Nation celebrates its 68th Republic Day 

  • India celebrates its 68th Republic Day today (26th January 2017). On January 26, 1950, the Constitution of India came into force, and Republic Day is celebrated to honour that day. On this day in 1950, the first President of India, Dr Rajendra Prasad took the oath. 
  • President Pranab Mukherjee has started the ceremony by hoisting the Indian flag, following which the Republic Day Parade from Rajpath. 
  • The parade starts from Rajpath and ends at Red Fort in Delhi. Every year on Republic Day, India invites a visiting head of state, who is the state guest of honour (chief guest) for the ceremony. This year's guest of honour is the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. 
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who personally received the Prince at the airport, stated that United Arab Emirates (UAE) is India's valued partner and close ties between the two countries are important for the entire region. 
  • Though Republic Day is celebrated on January 26 with the Parade on Rajpath, the celebrations are spread over three days and end with the Beating Retreat ceremony on January 29.

Madhya Pradesh CM announces total ban on polythene bags

  • Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has announced a total ban on polythene carry bags from May 1, 2017 across the state. "Use of polythene carry bags and their littering was affecting environment and cleanliness. 
  • Besides, cows were dying eating such bags," he stated. "Three months are being given to polythene manufacturers before the ban," Chouhan added.

DU becomes first public varsity with 'monumental' flag

  • Nearly one year after all Central University vice-chancellors decided to install the national flag on their campuses, Delhi University's Hansraj College on 25th January 2017 has hoisted its first monumental flag. 
  • DU is the first public university in the country to get a monumental flagpole, according to the Flag Foundation of India. The 100-feet high flag was hoisted by former MP Naveen Jindal.

MakeMyTrip launches India's 1st social luxury travel magazine

  • India's largest online travel portal MakeMyTrip has launched the first ever social luxury travel magazine called 'Luxury Travel Times'. 
  • The mobile-only magazine is targeted at luxury travellers and is released through innovative ad platforms like Facebook Canvas & Instagram-Stories. 
  • 'Spa-cation', 'Heaven on Earth' & 'Heritage' were first few themes of the magazine presenting exotic choices to explore fine living.

US President Trump orders 2,000-mile wall to be built on Mexico border

  • President Donald Trump has signed directives to build a wall along the US border with Mexico and crack down on US cities that shield illegal immigrants, proceeding quickly on sweeping and divisive plans to kerb immigration and boost national security. 
  • The Republican President is also expected to take steps in the coming days to limit legal immigration, including executive orders restricting refugees and blocking the issuing of visas to people from several Muslim-majority Middle Eastern and North African countries including Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Iraq, Iran, Libya and Yemen.
  • Trump signed two executive orders at the Department of Homeland Security, one ordering construction of a wall along the roughly 2,000-mile (3,200kilometre) US-Mexico border and the other moving to strip federal grant money from “sanctuary” states and cities, often governed by Democrats, that harbour illegal immigrants.

Burj Khalifa lights up in 'Tricolour' to mark 68th Indian Republic Day

  • Burj Khalifa tower, the world's tallest building located in Dubai, has lit up in the colours of the Indian National flag on 25th January 2017 and 26th January 2017 to celebrate India's 68th Republic Day.
  • The LED shows were to be held on both days along with complimenting Dubai Fountain shows. In addition to the shows, the Indian Consulate in Dubai has a flag-hoisting ceremony at the consulate premises by Consul General Anurag Bhushan, followed by flag-hoisting at the Indian High School grounds in Oud Metha, Dubai.

Gujarat government pardons 439 prisoners on Republic Day eve

  • Gujarat government has ordered released of 439 prisoners on humanitarian grounds on the eve of 68th Republic Day. Over half of these prisoners were serving the life sentence in different jails in Gujarat. The decision to pardon the remaining sentences of these 439 prisoners was taken by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani.
  • This is for the first time that such a large number of prisoners have been pardoned by the state. The prisoners convicted for rape, multiple murders, robbery and under tough laws like POTA, TADA or under National Security Act, were not given state pardon.

US Emmy award-winning actress Mary Tyler Moore has passed away

  • Emmy award-winning US actress Mary Tyler Moore has passed away at the age of 80. She was best known for her television roles in the 1960s sitcom The Dick Van Dyke Show and the eponymous The Mary Tyler Moore Show in the 1970s. 
  • She was also nominated for the best actress Oscar in 1980 for the film Ordinary People. Born in Brooklyn, New York, Moore moved to Los Angeles when she was eight years old and started her career in show business as a dancer aged 17.
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