1. Navjot Singh Sidhu to contest Punjab polls from Amritsar East on Congress ticket
- The cricketer-turned-politician had resigned from the Bharatiya Janata Party on September 14, 2016.
- The Congress party on Thursday said that Navjot Singh Sidhu will contest in the upcoming Punjab assembly elections as a party nominee.
- “Navjot Singh Sidhu will contest from the constituency of his wife, Navjot Kaur Sidhu,” former Punjab Chief Minister and Congress state unit chief Captain Amarinder Singh told reporters here. “Sidhu will contest from Amritsar (East) seat as a Congress nominee,” Singh said.
2. Election Commission announces dates for assembly polls in 5 states: Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa
- Voting will take place in a single phase in Punjab, Goa and Uttarakhand, while Manipur will have 2 phases of voting, and Uttar Pradesh will have 7 phases of voting. Counting of votes for all states will happen on March 11. Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi made the announcements.
- http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/live-assembly-election-dates-for-uttar-pradesh-punjab-uttarakhand-manipur-and-goa-announced-1644866 (the link will explain the various guidelines to be followed for and during the elections.)
3. Government introduces BHIM app for cashless transactions
- BHIM- Bharat Interface for Money
- BHIM was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to promote digital transactions using the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), a bank-to-bank fund transfer system backed by the Internet and smartphones, using phone numbers linked to banks.
- Payment address is an address which uniquely identifies a person’s bank account. The app developed by the National Payments Corp. of India (NPCI) is available for download on the Google PlayStore for Android smartphones
- The BHIM app is linked to over 30 private and public sector banks such as State Bank of India, Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, IDBI Bank, Union Bank of India and Kotak Mahindra Bank. YES Bank is the latest bank to be integrated with the app.
- Currently, there is a limit of Rs10,000 per transaction and Rs25,000 in a day for transfers through the bank account. The app, which is currently available in Hindi and English, is expected to be launched in other regional languages soon.
4. Kalyan Krishnamurthy to be the next CEO of Flipkart
- Former Tiger Global executive Kalyan Krishnamurthy has been named as new CEO of Flipkart in a management restructuring at India’s largest online retailer, with Binny Bansal moving up to a newly created position of Group CEO. Krishnamurthy had joined Flipkart in June 2016 as head of commerce unit from Tiger Global, which is also the largest shareholder and investor in the Bengaluru-based company.
- Krishnamurthy, along with fashion unit Myntra-Jabong CEO Ananth Narayanan and payments unit PhonePe CEO Sameer Nigam, will report to Binny Bansal. Under the new role Krishnamurthy will be responsible for Flipkart P&L.
5. Former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani dies:
- Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has led tributes to former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who has died at the age of 82.
- Funeral in Tehran
6. Petrol pumps across country threaten to refuse payment for fuel by cards:
- Debit and credit card issuers (usually banks) and fuel retailers have been sparring over card payments at petrol stations. Matters threatened to come to a head over the past weekend and fuel retailers initially said they would stop accepting card payments from Monday. They have since deferred this deadline till the end of this week.
- Each time a card is swiped, a certain percentage of the amount paid goes as charges to the company that has installed the card machine, the network provider such as Visa and MasterCard, and the issuing bank, with the average charge being 1% per transaction. Called a ‘merchant discount rate’ (MDR), this is the fee that merchants pay every time a card is used.
- After 8 November, to make things easier for customers and to promote non-cash transactions, the government announced a 0.75% discount on card purchases of fuel. It also waived the MDR on such purchases for 50 days. With that promotional period elapsing, banks said they would reinstate the charge.
7. Prime Minister Modi addresses the nation on the 14th Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas:
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas In Bengaluru today. The 14th edition of the three-day event began in the country’s IT hub yesterday with the spotlight on the role of youth in transforming the society and India’s potential to play the role of a ‘Vishwa Guru’ again. Portugal Prime Minister Antonio Costa was the chief guest of the meet. The session was also attended by Suriname Vice President Michael Ashwin Adhin, Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Vijay Goel and Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh.
- http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/live-pm-narendra-modi-speaks-at-14th-pravasi-bharatiya-divas-in-bengaluru-1646345 (link covers the highlights of the event)
- http://www.narendramodi.in/prime-minister-narendra-modi-inaugurates-the-14th-pravasi-bhartiya-divas-in-bengaluru-karnataka-533756 (link covers the speech)
8. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of India:
- India’s economy witnessed a marginal acceleration, growing at 7.3% in the second quarter of 2016-17. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) expanded by 7.1% in the first quarter of 2016-17 and at 7.6% in the corresponding quarter last year.
- However, expectations are that growth will suffer a setback in the second half of the year on account of the impact of demonetisation. This will make the government’s target of surpassing last year’s 7.6% growth this year difficult
- The pick-up in growth in the second quarter was led by agriculture which grew at 3.3% in the quarter. Manufacturing grew at 7.3% while mining and quarrying declined by 1.5%. Gross fixed capital formation, an indication of the investment demand continued to contract at -5.6%.
- Another measure of economic activity—gross value added (GVA)—showed the economy growing at 7.1% in the September quarter as against 7.3% in the June quarter.
- GDP growth is arrived at by adding net indirect taxes (indirect taxes–subsidies) to GVA. A higher GVA in the June quarter means the government’s subsidies were higher than indirect tax collections in the quarter.
9. President Obama’s farewell speech after 8 years in the White House
- Gave the speech in Chicago
- He called on Americans to defend Democracy
- Talked about the various things that have been achieved during his time in the Office
- Promised a smooth transition of power to Donald Trump who will be sworn in on the 20th of January.
10. Cristiano Ronaldo beats Lionel Messi to win Fifa best player award.
- Cristiano Ronaldo was named the world’s best player at the inaugural Best Fifa Football Awards in Zurich.
- Ronaldo also won the Ballon d’Or in December, with both honours recognition for success in the Champions League with Real and Euro 2016 with Portugal.
11. Jallikattu back in Tamil Nadu
- Jallikattu, the bull taming sport, was conducted in several districts in Tamil Nadu on Sunday amid protests in various places. Protesters continued to swell in numbers across the state, including Chennai’s Marina Beach, the epicentre of the stir for the last six days.
- Alanganallur is the only place where Jallikattu is held as an official function of the government. The protesters raised slogans that ordinance was only a temporary measure and demanded a permanent solution for holding the sport, besides a ban on animal rights group PETA
- Meanwhile, the Tamil Nadu government has filed a caveat in the Supreme Court anticipating challenge to its ordinance allowing Jallikattu in the state. Following unrelenting protests, DMK and other Opposition parties urged the Centre to take steps for conducting the sport annually without any hindrance.
12. Uttar Pradesh elections: Samajwadi Party, Congress announce alliance
- With the common aim of stopping the BJP, a grand alliance of the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Congress was formally announced on Sunday for the upcoming Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections
- The Congress’s presence is expected to help the SP-led alliance consolidate Muslim votes.
- Of the total 403 seats, the SP will field candidates for 298 seats while the Congress will contest 105 seats, U.P
13. Donald Trump begins presidency with fiery vow to unseat establishment
- Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the US, delivering a fiery attack on the Washington establishment in which he vowed to return power to the American public and deliver on pledges he made in his campaign
- Trump, 70, who has not previously held elected office, took the oath of office at about noon from Chief Justice John Roberts at the US Capitol
- Trump pledged that US interests would be at the center of his presidency, even at the expense of longstanding foreign relationships
14. Fit-again Saina lifts Malaysia Masters Grand Prix Gold
- Indian badminton ace Saina Nehwal notched up her first title after a career-threatening injury by claiming the Malaysia Masters Grand Prix Gold with a hard-fought victory in the summit clash here on Sunday.
- Up against 18-year-old Thai Pornpawee Chochuwong, the top-seeded London Olympics bronze-medallist triumphed 22-20 22-20 in a 46-minute clash.
15. Gambian leader told to cede power or be forced out
- Gambia’s defeated President Yahya Jammeh must cede power by noon on Friday or he will be dislodged by a regional force that has already moved into the country, West African officials said.
- Mr. Barrow, who won Gambia’s presidential election in December, was sworn into office at the Gambian embassy in neighboring Senegal, where he is for his safety.
- Mr. Jammeh started negotiations with ECOWAS on Thursday and agreed to step down but demanded an amnesty for any crimes that he may have committed during his 22 years in power and that he be permitted to stay in Gambia, at his home village of Kanilai
16. Natarajan Chandrasekaran appointed as Tata Son’s new Chairman.
- Tata Sons’ new chairman has twin obstacles—a family and conglomerate
- As Natarajan Chandrasekaran prepares to lead the vast, multi-business Tata group, the burden of management history weighs heavily against him.
- He takes over as the new head of a family business, a period of transition when groups are known to struggle not just in India but across the world. Indeed, so high is the stress at such a time that survival itself isn’t always guaranteed for most.
17. Roger Federer (Swiss) wins the Australian Open 2017, Rafael Nadal (Spain) is the runner up.
- The match was played in Melbourne.
- This is Federer’s 18th Grand Slam title.
- Serena Williams defeated Venus Williams to win the Women’s Singles title.
18. Donald Trump’s announcement regarding immigration
- The decree prohibits entry to all refugees, regardless of nationality, for 120 days.
- No visas will be issued for 90 days to visitors from 7 mainly Muslim countries.
- The order does not affect those who hold a US green card.
- Judges in at least four states have blocked part of the ban, ordering authorities to stop deporting refugees and other travellers stuck at US airports.
19. PV Sindhu beats Indonesia’s Gregoria Mariska to win women’s Singles title: yed Modi 2017 badminton final
20. Election Commission to file an FIR against Arvind Kejriwal.
- In a rare intervention, the Election Commission (EC) on Sunday directed the chief electoral officer of Goa to file a First Information Report (FIR) against Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal over remarks made by him at a rally in the poll-bound state. The ‘FIR/complaint’ will be filed under provisions of the Representation of the People Act (RPA) dealing with bribing voters and also under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
- On 8 January, Kejriwal told a rally at Mapusa that other political parties would come to distribute money among voters. “They will come with money, do not refuse it because they have looted it from us… vote for jhadu (broom, the election symbol of AAP),” the EC quoted him as saying.
21. President accepts Shanmuganathan resignation, appoints Banwarilal Purohit as Gov of Meghalaya
- 80 employees of the Shillong Raj Bhavan wrote to the President and Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his removal.
- The employees alleged that veteran RSS leader Shanmuganathan, 68, hurt the decorum and prestige of the Raj Bhavan by turning it in to an “young ladies club”. Shanmuganathan, however, denied the charges. On Thursday, he reportedly asked his assistant in Shillong to send pack his personal belongings and files and send them to Guwahati. Shanmuganathan, who also holds charge as Governor of Arunachal Pradesh, was in Itanagar to take part in the Republic Day celebrations.
22. Republic day celebrations
- Foot-tapping music and soulful classical renditions rent the air as Republic Day celebrations culminated with the Beating Retreat ceremony in the national capital where President Pranab Mukherjee rode the ceremonial buggy – an open gold-plated carriage – down the Raisina Hill today. President Mukherjee, whose tenure ends later this year, greeted the spectators with a customary wave.
- ‘Beating Retreat’ marks a centuries-old military tradition, when the troops ceased fighting, sheathed their arms and withdrew from the battlefield and returned to the camps at sunset at the sounding of the Retreat. Colours and Standards are cased and flags lowered.
23. Donald Trump fires US attorney general Sally Yates for defiance over travel ban
- Donald Trump has fired acting Attorney General Sally Yates after she ordered Justice Department lawyers to stop defending the president’s controversial immigration orders.
- Ms Yates, who was appointed by Mr Obama, said she was “not convinced that the executive order is lawful”.
- “I am responsible for ensuring that the positions we take in court remain consistent with this institution’s solemn obligation to always seek justice and stand for what is right,” Ms Yates wrote in a letter to Justice Department lawyers. “At present, I am not convinced that the defence of the executive order is consistent with these responsibilities.”
24. List of Padma awardees for 2017:
Here is the list of 2017 Padma award winners. The list comprises of 7 Padma Vibhushan, 7 Padma Bhushan and 75 Padma Shri Awardees. 19 of the awardees are women and the list also includes 5 persons from the category of foreigners, NRIs, PIOs and 6 Posthumous awardees.
|Awardee||Field of Prominence|
|Sharad Pawar||Public Affairs|
|Murli Manohar Joshi||Public Affairs|
|P.A. Sangma (posthumous)||Public Affairs|
|Sunder Lal Patwah (posthumous)||Public Affairs|
|K.J.Yesudas||Art – Music|
|Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev||Others – Spiritualism|
|Udipi Ramachandra Rao||Science & Engineering|
|Awardee||Field of Prominence|
|Vishwa Mohan Bhatt||Art – Music|
|Devi Prasad Dwivedi||Literature & Education|
|Ratna Sundar Maharaj||Others-Spiritualism|
|Swami Niranjana Nanda Saraswati||Others-Yoga|
|H.R.H. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn (Foreigner)||Literature & Education|
|Cho Ramaswamy (Posthumous)||Literature & Education –Journalism|
|Awardee||Field of Prominence|
|Chemanchery Kunhiraman Nair||Art-Dance|
|T K Murthy||Art-Music|
|Laishram Birendrakumar Singh||Art-Music|
|Krishna Ram Chaudhary||Art-Music|
|Aekka Yadagiri Rao||Art-Sculpture|
|Parassala B Ponnammal||Art-Music|
|Wareppa Naba Nil||Art-Theatre|
|Tripuraneni Hanuman Chowdary||Civil Service|
|T.K. Viswanathan||Civil Service|
|Kanwal Sibal||Civil Service|
|Birkha Bahadur Limboo Muringla||Literature & Education|
|Eli Ahmed||Literature & Education|
|Narendra Kohli||Literature & Education|
|G. Venkatasubbiah||Literature & Education|
|Akkitham Achyuthan Namboothiri||Literature & Education|
|Kashi Nath Pandita||Literature & Education|
|Chamu Krishna Shastry||Literature & Education|
|Harihar Kripalu Tripathi||Literature & Education|
|Michel Danino||Literature & Education|
|Punam Suri||Literature & Education|
|VG Patel||Literature & Education|
|V Koteswaramma||Literature & Education|
|Balbir Dutt||Literature & Education-Journalism|
|Bhawana Somaaya||Literature & Education-Journalism|
|Vishnu Pandya||Literature & Education-Journalism|
|Mohammed Abdul Waheed||Medicine|
|Madan Madhav Godbole||Medicine|
|Devendra Dayabhai Patel||Medicine|
|Arun Kumar Sharma||Others-Archaeology|
|Meenakshi Amma||Others-Martial Art|
|Genabhai Dargabhai Patel||Others-Agriculture|
|Chandrakant Pithawa||Science & Engineering|
|Ajoy Kumar Ray||Science & Engineering|
|Chintakindi Mallesham||Science & Engineering|
|Jitendra Nath Goswami||Science & Engineering|
|Daripalli Ramaiah||Social Work|
|Girish Bhardwaj||Social Work|
|Karimul Hak||Social Work|
|Bipin Ganatra||Social Work|
|Nivedita Raghunath Bhide||Social work|
|Appasaheb Dharmadhikari||Social Work|
|Baba Balbir Singh Seechewal||Social Work|
|Vikasa Gowda||Sports-Discus Throw|
|P. R. Shreejesh||Sports-Hockey|
|Mohan Reddy Venkatrama Bodanapu||Trade & Industry|
|Imrat Khan (NRI/PIO)||Art-Music|
|Anant Agarwal (NRI/PIO)||Literature & Education|
|H.R. Shah (NRI/PIO)||Literature & Education-Journalism|
|Suniti Solomon (Posthumous)||Medicine|
|Asoke Kumar Bhattacharyya (Posthumous)||Others-Archaeology|
|Dr. Mapuskar (Posthumous)||Social Work|
|Anuradha Koirala (Foreigner)||Social Work|