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National – Across the India:
1. Karang, a small lake island in Manipur, has become the country’s first cashless island.
The Union ministry of Electronics and Information Technology under its Digital India programme announced Karang as the first cashless island in India. Confirming it, Deputy commissioner M Harekrishna of Bishnupur district said the island fulfilled the Centre’s necessary criteria.
The Karang island is located in the middle of Loktak, the largest freshwater lake in Northeast India.
The campaign was held from January 9 to 12. Karang Island Boat Association and Panthoibi Khoyol Standard Association extended help in holding campaigns on cashless transactions.
2. State run power equipment maker BHEL said it has commissioned another 500 MW unit of Sagardighi Thermal Power Station Phase II in West Bengal.
The unit was the second 500 MW set to be commissioned at Sagardighi Thermal Power Station (TPS) Phase II project in Murshidabad district of West Bengal.
The first unit of 1000 MW project was commissioned in December, 2015.
The project has been set up by West Bengal Power Development Corporation (WBPDCL).
3. According to a statement issued by West Bengal government, Sitalpati or cool mat from Cooch Behar district has been recognized as an “intangible cultural heritage” by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
These mats are used for sitting or to hang on doors or windows during summer. The mats are made up of weaved green cane slips of murta plants which are indigenous to the region.
The gradual decline of Sitalpati weaving was arrested by the by the proactive efforts of Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee who helped this traditional product gain global recognition.
4. The Union Textile Minister, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani has inaugurated 58th India International Garment Fair (IIGF) and unveiled the fair guide as well in New Delhi which is to be held from January 18-20, 2017.
The 58th IIGF caters primarily to Autumn-Winter 2017/18.
Organized by Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) India, the IIGF is one of the largest and most popular platforms in Asia, from which overseas garment buyers can source products and forge business relationships with India’s finest players in the apparel and fashion accessories domain.
5. Minister of Railways, Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu unveiled Mission 41k during the Roundtable Discussion with the External Stakeholders on Energy Initiatives of Indian Railways.
The aim is to save Rs.41000 crore in the next decade in Railways energy costs.
To implement this comprehensive strategy with the participation of various stakeholders, we shall take advantage of regulatory frameworks, look at new technologies.
International – Across the Globe:
1. South Korea is the world’s most innovative economy, followed by Germany, Sweden, Japan and Switzerland, according to the latest Bloomberg Innovation Index.
South Korea notched top scores worldwide for manufacturing value-added as well as for tertiary efficiency, and was in the second place in R&D intensity, high-tech density and patent activity.
The Asian tech powerhouse was ranked sixth in terms of researcher concentration.
Rounding out the top 10 under the Innovation Index were Singapore, Finland, the United States, Denmark and France.
Israel secures top-10 ranking in 2017 Bloomberg Innovation Index
2. The Passport Index 2017, ranks countries based on the number of nations their citizens can visit without a visa or on arrival. India ranks a low 78th
Germany stands at the top with a visa free score of 157 while Singapore (topped in Asia) and Sweden are on second and third place respectively.
India stands at 78th position with a visa free score of 46, ahead of China and Pakistan which are ranked 58th and 94th on the list respectively.
Afghanistan is the least powerful passport with a visa free score of just 23.
3. India became an Associate member of CERN on Monday with the Indian government completing its internal approval procedures in respect of the agreement it had signed with CERN on November 21, 2016.
As an Associate member India, will have full access to all data generated at CERN. As there are many experiments in CERN, there will be plenty of information available. When we were not an Associate member, India could data only from those experiments where we were participating
There are other benefits of becoming an Associate member. Whenever any CERN facilities get upgraded and go through maintenance, it will provide opportunities for Indian industries to participate.
Economics & Banking GK:
1. Yes Bank, in collaboration with T-Hub, has launched ‘Yes Fintech’, a business accelerator program. T-hub is a startup incubator set up by the Telengana government and Anthil – a speed scaling platform for early growth stage start-ups.
Yes Bank has been collaborating with more than 100 fintech start-ups and supporting them to provide creative solutions to the corporate, SME and retail customer base as a part of its Alliances, Relationship & Technology (ART) approach to digitized banking.
Mid -sized private sector lender Yes bank claimed to have the industry’s first customizable savings account which will protect customers from “unwanted charges” levied in current offerings.
Customers can choose from options like debit cards, alternatives to minimum balance requirements, and banking benefits such as ATM usage, digital banking products, branch banking and family grouping.
Awards & Recognition:
1. Twenty -five children from different parts of the country have been selected for Indian Council for Child Welfare’s (ICCW) National Bravery Awards to be presented by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 23.
The Bharat Award has been conferred to 8-year-old Tarh Peju of Arunachal Pradesh, who sacrificed her life in an attempt to save two of her friends from drowning.
Roluahpuii and Lalhriatpuii from Mizoram, and Tushar Verma from Chattisgarh have been given Bapu Gaidhani Award posthumously.
While Roluahpuii saved two girls from drowning at the cost of her own life, Lalhriatpuii sacrificed her life in an effort to save her cousin in a car accident and Tushar Verma lost his life in trying to extinguish a fire in his neighbour’s shed.
The Geeta Chopra Award has been conferred on 18-year-old Tejasweeta Pradhan and 17-year old Shivani Gond of West Bengal who showed immense courage in fearlessly helping the police and the NGO in uncovering an international sex racket leading to the arrest its mastermind here.
The Sanjay Chopra Award has been conferred to 15-year-old Sumit Mamgain of Uttarakhand who displayed outstanding bravery in fighting a leopard to save his cousin.
2. Jacob Polley has won the 2016 TS Eliot Prize for poetry, joining the ranks of previous winners including Ted Hughes, Seamus Heaney and Carol Ann Duffy.
Polley won the coveted £20,000 award with his fourth collection, Jackself, a sequence of narrative poems partly inspired by his childhood in Cumbria.
The chair of the judging panel, poet Ruth Padel, called Jackself “a firework of a book; inventive, exciting and outstanding in its imaginative range and depth of feeling”.
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU):
1. All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi here today signed MoUs with NBCC (India) Limited, HSCC (India) Limited and with HITES HLL Life Care Ltd to expand infrastructure and other facilities.
The signing ceremony was presided over by Shri J P Nadda, Hon’ble Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare and Shri Venkaiah Naidu, Hon’ble Union Minister for Urban Development, Urban Poverty Alleviation, and Information & Broadcasting.
AIIMS signed an MOU worth, 4441 crores with NBCC (India) Limited, 2500 crores with HSCC (India) Limited and 729 crores with HITES HLL Life Care Ltd, a cumulative net worth of ₹ 7670.
1. Karan Johar’s best friend Shah Rukh Khan was present to launch the much talked about biography on the filmmaker’s life- “An Unsuitable Boy”.
The book captures details from Karan’s life, starting right from his childhood to his entry into the film industry with a blockbuster of a debut.
The event also saw Karan’s mentees, Alia Bhatt and Sidharth Malhotra in attendance, the two walked in seconds apart. Ayan Mukherjee, Shakun Batra, Suchitra Pillai, Punit Malhotra, and Gauri Khan were also present at the do.
2. The actor Rishi Kapoor launched his biography “Khullam Khulla” with wife Neetu Kapoor in Delhi.
Rishi Kapoor talks about the relationships with his father Raj Kapoor and his son Ranbir Kapoor, his career etc.
The book is co-authored by Meena Iyer.
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