Read Current Affairs of last month online, all summarized well into one digest GK Eduwrap. Also, covering all the latest questions of General Knowledge asked in General Awareness for Bank PO.
National – Across the India
1. The three -day Brahmaputra Literary Festival has ended on 30th January 2017, where Assam Governor Banwari Lal Purohit will grace the closing ceremony as the chief guest.
The function has been graced by Gauhati University Vice-chancellor Dr. Mridul Hazarika, eminent Italian author Carlo Pizzaati and Indian writer Narendra Kohli with few others.
2. The Chennai Police has decided to impose Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) at the Marina beach and surrounding areas, where agitation against the Jalikattu ban acquired the centre-stage.
According to police officials, the order, that came into force will remain effective till 12th February.
3. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has decided to set up weather stations in 660 districts of the country.
In the first phase, the IMD plans to set up the system in 130 districts which have already been short-listed.
4. Union minister Nitin Gadkari said that the Centre will invest Rs 15,000 crores to develop 1,253 km of roads in Assam into National Highways over the next few years.
Centre has already sanctioned an investment of Rs 15,000 crores for developing the existing roads as NHs.
5. The Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) has launched the climate change programme.
It is launched to conduct study to assess the status, distribution and conservation of Pheasants and Finches in Central Himalayas.
6. The Union Finance Ministry has agreed to contribute partially to a railway safety fund named as Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh in the upcoming Union Budget 2017-18.
The fund will be utilized for track improvement, bridge rehabilitation, rolling stock replacement, human resource development, improved inspection system and safety work at level crossing, among other things.
7. All India Radio Center at Agartala celebrated 50 years of completion.
Tripura Governor Tathagata Roy has inaugurated the 2 -day long programme at All India Radio Campus.
8. Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje has become the most liked Chief Minister on social media platforms, leaving behind Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and U.P. Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.
Her official Facebook page has notched up more than 71 lakhs likes so far.
9. Software-enabled mobile app M-STRIPES (Monitoring System for TigersIntensive Protection and Ecological Status) launched at Corbett Tiger Reserve for monitoring of tiger reserves in the country.
Foresters of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh are participating in training workshop.
The foresters will learn about data collection and software entry under the guidance of scientists of Wildlife Institute of India at Corbett.
10.Textile minister Smriti Zubin Irani inaugurated the first-ever apparel and garment making center in Meghalaya.
The event was inaugurated in the presence of Union MoS for home Kiren Rijiju and chief minister Mukul Sangma near Ampati in South West Garo Hills.
11. The Union Minister for Panchayati Raj and Rural Development, Narendra Singh Tomar stated that the Ministry of Defence is set to open its Defence Unit in Morena district of Madhya Pradesh.
The unit would be set up in Kailaras and Sabalgarh tehsil areas and span over 969.735 hectare of land at a cost of Rs.1500 crore.
12. Indian government has proposed to launch an online education platform SWAYAM by leveraging information technology.
This platform will comprise of at least 350 online courses and will enable students to virtually attend the courses taught by the best faculty as well as access high quality reading resources, participate in discussion forums, take tests, and earn academic grades.
13. The government will build two more underground crude oil storages at Chandikhol in Odisha and Bikaner in Rajasthan.
India has already built underground storages in rock caverns at Visakhapatnam (1.33 million tonnes), Mangalore (1.5 MT) and Padur (2.5 MT).
14. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced two new All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Jharkhand and Gujarat as part of increasing healthcare in the country in Union Budget 2017-18.
The government has targets to eliminate Kala Azar by 2017 and Leprosy by 2018 among other diseases to be eliminated within a targeted time.
15. Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu informed that the government currently has no proposals to link Aadhar number with railway passes.
The government is in the process of putting in place a Human Resources Management System (HRMS) to ensure that employees and pensioners of Railways can book tickets online through any portal.
16. To make India an innovation-driven economy, NITI Aayog, Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) together launched a mega initiative India Innovation Index.
It will rank states on Innovations through index portal that will capture data on innovation from all Indian states and regularly update it in real time.
17.Tata Motors launches a sub-brand TAMO to introduce new technology equipped vehicles faster to the market.
Under the sub-brand, it will launch vehicles that are low in volumes requiring low investment.
It is also looking at a different buying experience for TAMO vehicles.
18. On the eve of World Cancer Day, a Centre of Integrative Oncology was inaugurated in Noida.
Ajit Sharan, the secretary of the Ministry of AYUSH and Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, the secretary of the Department of Health Research at National Institute of Cancer Prevention Research (NICPR) inaugurated the facility.
19. Assam Government has launched Chief Minister Samagra Gramya Unnayan Yojana (CMSGUY).
The Yojana was launched to bring about paradigm shift towards holistic development of villages in the state.
20. A ban on cash transaction of more than Rs. 3 lakh has been proposed in the Budget for 2017-18.
The penalty for doing cash transaction will be steep and the receiver will have to pay an amount equivalent to the cash received.
Supposing you do a transaction of Rs 4 lakh in cash, then the penalty would be Rs 4 lakh.
21. Uber launched UberHIRE that allows customers to hire a taxi for a day to cover several destinations.
The new category aims at targeting senior citizens, business travelers and tourists.
Presently, UberHIRE works only on cash payments.
22. The Supreme Court directed central government to register details of identity of every mobile user within a year.
Phone numbers of subscribers linked to Aadhar card will be made mandatory.
23. First smart police station of the country inaugurated by CM of Andhra Pradesh N. Chandrababu Naidu in the state.
The Police Station opened at Nagarampalem in the capital region Amaravathi.
It will work on smart policing system that will make the police process much transparent.
24. India will host the implementation and assessment group meeting of the global initiative to combat nuclear terrorism in New Delhi.
Around 150 delegates will be participating in the three-day event.
The meeting highlights India’s commitment to global nuclear nonproliferation and peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
25. Arunachal Pradesh became the first state in the northeast to implement eCabinet solution for the state cabinet members.
Using this system, the cabinet members can access the cabinet notes before the meeting.
26. Niti Aayog has decided to rank the States/UTs on the basis of digital transactions.
Niti Aayog had constituted a Committee of Chief Ministers on digital payments which submitted its interim report to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
27. The Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore inaugurated the 17th International Seminar on Counter Terrorism.
It was organized by National Security Guard, in Manesar, Haryana.
28. Gujarat becomes the first state in the country to establish cashless system for distribution of foodgrains.
Union Minister for Consumer Affairs lauded the efforts of the State Government for installing Aadhaar Enabled Payment System in 17250 FPSs, much before the targeted date of 31st March, 2017.
29. The Union Cabinet has approved Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan (PMGDISHA) to make 6 crore rural households digitally literate.
The outlay for this project is Rs. 2,351.38 crore to usher in digital literacy in rural India by March,2019.
Under the scheme, 25 lakh candidates will be trained in the FY 2016-17; 275 lakhs in the FY 2017-18; and 300 lakhs in the FY 2018-19.
30. Union Minister of State for Power, Shri Piyush Goyal has launched TAMRA (Transparency, Auction Monitoring, and Resource Augmentation) portal and Mobile Application on 10th February 2017.
TAMRA will be an interactive platform for all the stakeholders to compress the timelines for statutory and other clearances.
TAMRA would help minimize the gestation period for commencing production.
31. The Madhya Pradesh government would spend Rs 86,000 crore during the next five years on the development of cities across the state.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh announced the plans while launching the third phase of ‘Nagar Uday Abhiyan’ at Jabalpur.
32. Aadhaar number would be mandatory for taking food grain through the Public Distribution System (PDS) under the National Food Security Act (NFSA).
According to the Aadhaar Act, producing the document for identification is compulsory for any transfers made from the Consolidated Fund of India.
Those who don’t have an Aadhaar number will continue to get their monthly ration quota if they provide proof of having applied for it.
Such persons have to necessarily apply for Aadhaar enrolment by 30th June 2017.
33. The Union Government is not in favor of a new law for the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
The parliamentary committee has recommended replacing Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act, 1946 which governs CBI.
34. Kerala’s Nilambur teak will be added to the list of Kerala produces with the Geographical Indication (GI) tag.
It is known internationally for its superior timber quality and elegant appearance.
35. National Productivity Week will be held from 12th to 18th February 2017.
The theme chosen for this year’s observance is “From Waste to Profitsthrough Reduce, Recycle and Reuse”.
36. The Fairy Queen the oldest surviving functional steam engine in the world is once again ready to haul a heritage train from National Capital Delhi to Rewari, Haryana after a gap of 5 years.
The train will run between Delhi Cantonment Station and Rewari from 11th February 2017 for a single day trip.
37. Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers, Shri Ananth Kumar inaugurated Orientation Programme for launching of 1000 Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Kendras (PMBJKs).
The workshop was targeted to educate and channelize youth to synergize their efforts for taking ahead the mission to open 3000 PMBJKs by March 2017.
38. Union Government has constituted interdepartmental task force to crackdown on benami firms.
It is first major post-demonetization move undertaken by Government for unearthing black money.
39. The Union Minister of Science and Technology Harsh Vardhan released the world’s first comprehensive Braille atlas for nearly 50 lakh visually challenged people in New Delhi, India.
This is for the first time that such atlas has been prepared for physically challenged with such minute details.
The Braille Atlas has been prepared by National Atlas and Thematic Mapping Organization (NATMO) under Department of Science & Technology.
The Atlas has 20 maps on different themes.
40. The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has launched Measles Rubella (MR) vaccination campaign in the country at Bengaluru, Karnataka.
The campaign will start from five States/UTs viz. Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Goa and Lakshadweep covering nearly 3.6 crore target children.
Under it all children aged between 9 months and less than 15 years will be given a single shot of Measles-Rubella (MR) vaccination.
The vaccination will be free of cost irrespective of the previous vaccination status or disease status of the children.
41. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has set up a scientific panel to frame final regulations on fortification of foods and prepare strategies to address malnutrition problem.
FSSAI has already issued the draft guidelines on fortification for five food items -salt, milk, wheat flour, rice and edible oil.
The guidelines are issued to boost production and consumption of fortified foods.
42. Delhi International Airport was the 12th busiest airport worldwide for the month of November 2016, as per the report published by International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
The top 15 airports in the world comprises of major airports like Atlanta, Dubai, Los Angeles and Changi airports.
43. Indian Navy’s survey vessel INS Sarvekshak based in Kochi became the first naval ship to go green by installing a solar power system on board.
It can generate 5.4KW electricity and replacing the ship’s traditional 4.4KW emergency diesel alternator.
44. The Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Radha Mohan Singh has inaugurated Indian Seed Congress – 2017, in Kolkata.
The theme of Seed Congress is “Seed of Joy”.
45. India’s first floating elementary school named Loktak Elementary Floating School was inaugurated in Manipur.
The school has been inaugurated at Langolsabi Leikai of Champu Khangpok village in Manipur.
The first of its kind school aims to provide education to dropout students as well as illiterate adults.
46. The 11th edition of the Aero India 2017 air show which took place in Bengaluru is expected to be one of the largest in recent years.
The prime focus of event is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Make in India initiative.
Around 270 Indian and 279 foreign firms are slated to participate in the event.
47. The Ministry of External Affairs co-hosted the second Gateway of India Geoeconomic Dialogue on 13th- 14th February 2017 in Mumbai.
The event aimed at building synergy between business and foreign policy.
The theme of the event was “Where Geopolitics meets Business”.
48. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee declares Kalimpong as new district.
220 crore road link project will be taken up to connect Kalimpong with Sikkim via the old Silk Route.
49. The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) launched 104 satellites in one go from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.
The PSLV-C37/Cartosat2 Series satellite mission included the primary satellite (Cartosat-2) and 101 International Nano satellites.
Of 104 satellites, 96 belong to USA, 3 from India and 5 from – Israel, Kazakhstan, Netherlands, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, respectively
50. Union Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan inaugurated International Conference on NexGen Technologies for Mining and Fuel Industries 2017 in New Delhi.
Clean energy initiatives being taken by Government should be perceptible and bring measurable change in the lives of the common man.
51. The Supreme Court has clarified that there is no need to stand inside a cinema hall when the national anthem is featured as a part of a film.
This is second clarification issued by SC on its November 2016 order.
The first clarification directed all persons to stand up when the national anthem is sung or played in a cinema theatre.
52. Sachin Tendulkar has adopted the village of Donja in Maharashtra’s Osmanabad district, under the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana.
He has sanctioned over Rs.4 crore for the development of the village from his MPLAD fund.
53. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has opened a South Asia Training and Technical Assistance Centre (SARTTAC) in New Delhi for economic capacity building in South Asia.
The aim is to build human and institutional capacity and implement policies for growth and poverty reduction.
54. Union Minister Mahesh Sharma launches pre-loaded Sim Card for Tourists arriving in India on E-visa.
It will facilitate the foreign tourists in communicating with their acquaintances immediately after their arrival in India.
This initiative has been launched in association with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd., (BSNL).
This facility will be initially available at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (T3 Terminal), New Delhi.
55. The Ministry of Mines has launched Transparency, Auction Monitoring and Resource Augmentation (TAMRA) Portal and Mobile Application.
The app was launched to ensure transparent award of statutory Clearances for mining operations.
56. Thanal, a city-based group in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala has launched a helpline number for waste management.
It provides technical support to treat organic waste and manage non-biodegradable solid waste.
The allotted helpline number for the cause is – 9400147150.
57. Edappadi K Palaniswami was sworn in as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu by Governor Vidyasagar Rao at the Raj Bhavan.
30 ministers of Palaniswami government took oath.
There are four women in Palaniswami’s Cabinet: Valarmathi, Dr. Nilofer Kafeel, D.V Saroja and VM Rajalakshmi.
58. Government of India has organized Indian Panorama Film Festival (Public Screening of films) in Port Blair from 15th -19th February 2017.
About 15 films of different languages and different genre will be screened at two different venues viz. PBMC Auditorium and ITF Ground during the festival.
59. Analysis by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) marked January 2017 as the third warmest January in 137 years of modern record-keeping.
Temperature of January 2017 was 0.20 degrees’ Celsius cooler than the warmest January in 2016.
However, it was 0.92 degrees Celsius warmer than the mean January temperature from 1951-1980.
60. India Vetiver Network (INVN) launched at Tamil Nadu Agricultural University.
About 250 delegates are participating in this conference.
61. Shah Rukh Khan will soon host the Hindi version of popular international show TED Talks.
Star India will air the Indian version – TED Talks India: Nayi Soch.
The show will be a global first Hindi TV talk show created in partnership with TED, the non-profit devoted to ‘ideas worth spreading’.
62. The Indian Navy’s second ocean going sailboat Tarini will be inducted at a ceremony scheduled to be held at the INS Mandovi Boat Pool.
INSV Tarini is a sloop built by M/s Aquarius Shipyard Pvt. Ltd at Divar, Goa.
The sail boat Tarini is slated to be the platform for First Indian All Women Circumnavigation of the Globe expedition of the Indian Navy.
63. Reliance Defence Limited and Dassault Aviation announced the incorporation of Dassault Reliance Aerospace Limited (DRAL).
The DRAL is a joint venture between the Reliance Aerostructure Limited (RAL) and Dassault Aviation (DA).
In the DRAL, the French company Dassault Aviation will have 49 per cent shareholding, while the RAL will have 51 per cent shareholding.
64. Science Express train flagged off a seven- month journey that will cover 68 stations across the country to create climate change awareness in India.
The 16-coach train will travel to Tripura and to the north bank of the Brahmaputra for the first time.
65. To avail benefits under the Central Sector Scholarships Scheme for College and University students, Aadhar card will be mandatory for the students.
Those receiving these scholarships but who don’t have an Aadhaar card will have to apply for enrolment by 30th June 2017.
This will not be applicable in Jammu & Kashmir.
66. The two-day South Asian Speakers Summit was inaugurated by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan at Indore in Madhya Pradesh.
The speakers would discuss achieving sustainable goals, including poverty, development, environment and gender concerns in South Asia.
67. India’s only live volcano, Barren Island (Andaman and Nicobar) has started spewing smoke and lava again.
Barren Island volcano erupted in 1991 and has been showing sporadic activity since then.
68. AirAsia became the first foreign airline ever to start its operations from Srinagar International Airport in Jammu and Kashmir.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti waved the flag to clear the landing for the AirAsia flight at Srinagar airport.
To begin with, AirAsia, a Malaysian low-cost airline, will operate one flight daily between Delhi and Srinagar.
69. Fabindia Overseas Pvt. Ltd. had removed the brand name Khadi from its products after a legal notice from Khadi & Village Industries Commission (KVIC).
KVIC stated that the use of the word amounted to unfair trade practice.
KVIC asked Fabindia to stop using the word Khadi from all its cotton products and remove display banners from its showrooms.
70. The Khajuraho Dance Festival concluded at Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh.
The festival was started on 20th February 2017 and continued till 26th February 2017 with presentation of Anuj Mishra, Sanchita Bhattacharya and Jayshree Acharya.
71. India’s first dedicated heliport for flying in and out was inaugurated in Delhi.
The project is an integrated one with a chopper maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) unit part of the complex at Rohini.
It is owned by Pawan Hans Helicopters Ltd (PHHL).
72. C K Mishra, Health Secretary launched the Saathiya Resource Kit and Saathiya Salah Mobile App.
The mobile app is also linked to another important piece of cost-effective information platform of a toll-free Saathiya Helpline (1800-233-1250) which will act as an e-counselor.
73. The government has launched Cyber Swachhta Kendra, a new desktop and mobile security solution for secure cyber space in the country.
It was launched through its Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-in).
The new solution will notify, enable cleaning and secure systems of end-users to prevent further infections.
74. The Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has released the new format for recording and reporting road accident data.
The uniform accident-recording format has been drawn on the lines of developed countries.
It has been forwarded to all state police and transport departments for adaptation and to furnish annual road accident data.
75. BHIM App has seen over 17 million downloads and has set a world record.
The app was introduced to make digital payments a mass movement in India.
The Centre will also soon roll out a cash-back scheme to give a further boost to the use of BHIM.
76. Arunachal Pradesh, Chief Minister Pema Khandu inaugurated the Composite Regional Centre for Persons with Disabilities.
The aim is to create resources and infrastructure required for developing services for persons with disabilities in the state.
77. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated the five-day-long National Biodiversity Congress and Expo at Tagore theatre in Thiruvananthapuram.
This is one of the biggest biodiversity congresses in the country and its focal theme is Mainstreaming biodiversity for sustainable development.
78. Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved 40,000 MW solar parks scheme for solar power development in the country.
The enhanced capacity would ensure setting up of at least 50 solar parks -each with a capacity of 500 MW and above in various parts of the country.
The solar Parks and ultra-mega solar power projects will be set up by 2019-20 with central government financial support of Rs. 8,100 crore.
79. The government approved a 900 MW Arun-III hydro power project to be set up in Sankhuwasabha district of Nepal at a cost of Rs 5,723.72 crore.
The project will offer 21.9% free power to Nepal for 25 years and generate employment of around 3000 persons in India and Nepal.
80. Punjab has ordered ban on manufacturing of food products containing tobacco or nicotine like Gutkha and Pan Masala in the state with immediate effect.
The decision has been taken in view of the orders of the Supreme Court
81. The President of India, Shree Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated an International Conference on Bharat Bodh.
The conference was organized by the Indira Gandhi National Open University and Bhartiya Shikshan Mandal in New Delhi.
The conference brings together intellectuals, academicians and researchers to unravel various aspects of the Bharat Bodh.
82. The Kerala government will launch a registry of sex offenders, the first of its kind in the country.
The registry will contain all identification details of sex offenders and would be kept in public domain.
83. DoNER, jointly with Tezpur University and North Eastern Finance Corporation Limited (NEDFi), will encourage entrepreneurship in the North-East Region (NER).
The event will take place on 3rd March, 2017 and will be the 17th edition in the series.
84. Tata Power Renewable Energy Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Power, has synchronized its 15 MW solar plant at Bellampally in Telangana.
The company has won the project in the Phase 1 bidding process in Telangana.
The solar plant has been built over 80 acres of land and includes an 18-km transmission line.
85. Rajasthan has become the second largest crude oil producer in the country.
The state was producing nearly 90 lakh tones oil annually, which is 24 per cent of the total domestic crude oil production.
86. Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi has announced the setting up of a compensation fund under Nirbhaya scheme to provide financial help to children who are victims of sexual crimes.
87. Mumbai, which is home to 46,000 millionaires and 28 billionaires, is the richest Indian city with a total wealth of $ 820 billion.
Delhi and Bengaluru is at second and third place respectively.
88. The government has framed infrastructure policy to check emerging challenges of urbanization, aims to promote living close to mass public transport corridors like metro, monorail and bus rapid transit.
89. Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu flagged off the country’s first Antyodaya Express.
Antyodaya Express is a long-distance, fully unreserved, superfast train service, for the common man to be operated on dense routes.
Tejas and UDAY Express will be launched soon.
90. The CM Raghubar Das announced that his government would soon ban the use of polythene bags in the State.
The main objective behind the ban is to develop Jharkhand as “Clean Jharkhand, Green Jharkhand and Swach Jharkhand “.
91. The Haryana government has set up an online system for Panipat to monitor the sex-ratio in the district as part of the ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’
92. Andaman and Nicobar Islands’, Radhanagar beach has secured 8th position among the top 10 beaches of the World and topped in Asia.
93. According to the recent data, infant mortality rate in the country has been registered at 42 deaths of kids per 1000 births, Goa ranked first.
Puducherry with 11 deaths per 1000 birth ranked second while Kerala ranked third.
94. The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare unveiled last National Family Health Survey-4 (NFHS-4) for 2015-16.
It has shown positive trends in key health indicators, including a decline in infant mortality rate (IMR) and improvement in sex ratio at birth during 2015-16.
95. Union Minister Narender Singh Tomar launched Swachh Shakti Saptah in Haryana.
This week will culminate on 8th March at Ahmedabad where Prime Minister Modi will be the chief guest.
96. The price of non-subsidized cooking gas (LPG) was hiked by a steep Rs 86 per cylinder.
Non-subsidized LPG, bought by those who have either given up their subsidies or exhausted the quota of 12 bottles of 14.2-kg in a year at below market price, will now cost Rs 737.50.
97. The Ministry of Women and Child Development has initiated a social media campaign - #WeAreEqual – targeted at raising awareness about gender discrimination.
The campaign will culminate into the celebration of International Women’s Day on 8th March 2017.
Prominent personalities such as film actors Mr. Amitabh Bachchan, and Ms. Dia Mirza; sportspersons Ms. Mary Kom among others, have joined the campaign.
98. Indigenously developed supersonic Prithvi interceptor missile was successfully test-fired from launch complex III of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Abdul Kalam Island in Balasore, Odisha.
The missile is capable of destroying any incoming enemy ballistic missile at low altitude.
99. Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam launched Amma Kalviyagam portal, ammakalviyagam.in.
The portal will be a hub of learning, interaction, opportunity, and connection.
100. According to recently published report by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IMAI) and Indian Market Research Bureau (IMRB), internet users in India are expected to be in the range of 450 to 465 million by June 2017.
101. Indian Navy successfully test-fired an anti-ship missile for the first time from an indigenously built INS Kalvari submarine.
This launch is considered as significant milestone of Indian Navy in enhancing its sub-surface warfare process.
102. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) ordered a ban on camping activities within 100 m of the Ganga in Uttarakhand.
The ban will be imposed from Kaudiyala to Rishikesh in Uttarakhand.
103. The Indian Railways has made Aadhaar number mandatory for senior citizens to avail concessions in booking train tickets from 1st April, 2017.
104. Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has launched four new freight sector initiatives to increase the profitability of the Indian Railways. The newly launched freight sector initiatives are:
Long Term Tariff Contracts and Agreements
Double Stack Dwarf Containers
Indian Railway’s Business Plan 2017-18.
105. Bharat Earth Movers Limited, BEML launched solar rooftop project in Karnataka. BEML Ltd.
By this, BEML is heading towards achieving the target of using 100 per cent renewable energy for captive consumption.
106. India is organizing a three-day International Conference 10th ICEGOV 2017 in Delhi from 7th March to 9th March, 2017.
The theme of ICEGOV 2017 will be Building Knowledge Societies: From Digital Government to Digital Empowerment.
The key objective of ICEGOV2017 is to explore how Digital Government can lead to Digital Empowerment by local knowledge.
107. Vice President Hamid Ansari will attend the Summit of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) on 7th March 2017 in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The theme of Summit will be Strengthening Maritime Cooperation for a Peaceful, Stable and Prosperous Indian Ocean.
The IORA Summit is expected to provide momentum to the strengthening of cooperation in the Indian Ocean region.
108. The Railways has sanctioned projects worth Rs 13,500 crore for the North East in this year’s budget.
A bottled drinking water plant under the Rail Neer brand at Jagiroad in Assam and a high-end North East Safari Train was being envisaged.
109. Aadhar Card is made mandatory by the Union HRD Minister for the students to get served cooked meal under the Mid-Day Meal (MDM) Scheme.
The use of Aadhaar as identity document aims at improving efficiency and transparency in the scheme and simplifies government’s delivery process and subsidies.
110. Haryana government has announced a Tirtha Darshan Scheme.
Under the scheme, senior citizens belong to BPL families of any religion and of Haryana domicile would be able to go on a pilgrimage within the country at government expense.
In case of senior citizens of non-BPL families, the government would bear only 70 per cent of the cost.
111. The World Bank has offered a $1 billion loan to the Maharashtra government.
The loan was offered to improve rail services in the Mumbai metropolitan region, water conservation, smart cities and for making farming climate resistant in the state.
International – Across the Globe
1. Denmark will become the first country in the world to appoint a special digital ambassador to work on building ties with the globe’s tech giants.
The purpose of the appointment is, to be on the forefront of technological development and the political and ethical issues that come with it, and to make Denmark more attractive for investment.
2. The 53rd SAARC Programming Committee meeting has took place in Kathmandu on 1st February 2017.
The meeting discussed budget management for the operation of the Kathmandu-based SAARC Secretariat on 1st and 2nd February.
3. Ireland has voted to be the world’s first country to fully divest public money from fossil fuels.
The Irish Parliament passed the historic legislation in a 90 to 53 vote in favor of dropping coal, oil, and gas investments from the 8bn Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, part of the Republic’s National Treasury Management Agency.
4. A legislation has been introduced in the US House of Representatives which doubles the minimum salary of H-1B visa holders to $130,000.
The legislation making it difficult for firms to use the programme to replace American employees with foreign workers, including from India.
5. Kuwait has suspended the issuance of visas for nationals of Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran.
The Kuwaiti government has told would-be migrants from the five banned nations to not apply for visas, as it is worried about the possible migration of radical Islamic terrorists.
6. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the Petersburg International Economic Forum in Russia, scheduled from 1st – 3rd June 2017, as the Guest of Honour.
The forum witnesses more than 4,000 people from over 60 different countries every year.
It brings together the chief executives of major Russian and international companies, heads of state, political leaders, prime ministers, deputy prime ministers, departmental ministers, and governors.
7. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and about 1,000 of his colleagues have donated over USD 1.5 million to a leading rights group.
The group has pledged to fight President Donald Trump’s temporary ban on refugees and immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries.
8. China plans to sell its new short range missiles AR-2 to foreign countries.
AR-2 is a short-range air-to-surface missile with a weight of about 20 kg and a 5-kg warhead, an AR-2 has a maximum range of 8 km and a top speed of 735 km per hour.
9. The Right to Information (RTI) Act came into force in Sri Lanka.
A piece of legislation aimed at restoring transparency and good governance in a country that has been plagued by corruption and misrule.
10. India and Norway have founded a Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to accelerate life-saving research and development for epidemics.
An R&D blueprint for action to prevent epidemics will be prepared to develop a research and development blueprint during epidemics.
11. Qatar Airways launched the world’s longest scheduled commercial service with its inaugural flight from Doha to Auckland.
Flight QR920 left the Qatari capital landed in New Zealand.
The Boeing 777 flight will take 16 hours and 20 minutes, pass over 10 time zones, five countries and travel 14,535 km before reaching Auckland.
12. In an effort to strengthen the bilateral relations between India and UAE, the Indian Coast Guard Ship (ICGS) Samudra Pavak made a goodwill visit at the Mina Al Rashid (Dubai Port).
The Indian Ambassador in UAE Navdeep Suri visited the Indian Navy ship.
13. The 17th Session of BIMSTEC Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) has concluded in Kathmandu, with an understanding to host the summit meeting by the end of 2017.
The SOM meeting represented by senior foreign ministry officials from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka. ü Nepal will host the fourth BIMSTEC Summit.
14. Israel’s Parliament has passed a law retroactively legalizing about 4,000 homes built in Area C of the occupied West Bank.
The law was passed by 60 votes to 52.
The new law states that the original Palestinian landowners will be compensated with money or alternative land.
15. The Union Cabinet has been apprised of the Framework Agreement between India and Vietnam.
The agreement was on cooperation in the exploration and uses of outer space for peaceful purposes.
16. Pakistan’s Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif imposed a complete ban on Basant, a festival celebrated to mark the start of the spring season.
Sharif has made it clear that the Punjab government won’t allow such festivals which endanger people’s lives.
17. Nepal government said that free wifi zones would be set up on the LuklaEverest Base Camp and the Annapurna Base Camp.
This will be done to promote tourism and provide easy flow of information during disasters.
18. The Israeli Embassy said that the Delhi government has decided to employ Israeli technology to clean the Yamuna river for a cleaner environment and water.
Ayala Water and Ecology Ltd. will focus on a stretch of eight km of sewage which drains into Yamuna River.
19. China has released the theme and the cooperation priorities of the 2017 BRICS Summit which is scheduled to begin in September in Xiamen.
The theme for 2017 BRICS Summit is BRICS: Stronger Partnership for a Brighter Future.
It will also feature five key priorities such as deepening cooperation, strengthening global governance, carrying out people-to-people exchanges, making institutional improvements and building broader partnerships.
20. India remains near the bottom in an International Intellectual Property (IP) Index by being ranked 43rd out of 45 countries.
The report is published by S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC).
21. Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Germany’s former foreign minister, has been elected as the country’s new president.
Martin Schulz, former president of European Parliament is appointed as new leader of social Democrats.
22. The longest elevated bike path named the winding viaduct in the world has been opened in a city in south-east China.
The route can carry 2,023 cyclists per hour, while 300 hire bikes are available for people who do not have bicycles.
23. The 2017 UNESCO Natural Heritage Festival was held at Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP) in Sairopa, Himachal Pradesh.
The fest was held in collaboration with the Wildlife Institute of India (WII).
24. Military Exercise Cobra Gold 2017 Begins in Thailand on 14th February 2017.
It is the 36th edition of the multinational military exercise.
Around 30 nations will take part in the exercise that will continue till 24th February 2017.
25. India is among six nations participating in a conference on Afghanistan’s future in Moscow.
India and particularly Afghanistan objected to being cut out of the discussion.
Moscow agreed to expand its ambit, announcing a six-nation conference of Russia, India, Iran, Pakistan, China and Afghanistan.
26. India has sanctioned a soft loan of 340 million US dollars to Nepal for various infrastructure development programmes.
Under this programme Mahalaki bridge and 15 roads will be constructed in various parts of Nepal.
27. India was the world’s largest importer of major arms between 2012–16, accounting for 13 per cent of the global total sales, according to a new data released by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
Saudi Arabia was the world’s second largest arms importer in 2012-16.
The United States of America is the leading arms exporter in the world with almost half of its arms exports going to the Middle East.
28. Russia will start initial deliveries of military helicopters to India in 2018.
India and Russia signed an agreement to jointly manufacture 200 of the KA-226T helicopters for the Indian Armed Forces.
Both countries have agreed to cooperate in energy and defence as India seeks to modernize its armed forces.
29. Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in Sydney on the first visit to Australia by a serving Israeli prime minister.
Netanyahu will start his four-day visit with talks with his Australian counterpart MalcolmTurnbull at his official Sydney address.
Netanyahu and Turnbull will sign agreements on technology and air services.
30. India and China will hold their first Strategic Dialogue in Beijing.
During the meeting, the two sides will discuss key issues of mutual concern and interest, including friction points.
31. Mexico City has the worst daily traffic condition in the world for the second consecutive year and is the most congested city.
The research analyzed the traffic congestion situation in 390 cities in 48 countries.
The research has listed other cities, including Bangkok, Jakarta and Bucharest as the most congested cities in the world.
32. The US and China have agreed on a constructive bilateral relationship to address the threat posed by North Korea due to its repeated ballistic missile tests despite a UN ban.
The two sides agreed on the need to address the threat that North Korea poses to regional stability.
33. The WTO’s trade facilitation agreement, which seeks to ease customs norms, has come into effect with its two-thirds members ratifying the pact.
It will give a boost to the global trade, which has been impacted due to slowdown in the world economy.
34. US President Donald Trump’s administration rolled back Obama’s protection law for transgender students.
The law allowed students to use the bathroom and locker room of their choice in public schools.
35. India has approved a deal with Israel to develop jointly a medium range surface-to-air missile (MR-SAM) system for the Army in a Rs17,000-crore deal.
The deal will be executed by the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI).
The systems will be manufactured in India and would have an 80% indigenous content.
36. China for the first time became Germany’s most important trading partner in 2016.
Federal Statistics Office figures showed that German imports from and exports to China rose to 170 billion euros ($180 billion) last year.
37. Pakistan army has launched nationwide military operation ‘Radd-ul-Fasaad’.
The aim is to eliminate terrorists and consolidate gains of its counter-terrorism operations.
38. The world’s first robot table tennis tutor in Japan has set a new Guinness World Record for its uncanny ability of being able to play the game better than most humans.
The robot is named FORPHEUS (Future Omron Robotics Technology for Exploring Possibility of Harmonized automation with Sinic Theoretics).
39. India and Ukraine have agreed to strengthen the bilateral cooperation between the two countries through the medium of Cinema in New Delhi.
The cooperation would be helpful to showcase films through the medium of Film Festivals.
40. India and Israel are planning to hold a series of events to celebrate 25 years of establishment of their diplomatic ties.
India had established full diplomatic relationship with Israel in 1992 though it had recognized the country in 1950.
41. European Union member states have approved visa-free travel for Georgia. The proposal now requires formal signature by the 28 member states of EU and the European Parliament.
42. Russia and China have vetoed a UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution that aimed to impose sanctions on Syria over chemical weapons use.
43. South Korea and United States held large-scale joint military exercise called Foal Eagle.
The exercise was held to test their defence readiness against the threat from North Korea.
44. China has announced that it will cut five lakh jobs from steel, coal and other heavy industries.
This will be done to reduce excess production capacity amid slowdown of its economy which is world’s second largest.
45. Australia will offer the world’s first university course to train intelligence analysts to fight cybercrime.
The course will be prompted by innovative methods of money transfer among organised crime and militant groups.
46. By 2050, India will be the country with the world’s largest Muslim population.
There were 1.6 billion Muslims in the world as of 2010 – roughly 23% of the global population.
Currently, Indonesia has the world’s largest Muslim population.
47. Malaysia will cancel visa-free entry for North Koreans entering the country from 6th March 2017.
North Koreans will be required to obtain a visa before entering Malaysia for national security reasons.
48. The General Staff of the Syrian Army had recaptured the ancient city of Palmyra from the extremist group Islamic State (IS).
The units led by Iranian and Russian Troops entered the city three months after IS took it over.
49. The Nepal Investment Summit 2017 concluded in Kathmandu.
The objective of the two-day long summit was to project Nepal as an attractive investment destination.
Sports & Athletics
1. PV Sindhu eased to her first title of 2017 at the Syed Modi International Grand Prix Badminton Championships, with Sameer Verma emerging victorious in the men’s section.
Verma had to go some extra miles before beating compatriot and ninth seed Sai Praneet 21-19, 21-16 for his maiden GP Gold title.
2. Former Team India cricket captains Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly inaugurated India’s first multi-sport museum.
Named ‘Fanattic Sports Museum’, this is a joint venture of sports historian Boria Majumdar and industrialist Harshavardhan Neotia.
3. Abul Hossain won the Kolkata Marathon as amateur runners from North Bengal and Northeast India dominated the first edition of the meet.
Sikkim’s Mangali Tamang won the women’s half marathon with a timing of one hour 31 minutes and 13 seconds.
4. Australian Open Tennis Tournament 2017 was concluded on 29th January 2017. It is the first Grand Slam tournament of the year.
Roger Federer beats Rafael Nadal in Men’s single category.
Serena Williams beta Venus Williams in Women’s Single category.
J Peers and H Kontinen beats Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan in Men’s Double category.
Bathenie Mattek Sand and Lucie Safarova beats A. Hlaváčková and S. Peng in Women’s Double category.
Abigail Spears and J Cabal beats Sania Mirza and Ivan Dodig in Mixed Doubles category.
5. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced that his government would set up a task force to create a strategy to help sportspersons prepare for the next three Olympics-2020, 2024, 2028.
The members of the committee are: Pulella Gopichand, Abhinav Bindra, Rajesh Kalra, Om Pathak, Viren Rasquinha, S Baldev Singh, Prof. G. L. Khanna, Sandeep Pradhan.
6. West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell was banned for one year for a doping whereabouts rule violation.
He was revealed to have committed the violation 11 months ago, after registering three filing failures in 2015.
7. Amit Mishra, after picking up his 201st T20 wicket in the Bengaluru T20I, became India’s highest wicket taker in T20 cricket, overtaking Ravichandran Ashwin’s record of 200 wickets.
Mishra achieved the milestone in his 170th T20 match after taking the wicket of England’s Jason Roy.
Dwayne Bravo holds the record for the most wickets in T20s with 367 scalps.
8. Olympic and Paralympic medals for the Tokyo 2020 Games will be made from recycled mobile phones.
The Japanese public will be asked to donate old phones and small appliances to gather two tonnes of gold, silver, and bronze for the 5,000 medals.
The project hopes to promote sustainability and reduce costs.
9. Opener Rishabh Pant, who made his international debut in the T20I against England at Bengaluru has become India’s youngest T20I debutant.
Rishabh, aged 19 years, 120 days, has gone past Ishant Sharma, who made his India T20I debut aged 19 years, 152 days.
Rishabh was selected after scoring a triple century in the Ranji Trophy this season.
10. Young India leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal became the first Indian bowler to record a five-wicket haul by finishing with figures of 6 for 25.
Chahal is now only the second bowler after Sri Lankan mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis to snare six wickets in an innings in T20 Internationals.
11. Lakshya Sen became the latest junior World No 1 of badminton’s rankings, following in the footsteps of Siril Verma and Aditya Joshi.
He is the winner of U-19 tournaments in Switzerland and Denmark, as well as international series in Pune and Hyderabad.
12.The player auction of the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) will be held on 20th February 2017 in Bengaluru.
So far, more than 750 players have registered for the Player Auction 2017.
As per an official BCCI release, auction will have eight franchises having a total balance purse of Rs.143.3 crore for player bids for the upcoming season.
13. Madhurika Patkar and Sharath Kamal won single’s title in National Table Tennis Championship.
Madhurika Patkar won the women’s singles crown for the first time, while veteran A. Sharath Kamal bagged his seventh national crown in the 78th Sports Table Tennis Senior National Championships.
14. The Basketball Federation of India (BFI) announced that India will host two international events in 2017, the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup and FIBA Under-16 Women’s Asian Championship.
The FIBA Women’s Asia Cup will be held from 23rd July to 29th July in Bengaluru.
The FIBA U-16 Women’s Asian Championship will be held from 22nd October to 28th October in Hyderabad.
15. Minister of State (I/C) for Youth Affairs & Sports Shri Vijay laid the foundation of Center of Excellence for Differently Abled Sportspersons at SAI Gandhinagar.
It will be the first ever training centre dedicated for Para athletes in the country.
16. The Billiards and Snooker Federation of India announced that India would be hosting the World Billiards Championships for the next four years.
The prestigious tournament was held in Bengaluru last year as well and was won by India’s Pankaj Advani.
17. Saurabh Verma and Rituparna Das won the Men’s Single and Women’s Single titles in 81st Senior National Badminton Championship tournament.
Rituparna defeated Reshma Kartik by 21-12 21-14 in final match.
Saurabh Verma defeated Lakshya Sen by 21-13, 21-12 in final match.
18. Delhi batsman Mohit Ahlawat has become the first batsman to score a triple hundred in a T20 match at any level.
Ahlawat, who has represented Delhi in Ranji Trophy, scored an unbeaten 300 off 72 balls in a local T20 tournament at Delhi’s Lalita Park.
He smashed 39 sixes and 14 fours in his knock.
19. The official mascot of the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 ‘Kheleao’ was unveiled at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi.
Sports Minister Vijay Goel and AIFF president Praful Patel, introduced a clouded leopard called Kheleo, to hundreds of football fans.
20. Mission XI Million, the biggest school sport outreach programme was launched by the Minister of State (I/C) for Youth Affairs and Sports Shri Vijay Goel.
It will encourage children to play football, gain healthy habits and learn important life lessons in teamwork and sportsman spirit.
21. Virat Kohli became the first batsman to score four double-centuries in four straight series.
Kohli scored his fourth double century for India against Bangladesh in Hyderabad.
He became the second captain to score four double centuries for his country.
22. India defeated Pakistan by nine wickets in the final of the T20 World Cup for Blind to lift their second straight title.
Prakash was adjudged Man of the Match and also won the tournament’s best wicketkeeper award.
Pakistan’s Riasat Khan was adjudged Player of the Series
23. The England and Wales Cricket Board named Joe Root as England’s Test captain who will replace Alastair Cook.
Durham all-rounder Ben Stokes has been named as the vice-captain.
24. Adam Voges, Australian batsman, announced his retirement from international cricket.
He has played 20 Tests, scoring 1485 runs at an average of 61.87 – second highest average in Tests after Don Bradman.
He has also figured in 31 One-Day Internationals and scored 870 runs with an average of 45.78.
25. Legendary Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi announced his retirement from international cricket.
He had already quit Test and ODI cricket but still skippered the Pakistan Twenty20 team at the 2016 world championships in India.
He played 398 one-day internationals with 8,064 runs, a highest score of 124 while taking 395 wickets with his leg spin.
His Twenty20 international CV saw him play 98 matches with 1,405 runs and a career-leading 97 wickets.
26. Afghanistan Cricketers Mohammad Nabi & Rashid Khan were selected by the franchise in IPL Auction 2017.
Mohammad Nabi became the first player from Afghanistan to be picked by Sunrisers Hyderabad for Rs.30 lakhs.
Rashid Khan was signed by Mumbai Indians for an amount of Rs.4 Crores.
27. Virat Kohli became the first Indian sportsperson to sign a Rs.100 crore deal with Puma.
He is now set to join the likes of Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell and Thierry Henry, among others, as a global ambassador for the brand.
28. India defeated South Africa by one run to win the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier 2017 at the P. Sara Stadium, Sri Lanka.
South Africa’s Sune Luus is named as the Player of the Series.
India’s Deepti Sharma is the Player of the Match.
29. India’s one day captain Mithali Raj and top batter Harmanpreet Kaur were placed 2nd and 10th in the ICC batswomen’s rankings.
Meg Lanning of Australia leads the charts with 804 points.
Mithali Raj has 733 points and Harmanpreet has 574 points.
30. The first Gramin Khel Mahotsav will be held from 25th to 31st of next month in New Delhi.
The games will be held in five sports disciplines Athletics, Kabaddi, Kho-Kho, Volley Ball and Wrestling.
It aims to promote sports in rural areas across the country.
31. International Hockey Federation (FIH) awarded the winners Hockey Stars Awards 2016. Here is the list of some of them.
Male Player of the Year 2016- John-John Dohmen (Belgium).
Female Player of the Year 2016- Naomi van As (Netherland).
Male Coach of Year 2016- Danny Kerry (Britain).
Female Coach of Year 2016- Karen Brown (Britain).
Male Umpire of the Year award 2016- Christian Blasch (Germany).
Female Umpire of the Year award 2016- Laurine Delforge (Belgium).
32.The famous Army Polo Championship that commenced on 31 Jan 2017 saw a thrilling final match on 24th February 2017 between 61 CAVALRY and Army Service Corps after tough round of league matches which also saw participation from Corps of Artillery, Remount and Veterinary Corps and Armored Corps.
Army has dominated Equestrian Sports for a long time producing a large number of Asian Games medalists, World Cup players, Padam Shree and Arjuna awardees and is pursuing it as part of its Mission Olympics programme.
33. Ace Indian shuttler PV Sindhu, who is the first Indian woman athlete has accepted a government job which was offered by the Andhra Pradesh Government following her Rio de Janeiro triumph.
She has been working with Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) since 2013 and is currently an assistant manager (sports) at its Hyderabad office.
34. Kalinga Lancers defeated Dabang Mumbai 4-1 and clinch their maiden Hockey India League (HIL) title in Chandigarh.
Uttar Pradesh Wizards register a 5-4 win over Delhi Wave riders to claim the bronze medal.
35. Indian badminton player Saina Nehwal will represent the panel in the Badminton World Federation (BWF).
Saina would join the BWF Athletes’ Commission as a representative of the IOC AC.
36. Rio Olympian Thanackal Gopi and Monika Athare won the men’s and women’s titles respectively in the second edition of the IDBI Federal Life Insurance New Delhi Marathon.
Gopi completed the race in 2 hours, 15 minutes and 37 seconds.
Monika Athare from Nashik completed the race in 2 hours 39 minutes and 08 seconds.
37. Second-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga won a second title by defeating fellow Frenchman Lucas Pouille in the Open 13 final.
He won by 6-4, 6-4 scores.
38. Jitu Rai and Heena Sidhu won gold medal in 10m pistol mixed team event at ISSF World Cup.
Jitu and Heena defeated Japan’s Yukari Konishi and Tomoyuki Matsuda by 5-3 in the final.
39. India will host the World Women’s Youth Boxing Championship in November this year, the first major international event to be held in the country since 2010.
40. Jitu Rai won the gold medal in men’s 50m free pistol event of the ISSF World Cup, with a world record score of 230.1.
India’s Amanpreet Singh wins silver with a score of 226.9
Awards & Recognition
1. Iris Mittenaere of France bags the Miss Universe 2016 pageant held in the Philippines.
86 candidates were vying for the coveted crown, which was last held by Miss Philippines Pia Wurtzbach from the Philippines.
Bollywood actress Sushmita Sen, who won her Miss Universe pageant in the year 1994 at Manila, was also on the judges panel this year.
2. Indian superstar Priyanka Chopra has made it to the list of Harper’s Bazaar’s 150 most fashionable women.
She joins other stars on the list which included Brie Larson, Dakota Johnson, Emilia Clarke, Margot Robbie, Gal Gadot, Dakota Fanning and Elle Fanning.
3. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh presented the First National Entrepreneurship awards 2016 in New Delhi. Awards were presented in 11 categories.
Agri, Food, & Forestry Products – Wow Momo Foods Private Ltd
Chemicals, Pharma, Bio and other processed material – Saral Design Solutions Private Limited
E-commerce, Logistics, Transport & other Services – JETSETGO Aviation Services
Engineering Services – Swadha Energies
IT & ITES, Financial – Lucideus Tech
SC/ST – JeevAnksh Eco Products Private Limited
Women – S V Engineering and Consultancy Services
Education institute – RSETI, Karnataka
4. Noted Sitar and Surbahar player Ustad Imrat Khan has turned down the Padma Shri award.
He believes it comes too late and is not parallel to his worldwide reputation and contributions.
5. Indian-origin British sculptor Anish Kapoor was named the winner of a prestigious USD 1 million Genesis prize by Israel.
The head of committee acknowledged Kapoor as one of the most influential and innovative artists of his generation.
6. P Raghu Ram, president of Association of Breast Surgeons of India, has won the prestigious Dr. B C Roy National Award.
He won the award for outstanding service in the field of socio medical relief for 2016.
7. An Indian-origin neurosurgeon Shawna Pandya has been shortlisted by NASA for its 2018 space mission under the Citizen Science Astronaut (CSA) programme.
She may join the league of Kalpana Chawla and Sunita Williams.
8. The 59th Annual Grammy Awards 2017 took place in Los Angeles. Here is the list of winners.
Album of the year: 25 – Adele
Record of the year: Hello – Adele
Song of the year: Hello – Adele
Best new artist: Chance the Rapper
Best music video: Beyonce – Formation
Best country song: Humble and Kind – Tim McGraw
9. The 70th British Academy Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) awards were held at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Here is the list of winners.
Best film: La La Land
Best Actress: Emma Stone – La La Land
Best Director: La La Land – Damien Chazelle
Best Actor: Casey Affleck – Manchester by the Sea
10. Usain Bolt wins Laureus ‘Sportsman of the Year’ award for the fourth time.
Simone Biles clinched the ‘Sportswoman of the Year’.
Michael Phelps bagged the ‘Comeback of the Year’ award.
Formula One champion Nico Roseberg claimed the ‘Breakthrough of the Year’ award.
11. Kush Bhagat was awarded the title of Candidate Master (CM) by World Chess Federation body, FIDE.
The title comes after a range of admirable performances by him, over the span of last six months.
12. AIIMS, New Delhi, has won the first prize, and a cash reward of Rs.5 crore, for maintaining high standards of sanitation and hygiene under the Governments Kayakalp awards.
North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences (NEIGRIHMS), Shillong, received second prize of Rs.3 crore.
13. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved contract awards for 44 small oil and gas fields.
The contract areas include 44 fields, 28 inland and 16 offshore.
14. Surendra Verma, a well-known Hindi scholar and writer, was selected for Vyas Samman 2016.
He was chosen for the prestigious award for his novel Kaatna Shami Ka Vriksha: Padma Pankhuri Ki Dhar Se.
15. Two Indian films at the world-renowned Berlin Film festival bagged awards – Amit Masurkar’s Newton and Amar Kaushik’s Aaba.
Rajkummar Rao-starrer Newton brought home the CICAE Art Cinema Award in the Forum section of the fest.
Aaba won the Special Prize of Generation KPlus International Jury for Best Short Film.
16. The Ahmedabad-based Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDII), has received International Mercury Awards for the year 2016-17.
EDII has received award for the best overall presentation of its 2015-2016 annual report.
17. Tata Steel’s Katamati Mine has won Best Green Award at the Global Green Future Leadership Awards.
Rahul Kishore, Head Katamati Iron Mine, Tata Steel received the award on behalf of Tata Steel from Jordan Reeves, Consul General of Canada in Mumbai.
18. Sahitya Academy Awards 2016 were conferred on twenty-four writers for writing in different languages. Name of some of them are:
Winners for Poetry are: Jnan Pujari, Kamal Vora.
Winners for Short story are: Chhatrapal, Shyam Darihare.
Winner for Novel: Gita Upadhyaya, Jerry Pinto.
19. The government has roped in actress Shilpa Shetty as a brand ambassador for the Modi government’s cleanliness initiative Swachh Bharat Mission.
The actress will feature in TV and radio campaigns aimed at discouraging people from littering on roads.
20. The 89th Oscars Awards 2017 are announced. Here is the list of some winners.
Best Picture: Moonlight.
Best Director: Damien Chazelle (La La Land).
Best Actor: Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea).
Best Actress: Emma Stone (La La Land).
Best Song: City of Stars (La La Land).
21. Three poets from Maharashtra have been conferred with the Vishakha Awards during the occasion of Marathi Bhasha Gaurav Din.
The first prize of Rs 21,000 was given to Dr. Yogini Satarkar-Pande from Nanded for her book ‘Janivanche Hirve Komb’.
The second prize of Rs 15,000 was given to Mohan Kumbhar from Sindhudurg for his book ‘Jagnyache Gatha’.
The third prize of Rs 10,000 was given to Vishnu Thore of Nashik for his book ‘Dhulpera Usvata’.
22. The winners of the 10th annual ESPN cricinfo Awards are announced. Here is the list.
ODI Batting Performance of the Year: Quinton De Kock (South Africa)
ODI Bowling Performance of the Year: Sunil Narine (West Indies)
T20 Batting Performance of the Year award: Carlos Brathwaite (West Indies)
T20 Bowling Performance of the Year: Mustafizur Rahman (Bangladesh)
Debutant of the Year: Mehedi Hasan Miraz (Bangladesh)
Captain of the Year: Virat Kohli (India)
23. Former Indian women’s cricketer Shantha Rangaswamy has become the first female cricketer to be nominated for the BCCI Lifetime Achievement Award.
24. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced the BCCI Awards 2017. Few of the Award Winners Name.
Polly Umrigar Award: Virat Kohli.
Dilip Sardesai Award (India’s best cricketer in the West Indies series, 2016): R. Ashwin.
Lala Amarnath Award (Best all-rounder in the Ranji Trophy): Jalaj Saxena (Madhya Pradesh).
Jagmohan Dalmiya Award [(Best Woman Cricketer (junior)]: Deepti Sharma (Uttar Pradesh). (Check out for the extra brackets.)
Best Umpire in Domestic Cricket: Nitin Menon.
Best Performance in BCCI domestic tournaments: Mumbai Cricket Association.
25. Jawaharlal Nehru University has won the annual Visitor’s Award for the Best University 2017.
Deepak Pant from Central University of Himachal Pradesh won the Visitor’s Award for ‘Innovation’.
26. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has entered the Limca Book of World Records for erecting 200 U-shaped girders in a month.
27. Former US President Barack Obama has been named as the winner of the 2017 John F. Kennedy ‘Profile in Courage’
He has been honored for his enduring commitment to democratic ideals and elevating the standard of political courage in a new century.
28. The Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar presented the Raksha Mantri’s Trophy and Citation for the best Service Hospital in the Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS) for the year 2016 to INHS Asvini, Mumbai.
Commandant of INHS Asvini Mumbai, Surgeon Rear Admiral Ravi Kalra received the awards from the Minister on behalf of the Hospital.
29. Sri Lanka won the Most Popular Tourism Destination Award at the Guangzhou International Travel Fair (GITF) in China.
The island nation won the prestigious award for the second consecutive year.
China has been Sri Lanka’s second largest source market for tourism since 2014.
Books & Authors
1. Information and Broadcasting Minister Venkaiah Naidu released the annual year book ‘India-2017’ and ‘Bharat-2017’ at a function in New Delhi.
These books give comprehensive information about the country and various States and Union Territories.
It also provides detailed information on various schemes and projects of Government and its various departments.
2. The Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh released the book titled ‘Veerappan, Chasing the Brigand’.
The book was written by K. Vijay Kumar, Senior Security Adviser, Ministry of Home Affairs.
3. Dream Girl Hema Malini’s incredible journey from an actor, a danseuse and filmmaker to a politician is being chronicled in a new book.
The book will hit stores on her 69th birthday this October.
The book named ‘Hema Malini: Beyond the Dream Girl’ is written by author-columnist Ram Kamal Mukherjee.
4. The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, released the book Judicial Reforms – Recent Global Trends.
Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said that India has to keep pace with changing technology, and the new, interdependent global order.
5. Punjab congress chief Amarinder Singh’s biography, ‘The People’s Maharaja’, was released, authorized by Khushwant Singh.
Mergers & Acquisitions
1. Future Generali India Insurance Company (FGII) has entered into a corporate agency tie-up with Bank of Maharashtra.
The focus is to offer customized products, best customer service and sustain the trust of customers of Bank of Maharashtra.
2. Idea Cellular and Vodafone confirmed that the two companies are exploring a merger of business operations which would create the country’s biggest telecom company.
The confirmation ended months of speculation that the two operators were exploring a deal to help fend off Reliance Jio whose recent arrival shook up India’s ultra-competitive mobile network market.
3. Bank of Maharashtra has partnered with insurance company Cigna TTK Health to market the insurer’s products in the bank’s branches across the entire country.
Under the agreement, the bank will offer all the Cigna TTK’s heath care products to its 2 crore customers.
The tie-up will boost penetration of health insurance in the country.
4. India’s third largest private bank, Axis Bank has tied up with Earthport Plc, a cross-border payment network.
It will enable faster outbound cross-border payments for its customers through Earthport’s state-of-the-art global payments network.
Through this the bank can send payments seamlessly to almost any bank account in the world on behalf of their clients.
5. Federal Bank has collaborated with leading online data and information portal Commodity Online.
The partnership was done for the distribution of loans against warehouse receipts and collateral management services across the country.
Commodity Online will roll out an agri commodity financing platform through its flagship portal commodityonline.com
6. Kerala State Cooperatives Consumers’ Federation (Consumerfed) has tied up with IDBI Bank to facilitate cashless purchases for its consumers.
Consumers can now swipe their cards at these outlets.
More than 300 machines have already been installed.
7. Axiscades, an aerospace and defence technologies company, and Virtual Reality Media, a Slovakian firm, have signed an industrial cooperation agreement (ICA) at the Aero India 2017.
Both companies will evaluate opportunities for full flight simulator for the aerospace and defence sector.
The partnership will address the requirements for Russian platforms, such as the Dornier 228 aircraft, and other platforms.
8. Direct-to-home operator Dish TV has tied-up with private lender ICICI Bank for digital payments.
This alliance with ICICI Bank through UPI will drive higher customer adoption and allow them to be a part of the digital economy.
9. Namma Metro, owned by Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation has entered into a ‘First in India’ strategic partnership with Ola.
With this, Ola aims to provide a consistent mobility experience to hundreds of thousands of passengers, who use the Bangalore Metro service for their daily commute.
10. Bharti Airtel would buy Telenor (India) Communications Pvt Ltd in a deal that will bolster Airtel’s footprint with additional spectrum of 43.4 MHz in the 1800 MHz band.
Airtel will buy Telenor’s India operations in seven circles – Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh (East), Uttar Pradesh (West) and Assam.
11. Apollo Munich has entered into bancassurance tie-up with Dena Bank.
Under the tie-up, the bank will distribute customized Apollo Munich Health insurance and personal accident policies to the bank’s 20 million customers nationwide.
12. Lakshmi Vilas Bank has tied-up with Centrum group, a leading financial services company, which will now manage the bank’s wealthy clients.
13. Reliance General Insurance (RGI) has entered into a bancassurance tie-up with Catholic Syrian Bank.
With this tie-up, RGI will offer its general insurance products to Catholic Syrian Bank’s 1.5 million customer base spread across its 430 branches in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra.
Appointments & Resignations
1. The Supreme Court has appointed former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Vinod Rai as head of four-member Committee of Administrators to run Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
Other three members of the committee are noted historian Ramachandra Guha, Indian women’s team captain Diana Edulji and managing director of IDFC Limited Vikram Limaye.
2. India Post Payments Bank (IPPB), has received Reserve Bank of India’s final nod to commence commercial operations.
The Centre has appointed AP Singh, who was earlier Joint Secretary in the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management, as the interim Managing Director and CEO of IPPB.
3. Government has appointed Amulya Patnaik as commissioner of Delhi police.
Patnaik, a 1985 batch IPS officer from Union Territories cadre, will replace Alok Verma, who has been named as the director of CBI.
4. Dushyant Chautala is appointed as new president of Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI).
The election to all posts, conducted and supervised by Justice Ranjit Singh (Retd.) of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
5. The Co-founder of Snapdeal investor Kalaari Capital, Vani Kola has joined homegrown startups Flipkart and Ola to hit out at foreign firms on their capital dumping practices.
6. Bollywood Actress Anushka Sharma becomes female face of Swachh Bharat Mission.
She has taken the responsibility of spreading awareness about the same among women.
Megastar Amitabh Bachchan is already doing his best to make India a cleaner place by joining forces with PM’s mission.
7. Former Delhi police commissioner Alok Verma took charge as the new Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) chief.
Verma’s appointment was approved for a period of two years.
8. Godrej Properties has made changes to its leadership team with Chairman Adi Godrej assuming the Chairman Emeritus position.
Pirojsha Godrej, who is currently the Managing Director and CEO of the company, will be the Executive Chairman.
Mohit Malhotra, currently an Executive Director at Godrej Properties, will be the new Managing Director and CEO.
9. AIADMK General Secretary V K Sasikala appointed senior leaders, including some former Ministers and a former Mayor, to key party posts.
She announced the appointments of various senior leaders, including Fisheries Minister D. Jayakumar to a number of posts.
Sasikala also announced removal of Ambattur MLA V Alexander as AIADMK’s MGR Youth Wing Secretary.
10. Sanjeev Sanyal, economist, author and former global strategist and Managing Director of Deutshe Bank, has been appointed as the principal economic adviser in the finance ministry.
He has been appointed on contract for a three-year period from the date of assumption of charge of the post or until further orders.
11. The National Stock Exchange (NSE), India’s largest stock exchange by turnover, named Vikram Limaye as the new Managing Director.
The board of directors of NSE, chaired by former finance secretary Ashok Chawla, cleared the decision.
12. Former Deputy CAG Suman Saxena, Mukulita Vijaywargiya and Navrang Saini have been appointed as whole-time members in Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI).
Vijaywargiya, an officer of Indian Legal Service, is working as Additional Secretary in Ministry of Law and Justice.
Saini, who belongs to Indian Corporate Law Service, is Director General in Ministry of Corporate Affairs.
13. Pakistan’s High Commissioner in India Abdul Basit is set to replace Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhary as the new Foreign Secretary.
Chaudhary has been designated to become country’s envoy in the US.
Pakistan will take decision about the new high commissioner in India after return of Basit.
14. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Pannerselvam removed three top officials from CM’s office, who were appointed by former CM J. Jayalalithaa.
Former chief secretary Sheela Balakrishnan, K N Venkataramanan and A Ramalingam are the three officials who were removed.
15. KPMG India board has elected Arun M Kumar as Chairman and CEO to lead the Indian operations of the consulting and accounting major.
He succeeds Richard Rekhy, who stepped down in November last year.
Rekhy had been re-elected for a four-year term earlier in January 2016.
16. The AIADMK has elected Sasikala Natarajan as the leader of its legislative party in the Tamil Nadu Assembly.
Sasikala is all set to become the Next Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.
Panneerselvam had resigned and proposed her name at the meeting of AIADMK legislators.
17. Balesh Sharma will replace Naveen Chopra, the current Chief Operating Officer of Vodafone Group.
The change was made to better tackle competitive pressures triggered by the entry of Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited (RIJL).
Sharma will take over from Chopra from 1st April 2017.
18. The Senate confirmed education secretary Betsy DeVos as the nation’s 11th Education secretary.
US Vice-President Mike Pence cast the tie-breaking vote to secure her cabinet role, splitting the chamber 50-50.
It was the first time ever that a vice-president has interceded in such a way for a cabinet secretary.
19. Jovenel Moise was sworn as Haiti’s new President in a brief ceremony in Parliament.
Moise took the oath of office in a Parliament chamber surrounded by Haitian lawmakers and foreign dignitaries.
He won with nearly 56 percent of the votes cast in the November 20 election.
20. Former Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo has been declared Somalia’s new president.
He will succeed Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who conceded defeat after two rounds of voting.
21. The US Senate confirmed Republican Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions to become US President Donald Trump’s attorney general.
Republicans voted in favor of their fellow Senator while all but one Democrat voted against nominating Sessions.
Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange has been appointed to temporarily fill the vacant Senate seat left by Jeff Sessions
22. The Centre appointed three part-time non-official directors on the Reserve Bank of India’s Central Board for a four-year term.
The Central Government has nominated Rajiv Kumar, Dr. Ashok Gulati and Shri Manish Sabharwal as directors on the Central Board of the RBI.
The Cabinet also approved the proposal by the Department of Financial Services for appointment of three members on the local board of the RBI.
These include Prasanna Kumar Mohanty (Southern Local Board), Vallabh Roopchand Bhanshali (Western Local Board) and Sunil Mitra (Eastern Local Board).
23. The government has appointed senior bureaucrat Ajay Tyagi as the new chairman of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
He will have tenure of 5 years or till the age of 65 years or until further orders.
He will succeed UK Sinha whose term ends on 1st March, 2017.
Prior to this appointment, he was Additional Secretary in the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, handling the capital market division.
24. Hemant Bhargava has been appointed as the managing director of Life Insurance Corporation of India.
Presently Bhargava is the zonal manager (I/C) in Delhi.
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet have appointed him as managing director up to 31st July 2019 or until further orders.
25. Career diplomat Tehmina Janjua was appointed as Pakistan’s foreign secretary.
Janjua will replace outgoing foreign secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry.
26. Sandeep Jajodia has been elected as the President of the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham).
Balkrishan Goenka, Chairman of Welspun Group, and Kiran Kumar Gandhi, Vice-Chairman of GMR Infrastructure, have taken over as senior vice-president and vice-president, respectively.
27. France’s Jean-Pierre Lacroix has been appointed as the Under-Secretary-General for the United Nation’s Peacekeeping Operations.
He has been appointed for the period of one year beginning 1st April 2017.
He will replace Herve Ladsous, who will step down in March 2017 after six years of service.
28. Shri Ravi Shankar has been concurrently accredited as the High Commissioner of India to the Republic of Rwanda, with residence in Kampala (Uganda).
Presently he was High Commissioner of India to the Republic of Uganda.
29. Toshiba chairman Shigenori Shiga has resigned to take management responsibility for the loss in company’s nuclear business.
The company projected a 712.5-billion-yen loss for its nuclear business related to the acquisition of CB&I Stone & Webster by its U.S. nuclear unit Westinghouse.
30. Norman Isaac has become the first Indian ever to be promoted by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) as Technical Delegate (TD).
As a TD, he will be assigned to any country except his own and will be responsible for conduct of an entire event.
31. Justice Vikramajit Sen, former Supreme Court Judge took charge of the Delhi and Districts Cricket Association (DDCA).
He officially took the charge from Justice Mukul Mudgal.
32. Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Vikas Swarup has been appointed the new High Commissioner to Canada.
He will replace Vishnu Prakash in Canada.
Gopal Baglay, the present joint secretary in charge of the Pakistan-Afghanistan-Iran desk, will be the next spokesperson.
33. T C A Ranganathan and Sunil Mehta were appointed as Non-Official Directors in Indian Overseas Bank and Punjab National Bank respectively.
Mehta’s appointment is subject to a condition that he needs to resign from the board of State Bank of India before joining the new post.
34. The tenure of the next chairman of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), Ajay Tyagi, will initially be for three years
The rules allow for a term of five years or up to the age of 65 for the SEBI chairman.
35. Eight Executive Directors (EDs) have been appointed in various public sector banks on the recommendations of Banks Board Bureau. The appointments have been made for three years.
Neelam Damodharan and Atanu Kumar Das: Bank of India.
K Swaminathan: Indian Overseas Bank
Ashok Kumar Pradhan: United Bank of India.
P Ramana Murthy: Central Bank of India
Fareed Ahmed Khan: Punjab and Sind Bank.
M K Bhattacharya: Indian Bank
S Harishankar: Allahabad Bank
36. Nagaland chief minister TR Zeliang announced his resignation from the top post.
The announcement was done against the protest triggered by government decision to reserve 33 per cent seats for women in urban local bodies.
Neiphiu Rio, former Chief Minister and sole MP from the state, appears to be a front-runner for the post.
37. President Trump appointed Gen. H. R. McMaster as his new National Security Adviser.
McMaster will take on the role after having served several tours of duty in Germany, Southwest Asia and Iraq.
38. Naga People’s Front (NPF) President Shurozelie Liezitsu was selected as a consensus candidate by the Democratic Alliance of Nagaland for the post of Chief Minister.
Liezitsu will be sworn as the Chief Minister of Nagaland on 22nd February 2017.
Earlier Nagaland’s Chief Minister TR Zeliang stepped down from his post.
39. Tata Sons Chairman-designate Natarajan Chandrasekaran will also hold the chairmanship of the Tata Consultancy Services (TCS).
V Ramakrishnan is named as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the TCS.
He will succeed Rajesh Gopinathan, who will take over as the CEO and MD of the Tata Group company.
The Chief Operating Officer (COO) N Ganapathy Subramaniam will be the Executive Director.
40. Govind Rajan, the chief executive of Jasper Infotech-owned digital payments platform FreeCharge, has resigned from the company.
Former Housing.com CEO, Jason Kothari will oversee the business operations of FreeCharge.
Rajan took over the top job at Freecharge in May last year.
41. Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) has appointed Abhijit Sarkar as its new Vice Chairman and also the chief of AHF Commercial and TV Committee.
He was appointed on the basis of an Executive Board Meeting.
He has been associated with the Sahara India Pariwar since 2004.
42. Ms. Suman Saxena took charge as the whole-time Member of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI).
She will look after National Insolvency Programme, Continuing Professional Programme, and Knowledge Management and Partnership.
She has also been the Director of National Academy of Audit and Accounts.
43. Britain appointed experienced counter-terrorism officer Cressida Dick as London’s new police chief.
She is the first woman to hold the job.
She is best known for heading an operation which led to the killing of an innocent Brazilian.
44. The president of oil-rich Azerbaijan picked his wife Mehriban Aliyeva to be the nation’s first-ever vice-president.
He extends his own term from 5 to 7 years.
The resolutions passed in September with more than 90 percent of the votes.
45. A political newcomer Hassan Ali Khaire, a former oil company executive has been appointed as Somalia’s new Prime Minister.
The appointment was announced shortly before Mohamed, also known as Farmajo, departed to Saudi Arabia for his first foreign trip since his election.
46. Former Nagaland Chief Minister T R Zeliang appointed as Finance Advisor to the state government in the rank of a cabinet minister.
Zeliang, appointed by the Governor P B Acharya, will receive the pay and allowances and all other facilities admissible to a cabinet minister.
47. Kabir Bedi was appointed as the honorary brand ambassador of Sightsavers, a global organization working to prevent avoidable blindness.
48. Shri Birender Singh Yadav has been concurrently accredited as the Ambassador of India to the Republic of Togo, with residence in Accra (Ghana).
Presently he is the High Commissioner of India to the Republic of Ghana.
49. Gopal Baglay, a senior diplomat was appointed as the new spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
He will be succeeding Vikas Swarup, who was appointed as India’s new High Commissioner to Canada.
50. Retired IAS officer Khursheed A Ganai was appointed as the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) of Jammu and Kashmir.
His appointment will take effect from the date he assumes charge of the post.
51. Nand Kumar Sai assumed charge as the chairman of National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) in New Delhi.
The term of office of Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and each member is three years from the date of assumption of charge.
52. Sudeep Lakhtakia will hold additional charge of Director General of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) to Sudeep Lakhtakia.
The decision has been taken by the Ministry after K Durga Prasad (IPS) retired as DG CRPF.
53. R Subramaniam Kumar was given additional charge of the post of Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Indian Overseas Bank for three more months.
Kumar is at present Executive Director in the IOB.
54. Senior diplomat Ruchi Ghanashyam was appointed as the Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs.
She has been appointed in place of Sujata Mehta, who has recently taken over as a Member in Union Public Service Commission.
55. Neil Gaiman has been appointed as global goodwill ambassador for United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
He had been working closely with UNHCR since 2013.
56. D R Doley Barman was appointed as the Director of Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel National Police Academy (SVPNPA), Hyderabad.
At present, Barman is working as the Director of the North-East Police Academy (NEPA), Shillong, Meghalaya.
57. Sanjay Menon has been appointed as the Managing Director (MD) of Sapient India.
He will take over the new role from Rajdeep Endow.
58. Sanjiv Singh was appointed chairman of the Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) for a period of five years.
Singh is at present the director of Refineries at the IOCL.
He will be assuming the charge on or after 1st June 2017.
59. Former India wrestler Kripa Shankar Bishnoi has been appointed an international match referee by United World Wrestling (UWW), the sport’s global governing body.
He had trained Bollywood star Aamir Khan and other actors for their roles in the wrestling-based film ‘Dangal’.
60. Telecom Secretary J S Deepak was appointed as India’s next Ambassador to the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
He has been shifted from the Telecom Ministry and has been made Officer on Special Duty in the Commerce Department.
61. Senior IAS officer Ajay Tyagi took charge as ninth Chairman of markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
He succeeded U K Sinha, who completed his six-year tenure.
62. Luis Norton de Matos has been appointed as the head coach of the India’s Under-17 team for the FIFA Under-17 World Cup.
The World Cup is scheduled to be held in October 2017 in India.
He will replace Nicolai Adam.
63. Omar al-Bashir was sworn in as Sudan’s first prime minister since the post was scrapped in a 1989 Islamist-backed coup.
He was named prime minister by the executive bureau of the president’s National Congress Party (NCP).
64. Senior IAS officer T Jacob was appointed as Secretary, Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).
He will hold the rank of an Additional Secretary in the Government of India.
He has been serving as Additional Secretary in the Department of Personnel and Training before his appointment in the UPSC.
Economics & Banking GK
1. The Deshpande Foundation, the philanthropy arm of Silicon Valley entrepreneur Gururaj Deshpande, will launch the country’s largest start-up incubation centre here (earlier Hubli), alongside the new campus of information technology giant Infosys.
The foundation aims to promote entrepreneurship in India’s tier-II and tier-III cities.
2. Union finance Minister Arun Jaitley tabled the Economic Survey 2016-17 in Parliament budget session.
[glyphicon type=”play”] The survey projects the economy to grow in the range of 6.75% to 7.25% in fiscal year 2017-18 in the post-demonetization year.
3. Income Tax Department (ITD) has initiated Operation Clean Money.
Initial phase of the operation involves e-verification of large cash deposits made during 9th November to 30th December 2016.
4. Mumbai based lender State Bank of India wants to increase its stake to at least 51% from 40% in GE Capital Business Process Management Services, and to 74% from 60% in SBI Cards and Payments, which markets and distribute credit cards.
The move is in line due to demonetization as it increasingly drives consumers to spend online or through cards.
5. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented Union Budget 2017. Read the major highlights of the budget here:
Income tax rate cut to 5% for individuals having income between Rs.2.3 lakh to Rs.5 lakh, 10% charge on individual income above Rs.50 lakh and 15% on income above 1 crore.
Revenue deficit reduced to 2.1% from 2.3%.
Merger of Railways Budget with General Budget brings focus on a multimodal approach for development of railways, highways and inland water transport.
36% increase in FDI flow.
Agricultural sector is expected to grow at 4.1% this fiscal.
Allocation under MNREGA increased to 48,000 crores from Rs. 38,500 crore, Total expenditure in FY18 at Rs.21.47 lakh cr.
Govt doubles distribution target under Mudra Yojana to Rs. 2.44 lakh crore for 2017-18.
Customs duty on LNG halved to 2.5%.
Net revenue loss from direct tax proposals to be about Rs.2 0,000 cr.
6. Hong Kong and Shanghai Corporation (HSBC) said that India is expected to clock a GDP growth of 7.1 per cent in 2017-18.
This is because the country gets sufficiently remonetized and the schemes in the Budget play a supportive role.
It will boost the consumption levels in the country.
7.Taxpayers who do not file their Income Tax Returns (ITRs) on time will have to shell out a penalty of up to Rs. 10,000, but from the 2018-19 Assessment Year (AY).
A fee of Rs.5000 shall be payable, if the return is furnished after the due date but on or before December 31 of the assessment year and a fee of Rs.10,000 shall be payable in any other case.
8. AT&T will launch 5G wireless in two cities this year.
The carrier has announced that its ultra-fast wireless will launch in two cities, Austin and Indianapolis.
Initially, these 5G areas will deliver peak speeds of 400Mbps or better.
9. Government plans to exit its holding in three PSUs, Bharat Pumps & Compressors, Bridge & Roof Co and Hindustan Fluorocarbons, by selling its stake to strategic buyers.
Finance ministry wants to merge four PSUs-Hindustan Prefab, Engineering Projects (India) Ltd, HSCC (India) Ltd and National Projects Construction Corporation with similarly-placed CPSEs.
10. Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that digital transactions had risen to 3 crores a day in 2016 from only 66 lakhs a day in 2013.
He exhorted entrepreneurs to develop more technologies for education and social inclusion.
11. The Reserve Bank will soon put into circulation new 100 banknotes which will be like the design of the ones in Mahatma Gandhi Series-2005.
It will bear the signature of Dr. Urjit R Patel, Governor, Reserve Bank of India.
All the banknotes in the denomination of Rs.100 issued by the Bank in the past will continue to be legal tender.
12. Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das expressed confidence that the economy will grow upwards of 7 per cent next fiscal.
He said there will be transient impact of demonetization on the economy, but it will not spill over to the next fiscal.
13. The UK’s CDC Group-backed Ujjivan Small Finance Bank is going to open its first set of branches for public transaction.
The bank will start rolling out branch network across India from next fiscal.
Ujjivan Managing Director Samit Ghosh said that the bank will test all the technical and connectivity issues over the next one month as a preparation before going full throttle.
14. Industry body Assocham has said that Reserve Bank of India should cut interest rate 75 per cent in view of dismal credit growth as well as subdued demand.
RBI Monetary Policy Committee will meet on 7th-8th February for next bimonthly credit policy.
Assocham has impressed upon the central bank and the Finance Ministry to ensure adequate transmission of cuts in the interest rates.
15. The 2017 Brand Finance Banking 500 report said that for the first time, a nonwestern brand tops the ranking.
Chinese banks brand value growth has been rapidly outpacing that of European and North American competitors.
The world’s biggest bank by assets, ICBC’s brand value has grown 32% year on year to a total of $47.8 billion.
Three Indian banks- SBI, HDFC Bank and ICICI are in hundred most valuable banks, ranked 51st,74th and 86th respectively.
16. The tax department will withhold refund in scrutiny cases only in exceptional circumstances from next financial year.
To, address the concerns of assesses in genuine cases, the Finance Bill 2017 has relaxed the norms for refunds for scrutiny cases.
CBDT Chairman Sushil Chandra said that Income Tax refund will not be withheld simply because the case has been selected for scrutiny.
17. The Reserve Bank of India will remove limits on cash withdrawals from saving bank accounts in two phases since it expects cash supply to improve by next month.
In the first phase, the withdrawal limit will be raised to Rs 50,000 from Rs 24,000 a week.
The limits on cash withdrawals from savings bank account will be withdrawn completely from 13th March.
At present, there is no limit on current account and there is a cap of Rs 50,000 for farmers a week and Rs.2.5 lakh for marriage.
18. RBI Governor Urjit Patel cut the economic growth forecast to 6.9 per cent for the current fiscal from 7.1 per cent.
The Reserve Bank kept key interest rates unchanged.
Growth is expected to recover sharply in 2017-18 on account of several factors.
19. The highlights of the sixth bi-monthly monetary policy announced by RBI.
Policy repo rate unchanged at 6.25%.
Reverse Repo rate at 5.75%.
Cash Reserve ratio at 4%.
Statutory Liquidity Ratio at 20.50%.
Marginal Standing Facility (MSF) rate at 6.75%.
Bank Rate at 6.75%.
Inflation projected in the range of 4—4.5% in the first half of 2017—18 and 4.5—5% in the second half.
20. The government raised Rs 6,700 crore through sale of 2 per cent stake in tobacco-to-FMCG firm ITC, held through Specified Undertaking of the Unit Trust of India (SUUTI).
The transaction took place through block deals with Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC).
SUUTI, which was created to take over part of the assets and liabilities of the now-defunct Unit Trust of India, held 11.17 per cent stake in ITC.
21. Global analyst firm Gartner said that IT spends by domestic banks and securities firms will grow nearly 10 per cent to USD 8.9 billion in 2017. This includes total enterprise IT spending for internal spending and spending data on data center systems, devices, software, IT services and telecom services.
The spends on IT services will grow at a faster clip of 13.8 per cent, as the companies invest more in business processes.
22. Hindustan Motors sells iconic Ambassador car brand to French carmaker Peugeot.
The C K Birla Group-owned Hindustan Motors formalized the deal for Rs.80 crore.
The Ambassador brand was introduced seven decades ago when Hindustan Motors launched the Morris Oxford series II (Landmaster) in a new avatar with minor changes.
23. Reserve Bank of India showed that Foreign Direct investments made overseas by Indian companies declined 57.3 per cent to $1.82 billion last month.
Of the total overseas direct investment of $1.82 billion, $246.37 million came in the form of equity money; $483.78 million through loans.
While the rest of $1.09 billion was the guarantee issued by the Indian firms in their foreign units.
24. As per the global financial services group – Nomura, the GDP will likely to grow at 5.7 percent in January- March period.
Following subdued growth in the first quarter, a V-shaped recovery is on the cards due to remonetization, wealth redistribution and the lagged effects of lower lending rates.
25. Anil Ambani group led Reliance Defence and Engineering Limited (RDEL) has signed a Master Ship Repair Agreement (MSRA) with the US Navy.
The agreement was signed to provide repair and alteration services for ships of the Seventh Fleet.
Under this agreement, RDEL will maintain the vessels of US Seventh Fleet involving 100 vessels operating in the Indian Ocean.
26. Government has allocated Rs.500 crore to India Post Payments Bank for financial year 2017-18 as it gears up to set up 650 branches across country by September 2017.
Government has allocated Rs.125 crore as “capital infusion into corporate entity and Rs.375 crore as “grant in aid” to India Post Payments Bank (IPPB).
The total paid up equity of the new bank IPPB is Rs.800 crore, of which the government has already infused Rs.275 crore.
27. The Union Cabinet has approved the merger of State Bank of India (SBI) with five of its associate/subsidiary banks.
These five subsidiary banks are State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Patiala and State Bank of Travancore.
28. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will reimburse banks the Merchant Discount Rate (MDR) on debit cards used for payment of tax and non-tax dues to the Government of India.
The reimbursement will be applicable from 1st January, 2017.
29. HDFC life has launched Pragati, a traditional life insurance plan that has been specifically designed to empower low income families.
Pragati makes life insurance easily accessible to every person who wishes to financially secure his family.
With Pragati, HDFC Life wants to offer the dual benefit of systematic savings (with guaranteed premium returns) and wholesome life protection.
30. The Reserve Bank of India doubled the quantum of loan that Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) can give against security of gold/ gold ornaments to ₹2 lakhs with bullet repayment option.
The period of the loan cannot exceed 12 months from the date of sanction.
RRBs are required to maintain a Loan to Value (LTV) ratio of 75 per cent on the outstanding amount of loan.
31. Citi bank has launched instant chat services for customers logged in to Citibank Online (CBOL) in India.
The real-time chat facility focuses on resolving queries instantly, in a safe environment.
32. Flipkart Internet Pvt. Ltd has sold a small stake to media firm Bennett, Coleman and Co. Ltd (BCCL) for cash and advertising space in the latter’s media properties.
BCCL made a private placement offer of about Rs260 crore to buy a warrant for Class B equity shares in Flipkart.
33. The government has increased the cash credit limit for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to 30 per cent of turnover from the existing 20 per cent.
The increment is done to encourage such ventures conduct businesses digitally.
34. Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC) has come up with several digital offerings including launch of mobile wallet ‘Oriental Batuaa’.
Besides introducing a new version of mobile banking, OBC has also launched two new cards.
The two MSME schemes that have been launched are ‘Oriental Sanjeevani’ and ‘Oriental Budget Hotels and Restaurants’.
35. Cash withdrawal limit for savings account increases to Rs.50000 per week.
The limits on cash withdrawals from savings bank account will be withdrawn completely from 13th March 2017.
Till now, there is no limit on current account and there is a cap of Rs 50,000 for farmers a week and Rs 2.5 lakh for marriage.
36. State Bank of India (SBI) rebranded its corporate website as sbi from the earlier sbi.co.in
Now bank.sbi is the highest domain protocol commonly known as generic top level domain (gTLD).
The adoption of gTLD will enable SBI to use its corporate name. sbi as their website’s top-level identifier instead of using “.com” or “. co.in” as domains.
37. RBI Deputy Governor R Gandhi launched Bharat QR code to push less cash economy.
It is the world’s first interoperable Quick Response (QR) code acceptance solution developed by the payments industry to expedite India’s transition to a less-cash society.
38. The GST Council approved a bill to compensate States for any loss of revenue due to the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
This approval by the GST Council paves the way for the roll out of the GST on 1st July 2017.
39. Reserve Bank of India has said that it has no information about the number of bank accounts with large deposits after 8th November 2016.
These are the bank accounts in which more than Rs. 2.5 lakh in the scrapped currency notes of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 were deposited between November 8 and December 30 last year.
40. Debt mutual funds can now invest up to 15 per cent of their total net assets in housing finance companies with Security and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) easing the regulations in this regard.
The norms have been relaxed as part of efforts to channelize more funds towards affordable housing activities.
41. Vodafone has offered Private Recharge Mode (PRM)- a free of cost service for West Bengal subscribers.
This will enable users to recharge their mobile phones, without sharing their mobile numbers with retailers.
To avail the Vodafone PRM option, a customer needs to send a toll-free SMS – ‘Private’ – to 12604 and would be provided with an OTP.
42. International Monetary Fund said that India’s GDP projected to slow to 6.6% due to demonetization.
This slowdown is largely due to a disruption in private consumption from demonetisation.
It expects growth to rebound to 7.2 per cent in FY18.
43. India and the ADB has signed a $500 million loan pact to expand inter-regional power connectivity in the country, and strengthen transmission system to accommodate renewable energy-generation capacity.
The project is expected to be completed by December 2020.
This will help in building 800 kilovolt (kV) and 320 kV High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) converter stations and 765 kV power transmission systems in India.
44. The merger of State Bank of India’s five associate banks with the SBI will become effective from 1st April 2017.
The combined entity will have a network of nearly 23,000 branches, further increasing the dominance of the country’s largest bank.
45. Sovereign Gold Bonds 2016-17 fourth series will be open for subscription from February 27, 2017 to March 03, 2017.
The bonds will be denominated in units of one gram of gold and multiples thereof and be available in both the demat and paper form.
Minimum investment in the bonds shall be one gram with a maximum limit of subscription of five hundred grams per person per fiscal year.
46. Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) will take control of Hindustan Petroleum Corp (HPCL) to create an integrated public sector oil entity.
The government of India will transfer its majority shareholding (of 51.11 percent in HPCL) to ONGC.
47. Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) crossed Rs 4 trillion in market capitalization.
RIL is the second company after Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS) to cross Rs 4 trillion in market cap.
Currently, TCS has a total market cap of Rs 4.88 trillion.
48. Abdul Bari Siddiqui, the finance minister of Bihar government presented the annual state budget of 2017-18 in the legislative assembly.
The size of the budget for the fiscal year 2017-18 is Rs 160085 lakh crore.
49. Paytm E-Commerce, the online marketplace arm of One97 Communications Pvt. Ltd, launched Paytm Mall, a mobile app and online shopping portal.
Paytm Mall will focus on structured categories and brand authorised stores, electronics, top fashion brands and FMCG categories.
50. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) cut its growth forecast for the Indian economy to 7 per cent from 7.4 per cent earlier due to demonetisation.
However, growth is seen picking up to 7.3 per cent in 2017-18 and further to 7.7 per cent in 2018-19.
51. The Reserve Bank of India has announced setting up of the inter—disciplinary standing committee on cyber security to review the threats inherent in the existing and emerging technology.
52. Reliance Jio has announced collaboration with networking giant Cisco to build world’s largest All-IP Digital Services Platform.
It will further expand Jio’s existing multi-terabit network capacity to offer a combination of high-speed data, VoLTE, mobile video, digital commerce, media, cloud and payment services.
53. The growth of eight core sectors slowed down to 3.4% in January 2017 due to contraction in output of refinery products, fertilizer and cement.
The eight core sectors comprise Coal, Crude Oil, Natural Gas, Petroleum Refinery, Fertilizer, Steel, Cement, Electricity generation.
54. Axis bank, ICICI bank, HDFC bank have begun charging a minimum amount of 150 per transaction for cash deposits and withdrawals beyond four free transactions in a month.
The new charges would apply to savings as well as salary accounts, leading private sector player HDFC Bank said in a circular.
These charges are for cash transactions in the branches, and not through ATMs.
State bank of India will levy a minimum amount of Rs 50 per transaction after three transactions.
55. The government has notified the law that makes holding of more than 10 scrapped notes punishable with a minimum fine of Rs 10,000.
The law also provides a minimum fine of Rs 50,000 for false declaration by persons who were abroad during the demonetisation period (November 9-December 30, 2016).
56. The Union Government has asked all banks to provide mobile banking facility to all customers by 31st March, 2017.
This is part of the government’s efforts to boost the digital payment system.
57. Justice Arijit Pasayat, said Rs 70,000 crore of black money has been detected so far.
Special Investigation Team will submit its sixth report to Supreme court in April 2017.
58. The government has asked banks to link all savings bank accounts with net banking facility by 31st March 2017, in order to encourage digital transactions, and to promote transparency.
Till now, 65% bank accounts are already linked with mobile numbers, and the remaining 35% would be seeded with mobile numbers by March 31st.
59. RBI said that India’s forex reserves increased by USD 63.7 million to USD 362.79 billion due to surge in currency assets.
Total reserves had declined by USD 56.8 million to USD 362.73 billion in the previous reporting week.
60. According to recently released GSM Association report, India will lead the world in smart phone adoption with a net addition of 350 million connections in 2016.
India will add 1.6 billion smartphone connections between now and 2020.
It will be led by India, China and Indonesia.
Bills – New & Amendments
1. The Union Cabinet had approved the amendments in the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950 to modify the list of SC in Odisha.
It also approved amending the Constitution (Pondicherry) SC Order, 1964 to change the name of the Union territory to Puducherry from Pondicherry.
In this regard, The Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Orders (Amendment) Bill, 2017, incorporating the above changes, to be introduced in the parliament.
2. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday introduced a Bill on demonetization in the Lok Sabha to formally make the banning of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes a law.
The bill seeks to replace the ordinance on demonetization promulgated by the government in December 2016.
The Specified Bank Notes (Cessation of Liabilities) Bill states holding, transfer and receiving of the recalled Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes will amount to a criminal offence punishable with a minimum fine of Rs. 10,000.
3. The Lok Sabha has passed the Payment of Wages (Amendment) Bill, 2017.
The Bill was passed to enable employers to pay wages to workers through cheque or directly crediting to their accounts.
The bill will replace the Ordinance promulgated by the President in December 2016 to amend the Payment of Wages Act, 1936.
4. Union Cabinet has approved bill to amend Collection of Statistics Act, 2008 to Jammu & Kashmir.
It will strengthen data collection mechanism in the state of Jammu & Kashmir.
5. Karnataka Assembly has passed Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Karnataka Amendment) Bill, 2017.
The Bill was passed to allow kambala, the traditional buffalo race and bullock-cart racing.
The Bill seeks to exempt kambala and bullock-cart racing from the ambit of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960.
6. Tata Motors has signed Strategic Technological Agreement with Microsoft.
The agreement was signed to collaborate on the technology front for making driving a more personalized experience for the customers.
As per the agreement, Microsoft will make use of its IoT (internet of things), AI (artificial intelligence) and machine learning technologies to develop a highly personalized, smart vehicle for the customers.
7. The Gujarat Assembly has passed Gujarat Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill, 2017.
The bill seeks to empower the state government to use Aadhaar number as the sole identifier for the delivery of various subsidies and benefits in an effective and targeted manner.
This will help the state government create a credible system to authenticate the identity of actual beneficiaries.
8. Jammu & Kashmir government has imposed restrictions on the number of guests at weddings and small functions like social and government functions.
This is done to curb misuse of resources and essential commodities.
The order that will come into force on 1st April 2017 restricts the number of guests at the bride’s place during the marriage ceremony to 500.
The number of guests at the groom’s place is restricted to 400 and the number of guests at smaller functions like engagement among others has been restricted to 100.
9. The State Legislative Assembly has passed the West Bengal Clinical Establishments (Registration, Regulation and Transparency) Bill, 2017, by a voice vote.
It aims to overhaul private healthcare in state and take stringent measures against health institutions accused of medical negligence and corrupt practices.
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
1. India and Sri Lanka signed an agreement to construct a multi-ethnic tri-lingual school in a north central district of the island nation.
It would provide opportunities to Sinhala, Tamil, and Muslim students to learn in a multi-cultural environment.
2. Apple India Pvt. Ltd seems to have reached an agreement with the Karnataka government to set up a manufacturing plant in Peenya Industrial Area of Bengaluru.
Apple’s representatives met officials of the Karnataka government and had positive discussions about manufacturing initiatives.
Apple is expected to start production for the Indian market in April.
3. State-owned Rural Electrification Corporation Ltd. has inked three pacts to extend financial assistance of around Rs 60,000 crore to Andhra Pradesh.
The financial assistance comprises Rs 40,000 crore to Andhra Pradesh Power Generation Corp, Rs 10,000 to Transmission Corporation of Andhra Pradesh and Rs 10,000 crore to AP DISCOMSs.
4. Reliance Defense and Engineering Ltd (RDEL) has signed Rs. 916 crore contract with Defense Ministry for design and construction of 14 fast patrol vessels for Indian Coast Guard.
RDEL emerged winner through a competitive bidding process undertaken by Ministry of Defence with participation from L&T, Cochin Shipyard Ltd, Goa Shipyard Ltd, Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd (GRSE).
5. A Financing Agreement for IDA credit of $201.50 Million was signed with World Bank for the Third Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme (TEQIP III).
The aim is to enhance quality and improve efficiency of the Engineering Education System.
6. A Tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for implementation of Tourism projects in Jammu and Kashmir was signed among Ministry of Tourism, NPCC & NBCC and Government of J&K.
The two projects sanctioned are – Integrated Development of Tourist facilities at Gulmarg and Integrated Development of Tourist facilities.
Major components sanctioned under the projects are Yoga centre, wellness SPA, Log Huts, heliports, Open air theatre etc.
7. The Union Cabinet has been apprised of the signing of the MoU of Cooperation in the field of Science and Technology and innovation between India and France.
The MoU was signed between India’s Technology Development Board (TDB), Department of Science & Technology and France’s public Investment Bank Bpifrance.
The agreement will ensure exchange of best practices and setting up of coordinated measures to foster technological exchanges.
8. The Union Cabinet has approved signing a MoU between India and Senegal in the field of Health and Medicine.
Both countries will set up a Working Group to further elaborate the details of cooperation and to oversee the implementation of this MoU.
The main areas of cooperation under MoU Integrated Disease Surveillance. Medical Research. Hospital Management and other areas of mutual interest.
9. IFFCO and Bank of Baroda signed MoU to launch co-branded debit cards for farmers as part of strategy to promote cashless transactions in the rural area.
The pact was signed by Yogendra Kumar, General Manager, IFFCO and GB Panda, General Manager, Bank of Baroda.
IFFCO and Bank of Baroda would pool in their resources to promote market and make accessible organized finance facility at competitive interest rates.
10. India and United Kingdom (UK) have signed a MoU to ease restrictions on the number of scheduled flights between the two countries.
The MoU was formally signed by Union Minister of Civil Aviation Pusapati Ashok Gajapathi Raju on behalf of India and Lord Tariq Ahmad of UK during his visit to India.
Limits on flights from key Indian cities including Chennai and Kolkata have been scrapped.
11. Airbus signed an MoU with Telangana government for setting up center of excellence in Hyderabad.
The Centre will train candidates ranging from high school graduates to experienced aviation personnel on aircraft manufacturing, logistics etc.
The Centre will offer short-term refresher modules as well as long-term certificate and diploma courses.
12. The Publications Division and Sasta Sahitya Mandal (SSM) signed a MoU in New Delhi.
The MoU facilitates joint publication of books on heroes of the Indian freedom struggle, cultural leaders and other eminent personalities who worked towards nation development.
The MoU includes joint publication of a set of 20 books out of which 10 books will be selected through each other’s catalogue.
13. Thailand-based airliner Air Asia signed a MoU with the Odisha government.
The MoU is signed in connection with beginning of two-ways direct flights from Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur to Odisha capital Bhubaneswar.
The airline will begin its flight service from the Biju Patnaik International Airport by end of next month.
14. Karnataka Bank Ltd has signed a MoU with Daimler India Commercial Vehicles Pvt. Ltd (DICV).
The MoU was signed for extending finance to customers for the purchase of commercial vehicles manufactured by the company.
15. India and Rwanda signed three agreements including innovation and aviation in Kigali.
Establishment of a bilateral air service agreement between the two nations.
An agreement for exemption of visa requirements for diplomatic and service passports.
Establishment of an Entrepreneurship Development Centre in Rwanda duly financed by Union Government.
16. A tripartite MoU was signed to help scheduled caste (SC) artisans in New Delhi.
The MoU signed among the National Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation (NSFDC) and Empowerment and Development Commissioner (Handicrafts).
17. Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) has signed a MoU with Vijaya Bank.
The MoU aims at promoting and strengthening units in the MSE segment through concessional funding.
Concessional funding includes the marginal cost of funds-based lending rate (MCLR) of Vijaya Bank under refinance from SIDBI.
It also envisages joint financing of MSMEs at concessional rate of 9.60 percent
18. The Union Cabinet gave its approval for signing of a MoU between India and Australia for promotion and development of cooperation in civil aviation security.
The approval was given at a meeting of the Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.
The MoU will also provide compliance of international obligation.
19.m Sikkim has joined the union government’s Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY) as 22nd state with overall benefit of Rs.356 crore.
Sikkim has signed MoU with the union government under the Scheme for operational improvement of the state’s Power Distribution Department.
The MoU will help in improving operational efficiency of the power distribution and reduction in AT&C and transmission losses to 15 per cent and 3.50 per cent.
20. Andhra Pradesh government has signed an MoU with Visa and Thomson Reuters.
Visa, the leading global payments network, will help transform Vishakhapatnam into India’s first “less cash” city.
The state government also signed a MoU with Thomson Reuters for cooperation in Fintech initiatives in the state.
21. The Public Sector Oriental Bank of Commerce has signed a corporate agency agreement with Cholamandalam General Insurance Company for distribution of insurance products.
Chola MS will offer a wide range of non-life insurance products to customers of Oriental Bank of Commerce through its branches.
The insurance products include motor, health, home and travel.
22. Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City) have signed a MoU.
The MoU was signed to increase cooperation and collaboration between the two financial centres.
23. The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has signed a technology transfer agreement with Jindal Stainless (Hisar) Ltd. (JSHL).
The agreement was signed for manufacturing high nitrogen steel (HNS).
24. Gujarat-based Incube Ventures Pvt Ltd, under the banner of Aashray Promotion of Social Enterprises Foundation, announced the signing of an MoU with the Jharkhand government.
The MoU was signed to establish an incubation centre for start-ups in the state.
25. Odisha Government and Invest India signed an agreement to promote start-ups and MSME sector of the state to gain access to best practices of the world.
As per reports, Odisha became the first state to sign MoU with Invest India for working on startups.
26. The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) and the Rotary India signed a MoU for the success of Namami Gange Programme.
27. Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir have signed a Secretary level fresh pact for the fast-track completion of the much-delayed 206 (MW) Shahpur Kandi dam project on the Ravi river.
Punjab will execute the project and committee headed by a member of Central Water Commission (CWC) will monitor it.
28. State-run gas company GAIL (India) Ltd has signed a time-swap deal with Swiss trader Gunvor to sell some of its US liquefied natural gas (LNG).
This was done as the Indian firm tries to ease the burden of its costly foreign LNG supplies.
29. The Union Government has signed a Financing Agreement with World Bank.
The agreement was signed for IDA credit of $63 million for the Tejaswini Socio-Economic Empowerment of Adolescent Girls and Young Women (AGYW) project.
Science & Technology
1. Researchers have discovered microscopic sea animal Saccorhytus, the earliest known ancestor of humans along with a vast range of other species.
The exquisitely well preserved fossilized traces of this 540-million-year-old creature were discovered.
This balloon-like sea is the earliest known step on the evolutionary path that led to fish and eventually to humans.
2. India’s first dedicated space observatory, ASTROSAT, has captured the rare phenomenon of a small six-billion-year-old vampire star preying on a bigger celestial body
The smaller star, also called a blue straggler, feeds off its companion star by sucking out its mass and energy, causing its eventual death.
3. Chinese scientists from Northwest A&F University have produced world’s first live cows with increased resistance to bovine tuberculosis (TB).
This development shows that genetic modification technology can be better suited to producing transgenic livestock with purposefully manipulated genetic.
4. Scientists from US and India have found that consumption of litchi fruit on an empty stomach can causes death in Children in many cases.
Litchi fruit contains the toxins hypoglycin A and methylene cyclopropylglycine (MCPG).
Its consumption can result in very low blood glucose level and acute encephalopathy leading to seizures and coma.
5. Helium has been confirmed to form a stable compound (Na2He) with sodium under high pressure.
The research show that the presence of He atoms causes strong electron localization and makes this material insulating.
It also predicts the existence of Na2HeO with a similar structure at pressures above 15 GPa.
6. Advanced Air Defence (AAD) interceptor missile dubbed as Ashwin was successfully test-fired from launching complex-IV of Dhamara Abdul Kalam defence base off Odisha coast.
The success of test has boosted India’s position in the exclusive club of AAD countries United States, Russia and Israel.
The interceptor missile is a 7.5-metre-long single stage solid rocket propelled guided missile.
7. Scientists have developed novel rubber like material nicknamed thubber which has high thermal conductivity and elasticity.
It is an electrically insulating composite material that exhibits an unprecedented combination of metal-like thermal conductivity.
It has application in developing wearable computing and soft robotics etc.
8. Scientists have found high levels of human-made pollutants, including chemicals that were banned in the 1970s.
These chemicals are found in the tissues of marine creatures dwelling in the deepest oceans of the Earth.
9. Scientists from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) created a high-quality graphene, world’s strongest material, using soybean.
Graphene is a carbon material that is one atom thick. The research was published in the journal Nature Communications.
The scientists developed a novel “GraphAir” technology, which does not require a highly-controlled environment.
10. Scientists have successfully mapped three-dimensional molecular structure of EptA protein that shields superbugs from antibiotics.
The EptA protein causes multi-drug resistance by masking bacteria from both the human immune system and important antibiotics.
11. Astronomers at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) have detected 7 Earth-sized exoplanets orbiting a dwarf star in the system.
Scientists had previously only identified a tiny number of so-called exoplanets.
However, the new system contains an unprecedented number of Earth-sized, probably rocky planets, and is being hailed as an “accelerated leap forward” in the search for extraterrestrial life.
12. Oricon Enterprises Ltd (OEL), the flagship company of Parijat Enterprises will invest Rs.100 crores to build a manufacturing facility in Odisha for packaging products.
This facility will be used to manufacture new packaging products. The project will be funded from internal accruals.
13. Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) has launched a mobile application for Goods and Services Tax (GST) to inform the taxpayers of the latest updates on GST.
The app enables taxpayers to be well informed of the latest updates on GST.
14. Mobile Congress 2017 has been started in Barcelona. The event launched various smartphones and many announcements were made during the event. Some of them are listed below.
Nokia 3, Nokia 5, Nokia 3310 (2017), Nokia 6 Arte Black phones launched.
Snake game launched for Facebook Messenger.
15. NASA is planning to send its first unmanned robotic spacecraft under Solar Probe Plus mission to Sun in 2018 to probe its atmosphere.
It will unveil why the surface of the Sun is not as hot as its atmosphere.
1. World Leprosy Day is observed internationally on 30th January or its nearest Sunday to increase the public awareness of the Leprosy or Hansen’s Disease.
This day was chosen in commemoration of the death of Gandhi, the leader of India who understood the importance of leprosy.
2. A truly global event taking place every year on 4th February, World Cancer Day unites the world’s population in the fight against cancer.
It aims to save millions of preventable deaths each year by raising awareness and education about the disease, pressing governments and individuals across the world to take action.
3. The International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation is a United Nations (UN) campaign held on 6th February 2017 to stop genital mutilation to girls and women.
The theme for 2017 is: Building a solid and interactive bridge between Africa and the world to accelerate ending FGM by 2030.
The programme currently focuses on 17 African countries and also supports regional and global initiatives.
4. United Nations International Day of Women and Girls in Science was observed on 11th February 2017.
The day is an opportunity for all to take a stand for girls and women in science.
The United Nations adopted this day to achieve full and equal access to and participation in science for women and girls and attain gender equality.
5. World Radio Day is celebrated annually on 13th February to celebrate radio as a medium to promote and access information.
The theme for the 2017 edition of World Radio Day is “Radio is You”.
In 2011, the Unesco General Conference had proclaimed 13th February as World Radio Day.
6. The World Day of Social Justice was observed globally on 20th February 2017.
The theme is preventing conflict and sustaining peace through decent work.
The day is observed with an aim to recognize the need to promote efforts to tackle several issues like exclusion, unemployment and poverty.
7. 20th February 2017 is also celebrated as the 31st Statehood day of Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram.
To mark its 31st statehood day, a four-day-long festival is being held in Arunachal Pradesh, which was earlier a union territory.
Conveying his best wishes to people of Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh, Prime Minister prayed for the state’s progresses immensely in the years to come.
8. 21st February 2017 celebrated as the International Mother Language Day.
The day is celebrated to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.
The UN theme for 2017 is Towards Sustainable Futures through Multilingual Education.
9. 24th February 2017 celebrated as Central Excise Day across the India.
It aims to encourage the employees of excise department to carry out the central excise duty all over the India in better way in order to prevent the corruption.
It is also celebrated to commemorate the establishment of the Central Excise and Salt Act on 24th of February in the year 1944.
10. Revolutionary Freedom Fighter Chandrashekhar Azad martyrdom day is observed on 27th February 2017.
This was his 86th martyrdom day.
11. 28th February is celebrated as National Science Day every year in India since 1928.
The day is celebrated to mark Indian physicist Sir Chandrashekhar Venkata Raman’s discovery of the Raman Effect.
The theme of the year 2017 is “Science and Technology for especially abled persons”.
12. 2nd march is celebrated as Read Cross America day every year.
This day is a motivational and awareness day, calling all children and youth in every community across the United States to celebrate reading.
However, if it falls on a weekend, it is observed in the school systems on the school day closest to March 2nd.
13. The World Wildlife Day was observed across the world on 3 March 2017.
The theme of 2017 is Listen to the young voices.
The day is seen as an opportunity to celebrate the many beautiful and varied forms of wild fauna and flora.
Recent Notable Deaths
1. Indian Union Muslim League national president and former minister of state for External Affairs Minister Ahamed passed away at the Ram Manohar Lohia hospital in New Delhi. He was 78.
He was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1991, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2004 and 2009.
May 2004 – May 2009 he served as the Minister of State for External Affairs.
May 2009 – January 2011, he was Minister of State for Railways.
2. Former Tamil Nadu left-handed batsman Raghavan passed away after prolonged illness. He was 82.
Representing the State side in the 50s, Raghavan played 15 matches making 384 runs with a highest score of 79.
3. Former Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director Joginder Singh passed away after a prolonged illness. He was 77.
Singh, who was the CBI director between 1996-97 was an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer.
He has been serving as an Independent Non- Executive Director of Sunil Healthcare Ltd. since January, 2000.
4. Racharla Samrajyam, a veteran freedom fighter, passed away following agerelated illness at Vishakhapatnam.
She was inspired by the Quit India Movement.
5. Colonel Nizamuddin, a close confidant of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, passed away at his residence in Dhakwa area of Mubarakpur, Azamgarh. He was 116.
He served as Bose’s driver between 1943 and 1945.
He reportedly last saw the leader on 20th August, 1947 in Burma. He could never meet Netaji thereafter.
6. Renowned physicist and Nobel laureate Sir Peter Mansfield passed away in London, England. He was 83.
Mansfield, along with Paul Lauterbur, had won the 2003 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for developing Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). ü He also served as a professor at the University of Nottingham.
7. Veteran journalist T.V. Parasuram, who served for long as the Washington correspondent of the Indian Express, died on in Maryland. He was 93.
Parasuram, who won a Harvard Niemen Fellow in journalism, was known to take shorthand notes at 170 words per minute and would type almost as fast in the typewriter era.
8. Former Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir passes away in Kolkata. He was 68.
He was appointed as a judge in the Calcutta High Court in 1990, Chief Justice of the Jharkhand High Court in March 2005 and 39th Chief Justice of India in 2012.
9. Kaci Kullmann, the chairwoman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee which selects the Peace Prize laureates, has died aged 65.
Kullmann became a member of the Norwegian Nobel committee in 2003, and was elected chair in 2015.
10. The youngest ever Nobel-winning economist and mathematician Kenneth J Arrow has died. He was 95.
He won Nobel prize in 1972 for his theories on risk, innovation and the basic mathematics of markets.
11. Hollywood actor Bill Paxton has died at the age of 61.
He is best known for his roles in blockbusters such as “Apollo 13″ and “Titanic,”.
12. Neil Fingleton, a 7-foot 7-inch actor who played the giant, Mag the Mighty, in “Game of Thrones” has died at 36 due to heart failure.
Fingleton was recognized by Guinness World Records in 2007 as the U.K.’s tallest man.
13. Former Union Minister Shiv Shankar passed away after a prolonged illness. He was 89.
Shiv Shankar served as External Affairs and Human Resource Development Minister.
14. Veteran Manipuri politician and former Member of Parliament Yumnam Yaima Singh passed away in Imphal after a brief illness. He was 95.
He was a brilliant writer and had written a book titled “A Piece of Tenth Lok Sabha”.
15. Popular Gujarati writer, columnist, playwright and humorist Tarak Mehta died in Ahmedabad.
He had been suffering from an illness for the last three-four months. Mehta was 87.
He translated and adapted several comedies into Gujarati, and many of his writings have inspired plays.
16. French football legend Raymond Kopa passed away in Paris after a long illness.
He was one of France’s most admired sportsmen who had won the European Cup three times with Real Madrid in the 1950s.
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