Jan 16: Pakistan was ranked 52nd, ahead from India (60th), among 79 developing economies in the Inclusive Development Index (IDI) 2017, by World Economic Forum.
Top 10 developing economies: Lithuania, Azerbaijan, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Uruguay, Latvia, Panama, Costa Rica and Chile.
Top 10 advance economies: Norway, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Iceland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand and Austria.
Jan 17: Two-time Oscar award winner Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy became the first ever artiste to co-chair the WEF.
Jan 16: Pakistan was ranked 111th in the 2017 Global Talent Competitiveness Index out of 118 countries.
The theme of this year’s edition of the GTCI was “Talent and Technology: Shaping the Future of Work”
Top 10 Countries
Jan 17: The Senate passed the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Bill, 2016.
What is a Benami Transaction?
Benami literally means ‘without name’ and in the context of property, it means use and benefit by a person other than the person who is shown as the owner. In such a transaction or arrangement, a property is transferred to or held by one person, while the consideration for such property is provided or paid by another person and property is held for the immediate or future benefit, direct or indirect, of the person providing the consideration.
Jan 17: Pakistani passport was ranked the second worst, just above Afghanistan, in the latest passport Index.
- Pakistan ranks 198 of a total 199 countries on the list with a score of 26 points.
- Pakistanis enjoy visa-free access to only six countries.
- The list of countries for which Pakistani passport holders need a visa to travel also includes Afghanistan.
- Just above Pakistan is Iraq with visa-free access to 28 countries, while Syria, currently a war-zone, ranks 92.
- Despite the Israel-Palestinian conflict, Palestine sits seven spots above Pakistan.
- Pakistan ranked 4th most unsafe country in the world.
Jan 18: The World Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) signed loan and grant agreements worth $720 million with the government for the fifth extension project of the Tarbela dam and governance policy programme for Balochistan.
Jan 18: Dr Muhammad Irshad was appointed the new chairman of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).
Jan 19: Babar Azam became the first Pakistani to join the list of joint-fastest player in history to score 1,000 career runs in ODI cricket.
Other Members of the Club
Sir Viv Richards (West Indies), Kevin Pietersen (England), Jonathan Trott (England) and Quinton de Kock (S. Africa).
Jan 19: Masood Karim Shaikh was appointed the Acting President of the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP).
Jan 20: The PTI government in KP made compulsory the imparting of Quranic education with translation to Muslim students from class I-XII in all schools throughout the province from this year’s new academic session.
Jan 22: Australia beat Pakistan in the fourth ODI to clinch victory in the series.
Jan 24: Prime Minister inaugurated the metro bus project – the 18.5km-long project that was completed at a cost of Rs28.88 billion – in Multan.
Jan 24: Pakistan successfully tested a nuclear capable, medium range, surface-to-surface ballistic missile Ababeel, having a maximum range of 2,200 kilometres. It is equipped with ‘multiple independently targeted reentry vehicles’ (MIRVs).
Jan 25: The Sindh Assembly passed the Sindh Prohibition of Employment of Children Bill, 2017.
About the Bill
- Under the Bill, employment of children below the age of 14 has been banned.
- Child labour has been made an offence punishable with up to 6 months’ imprisonment and a fine up to Rs50,000.
- If a child is employed for a hazardous job, the prison term may be extended up to 3 years with Rs100,000 fine.
- No establishment or factory could employ a child less than 14. They had to meet strict conditions before employing a child between 14 and 18.
Jan 25: Noted film director Pervaiz Rana died. He was 66.
About Pervaiz Rana
- Pervaiz Rana was considered one of the finest film directors of the country, especially the Punjabi flicks.
- He directed more than 200 films including Chiragh Bahadur, Kalu Shah Puriya, Ghunda Tax, Shagna di Mehndi, Naagan, Naseebo, Toofan and Godfather.
- Of late, he was working on a movie ‘Dushman Rani’.
- He won wide recognition for his work and was always appreciative of young talent in the film industry.
First power project will be completed by August 2019 and the second will come online by December 2019.
Jan 25: With a score of 32, Pakistan was ranked 116th on the Corruption Perception Index 2016 issued by the Transparency International. Pakistan fared better than most of its South Asian counterparts, playing second fiddle only to China in terms of reduction in corruption.
Jan 25: The Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC) approved PhD Scholarship Programme under US-Pakistan Knowledge Corridor (Phase-1) at a rationalised cost of Rs18.81 billion including foreign exchange component of Rs17.714 billion.
Jan 26: The KSE-100 index crossed the psychological barrier of 50,000 points for the very first time.
Jan 27: Peshawar routed Karachi Whites to clinch the National One-day Cup for Regions.
Jan 27: COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa approved deployment of up to 200,000 troops for the sixth population census.
Jan 28: Pakistan’s first mobile TV app ‘Tapmad TV’ was launched.
Jan 31: In order to promote culture and arts in the province, Balochistan’s Minister for Sports and Culture inaugurated the largest auditorium of the region.
Jan 31: Palestinian president Mehmoud Abbas reached Pakistan on a three-day visit to Pakistan. This was President Abbas’s third trip to Pakistan, after his earlier visits in 2005 and 2013.
Feb 01: After the Senate passed it on Jan 17, the National Assembly (NA) also passed the ‘Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Bill, 2017.
Feb 01: The National Assembly passed the National Commission for Rights of Children Bill 2016.
Feb 02: Mohammad Zubair was sworn in as the 32nd governor of Sindh.
About Muhammad Zubair
- Zubair holds a master’s degree in business administration from Karachi’s Institute of Business Administration.
- He was elected to the Board of Directors of IBA Karachi in 1980 as a student representative and also taught Financial Management from 1981-1986.
- Zubair was employed by IBM where he held various positions for the duration of his 26-year career (1981-2007) as the chief financial officer for Middle East / Africa Region.
- Zubair was chairman of the Board of Investment from July to December 2013.
- From 2012-13, he was a part of the PML-N’s Economic, Tax Reforms and Media Committees.
- He was appointed the chairman of the Privatisation Commission in 2013.
- Zubair is the brother of PTI leader Asad Umar.
Feb 02: Former judge of the Lahore High Court and former secretary general of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Barrister Malik Saeed Hassan passed away. He was 86.
Feb 02: Baba Ladla, another infamous character of Lyari Gang War, was killed in an operation by the Rangers.
Feb 02: The Sindh government removed from their posts three advisers and eight special assistants to CM Sindh following a ruling of the Sindh High Court.
Feb 03: The National Assembly passed the Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) Bill-2016, giving legal and constitutional cover to the centuries-old jirga and panchayat systems in the country.
Feb 03: The government appointed Tariq Bajwa as Secretary Finance.
Feb 04: Famous novelist, playwright and short story writer Bano Qudsia passed away at the age of 88.
Feb 06: Mobilink officially confirmed giving up of its brand name. It will now be called Jazz after its merger with Warid in late 2015.
Feb 06: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif inaugurated the upgrading of brass mill at the Pakistan Ordnance Factory (POF), the largest of its kind in South Asia.
Feb 06: The government entered into a 10-year contract with China’s Northern Power Generation Company Limited and Hydro Electric Power System Engineering Company for operation and maintenance of the Nandipur power project.
Feb 07: The government extended the Afghan refugees’ period of stay from March 31 to Dec 31.
Feb 07: Secretary Auqaf Punjab Nawazish Ali died at 65.
Feb 07: The Board of Investment (BoI) established a CPEC-SEZ Cell to help stakeholders on matters relating to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and Special Economic Zones (SEZ).
Feb 08: Malik Amin Aslam Khan, former minister of state for environment, was elected as the vice president of the 36-member global council of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) for the period 2017-20.
Feb 08: Sana Mir became the first Pakistani woman cricketer, and the 15th in the world, to reach the milestone of 100 ODI wickets.
Feb 08: Pakistan blind cricket team piled up a record stack of 373 runs on score card against West Indies.
Feb 10: Former governor State Bank of Pakistan Kassim Parekh passed away at the age of 86.
Feb 10: The Punjab government stopped collection of the income-based component of agriculture tax through an executive order.
In 2013, the FBR introduced an amendment in Section 111 of the Income Tax Ordinance 2001. The amendment was aimed at cracking down on those who evade income tax by hiding behind agriculture income.
Under the Constitution of Pakistan, income from agriculture is a provincial subject – a lacuna that almost every influential landlord and industrialist exploits to evade taxes by claiming income from the land.
According to the 2013 amendment, money or valuable article owned or funds from which the expenditure was made, by way of agricultural income, such explanation shall be accepted to the extent of agricultural income worked back on the basis of agricultural income tax paid under the relevant provincial law.
Feb 10: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) provisionally suspended Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif under its Anti-Corruption Code.
Feb 10: The multinational ‘Aman-17’ naval exercise kicked off in Karachi with 37 countries taking part in the event.
Feb 10: Gilgit-Baltistan Governor Mir Ghazanfar Ali Khan promulgated an ordinance, declaring Levies a regular force in the region.
Feb 11: Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani announced a boycott of the UN-sponsored International Parliamentary Union (IPU) that was scheduled to be held in New York at the UN headquarters on Feb 13-14, after the US denied visa to Deputy Chairman Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri.
Feb 11: Pakistan ranked 44th among 45 nations in 2017 International Intellectual Property Index (IIPI).
Feb 12: Dr Hamida Khuhro, an eminent scholar, a historian and a politician, passed away at the age of 81.
Feb 12: Roni Patel won the 11th Cholistan Desert Jeep Rally by crossing the line in two hours and 52 seconds.
Feb 12: Umar Akmal topped the list of batsmen with most ducks in T20 matches during a PSL tie.
Feb 14: A suicide blast claimed by a Taliban faction ripped through the camp of protesting chemists in front of the Punjab Assembly, leaving 13 people dead and 70 others wounded. Lahore Traffic DIG retired Captain Syed Ahmad Mobin, SSP Zahid Gondal (acting DIG operations) and four other personnel were killed along with seven civilians.
Feb 14: Senior diplomat Tehmina Janjua became the first woman to have been appointed foreign secretary.
Feb 14: The federal government re-appointed Saeed Ahmad deputy governor of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) for a period of two years effective from Jan 21.
Feb 14: The Lahore High Court directed the Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) to conduct Central Superior Services (CSS) examination in the Urdu language next year.
Feb 14: The government appointed Dr Irshad Ahmad as secretary of the Revenue Division and chairman of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).
Feb 15: The government appointed seasoned diplomat Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry as Pakistan’s new ambassador to the United States.
Feb 15: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif appointed Arshad Khan Jadoon as the chairman of the Implementation Tribunal for Newspapers Employees (ITNE).
Jan 16: A US company SpaceX launched constellation of 10 satellites into orbit on board of its two-stage Falcon 9 Rocket.
- SpaceX (Space Exploration Technologies Corp.) is aerospace manufacturer & space transport services company.
- It is headquartered in Hawthorne, California.
- It was founded in 2002 by Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors and former PayPal entrepreneur.
- It was established with the goal of creating the technologies to reduce space transportation costs and enable the colonization of Mars.
- SpaceX has developed the Falcon 1 (world’s first privately funded, liquid-propellant rocket to reach orbit – in 2008) and Falcon 9 launch vehicles, both designed to be reusable.
- It also has developed Dragon spacecraft to supply cargo to the International Space Station (ISS).
- It is the first private company to send a spacecraft (Dragon) to the ISS, in 2012.
Jan 18: World temperatures hit a record high for the third year in a row last year, creeping closer to a ceiling set for global warming with extremes including unprecedented heat in India and ice melt in the Arctic, US government agencies reported.
- Average surface temperatures over land and the oceans were 0.94 degrees Celsius above the 20th-century average of 13.9 degree Celsius last year.
- Temperatures, lifted both by man-made greenhouse gases and a natural El Niño event that released heat from the Pacific Ocean last year, beat the previous record in 2015, when 200 nations agreed a plan to limit global warming.
- Among last year’s extreme weather events, wildfires in Alberta were the costliest natural disaster in Canada’s history while Phalodi, in western India, recorded a temperature of 51oC on May 19, a national record.
- North America also had its warmest year on record, the Great Barrier Reef off Australia suffered severe damage from rising temperatures, and sea ice in both the Arctic Ocean and around Antarctica is at record lows for mid-January.
Jan 18: After an 18-day, 12,000-kilometre intercontinental journey, the first freight train from China arrived in Britain.
About the Train
- The yellow and red locomotive bearing a Deutsche Bahn logo arrived at Barking, in east London.
- The train was filled with clothes and other retail goods in 24 containers.
- The train left on January 1 from the industrial city of Jiwu, crossing Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, Belgium and France before entering Britain through the Channel Tunnel.
- London is the 15th city to be linked to a new freight network offered by the state-run China Railway Corporation, which is “cheaper than air transport, and quicker than shipping”.
Jan 18: Rachael Heyhoe Flint, who captained England against Australia in the first women’s cricket match played at Lord’s in 1976, died at the age of 77.
Jan 18: Costa Rica’s Sporting Lisbon forward Bryan Ruiz was named CONCACAF’s 2016 player of the year with United States striker Alex Morgan winning the women’s award.
Jan 20: Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States, succeeding Barack Obama.
Jan 20: Physicists from Austria created new form of hydrogen i.e. negatively-charged hydrogen clusters.
Jan 20: The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) was officially launched at World Economic Forum (WEF) at Davos after it received $460-million to develop vaccines against 3 emerging highly-contagious and fatal diseases — Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) – coronavirus, Lassa fever, and Nipah virus.
- CEPI is a public-private alliance to finance and coordinate the development of new vaccines to prevent and contain infectious disease epidemics.
- It plans to develop early phases of vaccines without knowing the details for the form in which the deadly infection will appear but to cut down the time to tailor the eventual vaccine to be effective to epidemic.
- CEPI’s plan includes preparations for possible outbreaks of Marburg fever, Lassa fever, MERS, SARS, Nipah virus, Rift Valley fever, chikungunya and others.
- It is being funded by the Wellcome Trust, t Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, World Economic Forum (WEF), Governments of Norway, Japan, India and Germany.
Jan 20: President Donald Trump signed an executive order aimed at limiting the “burden” of the Obamacare health law that he had vowed to repeal.
Jan 22: Israel approved building permits for hundreds of homes in three East Jerusalem settlements.
Jan 22: The Australian team, the first Australian squad to win the One-day International World Cup, in 1987, was presented with medals in Sydney.
Jan 24: Scientists spotted a new view of the dark, contorted centre of a sunspot that is nearly twice the diameter of the Earth using Atacama Large Millimetre/ submillimetre Array antennas located in Atacama Desert of northern Chile.
Jan 24: US President Donald Trump signed an executive order to formally pull US out of the negotiations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a mega trade deal of 12 Pacific Rim countries.
- The TPP is a trade agreement under negotiation among 12 Pacific Rim nations accounting for 40% of the world economy.
- It was promoted by US and signed by 12 countries in 2015.
- 12 members are: Australia, Brunei, Chile, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, US and Vietnam.
- It aimed to ease the flow of goods, services and investments among member countries and set trade rules for 21st century especially on labour standards, environmental issues, origin criteria and intellectual property.
- The mega trade deal was considered a counterweight to growing global economic clout of China, the largest economy in the Pacific Rim.
Jan 24: The British government must win parliament’s approval before starting talks to leave the EU, the UK’s Supreme Court ruled.
Jan 24: A team of British and Czech scientists successfully tested a super laser, named “Bivoj” after a mythical Czech strongman. It is said to be 10 times more powerful than any other of its kind on the planet.
Weighing in at around 20 tonnes and costing 44 million euros ($48 million), Bivoj will have applications in the aeronautics, automotive and power sectors.
Jan 24: President Trump picked Ajit Vardaraj Pai to head the crucial Federal Communications Commission making him the fourth Indian-American to be in Trump administration.
- The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is an independent agency of the US government to regulate interstate communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable.
- It regulates interstate and international communications in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and US territories.
- An independent US government agency overseen by Congress, the commission is the United States’ primary authority for communications laws, regulation and technological innovation.
Jan 25: Oscar-nominated British actor John Hurt, known for his roles in Elephant Man and Harry Potter, died.
Jan 25: Buchi Emecheta, a British-based Nigerian writer who, in “Second-Class Citizen,” “The Joys of Motherhood,” and other novels gave voice to African women struggling to reconcile traditional roles with the demands of modernity, died.
Jan 25: President Trump signed two executive orders to authorise the construction of a wall along the US-Mexico border and to strip funding for US cities that don’t arrest or detain immigrants living illegally.
Jan 26: India’s Ministry of Home Affairs announced Padma Shri award for Karimul Haque, a man from West Bengal who drives a bike ambulance and picks victims of road accidents.
Jan 27: British Prime Minister Theresa May became the first foreign leader to meet new US President Donald Trump.
Jan 27: US President Donald Trump signed an executive order that bans all immigrants and visa-holders from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen from entering the United States for 90 days.
The order — “Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals” — immediately earned the ire of human rights activists and lawmakers who called it “cruel” and discriminatory.
Jan 27: Japan successfully launched its first military communications satellite Kirameki-2 (kee-RAH-meh-kee 2).
Jan 28: Southern European leaders — from France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Cyprus and Malta, sometimes referred to as “Club Med” — met in Lisbon to discuss growing challenges, from the refugee crisis to rising borrowing costs and low economic growth, at a time when rising populism has increased political uncertainty in Europe.
Jan 28: Researchers from the Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), US created world’s first stable semi-synthetic organism, a single-celled bacterium with an expanded genetic code.
Jan 29: US federal judges blocked deportations of Muslims detained at airports on entry to the United States.
Jan 29: Roger Federer won his 18th Grand Slam title by winning the Australian Open final.
Jan 29: Iran tested a new ballistic missile, the Khorramshahr, having a range of about 1,000 kilometers.
Jan 30: Iris Mittenaere a 24-year-old woman from Paris won the Miss Universe crown in the 65th edition of the annual competition.
Jan 30: Omani budget carrier SalamAir launched operations, becoming the latest Gulf airline competing for the region’s low-cost travel market.
Jan 31: Democratic senators voted against US President Donald Trump’s nominee for the attorney general.
Feb 01: Researchers discovered a new microscopic sea animal Saccorhytus, the earliest known ancestor of humans along with a vast range of other species.
Feb 01: The US Senate confirmed Rex Tillerson as President Donald Trump’s secretary of state.
About Rex Tillerson
- He is a native of Wichita Falls, Texas.
- He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering at the University of Texas at Austin.
- He joined Exxon Company, USA, in 1975 as a production engineer.
- He rose through the ranks to become president of the corporation and a member of the board of directors in 2004.
- He served as ExxonMobil’s chairman and chief executive officer from 2006 to 2016.
- He has been publicly sceptical about the sanctions on Russia.
- He received the Order of Friendship from Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2013.
- Tillerson was an Eagle Scout in his youth and eventually became president of the national organization.
Feb 01: India boosted its defence spending by 6.2 percent to reach Rs2.74 trillion in budget for the next fiscal year.
Feb 02: Prime Minister Theresa May’s government published its blueprint for Brexit after winning a first parliamentary vote on a bill that would empower her to start pulling Britain out of the EU.
Feb 03: The US slapped fresh sanctions on Iran to punish Tehran for recent ballistic missile tests and its support for Yemen’s Houthi rebels.
Feb 03: The United Nations sanctions committee removed Afghan warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar from its list of designated terrorists.
Feb 04: Scientists for the first time have successfully implanted world’s smallest pacemaker dubbed as Micra Transcatheter Pacing System (TPS) in a patient.
Feb 05: Cameroon defeated Egypt to win their fifth African Nations Cup title.
Feb 06: Russia was banned from World Athletics Championships to be held in London in August 2017 after their doping ban was extended.
Feb 08: Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, a dual US-Somali citizen and former prime minister, was sworn in as Somalia’s new president.
Feb 08: Senator Jeff Sessions was confirmed as President Trump’s attorney general, capping a bitter and racially charged nomination battle.
Feb 09: Kenya’s High Court blocked the government’s decision to close the Dadaab refugee camp — the world’s largest — and force Somali refugees to return home.
Feb 09: Former Argentina captain Diego Maradona was handed an ambassadorial role by FIFA.
Feb 10: Police Scotland made hijab a part of their official uniform.
Feb 10: Kenya’s Peres Jepchirchir set a world record in the women’s half marathon clocking a time of one hour, five minutes and six seconds.
Feb 12: India beat Pakistan by nine wickets, winning the T20 Blind World Cup 2017 title for the second consecutive time.
Feb 13: The shocking image of a Turkish policeman assassinating the Russian envoy to Turkey won the prestigious World Press Photo Award.
Feb 14: Indian Supreme Court jailed V. K. Sasikala, the next leader of Tamil Nadu, for 4 years for corruption.
Feb 14: North Korean female agents using poisoned needles assassinated the half-brother of the North’s leader Kim Jong-Un in Malaysia, as per media reports.
Feb 14: President Trump’s embattled national security adviser Michael Flynn resigned, following reports that he misled VP Mike Pence about his contacts with Russia.
Feb 15: The European Parliament approved a contested EU-Canada free trade deal, known as CETA.
Feb 15: US President Donald Trump halted Washington’s quest for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying he would back a single state if it led to peace.
Feb 15: India successfully put a record 104 satellites from a single rocket into orbit.
2017 SAG Awards
Compete List of Winners
Outstanding Male Actor in a Leading Role: Denzel Washington, Fences
Outstanding Female Actor in a Leading Role: Emma Stone, La La Land
Outstanding Male Actor in a Supporting Role: Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
Outstanding Female Actor in a Supporting Role: Viola Davis, Fences
Outstanding Cast in a Motion Picture: Hidden Figures
Outstanding Male Actor in a TV Movie or Limited Series: Bryan Cranston, All the Way
Outstanding Female Actor in a TV Movie or Limited Series: Sarah Paulson, The People Versus OJ Simpson
Outstanding Male Actor in a Drama Series: John Lithgow, The Crown
Outstanding Female Actor in a Drama Series: Claire Foy, The Crown
Outstanding Male Actor in a Comedy Series: William H Macy, Shameless
Outstanding Female Actor in a Comedy Series: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Outstanding Ensemble in a Drama Series: Stranger Things
Outstanding Ensemble in a Comedy Series: Orange is the New Black
Outstanding Stunt Ensemble in a Comedy or Drama Series: Game of Thrones
Outstanding Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture: Hacksaw Ridge.