1. Brazilian Pietro Fittipaldi wins MRF Challenge
- Brazilian racing driver Pietro Fittipaldi has won the 2015 MRF International Challenge series held at Madras Motor Racing Track in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu. This was the fourth edition of the event.
- Fittipaldi, the 17-year old grandson of former Formula One World champion Emerson Fittipaldi, won two of the four races that fetched him the requisite points to win the title with a total of 244 points.
- Colombia’s Tatiana Calderon finished second (199), while Russia’s Nikita Troitckii bagged the third place (191).
2. Swati Bhattacharya is FCB Ulka’s chief creative head
- Swati Bhattacharya, former principal partner of Dentsu Mama Labs, has joined FCB Ulka Advertising as its chief creative head.
- She replaced Sarbir Singh, who quit in December 2015.
- Bhattacharya started her career with JWT India and was with agency for over two decades. She moved on to Dentsu in 2014. She is known for her exemplary work for brands like Horlicks, Maggi sauces, Pizza Hut, Pepsi and UNICEF.
- In 2014, she won the Dadasaheb Phalke award, India’s highest honour in cinema, for best screenplay.
3. Flipkart invests Rs.666 crore in Ekart
- Flipkart has injected Rs.666 crore in Ekart, its logistics arm.
- This is Flipkart’s second fund infusion in seven months into Ekart, which is now under a newly-created entity called Instakart Services after the e-commerce firm bought back Ekart from WS Retail.
- Ekart had expanded its total warehouse space to 1.6 million sq ft at the end of 2015 across 17 delivery or fulfilment centres.
4. Datta Padsalgikar named Mumbai Police Commissioner
- Datta Padsalgikar has been named the Police Commissioner of Mumbai with effect from January 31. He will succeed Ahmed Javed, who has been appointed as Ambassador to Saudi Arabia. He would be the 20th Indian envoy to the Arab nation.
- Padsalgikar, a 1982-batch IPS officer from the Maharashtra cadre, is the 40th police commissioner of the city. He was earlier serving as the Additional Director in the Intelligence Bureau.
- Javed, a 1980-batch IPS officer, is the only other Maharashtra-cadre police officer to take charge as ambassador after Julio Ribeiro, who served as India’s ambassador to Romania during 1989-1993.
- The Indian representative’s post in Saudi Arabia remained vacant after the exit of Hamid Ali Rao, who occupied the office from September 2011 to April 2015.
5. Germany player Angelique Kerber wins 2016 Australian Open
- German tennis player Angelique Kerber won the women’s singles title in the 2016 Australian Open final, defeating world number one Serena Williams 6-4 3-6 6-4.
- This is Kerber’s first grand slam title, while Williams lost the chance to win her 22nd title at a major. The seventh seed became the first German to win a grand slam since her role model Steffi Graf in 1999.
- Serbian ace player Novak Djokovic bagged the men’s singles title in the event for the sixth time, equalling Roy Emerson’s record.
- He beat Andy Murray 6-1, 7-5, 7-6 to claim his 11th grand slam.
6. Kidambi Srikanth wins maiden Syed Modi International title
- Kidambi Srikanth has won his first Syed Modi International Badminton Championship, which was held in Lucknow. He defeated China’s Huang Yuxiang 21-13, 14-21, 21-14 in the final match held at Babu Banarasi Das Indoor Stadium.
- Srikanth has previously won the Thailand Grand Prix Gold, China Super Series premier, Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold and India Super Series.
- South Korea’s Sung Ji Hyun won the women’s singles title.
- This championship is named after famous Indian badminton player Syed Modi, an eight-time national champion and the prize money includes $ 120,000.
7. Fukuoka and Doha to host swimming world championships
- The International Swimming Federation (FINA) has announced that Fukuoka in Japan will host the 2021 World Aquatics Championships for the second time, while Doha, the capital of Qatar, will host its 2023 edition. The decision was made after a vote of the FINA executive committee in Budapest, Hungary.
- The championship in 2017 will be held in Budapest, while the 2019 games will be held in Gwangju in South Korea.
- The FINA World Championships organises world championships for aquatic sports like swimming, diving, high diving, open-water swimming, synchronised swimming and water polo.
8. K Veeramani Award for Social Justice to be conferred on Nitish Kumar
- Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has been selected for the prestigious K Veeramani Award for Social Justice 2015.
- The award was instituted by non-resident followers of Dalit icon Periyar EV Ramasami. Late Prime Minister VP Singh, M Karunanidhi, Sitaram Kesri and Mayawati, among others are former recipients of the award, which includes a plaque and cash prize of Rs. 1 lakh
- It is named after K Veeramani, the President of Dravidar Kazhagam. The award is annually bestowed on an individual or institution which has immensely contributed to the cause of social justice.
9. Dr. Kamlesh Kumar Pandey is now Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities
- Dr. Kamlesh Kumar Pandey has been appointed as the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities (CCPD) for a period of three years.
- The CCPD is appointed by the Central Government from persons having special knowledge or practical experience in matters relating to rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities.
- Dr. Pandey is a Science Graduate from University of Allahabad and Medical Graduate from Agra University in 1990. He has been associated with Sewa Bharti, an NGO working in rehabilitation of slum dwellers, Akhil Bhartiya Dristihin Kalyan Sangh, an NGO working for visually challenged persons. Before joining the post of CCPD, Dr. Pandey was associated with Saksham, an NGO working in the field of disability.
10. Muktesh Kumar Pardeshi appointed as the next Ambassador of India to Mexico
- Senior IFS officer Muktesh Kumar Pardeshi has been appointed India’s next Ambassador to Mexico.
- Pardeshi, a 1991-batch IFS officer, is currently posted as Joint Secretary (Passport division) in the Ministry of External Affairs.
- He has previously served as the Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of India in Jakarta from 2007 to 2010. During 1993-2001, he worked with Indian Missions in Mexico, Colombia and Nepal.
- In another new appointment, P Harish, a 1990-batch IFS officer, has been appointed as India’s next Ambassador to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. He is currently posted as Consul General in Houston, the US.
11. Oscar nominated British actor Frank Finlay passes away
- British actor Frank Finlay has passed away at the age of 89.
- Finlay was best known for his roles in ‘Othello’ and ‘The Three Musketeers’.
- Finlay was awarded a CBE gong in 1984 and was popular for his role in the plays ‘The Adventures of Don Quixote’ and ‘Voltaire in Candide’.
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