International News Affairs
- UK PM Theresa May today published the landmark ‘Brexit repeal bill‘ to end the supremacy of EU laws and the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice in the UK.
- The repeal bill is a largely technical measure to copy all existing EU legislation into domestic UK law to ensure a smooth transition after Brexit.
- India has contributed an additional $1 millionto India-UN Development Partnership Fund launched to support sustainable development projects across the developing world.
- Earlier, India had made an initial contribution of $1 million when the fund was created.
- The amount was allocated for the implementation of a project benefiting seven Small Island Developing States in South Pacific Ocean.
- Top 9 in 2017 Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Index
- Czech Republi
- Note:India has been ranked 116 on the index with a score of 58.1, behind countries such as Nepal, Iran, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and China. Pakistan is ranked 122.
- India for the first time is going to host International Theatre Olympics, the greatest carnival of theatre in the world in 2018.
- The 51-day carnival of theatre will begin on February 17, 2018.
- This event is going to be organised by the National School of Drama (NSD) in coordination with the Union Culture Ministry.
- This is the 8thedition of the Olympics.
- The 7th edition was held in Poland in 2016.
National News Affairs
- The government has extended financial powers to the Army Vice-Chief to make emergency purchases to keep the force ready for ‘short intense wars’.
- The Army has identified 46 kinds of ammunition apart from spares for 10 weapons platforms, which can be purchased through the emergency route.
- Further, there is no limit on expenditure to purchase minimum ammunition for Army’s reserve.
- TheMumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) is going to introduce a second underground metro in the city by extending the Wadala Metro 4 route by 8 kilometres, up to General Post Office.
- President Pranab Mukherjee has given his assent to Maharashtra Prohibition of People from Social Boycott (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Bill, 2016.
- Note: Maharashtra is the first state in the country to formulate a law to punish social boycott.
- Canadian PM Justin Trudeau will appoint former astronaut Julie Payette as the next Governor General.
- Note: The Governor General is Canada’s ceremonial commander-in-chief.
- Tata Sons today announced that it has appointed TCS Executive Director Aarthi Subramanian as group’s Chief Digital Officer.
Science & Technology
- In a bid to promote environment-friendly system, Indian Railways today launched first 1600 HP solar-powered DEMU train from the Safdarjung railway station in Delhi.
- This train will save about 21,000 litres of diesel and thereby bring cost saving of Rs 12 lakh per year.
- DEMU – Diesel Electric Multiple Unit
- Astronomers at Pune-based IUCAA and IISER have discovered a supercluster of galaxies, which they named ‘Saraswati‘.
- A cluster could have galaxies ranging from 1,000 to 10,000, however, a supercluster could have clusters ranging from 40 to 43, researchers said.
- The Saraswati supercluster, 4 billion light-years away, may be more massive than 20,000 trillion Suns, they added.
Awards & Honours
- Singer Ariana Grande has been made the first honorary citizen of Manchester city in UK.
- She was praised for returning to perform at the One Love Manchester concert less than two weeks after the terror attack on her earlier concert in Manchester, which killed 22 people.
- She also raised around ₹16.5 crore for a fund to help the victims.
- Chinese Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo (61) who was recently released from prison on compassionate grounds passed away today.
- Liu had been diagnosed with liver cancer in May while serving an 11-year sentence for penning a pro-democracy manifesto in 2008.
- It called for an end to one-party rule and improvements in human rights in China.
Banking, Business & Economic News
- Income tax authorities have added a provision in the tax return form (ITR2), which will require all non-residents to disclose details of their bank accounts outside India.
- Earlier, NRIs were allowed to claim funds lying in foreign accounts as lawful income earned abroad.
- Individuals selling old jewellery to traders or hostel accommodation provided to students by educational institutions will not be subject to GST, the government has clarified today.
- Sale of old jewellery is not taxable as it is not a transaction made in the course of running a business.
- Further, GST will also not apply on sale of old cars or two-wheelers.
- Patanjali Group founder Baba Ramdev today launched a private security firm called ‘Parakram Suraksha Private Limited‘ in Haridwar.
- The company has been launched with the aim of preparing “individuals for self and country’s security,” Ramdev said during the launch.
- The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) will establish India’s first Technology and Innovation Support Center (TISC)at Patent Information Centre, Punjab.
- In this regard, DIPP has signed an Institutional agreement with the Punjab State Council of Science and Technology.
- Note: The TISC will be set up under the World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO) TISC program.
Books & Authors
- Defence Minister Arun Jaitley today released a Coffee Table Book titled ‘Ganga Avahan – The Epic Tale of a Historic Swim’.
- Important Points to Note :
- The ‘Ganga Avahan’ was a pioneering and historic exploratory open-water swim expedition on the Ganga River.
- This was the first ever human effort to swim down the entire stretch of the river and also the longest ever social campaign undertaken through an adventure sporting activity for the Swachh Bharat National Mission, Clean Ganga projectand Beti Bachao Beti Padhao initiative.
- Important Points to Note :