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- Tamil Nadu became the 21st State to join the Centre’s Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY). The scheme is aimed at turning around the finances of ailing power distribution companies. With Tamil Nadu joining UDAY, 92 per cent of discom debt has been covered under the scheme.
- The second Scorpene submarine, Khanderi, is set to be launched into water this week. The first submarine Kalvari is close to completing sea trials and likely to be inducted into the Navy by the middle of this year. Totally, Six Scorpene submarines are being built with assistance and technology transfer from France under a $3.75-billion deal signed in October 2005.
- UAE Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan will be the guest of honour at the Republic Day ceremony in New Delhi this year. The first India-UAE strategic dialogue is also slated to be held on the 20th of January, on matters of defence security and investments. The talks will be led by Union Minister of State for External Affairs M.J. Akbar and will include National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar.
- The Indian History Congress has passed a resolution in favour of Bipan Chandra’s book, India’s Struggle for Independence. Earlier, Delhi University had decided to stop using the book as reference material, claiming that it denigrated revolutionary freedom fighters like Bhagat Singh as “terrorists.”
- The Jammu and Kashmir government has announced an ex gratia of Rs. 5 lakh and a job to the next of kin of those killed during the 2016 street clashes, sparked by the slaying of militant commander Burhan Wani.
- Actor Waheeda Rehman and political and economic commentator S. Gurumurthy are on the 19-member panel to select the Padma award winners this year. The civilian awards of Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri are announced on the eve of Republic Day.
- The Union Ministry of Power unveiled the world’s largest street light replacement programme in the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) area. It was implemented under the LED based Street Lighting National Programme (SLNP) by the Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a joint venture under the Union Ministry of Power.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Nobel Prize Series Exhibition in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. It is the first-of-its-kind conclave of Nobel laureates to be held in India. Nine Nobel laureates would be addressing students from various Indian universities.
- Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and French Space agency (CNES) have signed a partnership agreement in satellite launch technology. The agreement was signed between ISRO Chairman Kiran Kumar and CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall in the presence of visiting French Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Marc Ayrault in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
- Kalyan Krishnamurthy has been appointed as the new CEO of Flipkart for the company’s operations in India. His predecessor, Binny Bansal, has been elevated as Group CEO.
- Pakistan successfully test-fired its first Submarine-Launched Cruise Missile (SLCM) Babur-3 capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. The Babur-3 missile was fired from an underwater mobile platform from an undisclosed location in the Indian Ocean and hit its target with precise accuracy. India for the first time had successfully test-fired a nuclear-capable, submarine-launched missile in 2008 and tested a submarine-launched cruise missile in 2013.
- China successfully launched its first commercial space mission using a version of the low-cost Kuaizhou-1A rocket. As part of the mission, three satellites – JL-1, CubeSats XY-S1 and Caton-1 were launched into space. The rocket was launched form northwestern China’s Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Gansu province.
- Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo was named the world’s best player for the year 2016 at the inaugural Best FIFA Football Awards held in Zurich, Switzerland.
- Venezeulan President Nicolas Maduro raised the minimum wage by 50 per cent in Venezuela. Venezuela grapples with the world’s highest inflation rate — set to hit 475 per cent this year, according to estimates by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). (Do you know what inflation is? Or who heads the IMF? Google away. If you’re not frantically preparing for the CLAT this month, say bye bye to you law school dreams.)
- La La Land, directed by Damien Chazelle, has won seven Golden Globe Awards, winning the award in every category it was nominated for. The film has broken the record for the most number of Globes. Previously, the record was held by One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Midnight Express, with six wins.