AWARDS AND HONOURS
Petroleum Ministry receives Silver Award for Excellence in Citizen Centric Services
Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas and the Oil Marketing Companies Indian Oil, HPCL and BPCL collectively received silver Award for Excellence in Citizen Centric Services in the National Awards on e-Governance 2016-17 in Vishakhapatnam.
The award is in recognition of the achievements of the Ministry and OMCs for significant innovations in the area of e-governance and various initiatives for the LPG sector like Sahaj (online issue of new connections), online refill payment, etc.
Sex ratio in Haryana touches 900-mark for first time in 20 years
Haryana achieved a sex ratio of 900 girls as against 1000 boys in 2016. Sex ratio at birth in the State this past year touched the 900-mark for the first time in almost two decades.
This improvement was made possible due to effective implementation of the law against illegal sex-determination and female foeticide.
In January 2015 Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched the ambitious “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” campaign against female foeticide in Panipat.
The SLNP is being implemented by state-run Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a joint venture under the Ministry of Power. The SLNP programme is presently running in Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Tripura, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Goa, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan.
January 10: World Hindi Day
The World Hindi Day is being observed on 10 January. On this occasion, Union Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has conducted special events to spread the greatness of the language through its missions abroad. The Department of Official Language (Rajbhasha) also has organised several events to mark this day.
World Hindi Day was first observed on 10 January 2006. It is in addition to present National Hindi Divas which is being observed annually on 14 September to mark the day 14 September 1949 on which the Constituent Assembly adopted Hindi written in Devanagari script as the Official Language of the Union.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
ISRO, CNES ink pact on satellite launch
Indian Space Research Organisation and French Space agency (CNES) have signed a partnership agreement in satellite launch technology. The agreement was signed between ISRO Chairman Kiran Kumar and CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall in the presence of visiting French Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Marc Ayrault.
Reliance Jio beats Airtel to become fastest 4G operator
Reliance Jio beat Airtel, Vodafone and others, becoming the fastest among all 4G service providers in India in December 2016, according to data released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. TRAI’s MySpeed portal had previously in October revealed that Reliance Jio was the slowest 4G service provider in India.
TRAI’s MySpeed online portal, unlike its Android and iOS app, doesn’t test the speed of an individual connection. It, instead, shows you the data of tests conducted across the country.
India, Rwanda to enter solar alliance
India and Rwanda have agreed to raise the level of bilateral cooperation to a strategic partnership. The two leaders acknowledged the importance of this alliance in advancing new solar technologies worldwide. The two leaders also recalled the solar electrification of 35 schools in rural Rwanda under a grant from government of India as an example of South-South cooperation
Rwanda signed the instrument and became the 25th co-signatory to the International Solar Alliance, an Indian initiative.
Europe’s first underwater museum opens in Lanzarote
Europe’s first underwater sculpture museum featuring over 300 life-sized figures has been inaugurated. The Lanzarote attraction, Museo Atlantico, took almost three years to complete and has 12 sprawling underwater installations by artist Jason deCaires Taylor. With the sculptures placed at 39 feet on the sea bed, divers can now tour the underwater museum off the coast of Bahia de Las Coloradas.
IBM becomes first company to get 8,000 US patents in a year
IBM received the most patents for the 24th year in a row and broke the US record in 2016. With 8,088 patents granted to its inventors over the 12 months covering areas such as artificial intelligence (AI), cognitive computing , cloud, health and cyber security, IBM became the first company to pass the 8,000 milestone in a single year.
China launches first commercial space mission with new Kuaizhou-1A rocket
China has successfully sent three satellites into space in its first commercial mission using an updated version of the low-cost Kuaizhou-1A rocket, amidst the Communist giant’s determined bid to expand its ambitious space programme.
The rocket, carrying the satellite JL-1 and two CubeSats XY-S1 and Caton-1, blasted off from northwestern China’s Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Gansu province at around 12:11 pm Beijing Time, according to a statement from the center.
Cristiano Ronaldo named the world’s best player for 2016
Cristiano Ronaldo received FIFA’s best player award for the fourth time, after Portugal and Real Madrid won both major European titles in 2016. He beat runner-up and great rival Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann to complete a sweep of top individual awards.
FIFA WC to expand from 32 to 48 teams in 2026
The FIFA council has unanimously decided that the football World Cup will be expanded to host 48 teams, up from 32. An initial stage of 16 groups of 3 teams will precede a knockout stage for the remaining 32 when the change is made for the 2026 tournament.
The sport’s world governing body voted through the change at a meeting in Zurich. The number of tournament matches will rise to 80, from 64, but the eventual winners will still play only seven games.
Pankaj Advani wins Kolkata Open National Snooker Championship
Cuesports ace Pankaj Advani put up a flawless display to outclass Aditya Mehta 5-1 and win the 3rd Kolkata Open National Invitation Snooker Championship 2017. The tournament was organised by the West Bengal Billiards Association at the Bengal Rowing Club.
Maria Sharapova announces return to tennis after doping ban
Maria Sharapova has been handed a two-year ban from tennis after she tested positive for meldonium at the Australian Open in January. The ban has been backdated to January 26 – the day the Russian failed her drugs test in Melbourne – meaning it will end on January 25, 2018. The ban was at the heavier end of expectations and it means she cannot play a Grand Slam until the French Open in 2018.
Journalist who first reported outbreak of WWII dies aged 105
Clare Hollingworth, the British foreign correspondent who has died aged 105. The British journalist was hailed for her “scoop of the century” after she spotted German tanks on the Polish border in August 1939.