India’s largest startup incubator to be built at Hubballi i.Indian-American entrepreneur, philanthropist and venture capitalist Gururaj Deshpande has decided to launch India’s largest startup incubation centre at Hubballi (earlier Hubli) in Karnataka.
ii.The decision is based on the idea of expansion of the Deshpande Foundation’s initial incubation center, Sandbox, which was founded by Deshpande and his wife Jaishree in 2008. INSAT-3DR to map farm fires in Haryana, Punjab i.INSAT-3DR works in tandem with INSAT-3D, operational since 2014, in sending raw data and high-resolution images, zoomed up to 1 kilometre near the earth's surface, every 15 minutes.
ii.Next generation satellite INSAT-3DR has opened new frontiers in India's weather forecasting and is set to equip the country with the ability to detect farm fires, which intensifies air pollution in the northern region seasonally, leaving Delhi gasping for breath.
iii.A team of the Satellite Meteorology Division of India Meteorological Department (IMD), housed in New Delhi's Mausam Bhawan, has amassed a huge tranche of data relayed by it over the past few months, at an average rate of a whopping 142 GB per day. AP Singh is interim head of Postal Bank i.India Post Payments Bank (IPPB), floated by the postal department, has received Reserve Bank of India’s final nod to commence commercial operations.
ii.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. Ex-HC judge Vishwanath Shetty sworn in as Karnataka Lokayukta i.Former HC judge Justice P Vishwanath Shetty was administered the oath of Karnataka Lokayukta office by governor Vajubhai R Vala.
ii.The post had remained vacant since Y Bhaskar Rao stepped down in December 2015 following bribery scandal. Shetty's appointment was cleared by governor. Gokaldas Exports to set up manufacturing units in Chittoor district i.Gokaldas Exports has entered in to a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Andhra Pradesh Government for setting up four apparel manufacturing units in Chittoor district over next three years.
ii.The company plans to invest up to Rs. 200 crore which is likely to generate approximately 5,000 new jobs. France's Iris Mittenaere wins Miss Universe 2016 i.Miss France Iris Mittenaere was crowned Miss Universe 2016 at the Mall of Asia Arena . Miss Colombia Andrea Tovar won second runner-up.
ii. Miss Haiti Raquel Pelissier won first runner-up. Flo Rida and Boyz II Men gave musical performances during the Miss Universe pageant. SC appoints former CAG chief Vinod Rai as BCCI chief The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday appointed former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) chief Vinod Rai as BCCI chief, along with noted historian Ramachandra Guha and IDFC MD & CEO Vikram Limaye as administrators of the sport body.
IMD to Set up Weather Stations in 660 Districts by 2019 i.The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has decided to set up weather stations in 660 districts of the country for better and prompt weather forecasting with major focus on rain-fed and non-rain-fed areas to give crop specific advisories.
ii.The system would be launched in phased manner. Initially, IMD has planned to set up the system in 130 districts and gradually increase it to 660 by 2019. The plan will be taken at block level after successful functioning at district level. Nitin Gadkari Announces to Develop 1,253 km road in Assam as National Highways i.The Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways and Shipping, Nitin Jairam Gadkari, Roadinaugurated a 3-lane Brahmaputra Bridge at Saraighat in Guwahati .
ii.As a part of the event, the Minister announced that the government would spend Rs 15,000 crores to develop 1,253 kilometres of roads in Assam into National Highways over the next few years. Inheritance Court for Non-Muslims to be Set up in Abu Dhabi i.The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Judicial Department, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has issued a resolution to set up a Personal Status and Inheritance Court for non Muslims in Abu Dhabi.
ii.The aim of setting up the Court is to ensure access to services for all segment of the society and promote the culture of tolerance and acceptance of other communities values at the judiciary level. India’s Foreign Exchange Reserves Rises by $ 932.4 million to $ 360.775 billion i.The Reserve Bank of India on January 29, 2017 informed that the Foreign Exchange Reserves of India rose by 932.4 million dollars to 360.775 billion dollars for the second consecutive week ended January 20.
ii.In the previous week, India’s forex reserve increased by 687.9 million dollars to 359.843 billion dollars. Abul Hossain Wins 2017 Kolkata Marathon i.Siliguri lad Abul Hossain won the Kolkata Marathon as amateur runners from north Bengal and Northeast India dominated the first edition of the meet here.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.
ii. Paritosh Roy finished third with a timing of two hours, 52 minutes 48 seconds.Sikkim's Mangali Tamang won the women's half marathon with a timing of one hour 31 minutes and 13 seconds. PV Sindhu wins Syed Modi International badminton tournament i.Indian shuttler PV Sindhu won the Syed Modi International Grand Prix Gold after beating Indonesia's Gregoria Mariska in the final.
ii.The Rio Olympics silver medalist eased past her opponent in straight sets, 21-13, 21-14. India's Sameer Verma also won the tournament in men's singles category after defeating compatriot Sai Praneeth in straight sets, 21-19, 21-16. Federer has won over ₹680 crore in tournament prize money i.Switzerland's Roger Federer became the second player in tennis history after Novak Djokovic to crossing $100 million (over ₹680 crore) in tournament earnings after winning the Australian Open.
ii.The eighteen-time Grand Slam champion Federer has amassed over $100 million, earning almost $2.8 million overcoming Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open final. Hollywood Legend & Harry Porter actor John Hurt dies at 77 Sir John Hurt, the British actor who starred in The Elephant Man and Harry Potter, John Hurt dies at 77died on January 25, 2017 at his residence in Norfolk, London due to Cancer. He was 77.
14th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas convention begins in Bengaluru i. The 14th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas (PBD) convention has begins in Bengaluru. The three-day event will kick start with the Youth PBD, the theme of which is 'Role of Diaspora Youth in the Transformation of India'. Pravasi Bharatiya Divas has been held traditionally on 9th January every year to commemorate the return of Mahatma Gandhi as a Pravasi from South Africa to India.Three plenary sessions are scheduled to be held in Youth PBD. First will be on reaching out to Indian Students abroad, NRIs and overseas Indian Community Students in India. Second will be on Start-ups and Innovations and 3rd on Start-up ecosystem in Karnataka.
All India Conference of Waqf Boards begins i. The All India Conference of Chairpersons and Chief Executive Officers of States and Union Territories' Waqf Boards begins in New Delhi.The conference will be inaugurated by Minister of State for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.Various issues, including review of progress under the schemes relating to grant of financial assistance for computerization of waqf properties, strengthening of waqf boards and development of waqf properties by National Waqf Development Corporation Ltd. will be discussed during the conference.
Japan to Help in Developing Chennai, Ahmedabad and Varanasi Smart Cities i. 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 Mr.Kenji Hiramatsu during his meeting with Minister of Urban Development Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu. Per capita income of Indians to cross Rs 1 lakh in FY17 i. India’s per capita income, a gauge for measuring living standard, is estimated to cross Rs 1 lakh in 2016-17, up from Rs 93,293 in the previous fiscal. As per the ‘First Advance Estimates of National Income, 2016-17’ released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), the per capita net national income during 2016-17 is “estimated to be Rs 103,007” at current prices. This is higher by 10.4 per cent compared to Rs 93,293 during 2015-16. ii. The Central Statistics Office said India’s GDP is expected to slowdown to 7.1 per cent during 2016-17 from 7.6 per cent in the previous fiscal mainly due to slump in manufacturing, mining and construction activities.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 8th Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors Summit 2017 at Gandhinagar i.Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 8th Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors Summit 2017 at Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar.
ii.This year's biennial flagship event of the state is hosting Prime Ministers, Presidents, Deputy Prime Ministers and ministers of several countries apart from CEOs of Fortune 500 companies
Maharashtra govt launches India's largest WiFi service i.Maharashtra government has launched India’s largest public WiFi service called 'MumbaiWifi'.
ii. The facility, inaugurated by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in Mumbai and initially provide 500 Wifi hotspots across various locations like Vidhan Bhawan, Kalanagar in Bandra, Bombay High Court, and Mumbai Police Commissioner’s office.
Pakistan fires 'first submarine-launched nuclear-capable missile' i.Pakistan has fired its first submarine-launched cruise missile, a show of force for a country that sees its missile development as a deterrent against arch-foe India.
ii.The launch of the nuclear-capable Babur-3 missile has a range of 450 km (280 miles) and was fired from an undisclosed location in the Indian Ocean, is likely to heighten long-running tension between India and Pakistan.
United Nation Recognises 2017 as Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development i.The United Nations 70th General Assembly has recognised the year 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.
ii.This recognizes the importance of international tourism and particularly of the designation of an international year of sustainable tourism for development, in fostering better understanding among peoples everywhere, in leading to a greater awareness of the rich heritage of various civilizations and in bringing about a better appreciation of the inherent values of different cultures, thereby contributing to the strengthening of peace in the world.
PM Narendra Modi Releases special commemorative postage in 350th birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh in Patna i.Prime Minister Modi released special commemorative stamps on Prakash Parv in 350th birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh in Patna on 5 January 2017.
ii. Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Punjab Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal, Union Minsters Ravi Shankar Prasad Ram Vilas Paswan and Harsimrat Kaur were present on this occasion.
5 Indian Americans Takes Oath as Members of US Congress i.Five Indian Americans Takes Oath as Members of US Congress.
i.They are Kamala Harris, Ami Bera, Ro Khanna, Raja Krishnamoorthi and Pramila Jayapal.
ii.The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States consisting of two chambers the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Kerala Launched its First Solar Powered Boat Aditya i.The Chief Minister of Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated the first solar-powered boat of the state water transport department, Aditya on January 12, 2017 at a function held in Vaikom boat Jetty in Kerala.
ii.Piyush Goyal, Minister of State with independent charge for New & Renewable Energy, Solar Powered boatwas the chief guest. 4th International Kite Festival begins in New Delhi i.Fourth International Kite Festival begins in New Delhi .
ii.Professional kite flying experts from across India and the globe are taking part in the three-day festival, which will have an exhibition on the history of kites as well.
iii.A special kite making demonstration will also be organised where professional kite flyers will showcase their expertise and demonstrate the art of kite making.
Government Launches Web-Portal ‘ShaGun’ for Monitoring Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan i.The Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar launched a dedicated web portal ‘ShaGun’ on for continuous monitoring of the elementary education scheme Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and promote the development of education sector of India.
ii.The portal has been developed by World Bank in collaboration with Ministry of Human Resource Development. ShaGun has been coined from the words ‘Shala’ meaning schools and ‘Gunvatta’ meaning quality.
10th Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) Begins in Jaipur i.The 10th edition of the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) was inaugurated Jaipur Literature Festival 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.
ii. 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’The five day event would see the participation by over 250 authors, thinkers, politicians, popular culture icons, speakers, connoisseurs, book lovers among others.
Delhi Police commissioner Alok Verma appointed next CBI chief A 3-member committee headed by PM Modi selected Alok Kumar Verma as next CBI chief for a period of 2 years. Verma, a 1979-batch IPS officer, has been Delhi Police chief for the last 11 months. Gujarat-cadre IPS officer Rakesh Asthana was acting as CBI's interim director.
Alibaba Becomes Worldwide Sponsor of Olympic Games through 2028 i.The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Chinese e-commerce firm Alibaba Group entered into a long-term partnership through 2028 at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. This makes Alibaba the worldwide sponsor of Olympic Games through 2028.
ii. The partnership was agreed between IOC President Thomas Bach, Alibaba Group Founder and Executive Chairman Jack Ma and Alibaba Group Chief Executive Officer Daniel Zhang.
iii.With this Alibaba has become the first company in the world to make a long-term commitment to the IOC through 2028 as well as first Chinese company to commit to the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.
Nation celebrates its 68th Republic Day i. India celebrates its 68th Republic Day today (26th January 2017). On January 26, 1950, the Constitution of India came into force, and Republic Day is celebrated to honour that day. On this day in 1950, the first President of India, Dr Rajendra Prasad took the oath. President Pranab Mukherjee has started the ceremony by hoisting the Indian flag, following which the Republic Day Parade from Rajpath. The parade starts from Rajpath and ends at Red Fort in Delhi. Every year on Republic Day, India invites a visiting head of state, who is the state guest of honour (chief guest) for the ceremony. This year's guest of honour is the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
ii. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who personally received the Prince at the airport, stated that United Arab Emirates (UAE) is India's valued partner and close ties between the two countries are important for the entire region. Though Republic Day is celebrated on January 26 with the Parade on Rajpath, the celebrations are spread over three days and end with the Beating Retreat ceremony on January 29. DU becomes first public varsity with 'monumental' flag i. Nearly one year after all Central University vice-chancellors decided to install the national flag on their campuses, Delhi University's Hansraj College on 25th January 2017 has hoisted its first monumental flag. ii. DU is the first public university in the country to get a monumental flagpole, according to the Flag Foundation of India. The 100-feet high flag was hoisted by former MP Naveen Jindal.
Burj Khalifa lights up in 'Tricolour' to mark 68th Indian Republic Day i. Burj Khalifa tower, the world's tallest building located in Dubai, has lit up in the colours of the Indian National flag on 25th January 2017 and 26th January 2017 to celebrate India's 68th Republic Day. ii. The LED shows were to be held on both days along with complimenting Dubai Fountain shows. In addition to the shows, the Indian Consulate in Dubai has a flag-hoisting ceremony at the consulate premises by Consul General Anurag Bhushan, followed by flag-hoisting at the Indian High School grounds in Oud Metha, Dubai.
India ranked 79th in the Corruption Perception Index 2016 i.India has been ranked at 79th spot out of 176 countries in the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) for the year 2016 released by the Berlin-based corruption watchdog Transparency International (TI).
ii.New Zealand and Denmark jointly shared the first position as the least corrupt nations while Somalia was rated as the most corrupt country in the list.
ISRO successfully ground-tests Cryogenic Upper Stage engine meant for rocket GSLV-Mark-III i.Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully ground tested the Cryogenic Upper Stage engine meant for the rocket GSLV-Mark-III.
ii.In a release, the space agency stated the indegenously developed engine, designated as C25, tested for a duration of 50 seconds in its Propulsion Complex at Mahendragiri in southern Tamil Nadu, demonstrating all the stage operations.
Indian Navy’s Theatre Level Exercise, TROPEX 17 Begins i.The Theatre Readiness Operational Exercise (TROPEX), an annual Indian Navy exercise kicked started off the Western Seaboard.
ii.The last edition of the exercise was conducted in January 2015.TROPEX 17 exercise is aimed at testing combat readiness of the combined fleets of the Indian Navy, and the assets of the Indian Air Force, Indian Army and the Indian Coast Guard.
Surya Namaskar Yajna Recognised in US Congress i.The annual “Surya Namaskar Yajna” or “Health for Humanity Yogathon” has been recognized in the US House of Representative on the occasion of its 10th anniversary.
ii.Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh has organized the “Yoga for Health, Health for Humanity Yogathon” from January 14 to January 29, 2017 to mark Makar Sankranti.The 16-day event will raise awareness about yoga and its advantages in achieving a healthy body, mind, and spirit.
DragonBall Z Fans Can Rejoice As Tokyo 2020 Unveils Son Goku As Olympics Ambassador i.In order to woo the young audiences at the 2020 Olympics, the organisers of the Tokyo Games have unveiled Japan's cult anime character Son Goku as its ambassador.
ii.The Japanese character will feature on all the official Olympics 2020 merchandise. Apart from the Dragonball Z character, other cartoon stars that will be massively visible throughout the sporting extravaganza will be Mario,
Naruto and Sailor Moon.
India slips to 92nd rank on global talent competitiveness Index i.India has slipped 3 places to 92nd rank on the global index of talent competitiveness that measures how countries grow, attract and retain talent, a list topped by Switzerland.
ii.India’s ranking is worst among the five BRICS countries.
iii. While China was ranked at the 54th place, Russian Federation was placed at 56th, followed by South Africa at 67th and Brazil 81st.
iv.Switzerland topped the overall index, followed by Singapore and the United Kingdom in second and third places respectively, in the list released by INSEAD Produced in partnership with The Adecco Group and the Human Capital Leadership Institute of Singapore (HCLI).Last year, India came in at 89th on the index.
SC allows 24-week pregnant woman to have abortion i.The Supreme Court has given permission to a woman in her 24th week of pregnancy to undergo termination of pregnancy after medical report finds foetus is without skull.
ii.The Court says, a woman can abort if foetus poses danger to mother's life.
iii.The apex court also directed that the termination of pregnancy be performed by a team of doctors of the hospital which shall maintain a complete record of the procedure adopted in the matter.
BSF launches operation ‘Sard Hawa’ at Rajasthan border i.Border Security Force (BSF) 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.
ii. The operation will continue till 28 January 2017.
iii.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 the operation to motivate jawans. Youth Day, the birthday of Swami Vivekananda being observed:12 January
i.12 January of every year is observed as National Youth Day, the birthday of Swami Vivekananda a grateful nation is celebrating Swamiji's hundred fifty-fourth birth anniversary with much fanfare.
ii.Several functions are being organized across the country to mark the occasion.
iii. Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing National Youth Day function at Rohtak, Haryana through video conferencing. To honor Swami Vivekananda, National Youth Day is celebrated every year on January 12 since 1985. It was in 1984 that the Government of India declared it.
iv.The government felt that the philosophy of Vivekananda and his ideals are a great source of inspiration for the Indian youth. So, it was declared that his birthday will be observed as National Youth Day.
Telangana to Host International Kite Festival from January 12, 2017 i.The second international kite festival coinciding with the 'Makar Sankranti' fest would be held for six days from January 12, 2017 in Hyderabad and two other districts in Telangana.
ii.Telangana Tourism, which is organizing the International Kite Festival-2017, committed to a social cause of raising awareness about the importance of education and empowerment of girl children and expects a footfall of around 50,000 visitors.
iii.The festival will have participation from 17 countries with 70 international and 40 national kite flyers, and a special night-flying event is scheduled on January 12 as a pre-festival event at People's Plaza.
Khanderi, the second Scorpene class submarine launched i.Khanderi, the second Scorpene class submarine that has superior stealth and the ability to launch a crippling attack with torpedoes as well as tube-launched anti-ship missiles whilst underwater or on the surface, launched at the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited, Mumbai.
ii.Khanderi is named after the Island fort of Maratha forces, which played a vital role in ensuring their supremacy at sea in the late 17th century.
iii.Khanderi is also the name for Tiger Shark.
Norway becomes first country to cease FM radio broadcasting i.Norway has become the first country to cease FM radio broadcasting.
ii.The northern county of Nordland has stopped broadcasting using analogue frequencies as the Government plans to roll out digital-only radio over the course of the year.
iii. According to the national broadcaster, NRK, nationwide radio channels began switching to digital audio broadcasting that offers a wider range of broadcasting options and greater sound quality.
China to build world's highest altitude telescopes in Tibet i. China is setting up the world's highest altitude gravitational wave telescopes in a Tibet prefecture close to Line of Actual Control with India with a budget of $18.8 million to detect faintest echoes resonating from the universe which may reveal more about the Big Bang theory. Construction has started for the first telescope, code-named Ngari No 1, 30 km south of Shiquanhe Town in Ngari Prefecture, said Yao Yongqiang chief researcher with the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. ii. Parts of Ngari is last Tibetan prefecture at China's border with India. The telescope, located 5,250 meters above sea level, will detect and gather precise data on primordial gravitational waves in the Northern Hemisphere. It is expected to be operational by 2021, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. Donald Trump names Dan Coats as new national intelligence director i.US President-elect Donald Trump has named Dan Coats as his National Intelligence Director. The Indiana ex-senator formerly served on the Senate Intelligence Committee. Mr Coats would provide unwavering leadership and spearhead his administration's ceaseless vigilance against those who seek to do them harm. ii.The appointment comes a day after an intelligence report accused Russia's President of ordering a campaign aimed at helping Mr Trump to victory. Mr Coats will need the Senate to confirm his appointment, replacing James Clapper.
PM Modi & Portuguese PM Antonio Costa inaugurate PBD Convention at Bengaluru i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Portuguese counterpart Dr Antonio Costa has inaugurated the main convention of Pravasi Bhartiya Divas this morning (08th January 2017) in Bengaluru. ii. In his key note address at the 14th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas celebrations, Mr Modi said, the Indian diaspora represents the best of Indian culture, ethos and values. Indians abroad are valued not just for their strength in numbers.
India Ranks 60th in Inclusive Development Index 2017 i.India has been ranked at 60th position among 79 developing economies with a score of only 3.38 in the Inclusive Development Index (IDI) of the World Economic Forum (WEF).
ii.WEF released its ‘Inclusive Growth and Development Report 2017’ on January 16, 2017 in Davos, Switzerland.
iii. The list has been topped by Lithuania among the 79 developing countries. India ranked 78th in global ‘Passport Index’ i.Indian passport has been ranked a lowly 78 in a global ranking of the world’s most powerful passports which was topped by Germany.
ii.Germany stands at the top with a visa-free score of 157, while Singapore overtakes South Korea and becomes the highest ranked Asian passport with a visa-free score of 156. Manipur’s Karang is India’s first cashless island i.Karang, a small lake island in Manipur, has become the country’s first cashless island
.ii.The Union ministry of electronics and information technology under its Digital India program announced Karang as the first cashless island in India.
iii. Confirming it, deputy commissioner M Harekrishna of Bishnupur district stated that island fulfilled the Centre’s necessary criteria.
iv.The Karang island is located in the middle of Loktak, the largest freshwater lake in Northeast India.
Petroleum Conservation Campaign ‘Saksham 2017’ Inaugurated in Nagaland i.The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MOP & NG) inaugurated one month long oil and gas conservation campaign Saksham-2017 at a function in Unity College
,ii. Dimapur in Nagaland on January 16, 2017.The mass awareness campaign was inaugurated by chief guest Ramongo Lotha, secretary Food and Civil Supplies.
iii. The campaign would be conducted from January 16 to February 15, 2017.The main aim of such campaign is to spread the awareness on fuel conservation so as to minimize the wastage of petroleum products as the demand for it remains high. Kolkata’s Sitalpati Gets place in UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has registered Sitalpati or cool mat from the Cooch Behar district, West Bengal as an Sitlapati intangible cultural heritage.
Himachal Pradesh beats Kerala in learning outcomes: ASER i. The Annual Status Education Report (ASER) 2016 found that Himachal Pradesh is doing well in many regards, on the education front, as compared to the rest of the states. It has the country’s highest reading and mathematics learning levels, shooting past even Kerala, which has an almost spotless track record of maintaining its position as the most literate state.
ii. Himachal Pradesh has the highest rate of children who can read a standard II level of text in the country. This stands at 47 per cent for standard III level of learning, a 70.5 per cent for standard V and an 87.9 per cent for standard VIII.
Gujarat: Over 3.5 lakh people sing national anthem, set new world record i. More than 3.5 lakh people in Gujarat’s Rajkot district set a new world record by singing the national anthem at an event. The feat took place at the installation of a Khodiyar goddess idol at the newly-built Khodal Dham temple in the town.
ii. “Over 3.5 lakh people sang the anthem together at the idol installation ritual in the presence of observers from Guinness World Records,” said Hansraj Gajera, a member of Khodal Dham temple trust. The previous record stood for 2,54,537 people singing the national anthem in Bangladesh in 2014. Bihar forms world’s longest human chain of 11,000 kilometres i. Bihar on 21st January 2017 claimed to have formed the world's longest human chain, covering an estimated distance of 11,292 kilometres, involving over two crore citizens against alcoholism and liquor. ii. Bihar CM Nitish Kumar joined hands with Lalu Prasad and other political party leaders to start the 45-minute-long chain. The previous record was the 1,050-km human chain formed in Bangladesh.
National Girl Child Day to be celebrated today (24 January 2017) i.National Girl Child Day will be celebrated at a special function in New Delhi in view of exemplary achievements by nation's daughters during last year. ii.They presented commendable performance at the Olympics and Paralympics besides historic induction of the first batch of female fighter pilots into the Indian Air Force (IAF). iii.Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi and Minister of State Krishna Raj will be addressing the audience. iv.The occasion shall be marked by release of National Plan of Action for Children 2016.Ten districts under the 'Beti Bachao Beti Padhao' scheme for their exemplary performance will also be felicitated.
Rescheduled Education Loan will not be Considered for Computing NPAs:RBI i.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. ii.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. T-Hub launches ‘GIS Innovation Hub’ powered by Esri India
i.T-Hub, the start-up engine catalysing innovation, today announced the launch of ‘GIS Innovation Hub’ (GIH) for start-ups.
ii.The GIH is powered by Esri India, the Geographic Information System (GIS) software and solutions provider.The facility was inaugurated by Jack Dangermond, Co-founder, President and CEO of Esri Inc. Jharkhand Annual Budget 2017-18
i.The Chief Minister of Jharkhand Raghubar Das presented the state’s annual budget for 2017-18 on January 23, 2017 under the theme of Garib Kalyan Varsh The main focus of the budget is on agriculture, education and skill development, rural development and eliminating poverty.
ii.The Minister has presented a budget worth Rs 75,673.42 crore out of which Rs 57,861.32 crore would be revenue expenditure and Rs 18,812.10 crore would be capital expenditure. The total allocated state budget for 2017-18 is 19.7 percent more than the current year. Stamp Cover on Sindhu, Sakshi and Dipa Released by Postal Department
i.The Indian postal department released a special stamp cover titled Golden girls of India – Pride of Nation on January 21, 2017 during a district-level philatelic exhibition in Agartala to honor the sporting personalities in the country.
ii.The special covers feature the 2016 Olympic medalist gymnast Dipa Karmakar, shuttler PV Sindu and wrestler Sakshi Malik. They were also awarded the nation’s highest sports award Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna in 2016.
iii. Besides the three, the cover also depicted the image of Dipa’s coach Bishweshwar Nandi who was awarded the 2016 Dronacharya award. BCSBI to organise ‘know your rights’ programme
i.To educate awareness on banking codes at grass root level, The Banking Codes and Standards Board of India (BCSBI) will organise know your rights programme in all the states.For this, the organisation will adopt a three-fold approach in the awareness programme focussing Tier II cities, metros and other backward areas, Anand Aras, CEO, BCSBI said.
ii. With the opening up of innumerable Jan-Dhan accounts and increased usage of formal and transparent modes of financial transactions, it is now imperative for the lesser privileged section of the society to understand their rights. Tamil Nadu Assembly Unanimously Passes Jallikattu Bill
i.Tamil Nadu assembly under the chairmanship of Chief Minister O Panneerselvam unanimously passed the Jallikattu Bill on January 23, 2017 to replace the ordinance issued on January 21, 2017 to allow the states traditional sport.
ii.The bill amends the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, making Jallikattu a permanent sport in rural Tamil Nadu. Uber To Bring Food Delivery App ‘UberEATS’ In India
i.Transportation app Uber will soon launch its on-demand food delivery app ‘UberEATS’ in the Indian market.
ii.UberEATS is currently available in 58 cities globally, including Bangkok, Singapore, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Taipei.The new app will give consumers, restaurant partners, and delivery partners more options across India. Guided Pinaka rocket successfully test fired i.The guided Pinaka rocket was successfully test—fired for the second time from launch complex—III of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) launch pad at Chandipur.Defence sources said the test was conducted at 12:45 pm and Pinaka rocket mark-II, equipped with navigation, guidance and control kit, was transformed into a “guided Pinaka". ii.The conversion facilitated range enhancement and improvement in Pinaka’s accuracy. Kyoto Protocol: Govt gives nod to ratify second commitment period i.The Centre gave its nod to ratify the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol that commits countries to contain the emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs).
ii.The Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave its approval to ratify the second commitment period of the international treaty, which was adopted by nations in 2012. So far, 65 countries have ratified the second commitment period. Vodafone to invest Rs 3,000 cr in West Bengal in next 3 years i.Vodafone India signed an MoU with the West Bengal government to invest Rs 3,000 crore for capacity augmentation and new business initiatives over next three years.
ii.The MoU signed on the sidelines of Bengal Global Business Summit 2017 .To improve Vodafone’s leadership position in the state by offering customers a SuperNet experience through enhanced network. New Universal Rail Mill Worth Rs. 1200 crore Inaugurated in Bhilai Steel Plant i.Moving towards the Make in India initiative, the Steel Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh inaugurated the new Universal Rail Mill at Bhilai Steel Plant (BSP) of Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) on January 23, 2017 and flagged off the mills first and world’s longest single rail of 130 meters from the new Universal Rail Mill(URM).
ii.URM established at a cost of about Rs 1200 crore. It will take BSP’s total capacity to produce rails at 2.0 million tons per annum (MTPA). This will be the largest rail production capacity in any single location for a plant world over. Delhi airport wins award for CSR i.The Delhi International Airport (Private) Limited (DIAL) has won the ‘Golden Peacock Award for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in the transportation sector under the Aviation category for the year 2016
.ii.Delhi Airport has also been adjudged the world’s number one airport in ACI ASQ survey in 25- 40 Million Passengers Per Annum (MPPA) category for two consecutive years - 2014 and 2015. Birender Singh Yadav and Ashok Warrier accredited as the Ambassador of India to the Republic of Burkina Faso & Republic of Congo i.Shri Birender Singh Yadav, 1997 batch IFS officer, presently High Commissioner of lndia to Ghana, has been concurrently accredited as the Ambassador of lndia to the Republic of Burkina Faso, with residence in Accra.
ii.Shri Ashok Warrier, presently Ambassador of lndia to the Democratic Republic of Congo, has been concurrently accredited as the Ambassador of lndia to the Republic of Congo. IRDAI okays Swiss Re move to open Mumbai branch i.Wholesale reinsurance provider Swiss Re has received approval from the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) to open a branch in the city.
ii. With the composite branch license, Swiss Re will be able to operate in India and it can offer both non-life and life and health reinsurance solutions directly to clients and brokers in the country.Swiss Reinsurance Company, India Branch, will begin its operation from February 1, 2017. Utkarsh Micro Finance Launches its Small Finance Bank i.Varanasi-based Utkarsh Micro Finance started operating its banking business as Utkarsh Small Finance Bank on January 23, 2017 to cater to the needs of the poor mainly in the northern belt. UK’s Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC) has infused Rs. 150 crore in the tier II capital in the company.
ii.This makes Utkarsh the third company to operate as small finance bank after Capital Small Finance Bank and Equitas Small Finance Bank all of which got final approval from RBI to operate banking business on November 28, 2016. Nepal Launches 10-year-plan to Reduce Depending on India for Vegetable Imports i.In a move to decrease dependence on vegetable imports from India, the Nepal Government has launched a 10-year plan to boost domestic production.
ii.The 10-year scheme aims to adopt modern farm techniques to boost vegetable productivity in the country and make the country self-reliant in food. Turkish Parliament Approves Presidential Rule Paving Way for Referendum i.The parliament of Turkey approved a constitutional reform on January 21, 2017 to strengthen the powers of the presidency by introducing presidential rule in the country and has led the way for a referendum on the issue by the public.
ii.If the bill will be passed then the President Tayyip Erdogan would serve the office until 2029 Goa First State to Send Postal Ballots Electronically to Service Voters i.The Chief Election Commissioner(CEC) of India, Syed Nasim Zaidi informed that the state government of Goa has opted for an initiative involving electronic transmission of postal ballot to service voters in the upcoming assembly polls.
ii.This initiative will make Goa the first state in the country to do so. Ola appoints former PepsiCo executive Vishal Kaul as COO i.Transportation app Ola has appointed former PepsiCo executive Vishal Kaul as its Chief Operating Officer.
ii.He succeeds Pranay Jivrajka, who has been appointed as Founding Partner. Kaul most recently served as the General Manager of PepsiCo Foods for Thailand, Myanmar and Laos. Foreign Secretary Jaishankar gets one-year extension i.Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar, whose tenure was to end on January 28, today got a one-year extension.The nod for the extension of his tenure till January 28, 2018 was given by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet.
ii.A 1977-IFS batch officer, Jaishankar was appointed Foreign Secretary on January 29, 2015 just few days before his retirement replacing Sujata Singh, whose term was abruptly curtailed by the government. Siddhartha Murarka is now ICSI Chairman i.Siddhartha Murarka has been appointed as the Chairman of the Eastern India Regional Council of The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI).
ii.His term began from January 19, 2017. Murarka, a fellow member of the ICSI, was the head of risk management and compliance at a member firm of the PwC before starting his own practice.
iii.Murarka is also a “regular faculty”at ICAI and other professional bodies and chambers of commerce like the Merchant Chamber of Commerce and the BCCI Virat Becomes Fastest Batsman to Score 1000 Runs as ODI Captain i.Virat Kohli became the fastest batsman in the world to score 1,000 runs as captain in One-Day Internationals (ODIs) on January 22, 2017 in the third ODI against England at the Eden Gardens.
ii.The 28-year-old batsman took 17 innings to reach the landmark, breaking the earlier record set by South Africa’s AB deVilliers which was achieved in 18 innings.
The Union Minister for Sports Vijay Goel laid the foundation stone of the country's first centre of excellence for differently abled sportsmen at Gandhinagar, Gujarat. Sasikala Natarajan to take over as Tamil Nadu's next CM i.AIADMK chief Sasikala Natarajan will take over as the next Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu from O Panneerselvam, the party announced.
ii. The AIADMK MLAs also elected Sasikala Natarajan as the Legislative party leader. Notably, the party said in a tweet that current Chief Minister Panneerselvam had himself proposed Sasikala's name as the leader of AIADMK Legislature Party.