i. The 14th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas (PBD) convention has begins in Bengaluru. The three-day event will kick start with the Youth PBD, the theme of which is 'Role of Diaspora Youth in the Transformation of India'.
ii. Pravasi Bharatiya Divas has been held traditionally on 9th January every year to commemorate the return of Mahatma Gandhi as a Pravasi from South Africa to India.
iii. Three plenary sessions are scheduled to be held in Youth PBD. First will be on reaching out to Indian Students abroad, NRIs and overseas Indian Community Students in India. Second will be on Start-ups and Innovations and 3rd on Start-up ecosystem in Karnataka.
2. Tata Motors, Castrol announce global strategic partnership
i. Tata Motors and Castrol have signed a 3-year strategic partnership agreement.
ii. As part of the agreement, Castrol will supply Commercial Vehicle Oils to Tata Motors globally. The agreement will cover over 50 markets including SAARC and ASEAN region, Middle East, Africa, Russia and Latin America.
3. China launches longest high-speed train service
i. China has launched its longest high-speed train service from Kunming capital of south-west China's Yunnan Province to Beijing. The train named 'Shangri-la of the World' left Kunming at 11:05 am on a 2,760-km trip to Beijing. The mileage will increase to 45,000 km by 2030.
4. Foreign exchange reserves rose by $625.5 million to $360.296 billion:RBI
i. The RBI stated that foreign exchange reserves rose by $625.5 million to $360.296 billion in the week to December 30, 2016. In the previous week, the reserves had declined by $935.2 million to $359.671 billion. The reserves had touched $371.99 billion in the week to September 30, 2016.
5. All India Conference of Waqf Boards begins
i. The All India Conference of Chairpersons and Chief Executive Officers of States and Union Territories' Waqf Boards begins in New Delhi.
ii. The conference will be inaugurated by Minister of State for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.
iii. Various issues, including review of progress under the schemes relating to grant of financial assistance for computerization of waqf properties, strengthening of waqf boards and development of waqf properties by National Waqf Development Corporation Ltd. will be discussed during the conference.
6. Droom, Axis bank tie-up to provide quick loans on new and used cars
i. India’s pioneering online automobile transactional marketplace Droom has firmly entrenched its foothold as a complete eco-system for buyers to have an impeccable automobile owning experience. ii. In its latest effort to sustain such a status, Droom has tied up with Axis Bank, India’s third largest private sector bank, to provide quick sanction of loans on both new as well as used cars.
iii. Loans are an integral element in almost all new and used car purchases and Droom’s recent collaboration with Axis bank is evidence of its continued efforts to cover the 360 degree eco-system of online automobile transactions. Loans will be provided for up to 85 percent of the value of the car with tenure of one to five years. Furthermore, loans on Used Cars can be availed on vehicles up to the age of 10 years at the end of the loan tenure.
7. Japan to Help in Developing Chennai, Ahmedabad and Varanasi Smart Cities
i. Japan has decided to be associated with the development of Chennai, Ahmedabad and Varanasi as smart cities.
ii. This was conveyed by Japan’s Ambassador to India Mr.Kenji Hiramatsu during his meeting with Minister of Urban Development Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu.
8. Per capita income of Indians to cross Rs 1 lakh in FY17
i. India’s per capita income, a gauge for measuring living standard, is estimated to cross Rs 1 lakh in 2016-17, up from Rs 93,293 in the previous fiscal. As per the ‘First Advance Estimates of National Income, 2016-17’ released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), the per capita net national income during 2016-17 is “estimated to be Rs 103,007” at current prices. This is higher by 10.4 per cent compared to Rs 93,293 during 2015-16.
ii. The Central Statistics Office said India’s GDP is expected to slowdown to 7.1 per cent during 2016-17 from 7.6 per cent in the previous fiscal mainly due to slump in manufacturing, mining and construction activities.
9. 30 Indian-Origin Men & Women Inducted into 2017 Forbes’ Super Achievers List
i. Over 30 Indian-origin innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders have been featured in the 2017 edition of Forbes' list of super achievers under the age of 30 who seek to break the status quo and transform the world.The Forbes list has 30 game changers in 20 industries including healthcare, manufacturing, sports and finance.