Prime Minister Narendra Modi released a commemorative coin in honour of Jamsetji Tata, popularly known as father of modern Indian industry, on his 175th birth anniversary.
The 13th edition of Pravasi Bhartiya Divas convention was held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
Union government promulgated an ordinance to merge Person of Indian Origin (PIO) and Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) schemes, by which PIOs will also get life-long Indian visa. The amendments through the ordinance to the Citizenship Act will benefit PIOs and will give them benefits like life-long visa and exemption from appearing before the local police station on every visit.
The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) has launched TERI Prakriti School, a global school which will focus on sustainable learning and living practices. It will be a K-12 school affiliated to CBSE, with its curricula focusing on issues of sustainable development and environment conservation across the world. The session will start from April 2015. The school and the teachers will sensitize students on issues, such as climate change, reducing carbon footprint, proper and effective utilization of natural resources, use of renewable energy and make them responsible citizens in managing wastes from a very young age. The school will be headed by veteran educationist Mrs Lata Vaidyanathan, who has been instrumental in spearheading burden-free and green education.
At the two day “Retreat for Banks and Financial Institutions” called “Gyan Sangam” held on 2-3 January 2015, PSBs suggested that eventually the government should reduce its stake in PSBs to less than 51%. They also suggested that the government should transfer the government’s stake in PSBs to a bank investment company.
NOFN (National Optical Fibre Network), India’s first hi-speed rural broadband network, was commissioned on 12 January 2015, in Kerala’s Idukki district. The project will be a “giant leap” to bridge the digital divide in the country, by linking all gram panchayats through the common platform of optical fibre cable. NOFN is set to link 600 million rural citizens of India across 2.5 lakh gram panchayats of India spread over 6,600 blocks and 631 districts through broadband optical fibre network.
On 15 January 2015, Reserve Bank of India cut its repo interest rate by 25 basis points to 7.75 percent, making its first reduction in a year as inflation showed signs of slowing and the government was making efforts to contain the fiscal deficit.
The ninth edition of the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary has included over 240 words from Indian English. Many of these new words are commonly used in Indian kitchens such as ‘keema’ (finely chopped meat), ‘papad’ (thin wafer) and cooking ingredients like ‘curry leaf’. About 20 per cent of the new words are from the world of online and social media activities like troll, catfish, twitterati, tweetable, tweetheart, unfriend, selfie, etc.
National Girl Child Day is observed on 24 January.
The population of tiger has increased in India from 1,706 in 2011 to 2,226 in 2014, according to the new tiger census. India—which has 70% of the world tiger population—has registered an increase of 30 per cent in country’s tiger population in the past three years. Tiger census is carried out after a gap of every three years by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA). India’s tiger population was 1,411 in 2008. According to the 2011 tiger census report, the tiger population estimated was 1,706. The results included figures from 17 States having tiger population. Karnataka has the highest number of tigers in the age group of 1.5 years and more. The State has 408 tigers in that age group, followed by 340 in Uttarakhand, 308 in Madhya Pradesh, 229 in Tamil Nadu, 190 in Maharashtra, 167 in Assam, 136 in Kerala and 117 in Uttar Pradesh.
Guinness Book of World Records has recognized the achievements made under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana. In its citation, the Guinness Book said: “Most bank accounts opened in one week as part of the Financial Inclusion Campaign is 18,096,130 and was achieved by the Department of Financial Services, Government of India from 23 to 29 August 2014.”
The T-Hub at the International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) at Gachibowli in Hyderabad, will be the largest centre for start-up and entrepreneurship activities in India. The T-Hub is being set up in collaboration with IIIT, Hyderabad, Indian School of Business (ISB) and NALSAR University of Law.
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II is now the world’s oldest monarch following the death of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia on 23 January 2015. Abdullah (90) was two years older than the Queen. She is one of the eight octogenarian monarchs in the world, the others including the King of Thailand and the Emperor of Japan.
USA has agreed to partner with India in developing three smart cities in Allahabad, Ajmer and Visakhapatnam.
National Voters Day is celebrated in India on January 25 every year.
The 66th Republic Day parade saw many firsts. Among them were: 1. All-women contingents of the Army, Navy and Air Force marched through Rajpath for the first; 2. It was the first time that a US President was Chief Guest for the parade; 3. CRPF showed off Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) used in anti-Naxal operations; 4. The long-range advanced MiG-29K fighter jet were on display for the first time.
India’s Team Indus, founded by IIT-Delhi alumnus Rahul Narayan, has won one of the significant intermediate milestone prizes in the Google Lunar XPrize, a global competition to land a robotic spacecraft on the Moon by 31 December 2016. Team Indus won for the lander, regarded as the most complicated piece, which carried the maximum prize money of $1 million.
With an updated base year to 2011-12, as well as a revised methodology for measuring economic growth, the Indian economy is estimated to have grown at a much faster 6.6 per cent in 2013-14, as against the earlier estimate of 4.7 per cent (old series) growth in gross domestic product at market prices. The growth is even sharper at 6.9 per cent in 2013-14. Real GDP or GDP at constant (2011-12) prices stands at ₹92.8 lakh crore and ₹99.2 lakh crore, respectively, for the years 2012-13 and 2013-14, showing growth of 5.1 per cent during 2012-13, and 6.9 per cent during 2013-14. In absolute terms, the size of the economy declined in 2013-14 in the new series to ₹113.5 lakh crore compared to ₹113.6 lakh crore in the old series. This was attributed to a correction through a fresh survey on unorganised trade enterprises. The CSO has also revised the base year for calculation of national accounts to 2011-12 from 2004-05 and has included more datasets, including the database of the MCA 21 for computing private corporate sector data and statistics on financial corporations, pension funds and stock brokers.