1. Gurdeep Singh appointed as CMD of NTPC

  1. Gurdeep Singh, who was the MD of Gujarat State Electricity Corporation Limited (GSECL), has been appointed as the chairman and managing director (CMD) of the state-owned National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC).
  2. As per reports, PM Narendra Modi himself picked Singh for the post as he wants to set out a proper path for the power sector as part of his plan to electrify all villages in India.

2. Iran to buy 118
Airbus jets for $27 billion

  1. Iran
    has signed two agreements with Airbus to buy 118 aircrafts and a
    comprehensive civil aviation co-operation package.
  2. The
    agreements were signed during Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s recent
    visit to France.
  3. The
    order includes 73 wide-body and 45 narrow-body jets, including 12 A380
    superjumbos. It also covers the training of pilots, airport operations and
    air traffic management support.

3. Former
minister and freedom fighter Maheswar Baug passes away

  1. Former
    minister and freedom fighter Maheswar Baug passed away in Balasore,
    Odisha, aged 85.
  2. He
    was elected to the State Assemblyfrom Basta constituency in Balasore district in 1961 and 1977 and was
    minister for health when Nilamani Routray was the Chief Minister in 1977.

4. Navneet Kaur,
Santosh Kadale win gold in Senior National Rowing Championship

  1. Punjab’s
    Navneet Kaur won two gold medals in the 34th Senior National Rowing
    Championship, which was held at Hussainsagar Lake, Hyderabad. This was her
    first gold medal at the nation’s highest level competition in the senior
  2. She
    completed the feat in 8:26.83 seconds to win the first place in the
    2000-metre open single scull race.
  3. Navneet
    Kaur joined Harpreet Kaur to win gold in the women’s doubles sculls within
    7:42.94 seconds.
  4. Santosh
    Kadale also won his maiden gold in men’s single scull.

 5.  Astronomers discover largest solar

A team of astronomers from UK, US and Australia have discovered the galaxy’s
largest solar system so far, which has a lonely planet named 2MASS J2126.

The planet’s mass is 12-15 times that of Jupiter. The solar system is
nearly three times the size of the previous widest star-planet pair.

The planet takes 900,000 years to orbit its star and is 1 trillion
kilometres away from its parent star. The planet’s orbit is also 7,000-times
the size of Earth’s orbit around the sun.

The findings were published in the “Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical

6.   Volume II of President Pranab Mukherjee’s memoir

  1. The
    second volume of memoirs of President Pranab Mukherjee titled The Turbulent Years – 1980-1996 has
    been released by the Vice-President of India, Mohammad. Hamid Ansari.
  2. The
    first volume titled The Dramatic
    Decade-The Indira Gandhi Years
    was released on December 11, 2014.
  3. The
    latest book is an account of major events from his viewpoint and the basic
    material has been taken from his own diaries. It includes pertinent
    observations on the nature of Indian polity and Indian federalism.

7. Government
announces first list of 20 smart cities

  1. The Ministry
    of Urban Development has announced 20 winners of the Smart City Challenge
    competition for this financial year.
  2. The
    list of winners includes Delhi and cities from 11 states.
  3. According
    to reports, 1.52 crore citizens participated in drafting smart city plans
    of 97 cities and towns in the first round of competition. Three cities
    from Madhya Pradesh, two each from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu,
    Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan and one each from the remaining five
    made it to the winning list.
  4. The
    23 states and UTs that did not win will be given an opportunity to
    participate in a ‘fast-track competition’ wherein top ranking city from
    the left out states can upgrade their smart city proposals and submit them
    by April 15 this year for inclusion in the mission.
  5. A
    total investment of Rs.50,802 crore over five years will be made with all
    the cities proposing Public-Private-Partnership as a major mode of
    resource mobilisation. Ten of the 20 cities have proposed to mobilise
    Rs.8,521 crore under PPP model. The cities have identified a total area of
    26,735 acres that will be transformed.

8. Sania, Martina win Australian
Open women’s doubles title

  1. Sania
    Mirza and Martina Hingis have won the Australian Open women’s doubles
    title beating Czech duo Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka.
  2. This
    is the third successive Grand Slam doubles victory for the Indo-Swiss pair
    and their maiden Australian Open title, after the Wimbledon and US Open
  3. Sania
    and Martina hqave now extended their unbeaten streak to 36 matches,
    winning eight titles in a row.

9. TOI managing
editor Arindam Sengupta passes away

  1. Arindam
    Sengupta, noted journalist and managing editor of The Times of India,
    passed away due to cancer, aged 61. He was long associated with the group
    and served in various important positions in The Times of India as well as
    The Economic Times.
  2. Sengupta
    had also worked with Probe magazine, The Patriot newspaper, and The Sunday
    Observer. He had taught at Delhi University for a short period before
    moving on to pursue journalism full time.

10. Mark Zuckerberg
becomes 6th richest person

  1. Facebook
    founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is now the world’s 6th richest person with
    a net worth of $46.25 billion.
  2. The
    social networking company reported a 52% rise in fourth-quarter sales due
    to which its shares rose 12%. The company’s net income saw a twofold
    increase to $1.56 billion.
  3. He
    is the youngest person among the world’s top ten richest persons and is richer
    than Google founder Larry Page and Oracle’s Larry Ellison.
  4. Earlier,
    Zuckerberg pledged to give away 99% of his wealth to charities.

11. Nisid Hajari’s book on India’s
Partition wins William E Colby Award

       1. Nisid
Hajari’s book Midnight’s Furies: The Deadly Legacy of India’s Partition has won
the William E. Colby Award for this year.

       2. The book
delves into the specifics of the Partition, including the brutality that
gripped the nation as a result of the event.

       3. The award is
named after a former CIA Director and is conferred annually by Norwich
University. It recognises first-time works of fiction/non-fiction that have made
a significant contribution to people’s understanding of military history,
intelligence operation, or international affairs.

12. J S Deepak
appointed new Telecom Secretary

1. IIM-Ahmedabad alumnus J S Deepak has been appointed as
the new telecom secretary, replacing Rakesh Garg, who has been shifted to
minority affairs.

2. Further, Aruna Sharma, a 1982 batch MP cadre IAS officer,
has been appointed the new IT secretary.

3. Deepak, a UP cadre IAS officer, earlier served as
additional secretary in the department of commerce before which he was joint
secretary in the department of telecom.

4. He holds the credit of successfully conducting the
first-ever e-auction of spectrum in 2010, which enabled the government to raise
nearly Rs.1.067 lakh crore and create the framework for future auction of
natural resources.

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