1. Anup Ashok Sardesai’s book Nathuram Godse – The Story of an Assassin released

      1. Anup Ashok Sardesai’s book titled Nathuram Godse – The Story of an           Assassin has been released in Goa.

      2. The book is about Nathuram Godse and his family members who faced numerous abuses and humiliations.

      3.The book was released on January 30, the death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, and for the same reason faced opposition by the newly-formed Goa Forward party.

2. Prince Mahidol Award 2015 conferred

  1. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn conferred the 2015 Prince Mahidol Award for 2015 on Professor Morton Mower and Sir Michael Marmot for their remarkable achievements in medicine and public health respectively.
  2. The award was instituted in 1992 to mark the 100th birth anniversary of Prince Mahidol of Songkla, who is regarded as the father of modern medicine and public health in Thailand. It includes prizes worth a total of $100000.
  3. Mower is one of the recipients in the category of medicine for invention of the Automatic Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator. The device helps in monitoring heart rate and rhythm and delivers electrical current when abnormality is detected.
  4. Sir Marmot won the award in public health category for his evidence-based assessment of the role of Social Determinants of Health, a concept adopted by the government of the UK and the World Health Organisation (WHO) to eliminate health inequalities.

3. Wildlife film-maker Naresh Bedi honoured with V Shantaram award

  1. At the 14th Mumbai International Film Festival, the V Shantaram Lifetime Achievement award was recently conferred on eminent documentary wildlife film-maker Naresh Bedi.
  2. The award, which includes a trophy, shawl and a cash prize of Rs 5 lakhs was instituted in the honour of legendary film-maker V Shantaram, who was head of the Films Division in the past.
  3. One of the prominent wildlife documentary makers, Bedi was the first Asian to receive the Wildscreen Red Panda award. He also holds the credit of shooting several rare wildlife moments. His film ‘Cherub of the Mist’ about the life of two cute red pandas was the opening film of this year’s MIFF.

4. Japan unveils first stealth fighter aircraft X-2

  1. Japan has unveiled its first radar-dodging stealth aircraft X-2 in order to be at par with countries like US, China and Russia that already have fighter planes equipped with this technology.
  2. The 46-ft long X-2 has two engines and is likely to undergo its first test flight in February 2016. It has been built as a successor to the F-2 fighter jets that were jointly developed with the US.
  3. The $340 million-fighter features a special coating on the canopy which houses the pilot as well as a carbon-fiber composite material that absorbs radar waves.
  4. The X-2 was built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Limited. Apart from Mitsubishi, around 200 companies were involved in its development.

5. Twitter appoints Leslie Berland as Chief Marketing Officer

  1. Leslie Berland has been appointed as the Chief Marketing Officer of Twitter, replacing Chief Financial Officer Anthony Noto, who was in charge of the marketing role.
  2. Berland, 37, was earlier executive vice-president of global advertising, marketing and digital partnerships at American Express Co. She will be responsible marketing Twitter to existing users as well as those who want to buy ads on the platform.
  3. In American business magazine Fast Company’s list of ‘100 Most Creative People in Business’, Berland was placed at the 6th place and was also included in US-based ad magazine Advertising Age’s Creativity 50 list.

6. MITRA app for women’s safety launched in Puducherry

  1. Lt Governor of Puducherry AK Singh has launched the MITRA mobile app for the safety of women, children and senior citizens.
  2. The app enables users to send SOS alerts to three pre-stored emergency contacts among family or friends.
  3. Its advantage is that during an emergency one does not need to open the app or make a call but only long press a button. It also requires no Internet connection and has been customised for the Puducherry region.
  4. The app has been developed by the Puducherry Police department in collaboration with the National Informatics Centre.

7. Goa launches project tracking system

  1. Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar has launched e-Suvidha,an online project tracking mechanism to fast track projects.
  2. It aims to resolve issues in launching infrastructure and other large projects, both in the public and private sectors, with a targeted investment between ₹50 crore and ₹1,000 crore.
  3. It is designed to enhance efficiency, promote transparency, bolster investor confidence, and improve communication between the industry and the government.

8. KK Jalan appointed MSME Secretary

  1. After a major bureaucratic reshuffle, KK Jalan has been appointed as the Secretary of Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), replacing Anup K Pujari on his retirement.
  2. Jalan, a 1982-batch IAS officer from the Haryana cadre, was previously serving as the Central Provident Fund Commissioner.
  3. Shobhana K Pattanayak has now been appointed as Secretary, Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare. Avinash K Srivastava now holds the post of Secretary, Ministry of Food Processing Industries. Vinod Agrawal is newly-appointed Secretary, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. Shyam S Agarwal is now Secretary, Ministry of Tribal Affairs.

9. Karnataka Vikas Grameen Bank establishes cell to monitor government schemes

  1. Ashok Reddy, chairman of Karnataka Vikas Grameen Bank, stated that the bank has instituted a cell to monitor progress of all the government-sponsored schemes.
  2. Some of the major schemes include Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), the Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY), the Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY), the Atal Pension Yojana (APY), the Credit Guarantee Fund and the MUDRA Yojana.
  3. Reddy received the runner-up award of the ‘ASSOCHAM Social Banking Excellence Award 2015’ under the ‘regional rural banks’ category.
  4. Under PMJDY, KVGB has opened 10.30 lakh accounts including all households with a bank account in its area. Of this, around 4,000 account holders have been given overdraft facility. It has canvassed 2.80 lakh policies under PMJJBY, 8.90 lakh policies under PMSBY and 1,500 under APY.

10. First revised estimates of macroeconomic indicators 2014-15 released

  1. In its first revised estimates of macroeconomic indicators for 2014-15, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) of the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI) has reduced the economic growth rate for 2014-15 to 7.2% from its earlier estimate of 7.3% and that for 2013-14 to 6.6% from the previous 6.9%.
  2. The real GDP or the GDP at constant (2011-12) prices for the years 2014-15 and 2013-14 was pegged at ₹105.52 lakh crore and ₹98.39 lakh crore respectively.
  3. For 2014-15 and 2013-14, the per capita net national income at current prices was estimated at Rs.79412 and Rs.86879.
  4. TCA Anant, Chief Statistician and Secretary, MOSPI, stated that the first revised estimates are based on renewed figures from various sources, including the Annual Survey of Industries and the MCA 21 database (Ministry of Corporate Affairs figures on statutory documents filed by companies).
  5. The figures have resulted in some changes in the levels of gross value added (GVA) and growth estimates for all the years.

11. Anti-Leprosy Day observed on January 30

  1. Anti-Leprosy Day was observed in India on January 30.
  2. India has 60% of the world’s leprosy-affected people. However, as per Dr Sunil Anand, director of the Leprosy Mission Trust of India, ‘hidden cases’ or those that go unreported are approximately twice the number of reported cases. Fear and shame are the main reasons for under-reporting of the disease.
  3. As per the National Leprosy Eradication Programme (NLEP), a Union Health Ministry-sponsored scheme, 1.25 lakh new cases were detected in 2014-15 across India.
  4. In order to bring to light more data on cases, it was decided to launch a web-based reporting system on January 30. Dr Anil Kumar, Deputy Director General (Leprosy) Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said that online data on leprosy cases will be uploaded at district and state-level.

12. Former Army Chief of Staff K V Krishna rao passes away

  1. Former Army Chief of Staff General Kotikalapudi Venkata Krishna Rao recently passed away, aged 92. He was also the former governor of Jammu and Kashmir, Nagaland, Manipur and Tripura.
  2. He served as the governor of Jammu and Kashmir from 1989-90 and from 1993-1998.
  3. Rao participated in the first war against Pakistan in 1947-48. He commanded a Mountain Division during the 1971 war, wherein his division captured the Sylhet area and liberated northeast Bangladesh.
  4. He was awarded the Param Vishisht Sewa Medal.

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