January, 2017

Mishap at Latur Factory

The death toll in the mishap at an oil mill in Maharashtra’s Latur district has climbed to nine. Earlier, seven workers had died on January 30 after inhaling poisonous gas while cleaning a tank at the Kirti Oil Mills in Latur. On January 30, some workers had fallen unconscious while cleaning the tank at the factory in Latur MIDC (Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation).

Reliance bags contract from Defence

Reliance Defence has signed a contract with the Ministry of Defence for the design and construction of 14 Fast Patrol Vessels for the Indian Coast Guard valued at
` 916 cr. These ships are medium range, high speed vessels, and primarily used for patrol within the exclusive economic zone, costal surveillance, and anti-smuggling, anti-piracy, search and rescue operations.

Atomic clocks on satellite develop snag

The atomic clocks on the first satellite IRNSS-1A of the NavIC (Navigation with Indian Constellation) has developed a technical snag. Each satellite has 3 clocks and a total of 27 clocks for the navigation satellite system. The troubled IRNSS-1A spacecraft was put in space in July 2013 and has an expected life span of 10 years.The satellites were built at a cost of ` 1420 crore.

Vodafone-Idea merger

Vodafone Plc, the British telecom company has confirmed “ongoing talks” of merger with Aditya Birla Group-owned telecom operator Idea Cellular, to cushion itself against a price war with Reliance Jio. The merger would make the joint entity the largest telecom operator of the country, with 43% revenue market share. Vodafone will hold a sizeable share in the merged entity.

Unique Brazilian coral reef in Amazon

The first images have been released of a unique coral reef that stunned scientists when discovered in 2016 at the mouth of the Amazon. The 600 mile-long reef is expected to reveal new species as scientists explore it further, but oil companies are planning to drill in the area. The reef is known to be home to more than 60 species of sponges, 73 species of fish, spiny lobsters and stars.

Huge mouth & no anus can be our ancestor

Scientists have discovered a new species which could be the ancestor of humans. Thought to have lived as long as 540 million years ago,the creature is the oldest known member of a large group of animals known as deuterostomes, which includes vertebrates. Discovered in sedimentary rock in Xixiang County, China, the species has been dubbed Saccorhytus coronarious.

FGII ties up with Bank of Maharashtra

Future Generali India Insurance Company announced an agency tie-up with Bank of Maharashtra for bancassurance. Currently bancassurance accounts for 5% of Future Generali’s total business.It has tie-up with over 100 banks across the country.

Scientists to grow human organs in pigs

Scientists have grown human cells inside pig embryos, a very early step toward the goal of growing livers and other human organs in animals to transplant into people. The cells made up just a tiny part of each embryo, and the embryos were grown for only a few weeks. That discovery could help ease the shortage of human donors for transplantation.

Metal conducts electricity but not heat

Scientists have identified a metal that conducts electricity without conducting heat. Researchers at Berkeley Lab and University of California, Berkeley in the US said electrons in vanadium dioxide can conduct electricity without conducting heat. This could lead to a wide range of applications such as thermoelectric systems that convert waste heat from engines and appliances into electricity

Chennai oil spill dooms turtles

A thick oily tide from the sea lapped at the coast of several fishing hamlets in north Chennai. This happened a day after two cargo ships, one of them an oil tanker, collided off Kamarajar Port in Ennore. Several dead turtles and hatchlings coated with the black oil were washed ashore. The spread of oil was seen on a 400-metre long stretch, 40 metres wide, near the Ernavur junction.

T20 World Cup for the Blind-2017

PM conveys his best wishes all the participants of T20 World Cup for the Blind-2017. The T20 World Cup will showcase quality sporting talent among the players & will popularise cricket among blind persons. The matches will be played at Delhi, Mumbai, Faridabad, Pune, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Kochi, Anantapur, Ahmadabad, Indore, Bhubaneswar with the finals being played in Bengaluru.

Meghalaya’s first Apparel Centre

Meghalaya’s first ever Apparel and Garment Centre inaugurated at Ampati Centre will create employment opportunities for both men and women of the region. The Union Textiles Minister Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani, along with Chief Minister of Meghalaya Dr. Mukul Sangma, inaugurated the first ever Apparel and Garment Making Centre in Meghalaya, near Ampati in South West Garo Hills.

Father of Pac-Man passes away

Masaya Nakamura, the “Father of Pac-Man” who founded the Japanese video game company behind the hit creature-gobbling game, has died. He was 91. Nakamura, founded Namco, part of Bandai Namco, in 1955. It started out as just two mechanical horse rides on a department store rooftop but went on to pioneer game arcades and amusement parks.

IPPB starts pilot services

India Post Payments Bank kicked off its operations by rolling out pilot services in Raipur & 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, its CEO A.P. Singh said. The paid up equity of the new bank is ` 800 crore, of which the government has already infused ` 275 crore, he added.

Committee led by former CAG to run BCCI

Supreme Court on 30th Jan. appointed a four-member panel of administrators led by former Comptroller and Auditor General of India Vinod Rai to run BCCI. Committee will check transparency in sport administration and women cricketers. They will function as the new interim bosses of the BCCI and run the day-to-day administration of BCCI till the Lodha reforms are fully implemented.

Goebbels dies at 106

Brunhilde Pomsel, a former secretary of Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, has died. She was 106. Ms. Pomsel lived most of her life in relative obscurity until a German newspaper published an interview with her in 2011, prompting a flurry of interest in one of the last surviving members of the Nazi leadership’s inner circle. Her death was confirmed on 29th Jan. to AP by Christian Kroenes

Madras Engineer Group wins

Madras Engineer Group won the best marching contingent amongst the Services participated in 68th Republic Day parade. In the category of Para-Military Forces and other auxiliary marching contingents, Central Industrial Security Force contingent has been adjudged the best marching contingent. In the tableau category Arunachal Pradesh won the 1st prize with its Yak dance.

SAG Awards 2017

Denzel Washington won the best actor award for Fences and castmate Viola Davis took the supporting award. Emma Stone took the best actress award for her role as a struggling actress in La La Land and Mahershala Ali took the supporting actor trophy for “Moonlight.” Stone topped Amy Adams for Arrival, Emily Blunt for The Girl on the Train, Natalie Portman for Jackie.

Amulya Patnaik is new Delhi Police Chief

Amulya Kumar Patnaik became Commissioner of Delhi Police, after Alok Kumar Verma was made CBI Chief. Mr. Patnaik, currently Special Commissioner has superseded two senior officers, Dharmendra Kumar & Deepak Mishra, both 1984-batch IPS officers. Mr. Patnaik is a recipient of the President’s Police medal for distinguished service and the Police medal for meritorious service.

Fin Min to aid Rail safety plan

31 : The Union Finance Ministry has agreed to contribute partially to a new dedicated railway safety fund named as ‘Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh’ in the upcoming budget session. It is likely to grant a fresh infusion of only ` 5000 crore in the upcoming financial year out of the initial proposed corpus of ` 20000 crore.

Summons might be served through email

A key amendment in the law could soon result in summons being serviced in civil matters through email, cutting through layers of red tape and delays, top sources in the ministry of law and justice said. Currently, a summon is served in accordance with the rules under Order V of the Civil Procedure Code of 1908 that governs the functioning of civil courts in India.

‘Blue struggler’ sucking energy

India’s first dedicated space observatory, Astrosat, has captured the rare phenomenon of a small, 6-billion-year-old “vampire” star “preying” on a bigger celestial body. Scientists say the smaller star, also called a “blue straggler”, feeds off its companion star by sucking out its mass and energy, causing its eventual death.

CCS among top 100 think tanks

The Centre for Civil Society (CCS) has been ranked among the top 100 think tanks globally. It is as per the Global Go To Think Tank Index Report 2016 released annually by the Lauder Institute of Pennsylvania University, U.S. Nine other Indian institutes figured among the top 175 for the year 2016. The CCS is ranked 80 which is one lower than last year’s rank.

India won second T20 international

India won the second Twenty20 international by five runs to level the series at 1-1. An outstanding display of death bowling saw India defend a small total of 144-8, restricting England to 139-6 to win by five runs. The match was held in Nagpur.

1st NE Investors’ Summit in Shillong

The Union Textiles Minister Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani inaugurated the 1st North East Investors’ Summit in Shillong. It is being organized jointly by the Ministry of Textiles and the Ministry of DoNER, at the State Convention Centre. Summit is an attempt to promote the rich textiles of NER saiid Union Textiles Minister

5 dead in shooting at Quebec City mosque

Up to five people were killed and several people wounded after gunmen opened fire at a mosque in Quebec City, media reported. A Quebec police spokesman confirmed that there were people killed, but did not say how many. A few dozen people were inside the Islamic Cultural Center when the shooting began just after 8:00 pm, CBC reported, citing its French-language service Radio-Canada.

Paytm’s story now a case study

The journey of digital wallet Paytm from being a recharge platform to a payments bank is the topic of a case study published by India Research Centre of Harvard Business School. ‘Paytm: Building a Payments Network’ will be available for teaching purposes within and outside Harvard. Established in 2006, Mumbai-based IRC supports its faculty with research in emerging trends in the region.

Iris Mittenaere becomes Miss Universe

Miss France was crowed Miss Universe. Iris Mittenaere, a dental surgery student from Lille in the north of France, beat 85 of the world’s most beautiful women at the event in the Philippines scheduled for primetime viewing in the United States. Mittenaere, 24, edged out Miss Haiti, the first runner-up, and Miss Colombia the second runner-up.

World leprosy day observed

World Leprosy Day is observed internationally on January 30 or its nearest Sunday to increase the public awareness of the Leprosy or Hansen’s Disease. The day was initiated in 1954 by French philanthropist and writer, Raoul Follereau, as a way to raise global awareness of this. The date for World Leprosy Day was chosen to coincide with the anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination

Comprehensive census of Gangetic dolphin

For the first time, the government will carry out a comprehensive census of endangered Gangetic dolphins, ghariyals and turtles across the entire Ganges. The National Mission for Clean Ganga will carry out the exercise through Dehradun-based Wildlife Institute of India. All the efforts of counting the number of dolphins in the Ganga until now were carried out in bits and pieces.

Martyrs’ Day 2017

Martyrs’ Day is celebrated on 30 January every year to pay tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his death anniversary. In India, several days are declared as Martyrs’ Day (Shaheed Diwas) in the honour of those who laid their lives for the nation. January 30 is considered as Martyr’s Day as it marks the assassination of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. Gandhi was killed in 1948 by Nathuram Godse.

IIT-Delhi designs metro map for blind

A IIT-Delhi team has come up with a metro map to help visually impaired people. The map uses different textures of dotted and broken lines to represent the existing routes. The research team also comprises visually impaired students, who not only work in the project, but also test, review and suggest improvements in the same.

IMD to Set up Weather Stations

The India Meteorological Department has decided to set up weather stations in 660 districts of the country for better and prompt weather forecasting. 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. Currently, India has weather forecasting system in 130 districts which gives forecasts

Bharat Rang Mahotsav at NSD

‘Whose theatre is it anyway’ that’s the theme of this year’s Bharat Rang Mahotsav, the annual theatre festival of National School of Drama (NSD), Delhi. The 19th edition will feature 94 performances from 16 Indian states and 12 countries. “We want to boost our networking and cultural exchange with other countries and learn about their theatre culture” says Prof. Waman Kendre, director of NSD

Satellite to map farm fires

Next generation satellite INSAT-3DR has opened new frontiers in India’s weather forecasting, which intensify air pollution in the northern region seasonally, leaving Delhi gasping for breath. INSAT-3DR works in tandem with INSAT-3D, operational since 2014, in sending raw data and high-resolution images, zoomed up to 1 km near the earth’s surface, every 15 minutes.

BNHS launches climate change programme

The Bombay Natural History Society has launched climate change programme under which the first study will assess the status, distribution and conservation of pheasants and finches in the Central Himalayas. The study will focus on their conservation in the context of climate change. The Indian subcontinent is home to nearly 50 species of pheasants and 62 species of finches.

Hubali to have largest Incubator

Indian-American entrepreneur, philanthropist and venture capitalist Gururaj Deshpande has decided to launch India’s largest startup incubation centre at Hubballi, Karnataka. The new incubator centre would be spread over an area of 85000 sq ft and will be built at a cost of ` 30 cr. It will be ready by September 2017.

Breakdown of the Standard Model

The search for physics beyond the Standard Model which until now has explained all interactions between the elementary particles, is an important research. Scientists at IMSc, Chennai, came up with a calculation made at the LHCb experiment at CERN, which shows definitively that in a specific interaction, the standard model predictions are violated & there is indirect evidence of new physics.

Federer grabs 18th Grand Slam title

Federer won his Men’s singles final match at the Australian Open, Melbourne, against Spain’s Rafael Nadal. As the Fed and Rafa met up on 29th Jan. in Melbourne for the 35th time in a glorious rivalry which has seen 9 Grand Slam finals now, the Swiss belied his past record against his Spaniard nemesis and bagged his 18th Grand Slam title and 5th Australian Open trophy.

PV Sindhu wins Syed Modi championship

30 : P.V. Sindhu has won the $120000 Syed Modi International badminton champion-ship Sindhu had come close to winning the trophy in 2014, but suffered a loss against compatriot Saina Nehwal. The tournament was the 2nd grand prix’s badminton tournament of the 2017 BWF Grand Prix Gold and Grand Prix. The tournament was held at the Babu Banarasi Das Indoor Stadium in Lucknow from Jan 24-29

Denmark to appoint ‘digital ambassador’

Denmark will become the first country in the world to appoint a special “digital ambassador” to work on building ties with the globe’s tech giants. The new appointment will be a tech liaison who reflects a diplomatic power shift between established nations and privately-owned conglomerates.

Commonly used insecticide cause diabetes

A study by scientists at Madurai Kamaraj University, Tamil Nadu, has found evidence that chronic exposure to organophosphate insecticides induces diabetes in both humans and mice. The results were published in the journal Genome Biology. The study clearly shows the prevalence of diabetic conditions mediated by microbial degradation of the pesticide in humans,” says Subbiah Ramasamy.

EMO Hannover fair 2017 to focus on India

EMO Hannover 2017, the world’s premier trade fair for the metal working sector, will focus on attractive and high potential markets. The fair is being held at Hannover, Germany from Sept 18-23, after a gap of 4 years. It is being organised by the VDW, Frankfurt am Main,European Association of the Machine Tools Industries & Deutsche Messe AG. India Day will be celebrated on Sept 20.

Brahmaputra Literary Festival Begins

The 3 day long Brahmaputra Literary festival began in Guwahati,Assam on Jan 28.The festival has been by the State Government jointly with the National Book Trust. The festival would see the participation of about 150 authors from 10 countries. The event was inaugurated by the Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar in presence of Assam Chief Minister Sarbanand Sonowal.

Solar parks to come up in Ladakh

The Jammu and Kashmir govt has signed an MoU with the Centre for the development of two mega solar parks in Ladakh with a total capacity of 7500 MW. The State Government has signed MoU with the Centre for the development of 2 Mega Solar Parks of 5000 MW capacity in Leh district & 2500 MW capacity in Kargil district.

Central Water Commission signs pacts

The Central Water Commission under the Ministry of Water Resources River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation signed two separate MoUs with IIT Madras & IIS Bengaluru The MoU aims to help the institutes to procure specified equipment and software for enhancing their capability of Dam Rehabilitation & Improvement Project for the rehabilitation of 250 dams in 7 States

NASA marks 50 years of Apollo 1 fire

NASA on 27th Jan. marked the 50th anniversary of its moon program’s fatal Apollo launchpad fire with the first public display of the scorched hatch that trapped three astronauts inside their spaceship during a routine pre-launch test. NASA astronauts Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Edward White and Roger Chaffee died when thick smoke filled the crew module of the Apollo 1 capsule on Jan. 27, 1967.

Barcelona passes accommodation law

The city of Barcelona passed a law on 27th Jan. to curb tourism as visitors have begun to overwhelm the city and anger local residents. Last year the city’s 1.6 million residents were heavily outnumbered by an estimated 32 million visitors, about half of them day-trippers. The new law comes after more than 25 years of relentless promotion of the city as a tourist destination.

Govt launches film heritage mission

The information and broadcasting ministry launched a film condition assessment project. Under this almost 1.32 lakh film reels at National Film Archive of India will be assessed and preserved for future use. The project marks the beginning of National Film Heritage Mission, an initiative by the government of India.

DCB Bank to raise up to ` 400 crore

DCB Bank is targeting to raise up to ` 400 crore in the second half of the next financial year to augment its capital. The bank’s promoters Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development and Platinum Jubilee Investments will get its holding in the bank down to 15% from the present 16.21%. Its capital adequacy ratio was at 13.33% with the core tier-I was at 11.39% as of December end.

North Korea restarts reactor

New commercial satellite imagery suggests North Korea has resumed operation of a reactor at its main nuclear site that is used to produce plutonium for its nuclear weapons program, a US thinktank said. Washington’s 38 North project, which monitors North Korea, said previous analysis from 18 January showed signs that North Korea was preparing to restart the reactor at Yongbyon.

Boat with tourists missing in Malaysia

A boat carrying 31 people, including around 20 Chinese tourists, is missing after sailing out from an eastern Malaysian city. The Chinese Consulate General in Kota Kinabalu in the Malaysian state of Sabah said the boat lost contact after leaving Kota Kinabalu on 28th Jan. It was bound for Pulau Mengalum, an island about 60 km west of the city.

Sania Mirza-Ivan Dodig lost final match

Sania Mirza’s bid to win her seventh Grand Slam title ended on a dejected note as she and her Croatian partner Ivan Dodig suffered a straight-set defeat. They were playing against Abigail Spears and Juan Sebastian Cabal in the mixed doubles final of Australian Open. The Indo-Croatian pair lost 6-2, 6-4 to Spears and Cabal in a match that lasted just 1 hour and three minutes.

Oil companies sign pact with AP govt

The Public Sector Oil Companies including HPCL,ONGC & GAIL have signed MoUs with the Andhra Pradesh Govt to invest ` 1.65 lakh crore in several projects of the state especially the Krishna-Godavari basin. So far a sum of $20 billion had been invested in the basin by the Ministry.

India Post gets payments bank licence

India Post has received payments bank licence from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to start rollout of banking operations commercially under the permit. India Post Payments Bank is the third entity to receive payments bank permit after Bharti Airtel and Paytm. Payments banks can accept deposits up to ` 1 lakh per account from individuals and small businesses.

Kyocera introduces washable smartphone

Japan-based Kyocera has introduced a new “rafre” washable smartphone that features resistance to hot water and a touchscreen that be can be used even when the user’s hands are wet or when wearing gloves. The product will be available from March 2017 in Japan and will be offered in three colours — pale pink, clear white and light blue. The smartphone is a successor to the orignal DIGNO rafre.

Serena Williams beats sister Venus

In what was seen as a fairy tale Grand Slam finals, Serena Williams defeated her sister Venus Williams to clinch her seventh Australian Open title. She now holds the most number of major titles in the Open era, going past Steffi Graf who has 22. She now holds 23 Grand Slam titles – an Open era record. Venus, who was looking to win her eighth Grand Slam title, fell in straight sets 6-4, 6-4

Haryana on alert

Haryana has been put on maximum alert in view of the call for a fresh round of quota agitation from to given by a section of Jats. During a similar stir a year ago, there were 30 deaths and widespread destruction of property. As a precautionary measure, section 144 has already been imposed in sensitive districts, including Rohtak, Sonipat, Jhajjar, and at other places in the state.

Telangana govt signs MoU with Aquitaine

The Telangana govt signed a MoU with French Aero campus Aquitaine to set up a world-class aero skills academy in the city in collaboration with academia and industry of the state. The MoU was signed between Jerome Verschave, General Manager, Aerocampus and Jayesh Ranjan, Secretary IT, Telangana

Indian Think Tank ranked highest in Asia

29 : Delhi based Observer Research Foundation has been ranked as the top think tank in the China, India, Japan and the Republic of Korea category. In the category of Asian region,ORF ranked 5th out of 90 think tanks,improving its position from 6th last year. The first position in this category was bagged by Korea Development Institute. World wide ORF ranked 50th out of 150 think tanks.

GM mosquitoes created

Outdoor caged trials of genetically modified mosquitoes were launched in Dawalwadi, Badnapur in Jalna district of Maharashtra to demonstrate the efficiency this technique to suppress wild female mosquito populations that transmit dengue, chikungunya and Zika. The trials are conducted by Oxitec and uses the Release of Insects carrying Dominant Lethal genes technology.

Naidu for next summit too in Vizag

Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu announced the construction of an international convention centre in the city so as to host next round of CII Partnership Summit in 2018. “I promise all of you that the centre will be ready in a record time 12 months. Instead of a make-shift venue at Harbour Park, we will host the next round of Partnership Summit and Sunrise AP Investment Meet.

India 79 in Corruption Perception Index

India has been ranked 79th out of 176 countries in the recently released Corruption Perception Index for the year 2016 by the Berlin-based corruption watchdog Transparency International. New Zealand & Denmark were ranked 1st, while Somalia ranks last. In this edition of list,India has marginally improved its ranking index for 2016 by 2 points from 38 score in 2015

Govt launches Rubber Soil Info System

The govt has launched Rubber Soil Information System,an online system for recommending appropriate mix of fertilizers to plantations of rubber growers depending upon their soil nature. It was launched for Kottayam,Kerala.RubSIS has developed by Rubber Research Institute of India under the Rubber Board in collaboration with 3 other agencies

Govt approves scheme for rural housing

The govt has approved a new scheme for promotion of Rural Housing in the country to construct/add new houses. It will be implemented by National Housing Bank. Under the scheme, the beneficiary will be provided a loan of ` 2 lakh.Govt will provide net present value of interest subsidy of 3% to NHB upfront which will,in turn, pass it to the Primary Lending Institutions.

Boat migrants rescued in Mediterranean

Some 1,000 migrants were saved from leaky boats in the central Mediterranean, Italy’s coast guard said. An Italian coast guard ship, the Spanish humanitarian group Proactiva Open Arms and a Caribbean-registered supply vessel went to the aid of six rubber dinghies and three wooden vessels. The sea crossing from Libya to Italy is now the main route for migrants seeking better lives in Europe.

Sports Ministry constitutes TOPs 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 scheme. The committee will be headed by Abhinav Bindra & its members are Anil Khanna, Prakash Padukone, PT Usha etc


28 : Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd has signed a MoU with Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority for smart grid technologies The MoU was signed by Saeed Al Suwaidi,the MD of Abu Dhabi Distribution Co (UAE), and Anil Mehra, the Executive Director of POWERGRID

Indus waters will be brought to Punjab

Prime Minister Narendra Modi referred to the politically sensitive issue of the Sutlej Yamuna Canal, saying Punjab had the right to use water for irrigation. Waters from the Indus river that flow into Pakistan as waste would be brought to Punjab. Haryana and Punjab are locked in a bitter legal and emotional battle over the issue for the past several years.

British actor John Hurt dies

Veteran British actor Sir John Hurt, Oscar-nominated for his star turn in The Elephant Man and his supporting role in Midnight Express, has died. He died after a long battle with pancreatic cancer, the BBC reported on 28th Jan. He was 77. Hurt had starred in more than 200 films and television series over a career spanning six decades.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day

International Holocaust Remembrance Day,is an international memorial day on 27 January commemorating the victims of the Holocaust. It was designated by the United Nations General Assembly resolution on 1 November 2005 during the 42nd plenary session. On 27 January 1945, Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi concentration and death camp, was liberated by the Red Army.

New VC of Nalanda University appointed

President Pranab Mukherjee has appointed Dr Vijay Bhatkar,architect of India’s first supercomputer the Param series,as the vice chancellor of Nalanda University. He will have term of 3 years from the date of his appointment as provided under Section 11(3) of the Nalanda University Act. Nalanda University is located in Rajgir, Nalanda District, Bihar & was established in 427AD.

ISRO Successfully tests GSLV Mk III

ISRO has successfully tested indigenously developed cryogenic engine for the upper stage GSLV Mk III rocket. The cryogenic upper stage,designated as C25,was tested for 50 seconds at ISRO Propulsion Complex in Tamil Nadu.The second test is planned for flight duration of 640 seconds. Cryogenics engine challenges liquid Oxygen stored at -195 deg C & as liquid Hydrogen at -253 deg C in its tanks

Centre says GAAR effective from April 1

The government has announced that the General Anti Avoidance Rule will be effective from the 1 April. GAAR seeks to prevent companies from routing transactions through other countries to avoid taxes. India will be the 17th nation to implement the law. It seeks to give the IT department powers to scrutinize transactions structured in such a way as to deliberately avoid paying tax in India

US records worst growth rate since 2011

The Commerce Department says the GDP grew at an annual rate of just 1.9% in the October-December period, a slowdown from 3.5% growth in the 3rd quarter. For 2016,the economy grew 1.6%.It was the worst showing since 2011 and down from 2.6% in 2015

TROPEX 17 begins

The Indian Navy’s Annual Theatre Readiness Operational Exercise (TROPEX) 2017 is being conducted off the Western Seaboard. The month long exercise will see participation of ships & aircraft of both the Western & Eastern Naval Command & also assets from the Indian Air Force,Indian Army & the Indian Coast Guard. The last edition was conducted in January 2015.

WTO pact to lift world trade by $1 tn

A trade accord that will boost global exports by $1 trillion should come into force within two weeks, the head of the WTO said. The Trade Facilitation Agreement will have a major impact on poorer countries because it standardises and simplifies customs procedures, slashing the time, cost and complexity of taking goods over borders. This is the WTO’s biggest agreement in history.

‘77,000 jobs created in July-Sept 2016’

About 77000 jobs were created in July-Sept 2016 with key sectors like manufacturing, construction & information technology showing a dip in job creation. The survey showed that services sectors such as trade,transport saw an increase in employment by 1.28 lakh. According to the latest survey,around 83% of the 12000 jobs were lost by female workers in the manufacturing sector

Impressive start to Partnership Summit

The 23rd edition of CII Partnership Summit and the second Sunrise Andhra Pradesh Investment Meet began with 128 MoUs signed for an investment of about ` 4.25 lakh crore. This could lead to generation of as many as 5.5 lakh jobs. About 2,000 delegates with representatives from 50 countries attended the first day of the two-day summit.

President appoints Governors

President Pranab Mukherjee appointed Banwarilal Purohit,the Governor of Assam to execute the functions of the Governor of Meghalaya & Arunachal Pradesh. He also appointed P. B. Acharya, the Governor of Nagaland to discharge functions as the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh.

India, France sign pact

India & France have signed White Shipping agreement to enable information sharing on maritime traffic and maritime domain awareness in the Indian Ocean Region. The agreement will enable navies of India & France to coordinate their roles in stabilising Indo-Pacific region and will enhance Indo-French maritime security cooperation in the region.

Meghalaya Governor resigns

Facing sexual harassment charges, Meghalaya Governor V Shanmuganathan resigned. A section of Raj Bhavan employees demanded his removal for “seriously compromising” the dignity of the gubernatorial office. The employees had alleged that Mr. Shanmuganathan had “seriously compromised” the dignity of the Raj Bhavan and made it a ‘young ladies club’.

China open to trilateral tie-up

China signalled its openness for a trilateral partnership with Russia and US, following Moscow’s advocacy that the three countries should develop their relations jointly. “China, Russia and the U.S. are all major countries with worldwide influence and permanent members of the UN Security Council. For world peace, stability and development, we share a great responsibility.” Ms. Hua observed.”

NSG commandos, Tejas debut in parade

For the first time in the history of Republic Day celebrations, the ‘black cat’ commandos of the elite counter-terror force NSG march down Rajpath on Republic Day. The indigenously developed light combat aircraft, Tejas, set a record. India’s 68th Republic Day was celebrated in the presence of the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan as the chief guest.

National Bravery Award for Payal Devi

Payal Devi, who was a Class VIII student of Government Middle School in Ramban, is the only child from J&K to be awarded posthumously. Payal lost her life in an unsuccessful bid to save the life of her 6-year-old niece Shivali and a 14-year-old boy Rakesh Kumar on seeing them being washed away in the turbulent Ladhwal nullah near her house following a cloud burst on May 12, 2016.

Japan launches military satellite

Japan has successfully launched its first military communications satellite Kirameki-2 from the H-2A rocket that lifted off from the Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan. The satellite has been designed to upgrade Japan’s existing communication network in the face of China’s increasingly assertive maritime activity and North Korea’s missile threat.

Trump seeks 20% tax on Mexican imports

President Donald Trump is seeking to impose a 20 % tax on imports from countries which has a trade deficit with the US like Mexico in order to finance the construction of a border wall along its southern border, the White House said. This is one of the way to pay for the wall that the US is planning to construct along the US-Mexico border. However the proposal is currently only for Mexico.

MP CM Announces Ban on Polythene

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced a total ban on polythene carry bags from May 1 in Madhya Pradesh. This is done in a bid to conserve the environment, protect cows and promote cleanliness. Chouhan, in his Republic Day address, also praised the MP Police for its swiftness in neutralising eight SIMI suspects who escaped from local central jail last year, in an encounter here.

Limits on age and attempts for NEET

The Central government has decided to introduce an age limit for medical aspirants taking the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET). The age limit for those aiming at 15% all-India quota seats has been set to 25 years whereas those from reserved categories will be able to take the test till they turn 30 years old. But the number of attempts for each candidate will be three only.

Niti Aayog’s ATL mission

Niti Aayog will organise a two-day event next month for schools that have been selected to set up Atal Tinkering Labs (ATLs) aimed at inculcating a culture of scientific innovation into the young minds. The event will be held on February 20-21. Under the programme, Niti Aayog has targeted to set up a total of 500 such labs across the country in select schools.

National Entrepreneurship Awards 2016

The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MoSDE) has instituted the “National Entrepreneurship Awards” to encourage a culture of entrepreneurship across the country. The National Entrepreneurship Awards will be presented annually in a public function beginning 2016. The first Award Ceremony will take place on 30th January 2017 where awards in 11 categories will be given.

Soldier’s widow receives Ashok Chakra

President Pranab Mukherjee posthumously awarded Ashok Chakra to Havildar Hangpan Dada, who was killed near in J&K in May last year while fighting terrorists. Dada’s sobbing widow Chasen Lowang received from the President the highest peacetime military award given for awarded for valour, courageous action and self-sacrifice.

Hyderabad Lit Fest

Celebrating creativity in all its forms, the seventh edition of Hyderabad Literary Festival-HLF 2017 – will open at Hyderabad on 25th on Jan. The three-day festival is being organised by Hyderabad Literary Trust at Hyderabad Public School in association with the Telangana government. Philippines is the ‘Guest Nation’ at HLF 2017 and will showcase its literature, art and culture.

Russian envoy Alexander Kadakin died

Russian Ambassador Alexander Kadakin, a Hindi-speaking career diplomat who was considered a “great friend” of India, died at a hospital here on 24th Jan. after a brief illness. He was 67. Serving as the Ambassador here since 2009, Kadakin was credited with playing a significant role in promotion of relations between India and Russia.

‘ET-like’ insect species discovered

Scientists have discovered a 100-million-year-old insect species with a triangular head and ‘ET-like’ appearance preserved in amber in Myanmar. There are about one million described species of insects, and millions more still to be discovered, but every species of insect on Earth has been placed in only 31 existing orders.

Cultivator awarded Padma Shri

Genabhai Patel, a 52-year-old differently-abled pomegranate farmer from Banaskantha district of Gujarat, who selected for Padma Shri for distinguished work in the field of agriculture. He is among the seven Padma Award winners from Gujarat. His success with pomegranate cultivation has encouraged other farmers to take up the crop in this district of north Gujarat.

Baba Seechewal gets Padma Shri

Environmentalist BABA Balbir Singh Seechewal, a native of Seechewal village in Jalandhar district, was conferred the Padma Shri on 25th Jan. He was given the award for social service and rejuvenating the 165-km-long rivulet. Earlier, too, he was chosen among top 30 activists from across the world as Heroes of the Environment by Time magazine some years back.

Scientists Grow Organ in Rat

Scientists from Stanford University are trying to find an innovative solution to deal with the shortage of human transplant organs like hearts, kidneys, livers, lungs & other organs. They conducted a study wherein the scientists made an attempt to grow mouse pancreases in rats & then use them to cure diabetes in mice

Jeevan Raksha Padak Awards – 2016

The President of India has approved the conferment of Jeevan Raksha Padak Series of Awards for the year 2016. Jeevan Raksha Padak series of awards are given to a person for meritorious act of humane nature in saving the life of a person. The award is given in three categories, namely, Sarvottam Jeevan Raksha Padak, Uttam Jeevan Raksha Padak and Jeevan Raksha Padak.

‘Bharat Parv’

27 : Bharat Parv, a national festival showcasing the country’s diverse culture, cuisines, handicrafts and catch glimpses of a progressive India was inaugurated by Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State for Tourism and Culture at Red Fort, Delhi. Bharat Parv event is being organized by the GOI at the Red Fort, Delhi from 26th to 31st January 2017, as part of the Republic Day 2017 Celebrations.