- Dr Vijay Bhatkar appointed new vice-chancellor of Nalanda University
Vijay Pandurang Bhatkar, a technocrat who is considered the father of the Indian Supercomputer, has been appointed the new Vice-Chancellor of Nalanda University, Rajgir, in Bihar. President Pranab Mukherjee, in his capacity as Visitor to Nalanda University, named Bhatkar for the post with effect from January 25.
- He will hold the office for a three-year period from the date of his appointment as per the Nalanda University Act, Sec 11(3).
- Bhatkar, 70, replaces Gopa Sabharwal who resigned on November 24 last year.
- President appoints Banwarilal Purohit as Governor of Meghalaya
President Pranab Mukherjee appointed Banwarilal Purohit, the Governor of Assam to execute the functions of the Governor of Meghalaya after accepting the resignation of V. Shanmuganathan, as Governor of Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh. President Mukherjee also appointed P. B. Acharya, the Governor of Nagaland to discharge functions as the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh.
AWARDS AND HONOURS
- N. Rao to be inducted into Ophthalmology Hall of Fame
Dr Gullapalli N Rao, Founder and Chair, L V Prasad Eye Institute, has been selected as one of two inductees for the prestigious 2017 Ophthalmology Hall of Fame instituted by the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS). He would be honoured at the induction ceremony in Los Angeles on May six at the ASCRS annual meeting.
- GAAR will be effective from April 1, 2017
The Centre has reiterated that the General Anti Avoidance Rules – aimed at curbing tax avoidance. The General Anti Avoidance Rule (GAAR) provisions shall be effective from the Assessment Year 2018-19 onwards, i.e. Financial Year 2017-18 onwards.
The General Anti-Avoidance Rules (GAAR), which seek to prevent companies from routing transactions through other countries to avoid taxes, can be invoked through a two-stage process involving a nod at the level of principal commissioner of income tax and a panel headed by a high court judge.
- India ranked 79th in the Corruption Perception Index 2016
India has been ranked 79th among 176 countries in the Corruption Perception Index 2016 released by the Transparency International organisation. Its score marginally improved from 38 in 2015 to 40 in 2016. India had a score of 36 in 2012. The organisation has used the World Bank data, the world economic forum and other institutions to rank countries by perceived levels of corruption in public sector.
- Andhra Pradesh Launches Rs 100 cr fund of funds for Fintech Startups
The Andhra Pradesh under Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu has announced Rs 100-crore fund of funds to invest in Fintech startups. Fintech is being seen as a promising space to generate job, thus the state has initiated an industry-academia-government partnership to tap and refine skilled talent available at cheaper costs to develop Visakhapatnam into a global fintech hub.
- Indian Navy’s Theatre Level Exercise, TROPEX 17 Begins
Aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya backed by nuclear submarine INS Chakra besides fighting assets of the Indian Navy and Coast Guard have come together in the country’s biggest inter-service ‘Tropex’ exercise along the western seaboard. The navy’s annual Theatre Readiness Operational Exercise (TROPEX) got underway on January 24.
TROPEX 17 exercise is aimed at testing combat readiness of the combined fleets of the Indian Navy, and the assets of the Indian Air Force, Indian Army and the Indian Coast Guard.
- PSU oil companies, Andhra Pradesh govt ink pacts
The public sector oil companies such as the HPCL, ONGC and the GAIL have signed MoUs for investing ₹1.65 lakh crore in Andhra Pradesh on several projects, many of them in the Krishna-Godavari basin, according to Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan. The importance of the Krishna-Godavari basin and the steps taken to promote investment, both in the public sector as well as private sector, in the K-G basin for the economic development of the State.
- 29th Kerala Science Congress begins
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will inaugurate the 29th Kerala Science Congress, jointly organised by the Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment and the Kerala Forest Research Institute, at the Mar Thoma College in Thiruvalla. ‘Ecology and Environment’ is the main theme of the congress.
- Brahmaputra Literary festival to starts in Guwahati
The three-day long Brahmaputra Literary festival will begin in Guwahati. Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar will inaugurate the festival in presence of Chief Minister Sarbanand Sonowal and others.
The festival is being organized by National Book Trust and state government. Authors from ten countries will take part in the festival. Javadekar will also inaugurate a colourful carnival to mark the festival. Seminars, discussions ,film show, book fair, music concert will be held as a part of the festival.
- Surya Namaskar Yajna Recognised in US Congress
The annual “Surya Namaskar Yajna” or “Health for Humanity Yogathon” has been recognised in the US House of Representative on the occasion of its 10th anniversary. Surya Namaskar integrates simple yoga postures in ten steps that along with teaching easy breathing techniques, can provide immense health benefits to both the body and the mind.
The 16-day event will raise awareness about yoga and its advantages in achieving a healthy body, mind, and spirit.
- 28 January: Data Privacy Day
Data Privacy Day is observed every January 28 as a reminder to protect and safeguard private data. Data Privacy Day was first initiated by the Council in Europe in 2007. In 2009 the United States House of Representatives recognized National Data Privacy Day and the United States Senate recognized Data Privacy Day in 2010 and 2011. It has continued through the efforts of various groups and organizations since.
BANKING AND FINANCE
- 119 banks connected with Aadhaar-enabled payment system: Minister
The government has said 119 banks are connected with the Aadhaar-enabled payment system and 33.87 crore transactions have taken place through Aadhaar-enabled payment systems.
- The government will soon roll out the Aadhaar Pay service. “With this, people can visit any merchant, share their Aadhaar numbers and verify themselves using biometrics to pay and receive money.
- The government has linked the BHIM app with Aadhaar so that transactions through the app happen in a transparent manner.
- SBI Launches Wealth Management Product SBI Exclusif in Kochi
State Bank of India (SBI) has launched ‘SBI Exclusif,’ its wealth management offering, in Kochi. It will be rolled out in other cities in the state during the course of the year.
- Launching the product, S Venkataraman, Chief General Manager, SBI, Kerala Circle, said that wealth management has been one of the strategic priorities of the bank.
- The bank has introduced an ‘open platform’ where customers will also have access to the best products across categories from market-leading institutions.
- SBI has tied up with leading technology and product partners to provide an extensive suite of privileged products and lifestyle benefits. These include top-tier credit and debit cards and concessions/waivers in charges, among others.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
- Scientists creates world’s first stable semi-synthetic organism
Scientists have created the first stable semi-synthetic organism – a single-celled bacterium – that may play important roles in drug discovery and other applications.
Life’s genetic code has only ever contained four natural bases. These bases pair up to form two base pairs the rungs of the DNA ladder – and they have simply been rearranged to create all life as we know it, from bacteria to humans.
- ISRO successfully ground-tests Cryogenic Upper Stage engine meant for rocket GSLV-Mark-III
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully ground tested the Cryogenic Upper Stage engine meant for the rocket GSLV-Mark-III. In a release, the space agency stated the indegenously developed engine, designated as C25, tested for a duration of 50 seconds in its Propulsion Complex at Mahendragiri in southern Tamil Nadu, demonstrating all the stage operations.
- Sports Ministry reconstitutes committee to identify athletes under TOP Scheme
The Union Minister of State (I/C) for Youth Affairs and Sports Shri Vijay Goel has reconstituted TOP committee with the objective of identifying and supporting potential medal prospects for 2020 and 2024 Olympic Games under the “Target Olympic Podium” scheme.
A programme, namely TOP (Target Olympic Podium) Scheme was formulated within the overall ambit of National Sports Development Fund (NSDF) with the objective of identifying and supporting potential medal prospects for 2016 and 2020 Olympic Games.
- Tokyo 2020 Unveils DragonBall Z Son Goku As Olympics Ambassador
In order to woo the young audiences at the 2020 Olympics, the organisers of the Tokyo Games have unveiled Japan’s cult anime character Son Goku as its ambassador. The Japanese character will feature on all the official Olympics 2020 merchandise. Apart from the Dragonball Z character, other cartoon stars that will be massively visible throughout the sporting extravaganza will be Mario, Naruto and Sailor Moon.
- Serena Williams won 2017 Australian Open women’s Final
Williams has added to her ever-growing legend, beating sister Venus 6-4 6-4 in the Australian Open final. In the men’s doubles final, Australia’s John Peers teamed up with Henri Kontinen to deny the Bryan brothers yet another grand slam title.
- Hollywood actor John Hurt passes away at 77
Sir John Hurt, who won Oscar nominations for the Elephant Man and captured the hearts of millions for his roles in Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, has died.
- The star, one of Britain’s most treasured actors, died aged 77 at his home in Norfolk after a long battle with pancreatic cancer
- Sir John was well known for roles including Quentin Crisp in The Naked Civil Servant, the title role in The Elephant Man and wand merchant Mr Ollivander in the Harry Potter films.