Population growth: On New Year’s day, January 1, an estimated 67,385 babies were born in India — 17% of the estimated 392,078 babies born in the world that day, according to Unicef. India and seven other countries accounted for at least half of total global births. The other countries are: China (46,299), Nigeria (26,039), Pakistan (6,787), Indonesia (13,020), the United States (10,452), Democratic Republic of Congo (10,247) and Ethiopia (8,493). The United Nations (UN) World Population report released in June last year says India is projected to overtake China as the world’s most populous country this decade — by 2027.
Railway fare hike: The ministry of railways has decided to revise the basic passenger fare by 1 paisa per km for ordinary non-AC trains, by 2 paise per km for mail and express trains (non-AC coach) and by 4 paise per km for travel in AC classes. A passenger will have to pay the hiked fare on trains such as Rajdhani Express, Shatabdi Express, Duronto, Vande Bharat, Humsafar Express, Mahamana, Antyodaya Express, Garib Rath, Rajya Rani, Jan Shatabdi, Suvidha, Yuva and special trains.
Modi Ubacha: The creation of the Department of Military Affairs and institutionalisation of the post of Chief of Defence Staff are momentous reforms, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday. ‘Creation of the Department of Military Affairs with requisite military expertise and institutionalisation of the post of CDS is a momentous and comprehensive reform that will help our country face the ever-changing challenges of modern warfare,’ the prime minister tweeted.
General MM Naravane: The new army chief General MM Naravane on Wednesday said that India needs to pay more attention to its border along China and asserted that the force is capable of dealing with any security challenge. “We have been giving attention to our western front in the past. The northern front now also requires an equal amount of attention… The army is capable of tackling any dangers to the country,” General Naravane told reporters after receiving the first Guard of Honour as the army chief.
ISRO: The Indian Space Research Organisation on Wednesday said the training of astronauts for the ambitious manned mission ‘Gaganyaan’ will commence from the third week of January in Russia. Four astronauts have been identified for the mission, ISRO chief K Sivan said adding the training of astronauts will start from third week of this month in Russia.
CBSE Rule: The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) in its latest notice has directed schools to calculate attendance of students set to appear for class 10 and class 12 board exams this year as on January 1, 2020. Students whose attendance will be calculated less than 75 per cent will not be allowed to appear for the exams, as per the rule. The CBSE Board exams will begin from February 15 and admit cards will be released only for students who are eligible by all means including that of mandatory attendance.
Inner line permit: Manipur has started issuing Inner Line Permit (ILP) system to non-indigenous population entering the state on Wednesday. The ILP system came into force after the regulation guidelines were officially published in the gazette of Manipur on Tuesday.
Pope slapped woman: An image of Pope Francis slapping his way free from the clutches of an admirer late Tuesday had social media abuzz with comments on the pontiff’s prompt riposte. The 83-year-old head of the Catholic church grimaced before managing to break free by slapping the woman’s hand twice. Pope Francis confessed Wednesday he had “lost patience” with an exuberant admirer who had grabbed his hand on Saint Peter’s Square, prompting a swift pair of slaps. “We lose patience many times. It happens to me too. I apologise for the bad example given yesterday,” the head of the Catholic church said before celebrating Mass at the Vatican.
Bagdad: The US flew a rapid response team of Marines into Baghdad to reinforce its embassy on Tuesday after a mob of pro-Iranian demonstrators stormed the compound, setting fires and chanting “Death to America!” US President Donald Trump blamed Tehran and warned that it would face punishment if Americans are killed.
Pakistan: The Pakistan government in an emergency meeting on Wednesday approved amendments to the Army Act, nearly four weeks after it assured the Supreme Court of passing a legislation on the extension and reappointment of an Army chief within six months. The amendments, passed unanimously, were made to the clauses related to the army chief’s tenure and extension.
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GAS: The GST revenue collection remained above the Rs 1 trillion mark with December mop-up at Rs 1.03 trillion indicating a pick-up in consumption. GST collection in November stood at Rs 1,03,492 crore. Before that it was in July when the mop-up crossed the Rs 1 trillion mark at Rs 1.02 trillion. The GST collection stood at Rs 94,726 crore in December 2018, as per an official statement.
FDI flow: Foreign direct investment into India grew 15 per cent to $26 billion during the first half of the current financial year, according to government data.Inflow of foreign direct investment (FDI) during April-September of 2018-19 stood at $22.66 billion.Sectors, which attracted maximum foreign inflows during April-September 2019-20, include services ($4.45 billion), computer software and hardware ($4 billion), telecommunications ($4.28 billion), automobile ($2.13 billion) and trading ($2.14 billion), the commerce and industry ministry data showed.