Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Veteran journalist Devdutt passes 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. He was seasoned political commentator, who had brought out a journal of political opinion called Point of View.

Atomic clocks of Satellite IRNSS-1A Develops Technical Snag

The atomic clocks on the first satellite IRNSS-1A of the NAVIC, an indigenously built satellite system has developed technical complications.The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman, A.S. Kiran Kumar informed that one of the three crucial rubidium clock on IRNSS-1A spacecraft failed six months ago while the other two failed subsequently.

Amulya Patnaik appointed as Delhi Police Chief

IPS officer from Union Territories cadre, Amulya Patnaik is appointed as Chief of Delhi police .He is succeeded by Alok Verma, who has been moved as the director of CBI. Patnaik is currently workig as Delhi police special commissioner (administration).

Ashok Amritraj Appointed UN in India Goodwill Ambassador for the Sustainable Development Goals

Film producer and Wimbledon tennis player, Ashok Amritraj has been appointed the United Nations in India Goodwill Ambassador for the Sustainable Development Goals. Amritraj is the first Ambassador for the UN in India. He is responsible to generate momentum and commitment to achieve the SDGs by 2030 and to foster engagement of new stakeholders in the implementation of these Goals.

Economic Survey 2016-2017

Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley Presented Economic Survey 2016-17 in the Parliament today (31 January 2017) . Economic Survey says economic growth to return to normal as new currency notes in required quantities come back into circulation and follow-up action on demonetisation is taken.The CPI based core inflation remained stable in the currenfiscal year averaging around 5 per cent.The Economic Survey says that the rupee performed better than most of the other emerging market economies.The total area coverage under Rabi crops as on 13.01.2017 for 2016-17 is 616.2 lakh hectares which is 5.9 per cent higher than that in the corresponding week of last year.The area coverage under Gram (Channa Dal) as on 13.01.2017 for 2016-17 is 10.6 percent higher than that in the corresponding week of last year.

KSEZ, Subsidiary of GMR group Signs MoUs With Firms to Set Up Manufacturing Units at Kakinada SEZ

Kakinada SEZ Ltd (KSEZ), a subsidiary of GMR Infrastructure Limited (GIL), signed several MoUs with various companies during the CII Partnership Summit 2017 held on GMR at Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.The MoU aimed at setting up World Class manufacturing units at the Kakinada SEZ in Andhra Pradesh spread over 8,500 acres at a cost of Rs. 47000 crore.

Reliance Defence Signs Contract with Ministry of Defence to Construct 14 Fast patrol Vessels for Indian Coast Guard

Reliance Defence and Engineering Ltd (RDEL), a wholly owned arm of Reliance Infrastructure Ltd (RInfra), has signed a contract worth Rs. 916 crore with the Ministry of Defence to design and construct 14 Fast Patrol Vessels for the Indian Coast Guard. The medium range, high speed vessels would be deployed for patrolling within the exclusive economic zone, costal surveillance, anti-smuggling, anti-piracy, search and rescue operations. It will also provide support as front-line warships during emergencies.

Economic Survey 2017 tabled in Parliament: Key highlights

Union finance minister Arun Jaitley on 31 January 2017 tabled the Economic Survey 2016-17 in Parliament budget session. The survey projects the economy to grow in the range of 6.75% to 7.25% in the next fiscal year 2017-18 in the post-demonetisation year.The survey prepared by chief economic adviser in the finance ministry Arvind Subramanian stated the adverse impact of demonetisation on GDP growth will be transitional. The Economic Survey 2016-17 advocates the concept of Universal Basic Income (UBI) as an alternative to the various social welfare schemes in an effort to reduce poverty.

FGII Enters Into Bancassurance Tie-Up With Bank Of Maharashtra

Future Generali India Insurance Company (FGII) announced an agency tie-up with Pune based Bank of Maharashtra. To immensely benefit our customers by providing them an ease of access while choosing from a diverse range of non-life insurance products, all under one roof Bank-of-Maharashtra.It has tie-up with over 100 banks in India for bancassurance. Now it accounts for 5% of Future Generali’s total business

Trump Bans 7 nations from Entering US on Security Issues

American President Donald Trump has signed an executive order to temporarily ban visas for refugees belonging to seven Muslim-majority countries namely as Trump Bans 7 nations from Entering US on Security Issues Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.The decision aims at protecting United States from the entry of foreign terrorists to keep the nation safe. The ban is not aimed at restricting Muslim countries from entering US.

Bombay Natural History Society launches climate change programme in Central Himalayas

The Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) has launched climate change programme to assess the status, distribution and conservation of pheasants and finches in the Central Himalayas. To evaluate the socio-economic activities of local communities and involve them in conservation efforts and sensitize the local forest department staff.This programme is funded by Oracle and facilitated by CAF-India.

Karnataka Govt Approves Amending Laws to Lift Ban on Kambala & Bullock Cart Race

The Karnataka state cabinet approved amending Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Bill, 1960 Act to legalize the Kambala and Bullock Cart Race which is a traditional festival held annually in Karnataka.The amendment Bill will be introduced by the state cabinet in the legislature session scheduled to be begin from February 6,2017.

First Edition of the North East Investors Summit Held in Shillong

The first edition of the North East Investors Summit was inaugurated by the Union Textiles Minister, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani in Shillong, Meghalaya. The North East Investors Summit 2017 was jointly organized by the Union Ministry of Textiles and the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) of the Government of India in collaboration with industry associations Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). The two day Summit concluded on January 30, 2017. Theme: Exploring Opportunities in North East Region.

Priyanka Chopra among 150 most fashionable women

Indian actress Priyanka Chopra has made it to the list of Harper's Bazaar's 150 most fashionable women. The 34-year-old "Quantico" star features on the list under the section of New Guard. Priyanka took to Twitter to share the news with her fans and followers.

Dushyant Chautala is new TTFI president

Dushyant Chautala has been appointed as the president of the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI). Chautala is the youngest president of the apex body. His term, which is for four years, extends until 2021.

UberMOTO launches service in Hyderabad

Cab-hailing firm Uber has launched two-wheeler aggregation service UberMOTO in Hyderabad. The firm, which has signed an agreement with the Hyderabad Metro Rail Ltd recently, formally launched the services.Using the app, people can hire two-wheelers for short-distance commute at cheaper rates. The agreement was aimed at providing the last-mile connectivity from and to the upcoming Metro railway stations. Uber Founder and CEO Travis Kalanick came to Hyderabad last month to seal the deal

Budget session of Parliament begans today (31 January 2017)

The Budget session of Parliament will begin today (31 January 2017) and President Pranab Mukherjee will address the joint sitting of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.

RBI lifts ATM withdrawal limits from Feb 1, 2017

In a big relief to people, 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.

India Post Payments Bank starts pilot services

India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) kicked off its operations by rolling out pilot services in Raipur and Ranchi.The bank will offer an interest rate of 4.5% on deposits up to ₹25,000; 5% on deposits of ₹25,000-50,000 and 5.5% on ₹50,000-1,00,000.The paid up equity of the new bank is ₹800 crore, of which the government has already infused ₹275 crore.The idea is to have a branch in every district and make 3 lakh postmen come alive in payment bank function.Also 1,000 ATMs of India Post will be transferred to IPPB.Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha stated that IPPB plans to have 650 branches across the country by September 2017.

Monday, 30 January 2017

Hollywood Legend & Harry Porter actor John Hurt dies at 77

Sir John Hurt, the British actor who starred in The Elephant Man and Harry Potter, John Hurt dies at 77diedat his residence in Norfolk, London due to Cancer. He was 77.

SC appoints former CAG chief Vinod Rai as BCCI chief

The Supreme Court (SC) appointed former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) chief Vinod Rai as BCCI chief, along with noted historian Ramachandra Guha and IDFC MD & CEO Vikram Limaye as administrators of the sport body.

Abul Hossain Wins 2017 Kolkata Marathon

Siliguri lad Abul Hossain won the Kolkata Marathon as amateur runners from north Bengal and Northeast India dominated the first edition of the meet here.Hossain won the race with a timing of two hours 34 minutes and two seconds to leave Kolkata lad Biswanath Pal second, five minutes behind. Paritosh Roy finished third with a timing of two hours, 52 minutes 48 seconds.Sikkim's Mangali Tamang won the women's half marathon with a timing of one hour 31 minutes and 13 seconds.

India’s largest startup incubator to be built at Hubballi

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.The decision is based on the idea of expansion of the Deshpande Foundation’s initial incubation center, Sandbox, which was founded by Deshpande and his wife Jaishree in 2008

India’s Foreign Exchange Reserves Rises by $ 932.4 million to $ 360.775 billion

The Reserve Bank of India 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. In the previous week, India’s forex reserve increased by 687.9 million dollars to 359.843 billion dollars.

Inheritance Court for Non-Muslims to be Set up in Abu Dhabi

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.The aim of setting up the Court is to ensure access to services for all segment of the society and promote the culture of tolerance and acceptance of other communities values at the judiciary level.

Nitin Gadkari Announces to Develop 1,253 km road in Assam as National Highways

The Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways and Shipping, Nitin Jairam Gadkari, Road inaugurated a 3-lane Brahmaputra Bridge at Saraighat  in Guwahati .As a part of the event, the Minister announced that the government would spend Rs 15,000 crores to develop 1,253 kilometres of roads in Assam into National Highways over the next few years.

IMD to Set up Weather Stations in 660 Districts by 2019

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has decided to set up weather stations in 660 districts of the country for better and prompt weather forecasting with major focus on rain-fed and non-rain-fed areas to give crop specific advisories.The system would be launched in phased manner. Initially, IMD has planned to set up the system in 130 districts and gradually increase it to 660 by 2019. The plan will be taken at block level after successful functioning at district level.

PV Sindhu wins Syed Modi International badminton tournament

Indian shuttler PV Sindhu won the Syed Modi International Grand Prix Gold after beating Indonesia's Gregoria Mariska in the final on Sunday. The Rio Olympics silver medalist eased past her opponent in straight sets, 21-13, 21-14. India's Sameer Verma also won the tournament in men's singles category after defeating compatriot Sai Praneeth in straight sets, 21-19, 21-16. 

France's Iris Mittenaere wins Miss Universe 2016

Miss France Iris Mittenaere was crowned Miss Universe 2016 at the Mall of Asia Arena . Miss Colombia Andrea Tovar won second runner-up. Miss Haiti Raquel Pelissier won first runner-up. Flo Rida and Boyz II Men gave musical performances during the Miss Universe pageant. 

Gokaldas Exports to set up manufacturing units in Chittoor district

Gokaldas Exports has entered in to a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Andhra Pradesh Government for setting up four apparel manufacturing units in Chittoor district over next three years.The company plans to invest up to Rs. 200 crore which is likely to generate approximately 5,000 new jobs.

INSAT-3DR to map farm fires in Haryana, Punjab

INSAT-3DR works in tandem with INSAT-3D, operational since 2014, in sending raw data and high-resolution images, zoomed up to 1 kilometre near the earth's surface, every 15 minutes.Next generation satellite INSAT-3DR has opened new frontiers in India's weather forecasting and is set to equip the country with the ability to detect farm fires, which intensifies air pollution in the northern region seasonally, leaving Delhi gasping for breath.

AP Singh is interim head of Postal Bank

India Post Payments Bank (IPPB), floated by the postal department, has received Reserve Bank of India’s final nod to commence commercial operations. The Centre has appointed AP Singh, who was earlier Joint Secretary in the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management, as the interim Managing Director and CEO of IPPB.

Nation pays homage to Mahatma Gandhi on his 69th death anniversary

The nation pays homage to Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi on his 69th death anniversary today (30 January 2017). He was assassinated on this day in 1948. Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on the occasion. President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice-President Hamid Anasri and other eminent leaders will pay tributes to Bapu at his Samadhi, Rajghat in New Delhi. An inter-religious prayer will be organised there on the occasion. 

Ex-HC judge Vishwanath Shetty sworn in as Karnataka Lokayukta

Former high court judge Justice P Vishwanath Shetty was sworn in as the Karnataka Lokayukta by governor Vajubhai R Vala. The post had remained vacant since Y Bhaskar Rao stepped down in December 2015 following bribery scandal. Shetty's appointment was cleared by governor.

Federer has won over ₹680 crore in tournament prize money

Switzerland's Roger Federer became the second player in tennis history after Novak Djokovic to crossing $100 million (over ₹680 crore) in tournament earnings after winning the Australian Open . The eighteen-time Grand Slam champion Federer has amassed over $100 million, earning almost $2.8 million overcoming Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open final.

India gets its own multi-sports museum in Kolkata

In a first, India's Fanatic Sports Museum opened to the public in Kolkata . The museum will display memorabilia from cricket, hockey, football and the Olympics and Paralympics. Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar were among others to inaugurate the museum.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

2017 Australian Open: Roger Federer wins men's title

For the first time since 2010, Roger Federer has won the Australian Open, beating long-time rival Rafael Nadal in the finals in Melbourne, Australia on 29th January 2017. Federer won a closely contested five-set showdown, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3.

National Immunization Day: 29th January 2017

Today (29th January 2017) is National Immunization Day. President Pranab Mukherjee has launched the countrywide programme for 2017 by administering polio drops to children aged below five years at a function in Rashtrapati Bhavan. The programme will cover around 17 crore children aged under five years in an effort to maintain the country's polio-free status. 

Denmark to appoint world’s first ‘digital ambassador’

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. "Such companies have become a type of new nations and we need to confront that," said Denmark's Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen. The companies' market values are large enough to enter G20, he added.

Alibaba’s financial arm acquires MoneyGram

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.

IndiaPost becomes 03rd entity to receive licence to start payment bank operations

IndiaPost has become the third entity to receive a final license last week from the Central Bank (RBI) to start its payment bank operations. Country’s largest telecom service provider Bharti Airtel and digital payments firm Paytm are the other two to have received the license while only Airtel has started operations so far. 

Australian Open 2017: Serena beats sister Venus for record 23rd slam title

In Australian Open 2017 tennis, Serena Williams beat her sister Venus Williams in the final today to win her 23rd Grand Slam singles title. The dominant American swept past her rival 6-4, 6-4 on Rod Laver Arena to finally clinch the record for Open-era major titles, nearly 18 years after winning her first. 

Saturday, 28 January 2017

President appoints Banwarilal Purohit as Governor of Meghalaya

President Pranab Mukherjee has given Governor of Assam Banwarilal Purohit additional charge of Meghalaya.  Besides, President also gave Governor of Nagaland PB Acharya additional charge of Arunachal Pradesh. These appointments come after President accepted the resignation of V. Shanmuganathan, as Governor of Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh.

Sports Ministry reconstitutes committee to identify athletes under TOP Scheme

The Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has reconstituted TOP committee with objective of identifying and supporting potential medal prospects for 2020 and 2024 Olympic Games under Target Olympic Podium (TOP) scheme. The committee will be headed by Abhinav Bindra, Olympic Gold Medalist.

Scientists creates world’s first stable semi-synthetic organism

Researchers from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), US have created world’s first stable semi-synthetic organism, a single-celled bacterium with an expanded genetic code The semi-synthetic organism is the modified E.coli bacteria created by introducing DNA molecules that are not found in nature in a common bacterium.

Dr Vijay Bhatkar appointed new vice-chancellor of Nalanda University

President Pranab Mukherjee has appointed Dr Vijay Bhatkar, architect of India’s first supercomputer the Param series, as the chancellor of Nalanda University. He will have term of three years from the date of his appointment as provided under Section 11(3) of the Nalanda University Act. He shall succeed George Yeo, former Foreign Minister of Singapore, who resigned after the Board of the University was reconstituted.

GAAR will be effective from April 1, 2017

The Union Finance Ministry has announced that the General Anti Avoidance Rule (GAAR) will be effective from the 1 April, 2017. In this regard Income Tax (IT) department has issued a slew of clarifications on implementation of GAAR, seeking to address concerns of foreign investors over implementation of the anti-evasion measure. GAAR seeks to prevent companies from routing transactions through other countries to avoid taxes. The rules are framed mainly to minimize and check avoidance of tax.

Sri Venkateswara College wins Great Britain debate in Delhi

The Delhi edition of the Great Britain Debate organised by the British High Commission and hosted by the Lady Sri Ram College was won by Anmol Sharma and Sidaq Batra of Sri Venkateswara College. The runners up were Pratyaksha Jha and Aritro Bose of Ashoka University.

SBI Launches Wealth Management Product SBI Exclusif in Kochi

The State Bank of India has launched a new wealth management product named 'SBI Exclusif' in Kochi, Kerala. Later it will be rolled out in other cities of the state during the course of the year.The product was launched by Chief General Manager, SBI, Kerala Circle, S Venkataraman. SBI Exclusif is targeted at fast growing affluent and high net worth customer segments of the bank.

Surya Namaskar Yajna Recognised in US Congress

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. Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh has organized the “Yoga for Health, Health for Humanity Yogathon” from January 14 to January 29,2017 to mark Makar Sankranti.The 16-day event will raise awareness about yoga and its advantages in achieving a healthy body, mind, and spirit.