1. LCA Tejas Ready for Crucial Handover
i. The first of the indigenously-built Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas is likely to be handed over to the Indian Air Force. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar is expected to hand over the aircraft to Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha.
ii. This will start the process of induction of fighters being built at home under a project that was commenced in 1983 and has already cost the exchequer over Rs.17,000 crores.
iii. 20 aircraft will be built by 2017-2018, to make the first squadron of the aircraft.
iv. The LCA programme was initiated in 1983 to replace the ageing MiG-21s in Indian Air force's combat fleet but has missed several deadlines due to several reasons.
2. Tamilmani likely to be interim DRDO chief
i. K. Tamilmani, Chief Controller of Aeronautics Cluster in the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), is likely to become the interim head of the organisation.
ii. Dr. Tamilmani, the senior-most of the seven cluster heads in the DRDO, is the Director of the Centre for Military Airworthiness and Certification (CEMILAC), Bangalore.
iii. The government on Tuesday terminated the 18-month contract of Dr. Chander and asked him to step down on January 31, ahead of his term that would have ended in May 2016.
iv. A proposal to de-link the position of Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister from the Director-General, DRDO, was under consideration as part of a major overhaul of the organisation.
3. Filmmaker Shaji N Karun quits Censor Board
i. Another 12 members of the Board followed Leela Samson suggestion of quitting “en masse” and tendered their resignations.
ii. CBFC members including Ira Bhaskar, M.K. Raina, Pankaj Sharma, T.G. Thyagarajan, Shaji Karun, Anjum Rajabali, Shubra Gupta, Nikhil Alva, Rajeev Masand, Mamang Dai, K.C Sekhar Babu and L.K. Prabhu tendered their resignations on Saturday in a joint email to I&B Minister of State Rajyavardhan Rathore.
iii. The award-winning filmmaker Shaji N Karun said the board members were not happy about the approach of not just the present NDA Government but also about the approach of the previous Congress-led UPA regime towards the Board.
4. Beagle 2 spacecraft found intact on surface of Mars after 11 years
i. Beagle 2 was launched in 2003 onboard the European Space Agency’s Mars Express spacecraft. It was designed to land on the planet’s surface on Christmas Day that year but following ejection from Mars Express it was never heard from again.
ii. UK’s Beagle 2 successfully landed on the surface of Mars in 2003 but failed to fully deploy its solar panels. Without these, it could not communicate with Earth and scientists lost contact.
iii. The discovery images come from the HiRISE camera on Nasa’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
iv. Beagle 2 cost around £50m. It was comparatively cheap for a space mission, with some industrial work being performed on a cost-only basis.
5. S.K. Sinha - first non-Muslim to lead the Bangladesh’s top judiciary,
i. Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha has been appointed the 21st Chief Justice of Bangladesh.
ii. Justice Sinha is the first Chief Justice from the country’s ethnic minority Hindu community.
iii. He was the senior-most judge of Appellate Division of the Supreme Court who was made the next Chief Justice.
iv. Justice Sinha will serve just over three years as the Chief Justice with his retirement due in early 2018.
v. Born in 1951, Justice Sinha hails from Tilokpur village of north-eastern Moulvibazar district.
vi. A law graduate, he was enrolled as an advocate of the district court, Sylhet in 1974 and practised there for several year.
6. Book on Sonia Gandhi titled The Red Sari written by Javier Moro released in India
i. The Red Sari, an unauthorized biography of Congress Party President Sonia Gandhi, was released by Roli Books in India. The book has been written by Spanish author Javier Moro.
ii. The book describes about how Sonia Gandhi’s courage, honesty, and dedication have made her a leader in the eyes of one-sixth of humanity that is from her idyllic childhood to her passionate love affair, and from her days as a docile daughter-in-law to her current status of being the only Indian politician to have refused Prime Ministership.
iii. This book also examines the lives of the famous Nehru-Gandhi family set against the backdrop of the Bangladesh War, the Emergency, Operation Blue Star, and other events that have shaped modern Indian history.
iv. Originally, the book was written in Spanish language and was titled El Sari Rojo. It was first published in 2008.
v. The English version of the book was not allowed to release in India in 2010 because it was argued by the Congress Party and Sonia Gandhi's lawyers that the book is full of untruths, half-truths, falsehoods, defamatory statements, completely imaginary and invented conversations
7. HAL Chairman R K Tyagi conferred with JGBS-Top Rankers’ Excellence Award
i. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) Chairman R.K. Tyagi was on 16 January 2015 conferred with the JGBS-Top Rankers' Excellence Award for CEO of the year 2014.
ii. Tyagi played a key role in 2014 being a successful year for HAL through series of initiatives. The year was dedicated for Integrity, Customer Focus and Quality (ICQ).
iii. The award has been instituted by Jindal Global Business School (JGBS) and Top Rankers’ Management Consultants.
iv. HAL recently contributed to the success of Mars Orbiter Mission and GSLV Mk III launch in 2014.
8. Sania Mirza wins Sydney Open title with Bethanie
i. India's Sania Mirza won her first title of the season and 23rd of her career when she and Bethanie Mattek-Sands shocked top-seeded Americans Abigail Spears and Raquel Kops-Jones in the summit clash of the Sydney International.
ii. The unseeded Indo-American combine humbled the top seeds 6-3, 6-3 in just 69 minutes.
iii. Sania and Bethanie earned 470 ranking points each and split $39,000 as prize money.