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Tnpsc Current Affairs & GK Today - January 25-28, 2017 (English)

Tnpsc Current Affairs January 2017 (Dated January 25-28, 2017)


Highlights
  1. US President Donald Trump signs order to keep out Radical Islamic Terrorists
  2. India and UAE inks 14 Agreements: List of Agreements/MOUs exchanged during the State visit of Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi to India
  3. National MSME Policy to be formulated for the First Time in India 
  4. Whatsapp Number for army Jawans' Grievances Launched
  5. Union Cabinet approves Short term market borrowing by NABARD for on lending to Cooperative Banks
  6. Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana – 2017
  7. UIDAI has achieved Over 99% of Adult Population above age of 18 Assigned Aadhaar Numbers 
  8. Union Cabinet approves ratification of the Second Commitment Period of Kyoto Protocol to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
  9. IIMs to be declared as Institutions of National Importance
  10. Bhutan Consulate General Office to be set up in Guwahati
  11. Central Water Commission inks MoUs with IIT, IIS
  12. India-UAE signed a deal for Strategic Oil Reserves Storgae
  13. ISRO successfully ground-tests CUS engine meant for rocket GSLV-Mark-III
  14. Union Government Launched Rubber Soil Information System (RubSIS) 
  15. "Surya Namaskar Yajna" recognised in US Congress 
  16. India's 68th Republic Day on January 26, 2017
  17. Iconic Burj Khalifa in Dubai lit up in Tricolor 
  18. Committee of CMs Recommends: Charge on digital payments above Rs. 50,000 mooted
  19. Russian Ambassador to India "Alexander Kadakin" passed away
  20. US President Donald Trump appointed Indian-American "Ajit Vardaraj Pai" as FCC chairman 
  21. Indian-American attorney "Uttam Dhillon appointed Special Assistant to the President on ethics and compliance matters"
  22. Indian-American Nikki Haley appointedad US Ambassador to United Nations
  23. National Voters’ Day The National Voters’ Day (NVD) observed on 25 January 2017
  24. Padma Awards 2017 Winners List
  25. List of Padma Vibhushan Winners 2017
  26. List of Padma Bhushan Winners 2017
  27. List of Padma Shri Winners 2017
  28. New World Record by Singing the National Anthem in Gujarat
  29. The All India Football Federation (AIFF) launched Women’s Football League (IWL) 
  30. 7th National Billiards Championship: Pankaj Advani Champion
  31. Usain Bolt loses one Olympic Gold Medal as Nesta Carter Tests Positive
  32. Sports Minister Vijay Goel reconstitutes committee to identify athletes under TOP Scheme 
Current Affairs - World

US President Donald Trump signs order to keep out Radical Islamic Terrorists

US President Donald Trump has signed new order to strengthen vetting of immigrants and refugees to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States. Mr Trump signed the decree entitled "Protection of the nation from foreign terrorist entry into the United States" last night at a ceremony to swear-in James Mattis as Secretary of Defence. He described the move as big stuff. The text of the order was released hours after it was signed. Measures include suspension of US Refugee Admissions Programme for 120 days. A ban has been imposed on Refugees from Syria until significant changes are made consistent with national interest. A 90 day suspension on arrival of immigrants has also been imposed from seven mainly Muslim countries such as Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen


India and UAE inks 14 Agreements: List of Agreements/MOUs exchanged during the State visit of Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi to India

  1. Agreement on Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between the Republic of India and the UAE: This is a general framework agreement which highlights the areas of bilateral cooperation identified under the comprehensive strategic partnership as agreed upon in the high level joint statements issued in the August 2015 and February 2016.
  2. MoU between the Ministry of Defence of the Government of the Republic of India and the Ministry of Defence of the Government of UAE on cooperation in the field of Defence Industry: This MoU aims to establish cooperation in the identified fields of defence manufacturing and technology, including through studies, research, development, innovation and cooperation between public and private sector institutions of the two countries. The two sides will cooperate in areas of armaments, defence industries and transfer of technology
  3. MoU between the Government of the Republic of India and the Government of the UAE on Institutional Cooperation on Maritime Transport: This MoU provides a framework for enhancing bilateral maritime trade ties through facilitating maritime transport, free transfer of monies between contracting parties and reciprocal recognition of ships’ documents.
  4. MOU between the Directorate General of Shipping, Republic of India and the Federal Transport Authority- Land and Maritime in the UAE on Mutual Recognition of Certificates of Competency as per the provisions of the Standards of Training, Certification and Watch-keeping Convention (STCW78) and amendments thereof: This MoU aims to deepen the maritime economic activities in general by establishing a framework for Mutual Recognition of Certificates of Competency of marine officers, engineers and crews.
  5. MoU between the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways of the Republic of India and the Federal Transport Authority, Land and Maritime of the UAE on Bilateral Cooperation in the Road Transport and Highways Sector: This MoU aims to establish cooperation in the sectors of Highways and Road transport through sharing of technologies, systems and best practices in freight logistics, warehousing and value added services.
  6. MOU between the Government of the Republic of India and the Government of UAE on cooperation in prevention and combating of human trafficking: This MoU aims to enhance bilateral cooperation on the issue of prevention, rescue, recovery and repatriation related to human trafficking, especially of women and children expeditiously.
  7. MoU for the cooperation in the field of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and innovation between the Ministry of Economy of United Arab Emirates and Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MoSMSME) of the Republic of India: This MoU aims at promoting cooperation in MSMEs Sectors, including in joint projects, R & D and related activities.
  8. MoU between the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare of the Republic of India and the Ministry of Climate Change & Environment of UAE in agriculture and Allied sectors: This MoU aims to develop a framework for cooperation in various agricultural fields of mutual interest, including through enhancement of cooperation in food processing and transfer of technology in cultivation methods.
  9. MOU between the Government of the Republic of India and the Government of UAE on mutual exemption of entry visa requirements to the holders of Diplomatic, special and Official Passports: The agreement allows holders of diplomatic, special and official passports visa free travel between the two countries.
  10. MoU between Prasar Bharati, India and Emirates News Agency (WAM), UAE for cooperation in programme exchange: This MoU aims to strengthen ties between Prasar Bharati and Emirates News Agency (WAM), UAE through cooperation in the field of broadcasting, mutual exchange of programmes, news and best practices.
  11. MoU between the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of India and the Ministry of Economy of United Arab Emirates on trade remedial measures to promote cooperation in areas of mutual interest: This MoU aims to enhance cooperation in the field of anti-dumping and allied duties through exchange of information, capacity-building, seminars and trainings in mutually indentified areas related to trade remedial measures.
  12. Agreement on Oil Storage And Management between Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Limited and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company: This agreement aims to establish a framework for the storage of crude oil by Abu Dhabi National Oil Company in India and to further strengthen the strategic relationship between the two countries in the field of energy.
  13. MOU between National Productivity Council and Al Etihad Energy Services Co. LLC: This MOU is on Cooperation in Energy Efficiency Services.
  14. MOU between National Security Council Secretariat of India & National Electronic Security Authority of the UAE: This MoU is on technology development and cooperation in cyberspace.
India


National MSME Policy to be formulated for the First Time in India 

Dr.Prabhat Kumar submits Report on National MSME Policy to Shri Kalraj Mishra. Dr.Prabhat Kumar, former Cabinet Secretary and Chairman One Member Committee for formulating National MSME Policy today presented its report to Shri Kalraj Mishra, Union Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. The One Member Committee under the chairmanship of Dr. Prabhat Kumar was constituted by the Ministry of MSME on 31.12.2015 to help in formulating National MSME Policy. The country does not have an MSME policy till date.Dr.Prabhat Kumar while submitting the report also thanked the Hon’ble Minister for the support of the Ministry. Shri Mishra also appreciated the efforts made by Dr.Prabhat Kumar in meeting various stakeholders in different parts of the country before submitting the report. Shri Mishra also desired that this report should be examined by the Ministry for further action.Shri Giriraj Singh, Hon’ble Minister of State for MSME and other senior officials of the Ministry were present on the occasion.


Whatsapp Number for army Jawans' Grievances Launched


Chief of Army staff General Bipin Rawat has launched a Whatsapp helpline to receive grievances of the army personnel. The helpline number is 9643300008. The aggrieved armed personnel will be able to directly communicate with the Army chief with the help of this helpline. It comes in the backdrop of complaint being uploaded by some soldiers on social media platform. Earlier, General Rawat had said that redressal of individual grievances by serving personnel should be carried out through established mechanisms within the Army rather than resorting to social media. 


Union Cabinet approves Short term market borrowing by NABARD for on lending to Cooperative Banks

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its post-facto approval for the following decisions:

  1. National Bank for Agriculture & Rural Development (NABARD) will make short term borrowings at prevailing market rate of interest for approx. Rs.20,000 crore for on-lending to Cooperative Banks at 4.5% rate of interest.
  2. Additional capital of Rs.2,000 crore to be provided to NABARD for this purpose through the Union Budget. To start with, additional capital of Rs.500 crore may be released to NABARD during 2016-17 itself.
  3. Interest Subvention of about 1.8% and NABARD’s administrative cost of 0.2% to be provided as per the scheme of Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare (DAC&FW). The extent of interest subvention may vary depending on the rate at which NABARD raises funds.
  4. NABARD will coordinate the conversion of operative/live KCCs into RuPay/ATM-enabled Kisan Credit Cards (KCCs) by Cooperative Banks and Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) in a mission mode.

Background: In the light of good monsoon and expectation of increased credit demand and in order to boost agricultural production, the farmers need to be supported through Cooperative Banks, which purvey credit at their doorstep, to enable them to scale up their agricultural operation.The approval will ensure increased availability of short term crop loans to farmers through Cooperative banks at reduced rate of interest. The conversion of operative/live KCCs into RuPay/ATM-enabled KCCs will enable easy and hassle free availability of credit and in keeping with the spirit of ‘Digital’ India, will facilitate digital and cashless transactions by farmers.

Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana – 2017


The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its post-facto approval for launching of Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana 2017 (VPBY 2017). It is a part of Government’s commitment for financial inclusion and social security.


LIC Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana (VPBY) Scheme: The scheme will be implemented through Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) during the current financial year to provide social security during old age and protect elderly persons aged 60 years and above against a future fall in their interest income due to uncertain market conditions. The scheme will provide an assured pension based on a guaranteed rate of return of 8% per annum for ten years, with an option to opt for pension on a monthly / quarterly / halfyearly and annual basis. The differential return, i.e., the difference between the return generated by LIC and the assured return of 8% per annum would be borne by Government of India as subsidy on an annual basis. VPBY-2017 is proposed to be open for subscription for a period of one year from the date of launch.


UIDAI has achieved Over 99% of Adult Population above age of 18 Assigned Aadhaar Numbers 


A new mile stone with the 68th republic day unique identification authority of India or UIDAI has achieved another landmark by generating 111 cr Aadhaar. 111 cr people in a population of 125 cr now have digital identification in form of Aadhaar. And govt is increasingly integrating this identification with services. Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM), the common platform for making quick payments using the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), has also been integrated with Aadhaar Enabled Payment System. Government will soon roll out Aadhaar Pay service that will enable people to make and receive payments using their Aadhaar number and biometrics. As of now, 14 banks have come on board for Aadhaar Pay and the service will be launched soon. And facts on Aadhaar are astounding. 


Union Cabinet approves ratification of the Second Commitment Period of Kyoto Protocol to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

  1. The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval to ratify the Second Commitment Period of the Kyoto Protocol on containing the emission of Green House Gases (GHGs). The second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol was adopted in 2012. So far, 65 countries have ratified the Second Commitment Period.
  2. In view of the critical role played by India in securing international consensus on climate change issues, this decision further underlines India’s leadership in the comity of nations committed to global cause of environmental protection and climate justice. Ratification of the Kyoto Protocol by India will encourage other developing countries also to undertake this exercise. Implementation of Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects under this commitment period in accordance with Suslainable Development priorities will attract some investments in India as well.
  3. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) seeks to stabilise Green House Gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would minimize interference with the climate system. Recognizing that developed countries are principally responsible for the current high levels of Greenhouse Gas (GHGs) in the atmosphere, the Kyoto Protocol places commitments on developed nations to undertake mitigation targets and to provide financial resources and transfer of technology to the developing nations. Developing countries like India have no mandatory mitigation obligations or targets under the Kyoto Protocol.
Background: The Kyoto Protocol was adopted in 1997 and the 1st commitment period was from 2008-2012. At Doha in 2012, the amendments to Kyoto Protocol for the 2nd commitment period (the Doha Amendment) were successfully adopted for the period 2013- 2020. Developed countries have already started implementing their commitments under the ‘opt-in’ provisions of the Doha Amendment. India has always emphasized the importance of climate actions by developed country Parties in the pre-2020 period. Besides, it has advocated climate actions based on the principles and provisions of the Convention, such as the principle of Equity and Common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities (CBDR & RC).

IIMs to be declared as Institutions of National Importance


The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the Indian Institute of Management(IIM) Bill, 2017, under which the IIMswould be declared as Institutions of National Importance which will enable them togrant degrees to their students.


Following are the salient features of the Bill:

  1. IIMs can grant degrees to their students
  2. The Bill provides for complete autonomy to the Institutions, combined with adequate accountability.
  3. Management of these Institutions would be Board driven, with the Chairperson and Director of an Institution which will be selected by the Board.
  4.  A greater participation of experts and alumni in the Board is amongst otherimportant features of the Bill.
  5. Provision has also been made for inclusion of women and members from Scheduled Castes/Tribes in the Board.
  6. The Bill also provides for periodic review of the performance of Institutions by independent agencies, and placing the results of the same on public domain.
  7. The Annual Report of the Institutions will be placed in the Parliament and CAG will be auditing their accounts.
  8. There is also a provision of Coordination Forum of IIMs as an advisory body.

Background: Indian Institutes of Management are the country’s premier institutions imparting best quality education in management on globally benchmarked processes of education and training in management. IIMs are recognized as world-class management Institutions and Centers of Excellence and have brought laurels to the country. All IIMs are separate autonomous bodies registered under the Societies Act. Being societies, IIMs are not authorized to award degrees and, hence, they have been awarding Post Graduate Diploma and Fellow Programme in Management. While these awards are treated as equivalent to MBAs and Ph.D, respectively, the equivalence is not universally acceptable, especially for the Fellow Programme.

Bhutan Consulate General Office to be set up in Guwahati


Assam Government has agreed to a proposal for setting up of a Consulate General Office of Royal Government of Bhutan in Guwahati. The state government has also conveyed its willingness to the Ministry of External Affairs. The decision in this regard was taken during a meeting between Assam government officials and a five-member delegation of the Royal Government of Bhutan. The Assam and Bhutan governments have also decided to share intelligence inputs with each other to put a tab on terrorist activities. An official statement said, a wide range of issues were discussed during the meeting to give a boost to bilateral ties between Assam and Bhutan. Both the sides also pitched for a vibrant entry-exit mechanism to give an impetus to industry and commerce between Assam and Bhutan. The release said, the official also discussed existing boundaries that Assam shares with Bhutan and exchanged inputs on missing boundary pillars and vowed to take immediate steps to address the issue. The officials also decided to carry forward the strong connection between Assam and Bhutan and work for strengthening the mutual ties between them.


Central Water Commission inks MoUs with IIT, IIS


Central Water Commission has joined hands with IIT Madras and IIS Bengaluru to help them procure specified equipment and software for enhancing their capability to support its dam rehabilitation efforts. Water Resources Ministry has taken on board premier academic and research institutes for capacity building in the areas of dam safety through World Bank-assisted Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP). Under DRIP, assistance is being provided to seven states for rehabilitation of 250 dams, which are experiencing different levels of distress. Owners of these dams require technical support for the investigation of site conditions and supporting rehabilitation efforts. The commission, yesterday signed two separate MoUs with IIT Madras and IIS Bengaluru in New Delhi in this regard. The government has decided to enhance capability of select premier institutes in dam safety so that they can carry out field investigations and provide training and consulting services to the dam owners in their rehabilitation efforts.


India-UAE signed a deal for Strategic Oil Reserves Storgae


India has signed a deal with United Arab Emirates (UAE), fifth biggest oil supplier as part of its quest for energy security and strategic reserve system. The deal allows UAE’s Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (ADNOC) to fill half (about 6 million barrels of oil) of an underground crude oil storage facility at Mangaluru, Karnataka. India has already filled the other half of the Mangaluru storage in Karnataka state with six million barrels of Iranian oil. It also has filled a Vizag storage site in southern Andhra Pradesh with 7.55 million barrels of Iraqi oil and has invited bids from suppliers to fill an 18.3 million-barrel facility at Padur in Karnataka.


ISRO successfully ground-tests Cryogenic Upper Stage engine meant for rocket GSLV-Mark-III


Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully ground tested the Cryogenic Upper Stage engine meant for the rocket GSLV-Mark-III. In a release, the space agency has said the indegenously developed engine, designated as C25, was tested for a duration of 50 seconds in its Propulsion Complex at Mahendragiri in southern Tamil Nadu, demonstrating all the stage operations. 


Cryogenic Upper Stage: The performance of the Cryogenic Upper Stage during the test was as predicted. This is the first in a series of two tests. The next one is planned for a flight duration of 640 seconds shortly. The national space agency has termed the 50 second test as a significant milestone in the development of indigenous cryogenic propulsion technology. It adds, the successful hot test in the first attempt itself demonstrates ISRO’s ability to work in such complex and new areas.


The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III Rocket: The GSLV-Mark-III rocket fitted with the cryogenic upper stage is expected to lift off in the first quarter of this year, carrying a 4-tonne class communication satellite. The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III also referred to as the Launch Vehicle Mark 3, LVM3 or GSLV-III) is a launch vehicle developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). It is intended to launch satellites into geostationary orbit and as a launcher for an Indian crew vehicle. The GSLV-III features an Indian cryogenic third stage and a higher payload capacity than the current GSLV.


Union Government Launched Rubber Soil Information System (RubSIS) 


Union Government has launched Rubber Soil Information System (RubSIS), RubSIS an online system for recommending appropriate mix of fertilizers to plantations of rubber growers depending upon their soil nature. It was launched for Kottayam (Kerela), the largest rubber growing district of India which will be extended to the entire traditional rubber growing region i.e. the states of Kerela and Tamilnadu. 


About RubSIS: Rubber Soil Information System (RubSIS) has developed by Rubber Research Institute of India (RRII) under the Rubber Board in collaboration with three other agencies. They are Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management, Kerala, National Bureau of Soil Survey and Land Use Planning, ICAR and National Remote Sensing Center, ISRO RubSIS brings soil data to the fingerprints of rubber growers and recommends the optimum mix and quantities of chemical fertilizers required for the rubber plantation. It is a cost effective tool for sustainable and scientific management of rubber growing soils. Its adoption will prevent indiscriminate use of chemical fertilizers and soil degradation. It will also lead to reduction in the cost of production of rubber, increase in productivity and reduction in environmental pollution.


"Surya Namaskar Yajna" recognised in US Congress 


The annual “Surya Namaskar Yajna” thst is “Health for Humanity Yogathon” was recognised in the US House of Representative on the occasion of its 10th anniversary. This recognition highlights the importance of Surya Namaskar as simple yoga postures in ten steps having combination of breathing techniques that can provide immense health benefits to both the body and the mind.


India's 68th Republic Day on January 26, 2017


India celebrated its 68th Republic Day on January 26, 2017 with the theme “Skill India and Beti Bachao Beti Padhao”. The day honours the date on which the Indian Constitution came into force on 26th January, 1950 replacing the Government of India Act, 1935 as the governing document.

  1. In this year 2017, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and the Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of United Arab Emirates (UAE) was the Chief Guest of the official ceremony. 
  2. India’s military prowess and achievements in different fields, state-of-the-art defence platforms, and diverse culture was displayed at the Republic Day parade at Rajpath in Delhi. 
  3. For the first time, a contingent of the National Security Guard (NSG), popularly known as the Black Cat Commandoes, also took part in the parade. A contingent of UAE soldiers also marched down the Rajpath. 
  4. Indian Army’s missile firing capability, Infantry Combat Vehicle BMP-2K, T-90 ‘Bhishma’ tank, Mobile Autonomous Launcher of the BrahMos Missile System, Akash Weapon System, and Dhanush Gun System were displayed at the event. 
  5. Tableaux from seventeen states and union territories, six Central Ministries and Departments were also presented depicting varied historical, art and cultural heritage of the country. 
  6. Honarable President Pranab Mukherjee awarded Ashok Chakra, country’s highest peacetime military decoration to Havaldar Hangpan Dada posthumously for selfless service to nation.
Iconic Burj Khalifa in Dubai lit up in Tricolor 

Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building, lit up in tri-colours - saffron, white and green - to celebrate India's 68th Republic Day.This gesture showcases the strong cultural and trade bond between India and the UAE. The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan will be the Chief Guest at the Republic Day parade. 


Committee of CMs Recommends: Charge on digital payments above Rs. 50,000 mooted


The Committee of Chief Ministers headed by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu has recommended levying a handling charge for cash payments above Rs. 50,000. It also has pitched for tax breaks to consumers and merchants using digital modes of payments. It also has recommended abolition of the merchant discount rate (MDR). The committee was formed to prepare the road map for rapid adoption of digital payment methods.


Russian Ambassador to India "Alexander Kadakin" passed away
Russian Ambassador to India Alexander Kadakin passes away Russian Ambassador to India, Alexander Kadakin passed away due to heart failure. He was 67. He had served as the Russian Ambassador to India since October 2009. He had contributed greatly to strengthen India-Russia relations. He was best known as an Indophile who mastered Hindi, Indian politics, society and also loved Bollywood. He had started his career as a junior diplomat in the then USSR embassy in Delhi in 1971. He served twice as ambassador to India, first from 1999 to 2004 and again from 2009 until his death. In between, he was Russia’s envoy to Sweden.



US President Donald Trump appointed Indian-American "Ajit Vardaraj Pai" as FCC chairman 


US President Donald Trump appoints Indian-American Ajit Pai as FCC chairman United States President Donald Trump has appointed Ajit Vardaraj Pai as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Pai is the fourth Indian-American to become part of Trump’s administration, following Nikki Haley (US ambassador to UN), Seema Verma (head of medicare and medicaid) and Preet Bharara (US attorney for the southern District of New York). FCC is powerful independent US communications regulatory agency, regulating cellphone spectrum and services, radio, television, phone, internet and satellite and cable. It also plays major role in controlling the content of television and radio.


Indian-American attorney "Uttam Dhillon appointed Special Assistant to the President on ethics and compliance matters"


US President Donald Trump has appointed Indian-American attorney Uttam Dhillon as Special Assistant to the President on ethics and compliance matters, key White House position. In this position, he would be part of the legal team that will serve under White House Counsel Donald F McGahn with respect to compliance and ethics matters. Earlier, Dhillon had served as Chief Oversight Counsel for the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee. Prior to joining Financial Services, Dhillon, he had served as chief of the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Counternarcotics Enforcement.


Indian-American Nikki Haley appointedad US Ambassador to United Nations


Nikki Haley confirmed as new US envoy to UN The United States Senate has confirmed Indian-American Nikki Haley (54) as the next Ambassador to the United Nations. With this, she becomes first Indian-American to serve on a Cabinet rank position US Presidential administration. She was approved by the Senate on a 96 to 4 votes. Earlier, Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee overwhelmingly had approved her nomination as the next US Ambassador to the United Nations. Earlier she was serving as the South Carolina Governor and had created history by becoming the first women Indian-American Governor of a US State. She was only the second ever Indian-American to be elected as the Governor of a State after Bobby Jindal of Louisiana.


National Voters’ Day The National Voters’ Day (NVD) observed on 25 January 2017


25 January: National Voters’ Day The National Voters’ Day (NVD) was observed on 25 January to commemorate the foundation day of the Election Commission of India (ECI). This year it was 7th edition of the day and its theme was Empowering Young and Future Voters. On this occasion President Pranab Mukherjee gave away awards for best electoral practices to District Collectors, Superintendents of Police and other functionaries involved in election management. NVD marks the foundation day of ECI which came into existence on 25th January 1950. This day is also utilized to spread awareness among voters regarding effective participation in the electoral process.


Padma Awards 2017 Winners List


Padma Awards one of the highest civilian Awards of the country, are conferred in three categories, namely, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri. The Awards are given in various disciplines/ fields of activities, viz.- art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports, civil service, etc., The awards are announced on the occasion of Republic Day every year. These awards are conferred by the President of India at ceremonial functions which are held at Rashtrapati Bhawan usually around March/ April every year. 

  1. ‘Padma Vibhushan’ is awarded for exceptional and distinguished service; 
  2. ‘Padma Bhushan’ for distinguished service of high order and 
  3. ‘Padma Shri’ for distinguished service in any field. 
2017 Padma Awards List

This year the President of India has approved conferment of Padma Awards to 89 persons.

  • 7 Padma Vibhushan
  • 7 Padma Bhushan and 
  • 75 Padma Shri Awardees
  • 19 of the awardees are women 
  • 5 persons foreigners, NRIs, PIOs and 
  • 6 Posthumous awardees
List of Padma Vibhushan Winners 2017

  1. Shri K J Yesudas (Art-Music, Kerala)
  2. Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev (Others-Spiritualism, Tamil Nadu)
  3. Shri Sharad Pawar (Public Affairs, Maharashtra)
  4. Shri Murli Manohar Joshi (Public Affairs Uttar Pradesh)
  5. Prof. Udipi Ramachandra Rao (Science & Engineering, Karnataka)
  6. Late Shri Sunder Lal Patwa (Posthumous, Public Affairs, Madhya Pradesh)
  7. Late Shri PA Sangma (Posthumous, Public Affairs, Meghalaya)
List of Padma Bhushan Winners 2017
  1. Shri Vishwa Mohan Bhatt (Art-Music, Rajasthan)
  2. Prof. (Dr.) Devi Prasad Dwivedi (Literature & Education, Uttar Pradesh)
  3. Shri Tehemton Udwadia Medicine Maharashtra
  4. Shri Ratna Sundar Maharaj (Others-Spiritualism, Gujarat)
  5. Swami Niranjana Nanda Saraswati (Others-Yoga, Bihar)
  6. H.R.H. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn (Foreigner, Literature & Education, Thailand)
  7. Late Shri Cho Ramaswamy (Posthumous, Literature & Education – Journalism, Tamil Nadu)
List of Padma Shri Winners 2017

  1. Smt. Basanti Bisht (Art-Music, Uttarakhand)
  2. Shri Chemanchery Kunhiraman Nair (Art-Dance, Kerala)
  3. Smt. Aruna Mohanty (Art-Dance, Odisha)
  4. Smt. Bharathi Vishnuvardhan (Art-Cinema, Karnataka)
  5. Shri Sadhu Meher Art-Cinema Odisha
  6. Shri T K Murthy (Art-Music, Tamil Nadu)
  7. Shri Laishram Birendrakumar Singh (Art-Music, Manipur)
  8. Shri Krishna Ram Chaudhary (Art-Music, Uttar Pradesh)
  9. Smt. Baoa Devi (Art-Painting, Bihar)
  10. Shri Tilak Gitai (Art-Painting, Rajasthan)
  11. Dr. Prof. Aekka Yadagiri Rao (Art-Sculpture, Telangana)
  12. Shri Jitendra Haripal (Art-Music, Odisha)
  13. Shri Kailash Kher (Art-Music, Maharashtra)
  14. Smt. Parassala B Ponnammal (Art-Music, Kerala)
  15. Smt. Sukri Bommagowda (Art-Music, Karnataka)
  16. Shri Mukund Nayak (Art-Music, Jharkhand)
  17. Shri Purushottam Upadhyay (Art-Music, Gujarat)
  18. Smt. Anuradha Paudwal (Art-Music, Maharashtra)
  19. Shri Wareppa Naba Nil (Art-Theatre, Manipur)
  20. Shri Tripuraneni Hanuman Chowdary (Civil Service, Telangana)
  21. Shri T.K. Viswanathan (Civil Service, Haryana)
  22. Shri Kanwal Sibal (Civil Service, Delhi)
  23. Shri Birkha Bahadur Limboo Muringla (Literature & Education, Sikkim)
  24. Smt. Eli Ahmed (Literature & Education, Assam)
  25. Dr. Narendra Kohli (Literature & Education, Delhi)
  26. Prof. G. Venkatasubbiah (Literature & Education, Karnataka)
  27. Shri Akkitham Achyuthan Namboothiri (Literature & Education, Kerala)
  28. Shri Kashi Nath Pandita (Literature & Education, Jammu & Kashmir)
  29. Shri Chamu Krishna Shastry (Literature & Education, Delhi)
  30. Shri Harihar Kripalu Tripathi (Literature & Education, Uttar Pradesh)
  31. Shri Michel Danino (Literature & Education, Tamil Nadu)
  32. Shri Punam Suri (Literature & Education, Delhi)
  33. Shri VG Patel (Literature & Education, Gujarat)
  34. Smt. V Koteswaramma (Literature & Education, Andhra Pradesh)
  35. Shri Balbir Dutt (Literature & EducationJournalism, Jharkhand).
  36. Smt. Bhawana Somaaya (Literature & EducationJournalism, Maharashtra)
  37. Shri Vishnu Pandya (Literature & EducationJournalism, Gujarat)
  38. Dr. Subroto Das (Medicine, Gujarat)
  39. Dr. (Smt.) Bhakti Yadav (Medicine, Madhya Pradesh)
  40. Dr. Mohammed Abdul Waheed (Medicine, Telangana)
  41. Dr. Madan Madhav Godbole (Medicine, Uttar Pradesh)
  42. Dr. Devendra Dayabhai Patel (Medicine, Gujarat)
  43. Prof. Harkishan Singh (Medicine, Chandigarh)
  44. Dr. Mukut Minz (Medicine, Chandigarh)
  45. Shri Arun Kumar Sharma (Others-Archaeology, Chhattisgarh)
  46. Shri Sanjeev Kapoor (Others-Culinary, Maharashtra)
  47. Smt. Meenakshi Amma (Others-Martial Art, Kerala)
  48. Shri Genabhai Dargabhai Patel (Others-Agriculture, Gujarat)
  49. Shri Chandrakant Pithawa (Science & Engineering, Telangana)
  50. Prof. Ajoy Kumar Ray (Science & Engineering, West Bengal)
  51. Shri Chintakindi Mallesham (Science & Engineering, Andhra Pradesh)
  52. Shri Jitendra Nath Goswami (Science & Engineering, Assam)
  53. Shri Daripalli Ramaiah (Social Work, Telangana)
  54. Shri Girish Bhardwaj (Social Work, Karnataka)
  55. Shri Karimul Hak (Social Work, West Bengal)
  56. Shri Bipin Ganatra (Social Work, West Bengal)
  57. Smt. Nivedita Raghunath Bhide (Social work, Tamil Nadu)
  58. Shri Appasaheb Dharmadhikari (Social Work, Maharashtra)
  59. Baba Balbir Singh Seechewal (Social Work, Punjab)
  60. Shri Virat Kohli (Sports-Cricket, Delhi)
  61. Shri Shekar Naik (Sports-Cricket, Karnataka)
  62. Shri Vikasa Gowda (Sports-Discus, Throw Karnataka)
  63. Smt. Deepa Malik (Sports-Athletics, Haryana)
  64. Shri Mariyappan Thangavelu (Sports-Athletics, Tamil Nadu)
  65. Smt. Dipa Karmakar (Sports-Gymnastics, Tripura)
  66. Shri P R Shreejesh (Sports-Hockey, Kerala)
  67. Smt. Sakshi Malik (Sports-Wrestling, Haryana)
  68. Shri Mohan Reddy Venkatrama Bodanapu (Trade & Industry, Telangana)
  69. Shri Imrat Khan (NRI/PIO, Art-Music, USA)
  70. Shri Anant Agarwal (NRI/PIO, Literature & Education, USA)
  71. Shri H.R. Shah (NRI/PIO, Literature & Education Journalism, USA)
  72. Late (Smt.) Suniti Solomon (Posthumous, Medicine Tamil Nadu) 
  73. Shri Asoke Kumar Bhattacharyya (Posthumous, Others-Archaeology West Bengal)
  74. Dr. Mapuskar (Posthumous, Social Work Maharashtra)
  75. Smt. Anuradha Koirala (Foreigner, Social Work Nepal)

New World Record by Singing the National Anthem in Gujarat


3.5 lakh people in Gujarat set new world record by singing National Anthem Over 3.5 lakh people from Gujarat set a new world record by singing the national anthem at an event at Kagvad in Rajkot. The event marked the installation of the idol of goddess Khodiyar at the newly-built Khodal Dham temple in the town. It broke previous record of 2,54,537 people who had sung the national anthem in Bangladesh in 2014.


Sports Affairs 

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) launched Women’s Football League (IWL) 


The All India Football Federation (AIFF) launched India’s first ever Women’s Football League (IWL) with an aim to make football a professional sport for women in the country. The inaugural edition of the league will be played between January 28 and February 14, 2017 at the Ambedkar Stadium in New Delhi. It will feature six teams who would play each other in a round robin format. They are Jeppiar (Puducherry), Eastern Sporting Union (Imphal), Rising Student’s Club (Cuttack), Football Club Alakhpura (Haryana) and a team each from I-League and ISL clubs, Pune City FC and Aizawl FC. At present, Indian women’s football team is ranked at the 54th position in the world, much higher than the men’s team which is placed at 129th position. 

7th National Billiards Championship: Pankaj Advani Champion

Pankaj Advani wins 7th National Billiards Championship India’s top seeded cueist Pankaj Advani won his seventh National Billiards Championship. In the final match held in Pune (Maharashtra), he defeated Rupesh Shah by 5-1 score. Earlier, in semi-finals, he had defeated Brijesh Damani. In December 2016, Pankaj Advani had created history by winning World Billiards Championship title for the record 11th time in the 150-Up format.


Usain Bolt loses one Olympic Gold Medal as Nesta Carter Tests Positive


Usain Bolt will have to hand back one of his nine Olympic gold medals after Jamaican team-mate Nesta Carter tested positive for a banned substance. Carter was part of the Jamaican quartet that won the 4x100m in Beijing in 2008. His was one of 454 selected doping samples retested by the International Olympic Committee last year, and has been found to contain the banned stimulant methylhexaneamine.


Sports Minister Vijay Goel reconstitutes committee to identify athletes under TOP Scheme 


The Union Minister of State (I/C) for Youth Affairs and Sports Shri Vijay Goel has reconstituted TOP committee with the objective of identifying and supporting potential medal prospects for 2020 and 2024 Olympic Games under the “Target Olympic Podium” scheme. The committee will select elite athletes to provided financial assistance for their customized training at Institutes having world class facilities and other necessary support. 


The reconstituted committee is as follows:


1. Shri Abhinav Bindra, Olympic Gold Medalist - Chairman

2. Shri Anil Khanna, Sports Administrator - Member

3. Shri Prakash Padukone, Renowned Ex Badminton Player and Coach - Member

4. Ms. Karnam Malleshwari, Olympic Medalist (Bronze/ Weightlifting) - Member
5. Ms. P. T. Usha Renowned Olympian - Member
6. Shri Murlidhar Raja, President, Sports Administrator - Member
7. Ms. Anjali Bhagwat, Renowned Shooter - Member
8. Ms. Rekha Yadav, Secretary Railway Sports Promotion Board - Member
9. Dr. S.S. Roy, ED (Teams) SAI - Member
10. Shri Inder Dhamija, Joint Secretary (Sports) - Member Secretary


According to the Minister of State (I/C) for Youth Affairs and Sports Shri Vijay Goel Committee will decide on its own procedures and will be competent to invite subject experts as and when required. The Initial tenure of the committee will be one year from the date of notification. A programme, namely TOP (Target Olympic Podium) Scheme was formulated within the overall ambit of National Sports Development Fund (NSDF) with the objective of identifying and supporting potential medal prospects for 2016 and 2020 Olympic Games. Under the scheme the selected athletes are provided financial assistance for their customized training at Institutes having world class facilities and other necessary support which is expected to result in improved performance and a higher position in medals tally for the country. Benchmark for selection of athletes under the scheme is in relation to international standards.

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