1. 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas held in New Delhi
i. The 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas (PBD) was held in New Delhi.
ii. The event was inaugurated by the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and attended by Priti Patel, MoS for Employment, United Kingdom.
iii. Apart from the main event in New Delhi, the day was celebrated by the MEA, across the world, through its missions/posts abroad.
iv. On this occasion, Sushma Swaraj announced that the government is considering Aadhaar cards to non-resident Indians (NRIs) and allowing women workers to Gulf countries only through the government agencies to ensure they were not duped by recruiting agents or firms.
2. Book titled MARU BHARAT SARU BHARAT authored by Jain Acharya Maharaj released
i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 10 January 2016 released a book titled “MARU BHARAT SARU BHARAT “(My India Noble India) written by Jain Acharya Ratnasundersuriswarji Maharaj.
ii. This is the 300th book of Ratnasundersuriswarji Maharaj. The book release function was organized by Sahitya Satkar Samiti of Ratnatrayee Trust in Mumbai.
iii. The book, My India, Nobel India, will be available in four languages - English, Hindi, Gujarati and Marathi.
iv. The author through his book has highlighted various social evils, deficiencies prevailing at individual level, and also expressed his anger about those evils.
3. Nepal elected as UNICEF’s executive board member for 2016-2018
i. Nepal on 9 January 2016 was elected to the UNICEF executive board, representing the group of Asia-Pacific countries for the term 2016-2018.
ii. Nepal's Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN), Durga Prasad Bhattarai, was also unanimously elected vice-president to the Bureau of the Executive Board of the UNICEF for 2016.
iii. Nepal recently completed its terms as a member of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) for 2013-2015 and as vice-president from Asia-Pacific region at the executive board of United Nations Development Programme/United Nations Population Fund/United Nations Office for Project Services for the year 2015.
4. Urjit Patel re-appointed as RBI Deputy Governor for Three Years
i. Union Government on 8 Janury 2016 re-appointed Dr Urjit R Patel, as Deputy Governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI), for a second three-year term.
ii. Patel who joined RBI on 11 January 11, 2013 had headed a committee that paved the way for the proposed monetary policy committee.
iii. Patel, a doctorate from Yale University, also had a stint at IMF.
iv. Patel is the fourth deputy governor and the other three are HR Khan, R Gandhi and SS Mundra. The re-appointment of Patel assumes significance as in recent past, none of the deputy governors got a second term.
5. International Kite festival started in Ahmedabad
i. Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel on 10 January 2016 inaugurated the 28th edition of International Kite Festival at Sabarmati River front in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
ii. The Kite festival of Gujarat marks Uttarayan, the day when winter begins to turn into summer, according to the Indian calendar.
iii. The five-day annual event saw participation of about 98 foreign kite flyers from 28 different nations and 55 participants from 8 different states and 28 kite flyers from Gujarat.
iv. While inaugurating the festival, Chief Minister Patel claimed that the festival has boosted the kite-making industry along with attracting foreign tourists in Gujarat.
v. She also said that in last one decade the business of kite making has grown from 100 crore rupees to 700 crore rupees.
vii. The international kite festival is simultaneously organized in other cities of the state including Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot, Porbandar, Mandvi, Botad, Surendranagar, and Modhera.
vii. Uttarayan is the sign for farmers that the sun is back and that harvest season is approaching which is called Makara Sankranti. This day is considered to be one of the most important harvest days in India.
6. 11th World Hindi Day observed on 10 January
i. The 11th World Hindi Day was celebrated on 10 January 2016. To mark the occasion, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) through its missions/posts abroad and the Department of Official Language (Rajbhasha) conducted special events to spread the greatness of the language.
ii. The day was first observed on 10 January 2006. And, it is in addition to the National Hindi Divas that is being celebrated annually on 14 September.
iii. National Hindi Divas is celebrated to mark the day, 14 September 1949, on which the Constituent Assembly adopted Hindi written in Devanagari script as the Official Language of the Union.
7. Noted Hindi writer Ravindra Kalia passed away
i. Noted Hindi writer and journalist Ravindra Kalia passed away on 9 January 2016 in New Delhi. He was 78. Kalia had been suffering from liver cirrhosis. The writer is known for his works like Nau Saal Chotti Patni and Ghalib Chutti Sharab.
ii. The former Bharatiya Jnanpith director, Kalia was also the editor of several literary magazines, including Naya Gyanodaya. Born on 11 November 1938 in Jalandhar, Punjab, Kalia was mainly famous for writing stories, novels, memoirs and satires.
iii. The writer had been honoured with Uttar Pradesh (UP) Premchand Memorail Award, UP Sahitya Bhushan Award, UP Lohia Award, Punjab Government’s Shiromani award and Pdumlal Bakshi Award of Madhya Pradesh Government.
8. 73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards announced in California
i. The 73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards were announced on 11 January 2015 at Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, the US. These annual awards honour the best in Motion Pictures and Television for the year 2015.
ii. The Revenant won the Best Motion Picture – Drama while best Actor and best Director Awards were conferred to Leonardo DiCaprio and Alejandro Inarritu for the same movie. Brie Larson won the best actress award for ‘The Martian’ Movie.
9. ‘Stand-up India’ drive in the offing: Arun Jaitley
i. The Centre is planning to launch a "Stand-up India" drive to promote entrepreneurship among women, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, according to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
ii. He was speaking here on Sunday at the inaugural of the three-day Partnership Summit jointly hosted by the Confederation of Indian Industry and the State Government. He said the Start-up India drive launched by the Centre had received tremendous response and "now we are planning a Stand-up India drive."
iii. He explained to the audience that the programme envisaged special assistance to women, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes to promote entrepreneurship. He said each bank branch in the country would have to give at least one loan to a woman, SC and ST entrepreneur to set up units.
iv. "There are 1.5 lakh branches in the country and we are sure the programme will make a big impact as the Mudra loan scheme did," he said.
10. British singer Singer David Bowie dies at 69
i. British singer-songwriter David Bowie has died at the age of 69 after battling cancer for 18 months.
ii. “David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18 month battle with cancer. While many of you will share in this loss, we ask that you respect the family’s privacy during their time of grief,” read a statement posted on the singer’s official social media accounts.
iii. Bowie had turned 69 just two days ago. He is survived by two children Duncan Jones and Alexandria “Lexi” Zahra Jones and wife Iman.
iv. One of the most influence musical artistes of his generation, Bowie is known for his camelion-like qualities as a performer that often blurred the lines between genders in an illustrious career that spanned four decades.
v. The musician, whose full name was David Robert Jones, was born in Brixton, UK on January 8, 1947.
11. ICC announces MoneyGram as Event Partner; signs 8-year deal
i. The ICC and MoneyGram International, a leading global provider of money transfer services, today announced an eight-year deal which confirms MoneyGram as an event partner for ICC events from 2016-2023.
ii. A media release by ICC stated, “The ICC and MoneyGram recently completed a successful five-year partnership, which began with the ICC World Twenty20 West Indies 2010, concluding with the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.
iii. “In the current eight-year cycle, the alliance promises to reach greater heights, as the ICC will stage an impressive 17 tournaments, including six majors — two ICC World Twenty20 tournaments, two editions of the ICC Champions Trophy and two ICC Cricket World Cups.”
iv. Commenting on the partnership, ICC Chief Executive David Richardson said:“I am delighted that MoneyGram International has decided to continue to support cricket by extending its partnership with the ICC.
v. “The extension says much about the value of our events at which we continue to strive to create an unforgettable experience for fans from all around the world. Sponsors are the lifeline for any sport and on behalf of the ICC, I thank MoneyGram for their continued support.”
12. Maria Teresa de Filippis, first female Formula One driver, died
i. Maria Teresa de Filippis, the first woman to compete in a world championship Formula One grand prix, passed away on 8 January 2016 in Italy. She was 89.
ii. De Filippis participated in five World Championship Grands Prix; however, she scored no championship points. Although she remained largely unsuccessful in her Formula One racing career, she is remembered as a pioneer in motor racing, a sport dominated by men.
iii. Born on 11 November 1926 in Naples, Italy, de Filippis began her racing career at the age of 22. She won her first race, driving a Fiat 500 on a 10 km drive between Salerno and Cava de' Tirreni.
iv. She took part in various motor racing events, including hill climbing and endurance racing, before being given the chance to drive in Formula One. She finished second in a sportscar race supporting the 1956 Naples Grand Prix, driving a Maserati 200S.
v. On 18 May 1958, she was given the opportunity to enter the Monaco Grand Prix, the second round of the 1958 Formula One season, in one of the 250Fs.
13. Stanislas Wawrinka won third consecutive Chennai Open title
i. Stanislas Wawrinka on 10 January 2016 won his Chennai Open title. In the summit clash at the Nungambakkam tennis stadium of Chennai, he defeated Croatian Borna Coric 6-3, 7-5. This is the fourth Chennai Open title for the Swiss player and the third consecutive win, who first won it in 2011.
ii. He extended his run of dominance in Chennai to a 12-match win streak, including 24 consecutive sets won.
iii. The Swiss completed the first three-peat in tournament history, becoming the ninth different active player to do so at an ATP World Tour event.
iv. The 30 year old notched his 12th tour-level crown overall and eighth on hard courts.With this win, Wawrinka lifted the cup and got the award money of 75700 US dollars and got away with 250 ATP ranking points.
14. President of India inaugurates 88th Annual Conference of Nikhil Bharat Banga Sahitya Sammelan
i. The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the three day long 88th annual conference of Nikhil Bharat Banga Sahitya Sammelan today (January 10, 2016) at Ranchi, Jharkhand.
ii. Speaking on the occasion, the President said he had been closely involved with the organization for the last three decades. He said the great traditions of Bengali literature, language and culture originated from the period of 'Charyapada' a Bengali compilation that was discovered by the noted scholar, Haraprasad Shastri in Nepal in 1907.