Current Affairs 25th January 2017 - Banking, SSC, UPSC Affairs

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The list of the Padma awards is out,The Padma Vibhushan is the second-highest civilian award of the Republic of India, preceded by Bharat Ratna and followed by Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri (also Padmashree) is the fourth highest civilian award in the Republic of India, after the Bharat Ratna, the Padma Vibhushan and the Padma Bhushan. Awarded by the Government of India, it is announced every year on India's Republic Day. This Year both Padma Vibhushan and Padma Shri awards given are as follows: List of Padma Award PADMA VIBHUSHAN: No. Name Awarded For State 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   PADMA BHUSHAN: No Name Awarded for State 8 Shri Vishwa Mohan Bhatt Art-Music Rajasthan 9 Prof. (Dr.) Devi Prasad Dwivedi Literature & Education Uttar Pradesh 10 Shri Tehemton Udwadia Medicine Maharashtra 11 Shri Ratna Sundar Maharaj Others-Spiritualism Gujarat 12 Swami Niranjana Nanda Saraswati Yoga Bihar 13 H.R.H. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn (Foreigner) Literature & Education Thailand 14 Late Shri Cho Ramaswamy (Posthumous) Literature & Education – Journalism Tamil Nadu   PADMA SHRI: No. Name Awarded for State 15 Smt. Basanti Bisht Art-Music Uttarakhand   16 Shri Chemanchery Kunhiraman Nair Art-Dance Kerala   17 Smt. Aruna Mohanty Art-Dance Odisha   18 Smt. Bharathi Vishnuvardhan   Art-Cinema Karnataka 19 Shri Sadhu Meher Art-Cinema Odisha   20 Shri T K Murthy Art-Music Tamil Nadu 21 Shri Laishram Birendrakumar Singh Art-Music Manipur 22 Shri Krishna Ram Chaudhary Art-Music Uttar Pradesh   23 Smt. Baoa Devi Art-Painting Bihar   24 Shri Tilak Gitai Art-Painting Rajasthan 25 Dr. Prof. Aekka Yadagiri Rao Art-Sculpture   Telangana 26 Shri Jitendra Haripal Art-Music Odisha 27 Shri Kailash Kher Art-Music   Maharashtra 28 Smt. Parassala B Ponnammal     Art-Music   Kerala   29 Smt. Sukri Bommagowda Art-Music Karnataka   30 Shri Mukund Nayak Art-Music Jharkhand   31 Shri Purushottam Upadhyay Art-Music Gujarat   32 Smt. Anuradha Paudwal Art-Music Maharashtra   33 Shri Wareppa Naba Nil Art-Theatre Manipur   34 Shri Tripuraneni Hanuman Chowdary Civil Service Telangana   35 Shri T.K. Viswanathan Civil Service Haryana   36 Shri Kanwal Sibal Civil Service Delhi 37 Shri Birkha Bahadur Limboo Muringla   Literature & Education Sikkim 38 Smt. Eli Ahmed Literature & Education Assam 39 Dr. Narendra Kohli Literature & Education Delhi   40 Prof. G. Venkatasubbiah   Literature & Education Karnataka 41 Shri Akkitham Achyuthan Namboothiri Literature & Education Kerala   42 Shri Kashi Nath Pandita Literature & Education Jammu & Kashmir   43 Shri Chamu Krishna Shastry Literature & Education Delhi 44 Shri Harihar Kripalu Tripathi Literature & Education Uttar Pradesh 45 Shri Michel Danino Literature & Education Tamil Nadu   46 Shri Punam Suri Literature & Education Delhi 47 Shri VG Patel Literature & Education Gujarat   48 Smt. V Koteswaramma Literature & Education Andhra Pradesh   49 Shri Balbir Dutt Literature & Education Journalism Jharkhand   50 Smt. Bhawana Somaaya   Literature & Education Journalism Maharashtra 51 Shri Vishnu Pandya Literature & Education Journalism Gujarat   52 Dr. Subroto Das Medicine   Gujarat 53 Dr. (Smt.) Bhakti Yadav   Medicine Madhya Pradesh 54 Dr. Mohammed Abdul Waheed Medicine Telangana   55 Dr. Madan Madhav Godbole Medicine Uttar Pradesh   56 Dr. Devendra Dayabhai Patel Medicine Gujarat 57 Prof. Harkishan Singh Medicine Chandigarh 58 Dr. Mukut Minz Medicine Medicine Chandigarh   59 Shri Arun Kumar Sharma Others-Archaeology Chhattisgarh   60 Shri Sanjeev Kapoor Others-Culinary Maharashtra   61 Smt. Meenakshi Amma Others-Martial Art Kerala 62 Shri Genabhai Dargabhai Patel Others-Agriculture Gujarat   63 Shri Chandrakant Pithawa Science & Engineering Telangana 64 Prof. Ajoy Kumar Ray Science & Engineering West Bengal   65 Shri Chintakindi Mallesham Science & Engineering Andhra Pradesh   66 Shri Jitendra Nath Goswami Science & Engineering Assam   67 Shri Daripalli Ramaiah Social Work Telangana   68 Shri Girish Bhardwaj Social Work Karnataka 69 Shri Karimul Hak Social Work West Bengal 70 Shri Bipin Ganatra Social Work West Bengal 71 Smt. Nivedita Raghunath Bhide Social Work Tamil Nadu   72 Shri Appasaheb Dharmadhikari Social Work Maharashtra 73 Baba Balbir Singh Seechewal Social Work Punjab   74 Shri Virat Kohli Sports-Cricket   Delhi 75 Shri Shekar Naik Sports-Cricket Karnataka 76 Shri Vikasa Gowda Sports-Discus Throw Karnataka   77 Smt. Deepa Malik Sports-Athletics Haryana   78 Shri Mariyappan Thangavelu Sports-Athletics Tamil Nadu 79 Smt. Dipa Karmakar Sports-Gymnastics Tripura 80 Shri P R Shreejesh Sports-Hockey Kerala   81 Smt. Sakshi Malik Sports-Wrestling Haryana 82 Shri Mohan Reddy Venkatrama Bodanapu Trade & Industry Telangana   83 Shri Imrat Khan (NRI/PIO)   Art-Music USA 84 Shri Anant Agarwal (NRI/PIO) Literature & Education   USA 85 Shri H.R. Shah (NRI/PIO) Literature & EducationJournalism USA 86 Late (Smt.) Suniti Solomon (Posthumous) Medicine Tamil Nadu 87 Shri Asoke Kumar Bhattacharyya (Posthumous) Others-Archaeology West Bengal 88 Dr. Mapuskar (Posthumous) Social Work Maharashtra   89 Smt. Anuradha Koirala (Foreigner) Social Work Nepal  

Pakistan successfully conducted the first flight test of Ababeel surface-to-surface medium range ballistic missile.  The test flight was aimed at validating various design and technical parameters of missile’s weapon system.  It is claimed that Ababeel missile has the capability to carry nuclear as well as conventional warheads and engage multiple targets with high precision by defeating the enemy’s hostile radars. Ababeel missile is capable of delivering multiple warheads, using Multiple Independent Re-entry Vehicle (MIRV) technology, first of its kind in Pakistan’s missile arsenal. It has a maximum range of 2,200 kilometres.  The development of Ababeel Weapon System aims at ensuring survivability of Pakistan’s ballistic missiles in growing regional Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) environment in reference to the India’s Prithvi and Ashwin BMD systems. It also seeks to further reinforce Pakistan’s deterrence. With this successful test, Pakistan became seventh country to join the elite club of nuclear countries that have MIRV capabilities. Other countries having MIRV capabilities are United Kingdom, France, Russia, the United States, China and India. India and China had achieved this capability over the past couple of years.  The test comes after Pakistan successfully tested its first submarine-based nuclear-capable missile Babur-3 recently on January 9, 2017 from an underwater, mobile platform somewhere in the Indian Ocean. The Babur weapons system incorporates advanced aerodynamics and avionics that can strike targets both at land and sea at a range of 700 km with high accuracy.

The Union Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval for an interest waiver of farmers accessing short-term crop loans from cooperative banks for the two months of November and December, 2016  The decision also provides for interest subvention to National Bank for Agricultural and Rural Development (NABARD) on additional refinance provided by NABARD to Cooperative Banks. This decision will ensure availability of resources with Cooperative Banks to help farmers to get easy access to crop loans from Cooperative Banks to overcome difficulties due demonisationduring Rabi operations.  Additional resources are to be provided to Cooperative Banks through NABARD for refinance to the Cooperative Banks on account of interest waiver of two months for November and December, 2016. A sum of Rs. 15, 000 crore already has been allocated to NABARD during 2016-17 to implement the Interest Subvention Scheme (ISS) has already been utilised. The Union Cabinet also approved NABARD to make short-term borrowings for approximate Rs.20,000 crore at prevailing market rate of interest for on-lending to Cooperative Banks at 4.5% rate of interest. Additional capital of Rs. 2,000 crore will be be provided to NABARD for this purpose through the Union Budget.

Improved Pinaka rockets, with a guidance system and an enhanced range were successfully test-fired for the second time from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur in Odisha.  The guided version dubbed as Pinaka mark-II, has been evolved version of Pinaka mark-I. Its first successful test flight was conducted from the same venue on January 12, 2017. The earlier Pinaka version was an unguided one, now it has been transformed into guided version with a navigation, guidance and control kit developed by the DRDO’s Research Centre, Imarat (RCI), Hyderabad.  It was developed jointly by the Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE), Pune, RCI, and the Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL), Hyderabad. The conversion into improved guided Pinaka rockets has helped in enhancing the range and accuracy of Pinaka. The earlier range was 40 km, but now it is more than 70 km. The success of the guided Pinaka also has reinforced the technological strength of India in converting the unguided systems into weapons of high precision.  

The 7th National Voters’ Day (NVD) was observed across the country on 25 January 2017 by the Election Commission of India. The theme for the 7th National Voters’ Day is ‘Empowering Young and Future Voters.’ The Commission’s objective through NVD is to increase enrolment of voters, especially of the newly eligible ones. The National function of the NVD was held in New Delhi and presided over by President of India, Pranab Mukherjee. National Voters’ Day : The National Voters’ Day is observed every year on 25 January. It observed annually to mark the anniversary of Election Commission of India. The National Voters’ Day is also utilised to spread awareness among voters regarding effective participation in the electoral process. Election Commission of India : The Election Commission of India is an autonomous constitutional authority responsible for administering election processes in the country. It administers elections to the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, state legislatures, and the offices of the President and Vice President in India. It operates under the authority of Article 324 of the Constitution of India. Under the Indian Constitution, the Commission has the powers to act in an appropriate manner when the enacted laws make insufficient provisions to deal with a given situation in the conduct of an election.

India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on 25 January 2017 signed 14 agreements to boost bilateral relations. The agreements were signed after successful talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of the UAE Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The crown prince is the chief guest of Repubilc Day celebrations on 26 January 2017. Some of the agreements signed are – Agreement on Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the field of defence industry MoU on institutional cooperation on maritime transport MoU on mutual recognition of certificates of competency  MoU on bilateral cooperation in the road transport and highways sector MoU on cooperation in prevention and combating of human trafficking MoU on agriculture and allied sectors MoU for cooperation in programme exchange Agreement on oil storage and management MoU on cooperation in energy efficiency services MoU on trade remedial measures to promote cooperation in areas of mutual interest

The Union Cabinet has approved a new scheme to promote rural housing across the country. A decision in this regard was taken at a meeting of the Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.Under the scheme, the Union Government will provide interest subsidy to every rural household who is not covered under the Pradhan Mantri Aawas Yojana (Grameen). : The scheme would enable people in rural areas to construct new houses. The scheme is also applicable to those who are willing improve their dwelling units by adding additional rooms. The beneficiary who takes a loan under the scheme would be provided interest subsidy for a loan amount up to Rs 2 Lakhs. The National Housing Bank (NHB) will implement the scheme. The NHB is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The Government would provide net present value of the interest subsidy of 3 per cent to the NHB upfront.The NHB will pass the amount to the primary lending institutions such as scheduled commercial banks (SCBs) and non-banking financial companies (NBFCs). As a result the equated monthly installment (EMI) for the beneficiary would be reduced. The new scheme is expected to improve housing stock in the rural areas, as well as create employment opportunities in rural housing sector. Under the scheme, the Government would also take necessary steps for proper convergence with the Pradhan Mantri Aawas Yojana (Grammen) including technical support to beneficiaries through existing arrangements. Pradhan Mantri Aawas Yojana (Grammen) : It was approved by the Union Cabinet on 23 March 2016. The project is being implemented with an estimated cost of Rs 81675 crore.The scheme is applicable to the entire country except Delhi and Chandigarh. Under this scheme, the cost of houses would be shared between the Centre and States in the ratio 60:40 in plain areas and 90:10 for hilly states.  

The Union Cabinet, presided by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on 24 January 2017 gave its approval to ratify the Second Commitment Period of the Kyoto Protocol on containing the emission of Green House Gases (GHGs). The 2nd commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol was adopted in 2012. As of now, 75 countries have ratified the 2nd Commitment Period. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change : The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is an international environmental treaty. It was negotiated at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro from 3 to 14 June 1992.The treaty was entered into force on 21 March 1994. The objective of the UNFCCC is to "stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system." Kyoto Protocol : The Kyoto Protocol is an international treaty, which extends the 1992 UNFCCC. It was adopted in Kyoto, Japan, on 11 December 1997. It entered into force on 16 February 2005. At present, there are 192 parties to the Protocol. Canada withdrew from the protocol effective December 2012. It implements the objective of the UNFCCC to fight global warming by reducing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere to "a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system." Its first commitment period started in 2008 and commenced in 2012. At Doha in 2012, the amendments to Kyoto Protocol for the second commitment period were successfully adopted for the period 2013-2020. For the measures to be taken after the commencement of the second commitment period, negotiations were held in the framework of the yearly UNFCCC Climate Change Conferences. The negotiations resulted in the 2015 adoption of the Paris Agreement. It is a separate instrument under the UNFCCC rather than an amendment of the Kyoto protocol.  

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA)  gave its approval for setting up of a world-class Integrated Exhibition-cum-Convention Centre (IECC) at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi. A decision in this regard was taken at a CCEA meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi. Integrated Exhibition-cum-Convention Centre : As per the proposal, the Pragati Maidan in New Delhi will be redeveloped as an Integrated Exhibition-cum-Convention Centre. The proposed development project will be executed by the India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO). The ITPO is a Mini Ratna Category-1 Company under the Department of Commerce of the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry.The project will be executed at an estimated cost of Rs 2,254 crore. The ITPO will utilise Rs 1,200 crore out of its free reserves towards funding of the project. The ITPO will raise the Rs 1,054 crore balance amount through institutional loan, soft loan, external aid and land monetization. The Union Government will guarantee the amount raised through institutional loan. The redevelopment of Pragati Maidan is envisaged in two phases.The phase-1 is expected to be completed by May 2019. This phase will result in redevelopment of nearly 3.26 lakh square meters. After redevelopment, the exhibition space will be doubled to 1.19 lakh square meters as against 65,000 square meters presently. To ease road congestion, grade separator will be provided at the junction of Mathura Road and Bhairon Road.  Also, direct connectivity will be provided to the IECC through a subway from Mathura Road to Ring Road across Pragati Maidan. Redevelopment will also include construction of a state-of-the-art Convention Center. The proposed center will have a seating capacity of 7,000. For execution of this mega project, ITPO deployed the National Buildings Construction Corporation Ltd (NBCC) as a project management consultant.The ITPO will invite bids from global construction giants for execution of the project.

The Union Ministry of Women & Child Development (WCD) on 24 January 2017 released the National Action Plan for Children 2016 (NPAC) on the occasion of the National Girl Child Day 2017. The action plan was developed by the Union Ministry of Women & Child Development itself with an aim to ensure optimum health, education and success of the children as well as to contribute to the development of their talents.  Highlights  :  The Action Plan will work in four key priority areas including- survival, health and nutrition, education and development and fourth one being protection and participation. It clearly  defines the objectives, sub-objectives, action points, strategies and indicators for measuring progress under these four key priority areas.It also identifies the key stakeholders for the implementation of different strategies. It puts main focus on new and emerging concerns for children such as online child abuse, children who are affected by  natural and man-made disasters and climate change, etc. The strategies and action points of the action plan largely draw upon the existing programmes and schemes of various Ministries/Departments.  Moreover, it also suggests formulation of new programmes and strategies, if required, for the new and emerging issues related to children. It takes into account the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations (UN) and provides a roadmap towards achieving them through co-ordination and junction with various stakeholders. The National Policy for Children, that was launched in the year 2013, provides for formation of a National Co-ordination and Action Group (NCAG) under the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development. It looked forward for creating the NCAG with an aim to coordinate and implement the plan and monitor the progress with other Ministries which are considered as its members.

The United States Senate  confirmed Nikki Haley as the next Ambassador to the United Nations (UN). With this, she will become the first Indian-American to serve on a Cabinet rank position in any presidential administration. The Senate approved Haley, the South Carolina Governor, on a 96-4 vote. Senate Foreign Relations Committee had earlier approved Haley’s nomination as the next US Ambassador to the UN. Haley is expected to be sworn in shortly. She will replace Samantha Power at the United Nations. Nikki Haley : Nikki Haley is an American politician. From January 2011 to January 2017, she served as the 116th Governor of South Carolina. Prior to her tenure as governor, she served a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives. She was the first female Governor of South Carolina and the second Indian American, after Bobby Jindal, to serve as a governor in the United States. On 12 January 2016, she delivered the official Republican response to President Barack Obama's final State of the Union address. On 20 January 2017, President Donald Trump sent her nomination for Ambassador to the United Nations to the Senate.

Virat Kohli became the fastest batsman in the world to score 1,000 runs as captain in One-Day Internationals (ODIs) on January 22, 2017 in the third ODI against England at the Eden Gardens. The 28-year-old batsman took 17 innings to reach the landmark, breaking the earlier record set by South Africa’s AB deVilliers which was achieved in 18 innings. Earlier only 4 batsman achieved the victory of scoring 1000 runs as ODI captain including: AB deVilliers-18 innings, Kane Williamson-20 innings, Alastair Cook-21 innings and Sourav Ganguly-22 innings. Besides, Virat is the seventh Indian batsman to reach this landmark after Kapil Dev, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, Mohammad Azharuddin and Mahendra Singh Dhoni.  

Uber is soon going to launch its on-demand food delivery app UberEATS in India.  UberEATS was launched as a delivery pilot in Los Angeles in 2014. Since then, it has expanded to 58 cities. the service also exists in Bangkok, Singapore, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Taipei.  Uber is currently looking to set up a network of restaurants, restaurant partners and delivery partners in India, before the service goes live.  The app is standalone and does not have to do with Uber's cab hailing service. In cities where it operates, UberEATS offers a few daily dishes that promise quick delivery in a given area.  The company is looking at the "perfect pairing of amazing restaurant partners, our technology, and the Uber delivery network" in India.  Uber's India rival Ola had started an in-app food delivery service called Ola Café in April 2015, but shut down a year later because of tough competition from standalone food delivery apps.  Food delivery is a competitive space in India, and as the market in India picks up with foodies and restaurateurs getting used to it, retaining clients has emerged as a major challenge. 

In a bid to encourage banks to provide loans for education, the Reserve Bank of India has declared that rescheduling the period of payment of education loans due to the inability of the borrower because of unemployment will not be treated as restructured accounts for computing NPAs. Banks can allow three rounds of extension periods, each not more than 6 months, during the entire lifecycle of the education loan, to be applicable only on unemployment/underemployment borrowers.  However, banks are required to maintain a higher provisioning of 5 percent during the additional moratorium period and one year thereafter to cover risk.

The parliament of Turkey approved a constitutional reform on January 21, 2017 to strengthen the powers of the presidency by introducing presidential rule in the country and has led the way for a referendum on the issue by the public. If the bill will be passed then the President Tayyip Erdogan would serve the office until 2029. Erdogan was appointed the president in 2014 after over a decade as prime minister. Since then he used his powers to the limit that he dominated politics by dint of his personal popularity. The legislation needed at least 330 deputies to support the plan in order to go to a public vote. The constitutional reform bill was approved with 339 votes in the 550-member assembly on January 21, 2017. If the reform is passed it would enable the president to issue decrees, declare emergency rule, appoint ministers and top state officials and dissolve parliament – powers. The plan also envisages that presidential and general elections be held together in 2019 and president be eligible to serve a maximum two five-year terms.  

Siddhartha Murarka has been appointed as the Chairman of the Eastern India Regional Council of The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI). His term began from January 19, Murarka, a fellow member of the ICSI, was the head of risk management and compliance at a member firm of the PwC before starting his own practice. Murarka is also a regular faculty”at ICAI and other professional bodies and chambers of commerce like the Merchant Chamber of Commerce and the BCCI.  

Former Indian opener Virender Sehwag, the mentor of Kings XI Punjab, will also be the team’s head of Cricket Operations and Strategy in the 10th edition of the Indian Premier League. Sehwag will not only be the head of Cricket , but also be the brand ambassador for the Punjab franchise. Sehwag has been with Kings XI Punjab since IPL 8. This will be his third year of association with the franchise  

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin was awarded the first ever Hugo Chavez Prize for Peace and Sovereignty by the Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on January 18, 2017 at the Presidential Palace in Miraflores, Caracas, Venezuela. The Peace Prize has been named in honor of late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez who served as the 64th President of Venezuela from 1999 to 2013. Putin was chosen by the award committee set up in October 2016 for being a fighter of peace. He has been recognized as a great leader of peace, a great ruler of the multi-centric and multi-polar world. The Hugo Chavez Prize for Peace and Sovereignty aims to recognize global and national personalities who have stood out in the struggle for peace, for sovereignty and the independence of peoples.  The prize consists of a statuette of Hugo Chavez.  

In a bid to promote digital transaction in Assam, the Chief Minister of Assam, Sarbananda Sonowal on January 22, 2017 announced the launch of ‘Chief Minister’s Award’ while inaugurating the Digi Dhan Mela in the state. The Chief Minister’s Award would be given to the best performing district of the state that adopts digital payment methods and also educate larger section of the society about the cashless transaction. The winning district’s Deputy Commissioner would be presented a prize of Rs 50,000 at the end of financial year 2016-2017 after March 31, 2017.  

In an effort to become the super powerful occupier of green energy, China has built the world’s biggest solar park, Longyangxia Dam Solar Park, in the western province of Qinghai. The park spans over 27 square km of area and can produce 850 MW of power which is enough to supply up to 200,000 households. The construction of the solar park began in 2013 and total costs around $875 million (around Rs. 6,000 crore). China hopes to produce 110GW of solar power and 210GW of wind power as part of an ambitious plan to slash pollution and emissions by 2020.  Besides, by 2030, China has pledged to increase the amount of energy coming from non-fossil fuels to 20% of the total.  

National Girl Child Day will be celebrated at a special function in New Delhi in view of exemplary achievements by nation's daughters during last year. They presented commendable performance at the Olympics and Paralympics besides historic induction of the first batch of female fighter pilots into the Indian Air Force (IAF). Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi and Minister of State Krishna Raj will be addressing the audience. The occasion shall be marked by release of National Plan of Action for Children 2016.Ten districts under the 'Beti Bachao Beti Padhao' scheme for their exemplary performance will also be felicitated.  

Vodafone India will invest Rs 3,000 crore in West Bengal over the next three years. Investments will be towards capacity augmentation and new business initiatives. According to a release issued by the telecom operator, an MoU in this regard was signed with the State Government on the sidelines of Bengal Global Business Summit 2017 that concluded on Saturday (January 21). The aim of the investment will be to strengthen Vodafone's leadership position in the State by offering customers better internet connectivity through enhanced network capacity. Vodafone India serves more than 2 crore customers in Kolkata & West Bengal circles. (In telecom parlance Kolkata and West Bengal are considered as two separate circles.) The telco has already invested over Rs. 8,400 crore in the State with at least Rs. 200 crore coming in the first six months of this fiscal. Investments have come primarily towards “upgrading the network  

Steel minister, Birender Singh inaugurated a new Rs 1200-crore Universal Rail Mill at Steel Authority of India's (SAIL) Bhilai Steel Plant and flagged off the first rake from the new mill.  With this, SAIL has commenced commercial production of world’s longest single rail of 130 meters from the new Universal Rail Mill (URM).  The state-of- the-art URM, will take BSP’s total capacity to produce rails at two million tonne per annum (mtpa). It will be the largest production capacity for rails in any single location for a plant world over.  The URM complex would equip SAIL to meet Indian Railways’ specific demand of 260 metre rails as the new mill is capable of producing 260 m long rail with a single weld and also has the provision to supply welded panels up to 520 m length in future.  The rails rolled from this new URM will enable SAIL to produce rails with improved surface quality, less residual stress and improved straightness.  This URM complex with the latest technology will empower SAIL to meet the specific needs of Indian railways with greater efficiency and finesse. In a challenging market scenario, we expect to offer better solutions for specialized needs of our customers. 

The Union Cabinet gave its approval to the Indian Institute of Management(IIM) Bill, 2017. A decision in this regard was taken at a meeting of the Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 24 January 2017 in New Delhi. Features of Indian Institute of Management Bill, 2017 : The IIM Bill, 2017 declares Indian Institutes of Management as Institutions of National Importance. This status will enable them to grant degrees to their students. The bill provides for complete autonomy to the institutions without compromising their accountability to the government. Management of these institutions would be Board-driven, with the Chairperson and Director of an institution will be selected by the Board of IIM. A greater participation of experts and alumni in the Board is amongst other important features of the bill. Provision has also been made for inclusion of women and members of scheduled castes and scheduled tribes in the Board. The bill also provides for periodic review of the performance of institutions by independent agencies. The findings of these agencies will be placed in the public domain. The annual report of the institutions will be placed in the Parliament. The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) will be auditing their accounts. The bill also provides for the Coordination Forum of IIMs. It will have the status of an advisory body.  Indian Institutes of Management are the country's premier institutions. : They impart best quality education in management on globally benchmarked processes of education and training. IIMs are recognized as world-class management institutions and centers of excellence. All IIMs are separate autonomous bodies registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. Being societies, IIMs are not authorized to award degrees. 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.The Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Bill, 2017 will address this issue.  

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