1. The three-day annual Flamingo Festival was held at Pulicat lake and Nelapattu Bird Sanctuary in Sullurpet mandal. Flamingo Festival is held every year to promote tourism in Pulicat and Nellapattu. Nelapattu Bird Sanctuary is one of the biggest habitats for some hundreds of pelicans and other birds. It is located about 20 km north of the Pulicat Lake on the Andhra Pradesh-Tamil Nadu border.
2. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar after inaugurating 18th All India Whips’ Conference in Udaipur, Rajasthan has proposed rolling out of e-Sansad in Parliament and e-Vidhan in State Legislatures to digitize and make their functioning paperless. They are mission mode projects of Union Government under Digital India to make the functioning of Parliament and State Legislatures paperless. They aim to digitise and make available Parliament and state legislature documents, including debates, speeches, committee reports and questions on internet.
3. Mankidia tribe in Odisha as denied habitat rights inside core area of Similipal Tiger Reserve (STR) in Odisha under historic Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006. State Forest Department had objected their habitat rights on grounds that tribals could be attacked by wild animals, especially tigers.
4. Haryana become first state in the country to launch High-Risk Pregnancy (HRP) portal. The portal will help in early identification of high-risk pregnant cases up to grass-roots level and ensures their timely referral to civil hospitals. It will help in increasing pace of decline in Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR), Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) and Still Birth Incidence as morbidity and mortality is quite high in high risk pregnant cases if not managed timely.
5. Union Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region, Dr Jitendra Singh announced that Central Government will set up second Film and Television Institute of Indian (FTII) in Arunachal Pradesh.The first Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) is located in Pune.
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7. Central Government has sanctioned the construction of 14460 individual and community bunkers at a cost of Rs 415.73 crore for people living along the Line of Control (LoC) and International Border (IB) in Jammu & Kashmir.
8. ‘TrackChild’ and ‘Khoya-Paya’ web portals have been launched by Ministry of Women and Child Development to track missing and found children. Apart from these portals the Ministry of Women and Child Development also provides support for children in trouble through the dedicated toll free number – 1098.
9. The International Kite Festival started at Sabarmati River Front in Ahmedabad, Gujarat on 7th Jan 2017. Nearly 149 foreign kite fliers from 44 countries are taking part in this festival. From India, around 96 kite fliers from 18 states and 290 kite fliers from Gujarat participate in this kite festival.
10. Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has launched nearly 249 skill development centres throughout Assam. These skill development centres aim to improve skilled manpower in Assam. These centres provide vocational training to the youth of Assam and help them to be financially independent. Assam government has signed a MoU with the Government of Singapore already under which a skill development centre of international standards will be set up in Mangaldoi.
11. Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Government has announced to launch ‘Muhafiz’ scheme, a major welfare initiative for providing institutionalized socio-economic security to workers in the unorganised sector of the state. ‘Muhafiz’ means ‘Guardian’ in English. Under this scheme, 3 lakh workers registered with Jammu and Kashmir Building and Other Construction Workers’ Welfare Board (JKBOCWWB),will be provided accidental, life and disability insurance cover. The premium for the same will be borne by JKBOCWWB.
12. Indian Navy has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Cochin Port Trust (CPT) for increasing the berthing capacity of naval ships in Kochi. Under the MoU, Cochin Port Trust has leased 228 metres of berths at Mattancherry Wharf to Indian Navy for a period of five years( for lease of Rs. 10 crore per annum)
13. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar inaugurated and laid foundation stones of around 750 projects, worth more than Rs 500 crore, in Begusarai and Khagaria districts. These projects were launched during Nitish Kumar’s state-wide “Vikas Samiksha Yatra”which began on December 28, 2017.
14. Pratyush-India’s fastest and first multi-petaflops (PF) supercomputer was unveiled at Pune-based Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM). ‘Pratyush’ meaning Sun. Pratyush is fourth fastest supercomputer in world dedicated for weather and climate research. It follows supercomputing machines in Japan, US and United Kingdom.
15. To make the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 more effective and minimise hardship faced by companies going in for insolvency resolution the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has announced to relax norms around levy of minimum alternate tax (MAT) for insolvent companies from financial year 2017-18. Its aim is to bring Zero Tax Companies” into tax realm who do not pay any tax.
16. China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is planning to issue its first US dollar-denominated bond with minimum worth of $1 billion by June 2018. The maturity of the bond will be between three and five years depending on investor demand at the time.
17. Julia Goerges won the WTA Auckland Open Tennis title, in Auckland, New Zealand by defeating Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki. Julia Goerges has won the Auckland singles title for the first time. This was her ninth attempt to win the title.
18. Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic won the Hopman Cup title for Switzerland, in Perth, Australia. This is the third Hopman Cup title for Switzerland.
19. Vibrant Khelo India logo at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi was launched by Union Minister of State ( I/C)Youth Affairs and Sports Col Rajyavardhan Rathore.Three-stroke Khelo India logo has been designed by Ogilvy India. The logo design has been crowd sourced. It bears the colours of the national flag.The inaugural Khelo India School Games under the revamped Khelo India Programme will begin on January 31, 2018.
20. Philippe Coutinho has moved from Liverpool to Barcelona team for 160 million Euros ($192 million) making this the second most expensive transfer in the world soccer history.
21. The 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards honored the best in film and American television of 2017. This year The Shape of Water had received most overall nominations of show with seven.
22. Winners of various awards are as follows: Best Motion Picture Drama: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Best Motion Picture Musical/Comedy: Lady Bird. Best Director in Motion Picture-Drama: Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water). Best Actor in Motion Picture-Drama: Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour) as Winston Churchill. Best Actress in Motion Picture-Drama: Frances McDormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) as Mildred Hayes. Best Actor in Motion Picture or Musical or Comedy: James Franco (The Disaster Artist) as Tommy Wiseau. Best Actress in Motion Picture Musical/Comedy: Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird) as Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson. Best Actor in a Supporting role in Motion Picture: Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) as Officer Jason Dixon. Best Actress in a Supporting role in Motion Picture: Allison Janney (I, Tonya) as LaVona Golden. Best Original Score Motion Picture: Alexandre Desplat (The Shape of Water). Best Original Song: “This Is Me” (Benj Pasek and Justin Paul) – The Greatest Showman. Best Animated Feature Film: Coco. Best Foreign Language Film: In the Fade (Germany/France). Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award: Oprah Winfrey.
23. John Young –the moon walker ,NASA’s only astronaut to go into space as part of Gemini, Apollo and space shuttle program, and the first to fly into space six times passed away in Houston, US. He was 9th man to walk on moon and later commanded the first space shuttle flight.
Prepared by Sarala Dhavamanoharan(Note: Current Affairs Monthly pdf in English will be available from Jan 2018)