1. AS Kiran Kumar appointed as new ISRO chief
i. AS Kiran Kumar on Monday was appointed as the new Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chief.
ii. He was the director of Satellite Application Centre and joined ISRO in 1975.He was also behind the success of India's Mars Orbiter Mission which entered the Martian orbit on September 24.
2. Raghuram Rajan named Governor of the Year in Central Banking Awards 2015
i. Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan has won "Governor of the Year" in the Central Banking Awards for 2015 on Monday.
ii. Jacques de Larosiere winning the Lifetime Achievement Award after a lengthy struggle for monetary order while Claudio Borio, head of the monetary and economic department at the Bank for International Settlements, was handed the inaugural award for Economics in Central Banking, designed to recognise significant contributions to the field.
iii. This is a recognition of the part the Reserve Bank of India and its staff have been playing in bringing macroeconomic stability to the Indian economy.
3. Retail inflation up at 5% in Dec on higher food prices
i. Retail inflation moved up marginally to 5 percent in December as prices of some food items, including fruits and vegetables, increased.
ii. In November, retail inflation based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) was at 4.38 percent, the lowest level since government started computing the new series of data in January 2012.
iii. The consumer inflation rose to 5.32 percent in urban India and 4.71 percent in rural area during December.
iv. RBI was planning to ease the interest rates in the next revision riding on a lower inflation rate.
v. RBI is scheduled to announce its sixth bi-monthly monetary policy on 3rd February.
4. India’s Mars Orbiter team wins US award
i. India’s Mars Orbiter programme team has won the 2015 Space Pioneer Award in the science and engineering category from the US based National Space Society (NSS).
ii. This award will be presented to an ISRO representative during the National Space Society’s 2015 International Space Development Conference, the 34th ISDC, to be held in Toronto, Canada.
iii. Note - India’s Mars Orbiter launched on Nov 5, 2013 that went into Mars orbit on Sep 24, 2014 achieved two significant mission firsts in terms of an Indian spacecraft that has gone into orbit around Mars on the very first try and that no other country has ever done this. Secondly, the spacecraft is in an elliptical orbit with a high apoapsis, and has a high resolution camera which is taking full-disk colour imagery of Mars.
iv. The Mars Orbiter programme team located in Bangalore is headed by Mylswamy Annadurai.
5. Zomato acquires U.S. firm
i. Indian restaurant search services provider Zomato acquired U.S.-based rival Urbanspoon for about $50 million in one of the biggest overseas deals by an Indian startup.
ii. Company is said to be in talks to raise about $100 million in fresh funding.
iii. The acquisition of Urbanspoon, which marks Zomato's entry into the United States, Canada and Australia, will result in its presence in 22 countries, covering more than one million restaurants.
iv. Founded in 2008, Zomato is currently valued at around $660 million.
6. Deepak Parekh appointed as Chairman of BAE Systems India (Services) Private Limited
i. Deepak Parekh appointed as a Non-Executive Director and Chairman of BAE Systems India (Services) Private Limited with effect from 1 January 2015.
ii. Parekh was appointed as a member of the BAE Systems’s Independent Advisory Board for India association in 2010.
iii. Indian Government honoured Parekh’s performance with the Padma Bhushan in 2006.
7. Australia launched Online Visa Pilot Programme for Indian business and tourism visitors
i. Australia launched Online Visa Pilot Programme to make it easier for Indian business and tourism visitors to apply online visa for travelling Australia.
ii. It covers online lodgement of subclass 600 visas for Indian business and tourism visitors. It will be rolled out through selected travel agents across India.
iii. India has the potential to contribute between 1.9 billion US dollars and 2.3 billion US dollars annually to tourism industry by 2020.
8. Cristiano Ronaldo retains the Ballon d’Or
i. Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo won the FIFA Ballon d’Or for the second year in a row and the third time in his career, ahead of Argentinean Lionel Messi and Manuel Neuer of Germany.
ii. Joachim Low’s feat in guiding Germany to the 2014 FIFA World Cup earned him the Coach-of-the-Year award.
iii. Colombian James Rodriguez won the Puskas Award for the goal of the year.
iv. Contributing to Ronaldo’s win were 37.66% of the votes coming from 181 of the national team coaches, 182 of the national team captains, and 181 of the media representatives who voted.
v. Messi was second with 15.76% and Neuer, third with 15.72%.