1. Bank of
Japan, RBI conclude deal for raising BSA to USD 50 bn
i. The Bank of Japan (BOJ) and RBI
concluded an agreement that expands the maximum amount of the bilateral swap
arrangement (BSA) between the two countries to USD 50 billion. ii. The agreement was signed by BOJ Governor Haruhiko
Kuroda and RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan on Friday and has become
effective as of 10th January 2014, the Reserve Bank of India said in a
iii. “With this agreement, the
current BSA, effective for 3 years from 2012 to 2015, is expanded from the
original size of USD 15 billion,” it added.
iv. The BSA aims at addressing
possible short-term liquidity difficulties and supplementing the existing
international financial arrangements, as one of the efforts in strengthening
mutual cooperation between Japan and India.
v. “This expansion of the BSA
will contribute to the stability of global financial markets including emerging
economies,” the RBI said. vi. The BSA shall be effective until 3rd December 2015.
reduces refinance rate for banks
i. National Bank for Agriculture and
Rural Development (NABARD) has reduced refinance rate for banks and other
lending agencies by 0.20 per cent to promote rural credit and rural
ii. The revised rate of interest on
refinance for a period of five years for commercial, state cooperative,
regional rural and primary urban cooperative banks will be 9.70 per cent, down
from 9.90 per cent.
iii. NABARD said in a statement,
the new rates are effective from 7th of this month. It further said, banks
drawing refinance of 500 crore rupees and more in a single drawl will be
allowed further reduction of 0.10 per cent, making the effective rate 9.60 per
iv. NABARD said, these measures are
expected to give a boost to banks for extending investment credit and creation
of much-needed warehousing infrastructure for agricultural commodities in the
launches new Jeevan Anand plan
i. LIC has re-launched its “Jeevan
Anand” plan, a participating non-linked plan which offers an attractive
combination of protection and savings.
ii. This product provides financial
protection against death throughout the lifetime of the policyholder with a
special feature wherein it offers cover for whole life even after payment of
iii. The policy can be taken
from age 18 years to 50 years with age of policyholder on policy maturity age
not exceeding 75 years.
iv. The policyholder can choose
policy term from minimum 15 years to maximum of 35 years. The minimum sum
assured is Rs 1 lakh and in multiples of Rs 5,000.
v. The policy matures at the
end of the chosen policy term and the surviving policyholder will get Basic Sum
Assured along with Vested Simple Reversionary Bonus and Final Additional Bonus.
vi. The sum assured on death
during the term of the policy will be higher of 125 per cent of Basic Sum
Assured or 10 times of annualized premium.
4. Give a
missed call to know your bank balance
i. It is quite common for some to
give a missed call to their friends so that the other person calls him/her
ii. What if your bank allows
such a facility? Not for transaction. It is only for enquiring about the
balance in your account.
iii. Syndicate Bank has introduced such a facility for its
iv. After giving a missed call to a
dedicated number, the customer will get his/her balance amount in the account
as an SMS, he said. The customer will not be charged for the facility.
v. Considering this, the bank came
up with the idea of introducing the missed-call service, he said adding that
the customers will have to follow the procedures related to SMS banking.
5. A Pakistani schoolboy
(Aitezaz Hassan - 17) who died stopping a suicide bomber from attacking his
school has been recommended for a national award, the prime minister's office
6. The South Pacific
nation of Tonga was lashed by a powerful cyclone on Saturday, destroying homes
and ripping roofs from churches and other public buildings in the populous
northern islands. There were no immediate reports of injuries.
7. UN leader Ban Ki-moon
and the UN Security Council are urging South Sudan President to release
political detainees at the centre of efforts to start a ceasefire in the
Larayedh, the Prime Minister of Tunisia resigned
i. Ali Larayedh, the Prime Minister
of Tunisia resigned from his office on 9 January 2014.
ii. With his resignation, the
country will be led by the caretaker Government of technocrats led by led by
new Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa.
iii. He resigned following a
deal between the Islamist Ennahda Party of Ali Larayedh and the secular
opposition for a transition to the democracy in the country.
iv. It’s likely that the name of
Mehdi Jomaa will be announced by the President of Tunisia for appointment.
Tunisia as a country has been the birthplace of the Arab Spring and its
transition to democracy.
9. Nation remembered
former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri on his death anniversary today.
10. Mountaineer and explorer
Sir Edmund Hillary remembered on his 6th death anniversary.
11. The government will
launch its first wind energy mission National Wind Energy Mission (NWEM) this
year to give a boost to the renewable source and putting it in the same league
as the high-profile solar mission.
12. CPI today sought
reversal of the environmental clearance granted to South Korean giant Posco’s
steel plant in Odisha, asking the government not to “run rough-shod” over the
recommendations of the National Green Tribunal and the “popular resistance”
against the project.
13. Centre approves Rs
300 crore grants to upgrade Guwahati Medical College and Hospital & Assam
Medical College in Dibrugarh.
ready to contest LS polls on Congress ticket
i. 58-year-old Nilekani, who
is the Chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India, said talks are
going on about the constituency from which he should be contesting. He added
that he would join Congress, which has been very “supportive” to him and his
ii. The Congress is likely to
field Nilekani from Bangalore South, a middle-class centric constituency, known
for its antipathy towards Congress since the late 1970s, from where BJP General
Secretary Ananth Kumar has won five times.
iii. Nilekani said ordinary
citizens should join politics and he would like to be part of this movement.
“In India the biggest change can be brought about through politics and I want
to be there,” he said.
railway station entered Limca Book of Records as world’s longest platform
i. Gorakhpur railway station’s
platform number one of Uttar Pradesh has entered into the Limca Book of Records
as longest rail platform in the world.
ii. The certificate given by
the Limca Book of Records was unveiled on 10 January 2014 by KK Atal, the
General Manager North Eastern Railways (NER).
iii. The platform’s length is
1355.40 meters and was inaugurated in 6 October 2013.
iv. Before the platform number
one of Gorakhpur, the platform of Kharagpur railway station of West
Bengal had the distinction of being world’s largest platform with
length of 1072.5 meters.
India’s first gun for women, launched
i. India’s first gun for women,
Nirbheek was launched on 9 January 2014. It is a tribute to the gang rape
victim of December 2012, Nirbhaya.
ii. Gun has been manufactured
by the Indian Ordnance Factory, Kanpur. iii.It is a 0.32 bore light weight revolver which has been developed to
give more power to women to defend themselves. It only weighs 500 grams and is
made of titanium alloy. Besides, being the lightest revolver, Nirbheek is also
the smallest revolver made in India
Awards and Honors
17. President Pranab
Mukherjee on Saturday presented the first 'Sunil Gangopadhyay Memorial Award'
for Excellence in Bengali Literature to eminent poets and litterateurs
Nirendranth Chakravarti for the year 2012 and Sankha Ghosh for the year 2013
respectively at an award function at the Raj Bhavan.
18. Maharashtra Governor
K Sankara narayanan today presented the K Veeramani Award for Social Justice to
Maharashtra Minister for Public Works and Tourism Chhagan Bhujbal.
19. Former India captain
Kapil Dev was with the C K Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award by the BCCI at its
seventh annual awards ceremony today.
Science and Technology
20. Scientists have
identified 14 new genes potentially implicated in Alzheimer’s disease.
Pathak social activist died at 80
i. Social activist IIa Pathak
passed away due to prolonged illness in Ahmedabad on 9 January 2014. She was
the founder of Ahmedabad Women’s Action Group (AWAG).
ii. IIa Pathak was the president of
India Chapter of Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) and
served as professor in H K Arts College.
iii. She was the vice-President
of Peoples Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) and she played a key role in
movement for justice to the victims of 2002 riots of Gujarat.
22. Former Bihar
minister and RJD MP Sitaram Singh dies after a prolonged illness; He was 65.
23. Former Israeli Prime
Minister Ariel Sharon (85) died today at a hospital near Tel Aviv.
ends as runners up in Sydney International Tennis tournament
i. Rohan Bopanna and his Pakistani
teammate Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi today ended as runners up in the Sydney
International Tennis tournament.
ii. In the finals played a
short while ago, the third seeded Indo-Pak pair lost to the Canadian-Serbian
combination of Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic, 6-7, 6-7.
and Coaches accused of doping barred from getting Arjuna and Dronacharya Awards
i. The Government of India on 10
January 2014 set the new guidelines for National Sports Awards under which
players and coaches accused of doping will not be considered for Arjuna and
ii. These guidelines were issued by
the Sports Minister Jitendra Singh for awarding Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna,
Arjuna, Dronacharya and Dhyanchand Awards.
iii. These guidelines were
issued after the nomination of the controversial athlete Ranjit Maheshwari for
Arjuna Award in 2013.
iv. The National Anti-Doping
Agency (NADA) is the national organization responsible for promoting,
coordinating, and monitoring the doping control programme in sports in all its
forms in the country. NADA works towards a vision of dope free sport in India.
It came into being in India in 2009. These Anti Doping Rules of NADA came into
force from 01 January 2010.
26. John Isner
wins Auckland title in Open buildup
i. John Isner fired 23 aces in a
match which had no service breaks to beat Lu Yen-hsun of Taiwan 7-6 (4), 7-6
(7) in the final of the ATP’s Heineken Open in Auckland, his last tune up for
next week’s Australian Open.
ii. No. 14-ranked Isner captured his
eighth career singles title and won the title in New Zealand for the second
time after his victory in 2010.
iii. The third-seeded Isner,
playing with an right ankle injury he picked up at the Hopman Cup the previous
week, took a crucial minibreak to open the first set tiebreaker.
27. The Haryana pair of
Jubin Kumar and Sourav Chakraborty snatched the men's doubles title from
Rajasthan's Vivek Bhargava and Sudhanshu Grover 3-2 in the 75th Senior National
Table Tennis Championships today.
28. The women's double
crown went to Railways' Anindita Chakraborty and Pallabi Kundu, who beat
Airports Authority of India's Nikhat Banu and Krittwika Sinha Roy 3-1.
29. New Zealand thrashes
India 3-1 in Hockey World League.
lose 0-2 against England in campaign opener
i. India dished out a
pathetic performance to go down 0-2 to higher-ranked England and start their
campaign on a losing note at the Hero Hockey World League Final, in New Delhi
ii. The Indians looked horribly out
of sorts as England rode on two goals from Adam Dixon (28th, 45th minute) to
pocket full three points from their opening Pool A encounter at the floodlit
Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium.
iii. Chief coach Terry Walsh could not
have imagined such a horrible performance from his wards in his first
international match with the Indian team.
iv. Meanwhile, in the first Pool A
match of the day, favourites Germany walloped New Zealand 6-1 to make a perfect
start to their campaign in the eight-nation event.
v. India will next play New
Zealand in a must-win match tomorrow, while England will be up against Germany.