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National – Across the India:
1. The Indian postal department released a special stamp cover featuring Olympic medalists PV Sindhu and Sakshi Malik, and gymnast Dipa Karmakar, in Agartala.
The special cover is titled “Golden girls of India – Pride of Nation”. One of the images on the cover also features Dipa’s coach Bishweshwar Nandi, who was awarded the Dronacharya award.
2. The Steel Ministry has released new draft National Steel Policy of 2017, envisaging double India’s domestic steel production capacity to 300 million tonnes by 2030-31.
The draft policy anticipates a requirement of Rs.10 lakh crore of fresh investments to meet production goal and expects creation of at least 11 lakh new jobs in the process.
3. The Union Government has constituted committee (Working Group) to frame uniform rules for the states to avoid delay in proper implementation of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 across the country.
The Committee will be headed by Secretary from Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD). It will submit its report within three months.
It will comprise of representatives from the Union Ministry of Health, DoPT, Labour, Legislative Department and representatives from NGOs as members. It will also have Principal Secretary/Secretary, Social Welfare Department from Karnataka, Gujarat, Odisha, Assam, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
4. Russian Railways is helping India’s national transporter increase the speed of its passenger trains up to 200 km per hour.
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.
To reach the desired speed limit, Russian Railways has proposed several technical and technological solutions, including reconstruction of railway alignment as well as treating the earth.
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.
5. The Union Government has transferred the advising role of Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) on utilization of the proceeds from disinvestment to the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA).
This announcement comes after the Union Cabinet approved an alternative mechanism to decide the modalities to do with stake sales in PSUs, so as to speed up the process and to streamline the disinvestment process.
The DEA in the Union Finance Ministry will now be in charge of financial policy in regard to the utilization of proceeds of disinvestment channelized into the National Investment Fund (NIF).
International – Across the Globe:
1. The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2017 was held in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland from 17-20 January, 2017.The theme of 47th World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2017 is Responsive and Responsible Leadership.
The main issues discussed includes challenges related to shaping the Future of Consumption, Economic Growth and Social Inclusion, Education, Gender and Work, Energy, Environment and Natural Resource Security, Financial and Monetary Systems, Food Security and Agriculture, Health and Healthcare, International Trade and Investment, Long-Term Investing, Infrastructure and Development; and Mobility.
The 47th Annual Meeting of the WEF was attended by around 2,500 leaders from business, politics, academia, civil society and art engaging in intense discussions.
It saw 400 sessions including special address by Chinese President Xi Jinping and British Prime Minister Theresa May.
2. The United Arab Emirates Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation has announced that they will donate an Elekta Synergy Digital Accelerator worth US$2 million to the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU)’s Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College.
The announcement coincides with the visit to India of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, as the chief guest at the 68th Republic Day celebrations.
HH Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the UAE, had declared the year 2017 as the ‘Year of Giving’, focusing on public-private partnership in the field of humanitarian initiatives.
3. Nearly 70 percent of the world’s most innovative companies in 2016 were American, according to a new survey of global executives.
Apple, Google, Tesla, Microsoft, Amazon and Netflix took the top six spots respectively in the annual poll of 50 companies conducted by Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
Apple topped BCG’s list for the 11th straight year, which is not surprising given the massive amount it spends on research and development (R&D).
Sports & Athletics:
1. Saina Nehwal started the new year in the best possible manner after beating Thailand’s Pornpawee Chochuwong 22-20, 22-20 in the women’s singles final of the $120,000 Malaysia Masters Grand Prix Gold in Sibu.
The Indian badminton ace recovered from a poor start in the first game to stave off the 19-year-old Chochuwong in the final. Saina’s last title win was at the Australian Open in June 2016.
2. Virat Kohli became the fastest to reach 1,000 ODI runs as captain, taking 17 innings to achieve the feat.
Virat reached the milestone during the ODI against England on Sunday and surpassed South Africa’s AB de Villiers, who took 18 innings.
The Kolkata ODI is Virat’s third match as full-time captain, though he has led India earlier in 17 matches.
Economics & Banking GK:
1. In another digitalization initiative, 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 Anantha Subramanian, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, PNB in the capital.
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.
2. BSE has hitted the capital market with its much-awaited Initial Public Offer, the first by a domestic stock exchange, to raise up to Rs 1,243 crore.
The IPO opens on 23rd January and closes on 25th January. The stock exchange aims to raise up to Rs 1,243 crore from the IPO, which is priced at Rs 805-806 per share.
It will be country’s first stock exchange to be listed in share market.
BSE is the world’s largest exchange by number of listed companies. It is India’s largest and the world’s 10th largest exchange by market capitalization.
3. Kerala Gramin Bank (KGB) is launching a ‘FI@School’ programme to propagate financial literacy among school children.
Financial literacy clubs would be formed at every school identified under the programme, being implemented jointly with NABARD and Child and Youth Finance International (CYFI), Amsterdam.
The 602 branches of the bank have identified at least one school in their locality for implementation of the programme and seasoned bankers have been engaged to conduct the classes.
Science & Technology:
1. The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is planning to set a new world record in space history by launching 103 satellites in one go on a single rocket in the first week of February, 2017.
These satellites will be launched on board of ISRO’s workhorse PSLV (C37) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. The mission will carry three satellites from India and rest from other countries.
The satellites will be separated from vehicle in different directions, once launch vehicle reaches the orbital condition. The separation angle and time of separation will be different for every satellite.
1. Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s birthday or Netaji Jayanti is celebrated in the light of patriotism and a breeze of love for country as ” Desh Prem Divas” on 23rd January.
Bose was one of the most prominent leaders of the Indian Independence Movement. He spread the feeling of national integration, sacrifice and communal harmony among the masses.
In the course of struggle for freedom Netaji formed Azad Hind Fauz and led the Indian National Army. He advocated a revolutionary and violent way to protest as opposed to non-violent approach by Mahatma Gandhi.
Recent Notable Deaths:
1. Noted scientist P.K.K. Nair, often referred to as the `Father of Indian Palynology’ (study of pollen grains), passed away at his residence in Bengaluru.
Nair was the founder Director and Emeritus Chairman of the Environmental Resources Research Centre, Thiruvananthapuram, devoted to research and development in tropical biology, ecology and sustainable development.
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This will help you in preparing for all the competitive exams like IBPS, SSC, RRB, etc.
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