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16 States and UTs along with 6 central ministries to participate in Republic Day parade-2020
Sixteen States and Union Territories and Six Central Ministries will participate in the Republic Day Parade this year at Rajpath in New Delhi. Start up India, Jal Jeevan Mission and financial inclusion are some of the themes of the tableaux of Ministries and Departments.

Axis Bank reports strong loan growth in Q3; key takeaways
Private lender Axis Bank posted 4.53 per cent year-on-year rise in profit at Rs 1,757 crore. Asset quality of the company improved, but slippages and provisions jumped during the quarter.
The company said its loan book grew by almost Rs 28,500 crore on a quarterly basis. Yearly domestic loan growth stood at 18 per cent and retail loan book grew 25 per cent. The domestic corporate book grew 16 per cent.
Operating profit was at Rs 5,743 crore, up 4 per cent from Rs 5,525 crore in Q3FY19. December quarter had witnessed one large recovery (Rs 800 crore) from a steel sector account. Adjusted for one-off item, the bank’s operating profit for the quarter grew 22 per cent.

Boxing: Nikhat Zareen, Shiva Thapa enter quarterfinals of Strandja Memorial Tournament
Defending champion Nikhat Zareen and four-time Asian medallist Shiva Thapa sailed into the quarterfinals of the Strandja Memorial Boxing Tournament at Sofia in Bulgaria. India’s Zareen was declared the winner after her rival Sevda Asenova, a local favourite, abandoned the second-round bout.
Shiva Thapa defeated Poland’s Pavel Polakovic 5-0 in his last 16 stage clash in the 63kg category

Cabinet approves amendments, extension in Acts dealing with GST, VAT
The Union Cabinet has approved amendments/extension/repeal in the Acts and regulations dealing with Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Value Added Tax (VAT). The Central Goods and Service Tax Act, 2017 is to be amended as Central Goods and Service Tax (Amendments) Regulation, 2020, while the Union Territory Goods and Service Tax Act, 2017 will be amended as Union Territory Goods and Service Tax (Amendments) Regulation, 2020.

Cabinet approves over Rs 4300 cr to establish permanent campuses for new NITs
The Union Cabinet approved to Revised Cost Estimates for establishment of permanent campuses of new National Institutes of Technology, NITs, at a total cost of 4371.90 crore rupees for the period till 2021-2022.
New NITs were established in the year 2009 and started functioning from academic year 2010-2011 in their temporary campus with very limited space and infrastructure. These NITs will be fully functional from their permanent campuses by 31st March 2022.

Cabinet gives approval to EC to enter into MoU with Election Commissions of Tunisia and Papua New Guinea
The Union Cabinet gave approval to Election Commission of India to enter into MoU with the Independent High Authority for Elections of Tunisia and the Papua New Guinea Electoral Commission for elections for cooperation in the field of electoral management and administration.

Chess: Nandhidhaa posts surprise win over Praggnanandhaa
India’s Woman International Master P V Nandhidhaa stunned compatriot R Praggnanandhaa in the opening round of the Masters category in the 18th Gibraltar Chess Festival. Nandhidhaa outplayed Praggnanandhaa in 67 moves in a Classical Sicillian game in the tournament that began at Gibralter.
The leading Indian players in the fray – B Adhiban and K Sasikiran – were held to draws by lower-rated rivals Ritvars Reimanis and Sabrina Vega Gutierrez while D Gukesh, the second youngest GM ever, too had to share honours with compatriot Priyanka Nutakki.

Curtain comes down on 3rd Khelo India Youth Games with a colourful closing ceremony
Curtain came down on 3rd Khelo India Youth Games with a colourful closing ceremony at Nabin Chandra Bordoloi indoor stadium in Guwahati this evening. Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju and MoS Food and processing industries Rameshwar Teli were present on this occasion.
They handed over the champions trophy to Maharashtra, first runner up trophy to Haryana and second runner up trophy to Delhi. Mr Rijiu said, the moto of the games is to promote sports culture in country.

Death Toll from Novel Coronavirus rises to 17 in China
The death toll from the new coronavirus outbreak in China has reached 17. The confirmed infection cases have also sharply risen to more than 550. The cases of the deadly pneumonia were reported from the US, Hong Kong, Macao and Mexico.
Wuhan, a Chinese city of nearly nine million people, is to temporarily shut public transport as it tries to halt the outbreak of the virus.
Meanwhile, a meeting of the World Health Organisation is now in progress in Geneva to consider declaring outbreak of corona virus in China, an emergency. The UN body will decide if the outbreak is a matter of international concern.

DoT seeks Rs 48,000 crore from Oil India in telecom dues; company to challenge it in TDSAT
The telecom department has slapped a Rs 48,000 crore demand notice on Oil India in past statutory dues, an order which the country’s second-biggest state oil producer plans to challenge in Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT).
Following a Supreme Court ruling that non-telecom revenues should be included for considering payments of government dues, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has asked Oil India to pay Rs 48,000 crore in principal dues together with interest and penalty for using optic fibre network for internal communication. The dues sought are double the net worth of Oil India.

India falls to 51st position in EIU’s Democracy Index
India slipped 10 places to 51st position in the 2019 Democracy Index’s global ranking, according to The Economist Intelligence Unit, which cited “erosion of civil liberties” in the country as the primary cause for the downtrend. India’s overall score fell from 7.23 in 2018 to 6.90.
On India, the report said, the country dropped ten places in the Democracy Index’s global ranking to 51st.
The index is based on five categories — electoral process and pluralism; the functioning of government; political participation; political culture; and civil liberties.
The overall list was topped by Norway, followed by Iceland and Sweden. Other countries in the top 10 include New Zealand at the fourth place, Finland (5th), Ireland (6th), Denmark (7th), Canada (8th), Australia (9th) and Switzerland (10th).

India opens its first Mahatma Gandhi convention centre in Niger
External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and President of Niger Mahamadou Issoufou have jointly inaugurated the first Mahatma Gandhi convention centre established in Africa by India to honour the memory of Mahatma Gandhi whose 150th Birth Anniversary was observed last year.
The convention centre has been designed as a spacious, modern and eco-friendly facility, including a 2,000 capacity Plenary Hall, to witness high-level and wide-ranging participation from African Union member states and other high-level conventions.

India scores highest among South Asian nations in Women, Business and Law Index
India has taken the top spot in the South Asian region in the World Bank’s Women, Business and Law (WBL) Index 2020. The country gained 4 per cent year-on-year with a score of 74.4 out of 100. India beat the Maldives to get the top rank in the South Asian region.
The study examined laws and regulations affecting women’s economic opportunities across 190 economies. There were eight parameters — workplace, pay, mobility, marriage, parenthood, pensions, assets and entrepreneurship.
The nations that saw the most significant growth were Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Nepal, South Sudan, São Tomé and Príncipe, Bahrain, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Jordan and Tunisia.
However, only eight economies among the 190 scored a perfect 100 on the WBL Index. These are Belgium, France, Latvia, Sweden, Canada, Denmark, Iceland and Luxembourg.

India’s Divij Sharan and his partner Artem Sitak progress to 2nd round of Australian Open
India’s Divij Sharan and his New Zealand partner Artem Sitak progressed to the second round of the Australian Open men’s doubles event at Melbourne. Sharan and Sitak got the better of the Portuguese-Spanish duo of Pablo Carreno Busta and Joao Sousa 6-4, 7-5 in a thrilling one hour 28-minute encounter.
The duo will next face the winner of the first-round match between 10th seeds Mate Pavio-Bruno Soares and Ben Molachlan and Luke Bambridge.

Jaipur Literature Festival begins
Jaipur Literature Festival begun on January 23. About 500 speakers of different fields are participating in the festival, which is currently in its 13th year. The five-day event will see more than 200 sessions and will be attended by 500 speakers from 20 countries.
Out of them, 120 are award-winning speakers. The festival will have a range of speakers including Nobel laureate Abhijit Banerjee, Booker award-winning British novelist Howard Jacobson and Auther Elizabeth Gilbert.
The broad themes of the festival this time include climate, constitution, poetry, and artificial intelligence. Police has made special arrangements of security and traffic around the venue of the festival and walled city.

L&T net rises 15.4% amid slowing orders
Engineering and construction major Larsen and Toubro (L&T) reported a 15.4% increase in its third quarter net profit to Rs. 2,560 crore, even as revenue and order-flow growth slowed down. Revenue climbs 5.4% to Rs. 36,718 crore; order book grows 2% in third quarter; infra revenue drops 5%.

Maruti crosses five lakh in sales of BS-VI compliant units
The country’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India said its BS-VI compliant vehicles have reached cumulative sales of 5 lakh units ahead of the implementation of stricter emission norms from April 1.
The company is now offering ten models with BS-VI compliant petrol engines, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd (MSIL) said in a statement.
MSIL introduced its first BS-VI compliant petrol car in April 2019, a full year in advance from the mandatory deadline. The company’s range of BS-VI compliant petrol models includes Alto, Eeco, S-Presso, Celerio, WagonR, Swift, Baleno, Dzire, Ertiga and XL6.

President Kovind confers Rashtriya Bal Puraskar awards to children
President Ram Nath Kovind presented the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar, 2020 at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. The Bal Puraskar is given by government every year to recognize exceptional achievements of children in various fields.
These fields are innovation, scholastic achievements, social service, arts and culture, sports and bravery. Twenty-two children who were selected for National Bravery Awards also received the awards from the President.

Saina Nehwal out of Thailand Masters,suffers a shock defeat in first round
In badminton, India’s campaign at the Thailand Masters badminton tournament ended in Bangkok today with the defeat of ace shuttler Saina Nehwal. The fifth seeded Saina lost to unseeded Line Hojmark Kjaersfeldt of Denmark 13-21 ,21-17, 15-21 in a hard fought 47-minute contest.
In the men’s singles, the trio of Kidambi Srikanth, Sameer Verma and H S Prannoy, too, faltered in the first round.

SBI Life Insurance profit jumps 47% to Rs.390 cr
SBI Life Insurance registered a 47.4 per cent increase in its net profit to Rs.389.77 crore in the third quarter of the fiscal. Its net profit was Rs.264.28 crore in the same period a year ago. The total income of the private sector life insurer rose to Rs 15,779.05 crore in Q3FY20, against Rs 12,156.39 crore in the year-ago period.
Assets under management (AUM) increased to Rs 1,64,190 crore as compared to Rs 1,34,150 crore at the end of December 31, 2018.

SC refuses to stay operation of CAA; asks centre to file reply within 4 weeks
The Supreme Court of India has refused to stay the operation of Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). A bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde said that it cannot grant any stay on CAA without hearing Centre.
The apex court asked the Centre to file its reply within 4 weeks on petitions challenging the CAA. The apex court also said that it will constitute a larger constitution bench to hear the matter. Appearing for the Centre, Attorney General KK Venugopal said that the government has been given copies of around 60 petitions out of the 143 and it needs time to respond to pleas which have not been served on it.
Some of the petitioners urged the apex court to put on hold operation of CAA and postpone exercise of National Population Register (NPR) for time being.
President Ram Nath Kovind gave assent to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 on December 12, turning it into an Act.

Taiwan urges International bodies to include it for getting aids to face corona virus epidemic
Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen has urged international bodies such as the World Health Organization (WHO) not to exclude Taiwan for political reasons from getting aids.
Her appeal came a day after the island confirmed its first case of a new deadly corona virus from China. She said, political considerations should not surpass protection for the people. Tsai Ing-wen that Taiwan’s 23 million inhabitants face the same health risks and threats as the rest of the world.
The self-ruled island has found itself blocked from major world bodies under pressure from Beijing. China views Taiwan as its territory and has vowed to one day seize it by force if necessary.

Ujjivan Small Finance Bank Q3 profit doubles to Rs 90 crore
Ujjivan Small Finance Bank’s net profit for the December quarter has doubled at Rs 90 crore due to a surge in micro lending despite slowing customer acquisition in Assam and in coastal Karnataka where it faced repayment issues.
Net interest income, the difference between what it earned from lending and what it paid for funds, rose 52% that helped it post earnings growth.
Ujjivan’s gross advances grew 46% to Rs 13,617 crore, with non-micro loan portfolio growing to 22% against 14% a year back. Asset quality remained stable with gross non-performing assets ratio at 0.9% and net NPA ratio at 0.4%.

UK Parliament ratifies Brexit divorce law
British lawmakers have finally approved the terms of their country’s historic departure from the European Union. MPs in the lower House of Commons had already backed the EU Withdrawal Agreement Bill, which ratifies the divorce deal that Prime Minister Boris Johnson struck with EU last year.
But the unelected upper House of Lords made some changes this week, including on the rights of EU citizens and child refugees after Brexit.
The Commons, where Johnson’s Conservatives have a large majority rejected all five amendments and sent the bill back to the Lords, who then reluctantly agreed to back down.
The Bill is now awaiting royal assent by Queen Elizabeth II for its formal ratification, paving the way for Britain to leave the EU on January 31.

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