1. Recently, the 5-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi has named as the 2016 World's Best Playmaker for the 2nd consecutive year by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS). The IFFHS is an organization that chronicles the history and records of association football and its' headquarters is located at Lausanne, Switzerland.
2. India's first transgender school "Sahaj International" has started at Thrikkakara in Kerala's Ernakulam district. It was inaugurated by transgender activist, writer and actor Kalki Subramaniam. The purpose of Transgender School is to provide transgenders security, salvation and sustainability. The new learning centre will help them continue their education and appear for Class X and XII examinations.This alternative learning centre works in collaboration with National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS).
3. The Bihar government has recently declared 50% reservation in all judicial services for aspirants belonging to the Extremely Backward Classes (EBCs), Other Backward Classes (OBCs), Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs). The reservation will be in both Superior Judicial Services and Subordinate Judicial Services. According to the Bihar Cabinet, aspirants belonging to EBCs will get 21% reservation, OBCs will have 12 % reservations, SCs will have 16 % reservation and STs will be provided 1% reservation in all judicial services of the State. Beside this, there will be 35% horizontal reservation for women and 1% reservation for disabled persons. Currently, there is a provision for only 27% reservation in subordinate services while no quota in superior services.
4. Prof. David R. Syiemlieh has been appointed as the new chairman of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). He is from Meghalaya and was a UPSC member. Syiemlieh will assume charge on January 4, 2017 and retire on January 21, 2018. He will succeed Alka Sirohi, a retired IAS officer of the Madhya Pradesh cadre.
5. Prof. Shankar Balasubramanian, an Indian-origin British professor of chemistry and DNA expert at Cambridge University, has been honoured with the Queen Elizabeth II Knighthood for his work as a co-inventor of Next Generation DNA sequencing, described as the most transformational advance in biology and medicine for decades.
6. Justice Mian Saqib Nisar has been sworn-in as the new chief justice of Pakistan. He succeeded Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali. Prior to this appointment, Nisar was the judge of Lahore High Court.
7. The world-famous Bargarh Dhanua Jatra festival has started in Bargarh, the western Odisha town, as all the rituals were performed before Goddess Samaleswari, the presiding deity of the event. The 11-day gala event will set the stage for all mythological places related to Lord Krishna based in the ancient city itself. Bargarh becomes the Mathuranagari and Ambapalli area is staged as Gopapur, the parenting place of Krishna. Jeera River is considered as river Yamuna and Hatapada mandap is taken as the Raj darbar of king Kansa. The Dhanu Jatra is an annual drama-based open air theatrical performance celebrated within a 6 km radius in and around the Bargarh municipality. It is considered to be the world's largest open-air theatrical festival.
8. The Haj Committee of India (HCoI) is a statutory body of Union Ministry of Minority Affairs constituted under the Haj Committee Act, 2002 ( Act 35 of 2002). It makes arrangements for the Haj pilgrimage of Muslims in India. Recently, the Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs (Independent Charge) and Parliamentary Affairs, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has launched Haj Committee of India Mobile App at Haj House in Mumbai to encourage online applications to ensure fair opportunity for 2017 Haj pilgrimage with complete transparency and comfort. The features of the mobile app are such as applying for Haj, enquiry and information, news and updates and e-payment.
9. Tyrus Wong (106), the legendary Disney artist, has recently passed away in United States. He was best known for his sketches for the Walt Disney animated feature "Bambi". Wong was a Chinese-born American artist, whose vibrant paintings captured Walt Disney's eye and became the basis of the film's distinct style.
10. The 104th Indian Science Congress (ISC) has been inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 3, 2017 at the Sri Venkateswara University in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh. The focal theme of 5-day annual ISC is "Science and Technology for National Development".
11. Archana Nigam, an officer of the 1981 batch of the Indian Civil Accounts Service, is the newly appointed Controller General of Accounts in the Department of Expenditure under the Ministry of Finance. She succeeded M.J.Joseph. Prior to this appointment, Nigam was involved in the critical task of setting up of the accounting framework for the GST regime to be launched by Government in FY 17.
12. Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar, who led the five-judge constitution bench in the Supreme Court which had struck down the controversial NJAC Act for appointment of judges, has been sworn-in as the 44th Chief Justice of India (CJI) and will remain on the post till August 27, 2017. He is the first Chief Justice from the Sikh community, who succeeded Justice TS Thakur.
13. Finland has become the first country in the world to pay a basic income to randomly picked citizens on a national level. The aim of 2-year nationwide pilot scheme is to reduce poverty, motivate people to join work force and boost employment. For this, two thousand unemployed participants between the ages of 25 and 58 have been randomly picked from different parts of the country and will receive an unconditional monthly tax-free basic income of €560. The income will replace their existing social benefits and will be paid even if they find work.
14. India's first bus to run on human and animal waste is set to make debut on the Ultadanga to Garia route in Kolkata in March, 2017. A nominal fare of Rs. 1 would be charged for ferrying passengers on the 17.5km-long Ultadanga-Garia route, irrespective of the distance covered. The 12 biogas buses are expected to run on 12 routes in the city, including Ultadanga-Tollygunge and Ultadanga-Sector V (Salt Lake). The other 9 routes are yet to be finalized. The biogas is a mixture of gases produced by the breakdown of organic substances in the absence of oxygen. It is a renewable energy source and is produced from raw materials like animal and plant waste. It is non-toxic, colorless and flammable and can be used as fuel, for generating electricity and in cooking.
15. The 13th edition of Chitwan Elephant Festival was held at the Chitwan National Park in Kathmandu, Nepal from December 26-30, 2016 to promote tourism with the participation of over 50 elephants. The festival attracted about 20,000 domestic and foreign tourists.The 5-day event showcased elephant walk, elephant polo, elephant calf football, elephant beauty contest, elephant picnic and elephant painting. The annual event was organised by Regional Hotel Association Chitwan in order to bring humans closer with elephants, to encourage wildlife protection and conservation and to promote tourism in the region.
16. Google global CEO Sundar Pichai has recently launched "Digital Unlocked" a training program for Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) and startups to go digital in India in partnership with Ministry of Information and Technology and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) at a Google event in New Delhi.The purpose of the program is to empower upcoming and existing Indian SMBs with essential digital skills which will help them to get online and use internet so as to grow their business. Apart from this, Primer app and My Business Website were also launched to help SMEs to learn digital marketing skills.
17. Rajiv J Shah, the former head of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has been appointed as the new President of Rockefeller Foundation. He will succeed Judith Rodin, who has been President for 12 years. With this, Shah has become the youngest person and the first Indian-American to lead the group. The Rockefeller foundation donates $200 million every year towards improving health and well-being in Africa and aid economic development in impoverished areas and developing strategies to combat climate change. It was set up in 1913 by the oil tycoon John D Rockefeller in New York, United States.
18. The 25th New Delhi World Book Fair (NDWBF) will be held at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi from January 7-15, 2017. The 2017 theme is "Manushi – Books Written on and by Women", which will exhibit the rich tradition of women writings from ancient times till present. The focus of the Book Fair is on the 'Culture of Reading'. The book fair is organized by National Book Trust (NBT), India. The highlights of the fair will include 60 years of NBT history in the theme pavilion & children activities in the Children Pavilion including activities to celebrate Swami Vivekananda's birth anniversary as 'National Youth Day' on January 12, 2017. It will also include number of activities such as seminars, panel discussions, storytelling sessions, etc. About 20 countries including China, Egypt, France, Germany, Japan and Iran are participating in the Foreign Pavilion.
19. The 14th edition of Pravasi Bhartiya Divas (PBD) will be held in Bengaluru , Karnataka from January 7 to 9, 2017 on theme "Redefining Engagement with the Indian Diaspora". The Indian-origin Portugal Prime Minister, Dr. Antonio Costa will be the chief guest in the PBD convention. The PBD Convention is a very important platform for engagement of the Government of India (GoI) and the state governments with the overseas Indian community. The PBD has been held traditionally on 9th January every year to commemorate the return of Mahatma Gandhi as a Pravasi from South Africa to India.
20. The United Nations (UN) has declared 2017 as the "International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development" to celebrate and promote the contribution of the tourism sector to building a better world. The International Year aims to support a change in policies, business practices and consumer behavior towards a more sustainable tourism sector that can contribute effectively to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
21. The 30th International Kite Festival (Uttarayan) will be held in Gujarat from January 8 to 13, 2017. Apart from this, three other international kite festivals will be held in different parts of India viz. Telangana International Kite Festival will be held in Hyderabad on January 14 and 15, the Delhi International Kite Festival from January 16 to 17 and the Belgaum International Kite Festival from January 18 to 22. The festivals are organised by the State governments of Gujarat, Telangana, Delhi and Karnataka in association with India Tourism. Approx 35 international teams and five national teams will participate in both national and international categories in events such as kite making workshops, kite flying competitions, exhibition of huge kites and competition of sports and stunt kites.
22. The Islamic Military Alliance to Fight Terrorism (IMAFT) is an intergovernmental military alliance of 39 muslim countries, united around military intervention against ISIL and other counter-terrorist activities. Recently, it is in news because General Raheel Sharif , the recently retired Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) of Pakistan, has been appointed the new chief of IMAFT. The headquarters of the military alliance is at Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
23. Norway will become the world's first country to switch off FM radio network. The shutdown of the Frequency Modulation (FM) network, which was introduced in the 1950s, will begin on January 11, 2017 in the northern city of Bodo. By the end of the year, all national FM broadcasts will cease. According to the Norwegian government, the switch to radio digital will save money and allow national radio stations to invest more in radio content. The digitization will also improve the emergency preparedness system, facilitate increased competition and offer new opportunities for innovation and development.
24. The 9th edition of Jaipur International Film Festival (JIFF) has started in Jaipur on January 7, 2017.The purpose of the 5-day event is to promote emerging directors, encourage exchange of knowledge, information, ideas and culture between India and the participating nations. The festival will witness participation by 250 filmmakers and artistes from the fraternity. The festival will have 17 workshops and seminars on various aspects of cinema. This year's Life Time Achievement Award was presented to internationally acclaimed cine-visionary Ramesh Prasad, who is said to have created specialized post production facilities and established the Prasad Film Laboratory with advanced equipment.
25. "Moonlight", written and directed by Barry Jenkins, has won the best motion picture award at the 2017 Golden Globes awards in Beverly Hills, California. Beside this, "La La Land" a romantic musical comedy-drama film has won the seven awards and became the most winning film in Golden Globe Awards history and 6th overall to win each award including Best Director, Best Screenplay for Damien Chazelle and Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. Isabelle Huppert won the best actress in a motion picture – drama for "Elle" which was named the best foreign film. Actor Casey Affleck won the best actor in a motion picture for his moving performance in "Manchester By the Sea". The Golden Globe Awards is a major part of the film industry's awards season, which culminates each year with the Academy Awards or Oscars.
26. The 20th Edition of the National Conference for e-Governance 2016-17 has started in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. The theme of conference is 'Internet of Things and e-Governance' and will cover newly evolving areas of e-Governance across five plenary sessions such as 'IoT and Data Analytics', 'Cyber Security policy for the future', 'Digital Connectivity to the last mile', etc. This year's conference will feature an event based application which features a Virtual Assistant for attending delegates and a Virtual Reality video to showcase Andhra Pradesh's pioneering initiatives in the field of e-Governance. It is organized by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) and the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG), Government of India in partnership with Information Technology, Electronics and Communication (ITE&C) Department, Government of Andhra Pradesh.
27. Cristiano Ronaldo, the Portuguese professional footballer who plays for Spanish club Real Madrid and the Portugal national team, the Real Madrid and Portugal forward has won the Best FIFA Men's player award at the 2016 Best FIFA Football Awards in Zurich. Apart from this, Carli Lloyd of the United States was named the world's best female player. Leicester's Claudio Ranieri was named best men's coach, ex-Germany boss Silvia Neid won the female coach award, while Penang's Mohd Faiz Subri received the Puskas award for the best goal of 2016.
28. The 21st edition of National Youth Festival will be held in Rohtak, Haryana from 12th to 16th January, 2017. The 2017 theme of festival is "Youth for Digital India". The festival is organize every year to commemorate the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, the greatest Youth Icon from 12th to 16th January.
29. The World Bank has recently decelerated India's growth for fiscal FY 17 (2016-17 ) to 7.0% from its previous estimate of 7.6% due to demonetization, in its latest report. As per the report, an immediate withdrawal of a large volume of currency in circulation and subsequent replacement with new notes in November 2016 contributed to slowing growth. Further, the report stated that India would regain momentum in the subsequent years with 7.6 and 7.8% growth and various reform initiatives are expected to unlock domestic supply bottlenecks and raise productivity.
30. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has recently inaugurated the Nobel Prize Series India 2017 at the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit in Gandhinagar, Gujarat to stimulate innovation and creative thinking. The Nobel Prize Series will feature a 5-week long Science Exhibition, which is organized by the Department of Science and Technology (DST/DBT) and Nobel Media. It is the first-of-its-kind conclave of Nobel laureates to be held in India and approx 9 Nobel laureates are expected to attend the exhibition. This unique programme combines an exhibition, conference, lectures, roundtables and other meeting spaces.
31. The 2017 World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting will be held in Davos, Switzerland from January 17th to 20th under the theme "Responsive and Responsible Leadership". The purpose of the meeting is to improve the state of the world and discuss the most pressing issues facing the world. In this summit, filmmaker Karan Johar has been invited as one of the cultural leaders on this prolific platform.
32. The Jigme Dorji National Park is the 2nd largest National Park of Bhutan, which was named after Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, the 3rd Druk Gyalpo of Bhutan. The park stretches over 4316 km² and provides sanctuary for 37 known species of mammals viz. Snow leopard, clouded leopard, Bengal tiger, bharal or Himalayan blue sheep, etc. It is also the only park in Bhutan where the national animal (takin), flower (blue poppy), bird (raven) and tree (cypress) exist together.
33. The World Hindi Day (WHD) is observed every year on January 10 to promote Hindi across the world and to mark the anniversary of first World Hindi Conference (WHD)which was held in 1975.
34. The Indian hockey team captain, PR Sreejesh has become a member of International Hockey Federation Athletes' Committee. The committee consists of a total of 8 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. The FIH Athletes' Committee will also get to develop, collate, provide and promote resources for athletes on topics of direct concern including athlete health and welfare, career preparation and management, anti-doping, betting and match-fixing.
35. Daniel Ortega, a former rebel fighter, has been sworn-in for a 3rd consecutive term as President of Nicaragua with his wife Rosario Murillo as the new Vice President.
36. The "Festival of India" will be organised by Ghana from January 25 to March 16, 2017. The activities of the Festival include amalgamation of Indian classical dances, Sufi & Folk Music, and Saptarang – confluence of seven classical dance forms culminating in Vande Matram. To complete the experience, a Food Festival, Yoga and Meditation, Film Festival will also be organised during the Festival. The Festival events are being showcased in four cities of Accra, Kumasi, Cape Coast, Takoradi in Ghana.
37. India's second Kalvari-class Scorpene stealth submarine "INS Khanderi" has been launched at the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited in Mumbai, Maharashtra. It 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 surface. 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. Khanderi is also the name for Tiger Shark. The submarine is expected to be delivered to Indian Navy by the year end.
38. Natarajan Chandrasekaran, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Managing Director (MD) of TCS, has been appointed as the new chairman of Tata Sons. He'll be first non-Parsi chairman of Tata Sons and will take charge from Feb 21, 2017. His appointment comes after the Tata sons removed Cyrus Mistry as the Chairman. Chandrasekaran is only the third non-Tata after Nowroji Saklatwala and Cyrus Mistry to be named as Tata Sons chairman.
39. The Atlantic Council (AC) is a US-based think-tank to promote constructive leadership and engagement in international affairs based on the central role of the Atlantic Community in meeting think tank. The headquarters of Atlantic Council (AC) is located at Washington DC, United States. It is in news because Manish Tewari, the Congress leader and former Union Minister, has been appointed as the senior fellow of US-based think tank Atlantic Council.
40. Recently, the Airtel Payments Bank has officially launched its nationwide operations in all 29 states of India. It is the India's first payments bank and is a fully-digital and paper-free bank . In it, the accounts will be opened by using e-KYC for which customers' Aadhar number will be required. The bank is offering a 7.25% interest rate on savings accounts deposits and free personal accidental insurance cover of Rs. 1 Lac on every saving account. One can access the banking services by installing MyAirtel app on their smartphone or by registering online through Airtel site.
41. The Gujarat cricket team has won their first-ever Ranji Trophy title in the 2016–17 season after defeating Mumbai by 5 wickets in the final at the Holkar stadium in Indore, Madhya Pradesh. The 2016–17 Ranji Trophy was the 83rd season of the Ranji Trophy, the premier first-class cricket tournament in India.
42. The International conference for peace talks between Israel and Palestinians will be held in Paris, France. The delegates from 70 nations are expected to re-affirm support for a two-state solution to the decades-old conflict. Palestinians welcomed the conference, but Israel called it rigged. Neither side was invited to participate in the day-long summit, which was attended by 70 nations, but they were invited to hear the conclusions. Israel and the Palestinians have been invited to hear the conclusions of the conference, but not to participate in the summit itself. The last round of direct peace talks collapsed amid acrimony in April 2014. The conference comes at a time of tension between Israel and the international community after the UN passed a resolution in December 2016 to denounce Israel's settlement activity on occupied land.
43. The committee under the chairmanship of professor Timothy Gonsalves has recently recommended reservation for girl students in IITs to address the issue of slump in the number of female students entering the prestigious institutes. The recommendation of the committee will be taken up in the meeting of the Joint Admission Board (JAB) for a final decision, which will decide whether the reservation will come in effect from 2017 or from 2018. The number of seats for male candidates will not be affected and this will help IITs achieve the one lakh target by 2020. Also, only candidates who have already qualified in JEE-Advanced will be considered.
44. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has downgraded India's GDP growth forecast for FY 17 to 6.6% against its earlier estimate of 7.6% currencies in its updated flagship publication "World Economic Outlook (WEO)" due to Indian government's move to demonetize high-value currencies. Apart from this, in the updated WEO report, the IMF has expected India's growth rate at 7.2% in 2017-18 and 7.7% in 2018-19. The report stated that India's GDP growth forecast downgraded due to the temporary negative consumption shock induced by cash shortages and payment disruptions associated with the recent currency note withdrawal and exchange initiative.
45. The world's biggest cricket stadium will come up at Motera area in Ahmedabad, Gujarat with a seating capacity of 1.10 lakh people. The stadium is designed by world renowned architect firm M/s. Populous and the construction award has been given to Larsen and Turbo (L&T). The stadium will be operational in two years time and will be constructed at a cost of Rs 700 crore. The new stadium will be spread across a 63 acre land in Motera where the existing Motera Stadium has been demolished. The stadium will have 76 corporate boxes, four dressing rooms, a club house and an Olympic-size swimming pool.
46. India has been ranked 92nd out of 118 nations in the 2017 Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI). The global index measures how countries grow, attract and retain talent. The list is topped by Switzerland, followed by Singapore, United Kingdom (UK), United States, Sweden and Australia. The 2017 report explores the effect of technological change on talent competitiveness and noted that while jobs at all levels continue to be replaced by machines, technology is also creating new opportunities.
47. Rajeev Singh, the member (finance) in Prasar Bharati Board, will become the new interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Prasar Bharti after S C Panda retires on February 2017. Panda has been serving as interim CEO since November 2016, after full time chief Jawhar Sircar resigned in October 2016.
48. Kapil Dev, the Cricket icon and former Indian skipper, has been inducted into Legends Club 'Hall of Fame' at the Cricket Club of India in Mumbai, Maharashtra. He was presented with a citation by former India player and Legends Club president Madhav Apte. Kapil Dev, who led India to the emphatic World Cup victory in 1983, is considered one of the India's greatest all-rounders.
49. Antonio Tajani, an Italian politician, has been elected president of the European Parliament. He succeeded Germany's Martin Schulz and will head the parliament for the next two-and-a-half years. Before this, he was one of the fourteen vice-presidents of the European Parliament and the European Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship, and was also one of the vice-presidents of the European Commission.
50. Kiran Doshi, a retired diplomat and educationist from Gujarat, has won the prestigious award "The Hindu Prize 2016" for his Partition-themed political novel "Jinnah Often Came to Our House". The novel is set against the political turmoil of the subcontinent from the early part of the 20th century, ending with the Partition and Independence. The award carries a citation and a cash prize of Rs.5 lakh.
51. Mawlynnong village, which is termed as Asia's cleanest village, is located at the East Khasi Hills district of the Meghalaya. It is famous for its cleanliness and natural attraction. Mawlynnong was awarded the prestigious tag of 'Cleanest Village in Asia' in 2003 by Discover India Magazine. Approx 500 tourists across India and abroad visit the village daily. To maintain its reputation as clean village, all 550 villagers carry cleanliness drive on every Saturday. Through cleanliness, the villagers have created opportunities to earn money as the village has become tourists' prime destination in North East.
52. India has officially become an associate member of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) after the Indian government completed internal approval procedures on the agreement it signed in November 2016. With this membership, India will enhance participation of young Indian scientists and engineers in various CERN projects and bring back knowledge for deployment in the domestic programmes. It will also open opportunities for Indian industries to participate directly in the CERN project. The CERN operates the largest particle physics laboratory in the world and the headquarters is located at Geneva, Switzerland.
53. India has been ranked 60th out of 79 developing economies in the World Economic Forum (WEF)'s Inclusive Development Index (IDI) for the year 2017. The list is topped by Lithuania, followed by Azerbaijan and Hungary. The IDI indicator determines the development and prosperity of a country based on 12 performance parameters and three major pillars – Growth and Development, Inclusion and Inter-generational Equity, and Sustainability.
54. The International Vaccine Institute (IVI) is an international non-profit i.e. devoted to developing and introducing new and improved vaccine to protect the people, especially children, against deadly infectious diseases. The headquarters of IVI is located in Seoul, South Korea. It is in news because the Union Cabinet has recently 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.
55. The Union Minister of Railway, Suresh Prabhu has recently launched "Mission 41K" to save Rs. 41,000 crore on the Indian Railways' expenditure on energy consumption over the next 10 years. This target will be achieved by taking a slew of measures which include moving 90% of traffic to electric traction over diesel. Presently, this is at 50% of the total rail traffic. The launch of this programme was undertaken at a Roundtable Discussion on Energy Initiatives of Indian Railways with external stakeholders. The railways also aim to procure more and more electricity at cheaper rates through open market instead of sourcing it through DISCOMs and thereby hope to save as much as 25% on its energy expenses.
56. As per latest report of United Nations World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2017, India's GDP growth forecast for FY 17 has been projected to 7.7% and 7.6% for FY 18 (2017-18). Though, the report cautioned that low capacity utilization and stressed balance sheets of banks and businesses will prevent a strong investment revival in the short term.
57. Verma Alok Kumar Verma, a 1979-batch IPS officer, has been selected as the new chief of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) by the 3-member committee headed by PM Narendra Modi. The post of CBI director was lying vacant since the retirement of Anil Sinha on December 2, 2016. Presently, Verma is the Delhi Police Commissioner. At present, Gujarat-cadre IPS officer Rakesh Asthana is the interim director of CBI.
58. The Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) member-States has recently finalised MoU for cooperation in Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME) sector in New Delhi. Around 29 delegates from 14 IORA attended the 2-day workshop to finalise the MoU. The member countries agreed to have a common MoU to help each other in the development in SMEs in the region. The focus areas of the MoU are to finalise linkages and alliances amongst SMEs organizations, associations and various institutions engaged in SME development in their countries. The IORA is an international organisation consisting of coastal states bordering the Indian Ocean. It is a regional forum, tripartite in nature, bringing together representatives of Government, Business and Academia, for promoting co-operation and closer interaction among them. The headquarters of the IORA is located at Ebene city, Mauritius.
59. India's technology centre, Bengaluru has become the most dynamic city out of 137 cities as per the 4th annual edition of JLL City Momentum Index (CMI) 2017. The other cities that made to the top 10 list are: Ho chi Minh City (2-Vietnam ), followed by Silicon valley (USA), Shanghai (China), Hyderabad (India), London (UK), Austin (USA), Hanoi (Vietnam), Boston (USA) and Nairobi (Kenya). According to the index released by the Chicago-based cities research centre, JLL measures population, connectivity, technology, research & development, education, construction, real estate investment and property prices as the main criteria for choosing the most dynamic cities. Other Indian cities in the list are Hyderabad at 5th position, Pune (13), Chennai (18), Delhi (23) and Mumbai (25).
60. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of United Arab Emirates (UAE), will be the Chief Guest for the 2017 Republic Day of India. He will be accompanied by a high-level delegation, including Ministers, senior officials and captains of industry.
61. The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) is a self-regulatory voluntary organization of the advertising industry in India. It is a non-Government body and it's headquarters is located at Mumbai, Maharashtra. It is in news because Ministry of AYUSH and ASCI has recently signed MoU to co-regulate misleading advertisements in the AYUSH sector.
62. INS Vikramaditya, the largest warship and latest aircraft carrier of the Indian Navy, has become the India's first-ever warship to have ATM on board. The ATM on the ship docked at the naval base at Karwar will be operated by the State Bank of India (SBI) and will cater to over 1,500 personnel and officers deployed on the ship. The facilities offered by the SBI to the ship include cash withdrawals, generation of mini-statements, access to bank balance details and change of PIN numbers. In future, the facility will be upgraded to a recycler machine with a cash deposit facility. Additionally, facilities like cash transfer, card-to-card transfer, credit card payment, mobile number registration and updation would also be available. The Russian- built INS Vikramaditya was commissioned in Indian Navy in November 2013.
63. Praful Patel, the President of All India Football Federation (AIFF), has been appointed as a new member of FIFA's Finance Committee for the period of 2017-2021. The FIFA finance committee monitors the financial management and advises the FIFA executive committee on financial matters and asset management. It also analyses the FIFA budgets and the financial statements prepared by the FIFA general secretary and submits them to the FIFA executive committee for approval.
64. The National Voters' Day is celebrated every year in India on January 25 every year to mark the foundation day of Election Commission of India (ECI). The significance of this day is to encourage youngsters, who have reached the age of 18, of the country to participate in the electoral process, by enrolling or registering themselves in electoral rolls and to exercise their franchise.
65. Sushmita Sen, the former Miss Universe and Bollywood actress, will be on the judging panel at the 65th edition of Miss Universe pageant-2017 pageant. Sen was the first Indian to win the crown. This year, Roshmitha Harimurthy will represent India at this prestigious contest, which will take place on January 30, 2017 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines.
66. Indian ace shuttler Saina Nehwal has won the 2017 Malaysia Masters Grand Prix Gold Badminton tournament by defeating Thailand's Pornpawee Chochuwong in the final by 22-20, 22-20 at the Sibu Indoor Stadium in Sarawak, Malaysia.
67. Recently, Mauritian Prime Minister Sir Jugnauth (86) has officially handed his resignation from the post to President Ameenah Gurib Fakim due to his advanced age and handed over power to his son Pravind despite anger from the opposition which has called for new elections in the island nation. With this, Pravind Jugnauth has become the new Prime Minister of Mauritius on January 23, 2017. Pravind is the leader of the Mouvement Socialiste Militant (MSM), which is the largest party in the National Assembly since December 2014.
68. The National Girl Child Day is celebrated every year on January 24 in India to raise the awareness among people about all the inequalities faced by the girl child in the society.
69. The iconic Eden Gardens stadium at Kolkata will become the first Indian stadium to have stands named after the war heroes. The Cricket Association of Bengal President Sourav Ganguly stated that two stands will be dedicated to soldiers and will be renamed after the India and England final ODI on January 22, 2017. Indian Army, which owns the land on which the stadium is located, is yet to finalise the names, which will be unveiled before the next international match.
70. The technology giant Apple has been named as the most innovative company of 2016, as per Boston Consulting Group (BCG) 2016 analysis. In the list of world's 50 most innovative companies, Google has been ranked second, followed by Tesla Motors, Microsoft, Amazon, Netflix, Samsung, Toyota, Facebook and IBM. The 11th annual survey of BCG underscores how the world's most innovative companies have learned how to create entirely new business models faster than competitors, translating that speed into global scale.
71. The satellite "Aoba Velox-III" has become the first Singapore satellite which has successfully been launched into space from the International Space Station (ISS). The Aoba Velox-III is a joint project between Singapore's Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Japan's Kyushu Institute of Technology (Kyutech). It is a 110-metre habitable human-made satellite that orbits the Earth and can stay in space for 6 months. The satellite will be used to conduct several tests, including on a made-in-NTU micro-propulsion system, a new wireless communication system developed by Kyutech and consumer-grade electronic components in space.
72. Goa will become the first Indian state to opt for electronic transmission of postal ballot to service voters in the upcoming elections. The returning officers will transfer the postal ballots to service voters by electronic means so that the service voters can download it, fill it and send it via e-mail to returning officer. Notably, Goa has 822 service voters working in defence, paramilitary or diplomatic missions. Apart from this, Goa would also be the first Indian state where all assembly constituencies will be covered by Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines.
73. The N K Singh committee has recently submitted its report on revising the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) act to the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his office in North Block in New Delhi. The Union Government will examine the report and take appropriate action. The committee examined the need and feasibility of having a 'fiscal deficit range'as the target in place of the existing fixed percentage of GDP and make specific recommendations. It also examined the need and feasibility of aligning the fiscal expansion or contraction with credit contraction or expansion respectively in the economy.
74. The 10th edition of the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF)-2017 was held in Jaipur, Rajasthan from January 19, 2017 with the theme is "Freedom to dream: India at 70". The festival offered lively debates around modern India in the context of its history and future. In the 5-day festival, approx 250 authors, thinkers, politicians, journalists and popular culture icons participated.
75. The Ministry of Women and Child Development has celebrated the National Girl Child Day at a special function in New Delhi with the theme "Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao (BBBP)" on January 24, 2017. The event culminated by regional performances in Hindi, Punjabi, Rajasthani and Malayalam languages by professional troupes of Song and Drama Division. The day is celebrated every year on January 24 in India to raise the awareness among people about all the inequalities faced by the girl child in the society.
76. The Nagarhole National Park is a national park located in Kodagu district and Mysore district in Karnataka. It is also known as Rajiv Gandhi National Park. The park has rich forest cover, small streams, hills, valleys and waterfalls and has a healthy predator-prey ratio, with many tigers, Indian bison and elephants.
77. The Delhi International Airport (Private) Limited (DIAL) has won the "Golden Peacock Award" for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in the transportation sector under the Aviation category for the year 2016. The Delhi Airport has also been adjudged the world's number one airport in ACI ASQ survey in 25- 40 Million Passengers Per Annum (MPPA) category for two consecutive years – 2014 and 2015.
78. Japan has successfully launched its first-ever military communications satellite "Kirameki -2" from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's (JAXA) Tanegashima Space Center with the help of H-2A carrier rocket to boost the broadband capacity of its Self Defence Forces (SDF). The purpose of the satellite is to improve communications infrastructure via providing a direct high-speed connection between the ground, naval and air forces of Japan. The satellite will cover the area of the Indian Ocean and is set to be used by the Japanese UN peacekeepers in South Sudan and against Somalian sea pirates. The Kirameki-2 is an X-band communications satellite with a 15-year lifespan built by DSN Corporation for the Japanese Ministry of Defense.
79. The world's largest solar park has been built at the Longyangxia Dam in the western province of Qinghai in China. The Longyangxia Dam Solar Park occupies 27 sq km and built at a cost of about 6bn yuan. The solar park can produce about 850 MW of power in Qinghai province.
80. Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, has been bestowed with the Venezuela's first-ever Hugo Chavez Prize for Peace and Sovereignty for his fight for peace. Putin received miniature replica of Chavez statue. The new peace prize was created by the president of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro in honour of the late socialist leader Hugo Chavez.
81. Pakistan has successfully conducted the first flight test of a new nuclear-capable surface-to-surface ballistic missile "Ababeel" on 24th January 2017, which has a maximum range of 2,200 km. The missile can carry both conventional and nuclear warheads and is claimed to use Multiple Independently Targetable Reentry Vehicles (MIRV).The purpose of Ababeel is to ensure survivability of Pakistan's ballistic missiles in the growing regional Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) environment in reference to the Indian Prithvi and Ashwin BMD systems.
82. Lalchungnunga (15), the football player from Mizoram, has been chosen to train at Germany's top division football league "Bundesliga" for six years. Lalchungnunga is one of the state's many budding footballers whose talent has received a boost from the Tata Trust's football academies in the region. The footballer was scouted to train with the Bundesliga from one of these institutes, set up as part of a special MoU between Tata Trust and the Mizoram government to enhance local sports talents.
83. Havaldar Hangpan Dada has been bestowed with the highest peacetime military decoration award "Ashok Chakra" posthumously by the President Pranab Mukherjee on the 68th Republic Day of India for his selfless service to the nation. He was killed at Naugam sector in Jammu and Kashmir in May 2016 while fighting terrorists. The award was received by his wife Chasen Lowang Dada.
84. Shekhar Naik, the captain of Indian Blind Cricket team, has been selected for 2017 Padma Shri award. The announcement of Naik getting the honour came as India is all set to host the 2nd T20 Blind Cricket World Cup from January 29 to February 12 with 10 countries participating.
85. India has been ranked 79th out of 176 nations by the Berlin-based corruption watchdog Transparency International (TI) in its latest Corruption Perception Index (CPI) for the year 2016. The list is topped by two nations "Denmark and New Zealand" and is followed by Finland, Sweden and Switzerland. The ranks are based on a scoring system that ranges between 0 (public sector perceived as highly corrupt) to 100 (public sector perceived as very clean). The index was complied by using World Bank data, the World Economic Forum (WEF) and other institutions.
86. Serena Williams, an American professional tennis player, has won the 2017 Women's singles Australian Open tennis tournament by defeating her sister Venus Williams in the final by 6-4, 6-4 to win her 23rd Grand Slam singles title. With this win, Serena stands just one Slam away from matching Margaret Court's record of 24 Slams while eclipsing the record of Steffi Graf with 22.
87. Recently, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully ground tested India's first indigenously developed high thrust cryogenic rocket engine "C25" for the rocket GSLV-Mark-III in its Propulsion Complex at Mahendragiri in southern Tamil Nadu. This cryogenic engine of C25 Stage operates on Gas Generator Cycle using extremely low temperature propellants – Liquid Hydrogen (LH2) at 20 Kelvin (-253 deg C) and Liquid Oxygen (LOX) at 80K (-193 deg C). The GSLV-Mark-III rocket fitted with the cryogenic upper stage is expected to lift off 4-tonne class communication satellite in mid-2017.
88. Vijay Pandurang Bhatkar, a technocrat who is considered the father of the Indian Supercomputer, has been appointed the new Vice-Chancellor of Nalanda University, Rajgir, in Bihar. He will hold the office for a 3-year period from the date of his appointment as per the Nalanda University Act, Sec 11(3). Bhatkar succeeded Gopa Sabharwal who resigned on November 2016, followed by the resignation of Chancellor George Yeo, after the dissolution of the Mentor Group which functioned as the governing body of the university.
89. The Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has reconstituted Target Olympic Podium (TOP) committee with the purpose of identifying and supporting potential medal prospects for 2020 and 2024 Olympic Games under the TOP scheme. The committee will be headed by Abhinav Bindra, an Olympic Gold Medalist. The committee will select elite athletes to provided financial assistance for their customized training at Institutes having world class facilities and other necessary support. It will decide on its own procedures and will be competent to invite subject experts as and when required. The initial tenure of the committee is one year.
90. The Swiss professional tennis player, Roger Federer has won his 18th Grand Slam trophy by winning the 2017 Men's singles Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne by defeating Rafael Nadal of Spain by 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3. It was Federer's first major title win after the 2012 Wimbledon. Beside this, Federer (35) has also become the second-oldest winner of a Grand Slam tournament in the Open Era after Australian Ken Rosewall won the Australian title at the age of 37 in 1972.
91. The world's first-ever digital ambassador has been created by Denmark that will work on building ties with the global tech giants like Google, Apple, IBM and Microsoft. The new appointment will be a tech liaison and reflect a diplomatic power shift between the established nations and privately-owned unions.
92. Iris Mittenaere, a dental student from France, has been crowned the new Miss Universe 2016 at the annual pageant at the Mall of Asia Arena in Metro Manila, Philippines on January 30, 2017. She is the 2nd Miss Universe from France after Christiane Martel, who won elected Miss Universe 1953.
93. Amulya Kumar Patnaik, the 1985 batch of IPS officer, has been appointed as the new Commissioner of Delhi Police. He succeeded Alok Kumar Verma, who has been appointed as the new chief of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
94. Moussa Faki Mahamat, the former Prime Minister of Chad, has been appointed as the new chairperson of the African Union Commission. He succeeded Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. The Commission of the African Union (AU) acts as the administrative branch or secretariat of the AU and is headquarters is located at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
95. The Economic Survey for 2016-17, which is recently tabled by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in Parliament, has expected India's GDP growth forecast to be in 6.75 % to 7.5% for FY 18. The range comes due to uncertainties in the world, including protectionist tendencies. The GDP growth rate at constant market prices for the current year FY 17 (2016-17) has projected at 7.1% in the survey.The survey highlights difficulties in privatizing public enterprises, even for firms where economists have made strong arguments that they belong in the private sector. In this context, the Survey points towards the need to further privatize the Civil Aviation, Banking and Fertilizer sectors. The survey was prepared by the finance ministry's chief economic adviser Arvind Subramanian.
96. Vinod Rai, the former Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), has been appointed as the new chief of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) by the Supreme Court of India (SCI). Rai will head the 4-member committee of administrators to run the affairs of the BCCI. The committee consists of former women cricket captain Diana Edulji, historian Ramachandra Guha and IDFC CEO Vikram Lamaye. Apart from this, Amitabh Chaudhary of BCCI and Vikram Limaye will represent the Indian cricket board at the International Cricket Council (ICC) meeting in February 2017.
97. The Income Tax Department (ITD) has recently launched "Operation Clean Money" to track deposits post demonetisation. The initial phase of the operation involves e-verification of large cash deposits made during 9th November to 30th December 2016. In the first phase of verification, approx 18 lakh accounts have been identified where tax-paying profile does not match with the income of account holders. ITD has enabled online verification of these transactions to reduce compliance cost for the taxpayers while optimising its resources. The information in respect of these cases is being made available in the e-filing window of the PAN holder (after log in) at the portal https://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in. The PAN holder can view the information using the link Cash Transactions 2016 under Compliance section of the portal. The taxpayer will be able to submit online explanation without any need to visit Income Tax office.
98. The Rajiv Gandhi National Aviation University (RGNAU) is an autonomous public central university located in the Fursatganj Airfield, Rae Bareli, Uttar Pradesh. It is in news because RGNAU in collaboration with US-India Aviation Cooperation Programme is launching its first Executive Development Programme on February 2, 2017. The programme will be delivered by highly-learned experts in the aviation sector and shall cover key topics such as Next Generation Transportation Systems, Airport Planning, Air Traffic Flow Management, Safety and Security and Sustainability in Aviation.The programme will help senior professionals keep abreast with latest trends in the sector. The programme will also provide a platform for active exchange of ideas on opportunities and challenges in the areas of growth and development of Indian aviation sector.