Current Affairs GK - January 2018 Highlights | Important Issues Pdf

Important Days

  • The Anti-Leprosy Day is observed every year in India on the Martyrdom Day of Mahatma Gandhi on January 30, remembers his selfless efforts and care for the people affected by leprosy.
  • The Election Commission of India celebrated the 8th National Voters’ Day across the country on 25th January for enhanced participation of citizens in the electoral process. The National level function was held in New Delhi.1st Chief Election Commissioner of Independent India- Sukumar Sen.21st Chief Election Commissioner of India- Achal Kumar Joti.Om Prakash Rawat has been appointed as the next (22nd) chief election commissioner (CEC) of India.
  • Uttar Pradesh Diwas is observed on 24th of January. The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu was the chief guest of the event (named Lucknow Utsav) organized in Lucknow.
  • The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) celebrated its 13th Raising Day on jan 20, in New Delhi. The Director Intelligence Bureau, Rajiv Jain was the chief guest on this occasion.
  • The National Youth Day has been celebrated every year on 12 January. This is the day when Swami Vivekananda, one of the greatest social reformers, thinkers, and philosophers of India, was born. The Indian government had declared back in 1984 that Swamiji’s birthday would be celebrated as the National Youth Day.

summits/events

  • The 171st Araadhanai Music Festival of one of the Trinities of Carnatic music Saint Thyagaraja begins in Thiruvaiyaru, Tamil Nadu. The festival was inaugurated by Governor Banwarilal Purohit.The main function of the festival is the choral singing of Thyagaraja’s five kritis in Ghana ragas. Over 1,000 musicians from all over the world are expected to pay homage to Saint Thygaraja during the course of the five-day festival.
  • India to host the mini-ministerial meeting of WTO members in Feb 2018 to revitalize the multi-lateral trade body.
  • The Karnataka government announced that 'Karnataka International Travel Expo' (KITE) will be held from February 28, billing it as the "largest" B2B travel event in the country.
  • Goa will be hosting the third edition of the Science Film Festival of India in January 2018. The festival, titled SCI-FFI Goa, is being organised by the state-based Vidnyan Parishad, Goa Department of Science and Technology.
  • Meghalaya signed the Indian Host City Contract with the Olympic Association (IOA) for hosting the 39th National Games in 2022.
  • Melbourne Cricket Ground will host the final of both the men’s and women’s World Twenty20 when the tournaments come to Australia in 2020.The women’s final will coincide with International Women’s Day (8th March).
  • A three-day international bird festival will be held at the Dudhwa National Park, Lakhimpur Kheri, Uttar Pradesh in February 2018 withnearly 200 leading ornithologists expected to attend.
  • The National Handloom Expo (NHE) has been inaugurated by Assam Handloom and Textile Minister Ranjit Dutta at Guwahati, Assam on January 29, 2018.
  • Trade ministers from various countries including Australia, Japan and Switzerland met for an informal WTO ministerial gathering in Davos, Switzerland.India announced that it will host an informal WTO Ministerial gathering in March 2018. The meeting would be held in New Delhi on March 19-20.
  • The Country celebrates its 69th Republic Day on 26th January in Rajpath, New Delhi to be resplendently displaying the country's pride and glory. Heads of ten ASEAN countries are chief guests at Republic Day.
  • This year, the guests of honour are-
  • Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah-Sultan of Brunei,
  • Hun Sen- Prime Minister of Cambodia,
  • Rodrigo Roa Duterte- President of The Philippines,
  • Joko Widodo- President of Indonesia,
  • Najib Razak- Prime Minister of Malaysia,
  • Nguyen Xuan Phuc- Prime Minister of Vietnam,
  • Halima Yacob- President of Singapore,
  • Htin Kyaw- President of Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi- state counsellor of Myanmar,
  • Prayuth Chan Ocha- Prime Minister of Thailand and
  • Thongloun Sisoulith- Prime Minister of Laos.
  • The R-Day parade is being led by Parade Commander Lt. Gen. Asit Mistry. The family members of Corporal Jyoti Prakash Nirala (Posthumous) of the Indian Air Force (IAF), who died fighting militants in Kashmir valley, received India’s highest peacetime gallantry award, Ashok Chakra. This is the third Ashok Chakra for the IAF and its first for ground combat.
  • The 7th Asia Steel International Conference will be held in Bhubaneswar, Odisha in February 2018. The announcement was made by Tata Steel, in association with the Indian Institute of Metals.
  • The 16th International Energy Forum (IEF) Ministerial meeting will be held in New Delhi in April 2018. According to the Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan, the meeting will be hosted by Government of India in New Delhi and co-hosted by the Government of China and South Korea.
  • The International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced, the 2018 edition of the Women’s World T20 will be hosted by West Indies in November 2018. Hosts Windies will defend the title they won over Australia in Kolkata in 2016.
  • India-ASEAN business and investment conference held in New Delhi ahead of the landmark commemorative summit meeting on the 25th of January. In the conference, Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu stresses enhanced connectivity via land to strengthen trade ties.Silver jubilee of India-ASEAN partnership is being celebrated in New Delhi on the 25th January with an unprecedented summit meet.
  • The first Post Office Passport Seva Kendra (POPSK) of Puducherry was inaugurated by Smt. Sushma Swaraj, Minister for External Affairs at Karaikal.
  • The fourth edition of the India International Science Festival will be held in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.
  • Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power and New & Renewable Energy, Raj Kumar Singh delivered the keynote address at the ministerial plenary session of the International Solar Alliance at Abu Dhabi, UAE.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi and PM Benjamin Netanyahu inaugurated the 'iCreate Centre' at Deo Dholera in Ahmedabad. iCreate paves way for the two nations to jointly script new stories of success through innovation.
  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Mumbai during the final leg of his visit to India. Mr Netanyahu addressed the India-Israel Business Summit at the iconic Taj Mahal hotel in south Mumbai.
  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu inaugurated the 3rd edition of the geo-political conference, 'Raisina Dialogue'. PM Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj attended the inaugural session of the three-day event.
  • The 65th meeting of the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) was held under the chairmanship of Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar.
  • The two-day International Workshop on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (IWDRI) successfully concluded in New Delhi. It had set the stage for taking the dialogue on resilient infrastructure forward at the global level.
  • Sanjay Manjrekar launched his autobiography named ‘Imperfect’, in Mumbai. The book ‘Imperfect’ was released by Dilip Vengsarkar, Sanjay Manjrekar’s first international captain.
  • Agriculture ministers of ASEAN countries met for the fourth sitting in New Delhi. The topic of discussion was based on food and agricultural future developments.
  • The 5th Bilateral Technical Meeting on cooperation in the field of Traditional Systems of Medicine between Govt. of India and Malaysia was held in New Delhi. It was a part of the agreement signed between both countries in 2010.
  • President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated a three-day International Dharma-Dhamma conference at Rajgir in Bihar.
  • PM Narendra Modi inaugurates the first Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) Parliamentary Conference in Delhi on the occasion of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas.

 

Appointments

  • Pankaj Jain, Joint Secretary in the Department of Financial Services (DFS), has assumed charge as the Managing Director of India Infrastructure Finance Company Ltd (IIFCL).
  • Senior diplomat Vijay Keshav Gokhale has been appointed foreign secretary of India. He has succeeded S Jaishankar.
  • National vice-president of the BJP, Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, who is also member of Rajya Sabha has been appointed the President of Indian Council of Cultural Relations.Riva Ganguly Das is the Director General of ICCR.Maulana Abul Kalam Muhiyuddin Ahmed was the founder of ICCR.
  • Salil S Parekh, an aeronautical engineer from IIT Bombay, has formally taken charge as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Managing Director (MD) of Infosys on January 2, 2018.
  • Tufan Ghosh has taken charge as the new Chief Operating Officer (COO) of National Cricket Academy (NCA).
  • Former RAW Chief Rajinder Khanna, a 1978-batch Research and Analysis Wing Service (RAS) officer, has been appointed as the new Deputy National Security Adviser (NSA) on January 2, 2018 without a fixed tenure and would remain at the post until further orders.
  • Abhay, the 1986-batch police officer of Odisha cadre, has taken charge as the new chief of the of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) at the NCB headquarters in Delhi on January 2, 2018.
  • B Rajendran, the former Madras High Court judge, has been appointed as the Chairman of the Real Estate Appellate Tribunal (REAT) for Tamil Nadu and the Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
  • Political scientist Gopal Guru has been appointed as the Editor of the Economic and Political Weekly (EPW) by the Sameeksha Trust for a period of five years.
  • Indian-American Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen has been elected as the Vice Chairman of the US-India Strategic and Partnership Forum. It is a new organisation set up to enhance business relations between India and the US.
  • Sauli Niinisto, the current President of Finland, has won the 2018 Finnish presidential election on January 28, 2018.
  • Usha Ananthasubramanian, MD and CEO, Allahabad Bank, has been elected the first woman chairman of Indian Banks’ Association (IBA). Usha was elected IBA Chairman for the year 2017-18 by its Managing Committee.
  • ISRO's Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC) director S Somanath has taken charge as the new director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC). It is ISRO's lead centre for launch vehicles.
  • Industry Chamber Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) has appointed Dilip Chenoy as its Director General.
  • Senior IPS officer Sudeep Lakhtakia has been appointed as the new Director General (DG) of the 'black cats' commando force NSG.
  • Election Commissioner Om Prakash Rawat was appointed as the next chief election commissioner (CEC) of India. Mr Rawat is the 22nd CEC of India. He succeeded Achal Kumar Joti.
  • Former Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel has been named as the new governor of Madhya Pradesh.
  • Facebook has appointed outgoing American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault to its board, making him the first African-American to be on the board.
  • The government appointed senior IAS officer S Selvakumar as Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India Ltd (SPMCIL).
  • Vice Admiral Ajendra Bahadur Singh, took over as Chief of Staff, Western Naval Command from Vice Admiral Ravneet Singh. Vice Admiral AB Singh was the Deputy Commander-in-Chief, Strategic Forces Command prior to his current appointment.
  • Market regulator SEBI has approved the appointment of Vijay Kumar as Managing Director and CEO of the country’s largest agri-commodity bourse NCDEX.
  • Senior sports administrator Anil Khanna was named Chairman of the Finance Commission of the Indian Olympic Association.
  • The Supreme Court collegium has recommended the name of senior advocate Indu Malhotra as the first woman lawyer to be directly appointed as a judge of the Supreme Court of India.
  • V J Mathew was appointed Maritime Board Chairman. The decision in this regard was taken by the Kerala cabinet. Mathew is the legal consultant of Vizhinjam International container terminal company and Indian Maritime Association Co-President.
  • The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) appointed Harjinder Singh as the Chef De Mission for the 23rd Winter Olympic Games to be held in Pyeongchang, South Korea in February 2018.
  • Singapore-based Indian-origin businessman Sunny Verghese has been appointed as the Chairman of the Geneva-based World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).
  • Noted rocket scientist Sivan K was appointed as the 9th chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). He has replaced A.S. Kiran Kumar.
  • National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has appointed Dilip Asbe as Managing Director and CEO of the organisation.
  • Music composer A R Rahman became the brand ambassador of Sikkim. The declaration was made by Sikkim CM Pawan Kumar Chamling.
  • Sports
  • G Sathiyan has become India’s highest-ranked player in the latest International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) rankings. He surpasses his compatriot the legendary Sharath Kamal.
  • Indian golfer Shiv Kapur won the Royal Cup at Pattaya, which is his third Asian Tour title of 2017. The 35-year-old, who had just one win in almost 11 years till April 2017, has now won three times in last eight months.
  • Vidarbha have created history by winning the Ranji Trophy for the first time in history with a thumping nine-wicket win over Delhi at the Holkar stadium in Indore.
  • Sharath Kamal beat top-seeded Anthony Amalraj to win the men singles title for the eighth time, equalling the feat of Kamlesh Mehta in the 79th edition of the 11Even Sports Senior Nationals in Ranchi, Jharkhand.Suthirta Mukherjee from West Bengal emerged the new women champion, beating Hyderabad Nationals winner Manika Batra.
  • Caroline Wozniack, a Danish professional tennis player, has won the 2018 women’s Singles title in the Australian Open 2018.
  • Tai Tzu Ying of Taiwan has won the 2018 women’s singles Indonesia Masters badminton tournament by defeating Saina Nehwal in the final by 9-21, 13-21 in Jakarta.
  • Vikram Singh Sisodia, the joint secretary of Indian Olympic Association (IOA), has been appointed the Chef-de-Mission for the 21st Commonwealth Games 2018.
  • Sandeep Lamichhane, the leg-spinner, has become the first cricketer from Nepal to sign for an IPL team. He was bought by Delhi Daredevils for his base price of Rs 20 lakh.
  • Roger Federer was the defending champion and successfully defended his title, defeating Marin Cilic in the final. It was Federer's 20th Grand Slam title.

 

  • Lifter Rakhi Halder created a new national record in clean and jerk to a gold medal in the 63kg women’s category in the 33rd Women Senior National Weightlifting Championships, in Mangaluru, Karnataka. Rakhi lifted 128kgs in the clean and jerk for a total of 230kgs to create a new national record, bettering Karnam Malleswari’s feat (127kg) created in Athens in 1999.
  • Young Indian shuttler Siddharth Pratap Singh secured his maiden international title, bagging the Swedish Open Junior International Series with a straight-game victory over Denmark’s Mads Christophersen in the finals in Uppsala in Sweden.
  • India beat Pakistan by two wickets to win the Blind Cricket World Cup 2018 for the second time after a thrilling match at Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
  • Here is the Complete list of Winners of ICC Award 2017-
  • Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for ICC Men’s Cricketer of the Year - Virat Kohli (India)
  • ICC Men’s Test Cricketer of the Year - Steve Smith (Australia)
  • ICC Men’s ODI Cricketer of the Year - Virat Kohli (India)
  • ICC Men’s Emerging Cricketer of the Year - Hasan Ali (Pakistan)
  • ICC Men’s Associate Cricketer of the Year - Rashid Khan (Afghanistan)
  • ICC Men’s T20I Performance of the Year - Yuzvendra Chahal (6-25 v England) (India)
  • David Shepherd Trophy for ICC Umpire of the Year – Marais Erasmus
  • ICC Spirit of Cricket - Anya Shrubsole (England)
  • ICC Fans Moment of the Year - Pakistan stuns India to win the ICC Champions Trophy 2017.
  • Professional player Aditya Mehta won the Kolkata Open 2018 International Invitation Snooker Championship in the capital city of West Bengal, Kolkata.
  • Aanchal Thakur made history as she won India's first ever international medal in skiing. The 21-year-old Manali resident clinched bronze in the coveted Alpine Ejder 3200 Cup.
  • Team Liverpool sold Brazilian football player Philippe Coutinho to Team Barcelona for 160 million Euros ($192 million). With this, transfer of Philippe Coutinho has become the 2nd Most Expensive transfer in World Soccer History.

Memorandums

  • The Centre approved an MoU between India and London’s transportation authority to improve public transport in the country.
  • The Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA) and India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) signed an agreement for the training of employees of the latter in the area of payment banking.
  • Cabinet has approved the signing of MoU between India and Israel on cooperation in the Oil and Gas Sector.The cooperation envisaged under the agreement will facilitate promotion of investments in each other’s countries, technology transfer, R&D, conducting joint studies, capacity building of human resources and collaboration in the area of Start-ups.
  • An MoU was signed between National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation (NHIDCL) under the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, and M/S IL&FS Transportation Networks Ltd for construction of the 14.150 km long,  2-lane bi-directional.
  • Andhra Pradesh Government and the Canton of Zurich signed a letter of intent, to promote mutual prosperity and development.
  • The Public Sector exploration giant Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has got the consent for acquiring controlling stake in fellow PSU Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL). The transaction will be for Rs36,915 crore.
  • The Telangana government had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Clean Authority of Tokyo in connection with municipal solid waste incineration in Hyderabad.
  • Banking finance company AU Small Finance Bank has signed an MoU with LIC to offer Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY). Under the MoU, LIC will give a life cover of Rs2 lakh in case of death to the customer at a nominal premium of Rs330 per annum.
  • A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Government of India and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in the presence of Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu to enhance import and export performance.
  • Bangladesh, India and Nepal have given nod to operating procedures for movement of passenger vehicles in the sub-region under Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) motor vehicles agreement.
  • India and Sri Lanka signed four agreements for collaboration in the Information and communication technology (ICT) sector, setting up of an e-office system and connecting of National Knowledge Network (NKN) for collaboration among universities and academics.
  • Indian Oil Corporation has signed Letters of Intent (LoI) with Phinergy, an Israeli start-up company, and YEDA, a technology spin-off company from Weizmann Research Institute, Israel.
  • India and Israel signed nine documents to further the cooperation. These include cooperation in Cybersecurity.
  • Maharashtra’s mine workers who face an increased risk of tuberculosis will be part of awareness programmes on the illness, as part of a partnership that the Maharashtra Government recently formalized with Johnson & Johnson.
  • The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE)'s India International Exchange listed the first bond on its Global Securities Market.
  • India has signed an MoU with the United Kingdom to enable the return of illegal Indian migrants within a month of their detection by authorities abroad.
  • An official delegation from South Korea and the Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) signed an MoU for co-operation between industries in Gujarat and the East Asian country, with a focus on automobile, defence and textiles sectors.
  • According to the Union Minister for Minority Affairs Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Saudi Arabia has given the green signal for India’s decision to revive the option of sending Haj pilgrims through sea route also.
  • The Indian Navy has inked an MoU with the Cochin Port Trust (CPT), Kerala towards leasing of 228 metres of berths at Mattancherry Wharf for a period of five years.

International

  • Pakistan has allowed Chinese currency Yuan for exports and financing transactions. According to Pakistan, external affairs ministry, both public and private sector enterprises of Pakistan and China are free to choose Yuan for bilateral trade and investment activities.
  • Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) introduced value-added tax (VAT). These are the first two countries in the Gulf which have introduced the VAT system.
  • Israel has filed notice to withdraw from the UNESCO alongside the United States. Israel has blasted UNESCO in recent years over the organisation's criticism of Israel's occupation of East Jerusalem and its decision to grant full membership to Palestine in 2011.
  • Nepal has banned solo climbers from scaling its mountains, including Mount Everest, in a bid to reduce accidents.
  • China has launched the world’s largest human genome research project to document the genetic makeup of one lakh people to help generate the precision medicines for the future.
  • Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kuwait, Peru, Poland and the Netherlands formally joined the ranks of the non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council to make a difference.
  • India has excluded Pakistan from the list of SAARC member countries with which it will be connecting its state-of-the-art National Knowledge Network (NKN) for sharing scientific databases and remote access to advanced research facilities.
  • Valletta, the capital of Malta, was officially named European Capital of Culture 2018. Valletta will share the title with Leeuwarden, a city in the Netherlands.
  • India has joined the Australia Group export control regime and has become the 43rd Member of that Group. It is an informal forum which seeks to ensure that exports do not contribute to the development of chemical or biological weapons.
  • North and South Korea have agreed to march together under a single unified Korea flag at Winter Olympics in the South. They also agreed to field a joint women’s ice hockey team after rare talks at the truce village of Panmunjom.
  • China became Nepal’s second internet service provider, breaking India’s monopoly in providing internet access to Nepal.
  • World’s largest Ice Festival 'International Ice and Snow Festival' was held in Harbin, China.

Miscellanious

  • Arunachal Pradesh has been declared open defecation free ahead of the national deadline of October 2, 2019. Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, and Haryana were declared open defecation free states in October 2017.
  • The unusual and very efficient whistle language commonly called "bird language" used as a means of communication by villagers in remote northern Turkey entered the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
  • Environment Minister Harshvardhan launched a 2.8 PetaFlop capacity high-performance computer system ‘Mihir’ in Noida. The system will be able to predict weather and climate accurately.
  • Oxford Dictionaries has chosen ‘Aadhaar’ as the Hindi word of 2017. The word gained popularity due to Aadhaar card, which was in news in 2017. The announcement was made in the Jaipur Literature Festival.
  • The Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Jai Ram Thakur launched the ‘Shakti’ app for women’s safety in the state.
  • India and Vietnam released first ever set of commemorative postage stamps to mark the long-term friendly bilateral relationships between the two countries.
  • On the eve of the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit to celebrate 25 years of India-ASEAN partnership, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had separate bilateral meetings with leaders of three ASEAN nations - Myanmar, Vietnam and Philippines in New Delhi.The PM first met his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc and held talks with on issues of mutual interest. Next, he met the Philipino President Rodrigo Duterte and covered a wide range of subjects. Myanmar's State Councillor Aung San Suu Kyi also met the PM later in the evening.
  • Myanmar Capital- Naypyidaw,Vietnam Capital- Hanoi,Philippines Capital- Manila.
  • The Minister of State (IC), for AYUSH, Shri Shripad Yesso Naik laid the foundation stone for Central Research Institute (CRI) in Jaipur, Rajasthan. This will be the third CRI under the aegis of Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy (CCRH).
  • President Ram Nath Kovind unveiled a book on heartfulness techniques and principles titled 'The Heartfulness Way'. Kamlesh D. Patel is the author of this book. It is the fourth Global Guide of Heartfulness.
  • Maharashtra has become the first state in the country that has come out with a public cloud policy.
  • India’s largest IT services firm Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has signed an over GBP 500 million (USD 690 million) deal with M&G Prudential, the UK and European savings and investments business of Prudential plc.
  • UN Environment and the World Health Organization have agreed a new, wide-ranging collaboration to accelerate action to curb environmental health risks that cause an estimated 12.6 million deaths a year.
  • The Matunga suburban station on the Central Railway (CR) has found its way into the Limca Book of Records for having an all-woman staff.

Awards

  • The Indian Parliamentary Group (IPG) headed by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan announced that five members of parliament (MPs) selected for the Outstanding Parliamentarian Awards.This includes, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad (2015), Trinamool Congress’ Dinesh Trivedi (2016), Manipur’s governor Najma A Heptulla (2013), BJP’s Lok Sabha member Hukumdev Narayan Yadav (2014) and five-time Rajya Sabha member Bhartruhari Mahatab of the Lok Biju Janata Dal (BJD) (2017).
  • Bollywood playback singer Asha Bhosle will be given the 'Yash Chopra Memorial Award'. She will be the fifth winner of the award. The name of Asha Bhosle is in the Guinness World Records for recording over 11,000 songs in 20 different languages.
  • The 60th Annual Grammy Awards, honoring the best achievements from October 2016 to September 2017 were held at Madison Square Garden in New York City, the USA. James Corden was the host of the ceremony for the second year in a row.It was Bruno Mars' night at the Grammy Awards held in New York, with the three biggest wins - Album Of The Year and Record Of The Year for 24K Magic and Song Of The Year for 'That's What I Like'.
  • The President has approved the awards for 85 individuals, which includes 3 Padma Vibhushan, 9 Padma Bhushan and 73 Padma Shri. Fourteen of the awardees are women and 3 persons have been awarded posthumously. In sports personalities, former India cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and multiple world champion cueist Pankaj Advani have been conferred with the third-highest civilian award, Padma Bhushan.The 2017 World Weightlifting Champion Saikhom Mirabai Chanu and former Asian Games gold medallist tennis player Somdev Devvarman have been conferred with the Padma Shri. The awards are announced on the eve of the Republic Day every year.
  • Padma Vibhushan Awards (2nd highest civilian award):
  • No. Winner    Category
  • Ilayaraja  Art (Music)
  • Ghulam Mustafa Khan           Art (Music)
  • Parameswaran Parameswaran              Literature & Education
  • Padma Bhushan Awards (3rd highest civilian award):
  • No. Winner    Category
  • Pankaj Advani         Sport (Billiards/Snooker)
  • Mahendra Singh Dhoni           Sports (Cricket)
  • Alexander Kadakin (Foreigner/Posthumous)         Public Affairs
  • Ved Prakash Nanda                Literature and Education
  • Laxman Pai             Art (Painting)
  • Arvind Parikh           Art (Music)
  • Sharda Sinha           Art (Music)
  • Philipose Mar Chrysostom      Others (Spiritualism)
  • Ramachandran Nagaswamy  Others (Archaeology).
  • Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan was honoured with the 24th Crystal Award at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
  • Bollywood came together to celebrate the industry's talent at 63rd Jio Filmfare Awards 2018, held in Mumbai. Superstar Shah Rukh Khan and filmmaker Karan Johar hosted the show. 'Hindi Medium' bagged honours in the categories of Best Film and Best Actor in a Leading Role (Male) for Irrfan Khan's impeccable performance.Vidya Balan won her career's sixth Filmfare award for her passionate portrayal of a middle-aged homemaker who turns into a radio jockey in 'Tumhari Sulu' as she claimed the Black Lady for the Best Actor in a Leading Role (Female).
  • President Ram Nath Kovind presented the Sangeet Natak Akademi’s Fellowships (Akademi Ratna) and Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards (Akademi Puraskar) for the year 2016 at a function held in New Delhi.
  • Actor Sudhir Dalvi was honoured with the Janakavi P Sawlaram award at a function held in Mumbai. The award is jointly given by the Thane Municipal Corporation and the Janakavi P Savlaram Kala Samiti.

National

  • The Assamese and Manipuri language versions of Prime Minister’s Official website- www.pmindia.gov.in were launched. With this launch, the PM INDIA website is available in 11 regional languages namely Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Odia, Punjabi, Tamil and Telugu in addition to English and Hindi.
  • The citizen of Assam witnessed the release of the first draft of National Register of Citizens (NRC) containing the first batch of 19 million names of genuine Indian citizens in compliance with the Supreme Court 's orders.Registrar General of India Sailesh released the document.
  • Uttar Pradesh will be the theme state for the 32nd Surajkund International Crafts fair, which is scheduled to be held from the first week of February at Faridabad in Haryana.The aim of fair is to preserve Indian folk traditions and cultural heritage.
  • The Karnataka government has recently received the approval for purchase of electric vehicles from the Department of Heavy Industries of the Union Government under FAME India subsidised scheme.
  • The Centre unveiled the contours of the ‘Electoral Bonds’ scheme, which seeks to ensure the flow of clean money to political parties, without revealing the donors’ names.
  • State-owned gas utility GAIL India Ltd has commissioned the country's second-largest rooftop solar power plant in Uttar Pradesh.
  • The Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), which is India’s Premier Container Port, has won the 2017 “Samudra Manthan – Caring Organisation of the Year”.
  • The Telangana government has constituted the SC/ST Commission in the state on January 2, 2018. Errolla Srinivas, a leader of the ruling TRS hailing from Siddipet district, has been named the chairman of the five-member panel.
  • The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for establishment of new AIIMS in Bilaspur (Himachal Pradesh) under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY).
  • The Reserve Bank of India will shortly issue Rs10 denomination banknotes in the Mahatma Gandhi (New) Series.The new denomination has the motif of Sun Temple, Konark on the reverse. The base colour of the note is Chocolate Brown. The dimension of the banknote will be 63 mm x 123 mm.
  • Smt Preeti Sudan, Secretary (Health and Family Welfare) launched the country’s first digital Online Oncology Tutorial Series designed by the Tata Memorial Center in collaboration with the Health Ministry.
  • The NABARD has sanctioned Rs 372.51 crore loan assistance under the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) to Odisha towards irrigation and rural bridge projects for the last quarter of this fiscal.
  • External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj left on a 5-day visit to three South East Asian countries – Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore.
  • Cabinet has approved the Agreement between India and Myanmar on Land Border Crossing. The Agreement will facilitate regulation and harmonization of already existing free movement rights for people of both countries.
  • Nitin Gadkari, the Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, will inaugurate the 2018 ASEAN-India Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) in Singapore on January 6. The theme of the 2-day PBD Convention is “Ancient Route, New Journey: Diaspora in the Dynamic India-ASEAN Partnership”.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has addressed the Conference on Transformation of Aspirational Districts at the Dr. Ambedkar International Centre in New Delhi on January 5, 2018.
  • India has overtaken the US to become the world’s third-largest steel producer and the country is now looking to bag the second spot from Japan. Country’s crude steel production grew by 6.2% to 101.4 million tonnes, MT, in 2017 compared to 95.5 MT in 2016, according to the report by World Steel Association.
  • India has been ranked sixth in the list of wealthiest countries with the total wealth of 8,230 billion US dollars. The list was topped by the United States of America, according to a report by New World Wealth.
  • The Centre has sanctioned projects over 10,000 crore rupees in the North East for better network connectivity. 2 MoUs have been signed to cover the uncovered areas in the North East including Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated the project commencement of the Rajasthan Refinery at Pachpadra in Barmer district. This is the first oil refinery in the state. The 43,000 crore rupee project is a joint venture between HPCL and the Rajasthan government.
  • Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM), under the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), has launched a competition for college and university students to foster a culture of innovation and creativity in the youth.
  • India has contributed USD 50,000 to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres's Office of Envoy on Youth to help with its mission of involving young people in the world body's goals.
  • Bhopal railway station has become the first railway station in the country to have a sanitary napkin vending machine. The machine dispenses two sanitary napkins at the cost of Rs 5 only.
  • The Supreme Court said playing the national anthem before screening movies in cinema halls is not mandatory. The bench was headed by chief justice Dipak Misra.
  • The provisional figures of Direct Tax collections up to December 2017 show that net collections are at Rs. 6.56 lakh crore which is 18.2% higher than the net collections for the corresponding period of last year.
  • Gujarat has topped the logistics index chart, according to a Report released by Union Minister for Commerce & Industry Suresh Prabhu in New Delhi.
  • Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal launched a common card for rides on public buses and the metro. Delhi is the first city in the country to have a common mobility card, which can at present be used on 200 DTC and 50 cluster buses plying on different routes, apart from metro trains.
  • Union Minister of Earth Sciences Dr Harsh Vardhan dedicated India’s fastest and first multi-petaflops supercomputer named ‘Pratyush’ to the nation in Pune. It is established at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune.
  • Haryana has become the first state in the country to launch High Risk Pregnancy (HRP) Portal.
  • Minister of State (I/C) of the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region Jitendra Singh announced that Arunachal Pradesh would get its first Film and Television Institute, being set up by the Union Government as part of tapping the potential of the Northeastern region.
  • The Reserve Bank of India has announced to issue Rs10 denomination banknotes in the Mahatma Gandhi (New) Series, bearing the signature of Dr. Urjit R. Patel, Governor, RBI. The new denomination has motif of Sun Temple, Konark on the reverse, depicting the country's cultural heritage. The base colour of the note is Chocolate Brown. The dimension of the banknote will be 63 mm x 123 mm.

Schemes

  • Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi inaugurated an online portal NARI in New Delhi for the empowerment of women. The portal will provide women with easy access to information on government schemes and initiatives for women.
  • National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) has approved five projects worth Rs. 295.01 crore.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the first Khelo India School Games at Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium in New Delhi. The Khelo India programme has been introduced to revive the sports culture in India at the grass-root level.
  • Radha Mohan Singh, the Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister, has launched the Rapid Detection Kits for adulterants (ammonia and formaldehyde) in fresh fish in New Delhi on January 30.
  • Marking the 69th Republic Day celebrations, Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) and New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) have launched the first ever 'Khadi Haat' in the country.
  • The Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeITY) has launched “Stree Swabhiman” initiative. The aim of the initiative is to create a sustainable model for providing adolescent girls and women an access to affordable sanitary products by leveraging Common Services Centres (CSCs).
  • Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh launched the release of benefits under 'Mahatma Gandhi Sarbat Vikas Yojana' (MGSVY) aimed at the inclusive growth of the distressed sections of the society.
  • Kolkata has become the first Indian Metro to get a Floating Market. The market will be located on a water-body with boats doubling up as shops. The market, located on the eastern fringes of the city, was inaugurated by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
  • Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD), Mr Rakesh Srivastava launched the Phase -1 i.e. the beneficiary module of the Rapid Reporting System (RSS) for the Scheme for Adolescent Girls (SAG) on the occasion of National Girl Child Day (24th January).
  • The Raipur Municipal Corporation in Chhattisgarh organised the three-day 'Kachra Mahotsav 2018'. It is India's first Garbage Festival.
  • The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), announced the 'Cyber Surakshit Bharat' initiative in association with National e-Governance Division (NeGD) and industry partners.
  • The Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Arun Jaitley launched the National CSR Data Portal & Corporate Data Portal in Delhi. This initiative is a significant step towards driving accountability and transparency for corporate India.
  • As per the Power Minister RK Singh, India will set up a $350-million fund to finance solar projects as the country steps up efforts to achieve its ambitious target of adding 175 gigawatts (GW) in renewable energy by 2022.
  • Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik has launched the ‘Mukhyamantri Kalakar Sahayata Jojana’ (MMKSJ) – an assistance scheme for Artists in the state. Around 50,000 artists will be benefited from this. The government has decided to give Rs 1,200 per month as artist assistance.
  • The Punjab government signed an MoU with the Indian Oil Corporation to set up bio-gas and bio-CNG plants in the state. The pact is part of the state's concerted efforts to find sustainable solutions to paddy straw burning, which has emerged as a major environmental concern.
  • Saksham (Sanrakshan Kshamta Mahotsav) is an annual flagship event of Petroleum Conservation Research Association (PCRA) under the aegis of Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Govt. of India.
  • In a major digital initiative to help plan the traffic flows and optimize freight operations, Ministry of Railways has launched Smart Freight Operation Optimisation & Real Time Information (SFOORTI) App for Freight Managers which provides features for monitoring and managing freight business using Geographic Information System (GIS) Views and Dashboard.
  • The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has introduced a concept of 'Virtual ID' to further strengthen privacy and security of Aadhaar number holders. The Aadhaar number holder can use 'Virtual ID' in place of an Aadhaar number whenever authentication or KYC services are performed.
  • Research Designs & Standards Organisation (RDSO), the research arm of Ministry of Railways, has launched “New Online Vendor Registration System”.

Surveys

  • As per the HSBC report, India's growth rate is expected to accelerate at around 6.5 percent in 2017-18 and is likely to improve further to 7.6 percent by 2019-20.
  • The Indian economy will expand by 6.5% in 2017-18, according to the new data of the government’s Central Statistics Office (CSO). It had released its first advance estimate for India’s GDP growth rate in the current financial year.
  • The country’s Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education has registered an increase from 24.5% in 2015-16 to 25.2% in 2016-17, according to the All India Higher Education Survey (AIHES) launched by Union Human Resource Development (HRD) M.inister Prakash Javadekar.
  • The world's biggest cleanliness survey 'Swachh Sarvekshan Survey 2018' was launched in India by PM Narendra Modi. It will be conducted from the 4th of January to 10th of March. The survey will evaluate achievements in cleanliness level of urban areas.
  • India is ranked second only to South Africa as the cheapest country to live or retire, according to a recent survey of 112 countries by GoBankingRates. The survey ranked nations on the bases of four key affordability metrics. The metrics are Local purchasing power index, rent index, Groceries index, and Consumer price index.
  • India ranks 177 among 180 countries in the Environmental Performance Index (EPI) 2018, according to a biennial report by Yale and Columbia Universities along with the World Economic Forum. India ranked 141 in 2016 report.
  • India has moved up on a global index of talent competitiveness to the 81st position in the report that was released in the first day the 48th World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. Switzerland has topped the list.
  • Reliance Industries (RIL) become the first Indian company to cross the Rs6-lakh crore mark in market capitalisation as its shares touched a 52-week high of Rs974.5.
  • India has emerged as the fifth most attractive market for investments and the optimism over global economic growth is at a record level, as per the survey of CEOs by global consultancy PwC.
  • According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), India is projected to grow at 7.4% in 2018 as against China’s 6.8%, making it the fastest growing country among the emerging economies.
  • India was ranked at the 62nd place among emerging economies on an Inclusive Development Index of World Economic Forum (WEF). In the report, China is on 26th position and Pakistan is on 47th.
  • Mauritius was the largest source of foreign investment in India (21.8 per cent share at market value), followed by the US and the UK, according to a census by the Reserve Bank of India.
  • India Ratings and Research has projected the country’s economic growth to improve to 7.1 percent in 2018-19 from 6.5 percent in 2017-18, buoyed by robust consumption demand and low commodity prices.
  • The Country's exports grew by 12 point 36 percent in December 2017 to 27 point 03 billion US dollars on account of strong performance by sectors like engineering goods and petroleum products.
  • The World Economic Forum (WEF) has ranked India at 30th position on a global manufacturing index - below China’s 5th place but above other BRICS peers, Brazil, Russia and South Africa.
  • India has emerged as a top borrower from the China-sponsored Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) with USD 1.5 billion worth of loans last year and USD three billion more in the pipeline.
  • Retail inflation crossed the RBI’s comfort level and rose to 5.21 percent in December.
  • India's domestic air passenger traffic grew by 16.4 percent in November 2017, topping the growth chart worldwide, according to the global aviation body, the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
  • Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon has become the richest man in the history, overtaking the wealth Bill Gates ever had to his name, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The Index showed that Bezos' net worth had hit USD 105.1 billion.
  • In the financial year 2016-17, total FDI of US $ 60.08 billion has been received, which is an all-time high. The Cabinet chaired by PM Narendra Modi has approved amendments in FDI Policy and further liberalized few of the policies of FDI.
  • Karnataka topped all states with investment intentions of Rs. 1.49 lakh crore till October 2017.
  • World Bank has projected India’s growth rate at 7.3 percent in 2018 and 7.5 for the next two years.

Business

  • US buyout giant Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) & Co. has become the first foreign investor to fully own an Asset Reconstruction Company (ARC) in India as it received approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) at a time when lenders are fighting with a pile of bad loans that have crippled their businesses.
  • Star Sports, India’s leading sports broadcaster, has bagged the broadcast and production rights of Union Sports Ministry’s flagship ‘Khelo India School Games (KISG)’ for a period of five years from 2018 to 2022. The first-ever Khelo India School Games 2018 will be held from January 31 for under-17 age group (boys and girls) across 16 sports disciplines.
  • Google has introduced a new app named "Bulletin" that allows anybody to submit stories for and about their communities. This is a free, lightweight app for telling a story by capturing photos, video clips and text right from your phone, published straight to the web.
  • Mobile payments company Paytm and Alibaba Group-owned AGTech Holdings Ltd have formed a joint venture to launch 'Gamepind' a gaming platform aimed at mobile users in India. The joint venture between Alibaba’s AGTech Holdings and Paytm was originally signed in July 2017.
  • Vodafone India has partnered with e-commerce marketplace Flipkart to provide a range of entry-level smartphones at an ef
  • National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC) signed an MoU with SME Corporation Malaysia for exchange of information and cooperation in areas such as policies to aid development of small and medium businesses (SMBs) in the two countries.fective price of Rs999.
  • Facebook-owned instant messaging platform WhatsApp has rolled out a feature that connects small businesses with customers. Currently, only Android users can access the feature and they can avail of it through the latest update of the app.
  • Digital invoice discounting marketplace - Invoicemart has tied up with state-run lender Bank of Baroda to discount invoices for MSMEs. Buyers and sellers registered in the marketplace will now be able to access funding from Bank of Baroda.
  • The ‘I4Fund Call for Proposal’ was announced with the joint launch of the website and the unveiling of the brochure by the two PMs (Narendra Modi and Benjamin Netanyahu). The "India-Israel Industrial R&D and Technological Innovation Fund (I4F)" was announced in July, 2017.
  • Paytm has set up a new entity called Paytm Money Ltd that will offer investment and wealth management products and will invest close to $10 million upfront in the new entity.
  • Flipkart’s payments arm PhonePe has partnered mobile wallet company FreeCharge to allow the latter’s customers pay for transactions at PhonePe’s partner merchants.

Banking

  • According to the Finance Ministry, RBI Bonds Scheme has not been closed but the interest rate on such papers lowered to 7.75 percent. The 8 percent Savings Bonds Scheme, also known as RBI Bonds Scheme, is not being closed but is being replaced by 7.75 percent Savings Bonds Scheme.
  • The State Bank of India reduced the base rate and benchmark prime lending rates by 30 basis points each, which will benefit nearly 80 lakh customers on the old pricing regime.
  • State Bank of India and NABARD have signed an agreement with five NGOs in Bengal for the promotion of 2,500 joint liability groups (JLGs) in select districts of the State
  • HDFC Bank has announced a partnership with Rajasthan Government to promote and nurture startups in the state.
  • Customers will not have to pay any transaction charges for payments through debit card, BHIM app and other payment made for up to Rs 2,000.
  • The Reserve Bank of India has initiated 'prompt corrective action' (PCA) against Allahabad Bank over its high bad loans.
  • The Andhra Pradesh Grameena Vikas Bank (APGVB) has operationalised its first desktop ATM in Telangana. The mini-ATM within the branch premises will facilitate customers to withdraw small amounts.
  • The State Bank of India (SBI) and NABARD have signed an agreement with 5 NGOs in Bengal for the promotion of 2,500 Joint Liability Groups (JLGs) in select districts of the State on January 2, 2018.
  • The India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA) to offer relevant training to the employees on issues pertaining payment banking.
  • Private sector Axis Bank launched the fourth edition of ‘Evolve’ in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. It is an annual multi-city knowledge series for Bank’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) customers. The current edition of 'evolve' is titled as “Transform your Family Business into your dream company”.
  • The Asian Development Bank and the Indian Government have signed a 250 million dollar loan to finance the construction of over 6 thousand 2 hundred kilometres all-weather rural roads in 5 states viz Assam, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY).
  • Rating agency CRISIL has revised its outlook on 18 public sector banks (PSBs) from “negative” to “stable” after the government announced bank-wise capital infusion and reform plans.
  • The Ministry of Finance has announced that "Payments Banks and Small Finance Banks" will offer social security scheme Atal Pension Yojana (APY) to their subscribers. It was done to strengthen the existing channels of APY distribution.
  • Indian Overseas Bank has signed an MoU with National Housing Bank for the Rural Housing Interest Subsidy Scheme (RHISS) of the Ministry of Rural Development. The aim of the RHISS is to provide subsidy for housing loans taken by those living in rural areas for construction and modifications of their dwelling units.
  • Amplus Energy Solutions announced entering into a pact with private sector lender Yes Bank for strategic tie-up to co-finance projects in the solar energy space in India.
  • India’s most-valued lender HDFC Bank Ltd crossed Rs5 trillion market capitalisation for the first time, making it only the third Indian company to achieve this milestone.
  • Federal Bank has entered into a strategic partnership with Hedge Equities Ltd for providing Portfolio Investment Scheme (PIS) services to NRIs.
  • IDFC Bank and Capital First has approved a merger of Capital First with IDFC Bank. Pursuant to the merger which is subject to regulatory and shareholder approvals, IDFC Bank will issue 139 shares for every 10 shares of Capital First.
  • IndusInd Bank and Dynamics Inc. at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) announced plans to introduce the first battery-powered, interactive payment cards to the Indian market in 2018.
  • Punjab National Bank (PNB) and National Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation (NSFDC) have tied up to provide financial assistance for economic empowerment of persons belonging to Scheduled Caste (SC) families living below Double Poverty Line (DPL).

Deaths/resigns

  • Pakistan has allowed Chinese currency Yuan for exports and financing transactions. According to Pakistan, external affairs ministry, both public and private sector enterprises of Pakistan and China are free to choose Yuan for bilateral trade and investment activities.
  • R Margabandu (83), an advocate by profession and former Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) of Tamil Nadu, has passed away on December 28, 2017.
  • Radha Vishwanathan (83), Carnatic vocalist and former classical dancer, has passed away in Bengaluru, Karnataka on January 2, 2018. She was the daughter of legendary classical singer M S Subbulakshmi.
  • Vasant Shankar Davkhare (67), the senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and former Deputy Chairman of the Maharashtra Legislative Council (MLC), has passed away in Mumbai on January 4, 2018.
  • Kalamandalam Geethanandan (58), the acclaimed Ottanthullal artist, has passed away while performing at Avittathur Mahavishnu Temple in Avittathur, Kerala on January 28, 2018.
  • Dharmasena Pathiraja (74), the renowned Sri Lankan filmmaker, has passed away in Kandy, Sri Lanka on January 28, 2018.
  • Chintaman Wanaga, the Member of Parliament (MP) of 16th Lok Sabha from Palghar in Maharashtra, has passed away in New Delhi on January 30, 2018.
  • Armies of India and Vietnam have begun a six-day-long military exercise in Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh. The exercise named ‘VINBAX’ is the first military exercise between the two countries.
  • Veteran Bengali film actress and Padmashri awardee, Supriya Devi, passed away in Kolkata, following a severe cardiac arrest. She was 83.
  • Ursula K. Le Guin, the award-winning science fiction and fantasy writer who explored feminist themes and was best known for her Earthsea books, has passed away at the age of 88.
  • Trumpeter, composer and singer Hugh Masekela, affectionately known as the 'father of South African jazz', has died after a long battle with prostate cancer. He was 78.
  • Famous Cartoonist Chandi Lahiri passed away after a brief period of illness, marking the end of a chapter in Bengal's history of the cartoon. Lahiri was 86.
  • Basketball Hall of Famer Jo Jo White, a two-time NBA champion with the Boston Celtics and an Olympic gold medalist, has passed away.
  • Senior Rashtriya Janata Dal leader and former Union Minister Raghunath Jha passed away in Delhi.
  • Brazilian World Cup winner Ronaldinho has formally confirmed his retirement from football, more than two years since his last appearance as a professional, reports in Brazil.
  • Romania's left-wing Prime Minister Mihai Tudose resigned after losing the backing of his party due to internal power struggles, barely seven months after his predecessor suffered the same fate.
  • TV actress Charu Rohatgi, known for her roles in serials like 'Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon?' and 'Uttaran', passed away.
  • Baldev Raj, the director of the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bengaluru, and a renowned administrator of nuclear power technologies in the country has passed away. He was 70 years old.
  • Powerlifting world champion Saksham Yadav died of his injuries after road accident near Delhi. He was injured in car accident.
  • Peter Sutherland, the first Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), has passed away in Dublin, Ireland. He was 71.

Defence

  • The Border Security Force (BSF) has launched Operation Alert along the over 200 km long International Border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) to curb the increasing movement of infiltrating terrorists from across the border.
  • Indian Navy launched 'INS Karanj', the third of the six indigenous Scorpene-class submarines. The submarine, equipped with superior stealth features and precision-guided weapons, has been built at Mumbai's Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited.
  • Indian Naval Ship Vikramaditya, the Indian Navy's largest ship and its sole aircraft carrier was formally affiliated to the Indian Army's highly-decorated and battle-hardened Bihar Regiment and the Indian Air Force's No 6 Squadron.
  • India test-fired its nuclear-capable Agni-V inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM), which has a strike range of over 5,000km. It was test fired successfully from Abdul Kalam island off the coast of the eastern state of Odisha.
  • India, for the first time, took part in a two-day meeting of the international military cooperation departments of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Beijing, China. An Indian delegation was led by Major General Ajay Seth. The meeting discussed issues of practical cooperation among SCO nations.
  • The 70th Army Day is being celebrated today (15th January 2018). The day is celebrated to pay homage and salute to the courageous and brave Indian soldiers who have been sacrificing their lives for protecting the country.
  • American and Japanese military forces have launched joint exercise named Iron Fist. The 13th annual Iron Fist exercises kicked off in the U.S. western state of California.
  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched its 42nd Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) from the First Launch Pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. The PSLV-C40 is to place 31 satellites, originating from seven countries, across two orbits.

Static GK

  • The Chamera Dam is located near the town of Dalhousie, in the Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh.
  • The Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES) is a leading research institute, which is located in Nainital, Uttarakhand. It is an autonomous body under the Department of Science and Technology (DST),
  • The Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany (BSIP) is an autonomous institute constituted under the Department of Science and Technology, GoI. The institute is located at Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh and is a seat of higher learning in the field of plant fossil research.
  • The Khadakwasla Dam is 1.6 km long and has been built on the Mutha River, 20 km from Pune in Maharashtra.
  • The Basava Sagar Dam has been built across the Krishna River at Siddapur Village in Bijapur district of Karnataka. The reservoir that it impounds is known as Basava Sagar.

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