1. 30th January observed as Martyrs' Day
i. The government today observed Martyrs' Day on the 67th death anniversary of the Father of Nation Mahatma Gandhi and those who sacrificed their lives in the struggle for the country's freedom.
ii. The MHA has told all states and UTs to see that “speeches and talks connected with the significance of the day, particularly mentioning the role of freedom fighters in the freedom of India may be made”.
iii. The day is remembered in the living memory of all the freedom fighters who lost their lives for handing our the much needed independence.
iv. Mahatma Gandhi was assasinated by Nathuram Godse on this day.
2. IIT Bombay launches mass open online courses
i. Prof Devang Khakhar, Director of IIT Bombay, launched three Mass Open Online Courses (MOOC) in computer programming, thermodynamics, and signals and systems from the institute’s IITBombayX platform developed in collaboration with edX.
ii. edX is a not-for-profit initiative by MIT and Harvard.
iii. About this course - The Introduction to Computer Programming will be 16-week course in two parts aimed at computer programming students. The course on Thermodynamics, designed for mechanical engineering students, will last 12 weeks. Signals and Systems will be a 16-week course in two parts designed for electrical engineering students. The students will get an honour certificate of achievement certifying successful completion of the course after they have qualified in the tests.
3. Send money 24x7 using only your phone's address book
i. HDFC Bank, India’s second-largest private bank, is set to introduce a new app, Chillr, which will allow users to send money to any contact in their phone books, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
ii. Chillr is a third-party app, which will be available exclusively for the customers. It will allow them to transfer money using a contact’s mobile number alone.
iii. Through the app, one can send Rs 1-5,000 a day. While the bank will not levy any charges, users will have to pay a fee for using the IMPS platform.
4. Charles Townes died
i. Townes shared the 1964 Nobel Prize in physics with Russian physicists Aleksandr M. Prokhorov and Nicolai G. Basov for the invention of the Laser.
ii. On April 26, 1951, Townes scribbled a theory on scrap paper that would lead to the laser, the invention he’s known for and which transformed everyday life and led to other scientific discoveries.
iii. The laser paved the way for other scientific discoveries that revolutionize everything from medicine to manufacturing, including DVD players, gun sights, printers, computer networks, metal cutters, tattoo removal and vision correction.
5. Jaipal Singh appointed PS to MoS Home
i. Jaipal Singh, a Gujarat-cadre IFS officer, has been appointed Private Secretary to Minister of State for Home Affairs Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary.
ii. Singh, a 1991-batch Indian Forest Service officer is presently working as Director in Department of Higher Education.
iii. He has been appointed for a period of upto September 26, 2018, which is maximum period of seven years of stay outside the cadre in a single stint, or on a co-terminus basis with the minister's tenure.
6. India overtakes China as world’s leading gold consumer
i. India overtook China as the world’s biggest gold consumer in 2014 as global physical demand fell.
ii. Chinese gold demand slid by more than a third last year to a four-year low of 866 tonnes.
iii. Indian jewellery demand rose 14 percent last year to a record 690 tonnes, putting it back ahead of China as the world’s number one jewellery manufacturer.
7. RK Mathur to hold additional charge of DDR&D
i. Defence Secretary RK Mathur is given additional charge of Department of Defence Research and Development (DDR&D).
ii. Mathur, a 1977-batch IAS officer of Manipur Tripura cadre, will hold the additional charge for a period of three months.
iii. He will take over the additional charge from incumbent Avinash Chander.
iv. Another IAS officer Reena Ray has been appointed as Additional Secretary in Department of School Education and Literacy.
8. Shekhar Sen appointed as Chairman of Sangeet Natak Akademi
i. Renowned music composer and actor Shekhar Sen is appointed as the Chairman of the Sangeet Natak Akademi (SNA).
ii. Shekhar Sen will succeed Leela Samson who resigned from the position on 5 September 2014. The post was lying vacant since October 2014.
• Shekhar Sen has received prestigious awards including Padam Shri Award in 2015, Safdar Hashmi Puraskar in 2001 for his contribution in field of theatre and V. Shantaram Lalit Kala Puraskaar in 2008.