1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated the 104th Indian Science Congress (ISC) at Tara Karma Stadium of Sri Venkateswara University in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh on January 3, 2017. It is the second time that Tirupati hosted the ISC as it had hosted it in 1983 also. Scientist of India as well as Abroad including many Nobel laureates of science from USA, Israel, Japan and France had participated in the event.
2. 89 people of different fields were declared the winners of the coveted Padma Awards for 2017 on the eve of the 68th Republic Day of India, January 25, 2017 by the government of India. This year the Padma Awards list comprises 7 Padma Vibhushan, the highest civilian honour after Bharat Ratna in India, 7 Padam Bhushan and 75 Padam Shri winners. There are 6 posthumous awardees. 19 of the Padma awardees are women.
3. Alok Kumar Verma, a 1979-batch IPS officer of AGMUT cadre was appointed as the Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) after a three-member selection panel chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi cleared Mr. Verma’s name for the top CBI post on January 19, 2017.
4. India has been ranked 60th among 79 developing economices in the World Economic Forum’s ‘Inclusive Growth and Development Report-2017’. India got 3.38 points, much below its neighbours China (15th Rank) and Pakistan (52nd) despite its promising GDP and labour productivity growth.
5. The 10th edition of Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) was organised from January 19 to 23, 2017 at the iconic Diggi Palace in Jaipur with the theme of ‘Freedom to Dream : Indian at 70’. Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje inaugurated the event in notable presence of veteran lyricist Gulzar, American poet Anne Waldman and spiritual writer Sadhguru. The five-day literary festival witnessed participation of 250 authors, thinkers, journalists and cultural icons and exchange of ideas on numerous political, social, cultural issues.
6. India on January 2, 2016 successfully test-fired the nuclear-capable Agni-IV Ballistic missile off the Odisha coast. The test came within just a week of the successful test of Agni-V inter-continental ballistic missile. The launch was made from a mobile launcher off the Balasore coast in the Abdul Kalam island. This is the sixth test of the missile and second user associate launch. The missile was earlier test-fired in 2011, 2012 and thrice in 2014. The latest test took place in November 2015.
7. On January 26, 2017 India celebrated its 68th Republic Day with a massive display of military might and cultural diversity at Rajpath in New Delhi. The Republic Day Parade, which started from the Raisina Hill Rashtrapati Bhavan, marked the Republic Day celebration in the country.
8. PM Narendra Modi on January 17, 2017 formally inaugurated the 2nd edition of Raisina Dialogue. In this speech the PM warned Pakistan to keeps its terrorists away from India in order to pave the way for any future dialogue with India. Modi also called on China to show sensitivity and respect to each other’s core concerns and interest. About 65 countries were represented at the event and a good number of delegates attended the meet.
9. Top academia from Indian Institutes of Technology, Bangalore based Indian Institute of Science and other centres of excellence will get a ringside view of the army’s precise application of firepower, as part of an over-arching programme to involve them in overcoming modernisation hurdles being faced by the force. They will witness live firing by the Bofors gun, 130 mm artillery guns and rocket launchers for the first time.
10. Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa, who was the Chief Guest at the 14th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas held at Bengaluru, Karnataka, was on a seven-day visit to India. He arrived in the capital on January 6, 2017. He was accorded a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on January 7. On the same day both Mr. Costa and PM Modi had bilateral discussions on various issues ranging from defence, development to trade, investment and culture. Modi described Portugal as India’s valued partner and emphasised the covergence of both countries interest in many sectores.
1. Denmark and New Zealand were jointly ranked as the least corrupt countries in the Corruption Perception Index-2016 released by the Transparency International, a Berlin-based antip-corruption organisation, in January 2017. Denmark and New Zealand shared the top spot among the least corrupt nations with 90 points each. This year 176 nations have been included in the index. Finland and Sweeden finished second and third among the least corrupt countries respectively. Somalia was declared the most corrupt country in the TI’s Corruption Perception Index 2016 as it got only 10 points. The Index is prepared on the basis of data of the World Economic Forum and other global institutions.
2. Japan Launched it’s first military communications satellite-Kirameki-2 onboard the H-IIA launch vehicle on January 24, 2017 from the Tanegashima Space Center, South Japan. The successful launch of Lirameki-2 satellite is a big step of Japan to upgrade its defence communications network to better deal with growing security challenges in the region. It has a life span of 15 years. Kirameki-2 is the first of the three satellites series that will replace three civilians ones currently used by Japan’s millitary for communication purposes.
3. Pakistant on January 24, 2017 successfully conducted the first flight test of long range surface-to-surface nuclear-capable ballistic missile named Ababeel. The missile has a maximum range of 2,200 km with high precision capability to beat hostile radars. The development of Ababeel Weapon System is aimed at ensuring survivability of Pakistan’s ballistic missiles in the growing regional Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) environment.
4. Australia’s David Warner was honoured with the prestigious Allan Border Medal for the Player of the Year in a ceremony on January 23, 2017. Winning this honour of the cricket Australia, Warner became just the fourth player to win back-to-back Allan Border Medal after Ricky Ponting, Shane Watson and Michael Clark. Warner gained 269 votes in a poll in which fellow players, the media persons and umpires cast their votes. Captain Steve Smith remained on the second place with 248 votes for the award. Warner also bagged the ODI Player of the Year honour. Belinda Clark Award for top woman cricketer went to Meg Lanning. Mitchell Starc was crowned the Test Player of the Year honour while Shane Watson lifted the Twenty-20 medal for a record third time.
5. Three Indian Origin People (PIO) were felicitated with the top civilian honour of Australia for 2017 in January, this year for their outstanding contributions in the field of medicine and community work. Purushottam Sawrikar, a Sydney-based medical practitioner, recived order of Australia medal for the year 2017 for his services to medicine and to the Indian Community. Makhan Singh Khangure is the second recipient of the award among the three PIOs. Vijay Kumar, a nuclear medicine specialist was awarded the top Australian civilian honour for his immense contribution to medical research, especially in the disciplines of nuclear medicine.
6. Switzerlands Roger Federer clinched the Australian Open Men’s Singles title of 2017 as he defeated Spain’s Rafael Nadal 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 in a closely-fought final on January 29, 2017 at Melbourne Park. It was Federer’s fifth Australian Open Singles title and 18th Grand Slam title overall. By winning this season-opening grand slam title, Federer strenthened his position as the most grand slam singles title winner with 18 titles. Federer had won the Australian Open in 2004.
8. US President Barack Obama on January 12, 2017 ended a decades-old policy that allowed Cuban migrants who arrived illegally on US soil to stay. In one of his final acts before leaving the White House, he scrapped rules allowing those fleeing communist Cuba and reaching American territory a fast track to permanent resident states. Obama said the move would "bring greater consistency to our immigration policy." "Effective immediately, Cuban nationals who attempt to enter the United States illegally and do not qualify for humanitarian relief will be subject to removal, consistent with US law and enforcement priorities", he said in statement.
9. Iran, Russia and Turkey will establish a trilateral mechanism to observe and ensure full compliance with the ceasefire in Syria, prevent any provocation and determine exactly how the truce will work, the three nations said in a joint statement. Concluding the Syria talks in Astana, Tehran, Moscow and Ankara also said that they supported the willingness of oppositions in Geneva and the implementation of UN Security Council resolution 2254.
10. Turkey has dismissed more than 8,000 civil servents for alleged ties to terror organisation in the latest purge under a state of emergency imposed following the failed July 15, 2016 coup attempt. The latest dismissals were announced on the Turkish government’s Official Gazette on January 6, 2017. They include 2,687 police officer, 16,99 Justice Ministry employees and 637 academics. They join more than 100,000 people already suspended or dismissed from their jobs. Turkey’s crackdown through dismissals and the arrest of some 41,000 people was begun to root out followers of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen.