1) Send an SMS and become AAP member: Eyeing the Lok Sabha polls later this year, the Arvind Kejriwal led-Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Friday launched a country wide drive to enrol one crore members by January 26. Announcing the ‘Main Bhi Aam Aadmi’ campaign at a press conference here, Delhi Chief Minister and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal said people aspiring to join the AAP across the country could SMS on a toll-free number – 0779822033 – or give a missed call. “The membership number will be sent via SMS,” he said. He clarified that one mobile number would record only one membership.
2) Devyani Khobragade left US after indictment in visa fraud case: Senior Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade was on Friday indicted for visa fraud and making false statements by a grand jury which held that the charges against her will remain even as she headed back to India after being accorded full diplomatic immunity. The charges against 39-year-old Khobragade will remain and she will have to face trial, if she returns to the US without diplomatic immunity, US Attorney Preet Bharara said in a letter to District Judge Shira Scheindlin.
3) India to launch Chandrayaan-II by 2017: India will launch the second ambitious mission to land a rover in the next two to three years. The Chandrayaan-II will have indigenously developed rover and a lander using the Geo-Synchronous Launch Vehicle (GSLV). “Chandrayaan-II is a mission where we essentially need to move on (lunar) surface to conduct experiments. We will launch Chandrayaan-II with an indigenous rover and lander using GSLV by 2016 or 2017,” Space Secretary K. Radhakrishnan said at a press conference. Chandrayaan-I, India’s first mission to Moon, was launched successfully on October 22, 2008 from Sriharikota.
4) LIC launches new Jeevan Anand plan: LIC has re-launched its “Jeevan Anand” plan, a participating non-linked plan which offers an attractive combination of protection and savings. This product provides financial protection against death throughout the lifetime of the policyholder with a special feature wherein it offers cover for whole life even after payment of maturity amount. The policy can be taken from age 18 years to 50 years with age of policyholder on policy maturity age not exceeding 75 years. The policyholder can choose policy term from minimum 15 years to maximum of 35 years. The minimum sum assured is Rs 1 lakh and in multiples of Rs 5,000.
5) Ela Gandhi, Ramakrishna Mission get Pravasi Bharatiya award: Mahatma Gandhi's grand-daughter Ela Gandhi, Australian senator of Indian origin Lisa Maria Singh and Ramkrishna Mission in Fiji were among the 13 recipients of Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award conferred in New Delhi on Thursday. Ela Gandhi has been awarded the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman for public service, enhancing India's image and promoting ties between India and South Africa. President Pranab Mukherjee conferred the awards to the winners at the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas programme in New Delhi.
6) Hero Hockey World League Final: India lose 0-2 against England in campaign opener: India dished out a pathetic performance to go down 0-2 to higher-ranked England and start their campaign on a losing note at the Hero Hockey World League Final, in New Delhi on Friday. The Indians looked horribly out of sorts as England rode on two goals from Adam Dixon (28th, 45th minute) to pocket full three points from their opening Pool A encounter at the floodlit Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium. Chief coach Terry Walsh could not have imagined such a horrible performance from his wards in his first international match with the Indian team.
7) Tsvetana Pironkova stuns Angelique Kerber in Sydney for first title: Bulgarian qualifier Tsvetana Pironkova beat fifth seed Angelique Kerber of Germany 6-4, 6-4 on Friday to claim her first WTA career title, at the Sydney International.
8) Mumbai Indians retain Rohit Sharma, Lasith Malinga and Harbhajan Singh: Defending champions Mumbai Indians Friday decided to retain skipper Rohit Sharma, Harbhajan Singh and Ambati Rayudu, Sri Lankan fast bowler Lasith Malinga and West Indies all-rounder Kieron Pollard in accordace with the Indian Premier League (IPL)'s new retention rules for the season 2014.
9) Prime Minister inaugurates new Terminal 2 at Mumbai airport: Prime Minister Manmohan Singhon on Friday inaugurated the state-of-the-art Terminal 2 or T2 at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai.
10) Govt may raise LPG cap to 12 a yr: Under pressure from partymen, oil minister M Veerappa Moily on Friday said the government would "seriously" consider raising the cap on subsidized cooking gas cylinders to 12 a year from nine at present.
11) South Korean President visiting India from 15th January: South Korean President Park Geun-hye will pay a four-day state visit to India beginning on January 15 at the invitation of her Indian counterparty Pranab Mukherjee.
12) Second unit of Kudankulam Plant to start commercial operation from September: Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) V Narayanasamy on Friday said the second unit of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) will start commercial operation from September this year.
13) CBSE planning to introduce open-book board examination: Central Board of Secondary Education is now planning to bring in open-book tests criterion for Class 10 and Class 12 board students. Open Text Based Assessment criterion has already been introduced for students appearing in Class 9 and Class 11 examinations this academic year.
14) 18th National Youth Festival to begin on 12th January: The 18th National Youth Festival will be held in Ludhiana from January 12 to 16. The festival is held to mark the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda on January 12, which is observed as the National Youth Day.
15) Kolkata Knight Riders retain Gambhir, Sunil Narine: The Shah Rukh Khan co-owned Kolkata Knight Riders have retained their captain Gautam Gambhir and mystery spinner Sunil Narine for the seventh edition of Indian Premier League.