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. Following the tough decision to demonetize Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 currency notes, Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanked citizens for undertaking sacrifice to cleanse the economy of black money.
He announced several welfares sops to help the poor, the rural sector, small businesses, and other citizens to lighten the burden of demonetization.
2. The Supreme Court in its latest verdict has held that election candidates cannot seek votes on the grounds of religion, caste, creed, community, or language of voters.
The ruling was given by a 4-3 majority of the seven-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur.
It held that if the candidate is found violating the order will result into call for his disqualification.
3. Andhra Pradesh Government has launched NTR Arogya Raksha Scheme to provide the medical treatment to the people below Above Poverty Line (APL) at Rs. 1200 premium per annum.
The new health scheme offering medical insurance to those who were not covered under any of the existing health schemes of the state government.
To avail of the benefits of Arogya Raksha, all one needs to do is pay `100 per month per head.
4. Odisha’s World famous 11-day gala festival Bargarh Dhanua Jatra started on 2nd January 2017.
All rituals were performed before Goddess Samaleswari, the presiding deity of the event.
It is the world’s largest open air theatrical festival.
5. In a bid to safeguard fingerlings, fish species and increase their population, all purse seine nets, large fishing nets used to catch fish in bulk were banned across Maharashtra from 1st January 2017.
6. The Election Commission of India (ECI) has announced the dates for the assembly elections in five states– Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Manipur, and Goa.
With the Election Commission announcement, the Model code of conduct has come into effect.
Counting of votes for all five states will take place on 11th March 2017.
7. The Union Ministry of Urban Development has launched Swachh Survekshan 2017 to rank 500 cities/towns across the country on cleanliness with a population of 1 lakh and above.
The survey will be conducted by Quality Council of India (QCI) under the Swacch Bharat Abhiyan in a bid to encourage competition to improve sanitation.
8. The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) has approved new projects under Namami Gange programme in Haridwar (Uttarakhand) and Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh).
In Haridwar, 68 MLD sewage treatment plants (STP) and 14 MLD STP in Sarai was with Central government funding and under Hybrid Annuity based PPP mode.
9. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the five-day 104th Indian Science Congress at the Srinivasa Auditorium in Sri Venkateswara University in Tirupati.
‘Science and Technology for National Development’ would be the focal theme of the Indian Science Congress.
10. The Union Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman launched an Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Enforcement Toolkit for Police.
This toolkit will be provided to all state police departments across the nation to assist them in dealing with the cases relating to Trademarks and Copyrights infringements.
11. The 16th meeting of the Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) was held in New Delhi.
It was chaired by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
It was attended by heads of all financial sector regulators as its members.
12. The Union Sports Ministry has constituted committee to frame comprehensive National Sports Development Code across sports disciplines.
It will be headed by Injeti Srinivas, Sports Secretary.
The committee will study the existing sports governance frame work, issues relating to sports governance in the country, recent developments related to sports governance.
13. The two-day Assam Biotech Conclave has begun on 5th January in Guwahati.
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal inaugurated the conclave in presence of Science and Technology Minister Keshab Mahanta.
The conclave is being organized by Guwahati Biotech Park in association with industry body FINER.
14. The Island Tourist Festival 2017 has begun at Port Blair, the capital of Andaman and Nicobar Island.
The 10-day mega event will see performances of the cultural troupes from mainland India.
This is to help the Islanders to renew their ties with the mainland.
The festival was inaugurated by the Lt. Governor Jagdish Mukhi at ITF ground.
15. Fourth Assam International Agri-Horti show has begun in Guwahati, Assam on 6th January.
State Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has inaugurated the show.
Assam Agriculture Minister Atul Bora informed that 10 foreign ministers are also taking part in the show.
16. The 14th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas (PBD) convention begun on 7th January 2017 in Bengaluru.
The main convention was inaugurated on 8th January by prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Pravasi Bhartiya Divas has been traditionally held on every year on 9th January to commemorate the return of Mahatma Gandhi as a pravasi from South Africa to India.
17. The Centre has declared the Rs.1782 crore to drought-hit Karnataka and Rs.209 crore to the people of Uttarakhand who had been affected by the floods in 2013.
The decision was taken in a meeting of High Level Committee chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
18. The much-awaited World Book Fair, the largest event of its kind in the country, started from 7th January at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi and will last till 15th January 2017.
It was inaugurated by Union Minister of State (MoS) of Human Resources Development (Higher education) Mahendra Nath Pandey.
The theme of the fair would be Manushi focusing on writings on and by women.
Eminent Odia writer and Jnanpith awardee Pratibha Ray was the guest of honor and Tomasz Kozlowski, Ambassador of Delegations of European Union to India will be the special guest of honor on the occasion.
19. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched Pravasi Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PKVY).
The Pravasi Kaushal Vikas Yojana is targeted at Indian youth seeking overseas employment.
It will provide training and certify Indians, who are seeking overseas employment in selected sectors.
20. Scientists from Botanical Survey of India (BSI) have discovered a new species of Zingiber (commonly known as ginger) from Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
The new species has been named as Zinger pseudosqarrosum.
It belongs to genus Zingiber.
21. The 20th edition of National Conference on e-governance 2016-17 started in Vishakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.
The Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG), Government of India, in association with Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India and Government of Andhra Pradesh has organized this conference.
The theme of this year’s conference is “Internet of Things and e-Governance” and will be covering newly evolving areas of e-Governance across five plenary sessions.
22. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated 8th Edition of Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit at Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
PM Modi also inaugurated ‘Vibrant Gujarat Global Trade Show’, where around 1500 entities are participating from India and abroad.
23. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the India International Exchange (INX) located at the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC), GIFT city in Gandhinagar.
The India INX is a wholly owned subsidiary of BSE Ltd.
24. 11th Blind Challenge Car Rally held in Bhopal to create awareness among people regarding the concerns of visually impaired people.
Indira Gandhi Museum and Arushi are organizing car rally, where the vehicle is driven by the sighted person and the navigator is a blind person, who reads the route given to them on the spot in Braille.
25. Delhi Airport become first in the world to adopt unique performance and benchmarking digital platform.
This platform at Terminal 3 would be used by airport operator to measure, manage and improve performance of airport on resource consumption and quality of passenger space.
26. The Union Ministry of Power unveiled world’s largest street light replacement programme in South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) area.
It is implemented under LED based Street Lighting National Programme (SLNP) by the Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a joint venture under the Union Ministry of Power.
27. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Nobel Prize Series Exhibition in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
It is the first-of-its-kind conclave of Nobel laureates to be held in India.
It has been organized by Nobel Media and coordinated by the Department of Biotechnology.
28. The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has released draft notification of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Dog Breeding and Marketing Rules), 2016.
The objective of the Rules is to make dog breeders and their marketers accountable and to prevent infliction of any cruelty on dogs in this process.
29. “Khanderi”, the second scorpene class submarine was launched at the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL).
It has superior stealth and the ability to launch a crippling attack with the torpedoes as well as tube-launched anti-ship missiles whilst underwater or on surface. Union Minister of State for Defence, Subhash Bhamre presided over the function to initiate the launch of Khanderi (Yard 11876).
30. The World’s first ‘Gender Literature Festival’ will be held in Patna during 7th to 9th April 2017.
The Gender Resource Centre of Bihar’s Women Development Corporation will be organizing the festival.
The objective of this festival is to create a platform, to exchange ideas, and to share and learn experiences of renowned people in the field of gender literature.
31. The first wax museum attraction Madame Tussauds will debut in Delhi this June with its operator Merlin Entertainments foraying into India with an investment plan of 50 million pounds over the next 10 years.
UK based Merlin Enterprises runs 116 attractions in 24 countries and the company will be foraying into Indian market with the launch of Madame Tussauds in the national capital.
32. The ambitious Ken-Betwa river linking project has received formal environment, forest and tribal clearances.
It is India’s first river interlinking project that will connect Ken river in Madhya Pradesh and Betwa river in Uttar Pradesh.
33. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has ordered inspection of plants which treat wastes in the hospitals of the National Capital Delhi and ensure proper segregation, collection, and disposal of such waste.
The waste plants will be inspected by joint inspection team of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC).
34. Hope Island in Andhra Pradesh has become graveyard for Olive Ridleys turtles after 54 carcasses of this species were spotted on the shores of island.
This indicates that the breeding cycle of this species got severe blow due to mechanized fishing boats scouring in the Bay of Bengal coastline.
The Fisheries Department is encouraging mechanized boat owners to fit a Turtle Excluder Device (TDE) to allow these turtles to pass.
35. The annual Camel festival was held in Bikaner, Rajasthan in the presence of foreign tourists across the world.
The camel festival was held from 14th – 15th January 2017.
Rajasthan Tourism Department and the Bikaner district administration has inaugurated this two-day festival.
36. Border Security Force (BSF) on Sunday launched operation ‘Sard Hawa’ at the western international border of Rajasthan, under which vigil will be beefed-up to check the instances of infiltration due to the dense fog in the area.
The operation will continue till 28th January 2017.
The purpose of the operation is to keep a hawk’s eye on the international border, where vigil has been beefed-up and officers have also been asked to be part of operation to motivate jawans.
37. Madhya Pradesh state govt has inaugurated a Scheme named “Digital Dakiya”.
Under this scheme, a Digital Postman referred as Digital Dakiya would visit door to door in both urban and rural areas.
This scheme mainly aims to train households especially women and elderly people about digitized transactions.
38. In a bid to provide last mile connectivity in far-flung areas, the biggest impediment towards a digital and cashless economy, the government is embarking on an ambitious project to provide free Wi-Fi hotspots at more than 1000 gram panchayats.
Apart from providing internet connectivity for mass use, the programme seeks to enable delivery of services like health and education.
Called Digital village, the pilot project will initially be rolled out in as many as 1050 gram panchayats.
39. The first edition of Asia -Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) International Television Dance festival was held in Hyderabad, the city with royal patronage for arts, literature and architecture, on January 15.
Prasar Bharti hosted the event.
The dance festival is conceptualized to bring the cultural diversities from across the world into limelight, by breaking cultural barriers.
40.India was ranked 92nd among 118 countries in the 2017 Global index of talent competitiveness (GTI) list.
The index measures ability of countries to compete for talent i.e. how countries grow, attract, and retain talent.
The index is produced by global business school INSEAD in partnership with Adecco Group and Human Capital Leadership Institute (HCLI) of Singapore.
Switzerland topped the overall index, followed by Singapore and the United Kingdom in second and third place respectively.
41. Kozhikode Corporation become first Elderly-Friendly Corporation in Kerala.
The Kozhikode Corporation state government has planned to setup Senior citizen’s club, Day care centers as a part of Vayomitram project for the welfare of the elder people in the state.
42. India ranked 60th among the 79 developing countries in 2017 Inclusive Development Index (IDI) released in World Economic Forum’s (WEF) ‘Inclusive Growth and Development Report’.
The index is based on 12 performance indicators and countries are ranked on IDI scores based on a scale of 1-7.
43. Karang, a small lake island in Manipur, has become the country’s first cashless island.
The Union ministry of Electronics and Information Technology under its Digital India programme announced Karang as the first cashless island in India.
44. Sitalpati or cool mat from Cooch Behar district has been recognized as an “intangible cultural heritage” by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
These mats are used for sitting or to hang on doors or windows during summer. The mats are made up of weaved green cane slips of murta plants which are indigenous to the region.
45. The Union Textile Minister, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani has inaugurated 58th India International Garment Fair (IIGF) in New Delhi.
It will be held from 18th – 20th January 2017.
46. Minister of Railways, Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu unveiled Mission 41k during the Roundtable Discussion with the External Stakeholders on Energy Initiatives of Indian Railways.
The aim is to save Rs.41000 crore in the next decade in Railways energy costs.
47. The Union Cabinet has given its approval to the proposal for India’s taking full membership of the International Vaccine Institute (IVI) Governing Council.
This decision involves payment of annual contribution of US $5,00,000 to the IVI (headquartered in Seoul, South Korea).
48. The Union HRD Minister Shri Prakash Javadekar launched a dedicated web portal ‘ShaGun’ for the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan at New Delhi today.
‘ShaGun’ aims to capture and showcase innovations and progress in Elementary Education sector of India by continuous monitoring of the flagship scheme – Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA).
49. Bengaluru has emerged as the most dynamic city in Jones Lang LaSalle’s fourth annual City Momentum Index of cities around the world, followed by Ho Chi Minh City of Vietnam and Silicon Valley in the U.S.
The Index tracks the speed of change of a city’s economy and commercial real estate market.
Top 10 cities in the JLL index are Bengaluru, Ho Chi Minh City, Silicon Valley, Shanghai, Hyderabad, London, Austin, Hanoi, Boston and Nairobi.
50. The Union Cabinet has approved package for augmentation of the Corpus of Credit Guarantee Trust Fund for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE) for supporting Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs).
With this, the corpus of the Trust has been increased from Rs. 2,500 crore to Rs. 7,500 crore and it will be fully funded by the Union Government.
51. The Union government will set-up ‘Indian Agricultural Research Institute (lARI) – Jharkhand’ at Gauria Karma Village in Barhi Block of Hazaribag of the state akin to one in New Delhi.
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given the approval for the establishment of the institute.
The IARI-Jharkhand will have an estimated outlay of Rs.200.78 crores (100% ICAR share) on 1,000-acre land provided by the Government of Jharkhand, it is revealed.
52. After a TV channel and a website to promote digital payments, a nationwide toll-free helpline number ‘14444’has been launched to educate people and provide support related to cashless mode of transactions.
Government had sought Nasscom’s help in providing support on a mass scale to people.
53. The 10th edition of the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) began at the historic Diggi Palace, Jaipur, Rajasthan jointly by Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, veteran lyricist Gulzar, American poet Anne Waldman and spiritual writer Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev.
The theme of the 10th edition of JLF is The Freedom to Dream India at 70.
JLF is considered as the ‘Greatest Literary Show on Earth’.
54. President Pranab Mukherjee will inaugurate the 28th Dantan Gramin Mela in West Midnapore district in West Bengal.
He is on a four-day visit to West Bengal.
The fair will display the rural handicraft skills of the people of the region. The different goods ranging from textile to terracotta will be on display.
55. Indian Institute of Bombay is set to build a ‘Research Park’ for start-ups, and set up R&D centres in the institute for promoting entrepreneurship.
The development will help students get an industrial exposure into real-world applications of their chosen fields.
56. More than 3.81 lakh consumers and 21,000 merchants have been declared winners of NITI Aayog’s lucky draw schemes ‘Lucky Grahak Yojana’, (LGY) for consumers and ‘Digi-Dhan Vyapar Yojana, (DVY) for merchants.
The winners were declared at 24 Digi-Dhan Melas held both daily and weekly across the country. Delhi, Ludhiana, Panaji, Lucknow, Jammu, Bengaluru and Hyderabad were among cities in which the events were held.
57. Indian Railways has circulated a draft cabinet note for setting up a dedicated $5 billion Railways of India Development Fund (RIDF).
The fund will be anchored by the World Bank and will serve as an institutional mechanism for the national transporter to arrange fund from the market for its investments.
According to a top railway official, the fund will be managed independently by a non-government entity.
58. The Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha, on January 19, 2017 announced that the under UDAN (Ude Desh Ke Aam Naagrik) Scheme is likely to take off in February 2017.
Presently there are 75 operational airports in the country and after the implementation of UDAN scheme 43 new airports will be added.
The UDAN scheme aims to boost regional air connectivity to and from un-served and under-served airports and make flying more affordable. Besides, it also aims to provide various incentives to airlines.
59. Mobile users in India downloaded the most number of apps from Google Play app store in 2016.
With over 6 billion app downloads, India, which was in the third position in 2015, surpassed the US, as per a report by global app analytics firm App Annie.
Brazil took the third spot with a little over 5 billion downloads.
60. The Indian postal department released a special stamp cover featuring Olympic medalists PV Sindhu and Sakshi Malik, and gymnast Dipa Karmakar, in Agartala.
The special cover is titled “Golden girls of India – Pride of Nation”.
One of the images on the cover also features Dipa’s coach Bishweshwar Nandi, who was awarded the Dronacharya award.
61. The Steel Ministry has released new draft of National Steel Policy of 2017, envisaging to double India’s domestic steel production capacity to 300 million tonnes by 2030-31.
The draft policy anticipates a requirement of Rs.10 lakh crore of fresh investments to meet production goal and expects creation of at least 11 lakh new jobs in the process.
62. The Union Government has constituted a committee (Working Group) to frame uniform rules for the states to avoid delay in proper implementation of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 across the country.
The Committee will be headed by Secretary from Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD). It will submit its report within three months.
63. Russian Railways is helping India’s national transporter to increase the speed of its passenger trains up to 200 km per hour.
Russian Railways is at present collaborating with Indian Railways on a 575-km stretch between Nagpur and Secunderabad and submitted a preliminary report last week.
64. The Union Government has transferred the advising role of Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) on utilization of the proceeds from disinvestment to the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA).
This announcement comes after the Union Cabinet approved an alternative mechanism to decide the modalities to do with stake sales in PSUs, so as to speed up the process and to streamline the disinvestment process.
65. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has inaugurated the 4 lakh square feet latest IT building, ‘Jyothirmaya’ at the Infopark in Kochi.
80,000 job opportunities will be created when the buildings constructed during second phase of development at Infopark become fully operational.
66. Priya Entertainments Pvt. Ltd. has set up an Ecotourism project at Khairabera, foothills of Baghmundi, in Purulia district of West Bengal.
The adventure camp is located 300 km from the city.
The aim was to promote the rich culture, natural beauty and heritage of the district of Purulia among tourists.
67. Commerce & Industry Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman launched Rubber Soil Information System (RubSIS), an online system for recommending application of appropriate mix of fertilizers to the specific plantations of rubber growers depending upon their soil nature.
68. The Election Commission gave its nod to the Centre to present the Union Budget on 1st February 2017, ahead of the Assembly polls, but said no schemes related to these poll-bound states can be announced and the Finance Minister’s speech should not refer to the government’s achievements in these states.
It also reminded the government of a 2009 advisory which said vote-on-account instead of a full-fledged budget is presented ahead of elections as per convention.
69. The Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Committee has submitted its 4-volume report on changes in FRBM Act, 2013 to the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
The 5-member committee was headed by N.K. Singh, former Revenue and Expenditure Secretary and former MP.
Members of the committee included RBI Governor Urjit Patel, Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian, former Finance Secretary Sumit Bose, and National Institute of Public Finance and Policy Director Rathin Roy.
70. The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its post-facto approval for the launching of Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana 2017 (VPBY 2017).
It is a part of Government’s commitment to financial inclusion and social security.
The scheme will be implemented through Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) during the current financial year to provide social security during old age and protect elderly persons aged 60 years and above against a future fall in their interest income due to uncertain market conditions.
71. The Union Cabinet has given its approval to ratify the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol on containing the emission of Green House Gases (GHGs).
The second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol was adopted in 2012 and is set to expire in 2020. So far, 75 countries have ratified the second commitment period.
72. Election Commission of India (ECI) hosted an International Seminar on ‘Strategies for Empowering Young and Future Voters’ on 24th January 2017, in partnership with UNDP India.
ECI signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the following Election Management Bodies at the Seminar:
Australian Electoral Commission
Central Election Commission of Bosnia-Herzegovina
Fijian Elections Office
Election Commission of Nepal
73. The government cleared swapping of land between Bihar government and Airports Authority of India for the expansion and development of Patna airport, which handles traffic more than three times of its existing capacity.
The proposed land at Patna Airport will be used for expansion of the airport and construction of new terminal building along with other associated infrastructures.
74. The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved a new scheme for promotion of Rural Housing in the country.
The Government would provide interest subsidy under the scheme.
Interest subsidy would be available to every rural household who is not covered under the Pradhan Mantri Aawas Yojana (Grameen), PMAY(G).
75. The Nissan GT-R is on its way into the Limca Book of World Records after it made an outline of India’s map in the ground spanning an area of three sq. km on the dry lake bed of Sambhar Lake in Rajasthan.
In their attempt, Nissan India carved out the largest ever outline of a country map.
76. The Union Ministry of Women & Child Development (WCD) has released National Action Plan for Children (NPAC), 2016 on the occasion of National Girl Child Day (24th January).
It was released by Union Minister of Women & Child Development Maneka Sanjay Gandhi in New Delhi. The NPAC has been developed by the Ministry of WCD.
77. Hyderabad witnessed the 7th edition of the Hyderabad Literary Festival-HLF 2017.
It is being organized by Hyderabad Literary Trust at Hyderabad Public School.
Ambassador of the Republic of Philippines Ma Teresita C Daza will be the guest of honour while poet Ashok Vajpeyi will be the chief guest.
Philippines is the ‘Guest Nation’ at HLF 2017 and will showcase its literature, art and culture.
78. Arunachal Pradesh launched ‘Dulari Kanya’, a special scheme to check infant mortality in the state, on the occasion of the 68th Republic Day.
Governor V. Shanmuganathan launched the scheme, under which the government will deposit Rs. 20,000 in the bank account of a girl child, born in any government hospital.
It would be paid along with the accrued interest after she attains 18 years of her age.
79. India’s indigenous Light Combat Aircraft -Tejas and National Security Guards Commandos made their debut on the country’s 68th Republic Day celebration.
Three Tejas jets flew at a height of 300-metre from the ground at a speed of 780 km/hour in ‘VIC’ formation.
The march-past by the NSG displayed ‘Sherpa’—a specially designed hijack intervention vehicle and two gypsies used for anti-hijack operations. They carried special assault rifle MP-5 with them.
80. India has been ranked 79th out of 176 countries in the recently released Corruption Perception Index (CPI) for the year 2016 by the Berlin-based corruption watchdog Transparency International (TI).
New Zealand and Denmark topped the list with a score of 90.
81. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced a total ban on polythene carry bags from 1st May 2017 in Madhya Pradesh in a bid to conserve environment, protect cows and promote cleanliness.
Chouhan, in his Republic Day address, also praised the MP Police for its swiftness in neutralizing eight SIMI suspects who escaped from local central jail last year, in an encounter.
82. The nation paid homage to Havildar Hangpan Dada, awarded the Ashoka Chakra, the highest award to an army man during peace-time operations, for killing four terrorists who had infiltrated into north Kashmir last year.
The Havildar killed three of the intruders and fatally injured a fourth before he died of bullet wounds at 13,000 feet in the icy Himalayas.
His wife Chasen Lowang received the medal from President Pranab Mukherjee at Rajpath.
83. For the first time, a military contingent of UAE participated in the 68th Republic Day parade on Rajpath in the presence of their country’s Deputy Supreme Commander Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who was the chief guest.
A 149-member UAE contingent led by Lieutenant Colonel Abood Musabeh Abood Musabeh Alghfeli, constituting UAE Presidential Guard, the Air Force, the Navy and the Army contingent led by a UAE band consisting of 35 musicians march-passed at the Rajpath and presented a ceremonial salute to the President Pranab Mukherjee.
84. The Indian Navy’s Annual Theatre Readiness Operational Exercise (TROPEX) 2017 is being conducted off the Western Seaboard.
It will see participation of ships and aircraft of both the Western and Eastern Naval Command and also assets from the Indian Air Force, Indian Army and the Indian Coast Guard.
It seeks to strengthen inter-operability and joint operations in a complex environment.
85. In order to boost the trade, International Cargo Services were launched at Biju Patnaik International Airport.
The launch of cargo services will cater the exporters to reach and tap markets in Middle East, Far East and European countries where the demand for seafood, agriculture, and handloom is more.
86. India is ranked at the 6th spot in a list of Eight Great Powers for the year 2017 by a leading American foreign policy magazine.
The list is topped by the US, whereas China and Japan are at tie for being on the second spot.
87. The Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has reconstituted TOP committee with an objective of identifying and supporting potential medal prospects for 2020 and 2024 Olympic Games under Target Olympic Podium (TOP) scheme.
The 10 -member committee will be headed by Beijing Olympic Gold Medalist Abhinav Bindra.
88. The three -day Brahmaputra Literary Festival will come to end today, where Assam Governor Banwari Lal Purohit is scheduled to grace the closing ceremony as the chief guest.
The function starting at 3 pm in Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra will also be graced by Gauhati University Vice-chancellor Dr. Mridul Hazarika, eminent Italian author Carlo Pizzaati and Indian writer Narendra Kohli with few others.
89. 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.
The development comes close on the heels of the nearly six-day long protest taking a violent turn after two people died last week.
90. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has decided to set up weather stations in 660 districts of the country, a plan which will be further taken up to the blocks level.
In the first phase, the IMD plans to set up the system in 130 districts which have already been short-listed.
The IMD has also tied up with the Ministry of Agriculture to use the Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs), under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) in the districts, to use them as weather forecasting observatories.
91. 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.
Gadkari said the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (NHIDCL) will spend Rs 8,000 crores over the next two years for developing 143 km of road, including a few bridges over Brahmaputra.
92. The Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) has launched climate change programme.
It is launched to conduct study to assess the status, distribution and conservation of Pheasants and Finches in Central Himalayas.
It is long-term monitoring project funded by Oracle and facilitated by CAF-India.
It will focus on their conservation in the context of climate change with the help of community participation.
99. The Union Finance Ministry has agreed to contribute partially to a new dedicated railway safety fund named as Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh in the upcoming Union Budget 2017-18.
The proposed safety 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.
The Finance Ministry is likely to grant a fresh infusion of only Rs. 5,000 crore in the upcoming financial year out of the initial proposed corpus of Rs. 20,000 crore.
100. 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.
Many cultural programmes, puppet shows will be presented at Rabindra Bhawan, which will be inaugurated by Chief Minister Manik Sarkar
International – Across the Globe
1. Beipanjiang Bridge, world’s highest bridge has opened to traffic in China, connecting two provinces in the mountainous southwest and reducing travel times by as much as three-quarters.
The Bridge soars 565 metres (1,854 feet) above a river and connects the two mountainous provinces of Yunnan and Guizhou.
2. Finland has become the first country to pay its unemployed citizens an unconditional monthly sum, in a social experiment.
Under the two-year, nationwide pilot scheme, which began on 1st January, 2,000 unemployed Finns aged 25 to 58 will receive a guaranteed sum of €560.
3. India and Sri Lanka have expressed confidence for finding a long-lasting solution to the issue of fishermen between the two countries.
In this regard, talks co-chaired by Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh and Sri Lankan fisheries Minister Mahinda Amaraweera were held in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
4. The United Nations (UN) has declared 2017 as a year to recognize that tourism is important in fostering better understanding among people.
International travel leads to greater awareness of the heritage of other civilizations, and thus an appreciation of other countries.
5. Japan has decided to be associated with the development of Chennai, Ahmedabad, and Varanasi as smart cities.
This was conveyed by Japan’s Ambassador to India Kenji Hiramatsu during his meeting with Minister of Urban Development M.Venkaiah Naidu.
6. A Festival of India is being organized in Cambodia from 10th January to 16th February 2017.
The activities of the Festival include Ramayana Performance, Rajasthani Folk Music & Dance Group (Dance Group plus Manganiyar Group), Classical Dance.
7. The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has declared the year 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.
The declaration recalls the potential of tourism sector to advance the universal 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
8. China has launched its longest bullet train ‘Shangri-La of the World’ connecting Kunming in Yunnan Province to Shanghai.
The route of 2252 km Shanghai- Kunming line links China’s prosperous east coast with the less developed south-western coast.
The speed of the Bullet train is 330 km/hr and the time it takes to travel this distance is 11 hours, which was 34 hours earlier.
9. Norway is all set to become the first country in the world to switch off its FM radio network.
The shutdown of the radio will begin on 11th January 2017 from northern city of Bodoe.
10. According to Scientists, the giant iceberg is set to break away from Antarctica.
It will break because of the expansion of rift that was slowly developing across the Larsen c ice shelf in Antarctica Peninsula in the recent years.
It has been expanded abruptly by 18 km.
11. China is setting up the world’s highest altitude gravitational wave telescope in a Tibet close to a Line of Actual Control with India with a budget of $18.8 million to detect faintest echoes resonating from universe which may reveal more about Big Bang theory.
Construction has started for the first telescope, code named-Ngari no.1, 30km south of Shiquanhe town in Ngari prefecture.
12. Netherlands’ flag carrier KLM has been rated the best international airline of 2016 by aviation insights company FlightStats, which ranked carriers on their on-time performance records.
KLM, with an 11.47% chance of a flight delay, was followed by Spain’s flag carrier Iberia (11.82%) and Japan’s flag carrier JAL (12.2%).
Qatar Airways and Australian Airlines completed the top five.
13. Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif visited the Katas Raj Hindu temple in Chakwal district of Punjab to inaugurate its renovation.
The work includes installation of water filtration plant in the Amrat Jal area.
14. After Cambodia, now a Festival of India is being organized in Ghana from 25th January to March 16, 2017.
The Festival events are being showcased in four cities of Accra, Kumasi, Cape Coast, Takoradi in Ghana.
15. China has handed over two ships to the Pakistan to safeguard the strategic Gwadar port and trade routes under the ambitious China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
These ships have been named as Hingol and Basol, after two rivers near Gwadar.
They will be part of Pakistan Navy and are equipped with state-of-the-art guns. They will be used to protect the sea-lanes in the Arabian Sea.
16. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) will be taking part in India’s Republic Day Parade 2017.
UAE will become the first-ever contingent of Arab soldiers to take part in this iconic event.
UAE’s crown prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan will be the Chief Guest of this parade.
17. The US President Barack Obama has recently announced to end his 20-year economic embargo on Sudan.
Based on the efforts by the Government of Sudan to improve the security in the region, this announcement was made.
18. Standard Chartered had completed three shipping deals worth more than $1.6 billion in recent months.
The deals include a $684.5 million up to 12-year facility for BW Gas JuJu LNG, a joint venture between BW Group and Japan’s Marubeni.
In November, the bank also structured a $350 million Islamic facility for National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri).
19. According to the recent World bank report, China ranked 12th in the world in terms of total tax rate.
Lou Jiwei, former finance minister and now head of the National Council for Social Security Fund, said the World Bank’s micro methodology differed from common practices in terms of the scope of indicators and choices of data.
20. South Korea is the world’s most innovative economy, followed by Germany, Sweden, Japan, and Switzerland, according to the latest Bloomberg Innovation Index.
South Korea notched top scores worldwide for manufacturing value-added as well as for tertiary efficiency, and was in the second place in R&D intensity, high-tech density and patent activity.
21. India became an Associate member of CERN on with the Indian government completing its internal approval procedures in respect of the agreement it had signed with CERN on 21st November 2016.
As an Associate Member, India will have full access to all data generated at CERN.
22. A new type of ‘three-person IVF’ has allowed a previously infertile couple to have a baby in Ukraine in world first.
The baby boy was born in Ukraine using a technique known as pronuclear transfer, a method experts have called “highly experimental”.
Doctors in Kiev fertilized the mother’s egg with the father’s sperm, and then placed the combined cells into an egg donated by a third woman.
23. Donald Trump, a real estate mogul and reality television star who upended American politics and energized voters angry with Washington, has sworn in as the 45th president of the United States, putting Republicans in control of the White House for the first time in eight years.
Ebullient Trump supporters flocked to the nation’s capital for the inaugural festivities, some wearing red hats emblazoned with his “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan.
24. India may assist the United Arab Emirates in developing its air defence system and repairing defence equipment to enhance its life cycle, besides providing offshore patrol vehicles as the Gulf country hopes to expand ties beyond its traditional partner Pakistan.
Robust defence ties is a key pillar of Comprehensive Strategic Partnership that India and the UAE plan to conclude during Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s visit to Delhi as the chief guest for the Republic Day.
25. The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2017 was held in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland from 17th-20th January 2017.
The theme of 47th World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2017 is Responsive and Responsible Leadership.
26. The United Arab Emirates’ Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation has announced that they will donate an Elekta Synergy Digital Accelerator worth US$2 million to the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU)’s Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College.
The announcement coincides with the visit to India of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, as the chief guest at the 68th Republic Day celebrations.
27. Nearly 70 percent of the world’s most innovative companies in 2016 were American, according to a new survey of global executives.
Apple, Google, Tesla, Microsoft, Amazon, and Netflix took the top six spots respectively in the annual poll of 50 companies conducted by Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
28. India and UAE have launched a dialogue on the security situation in Afghanistan in the backdrop of recent assassination of five diplomats from the Gulf country by suspected Taliban.
The strategic dialogue led by respective deputy foreign ministers discussed various aspects of strategic and defense partnership.
29. India, along with Brazil, Argentina and some other nations rejected an informal attempt of European Union (EU) and Canada to work towards a global investment agreement at World Trade Organization (WTO)-level.
The EU and Canada proposed agreement incorporates a contentious Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism. They wanted their investment pact to be the template for a similar multilateral agreement.
30. US President Donald Trump signed an executive order to formally pull US out of the negotiating process of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a mega trade deal of 12 Pacific Rim countries.
TPP was one of the major international trade initiatives of his predecessor Barack Obama aimed to set trade rules for the 21st century and bind US allies against growing Chinese economic clout.
31. Dubai International airport expects to receive 89 million passengers in 2017 after last year retaining its status as the world’s busiest airport for international passengers.
About 83.6 million people passed through the airport last year, up by 7.2 per cent on 2015.
32. President Donald Trump has issued an executive order for an “impassable physical barrier” to be built along the US border with Mexico.
He also signed an action to strip funds from US cities that are sanctuaries for undocumented immigrants.
Building a 2,000-mile barrier along the Mexican border was one of Mr. Trump’s key pledges in the election campaign.
33. 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, according to the country’s foreign minister.
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.
34. The 53rd SAARC Programming Committee meeting is scheduled to take place in Kathmandu on 1st February 2017.
The meeting would discuss budget management for the operation of the Kathmandu-based SAARC Secretariat on 1st and 2nd February.
The Programming Committee comprises of the Foreign Joint-Secretaries from the SAARC member nations.
Nepal is hosting the meeting as the SAARC summit, which was to be organized by Pakistan, was postponed affecting the handover of the chairmanship of SAARC
35. 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.
Sports & Athletics
1. Ravaged by injuries, India’s star singles player Somdev Devvarman announced his retirement from professional tennis, bringing an abrupt end to what was once a promising career.
The 31-year-old’s career hampered by a recurring shoulder injury in 2012.
He was conferred the Arjuna award the country’s second highest sporting honour in 2011.
2. Lionel Messi has won the Best Playmaker of 2016 award for his overall contribution to club and country by the International Federation of Football, History, and Statistics.
3. China’s table tennis Grand Slam champion Li Xiaoxia announced her retirement through social media in Beijing.
Li won the team gold medal at the Rio Olympic Games in 2016 when she also finished the runner-up in the singles event.
4. A dominant India defeated Bangladesh 3-1 to win their fourth consecutive SAFF Women’s Football Championship title at the Kanchenjunga Stadium, Siliguri.
The Indian eves are now unbeaten in 19 matches having won 18 and drawn one.
5. Former Australia cricketer Arthur Morris was inducted into the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Hall of Fame by ex-skipper Steve Waugh.
6. Rohan Bopanna and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan beat Puarv Raja and Divij Sharan 6-3, 6-4 in the first ever all Indians doubles finals at the Aircel Chennai Open to secure their maiden ATP title as a pair.
This is Rohan Bonappa’s 15th career title. This is the first title for Jeevan at ATP world tour level.
7. Indian tennis ace star Sania Mirza picked up her first title of the season, combining with American Bethanie Mattek Sandsto to lift the Brisbane International Women’s title.
The top seeded Indian-American duo triumphed 6-2, 6-3 against the second seeded Russian team of Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina in the final.
8. Novak Djokovic defeated Andy Murray to win Qatar Open.
However, Andy Murray remains world No.1 after losing Serbian Djokovic 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 in the final match.
9. Football’s governing body, FIFA agreed to expand the World Cup to 48 teams from its current 32 teams.
The number of matches will increase from 64 to 80.
10. Former world champion L. Sarita Devi will become the first ever woman boxer from India to step into the world of professional boxing.
She will make her professional debut against Zsofia Bedo of Hungary in the Indian Boxing Council’s January 29 fight night to be held in her hometown of Imphal.
11. Former world No.3 women’s player Nadia Petrova of Russia has ended her tennis career in the wake of long injury trouble.
Petrova, 34 had not played since the end of 2013 and several comeback attempts failed.
12. The Indian national football team moved up six places to the 129th position in the latest FIFA rankings, its best ranking since December 2005, when it was at the 127th position.
Notably, the Indian team has won nine of its last 11 matches, which has helped it jump 42 places in less than two years.
13. Gujarat team won its maiden Ranji Trophy title as it defeated defending champions Mumbai in the finals of the 2016 -17 editions on 14th January 2017.
Gujarat became the only team to be crowned domestic champions in all three formats.
The other three teams are UP, TN and Bengal. Gujarat won the Ranji trophy after long wait and first in 66 years.
14. Former India skipper and Bengal’s biggest cricketing icon Sourav Ganguly will now have a stand named after him at the historic Eden Gardens.
Four other stands will be christened after former player Pankaj Roy and former CAB presidents BN Dutt, AN Ghosh and Snehasnshu Acharya. The other one will be called the Jagmohan Dalmiya stand.
15. Indian footballer Jayesh Raimalani has signed for Club Esportiu JUPITER (CE JUPITER), Spanish Tercera division club based out from Barcelona.
He will join the Club’s U-19 team that plays in the National League. Jayesh will also play in its B Team that currently plays the Second Division of U-19 league system in Spain.
16. Saina Nehwal started the new year in the best possible manner after beating Thailand’s Pornpawee Chochuwong 22-20, 22-20 in the women’s singles final of the $120,000 Malaysia Masters Grand Prix Gold in Sibu.
Saina’s last title win was at the Australian Open in June 2016.
17. Virat Kohli became the fastest to reach 1,000 ODI runs as captain, taking 17 innings to achieve the feat.
Virat reached the milestone during the ODI against England on Sunday and surpassed South Africa’s AB de Villiers, who took 18 innings.
18. Former India opener and the current mentor of Kings XI Punjab, Virender Sehwag has been named as the brand ambassador of the franchise.
Sehwag will also be the team’s head of Cricket Operations and Strategy in the upcoming Indian Premier League season.
19. India won the Irani Trophy for the 15th time.
Wriddhiman Saha of Bengal scored an unbeaten 203 and his 316-run stand with Cheteshwar Pujara (116 not out) helped Rest of India clinch the Irani Trophy against Ranji Trophy champions Gujarat in Mumbai.
Wriddhiman Saha was adjudged the Man of the Match.
20. Usain Bolt has lost one of his nine Olympic gold medals in a doping case involving teammate Nesta Carter.
Carter tested positive for methyl hexane amine, a banned stimulant, in re-analysis of samples from the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Olympic rules state that the entire relay team can be disqualified and stripped of medals if one runner fails a doping test.
21. 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.
Rio Olympics silver medalist Sindhu outplayed unseeded Indonesian Gregoria Mariska 21-13, 21-14, claiming her sixth career Grand Prix gold title.
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.
22. Former Team India cricket captains Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly has 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.
23. Abul Hossain won the Kolkata Marathon as amateur runners from North Bengal and Northeast India dominated the first edition of the meet.
Hossain won the race with a timing of two hours 34 minutes and two seconds to leave Kolkata lad Biswanath Pal second, five minutes behind.
Sikkim’s Mangali Tamang won the women’s half marathon with a timing of one hour 31 minutes and 13 seconds.
24. 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.
25. 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.
India’s Roshmitha Harimurthy could not make it to the final 13 list of the pageant.
Bollywood actress Sushmita Sen, who won her Miss Universe pageant in the year 1994 at Manila, was also on the judges panel this year.
26. 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 task force would cover infrastructure, training and selection.
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.
The announcement comes against the backdrop of India’s two medals at the recently concluded Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, which brought into focus the lack of facilities and support+ for sportspersons in the country.
Awards & Recognition
1. An Indian-origin British professor of Chemistry and DNA expert at Cambridge University Shankar Balasubramanian has received Knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II for their contributions.
He was recognized for his work as a co-inventor of Next Generation DNA sequencing (also known as Solexa sequencing), described as the most transformational advance in biology and medicine for decades.
2. Two new Hindi writers Shraddha and Ghyansham Kumar Devansh have been chosen for Bharatiya Jnanpith Navlekhan Award for the year 2016.
Shraddha was chosen for her short story ‘Hawa Mein Phadphadati Chitthi’ and Devansh for his poem ‘Akash Mein Deh’.
3. Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) has been awarded as “Best Performing Power Distribution Utility in Power Sector” by Central Board of Irrigation & Power (CBIP).
The award was presented to Karan Deep Chaudhri, Chairman-cum-Managing Director, PSPSCL.
PSPCL has been awarded on the basis of outstanding contribution to Punjab by providing reliable 24×7 cost effective electricity to all categories of consumers.
4. Mori, a tiny village under Sakhinetipalli mandal in East Godavari district (Andhra Pradesh) has been transformed completely into a Smart Digital Village, in every sense of the term.
All the 1189 households in the village with a population of 4500 became fully digital.
5. Shahrukh Khan will receive the fourth National Yash Chopra Memorial Award.
The award was announced by jury, comprising Chopra’s wife Pamela, filmmaker Boney Kapoor, Simi Garewal, Padmini Kohlapuri, Subbarami Reddy, Any and Shashi Ranjan.
6. A book on the former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam was released in New Delhi by the Vice President, Shri M. Hamid Ansari.
The book titled, ‘The People’s President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam’ has been written by S.M. Khan who served as the Press Secretary to President Kalam.
7. The 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards ceremony was organized at Beverly Hills, California, United States (US).
Best Motion picture, drama: ‘Moonlight’
Best Picture, comedy or musical: ‘La La Land’
Best Actor drama: Casey Affleck, ’Manchester by the Sea’
Best Actress drama: Isabelle Huppert, ‘Elle’
Best Actress, comedy or musical: Emma Stone, ‘La La Land’
Best Actor, comedy or musical: Ryan Gosling, ‘La La Land’
8. Indian-Americans Dr. Bharat and Dr. Sampat Shivangi received Pravasi Bhartiya Samman Award given to overseas Indians and people of Indian origin.
They received award from President Pranab Mukherjee in Bengaluru on 9th January 2017.
9. Portugal and Real Madrid FC Captain Cristiano Ronaldo has won his fourth FIFA Best Player Award.
Ronaldo beat great rival Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann to complete a sweep of top individual awards.
10. Leicester City’s Claudio Ranieri won the Best FIFA Men’s Coach of the Year award after beating Portugal’s Fernando Santos and Real Madrid’s Zinedine Zidane on the shortlist.
Ranieri beat strong competition from Zidane, who led his Real Madrid side to their 11th UEFA Champions League title in his first season as a manager and won the 2016 UEFA Super Cup and 2016 FIFA Club World Cup.
11. USA women’s football team captain Carli Lloyd was named as FIFA’s Best Female footballer of the year for the second straight time, during The Best FIFA Football Awards in Zurich.
Lloyd, who plays for American football club Houston Dash, is a World Cup winner and a two-time Olympic Gold Medal Winner.
12. Megastar Amitabh Bachchan was given an award by the US embassy in appreciation for his invaluable contributions to the US-India partnership on tuberculosis.
The award was presented on 8th January by US Ambassador to India Richard R. Verma to the legendary actor who is also a tuberculosis survivor and brand ambassador for the initiative.
13. Outgoing US President Barack Obama has selected four Indian-American scientists among 102 researchers for the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). The awardees are: –
Pankaj Lal from Montclair State University
Kaushik Chowdhury from Northeastern University
Manish Arora from Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Aradhna Tripati from University of California, Los Angeles
14. Jio Filmfare Short Films awards 2017 is organized by Worldwide Media Private Limited (WWM).
People’s Choice Award for Best Film- Khamakha
Best Short film in fiction- Chutney
Best Short film in Non -fiction- Matitali Kusti
Best Actor Female- Tisca Chopra for Chutney
Best Actor Male- Manoj Bajpai for Taandav
15. The 62nd Filmfare Awards ceremony was recently held in Mumbai.
The event was co-hosted by Kapil Sharma, Karan Johar and Shahrukh Khan.
Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award: Shatrughan Sinha
Best Film: Dangal
Best Director: Nitesh Tiwari (Dangal)
Best Actor (Male): Aamir khan
Best Actor (Female): Alia Bhatt
16. Famous Bharatanatyam dancer Malavika Sarukkai has recently won the title of ‘Natya Kala Acharya’.
She has received this award at the inauguration of the Music Academy’s 11th dance festival.
17. Twenty-five children from different parts of the country have been selected for Indian Council for Child Welfare’s (ICCW) National Bravery Awards by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The children have been awarded on 24th Jan’2017.
The Bharat Award has been conferred to 8-year-old Tarh Peju of Arunachal Pradesh, who sacrificed her life to save two of her friends from drowning.
Roluahpuii and Lalhriatpuii from Mizoram, and Tushar Verma from Chattisgarh have been given Bapu Gaidhani Award posthumously.
The Geeta Chopra Award has been conferred on 18-year-old Tejasweeta Pradhan and 17-year old Shivani Gond of West Bengal who showed immense courage in fearlessly helping the police and the NGO in uncovering an international sex racket leading to the arrest its mastermind here.
The Sanjay Chopra Award has been conferred to 15-year-old Sumit Mamgain of Uttarakhand who displayed outstanding bravery in fighting a leopard to save his cousin.
18. Jacob Polley has won the 2016 TS Eliot Prize for poetry, joining the ranks of previous winners including Ted Hughes, Seamus Heaney and Carol Ann Duffy.
Polley won the coveted £20,000 award with his fourth collection, Jackself, a sequence of narrative poems partly inspired by his childhood in Cumbria.
19. Indian actress Priyanka Chopra has emerged winner of the favorite dramatic TV actress trophy for her role in “Quantico” at 2017 People’s Choice Awards.
This is 34 old year actress second People’s choice win, having been named the favorite actress in a new TV series last year.
20. Former India cricketers Bishan Singh Bedi and Farokh Engineer are expected to be named in a six-member panel by the Supreme Court on Friday which will oversee the daily operations of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).’
The apex court is set to appoint a six-member panel as opposed to three out of which three members are most likely to be cricketers.
21. For the first time, a film made in a Himachali dialect “Saanjh” gets international recognition by grabbing best feature film award at International Borrego Springs Film Festival held in California, US.
The film emerged winner beating 750 other nominated films from across the globe.
Film director and producer Ajay Saklani hails from Mandi district.
22. ISKCON’s Govardhan eco village at nearby Wada taluka in Thane district has been conferred the United Nations award for taking innovative measures of ’sustainable tourism’ in country.
This is for the first-time India has won such recognition from the UN in the NGO sector, an ISKCON release said on Friday.
23. Asia Society inaugurated the Asia Arts Awards, a Gala Celebration honoring the Asia Arts Game Changers.
This special event, now in its fifth year, will be held for the first time in New Delhi in February.
24. David Warner, the Australia cricket team opener, has been named the country’s best cricketer of the year, securing the Allan Border medal for the second year in succession.
Warner was also named the ODI cricketer of the Year.
He joined an exclusive list of Australian cricketers who have won the medal more than once, becoming only the fourth player to do so.
Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke and while Shane Watson have also achieved the feat twice or more.
25. President Pranab Mukherjee announced the names of recipients of Padma awards 2017 viz. Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri.
He approved conferment of Padma Awards on 89 persons including 7 Padma Vibhushan, 7 Padma Bhushan and 75 Padma Shri Awardees.
Read complete details – Padma Awards 2017, History, and Complete List of Padma Awardees
26. Three Indian-origin persons have been awarded Australia’s highest civilian honour this year for their contributions in the field of medicine and work towards the community.
Purushottam Sawrikar: Order of Australia medal for the year 2017 in General division category for his service to medicine, and to the Indian community.
Makhan Singh Khangure: Significant service to medicine in the field of neuroradiology, to education.
Vijay Kumar: Significant service to medical research in the disciplines of nuclear medicine and biology, to professional organizations, and to the community.
27. Indian superstar Priyanka Chopra has made it to the list of Harper’s Bazaar’s 150 most fashionable women.
The 34-year-old Quantico star features on the list under the section titled New Guard.
She joins other stars on the list which included Brie Larson, Dakota Johnson, Emilia Clarke, Margot Robbie, Gal Gadot, Dakota Fanning and Elle Fanning.
Books & Authors
1. “Akhada” is the authorized biography of Mahavir Singh Phogat, a former wrestler and a coach who has made India proud.
The book by Saurabh Duggal, traces Mahavir Phogat’s journey with his daughters and nieces hailing from a small village in Haryana to winning the medals for the country.
His daughters, Babita and Geeta, has won medals at Olympics, World Wrestling Championship, and Commonwealth Games.
2. Cyber Pathshala, a book on cyber schooling for the demonetization era, authored by Tarun Vijay was released by Union Human Resource Development Minister, Prakash Javedekar at the World Book Fair on 10th January.
According to Tarun Vijay, this book was to familiarize people of all ages with the new vocabulary of the new normal, demonetization, which has changed our language, style, and idioms.
3. Karan Johar’s best friend Shah Rukh Khan was present to launch the much talked about biography on the filmmaker’s life- “An Unsuitable Boy”.
The book captures details from Karan Johar’s life, starting right from his childhood to his entry into the film industry with a blockbuster of a debut.
2. Actor Rishi Kapoor launched his biography “Khullam Khulla” with wife Neetu Kapoor in Delhi.
Rishi Kapoor talks about the relationships with his father Raj Kapoor and his son Ranbir Kapoor, his career etc.
The book is co-authored by Meena Iyer.
Mergers & Acquisitions
1. Public sector lender Bank of Baroda has entered a partnership with CNX Corporation.
The objective is to provide collateral management services towards the loans against warehouse receipt sanctioned to the farmers through the network of the bank’s branches across the country.
2. Online automobile marketplace Droom tied up with Axis Bank, India’s third largest private sector bank, to provide quick sanction of loans on both new as well as used cars.
Loans will be provided for up to 85% of the value of the car with a tenure of 1-5 years.
3. Small Industries Development Board of India (SIDBI) has tied up with the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) to provide capital support to the enterprises in the country.
The idea behind tying up is to boost the venture capital ecosystems for MSMEs.
4. News Corp-backed has merged with Housing.com to become a joint venture with an additional investment of $55 million.
Includes $50 million from REA Group Limited and an affiliate of SoftBank Group Corp, investing $5 million.
News Corp remains the largest shareholder of PropTiger with a share of 30%, and also owns 61.6% of REA Group.
Representatives of REA and SoftBank will join the board of the joint entity, which will continue to be chaired by a News Corp representative.
5. French optical lens maker Essilor International SA and Italian spectacle frames maker Luxottica have agreed to merge, creating an eyewear industry giant with a market value of around €46.3 billion ($49.16 billion).
Luxottica’s Chairman Del Vecchio will become Chief Executive and Executive Chairman of the new entity, while Hubert Sagnières, the Chairman and CEO at Essilor will become Deputy CEO and Vice Executive Chairman.
6. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has tightened rules for mergers and amalgamations by Indian companies in a bid to safeguard the interests of the public shareholders.
Holding of public shareholders post the merger cannot be less than 25%.
Similar threshold must be for institutional shareholders of the unlisted entity as well, post-merger.
The new rules will ensure that all classes of shareholders get an equitable treatment during mergers and acquisitions.
It will also stop practice using route of merger to get an indirect listing for an unlisted company.
7. The World Economic Forum and the UCSB’s Marine Science Institute have announced a partnership to improve health of world’s oceans and maritime resources.
The new partnership aims to protect world’s USD 2.5 trillion ocean economy.
8. Ant Financial, e-commerce giant Alibaba’s financial arm, has reached an agreement to acquire American money-transfer major MoneyGram for $880 million.
The transaction will connect MoneyGram’s money transfer network of 2.4 billion bank and mobile accounts and 350,000 physical locations with Ant Financials.
The transaction will help expand Ant Financial’s business following its partnering with Paytm in India and Ascend Money in Thailand.
9. State-owned refiner Hindustan Petroleum and gas utility GAIL India Ltd signed a pact with Andhra Government for setting up a Rs 40,000 crore petrochemical plant in the state.
The 50:50 joint venture will set up a 1.5 million tons Ethylene Derivatives plant, which will produce raw materials for the manufacture of detergents, paints and coatings, cosmetics, textiles and adhesives.
10. Future Generali India Insurance Company (FGII) has entered into a corporate agency tie-up with Bank of Maharashtra.
The main focus is to offer customized products, best customer service and sustain the trust of customers of Bank of Maharashtra.
FGII aim to immensely benefit customers by providing them an ease of access while choosing from a diverse range of non-life insurance products, all under one roof.
11. 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.
Appointments & Resignations
1. Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa took charge as the 22nd Chief of the Air Staff (CoAS) of the Indian Air Force (IAF).
He succeeded Arup Raha who retires from the service.
He is the third person from Sikh community to head the IAF after Arjan Singh and Dilbag Singh.
2. The Supreme Court has sacked BCCI president Anurag Thakur and secretary Ajay Shirke and asked all others to step down, who were disqualified, to hold posts under new court-mandated norms.
3. Shaikh Rafik Mohammed, an Indian-origin Saudi-based entrepreneur has been appointed Major General of Kyrgyzstan, a rare military position occupied by an Indian in the Central Asian country.
4. General Bipin Rawat took charge as the new 27th Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) of India.
He succeeded General Dalbir Singh Suhag who retired from the service.
He had superseded two senior most Lt Generals, Praveen Bakshi and PM Hariz.
5. The Centre has appointed Archana Nigam as the next Controller General of Accounts in the Finance Ministry.
Prior to this appointment, Nigam was involved in the critical task of setting up of the accounting framework for the GST regime to be launched by Government in next financial year.
6. Prof David R. Syiemlieh has been appointed as the Chairman of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) as per Article 316 of Constitution.
He will take over from Alka Sirohi and shall remain the head of the organisation till his retirement on January 21, 2018 or till further orders.
7. Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar sworn in as 44th Chief Justice of India (CJI).
He was administered oath to the office by President Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi.
With this, he became the first person from Sikh community to become the CJI.
8. Surekha Marandi has been appointed as the Executive Director (ED) of RBI.
She was appointed in place of U S Paliwal who retired on December 31, 2016.
In her new role, she will look after Consumer Education and Protection Department, Financial Inclusion and Development Department, and Secretary’s Department of the RBI.
9. Bharti Airtel has appointed Rajeev Sethi as the Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) for its Africa operations.
Sethi will be responsible for formulation and implementation of customer centric commercial strategies across the 15 African countries where Airtel operates.
10. Air Marshal SB Deo has been appointed as the Vice Chief of the Air Staff (VCAS) at Air HQ.
He is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy and the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington.
11. Tata Power Co. has appointed S. Padmanabhan as its chairman, in place of Cyrus Mistry who resigned last month.
In December, Tata Power brought back S Padmanabhan, who was executive director of operations at the company until 2014, as an additional director on the board.
12. Jovenel Moise has been elected as the President of Haiti.
The electoral tribunal officially declared the winner on 3 January 2017.
Jude Celestin remained at the second spot in the race of Presidential election with only 19.5% votes.
13. Olympic and world 800m champion, David Rudisha from Kenya, is named the international event ambassador for the 14th Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon 2017.
Rudisha, the 28-years-old middle-distance ace, retained his 800m title at Rio Olympics.
The Marathon will be held on January 15.
14. SBI Pension Funds, has appointed Kumar Sharadindu as its Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer.
Prior to this appointment, Sharadindu was a General Manager at SBI Corporate center, Mumbai.
15. Flipkart appoints former Tiger Global Management executive Kalyan Krishnamurthy as the new chief to run the operations of India’s largest online trader.
He is replacing co-founder Binny Bansal, who has been elevated to the position of Group CEO.
He joined Flipkart in June last year as head of ‘category design organization’.
16. Mobile handset brand Gionee appointed Indian captain Virat Kohli as the brand ambassador.
He will be joining Bollywood Actress Alia Bhatt who was roped in, a few months ago.
17. Daniel Ortega has been sworn in for a third consecutive term as Nicaragua’s President, with his wife Rosario Murillo as the new vice president.
Ortega was firstly elected in 2007.
18. Dr. Ausaf Sayeed has been appointed as the next High Commissioner of India to the Republic of Seychelles.
Ausaf is currently working as the Consul general, Consulate General of India, Chicago.
19. Tata Sons has appointed Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) Chief Executive Natarajan Chandrasekaran as its new chairman.
He will take over as the Executive chairman from February 21.
The decision came about three months after the company in October ousted Cyrus Mistry and appointed Ratan Tata as its interim chairman, sparking a bitter public spat.
20. Lieutenant General Sarath Chand, Army Commander of Jaipur- based South Western Command, was appointed as the new Vice Chief of Army Staff.
Gen. Sarath Chand was commissioned into the Garhwal Rifles in June 1979 and had an outstanding professional career of 38 years.
21. Rajeev Chandrasekhar, a Member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha, was named nominee director of ARG Outlier Media Private Limited, the company which will be running The Republic, a media venture by floated journalist Arnab Goswami.
Goswami, the former editor of television channel Times Now, was named Managing director of ARG Outlier.
22. BJP Mumbai unit chief Ashish Shelar has been appointed as Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) president.
He was elected as Vice President of MCA on 17th June 2015.
Shelar takes over from the former ICC President Sharad Pawar.
23. Public broadcaster Prasar Bharati named Rajeev Singh, member (finance) as interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at its board meeting in Hyderabad.
Singh will replace Suresh Chandra Panda who has been serving as interim CEO since November 2016, after full time chief Jawhar Sircar put in his papers in October.
24. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has constituted a committee to review life insurance product regulations.
Amitabh Chaudhary, Chief Executive Officer, HDFC Standard Life Insurance company, has been appointed as the chairman of the eight-member panel.
The members of the committee include K S Gopalakrishanan, CEO, Aegon Religare Life Insurance, Sai Srinivas, appointed Actuary, Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance and Sandeep Bakshi, CEO, ICICI prudential Life.
25. Delhi Police commissioner Alok Kumar Verma, a 1979 batch Indian Police Service officer of the Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram and Union Territory (AGMUT) cadre, has been appointed the director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), an official said on Thursday.
His appointment as the CBI director is his 24th posting in his 36-year career as a police officer.
26. Transportation app Ola has appointed former PepsiCo executive Vishal Kaul as its Chief Operating Officer (COO).
He succeeded Pranay Jivrajka, Ola’s first employee.
Jivrajka has now been appointed as Founding Partner and will continue to work closely with Bhavish Aggarwal, Ola co-founder and CEO.
27. US president, Donald Trump, the newly sworn-in leader and chief made quick work in designating Indian American senior GOP member of the Federal Communications Commission Ajit Pai as the commission chairman.
Pai is one of the two Republican commissioners on a five-member panel that regulates the country’s communications infrastructure, including TV, phone and internet service.
28. UN Secretary-General António Guterres has appointed Derk Segaar, a senior Dutch official as head of the World Body Information Centre in New Delhi, covering India and Bhutan.
29. The Senate has confirmed controversial candidate Mike Pompeo to head the CIA in President Donald Trump’s new administration.
His appointment was confirmed despite opposition from some Democrats, who highlighted the Kansas Republican’s varying viewpoints on key issues such as surveillance, torture and Russia’s “influence campaign” in the 2016 Presidential election.
30. Uttam Dhillon, who served as chief oversight counsel for the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee, has been appointed as special assistant to the President by US President Donald Trump.
In this position, he would be part of the legal team to serve under White House Counsel Donald F McGahn with respect to compliance and ethics matters.
Prior to joining Financial Services, Dhillon served as chief of the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Counter Narcotics Enforcement.
31. Hugo Barra, who previously held a position as a key VP for Android at Google, and led Xiaomi’s international efforts in a VP role at the Chinese company, is now joining Facebook.
Barra will lead all of Facebook’s VR efforts, including Oculus, according to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who shared the news on his FB profile.
32. President Pranab Mukherjee has appointed Dr. Vijay Bhatkar, architect of India’s first supercomputer the Param series, as the chancellor of Nalanda University.
He will have a term of three years from the date of his appointment as provided under Section 11(3) of the Nalanda University Act.
He shall succeed George Yeo, former Foreign Minister of Singapore, who resigned after the Board of the University was reconstituted.
33. President Pranab Mukherjee has appointed Banwarilal Purohit as the new Governor of Meghalaya.
He will succeed V Shanmuganathan, former Meghalaya Governor.
President Mukherjee also appointed P. B. Acharya, the Governor of Nagaland to discharge functions as the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh.
34. New Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth who assumed office after his father Anerood Jugnauth, 86, stepped down from the post.
Anerood Jugnauth, who has been in his post since 2014, announced that he was resigning in favour of a “younger and more dynamic leader”.
35. Former leader of the Austrian Green Alternative party (the Greens) Alexander Van der Bellen officially took office as the 9th Austrian President.
Former President Heinz Fischer, Chancellor Christian Kern and Vice Chancellor Reinhold Mitterlehner, diplomats, journalists and representatives of the church were present at the ceremony.
36. 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.
37. 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.
Singh was also in the founding team of the Unique Identification Authority of India.
38. The 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.
Patnaik hails from Odisha and is currently posted as Delhi police special commissioner (administration).
39. 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.
Chautala is the youngest president of the apex body and his term extends until 2021.
40. 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.
Economics & Banking GK
1. To promote cash less transactions, Mother Dairy Fruit & Vegetable Pvt. Ltd. introduced Aadhar-Enabled Payment System (AEPS) in more than 1,000 milk booths and ’Safal’ retail stores.
This service would now be available in addition to the existing modes like E-wallets and SmartChange Cards.
2. The Reserve Bank of India has allowed non-resident Indians to exchange scrapped Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes till June 30.
This facility will be available through RBI offices in Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata and Nagpur.
3. The Centre has allowed 12 lenders to raise close to Rs. 3,000 crore via preferential shares over and above the Rs. 22,915 crore capital support committed to them in July last year to strengthen the capital base of public sector banks (PSBs).
The Finance Ministry granted approval to 12 PSBs to raise a sum of Rs. 2,914.038 crore through preferential allotment and permission was given to raise Rs. 200 crore by United Bank of India through the QIP mode.
4. Encouraging firms to enroll their workers under schemes run by retirement fund body Employees’ Provident Fund Organization (EPFO), a 3-month campaign has been launched beginning 1st January.
Here employers will get amnesty and pay just Re 1 as damages for not registering their employees earlier.
5. City based private sector bank Karnataka Bank has launched a month-long campaign under KBL Suraksha. This will be open up to 31st January 2017.
KBL Suraksha is a unique group personal accident insurance Scheme extended by the Bank to its savings bank account holders, in association with M/s Universal Sompo General Insurance Co. Ltd.
6. Axis bank has retained the top investment banking rank in the past 10 consecutive years, leaving behind large foreign banks.
HDFC and State Bank of India are other two top banks in the Bloomberg League table 2016.
7. The country’s largest lender State Bank of India will take the lead among state-run lenders to launch branch-less banking called SBI Digi Bank.
The Digi Bank will have a financial superstore, a market place, and end-to-end digitization for all products and services.
8. According to growth projection released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth is expected to grow at a slower pace at 7.1% in 2016-17 as compared to 7.6% in 2015-16.
This estimate is in sync with the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) economic growth forecast and is largely based on the data from first seven months of the year.
9. Country’s largest lender SBI has waived Merchant Discount Rate (MDR) on debit card transactions for all small merchants with annual turnover of up to Rs.20 lakh for one year.
The move is targeted primarily towards a segment of population and small merchants, who have not yet experienced the convenience of Card payments.
10. Axis Bank has become the third lender in the country to announce usage of block chains solutions for its operations.
The bank will be using the upcoming technology for cross-border remittances.
11. The private lender HDFC bank has launched a ‘Humanoid’ in the domestic banking space.
The bank showcased human-sized robot Ira, developed in association with Kochi-based Asimov Robotics and will be deployed at a Mumbai branch within fortnight.
12. BSNL plans to connect 1518 gram panchayats with Optical Fiber Cable this year in Assam to ensure Rural connectivity.
Kshetri Gaon panchayat in Kanpur district is likely to become the first digital gram panchayat of the country.
BSNL will provide 3000 hotspots at important places and has already initiated steps for automatic hook up points through wireless network.
13. The World Bank has lowered its growth forecast for India to 7 percent from 7.6 percent in 2016-17.
It cited a slowdown in consumption and manufacturing due to demonetization and an ongoing decline in private investment and credit constraints due to bank balance sheets.
14. Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) revised Indian standard on gold hallmarking.
It became effective from 1st January 2017.
The hallmark gold jewelry will now be available in three grades of 14 carats, 18 carats and 22 carats.
15. HDFC Bank has reportedly helped five temples in Kanyakumari district in southern Tamil to introduce digital wallets and point of sale (PoS) to enable their devotees to pay donations.
The temples that have introduced digital mode include Arulmighu Thanumalya Swamy Temple, Suchindrum; Arulmighu Bhagavathi Amman Temple, Kanyakumari; Arulmighu Nagaraja Temple, Nagercoil; Arulmighu Bhagavati Amman Temple, Mondaikudi; and Arulmighu Kumaraswamy Temple, Velimalai.
16. Bharti Airtel Ltd, India’s top wireless carrier, has committed an initial investment of Rs. 3,000 crores ($441 million) to build its new pan-India Airtel Payments Bank.
Airtel Payments Bank is the first among several such niche banks to start operations, after the central bank handed over new permits to bring financial services within the reach of millions who still lack access to formal banking.
17. India’s factory output, measured by the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) has registered 5.7% growth in November 2016 as against 1.9% in October 2016.
It is the fastest growth recorded in more than four years and is largely on account of a low base effect.
18. The World Economic Outlook (WEO) update released by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has cut India’s growth rate for the fiscal year 2016 -17 to 6.6% from its previous estimate of 7.6%.
India’s growth rate was cut due to the temporary negative consumption shock of demonetization.
It has dampened India’s growth by 1% point in the FY 2017 and 0.4% point in FY 2017, compared with IMF’s earlier projections.
19. Market regulator SEBI reduced its turnover fees by 25% to Rs.15 per Rs.11 crore worth of turnover from Rs.20 earlier, to bring down the overall cost of transaction in the stock market.
The SEBI decision would lead to lower trading costs for large institutional investors like insurance companies, foreign investors and mutual funds, and also high net worth investors.
20. India will likely to be able to roll out the goods and services tax (GST) from 1st July following a breakthrough over the seemingly intractable issue of tax administration after the Centre accommodated state’s concerns.
Under the proposed tax regime, 90% of all assesses with a turnover of Rs.1.5 crore or less will be assessed for scrutiny and audit by state authorities, the remaining 10% by the Centre.
21. Future Group’s fashion and lifestyle departmental store Central and SBI Card announced the launch of a co-branded credit card, to offer benefits to consumers in the premium lifestyle and fashion space.
The Central SBI co-brand Card is the second by SBI Card and Future Group, after Fbb SBI STYLEUP Card introduced earlier in partnership with Big Bazaar and targeted at the value conscious consumer looking for affordable fashion.
The Central SBI SELECT and SELECT plus Cards offer an accelerated reward points structure, where cardholders earn 20 reward points for every Rs 100 spent in Central stores.
22. Yes Bank, in collaboration with T-Hub, has launched ‘Yes Fintech’, a business accelerator program.
T-hub is a startup incubator set up by the Telangana Government and Anthill, a speed scaling platform for early growth stage start-ups.
23. Mid -sized private sector lender Yes bank claimed to have the industry’s first customizable savings account which will protect customers from “unwanted charges” levied in current offerings.
Customers can choose from options like debit cards, alternatives to minimum balance requirements, and banking benefits such as ATM usage, digital banking products, branch banking and family grouping.
24. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has given its ‘in principle’ approval for listing the five Public Sector General Insurance Companies (2016-17) in the stock exchanges.
They are New India Assurance Company Ltd, United India Insurance Company Ltd, Oriental Insurance Company Ltd, National Insurance Company Ltd and General Insurance Corporation of India.
25. Mortgage lender HDFC Ltd has slashed the lending rate by 0.15 per cent for its existing customers.
The company has reduced its Retail Prime Lending Rate (RPLR) by 0.15 per cent with effect from today, HDFC Ltd said in a statement.
The reduction in RPLR will also be applicable on loans to Non-Resident Indians (NRIs)/PIO’s card holders.
26. The government has announced that cooperative banks will not be authorized to accept deposits under the Pradhan Mantry Garib Kalyan Deposit Scheme.
Under the scheme, all those who are declaring previously undisclosed income under the Scheme have to place 25% of the amount being declared in an interest-free fixed deposit with a lock-in period of four years.
27. The Gujarat government declared a monthly salary hike of up to 124 per cent for its fixed-wage employees.
The government made the announcement even as its appeal before the Supreme Court against a Gujarat High Court verdict dismissing the policy of hiring employees on fixed wages remained pending.
28. INS Vikramaditya will soon to have an ATM onboard.
The cash dispensing machine will operate via a satellite communication link.
Vikramaditya will be the first ever warship to have such facility.
Earlier, INS VIRAAT was equipped with a telephone link based ATM with limited access.
State Bank of India will launch the ATM facility onboard premier warship.
29. In another digitalization initiative, Punjab National Bank (PNB) has launched a Contactless Credit Card.
This new credit card, which has been named PNB Wave N Pay Contactless Card, was launched by Usha Anantha Subramanian, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, PNB.
30. BSE has hit the capital market with its much-awaited Initial Public Offer, the first by a domestic stock exchange, to raise up to Rs 1,243 crore.
The IPO opened on 23rd January and closed on 25th January.
31. Kerala Gramin Bank (KGB) is launching a ‘FI@School’ programme to propagate financial literacy among school children.
Financial literacy clubs would be formed at every school identified under the programme, being implemented jointly with NABARD and Child and Youth Finance International (CYFI), Amsterdam.
32. Wholesale reinsurance provider Swiss Re has received approval from the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) to open a branch in Mumbai.
With the composite branch license, Swiss Re will be able to operate in India and offer both non-life and life and health reinsurance solutions directly to clients and brokers in the country.
33. In a bid to encourage banks to provide loans for education, the Reserve Bank of India, RBI has declared that rescheduling the period of payment of education loans due to the inability of the borrower because of unemployment will not be treated as restructured accounts for computing NPAs.
Banks can allow three rounds of extension periods, each not more than 6 months, during the entire lifecycle of the education loan, to be applicable only on unemployment/underemployment borrowers.
34. In a move that would help the micro enterprises get access to credit, two Small Finance Banks – Utkarsh Small Finance Bank Limited and Suryoday Small Finance Bank Limited – have commenced its operations from 23rd January 2017.
Utkarsh Micro Finance Private Limited, Varanasi and Suryoday Micro Finance Private Limited, Navi Mumbai were amongst the 10 applicants which were issued in-principle approval for setting up a small finance bank.
35. Reserve Bank of India has prohibited Indian entities from making direct investments in any entity located in non-co-operative countries and territories as identified by the inter-governmental body FATF.
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) currently comprises two regional organizations and 35 member jurisdictions, including India, US, UK, China and the European Commission.
36. Demonetization has stymied India’s GDP growth and the October-December quarter show is likely to be around 6 per cent, while for January-March it could climb down to 5.7 per cent, forecasts a Nomura report.
According to the Japanese financial services major, the consumption and services, which were the fastest growing segments pre-demonetization, were the worst-hit.
37. India’s largest online travel portal MakeMyTrip has launched the first ever social luxury travel magazine called ‘Luxury Travel Times’.
The mobile-only magazine is targeted at luxury travelers and is released through innovative ad platforms like Facebook Canvas & Instagram-Stories.
‘Spa-cation’, ‘Heaven on Earth’ & ‘Heritage’ were first few themes of the magazine presenting exotic choices to explore fine living.
38. India’s second largest private sector lender HDFC bank will deploy at least 20 humanoids in its branches in the next two years.
The bank had announced that it will soon introduce a humanoid IRA – intelligent robotic assistant to help its branch staff in servicing customers.
39. The Union Finance Ministry has announced that the General Anti-Avoidance Rule (GAAR) will be effective from the 1st April 2017.
GAAR seeks to prevent companies from routing transactions through other countries to avoid taxes.
India will be the 17th nation in the world to have laws that aim to close tax loopholes.
At present, GAAR is in force in nations like Australia, Singapore, China and the UK.memo.
Bills – New & Amendments
1. A bill backing key changes in the H1-B programme that allows skilled workers from countries like India to fill high-tech jobs in the US has been re-introduced in the US Congress.
The bill among other things increases the minimum salary of H-1B visa to USD 100,000 per annum and eliminate the Master’s Degree exemption.
2. An ordinance to amend the 47-year-old Enemy Property Act has been approved by President Pranab Mukherjee.
The Act will allow custodians to continue to hold sway over such properties.
These amendments plug the loopholes of the Enemy Property Act, 1968.
3. The National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog has called for a review of the provisions of the Right to Education (RTE) Act that stipulate children who do not perform well cannot be held back up to 8th Class.
The RTE Act aims to provide primary education to all children aged 6 to 14 years.
4. The Supreme Court has rejected a plea urging it to pass judgement on Jallikattu before the harvest festival of Pongal.
The Supreme Court had banned Jallikattu in May 2014 and held that bulls could not be used as performing animals. It completely banned use of bulls for Jallikattu events or bullock-cart races across the country.
5. The Union Cabinet has given its approval for amendment in the Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme (M-SIPS) for electronics manufacturing.
These modifications will further incentivize investments in electronic sector and move towards Union Government’s goal of ‘Net Zero Imports’ in electronics by 2020.
The scheme provides subsidy for capital expenditure 20% for investments in Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and 25% in non-SEZs.
6. The Union government cleared Tamil Nadu government’s proposal to promulgate an ordinance to hold Jallikatu, a traditional bull taming sport.
The Union Ministries of Home, Law and Environment has vetted the state’s draft ordinance and cleared the amendment. Now, Tamil Nadu Governor can promulgate ordinance as per Article 213 of the constitution.
The ordinance will denotify the bull from the list of performing animals. This will ensure that provisions of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (PCA), 1960 will not apply to the bull.
7. The Union Cabinet has approved the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Bill, 2017, under which the IIMs will be declared as Institutions of National Importance.
It will also enable IIMs to grant degrees rather than diplomas to their students. At present IIMs are not authorized to award degrees as they registered as societies. Hence, they are awarding Post Graduate Diploma and Fellow Programme in Management.
Some salient features of the bill: –
Allow IIMs to grant degrees to their students.
Grant complete autonomy to IIMs, combined with adequate accountability.
Coordination Forum of IIMs as an advisory body will be established.
Board of an IIM will drive the management of the institution.
It will select Chairperson and Director of IIM.
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
1. India and Pakistan exchanged the list of their nuclear installations and facilities under the Agreement on the Prohibition of Attack against Nuclear installations.
This is the 26th consecutive exchange of such list between the two countries after the first list was exchanged on 1 January 1992.
This exchange is done every year on 1st of January between them to prevent them from attacking each other’s nuclear facilities.
2. The Union Cabinet has approved signing and ratifying an Agreement between India and Uruguay for cooperation and mutual assistance in Customs Matters.
The Agreement will help both countries in the availability of relevant information for the investigation and prevention of Customs offences.
3. The Union Cabinet has given its approval for signing of an Agreement for cooperation between India and Portugal in the field of Agriculture and allied sectors.
Decision in this regard was taken by Union Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.
4. India and Kazakhstan have signed a Protocol to amend the existing Double Taxation Avoidance Convention between the two countries in New Delhi.
The DTAC between both countries was earlier signed in December 1996 for the avoidance of double taxation and for the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income.
5. The Union Cabinet has approved signing of an MoU between India and Kenya on bilateral cooperation in the field of agriculture and allied sectors.
Decision in this regard was taken at the Union Cabinet Meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.
6. India and Kenya signed MoU for cooperation in the field of agriculture and allied sectors.
India announced $100 million Line of Credit (LoC) to Kenya for agricultural mechanization.
Both countries will focus on quick operationalization of the defence cooperation along with hydrography, anti-piracy, communication networks, capacity building and defence medical cooperation.
7. All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi signed MoUs with NBCC (India) Limited, HSCC (India) Limited and with HITES HLL Life Care Ltd to expand infrastructure and other facilities.
The signing ceremony was presided over by Shri J P Nadda, Hon’ble Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare and Shri Venkaiah Naidu, Hon’ble Union Minister for Urban Development, Urban Poverty Alleviation, and Information & Broadcasting.
8. The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved negotiating for Trade Agreement with Peru on trade in goods, services and investment.
A Joint Study Group (JSG) between India and Peru was constituted in order to explore the possibility for entering into trade agreement with Peru on 15th January, 2015.
9. Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) member-states have finalized Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) for cooperation in small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) sector.
The MoUs were finalized during the Workshop on MSME Cooperation amongst IORA member countries held in New Delhi. They will take effect for each party upon signature by 5 countries.
10. India and the UAE held the first meeting of their strategic dialogue in New Delhi to elevate the bilateral relationship to Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.
The meeting was co-chaired by Minister of State (MoS) for External Affairs M J Akbar and MoS in Ministry of Foreign Affairs of UAE Anwar Gargash.
The news areas include energy security, renewable energy, defence and security, electronics and information technology and space.
They also agreed on several new initiatives to further strengthen the bilateral cooperation and on signing of fresh instruments of cooperation.
11. Dairy firm Kwality Ltd has signed an agreement with Bank of Baroda for providing Rs 4,000 crore loans to the former’s one lakh farmers from whom the company procures milk.
The company has a network of about 3.25 lakh across about 4,500 villages in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan which are amongst the largest milk producing states of India.
The scheme is aimed at providing financial assistance to improve socio-economic lives of farmers and steer them towards digitization.
12. India signed a deal with the United Arab Emirates that allows the Gulf OPEC country to fill half of an underground crude oil storage facility at Mangalore that is part of New Delhi’s strategic reserve system.
Sunjay Sudhir, joint secretary for international cooperation at the Indian oil ministry said that UAE’s Abu Dhabi National Oil Co will store about 6 million barrels of oil at Mangalore, taking up about half of the site’s capacity.
13. Private sector bank, Karnataka Bank Ltd signed MoU with the leading agricultural equipment manufacturer Tirth Agro Technology Pvt. Ltd., Rajkot, to finance farmers for agri mechanization.
The MoU aims to establish platform to form a relation on co-operation between the two in identifying farmers buying agricultural implements/equipment and financing them by the bank on its terms.
14. 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.
15. Union finance Minister Arun Jaitley tabled the Economic Survey 2016-17 in Parliament budget session.
The survey prepared by chief economic adviser in the finance ministry Arvind Subramanian.
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.
It says that the adverse impact of demonetization on GDP growth will be transitional.
16. 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).
Science & Technology
1. The Union Ministry of Minority Affairs has launched Mobile App for Haj Pilgrimage.
The app will provide information and facilitate e-payments for the pilgrimage.
This is for the first-time digital push has been given to the Haj application process.
2. The Maritime Union of India (MUI), country’s oldest union representing Indian Merchant Navy Officers since 1939, has launched android based mobile app named MUI.
The app is aimed at connecting the maritime fraternity across the country to facilitate and enable Indian merchant navy officers to share comments, knowledge and other things related to their profession.
3. Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani dedicated India’s first laser technology-based advanced AVMS RTO check-post at Shamlaji of Aravalli district.
The check-post is equipped with advanced ray technology with a cost of Rs 4.72 crore.
4. Scientists from Ireland have claimed discovery of a new human organ named the mesentery that exists in the digestive system. It will be human body’s 79th organ. Mesentery connects the intestine to the abdomen.
The organ was previously thought to consist of fragmented and disparate structures.
5. Internet giant Google launched two new initiatives My Business and Digital Unlocked to train and help small and medium businesses (SMBs) in India capitalize on the digitization wave faster.
These initiatives were launched by Google CEO Sundar Pichai in New Delhi in presence of Union IT and law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in New Delhi.
6. Researchers from Midwestern University have identified the function of the human appendix, often viewed as a vestigial organ with little-known use.
They discovered that the human appendix has evolved at least 30 times and even possibly up to a maximum of 41 times throughout the mammalian evolution.
According researchers, once the appendix appears in human body, it never disappears, suggesting that the organ likely serves an adaptive purpose.
7. China successfully launched first commercial mission using an updated version of the low-cost Kuaizhou-1A rocket.
As part of the mission three satellites JL-1, CubeSats XY-S1 and Caton-1 were launched into space.
The rocket was launched form northwestern China’s Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Gansu province.
8. Pakistan successfully test-fired its first Submarine-Launched Cruise Missile (SLCM) Babur-3 capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.
This launch gives Pakistan a “credible” second-strike capability.
The Babur-3 missile was fired from an underwater mobile platform from an undisclosed location in the Indian Ocean and hit its target with precise accuracy and it has range of 450 km.
9. The Assam government will be shortly launching its indigenously-developed e-Wallet, Tokapoisa.in, to enable the people of the state for hassle-free online transactions in local language.
The mobile application Tokapoisa.in has been developed by the Assam Electronics Development Corp. Ltd. Besides being an e-Wallet, it will be a virtual payment terminal.
10. Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has released the new passenger mobile application named ‘IRCTC Rail Connect App’ to promote ease of ticketing through digital transactions.
It has been developed to bring the power of next generation e-ticketing system like high performance and enhanced security.
11. Maharashtra government has launched WiFi service ‘Mumbai WiFi’ connecting 500 hotspots across Mumbai under the Smart city project.
The aim is to empower people digitally.
It is India’s largest and one of globally largest public WiFi service.
12. The measles-rubella vaccine (MR) is all set to be introduced in the country from the next month in five states and Union territories.
In addition, from March, Pneumococcal conjugate (pneumococcal pneumonia) vaccine will also become a part of the UIP basket in three other states.
13. The Supreme Court has described side effects of Endosulfan, a highly toxic agrochemical (pesticide) as devastating.
It has directed Kerala government to release entire Rs.500 crore compensation to over 5,000 victims in three months who have suffered from various deformities and health complications due to use of Endosulfan in the state. It also asked the state to consider setting up a center to provide lifelong medical treatment to all the victims.
14. According to scientists, a new plate boundary may be forming on the floor of the Indian Ocean in Wharton Basin as a result of the 2012 earthquake that shook the Andaman-Sumatra region.
The discovery was based on the study of seismic data recorded before, during and after the 2012 quakes and sea floor depth analysis by venturing into the ocean aboard a research vessel.
15. Guided Pinaka, which has been upgraded from Pinaka Rocket, was successfully test fired from the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur.
The Pinaka Rocket Mark-II, which evolved from Pinaka Mark-I, is equipped with a navigation, guidance and control kit and has been transformed to a Guided Pinaka.
16. US based rocket manufacturing company SpaceX successfully launched constellation of 10 satellites into orbit on board of its two stage Falcon 9 Rocket from the Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.
The satellites were deployed into the designated to low-Earth orbit about an hour after launch. Besides, rocket’s first stag also landed upright on a so-called drone ship in the Pacific Ocean south of Vandenberg.
17. BSNL has launched its Customer Acquisition and Customer Communication Management (CACMS) project.
This project mainly aims to digitalize business process to provide secure and faster service and customer satisfaction.
The project provides an Aadhar based e-KYC (Know Your Customer) service for immediate activation of new mobile connections across the country.
18. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has approved a mission to explore 16 Psyche, an iron-rich asteroid.
As part of the mission, NASA craft will be launched in 2023, and will arrive at Psyche in 2030. The mineral contents on the asteroids are worth over 100-thousand times the value of the entire world economy.
The study of Psyche may also reveal more information about the centre of our planet, which cannot be studied directly due to the virtual impossibility of sending a probe deep underground.
19. The Commerce Secretary has launched a mobile app named ‘SEZ India’ for Special Economic Zones (SEZs).
It will help the SEZ Units and Developers to find information easily and track their transactions on Online System.
It will also facilitate them to file all their transactions digitally through SEZ Online system and track the status on the go through the SEZ India mobile app.
20. Indian Space Research Organization has successfully realigned the orbit of its Mars Orbiter Mission ‘Mangalyaan‘ so it is not affected by long-duration eclipse.
The duration of the eclipse was so long that had we done nothing, the Mangalyaan’s battery capacity would have got exhausted due to lack of sun rays. No effect of the eclipse was felt on Mangalyaan yesterday.
21. Scientists have named three relatively little-known diseases, MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome), Lassa fever and Nipah virus as the next potential global health emergency threat.
In this regard, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) has committed 460 million dollars to speed up vaccine development for these three diseases.
CEPI aims to have two new experimental vaccines ready for each disease within five years to be prepared in case of their global outbreaks.
22. Tamil Nadu Tourism minister Vellamandi N. Natarajan launched the mobile application named “Pinakin” in Tamil and English.
The mobile app is a part of its efforts to attract more domestic and international visitors to explore the state.
23. State run power equipment maker BHEL said it has commissioned another 500 MW unit of Sagardighi Thermal Power Station Phase II in West Bengal.
The unit was the second 500 MW set to be commissioned at Sagardighi Thermal Power Station (TPS) Phase II project in Murshidabad district of West Bengal.
24. The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is planning to set a new world record in space history by launching 103 satellites in one go on a single rocket in the first week of February 2017.
These satellites will be launched on board of ISRO’s workhorse PSLV (C37) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. The mission will carry three satellites from India and rest from other countries.
25. Scientists have spotted a new view of the dark, contorted center of a sunspot that is nearly twice the diameter of the Earth.
It was spotted using Atacama Large Millimeter /submillimeter Array (ALMA) antennas located in Atacama Desert of northern Chile.
The discovery is an important expansion of range of observations that can be used to probe the physics of our nearest star.
26. According to scientists from Food Standards Agency (FSA) of United Kingdom, chips, potatoes and bread cooked to brown can cause cancer.
According to FSA when the starchy foods are roasted, grilled or fried for too long at high temperatures (above 120 degree Celsius), it produces carcinogenic chemical Acrylamide.
27. Improved Pinaka rockets, with a guidance system and an enhanced range were successfully test-fired for the second time from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur in Odisha.
The guided version dubbed as Pinaka mark-II has been evolved version of Pinaka mark-I.
Its first successful test flight was conducted from the same venue on 12th January, 2017.
28. Outdoor caged trials of genetically modified mosquitoes were launched in Dawalwadi, Badnapur in Jalna district of Maharashtra to demonstrate the efficiency of this technique to suppress wild female mosquito populations that transmit Dengue, Chikungunya, and Zika.
The trials are conducted by Oxitec and uses the Release of Insects carrying Dominant Lethal genes (RIDL) technology.
This strategy is considered as the most eco-friendly solution so far to control the spread of infectious diseases.
29. The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) successfully tested indigenously developed the cryogenic engine for the upper stage GSLV Mk III rocket.
The cryogenic upper stage, designated as C25, was tested for 50 seconds at ISRO Propulsion Complex (IPRC) at Mahendragiri in Tamil Nadu demonstrating all the stage operations.
It was the first test in a series of two tests. The second test is planned for flight duration of 640 seconds.
30. Japan launched a satellite Kirameki-2 to modernize its military communications and reportedly to better monitor North Korean missile launches.
The satellite lifted off from Japan’s Tanegashima spaceport aboard an H-IIA rocket at 0744 GMT and successfully entered orbit.
31. 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.
It is investing Rs 30 crore in the centre, to be opened this September and able to seat 1,200 people at any point.
32. 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.
1. Search engine giant Google honoured India’s 19th Century social reformer Savitribai Phule on her 186th birth anniversary, 3rd January 2017 by dedicating a doodle on its webpage.
The ‘doodle’ had a narration by New Delhi-based NGO Zubaan, with colourful paintings by Malvika Asher on the different historical aspects of Savitribai’s life.
2. The World Braille Day is observed very year across the world on 4th January to mark the birth anniversary of Louis Braille, inventor of Braille script or Braille code.
Observance of the day helps people to spread the importance of Braille language and also help people to produce works in this language to allow visually impaired people to read the works.
3. World Hindi Day was observed on 10th January 2017.
It is celebrated to promote the language at the global stage.
4. The 21st Youth Festival started in Rohtak, Haryana on 12th January 2017 and will be continued till 16th January 2017.
It is organized every year on the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, the greatest youth icon.
The theme for the festival is “Youth for Digital India”.
5. Each year, by Presidential Proclamation, 16th January is declared Religious Freedom Day.
Since 1993, the President of the United States has proclaimed January 16 National Religious Freedom Day.
The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom was signed on 16th January 1786, and is commemorated each year on National Religious Freedom Day.
6. Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s birthday or Netaji Jayanti is celebrated in the light of patriotism and a breeze of love for country as ” Desh Prem Divas” on 23rd January 2017.
Bose was one of the most prominent leaders of the Indian Independence Movement.
He spread the feeling of national integration, sacrifice, and communal harmony among the masses.
During the struggle for freedom, Netaji formed Azad Hind Fauz and led the Indian National Army.
He advocated a revolutionary and violent way to protest as opposed to non-violent approach by Mahatma Gandhi.
7. The National Girl Child Day is celebrated on 24th January 2017 at a special function organized by the Ministry of Women & Child Development in New Delhi in the light of exemplary achievements by nation’s daughters during 2016.
With a commendable performance at the Olympics and Paralympics and a historic induction of the first female fighter pilots into the Indian Air Force, it has truly been a proud year for India.
The occasion was marked by felicitating 10 districts under the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme for their exemplary performance.
8. Election commission of India celebrated 7th National Voters Day on 25th January 2017.
The theme of the National Voters Day 2017 is “Empowering young and future voters”.
President Pranab Mukherjee will hand over awards for best electoral practices to over 20 government officers to mark the seventh National Voters Day on 25th January 2017.
National Voters Day is celebrated because on 25th January 1950, it was the foundation day of Election Commission of India (ECI).
9. 26th of January is a day of celebration for both Australia and India.
While India celebrates Republic Day, Australia too celebrates its Foundation Day.
Interestingly it was on 26th January 1788 that Captain Arthur Phillip, commander of First Fleet of British Admiralty, along with his officers rowed to Sidney Cove in eastern Australia and took possession of the land in the name of King George III.
10. World Leprosy Day is observed internationally on January 30 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.
Leprosy is an infectious chronic disease that targets the nervous system, especially the nerves in the cooler parts of the body – the hands, feet, and face.
Recent Notable Deaths
1. Pakistan cricket has lost its oldest living Test player Imtiaz Ahmed after he passed away in Lahore following a protracted illness.
The death of Imtiaz leaves former batsman Waqar Hasan, who now lives in London, as the lone survivor from the Pakistan team’s first Test tour.
2. John Berger, a Booker award winner, died. He was 90.
The author of criticism, novels, poetry, screenplays and many less classifiable books, Berger had considerable influence as a late 20th-century thinker.
3. Veteran actor Om Puri passed away following massive cardiac arrest in Mumbai, Maharashtra. He was 66.
His acting credits include appearances in commercial Indian, British, & Hollywood independent and art films.
He had been awarded the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award of India.
4. Noted Manipur-based historian, litterateur and scholar Gangmumei Kamei passed away in Imphal following protracted illness. He was 77.
Kamei was currently a member of the North-Eastern Council (NEC).
Earlier, he had served as a minister in Manipur on two occasions.
5. Renowned Sitar player Abdul Halim Jaffer khan, the last survivor of his “Sitar Trinity”, died in Mumbai.
He was conferred with the Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan and Sangeet Natak Academy.
He belongs to the Indore Gharana and is credited with the unique music style of “Jafferkhani Baaj”.
He played the sitar for various Bollywood films including- Kohinoor, Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje, Goonj Uthi Shehnai and many others.
6. Portugal former President Mario Soares, widely seen as the father of the country’s modern day democracy, died aged 92.
He was President from 1986 to 1996 after serving as foreign minister and prime minister, and later became a European lawmaker.
7. Former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a pugnacious political survivor despite his support for moderates, died after suffering a heart attack.
Rafsanjani, who was 82, was a pivotal figure in the foundation of the Islamic republic in 1979 and served as president from 1989 to 1997.
8. Clare Hollingworth, the veteran British war correspondent who broke the news of the Nazi invasion of Poland, has died in Hong Kong at the age of 105.
She was the first to report on the invasion that triggered the outbreak of World War 2.
9. Roman Herzog, who as German President was a powerful advocate of economic reforms in the 1990s, has died. He was 82.
Herzog was a member of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union.
He served as the Chief Justice of Germany’s highest court before being elected as a five-year term as President in 1994, four year after reunification.
10. Professor C.V. Vishveshwara, a pioneer in research on black holes, passed away in Bengaluru after a period of illness. He was 78.
In 1970’s, while at Chicago University, he was among the first to study “black holes” even before they had been so named so.
11. Eugene Cernan, the last astronaut to walk on the moon died on Monday at the age of 82.
He was the commander of the final Apollo lunar landing mission in 1972 became known as the “last man on the moon”.
12. Noted scientist P.K.K. Nair, often referred to as the `Father of Indian Palynology’ (study of pollen grains), passed away at his residence in Bengaluru.
Nair was the founder Director and Emeritus Chairman of the Environmental Resources Research Centre, Thiruvananthapuram, devoted to research and development in tropical biology, ecology, and sustainable development.
13. Russian Ambassador Alexander Kadakin, a fluent Hindi-speaking career diplomat considered a great friend of India, passed away after a brief illness. He was 67.
Kadakin, who was serving as the Ambassador here since 2009, was credited with playing a significant role in the promotion of relations between India and Russia.
This was his second stint as the Ambassador, having served one between 1999 and 2004.
GK Eduwrap will help you keeping aware about all the major happenings of the country and the world and update your current affairs/general knowledge.
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