1. India-Australia Social Security Agreement comes into operation
i. India-Australia social security Agreement signed between both countries came into operation. This agreement will enable people of both nations to avail retirement benefits in each other’s country and will boost bilateral business linkages.
ii. The social security Agreement will give people more freedom to move between India and Australia as their pension rights are recognised and protected.
iii. Under the ambit of it, Australian residing in India will be able to claim the Australian Age Pension without having to return to Australia.
iv. While, Indian residents living in Australia will have access to Indian retirement pensions It will strengthen India-Australia relationship as 397,000 Indian-born people living in Australia and making substantial contribution.
2. Music Legend David Bowie passes away
i. Music Legend David Bowie passed away on 10 January 2015 in New York, United States following a battle with liver cancer. He was 69.
ii. He was one of the most influential musicians of 1970s and was famously known for his creative musicianship to break pop and rock boundaries.
iii. David Bowie was born as David Robert Jones on 8 January 1947 in London, England.
iv. His career spanned around 51 years and since his first album release in 1967, around 140 million albums were sold.
v. He has 111 singles and 51 music videos to this credit in his 5 decades career.
3. Lionel Messi wins 2016 FIFA Ballon d’Or award
i. Barcelona FC forward Lionel Messi from Argentina has won the 2016 FIFA Ballon d’Or Award. He has earned this title of world’s best football player for record fifth time.
ii. Earlier he was conferred with this award in 2010 (inaugural), 2011, 2012 and 2012. For this edition of prize, Messi secured 41.33% of the votes pipped current holder and three-time winner Cristiano Ronaldo (27.76% votes), as well as his Barclona teammate Neymar (7.86% votes).
iii. FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year: Carli Lloyd (United States)
FIFA Puskás Award: Wendell Lira.
World Coach of the Year (Men’s): Luis Enrique (Barcelona FC).
World Coach of the Year (Women’s): Jill Ellis (United Staes).
FIFA Fair Play Award: All football organisations supporting refugees
4. DAC approves major changes in Defence Procurement Procedure
i. The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has approved major changes in the new Defence Procurement Procedure (DDP) 2016.
ii. These changes were made in DPP 2016 to streamline defence acquisitions and give a big impetus to indigenisation of Defence sector through the ‘Make in India’ initiative.
iii. Some of the changes were based on recommendations of the expert committee headed by former Home Secretary Dhirendra Singh.
5. Illumina, Bill Gates & Jeff Bezos launched startup GRAIL to develop blood-based cancer tests
i. Illumina, the world’s largest DNA sequencing company, on 10 January 2015 announced the launch of the startup named GRAIL to develop blood-based cancer tests.
ii. The company was launched in association with Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezo’s venture fund Bezos Expeditions and Arch Venture Partners.
6. Binny Bansal appointed as CEO of Flipkart
i. India's biggest e-commerce company, Flipkart, on 11 January 2016 announced the promotion of current Chief Operating Officer Binny Bansal to the post of Chief Executive Officer (CEO). On the other hand, Sachin Bansal, who has been the CEO since inception, will now take on the newly-created role of Executive Chairman.
ii. The major restructuring of its top management will see Mukesh Bansal report to Binny. Mukesh will continue to be chairman of Myntra, which he co-founded, and head Flipkart's commerce platform. He has also been given additional responsibility of the overall ads business.
iii. The current ads business head Ravi Garikipati will report to Mukesh.
7. Union Railway Ministry inaugurated implementation of E-enabled Track Management System
i. Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu on 11 January 2016 inaugurated implementation of E-enabled Track Management System (TMS) and Mobile Application of TMS on Indian Railway at Rail Bhawan in New Delhi.
ii. Indian Railways brought in these initiatives to bring efficiency and effectiveness in management practices which involve handling of huge volumes of data statistics as well as dynamic analysis of various measurement and defects and planning, deployment of large resources.
iii. Along with these two initiatives, the minister also inaugurated pilot implementation of Track Inventory Management System on Northern Railway to track materials inventory, construction and track machines organization in entire 225 units of Northern Railway.
8. Telangana became first State to make gender education compulsory at graduate level
i. Telangana became the first State in India to introduce compulsory gender education at the graduate level.
ii. In this regard, the state in second week of January 2016 introduced a bilingual textbook titled, Towards a World of Equals.
iii. The book was introduced on a pilot basis in engineering colleges affiliated to the Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University (JNTU-Hyderabad).
9. Rene Holten Poulsen named Denmark's sportsperson of 2015
i. Danish kayaker Rene Holten Poulsen was named the Denmark’s sportsperson of the year 2015.
ii. The Sports Confederation of Denmark and Danish Jyllands-Posten newspaper voted to award Poulsen the prize, which is known as Sports Name of the Year and is among the country's top sports prizes.
10. Stanislas Wawrinka won third consecutive Chennai Open title
i. Stanislas Wawrinka on 10 January 2016 won Chennai Open title. In the summit clash at the Nungambakkam tennis stadium of Chennai, he defeated Croatian Borna Coric 6-3, 7-5.
ii. This is the fourth Chennai Open title for the Swiss player and the third consecutive win, who first won it in 2011.
iii. With this win, Wawrinka lifted the cup and got the award money of 75700 US dollars and got away with 250 ATP ranking points.
11. China began testing first Tibetan language search engine Cloud Tibet
i. The term Cloud Tibet was in news as China announced that it began testing the country’s first Tibet language search engine named after it.
ii. After the initial tests, it was also announced that the database and the semantic unit function of the search engine were both up and running with a recognition rate of over 95 percent.
iii. The Cloud Tibet project was launched in April 2013 by a team of developers of the Tibetan language research center. It is located in Hainan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Qinghai Province, northwest China.
iv. The search engine is expected to be released in the second half of 2016 and would serve around 1.2 million users.
12. Kullu’s Nati folk dance entered Guinness Book of World Records
i. The Nati folk dance of Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh in second week of January 2016 was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest folk dance in the world.
ii. Nati entered in the book as the largest folk dance in terms of participants’ number. Total 9892 women participated in this folk dance in their traditional colourful Kulluvi on 26 October 2015 during International Dussehra festival.
iii. The event, phrased as Pride of Kullu, was dedicated to girl child, was recorded in several cameras.
iv. Kullu Dussehra is a centuries-old festival and celebrations begin on Vijaya Dashami, the day when the festivities end in rest of the country.
v. The folk dance entered the Limca Book of Records in 2014 after about 8760 artists performed it at the Kullu Dussehra festivities.