiary of the Aviation Industry Corp of China (AVIC).

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/china/china-tests-new-jet-fighter-fc-31-gyrfalcon-prototype-report/articleshow/56182464.cms

Sagarmala Development Company’s office inaugurated in New Delhi.

Details :

Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari inaugurated Sagarmala Development Company’s (SDC) office in New Delhi to promote port-led development in the country.

The SDC has been incorporated under the Companies Act, 2013.

The Cabinet in July had approved the formation of the SDC under the administrative control of the Ministry of Shipping.

The main objective of the company is to identify port-led development projects under the Sagarmala programme and provide equity support for the project special purpose vehicles set up by the Ports, State, Central Ministries and funding window.

It will implement only those residual projects which cannot be funded by any other means mode.

PM Narendra Modi lays foundation stone of Char Dham highway development project.

Details :

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has laid the foundation stone of Char Dham highway development project or Chardham Mahamarg Vikas Pariyojna in Dehradun, Uttarakhand.

 The Char Dham Highway will cost the exchequer Rs. 12,000 crore and the all-weather road will improve connectivity between Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri. 

The project’s main objective is to develop around 900 km of national highways.

This Char Dham project is a tribute to those who lost their lives during the Uttarakhand flash floods.

The Char Dham highway project involves building tunnels, viaducts, bridges and bypasses in the entire state, along with way-side amenities that will include helipad for emergency evacuation and parking facilities, among others.

It will generate additional employment for the local population and will change the economy of the State as it will give strong boost to connectivity and tourism.

http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/pm-narendra-modi-lays-foundation-for-900-km-char-dham-highway-project-1642371

UP CM lays foundation stone of Film, Television and Liberal Arts Institute.

Details :

The  Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Akhilesh Yadav has laid a foundation stone of the Film, Television and Liberal Arts Institute, Lucknow.

He also distributed Rs 9.41 crore to film industry people for the films shot in state.

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/up-cm-lays-foundation-stone-for-film-television-and-liberal/1/844060.html

Karnataka government launches bio-diesel buses in the state.

Details :

For the first time in the country, Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC)  launched 25 buses that run 100 per cent on bio-diesel. 

Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy launched the bio-diesel buses.

The routes of the newly launched buses are Bengaluru-Kundapura, Bengaluru-Bidar,Bengaluru-Tirupati and Bengaluru-Chennai. 

Central Government releases Rs 1,982 crore for Andhra Pradesh’s Polavaram project.

Details :

The Centre has released Rs 1,982 crore for the multipurpose Polavaram irrigation project in Andhra Pradesh through National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), which sanctioned the long term irrigation fund under Prime Minister Krishi Sinchayee Yojana. 

NDA Government declared it as a national project

Polavaram project will provide irrigation facilities for over 7.20 lakh acres.

It also provides for 80 TMC of Godavari water to Krishna river and 23.44 TMC of Godavari water for the industries in and around Vishakhapatnam.

The project is likely to be completed by 2018.

Digi Dhan Mela held in Gurugram to promote cashless transactions.

Details :

The first 'Digi Dhan' mela (fair) organised in Gurugram, Haryana, with an aim to promote cashless transactions

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar will inaugurated the event.

This is the first such fair in the country since demonetisation for educating masses on how to use mobile phones for making purchases.

The Niti Ayog and state's Department of IT and Gurugram district administration are the organisers of the mela.

Pakistani Hindus can register for Indian citizenship with fee as low as Rs 100 from Rs 15,000.

Details :

The registration fees for Hindus and other minority community people from three neighbouring countries (Pakistan, Afganistan and Bangladesh) as Indian citizens have been drastically reduced to as low as Rs 100 from Rs 15,000.

For minority community people from countries other than the three, the fees will be Rs 10,000 for registration in India and Rs 15,000 if registered elsewhere.

The changes have been made after amending various provisions of the Citizenship Rules 2009.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/pakistani-hindus-can-register-for-indian-citizenship-with-fee-as-low-as-rs-100/story-BVTkWkPpiSVyOsK944apmL.html

Salman Khan launches his mobile App on 51st birthday.

Details :

Superstar Salman Khan on his 51st birthday launched a mobile application.

The  mobile application named 'Being In Touch', through which his fans will be updated about his personal and professional life.

"Being In Touch app is Live on the Google Play Store.

The App gives fans access to all things about Salman - from all his social media pages to never-seen-before photographs, to videos of the star directly speaking to his fans and sharing interesting bits of his life with them.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/hindi/bollywood/news/salman-khan-launches-his-mobile-app-on-51st-birthday/articleshow/56197013.cms

KVGB launches ‘Bank Sakhi’ scheme.

Details :

The Karnataka Vikas Grameen Banks (KVGB) has come up with ‘Bank Sakhi‘ innovative scheme for employing women in villages to promote and improve the cashless transactions in rural areas.

 A “Bank Sakhi” is someone who has been a member of a self-help group involved in conducting banking and book-keeping activities of the group.

The bank would appoint women business correspondents called “Bank Sakhi” in select villages where this scheme would be implemented.

In order to start this, the bank had hired 11 'Bank Sakhi' and had plans to appoint a minimum of 50 such women in different districts.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/KVGB-launches-%E2%80%98Bank-Sakhi%E2%80%99-scheme/article16942982.ece

Former Sri Lankan PM Wickremanayake passes away.

Details :

 Former Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake passed away at the age of 83.

He was the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka from 2000 to 2001 and again from 2005 to 2010.

He was a National List member of the Parliament of Sri Lanka. His son Vidura Wickremanayake is also a Member of Parliament.

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

Goverment cancels licences of 20,000 NGOs for FCRA violation

Details :

The government cancelled licences of 20,000 NGOs for violating various provisions of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA).

These NGOs will not be eligible to receive foreign funds

http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ani/govt-cancels-licences-of-20-000-ngos-for-fcra-violation-116122701140_1.html

Russian Military Plane Tu-154 Crashes into Black Sea.

Details :

A Russian military Tu-154 plane has crashed into the Black Sea, killing all 92 on board.

The plane was carrying dozens of members of the Alexandrov Russian Army Song and Dance Ensemble, known as the Red Army Choir, to Syria to entertain Russian troops in the run-up to the new year.

Bhambri Wins Hong Kong Futures.

Details :

Indian tennis player Yuki Bhambri hhas won the title of the $10000 ITF Hong Kong F4 Futures.

 India defeated the tournament’s number two Shintaro Imai of Japan 6-4, 7-5. 

The 24-year-old lifted his first singles trophy of the season. It was Bhambri’s 11th title on the ITF Pro Circuit.

The world number 534 takes away $1,440 in prize money as well as 18 ATP ranking points.

Cheng-Peng Hsieh of Taipei and Pak Long Yeung from Hong Kong clinched the doubles title with a 5-7, 6-3, 10-4 win over Hong Kong tandem Karan Rastogi and Jack Wong.

Dec. 26, 2016

Scientists identify world’s most heat resistant material

Details :

A team of UK-based researchers have the world’s most heat resistant material.

Tantalum carbide (TaC) and hafnium carbide (HfC) are refractory ceramics, meaning they are extraordinarily resistant to heat.

They can withstand record melting point temperatures upto  4000°C.

They found that the mixed compound (Ta0.8Hf0.20C) was consistent with previous research, melting at 3,905 degrees Celsius, but the two compounds on their own exceeded previous recorded melting points.

The compound TaC melted at 3,768 degrees Celsius, and HfC melted at 3,958 degrees Celsius.

These materials at present are mainly used in thermal protection systems on high-speed vehicles and as fuel cladding in the super-heated environments of nuclear reactors.

This means that they could be useful materials for new types of spacecraft that can fly through the atmosphere like a plane, before reaching hypersonic speeds to shoot out into space.

http://indianexpress.com/article/technology/science/refractory-ceramics-identified-as-worlds-most-heat-resistant-material-4445661/

First biological pacemaker developed from human stem cells.

Details :

Scientists  have developed the first functional pacemaker cells using human pluripotent stem cells. 

which can regulate heart beats with electrical impulses, paving the way for alternate, biological pacemaker therapy.

The findings from the McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine at University Health Network in Canada.

Pluripotent stem cells have the potential to differentiate into more than 200 different cell types that make up every tissue and organ in the body.

These human pacemaker cells were tested in rat hearts and have shown to function as a biological pacemaker, by activating the electrical impulses that trigger the contraction of the heart.

http://indianexpress.com/article/technology/science/first-biological-pacemaker-devoped-from-human-stem-cells-4436966/

Scientists develop bacteria-powered battery built on single sheet of paper.

Details :

Scientists have developed a bacteria-powered battery on a single sheet of paper that can power disposable electronics such as diagnostic sensors.

The manufacturing technique reduces fabrication time and cost, and the design could revolutionise the use of bio-batteries as a power source in remote, dangerous and resource-limited areas.

http://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/power/scientists-develop-bacteria-powered-battery-built-on-single-sheet-of-paper/56123552

India Successfully Launches Nuclear Capable Agni-5 Missile

Details :

India successfully test fired its Agni-V intercontinental ballistic missile+ (ICBM) in its final operational configuration from Wheeler Island off from the Abdul Kalam Wheeler Island off Odisha coast

It was the fourth developmental and second canisterised trial of the missile.

The indigenously-developed surface-to-surface missile, Agni-5, is capable of striking a target more than 5,000 km.

It is about 17-metre long, 2-metre wide and has launch weight of around 50 tonnes. The missile can carry a nuclear warhead of more than one tonne.

Unlike other missiles of Agni series, the latest one  'Agni-5' is the most advanced having some new technologies incorporated with it in terms of navigation and guidance, warhead and engine.

It is also incorporates advanced technologies involving ring laser gyroscope and accelerometer for navigation and guidance.

http://www.timesnow.tv/india/article/india-successfully-launches-nuclear-capable-agni-5-missile/53442

Government to launch Lucky Grahak Yojana for consumers.

Details :

The Union Government has launched Lucky Grahak Yojana to encourage consumers and Digi Dhan Vyapar Yojana to encourage merchants for transition to digital payments. 

 The schemes are aimed at encouraging people to move significantly towards higher usage of digital transactions through an offer of incentives.

The winners will be selected on a daily and weekly basis under the Lucky Grahak Yojana and weekly basis under the Digi-Dhan Vyapar Yojana respectively, leading up to April 14, 2017 when the schemes will culminate with a mega draw.

 The schemes will be implemented by National Payments Corporation of India. Only those transactions that take place through RuPay Cards, USSD, UPI and AEPS are eligible for these schemes.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/government-to-launch-lucky-grahak-yojana-for-consumers-4444053/

Assam launches health insurance scheme Atal-Amrit Abhiyan.

Details :

Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal has launched 'Atal-Amrit Abhiyan' health insurance scheme.

The health insurance scheme which will provide coverage against several critical illnesses. 

The scheme will offer coverage against 437 illnesses in six disease groups, namely, cardiovascular, cancer, kidney, neo-natal, neurological conditions and burns.

Both Below Poverty Line (BPL) and Above Poverty Line (APL) families, with annual income below Rs 5 lakh, are eligible for the scheme. 

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/assam-launches-health-insurance-scheme-atal-amrit-abhiyan/articleshow/56170511.cms

CM Fadnavis to launch 'Transform Maharashtra' initiative.

Details :

Today, the Chief Minister of  Maharashtra  Devendra Fadnavis will launch an initiative Transform Maharashtra in IIT Bombay's Mood Indigo festival.

It aims to provide an opportunity to college students to put their heads together and come up with policy and/or programme level solutions to 11 critical challenges being faced by Maharashtra at present.

Kuchipudi performers dance their way into Guinness Records.

Details :

Classical dance of Andhra Pradesh  "Kuchipudi" found a place in the Guinness World Records when a record 6,117 dancers came together to present a show in Vijayawada.

"Jayamu Jayamu" item presented in unison by the participants created a new record and handed over a certificate to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/kuchipudi-performers-dance-they-way-into-guinness-records/articleshow/56172450.cms

SBI adopts village in Pen for Aadhaar-based payments.

Details :

The State Bank of India (SBI) has adopted Shirki village in Pen taluka in Maharashtra for driving the Aadhaar-based merchant payment inititative.

Under the initiative, the merchants in the village have been provided with simple android phones with a USB-based fingerprint capture device.

The merchant is required to have a bank account with an Aadhaar number seeded.

He/she can download the Aadhaar Pay App and register with his/her bank using the application.

Mithun Chakraborty Resigns From Rajya Sabha Citing Health Reasons.

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Actor-turned politician Mithun Chakraborty has resigned from Rajya Sabha citing health reasons.

The actor was elected to the Rajya Sabha in April 2014. His term was set to expire in 2020.

Union Textiles Ministry launches online portal JUTE-SMART.

Details :

On the ocassion of Good Governance Day, 2016, Union Minister of Textiles Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani launched following initiatives of the Ministry of Textiles in New Delhi 

‘JUTE-SMART’ an online portal to facilitate purchase of Jute bags from the Jute Industry by the State Procurement Agencies;

Dashboard for Integrated Skill Development Scheme hosted on the NIC Cloud with access to public.

 Bunkar Mitra – a Helpline for handholding of Handloom weavers.

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=155831

Modi inaugurates NISM campus in Navi Mumbai.

Details :

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated a new campus of National Institute of Securities Markets (NISM) at Patalganga in Mumbai. 

Dec. 25, 2016

25th December - Good Governance Day.

Details :

Good Governance Day is being observed  on 25th December  every year to mark the birthday of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

This year he has turned 92 years old.

Good Governance Day was established in 2014 to honor Prime Minister Vajpayee by fostering awareness among the Indian people of accountability in government.

In keeping with this principle, the Government of India has decreed Good Governance Day to be a working day for the government.

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

UP CM inaugurates power projects worth Rs 52,000 crore.

Details :

Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav has inaugurated foundation of projects worth  Rs 52,000 crore in Etah.

These include two power projects with a cumulative capacity of about 3200MW, roads connecting the historic Bateshwar area to Agra, and multiple development schemes for Mathura-Vrindavan.

He also inaugurated other developmental projects worth Rs 361 crore for Mathura, Kasganj, Etah and Sonbhadra districts.

The CM inaugurated 25 projects and laid foundation stones of 30 others for Mathura district that are worth Rs 212.33 crore.

He also inaugurated the administrative building in Kasganj and central jail in Etah.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/lucknow/In-another-inauguration-spree-CM-launches-Rs-52k-cr-projects/articleshow/56148047.cms

Google to launch online safety campaign for consumers.

Details :

Google India has partnered with the Ministry of Consumer Affairs for rolling out a nationwide ‘Digitally Safe Consumer’ campaign to raise awareness about online safety.

The campaign, which is expected to roll out in January, 2017, will reach out with training materials to over 1,200 consumer organisations as well as consumer affairs department of every state and union territories.

It will undertake a year long campaign focussed on building capacities of consumer organisations, personnel of Consumer Affairs department and counsellors of National Consumer Helpline on Internet safety and related issues.

Under it, Google with the help of partner agencies will work towards advocating digital security and privacy needs through ‘Digital Literacy, Safety & Security’ workshops.

http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/Google-to-launch-online-safety-campaign-for-consumers/article16937720.ece

External Affairs Ministry launches Twitter Seva.

Details :

The Union Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has launched Twitter Seva.

With an aim to centralise its grievance redressal mechanism by bringing over 200 social media handles including those of Indian Missions and regional passport offices under one platform.

Twitter Seva will enable the MEA, through its Twitter handle (@MEAIndia) to strengthen its primary relationship with Indian citizens by providing fast, efficient and real-time public services. 

The service brings together Twitter accounts of 198 Indian Missions abroad, 29 regional passport offices and eight other handles such as @MEAIndia, @Indiandiplomacy and @MEAQuery.

Under the service, authorities concerned will be assigned to resolve problems and difficulties of people on a real-time basis.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/external-affairs-ministry-launches-twitter-seva-116122300900_1.html

India’s first 2G Ethanol Bio-refinery to be set up in Punjab.

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The foundation stone of India’s first 2G (Second Generation) Ethanol Bio-refinery was laid at Tarkhanwala village in Bathinda, Punjab.

Central Government Public Sector Undertaking (CPSU) Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) is setting up this project at a cost of 600 crore Rupees.

The Bathinda bio-refinery will produce 100 kilolitres of ethanol per day, or 3.20 crore litres per annum, which may be sufficient to meet the 26% of the ethanol blending requirement of Punjab.

It will generate employment for about 1,200-1,300 persons in the biomass supply chain and generate an additional income of approximately Rs 20 crore per annum for farmers through purchase of their agriculture residues like sugarcane.

The project will also significantly help in reducing CO2 emissions from the paddy straw which currently is being burnt after harvesting.

The bio-refinery will also produce about 30,000 tonnes of bio-fertiliser per annum that can be used as soil nutrient.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/govt-to-set-up-first-2g-ethanol-bio-refinery-in-punjab-116122301190_1.html

DRDO successfully flight tests Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon .

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The Defence and Research Development Organization (DRDO) successfully flight tested the Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon (SAAW), from an Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft,  Chandipur, Odisha.

SAAW is an indigenously designed and developed 120 kilogram class smart weapon. It has been developed by DRDO.

It is capable of engaging ground targets with high precision up to a range of 100 kms. 

The light weight high precision guided bomb is one of the world class weapons systems.

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=155817

Obama signs defence bill, enhances cooperation with India.

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US President Barack has signed the National Defence Authorisation Act, 2017 to recognise India major defence partner of the United States of America.

The USD 618 billion defence budget for 2017, which enhances security cooperation with India and conditions nearly half of the funding to Pakistan on a certification that it is taking demonstrable steps against the Haqqani Network.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/obama-signs-usd-618-bn-defence-bill-boosts-security-cooperation-with-india-4443271/

Government launch mobile App 'Smart Consumer' & OCMC to provide speedy redressal of consumer grievances.

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The government launched a host of online initiatives including a mobile App ‘Smart Consumer’ and an ‘Online Consumer Mediation Centre (OCMC)’ to provide speedy redressal of consumer grievances.

 The initiatives were unveiled by Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan in New Delhi on the occasion of National Consumer Day.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/government-unveils-online-initiatives-to-redress-consumer-complaints-4443234/

Sunny Leone to receive PETA’s person of the year award.

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Sunny Leone will receive PETA’s person of the year award for her dedication to promoting the rescue of homeless dogs and cats, as well as her compassion for animals abused and killed for their skin.

Past recipients of PETA’s person of the year award include Dr Shashi Tharoor, former Supreme Court Justice KS Panicker Radhakrishnan, and actors Kapil Sharma, Hema Malini, R Madhavan and Jacqueline Fernandez.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA ) is an American animal rights organization based in Norfolk, Virginia, and led by Ingrid Newkirk, its international president. 

http://indianexpress.com/article/entertainment/bollywood/sunny-leone-to-receive-petas-person-of-the-year-award-4441371/

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

Virat Kohli tops the list of Lord's Top 20 Players of 2016.

Details :

Indian Test skipper Virat Kohli has featured on top of the Lord's Cricket Ground's Top 20 Players of 2016. 

For his breathtaking performances across every format Kohli has been honoured with the first spot.

Here's the complete list:

1. Virat Kohli

2. Jonny Bairstow

3. Ravichandran Ashwin

4. Rangana Herath

5. Chris Woakes

6. Kagiso Rabada

7. Joe Root

8. Quinton de Kock

9. Mitchell Starc

10. Ben Stokes

11. Misbah-ul-Haq

12. David Warner

13. Ajinkya Rahane

14. Steve Smith

15. Yasir Shah

16. Marlon Samuels

17. Kusal Mendis

18. Cheteshwar Pujara

19. Imran Tahir

20. Shakib Al Hasan

Dec. 24, 2016

Ministry of Textiles to set up Bunkar Mitra Handloom Helpline Centre.

Details :

The Ministry of Textiles has decided to establish a “Bunkar Mitra-Handloom Helpline Centre” where professional queries of weavers will be answered by the experts in the field. 

This helpline initially will be provided in 7 languages viz., English, Hindi and 5 other regional languages Tamil, Telugu, Kannada Bengali and Assamese.

This helpline will function from 10.00 a.m to 6 p.m.

Currently there 28 Weavers’ Service Centres (WSCs) functioning across the country to provide technical assistance to handloom weavers in improving their skills.

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=155798

‘Urban planning kept the peace in Harappa’.

Details :

According to Indus Valley Civilisation expert Jonathan Mark Kenoyer, Harappa was peaceful because of its urban planning.

The efficient water supply, proper sewage treatment and good drainage systems in Harappa were main reason for conflict avoidance.

The concept of cleanliness and wells and drains is not so much about hygiene but conflict avoidance.

So this is a strategy (of the Harappans) to keep people from fighting each other.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/%E2%80%98Urban-planning-kept-the-peace-in-Harappa%E2%80%99/article16935995.ece

New Ebola vaccine may be up to 100% effective: WHO.

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the World Health Organization (WHO) a  prototype vaccine for Ebola may be “up to 100%effective” in protecting against the deadly virus.

The vaccine was initially developed in Canada by public health authorities before being taken over by pharmaceutical giant Merck.

In a major clinical trial, nearly 6,000 people in Guinea were given the test vaccine last year, at the tail end of a lethal epidemic of Ebola.

It was observed that no one from the 6,000 people contracted again to the lethal disease. The test results of the trial were released in The Lancet journel.

The vaccine could become available in 2018 under a fast-track approval process.

http://indianexpress.com/article/world/ebola-virus-vaccine-who-effective-4441194/

ICICI Bank launches EazyPay app for Merchants.

Details :

ICICI Bank has launched EazyPay mobile application for merchants that allows all-in-one acceptance payments platform.

App allows consolidation of all modes of payments, including digital wallets, Unified Payments Interface (UPI), QR code, and credit & debit cards.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/companies/icici-bank-unveils-one-merchant-mobile-app-for-all-payment-modes/articleshow/56132740.cms

MEA announces new rules to ease process of getting passport.

Details :

The Union Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has announced new passport rules by changing Passport Rules 1980 in order to streamline, liberalize and ease the process of issue of passport.

 It has now been decided applicants can submit PAN Card, birth certificate, voter id, Aadhaar, driving licence.

Birth certificate is no longer mandatory for getting passport.

The online passport application form now requires the applicant to provide the name of father or mother or legal guardian, i.e., only one parent and not both.

This will enable single parents to apply for passports for their children.

Married applicants will not be required to provide any marriage certificate.

The Passport application form does not require the applicant to provide the name of her/his spouse in case of separated or divorced persons. Such applicants for passports would not be required to provide even the Divorce Decree.

Orphaned children who do not have any proof of DOB such as Birth Certificate or the Matriculation Certificate or the declaratory Court order, may now submit a declaration given by the Head of the Orphanage/Child Care Home on their official letter head of the organization confirming the DOB of the applicant.

https://www.mea.gov.in/press-releases.htm?dtl/27874/Announcement+of+new+Passport+Rules

NITI Aayog rolls out health index.

Details :

The NITI Aayog along with Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has rolled out Performance on Health Outcomes index to rank States on the basis of their performance on measurable health indicators. 

The index has been developed over several months, with inputs from domestic and international experts, including academicians and development partners as well as feedback from States.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/NITI-Aayog-rolls-out-health-index/article16934654.ece

Bengali poet Shankha Ghosh chosen for Jnanpith Award.

Details :

Eminent modern Bengali poet Shankha Ghosh has been chosen for the prestigious Jnanpith Award for 2016.

He is the 52nd recipient of Jnanpith Award.

The recipients of the award are given a cash prize, a citation plaque and a bronze replica of Goddess Saraswati.

He was Born in 1932, Ghosh has penned several poems including ‘Adim lata-gulmomay’, ‘Murkha baro, samajik nay’, ‘Kabir abhipray’, ‘Mukh dheke jay bigyapane’ and ‘Babarer prarthana’, that went on to become classic creations.

Ghosh has also been the recipient of the Sahitya Akademi Award, Narsingh Das Puraskar, Saraswati Samman, and Rabindra Puraskar among others.

Last year the Jnanpith award was given to Gujarati writer Raghuveer Chaudhary.

Jnanpith Award was instituted in 1961 by Bharatiya Jnanpith trust founded by the Sahu Shanti Prasad Jain family that owns the Times of India newspaper group.

SASTRA Ramanujan prize for Radziwill, Matomaki.

Details :

The 2016 SASTRA-Ramanujan award for mathematics was presented to Maksym Radziwill of McGill University, Canada.

The joint winner is Kaisa Matomaki of University of Turku, Finland.

SASTRA University presents the Ramanujan award to a leading mathematician under 32 years.

http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/SASTRA-Ramanujan-prize-for-Radziwill-Matomaki/article16919741.ece

Nepal to hold military exercise with China.

Details :

 Nepal will hold its first ever joint military exercise with China on February 10 2017.

The focus of the military exercise, named Pratikar-1, will be on training Nepali forces in dealing with hostage scenarios involving international terror groups.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/Nepal-to-hold-military-exercise-with-China/article16921307.ece

Virat Kohli Tops Forbes' Scroll Of Fame.

Details :

Indian cricketer, Virat Kohli has been was chosen as the most popular celebrity in the Forbes India Celebrity 100 list. 

With the estimated earnings of Rs 134.44 crore in the year, Kohli jumped to No.3 spot overall in the list, from No.7 last year.

The Forbes' ranking was on the basis of estimates of entertainment related earnings and estimates of fame. The period of consideration was October 1, 2015 to September 30, 2016.

Shiva Keshavan grabs gold at Asian Luge Championship.

Details :

India’s Seasoned Winter Olympian Shiva Keshavan clinched a gold medal at the Asian Luge Championship.

Keshavan dominated the event and finished the second heat race with a time of 1 minute, 39.962 seconds and top speed of 130.4 km/h.

Japan's Tanaka Shohei came in second with a combined time of 1:44.874 seconds and top speed of 124.6 kmph.

The bronze medal was claimed by Chinese Taipei's Lien Te-An, who clocked 1:45.120 with a 126.3 kmph top speed.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sports/more-sports/others/shiva-keshavan-grabs-gold-at-asian-luge-championship/articleshow/56135071.cms

India wins Asian Cricket Council Under-19s Asia Cup title.

Details :

India won the 2016 Asian Cricket Council Under-19s Asia Cup title by defeating Sri Lanka by 34 runs in Colombo.

This was India’s second win in the Asia Cup U-19 tournament, having won the title in 2013/14 by defeating Pakistan by 40 runs and sharing the trophy in the first edition held in Malaysia in 2012/13.

Indian after winning the toss had opted to bat made 273 runs target for eight in 50 overs.  In second innings Sri Lanka was bowled out to 239 runs in 48.4 overs

http://www.hindustantimes.com/cricket/asia-cup-india-beat-sri-lanka-in-final-clinch-u-19-title/story-ZHAZ8rouwhV4yGHQVrS1SK.html

Dec. 23, 2016

Union Government launches Coal Mitra portal to facilitate flexibility in utilization of domestic coal.

Details :

The Union Ministry of Coal has launched Coal Mitra, a web portal for allowing flexibility in utilization of domestic Coal.

It was launched by Union Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines Piyush Goyal in New Delhi.

The Coal Mitra Web Portal has been designed to bring about flexibility in Utilization of Domestic Coal by transferring the reserves to more cost efficient State/Centre owned or Private sector generating stations, leading to lower generation costs and ultimately lesser cost of electricity for the consumers.

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=155735

NGT bans waste burning in open areas across the country.

Details :

The NGT  imposed a complete ban on burning of waste in open places across the country.

And also announced a fine of Rs 25,000 on each incident of bulk waste burning.

The green panel's judgement came on the petition by Almitra Patel and others seeking directions to local bodies in states and the Centre for improving solid waste management methods.

Complete prohibition on open burning of waste on lands, including at landfill sites.

For each such incident, violators will pay environmental compensation of Rs. 5,000 in case of simple burning and Rs. 25,000 in case of bulk waste burning.

While directing every State and Union Territory to enforce and implement Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016.

Non-biodegradable waste and non-recyclable plastic should be segregated from the landfill sites and used for construction of roads and embankments in all road projects all over the country.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/ngt-bans-waste-burning-in-open-areas-across-the-country/articleshow/56130982.cms

India suffers from huge gender pay gap: ILO Report

Details :

India has among the worst levels of gender wage disparity (men earning more than women in similar jobs) with the gap exceeding 30%.

Recently released  Global Wage Report 2016-17 released by the International Labour Organisation (ILO)

 Singapore had among the lowest, at 3%. Among major economies, South Korea only fared worse than India, with a gap of 37%.

In India, women formed 60%of the lowest paid wage labour, but only 15% of the highest wage-earners. 

It means Not only are women poorly represented in the top bracket of wage-earners, the gender pay gap at the bottom is also very wide in India.

In other words, not only were women paid less, there were fewer women in highly paid occupations.

Reasons for wage gap Women’s educational choices produced occupational segregation. 

Strong labour market institutions and policies such as collective bargaining and minimum wages lowered the pay gap.

The report observed that “the gender pay gap is smallest (8%) in the group of countries where the collective bargaining rate is at least 80 %, and widest in countries with weak collective bargaining and no or very low minimum wages.

Income inequality:

 In India, the top 1% earns 33 times what the bottom 10% did. The top 10% also earned 43% of all wages. Since 2006, average wages rose by 60% in India, while they more than doubled in China.

http://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/Pardon-the-gender-wage-gap-is-showing/article16921327.ece

Japan successfully launches solid fuel rocket.

Details :

Japan's space agency had successfully launched a solid fuel rocket named Epsilon-2 from the Uchinoura Space Center in southern Japan.

The 26-meter-long rocket released Exploration of energization and Radiation in Geospace (ERG) satellite for studying radiation belts around the earth soon after the lift-off. 

The Epsilon-2 three-stage rocket is part of a new generation of solid propellant rockets and makes it possible for launch costs to be reduced up to one third.

The reduction in cost can allow it to put more communication and weather satellites in space. Thus, it can give JAXA a competitive edge in space launch industry which has robust growth potential and strong security implications.

PM launches National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme.

Details :

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS) during his recent visit to Kanpur.

The scheme has an outlay of Rs 10000 crore and it involves incentivizing employers in sharing 25% of total cost of stipend paid to the apprentices. 

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=155738

World's first solar road opens in France.

Details :

The world’s first solar panel road, in a Normandy village in France.

A 1km (0.6-mile) route in the small village of Tourouvre-au-Perche covered with 2,800 sq m of electricity-generating panels.

The one-kilometre long road took five years and cost $5.2 million to develop.

France is the first to use drones for its national mail service.

Details :

France became the first country in the world to use drones for national mail service. 

The drones used in the French postal service experiment have the capacity to fly up to 12 miles carrying about two pounds maximum, going around 19 miles per hour.

 They are also equipped with parachutes for safe emergency landing in case something disrupts the flight.

The eventual goal is to reach rural or mountainous regions that are otherwise difficult and expensive to get to using cars.

PM Modi features on Government of India calendar for 2017.

Details :

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has featured on the Government of India 2017 calendar, released by the Press Information Bureau. 

The calendar was released with a theme “Mera Desh Badal Raha Hai, Aage Badh Raha Hai”.

The calendar contains all Modi’s achievement in the year.

The photos depict the Prime Minister's participation in campaigns including 'Swachh Bharat', 'Sashakt Nari, Sashakt Bharat', and 'MSME: India's economic backbone'.

Naik inaugurates North Eastern of Institute of Ayurveda and Homeopathy:

Details :

Union Minister of State for Ayush Shripad Yesso Naik has inaugurated the North Eastern Institute of Ayurveda and Homeopathy (NEIAH) in meghalaya state.

NEIAH will provide health care to people of northeastern and Sikkim under ayurveda and homoeopathy systems of medicine.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/north-eastern-institute-of-ayurveda-and-homeopathy-s-inauguration-on-dec-22-116122101129_1.html

Roger Federer named 2016's 'Most Stylish Man' by GQ.

Details :

17-time Grand Slam title winner Roger Federer was named the 'Most Stylish Man' of 2016 by GQ, a leading men's magazine. 

According to a report by the Metro, UK: “Federer won more than 60% of the vote, in what will be seen as a comfortable straight-sets victory.

http://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/fashion/tennis-star-roger-federer-named-the-most-stylish-man-of-2016-by-gq-magazine-4439053/

Hrithik Roshan becomes highest advance taxpaying actor.

Details :

Hrithik Roshan has become the highest advance taxpaying actor.

Hrithik paid an advance tax of Rs 80 crore this time (till December 15, 2016), compared to Rs 50 crore last year.

Aamir Khan, who reportedly paid an advance tax of Rs 72 crore till December, is in the second position.

Ranbir Kapoor, who paid Rs 37 crore as advance tax till December is at 3rd position.

'Sultan' actor Salman Khan is in the fourth position with Rs 14 crore.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/hindi/bollywood/news/hrithik-roshan-becomes-highest-advance-tax-paying-actor-for-this-quarter/articleshow/56134942.cms

Salman Khan has topped the 2016 Forbes India Celebrity 100 List.

Details :

Salman Khan has earned a revenue of Rs 270.33 crore and ranked no. 1 in 2016 Forbes India Celebrity 100 list. 

Ranked second on the list, Shah Rukh Khan has an estimated earnings of Rs 221.75 crore. 

In the fifth Forbes India Celebrity 100 List, the ranking is based on two parameters: Estimates of entertainment-related earnings and estimates of fame during the period October 2015 to September 2016.

The top five names include Virat Kohli, Akshay Kumar and Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

American Tourister appoints Virat Kohli as brand ambassador.

Details :

Luggage maker American Tourister has appointed India Test skipper Virat Kohli as its brand ambassador. 

The luggage brand has signed the ace cricketer to feature in a new integrated marketing communications campaign, which will be publicised in India, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, kick starting in March, 2017

http://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/american-tourister-appoints-virat-kohli-as-brand-ambassador-116122200701_1.html

India bag bronze in Women’s U-18 Asia Cup hockey.

Details :

India beats Korea 3-0 to clinch a bronze medal in the 4th Women’s Under-18 Asia Cup hockey tournament.

Hockey India announced cash rewards of Rs 1 lakh for each player and Rs 50,000 for each of the support staff.

http://indianexpress.com/article/sports/hockey/india-bronze-womens-u-18-asia-cup-hockey-4440602/

Argentina win Team of the Year title, while India rise two places to 135

Details :

FIFA have released the final rankings of 2016,Argentina reclaiming the team of the year title  finishing with 1634 points to top FIFA’s rankings.

Brazil ended the year in the second position with 1,544 points while World Champions Germany finished third with 1,433 points. 

India rose two spots from 137th to 135th place in November.

Mary Kom given AIBA Legends award.

Details :

Five-time world champion and Olympic bronze-medallist Mary Kom was presented the AIBA Legends award for her trailblazing boxing career, Vikas was handed the APB (AIBA Pro Boxing) Best Boxer trophy.

 The award presentd at the International Boxing Association’s 70th anniversary gala in Montreux, Switzerland.

http://indianexpress.com/article/sports/sport-others/mary-kom-vikas-krishan-get-awards-at-aiba-70th-anniversary-gala-4438599/

Dec. 22, 2016

China launches TanSat satellite to monitor global carbon emissions.

Details :

China successfully launched TanSat, a global carbon dioxide (CO2) monitoring satellite to understand the effects of climate change.

The 620-kg satellite TanSat was put into orbit by Long March-2D rocket from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in northwest China's Gobi Desert state-run Xinhua news agency .

It was the 243rd mission of the Long March series rockets.

On a three-year mission, TanSat will thoroughly examine global carbon dioxide levels every 16 days, accurate to at least 4 ppm (parts per million).

It weighs 620-kg and will be located in sun synchronous orbit about 700 kms above the earth. 

The new satellite will enable China to obtain emissions data first-hand and share it with researchers worldwide.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/science/china-launches-satellite-to-monitor-global-carbon-emissions/articleshow/56114012.cms

Mizoram's Aizawl becomes first free Wi-Fi city in North-East:

Details :

Aizawl became the first free Wi-Fi city in the North-East region.

It is a pilot project of the Aizawl Municipal Corporation.

Najeeb Jung resigns as Lieutenant Governor of Delhi.

Details :

Najeeb Jung  resigned as the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi. 

He was appointed as the 20th Lieutenant Governor of the National Capital Territory of Delhi in July 2013.

He tenure was scheduled to end in 2018. 

He was the 13th Vice-Chancellor of the Jamia Millia Islamia university.

http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/najeeb-jung-resigns-as-lieutenant-governor-delhi-arvind-kejriwal/

Ministry of Minority affairs Launches website for Haj Pilgrims.

Details :

Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, the Minister of State(I/C), Ministry of Minority Affairs, launched the  trilingual website www.haj.gov.in  relating to Haj Matters.

The website is in Hindi, Urdu and English languages.

The website www.haj.gov.in is a one stop facility to provide all necessary information relating to Haj management in one place.  

The website features include information on various agencies involved in Haj management, useful contacts of the central and state Haj authorities, location maps of State Haj Houses, location maps of accommodation sites in Makkah and Medina etc., and useful links to the website of Haj Committee of India and Consulate General of India, Jeddah. 

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=155675

RBI slaps fine on 5 foreign banks for violating FEMA rules.

Details :

The Reserve Bank on Wednesday imposed penalty on five foreign banks for violation of its instructions on reporting requirements of the FEMA.

The  banks are: Bank of America, Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi and The Royal Bank of Scotland, Deutsche Bank and Standard Chartered Bank.

They have been fined for violation of its instructions on reporting requirements of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA). 

Germany’s Deutsche Bank has been imposed fine of Rs 20,000, while Bank of America, Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi, The Royal Bank of Scotland and Standard Chartered Bank have been fined Rs 10,000 each.

http://www.thehindu.com/business/RBI-slaps-fine-on-5-foreign-banks-for-violating-FEMA-rules/article16918920.ece

'MS Dhoni: The Untold Story' , 'Sarbjit' make it to Oscars list.

Details :

Indian biopics 'MS Dhoni: The Untold Story' and 'Sarbjit' have made it to the long list of 336 feature films eligible for the Oscars.

Indian-American filmmaker Mira Nair's directorial venture "Queen of Katwe"  is also part of the list.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/hindi/bollywood/news/ms-dhoni-sarbjit-make-it-to-oscars-long-list/articleshow/56120568.cms

Gujarat government announces Aerospace and Defence Policy.

Details :

The Gujarat government has announced Aerospace and Defence Policy - 2016 aiming to attract investment into fields of aerospace and defence design, development and manufacturing in the state.

Investors will be entitled to get 100% reimbursement on stamp duty and registration charges paid for purchase, lease or mortgage of land meant for setting up the facility in the areas of Aerospace and Defence.

The government has also made a provision of giving cash subsidy of 25% on capital investment made by MSME units to set up their facility in the A&D sector.

For a period of  years, mega as well as large A&D projects will be entitled to get 2% interest subsidy on external borrowings. 

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/guj-govt-announces-aerospace-and-defence-policy-116122101290_1.html

Priyanka Chopra is now the first Indian to represent Pantene globally.

Details :

Priyanka Chopra has been roped in as the global ambassador of hair care brand Pantene.

She has become the first Indian actor to represent the brand globally.

Hrithik launches book series for visually impaired children.

Details :

Hrithik Roshan  unveiled a book, completely written in Braille format, for specially published for visually impaired people.

A children's book series  named 'Tactabet'. It is available in both Hindi and English, the book series is on the alphabets. 

Amul goes digital, ties up with MobiKwik for e-payments.

Details :

Domestic mobile wallet platform MobiKwik has tied up with Indian dairy co-operative Amul to help customers make cashless payments at its outlets. 

The facility can be used at 7,000 Amul outlets and three lakh Amul multi-brand outlets and retailers across the country.

With MobiKwik, 15-20% of transactions at Amul stores are expected to go digital.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/now-pay-at-amul-outlets-with-mobikwik-116122100412_1.html

Dec. 21, 2016

India ranks 4th in 2016 Global Wind Power Installed Capacity Index.

Details :

India ranked 4th in the Global Wind Power Installed Capacity index with cumulative installed wind power generation capacity of 25,088 MW.

The index was released was released as part Global Wind Report: Annual Market, flagship publication of the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC).

The index was topped by China, followed by US and Germany with cumulative installed wind power generation capacity of 145362 MW, 74471 MW and 44947 MW respectively.

The Government is aiming to increase the share of clean energy through massive development and deployment of new and renewable energy in India to meet Energy security, Electricity shortages, Energy access and Climate change among others. 

World's first Chikungunya vaccine developed.

Details :

US researchers have developed a vaccine for chikungunya fever made from an insect-specific virus.

The researchers used the Eilat virus as a vaccine platform since it only infects insects and has no impact on people.

The Eilat/Chikungunya vaccine was found to be structurally identical to natural chikungunya virus.

The findings indicate, within four days of a single dose, can produce neutralising antibodies that lasted for more than 290 days.

The antibodies provided complete protection against chikungunya in two different mouse models.

In nonhuman primates, Eilat/Chikungunya elicited rapid and robust immunity - there was neither evidence of the virus in the blood nor signs of illness such as fever after chikungunya virus infection.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/health-news/worlds-first-chikungunya-vaccine-developed/articleshow/56078014.cms

Haryana govt issues petro cards to drivers.

Details :

The Haryana government  issued petro cards to drivers working with the state government for cashless payments of fuel. 

Two oil companies like 'Indian Oil' and 'Bharat Petroleum' have been shortlisted for this purpose.

 The State Bank of India agreed to install 3000 Point of Sale (POS) machines at various state government offices across the state without any charges. 

 The government has also announced prizes on daily basis for the citizens who would be registering and transacting proactively towards cashless transactions.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/haryana-govt-issues-petro-cards-to-drivers-116122000967_1.html

Chhattisgarh CM launches country’s first cashless bazaar to people in Raipur.

Details :

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh has launched India’s first cashless bazaar in Raipur.

The ‘Smart’ bazaar consist of nearly Over 900 shops which are providing the facilities of cashless payments using POS, UPI and other digital systems to its customers. 

Govt announces Rs 207 crore project for Majuli.

Details :

The union minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region Dr Jitendra Singh has announced to provide 207 crore rupees for protection and development of the world heritage island  Majuli (Assam).

The amount earmarked by the Ministry of DoNER will be spent primarily for safeguarding the land loss due to erosion and to protect the 80 km length of the bank line on the right bank of river Brahmaputra along world famous Majuli island. 

Healthy Ministry wins gold in the Web Ratna Category.

Details :

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare lead by Jagat Prakash Nadda has won gold in the Web Ratna category in the Digital India awards 2016. 

It is  conferred by the Ministry of Electronics & IT to promote more innovative e-governance initiatives by the government entities. 

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=155677

Rs. 50,000 fine for airlines if planes empty human waste on air.

Details :

A bench headed by National Green Tribunal (NGT) Chairperson Swatanter Kumar has ordered to impose a fine of Rs. 50,000 on airlines whose aircraft empty toilet tanks in air while landing and splattering human waste on houses.

Normally, the waste in the aircraft tanks are disposed of by ground handling personnel once the plane lands. However, there are cases where lavatory leaks occur in the air.

http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/Rs.-50000-fine-for-airlines-if-planes-empty-human-waste-on-air/article16912338.ece

Maharashtra govt. announces to create separate OBC ministry.

Details :

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis  announced that a separate ministry would be created for OBCs.

It would be headed by an independent minister.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/maha-cm-announces-to-create-separate-obc-ministry-116122001239_1.html

India surpasses Britain, becomes sixth largest economy in the world.

Details :

According to report published in Forbes magazine, India has surpassed its colonial masters United Kingdom to become world’s sixth-largest economy in GDP terms for first time after nearly 150 years.

The US, China, Japan, Germany and France make up the top five economies of the world. 

India gets most FDI from Singapore.

Details :

India has received the maximum Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows from Singapore in 2015-16 followed by Mauritius, the US, the Netherlands and Japan, a report by industry chamber PHDCCI and KPMG.

India attracted $13.69 billion foreign direct investment from Singapore in 2015 -2016 financial year.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/india-gets-most-fdi-from-singapore/article9436496.ece

Flock launches world’s first chat OS.

Details :

Flock, a team messenger for businesses, launched world’s first chat operating system “FlockOS” which allows developers to build customised apps, bots and integrations on Flock.

With “FlockOS”, developers can build apps that provide a tightly integrated experience by using widgets. These include the attachment widget, sidebar widget and modal widget.

http://indianexpress.com/article/technology/social/flock-launches-worlds-first-chat-os-4437511/

Deepak Agarwal appointed Noida CEO.

Details :

The Uttar Pradesh government has designated Deepak Agarwal, CEO of Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority (GNIDA), as the CEO of Noida Authority.

Deepak Agarwal will replace P K Agarwal, who was officiating as the CEO of Noida Authority.

Deepak Agarwal is a 2000-batch IAS officer of UP cadre.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/noida/Deepak-Agarwal-appointed-Noida-CEO/articleshow/56092611.cms

AIBA grants full membership to Boxing Federation of India.

Details :

The Amateur International Boxing Association amateur (AIBA) unanimously granted full membership to the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) at a meeting in Montreux (Switzerland).

India’s international suspension for the past four years had resulted in the isolation of the country’s boxers, who were deprived of foreign exposure for most part.

But with AIBA formally recognising the new federation, the opportunities in international training-cum-competition events are set to increase for Indian boxers.

http://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/AIBA-grants-full-membership-to-Boxing-Federation-of-India/article16913747.ece

Dec. 20, 2016

More Africans at risk of chronic illness: WHO.

Details :

According to recent World Health Organization (WHO) survey of 33 countries has shown that African nations developing lifestyle diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

African nations will see more die of chronic lifestyle diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes than infectious diseases by 2030.

It is estimated that 46% of Africans suffer high blood pressure, the highest worldwide.

The WHO study found that daily tobacco use ranges from 5 to 26 % in Africa, and is only growing. Cigarettes are often a fraction of the price in Africa than in Europe.

Most people were not eating enough fruits and vegetables, and a rise of junk food and unhealthy diets meant that, paradoxically, sub Saharan Africa suffered from the double burden of under nutrition and obesity.

The survey showed an average of 35 % of people were overweight and that the average time spent in moderate or high intensity physical activity ranged from 21 minutes per day in Mauritania to 386 minutes per day in Mozambique.

http://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/health/more-africans-at-risk-of-chronic-illness-who-4437782/

Union Government revises North East Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy.

Details :

The Union Government has revised North East Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy (NEIIP), 2007.

The revision of policy henceforth subsidies payable to all industrial units in northeast through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) mechanism by Chief Controller of Accounts (Industry).

All Industrial units which commenced production on or after December 1, 2014 and on or before March 31, 2017 will be eligible for incentives as per the revised norms of subsidy.

The subsidy for the new industrial units/existing industrial units going for substantial expansion will be limited to Rs 5 crore per industrial unit operating in manufacturing sector and Rs 3 crore per industrial unit operating in services sector.

The limit for automatic approval of subsidy at the rate of 30% of the investment in plant and machinery will continue to be upto Rs 1.5 crore per unit.

In case for grant of capital investment subsidy higher than Rs 1.5 crore and upto a maximum of Rs 5 crore will be approved by empowered committee chaired by Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP). 

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/policy/govt-revises-north-east-industrial-and-investment-promotion-policy/articleshow/56071886.cms

Madras high court bans unauthorised 'Sharia courts' in Tamil Nadu.

Details :

The Madras High Court has banned all unauthorised Sharia courts in mosques across Tamil Nadu authorities must stop the activities within a month.

The bench was passing orders on a PIL filed by an NRI mentioning that such sharia courts are operating as a court of law from mosques especially those relating to matrimonial disputes.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/madras-hc-bans-sharia-courts/articleshow/56061972.cms

Researches discovered 163 new species in ecologically diverse Greater Mekong region.

Details :

According to a report from the World Wildlife Fund, researchers confirmed the discovery of 163 new species in the Greater Mekong region of the Southeast Asia.

Among the new species were a rainbow-headed snake, a three-centimeter long frog and a newt covered in red and black markings, evoking Star Trek‘s Klingons.

Scientists also discovered a rare banana species from Thailand.

The Phuket Horned Tree Agamid, lined with an intimidating set of horns, was discovered among one of the last remaining forest patches in Phuket, Thailand.Scientists say it faces threats of rapid habitat loss and collection for pet trade.

New frog species Leptolalax isos which can fit on a fingertip was discovered in Cambodia and Vietnam.

It also includes eye-catching Parafimbrios lao, a snake with rainbow-like scale colours around its head. It was found in the limestone karsts region of northern Laos.

A new newt species Tylototriton anguliceps with dazzling red and black markings was also discovered.

http://time.com/4606887/new-species-mekong-region/

PM Modi lays foundation of nation’s maiden Indian Institute of Skills in Kanpur

Details :

Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid foundation stone of the country’s first Indian Institute of Skills (IIS) in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh.

The Prime Minister also inaugurated the Kaushal Pradarshani (Skill Exhibition) for the youth.The Exhibition will showcase state-of-the-art vocational training practices of various sectors.

The institute will be opened by the Skill Development Ministry in partnership with the Institute of Technical Education, Singapore.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/pm-modi-to-lay-foundation-of-nations-maiden-indian-institute-of-skills-in-kanpur-4434722/

Huge ‘dead zone’ discovered in Bay of Bengal.

Details :

Scientists including those from India have found a huge ‘dead zone’ of an estimated 60,000 square kilometres in Bay of Bengal.

An area that contains little or no oxygen and supports microbial processes that remove vast amount of nitrogen from the ocean.

Researchers, including those from the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research’s National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) in Goa, demonstrated that some oxygen does exists in the Bay of Bengal waters, but at concentrations much less than standard techniques could detect and some 10,000 times less than that found in the air-saturated surface waters.

The researchers also discovered that the Bay of Bengal hosts microbial communities that can remove nitrogen but at really slow rates.

Remove the last amount of oxygen, and the Bay of Bengal could become a major global player in nitrogen removal from the oceans.

The study published in Nature Geosciences.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/Huge-%E2%80%98dead-zone%E2%80%99-discovered-in-Bay-of-Bengal/article16908928.ece

Thiruvalluvar’s statue unveiled in Haridwar.

Details :

 Chief minister Harish Rawat unveiled the statue of renowned Tamil poet and philosopher Thiruvalluvar on the premises of Mela Bhawan in Haridwar. 

The process introducing Thiruvalluvar statue in Uttarakhand was initiated by former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP from Uttarakhand Tarun Vijay.

Thiruvalluvar is renowned Tamil poet and philosopher-saint believed to have lived between 3rd Century BC and 1st Century BC.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/dehradun/six-months-on-thiruvalluvars-statue-unveiled-in-haridwar/articleshow/56070348.cms

India and Kyrgyzstan sign 6 agreements in various fields.

Details :

India and Kyrgyzstan have signed six Memorandum of Understanding including in the fields of tourism, agriculture and food security and youth development.

These agreements were signed after delegation level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting President of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Sharshenovich Atambayev in New Delhi. 

 India and Kyrgyztan share excellent relations in all areas including defence, economy, commerce, education, human resource development, culture and tourism.

The trade between the two countries was 27.99 million dollars during the last fiscal, with India’s exports to Kyrgyzstan amounting to 26.20 million dollars.

Government to launch toll free number ‘1955’ for call drops.

Details :

The Union Government is planning to start soon a toll free number 1955 for taking feedback of telecom subscribers on call drops. 

The short code 1955 was allotted for IVRS system on call drop. 

Provisioning of this number will be mandatory for telecom operators and should be accessible for local and STD calling. 

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/policy/government-to-launch-toll-free-number-1955-for-call-drops/articleshow/56068022.cms

Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot Releases 'Saanjhi Saanjh' Newspaper.

Details :

The Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment released the first issue of a National Newspaper dedicated to Senior Citizen, 'Saanjhi Saanjh'.

This bilingual newspaper has got 8 pages which will be published from Delhi by Harikrit publishers.

This newspaper will carry important and useful news pertaining to elderly persons besides inspirational stories. It will serve as a bridge between old and new generations.

Corporation Bank has bagged the SKOCH silver award.

Details :

Corporation Bank has bagged the SKOCH silver award for attaining the position of No. 1 channel partner of LIC of India for the past three financial years.

 The bank was also awarded order of merit under other three categories. 

EPFO lowers interest rate on EPF to 8.65% for FY17.

Details :

Employee's Provident Fund Organization EPFO decided to lower the interest on EPF deposits for the current fiscal to 8.65%, from 8.8% provided in 2015-16, for its over four crore subscribers. 

 The Central Board of Trustees (CBT), has taken a decision to lower the interest rate to 8.65 per cent for the current fiscal from 8.8 in 2015—16.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/epfo-lowers-interest-rate-on-epf-to-865-for-fy17/article9434143.ece

Micromax, Uber join hands to offer integrated experience.

Details :

Mobile phone brand Micromax Informatics, and taxi-hailing service Uber announced a partnership that will help Micromax customers book an Uber ride on their phones without having to download application.

Micromax aims to push nearly 100 million devices that offer an integrated experience with Uber over the next three years.

This move will propel both the companies to create a feature-driven experience for smartphone users and as a part of this partnership, the Uber app will come in-built in close to 100 million Micromax smartphones.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/info-tech/micromax-uber-join-hands-to-offer-integrated-experience/article9436198.ece

Inventor Of Life-saving Heimlich Maneuver, Henry Heimlich, Dead At 96.

Details :

Dr. Henry Heimlich, well-known for his invention Heimlich maneuver, a procedure that saved millions of lives, died at the age of 96.

Heimlich maneuver is a first aid procedure used to treat upper airway obstructions (or choking) by foreign objects.

The term Heimlich maneuver is named after Dr. Henry Heimlich, who first described it in 1974.

India wins five-match series (4-0) against England.

Details :

India has won the five-match test series against England 4-0.

In the fifth and final test played at M. A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, England wrapped up the second innings at 207 in 88 overs on 20 December 2016.

India became no.1 Test team in 2016.

Justice J.S. Khehar appointed as 44th Chief Justice of India.

Details :

The President appointed Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar as the 44th Chief Justice of India from January 4, 2017. He succeeds CJI T S Thakur, 

Justice Thakur retires on January 3, 2017 after a tenure of a year.

Justice Khehar will have a tenure for over seven months till August 28, 2017. He assumed office as a judge of the Supreme Court on September 13, 2011.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Justice-J.S.-Khehar-appointed-as-44th-Chief-Justice-of-India/article16906745.ece

RBI to issue new Rs 500 note in new series with inset letter R.

Details :

The Reserve Bank of India is issuing a new batch of Rs 500 notes in Mahatma Gandhi (New) series with the inset letter R in both the number panels. 

The new notes will bear the signature of Urjit R Patel, the incumbent RBI Governor, and the year of printing ‘2016’ printed on the reverse of the banknote.

http://indianexpress.com/article/business/banking-and-finance/rbi-to-issue-new-rs-500-note-in-new-series-with-inset-letter-r-4435862/

Union Cabinet approves creation of Indian Enterprise Development Services.

Details :

The union cabinet approved cadre review and formation of the Indian Enterprise Development Service (IEDS) in the Office of the Development Commissioner, Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi here.

Its creation will help to strengthen the organization and to achieve the vision of Startup India, Stand-up India and Make in India.

It will also enhance the capacity and efficiency of the organization and help in achieving growth in MSME sector through a focused and dedicated cadre of technical officers.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/cabinet-approves-creation-of-indian-enterprise-development-services-sources/article9437639.ece

Dec. 19, 2016

World's first cloned goat with Cashmere wool born in China.

Details :

The world's first cloned goat bearing superfine Cashmere wool was born in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

The goat will be raised in a base for animal husbandry research conducted by experts from agricultural universities and academies in Inner Mongolia and southwest China's Yunnan Province.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/china/worlds-first-cloned-goat-with-cashmere-wool-born-in-china/articleshow/56049788.cms

AYUSH Ministry launches Swasthya Raksha Programme.

Details :

The Union AYUSH Ministry has launched ‘Swasthya Raksha Programme’ to promote health and health education in villages.

This Program has been initiated through Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS), Central Council for Research in Unani Medicine (CCRUM), Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy (CCRH) and Central Council for Research in Siddha (CCRS.

Aim:

To organize Swasthya Rakshan OPDs, Swasthya Parikshan Camps and Health/Hygiene awareness programme

Awareness about cleanliness of domestic surroundings and environment.

Provide medical aid/incidental support in the adopted Colonies/villages.

Documentation of demographic information, food habits, hygiene conditions, seasons, lifestyle etc., incidence/prevalence of disease and their relation to the incidence of disease.

Assessment of health status and propagation of Ayurvedic concept of pathya-apathya and extension of health care services.

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=155555

Political parties can’t accept old notes in donation.

Details :

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said that political parties cannot accept donations in old 500 and 1,000 rupee notes since these bills have been demonetised.

Under Section 13A of IT Act 1961, Political parties have to submit audited accounts, income and expenditure details and balance sheets. 

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/no-tax-concession-for-political-parties-clarifies-fm-arun-jaitley/articleshow/56038973.cms

India-Nepal Folk Crafts Festival opens.

Details :

The India-Nepal Folk Crafts Festival (INCF) began in Kathmandu.

The festival from december 19-23, aims to promote crafts based bilateral relations and enhance cultural exchanges between the artisans of India And Nepal.

The SAF was established in 1991. Since then it has been working to enhance the livelihood of the artisans of the region and contributing towards strengthening the crafts sector of both the countries.

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/india-nepal-folk-crafts-festival-opens/1/837983.html

Miss Puerto Rico Takes Miss World 2016 crown:

Details :

Miss Puerto Rico Stephanie Del Valle (19-year) was crowned Miss World 2016.

Del Valle previously won Miss Mundo de Puerto Rico 2016.

First runner-up of the 2016 edition of the pageant was Yaritza Miguelina Reyes Ramirez of the Dominican Republic, followed by Miss World Indonesia Natasha Mannuela.

This event held at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland USA.

The Union Minister Vijay Goel inaugurated conference on Youth Development.

Details :

Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Vijay Goel to inaugurated Conference on Youth Development in New Delhi.

The Youth Development conference was organised by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and National Yuva Kendra Sangathan.

The Objective is to discuss and generate ideas for youth development and empowerment so that the current schemes, programmes and interventions can be improved upon.

Priyanka Chopra becomes Assam tourism brand ambassador.

Details :

The Assam government has appointed top Bollywood actor Priyanka Chopra as the state’s tourism brand ambassador for two years.

http://indianexpress.com/article/news-archive/print/assam-signs-priyanka-chopra-as-tourism-brand-ambassador-4435361/

Goa celebrated 55th Liberation Day.

Details :

The state of Goa is celebrated its Liberation Day on 19th December 2016.

It was on December 19, 1961, that Goa was liberated from the Portuguese rule after a prolonged freedom struggle and military operation.

YES Bank, Ola tie up to provide cash at your doorstep.

Details :

YES Bank, India’s fifth largest private sector bank has partnered with Ola, one of the popular mobile apps for transportation, to provide cash-on-demand at customer’s doorstep. 

Customers will be able to use the Ola app to book a cab and opt for ‘cash at their doorsteps’ that will be enabled using Point-of-Sale (PoS) machines powered by YES Bank.

The service will be available across 10 cities — Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Pune, Kolkata, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Jaipur.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/money-and-banking/yesbank-ola-tie-up/article9433222.ece

Noted economist Saumitra Chaudhuri passes away.

Details :

Noted economist and former Planning Commission member Saumitra Chaudhuri passed away.

Chaudhuri was appointed member of Planning Commission in June 2009.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Saumitra-Chaudhuri-%E2%80%94-an-untimely-death/article16904785.ece

Atletico De Kolkata win 2nd time ISL title.

Details :

Atletico de Kolkata were crowned Indian Super League champions for the second time in three years after they edged out Kerala.

In the final match held in Kochi, Atletico De Kolkata FC defeated Kerala Blasters 4-3 in a penalty shootout

India wins 2016 Men’s Hockey Junior World Cup.

Details :

India won the 2016 Men’s Hockey Junior World Cup title by defeating Belgium by 2-1 goals. 

The final match was held at Major Dhyan Chand Stadium in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sports/hockey/top-stories/junior-hockey-world-cup-india-claim-title-with-2-1-win-over-belgium/articleshow/56050795.cms

Karun Nair becomes second Indian to score 300 in Tests.

Details :

Indian batsman became second Indian cricketer after Virender Sehwag to score triple century in Tests.

Nair, in his third Test, finished not out on 303 as India declared with their highest score in Tests, a massive 759/7, at the iconic MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai

The other milestones for Nair include becoming the first Indian batsman to convert a maiden Test hundred into a triple-hundred.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sports/cricket/england-in-india-2016/india-v-england-5th-test-karun-nair-becomes-second-indian-to-score-300-in-tests/articleshow/56065385.cms

Dec. 18, 2016

The union government Announces Notification of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Pet Shop) Rules, 2016.

Details :

The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has issued the draft notification for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Pet Shop) Rules, 2016 to regulate pet shops.

The objective of these rules is to make pet shops accountable and to prevent cruelty inflicted on animals kept in such pet shops. 

 The proposed Rules provide as under:

 1. It will be mandatory for all pet shop owners to register themselves with the State Animal Welfare Board of the respective State Governments/Union Territories.

2. Such shops will be registered only after inspection by the representatives of State Board, a veterinary practitioner and a representative of Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

3.  The rules define space requirement for birds, cats, dogs, rabbits, guinea pig, hamster, rats and mice in the pet shops.

4. It defines the basic amenities, power back-up, general care, veterinary care and other operational requirement for animals kept in pet shops.

5. It is mandatory to maintain proper records of sale, purchase, death of animals in pet shop, sick animals etc.

6. Every pet shop owner is required to submit yearly report to the State Board regarding animals, sold, traded, bartered, brokered, given away, boarded or exhibited during previous year, or any other information asked for by the State Board.

 Violation of Rules: Non-compliance of the proposed rules will lead to cancellation of registration of pet shop and pet animals so confiscated, shall be handed over to an Animal Welfare Organisation, or a rescue centre recognised by the Board.

APAC nations to adopt Urban Plus approach

Details :

The Asia Pacific Ministerial Conference on Housing and Urban Development (APMCHUD) held in New Delhi has adopted New Delhi declaration to adopt Urban Plus approach.

The theme of the conference was ‘Emerging Urban Forms-Policy Reforms and Governance Structures in the Context of New Urban Agenda’.

This was the first such meeting held to discuss ways of realising the New Urban Agenda that was finalised during the United Nations-Habitat III conference in Quito in October 2016.

Asia Pacific countries that account for over 55% of global urban population have resolved to adopt ‘Urban Plus’ approach taking urban planning and development beyond city limits to prevent  unmanageable and unsustainable  urban expansion. 

The next biennial APMCHUD Conference will be hosted by Iran in 2018. 

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=155544

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/sustainable-expansion-apac-nations-to-adopt-urban-plus-approach-4431161/

RBI opposes proposal to set up separate payments regulator.

Details :

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has opposed a move to establish a separate entity to regulate payments and settlements.

The 11-member committee  headed by Ratan Watal was notified in September 2016 by the Union Finance Ministry to review existing payment systems in country and recommend appropriate measures for encouraging Digital Payments.

http://www.thehindu.com/business/RBI-opposes-proposal-to-set-up-separate-payments-regulator/article16867380.ece1

Air Marshal BS Dhanoa appointed Air Chief of IAF.

Details :

The Union Government has appointed Air Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa as the next Chief of the Air Staff of the Indian Air Force (IAF).

He succeeds Arup Raha who retires on December 31, 2016. 

Himachal Pradesh becomes sixth state in India to attain 100 % Aadhaar saturation.

Details :

Himachal Pradesh has achieved 100 percent Aadhar saturation on the basis of population of year 2015.

By this it becomes 6th state in India after Delhi, Telangana, Haryana, Punjab and Chandigarh to have achieved this milestone.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ani/himachal-pradesh-becomes-sixth-state-in-india-to-attain-100-aadhaar-saturation-116121800096_1.html

Manipur Chief Minsiter inaugurated two new districts amid Naga protests.

Details :

Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh has inaugurated two new districts Pherzawl and Noney.

Pherzawl carved out of Churachandpur district, and Noney from Tamenglong district in Manipur.Now, the total number of district is 11.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/manipur-cm-okram-ibobi-inaugurates-two-more-districts/story-niYaT4iMAL63WMhBtth20H.html

Government forms high-level task force on Indus Water Treaty.

Details :

The government has formed an inter-ministerial task force to look into all the strategic aspects of Indus Water Treaty (IWT) with Pakistan.

The Task force will be headed by PM Narendra Modi’s Principal Secretary Nripendra Mishra.

Other members of the team include NSA Ajit Doval, foreign secretary S Jaishankar and secretaries in ministries of finance, environment, power and water resource.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/government-forms-high-level-task-force-on-indus-water-treaty/articleshow/56036926.cms

SBI unveil mobile wallet.

Details :

State Bank of India (SBI) has launched ‘Mobicash Mobile Wallet’ in association with state-owned telecommunications company Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL). 

It will provide a mobile wallet to the masses and works with smart as well as normal feature phone.

The special feature of Mobicash is that users can deposit cash with BSNL retail outlets and can also withdraw cash from his/her account.

Initially it will be  available in Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana and Bihar.

India, Tajikistan sign four agreements.

Details :

India and Tajikistan signed four agreements, including one on exchange of financial intelligence.

These agreements were signed following delegation level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon in New Delhi. 

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed on cooperation in the exchange of financial intelligence related to money laundering, related crimes and financing of terrorism.

The two sides signed a protocol amending avoidance of double taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion.

Another MoU was signed regarding cooperation on broadcasting in exchange of audio-visual programmes.

Announcement of initiation of Bilateral investment treaty between both countries.

Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhu Flags Off Country’s First Humsafar Train

Details :

Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu flagged off the first Humsafar clan of trains by launching through video conferencing from Rail Bhawan, New Delhi.

The HUMSAFAR EXPRESS will run between Hamsafar ExpressAnand Vihar in Ghaziabad to Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh. 

This Humsafar Train has latest technologies like Vinyl wrapping, high quality curtains, Passenger information system which will enhance the user experience of travelling in this train.

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=155585

Arnab Goswami's new venture is called 'Republic'.

Details :

Noted television journalist and talk show host Arnab Goswami  has announced  his ‘new venture’ called ‘Republic’. 

At a conference held at the 10th anniversary of IEEMA ( Indian Electronic Arnab GoswamiEquipment Manufacturer’s Association), the apex body for the power equipment industry, Swamy informed that Republic will be launched on 26 January, 2017.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/arnab-goswami-s-new-venture-is-called-republic-and-it-s-launching-on-26-january-116121600136_1.html

Vijender Singh retains WBO-Asia Pacific Super title.

Details :

Indian boxing star Vijender Singh retained his WBO-Asia Pacific Super Middleweight title by defeated Tanzanian boxer Francis Cheka. 

He defeated Cheka in the third round of the total 10-round contest held at Thyagraj Stadium in New Delhi.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ani/vijender-singh-retains-wbo-asia-pacific-super-title-116121800093_1.html

Dec. 17, 2016

NTPC and NALCO signs MoU to establish a 2400 MW Coal based power project at Gajmara, Odisha.

Details :

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between NTPC Limited and National Aluminium Company Limited (NALCO).

The MoU will facilitate the setting up of a Joint Venture (JV) Company to establish a 2400 MW coal based power project at Gajmara, Dhenkanal, Odisha.

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=155590

Rajiv Jain appointed as new chief of Intelligence Bureau.

Details :

The Union government has appointed senior IPS officer Rajiv Jain as the new chief of Intelligence Bureau (IB). He succeeds Dineshwar Sharma and shall have two years term.

IPS officer Anil Kumar Dhasmana, named next chiefs of Intelligence Bureau and Research and Analysis Wing. Dhasmana succeeds RAW chief Rajinder Khanna. 

They will serve as chiefs for the next two years.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/rajiv-jain-made-ib-chief-anil-dhasmana-to-head-raw/articleshow/56042966.cms

Lt. Gen. Bipin Rawat appointed next Army Chief.

Details :

The Union Government has appointed Lt. Gen. Bipin Rawat as new Chief of Army Staff (CoAS). He succeeds Army Chief General Dalbir Singh who retires on December 31, 2016.

The appointment goes against the long held tradition of appointing the senior most eligible officer to the post.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/In-surprise-move-Lt.-Gen.-Bipin-Rawat-appointed-next-Army-Chief/article16896802.ece

NASA launches 8 mini-satellites for hurricane forecasting.

Details :

The NASA has successfully launched constellation of eight mini-satellites.

The $157 million Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System, or CYGNSS, is meant to improve hurricane forecasting.

These satellites were air launched by aerospace company Orbital ATK onboard of Pegasus rocket fired from plane at height of 12km. 

The satellites have GPS navigation receivers to frequently measure the surface roughness of oceans, enabling scientists to calculate wind speed and storm intensity.

Unlike weather satellites already in orbit, these spacecraft can peer through rain swirling in a hurricane, all the way into the eye, or core.

Each of the micro-satellite of CYGNSS weighs just 64 pounds (32kg) and has 5-foot wingspan. They will be placed into the orbit 500km above earth’s surface.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/science/nasa-launches-8-mini-satellites-for-hurricane-forecasting/articleshow/56004282.cms

Government announces new income declaration scheme 'PM Garib Kalyan Yojana'.

Details :

Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY), 2016, will start on December 17 and remain open until March 31 2017.

Those who declare cash deposits under this will be levied a charge of 50%, which breaks down into 30% tax, 33% surcharge and 10% penalty.

In addition to this, 25% of the amount declared will go into the noninterest-bearing Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Deposit Scheme, 2016, for four years. 

The scheme was notified after the Taxation Laws Second (Amendment) Bill, 2016, came into force on December 15.

The Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha but could not be taken up in the Rajya Sabha due to Opposition protests. 

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/policy/government-announces-new-income-declaration-scheme-pm-garib-kalyan-yojana-stringent-penalties-prescribed/articleshow/56020146.cms

Devendra Fadnavis, AS Kiran Kumar and John Ralston Marr selected for SIES- National Eminence Award.

Details :

Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis, ISRO chairman A S Kiran Kumar , UK-based scholar John Ralston Marr and Hari Katha exponent Kamala Murthy have been selected for SIES-Sri Chandrasekarendra Saraswati National Eminence Award. 

ISRO chairman A S Kiran Kumar will be presented award for Science & Technology category.

Mahrashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will be presented award for Public Leadership category.

Hari Katha exponent Kamala Murthy presented in with this award in Social Thinkers, Philosophers and Pravachana Karthas category.

Rajasthan Government launches Annapurna Rasoi Scheme.

Details :

Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje  launched a subsidised meal scheme in the state.

The tagline for the scheme, named Annapurna Rasoi Yojana, is: “Sabke liye bhojan, sabke liye sammaan (Food for all, respect for all)”.

The food under this scheme will be provided at subsidized rates, breakfast at Rs 5 per plate and lunch/dinner at Rs 8 per plate.

This scheme aims to benefit “labourers, rickshaw pullers, auto-rickshaw drivers, students, working women, senior citizens, and others”.

It will be distributed by 80 mobile vans at locations decided by local self-help agencies in districts.

The scheme will be started in 12 districts. They are Jaipur, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Ajmer, Bharatpur, Bikaner, Pratapgarh, Kota, Banswara, Dungarpur, Baran and Jhalawar. 

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/breakfast-for-rs-5-lunch-for-rs-8-vasundhara-raje-launches-annapurna-rasois-4429387/

Indian Navy's eight landing craft utility launched.

Details :

The Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd (GRSE) has  launched the eighth landing craft utility (LCU) vessel for the Indian Navy in Kolkata, West Bengal.

It is the last vessel in a series of eight ships of LCU MK-IV project designed and built by GRSE for the Indian Navy.

It was launched by Neelam Pratap Singh Rudy, wife of Union minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy.

The ship has a displacement capacity of 830 tonnes

It has been designed to attain a maximum speed of 15 knots with an endurance of more than 1,500 nautical miles

It has the capability of carrying two tanks or four special vehicles and 160 troops for landing at remote beach heads

They are armed with two CRN, 91 naval guns, four medium machine guns, two heavy machine guns and portable air defence system

The cost of each ship is around Rs 230 crore.

They are deployed for maritime security of Lakshadweep Islands in Arabian Sea and Andaman and Nicobar Islands in Bay of Bengal.

Coimbatore City Municipal Corporation awarded Digital India Silver Award.

Details :

The Coimbatore City Municipal Corporation has been selected for Digital India Award instituted by Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. 

It will receive award in the category of “Most Innovative Citizen Engagement” and also for installing and implementing free WiFi Scheme in its various offices. 

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/city-corporation-to-receive-digital-india-silver-award-116121700013_1.html

Government to deploy 600 young professionals in districts to boost Swachh Bharat.

Details :

The Union Government will deploy 600 Zila Swachh Bharat Preraks (ZSBPs) across the country  one in each district of the country to boost Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, for a period of one year. 

The role of these young ZSBPs will be to support the Collector/DDO/CEO to implement SBM(G) by coordinating the various sanitation-related activities in the district. 

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=155597

Pimpri Budruk in Pune district declared cashless village.

Details :

The Centre for Good Governance has declared that Pimpri Budruk in Pune district as a cashless village.

From students to senior citizens, each of the eligible members of the village, has an account with the bank, where every transaction is being done through mobile banking. 

Audi India appoints Rahil Ansari as its new head.

Details :

 Audi India has brought in Rahil Ansari as its new head. He replaces Joe King. 

Ansari, who moves to India from Audi headquarters in Germany, will take charge from February 1 next year.

Ansari has previously served as director of network development for Audi India. 

RBI cuts charges on card to promote digital transactions.

Details :
the Reserve Bank of India has announced special measures, including reducing the commission charged by banks to merchant outlets on customer transactions using debit cards.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has capped the Merchant Discount Rates (MDR) for debit card transactions up to Rs. 1,000 at 0.25% and for transactions above Rs. 1,000 and up to Rs. 2,000 at 0.5% in order to incentivise greater adoption of digital payment methods.

Dec. 16, 2016

e-Tourist visa extended to citizens of 161 countries: Government.

Details :

The government has extended the facility of e-Tourist Visa for citizens of 161 countries.

It was announced by Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma.

In a written reply he mentioned the number of foreign tourist arrivals on e-Tourist Visa (e-TV) during January to November 2016 was 9,17,446, registering a growth of 168.5 % over same period of 2015. 

Union Government had launched e-Tourist Visa Scheme (as Tourist Visa on Arrival scheme) on November 27, 2014.

Under the scheme, an applicant receives an email authorising him or her to travel to India after it has been approved. The tourist can travel with a print-out of this authorisation. 

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/nri/visa-and-immigration/e-tourist-visa-extended-to-citizens-of-161-countries-govt/articleshow/55985225.cms

5th India-Arab partnership conference held in Muscat, Oman.

Details :

The 5th India-Arab Partnership Conference held in Muscat, Oman. 

The two-day conference held from December 14 - 15. It is  organised by the Oman Foreign Ministry, Arab League Secretariat in association with the Ministry of External Affairs in India.

The theme of the conference this year is 'Partnership towards innovation and cooperation in Information Technology'. 

Around 500 representatives including from the Arab League and Indian government officials, businessmen, investors and academicians participated in the conference.

Other collaboration partners include the Federation of Arab Businessmen (FAB) and the General Union of Arab Chambers of Commerce and Industry and Agriculture (GUCCIA). 

Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Oman Chamber of Commerce were the coordinating agencies. Nine other chambers from the Arab States also participated.

The most important part of the partnership conference is economic cooperation and to build business to business links.

SC bans liquor shops on national, state highways across India From April 1 2017.

Details :

The Supreme Court (sc) banned States and Union Territories from granting licences for the sale of liquor along National and State highways across the country.

A Bench of Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur and Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and L. Nageswara Rao gave its order on a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by an NGO called ‘Arrive Safe’.

Licenses of existing Liquor shops will not be renewed after March 31, 2017.

An analysis of road accident data 2015 reveals that around 1,374 accidents and 400 deaths take place every day on Indian roads, resulting in 57 accidents and loss of 17 lives on an average every hour.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Liquor-vends-on-National-State-highways-banned/article16832964.ece

Mahila Police Volunteer Initiative launched in Haryana.

Details :

Haryana became the first state in the country to launch Mahila Police Volunteer (MPV) initiative for safety of women.

It was launched by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar.

Mahila Police Volunteer is a joint initiative with the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.

Haryana  inducted the first batch of 1000 Mahila Police Volunteers.

These volunteers have already been trained by the state State Police Authorities on their role and responsibility.

It envisages creation of a link between the police authorities and the local communities in villages through police volunteers who will be women specially trained for this purpose. 

The gap between Police and Civil society will be bridged by Mahila Police Volunteers initiative. 

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=155377

Brexit Enters Oxford English Dictionary.

Details :

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) has officially added word ‘Brexit’ in it. It is among 1,500 new words added to the OED.

It was first used when then prime minister David Cameron announced in 2013 he would hold a referendum on Britain’s EU membership if re-elected, but entered common parlance as campaigning intensified before the shock June 23 vote.

Brexit has become a “linguistic wellspring”. 

IAF personnel can't Grow beard: SC

Details :

The Supreme Court ordered that Indian Airforce (IAF) personnel cannot keep beard.

A bench headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur upheld the sacking of an Indian Air Force (IAF) man for keeping a long beard, saying military regulations were aimed at ensuring discipline and uniformity.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/air-force-personnel-cant-sport-beard-rules-supreme-court-as-it-junks-muslim-mans-plea-4427848/

Majuli to be country's first ever carbon neutral district.

Details :

Assam government has initiated a project to make river island Majuli the country's first ever Carbon Neutral district by 2020. 

The project titled 'Sustainable Action for Climate Resilient Development.

The project has been initiated by Assam’s department of Environment and Forest to combat climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It presents a vision and roadap for a carbon netural Majuli.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/majuli-to-be-country-s-first-ever-carbon-neutral-district-116121500987_1.html

Govt appoints Sunil Arora as IICA Director General.

Details :

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of Sunil Arora as Director General & Chief Executive Officer of IICA.

He will have tenure of 5 years or till attaining 65 years of age.

A 1980-batch IAS officer of the Rajasthan cadre, Arora retired as I&B Secretary earlier this year and was also serving as an advisor at Prasar Bharati.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/govt-appoints-sunil-arora-as-iica-director-general-116121501290_1.html

V K Sharma appointed LIC chief.

Details :

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) appointed V K Sharma as the chairman of state-owned behemoth Life Insurance Corporation (LIC).

He will have tenure of five years.

Sharma was already acting as chairman since September 16 when the then chairman S K Roy was relieved of his duties.

Sharma has been serving as LIC's MD since November 2013.

LIC is the largest financial institution in the country with over Rs 22.10 lakh crore in assets, which is over 15 per cent of India's GDP of Rs 134 lakh crore.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/v-k-sharma-appointed-lic-chief-for-5-years-116121401130_1.html

ICFA: 'Global Agriculture Leadership Award 2016' to Ratan Tata.

Details :

Indian Council of Food and Agriculture (ICFA)  presented 'Global Agriculture Leadership Award 2016' to Tata Sons interim Chairman Ratan Tata in Mumbai.

 The Leadership Awards jury conferred on Tata the 'Lifetime Achievements Award 2016' for his transformational role in scaling Tata Group as the globally admired group during his stint of two decades as Chairman.

Punjab to give free LPG to BPL families missed in SECC 2011.

Details :

The Punjab Cabinet gave its approval to provide free LPG connections to those BPL families, who were missed in the 2011 Socio Economic Caste Census (SECC) on the lines of Pradhan Mantri Ujwala Yojana. 

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/punjab-to-give-free-lpg-to-bpl-families-missed-in-secc-2011-116121501450_1.html


Thal Favang Kut festival begins in Mizoram.

Details :

The ‘Thal Favang Kut’ festival began in state capital Aizawl.

 Thalfavang Kut - which marks the completion of weeding of the farmland by cultivators in the state.

The festival, organised by the Mizoram tourism department, provides an opportunity to people residing in far-flung areas of the state to participate in various events and showcase their talent

Smriti Mandhana named in ICC Women’s Team of the Year.

Details :

India batswoman Smriti Mandhana has been named in the ICC Women’s Team of the Year 2016.

It was announced  by the The International Cricket Council (ICC).

The women’s team of the year, which will be captained by West Indies’ Stafanie Taylor, has been added to the list of awards to acknowledge and appreciate outstanding performances of women’s cricketers over a 12-month period.

http://indianexpress.com/article/sports/cricket/smriti-mandhana-icc-women-team-of-the-year-4426389/

Indian-American woman elected as Mayor of Californian city.

Details :

For the first time, an Indian-American woman has been elected as the new Mayor of the key Californian city of Cupertino, globally known for its Apple headquarters.

Vaidhyanathan is an MBA who worked as a high school Math teacher and an officer in a commercial bank as well as in non-profit management.

According to Forbes, she is one of the most educated small towns in the country with local public schools ranking highly.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/nri/us-canada-news/indian-american-elected-as-mayor-of-californian-city/articleshow/56016673.cms

India tops Asia in innovation chart.

Details :

India has been ranked as the No. 1 innovation destination in Asia.

And ranked No. 2 in the world for new innovation centres.

The ‘Silicon Valley’ of the east, Bengaluru, which is 5th largest hub at the global level, saw most of the innovations in 2016.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/indicators/india-tops-asia-in-innovation-chart/articleshow/55980731.cms

Dec. 15, 2016

Union Cabinet approves MoU between India-Kyrgyzstan on agriculture cooperation.

Details :

The Union Cabinet has approved memorandum of understanding (MoU) between India and Kyrgyzstan on cooperation in field of agriculture and food related industry.

The proposed agreement between India and Kyrgyzstan covers various activities in the field of agriculture and allied sector.

It includes areas such as exchange of information and experience in the field of research; animal breeding, Avian Influenza and Food & Mouth Disease (FMD); veterinary medicine; plant growing, production of seeds based on modern technology, certification of seed.

Introduction of different types of irrigation, & establishing Indian Pilot Project; information technology on efficient use of food processing and packaging technology.

The Agreement provides for constitution of a Joint Working Group comprising of representatives from both countries which shall prepare plans of cooperation, provide solutions to the problems arising during the implementation of this Agreement and implementation of tasks determined by the Parties.

Union Cabinet approves MoU between ISRO and US agency for exchange of critical data.

Details :

The Union Cabinet  approved the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) for cooperation in the "exchange and use of the US Land Remote Sensing Satellite Data".

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two agencies was signed in Bengaluru  on july 9.

This MoU will enable ISRO to receive USGS's Landsat-7 & 8 data in India and USGS to receive ISRO's Resourcesat-2 (AWiFS and LISS III) data of US region".

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/cabinet-approves-mou-between-isro-and-us-agency-for-exchange-of-critical-data/articleshow/55988330.cms

Cabinet approves India’s approach to Climate Change Negotiations at the Conference of Parties (COP) to UNFCC.

Details :

The Union Cabinet approved India’s approach to Climate Change Negotiations at the Conference of Parties (COP) to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), held in Marrakesh, Morocco during November 7-18, 2016.

It  is intended to safeguard the interest of poor and vulnerable groups by emphasizing on adaptation, loss and damage, and protecting the development space.

Growth and development of a country are linked with Greenhouse Gas emissions.

The development space for India and developing countries needs to be preserved while combating the ill-effects of climate change. 

The approach outlined in the note enables the achievement of this goal and also seeks to address the adaptation needs of the country.

Pakistan successfully test-fires cruise missile.

Details :

Pakistan Army has successfully test fired an enhanced version of an indigenously-designed Babur cruise missile.

Named 'Babur' after Mughal invader and founder of the dynasty of same name.

The missile is part of Babur Weapon System version- 2 because it is enhanced version of earlier missile.

The missile is equipped with state-of-the-art navigational technologies of Terrain Contour Matching (TERCOM) and all time Digital Scene Matching & Area Co-relation (DSMAC).

It enables it to engage various type of targets with pinpoint accuracy even in the absence of GPS navigation.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/pakistan-successfully-test-fires-cruise-missile/articleshow/55991977.cms

Union Cabinet clears Bill to give autonomy to 12 major ports.

Details :

The Union Cabinet has approved the draft Major Port Authorities Bill, 2016 to replace the existing Major Port Trusts Act, 1963.

It aims to empower 12 major ports to perform with greater efficiency on account of full autonomy in decision-making.

http://www.thehindu.com/business/Cabinet-clears-Bill-to-give-autonomy-to-12-major-ports/article16806305.ece

Union Government approves MoU between Rural Development Ministry & FAO

Details :

The Union Cabinet has approved MoU between Ministry of Rural Development and Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) to improve effectiveness of rural development programmes in India.

An Inter-Governmental MoU on Joint Technical and South-South Cooperation to provide a framework for collaboration will be signed between Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) and FAO.

It aims to improve the effectiveness of rural development programmes in India and to facilitate knowledge sharing.

The MoU will facilitate South-South cooperation mechanisms around Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM)’s experience through exchange visits and dialogues, and establishment of a good-practice Learning Centre. 

It will also facilitate employment diversification, skills development for rural youth, strengthen social protection, risk management mechanisms.

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=155382

PM Modi ranked 9th among world’s most powerful people by Forbes.

Details :

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was placed at 9th position among 74 of the world’s most powerful people list released by the Forbes Magazine.

List was topped by  Russian President Vladimir Putin for a fourth straight year.

US President-elect Donald Trump ranked  in the second place. With this he will become the first billionaire president of the United States.  US President Obama comes in on the 48th spot.

The third most powerful person in the world also happens to be the most powerful woman: Angela Merkel, the chancellor of Germany and the backbone of the European Union.

The list includes Xi on the 4th spot, Pope Francis (5), Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates (7), Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (10).

 Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani ranked 38th in the list,  Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella ranked 51th in the list.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/narendra-modi-forbes-list-worlds-most-powerful-people-4427685/

Railways to install 10,000 POS to go cashless.

Details :

The Indian Railways has decided to install at least 10,000 point of sale (POS) machines using debit/credit cards at its public reservation system (PRS) counters.

SBI has been mandated to install 10,000 POS machines at PRS counters followed by unreserved ticketing systems (UTS) at suburban stations, parcel and goods locations and other UTS locations.

Indian Railways ties up with SBI to install 10000 POS machines.

Union Cabinet approves amended DTAA between India and Tajikistan.

Details :

The Union Cabinet has approved the protocol amending the agreement between India and Tajikistan for avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income. 

The protocol, after it enters into force, will enable sharing of information exchanged under Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement, DTAA with other law enforcement agencies for non tax purposes. 

MHA cancels Greenpeace’s FCRA licence renewal.

Details :

The Home Ministry has cancelled renewal of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) licences of Greenpeace India and two NGOs run by activist Teesta Setalvad.

This happened three months after “inadvertently” allowing their registration for five more years.

Renewal of FCRA licence of Greenpeace India, Teesta’s NGOs Sabrang Trust and Citizens for Justice and Peace stands cancelled with immediate effect.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/teesta-setalvad-greenpeace-fcra-license-ministry-of-home-affairs-4427068/

Sochi loses right to host bobsleigh & skeleton World Championships 2017.

Details :

The International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) has announced that Russia will not host the 2017 Bobsleigh and Skeleton World Championships. 

Seventh edition of Indo-Maldives military exercise to begins.

Details :

The Seventh edition of EKUVERIN military exercise between India and Maldives will be held from December 15 to 28 at Kadhdhoo, Laamu Atoll, Maldives.

The aim of the exercise is to conduct military training with emphasis on amphibious and counter insurgency operations with a view to enhance interoperability between the two armies.

The previous edition of the exercise was held in India at Trivandrum, Kerala.

Indra Nooyi, Elon Musk and Travis Kalanick to join Donald Trump's Advisory Council.

Details :

PepsiCo Chairperson, Indra Nooyi, Chairman and CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, Elon Musk,  and CEO and co - founder of Uber Technologies, Travis Kalanick will be a part of Donald Trump's Strategic and Policy Forum.

The Strategic and Policy Forum team aims to assist US President in implementing his economic agenda.

NGT imposes interim nationwide ban on manja for flying kites.

Details :

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) imposed an interim nationwide ban on use of glass-coated 'manja' for flying kites as the sharp string poses a danger to humans, animals and birds.

The order was passed by the NGT bench, headed by  Chairman Justice Swatanter Kumar who said that the sharp string poses a danger to humans, animals and birds as well as causes harm to environment. 

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/ngt-imposes-interim-nationwide-ban-on-manja-for-flying-kites/articleshow/55979602.cms

Rio gets UNESCO world heritage status.

Details :

The  Marvelous City or Rio de Janeiro officially has entered into the UN’s list of world heritage sites while UNESCO status was announced in 2012 in recognition of its soaring granite cliffs, urban rainforest and beaches.

Rio got a big tourism boost during the 2014 football World Cup and this August's Olympic Games.

Vodafone launches e-wallet M Pesa Pay for retailers.

Details :

Vodafone India launched Vodafone M Pesa Pay  in a bid to enable merchants and retailers to receive payments from their customers. Existing M Pesa customers can use their wallets to make payments.

The new feature replaces the need for point of sale (PoS) machine since it is a face-to-face transaction where the merchant sends the request to the customer for making a payment.

Dec. 14, 2016

India becomes world’s 4th largest defence spender.

Details :

India has become the world’s fourth largest defence spender, according to the 2016 Jane’s Defence Budgets Report, released by research firm IHS Markit on Dec. 12.

The US, China, and the UK remain the top three, IHS Jane’s data shows.

The report says that by 2018 India will become the third-largest in the group, surpassing the UK. 

India has surpassed Russia and Saudi Arabia to become the world’s fourth largest defence spender.

 

http://qz.com/860560/indias-outgunned-russia-and-saudi-arabia-to-become-the-worlds-fourth-largest-defence-spender/

India, Russia bilateral naval exercise Indra Navy 2016 begins.

Details :

The 9th edition of exercise INDRA NAVY, an annual bilateral maritime exercise between Indian Navy and Russian Navy will be conducted in the Bay of Bengal from 14 to 21 December 2016.

The primary aim of exercise INDRA NAVY-16 is to increase inter-operability amongst the two navies and develop common understanding and procedures for maritime security operations.

The exercise will be progressed in two phases:

The Harbour Phase (14 to 18 December 2016) at Visakhapatnam and

The Sea Phase (19 to 21 December 2016) off Visakhapatnam. 

The scope of the exercise includes wide-ranging professional interactions in harbor phase and a diverse canvas of operational activities across a spectrum of maritime operations at sea.

 INDRA NAVY is a bilateral maritime exercise between the Indian and Russian navies and epitomizes the strategic relationship between the two countries.

Initiated in 2003, the exercise has matured over the years with increase in scope, complexity of operations and level of participation.

Indian Navy will be represented by INS Ranvir a guided missile destroyer, INS Satpura an indigenous frigate and INS Kamorta an indigenous Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) corvette.

In addition, an INS submarine, Dornier Short Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft, P8I Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft and other integral rotary wing helicopters will also participate.

Russian Navy (RuFN) will be represented by Rear Admiral Eduard Mikhalov, Deputi Chief of Flotilla, Pacific Fleet and ships from the Pacific Fleet, based at Vladivostok. RuFN ships Admiral Tributus (cruiser) and Boris Butoma (fleet tanker) are part of the fleet.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/government-press-release/indo-russian-bilateral-naval-exercise-indra-navy-2016-116121300648_1.html

Asia Pacific Ministerial Conference on Housing and Urban Development (APMCHUD) begins in New Delhi.

Details :

The sixth edition of Asia Pacific Ministerial Conference on Housing and Urban Development (APMCHUD) began in New Delhi.

It was inaugurated by Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu.

The three days conference seeks to address issues ranging from crowded city centres to peripheral expansion, metropolitan based urban population growth, megacities and urban corridors etc.

Theme of the conference

Emerging Urban Forms - Policy Responses and Governance Structure in the context of the New Urban Agenda.

Rajya Sabha passes Disabilities Bill.

Details :

Rajya Sabha has passed the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2014.

A bill stipulating up to two- year jail term and a maximum fine of Rs 5 lakh for discriminating against differently-abled persons.

It provides for imprisonment of at least six months up to two years, along with a fine ranging between Rs 10,000 and Rs 5 lakh for discriminating against differently-abled persons.

The Union Cabinet had earlier approved these amendments to the Rights of Persons With Disabilities (RPWD) Bill, 2014, that had replaced the 1995 Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act.

Sushma Swaraj named '2016 Global Thinker' for 'novel Twitter diplomacy'.

Details :

Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has been named as one of 15 Foreign Policy Global Thinkers. She has named in the decision-makers category for fashioning a novel brand of Twitter diplomacy. 

Among others who are on the list are German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/sushma-swaraj-named-2016-global-thinker-for-novel-twitter-diplomacy-modi-among-the-first-to-congratulate-116121400476_1.html

Malaysia enthrones new king Sultan Muhammad V.

Details :

Malaysia induct its 15th king, Sultan Muhammad V. He took the oath of office in the national palace in Kuala Lumpur. 

Muhammad V (previously known as Tengku Muhammad Faris Petra; born 6 October 1969) is the Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia and the Sultan of Kelantan.

He was proclaimed Sultan on 13 September 2010, succeeding his father, Sultan Ismail Petra, who is considered incapacitated by illness.

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

http://indianexpress.com/article/world/malaysia-enthrones-new-king-in-lavish-ceremony-4424785/

First IAS officer to scale Mt Everest pens motivational book.

Details :

The book titled 'Many Everests: An Inspiring Journey of Transforming Dream Into Reality' is penned by Ravindra Kumar, a 2011 batch IAS officer.

He shares his secret to success and his journey from the deep sea, where he spent almost a decade as a seafarer before scaling the Mt Everest, in the book.

Book was released by Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/first-ias-officer-to-scale-mt-everest-pens-motivational-book-116121201059_1.html

Paytm partners with NHAI for digital payments at toll plazas.

Details :

Digital payments platform Paytm has tied partnership with major NHAI toll concessionaries like Reliance Infra, Sadhbav, IRB, MEP, L&T and GMR to enable cashless payments at all state, national and city toll plazas. 

This partnership will facilitate commuters across the country pay their toll charges instantly using Paytm mobile application by scanning the QR code placed at toll payment counters.

Currently, over a million offline merchants across India now accept Paytm as their preferred payment mode, Paytm claims.

Yes Bank ties with Grofers to deliver cash at doorstep.

Details :

Yes Bank has now tied-up with e-grocer Grofers allowing customers to get cash of up to Rs 2,000 when they order grocery online.

The cash delivery service has started  from December 12, 2016, to all customers of bank across Mumbai, Gurgaon and Bengaluru. Other cities will be added to the list gradually.

Customers who wish to order cash withdrawal will have to buy grocery of minimum of Rs 2,000 and pair it with a special code to get the money. 

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/banking/finance/banking/yes-bank-grofers-tie-up-to-deliver-cash-at-doorstep/articleshow/55960900.cms

Andy Murray, Angelique Kerber named ITF Players of the Year.

Details :

Andy Murray and Angelique Kerber were named ITF (International Tennis Federation) World Champions of the year 2016.

Andy Murray won 9 titles in a milestone year that ended with him beating rival Novak Djokovic to win the ATP Tour Finals and seal the year-end rankings top spot.

Angelique Kerber has won Australian and US Open titles as well as a silver medal in Rio Olympics.

She is the first German to win this award since Steffi Graf claimed in 1996.

http://indianexpress.com/article/sports/tennis/andy-murray-angelique-kerber-itf-player-of-the-year-4425582/

Dec. 13, 2016

GovJobAdda has launched Telegram Group

Details :

A lot of students suggested us to create Telegram Group for GovJobAdda.



WhatsApp has a limitation of only 256 members, while Telegram has a capacity of 5000 members in it's group. So here it is ! 

Here is the link to join the Official GovJobAdda group :

https://telegram.me/joinchat/Dw9V7UEA_Ta3DYxvcnFNgQ

Union Government to launch National Resource Centre Vanjeevan for Tribal Livelihood.

Details :

The Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs  will launch “Vanjeevan”, the National Resource Centre (NRC) for Tribal Livelihood issues in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.

It will be launched in collaboration with UNDP and National Scheduled Tribes Finance and Development Corporation (NSTFDC).

NRC website and e-knowledge platform on tribal livelihood will also be unveiled on the occasion.

Vanjeevan will be a programme to identify the problems in livelihood issues in select districts of six states having low HDI of tribal people in the first phase.

The states are Assam, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Odisha and Telangana.

In the second phase the programme will be implemented in the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Meghalaya and Tripura.

The programme will focus on the identification of local resources, keeping in view the existing skill level.

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=155295

India, Indonesia sign three agreements to enhance strategic partnership.

Details :

India and Indonesia have signed three agreements in various areas to enhance strategic partnership.

The agreements were signed after delegation level talks between between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting President of Indonesia Joko Widodo in New Delhi 

MoU on Youth and Sports Cooperation, Standardization Cooperation, Fishing.

Antonio Guterres sworn in as UN secretary-general.

Details :

Former Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres was sworn in as Secretary-General of the United Nations. With this he became the 9th U.N. chief.

He was administered the Oath of Office by Peter Thomson, President of UN General Assembly at special plenary meeting. He succeeds Ban Ki-moon and shall have five-year term beginning January 1, 2017.

The former U.N. refugee chief was elected to the top job by acclamation in the General Assembly in October.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/Antonio-Guterres-sworn-in-as-UN-secretary-general/article16798231.ece?homepage=true

Punjab Government launches India’s first amphibious bus project.

Details :

Punjab Government has launched country’s first amphibious bus project at the Harike wetland  in Tarn Taran district.

It was launched by Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal.

The government is hoping that the amphibious bus ride would make it to the 'must do' list of every tourist visiting Amritsar and would give a boost to tourism sector in the state.

The first of its kind amphibious bus in India was imported from Swedish automobile company Scania.

 The amphibious bus would be run under public-private-partnership (PPP) mode with a private company, Krishna HoHo Solutions. The firm would manage its operations, including appointment of staff. 

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chandigarh/Punjabs-first-amphibious-bus-floats-in-Harike-lake/articleshow/55949846.cms

Cristiano Ronaldo beats Lionel Messi to win Ballon d'Or 2016.

Details :

Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo beat rival Lionel Messi to win the prestigious Ballon d'Or award for a fourth time.

Earlier he had won the Ballon d’Or in 2008, 2013 and 2014.

Customers making digital payment for petrol, diesel to get 0.75% discount.

Details :

The government had directed state-run oil companies to offer a 0.75% discount on the price of petrol and diesel to consumers paying by cards or mobile wallets.

The discount will be credited to customer’s account by way of ‘cash back’ within maximum three working days.

This initiative made to push people towards digital payments in the face of a severe cash crunch brought on by the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. 

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/discount-on-petrol-diesel-buy-via-digital-mode-from-midnight/articleshow/55944639.cms

7th Pay Commission recommendations approved: UP govt .

Details :

The Uttar Pradesh Cabinet has approved the recommendations of the 7th pay commission. 

This decision expected to benefit around 16.52 lakh state government employees, 10.50 lakh pensioners and their families.

Decision in this regard was taken based on recommendation committee constituted by state government for the implementation of seventh pay commission.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/7th-pay-commission-recommendations-approved-salary-hike-for-up-govt-employees-gets-cabinet-nod-4425732/

India ranks 4th most vacation deprived country globally: Report

Details :

India has been ranked as the fourth most vacation deprived country globally.

In India, 63% take fewer days of the vacations that they get. First three countries are Spain (68%), UAE (68%), Malaysia (67%) and South Korea (64%).

The report was conducted on behalf of Expedia by Northstar, a globally integrated strategic insights consulting firm online from September 12-29, 2016, across North America, Europe, South America, and Asia Pacific.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/india-ranks-4th-most-vacation-deprived-country-globally-report/articleshow/55944087.cms

Lt Gen Naveed Mukhtar appointed as the new ISI chief.

Details :

Lt. Gen. Naveed Mukhtar has been appointed as the new Director-General of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).  He replaces Lt. Gen. Rizwan Akhtar.

The new ISI chief Lt Gen Mukhtar possess a vast experience in the field of intelligence and has headed the counter- terrorism wing of the spy agency in Islamabad. He was commissioned in the Armoured Corps regiment in 1983.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/pakistan-army-chief-names-lt-gen-naveed-mukhtar-as-new-isi-chief/articleshow/55934161.cms

Priyanka Chopra becomes UNICEF's Global Goodwill Ambassador.

Details :

Indian Actress Priyanka Chopra was appointed as UNICEF’s Global Goodwill Ambassador.

It was announced by soccer player David Beckham and British actress Millie Bobby Brown on the eve of UNICEF’s 70th anniversary in New York. 

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/magazines/panache/priyanka-chopra-becomes-unicefs-global-goodwill-ambassador/articleshow/55956064.cms

Rajiv Gandhi airport achieves carbon neutral status.

Details :

The Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA), Hyderabad has achieved carbon neutral status.

It is the first in the Asia-Pacific region in the 5-15 million passengers per annum category to attain this status.

 It is the second airport among all categories in the Asia-Pacific region to achieve carbon neutral status.

Earlier in September, 2016 GMR Group-led Delhi Airport had become the first airport in Asia-Pacific to achieve carbon neutral status among all categories.

ISRO signs deal for first privately built satellite.

Details :

The Indian Space Research Organisation has signed an agreement with a consortium of six companies to deliver India's first industry-built satellite by late 2017.

 It was signed between M. Annadurai, Director of ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC), and the consortium lead, Alpha Design Technologies P Ltd. ISAC assembles the country’s satellites for communication, remote sensing and navigation.

The work will start around January and the first spacecraft will be brought out in around nine months.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/ISRO-signs-deal-for-first-privately-built-satellite/article16795618.ece

2 Indians in Forbes list of US’ richest under-40 entrepreneurs.

Details :

Two Indian-origin men have figured in Forbes magazine's second annual list of wealthiest entrepreneurs under the age of 40 which is topped by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

Biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy has been ranked 24th on ‘America’s Richest Entrepreneurs Under 40 2016’ list with a networth of $600 million.

Apoorva Mehta Instacart co-founder stands at the 31st spot with a $360-million networth.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/2-indians-in-forbes-list-of-us-richest-under40-entrepreneurs/article9425239.ece

Pankaj Advani wins World Billiards Championships title.

Details :

 Ace Indian cueist Pankaj Advani won his 11th World Billiards (150-Up format) Championships title by beating Peter Gilchrist of Singapore in the summit clash.

Advani beat multiple world champion Gilchrist by six games to three in a gripping final contest to wrap up his 16th world title overall.

The Indian champion beat Gilchrist 151 (98)-33, 150 (97)-95, 124-150, 101 (98)-150 (89), 150 (87)-50, 152-37, 86 (86)-150, 151 (110)-104, 150 (88)-15.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sports/more-sports/snooker/billiards/pankaj-advani-wins-world-billiards-championships-title/articleshow/55947359.cms

Dec. 12, 2016

India offers tsunami alert system to SCS countries.

Details :

India has offered tsunami early warning-system to South China Sea (SCS) countries like Vietnam, Malaysia and Philippines as part of soft-diplomacy.

It is Developed by scientists at the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS).

It is a technique that uses mathematical modelling to estimate if an earthquake, in India’s oceanic neighbourhood, will result in a tsunami.

The system is also designed to send out a series of graded warnings to warn officials of danger.

There are also sensors lodged on the ocean floor that will measure actual earthquake signals and based on that we can revise our warnings.

 India already provides earthquake and tsunami-warning alerts to several countries in the Indian Ocean neighbourhood, as do Australia and Japan.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/India-offers-tsunami-alert-system-to-SCS-countries/article16790684.ece

Scientist creates Nanoceramic material for safer, cheaper nuclear reactors.

Details :

Scientists  including one of Indian origin have created a nanoceramic material that can used for safer, cheaper nuclear reactors.

It may be used in next-generation nuclear reactors that will operate at higher temperatures and radiation fields, producing energy more efficiently and economically.

It can withstand high temperatures, the harsh effects of radiation and also becomes tougher under radiation.

http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/%E2%80%98Nanoceramic%E2%80%99-material-for-safer-cheaper-nuclear-reactors/article16794030.ece

Cancel illegal salt pans in Sambhar Lake: NGT.

Details :

The central zonal bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Rajasthan government to cancel allotments of salt pans in the Sambhar Salt Lake.

Petitioner Ajay Dubey had alleged that in and around the Sambhar Lake, commercial and other activities detrimental to the eco-system of the wetland were being carried out contrary to the provisions of the Wetland (Conservation and Management) Rules framed under the Environment Protection Acts of 1986 and 2010.

Ruling in this regard was given by NGT bench headed by Justice Dalip Singh and expert Satyawan Singh Garbyal.

Sambhar Salt Lake is India’s largest inland salt lake. It is located in Nagaur and Jaipur districts of Rajasthan. It is surrounded on all sides by the Aravali hills.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-newdelhi/Cancel-illegal-salt-pans-in-Sambhar-Lake-NGT/article16796355.ece

World's longest rail tunnel opens in Switzerland.

Details :

The famed Gotthard Base Tunnel (GBT) has started regular commercial rail service in Switzerland.

The first regular train carrying passenger from Zurich to Lugano.

The twin-bore GBT is world’s longest and deepest railway tunnel with length of 57-kilometer. It took 17 years to build, at a cost of over 12 billion Swiss francs ($11.8 billion, 11.2 billion euros).

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/Worlds-longest-rail-tunnel-opens-in-Switzerland/articleshow/55924082.cms

Kolkata-Mizoram trade route to open via Myanmar.

Details :

A deep water port built in Myanmar’s Sittwe on the Bay of Bengal by India is ready to be commissioned. 

The Sittwe port is starting point for the Kaladan Multi Modal Transit Transport Project in Myanmar. Once shipments arrive at Sittwe port from Kolkata, they will be transferred to smaller freight carriers which would sail upstream into Mizoram.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/Kolkata-Mizoram-trade-route-to-open-via-Myanmar/article16790655.ece

China launches new generation weather satellite.

Details :

China has  launched Fengyun-4 satellite, first of its new generation weather satellites into geostationary orbit.

The Fengyun-4 satellite, the first of China's second-generation weather satellites in geostationary orbit to have been launched, is also the country's first quantitative remote-sensing satellite in highest orbit.

It was launched onboard of Long March-3B carrier rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan Province. The launch marked the 242nd mission of China’s Long March series of rockets. 

The satellite will make high time, spatial and spectral resolution observations of the atmosphere, clouds and space environment of China and surrounding regions, significantly improving capabilities of weather and climate forecasts.

The China Meteorological Administration is the primary user of the satellite.

Previously, China had successfully launched 14 weather satellites, seven of which are still in orbit.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/science/China-launches-new-generation-weather-satellite/articleshow/55920721.cms

Rajasthan government launches mobile app for tourists.

Details :

Rajasthan government launched a mobile App that provides latest information about tourist attractions in Ajmer and Pushkar with rich content including pictures, audio and video streams and cultural stories. 

The app named LeZgo provides tourism content with multiple features and convenient utilities. 

After Ajmer, the App will be localised for Jaipur, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Pali and Bharatpur soon.

The App, designed by Begaluru based Sohamsaa Systems, has been launched in Ajmer jointly by the Ajmer district administration and the Development Authority. 

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/mobile-app-for-tourists-help-in-ajmer-pushkar-116121100319_1.html

Dipa Karmakar’s autobiography to be co-authored by her coach Bishweshwar.

Details :

The incredible story of Dipa Karmakar, who with one death-defying vault of faith in the Rio Olympics, won a billion hearts to become the queen of Indian gymnastics, to be co-authored by her coach Bishweshwar Nandi.

Her autobiography will have many untold stories of struggle and triumph. It will also have archival photos from her private album as well as competition photos from the Olympics and Commonwealth Games.

The book, written by Vimal Mohan, Digvijay Singh Deo and Nandi and published by Fingerprint!, is slated for release next August.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sports/off-the-field/Coach-to-co-author-Dipa-Karmakars-incredible-story/articleshow/55876403.cms

Bill English becomes New Zealand Prime Minister.

Details :

Bill English has been sworn in as the next Prime Minister of New Zealand and leader of the National Party, having taken office on 12 December 2016. 

Simon William "Bill" English born 30 December 1961.

He was previously Deputy Prime Minister from 2008 to 2016.

English was elected to parliament in 1990 as the National Party's candidate in the Wallace electorate.

He was elevated to cabinet in 1996 and in 1999 was made Minister of Finance, although he served for less than a year due to his party's loss at the 1999 general election.

In October 2001, English replaced Jenny Shipley as the leader of the National Party (and consequently as leader of the opposition).

The party lost the 2002 general election, and in October 2003 he was replaced as leader by Don Brash. In November 2006, after Don Brash's resignation, English became deputy leader under John Key.

After National's victory at the 2008 general election, English became Deputy Prime Minister and was also made Minister for Finance for a second time.

He became a list-only MP after retiring as an electorate MP at the 2014 general election. In December 2016, John Key announced his intention to resign as prime minister.

He endorsed English as his replacement, and English won the resulting leadership election unopposed.

Uttar Pradesh and Tata Trust Ties to Strengthen Public Distribution System.

Details :

Tata Trusts have tied up with Uttar Pradesh government to leverage digital platforms to strengthen the public distribution system (PDS) in the state. 

As part of the initiative, Tata Trusts have installed electronic Point of Sale devices (ePOS) to ensure operation of an Aadhaar-enabled Public Distribution System (AePDS) at fair price shops of the entire urban region of Lucknow. 

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/company/corporate-trends/tata-trusts-uttar-pradesh-government-join-hands-to-strengthen-public-distribution-system-system/articleshow/55896656.cms

Cyclone ‘Vardah’ to pass over south Goa on December 14.

Details :

Cyclone 'Vardah' is set to pass through south Goa on Wednesday, which will lead to rise in temperature and light rains in the state.

The cyclone, which hit Tamil Nadu on 12th dec, will reach Karnataka by 13th dec.

“Vardah”, which began making landfall there, uprooting hundreds of trees, disrupting land and air transport and throwing normal life out of gear.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/Cyclone-%E2%80%98Vardah%E2%80%99-to-pass-over-south-Goa-on-Dec.-14/article16797706.ece

For the first time, scientists have detected ammonia in the upper troposphere.

Details :

Scientists for the first time have detected trace amounts of ammonia in the upper troposphere, the lowest atmospheric layer of Earth. 

It was detected by team of researchers from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany. 

They had analysed satellite data collected from various parts of the troposphere between June 2002 to April 2012. 

Earth's troposphere extends from 7 to 20 km (4 to 12 miles) above sea level, and contains up to 80 percent of the planet’s atmosphere, and all weather phenomena.

http://www.sciencealert.com/ammonia-has-been-detected-in-earth-s-lower-atmosphere-for-the-first-time

Cyrus Mistry removed as director of Tata Industries

Details :

Cyrus Mistry was today removed as director of Tata Industries following shareholders' vote.

Tata Industries is a subsidiary of Tata Sons. Mistry had joined the Board of Tata Sons, India’s largest conglomerate in 2006 and was appointed Chairman of its Board in December 2012.

In October 2016, he was sacked as Chairman of Tata Group and was replaced by his predecessor Ratan Tata in the interim.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/recap-boardroom-war-escalates-mistry-removed-as-director-of-tata-industries-116121200352_1.html

Google's Pulkit Trivedi joins Facebook India as new Industry Director.

Details :

Facebook announced the appointment of Pulkit Trivedi as Industry Director for e-commerce, retail, travel and financial services verticals.

In his new role, Trivedi "will lead in building and maintaining strategic relationships with clients in the country".

 Pulkit held the position of Head of Industry, e-commerce, at Google India and had been with the company since April 2012. He was responsible for driving a large business for Google India.

Pulkit is an MBA from BITS Mesra and was featured in the 'Hottest Young Business Leaders under 40' in India list by Business Today in 2015.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/google-s-pulkit-trivedi-joins-facebook-india-s-as-new-industry-director-116121200270_1.html

Motera’s Sardar Patel Cricket Stadium set to become largest in the world.

Details :

The Sardar Patel Cricket Stadium (popularly known as Motera Stadium) in Ahmedabad is set to become the world’s largest seating capacity cricket stadium. 

The renovated stadium will have seating capacity of about 1,10,000 people from current 54,000 people. It will surpass the Melbourne Cricket Ground, which has a capacity of 1,00,024 people.

Dec. 11, 2016

GovJobAdda Facebook Study Group for Serious Aspirants

Details :

JOIN ONLY IF YOU ARE A SERIOUS ASPIRANT. NO SPAM WILL BE TOLERATED.
Here is the link to our facebook study group :
https://www.facebook.com/groups/Govt.Jobs.Preparation.India/

GovJobAdda WhatsApp Group

Details :

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https://telegram.me/joinchat/Dw9V7UEA_Ta3DYxvcnFNgQ


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Government to launch helpline number '14444' for digital payments support.

Details :

Union Government will soon launch nationwide toll-free helpline number ‘14444’ to promote digital payments.

It is being launched to educate people and provide support related to cashless mode of transactions.

The service is expected to be operational within a week.

Government has already launched a TV channel ( DigiShala ) and a website to promote digital payments.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Government-to-launch-helpline-number-14444-for-digital-payments-support/articleshow/55921908.cms

Janani Foods inks MoU with Haryana for Rs. 400 cr project.

Details :

Janani Foods signed MoU with Haryana.

Janani Foods Pvt Ltd will be investing Rs. 400 crore in an integrated horticulture processing project in Barwala, Haryana. It will create employment for 2000.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between S Sundararajan, CEO & Director, Janani Foods Pvt. Ltd. and Mr. Sudhir Rajpal, IAS, Managing Director, HSIIDC.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/companies/janani-foods-inks-mou-with-haryana-for-rs-400-cr-project/article9422358.ece

Jammu and Kashmir CM flags off fortnightly train for children.

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J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti flagged off the first children special train named as ‘Vaadi ki sair’ (Tour of the Valley). 

Govt simplify rules of passport issuance services.

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Union Government has simplified services relating to the issuance of passport by making changes in the existing rules.

The Process of applying for changes in date of birth in existing passports has been made easy.

It has also allowed digitally signed marriage and birth certificates as valid proofs of marriage and birth respectively.

The Ministry of External Affairs, which issues passports, has already sent instructions to the passport issuing authorities to accept digitally signed marriage certificates and birth certificates as valid proofs of marriage and birth respectively. 

 As per guidelines, the first time passport applicants who furnish Aadhaar Card, Electoral Photo Identity Card (EPIC), PAN card and an affidavit of non-criminality in the prescribed format, get faster passport services.

The MEA had processed around 12 million passport applications last year.

New Flight Between Australia and London Is the Third Longest in the World.

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The Australian airline Qantas has announced the world’s third-longest passenger flight with the launch of a non-stop trip between Perth and London.It will start in March 2018.

The flights are expected to run 14 times a week and will take about 17 hours to cover the 14,498-kilometre journey. 

Andhra Pradesh launches website of APEDB.

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Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu launched the website of the Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board (APEDB).

It aims at providing a repository of knowledge on investing in Andhra Pradesh, policies of various sectors and give investors various investment opportunities offered by state.

The website  is www.apedb.gov.in.

MP CM Chouhan launches Narmada Seva Yatra in Amarkantak.

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Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan launched Narmada Seva Yatra at Amarkantak.

The five months long Yatra aims at turning the Narmada river pollution free and unceasing river.

The Narmada Sewa Yatra will create awareness about the conservation of the river.

It will cover more than 1,900 kilometres in 16 districts.

All the villages along the river will have Narmada Sewa Samiti to take follow up action on measures to be undertaken for its preservation.

Trees will be planted along the banks of the Narmada and sewage water will be treated before it flows into the river.

President launches campaign to end child labour on his 81st b'day.

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Pranab Mukherjee launched a campaign, on his 81st birthday, to end child labour, child slavery and violence against children. 

Mukherjee launched the ‘100 Million for 100 Million Campaign’ organised by Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi’s Satyarthi Children’s Foundation in which about 5,000 children participated.

The ambitious campaign aims to mobilise 100 million youth and children for 100 million underprivileged children across the world to end child labour, child slavery, violence against children and promote the right of every child to be safe, free and educated over the next five years.

The effort to mobilise 100 million youth for shaping a better future of 100 million underprivileged children is the beginning of a change.

Paolo Gentiloni appointed as Italy’s new Prime Minister.

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Paolo Gentiloni was named as Italy’s new prime minister following reformist leader Matteo Renzi’s resignation in the wake of a crushing referendum defeat. 

Gentiloni's new role will not be official until he chooses his cabinet and secures a vote of confidence in parliament. 

http://indianexpress.com/article/world/paolo-gentiloni-appointed-as-italys-new-prime-minister/

‘Canada’s Rosa Parks’ to become the country’s first Canadian woman on a banknote.

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The first Canadian  women Viola Desmond to appear on a Canadian banknote.

She will replace Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada’s first prime minister, on the front of the $10 bill beginning in 2018.

Desmond, an icon of the human rights and freedoms movement in Canada, was selected from a  list of five iconic Canadian women by Finance Minister Morneau, in accordance with the Bank of Canada Act.

About Viola Irene Desmond: 

Viola Irene Desmond (July 6, 1914 – February 7, 1965) was a Black Nova Scotian businesswoman who challenged racial segregation at a film theatre in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia in 1946.

She refused to leave a whites-only area of the Roseland Theatre and was unjustly convicted of a minor tax violation used to enforce segregation.

Desmond's case is one of the most publicized incidents of racial discrimination in Canadian history and helped start the modern civil rights movement in Canada.

Desmond acted nine years before the famed incident by civil-rights activist Rosa Parks, with whom Desmond is often compared

In 2010, Desmond was granted a posthumous pardon, the first to be granted in Canada.

The government of Nova Scotia also apologized for prosecuting her for tax evasion, and acknowledged she was rightfully resisting racial discrimination.

In 2016, the Bank of Canada announced that Desmond will be the first woman (besides one of the country's monarchs) to be featured on a Canadian banknote, the CDN $10 bill.

Issued Rs 4.27 lakh crore notes post demonetisation: RBI

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RBI has issued currency notes worth over Rs 4.27 lakh crore  to public through banks and ATMs following the demonetisation of old high value bills.

The Reserve Bank  "will shortly" issue Rs 500 denomination banknotes in the Mahatma Gandhi (New) Series, without any inset letter, bearing signature of Governor Urjit R Patel.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/issued-rs-4-27-lakh-crore-notes-post-demonetisation-rbi-116120801461_1.html

Virat Kohli Becomes First Indian Captain To Score Three Double Centuries.

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Virat Kohli became the first Indian captain to score three double centuries in Tests.

Kohli made his third double ton in the fourth Test against England in Mumbai.

Kohli's maiden double came against the West Indies (200) in July and went on to smash his second double ton against New Zealand (211) in October.

And with a double against England, Kohli now has become first batsman in Test history score 200s in three successive series.

Dec. 10, 2016

Rajasthan High Court scraps 5% quota for Gujjars.

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The Rajasthan high court scrapped the Rajasthan Special Backward Classes (SBC) Reservation Act 2015 that provisioned for 5% quota to five communities, including Gujjars.

The verdict was given on bunch of writ petitions challenging the 2015 Act on grounds of violation of Supreme Court mandated limit of 50% on reservation.

The Act had provided 5% reservation in jobs and educational institutes to five communities: Gujjars (Gurjars), Banjara (Baldia, Labana); Gadia-Lohar (Gadolia), Raika (Rebari, Debasi) and Gadaria (Gaadri, Gayari).

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/jaipur/Rajasthan-HC-strikes-down-5-Gujjar-quota/articleshow/55903368.cms?

Disabled children miss out due to lack of support services: Report.

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According to the India Social Development Report (SDR) 2016, about 45% of all persons with disabilities (PWD) in India are illiterate.

Theme this year is ‘Disabilities Rights Perspectives’.

38 % of all male PWDs were illiterate, the illiteracy rate was 55 % for female PWDs.

Interestingly, even in Kerala, a State long associated with near-total literacy, 33.1 % of the PWDs were illiterate. India’s literacy rate is 74%.

The number of PWDs in India at 26.8 million, or 2.2 % of the population, noting that this might be an underestimate.

The World Bank had put the number at 4-8 % of the population.

Men formed 56 % of the PWDs, and 70 % of the disabled population was rural.

Movement disability accounted for the largest number of PWDs in India. It was followed by hearing disability and visual impairment.

It estimated one-third are children with disabilities of the 75 million children of primary school age are out of school.

State governments must ensure availability of minimum support such as accommodation, assistive devices and transport for disabled children to complete their schooling.

As a proportion of the population, Sikkim, Odisha, Jammu and Kashmir and Lakshadweep had the highest incidence of disability, while Tamil Nadu, Assam and Delhi had the lowest proportions of the PWDs.

http://www.thehindu.com/education/Disabled-children-miss-out-due-to-lack-of-support-services-Report/article16787022.ece?homepage=true

Government launches ‘DigiShala’ TV channel to promote cashless economy.

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The Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has launched a TV channel named ‘DigiShala’ to promote cashless transactions.

“DigiShala” is a free-to-air channel which is broadcast nationally on DD free-DTH service with a potential viewership of two crore across the country.

DigiShala is dedicated 24*7 and 365 days free-to-air TV channel to inform citizens about digital payment ecosystem, benefits and processes.

“DigiShala”, citizens will be informed and educated about various digital payment options through step by step demos of digital payments using UPI, USSD, Aadhar-enabled payment systems, e-Wallets and cards.

The services on the channel initially will be available in Hindi and English and later in local languages as well.

10% import duty scrapped on wheat.

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The government has scrapped the 10% import duty on wheat.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced the lowering of import duty on wheat from 10% to nil with immediate effect, without an end date, under section 159 of the Customs Act 1962. 

It aims to improve domestic availability in the wake of rising prices and concerns about the wheat crop in 2016-17.

The government’s estimate to produce 93.5 million tonnes in 2015-16, an 8 % increase over 86.53 million tonnes in 2014-15 is off the mark.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/foreign-trade/government-scraps-import-duty-on-wheat-source/articleshow/55870015.cms

India, Vietnam sign nuclear pact, three other agreements.

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India and Vietnam have signed a civil nuclear cooperation agreement.

The two countries also signed three other agreements  to enhance aviation links, to jointly work in the area of energy efficiency and promotion of parliamentary cooperation.

Vietnam is the 14th country with which India signed the civil nuclear deal.

The MoU in Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy was signed by Sekhar Basu, Secretary of Department of Atomic Energy and Pham Cong Tac, Vietnam’s Deputy Minister of Science and Technology in New Delhi.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-Vietnam-sign-nuclear-pact-three-other-agreements/articleshow/55905769.cms

China launches new cargo service linking Tibet with Nepal.

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China has launched a new cargo service linking Tibet and Nepal as dozens of trucks carrying goods worth $2.8 million left the Tibetan border port of Gyirong en route to Kathmandu.

It aims to boost trade with the South Asian neighbour as China pushes forward its Belt and Road (Silk Road) initiative.

The trucks are responsible for the remaining 870 kilometer of the journey, carrying goods to Gyirong and then to the final stop in Kathmandu, Nepal's capital.

China plans to extend the railway later to India and other South Asian countries to promote trade.

International film festival of Kerala begins.

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International film festival of Kerala begins in the capital city Thiruvananthapuram. It runs between 9 December  to 16 December.

185 films from 62 countries will attract cinema lovers during the 8 day-ong annual film festival of this State.

The event will see 490 screenings at 13 screens and will cost Rs 7 crore.

It is organised by Kerala State Chalachitra Academy for the Cultural Affairs Department of the Kerala government.

The film festival was started in 1996 and is hosted by Kerala State Chalachitra Academy. 

Liquor banned in three Uttarakhand districts.

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Uttarakhand High Court has asked the state government to put a complete ban on sale and consumption of liquor in three districts Rudraprayag, Chamoli and Uttarkashi  where the four famous Himalayan shrines also known as the ‘Chardham’ are located.

The state government to impose a complete ban on liquor from the next fiscal (2017-18).

The decision was taken by a division bench comprising justices Rajeev Sharma and Alok Singh.

A government order dated February 24, 2002 prohibits sale and consumption of liquor in Haridwar because of the religious significance of the place.

The high altitude Kedarnath and Badrinath shrines are located in Rudraprayag and Chamoli districts respectively whereas Gangotri and Yamunotri shrines are situated in Uttarkashi district.

The court also asked the state government to put a ban on vending tobacco within a radius of five kilometre from Gurdwara Nanakmatta, Gurdwara Meetha Reetha Sahib and Gurdwara Hemkund Sahib.

Michael Jordan Heads The Highest-Paid Athletes Of All-Time With $1.7 Billion - Forbes

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Basketball legend, Michael Jordan, top the list of highest-paid athlete of all time.

The Chicago Bulls legend has amassed a massive wealth of $1.7 billion

Only two seasons did he earn more than $4 million from the Chicago Bulls (both years were $30+ million). His cumulative salary over 15 seasons with the Bulls and Washington Wizards was $93 million.

Jordan retired permanently from the NBA 13 years ago, but his earnings have never been greater.

The Jordan brand generated $2.8 billion in revenue for Nike in the fiscal year ending in May, up 18% year-over-year.

Onir’s documentary on Down Syndrome wins international award.

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Director Onir’s documentary is elated after his documentary, Raising the Bar has won the Award Of Recognition at Australian film festival.

The documentary is based on children who have Down syndrome. The filmmaker won at the Hollywood Independent Documentary Awards.

Peter Gilchrist wins World Billiards Championship.

Details :

Peter Gilchrist of Singapore defeated Sourav Kothari to win the 2016 IBSF World Billiards Long Up title. 

The event was held in Bengaluru, India. 

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sports/more-sports/snooker/billiards/Peter-Gilchrist-wins-World-Billiards-Championship/articleshow/55880972.cms

Dec. 9, 2016

India ranks 7th in 2016 Global Terrorism Index.

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According to the 2016 Global Terrorism Index (GTI) India was ranked 7th among 163 countries in the list of most impacted by terrorism in 2015.

India is one of six Asian countries ranked in the top 10 nations most impacted by terrorism. 

Deaths from terror attacks globally declined 10 per cent from the highest recorded level of 32,765 in 2014 to 29,376 in 2015.

Economic loss from terrorism, $635 billion over 16 years.

In India, as many as 797 terrorist attacks were recorded in 2015 up by 4% since 2014.

Besides, 289 terrorism-related deaths were recorded in India, a 45% decline over 2014.

However, number of Indian Army and paramilitary soldiers killed this year is at an eight-year high.

2015 attacks were the highest since 2000, 80% were non-lethal. India experienced 7% of all terrorist attacks around the world, the fourth highest after Iraq (20%), Afghanistan (14%) and Pakistan (8%).

In 2015, India suffered fewer terror attacks (797) than only Iraq (2,415), Afghanistan (1,715) and Pakistan (1,008). India suffered twice as many attacks as Syria (384).

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/defence/india-ranked-7th-among-countries-most-hit-by-terror/articleshow/55891218.cms

Army launches app to reach out to veterans.

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 Indian Army has launched a mobile application 'Veterans Outreach App'  to reach out to its ex-servicemen.

The app was launched by Army chief General Dalbir Singh.

The app, prepared under the aegis of the Directorate of Indian Army Veterans (DIAV).

It has specific features like 'Ask a question' and 'Locator Services' that enable locating of Ex-Servicemen Cells, Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme Polyclinics, Station Canteens and Sainik Aram Grahs across the country.

The app also facilitates route guidance on a google map to any chosen service facility.

The app also facilitates 'Finding Coursemates' from among veterans registered on the Indian Army veterans' portal.

A link has also been provided to a 'Pension Calculator' on the website of Principal Controller of Defence Accounts (Pension) called 'Suvigya' which enables a veteran to check his/her pension entitlement.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/army-launches-app-to-reach-out-to-veterans-116120701175_1.html

FSSAI bans use of newspapers for packing food.

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The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) issued an advisory saying it has decided to ban the use of newspapers for wrapping and packing of food items, a common practice by small corner shops and street vendors.

FSSAI has issued an advisory all states and Union territories and asked commissioners of food safety to restrict the use of newspapers for packing, serving and storing of food items.

According to estimates by the Union housing ministry, in 2014 there were 10 million street vendors, mostly in cities. Consulting firm Boston Consulting Group estimated that there were around 12 million kirana stores in 2014-15.

According to the FSSAI advisory Printing ink, usually used for printing newspapers, may contain bioactive materials, harmful colours, pigments, binders, additives, preservatives, chemical contaminants and even pathogenic microorganisms that may pose potential risk to human health.

This is the first time in recent years FSSAI is bringing a new rule relating to packaging of food items. So far, the regulator focused on setting standards for packaged food.

India, US Major Defence Partner agreement.

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India’s designation as a Major Defense Partner of the United States. 

It was finalised by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and United States Secretary of Defence Ashton Carter.

India’s Major Defense Partner status has, however, been made a part of the India Amendment in the National Defense Authorization Act, 2017 (NDAA), approved by the US Congress to allocate funds annually to the US military.

This Bill is expected to be passed shortly which will put a formal, official stamp on India’s status.

Under the NDAA 2017, India will be included in conventional arms transfer policy, defence services, or related technology, inform the review of requests to export defence articles under the Arms Export Control Act.

India will get formal official stamp on this status after this bill is passed by two chambers of the Congress House of Representatives and Senate before it receives assent of US President Barack Obama.

The designation as a Major Defense Partner  is a status unique to India and institutionalises the progress made to facilitate defence trade and technology-sharing with India to a level at par with that of the United States’ closest allies and partners, and ensures enduring cooperation into the future.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-us-major-defence-partner-agreement-manohar-parrikar-ashton-carter-4418019/

2016 India International Science Festival held in New Delhi.

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The 2016 India International Science festival (IISF) has started at CSIR-National Physical Laboratory (NPL) Campus in New Delhi  from 7-11 December, 2016.

 The event inaugurated by the Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh.

 India International Science Festival (IISF) as a major science event was conceptualized last year which was organized the 1st IISF at IIT, Delhi during 4-8 December, 2015 and was visited by more than 4 lakh people.

It was a great success and also won the distinction of Guinness Book of World Record for successful conduct of Largest Practical Science Lesson by 2000 school students. 

The main aim is to promote the science and technology developed by the Indian research labs and to inculcate the scientific temper among masses.

It has been organised by the Union Ministry of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences in association with Vijnana Bharati (VIBHA).

 IISF-2016 will showcase Indias S&T prowess, technological developments, history of Indian Science and science education involving more than 10000 young researchers, school students, academicians and top level Indian scientists.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/government-press-release/india-international-science-festival-iisf-2016-inaugurated-in-new-delhi-116120700982_1.html

Haritha Keralam Mission launched by kerala Government.

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 Kerala government has launched Haritha Keralam, an ambitious programme envisaged to make the state clean, protect its water sources and soil.

It was launched by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan at nearby Parasalla.

Singer K.J. Yesudas and actor Manju Warrier are the mission ambassador.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/haritha-keralam-mission-launched-to-make-state-clean-green-116120801074_1.html

John Glenn, first American to orbit Earth, passes away at 95.

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Former NASA astronaut and Democratic US Senator from Ohio , John Glenn, has passed away at the age of 95.  

John Herschel Glenn Jr. (July 18, 1921 – December 8, 2016) was an American aviator, engineer, astronaut, and United States Senator from Ohio.

In 1962 he became the first American to orbit the Earth, circling three times. Before joining NASA, he was a distinguished fighter pilot in both World War II and Korea, with six Distinguished Flying Crosses and eighteen clusters to the Air Medal.

Glenn was one of the "Mercury Seven" group of military test pilots selected in 1959 by NASA to become America's first astronauts.

On February 20, 1962, he flew the Friendship 7 mission and became the first American to orbit the Earth and the fifth person in space.

Glenn received the Congressional Space Medal of Honor in 1978, was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame in 1990, and was the last surviving member of the Mercury Seven.

Awards and Honours:

Inducted into the US Astronaut Hall of Fame in 1990.

He was awarded NASA Distinguished Service Medal, Congressional Space Medal of Honor and Presidential Medal of Freedom (2012).

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/John-Glenn-first-American-to-orbit-Earth-passes-away-at-95/article16782776.ece1

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

Pakistan lifts ‘undeclared’ ban on Indian cotton imports.

Details :

Pakistan has lifts an undeclared ban on import of ginned cotton from India. 

Earlier, the Department of Plant Protection (DPP) of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research put cotton imports from India on hold through Wagah and Karachi port from November 23, saying the shipments did not fulfil phyto- sanitary conditions.

The rising border tensions between the two neighbours had prompted Islamabad to impose the ban on 10,000 bales of cotton worth USD 3.3 million from India.

Last year, a drop of 27% in domestic cotton output shaved 0.5% off gross domestic product growth rate of Pakistan.

Nana Akufo-Addo wins poll to become Ghana's president.

Details :

Ghana's main opposition leader Nana Akufo-Addo has won the country's presidential election.

Akufo-Addo received 53.8% of the vote, with Mahama on 44.4%.

Mahama became president in July 2012 after the sudden death of the incumbent leader and was elected later in the year.

Mahama defended his record, hingeing his campaign on plans to boost economic growth and continue modest gains in infrastructure development.

Harry Potter tops Amazon's best-selling books of 2016.

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Amazon has announced Harry Potter and the Cursed Child are the best-selling book of 2016.

Special Rehearsal Edition Script," by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, in the top spot. Amazon says this is the first time a script has made it into the annual top 20, which includes both hardcover and e-book sales.

Top Five List:

1."Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts 1 & 2, Special Rehearsal Edition Script" by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany

2."When Breath Becomes Air" by Paul Kalanithi

3."The Whistler" by John Grisham

4."The Last Mile" (Amos Decker series) by David Baldacci

5."Killing the Rising Sun: How America Vanquished World War II Japan" by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard

IDFC Bank appoints Veena Mankar as Non-Executive Chairperson.

Details :

The board of directors of IDFC Bank has approved appointment of Veena Mankar as Non-Executive Chairperson. The appointment is subject to approval by the Reserve Bank of India.

Mankar set up and headed the Indian Representative Office of West LB, a German State-owned bank and thereafter was the founding Managing Director of a factoring non-banking finance company.

Jehan Daruvala signs for Formula 3.

Details :

Young Indian racer Jehan Daruvala has been signed by Formula 3's top team Carlin for the 2017 FIA F3 European Championship.

Dec. 8, 2016

GovJobAdda Facebook Study Group for Serious Aspirants

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JOIN ONLY IF YOU ARE A SERIOUS ASPIRANT. NO SPAM WILL BE TOLERATED.
Here is the link to our facebook study group :
https://www.facebook.com/groups/Govt.Jobs.Preparation.India/

Congratulations to Subarna Sinha for clearing IBPS PO Mains.

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We are glad to announce that  Subarna Sinhaa Core Team Member of GovJobAdda, has cleared IBPS Mains ! She had used GovJobAdda for her preparation and later joined us as "Aptitude Ninja" and is now helping us create high quality tests for other exams. 

GovJobAdda also congratulates all other members of GovJobAdda who have cleared IBPS PO Mains and wishes them All the Best for Interview !

Cabinet approves MoU between India and United Kingdom (UK) to support Ease of Doing Business in India.

Details :

The Union Cabinet has given its approval to Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and United Kingdom (UK) to support Ease of Doing Business in India.

The MoU shall enable exchange of officials from both the Governments to facilitate sharing of best practises, offering technical assistance and enhanced implementation of reforms.

The UK government has shown interest to offer expertise in the following areas:

1. Support to small businesses and start ups

2.  Starting business and registration

3.   Paying taxes and tax administration

4.   Insolvency

5.   Construction permits

6.   Getting electricity

7.   Risk based framework for inspection and regulatory regimes

8.   Trading across the borders

9.  Competition economics

10.   Getting credit

11.    Drafting of laws and regulations

12.    Reducing stock and flow of regulation

13.    Impact assessment of regulations

It will facilitate various agencies of UK government to offer professional courses on capacity-building of frontline inspectors, better regulation drafting for officials, sharing of best practises, etc.

Currently, India is ranked 130th out of 190 economies (as per Doing Business Report, 2017).

The UK Government has achieved phenomenal improvement in Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) rankings in recent years

Union Cabinet approves Reforms to Boost Employment Generation and Exports in the Made-ups Sector

Details :

The Union Cabinet has given its approval to the reforms to boost employment generation and exports in the Made-ups Sector.

It approved budget of Rs. 6,006 crore for the apparel package in a time bound manner.

The main objective is generating direct and indirect employment of upto 11 lakh persons over the next three years the made-ups sector.

Key Points: 

Providing production incentive through enhanced Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (TUFS) subsidy of additional 10% for Made-ups similar to what is provided to garments based on the additional production and employment after a period of 3 years.

 Extension of Pradhan Mantri Paridhan Rozgar Protsahan Yojana (PMPRPY) Scheme (for apparel) to made-ups sector

It will be for providing additional 3.67% share of Employer's contribution in addition to 8.33% already covered under Pradhan Mantri Rozgar Protsahan Yojana (PMRPY) for all new employees enrolling in EPFO for the first three years of their employment as a special incentive to Made-ups sector.

Extension of Rebate of State Levies (ROSL) (for apparel) Scheme to made-ups sector for enhanced Duty Drawback on exports of Made-ups.

Simplification of labour laws:

1. Increasing permissible overtime working hours up to 100 hours per quarter in Made-ups manufacturing sector.

2.Making employees’ contribution to EPF optional for employees earning less than Rs 15,000 per month.

The interventions are expected to boost employment in the textile sector and create employment for upto eleven lakh persons, lead to increase in exports and enhance benefits to the workers in the textile and apparel sector.

 http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=155054

Union Cabinet approves MoU between India and Afghanistan on Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space

Details :

The Union Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval to the MoU between India and Afghanistan on cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space.

The MoU envisages cooperation between both countries for application of space technologies in various sectors. It will cover agriculture, education, weather forecasting, rural health, telecommunications, urban development, sanitation, resource mapping navigation, remote sensing and any other areas mutually agreed upon. 

 Benefit  Of MOU For both countries are:

1. Development of space sector in Afghanistan;

2. Burnish India’s credentials as a nation with advanced space technology, one that can also assist other countries;

3. Afghanistan will move towards self-reliance in the space sector;

4. Help deepen bilateral ties and mutual understanding and trust between India and Afghanistan;

5. Provide India with a foothold in Afghanistan’s strategic space and communication sector.

Besides above benefits it also  boost high-tech jobs in the two countries in both core Science & Technology and R&D fields, and also the field of implementation. 

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=155064

Union Cabinet approves MoU between India and Vietnam on Cooperation In the field of Information Technology (IT)

Details :

The Union Cabinet has approved Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Vietnam on Cooperation in the field of Information Technology.

The MoU aims to develop a long-term and sustainable cooperation on the basis of equality and mutual interest in the areas of IT in line with both country’s laws and regulations.

The Implementation of the MoU will result in significant mutual benefits in the IT sector.

The MoU will remain in force for a period of five years and will be renewable by mutual written consent between India and Vietnam.

It will be implemented by establishing a Joint Working Group on IT with representatives from both the countries.

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=155066

Union Government approves Pune Metro Rail Project Phase – 1

Details :

The Union Cabinet has approved the development of Pune Metro Rail Project Phase – 1.

This Metro Rail Corridor will be covering a length of 31.254 km comprising with two corridors.

1. Corridor-1: 

Corridor-1 will be covering length of 16.589 km of which 11.57 km elevated and 5.019 km underground from Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) to Swargate

2. Corriodor-2: 

Corriodor-2  will be covering 14.665 km it will be fully elevated  from Vanaz to Ramwadi.

The Project will be implemented by Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MAHA-METRO).

The total completion cost of the metro rail corridor will be Rs.11,420 crore.

The project is scheduled to be completed in five years from the date of start of work as per the Detailed Project Report (DPR).

 The population of approximately 50 lakh of Pune Metropolitan Area will be benefitted through this metro corridor.

Project will be covered under the legal framework of the Metro Railways (Construction of Works) Act, 1978; the Metro Railways (Operation and Maintenance) Act, 2002; and the Railways Act, 1989, as amended from time to time.

http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=155070

Triple talaq unconstitutional, it violates rights of Muslim women: Allahabad high court

Details :

The Allahabad High Court has order that the practice of triple talaq among Muslims is unconstitutional and violates the rights of women enshrined in constitution.

The order was passed by Justice Suneet Kumar while hearing a petition filed by a woman who claimed her husband arbitrarily divorced her.

Justice Kumar also said that triple talaq can't be given arbitrarily. "Personal Law cannot be above the Constitutional law,".

The Supreme Court is also hearing a petition challenging the validity of triple talaq, as several individuals and NGOs have sought a ban on its practice.

AIMPLB always says that Talaq-e-bidat is integral part of Muslims and courts have no role to play in Personal Law as it falls under the Fundamental Right to practice religion.

In 1986, the Rajiv Gandhi government passed a law to overturn the Supreme Court's Shah Bano verdict that had granted Muslim women lifelong alimony rights with conditions.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Triple-talaq-unconstitutional-it-violates-rights-of-Muslim-women-Allahabad-high-court/articleshow/55869880.cms

Lifeline Express gets 2 new coaches for cancer treatment.

Details :

The world’s first hospital train, Lifeline Express get two more coaches for cancer treatment.

The two coaches, one of which will serve as Cancer Coach and the other dedicated to Family Health Services.

It was inaugurated by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu and Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare JP Nadda.

The coaches are purely equipped for detection and control of oral, cervical and breast cancer and prevention of stroke. 

They will be accompanied by three fully equipped operation theatres.

Lifeline Express was started 25 years ago with three wooden coaches bringing medical care to the remotest parts of the country now it  has seven steel coaches.

Lifeline Express has treated around one million poor people in rural parts of the country free of charge since its inception in 1991.

Nearly 2 lakh medical professionals from around the world have donated their services.

In the 1990s the train provided treatment primarily for cataract and polio but over the years it has been providing plastic surgeries, dental surgeries, epilepsy services, cancer treatment and school health education for rural children.

Before the train arrives at a location, a medical team visits the area to assess the health requirements of the locals.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/logistics/lifeline-express-gets-2-new-coaches-for-cancer-family-health-services/article9418413.ece

MSME award for Corporation Bank.

Details :

Corporation Bank has bagged the ‘Best MSME Bank Award 2016’ instituted by Assocham. 

Corporation Bank is a public sector banking company headquartered in Mangalore, India.

Corporation Bank has established 177 specialised branches for focused lending to the MSME segment.

BEML bags CII National Quality Award.

Details :

Bharat Earth Movers Limited Ltd (BEML) has bagged the ‘CII National Quality 2016 Award’. 

The award has been jointly instituted by the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) and Export Import Bank (EXIM).

 BEML won the award for practising various EFQM Models (European Foundation for Quality Management) and achieving results.

Karnataka Bank gets MSME award.

Details :

Karnataka Bank Ltd has bagged the ‘Best MSME Bank Award (private sector) 2016’ instituted by Assocham. 

Microsoft launches solutions for small & medium businesses.

Details :

Software giant Microsoft introduced business solutions from its partner ecosystem to meet crucial business needs of Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) across Hyderabad.

It is Built by Microsoft's partners Smarter Biz and IDOS.

And the solutions will be provided for Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Finance and Accounting and enhancing organisational efficiency.

These solutions will run on Microsoft cloud and will be available at a very low cost.

The SMB sector in Hyderabad has strong potential for driving growth through technology adoption and Microsoft is committed to providing them with the right set of solutions to achieve it.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/microsoft-launches-solutions-for-small-medium-businesses-116120701444_1.html

Apex Bank launches SIMsePAY Mobile banking Service In Arunachal Pradesh.

Details :

Arunachal Pradesh State Co-operative Apex Bank  launched Mobile Banking Service named SIMsePaY. 

It was launched in collaboration with the Yes Bank Ltd.

It was launched in the presence of Minister for Cooperation, Industry, Textile & Handloom, Tamiyo Taga, Secretary, Cooperation, GoAP, Onit Paniyang and GM, NABARD, S Satyanarayan.

SIMsePAY allows any account holder to do money transfers, pay utility bills and other mobile banking services without the need for smart phones or internet in Itanagar.

The SIMsePAY services have been earlier launched in Dehradun and in Khagaria, Bihar.

Nabard to provide Rs. 120 cr to banks for setting up PoS devices in villages:

Details :

 The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) said it will provide about ₹120 crore to banks for deployment of two point-of-sale (PoS) terminals each in one lakh villages with a population of up to 10,000.

It is aimed at taking rural India closer towards cashless payment systems.

A PoS terminal is an electronic device which processes card (debit and credit) payments at merchant locations.

It is used for cashless transactions, both for making payments or disbursing cash.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/money-and-banking/nabard-to-provide-rs-120-cr-to-banks-for-setting-up-pos-devices-in-villages/article9417806.ece

Union Cabinet approves Indo-Thai agreement on narcotics control.

Details :

The Union Cabinet approved agreement between India and Thailand in controlling narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances, their precursors and chemicals and drug abuse.

The MoU is an effective framework to deal with all issues requiring mutual assistance and cooperation in the above areas.

It will facilitate effective institutional interaction between India and Thailand.

The MoU, once in force, would help in curbing transnational narcotics trafficking.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/cabinet-approves-indo-thai-agreement-on-narcotics-control-116120701398_1.html

Justice Mian Saqib Nisar appointed next Chief Justice of Pakistan.

Details :

Justice Mian Saqib Nisar has been appointed as the next Chief Justice of Pakistan.

Justice Nisar will replace Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, who will retire on December 30.

Justice Nisar will take charge as chief justice of the apex court on December 31.

He will remain on this post until 17 January 2019.

Mian Saqib Nisar  born 18 January 1954) is the Senior Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan since 10 September 2015.

He has been Justice of the Supreme Court since 18 February 2010 and has served as judge of Lahore High Court prior to that. Before becoming a judge

He was an advocate of Supreme Court Bar Association and Lahore High Court Bar Association. He was elected Secretary General of Lahore High Court Bar Association in 1991.

On 29 March 1997, he was also appointed as Federal Law Secretary. As an advocate, he practiced in areas of civil, commercial, tax and constitutional laws.

He will be the 25th Chief Justice of Pakistan.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ani/justice-mian-saqib-nisar-appointed-next-chief-justice-of-pakistan-116120701050_1.html

Dec. 7, 2016

MoES launches Winter Fog Experiment (WIFEX 2016-17)

Details :

The Union Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) has launched Winter Fog Experiment (WIFEX 2016-17).

Government of India has taken up a multi-institutional initiative to conduct an intensive ground-based measurement campaign at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA), Delhi, to understand different physical and chemical features of Fog and factors responsible for its genesis, intensity and duration.

Key Points

WIFEX aims to achieve better understanding of fog life cycle and ultimately improve capability in fog prediction.

It will help to develop better now-casting (next 6 hours) and forecasting of winter fog system on various time and spatial scale