First Edition of the North East Investors Summit Held in Shillong

  • The first edition of the North East Investors Summit was inaugurated on January 29, 2017 by the Union Textiles Minister, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani in Shillong, Meghalaya.
  • The North East Investors Summit 2017 was jointly organized by the Union Ministry of Textiles and the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) of the Government of India in collaboration with industry associations Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). 
  • The two day Summit concluded on January 30, 2017.Theme: Exploring Opportunities in North East Region.

Budget session of Parliament begans today (31 January 2017)

  • The Budget session of Parliament will begin today (31 January 2017) and President Pranab Mukherjee will address the joint sitting of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.The Economic Survey will also be tabled on the first day of the session. There will be no separate Rail budget from this year and it has been merged with the general budget which will be presented on 1 february 2017.
  • The government had advanced the date of budget presentation so as to complete the entire process before the end of financial year.The first part has been kept brief in view of ongoing assembly polls in five states. It will have eight sittings from 31st January to 9th of February, 2017. 
  • The two houses will have a month long recess from 10th February to 8th March to enable the Standing Committees to consider the Demands for Grants of Ministries and Departments and prepare their Reports. The second part of the budget session will commence from 9th of March and will continue till 12th of April, 2017.
  • Apart from presentation of the general budget, 34 bills will be taken up for passing and consideration during the entire session. These include three ordinances which will be replaced through bills. The ordinances relate to Enemy Property, Payment of Wages and Specified Bank Notes.The other important legislations to be taken up include Goods and Services Tax, Central Goods and Services Tax ( Compensation for loss of revenue) and Integrated GST.

Economic Survey 2017 tabled in Parliament: Key highlights

  • Union finance minister Arun Jaitley on 31 January 2017 tabled the Economic Survey 2016-17 in Parliament budget session. 
  • The survey projects the economy to grow in the range of 6.75% to 7.25% in the next fiscal year 2017-18 in the post-demonetization year.
  • The survey prepared by chief economic adviser in the finance ministry Arvind Subramanian stated the adverse impact of demonetisation on GDP growth will be transitional. 
  • The Economic Survey 2016-17 advocates the concept of Universal Basic Income (UBI) as an alternative to the various social welfare schemes in an effort to reduce poverty.

Here are the major highlights from the Economic Survey 2016-17:
  • Gross domestic product (GDP) growth in 2016-17 to dip to 6.5%, down from 7.6% in last fiscal.
  • Economic growth to rebound to 6.75 to 7.5% in 2017-18.
  • Economic Survey sees fiscal windfall from Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, low oil prices.
  • Farm sector to grow at 4.1% in the current fiscal, up from 1.2% in 2015-16.
  • Fiscal gains from Goods and Services Tax (GST) will take time to realise.
  • Growth rate of industrial sector estimated to moderate to 5.2% in 2016-17 from 7.4% last fiscal.
  • The survey prepared by Chief Economic Adviser in the finance ministry Arvind Subramanian said the adverse impact of demonetisation on GDP growth will be transitional.
  • The Economic Survey 2016-17 has advocated the concept of Universal Basic Income (UBI) as an alternative to the various social welfare schemes in an effort to reduce poverty. 

India Post Payments Bank starts pilot services

  • India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) kicked off its operations by rolling out pilot services in Raipur and Ranchi.The bank will offer an interest rate of 4.5% on deposits up to Rs25,000; 5% on deposits of Rs25,000-50,000 and 5.5% on Rs50,000-1,00,000.
  • The paid up equity of the new bank is Rs800 crore, of which the government has already infused ?275 crore.
  • The idea is to have a branch in every district and make 3 lakh postmen come alive in payment bank function.Also 1,000 ATMs of India Post will be transferred to IPPB.Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha stated that IPPB plans to have 650 branches across the country by September 2017.

RBI lifts ATM withdrawal limits from Feb 1, 2017

  • In a big relief to people, RBI has announced lifting of restrictions on daily withdrawal of money from ATMs with effect from 1 February 2017 and has also withdrawn all limits on Current Accounts and overdraft accounts with immediate effect
  • In a circular to the banks the RBI however stated the weekly limits of 24 thousand rupees on Savings Bank accounts will continue.

FGII Enters Into Bancassurance Tie-Up With Bank Of Maharashtra

  • Future Generali India Insurance Company (FGII) announced an agency tie-up with Pune based Bank of Maharashtra.
  • To immensely benefit our customers by providing them an ease of access while choosing from a diverse range of non-life insurance products, all under one roof Bank-of-Maharashtra.
  • It has tie-up with over 100 banks in India for bancassurance.Now it accounts for 5 per cent of Future Generali’s total business

UberMOTO launches service in Hyderabad

  • Cab-hailing firm Uber has launched two-wheeler aggregation service UberMOTO in Hyderabad. The firm, which has signed an agreement with the Hyderabad Metro Rail Ltd recently, formally launched the services.
  • Using the app, people can hire two-wheelers for short-distance commute at cheaper rates. The agreement was aimed at providing the last-mile connectivity from and to the upcoming Metro railway stations. Uber Founder and CEO Travis Kalanick came to Hyderabad last month to seal the deal

Karnataka Govt Approves Amending Laws to Lift Ban on Kambala & Bullock Cart Race

  • The Karnataka state cabinet approved amending Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Bill, 1960 Act to legalize the Kambala and Bullock Cart Race which is a traditional festival held annually in Karnataka.
  • The amendment Bill will be introduced by the state cabinet in the legislature session scheduled to be begin from February 6,2017.

Bombay Natural History Society launches climate change programme in Central Himalayas

  • The Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) has launched climate change programme to assess the status, distribution and conservation of pheasants and finches in the Central Himalayas.
  • To evaluate the socio-economic activities of local communities and involve them in conservation efforts and sensitize the local forest department staff.This programme is funded by Oracle and facilitated by CAF-India.

Trump Bans 7 nations from Entering US on Security Issues

  • American President Donald Trump has signed an executive order to temporarily ban visas for refugees belonging to seven Muslim-majority countries namely Trump Bans 7 nations from Entering US on Security Issues Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.
  • The decision aims at protecting United States from the entry of foreign terrorists to keep the nation safe. The ban is not aimed at restricting Muslim countries from entering US.

Dushyant Chautala is new TTFI president

Dushyant Chautala has been appointed as the president of the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI). Chautala is the youngest president of the apex body. His term, which is for four years, extends until 2021.

Reliance Defence Signs Contract with Ministry of Defence to Construct 14 Fast patrol Vessels for Indian Coast Guard

  • Reliance Defence and Engineering Ltd (RDEL), a wholly owned arm of Reliance Infrastructure Ltd (RInfra), has signed a contract worth Rs. 916 crore with the Ministry of  Defence to design and construct 14 Fast Patrol Vessels for the Indian Coast Guard. 
  • The medium range, high speed vessels would be deployed for patrolling within the exclusive economic zone, costal surveillance, anti-smuggling, anti-piracy, search and rescue operations. It will also provide support as front-line warships during emergencies.

KSEZ, Subsidiary of GMR group Signs MoUs With Firms to Set Up Manufacturing Units at Kakinada SEZ , Andhra Pradesh

  • Kakinada SEZ Ltd (KSEZ), a subsidiary of GMR Infrastructure Limited (GIL), signed several MoUs with various companies during the CII Partnership Summit 2017 held on  GMRJanuary 27-28, 2017 at Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. 
  • The MoU aimed at setting up World Class manufacturing units at the Kakinada SEZ in Andhra Pradesh spread over 8,500 acres at a cost of Rs. 47000 crore.

Priyanka Chopra among 150 most fashionable women

  • Indian actress Priyanka Chopra has made it to the list of Harper's Bazaar's 150 most fashionable women. 
  • The 34-year-old "Quantico" star features on the list under the section of New Guard. Priyanka took to Twitter to share the news with her fans and followers.

Ashok Amritraj Appointed UN in India Goodwill Ambassador for the Sustainable Development Goals

  • Film producer and Wimbledon tennis player, Ashok Amritraj has been appointed the United Nations in India Goodwill Ambassador for the Sustainable Development Goals 
  • Amritraj is the first Ambassador for the UN in India.He is responsible to generate momentum and commitment to achieve the SDGs by 2030 and to foster engagement of new stakeholders in the implementation of these Goals.

Amulya Patnaik appointed as Delhi Police Chief

IPS officer from Union Territories cadre, Amulya Patnaik is appointed as Chief of Delhi police on January 30, 2017. He is succeeded by Alok Verma, who has been moved as the director of CBI.Patnail is currently workig as Delhi police special commissioner (administration).

Atomic clocks of Satellite IRNSS-1A Develops Technical Snag

  • The atomic clocks on the first satellite IRNSS-1A of the NAVIC, an indigenously built satellite system has developed technical complications.
  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman, A.S. Kiran Kumar informed that one of the three crucial rubidium clock on IRNSS-1A spacecraft failed six months ago while the other two failed subsequently.

Veteran journalist Devdutt passes away

  • Veteran journalist Devdutt passed away. He was 88. He was Gandhian since his early days and was present at Birla House in the lawn when Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated on January 30, 1948.
  • He was seasoned political commentator, who had brought out a journal of political opinion called Point of View. 

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