World’s newest airliner Airbus A350 begins first commercial flightThe world’s newest jetliner, the Airbus A350, took to the skies on Thursday carrying its first paying passengers from the Gulf Arab nation of Qatar.
(iii) It marks the debut of the relatively lightweight, twin-aisle, long-range plane, which promises to connect smaller cities with major aviation hubs nonstop at a cheaper cost for airlines.
(iv) The new plane offers wider panoramic windows and larger overhead storage space plus the ability to limit connections.
(i) Taking a cue from RBI easing of policy rate, state-owned United Bank of India today slashed its base rate or the minimum lending rate by 0.25 per cent to 10 per cent.
(ii) “It has been decided by the asset liability management committee on January 15, that the base rate of the bank will be reduced from 10.25 per cent to 10 per cent effective February 1,” United Bank of India said in a statement.
(iii) Many other banks may also follow suit in the days to come.
Former CBI chief resigns as UPSC Member
(i) Former Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Director A.P. Singh, whose name had cropped up during an Income-Tax probe against his friend and meat exporter Moin Qureshi, has resigned as Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) Member.
(ii) Mr. Singh told the media that he put in his papers about a week ago, after a Mumbai court on December 30, dismissed charges against the BJP president Amit Shah in the Sohrabuddin and Tulsiram Prajapati encounter cases observing that the allegations made in the CBI chargesheet had a political overtone.
Brahma to be new CECH.S. Brahma, the seniormost Election Commissioner, will succeed V.S. Sampath as the next Chief Election Commissioner of India.
(ii) Mr. Sampath will demit office on Thursday after turning 65.
(iii) Mr. Sampath paid a farewell visit to President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday.
(iv) In just under six years in the Election Commission, first as EC then as CEC, he helped conduct two Lok Sabha elections and at least one round of Assembly elections in every State.
Elite National boxing: Haryana pugilists reign
(i) Haryana emerged the champion in the inaugural Elite National boxing championship for men, organised by Boxing India, with four gold and 40 points here.
(ii) Services Sports Control Board finished runner-up with 28 points and Railway Sports Promotion Board was third, also with 28 points.
(iii) Sunil Sangwan of Haryana was adjudged ‘best boxer’, M. Thomas of Manipur ‘the best challenger boxer’ and P. L. Prasad of Karnataka ‘most promising boxer’.
Security reviewed for Obama visit
(i) Home Ministry officials on Wednesday reviewed security arrangements for U.S. President Barack Obama, the chief guest at the coming Republic Day celebrations.
(ii) “The arrangements would be finalised on Friday in coordination with the Delhi Police, para-security and intelligence agencies,” said an official. The U.S. administration officials are in constant touch with their Indian counterparts.
(iii) ITC Maurya, where arrangements for Mr. Obama’s stay has been made, has already been booked and anti-sabotage operations initiated there by the U.S. intelligence sleuths.
Modi congratulates swimmer Bhakti for new world record
(i) Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday congratulated open water swimming champion Bhakti Sharma for setting a world record by swimming 1.4 miles in the one degree temperature in the Antarctic Ocean in 52 minutes.
(ii) "We are all very very proud of Bhakti Sharma for her accomplishments! My best wishes to her", Modi said in a statement.
(iii) She is the youngest and the first Asian girl to have achieved this feat and has now conquered all the five oceans of the world.
When Ban Ki-moon became an 'international yogi'U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had his first yoga lesson in New Delhi on Thursday. The international body's senior advisor Vijay Nambiar helped Mr. Ban with a demonstration of an asana.
(ii) The U.N. General Assembly adopted an India-led resolution declaring June 21 as ‘International Day of Yoga’, recognising that “Yoga provides a holistic approach to health and well-being.”
(iii) The resolution on ‘International Day of Yoga’ had 177 nations joining as co-sponsors, the highest number ever for any General Assembly resolution.