1. Guenter Butschek appointed as MD and CEO of Tata Motors Ltd
i. India’s largest automaker (by revenue) Tata Motors Ltd’s has appointed Guenter Butschek as chief executive officer (CEO) and managing director (MD) of the company.
ii. In his new role he will lead all operations of Tata Motors in India and in international markets, including South Korea, Indonesia, Thailand and South Africa. Prior to this appointment he had served as chief operating officer (COO) of plane-maker Airbus Group SA and also was member of the group executive committee.
iii. Prior to Airbus, he had worked with Daimler AG for more than 25 years in international automotive management and had lead functions like industrialization, production and procurement.
iv. His last role at Daimler AG was as president and CEO of Beijing Benz Automotive Co. Ltd.which is a joint venture between Daimler and Beijing Automotive Industrial Holding.
2. France declares economic emergency
i. French President Francois Hollande has declared a state of economic emergency to redefine France’s economic and social model.
ii. Under the ambit emergency, government has proposed series of economic measures to boost long-stagnant economic growth and reduce chronic unemployment.
iii. Proposed economic measures are Training half a million jobless workers, greater use of apprenticeships and aiding companies for hiring young workers.
iv. Updating country’s labour-friendly business model in an increasingly online and border-free economy.
v. Loosening rigid working time rules including 35-hour workweek and a bonus of 2,000 euros to small businesses that hire young people.
vi. Integrate youth from France’s troubled suburbs especially minorities who face job discrimination into the global economy.
vii. These measures will be included in draft economic reform laws which French government is going to present in parliament.
3. BSE launches algorithm trading test
i. Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) Ltd has launched a new service for algorithm trading test facility for investors on its derivatives and equity platform.
ii. The new service has been launched in partnership with Mumbai based Symphony Fintech Solutions Pvt Ltd and is free-of-cost for market participant.
4. Sikkim becomes India’s first fully organic state
i. Sikkim has formally become India’s first fully organic state after it successfully implemented organic farming practices on around 75,000 hectares of agricultural land.
ii. Formal declaration in this regard was made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi after inaugurating the Sikkim Organic Festival 2016 in Gangtok, Sikkim.
iii. PM also handed the Organic Certificate to Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling. The Sikkim Organic Festival 2016 has been organised on the sidelines of the National Conference on Sustainable Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.
iv. On this occasion, PM also launched three new orchid species developed in Sikkim which is also known as the Land of Flowers viz. Cymbidium Sardar (named after Sardar Patel), Cymbidium Deen Dayal (named after Deen Dayal Upaddhyay) and Cymbidium Namo (named after Narendra Modi).
5. Viktor Troicki defeated Grigor Dimitrov to win 2016 WTA Apia International Sydney title
i. Viktor Troicki outlasted Grigor Dimitrov in an epic 82-minute third set to claim the 2016 WTA Apia International title of Tennis in the men’s single category.
ii. Troicki defeated Bulgaria’s Dimitrov by 2–6, 6–1, 7–6, (9–7) score in the final match played at Sydney, Australia. The Serbian player has become the fourth player in the Open era to claim back-to-back Sydney International titles.
6. Union Government to introduce new category of award for Most Film Friendly State/UT
i. The Union Government on 18 January 2016 decided to institute a new award category under the National Film Awards titled The Most Film Friendly State/UT.
ii. The new award will be conferred for the first time at the 63rd National Film Awards to be held on 3 May 2016.
iii. The decision to create a new category of award was taken as part of the government’s effort to promote the Indian film industry and India’s Soft Power.
iv. Besides, in a bid to promote India as a filming destination and facilitate filmmaking, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry (I&B) also decided to set up a film facilitation office at the NFDC premises under the supervision of the Ministry.
v. The decision was taken after the ministry's meeting with filmmakers, including national award-winner Shyam Benegal.
7. UNWTO released World Tourism Barometer
i. The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) released the World Tourism Barometer, which reviewed trends in tourism at the regional and global level for 2015 and enumerated prospects for 2016.
ii. As per the publication, international tourist arrivals grew by 4.4 percent in 2015 to reach a total of 1184 million in 2015. In numbers, around 50 million more travelers were recorded in 2015 compared to that 2014.
8. World Bank to fund 20 million US dollar for reconstructing Indira Gandhi Zoological Park
i. In a global first, the World Bank in third week of January 2016 decided to extend an assistance of 20 million US dollar to help reconstruct the Indira Gandhi Zoological Park (IGZP), which got devastated during cyclone Hudhud in October 2014, in Visakhapatnam.
ii. It is the very first time in the history of the World Bank that it is directly involved in a zoo. The decision is a new addition in the portfolio of the bank as part of its ever-expanding work on urban regeneration.
iii. The funding is a part of the 370 million US dollar Andhra Pradesh Disaster Recovery Project for which the bank is extending assistance of 250 million US dollars from 2015-2020.
iv. The four coastal districts of Visakhapatnam, Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and East Godavari are expected to get 20 million US dollar for forest restoration and disaster prevention measures.
9. BCCI banned Ajit Chandila & Hiken Shah for involvement in 2013 IPL spot-fixing scandal
i. The Disciplinary Committee of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) pronounced the orders in the cases related to the involvement of Ajit Chandila and Hiken Shah in the 2013 IPL spot-fixing scandal.
ii. Ajit Chandila was banned for life, while Hiken Shah was banned for 5 years from playing or representing cricket in any form or to be associated in any way with the activities of the Board or its affiliates.
iii. The disciplinary committee took the decision after they were held guilty of misconduct and corruption within various articles of the BCCI Anti Corruption Code.
iv. However, the hearing and the final order related to Pakistan umpire Asad Rauf has been scheduled for 12 February 2016 as Rauf requested for more time to respond to the findings of the enquiry against him.
10. Sikkim declared first organic farming state of India
i. Sikkim was declared as the first organic farming state of India. The declaration was made by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi while inaugurating the Sikkim Organic Festival 2016 in Gangtok, Sikkim.
ii. Besides making the declaration, the Prime Minister also handed over the Organic Certificate to Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling.
11. Draft report of R V Easwar Committee to simplify Income-tax Act, 1961 released
i. Union Ministry of Finance released the draft report of Justice R V Easwar (Retd) Committee to simplify the provisions of Income-tax Act, 1961.
ii. The draft recommendations of the 10-member committee contain 27 suggestions for amendments under the Income-tax Act, 1961 and 8 recommendations for reform through administrative instructions.
iii. Amendment to Section 255(3) to enhance the monetary limit for Single Member Bench (SMC) cases before the Tribunal to rupees one crore from the present rupees 15 lakhs.
iv. Amendment to Section 254(2) to reduce the time-limit for rectification of orders of the Tribunal from the present four years to 120 days
v. Deletion of section 143(1D) – Avoiding undesirable delay in issue of refunds
12. French President Francois Hollande declared economic emergency
i. French President Francois Hollande declared a state of economic and social emergency to redefine country’s economic and social model.
ii. To tackle the emergency, Hollande unveiled a 2 billion euro plan to revive hiring and catch up with a fast-moving world economy.
iii. Also, the government has proposed series of economic measures to revive long-stagnant economic growth and reduce chronic unemployment, which has been around 10 percent for years.