1) All-India banks on 2-day strike from Monday: Banking services in the country would be hit from Monday, with staff of both public and private sector banks planning a two-day strike against the proposed banking sector reforms and for immediate revision in wages. Over a million bank employees and officers working in 27 public sector banks, including the State Bank of India, and 12 private and eight foreign banks, will go on a two-day nationwide strike Feb 10-11, the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) Sunday said.
2) IOA elects new body, hopes for Olympic return: The three Indian athletes participating in the ongoing Winter Olympics may get to walk with the Tricolour at the closing ceremony of the Sochi Games. They were forced to march under the International Olympic Committee (IOC) flag during the opening ceremony last Friday due to the suspension of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA). The IOA, after a not so gentle nudge from IOC, elected a new set of office-bearers including a new president on Sunday, a development which could now make the world body lift the ban that has been in force since December 2012.
3) N Ramachandran elected new president of Indian Olympic Association (IOA): As expected, N Ramachandran, chief of the World Squash Federation and brother of BCCI boss N Srinivasan, was elected the new president. Most of the office bearers, including Ramchandran and secretary Rajiv Mehta, were elected unopposed, but polling had to be conducted since nine candidates had filed nominations for eight vice-president posts. Elections were conducted by a three-member election panel, consisting of former judges, and a three-member delegation of the IOC headed by Robin Mitchell. The IOC observers, who would be submitting their report to the IOC in Sochi, did not say when the suspension could be lifted. But Ramachandran said he was expecting the suspension to end very soon.
4) Sushil Koirala set to become next PM of Nepal: Veteran Nepali Congress leader Sushil Koirala is set to become the next prime minister of Nepal with the support of the CPN-UML, ending months of political gridlock following last year’s elections. The Parliament of Nepal will elect Koirala, 75, as prime minister following the Constituent Assembly elections on November 19 that failed to throw up a clear winner.
5) Banking sector may create 20 lakh new jobs in next 5-10 years: Experts: The banking sector may create up to 20 lakh new jobs in the next 5-10 years, helped by issuance of new licences and efforts being made by the RBI and the Government to expand financial services into rural areas, according to experts. Hiring trend may get a further boost from the public sector banks, as many of them would need to hire fresh talent in the wake of nearly half of their workforce scheduled to retire in the next few years.
6) India lost first Test against Newzealand: India conjured up the hopes of a record run chase before a lower middle-order collapse saw the visitors slump to a 40-run defeat against New Zealand in the thrilling first cricket Test and hand over a 1-0 lead to the hosts in the two-match series played in Aucland.
7) Isro arm inks pact for launching satellites from UK, Singapore on-board PSLV: Antrix Corporation Limited, the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organization (Isro), has signed agreements for launching satellites from UK and Singapore on-board Isro’s work-horse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). Isro said that the Corporation signed Launch Services Agreement with DMC International Imaging (DMCii), the wholly-owned subsidiary of Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL), United Kingdom (UK), for launch of three DMC-3 Earth Observation Satellites being built by SSTL, on-board Isro’s PSLV. Antrix also signed another Launch Services Agreement with ST Electronics (Satcom & Sensor Systems) Pte Ltd, Singapore, for launch of TeLEOS-1 Earth Observation Satellite, on-board PSLV. These launches are planned between 2014-end and 2015-end, said Isro.
8) China to compete with Oslo, Krakow in bid to host 2022 Winter Games: Beijing staked its bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, which if selected will earn the Chinese capital the distinction of being the first city to organise both summer and winter versions of the Games. The bid by the 2008 Summer Olympics host was formally announced by Chinese officials at Sochi in Russia, where the Winter Games are currently going on. Beijing, along with Zhangjiakou in north western Hebei province, is vying with several other European cities to host the Winter Games, according to the plan outlined by the officials.
9) US hospital announces first leadless pacemaker implant: An Indian-origin doctor has implanted the first miniature-sized, leadless cardiac pacemaker in the US directly inside a patient’s heart without surgery. The leads-free pacemaker is implanted directly inside the heart during a catheter-guided procedure through the groin via the femoral artery.
10) Narendra Modi’s poll promise: an IIT and IIM in every State: The BJP will set up prestigious institutions such as IITs, IIMs and All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in every State when it comes to power, said Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, the party’s prime ministerial candidate.
11) Medical Prescriptions may soon be in capital letters: Your doctor will soon have to write the prescription in capital letters, if a proposal is approved by the Health Ministry. The Medical Council of India has approved a draft notification which makes it mandatory for doctors to write the prescription in capital letters to avoid illegibility amid complaints that chemists sometimes give wrong medicines because of similar sounding names of drugs. The draft notification will come into effect after its approval by the Health Ministry, official sources said.
12) SBI to hike minimum fee for cash deposits at non-home branches: State Bank of India has decided to hike the minimum charges for cash deposit at non-home branches to Rs. 50 from Rs.10 in a bid to augment fee income. The new charges will come into effect from March 8. A home branch is the branch where a customer has a bank account. All other branches of the bank are non-home branches for the customer. In the personal segment, the maximum amount of cash deposit that SBI customers can currently make at non-home branches is Rs. 25,000 per day.