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National – Across the India:
1. The seventh edition of Hyderabad Literary Festival-HLF 2017 open at Hyderabad. It is being organized by Hyderabad Literary Trust at Hyderabad Public School.
Ambassador of the Republic of Philippines Ma Teresita C Daza will be the guest of honour while poet Ashok Vajpeyi will be chief guest.
Philippines is the ‘Guest Nation’ at HLF 2017 and will showcase its literature, art and culture.
2. Arunachal Pradesh launched ‘Dulari Kanya’, a special scheme to check infant mortality in the state, on the occasion of the 68th Republic Day.
Governor V Shanmuganathan launched the scheme, under which the government will deposit Rs. 20,000 in the bank account of a girl child, born in any government hospital.
It would be paid along with the accrued interest after she attains 18 years of her age.
3. India has been ranked 79th out of 176 countries in the recently released Corruption Perception Index (CPI) for the year 2016 by the Berlin-based corruption watchdog Transparency International (TI).
The index has been complied by using World Bank data, the World Economic Forum (WEF) and other institutions.
It ranks countries on the score in the scale ranging from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean).
New Zealand and Denmark topped the list with a score of 90.
4. India’s indigenous Light Combat Aircraft -Tejas and National Security Guards Commandos made their debut on the country’s 68th Republic Day.
Three Tejas jets flew at a height of 300-metre from the ground at a speed of 780 km/hour in ‘VIC’ formation.
The march past by the NSG displayed ‘Sherpa’—a specially designed hijack intervention vehicle and two gypsies used for anti-hijack operations. They carried special assault rifle MP-5 with them.
5. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced a total ban on polythene carry bags from May 1 in Madhya Pradesh in a bid to conserve environment, protect cows and promote cleanliness.
Chouhan, in his Republic Day address, also praised the MP Police for its swiftness in neutralizing eight SIMI suspects who escaped from local central jail last year, in an encounter.
6. The nation paid homage to Havildar Hangpan Dada, awarded the Ashoka Chakra, the highest award to an army man during peace-time operations, for killing four terrorists who had infiltrated into north Kashmir last year.
The Havildar killed three of the intruders and fatally injured a fourth before he died of bullet wounds at 13,000 feet in the icy Himalayas.
His wife Chasen Lowang received the medal from President Pranab Mukherjee at Rajpath.
7. For the first time, a military contingent of UAE participated in the 68th Republic Day parade on Rajpath in the presence of their country’s Deputy Supreme Commander Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who was the chief guest.
A 149-member UAE contingent led by Lieutenant Colonel Abood Musabeh Abood Musabeh Alghfeli, constituting UAE Presidential Guard, the Air Force, the Navy and Army contingent led by a UAE band consisting of 35 musicians march-passed at the Rajpath and presented a ceremonial salute to the President Pranab Mukherjee.
The UAE is the second country after France to send its troops to participate in the Republic-Day parade of India.
International – Across the Globe:
1. President Donald Trump has issued an executive order for an “impassable physical barrier” to be built along the US border with Mexico.
He also signed an action to strip funds from US cities that are sanctuaries for undocumented immigrants.
Building a 2,000-mile barrier along the Mexican border was one of Mr. Trump’s key pledges in the election campaign.
Sports & Athletics:
1. Usain Bolt has lost one of his nine Olympic gold medals in a doping case involving teammate Nesta Carter.
Carter tested positive for methyl hexane amine, a banned stimulant, in re-analysis of samples from the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Olympic rules state that the entire relay team can be disqualified and stripped of medals if one runner fails a doping test.
Awards & Recognition:
1. President Pranab Mukherjee announced the names of recipients of year 2017 Padma awards viz. Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri.
He approved conferment of Padma Awards on 89 persons. The list includes 7 Padma Vibhushan, 7 Padma Bhushan and 75 Padma Shri Awardees.
Sakshi Malik, Virat Kohli, Deepa Karmarkar, Kailash Kher will be awarded Padma Shri Awards.
K J Yesudas will be awarded Padma Vibhushan Award.
Appointments & Resignations:
1. Uttam Dhillon, who served as chief oversight counsel for the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee, has been appointed as special assistant to the President by US President Donald Trump.
In this position, he would be part of the legal team to serve under White House Counsel Donald F McGahn with respect to compliance and ethics matters.
Prior to joining Financial Services, Dhillon served as chief of the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Counter Narcotics Enforcement.
2. Hugo Barra, who previously held a position as a key VP for Android at Google, and led Xiaomi’s international efforts in a VP role at the Chinese company, is now joining Facebook.
Barra will lead all of Facebook’s VR efforts, including Oculus, according to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who shared the news on his FB profile.
Facebook will spend over $3 billion over the next decade to help spread VR to the masses.
Economics & Banking GK:
1. Reserve Bank of India has prohibited Indian entities from making direct investments in any entity located in non-co-operative countries and territories as identified by the inter-governmental body FATF.
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) currently comprises two regional organizations and 35 member jurisdictions, including India, US, UK, China and the European Commission.
The prohibition on investment is in order to align instructions under FEMA with the objectives of the FATF.
2. Demonetization has stymied India’s GDP growth and the October-December quarter show is likely to be around 6 per cent, while for January-March it could climb down to 5.7 per cent, forecasts a Nomura report.
According to the Japanese financial services major, the consumption and services, which were the fastest growing segments pre-demonetization, were the worst-hit.
Demonetization could slow India’s GDP growth to 6.5 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2016 against its estimate of 7.3 per cent and to 7.5 per cent in the first quarter of 2017 from 7.9 per cent.
3. 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.
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU):
1. India signed a deal with the United Arab Emirates that allows the Gulf OPEC country to fill half of an underground crude oil storage facility at Mangalore that is part of New Delhi’s strategic reserve system.
Sunjay Sudhir, joint secretary for international cooperation at the Indian oil ministry said that UAE’s Abu Dhabi National Oil Co will store about 6 million barrels of oil at Mangalore, taking up about half of the site’s capacity.
Science & Technology:
1. Outdoor caged trials of genetically modified mosquitoes were launched in Dawalwadi, Badnapur in Jalna district of Maharashtra to demonstrate the efficiency this technique to suppress wild female mosquito populations that transmit dengue, chikungunya and Zika.
The trials are conducted by Oxitec and uses the Release of Insects carrying Dominant Lethal genes (RIDL) technology.
This strategy is considered as most eco-friendly solution so far to control the spread of infectious diseases.
1. 26th of January is a day of celebration for both Australia and India. While India celebrates in Republic Day, Australia too celebrates its Foundation Day.
Interestingly it was on 26 January, 1788 that Captain Arthur Phillip, commander of First Fleet of British Admiralty, along with his officers rowed to Sidney Cove in eastern Australia and took possession of the land in the name of King George III.
Australia Day marks the beginning of the European settlement in Australia and the foundation of the modern Australian state
Recent Notable Deaths:
1. Russian Ambassador Alexander Kadakin, a fluent Hindi-speaking career diplomat considered a great friend of India, passed away a brief illness. He was 67.
Kadakin, who was serving as the Ambassador here since 2009, was credited with playing a significant role in promotion of relations between India and Russia.
This was his second stint as the Ambassador, having served one between 1999 and 2004.
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