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1. India-Nepal friendship bus service resumes after gap of 27 years
1. A friendship bus service between India and Nepal was flagged off via Champawat district in Uttarakhand after a gap of 27 years. The resumed bus service has been regularised and will run between Kanchanpur in Nepal close to the Banbasa border in Champawat district and Anand Vihar in New Delhi.
2. People travelling in these buses do not require any special documents to travel. These buses are air conditioned and provide free wi-fi connectivity to passengers. The India-Nepal friendship bus service was suspended 27 years back in the wake of the Indo-Nepal Trade and Transit Treaty. This bus service is mainly used by the people on both sides of the border as they have family as well as trade relations with each other.
2. Mary Barra elected as Chairman of General Motors Board of Directors
1. Mary Barra was on 4 January 2016 elected as Chairman of General Motors (GM) Board of Directors with immediate effect. Barra succeeds Theodore Solso, who will continue serving as the Lead Independent Director of the Board.
2. Earlier, Barra was serving as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GM since January 2014.
3. Nokia completed acquisition of Alca-Lucent for 15.6 billion euro
1. Nokia Corporation announced that it completed the regulatory formalities for acquiring the French telecom equipment company Alca-Lucent.
2. The deal, worth 15.6 billion euro, was signed in 2014 and later approved by the European Commission.
3. With this acquisition, Nokia holds 79.32 percent of outstanding Alcatel-Lucent shares and at least 78.97 percent of the French company's voting rights.
4. Further, the deal is expected to help the company in competing globally with the likes of Ericsson and Huawei in the telecommunications field.
4. Kate Atkinson won 2015 Costa Novel Prize for A God in Ruins
1. British writer Kate Atkinson won the novel-of-the-year prize at Britain's Costa Book Awards 2015 for the second time in three years. She fetched the award for A God in Ruins, a story of war and its aftermath.
2. With this, Atkinson became the first author to receive the Costa novel prize three times: for A God in Ruins in 2016, Life After Life in 2013 and Behind the Scenes at the Museum in 1995.
5. Jharkhand Government inaugurated land bank web portal jharbhoom.nic.in
1. Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das on 4 January 2016 inaugurated the state's land bank web portal, jharbhoom.nic.in, that will help investors know land-related information.
2. With this, one would be able to get information about the land which is available at the district and the circle area level with a click of a mouse. This land bank will help investors get information through district-wise nodal officers.
3. For this purpose, district wise nodal officers have been appointed whose mobile numbers and email ids will also be available on the website.
4. The state government also issued directions to make land available through the land bank to the industrialists allotted with coal blocks
6. RBI imposes Rs 1 crore fine on State Bank of Travancore
1. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed a monetary penalty of one crore rupees on State Bank of Travancore, an SBI associate bank for violation of some of its instructions. The monetary penalty was imposed on State Bank of Travancore for violation of its instructions including reporting of data to Central Repository of Information on Large Credits (CRILC).
2. Prior to imposing the penalty, RBI had issued a show cause notice to the bank for not having complied with the directions issued by the bank on submission of accurate data to the CRILC. Finally RBI came to the conclusion that the bank had violated the instructions or guidelines issued from time to time after considering the bank’s reply and information submitted and documents furnished.
7. PM Narendra Modi inaugurates 103rd Indian Science Congress
1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 103rd edition of the Indian Science Congress (ISC) on January 3, 2015 in Mysuru, Karnataka. The theme of this edition of the Congress is “Science and Technology for Indigenous Development in India.”
2. During the inaugural speech Prime Minister gave a new mantra comprising five Es – “Economy, Environment, Energy, Empathy and Equity”.
8. Largest blue star sapphire found in Sri Lanka
1. The world’s largest blue star sapphire, weighing 1404.49 carets and valued at an astonishing $100 million, has been found in a mine in Sri Lanka.
2. Sri Lankan gemmologists say the sapphire was found in the city of Ratnapura, in southern Sri Lanka, which is known as the ’City of Gems.’
3. It has now been valued at $100 million with estimates that it could even be sold at auction for $175 million.
9. Andhra Bank launches IMPS for money transfer
1. Andhra Bank has launched Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) at all its branches in association with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).
2. A multi-channel, multi-dimensional platform, IMPS makes payments possible within fraction of seconds with all the standards and integrity maintained for security.
10. BHEL commissions 600 MW thermal unit in Telangana
1. Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd has announced it has commissioned the first 600 MW coal-based thermal power plant in Telangana, a state where it has an order book of 6,000 mw.
2. Significantly, the unit commissioned at Kakatiya Thermal Power Project in Warangal, is the highest rating unit in the State. One coal-based unit of 500 MW rating, commissioned by BHEL in 2010, is already operational at Kakatiya thermal plant.
3. BHEL–built 600 MW rating sets comprise a 4-cylinder turbine designed in-house. So far, the company has contracted 21 sets of 600 MW each, of which 14 have been commissioned. BHEL has a major contribution in the Telangana power sector with 84 per cent of the coal-based power stations amounting to 4,580 MW having been commissioned by BHEL.