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National

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Narendra Modi takes oath as Gujarat CM for 4th time Narendra Modi, who led the BJP to an emphatic victory in the assembly elections, was sworn in as Gujarat Chief Minister for the fourth time. He was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor Kamla Beniwal at Sardar Patel Stadium. Modi, who became Chief Minister for the first time in 2001 and again in 2002 and 2007, was sworn in along with seven ministers of Cabinet rank and nine Ministers of State. Rajesh Khanna shortlisted for Padma Vibhushan A high-level committee met to shortlist names for the Padma awards amid indications that the late Rajesh Khanna, director of 'Sholay' fame Ramesh Sippy and singer Kailash Kher may be honoured with the prestigious awards on the eve of the 2013 Republic Day. While the name of Khanna, who passed away on July 18, has been shortlisted for the Padma Vibhushan (the highest category among the Padma awards), Sippy and Kher have been recommended for Padma Shri. The committee, which included cabinet secretary Ajit Seth, principal secretary to the PM Pulok Chatterjee, home secretary R K Singh, actor Ratna Pathak Shah and scientist Anil Kakodkar, shortlisted these names. The names of awardees will be declared on January 25 after the approval of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Names of Khanna, Sippy and Kher were recommended by the ministry of information and broadcasting. Commission to suggest steps to make Delhi safe for women Union Cabinet has set up a Commission of Inquiry to identify lapses and fix responsibility for the incident. The Commission, to be headed by the former Delhi High Court judge, Justice Usha Mehra, will also suggest measures to make Delhi and the National Capital Region safer for women. It has been asked to submit a report within three months. The report will be tabled in Parliament, along with details of the action taken by the government. The Justice Mehra Commission will be in addition to a three-member panel headed by the former Chief Justice of India, J.S. Verma. The committee will suggest changes in law to provide for quicker trial and stringent punishment in “aggravated sexual assault” cases amid demands for death penalty. Andhra announces rewards up to Rs 25 lakh to encourage Maoists to surrender The Andhra Pradesh government has announced cash rewards ranging from Rs one to 25 lakh to encourage Maoists cadres in the state to surrender. This is the highest amount that a Maoist-affected state has offered so far in this regard. As per a recent state government order, each central committee leader or politburo member, who surrenders, would be eligible for a onetime package of Rs 25 lakh, against Rs 12 lakh earlier in addition to a bonus for depositing weapons. The reward for state committee members, who give up arms, will now be Rs 20 lakh, against Rs 10 lakh earlier. Divisional or district committee members would get Rs 5 and 4 lakh. Commander rank leaders would get Rs 4 lakh to surrender, their deputies Rs 2 lakh. A dalam member would get Rs 1 lakh, up from Rs 20,000 earlier. Haryana farmers on educational tour Over 400 farmers from different parts of Haryana embarked on a first-of-its-kind country-wide tour on board a special train, “Haryana Mandi Kisan-Bharat Darshan”, the educational tour was planned for the benefit of the progressive farmers to provide them an opportunity to interact with farmers across the country. The 12-day tour would also provide them an opportunity to make contacts in the markets outside Haryana to sell their produce and fetch a better price. The train would first halt at Jaipur and reach Nasik on January 4 passing through Ujjain, Dwarka and Aurangabad. On its return journey, the train would pass through Rewari, Delhi Cantonment and Ambala to reach Chandigarh on January 6. K-15 all set to join Arihant The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has successfully launched the underwater missile K-15 off the Visakhapatnam coast. The missile darted 20 km into the air, after a gas generator ejected it from the pontoon that lay submerged a few scores of metres in the Bay of Bengal, and sped 650 km before splashing into the sea in its 11th flight trial. After one more flight, the two-stage missile will be integrated with Arihant, India’s nuclear-powered submarine, and test-fired from the ship. India is the fifth country to have an underwater launch system. The other countries are the U.S., Russia, France and China.

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Ex Army Chief V K Singh stripped of Z 'Plus' security cover Government has decided to withdraw all security cover provided to former Army Chief Gen V K Singh. The former Army Chief was provided Z 'Plus' security cover till November 30, the Ministry of Home Affairs took a decision that he does not require any protection. After the decision was conveyed to the Army Headquarters, it is in the process of withdrawing all vehicles including a bullet-proof car and around 30-35 personnel from his security. Seven vehicles and 30-35 personnel were deployed in his security duties round the clock. Pharma authority to keep patients posted about cheaper drugs The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) will be soon providing a 24x7 SMS-based patient awareness facility to help consumers know the cheaper alternatives of medicines available in the country. Once the tenders are finalised and all go as per plan, the SMS service is expected to be launched within next six months wherein the consumers from across the country will be able to know the latest market price of generic/branded medicines through mobile phone. The cheaper alternatives of minimum two allopathic medicines with generic and brand name within 160 characters which are available and sold in the market in various parts of the country will be provided through the SMS service.

International:
Morsy signs new constitution into law Egypt’s controversial new constitution has been signed into law by President Mohamed Morsy, a day after he announced it had been approved by a large majority in a referendum that his opponents claim was marked by widespread irregularities. Results of the two-part referendum, announced, showed that an overwhelming 63.8 per cent of Egyptians had approved the text, paving the way for parliamentary elections in about two months. The result is the Islamists’ third straight electoral victory since the former autocratic leader Hosni Mubarak was toppled in 2011. The referendum passed, however, on a low turnout of 32.9 per cent of Egypt’s 52 million eligible voters. Judaean temple artefacts found Israeli archaeologists have uncovered a rare temple and religious figurines dating back to the Judaean period nearly 3,000 years ago, said Israel’s Antiquities Authority. The discoveries were made at Tel Motza, outside Jerusalem, during archaeological work taking place ahead of new highway construction in the area. The findings date to the 9th-10th century BC, when the First Temple would have already been built in its Jerusalem location. The Jews of that era seemed to have kept some of the prevalent pre-Judaism practices alongside the mainstream worship in the Jerusalem temple. The items discovered, near an altar of a temple, include ritual pottery vessels, fragments of chalices and figurines of animals. Russia to re-launch railroad based ICBMs Russia will restart production of railway-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), with prototypes to be deployed by 2020. The Soviet military deployed its first missile train in 1987, and had 12 of them by 1991. But by 2005 they had all been destroyed under the START II with the U.S. The treaty’s 2010 replacement, New START, does not prohibit the development of railway-based ICBMs. The railway-based system involved SS-24 Scalpel missiles that weighed 104 tonnes, required three locomotives to move, and were so heavy that they damaged railroad tracks. Some duties to VP Nicolas Maduro Ailing Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who is still in Cuba recovering from his latest cancer surgery, has delegated several economic duties to his vice president Nicolas Maduro. According to a decree signed by Chavez and published in the country's government gazette, Maduro is now responsible for making certain decisions related to the national budget and expropriations. Chavez, 58, has been in power since 1999. He won another six-year term in October's 2012 presidential election, and is scheduled to be sworn in on January 10, but his health has raised concerns over the future of his leftist movement.

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Business & Economy:
8 Indians among world’s best CEOs Eight Indian CEOs have made it to Harvard Business Review’s (HBR) list of 100 best performing global chief executives headed for the last 17 years by Apple’s late co-founder and CEO, Steve Jobs. ITC chairman YC Deveshwar, ranked seventh overall (Rank 7), was first among the Indian CEOs. Under his leadership, ITC saw its value increase by $45 billion. He was followed by former ONGC’s late chairman and managing director Subir Raha (Rank 13). During Raha’s May 2001-2006 tenure, ONGC’s market capitalisation increased more than 10 times. Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani (Rank 28), was ranked third among Indians. Under his leadership, Reliance Industries has grown to become India’s second-largest Indian company by turnover. 2% interest subsidy for exports extended for one more year Central Government has announced a slew of incentives to reverse the decline in exports, which will fall short of the $360 billion target set for the current fiscal. The 2 per cent interest subsidy scheme, which was to end on March 2013, has been extended for one more year. As part of the incentive package, the government announced the introduction of a pilot scheme of 2 per cent interest subvention for project exports through EXIM Bank for countries of SAARC region, Africa and Myanmar. The objective of the scheme is to boost exports to these countries by providing long-term concessional credit through EXIM Bank as co-financing in infrastructure sectors such as housing, irrigation, road projects and renewable energy. Mahan-1 unit of Essar Power goes on stream Essar Power, a subsidiary of Essar Energy, has announced the commissioning of the 600 MW Unit-1 of its 1,200MW Mahan-I power project. The unit has been synchronized with the transmission grid, and has commenced generating power. Mahan-I in Madhya Pradesh is Essar Power’s eighth operational power plant. With the commissioning of this unit, the company’s total generation capacity has gone up to 3,910 MW. The plant is using a combination of imported coal and coal sourced from Coal India’s e-auction process. Wheat support price fixed at Rs. 1,350 per quintal the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Wednesday approved a hike of Rs. 65 per quintal in the minimum support price (MSP) of wheat and allowed an additional 2.5 million tonnes of wheat export from its godowns to liquidate stocks. Wheat MSP will now be Rs. 1,350 per quintal. The Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) had earlier recommended a freeze on wheat MSP. CCEA nod for 12.5% stake sale in RCF The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) gave its nod for sell-off of 12.5 per cent of the Centre’s equity stake in Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilisers Ltd (RCF). At present, the government’s shareholding in the listed ‘Mini-Ratna’ public sector undertaking under the administrative control of the Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilisers stands at 92.5 per cent. The paid-up equity capital of the company is Rs.551.69 crore. IIFCL gets fresh line of credit from ADB India Infrastructure Finance Company Limited (IIFCL) has negotiated a second line of credit of $1.2 billion from Asian Development Bank (ADB) for spending in various sectors, chairman and managing director of the state-owned company S. K. Goel said. IIFCL had earlier secured an RBI line of credit from the foreign exchange reserves of $5 billion out of which $1 billion had been already consumed.

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Govt approves 12 FDI proposals worth over Rs. 802 cr Government said it has approved 12 foreign direct investment (FDI) proposals, including that of Ratnakar Bank, totalling over Rs802 crore. The Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) headed by Economic Affairs Secretary Arvind Mayaram, however, rejected Mahindra and Mahindra's proposal to form a defence joint venture with Israel's Rafael Advanced Defence System.

Sport:
Rafael pulls out of Abu Dhabi Rafael Nadal announced that doctors have ordered him to pull out of what was to have been his first comeback tournament after a seven-month hiatus nursing a knee injury. The 11-time Grand Slam winner and former top-ranked player said his knee has improved after making frustratingly little progress during the summer. The tournament in Abu Dhabi would have been Nadal’s first competitive action since being sidelined with tendinitis in his left knee following a second-round loss to then 100th-ranked Lukas Rosol at Wimbledon.

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