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AWARDS & HONOURS
1. Sexy Durga 1st Indian film to win Rotterdam fest jury award
‘Sexy Durga’ by Malayalam filmmaker Sanal Sasidharan became the first Indian film to win the Hivor Tiger Award at International Film Festival of Rotterdam. The award also includes a cash prize of ₹28.9 lakh (40,000 euros). Shot without a script in 20 days, the film is about a couple who elopes at night and hitches a ride with four men.
2. CBDT signs four unilateral Advance Pricing Agreements
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has announced signing of four more unilateral Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs) on 6th February, 2017. The four APAs signed pertain to the manufacturing, financial and Information Technology sectors of the economy. The international transactions covered in these agreements include contract manufacturing, IT enabled services and software development services.
3. Assam Government launches Chief Minister Samagra Gramya Unnayan Yojana
Assam Government has launched Chief Minister Samagra Gramya Unnayan Yojana (CMSGUY) to bring about paradigm shift towards holistic development of villages in the state. The scheme is a mega mission aimed at bringing in revolutionary changes by doubling the farm income in the State. As per Situation Assessment Survey (period from 2002-03 to 2012-13), the farm income in Assam was recorded only 0.88% as against national average of 5.2%.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
4. 1st stable compound of chemically inactive helium confirmed
Helium, considered to be a chemically inert and unreactive gas due to its extremely stable and closed-shell electronic configuration, has been confirmed to form a stable compound (Na2He) with sodium under high pressure. These findings were so unexpected that it took more than two years to convince science reviewers and editors to publish their results, said the lead researcher.
5. Neurocalyx calycinus plant possesses medicinal values
A medicinal plant endemic to the southern parts of Western Ghats and Sri Lanka could offer scientists the key to new herbal formulations and modern drugs for the treatment of cancer and wounds and burns.
Scientists at the Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute (JNTBGRI) here have confirmed the multiple therapeutic properties of Neurocalyx calycinus used by the Cholanaickan tribe, one of the particularly vulnerable groups in Kerala, to treat inflammations and wounds.
6. E-pills that can monitor patient health
MIT scientists have developed a small battery that runs on stomach acids and could power next-generation ingestible electronic pills which may monitor patient health or treat diseases by residing in the gastrointestinal tract for extended periods of time.The device may offer a safer and lower-cost alternative to the traditional batteries now used to power such devices.
7. Prez Duterte threatens Philippines rebels with air strikes
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has warned that the military is ready to respond with air strikes if Maoist rebels launch attacks. This comes after both sides lifted ceasefires and Duterte announced to end peace talks after the guerrillas killed six soldiers and kidnapped two others. Duterte had pledged to end the communist insurgency which has claimed over 40,000 lives.
8. China becomes world’s largest producer of solar power
China has surpassed Germany to become the world’s largest producer of solar energy after nearly doubling its installed photovoltaic capacity in 2016. With the increased capacity, China generated 66.2 billion kilowatt-hours of energy last year, which however accounted for only 1% of its electrical output. The country further plans to double its current solar energy capacity by 2020.
9. Nepal to host 4th BIMSTEC Summit 2017
The fourth edition of BIMSTEC Summit-2017 will be held in Nepal. It was announced in the 17th session of BIMSTEC Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) held in Kathmandu, capital Nepal. The BIMSTEC is the sub-regional group of seven countries in South Asia and South East Asia lying in the littoral and adjacent areas of the Bay of Bengal constituting a contiguous regional unity. They are India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka from South Asia and Myanmar, Thailand from South East Asia.
10. Russia banned from World Athletics Championships in London
Russia faces almost certain expulsion from this summer’s World Athletics Championships in London after an IAAF task force investigating the country’s efforts at reform following a series of doping scandals recommended that it should not return until November 2017.
Russian athletes will be allowed to compete under a neutral flag in the world championships provided they can prove to the IAAF that they have been tested regularly outside Russia.
11. Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s driver Nizamuddin dies at 116
Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s driver and INA veteran ‘Colonel’ Nizamuddin died in his native village of Dhakwa in Azamgarh after a prolonged illness. Born in 1901, Nizamuddin was over 116 years old. He is survived by his wife Ajbul Nisha, three sons and two daughters. His youngest son Sheikh Akram was by his side when the end came in the early hours today.
‘Colonel’ Nizamuddin, who had served in the Indian National Army from 1943-45, had proclaimed himself as one of the most trusted lieutenants of Netaji.