1. Aparna
Kumar becomes India’s first civil servant to scale Mount Vinson Massif.

  1. Aparna
    Kumar, IPS officer from Uttar Pradesh Cadre, has become India’s first
    civil servant to scale Mount Vinson Massif, Antarctica’s highest peak.
  2. Posted
    as DIG telecom in Lucknow, Aparna began the expedition on January 5 this
    year, accompanied by a 10-member team of mountaineers from across the
  3. She
    holds a record of having scaled five of the seven highest summits
    considered to be most challenging for mountaineers in the world.
  4. On
    January 17, she marched through ice and snow in -35 degree temperatures
    and hoisted the Indian Tricolour on Mount Vinson Massif.

SBI chief Arundhati Bhattacharya appointed as the chairperson of Board of
Governors at IIM Sambalpur.

  1. State
    Bank of India chief Arundhati Bhattacharya was appointed as chairperson of
    the Board of Governors (BoG) of the Indian Institute of
    Management-Sambalpur, Odisha.
  2. She
    will hold the office for five years. IIM-Sambalpur is among the six new
    IIMs that got budgetary allocation in 2014-15.
  3. According
    to the Forbes Magazine’s rating in 2014, Bhattacharya was ranked the 36th most powerful woman in the world.

Toyota Motor Corp
declared the world’s top-selling automaker for the fourth
consecutive year.

  1. Toyota
    Motor Corp has announced that it sold 10.151 million vehicles in 2015,
    thereby holding its status as the world’s top-selling automaker for the
    fourth consecutive year.
  2. The
    company overtook its forecast for sales of 10.098 million vehicles.
    Toyota’s forecast sales for 2016 is 10.114 million vehicles.
  3. Volkswagen
    AG sold 9.93 million vehicles, while General Motors sold 9.8 million
    vehicles. Volkswagen AG, which overtook Toyota in sales in the first half
    of 2015, suffered in the second half due to the emissions scandal.

David Warner
named winner of the Allan Border Medal and Test player of the year.

  1. Australian
    vice-captain David Warner won the most-revered prize of cricket – the
    Allan Border Medal 2016 and the test player of the year award.
  2. Warner
    topped the polls, tallying 240 votes ahead of Australian captain Steve
    Smith (219 votes) and fellow-player Mitchell Starc (183) respectively.
  3. Glenn
    Maxwell was declared the one-day international player of the year. Ellyse
    Perry won her first Belinda Clark Award, which is the highest individual
    Australian women’s cricket honour ahead of Southern Stars captain Meg
  4. The
    Domestic Player of the Year was given to Adam Voges and Bradman Young
    Cricketer of the Year was bagged by Alex Ross.

Rajasthan launches massive water conservation

  1. Rajasthan
    Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje launched the Mukhya Mantri Jal Swavalamban
    Abhiyan (MJSA) in 3,500 villages of the state.
  2. The
    initiative requires a budget of Rs.3,600 crore for the first phase ending
    on June 30, 2016. However, the government is falling short of Rs.1,200
  3. CM
    Raje has decided to pledge her own salary for six months and cabinet
    ministers have committed three months’ salary. While the state’s MLAs have
    promised a month’s salary, bureaucrats and the police force have also come
    forth to contribute one day’s salary. Another 7.1 crore has been collected
    from local citizens/groups and business leaders.

Justice Sanjay Mishra appointed as the Uttar Pradesh Lokayukta.

  1. Supreme
    Court recalled the name of former Allahabad High Court judge, Justice
    Virendra Singh and named another (Retd.) Justice Sanjay Mishra as the
    Uttar Pradesh Lokayukta.
  2. The
    decision was taken due to doubts as regards the suitability of Justice
    Singh as the Lokayukta.
  3. In
    December 2015, the Supreme Court exercised its constitutional authority
    and appointed Justice Singh for the post and expressed dismay over state
    functionaries (Chief Minister of UP, Leader of Opposition and Chief
    Justice of Allahabad High Court) for not arriving at a consensus regarding
    the appointment.

Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index names Denmark as
the least corrupt country.

  1. As
    per the Transparency International’s recently released Corruption
    Perceptions Index, Denmark has retained the position of being perceived as
    the least corrupt country for the second consecutive time.
  2. Denmark
    scored 91 points out of 100, while North Korea and Somalia maintained
    their highly-corrupt status with unchanged scores of 8.
  3. The
    index is created based on expert opinions of public sector corruption,
    taking into consideration several factors like whether government leaders
    are held answerable or go unpunished for corruption, the perceived
    prevalence of bribery, and whether state institutions respond to citizens’
  4. Denmark
    is followed by Finland, Sweden, New Zealand, Netherlands, Norway,
    Switzerland, Singapore and Canada.
  5. On
    the whole, two-third of the 168 countries considered scored below 50 and
    the global average was 43. However, 64 countries improved their score,
    while only 53 declined. The rest remained unchanged.

National Girl Child Day observed on 24th January.

  1. The
    National Girl Child Day is annually celebrated on January 24 in order to
    provide more opportunities to girls in India. This year, Prime Minister
    Narendra Modi called for creation of a “discrimination-free and
    opportunity-filled environment” for the girl child.
  2. In
    his statement, PM Modi added, “Let’s further the spirit of ‘Beti Bachao,
    Beti Padhao’ (save girl child, educate girl child) and create a
    discrimination-free and opportunity-filled environment for the girl

The biggest oil refinery by state-run oil firms is set to be established in

  1. Public
    sector oil firms Indian Oil Corp (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL),
    Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) and Engineers India Ltd (EIL) declared
    their plan to invest Rs.1.5 lakh crore to set up India’s biggest refinery
    in Maharashtra.
  2. India’s
    biggest public oil refiner IOC will build this 60 million-tonne-a-year oil
    refinery along with the other three firms.
  3. Oil
    Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said, “The refinery will produce petrol,
    diesel, LPG, ATF and feedstock for petrochemical plants in plastic,
    chemical and textile industries in Maharashtra.” This refinery will be
    bigger than Reliance Industries’ Jamnagar refinery in Gujarat, which is
    considered to be India’s biggest refinery with a capacity of 33 million

India signs an agreement with Russia for joint implementation of
competitive research projects in the areas of basic and exploratory science.

  1. The
    Union Cabinet was apprised of an agreement signed between India and Russia
    for joint implementation of competitive research projects in the areas of
    basic and exploratory sciences.
  2. The
    agreement was signed between Indian Department of Science and Technology
    (DST) and Russian Science Federation (RSF) in May 2015. It is valid for a
    period of six months and can be further extended through mutual agreement.
  3. As
    per the agreement, Indians and Russians will be provided with competitive
    research grants for joint implementation of projects in the areas of
    mathematics, computer and system science, physics and space science,
    chemistry and material science, biology and life science, among others.

Thailand becomes the world’s largest exporter of rice.

  1. As
    per data recently released by the Thai Rice Exporters Association, India
    has overtaken Thailand as the world’s largest exporter of rice in 2015 by
    shipping 10.23 million tonnes of the grain.
  2. Charoen
    Laothamatas, Chairman of the association informed that Thailand exported
    9.8 million tonnes of rice in 2015, down 10.8%. He attributed the fall to
    the international economy’s contraction, especially among countries with
    high demand for rice, stressing that plummeting oil prices also impacted
    the buying power of such countries.
  3. Vietnam
    is the third-largest exporter of rice globally. China continues to be the
    largest importer of rice.

passes law permitting state authorities to seize valuables from asylum
seekers in order to bear their expenses.

  1. Denmark
    voted in favour of a law that gives government authorities the right to
    seize cash and valuables from asylum seekers in order to cover their
    expenses. The law was passed with a majority of 81 votes to 27, with one
  2. It
    permits confiscation of valuables worth more than 10,000 Danish kroner
    (about $1,453). However, the Danish Ministry of Immigration, Integration
    and Housing has exempted items of “special sentimental value”
    such as “wedding rings, engagement rings, family portraits,
    decorations and medals.”
  3. The
    enactment of the bill has attracted a lot of criticism from all corners.
    Amnesty International has said that it reflected a “dismal race to
    the bottom” by European countries in response to the ongoing migrant

Shivnarine Chanderpaul retires from international cricket.

  1. West
    Indies batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul announced his retirement from
    international cricket. In a career spanning over 20 years, Chanderpaul
    captained the team during 14 tests and 16 ODIs.
  2. He
    holds the record of scoring 11,867 runs that is the second-highest score,
    just behind Brian Lara’s 11,953. Moreover, he is the first Indo-Caribbean
    who played 100 Tests for the West Indies and is known for his unique style
    of batting, which is often labelled as crab-like.

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