National Voters’ Day being obs erved Today (25 January 2017)

  • The Election Commission of India will celebrate the 7th National Voters’ Day across the country today (25 January 2017) for enhanced participation of citizens in the electoral process. 
  • The National level function will be held in New Delhi. President Pranab Mukherjee will give away awards for best electoral practices to District Collectors, Superintendents of Police and other functionaries involved in election management.
  • 25th January is also the foundation day of the Election Commission, which came into being on this day in 1950. The Commission's objective through National Voters’ Day is to increase enrollment of voters, especially of the newly eligible ones. The Day is also utilized to spread awareness among voters regarding effective participation in the electoral process.

List of Padma awardees 2017

  • The list of the Padma awards is out,The Padma Vibhushan is the second-highest civilian award of the Republic of India, preceded by Bharat Ratna and followed by Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri (also Padmashree) is the fourth highest civilian award in the Republic of India, after the Bharat Ratna, the Padma Vibhushan and the Padma Bhushan. Awarded by the Government of India, it is announced every year on India's Republic Day. This Year both Padma Vibhushan and Padma Shri awards given are as follows:
  • Padma Vibhushan awardees: Sharad Pawar, Murli Manohar Joshi, K.J.Yesudas, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, P.A. Sangma, Sunder Lal Patwah, VishwaMohan Bhat. 
  • Padma Shri awardees: Basanti Visht, Chemanchari K. Nair, Sadhu Meher, T. K. Murthy, Emrat Khan, L. Birender Kumar Singh, Baoa Devi, Tilak Gitai, Kailash Kher, Mukund Naik, Sukri Bommagowda, Anuradha Podwal, Wareppa Naba Nil, T. K. Vishwanathanan, Kanwal Sibal, G. Venkata Subbaiah, Akkitham Achuthan Namboothiri, Birkha Bahadur Limboo Muringla, Eli Ahmed, Bhavna Somaya, Kashinath Pandit,Harkishan Singh, Dr Mukut Minz, Sanjeev Kapoor, Ashok Kumar Bhattacharya, H. R. Shah,Anuradha Koirala, Dr Mapuskar, Karimul Haque, Virat Kohli, Sakshi Malik, Dipa Karmakar, Vikas Gowda, Srijesh, M. Thanghavelu.

Cabinet Approvals- January 24, 2017

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved the Indian Institute of Management(IIM) Bill, 2017 on January 24, 2017 that aims to declare IIMs as Institutions of National Importance.
  • Cabinet gave its ex-post facto approval on for interest waiver for the two months of November and December, 2016 for farmers accessing short term crop loans from Cooperative Banks.
  • As a part of government’s commitment for financial inclusion and social security the Union Cabinet has given its post-facto approval to launch Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana 2017 (VPBY 2017) on January 24, 2017.
  • Union Cabinet on January 24, 2017 approved a new scheme for promotion of Rural Housing in the country.
  • PM Modi gave approval for the ratification of the Second Commitment Period of the Kyoto Protocol on containing the emission of Green House Gases (GHGs) which was adopted in 2012. Till date, 65 countries have ratified the Second Commitment Period.
  • Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved the proposal of India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) on January 24, 2017 for redevelopment of Pragati Maidan by setting up of a world class Integrated Exhibition-cum-Convention Centre (IECC) at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi.

SC for daily drug dosage regimen for TB patients

  • The Supreme Court  gave the government nine months to replace the thrice-a-week dosage norm of tuberculosis drugs with a daily dosage regimen recently approved by the World Health Organisation to curb relapse and deaths during treatment.
  • A Bench headed by Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar directed the government to ensure that efforts are made so that the patients across the country are administered the new dosage regimen.

Assam launches ‘Chief Minister’s Award’ to reward districts adopting digital payments

  • In a bid to promote digital transaction in Assam, the Chief Minister of Assam, Sarbananda Sonowal on January 22, 2017 announced the launch of ‘Chief Minister’s Award’ while inaugurating the Digi Dhan Mela in the state.
  • The Chief Minister’s Award would be given to the best performing district of the state that adopts digital payment methods and also educate larger section of the society about the cashless transaction.The winning district’s Deputy Commissioner would be presented a prize of Rs 50,000 at the end of financial year 2016-2017 after March 31, 2017.

India and UAE sign 14 agreements after delegation level talks between PM Modi & visiting Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi

  • India and the UAE inked 14 agreements in various areas including in defence, maritime transport, comprehensive strategic partnership, shipping, agriculture and allied sector, trade, oil storage and management, energy efficiency, road transport and highways and prevention and combating human trafficking. 
  • The agreements were signed after delegation level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan at Hyderabad House in New Delhi. 

UN appoints Director of UNIC in New Delhi

  • Derk Segaar has been appointed Director of the New Delhi based United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) covering India and the Kingdom of Bhutan by the UN Secretary-General António Guterres.
  • Earlier he was the Head of Communications of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in New York. 

Rubber Soil Information System (RubSIS) launched by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry for Rubber Growers

  • The Minister of Commerce & Industry, Smt Nirmala Sitharaman launched Rubber Soil Information System (RubSIS) in New Delhi to provide the detail  RubSISabout the soil quality to the rubber growers to enhance productivity besides reducing the cost of production.
  • RubSIS is an online platform developed to recommend application of appropriate mix of fertilizers to the specific plantations of rubber growers depending upon their soil nature.

PVR Launches Theater on Demand Service VKAAO

  • The Multiplex chain operator PVR has launched a theatre on demand service ‘VKAAO’ on January 20, 2017.
  • Vkaao is an online platform that will enable consumers to watch any movie of their  PVRchoice at a theatre of their choice. It would empower the viewers to choose what they want to watch, when and where.

India UK Join Hands to Launch Project to Tackle Delhi Air Pollution Risks

  • India has partnered with the British experts over a project that aims to study the air pollution level in Delhi and health problems associated it.The project ‘ASAP-Delhi: An Integrated Study of Air Pollutant Sources in the Delhi National Capital Region’ would be led by University of Birmingham and would also involve experts from the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, the Indian National Physical Laboratory and the University of Surrey.

Nikki Haley confirmed as new US envoy to UN

  • In United States, the Senate has confirmed Nikki Haley as the next Ambassador to the United Nations, making her the first Indian-American to serve on a Cabinet rank position in any presidential administration. 
  • Forty-five-year old Haley was approved by the Senate on a 96-4 vote. Senate Foreign Relations Committee earlier overwhelmingly approved the nomination of the South Carolina Governor as the next US Ambassador to the United Nations.

Trump signs executive orders to advance Keystone XL, Dakota Access pipelines

  • US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order to advance controversial Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines. His latest actions to overturn the policies of former President Barack Obama, the nation's chief executive he replaced recently.

BookMyShow acquires MastiTickets

  • BookMyShow has acquired MastiTickets, an online ticket booking firm, for an undisclosed amount.The two-year-old Hyderabad start-up has presence in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The Hyderabad firm has eight employees, while BookMyShow has over 1,000 employees.
  • The acquisition gives 120 cinemas in the two States. The acquisition of MastiTickets fit perfectly into its expansion strategy,” Ashish Hemrajani, Chief Executive Officer Officer and Co-Founder, BookMyShow, stated.

Venezuela awards peace prize to Russia Prez Vladimir Putin

  • Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has awarded the first ever Hugo Chavez Prize for Peace and Sovereignty to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
  • The award, that honours Venezuela's former President Hugo Chavez, recognised "Putin as a great leader of peace". 
  • Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro had earlier called Putin a fighter for peace.

Revv to launch services in Mumbai, Chennai, Jaipur

  • Revv, the Delhi NCR-based shared mobility platform, is launching its car sharing services in three new cities Mumbai, Chennai and Jaipur taking its national footprint to seven cities.
  • Revv is already available in Delhi-NCR, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chandigarh. It now plans to expand its footprint to 20-25 cities by the end of 2017.

China Develops World’s Biggest Solar Park

  • In an effort to become the super powerful occupier of green energy, China has built the world’s biggest solar park, Longyangxia Dam Solar Park, in the western province of Qinghai. 
  • The park spans over 27 square km of area and can produce 850 MW of power which is enough to supply up to 200,000 households. 
  • The construction of the solar park began in 2013 and total costs around $875 million (around Rs. 6,000 crore).

Matthew Hayden inducted into Australian Cricket Hall of Fame

  • Former Australian cricketers Matthew Hayden and David Boon have been inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame. 
  • Betty Wilson, an icon of women's cricket, who was known as the 'female Bradman' during her career in the 1940s and 1950s, was also added to the Hall of Fame. 
  • The trio will be formally inducted on the Allan Border Medal night.

Retired Watson bags Australia's T20I player of the Year award

  • Retired all-rounder Shane Watson has been adjudged Cricket Australia's T20 International Player of the Year.
  • Watson was the 2nd highest run-getter during the voting period from January 8, 2016 to January 7, 2017. 
  • He had announced his retirement from international cricket in March last year.

Kremlin to host 2018 FIFA World Cup finals

  • The draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals hosted by Russia will take place in the Kremlin the country’s Football Union (RFU) chief Vitaly Mutko stated. 
  • Mutko, Russia’s deputy prime minister, stated FIFA had approved the plan, which world football’s ruling body later confirmed.The World Cup finals draw ceremony will take place.

Virender Sehwag Named Kings XI Punjab Brand Ambassador

  • Kings XI Punjab have appointed Virender Sehwag as their head of cricket operations and strategy, and brand ambassador too for the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
  • Virender Sehwag is a former Indian cricketer, and a former captain of India. 
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