1) Union Cabinet clears Telangana Bill, Hyderabad to be joint capital: In a special meeting held on Friday, the Union Cabinet cleared the Telangana Bill which will be introduced in Parliament on February 12. The bill will be presented in the Rajya Sabha in the present form and the government will move 32 amendments when it is taken up for consideration. Despite vehement demands the legislation does not provide for grant of Union Territory status to Hyderabad but the government will announce a special package for Rayalaseema and north coastal Andhra to address concerns of the people there.
2) RBI permits 4 non-bank entities to set up white label ATMs: The Reserve Bank on Friday said it has issued ‘certificate of authorisation’ to four non-bank entities, including Tata Communications Payment Solutions and Muthoot Finance, to set up White Label ATMs (WLAs) in the country. The other two non-bank entities to which the Reserve Bank has issued the certificate for setting up and operating the White Label ATMs are Prizm Payment Services and Vakrangee Ltd. While Tata, Muthoot and Prizm have already launched their services, Vakrangee Ltd is likely to commence its service shortly, the central bank said. Most of the ATMs belong to banks, but the cash dispensing machines which are owned and operated by non-banking companies are called White Label ATMs.
3) Maruti stops production of iconic M-800 model: The country’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki has stopped production of its nearly three-decade-old popular car Maruti 800 with effect from January 18, according to a senior company executive. The small car was being sold in non-metros in the last two years. But with the stoppage of production, it will now no longer be available to the public.
4) 15,800 additional MBBS seats to be created in country: Health minister- With the availability of doctors being a dismal 0.5 for every 1,000 persons in the country, the Centre has proposed to create an additional 15,800 MBBS seats, Lok Sabha was informed on Friday.
5) Parliamentary panel recommends increasing retirement age to 65: A parliamentary committee has recommended that retirement age should be increased from 60 years to 65 years, citing the increase in ageing population and their productivity. In its report tabled in Lok Sabha today, the committee also advocated a host of benefits to the geriatric population, including upping their income tax exemption limit and setting up of super-speciality hospitals in all states exclusively for them.
6) Bill for people with disability moved in Rajya Sabha: A bill that increases quota for disabled people in government jobs from 3-5 percent was introduced in the Rajya Sabha Friday. The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2014, was introduced in the upper house by Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Mallikarjun Kharge amid the din.
7) 22nd Sochi Winter Games began in Russia: Olympic athletes were on Friday set to compete for the first medals of the Sochi Winter Games after Russia staged a thrilling opening ceremony aimed at convincing sceptics it was a worthy host. President Vladimir Putin declared open the 22nd Winter Olympics which are inextricably linked with his name, after he championed the idea, bid and sometimes controversial construction race to host the Games in the Black Sea resort. 03 Indian players will be competing under the 'independent athletes' category and will not be able to use the flag of India. Indian athletes will be able to use the Indian flag if the Olympic committee cancels the suspension order given for Indian Olympic Association.
8) Indian-origin hedge fund manager convicted of insider trading: Indian-origin hedge fund portfolio manager Mathew Martoma has been convicted for his role in the $275 million insider trading scheme, the most lucrative in U.S. history, which involved sharing of secret information on testing of a potential breakthrough Alzheimer’s drug.
9) Marco Lambertini appointed as director-general of WWF International: The global conversation organisation, WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) on 6 February 2014 appointed Marco Lambertini as director-general (DG) of the WWF International. His new role as the DG will start on 1 May 2014.
10) Amul wins AIMA brand performance award: All India Management Association (AIMA), the national apex body of management professionals in the country, has conferred the high performance brand award for 2013 on Amul, the milk brand marketed by Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF).
11) Malala nominated for ‘Children’s Nobel Prize’: Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai has been nominated for the World Children’s Prize in Sweden for her crusade for education rights for girls. The 16-year-old, who lives in Britain following extensive medical treatment, was shot by the Taliban in 2012 for her outspoken views supporting education for girls in Pakistan. The World Children’s Prize, also known as the ‘Children’s Nobel Prize’, was founded in 2000 and aims to raise awareness of children’s rights in 60,000 schools in 110 countries through educational programmes.
12) John Thompson appointed Chairman of Microsoft: John Thompson was appointed as the Chairman of Microsoft on 5 February 2014 by the Board of Directors at a meeting held in Washington, US. He succeeded Bill Gates who assumed the role of Technology Advisor to the CEO of Microsoft. He was also the former chairman and CEO of Symantec Corp.
13) Agni-5 to be ready for induction in armed forces by next year: The Agni-5 intercontinental ballistic missile, which has a strike range of more than 5,500 km, is expected to be ready for induction into the armed forces by next year after completion of development trials, DRDO chief Avinash Chander said.