Current Affairs: 23 January 2017

Desh Prem Diwas 2017 - January 23

  • Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose's birthday or Netaji Jayanti is celebrated in the light of patriotism and a breeze of love for country as '' Desh Prem Divas'' on 23rd January.
  • Bose was one of the most prominent leaders of the Indian Independence Movement. He spread the feeling of national integration, sacrifice and communal harmony among the masses.
  • In the course of struggle for freedom Netaji formed Azad Hind Fauz and led the Indian National Army. He advocated a revolutionary and violent way to protest as opposed to non-violent approach by Mahatma Gandhi.
  • Following the differences with Mahatma Gandhi he separated from Indian National Congress (INC) and founded his own party on 3rd May 1939 in the name of “All India Forward Block.”
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Himachal Pradesh beats Kerala in learning outcomes: ASER

  • The Annual Status Education Report (ASER) 2016 found that Himachal Pradesh is doing well in many regards, on the education front, as compared to the rest of the states. 
  • It has the country’s highest reading and mathematics learning levels, shooting past even Kerala, which has an almost spotless track record of maintaining its position as the most literate state.
  • Himachal Pradesh has the highest rate of children who can read a standard II level of text in the country.
  •  This stands at 47 per cent for standard III level of learning, a 70.5 per cent for standard V and an 87.9 per cent for standard VIII.
  • Even in mathematics, the students of the state are faring better than most of the nation. 
  • Although it came up second after Manipur in the standard III level of learning in mathematics, it maintained the highest rates for standards V and VIII at 53.7 and 59.2 per cent.

With Russia's help, India to increase train speed to 200 kmph 

  • Russian Railways is helping India's national transporter increase the speed of its passenger trains up to 200 km per hour. 
  • Russian Railways is at present collaborating with Indian Railways on a 575-km stretch between Nagpur and Secunderabad and submitted a preliminary report last week. 
  • To reach the desired speed limit, Russian Railways has proposed several technical and technological solutions, including reconstruction of railway alignment as well as treating the earth .. 
  • A protocol for this project was signed between the railway ministries of the two countries in October last year. 
  • The high-speed project will be jointly financed and the cost will be split equally between the two countries. 
  • Currently, the fastest train in India is Gatimaan Express with top speed of 160 km per hour. 

Hong Kong withdraws visa-free facility for Indians 


  • In a setback to Indian travelers, Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China, has withdrawn the visa-free facility for Indians who will have to complete a pre-arrival registration from Monday. 
  • The Pre-arrival Registration for Indian Nationals will be implemented on January 23.
  • The online service for Pre-arrival Registration for Indian Nationals is now open 
  • Till now Hong Kong has permitted Indians to enter with valid passport for a period up to 14 days without a visa. 
  • But the facility has been withdrawn despite representations from India ostensibly on the ground that the number of Indian asylum seekers was on the rise .


PNB launches Contactless Credit Card


  • In another digitalisation initiative, Punjab National Bank (PNB) has launched a Contactless Credit Card.
  • This new credit card, which has been named PNB Wave N Pay --Contactless Card, was launched by Usha Ananthasubramanian, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, PNB in the capital.
  • This card could be used by just waving it across the terminal and the transaction will be through. There is no need to enter any PIN for transactions up to Rs 2,000.
  • The cardholder has full charge back rights on the misuse.


Ex-BCCI president Anurag Thakur to head Himachal Olympic Association


  • Ousted as BCCI President following a Supreme Court order, Anurag Thakur was today unanimously elected head of the Himachal Pradesh Olympic Association (HPOA) for a four-year term.
  • Thakur, who had to step down as BCCI President owing to the Supreme Court ruling on Lodha Committee reforms, was elected at the HPOA's Annual General Meeting
  • The HPOA decided to have a Himachal Olympic Bhawan at Shimla and to organise the state Olympic festival on the lines of the national games at hamirpur from June 23 to 26.


CCI clears MakeMyTrip, ibibo Group merger

  • The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved MakeMyTrip’s acquisition of rival, ibibo Group, according to documents filed by Nasdaq-listed MakeMyTrip to US Securities and Exchange Commission
  • On January 20, 2017, ibibo Group Holdings (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. (ibibo Group) received a letter from the Competition Commission of India stating that the proposed combination of MakeMyTrip and ibibo Group has been approved by the Commission
  • The deal will bring all brands of the Ibibo Group such as Goibibo, redBus, Ryde and Rightstay under MakeMyTrip.
  • Together, Ibibo and MakeMyTrip processed 34.1 million transactions in 2015-16
  • MakeMyTrip founder Deep Kalra will remain group chief executive and executive chairman of MakeMyTrip Group and co-founder Rajesh Magow will remain chief executive of MakeMyTrip’s India business.
  • Founder and chief executive of ibibo Group, Ashish Kashyap, will join MakeMyTrip’s executive team as a co-founder and president of the organization.


Sunish wins ITF Juniors title

  • Dhruv Sunish finally got the taste of ITF Juniors title when he won the boys singles crown downing Kazakhstan's Dostanbek Tashbulatov at the Dakshin Kalikata Sansad clay courts.
  • The under-18 India number two, who had lost in the finals of the Chandigarh Grade 3 ITF Juniors in the first week of 2017 and 2 ITF Juniors in 2016, played flawless to drub the Kazakh 6-2 6-3.
  • Bhan, the winner of Under-18 in the 2016 Fenesta Nationals, could almost do nothing as she got overpowered by the stronger Mareen in a mere 55 minutes.


Saina Nehwal Lifts Malaysia Masters Grand Prix Gold Title

  • Saina Nehwal started the new year in the best possible manner after beating Thailand's Pornpawee Chochuwong 22-20, 22-20 in the women's singles final of the $120,000 Malaysia Masters Grand Prix Gold in Sibu
  • The Indian badminton ace recovered from a poor start in the first game to stave off the 19-year-old Chochuwong in the final. Saina's last title win was at the Australian Open in June 2016.
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