Business & Economy
- North Korea today notified UN agencies of its plans to launch an earth observation satellite 'Kwangmyongsong' sometime between 8th to 25th February 2016.
- Amid fears that the satellite launches are missile tests in disguise, the United States renewed calls for harsher UN sanctions against North Korea.
- However, North Korea emphasised that pursuing a space programme is its sovereign right.
- The Japanese government today announced that it has deployed ground and sea-based antimissile interceptors to prepare itself for a possible missile test by North Korea.
- The first ever electric train in India ran on this day (3rd February) in the year 1925 between Bombay VT and Kurla Harbour.
- The train was electrified on 1500 Volt DC (direct current).
- Later, the electric line was extended to Nashik's Igatpuri district and then to Pune.
- Around 388 km of railways was electrified in the country before India gained independence in 1947.
- The Bombay High Court's Nagpur Bench has urged citizens to not pay taxes and even launch a non-cooperation movement if the government allows corruption to continue.
- The court called corruption a 'hydra-headed monster'.
- Maharashtra government has decided to re-launch a scheme to encourage Dalit entrepreneurs' participation in service and manufacturing sectors.
- The scheme, named after BR Ambedkar, reserves 20% plots for small and medium scale industries with Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation for Dalits.
- The policy is only limited to industries with 100% investment from SC/ST people.
- Data analytics company Mu Sigma, has appointed Ambiga Dhiraj as its CEO, making her the first woman CEO of an Indian Unicorn.
- Ambiga, who was the former COO in the company has replaced her husband and founder-chairman Dhiraj Rajaram.
- Urban Ladder, the online furniture and home décor company, has announced the appointment of Sanjay Gupta as its Chief Marketing Officer.
- Major General Jai Shanker Menon of India was appointed as the Head of Mission and Force Commander of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF).
- India and Brunei today signed three agreements. They are,
- MoU in health cooperation
- MoU on Defence cooperation
- MOU on cooperation in youth and sports affairs
Business & Economy
- India has surpassed the USA as the world's second-largest smartphone market in terms of active unique smartphone users, a Counterpoint Research report has announced today.
- India's user base has crossed 220 million, but the smartphone penetration is still below 30% of the total potential population, the report added.
- Samsung claimed the largest share in 2015, followed by Micromax and Lenovo.
- The Union Cabinet today allowed the Indian Railways to form joint ventures with the state governments for speedy implementation of rail projects.
- The joint ventures will be responsible for identifying projects, acquiring land, financing and monitoring them.
- Further, each joint venture will have an initial paid-up capital of ₹100 crore, based on the amount of projects to be undertaken.
- Reliance Group Chairman Anil Ambani today announced the setting up of 'Dhirubhai Ambani Centre for Innovation and Research in Aerospace' in Bengaluru.
- The centre, to be set up under Reliance Defence, will generate over 1,500 highly skilled jobs.
- Amazon has launched its grocery service with the name 'Amazon Now' in select areas of Bengaluru.
- Currently available through an Android app, the service lets users order everyday essentials from their nearby stores and delivers them within two hours.
- Users can also opt for scheduled delivery of their orders through the app between 10am to 10pm.
- India secured the top spot for the seventh straight quarter in Nielsen’s Consumer Confidence Index rankings for the December quarter.
- Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand take the next three spots.
People in News
- The current and 23rd Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, Raghuram Rajan, turned 53 years old today.
- An IIT-Delhi and IIM-Ahmedabad alumnus, Rajan brought down retail inflation to 3.78% in 2015, the lowest since the 1990s.
- It is considered his biggest achievement as RBI Governor.
- He also served as Chief Economist at the International Monetary Fund from 2003-2006.
- Six days after his appointment as the advisor to Arunachal Pradesh Governor JP Rajkhowa, former Delhi Police Commissioner YS Dadwal, resigned today.
- Dadwal and retired IAS officer GS Patnaik were appointed as the Governor's advisors on January 26.
- Note : Dadwal has been replaced by former SSB chief BD Sharma.
- S.S. Tarapore, former deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and a noted economist, passed away.
- A career central banker, Tarapore joined the RBI in 1961 and retired in 1996 as deputy governor, having been involved in almost all aspects of monetary policy.
- He served as RBI deputy governor between 1992 and 1996 when C. Rangarajan was the governor.
- Former Lok Sabha (LS) Speaker Balram Jakhar passed away.
- Pakistani author Intizar Hussain passed away.
- He was shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize in 2013, and awarded the French award Ordre des Arts et des Lettres a year later.
- Born in India, Hussain migrated to Pakistan in 1947.
- He was an advocate of pluralism and tolerance.
- Former Pakistani cricketer Israr Ali, who was the country’s oldest living Test cricketer, has passed away at the age of 88.
- Born on May 1, 1927 in Jullundar (now Jalandhar) in India, Ali an all-rounder was a member of Pakistan’s first Test squad which went to India in 1952 and played two tests.
- He also appeared in Pakistan’s first test 60 years ago.
- Indian filmmaker Kanu Behl directorial “Titli” has bagged the Best First Foreign Film Award conferred by the French Syndicate of Cinema Critics 2016 (FSCC).
- “Titli” has earlier won at various international film festivals at places like Bordeaux, Hawaii, New York, Turkey and Spain.
- A software engineer working at Google, Max Braun has developed an Android-powered mirror which displays important information such as date, time, news and weather.
- It also sports Google's voice search feature.
- Twitter today launched a new feature home timeline for its offline users in 23 countries, including India.
- The new feature lets users discover real-time tweets straight from the source without logging in to the Twitter account.
- Twitter also expanded its refreshed Twitter homepage that lets users click and explore various topics on the platform without logging in.
- A group of scientists led by an Indian-origin researcher Srimanta Middey, has created an artificial material with similar structure as graphene.
- In comparison to silicon transistors for computers, graphene transistors are believed to be faster and more heat tolerant and efficient.
- The world's first vaccine against the Zika Virus has been developed in India as per claims by scientists at the Bharat Biotech International Limited in Hyderabad.
- The organisation said that two vaccines to fight Zika were developed.
- Playing the first match of the Bengaluru leg of season three of the Pro Kabaddi League, Patna Pirates defeated the Bengaluru Bulls 33-24 today.
- Two-time Olympian Sanjeev Rajput secured India's 12th shooting spot for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
- Rajput finished fourth in the men's 50-metre rifle three positions event at the 'Asia Olympic Qualifying Competition for Shooting' at Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range in New Delhi today.
- Kerala emerged as the overall winner for the 19th consecutive time at National School Athletics championship.
- The national School Athletics championship was held at Olympian Rahman Stadium in Kozhikode, Kerala from 29th January 2016 to 2nd February 2016.
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