1) Election Commission aborts tie-up with Google over security concerns: Election Commission of India (ECI) on Thursday said it has decided not to pursue a voter facilitation service proposed by Google for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Google had made a presentation to the Commission, proposing to make available free online voter registration besides making available details of voter card numbers and polling station location. The proposal from Google had drawn criticism from some cyber experts who said that the project could be a potential security concern in the light of recent expose of how US Government was secretly accessing user information using platforms such as Google and Facebook.
2) President of South Korea, Park Geun-hye to visit India: President of South Korea, Park Geun-hye, will pay a state visit from January 15-18, the Ministry of External Affairs announced on Thursday. During the visit, the visiting dignitary will hold delegation level talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and discuss bilateral, regional and global issues, the statement adds.
3) India ranks near bottom of nuclear material security index: India has been ranked below its two nuclear-armed neighbours – Pakistan and China – in the list of countries with a weak nuclear material security in the world, according to a US-based think-tank. In the 2014 Nuclear Threat Initiative’s Nuclear Materials Security Index released yesterday, India has been ranked 23rd out of 25 countries with weapons-usable nuclear materials.
4) Income Tax dept withdraws tax exemption to four cricket associations: Tax authorities on Thursday withdrew exemptions granted to four regional cricket associations–Saurashtra, Baroda, Kerala and Maharashtra. The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), which is looking into the affairs of these associations, found that they were engaged in certain activities considered commercial in nature in view of the amended provisions of the Income-Tax Act, 1961.
5) Yeddyurappa formally rejoined BJP: B S Yeddyurappa, whose tenure as Chief Minister was marked by charges of corruption and nepotism, rejoined BJP merging his Karnataka Janata Paksha with it, a year after his exit from the parent party. It was a low profile homecoming for Yeddyurappa at a function at the BJP state headquarters, as the party seeks to revive its fortunes in Lok Sabha polls with his pan state image combined with his appeal as Lingayat strongman.
6) Mallika Sarabhai joined AAP: Danseuse, actor and social activist Mallika Sarabhai, daughter of scientist Vikram Sarabhai and classical dance exponent Mrinalini Sarabhai, joined Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) , calling herself its “foot soldier.”
7) Intellectual Property Summit begins on Jan 10: Seventh annual Intellectual Property Summit 2014 will commence in Ahemadabad on Friday and will promote the concept of intellectual property right (IPR) as a means to protect brands.
8) World Bank to sanction $250 mn loan to rebuild Uttarakhand: Multi-lateral funding agency World Bank will provide $250 million loan to construct disaster resilient houses and roads in disaster-hit Uttarakhand.
9) Former Mumbai cricketer Vishwanath Bondre passed away: Former Mumbai Ranji Trophy cricketer Vishwanath Ramachandra Bondre died last night. He was 77.
10) Facebook buys Little Eye Labs: Facebook has acquired Bangalore-based start-up Little Eye Labs. The deal, which marks Facebook’s first acquisition in India, could further boost the nation’s start-up ecosystem. Little Eye Labs, headed by Subbu Subramanian, builds mobile app analysis tools for app developers and testers.
11) Delhi Govt launches anti-corruption helpline no. 011-27357169- The Delhi Government has launched an anti corruption helpline to deal with complaints of graft-related cases in the national capital.
12) RBI relaxes gold loan norms: The Reserve Bank of India has allowed Non-Banking Financial Companies, NBFCs to lend up to 75 per cent of the value of gold. It was 60 per cent earlier.
13) International space station operations extended to 2024: NASA- NASA announced today that the Obama administration has approved NASA’s request for an extension of operations for the International Space Station for an additional four years to 2024.
14) Dhoni, Dhawan, Kohli nominated for ESPNCricinfo Awards
15) Senior TV journalist 'joins' Aam Aadmi Party: Ashutosh, managing editor of Hindi news channel IBN7 joinined Arvind Kejriwal led Aam Aadmi Party.
16) RCB retain Kohli, Gayle and AB de Villiers for IPL 7: Ahead of the players' retention deadline for the forthcoming Indian Premier League, Royal Challengers Bangalore on Thursday announced that Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers.