1. Gulab Chand Kataria took oath as pro tem Speaker of the Rajasthan Assembly
Gulab Chand Kataria, the Senior BJP MLA, took oath as the pro tem Speaker of the Rajasthan Assembly. He will conduct the first meeting of the 15th Assembly. Once a new Speaker is elected, Mr. Kataria, who was the Home Minister in the previous government, will be the Leader of Opposition. Rajendra Rathore will be his deputy (LoP) in the House.
- After a general election and the formation of a new government, a list of senior Lok Sabha members prepared by the Legislative Section is submitted to the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, who selects a pro tem speaker.
- The appointment has to be approved by the president.
2. Tamil Nadu defence industrial corridor to be launched on 20 January
The Tamil Nadu defence industrial corridor is set to be launched as part of the Centre’s efforts to build an indigenous defence production ecosystem. One of the reasons for Tamil Nadu being chosen for the corridor is that it is already a major manufacturing State and has a major auto components hub.
- The corridor will be formally launched by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at Tiruchirappalli on January 20. Two defence corridors, one in Tamil Nadu and the other in Uttar Pradesh, were announced in the last budget.
- The Uttar Pradesh corridor was launched at Aligarh in August 2018 and saw investment announcements to the tune of Rs.3,732 crore were made.
3. China plans to build the international lunar base
China Space Agency plans to establish an international lunar base, possibly using 3D printing technology to build facilities weeks after landing a rover on the moon’s far side. The future launches will culminate with a mission to test equipment for an international moon research base.
- Also, four more lunar missions are planned, confirming the launch of a probe by the end of the year to bring back samples from the moon. The Chang’e-5 probe, originally scheduled to collect moon samples in the second half of 2017, will launch by the end of the year 2019.
- It will be followed by Chang’e-7, which will conduct a comprehensive exploration of the moon’s south pole including its topography, material composition, and space environment.
4. India to unveil its first Air Cargo Policy
India plans to introduce its first Air Cargo Policy. The policy will be unveiled at the two-day Global Aviation Summit which will be held in Mumbai. The policy aims for fuel growth of the aviation sector, boost economy.
- Despite registering double-digit growth for nearly four years in a row, India has remained without a specific policy for air cargo.
- Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu announced that over 30 countries will be participating in the first-of-its-kind aviation summit.
5. Ananth Narayanan resigned his position as CEO of Myntra and Jabong
Ananth Narayanan, CEO of Myntra and Jabong, has decided to step down from his position as the CEO. He cited his reasons as his interest to pursue external opportunities.
- Flipkart Group CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy named Amar Nagaram, head, Myntra and Jabong as the new CEO for the company. As a part of the new structure, Myntra and Jabong has been brought under Flipkart.
- Myntra said that Ananth has played an important role in making Myntra and Jabong a formidable player in the fashion e-commerce market.
6. Khelo India: Srihari Nataraj bags 7 Gold medals
Karnataka swimmer Srihari Nataraj has emerged as the most prolific gold medal winner at the Khelo India Youth Games. He has won 7 Gold medals. With SP Likith, picking five, the Karnataka duo were the most decorated gold medalists of the Games.
- In Shooting, Patiala-based Sartaj Singh defeated National Junior Champion Aishwarya Pratap Singh Tomar of Madhya Pradesh and won the gold medal in the 50-metes rifle-3 position event.
- In the Under-21 Boys hockey played in Mumbai, Odisha was crowned as champions. Maharashtra continues to be way ahead in the medals tally. The hosts have, so far, bagged a total of 177 medals – 64 Gold, 51 Silver and 62 Bronze.
7. PSU banks to bring down govt equity to 52%
The Finance Ministry has asked the public sector banks to gradually reduce the government’s equity to 52 percent. Currently, some of the public sector banks have government’s holding beyond 75 percent.
- The Ministry of Finance has authorized the Public Sector Banks to take necessary steps in bringing down the government equity based on the marketing conditions.
- A notification under the Securities Contracts Regulations (Amendment) Rules makes it mandatory for all listed entities to have a minimum public float of 25%.
8. Teachers, academic staff of tech institutes to get 7th Central pay commission benefits
The government has approved a proposal to extend the 7th Central Pay Commission benefits to teachers and other academic staff of the state government and government-aided degree level technical institutes.
- This will have additional Central government liability of over 1240 crore rupees. The Centre will reimburse 50 percent of the total additional expenditure from 1st January 2016 to 31st March this year to be incurred by these institutes for payment of arrears.
- The measure will directly benefit more than 29 thousand teachers and other academic staff of state government funded colleges and institutes.
- Besides, about three-and-a-half lakh teachers and academic staff of private institutes under the AICTE will also benefit.
9. Govt. Launches two National level Initiatives in the field of science communication
The Department of Science and Technology (DST) along with Doordarshan (DD), Prasar Bharati launched two science communication initiatives, DD Science and India Science.
- While DD Science is a one-hour slot on Doordarshan National channel, which will be telecast Monday to Saturday from 5 pm to 6pm, India Science is an internet-based channel, which is available on any internet-enabled device, and will offer live, scheduled play and video-on-demand services.
- The two science communication platforms are National level initiatives to elevate science into a celebration and bring it close to everyday life.
10. Retired HDFC Bank executive and former Federal Bank board member Deepak Maheshwari has taken charge as chief credit officer (CCO) at Axis Bank
Deepak Maheshwari, the retired HDFC Bank executive and former Federal Bank board member took charge as chief credit officer (CCO) at Axis Bank as part of an ongoing reshuffle undertaken by new CEO Amitabh Chaudhry.
- The 64 years old Maheshwari will be given the responsibility of corporate credit appraisal and disbursement at the Axis Bank.
- Maheshwari was also granted an exemption to take over as CCO by the board of Axis Bank as he is now 64 which is above the bank’s retirement age of 60.