Friday, 17 February 2017

January 2017 Current Affairs for SBI PO

Current Affairs

Jan 11

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-terrorism

i.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

Jan 12

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.

Jan 13

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

Jan 14

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.

Jan 15

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

i. 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".

ii. 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.

Jan 16

RBI raises ATM withdrawal limit to Rs 10,000 per day from current Rs 4,500 

i.The limit on withdrawals from ATMs has been enhanced from the current limit of Rs.4,500 to Rs.10,000 per day per card (It will be operative within the existing overall weekly limit).
ii.In a major relief for ATM users, the limits placed on withdrawals and current accounts has been raised with immediate effect.

India slips to 92nd rank on global talent competitiveness Index

i.India has slipped 3 places to 92nd rank on the global index of talent competitiveness that measures how countries grow, attract and retain talent, a list topped by Switzerland.
ii.India’s ranking is worst among the five BRICS countries.
iii. While China was ranked at the 54th place, Russian Federation was placed at 56th, followed by South Africa at 67th and Brazil 81st.
iv.Switzerland topped the overall index, followed by Singapore and the United Kingdom in second and third places respectively, in the list released by INSEAD Produced in partnership with The Adecco Group and the Human Capital Leadership Institute of Singapore (HCLI).Last year, India came in at 89th on the index.

SC allows 24-week pregnant woman to have abortion

i.The Supreme Court has given permission to a woman in her 24th week of pregnancy to undergo termination of pregnancy after medical report finds foetus is without skull. 
ii.The Court says, a woman can abort if foetus poses danger to mother's life.
iii.The apex court also directed that the termination of pregnancy be performed by a team of doctors of the hospital which shall maintain a complete record of the procedure adopted in the matter.

New Adoption Regulations come into force from 16 January 2017

i.The new Adoption Regulations have come into force on 16 January 2017, which have replaced the Adoption Guidelines, 2015, will further strengthen the adoption program in the country by streamlining the process.
ii.Transparency, early de-institutionalisation of children, informed choice for the parents, ethical practices and strictly defined timelines in the adoption process are the salient aspects of the Adoption Regulations 2017.

WPI inflation rises to 3.39% in December 2016

i.Breaking a 3-month declining trend, wholesale inflation rose to 3.39% in December 2016. 
ii.The increase was mainly due to a rise in prices of manufactured items, even as food articles turned cheaper. 
iii.Wholesale price index-based inflation had stood at 3.15% in November 2016, and minus 1.06% in December 2015.
iv.According to Commerce Ministry data, overall wholesale food inflation fell to minus 0.7% in December 2016, from 1.54% in November. But inflation in manufactured articles rose to 3.67% in December, from 3.2% in November.

2016 recorded as country's warmest year

i.2016 was India's warmest year ever since the documenting of meteorological records began in 1901. 
ii.The information was revealed by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) in its release named ‘statement of a climate of India, 2016'.
 iii.2016 was warmer than last year by 0.24 degree Celsius.

BSF launches operation ‘Sard Hawa’ at Rajasthan border

i.Border Security Force (BSF)  launched operation ‘Sard Hawa’ at the western international border of Rajasthan, under which vigil will be beefed-up to check the instances of infiltration due to the dense fog in the area.
ii. The operation will continue till 28 January 2017.
iii.The purpose of the operation is to keep a hawk’s eye on the international border, where vigil has been beefed-up and officers have also been asked to be part of the operation to motivate jawans.

Prasar Bharti hosts International Television Dance Festival in Hyderabad

i.The first edition of Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) International Television Dance Festival is scheduled to be held in Hyderabad the city with royal patronage for arts, literature, and architecture, on January 15, 2017. 
ii.Prasar Bharati is hosting the event. 
iii.The Dance Festival is conceptualized so as to bring the cultural diversities from across the world into the limelight, by breaking cultural barriers.

App named ‘SEZ India’ launched by Commerce Ministry

i.The Commerce Ministry has launched a mobile app ‘SEZ India’ which provides detailed information related to special economic zones.
ii.The app was launched under the ministry’s e-Governance initiatives.
iii.The app and would help the SEZ units and developers to find information easily and track their transactions on SEZ Online System.
iv.Developers and units can now file all their transactions digitally through this system and track the status.

Tamil Nadu Gov launched mobile app ‘pinakin’ for Tourism

i.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.
ii.The app, in two languages Tamil and English which covers world heritage tourist sites like Mamallapuram, Thanjavur Big Temple, Gangaikonda Cholapuram and Darasuram. 
iii.The app can be downloaded free of cost from iStore or Playstore.

Kohli research block inaugurated at Gachibowli

i.N Chandrasekaran, Chairman designate of Tata Sons, has inaugurated the Kohli Research Block at the International Institute of Information Technology here at Gachibowli.
ii.The block is part of the Kohli Center on Intelligent Systems (KCIS) set up in July 2015.
iii.The 60,000 sq ft facility will focus on research in Artificial Intelligence.The center will coordinate research among relevant groups in the institute as well as industrial and research groups within the country and abroad.

Sony Pictures enters Hindi film music space with Sony ROX HD

i.Sony Pictures Networks India has entered the Hindi film music space with the launch of Sony ROX HD. 
ii.The channel is geared to be a destination of choice for the contemporary music enthusiast.
iii.Sony ROX HD showcases the latest Hindi film music in high definition visual format of 1080i resolution that is enhanced by Dolby Audio.

Pentavalent Bio Sciences bags Tata Social Enterprise Challenge

i.Pentavalent Bio Sciences Pvt Ltd from Bengaluru has emerged the winner at the Tata Social Enterprise Challenge 2016-17.
ii.The challenge is a joint initiative of the Tata group and the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (IIM-C). It recognizes promising early-stage social enterprises that bring about long-term solutions to India's social needs.

Jan 17

25 children including 13 girls selected for National Bravery Awards

i.Twenty-five children have been selected for the national bravery awards 2016. These include 13 girls. Four of the awards have been given posthumously. 
ii.The coveted Bharat award has been conferred on 8-year-old Late Kumari Tarh Peju of Arunachal Pradesh, who sacrificed her life while saving two of her friends from drowning. 
iii.The prestigious Geeta Chopra award has been conferred on 18 year old Tejasweeta Pradhan and 17-year-old Shivani Gond of West Bengal who showed immense courage fearlessly helping police and NGO in uncovering an international sex racket leading to the arrest of the mastermind in Delhi. 
iv.The Sanjya Chopra award has been given to 15-year-old Sumit Mamgain of Uttarakhand who displayed outstanding bravery in fighting a leopard to save his cousin.
v. The children will receive their awards from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 23rd of this month. They will participate in the parade. President Pranab Mukherjee will host reception in their honor.

India Signs Financing Agreement of $48 million with World Bank for Nagaland Health Project

i.India has signed a financing agreement with World Bank for 48 million dollars for Nagaland Health Project. 
ii.About six lakh people will directly benefit from the Health Project with improvements in higher-level facilities as well as system-wide investments. 
iii.The objective of the project is to improve health services in Nagaland. Communities in targeted locations will benefit from project activities at the community and health facility levels.

Mysuru Printing Press Breaks Record by Printing Highest No. of Currency Notes in a December 2016

i.The Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran PvtLtd, a fully controlled subsidiary of RBI has set records in currency note printing.The RBI Note Mudran printing press in Mysuru printing highest number of currency notes in December 2016 breaking all its past record.
ii.It printed 10.9 million currency note in a day that even broke the world record made an American currency printing press of printing 8.7 million notes in a day.As per the data, 1350 million currency notes were printed in December 2016 in Mysuru which employess 650 workers who work for 12 hours in two shifts.

Market Regulator SEBI Tightens Mergers & Acquisitions Norms Among Unlisted Firms

i.The Capital market regulator of India, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on January 14 tightened the norms associated to Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) of Indian companies.
ii.The public shareholding of the resultant entity created by the merger of an unlisted and a listed company has to be more than 25%. iii.The unlisted entity can only merge with those companies that are listed on exchanges such as the National Stock Exchange (NSE) and BSE.

IMF cuts India's growth rate to 6.6% due to Demonetization

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has cut India's growth forecast for the current fiscal by one percentage point, citing demonetisation woes from 7.6% to 6.6%. It sees India ceding the tag of the world's fastest growing major economy to China in FY17.

Tamil Nadu: 170th Sadguru Sri Thyagaraja Aaradhana festival ends on 17 January 2017

i.In Tamil Nadu, the 170th Sadguru Sri Thyagaraja Aaradhana festival at Tiruvaiyaru ends today(17 January 2017). 
ii.The Aaradhana festival which was inaugurated on 13th of this month was a treat to carnatic music lovers. Sadguru Thyagaraja is one of the great musical trinity alongwith Muthusamy Dikshithar and Shyama Sastrigal.

BHEL Commissions 500 MW Thermal Unit In West Bengal

i.Government owned Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited(BHEL) has commissioned new 500 MW Thermal Unit in West Bengal.
ii.This was the second 500 MW at Sagardighi Thermal Power Station (TPS) Phase II project in Murshidabad district of West Bengal.

IIMC to start post graduate course in Urdu journalism

i.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 . 
ii.The Executive Council of the IIMC, an autonomous body under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, has recently approved the course.

Kozhikode Corporation becomes 1st Elederly-friendly corporation in Kerala

i.Kozhikode Corporation was declared as the first Elderly-Friendly Corporation in Kerala. 
ii.The  Kozhikode Corporationstate government has planned to setup Senior citizen’s club, Day care centres as a part of  Vayomitram project for the welfare of the elder people in the state.
iii.As part of the elderly friendly status, the Corporation has begun to collect basic details of all the senior citizens in the city through its 543 Anganwa

Pakistan Navy Receives Two Ships From China to Ensure Security along Gwadar Port

i.China has sold two naval ships to Pakistan to protect the strategic Gwadar port and trade routes under the USD 46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
ii.The ships named Hingol and Basol gets its name from nearby rivers in Pakistan.China will provide two more ships to Pakistan Navy named Dasht and Zhob after two districts in Balochistan.

Future Group’s & SBI Card launch premium co-branded card

i.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.
ii.The Central SBI SELECT and SELECT+ Cards will offer an accelerated reward points structure

Rajeev Singh to Take Charge as Interim CEO of Prasar Bharati after S C Panda

i.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.
ii.Rajeev was elected as Interim CEO during the Prasar Bharati Board meeting held in Hyderabad on January 15, 2017.

Kiran Doshi won The Hindu Prize 2016

i.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.
ii.The festival was inaugurated by contemporary artist Gulamohammed Sheikh at Sir Mutha  Kiran Doshi Conferred 'The Hindu Prize 2016' for Jinnah Often Came to Our HouseVenkatasubba Rao Concert Hall in Chennai.

National award-winning filmmaker Deepak Roy dead at 67

Deepak Roy, known for his movie "Limit to Freedom" which won him a National award in 1996 under the category of best investigative film, has passed away at the age of 67 after suffering a cardiac arrest. 

Valtteri Bottas replaces Nico Rosberg at Mercedes and joins Lewis Hamilton

i.Valtteri Bottas has been confirmed as Lewis Hamilton's new team-mate for the forthcoming Formula One season after he was finally unveiled by Mercedes at their headquarters.
ii.Bottas, who replaces world champion Nico Rosberg following his shock decision to retire from the sport, had long been favorite for the vacant seat. 

Sports Minister Vijay Goel inaugurates Khelo India competitions

i.The Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports Shri Vijay Goel inaugurated the Khelo India National level Competitions on various sports for Under-14 and Under-17 children in New Delhi.
ii.The competition has been organized by Sports Authority of India under aegis of Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in Swimming, Cycling and Wrestling.

Jan 18

58th India International Garment Fair to begins in New Delhi

i.The 58th edition of India International Garment Fair, IIGF  begins in New Delhi.
ii. Organized by Apparel Export Promotion Council India, the event is one of the largest and most popular platforms in Asia, from which overseas garment buyers can source products and forge business relationships with India’s finest players in the apparel and fashion accessories domain. iii.Textiles Minister Smriti Zubin Irani will inaugurate the three-day long fair.

Timothy Gonsalves Committee Suggests 20 % Reservation for Girl Students in IITs

i.A committee formed by the IIT Joint Admission Board (JAB) has recently given its suggestion to create 20 percent reservation seats for the girl students in IITs out of the total number of seats available.
 ii.The committee headed by professor Timothy Gonsalves recommended the supernumerary seats to address the issue falling number of female students entering the institute.
 iii.However, the recommendation of the committee will get the final approval after the decision of the Joint Admission Board (JAB) who will decide whether the reservation will come in effect from 2017 or 2018.
iv. The decision will not affect the number of seats available for male candidates and only those candidates who have already qualified in JEE-Advanced will be considered. The decision will enable IITs to achieve the 1 lakh target by 2020.

India & Mauritius Sign MoU for Cooperation in the field of Cooperatives

i.India and Mauritius signed a MoU for cooperation in the field of cooperatives and related areas
ii.The MoU was signed between Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh, and the Indian Ocean island country's Business, Enterprise and Cooperatives Minister Soomilduth Bholah.
iii.The MoU will enable the two countries to collaborate in this vital sector and can significantly benefit thousands of Mauritians. India offered to exchange its expertise and technology with Mauritius in agro industry, fisheries and dairy sector.

India Ranks 60th in Inclusive Development Index 2017

i.India has been ranked at 60th position among 79 developing economies with a score of only 3.38 in the Inclusive Development Index (IDI) of the World Economic Forum (WEF).
ii.WEF released its ‘Inclusive Growth and Development Report 2017’ on January 16, 2017 in Davos, Switzerland.
iii. The list has been topped by Lithuania among the 79 developing countries.

India ranked 78th in global ‘Passport Index’

i.Indian passport has been ranked a lowly 78 in a global ranking of the world’s most powerful passports which was topped by Germany.
ii.Germany stands at the top with a visa-free score of 157, while Singapore overtakes South Korea and becomes the highest ranked Asian passport with a visa-free score of 156.

Manipur’s Karang is India’s first cashless island

i.Karang, a small lake island in Manipur, has become the country’s first cashless island
.ii.The Union ministry of electronics and information technology under its Digital India program announced Karang as the first cashless island in India.
iii. Confirming it, deputy commissioner M Harekrishna of Bishnupur district stated that island fulfilled the Centre’s necessary criteria.
iv.The Karang island is located in the middle of Loktak, the largest freshwater lake in Northeast India.

Petroleum Conservation Campaign ‘Saksham 2017’ Inaugurated in Nagaland

i.The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MOP & NG) inaugurated one month long oil and gas conservation campaign Saksham-2017 at a function in Unity College
,ii. Dimapur in Nagaland on January 16, 2017.The mass awareness campaign was inaugurated by chief guest Ramongo Lotha, secretary Food and Civil Supplies.
iii. The campaign would be conducted from January 16 to February 15, 2017.The main aim of such campaign is to spread the awareness on fuel conservation so as to minimize the wastage of petroleum products as the demand for it remains high.

Kolkata’s Sitalpati Gets place in UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has registered Sitalpati or cool mat from the Cooch Behar district, West Bengal as an  Sitlapati intangible cultural heritage.

BSNL launches mobile TV service Ditto TV

i.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
ii.BSNL also launched limited fixed mobile telephony, an app that virtually turns mobiles into cordless phone working in sync with landline phones.

Karnataka allows sale of white kerosene in open market

i.The Karnataka government allowed to the sale of white kerosene in open market. 
ii.State Food and Civil Supplies Minister UT Khader stated that the government has issued an order this effect.
iii.Those interested in selling white kerosene in open market can approach the office of the Food and Civil Supplies in their districts.

Yes Bank Launches Business Accelerator Program Yes Fintech 
Private sector lender 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 Launches India’s First Customisable Savings Account

i.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.
ii.Mumbai-based bank has become the first bank in India to launch such type of account that enables the customer to choose various features of a savings accounts that suits one’s own lifestyle.

World’s lightest watch unveiled in Geneva

i.The world’s ultralight 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. 
ii.The watch made up of graphene composite has been developed by the University ofLightest Watch of the World made Using Graphene Launched Manchester, UK in collaboration with the watchmaking brand Richard Mille and McLaren F1
 iii.The overall weight of the ultralight watch is 40 grams only and is extremely durable.

Antonio Tajani elected president of European Parliament

i.Antonio Tajani of the EPP Christian Democrat group has been elected president of the European Parliament.
ii.The battle among the two Italians was won by Tajani on a vote of 351-282 in the decisive final round, which only the top two candidates could enter.

N Chandrasekaran appointed as Tata Motors chairman

Tata Motors which owns Jaguar LandRover Automotive Plc, Ltd has finally appointed Natarajan Chandrasekaran, the Tata Sons chairman-designate and outgoing chief executive of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), as additional director and chairman of the board with immediate effect.

Renowned Actress Gita Sen Passes Away

i.Veteran actress Gita Sen who was the wife of renowned filmmaker Mrinal Sen passed away on January 16, 2017 in Kolkata of cerebral hemorrhage.
ii. She was 86. He is known for her excellent work in films like Chorus, Calcutta 71, Kharij, Akaler Sandhane, Ekdin Pratidin and Khandahar.

Former Chhatisgarh minister Tarun Prasad Chatterjee no more

i.Senior Congress leader and former state minister of  Chhattisgarh, Tarun Prasad Chatterjee passed away in Raipur.
ii.He was 68. Tarun was elected as member of Legislative Assembly for the first time from Raipur rural constituency in 1980, 1990, 1993 and 1998.

Eugene Cernan, the Last Human on the Moon Passed Away at 82

i.The commander of Apollo 17 and the last man who walk on the moon, Astronaut  Eugene Cernan, the Last Human on the Moon Passed Away at 82Eugene Cernan has passed away in Washington D.C, USA. 
ii.He was 82.Cernan was flied to space three times and to moon twice.

Tajikistan’s Amonatov Wins Delhi International Chess Tournament

i.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.
ii.Amonatov was awarded by Rs. 4 lakh, Diptayan received Rs. 3 lakh and Dzhumaev got Rs. 2 lakh prize money.

Jan 19

Digi Dhan Melas: Consumers, merchants win prizes worth Rs 61 Cr

i.Over three lakh 80 thousand consumers and twenty-one thousand merchants have won prize money worth around 61 crore rupees at 24 Digi-Dhan Melas across the country.
ii. This was disclosed by the Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in New Delhi Government’s efforts to give a boost to the digital payment systems and cashless economy have evoked good response from the people. 
iii.People from different age groups, occupations and walks of life have taken part in a big way in the Lucky Grahak Yojana and Digi-Dhan Vyapar Yojana giving a fillip to digital transactions. 

Cabinet Approvals:18 January 2017

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given some cabinet approval on 18 January 2017 are as follows:
1. Cabinet approves MoU between India and Serbia for cooperation in the field of Information Technology and Electronics
2. Cabinet approves India’s Membership in the International Vaccine Institute (IVI), South Korea 
3. Cabinet approves MoU on cooperation on Youth matters between India and Russia 
4. Cabinet apprised of the MoU between the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) for cooperation in the field of outer space 
5. Cabinet approves MoU between India and Vietnam In the field of cyber security 
6. Cabinet approves Trade Agreement negotiations with Peru 
7. Cabinet gives approval to the package for supporting Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) – Augmentation of Corpus of Credit Guarantee Trust Fund for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE) 
8. Cabinet approves the Establishment of Indian Agricultural Research Institute, Jharkhand 
9. Cabinet approves MOU between India and the United Arab Emirates for cooperation in the field of Small and Medium Enterprises and Innovation 
10. Cabinet approves MOU between India and the United Arab Emirates for cooperation in the field of agriculture and allied sectors 
11. Cabinet approves amendment in Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme 
12. Cabinet approves MoU between India and the United Arab Emirates on Institutional Cooperation in Maritime Transport 
13. Cabinet approves MoU between India and the United Arab Emirates on the Mutual Recognition of Certificates of Competency as per the provisions of the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW, 78) and amendments thereof 
14. Cabinet approves the exclusion of States from the investments of National Small Savings Fund
15. Cabinet approves MoU between India and the United Arab Emirates on Bilateral Cooperation in the Road Transport and Highways sector 
16. Cabinet approves the introduction of the Repealing and Amending Bill, 2017 to repeal 105 Acts. 

Bengaluru Ranked Most Dynamic City in the World in WEF Report

i.India’s IT Hub, Bengaluru has been ranked at the top position in the 2017 City .
ii.Momentum Index released the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting being held in Davos. The index identifies the most dynamic cities of the world.
iii.From India six cities have find place in top 30 most dynamic cities.
iv.Besides Bengaluru other Indian cities in the list includes Hyderabad (5), Pune (13), Chennai (17), Delhi (23) and Mumbai (25).The rankings are based on parameters such as population, technology and R&D, connectivity, output and corporate activity, education, and real estate investment.

Govt clears six FDI proposals worth Rs. 1186.5 crore

The government has cleared six foreign direct investment (FDI) proposals totalling ₹1186.5 crore. These include four from pharmaceutical companies including Sanofi-Synthelabo and Boehringer Ingelheim.

Only cash, deposits can be declared under PMGKY 

i.Undisclosed income in assets such as jewellery, stock or immovable property or in foreign bank accounts will not be accepted under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY).
ii.The Central Board of Direct Taxes on stated that only undisclosed income in domestic bank accounts, post offices or stashed elsewhere will be accepted under the scheme.
iii.Only income represented in the form of cash or deposit in an account maintained with specified entity can be declared.

Cabinet clears proposals for listing 5 PSU general insurers

i.The Cabinet has given its in-principle nod for listing of all the five general insurance companies.
ii.The five general insurance companies are the New India Assurance Company Ltd, United India Insurance Company Ltd, Oriental Insurance Company Ltd, National Insurance Company Ltd and General Insurance Company Ltd.
iii.The Centre's shareholding would be divested from 100% to 75% in one or more tranches over a period of time, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told reporters after a Cabinet meeting.

Prez Mukherjee inaugurate 28th Dantan Gramin Mela in West Bengal

i.President Pranab Mukherjee is due to inaugurate the 28th Dantan Gramin Mela in West Midnapore district in West Bengal. 
ii.He is on a 4-day visit to West Bengal. The fair will display the rural handicraft skills of the people of the region.
iii.The different goods ranging from textile to terracotta will be on display.

Anandam Scheme Launched in Madhya Pradesh to Help Poor

i.Madhya Pradesh government lead by Shivraj Singh Chouhan has launched Aanandam programme of the newly-formed Aanand Department.
ii.Aanandam scheme will help the poor people to get the daily needs like like jackets, sarees, blankets, utensils, school bags from the wealthy people.
iii. For this particular place is alloacted in each district to collect these items.The people who wishes to help others can visit website to become Anandak under Anandam SchemNonGovernmentent organisations, Government employees, cultural and business organisations can participate in this programe.

Meghalaya’s Mawlynnong village becomes a role model for cleanliness

i.Mawlynnong village in Meghalaya has become a role model for other states in maintaining cleanliness known as Asia’s cleanest village.
ii.Mawlynnong has become tourists’ hotspot.The Secretary of the village committee stated that, all 90 families of the village constructed toilets in 1989. 
iii.Under Swachh Bharat Mission, three public toilets have been constructed in the village. Over 500 tourists from across the country and abroad visit the village daily, which is located 80 kilometers away from capital Shillong.

West Bengal Set to Give Legal Protection to Hilsa Fish

i.The West Bengal State Department of Fisheries has announced to protect the endangered Hisla Fish from getting extinct and thus has proposed to introduce law to arrest anyone found in illegal catching, buying or selling of Hilsa fish weighing less than 500 grams.
ii.With the introduction of the proposed provision, Hilsa Fish would become the first fish to get legal protection.

PNB, India Post Bank team up

Punjab National Bank and India Post Payments Bank have signed a memorandum of understanding, whereby PNB will provide technology platform for pilot launch of IPPB on receipt of regulatory nod from the Reserve Bank of India.IPPB has been incorporated under the Department of Posts with 100 per cent government equity.

Scientists names 3 diseases that could cause next global health emergency

i.Scientists have named three relatively little-known diseases they think could cause the next global health emergency. 
ii.A coalition of governments and charities has committed 460 million dollars to speed up vaccine development for Mers, Lassa fever and Nipah virus. 
iii.They are asking funders at the World Economic Forum Davos for another 500 million dollars. 

30 More Countries to Join Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank

i.The Foreign Ministry spokesperson of China, Hua Chunying stated that thirty more countries have applied for joining the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) besides 57 founding members.
ii.It was officially established with 57 founding members and authorized capital of USD 100 billion.China is the largest shareholder of the bank having 26.6% voting shares. India is  the second largest shareholder with 7.5% followed by Russia 5.93% and Germany with 4.5%.

Bharti AXA General appoints Sanjeev Srinivasan as CEO, MD

Bharti AXA General Insurance today said it has appointed Sanjeev Srinivasan as CEO and Managing Director.Srinivasan joined Bharti AXA General Insurance in August 2016 as Chief Commercial and Principal Officer and now takes over the role of CEO and MD.

ICICI Pru acquires 8.41% stake in Fino Paytech for Rs 100 crore

i.ICICI Prudential Life Insurance has acquired 8.41 per cent stake in Fino Paytech Ltd (FPL) for a total consideration of Rs 100 crore.
ii.FPL provides technology-based solutions and services related to financial inclusion. Earlier this month, FPL was granted payment bank licence by the RBI.

NASA Set to Explore Iron-Rich Asteroid 16 Psyche

i.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.
ii.Scientists believe that 16 Psyche is one of the most mysterious objects in the solar system at a distance of about 230 million miles (370 million km) away from Earth and located in the large asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

World witnesses hottest year on record in 2016

i.The world witnessed the hottest year on record in 2016, surpassing the exceptionally high temperatures of 2015, the UN weather agency stated. 
ii.The globally average temperature in 2016 was about 1.1 degree Celsius higher than the pre-industrial period, according to a consolidated analysis by the World Meteorological Organization. 

C.V. Vishveshwara, Pioneer of Black Hole Discovery Dies at 78

i.Veteran Indian Scientist CV Vishveshwara and pioneer in the discovery of black hole in India died of prolonged illness.He was 78.
ii.He worked extensively on the theory of black holes and made major contributions to this field of research since its very beginning.

Kapil Dev inducted into Legends Club Hall of Fame

Cricket icon Kapil Dev was inducted into Legends Club ‘Hall of Fame’ at the Cricket Club of India on January 17, 2017.Former India player and Legends Club president Madhav Apte presented Kapil with a citation. 

Despite Difficulties, Indian Women Boxers Score 6 Medals In Serbia

i.Stranded at the airport for nearly 24 hours and without their luggage for a good part of the competition, Indian women boxers had to deal with more than just opponents at the Nation’s Cup in Serbia but showed tremendous fortitude to return with half a dozen medals.
ii.The 10-member team returned to the country early this morning with 6 medals after finishing third in the competition behind powerhouses Kazakhstan and Russia.
iii.Haryana-girl Neeraj (51kg), competing in his maiden international tournament, stood out with a gold medal, while Sarjubala Devi (48kg), Priyanka Chaudhary (60kg), Pooja (69kg) and Seema Punia settled for silver medals. Veteran Kavita Goyat (75kg) was the lone bronze-medallist.

Jan 20

CBDT Clarifies No TDS or Advance Tax Credit for Income under PMGKY

i.The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) on cleared that income declared under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojna (PMGKY) would not be entitled to get any credit by way of advance tax paid or the tax deducted at source (TDS) or tax collected at source (TCS). 
ii.PMGKY was set up to give an opportunity to those who deposited tax-evaded money in bank-demonetised currencies.
iii. It was opened on December 17, 2016 and will remain open till March 31.Under the scheme, a person declaring undisclosed income would need to pay a tax of 30%, in addition to a penalty of 10% and a Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan cess of 33% on the tax.Under the Income Declaration Scheme (‘IDS’), the government has allowed TDS credit in those cases where such credit has not already been claimed in the income-tax return.

Government Launches Web-Portal ‘ShaGun’ for Monitoring Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan

i.The Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar launched a dedicated web portal ‘ShaGun’ on  for continuous monitoring of the elementary education scheme Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and promote the development of education sector of India.
 ii.The portal has been developed by World Bank in collaboration with Ministry of Human Resource Development. ShaGun has been coined from the words ‘Shala’ meaning schools and ‘Gunvatta’ meaning quality.

PM to address 3 day National Conference in Kutch

i.Prime Minister Narendra Modi has delivered inaugural address on a three-day National Conference of Central and State Ministers and Secretaries of Tourism, Culture and Sports in Kutch, Gujarat .
ii.He addresses the program through video conferencing and also interact with the participants at the end of the conference
iii. The Conference aims at achieving the necessary convergence among tourism, culture, youth affairs and sports areas and synergy between the Centre and state. 

UDAN scheme set for take off

i.The first flight is likely to take off next month under the government's ambitious regional connectivity scheme UDAN with the AAI receiving 43 initial proposals from 11 bidders for 190 routes under the regional air connectivity scheme UDAN.The scheme UDAN (Ude Desh Ke Aam Naagrik), seeks to boost regional air connectivity and provides various incentives to airlines.
 ii. The fare for a one hour journey of approximately 500 kilometre on a fixed wing aircraft or for a 30 minute journey on a helicopter will be capped at two thousand 500 rupees under the scheme. 

India, UAE to hold 1st strategic dialogue in New Delhi

i.Ahead of the visit of the UAE crown prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan , who will be the Chief Guest at the Republic Day function this year, India UAE is scheduled to hold their first strategic dialogue in New Delhi.
ii.The two countries have been moving closer for security, counter-terrorism, intelligence sharing and trade and during this visit of the Crown Prince , India and UAE will also be looking to boost economic ties. Indians are the largest expatriate community in UAE comprising of nearly 20% of its migrant population.

PM Narendra Modi inaugurates second Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi

i.Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated the second edition of Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi . 
ii.The conference has been organized by the Ministry of External Affairs and Delhi based prestigious think tank Observer Research Foundation.The theme of the three day conference is “The New Normal: Multilateralism in a multipolar world”. 
iii.More than 250 participants from 65 countries attended the flagship geo-political conference.

Govt inks MoU with National Yuva Cooperative Society  to set up 1,000 Janaushadhi Kendras

i.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.
ii.At present, 750 Janaushadhi Kendras, providing more than 600 medicines and 150 medical devices, are operational and the target is to open 3,000 by end of this fiscal for achieving health safety, Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister Ananth Kumar stated.

Centre releases Rs 2,207cr to J&K as special assistance during current financial year

i.Centre has sanctioned over 2,207 crore rupees to Jammu and Kashmir as special assistance during current financial year to expedite completion of area-specific schemes. 
ii.This includes over 1093 crore rupees for permanent restoration of damaged structure in the state. 

10th Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) Begins in Jaipur

i.The 10th edition of the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) was inaugurated  Jaipur Literature Festival at the historic Diggi Palace, Jaipur, Rajasthan jointly by Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, veteran lyricist Gulzar, American poet Anne Waldman and spiritual writer Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev.
ii. The theme of the 10th edition of JLF is The Freedom to Dream India at 70. JLF is considered as the ‘Greatest Literary Show on Earth’The five day event would see the participation by over 250 authors, thinkers, politicians, popular culture icons, speakers, connoisseurs, book lovers among others.

Entrepreneurship Development Scheme inaugurated in Mizoram

i.Mizoram Chief Secretary Lalmalsawma inaugurated the Entrepreneurship Development Scheme (EDS) under the New Economic Development Policy (NEDP).
ii. Lalmalsawma stated that state government gave high priority to entrepreneurship development and has allocated Rs two crore under the NEDP during the current fiscal.

Suresh Prabhu unveils Mission 41k energy plan for Railways

i.Indian railways, minister Suresh Prabhu unveiled Mission 41k, a plan that would save Rs 41,000 crore over 10 years through an integrated energy management system, reported Livemint.
ii.In this initiative, railways will electrify 24,000 km of rail tracks over the next five years by doubling the annual rate of electrification from 2,000 km to 4,000 km in the next two years.

9.2 lakh cr rupees remonetised till date:RBI

i.RBI Governor Urjit Patel appeared before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance and briefed the panel about government's recent decision to demonetise high value currency.
 ii.Mr. Patel informed the committee, headed by Congress leader Veerappa Moily that 9.2 lakh crore rupees in new currency has been introduced in the system after the decision. 

World Bank Sanctions Rs 1,376 Cr For Tripura Power Upgradation

i.Washington based World Bank has sanctioned Rs 1,376 crore for upgradations and improvement of the Tripura power system network on  This was announced by Tripura’s power minister Manik Dey.
ii.The Power Upgradation project is divided into 5 phases. SPML Infra Ltd has got the contract of the first phase with the budget of  Rs 461 crore .A large number of 132 KV and 33 KV substations will be constructed and upgraded under the project across Tripura.

Lloyd’s Gets Final Approval from IRDAI to Open First Branch in India

i.London’s insurance giant Lloyd has received the final approval from the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) on to set up its first branch in India.
ii.The specialist insurance and reinsurance company would open its first branch office in India before April 2017 and will be located at Mumbai. Lloyd’s will bring expertise and specialist capacity to India’s insurance market and work in partnership with local insurance businesses to develop innovative solutions that meet the unique needs of the growing economy.

Delhi Police commissioner Alok Verma appointed next CBI chief

A 3-member committee headed by PM Modi selected Alok Kumar Verma as next CBI chief for a period of 2 years. Verma, a 1979-batch IPS officer, has been Delhi Police chief for the last 11 months. Gujarat-cadre IPS officer Rakesh Asthana was acting as CBI's interim director

Alibaba Becomes Worldwide Sponsor of Olympic Games through 2028

 i.The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Chinese e-commerce firm Alibaba Group entered into a long-term partnership through 2028  at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. This makes Alibaba the worldwide sponsor of Olympic Games through 2028.
ii. The partnership was agreed between IOC President Thomas Bach, Alibaba Group Founder and Executive Chairman Jack Ma and Alibaba Group Chief Executive Officer Daniel Zhang.
 iii.With this Alibaba has become the first company in the world to make a long-term commitment to the IOC through 2028 as well as first Chinese company to commit to the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022. 

Punjab Royals bagged ProWrestling League Season 2 title

i.Punjab Royals have bagged the Pro Wrestling League Season 2 title. 
ii.In the summit clash in New Delhi, the Punjab team beat Haryana Hammers 5-4.Punjab reigned supreme with their foreign imports Vladimir Khinchegashvili, Vasilisa Marzaliuk and Ilias Bekbukatov, besides India's Nirmla and Jitendra doing the damage in the crucial ties of the day. 
iii.Haryana, who had remained undefeated in the tournament, thus failed to cross the last hurdle.