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National – Across the India
1. Following the tough decision to demonetize Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 currency notes, Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanked citizens for undertaking sacrifice to cleanse the economy of black money.
He announced several welfares sops to help the poor, the rural sector, small businesses, and other citizens to lighten the burden of demonetization.
2. The Supreme Court in its latest verdict has held that election candidates cannot seek votes on the grounds of religion, caste, creed, community, or language of voters.
The ruling was given by a 4-3 majority of the seven-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur.
It held that if the candidate is found violating the order will result into call for his disqualification.
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3. Andhra Pradesh Government has launched NTR Arogya Raksha Scheme to provide the medical treatment to the people below Above Poverty Line (APL) at Rs. 1200 premium per annum.
The new health scheme offering medical insurance to those who were not covered under any of the existing health schemes of the state government.
To avail of the benefits of Arogya Raksha, all one needs to do is pay `100 per month per head.
4. Odisha’s World famous 11-day gala festival Bargarh Dhanua Jatra started on 2nd January 2017.
All rituals were performed before Goddess Samaleswari, the presiding deity of the event.
It is the world’s largest open air theatrical festival.
5. In a bid to safeguard fingerlings, fish species and increase their population, all purse seine nets, large fishing nets used to catch fish in bulk were banned across Maharashtra from 1st January 2017.
6. The Election Commission of India (ECI) has announced the dates for the assembly elections in five states– Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Manipur, and Goa.
With the Election Commission announcement, the Model code of conduct has come into effect.
Counting of votes for all five states will take place on 11th March 2017.
7. The Union Ministry of Urban Development has launched Swachh Survekshan 2017 to rank 500 cities/towns across the country on cleanliness with a population of 1 lakh and above.
The survey will be conducted by Quality Council of India (QCI) under the Swacch Bharat Abhiyan in a bid to encourage competition to improve sanitation.
8. The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) has approved new projects under Namami Gange programme in Haridwar (Uttarakhand) and Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh).
In Haridwar, 68 MLD sewage treatment plants (STP) and 14 MLD STP in Sarai was with Central government funding and under Hybrid Annuity based PPP mode.
9. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the five-day 104th Indian Science Congress at the Srinivasa Auditorium in Sri Venkateswara University in Tirupati.
‘Science and Technology for National Development’ would be the focal theme of the Indian Science Congress.
10. The Union Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman launched an Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Enforcement Toolkit for Police.
This toolkit will be provided to all state police departments across the nation to assist them in dealing with the cases relating to Trademarks and Copyrights infringements.
11. The 16th meeting of the Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) was held in New Delhi.
It was chaired by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
It was attended by heads of all financial sector regulators as its members.
12. The Union Sports Ministry has constituted committee to frame comprehensive National Sports Development Code across sports disciplines.
It will be headed by Injeti Srinivas, Sports Secretary.
The committee will study the existing sports governance frame work, issues relating to sports governance in the country, recent developments related to sports governance.
13. The two-day Assam Biotech Conclave has begun on 5th January in Guwahati.
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal inaugurated the conclave in presence of Science and Technology Minister Keshab Mahanta.
The conclave is being organized by Guwahati Biotech Park in association with industry body FINER.
14. The Island Tourist Festival 2017 has begun at Port Blair, the capital of Andaman and Nicobar Island.
The 10-day mega event will see performances of the cultural troupes from mainland India.
This is to help the Islanders to renew their ties with the mainland.
The festival was inaugurated by the Lt. Governor Jagdish Mukhi at ITF ground.
15. Fourth Assam International Agri-Horti show has begun in Guwahati, Assam on 6th January.
State Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has inaugurated the show.
Assam Agriculture Minister Atul Bora informed that 10 foreign ministers are also taking part in the show.
16. The 14th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas (PBD) convention begun on 7th January 2017 in Bengaluru.
The main convention was inaugurated on 8th January by prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Pravasi Bhartiya Divas has been traditionally held on every year on 9th January to commemorate the return of Mahatma Gandhi as a pravasi from South Africa to India.
17. The Centre has declared the Rs.1782 crore to drought-hit Karnataka and Rs.209 crore to the people of Uttarakhand who had been affected by the floods in 2013.
The decision was taken in a meeting of High Level Committee chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
18. The much-awaited World Book Fair, the largest event of its kind in the country, started from 7th January at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi and will last till 15th January 2017.
It was inaugurated by Union Minister of State (MoS) of Human Resources Development (Higher education) Mahendra Nath Pandey.
The theme of the fair would be Manushi focusing on writings on and by women.
Eminent Odia writer and Jnanpith awardee Pratibha Ray was the guest of honor and Tomasz Kozlowski, Ambassador of Delegations of European Union to India will be the special guest of honor on the occasion.
19. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched Pravasi Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PKVY).
The Pravasi Kaushal Vikas Yojana is targeted at Indian youth seeking overseas employment.
It will provide training and certify Indians, who are seeking overseas employment in selected sectors.
20. Scientists from Botanical Survey of India (BSI) have discovered a new species of Zingiber (commonly known as ginger) from Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
The new species has been named as Zinger pseudosqarrosum.
It belongs to genus Zingiber.
21. The 20th edition of National Conference on e-governance 2016-17 started in Vishakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.
The Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG), Government of India, in association with Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India and Government of Andhra Pradesh has organized this conference.
The theme of this year’s conference is “Internet of Things and e-Governance” and will be covering newly evolving areas of e-Governance across five plenary sessions.
22. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated 8th Edition of Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit at Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
PM Modi also inaugurated ‘Vibrant Gujarat Global Trade Show’, where around 1500 entities are participating from India and abroad.
23. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the India International Exchange (INX) located at the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC), GIFT city in Gandhinagar.
The India INX is a wholly owned subsidiary of BSE Ltd.
24. 11th Blind Challenge Car Rally held in Bhopal to create awareness among people regarding the concerns of visually impaired people.
Indira Gandhi Museum and Arushi are organizing car rally, where the vehicle is driven by the sighted person and the navigator is a blind person, who reads the route given to them on the spot in Braille.
25. Delhi Airport become first in the world to adopt unique performance and benchmarking digital platform.
This platform at Terminal 3 would be used by airport operator to measure, manage and improve performance of airport on resource consumption and quality of passenger space.
26. The Union Ministry of Power unveiled world’s largest street light replacement programme in South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) area.
It is implemented under LED based Street Lighting National Programme (SLNP) by the Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a joint venture under the Union Ministry of Power.
27. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Nobel Prize Series Exhibition in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
It is the first-of-its-kind conclave of Nobel laureates to be held in India.
It has been organized by Nobel Media and coordinated by the Department of Biotechnology.
28. The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has released draft notification of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Dog Breeding and Marketing Rules), 2016.
The objective of the Rules is to make dog breeders and their marketers accountable and to prevent infliction of any cruelty on dogs in this process.
29. “Khanderi”, the second scorpene class submarine was launched at the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL).
It has superior stealth and the ability to launch a crippling attack with the torpedoes as well as tube-launched anti-ship missiles whilst underwater or on surface. Union Minister of State for Defence, Subhash Bhamre presided over the function to initiate the launch of Khanderi (Yard 11876).
30. The World’s first ‘Gender Literature Festival’ will be held in Patna during 7th to 9th April 2017.
The Gender Resource Centre of Bihar’s Women Development Corporation will be organizing the festival.
The objective of this festival is to create a platform, to exchange ideas, and to share and learn experiences of renowned people in the field of gender literature.
31. The first wax museum attraction Madame Tussauds will debut in Delhi this June with its operator Merlin Entertainments foraying into India with an investment plan of 50 million pounds over the next 10 years.
UK based Merlin Enterprises runs 116 attractions in 24 countries and the company will be foraying into Indian market with the launch of Madame Tussauds in the national capital.
32. The ambitious Ken-Betwa river linking project has received formal environment, forest and tribal clearances.
It is India’s first river interlinking project that will connect Ken river in Madhya Pradesh and Betwa river in Uttar Pradesh.
33. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has ordered inspection of plants which treat wastes in the hospitals of the National Capital Delhi and ensure proper segregation, collection, and disposal of such waste.
The waste plants will be inspected by joint inspection team of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC).
34. Hope Island in Andhra Pradesh has become graveyard for Olive Ridleys turtles after 54 carcasses of this species were spotted on the shores of island.
This indicates that the breeding cycle of this species got severe blow due to mechanized fishing boats scouring in the Bay of Bengal coastline.
The Fisheries Department is encouraging mechanized boat owners to fit a Turtle Excluder Device (TDE) to allow these turtles to pass.
35. The annual Camel festival was held in Bikaner, Rajasthan in the presence of foreign tourists across the world.
The camel festival was held from 14th – 15th January 2017.
Rajasthan Tourism Department and the Bikaner district administration has inaugurated this two-day festival.
36. Border Security Force (BSF) on Sunday 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.
The operation will continue till 28th January 2017.
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 operation to motivate jawans.
37. Madhya Pradesh state govt has inaugurated a Scheme named “Digital Dakiya”.
Under this scheme, a Digital Postman referred as Digital Dakiya would visit door to door in both urban and rural areas.
This scheme mainly aims to train households especially women and elderly people about digitized transactions.
38. In a bid to provide last mile connectivity in far-flung areas, the biggest impediment towards a digital and cashless economy, the government is embarking on an ambitious project to provide free Wi-Fi hotspots at more than 1000 gram panchayats.
Apart from providing internet connectivity for mass use, the programme seeks to enable delivery of services like health and education.
Called Digital village, the pilot project will initially be rolled out in as many as 1050 gram panchayats.
39. The first edition of Asia -Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) International Television Dance festival was held in Hyderabad, the city with royal patronage for arts, literature and architecture, on January 15.
Prasar Bharti hosted the event.
The dance festival is conceptualized to bring the cultural diversities from across the world into limelight, by breaking cultural barriers.
40.India was ranked 92nd among 118 countries in the 2017 Global index of talent competitiveness (GTI) list.
The index measures ability of countries to compete for talent i.e. how countries grow, attract, and retain talent.
The index is produced by global business school INSEAD in partnership with Adecco Group and Human Capital Leadership Institute (HCLI) of Singapore.
Switzerland topped the overall index, followed by Singapore and the United Kingdom in second and third place respectively.
41. Kozhikode Corporation become first Elderly-Friendly Corporation in Kerala.
The Kozhikode Corporation state government has planned to setup Senior citizen’s club, Day care centers as a part of Vayomitram project for the welfare of the elder people in the state.
42. India ranked 60th among the 79 developing countries in 2017 Inclusive Development Index (IDI) released in World Economic Forum’s (WEF) ‘Inclusive Growth and Development Report’.
The index is based on 12 performance indicators and countries are ranked on IDI scores based on a scale of 1-7.
43. Karang, a small lake island in Manipur, has become the country’s first cashless island.
The Union ministry of Electronics and Information Technology under its Digital India programme announced Karang as the first cashless island in India.
44. Sitalpati or cool mat from Cooch Behar district has been recognized as an “intangible cultural heritage” by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
These mats are used for sitting or to hang on doors or windows during summer. The mats are made up of weaved green cane slips of murta plants which are indigenous to the region.
45. The Union Textile Minister, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani has inaugurated 58th India International Garment Fair (IIGF) in New Delhi.
It will be held from 18th – 20th January 2017.
46. Minister of Railways, Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu unveiled Mission 41k during the Roundtable Discussion with the External Stakeholders on Energy Initiatives of Indian Railways.
The aim is to save Rs.41000 crore in the next decade in Railways energy costs.
47. The Union Cabinet has given its approval to the proposal for India’s taking full membership of the International Vaccine Institute (IVI) Governing Council.
This decision involves payment of annual contribution of US $5,00,000 to the IVI (headquartered in Seoul, South Korea).
48. The Union HRD Minister Shri Prakash Javadekar launched a dedicated web portal ‘ShaGun’ for the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan at New Delhi today.
‘ShaGun’ aims to capture and showcase innovations and progress in Elementary Education sector of India by continuous monitoring of the flagship scheme – Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA).
49. Bengaluru has emerged as the most dynamic city in Jones Lang LaSalle’s fourth annual City Momentum Index of cities around the world, followed by Ho Chi Minh City of Vietnam and Silicon Valley in the U.S.
The Index tracks the speed of change of a city’s economy and commercial real estate market.
Top 10 cities in the JLL index are Bengaluru, Ho Chi Minh City, Silicon Valley, Shanghai, Hyderabad, London, Austin, Hanoi, Boston and Nairobi.
50. The Union Cabinet has approved package for augmentation of the Corpus of Credit Guarantee Trust Fund for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE) for supporting Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs).
With this, the corpus of the Trust has been increased from Rs. 2,500 crore to Rs. 7,500 crore and it will be fully funded by the Union Government.
51. The Union government will set-up ‘Indian Agricultural Research Institute (lARI) – Jharkhand’ at Gauria Karma Village in Barhi Block of Hazaribag of the state akin to one in New Delhi.
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given the approval for the establishment of the institute.
The IARI-Jharkhand will have an estimated outlay of Rs.200.78 crores (100% ICAR share) on 1,000-acre land provided by the Government of Jharkhand, it is revealed.
52. After a TV channel and a website to promote digital payments, a nationwide toll-free helpline number ‘14444’has been launched to educate people and provide support related to cashless mode of transactions.
Government had sought Nasscom’s help in providing support on a mass scale to people.
53. The 10th edition of the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) began 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.
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’.
54. President Pranab Mukherjee will inaugurate the 28th Dantan Gramin Mela in West Midnapore district in West Bengal.
He is on a four-day visit to West Bengal.
The fair will display the rural handicraft skills of the people of the region. The different goods ranging from textile to terracotta will be on display.
55. Indian Institute of Bombay is set to build a ‘Research Park’ for start-ups, and set up R&D centres in the institute for promoting entrepreneurship.
The development will help students get an industrial exposure into real-world applications of their chosen fields.
56. More than 3.81 lakh consumers and 21,000 merchants have been declared winners of NITI Aayog’s lucky draw schemes ‘Lucky Grahak Yojana’, (LGY) for consumers and ‘Digi-Dhan Vyapar Yojana, (DVY) for merchants.
The winners were declared at 24 Digi-Dhan Melas held both daily and weekly across the country. Delhi, Ludhiana, Panaji, Lucknow, Jammu, Bengaluru and Hyderabad were among cities in which the events were held.
57. Indian Railways has circulated a draft cabinet note for setting up a dedicated $5 billion Railways of India Development Fund (RIDF).
The fund will be anchored by the World Bank and will serve as an institutional mechanism for the national transporter to arrange fund from the market for its investments.
According to a top railway official, the fund will be managed independently by a non-government entity.
58. The Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha, on January 19, 2017 announced that the under UDAN (Ude Desh Ke Aam Naagrik) Scheme is likely to take off in February 2017.
Presently there are 75 operational airports in the country and after the implementation of UDAN scheme 43 new airports will be added.
The UDAN scheme aims to boost regional air connectivity to and from un-served and under-served airports and make flying more affordable. Besides, it also aims to provide various incentives to airlines.
59. Mobile users in India downloaded the most number of apps from Google Play app store in 2016.
With over 6 billion app downloads, India, which was in the third position in 2015, surpassed the US, as per a report by global app analytics firm App Annie.
Brazil took the third spot with a little over 5 billion downloads.
60. The Indian postal department released a special stamp cover featuring Olympic medalists PV Sindhu and Sakshi Malik, and gymnast Dipa Karmakar, in Agartala.
The special cover is titled “Golden girls of India – Pride of Nation”.
One of the images on the cover also features Dipa’s coach Bishweshwar Nandi, who was awarded the Dronacharya award.
61. The Steel Ministry has released new draft of National Steel Policy of 2017, envisaging to double India’s domestic steel production capacity to 300 million tonnes by 2030-31.
The draft policy anticipates a requirement of Rs.10 lakh crore of fresh investments to meet production goal and expects creation of at least 11 lakh new jobs in the process.
62. The Union Government has constituted a committee (Working Group) to frame uniform rules for the states to avoid delay in proper implementation of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 across the country.
The Committee will be headed by Secretary from Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD). It will submit its report within three months.
63. Russian Railways is helping India’s national transporter to increase the speed of its passenger trains up to 200 km per hour.
Russian Railways is at present collaborating with Indian Railways on a 575-km stretch between Nagpur and Secunderabad and submitted a preliminary report last week.
64. The Union Government has transferred the advising role of Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) on utilization of the proceeds from disinvestment to the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA).
This announcement comes after the Union Cabinet approved an alternative mechanism to decide the modalities to do with stake sales in PSUs, so as to speed up the process and to streamline the disinvestment process.
65. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has inaugurated the 4 lakh square feet latest IT building, ‘Jyothirmaya’ at the Infopark in Kochi.
80,000 job opportunities will be created when the buildings constructed during second phase of development at Infopark become fully operational.
66. Priya Entertainments Pvt. Ltd. has set up an Ecotourism project at Khairabera, foothills of Baghmundi, in Purulia district of West Bengal.
The adventure camp is located 300 km from the city.
The aim was to promote the rich culture, natural beauty and heritage of the district of Purulia among tourists.
67. Commerce & Industry Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman launched Rubber Soil Information System (RubSIS), an online system for recommending application of appropriate mix of fertilizers to the specific plantations of rubber growers depending upon their soil nature.
68. The Election Commission gave its nod to the Centre to present the Union Budget on 1st February 2017, ahead of the Assembly polls, but said no schemes related to these poll-bound states can be announced and the Finance Minister’s speech should not refer to the government’s achievements in these states.
It also reminded the government of a 2009 advisory which said vote-on-account instead of a full-fledged budget is presented ahead of elections as per convention.
69. The Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Committee has submitted its 4-volume report on changes in FRBM Act, 2013 to the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
The 5-member committee was headed by N.K. Singh, former Revenue and Expenditure Secretary and former MP.
Members of the committee included RBI Governor Urjit Patel, Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian, former Finance Secretary Sumit Bose, and National Institute of Public Finance and Policy Director Rathin Roy.
70. The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its post-facto approval for the launching of Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana 2017 (VPBY 2017).
It is a part of Government’s commitment to financial inclusion and social security.
The scheme will be implemented through Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) during the current financial year to provide social security during old age and protect elderly persons aged 60 years and above against a future fall in their interest income due to uncertain market conditions.
71. The Union Cabinet has given its approval to ratify the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol on containing the emission of Green House Gases (GHGs).
The second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol was adopted in 2012 and is set to expire in 2020. So far, 75 countries have ratified the second commitment period.
72. Election Commission of India (ECI) hosted an International Seminar on ‘Strategies for Empowering Young and Future Voters’ on 24th January 2017, in partnership with UNDP India.
ECI signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the following Election Management Bodies at the Seminar:
Australian Electoral Commission
Central Election Commission of Bosnia-Herzegovina
Fijian Elections Office
Election Commission of Nepal
73. The government cleared swapping of land between Bihar government and Airports Authority of India for the expansion and development of Patna airport, which handles traffic more than three times of its existing capacity.
The proposed land at Patna Airport will be used for expansion of the airport and construction of new terminal building along with other associated infrastructures.
74. The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved a new scheme for promotion of Rural Housing in the country.
The Government would provide interest subsidy under the scheme.
Interest subsidy would be available to every rural household who is not covered under the Pradhan Mantri Aawas Yojana (Grameen), PMAY(G).
75. The Nissan GT-R is on its way into the Limca Book of World Records after it made an outline of India’s map in the ground spanning an area of three sq. km on the dry lake bed of Sambhar Lake in Rajasthan.
In their attempt, Nissan India carved out the largest ever outline of a country map.
76. The Union Ministry of Women & Child Development (WCD) has released National Action Plan for Children (NPAC), 2016 on the occasion of National Girl Child Day (24th January).
It was released by Union Minister of Women & Child Development Maneka Sanjay Gandhi in New Delhi. The NPAC has been developed by the Ministry of WCD.
77. Hyderabad witnessed the 7th edition of the Hyderabad Literary Festival-HLF 2017.
It is being organized by Hyderabad Literary Trust at Hyderabad Public School.
Ambassador of the Republic of Philippines Ma Teresita C Daza will be the guest of honour while poet Ashok Vajpeyi will be the chief guest.
Philippines is the ‘Guest Nation’ at HLF 2017 and will showcase its literature, art and culture.
78. Arunachal Pradesh launched ‘Dulari Kanya’, a special scheme to check infant mortality in the state, on the occasion of the 68th Republic Day.
Governor V. Shanmuganathan launched the scheme, under which the government will deposit Rs. 20,000 in the bank account of a girl child, born in any government hospital.
It would be paid along with the accrued interest after she attains 18 years of her age.
79. India’s indigenous Light Combat Aircraft -Tejas and National Security Guards Commandos made their debut on the country’s 68th Republic Day celebration.
Three Tejas jets flew at a height of 300-metre from the ground at a speed of 780 km/hour in ‘VIC’ formation.
The march-past by the NSG displayed ‘Sherpa’—a specially designed hijack intervention vehicle and