1. Edappadi Palaniswami sworn in as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister
- Ending the political impasse in Tamil Nadu, Governor Ch. Vidyasagar Rao on Thursday evening administered the oath of office to Edappadi K. Palaniswami as the 13th Chief Minister along with a Council of 30 Ministers.
- Palaniswami said he would take a floor test in the Assembly at 11.a.m. on Saturday to prove his majority, ostensibly to ensure that there is no room for horse trading by the rebel camp headed by former Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam
- The Governor had granted him 15 days to prove his majority. This is the first time in 29 years a Chief Minister will be seeking a vote of confidence in the House
2. Pakistan Senate passes Hindu Marriage Bill.
- The bill, approved by the National Assembly on September 26, 2015 and passed on Friday, will likely get presidential assent next week to become a law.
- Pakistani Hindu community will have a personal law for the first time as the Senate has passed ‘The Hindu Marriage Bill 2017
- According to the bill, Hindu women will get documentary proof of their marriage.
- After approval, the law will be applicable on Pakistani Hindus in Punjab, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Sindh province already has its own Hindu marriage law
3. Split in AIADMK imminent as SC convicts Sasikala in wealth case
- The Supreme Court convicted AIADMK general secretary Sasikala Natarajan on Tuesday, leading to an imminent split in the party. Chief Minister O Panneerselvam was expelled from the party’s primary membership by Sasikala
- The party chief was allowed a breather of a few hours after the verdict was announced and she used the time to appoint a new legislature party chief besides ousting OPS
- Panneerselvam had disclosed last week that Sasikala had forced her to resign from his post as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and AIADMK legislature party head
4. Indian Space Research Organisation scales 104 heights
- Flying its 39th mission since it became operational in 1993, the PSLV — called PSLV-C37 for Wednesday’s mission — delivered into space a payload of 1,378 kg in its 38th consecutive successful flight
- The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Wednesday launched a record 104 satellites in one shot on board its workhorse rocket system, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV)
5. CBI arrests Joint Director of Punjab Technical Education Department.
- CBI has arrested a Joint Director of Technical Education and Industrial Training of Punjab government for allegedly accepting bribe of Rs 50,000. The arrest was made when the officer Jagjeet Singh allegedly accepted bribe from a person running an Industrial Training Institute in Chandigarh.
- “A case was registered under section 7 of PC Act, 1988 against the Joint Director working in the Department of Technical Education and Industrial Training, Government of Punjab, Chandigarh on a complaint,” he said.
- Melody Queen Lata Mangeshkar has been honoured with the ‘Legendary Award’ by the Brand Laureate
- The Brand Laureate Awards recognises world-class achievement in branding among individuals and companies.
- “I have lived through a gratifying career for which I am and will always remain in deep gratitude to all my well wishers.” she added.
7. US lawmakers want North Korea added to terror blacklist again
- The apparent assassination of the North Korean leader’s estranged half-brother is strengthening bipartisan calls for the U.S. to re-list North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism, a designation lifted nine years ago
- Doing so would increase the country’s isolation, while potentially complicating any future diplomacy to halt its nuclear and missile programs.
- The U.S. kept North Korea on its terrorism blacklist for two decades after the 1987 bombing of a South Korean airliner killed 115 people
8. Talks with Britain to extradite Vijay Mallya.
- In order to bring back loan defaulter and businessman Vijay Mallya back to India from London, a five member British delegation met with its Indian counterparts in New Delhi on Tuesday.
- The meeting involved officials from Home Ministry of Britain along with other officials and Indian officials from CBI, MEA and IB.
- The officials discussed the modalities involved in the case to extradite Vijay Mallya. The meeting also discussed the jail term for Mallya if found guilty.
- The ED has virtually exhausted all legal options to bring Mallya back to India including the issuance of NBW, based on which it had made the requests for revocation of his passport and subsequent deportation bid, apart from seeking an Interpol warrant against him which has remained unsuccessful till now.
9. TCS appoints V Ramakrishnan as chief financial officer
- Replacing Rajesh Gopinathan who was elevated to CEO.
- Most recently Ramakrishnan was responsible for the financial controllership of TCS subsidiaries and branches globally and various merger & acquisitions integration initiatives.
10. Bharat QR
- Digital India has stepped ahead with a new technology of payments and that is Bharat QR Code payments transfer mechanism. This is a more streamlined system of making payments where technological problems will get reduced and people will not suffer from card loss or card expiry problems.
11. Mukesh Ambani JIO press conference:
- Jio made by Mukesh D Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries : Happy New Year offer of free 1 GB data to continue till March 31;
- To offer tariff plans from April 1 Free Voice Continues: Domestic Voice calls to remain free even from April 1;
- All domestic voice calls to any network will remain free across India.
- No roaming charges, blackout days, and other hidden charges.
- Monitor Plans in the Market: Jio is instituting a comprehensive process of monitoring all publicly announced plans from all operators across the country on a regular basis
- Jio to offer 20% more data over the best plan in the market offered by rival operators.
- Jio will not only match the highest-selling plan but give 20% more data Jio Prime Deal for Existing Customers:
- The Jio Prime Membership Programme available only for current Jio customers and those who join on or before March 31.
- Special value deals for Jio Prime Members: Jio Prime Membership for a full year for a nominal one-time fee of only Rs 99. Unlimited Benefits for Jio Prime Members: To enjoy the unlimited benefits of JIO Happy New Year Offer until March 31, 2018 for an introductory price of only Rs 303/- per month Easy Enrolment for Jio Prime Membership: Enrollment for JIO Prime Membership can be done through MyJio app, the jio.com website or by simply walking into any Jio or Jio partner store Free Media Services: Jio Prime members will also get the full bouquet of Jio’s media services – which includes TV, film and music apps — completely free until March 31, 2018.
- Read more at: http://www.moneycontrol.com/news/business/9-key-takeaways-what-mukesh-ambani-said-at-jio-press-conference_8533241.html?utm_source=ref_article
12. NASA’s new discovery.
- Nasa astronomers have spotted seven Earth-size planets around a nearby star, some or all of which could harbour water and possibly life.
- TRAPPIST-1 stands for Transiting Planets and Planetesimals Small Telescope. The discovery is a small, dim star in the constellation Aquarius, less than 40 light-years from Earth, or 235 trillion miles away, according to Nasa and the Belgian-led research team who announced its discovery on Wednesday.
- Seven planets circle Trappist-1, with orbits ranging from one and a half to 20 days. If Trappist-1 were our sun, all these planets would fit inside the orbit of Mercury. That’s how close they are to their star and why their orbits are so short. The planets have no real names. They’re only known by letters, “b” through “h.” The letter “A” refers to the star itself.
- Six of TRAPPIST-1’s “exoplanets” lie in a temperate zone where surface temperatures range from zero to 100C.
13. Jayakumar appointed Tamil Nadu Finance Minister
- In a minor reshuffle, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami named D. Jayakumar as Finance Minister. Mr. Jayakumar will now head the Finance, Planning, Legislative Assembly, Elections and Passports, Personnel and Administrative Reforms and Personnel and Administrative Reforms (training) departments in addition to his current Fisheries portfolio. He has now been redesignated Minister for Finance and Personnel and Administrative Reforms, a Raj Bhavan release said. Mr. Palaniswami was holding the portfolios allocated to Mr. Jayakumar.
14. BMC Elections 2017
- Unfazed by the BJP breaching its citadel of Mumbai by winning 82 seats in the BMC polls, the Shiv Sena asserted that the civic body’s mayor will be from their party and accused its estranged ally of using deceitful means to destabilise them. Indicating its unwillingness towards a post-poll alliance with BJP in the country’s richest civic body, the Sena said its fight with the saffron party will continue and it will keep walking on the difficult path, whatever be the consequences.
- “The BJP used all that it had for the BMC polls. But, despite the BJP getting 82 seats, the Mayor will be from Shiv Sena only,” the Sena proclaimed.
15. Sutlej-Yamuna Link Canal
- Even as Punjab denied any liability on its part to share water with Haryana, the Supreme Court stood firm by its decision to construct the Sutlej-Yamuna Link Canal and urged the neighbouring States to maintain law and order at any cost.
- A Bench of Justices P.C. Ghose and Amitava Roy raised concern about violence after reports that the Indian National Lok Dal, Haryana’s main opposition party, had asked its workers to gather on Thursday at Ambala and march inside Punjab to start digging the SYL canal.
- The Supreme Court’s call for status quo in the inter-State water dispute came amidst Punjab’s affidavit that the Punjab Termination of Water Agreement Act of 2004 was still in force. It argued that a recent Supreme Court verdict that declared the 2004 Act as unconstitutional was only an opinion given by the court on a presidential reference and not a verdict as such to be complied as law.
- Haryana, represented by senior advocate Shyam Divan, submitted that the verdict allowing the SYL canal to be built has to be executed.
16. No age bar for studying law: Supreme Court stays BCI’s notification.
- There will be no age limit for LLB examination this academic year, as the Supreme Court has stayed Bar Council of India’s (BCI) notification fixing age limit for law courses….
- When the matter was called up, Justice Nageswara Rao asked whether there had been some development from the Bar Council. Ardhendumauli Prasad Counsel for the Bar Council stated that the BCI had taken a decision on Wednesday to raise it to 22 for the for the 5-year courses and 45 for the 3-year courses.
17. Meetings to make GST applicable from July 1.
- In a significant step towards meeting the July 1 deadline for the roll out of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), the GST Council on Saturday gave its formal approval to the Central GST (CGST) and Inter-State GST (IGST) laws, with the Compensation Law already having been approved during the previous meeting on February 18.
- Jaitley said the two remaining Bills will be placed before the GST Council on March 16. “If they are approved then, and I have every confidence that they will be, then four out of the five laws will be ready to be placed before the Cabinet for approval and then tabled in Parliament during the second half of the Budget session,” he said.
18. Finally, Pakistan gets its official elected as SAARC Secretary General
- After months of difficulty, Pakistan on Wednesday succeeded in getting its official elected to the post of Secretary General of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). Pakistan was backed by all members, including India, which made the selection consensus- based.
- Officials at the SAARC Secretariat, however, said the election was of administrative nature and diplomatic intent should not be read in it. “As the incoming chair, Pakistan was supposed to provide the next Secretary General and all members of the SAARC allowed the smooth transition from Nepal to Pakistan,” said a source at the Secretariat in Kathmandu.
- Sources at the SAARC secretariat said the election of Mr. Sial was possible as India and Pakistan had indicated a greater willingness to allow SAARC to function.
19. Centre to contest tribunal order on military pay
- The Defence Ministry has decided as a matter of principle to challenge in the Supreme Court the ruling of the Armed Forces Tribunal to grant non-functional upgrade (NFU) for the armed forces.
- While the government is not against the upgrade for the services, its challenge is on principle as a tribunal has no authority to take such a decision. It is “judicial overreach”, a senior Ministry official said.
- Last December, the Principal Bench of the tribunal in New Delhi granted the upgrade to the armed forces personnel in pay and allowances in response to a petition filed by over 160 officers. The upgrade has been one of the core anomalies raised by the services in the Seventh Pay Commission recommendations, which are yet to be implemented for them.
- The upgrade entitles all officers of a batch who are not promoted to draw the salary and grade pay that the senior-most officer of their batch would get after a certain period. For instance, batch mates of a Secretary to the Government of India who have not been promoted will be entitled to the same pay after a certain time lapse.
- The Sixth Pay Commission had granted the upgrade to most Group ‘A’ officers but not the military. Since then, the armed forces had been demanding a one-time notional upgrade to ensure parity.
- However, the Seventh Pay Commission (SPC) gave a mixed verdict on it and the issue has since been referred to the Anomalies Committee.
20. India to attend Lahore meet on Indus Waters Treaty
- World Bank officials play mediator in two months of diplomatic negotiations.
- Signalling a major shift in its position on talks with Pakistan on the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT), India has accepted an invitation to attend a meeting of the Permanent Indus Commission (PIC) to be held in Lahore in March.
- The news closely follows the visit of World Bank Chief Executive Officer Kristalina Georgieva to New Delhi, where she met with Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, weeks after her visit in January to Islamabad, where she met Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
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