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1. India to grow at 7.8% in year 2016: World Bank Report
1. The Global Economic Prospect report published recently by the World Bank (WB) has projected a robust 7.8 per cent growth for the Indian economy in the year 2016. In its report bank also has cited strong investor sentiment in India and the positive effect on real incomes of the recent fall in oil prices
2. It will grow at a 7.9 per cent growth in the next two years 2017 and 2018.
2. Government decides to merge Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs with MEA
1. Union Government has decided to merge Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) with the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). This decision has been taken to avoid duplication of work and to improve efficiency in line with Union Government’s broad principle of minimum government, maximum governance.
2. The merger was announced by Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and proposal in this regard was cleared by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
3. Miguel Tabuena won Hilton Asian Tour Golfer of the Month
1. The Philippines' Miguel Tabuena was voted as the Hilton Asian Tour Golfer of Month for December 2015.
2. Tabuena won the award ahead of Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai and India's Himmat Rai. The trio were nominated by a selection panel before going into a voting process.
4. Quikr acquired online real estate portal Commonfloor.com
1. Quikr announced acquisition of the property search website Commonfloor.com for an undisclosed amount in a majority stock-swap transaction.
2. Quikr bought the website in a distress sale orchestrated by Tiger Global Management Llc.
3. After the deal, Quikr will be valued at about 1.5 billion US dollars based on the share-swap ratio.
4. The merger is expected to be completed over the next two to three months. It will also give Commonfloor access to Quikr’s 30 million consumers and harness the potential of the cross-category nature of the platform. QuikrHomes will benefit from CommonFloor’s structured data and domain expert.
5. Union Government allowed traditional bull-taming sports Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu
1. The Union Government allowed the conduct of the traditional bull-taming sports, Jallikattu, in Tamil Nadu.
2. The ban on the sports was lifted few days before the traditional harvest festival will begin in Tamil Nadu. Jallikattu is celebrated around pongal in southern state of Tamil Nadu.
3. Notification Issued by MoEF
The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change issued a gazette notification with regard to holding traditional sports that use bulls as performing animals including Jallikattu across India.
The notification said that bulls can be exhibited and trained as performing animal at different events of different states as per the customs or tradition of any community.
6. Union Government launches River Information System
1. India’s first River Information System (RIS) was launched by Union Government facilitate safe and accurate inland waterway navigation. It has been launched in phases and the first phase will cover 145-km stretch of National Waterways 1 (Phase I- Haldia to Farakka) on the Ganges River.
2. Inland Waterway Authority of India (IWAI), a statutory body under the aegis of Union Ministry of Shipping is implementing the RIS in India.
7. India-France military exercise Shakti-2016 begins
1. India and France have started their eight-day counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency bilateral military exercise Shakti-2016 in Rajasthan.
2. In this bilateral exercise, French contingent comprising 56 personnel of 35th Infantry Regiment of 7th Armoured Brigade are participating. Indian side is being represented by the 2nd Battalion of Garhwal Rifles which is part of the Sapta Shakti Command.
8. ICICI Bank partners with FINO PayTech for payments bank space
1. India’s largest private sector lender ICICI Bank has partnered with FINO PayTech to foray into the payments bank space. With this partnership, ICICI Bank joins some of the leading lenders of the country that have partnered with payments banks. For example, Kotak Mahindra Bank (KMB) and State Bank of India (SBI) have picked up stake in payments banks to be floated by Bharti Group and Reliance Industries respectively.
2. Presently, RBI regulations allow universal banks to invest up to 30 per cent in payments bank. RBI regulations also mandate 51 per cent of the equity of the payments bank should be with domestic entities. In case of FINO PayTech it has about 70 per cent stake is with foreign entities. Before starting payments bank business it is going to raise capital which will help bring down foreign shareholding within prescribed limit.
9. Lenovo, Google join hands for Project Tango
1. Chinese computing giant Lenovo has partnered with Google to launch a new smartphone that can see and map out surroundings with help from the US-based company’s 3D technology named Project Tango.
2. To be available in summer 2016, the new smartphone turns the screen into a window that can overlay digital information and objects onto the real world.
3. Google’s Project Tango is a technology platform that uses advanced computer vision, depth sensing, and motion tracking to create on-screen 3D experiences, allowing users to explore their physical environment via their device.
4. Interestingly, Lenovo had acquired Motorola Mobility from Google in late 2014, though the Internet giant retained the mobile firm’s Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group.
10. Union Government approved Atal Mission Plans for Punjab and Uttarakhand for 2015-16
1. The Union Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) on 7 January 2016 approved the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) for Punjab and Uttarakhand for the year 2015-16. The plans were approved by an inter-ministerial Apex Committee under the State Annual Action Plans (SAAP).
2. Highlights of the Atal Mission Plan for Punjab
• Punjab Government will invest 720 crore rupees in improving basic urban infrastructure in 16 cities.
• Under the SAAP for 2015-16, Punjab Government will invest 365 crore rupees in 46 water supply related projects.
• It will invest 288 crore rupees in 37 sewerage and septage management projects, 56 crore rupees for improving urban transport in Amritsar and 12 crore rupees for providing open parks and green spaces in 16 mission cities.
• In Punjab, coverage of households in 16 mission cities with water supply connections is ranged from 28 percent in Khanna to 93 percent in Mohali.
• Water supply is in the range of 67 litres per capita per day in Khanna to 240 liters in Jalandhar