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International Current Affairs
- Head of China’s Xinjiang province, Shohrat Zakir, today announced that the security along the China-Pakistan border would be tightened to prevent terrorism as ” neighbouring countries are facing rising terrorist threats”.
- This comes as China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which connects Balochistan’s Gwadar port to Xinjiang province, is being constructed to boost trade between the countries.
- Russia’s Health Ministry has unveiled a proposal to ban the sale of cigarettes to anyone born after 2015.
- If the proposal becomes a law, it would make Russia world’s first country to completely phase out tobacco.
- Note : The proposal, if approved, will take effect in 2033 when the affected Russian citizens (now babies) turn 18 years old.
- Saudi Arabia has increased India’s annual Haj quota from 1.36 lakh to 1.70 lakh, biggest such expansion in last 29 years.
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MOUs & Agreements
- India and Kenya have signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for cooperation in the field of Agriculture and allied sectors.
- The agreement was signed during the visit of Kenyian President Uhuru Kenyatta to India.
- Important Note : This is the first official state visit of Kenyan President to India since 1981.
- Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani today announced that the state has inked a Memorandum of Understanding with the Railways to manufacture parts of a bullet train.
- Rupani said the project will “attract work worth ₹67,000 crore to Gujarat.”
National Current Affairs
- Today (12th January) is National Youth Day.
- This day is celebrated every year on 12th of January, the birth anniversary of social reformer, philosopher and thinker Swami Vivekananda.
- Since 1985 onwards, National Youth Day is being celebrated all over the country.
- To celebrate this day, the 21st National Youth Festival was held in Rohtak, Haryana.
- Theme : ‘Youth for Digital India’.
- The Madras High Court today declared triple talaq certificate issued by the chief Kazi had “no legal authority” and must instead be seen as an opinion.
- The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has released draft notification of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Dog Breeding and Marketing Rules), 2016.
- The objective of the Rules is to make dog breeders and their marketers accountable and to prevent infliction of any cruelty on dogs in this process.
- Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan today announced that the state government’s new department ‘Ministry of Happiness‘ will begin its work on January 14.
- Stating that a state’s prosperity is measured by its economic growth, Chouhan had said that growth alone cannot be a factor to measure people’s satisfaction.
- This unique initiative will track our “growth”, Chouhan had said.
Banking & Economic Affairs
- The World Bank today decelerated India’s GDP growth forecast for FY 2016-17 to 7% from its previous estimate of 7.6% due to demonetisation.
- Private sector Axis Bank became the third lender in the country to announce usage of block chain solutions for its operations.
- For this purpose, Axis Bank has tied up with fintech firm Ripple.
Awards & Honors
- President Pranab Mukherjee conferred 2017 Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award (PBSA) upon 30 prominent non-resident Indians (NRI’s)/ organisations on the concluding day of 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas held in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
- Outgoing US President Barack Obama has selected 4 Indian-American scientists among 102 researchers for the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).
- They are :
- Aradhna Tripati (University of California)
- Pankaj Lal (Montclair State University),
- Kaushik Chowdhury (Northeastern University),
- Manish Arora (Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai)
Science & Technology
- INS Khanderi – the second of the Kalvari class submarines – was launched at the Mazagaon Dock Limited in Mumbai today.
- It has superior stealth capabilities and also precision guided weapons that can be launched while underwater or on surface.
- The submarine will now undergo rigorous tests and trials, both in the harbour and at sea, till December 2017.
- BMW has appointed former Harley-Davidson India MD Vikram Pawah as the President of its India operations.
Sports Current Affairs
- The FIH (International Hockey Federation) Executive Board has confirmed the nomination of Indian men’s hockey team captain PR Sreejesh to the FIH Athletes’ Committee.
- The committee, which comprises a total of eight current and former hockey players, acts as a liaison between the federation and the athletes to make sure the athletes have a voice in the federation’s decision-making process.
- JetSynthesys, a digital technology company, in association with Sachin Tendulkar, today launched ‘Sachin Saga Warm Up‘, a batting game inspired by the former cricketer.
- In the game, players across the globe can compete in real time with a 2-minute power-play allowing users to get assistance from Sachin on shot selection based on the delivery’s length and type.