Here you can get complete details of current affairs for the month of january 2017. This can be used for competitive exams such as Central government jobs, IAS, SSC, Railway, banking exams such as IBPS PO Clerk, SBI, RBI and all other competitive exams. Read daily affairs and resource yields the facts about the events of International affairs, National, Sports, Business, Banking Current Affairs of jan 2017 and more which are betterment for the Government & Private Job aspirants.
CURRENT AFFAIRS JANUARY–2017
List of Important Days
January 1 – 50th World Day of Peace. (Theme – “Nonviolence: a Style of Politics for Peace”)
January 4 – World Braille Day.
January 4 – Myanmar’s 69th Independence Day.
January 6 – World Day for War Orphans.
January 9 – Pravasi Bharatiya Divas. (NRI Day)
January 10 – World Hindi Day.
January 12 – National Youth Day. (Theme – “Youth for Digital India”)
January 15 – 69th Indian Army Day.
January 24 – 10th National Girl Child Day. (Theme – “Empowerment of Girl Child”)
January 25 – 7th National Voters’ Day. (Theme – “Empowering Young and Future Voters”)
January 26 – International Customs Day.
(Theme – “Data Analysis for Effective Border Management”)
January 26 – 68th Republic Day of India.
January 26 – Foundation Day of Australia.
January 27 – International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust
(International Holocaust Remembrance Day). (Theme – “Educating for a Better Future:
The Role of Historical Sites and Museums in Holocaust Education”)
January 29 – National Immunization Day.
January 30 – National Martyrs’ Day. (Sarvodaya day/Shaheed Diwas)
January 30 – Anti Leprosy Day.
January 16 – US President Barack Obama has declared January 16 as Religious Freedom Day in accordance with a yearly tradition.
Reserve Bank of India
· Old 500 and 1,000 notes are no longer legal tender and can be deposited or exchanged only at RBI offices till March 31, 2017.
– Post this period, a minimum 10,000 fine will be collected on possession of over 10 old notes.
· The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced that it has appointed Surekha Marandi as the new Executive Director (ED).
· The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has agreed to provide 100 crore in 100 currency notes to Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) to ease the acute shortage of 100 notes in the Himalayan nation.
· The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) raised the withdrawal limit from ATMs to 10,000 per day from the existing 4,500 per day per card with immediate effect.
– Further, the limit on withdrawal from current accounts has also been enhanced to 1 lakh per week from the existing limit of 50,000 per week.
· 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.
· Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed a penalty of Rs 75lakhs on Bombay Mercantile Co-operative Bank for violations of norms related to KYC and anti-money laundering.
· 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.
· RBI has announced lifting of restrictions on daily withdrawal of money from ATMs with effect from 1 February 2017 and has also withdrawn all limits on Current Accounts and overdraft accounts with immediate effect.
– In a circular to the banks the RBI however stated the weekly limits of 24 thousand rupees on Savings Bank accounts will continue.
State Bank of India
· SBI cut benchmark interest rate across various maturities by 0.9 per cent, effective from January 1, a move that is expected to be shortly followed by other banks.
– The bank has reduced marginal cost of funds based lending rate (MCLR) by 0.9 per cent from 8.90 per cent to 8 per cent for 1year tenure.
· The State Bank of India has launched a new wealth management product named ‘SBI Exclusif’ in Kochi, Kerala.
· Future Group’s fashion and lifestyle departmental store Central joined with SBI Card launched a second co-branded credit card to offer benefits to consumers in the premium lifestyle and fashion space.
· The State Bank of India (SBI) has temporarily blocked major digital wallets including Paytm, MobiKwik and FreeCharge from its net banking service.
· Punjab National Bank and Union Bank of India have brought down interest rates.
– PNB has cut its one year marginal cost of funds based lending rate by 0.7% and Union Bank has reduced it by 0.65%. Kotak Mahindra also cut lending rates by up to 0.45%.
· HDFC bank has launched a Chabot service called ‘OnChat’ to allow users to make payments through Facebook Messenger.
· Citibank has launched voice verification for its phone banking clients to replace the current authentication process of remembering PINs or answering verification questions.
· Private sector Axis Bank became the third lender in the country to announce usage of block chain solutions for its operations.
– For this purpose, Axis Bank has tied up with fintech firm Ripple.
· Deutsche Bank has banned text messages and other communication apps like WhatsApp, Google Talk and iMessage on company issued phones.
· Government has notified that Co-operative Banks are not authorized to accept deposits under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Deposit Scheme (PMGKDS).
· The Union Cabinet gave its approval to waive off interest on short-term crop loans taken by farmers from Cooperative Banks for the months of November and December.
· The Reserve Bank of India gave permission to formally launch the Paytm Payments Bank.
· The India Post has received payments bank license from the Reserve Bank of India to start rollout of banking operations commercially.
– India Post Payments Bank is the 3rd entity to receive payments bank permit after telecom major Airtel and digital payments startup Paytm.
· The IT department has asked banks to report deposits in any account worth 10 lakh in a year. It also asked banks to report cash payments of 1 lakh or more on credit card bills.
· Future General India Insurance Company (FGII) announced an agency tie-up with Pune based Bank of Maharashtra.
· The government stated that 119 banks are connected with the Aadhaar-enabled payment system and 33.87 crore transactions have taken place through Aadhaar-enabled payment systems.
· Karnataka Bank Ltd has signed a MoU with the Rajkot-based Tirth Agro Technology Pvt Ltd (manufacturer of agricultural equipment and implements) for financing agricultural mechanization.
· 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.
· Mumbai based dairy firm Kwality Ltd has signed a MoU with Bank of Baroda on January 20, 2017 to provide Rs. 4000 crore loans to one lakh farmers out of the established networks from whom the company procures milk.
· In another digitalization initiative, Punjab National Bank (PNB) has launched a Contactless Credit Card.
– This card could be used by just waving it across the terminal and the transaction will be through. There is no need to enter any PIN for transactions up to Rs. 2,000.
· Aimed at propagating financial literacy among school children, Kerala Gramin Bank has conceived a novel programme called [email protected]
· YES BANK in collaboration with T-Hub, Anthill and Lets Talk Payments launched a unique business accelerator program YES FINTECH to provide start-ups a platform for creating sustainable and market ready products as well as provide innovative banking solutions to the customers.
· YES Bank has launched a first of its kind unique Customizable Savings Account to enable the customers to design an account as per their convenience.
· Five government owned insurance companies New India Assurance, United India Insurance, Oriental Insurance, National Insurance and General Insurance, have been cleared by the Cabinet for listing in stock exchanges.
· ICICI Prudential Life Insurance has acquired 8.41 per cent stake in Fino Paytech Ltd (FPL) for a total consideration of Rs 100 crore.
· The Union Cabinet has given its approval for launching of Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana 2017 (VPBY 2017).
– The scheme will be implemented through Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) during the current financial year i.e. FY 2016-17.
- The Supreme Court ordered that no politician can seek votes in the name of caste, language or religion.
- The Supreme Court removed BJP MP Anurag Thakur from the post of BCCI President.
- The court also sacked BCCI Secretary Ajay Shirke.
- Upholding the recent High Court order, the Supreme Court has maintained the ban on cockfighting in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
- Supreme Court has stated that divorce granted by ecclesiastical tribunal under Christian personal law is not valid as it cannot override the law.
- The Supreme Court gave the government nine months to replace the thrice-a-week dosage norm of tuberculosis drugs with a daily dosage regimen recently approved by the World Health Organization to curb relapse and deaths during treatment.
- The Supreme Court gave the Centre two weeks to implement a mechanism to ensure proper verification of mobile phone subscribers while issuing SIM cards.
- High Courts and Sessions Courts
- The Madras High Court declared triple talaq certificate issued by the chief Kazi had “no legal authority” and must instead be seen as an opinion.
· The Election Commission declared the schedule for upcoming Assembly polls in five states. Polling will be held in Goa and Punjab on February 4.
– Voting in Uttarakhand would be on February 15.
– Voting in Manipur would be held in two phases starting March 4. Elections in Uttar Pradesh would be in seven phases starting from February 11.
· For the first time in the country, the Electronic Voting Machines to be used in the upcoming Manipur and Uttarakhand Assembly elections will display photographs of candidates.
· The Election Commission acknowledged Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav as the Samajwadi Party’s national president and allotted the party’s Cycle symbol to the Akhilesh led SP faction.
· Modi has announced that the government is going to launch Pravasi Kaushal Vikas Yojana targeted at Indian youth seeking employment overseas.
· President Pranab Mukherjee has approved changes in government rules to allow merger of the Rail Budget with the Union Budget 2017.
– The Budget session of Parliament to begin from 31st January 2017. The session will conclude on
12th April 2017.
· The government has directed all Banks and Post Offices to obtain PAN cards or Form 60 from all account holders by February 28 this year, as a part of its crackdown on black money.
– Banks were also asked to submit details linked to all cash deposits exceeding 2.5 lakh made after the demonetization announcement, by January 15.
· The Government has increased the minimum monthly pension to 9,000 per person, besides a two-fold hike in exgratia amount for central government employees.
· The Union Government has constituted a Committee 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 government announced it will finally implement the much awaited anti-tax avoidance reforms, General Anti Avoidance Rule (GAAR) from April 1 in 2017.
– The anti-tax avoidance measures were incorporated in Direct Taxes Code on their introduction in 2010.
· The Union finance minister Arun Jaitley tabled the Economic Survey 2016-17 in Parliament budget session.
– The Economic Survey reviews the developments in the Indian economy over the previous 12 months, summarizes the performance on major development programmes, and highlights the policy initiatives of the government and the prospects of the economy in the short to medium term.
· The government has signed an agreement with the National Yuva Cooperative Society to set up 1,000 Janaushadhi Kendras across the country and targets to open such medical stores in every block and gram panchayat to provide quality medicines at an affordable price.
· The Union Finance Ministry has agreed to contribute partially to a new dedicated railway safety fund named as ‘Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh’ in the Union & Rail Budget 2017-18.
· Sikkim has become the first state in India to go fully organic.
· Rajasthan government is going to distribute contraceptives and vanity kits to newly married couples in 14 districts where Total Fertility Rate (TFR) is high.
· Delhi government approved the ‘Good Samaritan Policy’ under which monetary incentive of 2,000 and appreciation certificate will be given to people who help road accident victims in the city.
· The Delhi government announced that the pension for senior citizens, disabled and widows has been increased.
– “Pension for senior citizens has been raised from 1,500 to 2,500 and from 1,000 to 2,000”.
– The pension for disabled and widows has also been increased from 1,500 to 2,500, he added.
· Telangana CM K Chandrasekhar Rao announced plans to give 1,000 every month to “distressed lonely women” in the state.
· The Gujarat government has launched a student startup fund under which it will provide 200 crore in grants to startups led by students.
· Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam declared all state districts as drought hit and waived land tax while announcing other sops for farmers. He further announced 160 crore and 350 crore worth measures to mitigate water crisis in urban and rural local bodies, respectively.
· A mobile application ‘Mumbai Toilet Locator’ has been launched by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to help people find public toilets.
· Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced that the state government’s new department ‘Ministry of Happiness’ was begins its work on January 14.
· Mumbai Police has launched an ‘Alert is Alive’ campaign on Twitter to mark the Road Safety
· The Mumbai Police has banned the use and sale of glass coated manjas ahead of Makar Sankranti.
· The West Bengal government has replaced the traditional name for rainbow in Bengali ‘Ramdhenu’ (meaning Lord Ram’s bow) with ‘Rongdhenu’ (meaning bow of colors).
· The Telangana government will bring a bill with a provision of 12% reservation for backward sections among Muslims in the Budget session of its Legislative Assembly.
· Madhya Pradesh became the first State of the country to launch Aanandam programme to help the needy persons.
· Gujarat government announced salary hike (ranging between 63% to124%) of its fixed pay employees as per the Minimum Wages recommended by 7th pay commission.
· Himachal Pradesh CM Virbhadra Singh declared Dharamshala as the 2nd capital of the state.
· The states Manipur, Tripura and Meghalaya are celebrating 45th Statehood Day on January 21.
· The Bihar government launched ‘Nasha Mukt’ (addiction free) state campaign, after formation of human chain across the state.
· Kerala would be declared 100% Open Defecation Free State by the end of March this year, State Governor P Sathasivam announced.
– Kerala would then join Himachal Pradesh and Sikkim which have already been declared as Open Defecation Free states.
· Over 3.5 lakh people set a new world record by singing the National Anthem at an event in Gujarat.
· The Gurugram Police has been given body-worn cameras, which will be attached to a policeman’s uniform, for better patrolling.
· Goa will become the first state in India and across the globe to opt for electronic transmission of postal ballot to service voters in the upcoming elections.
· Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced a total ban on polythene carry bags from May 1 across the state.
· Telangana ranked second in the `Cashless India Scorecard’ prepared by Walnut app to track the growth of digital payments in the country.
– Gujarat, Telangana and Haryana emerged as the top three states with the highest growth in going cashless.
· Arunachal Pradesh launched ‘Dulari Kanya’, a special scheme to check infant mortality in the state.
– Under which the government will deposit Rs 20,000 in the bank account of a girl child, born in any government hospital.
· In a bid to promote digital transaction in Assam, the Chief Minister of Assam, Sarbananda Sonowal on January 22, 2017 announced the launch of ‘Chief Minister’s Award’ while inaugurating the Digi Dhan Mela in the state.
· 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.
· The Karnataka government allowed to the sale of white kerosene in open market.
· For the benefit of both domestic and international tourists, Tamil Nadu Tourism Department has launched a mobile app ‘pinakin’ with information on tourism in Tamil Nadu with audio facilities.
· Haryana Transport Department has issued a new notification stating that officials cannot check a vehicle if they are not wearing a uniform.
Place in the News
· The Museo Atlantico, which is known to be the first underwater museum in Europe, was inaugurated off the coast of Lanzarote, Spain.
· The Centre, under its Digital India program, has announced Karang in Manipur as the country’s first cashless island.
· In a first, India’s Fanatic Sports Museum opened to the public in Kolkata.
· Kozhikode Corporation was declared as the first Elderly-Friendly Corporation in Kerala.
· The foundation of the world’s largest cricket stadium in terms of seating capacity has been laid in Ahmedabad.
· Activist Irom Sharmila formally announced that she will be contesting the 2017 Manipur Assembly election from Thoubal which is the constituency of Manipur CM Okram Ibobi Singh.
· The 350th birth anniversary of the 10th and last Prophet Teacher of the Sikh faith, Guru Gobind Singh was celebrated across the country with special festivities lined up in Patna Sahib where he was born.
· NASA astronaut Jeanette Epps is set to become the first African American crew member to board the International Space Station (ISS) when she flies to the orbital post in May 2018.
· 120th birth anniversary of Indian Nationalist and Freedom Fighter Subhash Chandra Bose on January 23.
· US will issue a commemorative $100 generally portrayed as a white woman, as
gold coin depicting Lady Liberty, a national symbol an African-American for the first time.
Defense and National Security
· In order to check infiltration and terrorism, the Border Security Force (BSF) will be installing laser walls and smart sensors along the Indo-Bangladesh border in West Bengal.
· The Chinese navy confirmed that its sole aircraft carrier Liaoning conducted military drills and helicopter exercises in “complex sea conditions” in the South China Sea.
· The outgoing Obama administration has approved the acquisition of a fleet of 12 Columbia class nuclear submarines costing $128 billion (over 8.7 lakh crore).
· The Russian Air Force is going to add 5 new Sukhoi T50 supersonic fighter jets to its fleet as part of plans to modernize its military.
· The Indian Army has successfully conducted ‘user validation’ trials of indigenous Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS) Dhanush in the Himalayas.
· Myanmar announced that it will build border demarcation fencing with India, while also stating that the construction will not restrict the regular travel of citizens of both the nations in accordance with their tradition and custom.
· Head of China’s Xinjiang province, Shohrat Zakir, announced that the security along the China-
Pakistan border would be tightened to prevent terrorism as “neighbouring countries are facing rising terrorist threats”.
– This comes as China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which connects Balochistan’s Gwadar port to Xinjiang province, is being constructed to boost trade between the countries.
· INS Khanderi – the second of the Kalvari class submarines – was launched at the Mazagaon Dock Limited in Mumbai.
· After a jawan alleged in a video that poor quality food was being served at border posts, BSF has launched two helpline numbers for its personnel to register their complaints anonymously till January 31.
– After a jawan alleged in a video recently that poor quality food was being served at border posts, Army Chief Bipin Rawat launched a WhatsApp helpline, 9643300008, for its personnel to register their complaints.
– BSF Director General: KK Sharma.
· The Indian Air Force has placed orders with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for black boxes.
· Israel’s ballistic missile shield, Arrow 3, has become operational in a ‘Star Wars’ like extension of the country’s capability allowing it to shoot down incoming missiles above the atmosphere.
· India’s largest warship INS Vikramaditya gets an ATM onboard.
· India is ready for a fresh trial of its long range nuke capable submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) K-4 from an underwater platform on January 31.
· China has unveiled ‘The Sharp Sword UAV’, a drone capable of carrying 2000 kilograms of bombs. The 33-foot-long unmanned aerial vehicle has an engine that is reportedly invisible to radars.
· The second successful test of the Guided Pinaka rocket was conducted from the Integrated Test Range at the APJ Abdul Kalam Island off the Odisha coast.
· India’s third largest retail chain – Defense Canteens – will only accept plastic money from March 1.
· Japan launched Kirameki2 (keeRAHmehkee 2), its first military communications satellite that is designed to upgrade its network in the face of China’s increasingly assertive maritime activity and North Korea’s missile threat.
· The Indian Navy’s Annual Theatre Readiness Operational Exercise (TROPEX) 2017 is being conducted off the Western Seaboard.
– The month long exercise 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.
· The Israeli Defense Ministry and the US have successfully tested an antiballistic missile system in central Israel.
· 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.
· China has handed over two ships Hingol and Basol, to the Pakistan to safeguard the strategic Gwadar port and trade routes under the ambitious China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
· Indonesia has suspended all military cooperation for an undisclosed time with Australia for “technical reasons”.
· Indian Sports Minister Vijay Goel has constituted a committee to suggest improvements in National Sports Development Code and functioning of Indian Sports Federations.
– Head of the committee : Injeti Srinivas (Sports Secretary)
· The subcommittee under chairmanship of professor Timothy Gonsalves has recommended reservation for girl students in IITs to address the issue of slump in number of female students entering the prestigious institutes.
· The Chief Ministers’ panel on Digital Payments recommended levying a banking cash transaction tax on transactions of 50,000 and above.
– The panel also recommended the abolition of merchant discount rate to make digital payments cheaper than cash.
– The panel was headed by: Chandrababu Naidu (Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh)
· Beijing Olympics gold medalists’ shooter Abhinav Bindra was appointed as the Chairman of the reconstituted Target Olympic Podium (TOP) committee.
– This committee also has former sprinter PT Usha and former badminton player Prakash Padukone among others.
– Objective of this Committee: to identify and support potential medal prospects for the 2020 and 2024 Olympic Games.
· Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandra Babu Naidu has launched a new scheme titled “NTR Arogya Raksha Scheme” to provide the medical treatment to the people below Poverty Line at Rs. 1200 premium per annum.
· The Union Ministry of Urban Development has launched a survey titled Swachh Survekshan 2017.
– Aim – To rank 500 cities/towns across the country on cleanliness with a population of 1 lakh and above.
· 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.
· The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways is going to launch two mobile apps – ‘m-Parivahan’ and ‘e-challan’ – to enhance road safety and facilitate citizen interaction.
– ‘mParivahan’: This is a citizen centric app that can be used to establish the genuineness of a vehicle and driver
– ‘echallan’ is an enforcement app to be used by traffic police and transport authorities.
· The Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI) has launched a mobile application named “SEZ India”.
· The union government was released a special postage stamp on January 17 to mark the birth centenary of actor and former Tamil Nadu CM MG Ramachandran (MGR).
· The Union HRD Minister Shri Prakash Javadekar launched a dedicated web portal ‘ShaGun’ for the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan at New Delhi.
– ‘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).
· The Chenani-Nashri Tunnel, the longest road tunnel in India, is going to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in February.
– The 9.2-kilometre tunnel will connect the Udhampur and Ramban districts in Jammu and Kashmir and reduce the existing road distance by around 30 kilo meters upon completion.
· The Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers Ananth Kumar inaugurated India’s first Post Office Passport Seva Kendras (POPSK) at Metagalli post office in Mysuru.
– The second POPSK simultaneously opened in Gujarat.
· The Union Finance Ministry has announced that the General Anti Avoidance Rule (GAAR) will be effective from the 1 April, 2017.
– GAAR seeks to prevent companies from routing transactions through other countries to avoid taxes.
· The India Post Payment Bank (IPPB), a basic financial services facility, was launched simultaneously in Raipur and Ranchi.
· IIM Calcutta was conducting its international business summit Intaglio 2017 from January 6 to 8, 2017.
– Theme – ‘India towards Epitome of Excellence’
· The 20th Edition of the National Conference for e-Governance 2016-17 was recently held in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.
– Theme – ‘Internet of Things and e-Governance’
· African Union readmitted Morocco “back into the family” after a 33year absence as 39 out of 54
member states voted in favor of its return at the 28th African leader’s summit in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa.
– Chad’s Foreign Minister Moussa Faki Mahamat was elected as the Chairman of the African Union (AU) commission at the 28th AU summit.
· Pakistan has declined an invitation by the Indian Parliament and the Inter Parliamentary Union to attend South Asian Speakers’ Summit to be held in Indore next month.
– The summit will be attended by Speakers of Parliament from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Sri Lanka among other countries.
· The first edition of the North East Investors Summit was inaugurated on January 29, 2017 by the Union Textiles Minister, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani in Shillong, Meghalaya.
· The Union Cabinet has approved 3 agreements between India and Uruguay for cooperation and mutual assistance in Customs Matters.
· The Union Cabinet has approved agreement between India and Portugal in the field of Agriculture and allied sectors.
– Indian PM Narendra Modi and Portugal PM Antonio Costa have signed 6 MOUs.
· India and Kazakhstan have signed a Protocol to a mend the existing Double Taxation Avoidance Convention (DTAC) between the two countries.
· India and Kenya have signed MoU for cooperation in the field of Agriculture and allied sectors.
– The agreement was signed during the visit of Kenyian President Uhuru Kenyatta to India.
– India has announced a $100 million (683 crore) line of credit to Kenya for agricultural mechanization.
· The Gujarat Government has signed an MOU worth Rs.77, 000 crore with the Ministry of Railways for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet train project.
· To improve economic and political relations between the two island nations, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has signed a 1 trillion yen (8.7 billion dollars), aid package over the next five years to the Philippines.
· India and the US have signed MoU to collaborate in the fields of developmental activities and aid in third world countries.
– The MoU was signed between the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and Union Ministry of External Affairs’ Development Partnership Administration (DPA)
· India and Sri Lanka signed MoU to construct 3000 rain water harvesting systems in Rin Jaffna District at a cost of 300 million Sri Lankan Rupees.
· The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has entered into a Bilateral Advance Pricing Agreement (BAPA) with Indian subsidiary of a Japanese trading company.
· Ministry of AYUSH and Advertising Standards Council of India ASCI signed a MoU to co-regulate misleading advertisements in the AYUSH sector.
· The World Economic Forum and UCSB’s Marine Science Institute (MSI) have announced a partnership to improve health of world’s oceans and maritime resources.
· Turkey, Russia and Iran have reached agreement on forming a three-party mechanism to monitor ceasefire violations in Syria, concluding the talks held in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana.
· During the visit of Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, India and UAE signed an MoU to establish cooperation in identified fields of defense manufacturing and technology.
– Both the countries signed a total of 14 MoUs.
· India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have agreed to strengthen mechanisms for exchange of information in tax matters under the existing Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement.
· India and France have signed White shipping agreement.
– This agreement would information sharing on maritime traffic and maritime domain awareness in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
· The North Eastern Council (NEC) and the Development Commissioner (Handicrafts), Ministry of Textiles signed a MoU to harness the hidden potential of Cane and Bamboo of North Eastern Region in Shillong.
· The Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation has inked a MoU with online travel portal MakeMyTrip to promote its home stay scheme.
· Turkey and Britain are going to sign a free trade deal once the UK leaves the European Union.
· In an effort to provide their tax administrations with tools to combat corporate tax avoidance through transfer pricing, officials from 7 new countries (Lithuania, Gabon, Hungary, Indonesia, Malta, Mauritius and Russia) have signed Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement for Country by Country Reporting (CbC MCAA).
· Delhi Tourism has entered into an agreement with BookMyShow for an online ticketing platform for major tourist attractions in the capital.
– Online ticketing facilities are available for Dilli Haat and Garden of Five Senses, among others, as part of the pilot project.
· Reliance Defense Signs Contract with Ministry of Defense to Construct 14 Fast patrol Vessels for Indian Coast Guard.
· Gokaldas Exports has entered in to a MoU with the Andhra Pradesh Government for setting up four apparel manufacturing units in Chittoor district over next three years.
· The Telangana government has signed a MoU with French firm Aero campus Aquitaine, known for aircraft maintenance skill training, to create a world-class aero skill academy.
· India has signed a financing agreement with World Bank for 48 million dollars for Nagaland Health Project.
· The All India Police Equestrian Championship and Mounted Police Duty Meet has been named after the deceased police horse Shaktiman.
· The 16th meeting of the Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) was held in New Delhi.
– This meeting was chaired by Arun Jaitley (Union Finance Minister).
· Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu will participate in the 47th Annual General Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, making it the third straight year for him to attend the event.
– He will represent India in a session titled ‘India and South Asia Regional Strategy Group Meeting’.
· United Kingdom’s Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Boris Johnson was visited to India for a Two Day visit.
· Libyan military commander General Khalifa Haftar visited Russian aircraft carrier ‘Admiral Kuznetsov’ in the Mediterranean.
· The 2nd edition of Ministry of External Affairs’ annual Raisina Dialogue was held in New Delhi.
– Theme – “The New Normal: Multilateralism in a multipolar world”.
· Vice President Hamid Ansari extended an invitation to his newly appointed US counterpart Michael Richard Pence to visit India.
· Representatives of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) will meet in Nepal on February 12 to attend a session of the Programming Committee.
– This will be their first meeting since the postponement of the SAARC Summit which was to take place in Pakistan last year.
· France has passed a law making every citizen an organ donor, unless they opt out by registering with a national refusal registry.
– The presumed consent law, which came into effect on 1st January 2017, was passed in hopes of increasing organ and tissue donation.
· France’s parliament voted 284 to amend an animal cruelty bill making it mandatory to install CCTV cameras in slaughterhouses across France starting next year in areas where animals are delivered, kept, immobilized, stunned, and slaughtered.
· US state of Kentucky passed the right to work legislation to remove union membership as a condition for securing employment, making it the 27th state to pass the legislation.
· The Jammu and Kashmir Assembly unanimously passed a resolution for creating a conducive atmosphere for the return of Kashmiri Pandits and other minorities.
· The Centre cleared the ordinance on Jallikattu proposed by the Tamil Nadu government.
– Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam inaugurated the traditional bull-taming sport Jallikattu at Alanganallur.
– This comes after Tamil Nadu Governor Vidyasagar Rao cleared an ordinance overturning the Supreme Court-imposed ban on the sport.
· Turkey’s Parliament voted in favor of a constitutional reform bill making the country’s President the head of the executive.
· In an effort to curb tourist numbers, the Spanish city of Barcelona made a law limiting the number of beds hotels and tourist apartments can offer.
· US President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning visitors from Syria and six other Muslim majority countries for three months.
– The White House hinted that Pakistan could be included in the list of countries from where immigration has been banned.
· The Karnataka government has decided to bring an amendment to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (PCA), 1960 for conducting traditional sports of Kambala and bullcart race in the State.
· The Centre approved a grant of 1,782 crore to drought affected Karnataka, and 209 crore to Uttarakhand which was hit by floods in 2013 under the National Disaster Relief Fund.
· Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao announced that the state ministers will contribute 25,000 per year for the Army Welfare Fund.
· Cabinet approves Rs. 10,000 crore incentives for electronic manufacturing by March 2018. It will help moving towards the goal of ‘Net Zero imports’ in electronics by 2020.
· The World Bank has sanctioned 1,376 crore for the complete up gradation and improvement of the power system network in Tripura.
· China has set up a 100 billion yuan (approximately 1 lakh crore) fund to support investment in the internet sector.
· Former US President Barack Obama, during his final hours in office, authorized the transfer of around $227 million to foreign accounts, of which around $221 million (over 1,500 crore) was issued to Palestine. Around $4 million (over 27 crore) was transferred to climate change programs and $1.25 million (over 8.5 crore) to the UN Peace building Fund.
· According to the recently data released by the Pentagon, the United States has spent around $10.7 billion (72,865 crore) on fighting the Islamic state under ‘Operation Inherent Resolve’.
· The Andhra Pradesh under Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu has announced Rs 100-crore fund of funds on January 25, 2017 to invest in Fintech startups.
· Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala has announced 1,188 crore in the 2017-18 fiscal for the smart city project.
– The aim of this project is to provide smart solutions at reasonable rates for services provided by the municipal corporations.
· The UK government is encouraging the public to return old £1 coins as the Treasury will be introducing a new 12 sided coin to replace it.
– The measure has been introduced to end counterfeiting, with reports suggesting nearly 2.55% of the 40 crore old coins in circulation are fake. The old coins shall become invalid by October next year.
· India’s per capita income, a measure for computing living standards, is estimated to cross 1 lakh in 2016-17, which is 10.4% higher than 93,293 in previous fiscal, according to government data.
· The World Bank decelerated India’s GDP growth forecast for FY 2016-17 to 7% from its previous estimate of 7.6% due to demonetization.
· India’s retail inflation eased to a three-year low of 3.41% in the month of December, as against 3.63% in November 2016.
· Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro authorized new banknotes ranging from 500 to 20,000 bolivars to deal with the soaring inflation in the country.
· To remove dependency on banks, Paytm has added Unified Payment Interface (UPI) support to its app allowing users to transfer money to their digital wallet with their UPI id.
· Technology manufacturer Kingston has unveiled the world’s highest capacity USB flash drive that offers 2 TB of storage space.
· After selling its core internet business to Verizon for $4.8 billion, search engine Yahoo will rename its remaining business to ‘Altaba’.
– Altaba will be a combination of Yahoo’s stake in Alibaba Group and Yahoo Japan.
· Online real estate search portal Housing announced its merger with News Corp backed PropTiger in an all stock deal.
· JetSynthesys, a digital technology company, in association with Sachin Tendulkar, launched ‘Sachin Saga Warm Up’, a batting game inspired by the former cricketer.
· Ecommerce platform Flipkart has launched an SOS feature on the mobile app meant for its delivery staff which will alert the nearest field executives in case of an emergency.
– The project has been titled ‘Nanjunda’.
· Tata Elxsi, a design firm part of the Tata group, will become the first company to test self driving cars in India.
· Chinese ecommerce company Alibaba became the major sponsor of Olympic Games, after signing a deal with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that runs until 2028.
· Facebook announced that it will let users secure their accounts using a physical USB key.
· Cab-hailing firm Uber has launched two-wheeler aggregation service UberMOTO in Hyderabad.
– Using the app, people can hire two-wheelers for short-distance commute at cheaper rates.
· 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.
· Ant Financial, e-commerce giant Alibaba’s financial arm, has reached an agreement to acquire American money-transfer major MoneyGram for $880 million, in a deal that will expand the firm’s business in the US after India and Thailand.
· The U.S. healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson buys Switzerland based bio-pharmaceutical firm, Actelion, for $30billion (27.9 billion Euros).
· The Multiplex chain operator PVR has launched a theatre on demand service ‘VKAAO’ on January 20, 2017.
– Vkaao is an online platform that will enable consumers to watch any movie of their PVRchoice at a theatre of their choice.
· BookMyShow has acquired MastiTickets, an online ticket booking firm, for an undisclosed amount.
· Transportation app Uber will soon launch its on-demand food delivery app ‘UberEATS’ in the Indian market.
· Priya Entertainments Pvt Ltd has set up an ecotourism project at Khairabera, foothills of Baghmundi, in Purulia district of West Bengal.
· The world’s ultra light high-performance mechanical watch RM 50-03 was inaugurated on January 16, 2017 at the 27th edition of the Salon International De La Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) in Geneva.
· Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) received approval from markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) for its Initial Public Offering (IPO).
· Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on January 14 tightened the norms associated to Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) of Indian companies.
· Securities and Exchange Board of India, SEBI, has decided to lower broker fees by 25 per cent to 15 rupees per transaction of one crore rupees as part of calibration of various other fees collected by the regulator from different market intermediaries.
· Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated India’s first international exchange ‘India INX’ at the International Financial Service Centre (IFSC) of Gujarat.
– A Bombay Stock Exchange subsidiary, India INX has a turnaround time of 4 microseconds and will operate for 22 hours a day.
– It will allow international investors and NRIs to trade from anywhere across the globe.
· European Union lifts its 3 year ban on import of some vegetables including bittergourd, snakegourd & aubergines from India.
· The government announced that billing service charge in addition to taxes at hotels and restaurants is completely discretionary and if a customer is dissatisfied with the experience he/she can choose not to pay the service charge.
· Government imposed antidumping duty ranging from USD 6.30 to USD 351.72 per tonne on imports of jute and its products from Bangladesh and Nepal to protect domestic industry.
· Saudi Arabia is set to end its decade sold tax free status after its cabinet approved an IMF backed 5% value added tax to be imposed across six Gulf countries from next year.
· Rabi crops have been sown in around six crore 16 lakh hectares till date which is about 35 lakh hectares more than last year.
· The Colombian government and rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) have announced a joint deal to fight cocaine crop cultivation.
– Under the deal, farmers will be offered loans, subsidies and monthly payments of around $350 (around 24,000) if they agree to destroy their cocaine crops.
· The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is set to launch record 103 satellites in a single flight in February first week.
· According to China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, the country plans to conduct around 30 space launch missions in 2017, a record breaking number in the country’s space history.
· China successfully launched new generation telecommunications satellite.
– The second Tongxin Jishu Shiyan satellite to help test multi-frequency high speed data transmission.
· Pentagon had successfully tested a swarm of 103 Perdix micro-drones, one of the largest micro-drone swarms ever tested at a single instance.
– The drones were launched from three F/A18 Super Hornet fighter jets.
· Japan’s space agency JAXA has aborted its mission to use a mini-rocket to launch a satellite, following a glitch in the communications system shortly after liftoff.
· US based rocket manufacturing company SpaceX successfully launched constellation of 10 satellites into orbit on board of its two stages Falcon 9 Rocket from the Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.
· Singapore’s first satellite which was launched from the International Space Station (ISS), AOBA VELOX-III, is claimed to stay in orbit for twice as long as similar satellites.
· INSAT-3DR works in tandem with INSAT-3D, operational since 2014, in sending raw data and high-resolution images, zoomed up to 1 kilo meter near the earth’s surface, every 15 minutes.
· The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has given its approval to explore an iron-rich asteroid 16 Psyche as a part of its mission to learn more about the history and composition of the celestial body.
· ISRO successfully tested its indigenously developed Cryogenic Upper Stage for GSLV MkIII, for 50 seconds at ISRO Propulsion Complex (IPRC) at Mahendragiri in Tamil Nadu.
Science and Technology
· Irish professor J Calvin Coffey has identified a new organ called mesentery in the human body, connecting the abdomen to the intestine.
· China is setting up the world’s highest altitude gravitational wave telescopes in a Tibet prefecture close to Line of Actual Control with India to detect faintest echoes resonating from universe which may reveal more about the Big Bang theory.
· Bengaluru based ‘TeamIndus’ is among the 5 international finalists for a $20million award (approximately 136 crore) by Google Lunar XPRIZE.
– To win, a privately funded team must land a robot on the moon that travels at least 500 metres and sends high definition video and images back to Earth.
· US based researchers have created the first ever human pig hybrid by injecting human stem cells into early stage pig embryos.
· Online file hosting service Dropbox launched collaborative editing software called ‘Paper’ in 21
languages to compete with Google Docs.
Users can add text, tables, images and elements like YouTube videos to the document.
· Keeping young adolescent girls’ health and hygiene in mind, the Haryana Government has decided to install automated sanitary napkin vending machines and incinerators in the state’s all government colleges.
· Delhi was declared free from bird flu (H5N8 avian influenza) after consecutive samples collected at 15 days’ intervals from the last positive results tested negative.
· The food regulator in India will soon label chips, samosas as junk food to make a clear distinction between healthy food and unhealthy food.
· The Union Health Ministry will soon launch population based prevention, screening and control program for five common Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) on the occasion of World Cancer Day which is observed on 4th February 2017.
· On the eve of National Immunization Day, President Pranab Mukherjee launched nationwide Pulse Polio program for 2017 by administering polio drops to children at RashtrapatiBhavan.
· The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has held that death due to mosquito bite causing malaria is an accident and hence liable for the insurance claim.
· The Chief Minister of Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan launched the IT Project, e-Health Kerala which is named Jeevan Rekha , at Peroorkada Model Government Hospital.
· On the occasion of Anti Leprosy Day, the Union Government has launched nationwide “Sparsh Leprosy Awareness Campaign (SLAC)”.
· India’s first ever solar powered boat called ‘Aditya’ was launched at Kochi’s Vembanad Lake in
· Qatar has pledged $12 million (over 81 crore) to solve Gaza’s electricity crisis.
– The electricity shortage in Gaza over the last few weeks has left the region with a maximum of four hours of power a day.
· China has built the world’s biggest solar park, Longyangxia Dam Solar Park, in the western province of Qinghai.
· 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.
· Government owned Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has commissioned new 500 MW Thermal Unit in West Bengal.
· China is planning to build Beijing Light Source, the world’s brightest light source facility in Beijing. The project is expected to start in next year.
· 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.
· As many as 20,000 youths in Ganga basin states will be trained and deployed as ‘Swachhta Doots’ in about 2,336 villages to spread a message of keeping the river clean.
– The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) has approved a 10 crore project for training and deployment of the 20,000 youngsters for the purpose, Union Water Resources Ministry said.
· The Survey of India is going to “re-measure” the height of Mount Everest as scientists have expressed doubts over this following the 2015 Nepal earthquake.
· China’s capital Beijing is setting up an environmental police force to tackle its hazardous air pollution.
· The Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) has launched climate change program to assess the status, distribution and conservation of pheasants and finches in the Central Himalayas.
· India has partnered with the British experts over a project that aims to study the air pollution level in Delhi and health problems associated it.
– The project ‘ASAP-Delhi: An Integrated Study of Air Pollutant Sources in the Delhi National Capital Region’ would be led by University of Birmingham and would also involve experts from the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, the Indian National Physical Laboratory and the University of Surrey.
· The world witnessed the hottest year on record in 2016, surpassing the exceptionally high temperatures of 2015, the UN weather agency stated.
· School teachers in Maharashtra are going to start marking students’ attendance on an online application, called Upastithi, from the next academic year.
· The first Braille library in Guwahati opened at the Blind High School, on the occasion of World Braille Day.
· The government is going to send examination results to students of Jammu and Kashmir Board of School Education through SMS on their mobile phones.
· In a bid to check bogus technical colleges, the Haryana government has put the names of such fake educational institutions on a website and issued guidelines in this regard.
· The Rajasthan Board of Secondary Education has decided to include a Chapter on Demonetization and cashless economy in its Class XII economics textbook.
· The Cabinet also approved the Indian Institute of Management amendment Bill that empowers IIMs to award Degrees to its students instead of Diplomas.
· Nearly one year after all Central University vice chancellors decided to install the national flag on their campuses; Delhi University’s Hansraj College hoisted its first monumental flag.
– DU is the first public university in the country to get a monumental flagpole, according to the Flag Foundation of India.
· The journey of Vijay Shekhar Sharmaled startup Paytm from an online recharge platform to a payments bank has become a case study at the Harvard Business School.
– Titled ‘Paytm: Building a Payments Network’.
· 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.
· Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu launching a post graduate course in Urdu journalism at the Indian Institute of Mass Communication in New Delhi.
· The Maharashtra school education department has asked schools to observe February 27 as ‘Marathi Bhasha Gaurav Din’ to pay a tribute to Jnanpith awardee poet Kusumagraj, who helped to develop the Marathi language.
· India’s first bus to run on human and animal waste will debut on the Ultadanga to Garia route (17 km) in Kolkata in March, 2017.
· China launched its longest bullet train ‘Shangrila of the World’ from Kunming, in Yunnan Province, to Beijing.
· Maharashtra government has launched a new Shivgramin Taxi Scheme.
– The six seater taxis will provide an alternate mode of public transport to people in rural and semiurban areas of Maharashtra.
· The completion of Delhi Metro’s Phase IV, which was cleared recently by the government, is going to make it the second largest metro system and the largest outside China.
· Airline Company Air India announced the reservation of six seats in the third row on every domestic flight for women travelling alone, beginning January 18.
· Low cost airline SpiceJet has recently signed a deal for around 205 planes worth $22 billion (over Rs.1.5 lakh crore) with US airplane manufacturer Boeing.
– This marks the biggest expansion plan by the carrier, which is seeking to take back market share from leader IndiGo.
· The government is planning to build a rail link connecting neighboring nations Bhutan, Myanmar, Bangladesh, and Nepal, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has announced.
Films and Film Festival
· The 9th edition of Jaipur International Film Festival (JIFF) began in Jaipur in the presence of renowned film makers.
· 62nd Filmfare Awards 2017:
– Aamir Khan – Best Actor award for ‘Dangal’.
– Alia Bhatt – Best Actor (Female) for ‘Udta Punjab’
– Sonam Kapoor – Critics Award for Best Actor (Female) for ‘Neerja’
– Manoj Bajpayee for ‘Aligarh’ and Shahid Kapoor for ‘Udta Punjab’ – Critics Award for Best Actor (Male).
– ‘Dangal’ – Best Film
· Hollywood actor Ryan Reynolds, who featured in 2016 superhero film ‘Deadpool’, was named ‘Hasty Pudding Man of the Year 2017’ by Harvard University’s student theatre group, ‘Hasty Pudding Theatricals’.
· Actress Shabana Azmi has been nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category for the upcoming 11th Asian Film Awards, to be held on March 21 in Hong Kong.
· I&B Ministry Secretary Ajay Mittal inaugurated North East Film Festival ‘Fragrances from the North East’ at National Film Archive of India in Pune, Maharashtra.
– The objective of the film festival is to sensitize people from other regions to the culture of the North East as envisaged in the Centre’s “Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat” program.
· Shatrughan Sinha, who completed close to five decades in the film industry, was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 62nd Jio Filmfare Awards 2017.
· The 74th Golden Globe Awards ceremony was held in California.
– Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone starrer ‘La La Land’ became the most awarded movie in Golden Globe history, after bagging seven awards including the Best Motion Picture for the comedy or musical category.
– Gosling and Stone won the Best Actor and Actress awards respectively, while Damien Chazelle won the Best Director award for the movie.
– ‘Moonlight’ won the Best Motion Picture Award in the drama category.
– Casey Affleck won the Best Actor drama for ‘Manchester by the Sea’.
– Isabelle Huppert won Best Actress in the same category for ‘Elle’.
· The World Book Fair (7th to 15th January 2017) has begun at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi.
· In Tamil Nadu, the 170th Sadguru Sri Thyagaraja Aaradhana festival at Tiruvaiyaru ends on 17 January 2017.
· Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje inaugurated the 10th edition of the Jaipur Literature Festival at Diggi Palace.
· The 1st edition of ABU (Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union) International Television Dance Festival was held in Hyderabad (Telangana).
· Norway is set to become the first nation to switch off its FM radio network, with the parliament approving a proposal to shift to Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB).
· Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis activated 500 WiFi hotspots at various locations across the city of Mumbai, and announced that Mumbai WiFi is the largest public WiFi service in the country.
· Mukesh Ambaniled Reliance Jio beat telcos Airtel, Vodafone and others, to become the fastest 4G service provider in India in December 2016, according to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.
· Doordarshan has planned to come out with new settop boxes which have the MPEG4 technology and provide 104 channels by March end.
· State-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) announced mobile TV service ‘Ditto TV’ and limited fixed mobile telephony, an app that virtually turns mobiles into cordless phone working in sync with landlines within home premises
· Days after Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis activated 500 WiFi hotspots in Mumbai, the state
government is set to launch a mobile app to help citizens find the nearest hotspot. The app, called Aaple Sarkar Mum WiFi.
Appointments/Election (or) Latest who is who?
· Air Marshal C Harikumar took over as Air Officer Commanding in Chief, Western Air Command.
· Justice Mian Saqib Nisar took oath as the 25th Chief Justice of Pakistan.
· An entrepreneur of Indian origin, Sheikh Rafik Mohammed, has assumed a top position in the defense department of Kyrgyzstan.
· Anshu Jain, the former co-CEO of Germany’s largest lender Deutsche Bank has now joined smaller financial services firm Cantor Fitzgerald.
· Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar took oath as the 44th Chief Justice of India. He is going to replace Justice TS Thakur, whose tenure was recently ended.
Justice Khehar is India’s first Sikh Chief Justice.
· Jovenel Moise was officially declared the President of Haiti in a rerun presidential election, after an electoral tribunal ruled out allegations of fraud during the November 2016 polls.
· Republican Paul Ryan was formally reelected Speaker of US House of Representatives.
· Software major IBM India announced the appointment of Karan Bajwa as Managing Director. He will replace Vanitha Narayanan, who has been elevated as the Chairman of the company.
· Former head of USAID US Agency for International Development Rajiv J Shah is set to be named as President of the Rockefeller Foundation, one of America’s largest and most influential philanthropies.
· UK Senior diplomat Sir Tim Barrow appointed as UK’s new ambassador to EU. He is going to replace Sir Ivan Rogers.
· S Padmanabhan was appointed as Chairman of Tata Power Company after Cyrus Mistry resigned from the post following his ouster from Tata Sons.
· US President elect Donald Trump has appointed an Indian-American, Raj Shah, as the Deputy Assistant to the President, Deputy Communication Director, and Research Director.
– Trump is planning to pick businessman William Hagerty as the next US ambassador to Japan.
· Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting has been appointed as an assistant coach to the Australian T20I squad for next month’s series against Sri Lanka.
· US First Lady Michelle Obama has selected Swetha Prabakaran, a 16yearold Indian-American to serve in the inaugural Student Advisory Board of the ‘Better Make Room’ education campaign.
· The New Patriotic Party’s leader and former human rights lawyer Nana AkufoAddo was sworn in as Ghana’s President in capital Accra after he defeated incumbent Ghana President John Mahama.
· Pakistan’s former army chief General Raheel Sharif has been appointed the head of the Saudi Arabialed ‘Islamic Military Alliance’, a coalition of Islamic countries fighting terrorism.
· Cuba appointed Vice Admiral Julio Cesar Gandarilla as the Interior Minister of the country.
· Amid accusations of rape and assault on security forces, CRPF has deployed its first woman officer in Bastar.
– Usha Kiran (27), an Assistant Commandant, has been deployed in the insurgency hit region.
· Former Tiger Global executive Kalyan Krishnamurthy, who joined Flipkart in June 2016 as head of commerce unit, has been named as the new CEO of Flipkart.
– He has replaced Cofounder Binny Bansal.
· Chinese smart phone maker Gionee appointed Indian captain Virat Kohli as its brand ambassador.
· BMW has appointed former HarleyDavidson India MD Vikram Pawah as the President of its
· The Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of TCS, Natarajan Chandrasekaran has
become the company’s new Chairman.
TCS also appointed Rajesh Gopinathan as the new CEO of the firm.
· Mexico appointed Geronimo Gutierrez, head of the North American Development Bank, as the new ambassador to the US.
· UK citizen Emmanuel Bushayija has been named the new King of the African country Rwanda after the death of his uncle, exiled King Kigeli in October.
· China has appointed Qi Zhala as the new governor of Tibet, one of the country’s most politically sensitive regions.
· Chinese search engine operator Baidu disclosed that it has hired former Executive Vice President of Microsoft, Qi Lu as its Chief Operating Officer (COO).
· Delhi Police chief Alok Kumar Verma has been chosen to take over as the next CBI Director.
· Italian conservative Antonio Tajani was elected the new President of the European Parliament (EP).
· Donald J. Trump was sworn in as 45th President of United States.
· All India Football Federation President, Praful Patel was appointed as a member of the FIFA Finance Committee (2017-2021).
· Retired General James Mattis was sworn in as US Secretary of Defense, making him the first cabinet member of President Donald Trump to be cleared to take office.
– Mike Pence was sworn in as the 48th Vice President of the United States at the Inauguration Day ceremony in Washington DC.
· PepsiCo veteran Vishal Kaul has been appointed as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of ride-hailing app Ola.
· US President Donald Trump named Indian-American Ajit Vardaraj Pai as the 34th Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.
· Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar, whose term was to end on January 28, has been given a one-year extension in office.
· Ride-hailing app Uber’s India unit has appointed Pradeep Parameswaran as Head of its Central Operations.
· Mike Pompeo was sworn in as the new Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
· Indian-American and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley was sworn in as the US Ambassador to the United Nations.
· Denmark has announced it will appoint a ‘Digital Ambassador’ to manage its relationship with technology giants like Google and Apple.
· President Pranab Mukherjee appointed Assam Governor Banwarilal Purohit, as the new Governor of Meghalaya.
– Mukherjee also appointed Nagaland Governor PB Acharya, to discharge functions as the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh.
· Dr Vijay Bhatkar, architect of India’s first supercomputer the Param series has been appointed as the new Chancellor of Nalanda University for three years term.
· Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been appointed to US President Donald Trump’s manufacturing council, led by Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris.
· IPS officer Amulya Patnaik, who currently serves as Special Commissioner of Police (Administration), has been appointed as New Delhi Police Commissioner.
· The Supreme Court named a 4member administrative panel to head the BCCI, naming former Comptroller and Auditor General of India, Vinod Rai, as the panel’s head.
– The panel includes historian Ramachandra Guha, former women’s cricketer Diana Edulji and IDFC Bank CEO Vikram Limaye.
· Actress Anushka Sharma has been appointed the Ambassador of the Swachh Bharat campaign by the Ministry of Urban Development.
– Actor Amitabh Bachchan is also an ambassador of the Swachh Bharat campaign.
· Dushyant Chautala has been appointed as the president of the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI).
· Film producer and Wimbledon tennis player, Ashok Amritraj has been appointed the United Nations in India Goodwill Ambassador for the Sustainable Development Goals.
· Indian Super League side Delhi Dynamos announced that they have appointed Ashish Shah as their new CEO.
· Antonio Tajani of the EPP Christian Democrat group has been elected president of the European Parliament.
· Rajeev Singh, Member of Prasar Bharati Board will take charge as interim CEO of the public broadcaster Prasar Bharati in February, 2017. He will replace S C Panda.
· Indian tennis player Somdev Devvarman announced his retirement from professional tennis.
· Mahendra Singh Dhoni stepped down as the Captain of India’s One Day International and T20 International cricket teams.
· Former Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has announced his retirement from football citing family reasons.
· Indian-origin Mauritian Prime Minister Anerood Jugnauth announced that he is stepping down to hand over power to his son Pravind Jugnauth.
· Tyrus Wong (106), the artist whose works inspired the visuals in the 1942 Disney film Bambi, passed away.
· Burundi’s Environment Minister Emmanuel Niyonkuru was shot dead while on his way home in the country’s capital Bujumbura.
· Karnataka State Minister for Cooperation HS Mahadeva Prasad (58) passed away.
· Veteran actor Om Puri (66) passed away after suffering a heart attack. The two time National Award winning actor was awarded the Padma Shri in 1990, the fourth highest civilian award of India.
· Noted Manipur based historian, litterateur and scholar Gangmumei Kamei (77) passed away.
· Former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani (82), passed away.
· The last heir to the former Ottoman Empire, Prince Bayezid Osman (92), passed away.
· British singer song writer Peter Sarstedt (75), who was best known for the 1969 song ‘Where Do You Go To My Lovely,’ passed away.
· Former German President Roman Herzog (82) passed away.
· Clare Hollingworth (105), the veteran British war correspondent who first broke the news that World War II had started died in Hong Kong.
· Freedom fighter Mohan Singh Josan (92) passed away.
· Senior Congress leader and former Tourism Minister of Maharashtra Chandrakant Chhajed (67) passed away.
· Former Punjab Chief Minister Surjit Singh Barnala (91) passed away.
· Eugene Cernan (82), the last man to walk on Moon, passed away.
· Russia’s ambassador to India Alexander Kadakin passed away in New Delhi after a brief illness.
· Emmy award winning US actress Mary Tyler Moore (80) passed away.
· Actor John Hurt (77) who played Mr Ollivander, the wand maker in the first and final two ‘Harry Potter’ films, passed away.
· Veteran journalist Devdutt passed away. He was 88. He was Gandhian since his early days and was present at Birla House in the lawn when Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated on January 30, 1948.
· Former Punjab Chief Minister Surjit Singh Barnala, who took over reins of the state in the difficult
period when militancy was at its peak in the mid-80s, died in Chandigarh on 14th January 2017 at the age of 91.
· Pakistan’s President Mamnoon Hussain conferred the country’s highest civilian honor ‘Nishane-Imtiaz’ on Army chief Qamar Bajwa and Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Zubair Hayat in recognition of their services.
· Actor Amitabh Bachchan was honored with an award by the US Embassy for his contribution to the US – India partnership on tuberculosis.
· World football’s governing body, FIFA hosted the first Best FIFA Football Awards of the year 2016, in Zurich.
– Cristiano Ronaldo was named the best male player of the year.
– Carli Lloyd was named the best female footballer of the year.
– Leicester City’s coach Claudio Ranieri was named the best coach of the year.
· IIT Kharagpur alumnus Parag Havaldar has won an Academy Award for scientific and technical achievements 2017.
· Filmmaker Karan Johar has been invited to the upcoming 47th World Economic Forum’s annual meet in gas cultural leader.
– The global event will take place in Davos Klosters , Switzerland from January 17 t o 20.
– Theme – ‘Responsive and Responsible Leadership’.
· President Pranab Mukherjee conferred 2017 Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award (PBSA) upon 30
prominent non-resident Indians (NRI’s)/ organisations on the concluding day of 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas held in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
· Outgoing US President Barack Obama has selected 4 Indian-American scientists among 102 researchers for the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).
– They are: Aradhna Tripati (University of California) Pankaj Lal (Montclair State University), Kaushik Chowdhury (Northeastern University), Manish Arora (Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai)
· Outgoing US President Barack Obama has awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Vice President Joe Biden. This is US’s highest civilian honor.
· Bollywood actress Katrina Kaif, along with Academy Award winner Jeremy Irons, ‘House of Cards’ actress Robin Wright and ‘90210’ actress Annalynne McCord will be the speaker in the Stage and Screen field for a talk at the Oxford University in coming February.
· Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad, the soldier who died after he was miraculously rescued alive from beneath the snow six days after an avalanche hit his post in Siachen Glacier, was awarded the Sena Medal.
– Along with him, fifteen other soldiers will be awarded gallantry awards, of which five were martyred
· Former Indian captain Kapil Dev was inducted into the Legends Club ‘Hall of Fame’ at the Cricket Club of India in Mumbai.
· Indian actress Priyanka Chopra has won the favorite dramatic TV actress trophy for her role in “Quantico” at the 2017 People’s Choice Awards.
– Another Indian-origin star Lilly Singh was also named as favorite YouTube star.
– American actress and comedienne Ellen DeGeneres became the most awarded person in the history of People’s Choice Awards, after winning three awards at the ceremony.
· Ex-India captain and Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) President Sourav Ganguly will have a stand named after him at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens stadium.
– A stand will also be named after late BCCI President Jagmohan Dalmiya.
· Former Miss Universe Sushmita Sen has confirmed that she is on the judging panel of the upcoming 65th edition of the Miss Universe pageant.
· ISKCON’s Govardhan eco village nearby Wada taluka in Thane district has been conferred the United Nations award for taking innovative measures of ’sustainable tourism’ in country.
· 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”.
· Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave the National Bravery Award to 25 children.
· Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has awarded the first ever Hugo Chavez Prize for Peace and Sovereignty to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
· 19 soldiers of the 4 and 9 Para, the Special Forces’ units which undertook the crossborder surgical strike across LoC, were awarded gallantry medals on the eve of Republic Day.
· Major Rohit Suri of 4 Para, who led one of the teams across the LoC targeting terrorists’ launch pads, was awarded the Kirti Chakra, the second highest peacetime gallantry award.
· President Pranab Mukherjee approved the conferment of Jeevan Raksha Padak Series of Awards 2016 to 36 persons.
· Havildar Hangpan Dada of the Army’s Assam Regiment was posthumously awarded the Ashok Chakra, India’s highest peacetime military award on the Republic Day.
· Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar has conferred the Raksha Mantri Padak to 10 girl NCC cadets and one Girls Cadet Instructor, who had successfully summitted the Mount Everest.
· The Arunachal Pradesh tableau has bagged the 1st position among the 17 state tableaux that took part in this year’s Republic Day parade.
– Tripura’s tableau got the second place while the Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu tableaux were jointly adjudged third.
· The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) has been adjudged the best marching contingent for the 5th time among the different paramilitary forces that took part in the Republic Day parade.
– In the services category, Madras Engineer Group of the Indian Army bagged the best
marching contingent award.
· Miss France Iris Mittenaere was crowned as the 65th Miss Universe in the Philippines.
Haiti’s Raquel Pelissier was the first runner up while Colombia’s Andrea Tovar came third.
· Indian actress Priyanka Chopra has made it to the list of Harper’s Bazaar’s 150 most fashionable women.
· A Keshav Krishna, a scientist at the National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI) has been selected for the National Geoscience Award for 2016.
· 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
· Kiran Doshi won The Hindu Prize 2016 at the 7th edition of The Hindu Lit for Life festival 2017 held in Chennai from January 14-16, 2017.
· Indian Premier League franchise Kolkata Knight Riders appointed former Indian pacer Lakshmipathy Balaji as the team’s bowling coach for the 2017 season.
· Former Australian cricketer Arthur Morris was inducted into the International Cricket Council’s Hall of Fame by ex-Australian captain Steve Waugh.
· India’s women’s football team defeated Bangladesh 31 in Siliguri to win the 2016 South Asian Football Federation Women’s Championship for the 4th consecutive time.
· Virat Kohli has been named India’s limited overs captain.
· Indian Squash player Velavan Senthilkumar won the British Junior Open after defeating compatriot Abhay Singh.
– India also secured the bronze medal with Adhitya Raghavan defeating Egypt’s Youssef Ibrahim in the third place playoff.
· 21 state associations have confirmed in writing to the Lodha Panel that they will comply with the committee’s reforms, following the latest Supreme Court verdict.
· Novak Djokovic has won the Qatar Open tennis title by beating Andy Murray.
· Rio Olympics 800metre gold medal list David Rudisha has been named as the International Event ambassador for the 2.6 crore 14th Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon.
· Sania Mirza won the year opening Brisbane International title with partner American Bethanie MattekSands after defeating Russian pair of Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina.
– However, Mirza, who has been number 1 in the WTA rankings for 91 weeks, lost the top spot to her partner after the win.
· Rohan Bopanna and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan won the Chennai Open doubles title by defeating compatriots Purav Raja and Divij Sharan
· Indian cueist Pankaj Advani has won the 3rd Kolkata Open National Invitation Snooker Championship.
· The United Kingdom has become the world’s first country to officially recognize parkour as a sport.
· Former world number one Maria Sharapova announced that she is set to make her return to competitive tennis on April 26 at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart.
· The FIH (International Hockey Federation) Executive Board has confirmed the nomination of Indian men’s hockey team captain PR Sreejesh to the FIH Athletes’ Committee.
· China faces a one year ban from international weightlifting competitions after three of its weightlifters failed doping retests and were stripped of their Olympic 2008 gold medals.
· The International Cricket Council (ICC) has made it mandatory for all international cricketers to wear the latest helmets which adhere to the British Safety Standard.
– The new regulations would be enforced from February 1.
· The Indian women’s boxing team secured a historic 3rd place finish in the 6th Nation’s Cup in Serbia.
· Mercedes has unveiled Finnish racing driver Valtteri Bottas as the replacement for recently retired Formula One world champion Nico Rosberg.
· English Premier League side Manchester United became the world’s richest football club, with a record revenue of over 4,300 crore for the 2015-16 season.
· Jayesh Raimalani, a young Indian footballer, has joined Barcelona based football team ‘Club Esportiu Jupiter’, which plays in the fourth division of Spanish football.
· The Indian Sports Ministry has decided to postpone the Archery Asia Cup, following the Archery Association of India’s delay in accepting the Sports Code.
· Top seed Saina Nehwal beat Thailand’s Pornpawee Chochuwong to win the Malaysia Masters Grand Prix Gold tournament.
· International cricket is being played across five countries on January 22, making it the first such instance in history.
– Two ODIs are being played in India and Australia, while South Africa and UAE are hosting T20Is and New Zealand a Test.
· Former India opener and the current mentor of Kings XI Punjab, Virender Sehwag has been named as the Brand Ambassador of the franchise.
· British snooker professional Ronnie O’Sullivan sealed a world record seventh Masters Title after registering a comeback victory over compatriot Joe Perry in London.
· The Rest of India beat Ranji Trophy champions Gujarat to win the Irani Trophy by six wickets.
· Former Australian cricketers Matthew Hayden and David Boon have been inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame.
– Betty Wilson, an icon of women’s cricket, who was known as the ‘female Bradman’ during her career in the 1940s and 1950s, was also added to the Hall of Fame.
· The ICC named 4 women in a nine umpire strong panel to officiate in next month’s ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier 2017.
· All India Football Federation (AIFF) launched India’s first ever women’s professional football league titled the Indian Women’s League.
– This tournament will be played at Delhi’s Ambedkar Stadium between six teams across two weeks starting January 28.
· Sumo wrestler Kisenosato became the first Japanese wrestler to be titled ‘yokozuna’, the sport’s grand champion, in almost 18 years.
· European football’s governing body UEFA announced a new international tournament, the UEFA Nations League, which will see participation from 55 nations in a league style format.
· US tennis player Serena Williams went past Steffi Graf to become the player with the most Grand
Slam singles titles in Open Era after claiming her 23rd title at the Australian Open against her sister Venus.
– Following her seventh title in Australia, Serena will now displace Germany’s Angelique Kerber to reclaim the top rank in the women’s singles rankings.
· Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt returned his 4x100m Olympic Committee disqualified the team following
2008 Olympic gold, after the International Nesta Carter’s positive dope test.
· Anime series Dragon Ball Z’s character Goku has been selected as the Ambassador of the 2020 Olympics to be held in Tokyo.
· Swiss tennis player Roger Federer defeated Spain’s Rafael Nadal in five sets in the Australian Open men’s singles final, to win a record 18th Grand Slam title.
– At the age of 35 years and 174 days, Roger Federer became the oldest Grand Slam champion, after his Australian Open title against rival Rafael Nadal.
· In Australian Open Tennis, American-Colombian duo of Abigail Spears and Juan Sebastian Cabal defeated Indo-Croatian pair of Sania Mirza and Ivan Dodig in Mixed doubles final.
· FIFA unveiled Adidas Praia, the official match ball for the upcoming FIFA Beach Football World Cup, which is scheduled to be held in The Bahamas in April.
– The ball has been colored blue, an inspiration from the turquoise oceans of The Bahamas, and has been engineered to be low weight and low pressure.
· Former Formula One driver Michael Schumacher’s son Mick Schumacher won Round 3’s opening race at the MRF Challenge 2016, held at the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida.
· Indian shuttler PV Sindhu has won the Syed Modi International Grand Prix Gold after beating Indonesia’s Gregoria Mariska in the final.
· Dhruv Sunish finally got the taste of ITF Juniors title when he won the boys singles crown downing Kazakhstan’s Dostanbek Tashbulatov at the Dakshin Kalikata Sansad clay courts.
· India’s ace shuttler Saina Nehwal has won the Malaysia Masters Grand Prix Gold title at Sarawak in Malaysia.
· Farrukh Amonatov of Tajikistan won the 15th edition of the Delhi International Chess tournament after settling for a draw with Grandmaster Diptayan Ghosh in the 10th and final round.
· Boxer Sarita Devi, who recently became India’s first female professional boxer, won her debut pro bout in Imphal, by defeating Hungary’s Zsofia Bedo by unanimous decision.
· India has ranked third among the countries offering the highest average annual salary to expatriates, according to HSBC Holdings data.
– Switzerland topped the list with an average salary of $188,275 a year.
· American technology company IBM has become the first company to receive more than 8,000 US patents in one year in 2016.
– With 8,088 patents, IBM received an average of 22 patents per day last year.
– IBM was followed by Samsung and Canon with 5,518 and 3,665 patents respectively.
– Technology major Google received the fifth most number of patents at 2,835.
· The Expert Committee set up to prepare Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC) has submitted its report to the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD).
– The objective of this committee was to study criteria for allocation of resources to States and identification and prioritization of beneficiaries under various programmes using SECC data.
– Head of this committee: Sumit Bose (Former Finance Secretary)
· Numeric combination ‘12345’ has been named the most common password of 2016 by password managing application Keeper Security, which reviewed 10 million passwords that became public following data breaches.
– Passwords ‘123456789’ and ‘qwerty’ were the second and third most common passwords
· India was ranked 92nd among 118 countries in the 2017 Global index of talent competitiveness (GTI) list.
– Top 10 Countries: Switzerland, Singapore, United Kingdom, United States, Sweden, Australia, Luxembourg, Denmark, Finland and Norway
· India has been ranked 60th among 79 developing economies, below China (15), Nepal (27) and Pakistan (52), in World Economic Forum’s Inclusive Development Index.
– Top 10 Countries: Lithuania, Azerbaijan, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Uruguay, Latvia, Panama, Costa, Rica and Chile.
· India has featured among the top 6 most promising markets in terms of overall growth prospects over the next 12 months for global executives, according to consultancy giant PwC.
· South Korea has featured on top of the Innovation Index for 2017 as per media firm Bloomberg, which scores economies using factors including research and development spending and concentration of high tech public companies.
– Sweden has been ranked second on the index due to a rise in manufacturing activity and fresh ideas, followed by Germany.
· The Indian passport has ranked 78th in a list of the world’s strongest passports, as it offers visa free or visa on arrival facilities to 46 countries, according to financial advisory firm Arton Capital.
– The German passport is the strongest in the world, offering visa free or visa on arrival facilities to 157 countries.
– The passports of Sweden and Singapore share the second place, with a visa free score of 156.
– Afghanistan’s passport has been rated the weakest, with a rank of 95, while Pakistan’s passport has been placed second lowest, occupying the 94th position.
· Indian city Bengaluru has emerged as the most dynamic city in the world (according to recently released annual by Jones Lang LaSalle’s City Momentum Index).
– Another Indian city Hyderabad stood at 5th place in the index.
– Top 10: Bengaluru (India), Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), Silicon Valley (US), Shanghai (China), Hyderabad (India), London (UK), Austin (US), Hanoi (Vietnam), Boston (US) Nairobi (Kenya)
· Technology giant Apple has emerged as the Most Innovative Company for 2016, according to Boston Consulting Group’s annual list which ranks world’s 50 most innovative firms.
– Google was ranked second, followed by electric carmaker Tesla on the list.
· India is ranked at the sixth spot, behind China and Japan, in a list of eight great powers for the year 2017 by a leading American foreign policy magazine which is topped by the US.
– China and Japan are at tie for being on the second spot. Russia (fourth) and Germany (fifth) are the other two countries ahead of India.
– Iran is ranked seventh and Israel is on the eighth spot.
· 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.
· India has been ranked 79th out of 176 countries in the recently released Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2016.
– This index was released by the Berlin based corruption watchdog Transparency International (TI).
– Top 10: New Zealand, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, Norway, Singapore, Netherlands, Canada and Germany.
National Parties/Regional Parties
· Political activist Irom Sharmila’s political party Peoples’ Resurgence and Justice Alliance (PRJA), which was launched in October last year, is Manipur’s first crowd funded party.
General – National
· Newly launched mobile payments app BHIM (Bharat Interface for Money) has reached the top of the charts of Google Play Store.
– The app has a maximum limit of 10,000 for a single transaction and a 20,000 cap for transactions within 24 hours.
– BHIM (Bharat Interface for Money) has crossed over 10 million downloads milestone in a span of 10 days.
· Japanese Ambassador to India Kenji Hiramatsu announced that Japan has decided to be associated with the development of Chennai, Ahmedabad and Varanasi as smart cities in the country.
· The 14th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas (PBD) convention began in Bengaluru. The three day event kick started with the Youth PBD.
– PBD Theme – Redefining Engagement with the Indian Diaspora
– Youth PBD Theme – ‘Role of Diaspora Youth in the Transformation of India’.
– Chief Guest of the event: Dr Antonio Costa (Prime Minister of Portugal)
· Newly launched mobile payments app BHIM and Unified Payment Interface has a part of this year’s Republic Day parade along with tableaus on demonetization.
– Indian Army’s Special Forces will not take part in it.
– Indigenously built Light Combat Aircraft Tejas made its debut at the Republic Day parade and flew over the Rajpath crowd at a speed of 780 km/h.
– Another Sukhoi Su 30 MKI shot through the sky at 900 km/h.
– Apart from these, C 130J Super Hercules, MiG29, C17 Globemaster also took part in the fly past.
– Indigenously made helicopters Rudra and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) Dhruv will also showcase a fly past on January 26.
– In a first, the National Security Guard (NSG) commandos participated in the parade.
· UAE crown prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan will be the Chief Guest at Republic Day function, 2016.
– For the first time, the UAE soldiers will march at Delhi’s Rajpath during the 2017 Republic Day parade.
· The Centre is going to institute an independent railway regulator that will determine passenger and freight tariffs.
· Saudi Arabia has increased India’s annual Haj quota from 1.36 lakh to 1.70 lakh, biggest such expansion in last 29 years.
· Bharti Airtel launched Airtel Payments Bank across India.
· India’s first museum dedicated to preserving the skeletal remains of marine mammals will open in Mumbai by the end of this year.
· India has officially become an associate member of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), deemed as the world’s largest nuclear and particle physics laboratory.
· The Bhopal Nagar Nigam (BNG) has announced that a fine of 500 per person will be levied for open defecation and if not complied, then the whole family will be fined 500 per member.
· The Union Cabinet has given its approval to the proposal for India’s taking full membership of the International Vaccine Institute (IVI) Governing Council.
· Chennai Police imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC on the Marina Beach until February 12.
· Bangalore Traffic Police has installed Red Light Violation Detection cameras at ten important junctions in the city to book offenders. The cameras can identify the license plate of vehicles and generate challans.
· Minister of State for Food Processing Industries Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti stated 100% Foreign Direct Investment in food processing sector is being actively considered by the Union Government.
· Russian Railways is helping India’s national transporter increase the speed of its passenger trains up to 200 km per hour.
· The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has registered Sitalpati or cool mat from the Cooch Behar district, West Bengal.
· Bangalore Police has made it mandatory for people to give their Aadhaar card details to watch IPL matches in the city.
General – International
· Scotland launched a Baby Box Scheme, providing parents of newborn babies with maternity kits containing digital thermometers, blankets and baby clothes.
· Iceland ended the year 2016 without a government for two months following the Panama Papers scandal and a snap election in which none of the parties got a majority.
· Finland became the first country in Europe to trial a project to pay unemployed citizens a basic monthly income of €560 (around 40,000), in a move to reduce poverty and boost employment.
· The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has declared the year 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.
· Afghan authorities at the Torkham international border between Pakistan and Afghanistan announced that Pakistani nationals without a valid passport and visa will not be permitted to enter Afghanistan starting January 1, 2017.
· Israel announced a $6mn (around 40.9 crore) cut in its annual dues to the United Nations.
· Pakistan’s Punjab province has launched a smart phone application for women to report harassment to police in an effort to promote women’s safety.
· The US Army has revised its uniform policy for people seeking religious accommodations, making it easier for Sikhs and Muslims to obtain approval to dress and groom themselves according to their religious customs.
· The United Arab Emirates has banned private citizens from keeping exotic wild animals, like lions or tigers, as pets.
· Russia has directed Google and Apple to remove LinkedIn from the local Android and iOS App stores.
· In an attempt to boost Paris’ cycling infrastructure, the mayor Anne Hidalgo, has named 2017 as the “year of the bike”.
· Muslim majority nation Morocco has banned the production and sale of burqas for security reasons.
· Turkey renamed the street that serves the Russian Embassy after Andrei Karlov, the Russian ambassador to Turkey who was killed by a gunman in the Turkish capital.
· Russia’s Health Ministry has unveiled a proposal to ban the sale of cigarettes to anyone born after 2015.
· Ecuador has taken over from Thailand as Chair of the Group of 77 (G77) countries of the United Nations for the year 2017.
· After the lifting of international sanctions on Iran in 2015, the country received its first new aircraft in 40 years.
– A commercial passenger jet for airline Iran Air, Airbus A321 arrived at Tehran on a flight from the Airbus headquarters in France.
· The US has announced the end of a 20 years economic embargo on Sudan by lifting trade and financial sanctions.
· Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas along with Pope Francis inaugurated Palestine’s embassy in Vatican City.
· The government of Northern Ireland has collapsed, forcing early elections after the ruling party, Sinn Fein refused to name a replacement for Deputy First Minister.
· The Nepal government has launched a 10-year-plan to reduce its dependence on vegetable imports from India and make it self-reliant.
· US President Donald Trump’s administration has barred scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from posting updates on social media and speaking to reporters.
· US President Donald Trump signed an executive order which has a clause that says privacy protections would not be extended past US citizens or permanent residents in America.
· Greece’s Lambrakis Press Group announced that two of its newspapers including Ta Nea, the country’s bestselling daily, will cease publication due to financial reasons.
– It also added that the situation was a result of the economic crisis Greece is currently facing.
· The Gambia’s new President, Adama Barrow, has removed ‘Islamic’ from the official name of the country pledging more reforms in the West African nation.
· The White House has revealed that they are in “beginning stages” of discussing plans to move USA’s Israel embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
– This comes after France warned President Donald Trump of “serious consequences” if the embassy is moved to Jerusalem.
· 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.
· Denmark has announced it will appoint a ‘digital ambassador’ to manage its relationship with technology giants like Google and Apple, becoming the first country to do so.
· 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.
· The President of United States, Donald Trump signed an executive order to enable construction of a 2,000mile wall along the southern US border with Mexico.
The wall is aimed at stemming the flow of drugs, illegal immigration into the US.
Books and Authors
• The Untold Vajpayee: Politician and Paradox
• Bose: An Indian Samurai : Netaji and the INA :
a Military Assessment
· Prince Charles has co-authored a Ladybird book on climate change with environmental campaigners Tony Juniper and Emily Shuckburgh. ‘The Ladybird Book on Climate Change,’ the first in a new series for adults, will be published later in January.
TO THE POINTS: JANUARY–2017
· Hindi writer Shraddha have been chosen for Bharatiya Jnanpith Navlekhan Award for the year 2016 for her short story ‘Hawa Mein Phadphadati Chitthi‘.
· Pakistan Mamnoon Hussain honored Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa with Nishan-e-Imtiaz.
· Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa took charge as the 22nd Chief of the Air Staff (CoAS) of the Indian Air Force (IAF) by succeeding Arup Raha.
· General Bipin Rawat took charge as the new 27th Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) of India by succeeding General Dalbir Singh Suhag.
· India and Singapore signed the 3rd protocol for amending Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA).
· Recently Sorin Grindeanu has been officially appointed as the new Prime Minister of Romania.
· India’s first transgender school Sahaj International has started at Thrikkakara in Kerala’s Ernakulam district.
· The World famous 11-day gala festival Bargarh Dhanua Jatra began in Odisha.
· Hindi writer Ghyansham Kumar Devansh has been chosen for Bharatiya Jnanpith Navlekhan Award for the year 2016 for his poem ‘Akash Mein Deh‘.
· J S Khehar has been sworn-in as the new Chief Justice of India (CJI).
· The World Braille Day (WBD) was observed on January 4.
· Sergey Karjakin has won the 2016 World Blitz Chess Championship.
· V Thiruppugazh has been appointed as an Adviser (policy & planning) in the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).
· Injeti Srinivas committee has been constituted by the Union Government to suggest improvements in National Sports Development Code (NSDC).
· SBI has tied up with online portal “magicbricks.com” to conduct joint marketing activities.
· Archana Nigam is the newly appointed Controller General of Accounts.
· The book “Death Under The Deodars: The Adventures of Miss Ripley-Bean” has been authored by
· The book “Just Another Jihadi Jane” has been authored by Tabish Khair.
· “NTR Arogya Raksha” a new health scheme has been launched by Andhra Pradesh.
· Surekha Marandi has been appointed as the new Executive Director (ED) of Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
· The 2017 Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) will be hosted by Bengaluru.
· “Good Samaritan Policy” has been launched by Delhi government.
· Jovenel Moise has won the 2016 Presidential election of Haiti.
· Nepal has recently hosted the Chitwan Elephant Festival to promote tourism.
· Abdul Halim Jaffer Khan, who passed away recently, was the famous musician of Sitar musical instrument.
· Norway becomes the first country in the world to switch off its FM radio network.
· Veteran actor Om Puri, who passed away recently, was belonged to Haryana.
· Dell has unveiled ‘Latitude 7285’ world’s first wireless charging laptop.
· The 2017 Assam International Agri-Horiculture show has started in Guwahati.
· Younis Khan becomes first batsmen that score centuries in 11 countries.
· Indian-origin Portugal Prime Minister, Dr. Antonio Costa is the chief guest of 14th edition of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD).
· According to Central Statistics Office (CSO), India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth is expected to grow at 7.1% in 2016-17.
· NRIs can exchange old 500 and 1,000 rupees notes at RBI offices till 30 June 2017.
· Sania Mirza, Bethanie Mattek-Sands has won 2017 Brisbane women’s doubles title Brisbane International women’s doubles title.
· Pakistan’s former Army chief Gen. Raheel Sharif was appointed head of Islamic Military Alliance to Fight Terrorism (IMAFT).
· Nana Akufo-Addo was sworn in as new president of Ghana.
· Antonio Costa is the Prime Minister of Portugal.
· Novak Djokovic has won the Qatar Open tennis title.
· Cristiano Ronaldo has won the 2016 Best FIFA Men’s player award.
· India’s largest public WiFi service has been launched by Maharashtra.
· India’s first international stock exchange “India International Exchange” has been launched in
· Amitabh Bachchan has been honored by US Embassy for Tuberculosis (TB) awareness.
· Mario Soares, who passed away recently, was the former President of Portugal.
· The book “Magpie Murders” has been authored by Anthony Horowitz.
· Zygmunt Bauman, who passed away recently, was the renowned sociologist of Poland.
· Pakistan test-fired the first submarine-launched Cruise Missile Babur-3.
· Kalyan Krishnamurthy was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of Flipkart.
· Darpan Basak has won the Young Travel Photographer Of The Year (TPOTY) award 2016.
· The Jigme Dorji National Park is located in Bhutan.
· The World Hindi Day (WHD) is observed on January 10.
· The 2017 World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting will be held in Switzerland.
· Norway has become the world’s first country to cease FM radio broadcasting.
· Daniel Ortega has been sworn as the new President of Nicaragua.
· United Kingdom has become the world’s first country to officially recognize parkour as a sport.
· World’s First literature Festival was held in patna.
· INS Khanderi, second of the Scorpene class submarine that was launched at in Mumbai in January 2017 for sea trials.
· The book “The Untold Story of Talking Books” has been authored by Matthew Rubery.
· Indian hockey player PR Sreejesh has become a member of International Hockey Federation (FIH) Athletes’ Committee.
· The Chhabra Thermal Power Plant (CTPP) is located in Rajasthan.
· The book “An Unsuitable Boy” is the autobiography of Karan Johar.
· 7.25% interest rate will be offer by Airtel Payments Bank on savings accounts deposits.
· Citi Bank India introduced voice biometrics authentication system for its phone banking clients.
· Former world champion Sarita Devi becomes the first female professional boxer from India.
· Rajesh Gopinathan was named chairman of Tata Sons.
· Gujarat won maiden Ranji Trophy title.
· Sumit Bose committee has recently submitted report on Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC) to the Union Government.
· William Peter Blatty, who passed away recently, was the well-known author of United States.
· The first-ever Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) International Dance festival has been held in
· “Digital Dakiya” scheme has been launched in Madhya Pradesh government to encourage cashless transactions.
· International Labor Organization released the World Employment and Social Outlook – Trends 2017.
· Kiran Doshi is the author of the book titled ‘Jinnah Often Came to Our House,’ which was recently awarded with the The Hindu Prize 2016.
· The international conference to kick-start peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians is being held in Paris.
· Timothy Gonsalves committee has recently recommended quota for girl students in IITs.
· Chennai Smashers has won the 2017 Vodafone Premier Badminton League (PBL).
· India’s GDP growth forecast 6.6% rate for FY 17, as per updated “World Economic Outlook (WEO)” report of International Monetary Fund (IMF).
· India got 92nd rank in the 2017 Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI). Freedom fighter Mohan Singh Josan, who passed away recently, was belonged to Rajasthan.
· Antonio Tajani, who has been elected the new President of European Parliament, is belonged to
· The book “Kalkatta” has been authored by Kunal Basu.
· Mawlynnong village, which is cleanest village in Asia, is located in Meghalaya.
· India got 60th rank in the World Economic Forum (WEF)’s Inclusive Development Index (IDI) for 2017.
· Karang, which has become India’s first cashless island, is located in Manipur.
· Jacob Polley won the 2016 T S Eliot Prize for Poetry.
· The GST Council decided to rollout the Goods and Services Tax on 1st July 2017.
· Kapil Dev has been inducted into Legends Club “Hall of Fame”.
· $48 million loan amount has been sanctioned by World Bank (WB) for “Nagaland Health Project”.
· India has recently become an associate member of European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN).
· Alok Kumar Verma was appointed as the Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation.
· Sanjeev Srinivasan was appointed as CEO and MD of Bharati AXA General recently.
· The Pro Wrestling League Season 2 title was won by Punjab Royals.
· Adama Barrow was recently sworn-in as the President of The Gambia.
· Madhya Pradesh has become the India’s first state to launch “Aanandam program” to help the needy persons.
· “Mission 41K” has been launched by Railways ministry to save energy.
· Mauritius is the headquarters of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA).
· The crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, was the Chief Guest for the 2017 Republic Day of India.
· Mumbai is the headquarters of the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI).
· India’s GDP growth forecast for FY 17 is 7.7%, as per latest report of United Nations World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2017.
· Praful Patel has been appointed as a new member of FIFA’s Finance Committee for the period of 2017- 2021.
· Indian personality Sushmita Sen will become judge in the 2017 Miss Universe pageant.
· INS Vikramaditya has become the India’s first-ever warship to have ATM on board.
· Saina Nehwal has won the 2017 Malaysia Masters Grand Prix Gold Badminton tournament.
· Pravind Jugnauth has been appointed as the new Prime Minister of Mauritius.
· The book “Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life” has been authored by William Finnegan.
· “Wave N Pay” contactless card has been launched by Punjab National Bank (PNB).
· The 2017 Pakke-Paga Festival has been held in Arunachal Pradesh.
· Eden Gardens stadium, Kolkata will become the first Indian stadium to have stands named after war heroes.
· Govardhan Ecovillage has been conferred the UNWTO Award for Innovation in the category of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO).
· Goa will become the Indian state to opt for electronic transmission of postal ballot to service voters.
· The National Tourism Day was celebrated on January 24.
· N K Singh committee has recently submitted report on Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) act to the Union Government.
· The 2017 Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana (VPBY) will be implemented through LIC.
· The book “You Got Magic” has been authored by Neel Madhav.
· The Nagarhole National Park is located in Karnataka (also known as Rajiv Gandhi National Park).
· The National Girl Child Day was celebrated on January 24.
· Jaswant Rai Sharma, who passed away recently, was the renowned poet of Urdu.
· “Aoba Velox-III” satellite, which has been successfully launched into orbit from the International Space Station (ISS), is belonged to Singapore.
· Banwarilal Purohit is present Governor of Assam.
· India got 79th rank in recently released Corruption Perception Index (CPI) for the year 2016 by the Berlin-based corruption watchdog Transparency International (TI).
· Actress Mary Tyler Moore has passed away recently. She belongs to USA.
· Ababeel surface-to-surface medium range ballistic missile tested by Pakistan.
· Alexander Kadakin, who passed away recently, was the ambassador of Russia to India.
· Kerala has launched e-health program “Jeevan Rekha” to provide a centralized database of healthcare information.
· The book “The Island of Lost Girls” has been authored by Manjula Padmanabhan.
· The 2017 T20 Blind Cricket World Cup will be hosted by India.
· Hangpan Dada has been bestowed with the highest peace time gallantry decoration “Ashok Chakra” on the 68th Republic Day of India.
· Lalchungnunga, who has been chosen to train at Germany’s top division football league “Bundesliga”, is belonged to Mizoram.
· Theme of the 2017 National Voters Day (NVD) is Empowering young and future events.
· Japan has successfully launched its first-ever military communications satellite “Kirameki -2” into orbit.
· The world’s largest solar park has been built by China.
· The book “The Future of India” has been authored by Bimal Jalan.
· Vladimir Putin has been bestowed with the first-ever Hugo Chavez Prize for Peace and Sovereignty of Venezuela.
· “Dulari Kanya” scheme has been launched by Arunachal Pradesh government to check infant mortality.
· India’s first Post Office Passport Seva Kendra (POPSK) has been inaugurated in Mysuru.
· Shekhar Naik, who has been selected for 2017 Padma Shri award, is associated with Cricket (captain of Indian Blind Cricket team).
· Madhya Pradesh has recently announced a total ban on polythene bags from May 2017.
· Assam has recently organized Farmer’s Martyrs day to pay homage to the martyrs of 1894 farmers’ rising in the state.
· Supreme Court appoints four-member committee to run BCCI. Former CAG Vinod Rai led that committee.
· Miss France Iris Mittenaere was crowned Miss Universe 2016.
· India’s Fanatic Sports Museum opened at Kolkatta.
· Former HC judge Justice P Vishwanath Shetty was administered the oath of Karnataka Lokayukta office by Governor Vajubhai R Vala.
· Indian shuttler PV Sindhu has won the Syed Modi International Grand Prix Gold after beating Indonesia’s Gregoria Mariska in the final.
· Roger Federer has won Australian Open Men’s final.
· National Immunization Day was celebrated on 29th January 2017.
· Ant Financial, e-commerce giant Alibaba’s financial arm has acquire American money-transfer major MoneyGram.
· Film producer and Wimbledon tennis player, Ashok Amritraj was appointed as UN in India Goodwill Ambassador for the Sustainable Development Goals.
· Amulya Patnaik was appointed as Chief of Delhi police.
· India Post Payments Bank started at Raipur and Ranchi.