National Political News:
1. India and France affirm their resolve to have closer ties in business and combating terrorism. This was the main theme during French President Hollande’s 3 day visit to India where he held interaction with Prime Minister Modi and the business community. MOU’s were signed for development as smart cities with French assistance for Chandigarh, Puducherry and Nagpur. The deal for purchase of 36 French Rafale Jets has been finally cleared at the highest level politically.
2. Amit Shah has been unanimously elected as the BJP President for a 3 year term. Senior BJP leaders M.M. Joshi, L.K. Advani, Shanta Kumar and Yashwant Sinha did not attend the proceeding.
3. The Nation has celebrated its 67threpublic day on 26th of January. The French President Francois Hollande was the Chief guest at the republic day parade which displayed India’s military might and the culture of various Indian states.
4. A vigilance court orders FIR against Oommen Chandy, the Chief Minister of Kerala in the Solar scam case. At issue is a Rs. 1.9 crore bribe, claimed to have been routed by a person already involved in the scam. Rs. 40 lakhs is claimed to have been paid to another minister in the Chandy Govt..
The Kerala high court has stayed the order of the Vigilance court.
5. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar orders a CBI probe against 2 serving major generals for possessing assets disproportionate to their income. There were pending complaints against the two of them.
6. 20 cities make it to the smart city list of the union government. They are Bhubneshwar, NDMC Delhi, Pune, Jaipur, Surat, Kochi, Ahmedabad, Jabalpur, Vizag, Solapur, Davanagari, Indore, Coimbatore, Kakinada, Belagavi, Udaipur, Guwahati, Chennai, Ludhiana and Bhopal. The surprise omission was Chandigarh.
7. 30th Jan is the death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, Father of the Indian nation, who was assassinated at Birla house, New Delhi during the course of a prayer meeting.
International Political News:
1. Blizzards hit the US East Coast killing 18 and disrupting life of 85 million people in 10 US states. The Blizzard has been called Snowzilla and has put New York and Washington DC under 3 ft. of snow.
China and Korea are also affected by snow storms and a record snowfall in coastal towns of these countries besides the mainland areas.
2. Zika virus spread sets alarm signals all over the world. UNO’s WHO declares that it is spreading explosively. The Aedes aegypti mosquitos responsible for Dengue are its carrier also. Zika results in babies born with abnormally small heads in Brazil. It also causes paralysis. It is prevalent predominantly in South and Central America.
1. ECB and America’s FED take a soft view on World Economic situation caused by crash in oil and commodity prices, China economic slowdown.
Bank of Japan negative interest rate at –0.1% on funds parked with it by other banks shall spin bank lending and push inflation and growth. World markets including India jump after the move.
Science and Technology:
1. Ancent Babylonians used high level geometry to track the planet Jupiter across the night skies more than 1400 years ago.
2. Diamonds retrieved from old rock formation in Witwatersrand in South Africa lead back in time 3.5 billion years ago, about the time when plate tectonics began to operate on earth which is almost 4.5 billion years old. The nitrogen isotopes in the composition of the diamonds indicate a sedimentary source that is the earth surface, which was transported to the upper mantle of the earth. Carbon isotopes indicate formation of the diamond in the earth’s mantle. Diamonds thrown up by kimberlite type volcanoes followed movement into Witwatersrand basin.
1. India’s PV Sindhu wins woman’s Malaysia GP Gold title with 21-15, 21-9 win over Scotland’s Kirsty Gilmour. This is her 5th Grand Prix Gold title.
2. India’s win the three match T20 series against Australia 3-0 to make a clean sweep.
Indian also established a 2–0 win over Australia in the T20 series.
3. Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis win the woman’s doubles final at Melbourne in the Australian Open against Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka 7-6, 6-3. This is their 3rd Grand Slam title in a row. They have already won Wimbledon and US Open last year.
In a major upset at the Australian Open, 7th seed Angelique Kerber of Germany beat World No. 1 Serena Williams 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 to win the title.
Serbian player Novak Djokovic defeated England’s Andy Murray 6-1, 7-5, 7-6 in straight sets at Melbourne in the Australian Open final.