AWARDS AND HONOURS
- Ronaldo nominated for 2017 Laureus World Sportsman of Year
Cristiano Ronaldo, the FIFA World Player of the Year, will be racing against Olympic sprint legend Usain Bolt to win the Laureus World Sports Awards, 2017. Ronaldo is the only footballer to be nominated for sportsman of the year award.
The most competitive World Sportsman of the Year Award ever, Cristiano Ronaldo and Usain Bolt will be up against 5,000 and 10,000 m Olympic champion Mo Farah and Wimbledon champion Andy Murray and basketball duo Stephen Curry and LeBron James.
2. Jimmy Adams appointed new West Indies Cricket director
Former West Indies captain Jimmy Adams has taken over as the new director of West Indies cricket, the WICB confirmed. He was widely tipped to be appointed in this role after the 49-year-old recently stepped down as head coach of Kent after four years in charge.
Jimmy will oversee and manage all cricket matters to include development of all teams, all coaching and cricket education and other technical programmes. He will have the support of an operations department.
3. Daniel Ortega sworn in for 3rd term as Nicaragua’s President
Daniel Ortega has been sworn in for a third consecutive term as Nicaragua’s president, with his wife Rosario Murillo as the new vice president, giving a married couple the reins of power for the first time in the Central American country’s history. Ortega, a 71-year-old former rebel fighter, took the oath in Managua with the presidents of Venezuela, Bolivia and Taiwan in attendance.
4. Snapdeal appoints Jason Kothari as head of strategy
Softbank-backed Snapdeal has appointed Jason Kothari, CEO of Housing.com, as its new chief strategy and investment officer, as it looks to make a comeback in India’s fast growing e-commerce market.
Kothari was elevated as CEO of Housing (another Softbank portfolio company) in November 2015, after the board of directors unanimously voted him into the role. He replaced co-founder and former CEO Rahul Yadav who had been sacked by investors and turned around the company which was merged with NewsCorp backed PropTiger.
5. January 12: National Youth Day
National Youth Day (Yuva Diwas or Swami Vivekananda Birthday) is celebrated with the great joy and enthusiasm in India every year on 12th of January. It is celebrated to commemorate the birthday of Swami Vivekananda, maker of the modern India. It was first declared by the Government of India in the year 1984 to celebrate the birthday of Swami Vivekananda as the National Youth Day. Since then (1985), it is started celebrating as the National Youth Day all over the country.
6. World’s first gender literature festival to be held in Patna
The world’s first ‘Gender Literature Festival’ will be held in Patna in the second week of April. The Gender Resource Centre of Bihar’s Women Development Corporation will be organising the festival. The objective of this initiative is to create a platform, to exchange ideas, and to share and learn experiences of renowned people in the field of gender [-based or focussed] literature. The festival will also act as a platform to increase visibility for gender equity and advocacy in the State of Bihar.
7. Government releases draft Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Dog Breeding and Marketing) Rules, 2016
The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has invited comments on the draft notification of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Dog Breeding and Marketing Rules), 2016. The Ministry will be notifying the proposed draft Rules in the Gazette of India for public information. Any interested person can make any suggestion on the said draft rules in writing for consideration of the Central Government to the Deputy Secretary, Animal Welfare Division, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Indira Paryavaran Bhawan, New Delhi, within 30 days of such publication of the Rules.
8. Tax break for political parties legal: SC
The Supreme Court had said political parties require donations from followers to project their political ideas and represent the people. It dismissed a petition seeking to lift “100 per cent tax exemption” granted to political parties.
Every political party needs funds to project their political regime and politically represent the people who follow them,” a three-judge Bench led by Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar said. The court observed that it was up to the government of the day to decide what tax regime they need to impose.
9. Telangana inks MoU with Aviation Ministry for Regional Connectivity Scheme
The Telangana government has signed a MoU with the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Airports Authority of India under the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) for air connectivity by developing small airports and airstrips in the state. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed here in the presence of Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju and Telangana Minister for IT and industries K T Rama Rao in the national capital.
10. For first time 46 UP constituencies to have Urdu electoral rolls
For the first time, electoral rolls in as many as 46 assembly constituencies spread across 22 districts in UP would be printed in Urdu as well. In Uttar Pradesh, the voters’ list is generally prepared in Hindi.
If 30% of the population of an area (assembly constituency in this case) speaks a different language than the rest, then voters’ list is prepared in that language as well. In case of UP, it is Urdu.”
11. GT orders test of cosmetics containing microbeads
The National Green Tribunal has directed the Centre to test products containing microbeads after a plea sought ban on their use on the ground they are extremely dangerous for aquatic life and environment.
A bench headed by Justice Jawad Rahim said that it is the duty of the government to ensure that no “dangerous” product is allowed to be manufactured or sold to public and directed Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) to analyse the products in laboratory and submit a report in four weeks.
12. On-road emission tests to be mandatory from 2020: ARAI
On-road emission tests for vehicles plying on Indian roads will be mandatory once the Bharat Stage VI norm kicks in from 2020, for which testing agency ARAI is developing a unified test cycle. The Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) is currently working on devising ways to determine the on-road emission benchmarks at different stages of vehicle lifetime in the aftermath of the Volkswagen emission cheating scandal which broke out in 2015.
13. Second Scorpene class submarine INS Khanderi launched
Khanderi, the second Kalvari class Scorpene submarine that 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, was launched at the Mazgaon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd (MDL) in Mumbai.
14. IGI Airport first in world to adopt digital platform Arc
Delhi Airport has claimed it has become the first aerodrome in the world to adopt unique performance and benchmarking digital platform, Arc, which helps in tracking and monitoring building performance.
Developed by Green Business Certification Inc (GBCI) and US Green Building Council (USGBC), the global certifying body for all Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) projects, this dynamic platform at T3 would be used by airport operator to measure, manage and improve performance of airport on resource consumption, carbon emissions and quality of passenger space,.
15. NITI Aayog projects 8% growth rate
NITI Aayog has estimated a growth rate of 8% for 2016-17 as per a ‘cautiously optimistic’ prognosis it has laid out in the appraisal document for the Twelfth Five-Year Plan, flagging the lack of reforms in land acquisition, labour and simplification of administrative procedures as impediments to growth.
The 12th Plan is the last five-year Plan and from 2017-18, the Centre would adopt a three-year action plan and a fifteen-year vision document. A NITI Aayog official said the new action plan would be finalised in two months’ time and will also take into account the impact of demonetisation.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
16. New species of gibbon discovered in China
Scientists have discovered a new species of gibbon living in south-west China’s rainforests. Although scientists had been studying the primate for some time, new research has revealed it is in fact a different species. It has been named the Skywalker hoolock gibbon by its discoverers, who are Star Wars fans. The name is also a nod to the fact that the Chinese characters of its scientific name, Hoolock tianxing, mean “Heaven’s movement”.
17. Hand-powered blood centrifuge developed
Stanford engineers, including those of Indian origin, have built an ultra-low-cost, human-powered centrifuge that separates blood into its individual components in only 1.5 minutes, and may enable precise diagnosis and treatment of diseases such as malaria, HIV and tuberculosis.
A centrifuge is critical for detecting diseases such as malaria, African sleeping sickness, HIV and tuberculosis. This version will enable precise diagnosis and treatment in the poor regions where these diseases are most prevalent.
18. Russia amend laws to provide spares support to India
Russia has amended its laws, allowing long-term contracts for spares and support for military equipment supplied to India. This will address long-standing concerns on the serviceability of the equipment. India is also discussing the possibility of Russian Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) allowing licence-manufacture of spares locally by Indian vendors.
19. Saudi Arabia hikes India’s Haj quota by 34500
In the biggest hike in nearly three decades, Saudi Arabia has increased India’s annual Haj quota by 34,500, a move welcomed by the NDA government as a “matter of pleasure“. Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Saudi Arabia’s Haj and Umrah Minister Dr Mohammad Saleh bin Taher Benten inked an agreement in this regard in Jeddah, increasing the size of India’s Haj quota from 1,36,020 to 1,70,520.
20. India, Kenya sign MoU in area of agriculture
India and Kenya have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the agriculture sector and allied sector and Line of Credit for USD100 million for agricultural mechanisation. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta held delegation level talks and praised the strength of the re-invigorated partnership between the two countries, which serves to increase stability, prosperity, and security in the Indian Ocean region and in the Asia-Pacific.
21. Pakistan to renovate Katas Raj Hindu temple
Pakistan is pursuing policies to establish the country’s identity as a minority-friendly country and followers of all religions have equal rights in the country, Sharif said speaking at the Katas Raj Temples Complex in Chakwal.
The Katas Raj temple is revered by Hindus across the globe as legend has it that the foundation of the sacred site was laid by Lord Shiva. Mr. Sharif said the temple was over 5,000 years old and had been the focal point of four civilisations. Al-Biruni, Persian scholar and polymath, had computed the earth’s circumference.
22. Anthony Goldstone, pianist dies
Anthony Goldstone, who has died aged 72, was a British pianist who enjoyed a prominent solo career in the 1970s, the high point of which was an appearance at the Last Night of the Proms in 1976 with the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Charles Groves; in later years he formed a valuable duo with his wife Caroline Clemmow, bringing to life rarities of the keyboard both on disc and in concert halls.