1. Gujarat to host Pravasi Bharatiya Divas
i. The 13th edition of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD), an event which celebrates the achievements of Indians living abroad, will be held in Gujarat from January 7-9.
ii. Gujarat has been chosen as the partner State as 2015 happens to be the 100th year of Mahatma Gandhi’s return to India from South Africa. To reflect this, the event will showcase his work and achievements.
iii. On January 7, the youth segment of PBD will be inaugurated with the theme Bharat ko jano and Bharat ko mano.
iv. PBD will have a plenary in which presentations will be made on the flagship programmes of the government such as Namami Ganga, Swachh Bharat, Skill Development and Urban Development and NRIs and People of Indian origin (PIO) would be impressed upon to take part in them.
2. Pakistan, Russia sign $1.7 billion energy deal
i.For the first time, Pakistan and Russia have signed an energy deal worth $1.7 billion to lay a gas pipeline from Karachi to Lahore, a move that may lead to further improvement in their ties.
ii. the pipeline would be used to transport imported LNG from Karachi to Punjab province.
iii. The energy agreement was signed during the day-long visit of Sergei Shoigu last month, the first visit by a Russian Defence Minister to Pakistan in 45 years.
3. BJP won in Jharkhand with a clear mandate
i. BJP is emerging as single largest party in Jharkhand as counting of votes for the 81-member assembly began at 24 centres across the state.
ii. Out of 81 seats for which trends were available, BJP was leading in 42 while JMM was ahead in 17 seats.
iii. The BJP and its ally AJSU headed by Sudesh Mahto were well on the road to forming a coalition government.
iv. A record 66.47 per cent polling had been registered in the five-phase polling, which began on November 25.
4. Yes Bank gets $200 millionn from ADB for onlending to SHGs, farmers
i. Private sector lender Yes Bank on Tuesday said it has raised $200 million in an unsecured loan from Asian Development Bank for onlending to small farm households and rural womens’ self help groups (SHG).
ii. The money will be used for onlending in rupee equivalent amounts to finance working capital and investment requirements of the twin target groups.
iii. “ADB’s capital investment and technical assistance will provide sustainable finance to low income women and their families.
iv. The project targets small farmers to allow them to benefit from agricultural value chains and enhance their productivity through better access to markets and investment finance.
v. Yes Bank said ADB will also provide a Capacity Development Technical Assistance grant up to $1 million, which will be used for capacity building and improving the financial literacy of women borrowers.
5. PDP ahead in J & K.
i. PDP emerged as the largest party in the assmbly elections in Jammu and Kashmir.
ii. BJP was closely behind with 25 seats in total while PDP got 28 seats.
iii. PDP is in the best position of making the government with the help of Indian National Congress, which fared well than expected with 12 seats.
iv. Omar Abdullah's National Conference, which is the current Ruling party came third with 15 seats in it's kitty.
6. Rajya Sabha refers two bills to Select Committees
i. The Payment and Settlement Systems (Amendment) Bill, 2014 and The Repealing and Amending Bill, 2014 were passed by Lok Sabha in the Winter session of Parliament.
ii. The Select Committee for Payment and Settlement Systems (Amendment) Bill, 2014 consists of 13 members.
iii. The other bill sent to the Select Committee is the Repealing and Amending Bill, 2014, which seeks to repeal 90 Amendment Acts which have become redundant.