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Adhiban, Narayanan register impressive wins in Gibraltar chess
Indian Grandmasters B.Adhiban and S L Narayanan have registered impressive wins in the third round of the Masters’ category of the ongoing Gibraltar chess festival. Apart from Adhiban and Narayanan, there are a few other Indians on 2.5 points, including Vaibhav Suri and Karthikeyan Murali. Young Grandmaster R Praggnanandhaa beat International Master Padmini Rout to take his tally to 2.

BoB clocks Rs. 1,407 cr. loss in Q3 on rise in bad loans
State-run lender Bank of Baroda (BoB) has reported Rs. 1,407 crore loss in the October -December period of the current financial year due to rise in bad loans. The bank had posted Rs. 471 crore profit for the same period of the previous year.
The bank said its net interest income grew 9% to Rs.7,128 crore. Its total income increased to Rs.21,809 crore during the quarter under review, as against Rs.14,563 crore in the year ago period. Provisions for non-performing assets almost doubled to Rs.6,621 crore from Rs.3416 crore. Fresh slippages were Rs.10,387 crore.
Gross non-performing assets as a proportion of gross advances were 10.43% as on end December 2019 as compared to 11.01% a year ago.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson signs Brexit withdrawal deal
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has signed the Brexit withdrawal agreement paving the way for the UK’s exit from the European Union next Friday.
The Presidents of the European Commission and the European Council have also signed off on Britain’s EU divorce agreement, Brexit. The text agreement will now go to the European Parliament on 29th of January for ratification. Then, diplomats from the EU member states will approve the deal in writing, ensuring Britain’s orderly departure at midnight on 31st of January

CEC Sunil Arora assumes Chairmanship of FEMBoSA for 2020
Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora has assumed Chairmanship of the Forum of the Election Management Bodies of South Asia (FEMBoSA) for the year 2020.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission of India will host the 10th Annual Meeting of the Forum of the Election Management Bodies of South Asia (FEMBoSA) in New Delhi.FEMBoSA was established at the 3rd Conference of Heads of Election Management Bodies of SAARC Countries held at New Delhi in May, 2012. With its eight members, FEMBoSA represents a very large part of the democratic world and is an active regional association of Election Management Bodies.

China launches several measures for isolation, treatment of coronavirus infections
China is battling Novel Corona virus outbreak even as World Health Organization (WHO) has not declared it a global health emergency saying it was too early to declare so. Chinese Authorities have confirmed 26 deaths and close to 900 confirmed cases of pneumonia caused by the virus.Infections have been reported in 29 provincial-level regions in the country by the end of Thursday. Eleven cases have been confirmed overseas with Thailand, Japan, South Korea, the United States, Singapore and Vietnam reporting virus cases.

Donald Trump to unveil Middle East peace plan
United States President Donald Trump has announced that he would unveil his long-awaited Middle East peace plan in the coming days. The plan has been delayed for over two years. Mr Trump said, Palestinians might react negatively to his plan at first, but it would benefit them.He further added that the proposal is aimed at bringing peace to decades-long conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

Forex reserves at life-time high of $462.16 bn
According to the latest data from the RBI, the country’s foreign exchange reserves rose $943 million to touch a life-time high of $462.16 billion in the week ended January 17. In the previous week, the reserves had increased by $58 million to $461.21 billion.
The rise in reserves was mainly on account of an increase in foreign currency assets, a major component of the overall reserves, which rose by $867 million to $428.45 billion

Govt announces to set up ten chairs in various universities in different fields to encourage women to carry out research activities
The Ministry of Women and Child Development announced to set up ten Chairs in different fields with an aim to carry out research activities to encourage women. The initiative called the Establishment of Chairs in the Universities in the name of eminent women is being launched with the assistance of the University Grants Commission, UGC.
Academic functions of the Chairs will be to engage in research and contribute to the advancement of knowledge in the area of the study, strengthen the role of university and academics in public policy making.

Govt to recruit 1500 coaches to fill up existing vacancies: Kiren Rijiju
Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju has said that the union government has decided to recruit around 1500 coaches to fill up existing vacancies and ensured full support to the country’s athletes. He said reputed foreign coaches will be hired irrespective of their remuneration adding that there are some very good Indian trainers and coaches who will also be hired.

Humanoid Joins ISRO’s Gaganyaan Space Mission Set For Dec 2020
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has unveiled a humanoid or human-robot named ‘Vyommitra’ which will be sent to space as part of the Gaganyaan mission, which is the most crucial mission in India’s human spaceflight programme.Once the humanoid is sent to space, ISRO scientists will be able to monitor the activities and progress of Vyommitra in order to prepare the robot for the manned mission in 2022.
The ‘half-humanoid’ Vyommitra will lead the human spaceflight programme. “It is called ‘half-humanoid’ because it does not have legs. It is designed in such a way that it always remains in contact with the ISRO command centre.

ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup 2020: India defeats New Zealand, set to meet Australia in QF
India won against New Zealand by a 44-run margins win as they set-up a quarter-final date with Australia in the ICC U-19 World Cup.During a rain-hit final group A league encounter reduced to 23-overs per-side, India scored 115 for no loss in 23 overs with openers Yashasvi Jaiswal (57 not out off 72 balls) and Divyansh Saxena (52 no off 62 balls) hitting half-centuries.New Zealand needed 193 as per DLS method calculations but managed only 147 in 21 overs as India emerged group toppers with six points.

India growth slowdown temporary: IMF
IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva has said growth slowdown in India appeared to be temporary and she expected the momentum to improve going ahead. Speaking at the WEF 2020, she also said the world appears a better place in January 2020 compared to what it was when IMF announced its World Economic Outlook in October 2019.
She said the factors driving this positive momentum include receding trade tension after the US-China first phase trade deal and synchronised tax cuts, among others.She further said several African countries are doing very well, but some other nations like Mexico are not.

India win 1st T20 International of 5-match series against New Zealand
India have won the first T20 International of five-match series against New Zealand by six wickets. It achieved the target of 204 in just 19 overs losing four wickets at Eden Park in Auckland. For India, KL Rahul made 56, skipper Virat Kohli scored 45 and Shreyas Iyer made 58 runs.Earlier, put in to bat first, New Zealand scored 203 for five in the stipulated 20 overs

India, Bangladesh sign agreement to upgrade Ashuganj-Akhaura road into 4-lane highway
India and Bangladesh signed an agreement to upgrade the 50.58-kilometre long road between Ashuganj river port and the Akhaura land port in Bangladesh into a 4-lane highway.The project is part of the dollar 2 billion second line of credit extended by India to Bangladesh in 2016. This project will boost connectivity between Bangladesh and North-eastern part of India which will facilitate sub-regional connectivity among South and South-east Asian countries.

JSW Q3 profit dips 88% to Rs. 187 crore
JSW Steel reported a 88% dip in its third quarter net profit to Rs. 187 crore on lower price realisation from Indian operations and losses from U.S. and Italy operations. The fall in profit came on a 11% drop in revenue to Rs.18,055 crore as construction activity fell due to a heavy and extended monsoon season.

National Voters’ Day being celebrated on January 25
The 10th National Voters’ Day (NVD) will be celebrated on January 25th. The theme for NVD-2020 is ‘Electoral Literacy for Stronger Democracy. The theme sets the tone for year-long activities with focus on voter education and renewal of citizens’ faith in the electoral process.This Day is celebrated on 25th January every year since 2011 to mark the Foundation day of Election Commission of India, which was established on 25th January 1950.

Tribal Affairs Ministry proposes 6th Schedule Area status to Ladakh
Union Tribal Affairs Ministry has proposed 6th Schedule Area status to the Union Territory of Ladakh. Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda said that his ministry has sent the proposal to the Union Home Ministry to declare the 6th Schedule status to Ladakh.Tribal Affairs Minister also assured that his ministry will take all necessary measures to preserve and enrich the rich legacy of Ladakh

UltraTech profit up 80% toRs. 712 cr.
The Aditya Birla Group company UltraTech Cement reported a 80% jump in its third quarter consolidated net profit to Rs. 712 crore even as net sales fell by 1% to Rs. 10,176 crore on poor realisations.Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (Ebitda) surged 23.7% to Rs 1,973 crore. Ebitda margin, meanwhile, improved by 3.8 percentage points to 19.1%.

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