- Adama Barrow sworn in as President of Gambia in Senegal
Adama Barrow, the man who won The Gambia’s disputed election, has been sworn in as president. He took the oath at the country’s embassy in Senegal, ordering Gambian soldiers to remain in their barracks.
- He has been recognised internationally. But strongman Yahya Jammeh has refused to quit and is backed by parliament.
- West African leaders have threatened to remove him by force. The UN Security Council backed their efforts to ensure Mr Barrow assumed power.
- Delhi Police commissioner Alok Verma appointed as new CBI director
Delhi Police commissioner Alok Kumar Verma, a 1979 batch Indian Police Service officer of the Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram and Union Territory (AGMUT) cadre, has been appointed the director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
- His appointment as the CBI director is his 24th posting in his 36-year career as a police officer.
- Verma will get a fixed tenure of two years as the CBI chief .
- He has no prior experience of working in the CBI.
- CBDT Clarifies No TDS or Advance Tax Credit for Income under PMGKY
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has clarified that no credit will be allowed against advance tax paid or the tax deducted at source (TDS) or tax collected at source (TCS) in respect of the income declared under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojna (PMGKY). This is in contrast to the earlier Income Declaration Scheme (IDS) under which these credits were allowed.
- UDAN scheme set for take off
The government’s ambitious UDAN (Ude Desh Ke Aam Naagrik) scheme, under which fares have been capped at Rs 2,500 for a one-hour flight, aims at boosting air connectivity to and from unserved and under-served airports and making flying more affordable.
- As many as 43 unserved airports in the country are expected to have flight operations from next month in a phased manner with the AAI receiving 43 initial proposals from 11 bidders for 190 routes under the regional air connectivity scheme UDAN.
- Centre releases Rs 2,207cr to J&K as special assistance during 2017 financial year
Centre has sanctioned Rs 2,207 crore for Jammu and Kashmir as special assistance during current financial year to expedite completion of area-specific schemes. This includes over 1093 crore rupees for permanent restoration of damaged structure in the state.
- Finance Ministry in a statement said that the Centre has also decided to provide further special assistance of over 1,129 crore rupees to Bihar during 2016-17 for completion of the approved ongoing projects under special plan for Bihar.
- PM Modi to address 3 day National Conference in Kutch
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will deliver an inaugural address on a three-day National Conference of Central and state ministers and secretaries of Tourism, Culture and Sports in Kutch.
- He will address the programme through video conferencing and also interact with the participants at the end of the conference.
- The conference aims at achieving the necessary convergence among tourism, culture, youth affairs and sports areas and synergy between the Centre and states.
- 10th Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) Begins in Jaipur
The 10th edition of the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) is all set to begins with Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, veteran lyricist Gulzar, American poet Anne Waldman and spiritual writer Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, inaugurating the five-day event.
- Touted to be world’s largest free literary festival, this year JLF has been themed on “The Freedom to Dream: India at 70” and will see over 250 authors, thinkers, politicians and popular culture icons engaging in stimulating discussions and sessions at the historic Diggi Palace.
- Entrepreneurship Development Scheme inaugurated in Mizoram
Mizoram Chief Secretary Lalmalsawma has inaugurated the Entrepreneurship Development Scheme (EDS) under the New Economic Development Policy (NEDP), an official statement said.
- The state government gave high priority to entrepreneurship development and has allocated Rs two crore under the NEDP during the current fiscal.
- Planning Secretary Dr C Vanlalramsanga said entrepreneurship was important for acquiring sustainable resources, knowledge and market, which would be instrumental in the state government’s efforts to achieve market economy from subsistence economy.
- Bengal Global Business Summit 2017
The third edition of the Bengal Global Business Summit to be on the 20th and 21st of January 2017 respectively, and it aims to pave the way for opportunities of growth and business, like never before.
- With special focus in investment in each sector, plenary sessions on start-ups and entrepreneurship and an international plenary session which includes multi-country interactions and meetings between businesses, this Summit presents opportunities that will take Bengal to newer heights of prosperity.
- Suresh Prabhu unveils Mission 41k energy plan for Railways
Railway minister Suresh Prabhu has unveiled Mission 41k, a plan that would save Rs 41,000 crore over 10 years through an integrated energy management system.
- In this initiative, railways will electrify 24,000 km of rail tracks over the next five years by doubling the annual rate of electrification from 2,000 km to 4,000 km in the next two years.
- The railways will award contracts on engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) model for railway electrification projects, to achieve this target.
- It also plans to mechanise the execution through self-propelled wiring trains among other initiatives.
- Govt inks MoU to set up 1,000 Janaushadhi Kendras
The government has signed an agreement with the National Yuva Cooperative Society to set up 1,000 ‘Janaushadhi Kendras’ across the country and targets to open such medical stores in every block and gram panchayat to provide quality medicines at an affordable price.
At present, 750 Janaushadhi Kendras, providing more than 600 medicines and 150 medical devices, are operational and the target is to open 3,000 by end of this fiscal for achieving health safety.
- India, UAE to hold 1st strategic dialogue in New Delhi
India and the UAE have held their first strategic dialogue during which they finalised the Strategic Cooperation Agreement aimed at expanding bilateral cooperation to new key areas including energy, defence and security that will be signed during the visit of Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi next week.
- During the dialogue, co-chaired by Minister of State for Foreign Affairs M J Akbar and his UAE counterpart Anwar Gargash, the two sides “agreed on a number of new initiatives to further strengthen the bilateral cooperation and on signing of fresh instruments of cooperation
MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS
- Microsoft acquires Simplygon to accelerate 3D innovation
Microsoft has acquired Sweden-based Company Simplygon to accelerate innovation in enabling 3D for everyone. Developer of automatic 3D data-optimisation solutions, Simplygon was developed by Donya Labs AB, a privately-held company based in Sweden. Simplygon is a leader in 3D game optimisation, dedicated to helping creators and users of 3D data across industries optimise content pipelines and streamline workflows.
- Google acquires Twitter’s mobile app developer platform Fabric
Google has acquired Twitter’s mobile app developer platform Fabric. Twitter launched Fabric as a modular SDK in 2014 to allow developers improve their apps, and it now serves apps reaching 2.5 billion users built by 580,000 developers.
- Fabric will join Google’s Developer Product Group working with Firebase team.
- The integration of Fabric is part of our larger, long-term effort of delivering a comprehensive SUITE of features for iOS, Android and mobile web app development.
BANKING AND FINANCE
- 2 lakh cr rupees remonetised till date:RBI
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has infused around 60 per cent of the total banned currency notes after demonetisation.
- The RBI Governor Urjit Patel told a parliamentary standing committee on finance that the central bank had infused new currency notes worth around Rs 9.2 lakh crore into the system.
- Currency notes estimated around Rs 15.4 lakh crore were withdrawn when the Centre announced demonetisation on November 8, 2016.
- Flipkart ranked amongst India’s most trusted e-tailing brands
Electronic Commerce Company Flipkart continues to retain its apex position as India’s most trusted e-commerce brand, in a nationwide consumer study titled the ‘The Indian E-tailing Leadership Index’.
- Flipkart, for the fourth time in a row, is ranked overall number one in the study, scoring the highest among all e-commerce platforms in India in areas like product selection, customer support, ease of return, refund and reverse pick up speed.
- FreeCharge announces Mutual Funds in partnership with Reliance
FreeCharge, India’s leading digital payments platform has announced the launch of Mutual Funds on its platform in partnership with Reliance Mutual Fund.
- With the launch of the facility, users can seamlessly invest in a Money Market Mutual Fund that targets higher returns than those available on savings bank accounts.
- FreeCharge, known for its 10-second payments, is offering instant redemption of mutual funds at the click of a button.
- Customers also benefit from zero transaction charges and zero charges at redemption.
- The advantages are:
- Completely paperless
- Investments from Rs 100 onwards
- Instant Redemption
- Zero transaction, Zero redemption charges
- Online KYC
- First goods train from China to Britain arrives in London
The first China-to-Britain freight train arrived in London after a 7,500-mile journey, marking a milestone in China’s push to build commercial links across Europe and Asia.
- The train pulled in to Barking, east London after an 18-day journey from Yiwu, a wholesale market town in the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang.
- It had passed through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, Belgium and France, finally crossing under the English Channel into Britain.
- Israel deploys ‘Star Wars’ missile killer system
Israel’s upgraded ballistic missile shield became operational in a “Star Wars”-like extension of its capabilities to outer space where incoming missiles can be safely destroyed.
- The Defence Ministry said the US-funded Arrow 3 system, jointly developed by state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries and US firm Boeing Co., was handed over to the Israeli Air Force.
- Scientists develop robotic ‘heart sleeve’ that helps it beat
Harvard University and Boston Children’s Hospital researchers have developed a customizable soft robot that fits around a heart and helps it beat, potentially opening new treatment options for people suffering from heart failure.
- The soft robotic sleeve twists and compresses in synch with a beating heart, augmenting cardiovascular functions weakened by heart failure.
- Indian football fed’s Prez named in FIFA finance committee
All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Praful Patel was appointed member of FIFA’s all-important finance committee for a four-year term. 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.
- Punjab Royals win second edition of Pro Wrestling League
Punjab Royals registered a superb 5-2 victory over Delhi Sultans despite the home team skipper Sakshi Malik and her fiance Satyawart Kadian’s heroics in the second edition of the Pro Wrestling League.
- Punjab took the upper hand with an early 3-0 lead but Satyawart and Rio Olympics bronze medallist Sakshi managed to keep Delhi Sultans hopes alive with back-to-back wins.
- However, Azerbaijan’s star wrestler Togrul Zasgarov dashed the home team’s hopes as he wrapped up the tie in Punjab’s favour in just 30 seconds for a rather comfortable victory, with the last bout of the evening still remaining.
- Producer Ronnie Screwvala to launch esports league in India
Ronnie Screwvala, the first generation media & entertainment entrepreneur, philanthropist and founder of UTV Group, is set to launch an electronic sports (eSports) league in India. Named UCypher, the first of its kind tournament will see 10 teams taking part in PC, console and mobile games’ league. Screwvala feels the time is right for the launch of eSports league in India and his company, USports, has earmarked Rs 80-100 crore to spend on the league. ESports has grown substantially over time with many more playing these games and creating a whole new world around it for gamers to join in. It is no wonder that they want to create an eSports league in India, hopefully, it’ll be a positive addition to the Indian gaming community. The rapidly growing interest of teenagers in this arena has made them discuss and read about gaming to learn more about eSports domain and eventually become better at it. In a country like India which has seen a substantial increase in the gaming community, it is now a matter of time before USports takes up the mantle and paves way for more companies like it.
Chinese e-commerce company has become a major sponsor of the Olympic Games after signing a deal with the International Olympic Committee that runs until 2028. Alibaba becomes the official e-commerce and cloud services partner and join 12 other companies, including Coca-Cola and McDonald’s, as top sponsors after joining The Olympic Partner (TOP) worldwide sponsorship programme.
- India won fourth consecutive ODI series against England
India have won four Tests in a row for the first time vs England. They have won four Tests in a series for the second time – the first occasion was against Australia in 2012-13 when they won by 4-0.
- India has established a record for contesting most Tests (18) in a row between August 2015 and December 2016 without a defeat.
- Their previous highest tally of most successive Tests without defeat was 17 between September 1985 and March 1987.