ICBM Agni-IV successfully test-fired off Odisha coast India
successfully test-fired its home-grown long range intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) Agni-IV from the Abdul Kalam Wheeler Island off Odisha coast. The test was aimed at revalidating new technologies incorporated in Agni-IV system and checking the readiness of armed forces to launch the missile on its own. Agni-IV is two-stage surface-to-surface nuclear capable intercontinental ballistic missile. It has been designed and developed indigenously by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
NPL syncs Leap second with Indian time
An atomic clock at National Physical Laboratory (NPL) in New Delhi added ‘leap second’ (extra one second) to the Indian Standard Time (IST) at 5:29.59 hours on 1 January 2017 to synchronise with the Earth’s rotational clock. The clock was programmed to add an extra second to the year 2017 in order to compensate for a slowdown in the Earth’s rotation.
India, Pakistan exchange lists of nuclear sites
India and Pakistan exchanged the list of their nuclear installations and facilities under the Agreement on the Prohibition of Attack against Nuclear installations. This is the 26th consecutive exchange of such list between the two countries after the first list was exchanged on 1 January 1992. This exchange is done every year on 1st of January between them to prevent them from attacking each other’s nuclear facilities. Both countries also exchanged the lists of nationals (including civil prisoners and fishermen) of each country lodged in their respective jails as per provisions of the Agreement on Consular Access.
26 crore accounts open under Jan Dhan Yojana across country
According to latest data released by Finance Ministry over 26 crore accounts have been opened under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) across the country till date. Of the total, nearly 16 crore accounts are in rural areas and more than 10 crore in urban. Over 71 thousand 500 crore rupees have been deposited in these accounts and zero balance accounts has come down to nearly 24%. Around 20 crore RuPay Debit cards have also been issued under the scheme. The PMJDY was launched by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in August 2014 with the objective of financial inclusion for covering all households with at least one bank account.
Russia delivers advanced Sukhoi jets to China after two year delay
Russia has finally delivered four fifth generation Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets to China after a delay of two years. The Su-35 is an advanced version of the Su-30s operated by the Indian Airforce (IAF). Russia had feared that its fifth generation Su-35 jet will lose its value after Chinese military unveiled its J-20 stealth fighter. However, Russia did not change its stance on the export of the Su-35 until the J-20 fighter was unveiled. Russia believes that with the commissioning of the J-20 by China, the Su-35 will soon lose its value in the Chinese market. While China made advances in manufacturing of new type of fighter jets, it is still dependent on Russia for engines aswell as avionics.
SC sacks BCCI President Anurag Thakur and Secretary Ajay Shirke
The Supreme Court has sacked Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Anurag Thakur and BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke after they failed to implement the reforms recommended by the Justice Lodha committee. The apex court held that Mr. Thakur and Mr. Shirke are unfit to continue at helm of BCCI for their obstructionist attitude and their incapacity to make affiliated State associations fall in line with Lodha committee. SC ordered them to forthwith cease and desist from associating themselves with Indian cricket’s most powerful sporting body. With this, SC set the stage for a revamp of the country’s top cricketing body.
Seeking votes on religious basis a corrupt act: SC
The Supreme Court in its latest verdict has held that election candidates cannot seek votes on the grounds of the religion, caste, creed, community or language of voters. The ruling was given by a 4-3 majority of the seven-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur. It held that if the candidate is found violating the order will result into call for his disqualification
Union Government launches mobile app for Haj Pilgrimage
The Union Ministry of Minority Affairs has launched Mobile App for Haj Pilgrimage. The app will provide information and facilitate e-payments for the pilgrimage. This is for the first time digital push has been given to the Haj application process. It is also a major initiative in the government’s ‘Digital India’ programme. The main features of the app include applying for Haj, enquiry and information, news and updates and e-payment.
David R Syiemlieh appointed new UPSC chairman
President Pranab Mukherjee has appointed Prof David R Syiemlieh as the Chairman of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) as per Article 316 of Constitution. He will take over from Alka Sirohi and shall remain the head of the organisation till his retirement on January 21, 2018 or till further orders. Prior to this appointment, he was functioning as a UPSC member from June 25, 2012. Prof David R Syiemlieh is academician, author and historian. He is a former Vice Chancellor, Rajiv Gandhi University, Doimukh, Arunachal Pradesh. He is author of several books and articles on the history of North East India.
Andhra Pradesh Government launches NTR Arogya Raksha Scheme
Andhra Pradesh Government has launched NTR Arogya Raksha Scheme to provide the medical treatment to the people below Above Poverty Line (APL) at Rs. 1200 premium per annum. It was launched by Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu in Vijayawada. The new health scheme offering medical insurance to those who were not covered under any of the existing health schemes of the state government
India, Sri Lanka agree to exchange views to find permanent solution
to fishermen issues India and Sri Lanka have expressed confidence for finding a long-lasting solution to the issue of fishermen between the two countries. In this regard, talks co-chaired by Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh and Sri Lankan fisheries Minister Mahinda Amaraweera were held in Colombo, Sri Lanka. It has reached an understanding to ensure that there was no physical harm or loss of life while arresting fishermen for poaching into each other’s waters