AWARDS AND HONOURS
- British-Indian professor receives knighthood from Queen
Shankar Balasubramanian, an Indian-origin British professor of chemistry and DNA expert at Cambridge University, has received a Knighthood along with Olympic stars Andy Murray and Mo Farah among others by Queen Elizabeth II for their contributions.
Prof. Balasubramanian (50), Herchel Smith Professor of Medicinal Chemistry at Cambridge University, has been recognised for his work as a co-inventor of Next Generation DNA sequencing, described as the most transformational advance in biology and medicine for decades.
- Bharatiya Jananpith announces Navlekhan award 2016
Two new Hindi writers Shraddha and Ghyansham Kumar Devansh have been chosen for Bharatiya Jnanpith Navlekhan Award for the year 2016, the literary organisation announced. The decision to confer the award on Shraddha for her short story, ‘Hawa Mein Phadphadati Chitthi’ and on Devansh for his poem ‘Akash Mein Deh’ was taken unanimously by a selection panel chaired by eminent poet Vishnu Nagar.
- Rajasthani litterateur Satya Narayan to be awarded BihariPuraskar 2016
Eminent Rajasthani litterateur Satya Narayan has been chosen for the 26th Bihari Puraskar, 2016 for his Hindi book titled, “Yeh Ek Dunia”, the K K Birla Foundation announced. Instituted in 1991 by the Foundation, the award which is named after famous Hindi poet Bihari, recognises outstanding work in Hindi or Rajasthani, published during the last ten years by a Rajasthani writer.
- Britain’s Andy Murray conferred with Knighthood
Andy Murray’s magnificent 2016 has been rewarded in grand style as he was conferred the Knighthood in the New Year’s honours list in Britain. It has been a magnificent year for Murray as he won the Wimbledon title for the second time and defended the Olympic gold medal in Rio 2016 by defeating Argentina’s Juan martin del Potro.
- Kohli named India’s Sportsperson of 2016 in India Today poll
Test captain Virat Kohli has emerged as India’s Sportsperson of the Year 2016 in a poll conducted by India. Kohli, with 44.18% votes, pipped badminton ace PV Sindhu (31.51%) for the top spot while star all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin came third with 13.83% of the votes. Paralympian Deepa Malik, wrestler Sakshi Malik and Paralympian Devendra Jhajharia completed the list of athletes.
- Former Home Secretary Anil Baijal takes oath as Delhi L-G
Former union home secretary Anil Baijal has took oath as the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi at Raj Niwas. The oath was administered by Delhi High Court’s Chief Justice G. Rohini. President Pranab Mukherjee earlier on December 28 accepted Najeeb Jung’s resignation and approved Baijal’s name as the next Lieutenant Governor of the National Capital Territory. Baijal, a 1969 batch India Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the Union Territories cadre, was removed as union home secretary when the UPA government assumed power in May 2004.
- Telangana’s 2nd International Kite Festival – 12 to 17 Jan
Telangana International Kite Festival (TIKF), is a family fun festival celebrating Sankranthi from 12th-17th January 2017.Telangana Tourism and Incredible India are joining hands with Aga Khan Academy to profile the longstanding regional tradition of kite-flying and the unique culture, crafts and cuisine of Telangana through an exciting festival program for schools, children, families and kite-flying enthusiasts of all ages.
- Arunachal CM Pema Khandu, 32 other PPA MLAs join BJP
The BJP came to power in Arunachal Pradesh has without having to win an election as chief minister Pema Khandu switched loyalties twice in three months to give the saffron party its second government in the Northeast, after Assam.
The country’s easternmost state plunged into a political crisis two days ago when the 37-year-old Khandu and six legislators were suspended by the ruling Peoples’ Party of Arunachal (PPA), a regional outfit that he had joined from the Congress in September.
- India’s 1st transgender school opens in Kerala
India’s first transgender school opened in Kochi. The school, named Sahaj International, was inaugurated by transgender activist, writer and actor Kalki Subramaniam at Thrikkakara in Kerala’s Ernakulam district. This alternative learning centre works in collaboration with National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS). The school, the first of its kind in the country, is expected to go a long way in ensuring equal opportunities for transgenders who have dropped out from school. The new learning centre will help them continue their education and appear for Class X and XII examinations.
- Safety record of Air Traffic Control comparable to best: AAI
The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has defended the safety record of Air Traffic Control (ATC) at all airports in the country as being very good and comparable to the best in the world.
At times, it may not be possible to eliminate human error, whether it is aviation or other industries, but continuous efforts are being made by the Airports Authority of India to offset such human errors through Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), recurrent training to the controllers and introducing technology.
- NRIs can exchange demonetised notes till June 30
President Pranab Mukherjee approved an ordinance allowing more time for non-resident Indians (NRIs) to deposit their old notes and imposing stiff fines on residents holding or trading in demonetized currency.
According to the Specified Bank Notes (Cessation of Liabilities) Ordinance, 2016, NRIs have been given time till June 30 to deposit their old notes but any individual returning to India from abroad will have to make a declaration to customs authority at the airport about the number and denomination of the specified bank notes (SBNs) or junked currency he or she is carrying.
- President approves ordinance criminalising holding of old notes
The government has made holding, transfer and receiving of the demonetised note a criminal offence, punishable with a minimum fine of Rs 10,000. This follows President Pranab Mukherjee approving promulgation of the Specified Bank Notes (Cessation of Liabilities) Ordinance, 2016, that provides for a fine of Rs 10,000 or five times the cash held, whichever is higher, on holding of more than 10 banned 1,000 and 500 rupee notes.
- Apple to start making iPhones in India from April
Apple’s Taiwanese manufacturing partner Wistron is setting up a plant at Peenya in Bangalore to manufacture or assemble iPhones for the tech giant, a report in Times of India said. While Apple declined to comment on the news, the report quoted industry sources as saying that production at the plant will start as early as April 2017.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
- Trial run of India’s first 700 MW nuclear reactor in 2017
The trial run of India’s first 700 MW pressurised heavy water reactor (PHWR) coming up at Kakrapar is expected to take place sometime in mid-2017, said a senior official of the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL). India’s atomic power plant operator NPCIL is building four 700 MW PHWRs — two each at Kakrapar Atomic Power Station (KAPS) in Gujarat and Rajasthan Atomic Power Station (RAPS) in Rajasthan.
BANKING AND FINANCE
- RBI extends period of enhanced PPI limit
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has extended the period of enhanced Prepaid Payment Instruments (PPI) limit of Rs20,000 as part of efforts to promote digital payments. Considering that the bank is undertaking a comprehensive review of the guidelines and framework for Prepaid Payment Instruments (PPI) issuance in the country, it has been decided to extend the measures till the completion of review of the PPI guidelines,
- 7-year-old Kush creates history in Youth Chess Championship
Mumbai prodigy Kush Bhagat has won all three gold medals on offer in the 1st Western Asia Youth Chess Championship that concluded in Al Ain Chess Club, UAE. The second standard student of the NSS Hill Spring International School reigned supreme in all the three categories – rapid, blitz and standard — and achieved the feat of being the only Indian to bag all the crowns in the competition.
- Karjakin pips Magnus Carlsen to win World Blitz Chess Championship
Sergey Karjakin has turned the tables on rival grandmaster Magnus Carlsen, winning the World Blitz chess championship in Doha, Qatar. It happened exactly two months after their duel in the classical World Chess Championship ended in a narrow victory for the Norwegian.
- Former Union Minister Balasaheb Vikhe Patil passes away
Former Union Minister and Congress leader Eknathrao alias ‘Balasaheb’ Vikhe Patil passed away. He was 84. Born on April 10, 1932, Balasaheb Vikhe Patil first entered the Lok Sabha in 1971 from Ahmednagar district and continued to represent Kopargaon Lok Sabha constituency for the next 20 years. He received the Padma Bhushan in 2010.