Today is National Immunization Day: President Launches pulse polio programme 2017
In an effort to maintain the country’s ‘polio-free’ status, President Pranab Mukherjee launched the pulse polio programme for 2017 on Saturday by administering polio drops to children aged below five years at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Health minister J P Nadda and Ministers of State for Health Anupriya Patel and Faggan Singh Kulaste were present during the event.
Remember Ambedkar& install BHIM app in your phone: PM Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said, “Remember Dr BR Ambedkar and download BHIM app in your phone, let everyone make it a habit and you’ll contribute to the nation in a great way.” Modi had launched the mobile payments application BHIM (Bharat Interface for Money), compatible with all Android phones, in honour of Dr BR Ambedkar on December 30.
IMD plans weather stations in 660 district
The Indian Meteorological Department, IMD has decided to set up weather stations in 660 districts of the country. Giving this information the Director general of IMD K J Ramesh said, this plan will be further taken up to the blocks level. He said, the plan envisages to cover 660 districts by 2019.
India Meteorological Department
Agency executive- Dr. K.J. Ramesh, Director General of Meteorology
Headquarters- Mausam Bhavan, New Delhi
Union Minister Athawale bats for reservation to all economically weaker section people
Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Ramdas Athawale has demanded a constitutional amendment to ensure reservation for all economically backward people irrespective of their caste or creed. Addressing a press conference in Bengaluru today, he said, at present there was reservation only to people belonging to SC/ST, OBC and demand is increasing from other weaker sections of the society.
Ministry of Minority Affairs
Agency executive-Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Minister
We’ll shift to Jan Dhan, Aadhaar, Mobile in 2-3 yrs: Naidu
Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday said the present BJP-led Centre aims to shift all government scheme-related financial transactions to Jan Dhan, Aadhar and Mobile (JAM) platforms across India in the next 2-3 years. Adding that corruption in government schemes will be reduced, Naidu said that JAM would bring a big financial revolution in the country.
Amazon expands grocery delivery service to 14 Indian cities
E-commerce major Amazon has expanded its grocery and household items delivery service called ‘Amazon Pantry’ to 14 Indian cities including Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai and Pune. Until now, the service was only available in Hyderabad where it was launched as a pilot in July last year. Amazon said it will expand the service to more cities in the coming months.
Headquarters-Seattle, Washington, U.S
IITs world’s 4th largest producer of billion-dollar startups
Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) have been ranked the world’s fourth largest producer of billion-dollar startups, according to a study by UK-based accounting company Sage. IIT alumnus accounts for 12 billion-dollar startups including Flipkart, Snapdeal, ShopClues, Zomato and Ola. Stanford University topped the list with 51, followed by Harvard University and The University of California.
CBE Chairman–Donald Brydon
Section 144 imposed on Marina Beach till Feb 12
Chennai Police on Saturday imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC on the Marina Beach until February 12, reports said. The order prohibits assemblies, demonstrations and meetings, however, it does not apply to families, reports said. This comes after thousands of people gathered at the Marina Beach in support of the traditional bull-taming sport, Jallikattu.
Governor-C. Vidyasagar Rao
Chief Minister-O. Panneerselvam
Govt inaugurates North East Film Festival in Pune
I&B Ministry Secretary Ajay Mittal on Saturday inaugurated North East Film Festival ‘Fragrances from the North East’ at National Film Archive of India in Pune, Maharashtra. The objective of the film festival is to sensitise people from other regions to the culture of the North East as envisaged in the Centre’s “Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat” programme, an official release said.
Governor- C. Vidyasagar Rao
Chief Minister-Devendra Fadnavis
Kolkata’s Chinatown celebrates Chinese New Year
The Chinese community celebrated the Chinese New Year in Chinatown, Kolkata on Saturday. The celebrations of the Year of the Rooster included song and dance performances, including a dragon dance performance. The celebrations took place in the Tangra region, which is referred to as Chinatown and is the only such place in India.
Governor-Keshari Nath Tripathi
Chief Minister-Mamata Banerjee
Germany’s Merkel, Trump agree on importance of NATO in call
President Donald Trump and Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel have agreed during a telephone call that NATO is fundamental. The White House said, despite the American leader’s past characterization of the transatlantic military alliance as obsolete.
North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Chairman of the NATO Military Committee-Petr Pavel
Secretary General-Jens Stoltenberg
Google removed 80 million ads for ‘shocking’ users in 2016
In a blog titled ‘How we fought bad ads, sites and scammers in 2016’, Google revealed it removed 80 million ads for “deceiving, misleading and shocking users” this year. In total, it took down 1.7 billion ads for violating advertising policies. To illustrate its technology’s speed, Google said that spending one second to remove each ad would take 50 years.
Headquarters-Googleplex, Mountain View, California, U.S
Barack Obama may get Rs.136-crore advance for his memoir
Former US President Barack Obama could get around a $20-million (Rs.136 crore) advance payment for his memoir, which will be more than any other president, according to literary agency ICM Partners. It also said Michelle Obama could sell the most valuable first lady memoir in history. Notably, Bill Clinton got $15 million, a presidential record, for his autobiography ‘My Life’.
Japan Airlines allows dogs in main cabin
Japan Airlines has launched a special charter service allowing passengers to fly with their pet dogs in the main cabin. The three-day ‘wan wan jet’ package tour costs ¥150,000 (nearly Rs.89,000) and includes sightseeing and hotel accommodation for passengers and their pets. Japan Airlines said the first flight was sold out within an hour.
Japan Airlines Co., Ltd. (JAL)
President and CEO-Yoshiharu Ueki
Headquarters Shinagawa, Tokyo, Japan
FARC rebels, Colombia govt to fight cocaine cultivation
The Colombian government and rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) have reportedly announced a joint deal to fight cocaine crop cultivation. Earlier, FARC relied on cocaine production to fund its insurgency. Under the deal, farmers will be offered loans, subsidies and monthly payments of around $350 (around Rs.24,000) if they agree to destroy their cocaine crops.
President-Juan Manuel Santos
Vice President-Germán Vargas Lleras
There is a ‘cotton castle’ in Turkey
Located in Turkey, Pamukkale, which means ‘cotton castle’, features terraced hot springs. The mineral-rich rock formation earlier housed the Greek-Roman spa town of Hierapolis. The ruins of the baths, temples and other Greek monuments can be seen at the site. The attraction is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Prime Minister-Binali Yıldırım
BUSINESS AND ECONOMY NEWS:
US’ 2nd largest startup Airbnb posts profit for first time
Room-rental startup Airbnb, which is the second largest startup of US after Uber, has reportedly made its first profit in the second half of 2016. The startup’s revenue increased more than 80% during 2016, the report added. Airbnb, which has a valuation of $30 billion, was founded nine years ago and has raised nearly $3 billion in funding.
Headquarters-San Francisco, California, United States
Cellular operators ask TRAI to stop BSNL’s app-based service
Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI) has asked Indian telecom regulator TRAI to issue an “immediate direction to BSNL for withdrawing its app-based calling service.” The newly-launched Fixed Mobile Telephony service lets customers make calls while connected to a BSNL broadband modem using a smartphone app. “Such routing with an app number is not allowed under the licence,” claimed COAI.
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India(TRAI)
Chairman-R. S. Sharma
Headquarters- New Delhi
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY:
Metal found to conduct electricity but not heat
US-based scientists have found that metal vanadium dioxide (VO2) can conduct electricity without conducting heat. The material’s conductivity can also be fine-tuned by mixing it with other materials. The team found that the thermal conductivity attributed to its electrons is ten times smaller than what would be expected. The find could help convert waste heat from appliances into electricity.
Nokia makes voice assistant for engineers, telecom operators
Nokia on Saturday launched its first voice assistant for engineers and telecom operators called MIKA or ‘Multi-purpose Intuitive Knowledge Assistant.’ It will provide technicians with information to fix issues like network faults based on data drawn from other networks globally. Nokia also launched ‘Predictive Repair’, a service that forecasts potential hardware failures up to 14 days in advance.
President and CEO-Rajeev Suri
Headquarters-Espoo, Uusimaa, Finland
AI found to be as good as doctors at spotting cancer
Stanford researchers have developed a deep learning based artificial intelligence that they claim is as good as human doctors at detecting skin cancer by looking at clinical images. Harnessed using Google’s image recognition algorithm, the AI trained using almost 130,000 skin disease images, could further be developed for smartphones to facilitate easy access and early detection, researchers said.
Musk joins Trump manufacturing council with Dell, Ford CEOs
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been appointed to US President Donald Trump’s manufacturing council, led by Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris. Other members of the council include Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, Dell CEO and Founder Michael Dell, and Ford CEO Mark Fields. Musk is also part of Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum, which advises on economic matters.
Sania-Dodig lose Australian Open title to unseeded pair
Sania Mirza failed to win her seventh Grand Slam title as she and her Croatian partner Ivan Dodig lost the Australian Open mixed doubles final to the unseeded American-Colombian duo of Abigail Spears and Juan Sebastian Cabal in straight sets. This is the second time Sania and Dodig finished second in a Grand Slam, after losing the 2016 French Open.
Serena Williams smashes her racquet in final against sister
American tennis player Serena Williams on Saturday broke her racquet during the Australian Open women’s singles final against her sister Venus Williams. Serena had slipped on the baseline and conceded a point to her sister, following which she smashed her racquet into the hard court. Serena had failed to convert a break point earlier in the same game.
FIFA unveils official match ball for Beach World Cup
FIFA on Friday unveiled Adidas Praia, the official match ball for the upcoming FIFA Beach Football World Cup, which is scheduled to be held in The Bahamas in April. The ball has been coloured blue, an inspiration from the turquoise oceans of The Bahamas, and has been engineered to be low-weight and low-pressure.
Fédération Internationale de Football Association(FIFA)
Secretary General-Fatma Samoura