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Budget session of Parliament to begin from January 31st, 2017

i. The Budget session of Parliament convened to start from January 31, a day before the Union Budget is likely to be presented. President Pranab Mukherjee has summoned the Rajya Sabha to meet on January 31, 2017. A similar notification is also expected from the Lok Sabha secretariat.

ii. The practice of separate railway Budget presentation is being scrapped from this year. The railway estimates will be part of the Union Budget.

China to build world's highest altitude telescopes in Tibet

i. China is setting up the world's highest altitude gravitational wave telescopes in a Tibet prefecture close to Line of Actual Control with India with a budget of $18.8 million to detect faintest echoes resonating from the universe which may reveal more about the Big Bang theory. Construction has started for the first telescope, code-named Ngari No 1, 30 km south of Shiquanhe Town in Ngari Prefecture, said Yao Yongqiang chief researcher with the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

ii. Parts of Ngari is last Tibetan prefecture at China's border with India. The telescope, located 5,250 meters above sea level, will detect and gather precise data on primordial gravitational waves in the Northern Hemisphere. It is expected to be operational by 2021, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

China forex reserves fall by USD 320 billion in 2016

i.China's Central Bank says, the country's foreign currency reserves shrank last year, marking large annual losses for the 2nd year in a row. Officials at the People's Bank of China said that foreign reserves stood at over three trillion dollars as of the end of December, 2016. For the year as a whole, China's foreign exchange reserve fell nearly 320 billion dollars from a year earlier, following a drop of more than 512 billion dollars in 2015.

ii.Chinese firms and individuals concerned about the country's economic outlook have positive expectations for US President-elect Donald Trump's economic policies. They have been selling the yuan against the dollar to purchase businesses and properties overseas.The Chinese currency fell about 7 percent against the dollar in 2016.

Donald Trump names Dan Coats as new national intelligence director

i.US President-elect Donald Trump has named Dan Coats as his National Intelligence Director. The Indiana ex-senator formerly served on the Senate Intelligence Committee. Mr Coats would provide unwavering leadership and spearhead his administration's ceaseless vigilance against those who seek to do them harm. 

ii.The appointment comes a day after an intelligence report accused Russia's President of ordering a campaign aimed at helping Mr Trump to victory. Mr Coats will need the Senate to confirm his appointment, replacing James Clapper.

PM Modi & Portuguese PM Antonio Costa inaugurate PBD Convention at Bengaluru

i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Portuguese counterpart Dr Antonio Costa has inaugurated the main convention of Pravasi Bhartiya Divas this morning (08th January 2017) in Bengaluru.

ii. In his key note address at the 14th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas celebrations, Mr Modi said, the Indian diaspora represents the best of Indian culture, ethos and values. Indians abroad are valued not just for their strength in numbers.

Sania wins Brisbane women's doubles title but loses No.1 rank

i. Indian tennis ace Sania Mirza picked up her first title of the season, combining with American Bethanie Mattek-Sands to lift the Brisbane International women's doubles title. The top-seeded Indo-American duo triumphed 6-2 6-3 against the second-seeded Russian team of Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina in the final. 

ii. The trophy, however, ended Sania's 91-week reign as the world No.1 doubles player in the WTA rankings. That position was taken over by her partner Bethanie.

Djokovic wins Qatar Open tennis title

i. Novak Djokovic has won the Qatar Open tennis title. In an epic final in Doha, the Serbian defeated Andy Murray of UK by 6-3 5-7 6-4. 


Petrol pump owners defer their decision to not accept credit, debit card payments for fuel sales till 13 january 2017

i.Petrol pump owners deferred till January 13 their decision to not accept credit and debit card payments for fuel sales after banks put off the move to levy the transaction charge.

ii.To promote cash-less transactions, the government had waived the Merchant Discount Rate (MDR) on fuel purchase post demonetisation for consumers.

iii. But after the expiry of the 50-day window, the banks have decided to levy MDR on petrol pump owners.This meant petrol pumps having to bear 1 per cent on all credit card transactions and between 0.25 per cent and 1 per cent on all debit card transactions from January 9.

EPFO makes Aadhar mandatory for its pensioners & members

i.Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has made Aadhaar mandatory for its about 50 lakh pensioners and around four crore subscribers.

ii.Central Provident Fund Commissioner VP Joy stated that the pensioners as well as members would have to provide Aadhaar or a proof that they have applied for it by 31 January 2017 to remain the beneficiary of social security schemes of EPFO.

iii.The central government contributes 1.16 per cent of the basic wages as subsidy to every members Employees Pension Scheme Account in addition to 8.33% deposited by their employers every month

Prime Minister Narendra Modi  inaugurate Vibrant Gujarat Global Trade Show

i.Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be on a two-day visit to Gujarat from 9 january 2017, he will inaugurate the 8th edition of 'Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors Summit 2017' along with series of other programs.

ii.The four-day 'Vibrant Summit Summit will be inaugurated  at Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar. 

iii.Ahead of this Summit, the Prime Minister will inaugurate four different projects after his arrival.

Piyush Goyal unveiled world's largest street light replacement programme in SDMC

i.Power Minister Piyush Goyal unveiled world's largest street light replacement programme in South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) area .

ii. Mr Goyal will also launch a mobile app called Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) Complaint App for SDMC, wherein users can now lodge complaints about faulty street lights.

iii. AIR Correspondent reports that street Lighting National Programme (SLNP), currently running in the SDMC area is the World’s Largest Street Light Replacement Programme where two lakh LED lights will replace inefficient lamps. 

Vijayawada to host 1st Digi Dhan Mela in Andhra Pradesh 

i.In Andhra Pradesh Vijayawada will be host to the first Digi Dhan Mela in the State this afternoon. 

ii.Digi Dhan Melas are being organised across the country to promote cashless transactions. 

iii.Union Minister for Urban Development and Information Broadcasting M. Venkaiah Naidu along with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu will launch the Mela at Indira Gandhi Municipal Stadium, Vijayawada.

Blind Challenge Car Rally held in Bhopal

i.The 11th annual Blind Challenge Car Rally was organised in Bhopal,to raise awareness about the issues concerning the visually-impaired. 

ii.As part of the rally, drivers are navigated by blind persons tasked with reading the route given to them in Braille.

iii. The organisers awarded cash prizes to the first three winners and certificates to all the participants.Blind Challenge Car Rally held in Bhopal

SBI Pension Funds appoints Kumar Sharadindu as MD & CEO

 i.SBI Pension Funds Pvt Ltd (SBIPFPL), a subsidiary of SBI, has recently appointed Kumar  Sharadindu as the MD & CEO of the company.

ii.Prior to this assignment,Kumar was General Manager at SBI Corporate Centre, Mumbai, heading the private equity business of the bank.

iii.He has held several crucial assignments in his banking career spanning more than 30 years in the areas of credit, treasury, risk and large corporate lending.

iv.SBI Pension Funds had assets under management (AUM) of Rs. 46,019 crore

Bank of India to reduce its interest rates

i.The Bank of India has reduce its interest rates on retail loans, including home and vehicle loan.The bank earlier reduced its minimum lending rates or marginal cost of funds based lending rates (MCLR) by up to 90 basis points. 

ii.The rate on home loans has been lowered to 8.65 per cent for women borrowers, while for others the rate has been set at 8.70%.

iii. The bank has reduced the interest rates for vehicle loans to 9.35 per cent.

iv.For loan against property, the new rates are set in the range of 10.50-11 per cent. v.The rates for women borrowers will be 0.5% lower than the others.

First student startup fund has Rs 200 crore 

i.Gujarat government has come up with India's first student startup and innovation policy, which aims to provide Rs 200 crore in the form of grants to ideas developed by them. 

ii.The policy aims to support over 1,000 innovation per year and create pre-incubation support in all universities of the state. 

Former Iranian President Rafsanjani dies

i.Former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani died Sunday after suffering a heart attack.

ii. He was 82. Rafsanjani, who served two terms as Iran's president from 1989 to 1997, continued to be an influential figure in Iranian politics.

Roberto Bautista Agut beats Daniil Medvedev, wins Chennai Open 2017

i.Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut won the men’s singles title of the Chennai Open 2017. 

ii.Agut beat Russian 20-year-old Daniil Medvedev 6-3 and 6-4 to claim the first ATP tournament of the season. 

iii.It was a competition between the next-gen player in Daniil Medvedev taking on the veteran Roberto Bautista Agut.

Olympic champion David Rudisha to be Mumbai Marathon event ambassador

Reigning Olympic and world 800m champion and world record holder, David Rudisha is the International Event Ambassador for the 14th Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon to be held on January 15, 2017.


11th World Hindi Day:10 January

i.The Hindi language is not only spoken by Indians across the globe but it celebrated by people internationally. And, today (10th January 2017), we are observing World Hindi Day honor this Indo-Aryan language.
ii. The number of Hindi literates across the globe is reportedly rising at a high pace. Keeping in mind this rapid growth it is likely to showcase its strongest ever global presence soon.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 8th Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors Summit 2017  at Gandhinagar

i.Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 8th Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors Summit 2017 at Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar. 

ii.This year's biennial flagship event of the state is hosting Prime Ministers, Presidents, Deputy Prime Ministers and ministers of several countries apart from CEOs of Fortune 500 companies

Digi Dhan Mela organizes in Chandigarh begins

i.A Digi Dhan Mela has been organized in Chandigarh to promote digital transactions. 

ii.AIR correspondent reports that in this unique meal, many visitors including housewives, students and shopkeepers are getting training in the Digital Pathshala where experts of financial institutions are explaining everything through demonstrations.

Amitabh Bachchan presented with US embassy award for fight against Tuberculosis

i.Megastar Amitabh Bachchan was given an award by the US Embassy in appreciation for his invaluable contributions to the US-India partnership on tuberculosis.

ii.The award was presented by US Ambassador to India Richard R. Verma to the legendary actor who is also a tuberculosis survivor and brand ambassador for the initiative.

Maharashtra govt launches India's largest WiFi service

i.Maharashtra government has launched India’s largest public WiFi service called 'MumbaiWifi'.

ii. The facility, inaugurated by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in Mumbai and initially provide 500 Wifi hotspots across various locations like Vidhan Bhawan, Kalanagar in Bandra, Bombay High Court, and Mumbai Police Commissioner’s office.

Haryana to set up 'Prarambh School for Teachers Education' in Jhajjar

i.In Haryana, the State level Prarambh School for Teachers Education would be set up at village Silani in district Jhajjar over an area of 10 acres.

ii. Haryana Chief Minister, Mr. Manohar Lal who presided over the first meeting of the Governing Body of Prarambh School for Teachers Education, at Chandigarh stated that it would have all basic facilities.

iii.At present, it is being run in a school building and providing education to students of 15 states.

Flipkart replaces Binny Bansal with Kalyan Krishnamurthy as CEO

Flipkart has elevated former Tiger Global Management executive Kalyan Krishnamurthy as its new chief executive, replacing co-founder Binny Bansal, who has been named as the group chief executive of India’s largest online marketplace.Co-founder Sachin Bansal continues to be executive chairman.

Pakistan fires 'first submarine-launched nuclear-capable missile' 

i.Pakistan has fired its first submarine-launched cruise missile, a show of force for a country that sees its missile development as a deterrent against arch-foe India. 

ii.The launch of the nuclear-capable Babur-3 missile has a range of 450 km (280 miles) and was fired from an undisclosed location in the Indian Ocean, is likely to heighten long-running tension between India and Pakistan. 

2017 Golden Globe Awards

i.The 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards ceremony was organized at Beverly Hills, California, United States (US). The Golden Globe Awards are the annual awards that honor the best in Motion Pictures and American Television for the previous year. 

ii.This year, La La Land, a romantic musical comedy-drama film won in all the seven categories including the top award of best musical or comedy. Veteran actress Meryl Streep was bestowed with the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award.

McDonald's sell China Operation for $2.08 Billion

i.US fast-food giant McDonald’ announced to sell its businesses in mainland China and Hong Kong for $2.08 billion to Citic, a state-owned conglomerate, and the Carlyle Group, a private equity firm.

ii.Citic Limited, Citic Capital Holdings, Carlyle Group and McDonald's will form a company that will act as the franchisee responsible for the chain's business in mainland China and Hong Kong for 20 years.Citic and Citic Capital will have a stake of 52%, Carlyle will take 28%, and McDonald's will hold 20% of the new company.

Gionee signs Virat Kohli as brand ambassador

i.Mobile handset brand Gionee has roped in Indian test captain Virat Kohli as the brand ambassador. 

ii.The poster boy for Indian cricket will be joining Bollywood actor Alia Bhatt . The announcement of Kohli's appointment was made alongside the announcement of Gionee clocking 1.2 crore customers in India.

Eight-year old Kashmiri boy Abbu Ammaz becomes national boxing champion

An eight-year old boy from Jammu and Kashmir's Rajouri Abbu Ammaz has won gold medal in Thai Boxing Championship at the national level.

Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri named as FIFA Coach of the Year 2016

i.Leicester City boss Claudio Ranieri has been named as the Coach of the Year at the FIFA Football Awards in Zurich.

ii.The Italian was up against Fernando Santos, who led Portugal to Euro 2016 glory in the summer, and Zinedine Zidane, who guided Real Madrid to the Champions League title last season.

iii.However, the FIFA men's coach of the year award went to Ranieri after he led Leicester to the Premier League title last year.


Post demonetisation, World Bank drops India's growth rate to 7 %

i.The World Bank has decelerated India's growth for 2016-17 fiscal to 7% from its previous estimate of 7.6%.The World Bank stated that immediate withdrawal of a large volume of currency in circulation and subsequent replacement with new notes in India contributed to slowing growth.

ii.Also, the country would regain momentum in the following years with 7.6 and 7.8% growth. According to the report, India maintains the distinction of being the fastest growing emerging market economies of the world, bypassing China.

India, Kenya sign agreements in the area of agriculture

i.India and Kenya have signed agreements in the area of agriculture which was inked after delegation-level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta in New Delhi.  

ii.India is collaborating with Kenya to raise agricultural productivity and the Loan of Credit Agreement of 100 million dollars signed for farm mechanization will open a new dimension of engagement between the two countries. 

iii.Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated that expansion of bilateral trade, greater flow of capital between two economies and stronger developmental partnership is a priority. 

India, France strengthen 50 years space bond, ink pact for satellite launch

i.Indian Space Research Organisation and French Space agency (CNES) has signed a partnership agreement in satellite launch technology.

ii.The agreement was signed between ISRO Chairman Kiran Kumar and CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall in the presence of visiting French Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Marc Ayrault.

iii.Space cooperation between France and India spans over 50 years and is of the cornerstones of the Indo-French strategic partnership.

Modi inaugurates Nobel Prize exhibition in Gujarat

i.Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated the 'The Nobel Prize' exhibition at Science City in Gandhinagar.

ii.'The Nobel Prize: Ideas Changing the World' contains several original artifacts, both from Alfred Nobel himself and from a number of Nobel Laureates.

iii.The exhibition is open to public until February 13, 2017, that too free of charge. It is a part of Nobel Prize Series India 2017, an extensive program of events taking place with the participation of nine Nobel Laureates

Railway minister launches new IRCTC app to promote digital ticketing

i.To promote ease of ticketing through digital transactions, railway minister Suresh Prabhu released the new passenger mobile the application named ‘IRCTC Rail Connect app’.

ii.Currently, e-ticketing system caters to over 10 lakh passengers daily (comprising 58% of total reserved passengers) and to increase the ease to users, a new Android-based mobile application for reserved booking IRCTC Rail Connect has been developed

BIS revises Indian Standard on gold hallmarking

i.Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has revised Indian Standard on gold hallmarking, which is effective from January 1, 2017.

ii.The hallmarked gold jewelry will now be available in three grades of 14 karat, 18 karats, and 22 karats.

iii.The cartage will also be marked on jewelry in addition to fineness for a convenience of consumers.

The USA calls for India, Pakistan & Afghanistan partnership on counter-terrorismi.The United States has called for a partnership between India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan on counter-terrorism operations. 

ii.State Department Deputy Spokesman Mark Toner told reporters in Washington that the security of the three countries is linked with one another. 

Health Ministry to launch Measles-rubella vaccine to roll out in February 2017

Health Minister J P Nadda to launch Measles-rubella vaccine to roll out in Goa, Karnataka, Lakshadweep, Puducherry and Tamil Nadu between February 3 and 4, 2017 and the pneumonia vaccine will be introduced in Himachal Pradesh and parts of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar from March 17.

China launches 1st commercial space mission with new rocket 

i.China has successfully sent three satellites into space in its first commercial mission using an updated version of the low-cost Kuaizhou-1A rocket, amidst the Communist giant's determined bid to expand its ambitious space program. 

ii.The rocket, carrying the satellite JL-1 and two CubeSats XY-S1 and Caton-1, blasted off from northwestern China's Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Gansu 

Former wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat’s biography released

i. Former wrestler and coach Mahavir Singh Phogat made his way to the launch of his authorized biography 'Akhada' in Chandigarh. 

ii.Sports journalist Saurabh Duggal released the biography. 

World Cup: FIFA to expand the competition to 48 teams

i.The Federation Internationale de Football Association FIFA has decided that the World Cup will be expanded to host 48 teams, up from 32.

ii. An initial stage of 16 groups of three teams will precede a knockout stage for the remaining 32 when the change is made for the 2026 tournament. 

iii.The sport's world governing body voted unanimously in favor of the change at a meeting in Zurich.

Jimmy Adams appointed new West Indies Cricket director

i.West Indies turned to former batsman Jimmy Adams into their new director of cricket Association.

ii.Adams played 54 Test matches for the Caribbean side and will be able to draw upon from his vast experience as he turns his attention to overseeing the development of West Indies cricket at all levels.

iii.The 49-year-old returned to Jamaica after ending a five-year spell as head coach of English county side Kent last October.He replaces Englishman Richard Pybus who had been in the position since November 2013.

Yana Kudryavtseva, 13-time gymnastics world champion, retires aged 19

Russian rhythmic gymnast Yana Kudryavtseva has retired from competition aged just 19, Kudryavtseva won 13 world championships from 2013 to 2015, making her the early favorite for the all-around gold medal at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, but a foot fracture disrupted her preparations


Youth Day, the birthday of Swami Vivekananda being observed:12 January

i.12 January of every year is observed as National Youth Day, the birthday of Swami Vivekananda a grateful nation is celebrating Swamiji's hundred fifty-fourth birth anniversary with much fanfare. 

ii.Several functions are being organized across the country to mark the occasion. 

iii. Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing National Youth Day function at Rohtak, Haryana through video conferencing. To honor Swami Vivekananda, National Youth Day is celebrated every year on January 12 since 1985. It was in 1984 that the Government of India declared it. 

iv.The government felt that the philosophy of Vivekananda and his ideals are a great source of inspiration for the Indian youth. So, it was declared that his birthday will be observed as National Youth Day.

World Bank projects global growth at 2.7% in 2017

1.World Bank projected a global growth of 2.7% in 2017, even as it observed that stagnant global trade, subdued investment and heightened policy uncertainty marked another difficult year for the world economy. 

ii.World Bank President Jim Yong Kim stated that global economic growth is forecast to accelerate moderately to 2.7% in 2017 after a post-crisis low of 2.3% in 2016.

Government to add 40 more towns to Smart Cities list 

i.The government will add by next month 40 more cities to the list of towns it wants to develop as Smart Cities by providing funds for initiating urban reforms, Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said today. The addition of 40 new cities will take the total Smart Cities to 100. 

ii.Since January last year, the government has announced three lists of smart cities which will get Rs 200 crore for improving their infrastructure. 

Telangana to Host International Kite Festival from January 12, 2017

i.The second international kite festival coinciding with the 'Makar Sankranti' fest would be held for six days from January 12, 2017 in Hyderabad and two other districts in Telangana.

ii.Telangana Tourism, which is organizing the International Kite Festival-2017,  committed to a social cause of raising awareness about the importance of education and empowerment of girl children and expects a footfall of around 50,000 visitors.

iii.The festival will have participation from 17 countries with 70 international and 40 national kite flyers, and a special night-flying event is scheduled on January 12 as a pre-festival event at People's Plaza.

Arunachal signs MoU with NDDB to promote dairy development

1.With a view to promoting the dairy sector and rural livelihoods in Arunachal Pradesh, the border state has signed a MoU with National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) during the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2017.

ii. A State Government delegation led by Shakuntala Gamlin participated in the Summit. 

India's annual Haj quota increased by 34,500, biggest hike in three decades

i.In the biggest hike in nearly three decades, Saudi Arabia has increased India's annual Haj quota by 34,500. 

ii.Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Saudi Arabia's Haj and Umrah Minister Dr Mohammad Saleh bin Taher Benten inked an agreement in this regard in Jeddah, increasing the size of India's Haj quota from 1,36,020 to 1,70,520. 

Allahabad: Magh Mela begins

i.The month-long Magh Mela festival began on 12 January 2017 at Sangam in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh. 

ii.Thousands of Pilgrims, saint and seers are taking holy dip at Sangam on the occasion of Paush Purnima.

iii.The month-long kalpwas also began with the holy bathing.

iv. During the entire month of Magh, kalpwasis or pilgrims stay on the bank Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati in tents and take early morning bath and take part in other religious duties.

Khanderi, the second Scorpene class submarine launched

i.Khanderi, the second Scorpene class submarine that has superior stealth and the ability to launch a crippling attack with torpedoes as well as tube-launched anti-ship missiles whilst underwater or on the surface,  launched at the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited, Mumbai. 

ii.Khanderi is named after the Island fort of Maratha forces, which played a vital role in ensuring their supremacy at sea in the late 17th century. 

iii.Khanderi is also the name for Tiger Shark.

Vedanta launches smart class project in Chitradurga

i.Vedanta Foundation and Vedanta Sesa Goa Iron Ore, in collaboration with the Karnataka Directorate of Education, have launched a pilot project to promote digital education in schools across the State.

ii.The Deputy Director of Public Instruction, Chitradurga district, Revana Siddappa, has launched ‘The Smart Class’ project.

Helped by HDFC Bank, TN temples to go digital

i.Helped by HDFC Bank, five temples in Kanyakumari district in southern Tamil Nadu have introduced digital wallets and PoS to enable their devotees to pay donations.

ii.The temples that have introduced digital mode include Arulmighu Thanumalaya Swamy Temple: Suchindrum, Arulmighu Bhagavathi Amman Temple: Kanyakumari, Arulmighu Nagaraja Temple: Nagercoil, Arulmighu Bhagavathi Amman Temple: Mondaikadu and Arulmighu Kumaraswamy Temple: Velimalai.

iii.These temples come under Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department

Anjani Portland Cement commissions new plant

Anjani Portland Cement has commissioned a 16-mega watt (MW) coal-based captive power plant at its cement unit in Telangana. Anjani Cement is a high-quality cement prepared from the finest raw material Owing to optimum water demand. 

Tisca Chopra wins Best Actress Award for Chutney

i.Actress Tisca Chopra named as Best Actress for Chutney at the Jio Filmfare Short Film Awards. 

ii.Popular actress Tisca Chopra stated that winning her first Filmfare Award for short film Chutney is extra special as it’s a project she not just acted in, but also produced and co-wrote.

Vikram Pawah new President for BMW Group India

i.Vikram Pawah has been appointed as the president of BMW Group India, effective from March 1, 2017.

ii. He will take over from Frank Schloeder, who will assume new position at BMW Group headquarters in Germany.

Norway becomes first country to cease FM radio broadcasting

i.Norway has become the first country to cease FM radio broadcasting. 

ii.The northern county of Nordland has stopped broadcasting using analogue frequencies as the Government plans to roll out digital-only radio over the course of the year.

iii. According to the national broadcaster, NRK, nationwide radio channels began switching to digital audio broadcasting that offers a wider range of broadcasting options and greater sound quality. 

PR Sreejesh becomes member of FIH Athletes' Committee

i.The Indian hockey team captain PR Sreejesh has became a member of International Hockey Federation Athletes' Committee. 

ii.The Committee comprises a total of eight current and former hockey players who have the responsibility to act as a liaison between the FIH and the athletes to make sure the players have voice in the FIH decision-making process.


Minimum monthly pension increased by 9,000 for central govt employees

i.The Government of India has increased the minimum monthly pension to 9,000 per person, besides a two-fold hike in exgratia amount for central government employees.

ii.Minister of State in Prime Minister's Office, Dr. Jitendra Singh stated that the exgratia amount for the employees has been increased from 10 -15 lakh to 25-35 lakh rupees.

iii.There are about 50-55 lakh pensioners in the country and almost 88% of their accounts have been seeded to Aadhaar.

NITI Aayog Estimates the GDP Growth of 8 Percent for 2016-17

i.NITI Aayog has projected the India GDP growth rate of 8 Percent for 2016-17 based on the appraisal document for the Twelfth Five-Year Plan.

ii.The estimate does not take into account the impact of demonetization.

Retail inflation fell 3-year low of 3.41% in Dec from 3.63% in Nov 2016

i.Retail inflation fell to a nearly 3-year low of 3.41 % in December 2016, from 3.63 % in November 2016.

ii.Inflation eased mainly on account of falling prices of vegetables and pulses.

iii.According to official data, overall food inflation fell to 1.37% in December last year, from 2.11 % in November 2016.

Global unemployment to rise by 3.4 million in 2017: ILO

Global unemployment is expected to rise by 3.4 million in 2017 despite a likely modest pick-up in economic growth at 3.4% this year and 3.6% in 2018, against a six-year low of 3.1% in 2016,  a new report by the International Labour Organisation.

Industrial production grows 5.7% in November 2016

i.Allaying fears of a slowdown following demonetisation, the country's industrial production grew 5.7% in November 2016, compared to a contraction of 3.4% in November 2015.

ii.Factory output measured in terms of the Index of Industrial Production, IIP, enhanced in November due to better performance of the manufacturing, electricity, and capital goods sectors. 

World’s first gender literature fest to be held in Patna

i.The world’s first ‘Gender Literature Festival’ is scheduled to be held in Patna, Bihar in the second week of April 2017 The main aim of the fest to create a platform, to exchange ideas, and to share and learn experiences of renowned people in the field of gender literature. 

ii.This festival will be organized by  Gender Resource Centre of Bihar’s Women Development Corporation. The festival will also act as a platform to increase visibility for gender equity and advocacy in the State of Bihar.

TCS elevates Rajesh Gopinathan as new chief executive

i.Tata Consultancy Services has appointed Rajesh Gopinathan, the current chief financial officer, as CEO of the company.  He replaces N Chandrasekaran, who has been named the chairperson of Tata Sons.

ii. TCS has also named N Ganapathy Subramaniam, currently President of TCS Financial Solutions, as chief operating officer.

NTPC inks pact to take over Chhabra thermal power plant

i.State-run NTPC has signed a non-binding agreement with Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Ltd and Rajasthan Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd to take over Chhabra Thermal Power Plant.

ii.NTPC Ltd has signed a non-binding MoU with Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Ltd and Rajasthan Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd for takeover of Chhabra Thermal Power Plant Stage-I (4x 250 MW) and Stage-II (2x660 MW) of Rajasthan Urja Vikas Nigam by NTPC Ltd

Mahindra Asset Management launches Mahindra Mutual Fund Dhan Sanchay Yojna scheme

i.Mahindra Asset Management Company Pvt. Ltd (MAMCPL) launched an open-ended scheme Mahindra Mutual Fund Dhan Sanchay Yojna scheme to generate long-term returns through investment in equity and debt.

ii. The scheme will close on January 24, 2017 and will open again for continuous sale and repurchase from February 8, 2017. 

iii.The scheme is for investors who seek to take a calculated exposure in both equity and debt wit a long-term investment outlook

Government to sell 51% stake in Pawan Hans

i.Moving ahead with the strategic sale of Pawan Hans, the government sell its entire 51% stake and transfer the management control of the helicopter service operator.

 ii.Pawan Hans is a joint venture where state-owned ONGC holds 49%.

iii.The government has sought applications from entities to act as transaction advisor for the proposed disinvestment of its stake in the company

XCMG China to invest $150 m in manufacturing unit in India

i.XCMG, a China-headquartered global construction machinery company, will invest ₹150 million in a new manufacturing unit in India for construction and material-handling machines.

ii.For the proposed venture, the company will partner with Schwing Stetter India, a ready-mix concrete equipment company, to use the latter’s facilities and resources to build its business in India.

Japanese PM Shinzo Abe signs 1 trillion yen aid package to the Philippines

i.Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has signed a 1-trillion yen, about 8.7 billion dollars, aid package over the next five years to the Philippines, meant to improve economic and political relations between the two island nations.

ii.The package is focused on infrastructure and energy. 

iii.Abe's two-day visit to the archipelago makes him the first foreign leader to visit since the election of the Philippines' President Rodrigo Duterte in May 2016. 

Manish Tewari appointed senior fellow of US think tank

i.Congress leader and former Union Minister Manish Tewari was appointed as the senior fellow of US-based think tank Atlantic Council .

ii.Tewari will focus on programming aimed at strengthening US-India relations.

Ashish Shelar appointed as MCA president

i.BJP Mumbai unit chief Ashish Shelar has been appointed as Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) president. Sylar takes over from the former ICC president Sharad Pawar.

ii. He was elected as Vice President of MCA on 17 June 2015.

Consulate General of India in Dubai announces launch of 'Diplomats Cricket Championship Cup'

Consulate General of India in Dubai has announced launch of the 'Diplomats Cricket Championship Cup' in association with the Skyline University College, Sharjah, to promote sportsmanship, camaraderie, and harmonious relationship among the diplomatic missions of UAE


Pongal being celebrated with traditional gaiety in Tamil Nadu Today (14 January 2017)

i.In Tamil Nadu, Pongal the harvest festival is being celebrated with traditional gaiety and grandeur on 14 or 15 January of each year. 

ii.The whole State especially the rural areas is having a festive look to celebrate Pongal. Pongal is a four-days-long harvest festival celebrated in Tamil Nadu, a southern state of India.

 iii.For as long as people have been planting and gathering food, there has been some form of harvest festival. 

iv.This four-day festival of thanksgiving to nature takes its name from the Tamil word meaning "to boil" and is held in the month of Thai (January-February) during the season when rice and other cereals, sugar-cane, and turmeric (an essential ingredient in Tamil cooking) are harvested.

India's First Madame Tussauds Museum In Delhi Unveils Wax Figures Of Big B, Lady Gaga

i.India is all set to get its first wax museum in June 2017 unveils Wax Figures Of Amitabh Bachchan, Lady Gaga. 

ii.Madame Tussauds, the legendary wax attraction entertainment hotspot is all set to open its doors in capital New Delhi.

iii.Located in the heart of the Delhi - Connaught Place at Regal Cinema, the dazzling entertainment zone will represent the fascinating world of politics, glamour, sports and music, through planned themes and interactive platforms.

Kerala Launched its First Solar Powered Boat Aditya

i.The Chief Minister of Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated the first solar-powered boat of the state water transport department, Aditya on January 12, 2017 at a function held in Vaikom boat Jetty in Kerala.

 ii.Piyush Goyal, Minister of State with independent charge for New & Renewable Energy,  Solar Powered boatwas the chief guest.

Ecuador takes chair of UN group of 134 developing countries

i.Ecuador has taken over from Thailand as chair of the Group of 77 which promotes the interests of the 134 developing countries it represents at the United Nations, including China.

ii.Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa Stated the handover ceremony that the group will continue promoting “social and economic equality.”

Airtel’s Payments Bank Starts Operation with Initial Investment of Rs. 3000 Crore

i.Airtel Payments Bank the first payments bank started its nationwide operations on January 12, 2017 with an initial investment of Rs 3,000 crore and offering an interest rate of 7.25 per cent for savings accounts. 

ii.The bank was launched by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. 

iii.This is the first payments bank which will be opened across 29 states in India to provide financial services to the millions who are outside the banking system.

CISF announces Rs 25 lakh ex-gratia for bereaved families in Bihar

i.The Central Industrial Security Force has announced Rs 25 lakh ex-gratia payment to the family of each of the four personnel gunned down by its jawan Balbir Singh in Aurangabad district of Bihar after a tiff.

ii.The CISF came into existence in 1969 with a modest beginning, having three battalions, to provide integrated security cover to the Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) which, in those years, occupied the commanding heights of the economy.

Car carrier service starts between Gujarat and Mangaluru

i.In line with Government of India's policy of implementing the vision for coastal shipping, tourism and regional development, New Mangalore Port Trust (NMPT) has introduced Car carrier service between Gujarat and Mangaluru.

ii.The pure car and truck carrier MV Dresden sailed out to Cochin after discharging Tata Cars and loaded trucks at the port 

4th International Kite Festival begins in New Delhi

i.Fourth International Kite Festival begins in New Delhi . 

ii.Professional kite flying experts from across India and the globe are taking part in the three-day festival, which will have an exhibition on the history of kites as well. 

iii.A special kite making demonstration will also be organised where professional kite flyers will showcase their expertise and demonstrate the art of kite making.

Pepsico sells land parcel to Wadhwa Group for ₹ 190 cr

i.American snack and beverage giant PepsiCo India has sold a 2.5 acre land parcel in the Central suburb Chembur to The Wadhwa Group for ₹ 190-200 crore.

ii.Pepsi had bought the land parcel from Videocon in 1996 to set up a bottling plant for their beverage Duke’s.

iii. The factory has been defunct since 2014.Industry watchers stated that several key developers were eyeing the marquee land parcel for its strategic location.

iv. Wadhwa Group had outbid players such as Godrej Properties, K Raheja Corp, Mahindra Lifespace among others.Wadhwa Group plans to develop the project into a residential segment.

US lifts 20-year economic embargo on Sudan

i.The United States has announced the end of a 20-year economic embargo on Sudan, lifting trade and financial sanctions in an effort to foster ties with the Sudanese government. 

ii.The announcement made by outgoing President Barack Obama’s administration on Friday comes after an executive order to permanently repeal a range of sanctions as a result of Sudan’s efforts to improve security in the region.

Premier Badminton League 3: PV Sindhu finally prevails over Saina Nehwal

Rio Olympics silver medallist P V Sindhu produced a disciplined performance to outwit Saina Nehwal in straight games in a much-anticipated encounter as Chennai Smashers entered the finals of the Premier Badminton League season 2 with a 4-1 win over Awadhe Warriors. 


69th Army Day being observed on 15th January 2017

i. 69th Army Day is being observed today (15th January 2017). The day marks the taking over of the Indian Army by the first Indian Commander-in-Chief, Field Marshal KM Cariappa, on January 15, 1948. He took over the reins of the Army from Lieutenant General Sir Francis Butcher, the last British Commander-in-Chief and became the first Commander-in-Chief of the independent India. 

ii. The day is celebrated to pay homage and salute to the courageous and brave Indian soldiers who have been sacrificing their lives for protecting the country. This day inspires the troops to continue to enrich the glorious traditions of the Indian Army with their dedication and sacrifice. To mark the day, Army Parade will be organised at the Delhi Cantt.

Gujarat wins First Ranji Trophy title beating Mumbai by five wickets

i. Gujarat won their first ever Ranji Trophy title beating Mumbai by five wickets in the final at the Holkar stadium in Indore. Parthiv Patel’s 143 and Munprit Juneja’s 54 runs helped Gujrat to chase down the highest successful chase in the final at the historic Holkar stadium. 

ii. With this title, Gujarat have won the domestic titles in T20, one-day and Ranji. They are only the fourth team to achieve this feat.

SpaceX resumes flights; launches Falcon 9 vehicle on California coast

i. The American SpaceX rocket company has resumed flights, launching a Falcon 9 vehicle from the Vandenberg Air Force Base on the California coast. It is the first mission by the company since one of its vehicles exploded on the launch pad in September 2016. The return to operations sees SpaceX start to renew what was the original global handheld satellite phone network, run by Iridium. Lift-off took place at 9:54 AM local time.

Digital Dakiya scheme inaugurated in MP to encourage cashless transactions

i. In Madhya Pradesh Indore district witnessed inauguration of first of its kind scheme of the country. Digital Dakiya, which aims at encouraging cashless transactions. "Digital Dakiya or Digital Postman will visit different places to teach and encourage people about cashless transactions and its benefits. 

ii. State Finance Minister Jayant Malliya has inaugurated the scheme at Indore. State government will provide Identity cards to the volunteers deployed in this programme.

Two-day camel festival begins in Bikaner

i. The two-day annual camel festival has began with much fanfare in the presence of foreigners and domestic tourists. District Collector Ved Prakash flagged off a procession from Junagarh which culminated at Karni Singh Stadium here in Bikaner, Rajasthan. It was followed by fun activities including camel safaris.

ii. The festival, dedicated to the ship of the desert, will see camel dance, milking and fur cutting design competitions and camel races.

Rabi crops sowing crosses 616 lakh hactare

i. Rabi crops have been sown in around six crore 16 lakh hectares till date which is about 35 lakh hectares more than last year. Data released by the Agriculture Ministry, wheat has been sown in around three crore nine lakh hectare which is about 20 lakh hectare more than last year.

ii. Over one crore 55 lakh hectare area has been covered under the cultivation of pulses which is around 16 lakh hectare more under the crop last year. The coarse cereals have been sown in over 54 lakh hectare, Oilseeds in 81 lakh hectare.

SEBI cuts broker fees by 25 pc to Rs 15 per transaction

i. 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. The move is likely to reduce overall cost of transactions. 

ii. It also decided to give an option to all market intermediaries and companies to make their regulatory payments in digital mode. The move would help in reducing failures due to payment gateway issues.

Rajeev Singh to take charge as interim CEO of Prasar Bharti

i. Rajeev Singh, Member (Finance) in Prasar Bharati Board, will take charge as interim CEO of the public broadcaster after S C Panda retires in February.

ii. The previous CEO Jawhar Sircar had quit in October last year, a few months before his tenure was due to end, following which Panda, who is Member (Personnel), was made the acting CEO. However, Panda is also due to retire in February.

NPCI declares Rs. 54.90 cr prize money for NITI Aayog’s lucky draw schemes

i. National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), the umbrella organisation for all retail payment systems in the country has declared Rs. 54.90 crore worth of prize money to over 3.42 lakh winners of NITI Aayog’s Lucky Draw Schemes for consumers and merchants.

ii. The two schemes are - Lucky Grahak Yojna (LGY) and Digi-Dhan Vyapar Yojna (DVY). They were launched on December 25, 2016 and will remain open till April 14, 2017. The schemes have total outlay of Rs. 340 crore of which - Rs. 300 crores would be spent on consumers and merchants while the remaining Rs. 40 crore on awareness and publicity. Total winners under the scheme are expected to be over 18.75 lakh.

62nd Filmfare Awards 2017: Shatrughan Sinha honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award

i. 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. Veteran filmmaker Subhash Ghai, who has worked with Sinha in five films, was on stage to raise a toast to him, before the Lifetime Achievement Award was presented. 

ii. The award, which is his first Filmfare, was presented to him by daughter and actress Sonakshi Sinha.

Glam, glitter and glory mark 14th Mumbai Marathon

i. Tanzanian athlete Alphonce Felix Simbu (24) and Kenyan runner Bornes Kitur Chepkirui (31), flew past all competition to bag the top spots in the men's and women's category respectively in the full marathon at the 14th Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon (SCMM) in Mumbai on 15th January 2017.

ii. Indian athletes, army soldier Kheta Ram (31) and Jyoti Shanker Gawte topped the men and women's category in the full marathon which saw participation of over 6,000 runners.

Former Punjab Chief Minister Surjit Singh Barnala passes away, aged 91

i. 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.

ii. Mr. Barnala, who served as Chief Minister from 1985 to 1987, was admitted to the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) in Chandigarh from 12th January 2017.

Filmfare Awards 2017: Dangal, Aamir Khan, Alia Bhatt Bag Top Honour This Year

At the glittering Filmfare awards last night (14th January 2017 night), "Dangal" swept away three of four major awards --  Best Film, Aamir Khan won Best Actor and Nitesh Tiwari won Best Director award while Alia Bhatt won the Filmfare Best Actor Award (Female) for her performance in "Udta Punjab".

Attended by most actors of the Bollywood film fraternity, the iconic 62nd Jio Filmfare Awards was a star-studded event hosted by actor Shah Rukh Khan.

Djokovic missed out on three match points and had to repel a roaring Murray comeback before ending the Briton's 28-match, five-tournament winning streak. 

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