1. Indian Navy’s Theatre Level Exercise TROPEX 17:
- The Indian Navy’s Annual Theatre Readiness Operational Exercise (TROPEX) 2017 is being conducted off the Western Seaboard.
- The month long exercise will see participation of ships and aircraft of both the Western and Eastern Naval Command and also assets from the Indian Air Force, Indian Army and the Indian Coast Guard.
- TROPEX 17 exercise is aimed at testing combat readiness of the combined fleets of the Indian Navy, and the assets of the Indian Army, Indian Air Force and Indian Coast Guard.
2. GAAR will be effective from April 1, 2017:
- The Union Finance Ministry has announced that the General Anti Avoidance Rule (GAAR) will be effective from the 1 April, 2017.
- In this regard Income Tax (IT) department has issued a slew of clarifications on implementation of GAAR, seeking to address concerns of foreign investors over implementation of the anti-evasion measure.
- GAAR seeks to prevent companies from routing transactions through other countries to avoid taxes.
- The rules are framed mainly to minimize and check avoidance of tax.
- India will be the 17th nation in the world to have laws that aim to close tax loopholes.
3. Andhra Pradesh Launches Rs 100 cr fund of funds for Fintech Startups:
- The Andhra Pradesh under Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu has announced Rs 100-crore fund of funds to invest in Fintech startups.
- Fintech is being seen as a promising space to generate job, thus the state has initiated an industry-academia-government partnership to tap and refine skilled talent available at cheaper costs to develop Visakhapatnam into a global fintech hub.
4. Dr Vijay Bhatkar appointed new vice-chancellor of Nalanda University:
- President Pranab Mukherjee has appointed Dr Vijay Bhatkar, architect of India’s first supercomputer the Param series, as the chancellor of Nalanda University.
- He will have term of three years from the date of his appointment as provided under Section 11(3) of the Nalanda University Act.
- He shall succeed George Yeo, former Foreign Minister of Singapore, who resigned after the Board of the University was reconstituted.
- Dr. Bhatkar is one of the acclaimed scientists and IT leaders of India. He is best known as the architect of India’s first supercomputer Param series.
5. ISRO Successfully tests Cryogenic Engine for Upper Stage of GSLV Mk III:
- The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully tested indigenously developed cryogenic engine for the upper stage ‘GSLV Mk III’ rocket.
- The cryogenic upper stage, designated as C25, was tested for 50 seconds at ISRO Propulsion Complex (IPRC) at Mahendragiri in Tamil Nadu demonstrating all the stage operations. It was the first test in a series of two tests.
- The second test is planned for flight duration of 640 seconds.
- Cryogenic engines are used in the upper stage of a rocket launch as they provide the maximum thrust to a launcher vehicle.
- The development of C25 cryogenic stage started after approval of GSLV MkIII, ISRO’s next generation launch vehicle, capable of launching heavy four tonne class spacecraft in Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO).
6. Telangana signs MoU for aero skill academy:
- The Telangana government has signed a memorandum of agreement with French firm Aerocampus Aquitaine, known for aircraft maintenance skill training, to create a world-class aero skill academy.
- The project deliverables include identifying skill gaps, designing courses and enabling European Aviation Safety Agency and Directorate General of Civil Aviation certifications for the academy and its courses.
7. India ranks sixth on eight great powers in 2017:
- India is ranked at the sixth spot in a list of eight great powers for the year 2017 by a leading American foreign policy magazine which is topped by the US.
- The list is topped by the US, whereas China and Japan are at tie for being on the second spot. Russia (fourth) and Germany (fifth) are the other two countries ahead of India. Iran is ranked seventh and Israel is on the eighth spot.
8. Sports Ministry reconstitutes committee to identify athletes under TOP Scheme:
- The Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has reconstituted TOP committee with objective of identifying and supporting potential medal prospects for 2020 and 2024 Olympic Games under Target Olympic Podium (TOP) scheme.
- The committee will be headed by Abhinav Bindra, Olympic Gold Medalist. Its other members are Anil Khanna, Prakash Padukone, Karnam Malleshwari, P. T. Usha, Murlidhar Raja, Anjali Bhagwat, Rekha Yadav, Dr. S.S. Roy and Inder Dhamija.
- The TOP Scheme was formulated by the Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports within the overall ambit of National Sports Development Fund (NSDF).
9. SBI Launches Wealth Management Product SBI Exclusif in Kochi:
- The State Bank of India has launched a new wealth management product named 'SBI Exclusif' in Kochi, Kerala. Later it will be rolled out in other cities of the state during the course of the year.
- The product was launched by Chief General Manager, SBI, Kerala Circle, S Venkataraman.SBI Exclusif is targeted at fast growing affluent and high net worth customer segments of the bank.
10. Karnataka Bank inks pact with Tirth Agro Technology:
- Karnataka Bank Ltd has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Rajkot-based Tirth Agro Technology Pvt Ltd (manufacturer of agricultural equipment and implements) for financing agricultural mechanisation.
- Quoting P Jayarama Bhat, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the bank stated that the MoU aims to work together to promote agricultural mechanisation by utilising the experience the bank has in agricultural finance through its vast network of branches and the expertise of the company in the field of manufacturing of agricultural equipment and implements.
11. 119 banks connected with Aadhaar-enabled payment system:
- The government stated that 119 banks are connected with the Aadhaar-enabled payment system and 33.87 crore transactions have taken place through Aadhaar-enabled payment systems.There are 111 crore Aadhaar enrolments done so far out of the total population of 125 crore in India.
- Aadhaar is becoming a powerful instrument to bridge the digital divide,Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Information Technology stated.
- He said Rs 36,000 crore has been saved in the last two years due to the linking of Aadhaar with the public distribution system including household LPG supply and MGNREGA.
12. President appoints Banwarilal Purohit as Governor of Meghalaya:
- President Pranab Mukherjee has given Governor of Assam Banwarilal Purohit additional charge of Meghalaya. Besides, President also gave Governor of Nagaland PB Acharya additional charge of Arunachal Pradesh.
- These appointments come after President accepted the resignation of V. Shanmuganathan, as Governor of Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh.
- Banwarilal Purohit was appointed as the Governor of Assam by President in August 2016.
13. Serena Williams beats Venus Williams to win the Australian:
- Serena Williams has won her record 23rd Grand Slam singles title with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over her older sister Venus in Australian Open final.
- With her record seventh Australian title, the 35-year-old Williams moved ahead of Steffi Graf for the most major titles in the Open era. Margaret Court won 24 majors, but collected 13 of those before the Open era.
14. Students’ start-up launches food pre-ordering app:
- Fed up with waiting endlessly after ordering food in a canteen Some students of National Institute of Technology Karnataka (NITK) at Surathkal in Mangaluru taluk have found a solution for it with an app to pre-order food in canteens within their campus.
- Their start-up, WayFoo.com, offers a mobile app that helps students to pre-order food in three of the canteens on the NITK campus, saving them time.Gautamdev Chowdary, CEO and co-founder of WayFoo.com stated that users can order food from classrooms or hostel rooms. By the time they reach the canteen, the food will be ready.
15. Indian Hotels appoints Chandrasekaran non-executive Additional Director:
- Tata group hospitality firm Indian Hotels Co today announced the appointment of Tata Sons Chairman-designate N Chandrasekaran as non-executive Additional Director.
- TCS chief Chandrasekaran was named the new Chairman of Tata Sons, capping two months of a most bitter boardroom battle that followed the unceremonious sacking of Cyrus Mistry and a lot of blood letting ever since.
16. Delhi Dynamos appoints Ashish Shah as new CEO:
- Indian Super League side Delhi Dynamos appointed Ashish Shah as the new CEO.
- His appointment effective as of January 23, 2017. Shah was the heading Chennaiyin FC when the team won the ISL title in 2015.
17. Sumo wrestler becomes first Japanese athlete to receive highest honour in 19 years:
- Japan based sumo wrestler Kisenosato was promoted to the highest rank of the wresting, Yokozuna on January 25, 2017 after winning his first title at the New Year Grand Sumo Japan WrestlerTournament with a 14-1 record.
- The 30-year-old Kisenosato, whose real name is Yutaka Hagiwara is the first Japanese born and bred wrestler to earn the coveted rank of “grand champion since 1998.