1. 100% FDI in single-brand retail via automatic route approved
The Union Cabinet on Wednesday cleared a proposal allowing 100% foreign direct investment (FDI) in single-brand retail via automatic route. This makes it easier for foreign brands to fully own their Indian stores when earlier they needed to partner with local brands. This was aimed at liberalising and simplifying FDI policy to improve ease of doing business in the country.
2. Bhopal Railway Station Gets Sanitary Napkin Vending Machine
Bhopal railway station has become the first railway station to have a sanitary napkin vending machine. The machine dispenses two sanitary napkins at the cost of Rs 5 only. The machine accepts Rs 5 coins. The sanitary pads vending machine has been installed at platform number 1 by the Railway Women Welfare Association of Bhopal.
Named ‘Happy Nari’, nearly 600 sanitary napkins were dispensed within just nine hours of installing the machine at the Bhopal railway station on January 1. This is the first railway station in India to have a sanitary napkin vending machine.
The machine has the capacity of holding 75 sanitary pads. A specially trained female staff will refill the machine. The Bhopal railway station will maintain the vending machine, according to the reports.
3. Narayana Murthy's Son-in-law Inducted Into Theresa May Govt
In the recent reshuffle of ministers and secretaries, British Prime Minister Theresa May inducted Indian-origin lawmaker Rishi Sunak into her government. He is being appointed as an under secretary of state in Britain’s Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. He is the son-in-law of Infosys co-founder NR Narayana Murthy. Sunak won the constituency of Richmond in North Yorkshire in the 2015 general elections in the country.
4. UIDAI introduces 'Virtual IDs' to boost security
In a bid to avoid the controversy surrounding Aadhaar database and concern over sharing numbers, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is expected to launch virtual IDs and limited KYC sharing.
UIDAI to also introduce limited KYC service that does not return Aadhaar number and only provides an 'agency-specific' unique UID token to eliminate many agencies storing Aadhaar number while still enabling their own paperless KYC. It may be noted that the privacy concerning Aadhaar has been generating heated debates, as pro-privacy activists have identified several risks pertaining to the use of Aadhaar. This virtual ID can be used instead of the actual Aadhaar number at the time of authentication. The virtual ID will be based on an Aadhaar number allocated to a person.
5. Government mints stop production of coins, urge RBI to clear storage rooms
Indian Government Mint has stopped the production of coins as of January 8, 2018. Indian Government Mint operates four mints for the production of coins. The mints are located in Noida, Mumbai, Kolkata and Hyderabad.
These mints are responsible for the production of coins which in turn are circulated by RBI. The Union of these mints has issued a notice to the General Managers of the four mints to stop the production of coins w.e.f January 8. This is being done as the government storage rooms are full. Manufactured coins in large quantities are stored in these store rooms leaving no room for more coins.
According to sources, there are around 2500 million pieces of manufactured coins in the storage rooms waiting to be picked up by the RBI. The Mint Union wants the government to take concrete steps and pick up the manufactured coins from these storage rooms and circulate them.
6. World Bank says India has huge potential, projects 7.3 per cent growth in 2018
With an "ambitious government undertaking comprehensive reforms", India has "enormous growth potential" compared to other emerging economies, the World Bank said today, as it projected country's growth rate to 7.3 per cent in 2018 and 7.5 for the next two years. India, despite initial setbacks from demonetisation and Goods and Services Tax (GST), is estimated to have grown at 6.7 per cent in 2017, according to the 2018 Global Economics Prospect.
7. Indian man 1st to lose naturalised citizenship under Trump
An Indian-origin man, Baljinder Singh, has become the first person to lose naturalised US citizenship under President Donald Trump's administration. According to the US Justice Department, Singh arrived in the US in 1991 without any travel documents or proof of identity and dodged a deportation order in 1992. He became a naturalised citizen in 2006 after marrying an American woman.
8. IndiGo rated world's 4th most punctual 'mega carrier'
IndiGo has been rated the world's fourth most punctual 'mega carrier' by travel analyst firm OAG in an annual review. While IndiGo logged an on-time performance (OTP) of 81.22%, the list was topped by Japan Airlines with an OTP of 85.27%. Japan Airlines was followed by All Nippon Airways and Delta Air Lines.
9. Trump named world's most oppressive leader on press freedom
US President Donald Trump has been named the world's most oppressive leader towards press freedom by New York-based non-profit organisation Committee to Protect Journalists. While Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an was named the 'Most Thin-Skinned' over his efforts to charge his critics, Chinese President Xi Jinping was ranked the highest in the 'Tightest Grip on Media' category.
10. Bahrain to host first-ever 'Baby Olympics'
Bahrain has announced plans to host the first-ever 'Baby Olympics' where two to four-year-olds will take part in the games in April. The games will include five disciplines– athletics, gymnastics, football, basketball and weightlifting. The move is aimed at creating "awareness among youngsters to practice sport", according to the Bahrain Olympic Committee