By: D.K Choudhary
Budget session of Parliament to begin from January 31st, 2017
i. The Budget session of Parliament convened to start from January 31, a day before the Union Budget is likely to be presented. President Pranab Mukherjee has summoned the Rajya Sabha to meet on January 31, 2017. A similar notification is also expected from the Lok Sabha secretariat.
ii. The practice of separate railway Budget presentation is being scrapped from this year. The railway estimates will be part of the Union Budget.
China to build world’s highest altitude telescopes in Tibet
i. China is setting up the world’s highest altitude gravitational wave telescopes in a Tibet prefecture close to Line of Actual Control with India with a budget of $18.8 million to detect faintest echoes resonating from the universe which may reveal more about the Big Bang theory. Construction has started for the first telescope, code-named Ngari No 1, 30 km south of Shiquanhe Town in Ngari Prefecture, said Yao Yongqiang chief researcher with the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
ii. Parts of Ngari is last Tibetan prefecture at China’s border with India. The telescope, located 5,250 meters above sea level, will detect and gather precise data on primordial gravitational waves in the Northern Hemisphere. It is expected to be operational by 2021, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
China forex reserves fall by USD 320 billion in 2016
i.China’s Central Bank says, the country’s foreign currency reserves shrank last year, marking large annual losses for the 2nd year in a row. Officials at the People’s Bank of China said that foreign reserves stood at over three trillion dollars as of the end of December, 2016. For the year as a whole, China’s foreign exchange reserve fell nearly 320 billion dollars from a year earlier, following a drop of more than 512 billion dollars in 2015.
ii.Chinese firms and individuals concerned about the country’s economic outlook have positive expectations for US President-elect Donald Trump’s economic policies. They have been selling the yuan against the dollar to purchase businesses and properties overseas.The Chinese currency fell about 7 percent against the dollar in 2016.
Donald Trump names Dan Coats as new national intelligence director
i.US President-elect Donald Trump has named Dan Coats as his National Intelligence Director. The Indiana ex-senator formerly served on the Senate Intelligence Committee. Mr Coats would provide unwavering leadership and spearhead his administration’s ceaseless vigilance against those who seek to do them harm.
ii.The appointment comes a day after an intelligence report accused Russia’s President of ordering a campaign aimed at helping Mr Trump to victory. Mr Coats will need the Senate to confirm his appointment, replacing James Clapper.
PM Modi & Portuguese PM Antonio Costa inaugurate PBD Convention at Bengaluru
i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Portuguese counterpart Dr Antonio Costa has inaugurated the main convention of Pravasi Bhartiya Divas this morning (08th January 2017) in Bengaluru.
ii. In his key note address at the 14th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas celebrations, Mr Modi said, the Indian diaspora represents the best of Indian culture, ethos and values. Indians abroad are valued not just for their strength in numbers.
Sania wins Brisbane women’s doubles title but loses No.1 rank
i. Indian tennis ace Sania Mirza picked up her first title of the season, combining with American Bethanie Mattek-Sands to lift the Brisbane International women’s doubles title. The top-seeded Indo-American duo triumphed 6-2 6-3 against the second-seeded Russian team of Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina in the final.
ii. The trophy, however, ended Sania’s 91-week reign as the world No.1 doubles player in the WTA rankings. That position was taken over by her partner Bethanie.
Djokovic wins Qatar Open tennis title
i. Novak Djokovic has won the Qatar Open tennis title. In an epic final in Doha, the Serbian defeated Andy Murray of UK by 6-3 5-7 6-4.
ii. Djokovic missed out on three match points and had to repel a roaring Murray comeback before ending the Briton’s 28-match, five-tournament winning streak.