1. Commonwealth gold medalist Fateh Singh martyred In Pathankot attack

Subedar Major Fateh Singh died
fighting terrorists in the attack on the Pathankot airbase.

Singh was on duty guarding the airbase when militants
tried to infiltrate it.

He was an international Big Bore
shooter, who had won gold and silver medals at the Big Bore Rifle Three Position
in the Commonwealth Shooting
Championship in 1995.

He retired from the Dogra
Regiment as Subedar Major and joined the Defence Service Corps. He was posted
at Pathankot two years ago.

Singh was a part of the Army’s Marksmanship
Unit in Mhow, where he used to mentor young shooters.

2.  CPI leader A.B. Bardhan passes away

1. Veteran Communist Party
of India A.B. Bardhan passed away after prolonged illness, aged 92.

2. Bardhan was the party General
Secretary for 16 years, the longest period of time anyone held the post in the

3. Bardhan embraced
Communism at 15 years of age and joined All India Students’ Federation in
Nagpur in 1940.

4. He also joined the CPI,
a banned organisation in 1940, and later became the General Secretary of the
AITUC, the CPI’s trade union wing.

5. Bardhan held a PG
degree in Economics and a degree in Law. He was a prolific writer and co-authored
books with E M S Namboodiripad.

3. Gujarat to get its first solar and
stellar observatories as the Indian Planetary Society

1. (IPS), an independent
and government-recognised NGO, recently selected Kutch district for starting
the project at a total cost of Rs.12 crore.

2. IPS CEO Akshay Malhotra
has said that the Solar Observatory would study the Sun and the Solar System,
while the Stellar Observatory will study various galaxies, planets and stars.

3. He added that Kutch has
a clear sky and the Tropic of Cancer passes from the district, which provides
abundant sunlight required for solar observation.

4. Sophisticated
telescopes and other equipments would be installed at these observatories under
the PPP model.

4.  IRB
Infrastructure seizes India’s largest-ever road transport project

1. Recently, Mumbai-based
firm IRB Infrastructure seized India’s largest-ever road transport project deal
to build the Zoji La tunnel in Jammu & Kashmir.

2. The project is worth
Rs.10,050 crore and the company will construct what will be Southeast Asia’s
longest tunnel (14.08km) in seven years.

3. It will be built at an
altitude of 3,528 metres and will be essential to connect Srinagar and Leh as
the National Highway connecting these two places remains shut for half the year
due to snow.

4. IRB Infrastructure
would get a semi-annual annuity of Rs 981 crore from the Ministry of Road
Transport and Highways, commencing after the completion of the tunnel’s

5. Justice Lodha panel submits report on BCCI
reforms to Supreme Court

1. Justice Lodha panel has
submitted its report to the Supreme Court on reforms related to the IPL spot-fixing
scandal in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

2. The panel has
recommended measures such as legalised betting, among others to make cricket
more transparent and accountable.

3. Some of the highlights of
the 159-page report are-

a) It suggests
restructuring of BCCI that will include one representative from every state and
all other representing bodies including Railways and Services.

b) No minister or
government servant should hold a post in the BCCI.

c) No person can hold more
than one post and exceed two consecutive terms in the office of BCCI.

d) It also suggests
constitution of a players’ association and recommends a committee headed by
former Home Secretary G K Pillai with Mohinder Amarnath, Diana Eduljee and Anil
Kumble as members.

e) Another key
recommendation includes the appointment of a CEO along with six professional
managers who will answer to an apex council.

f) Further, the panel
recommends the appointment of an Ombudsman, an Ethics Officer and an Electoral

January 4 observed as World Braille Day

1. World Braille Day was
observed on January 4 2016 to mark the birth anniversary of Frenchman Louis

2. He invented the Braille
script (pattern of raised dots on paper) to help the visually-impaired read
and write.

3. The day was celebrated
to raise awareness regarding the importance of the Braille script and help
people to produce works in this language to enable visually impaired people to

Rising star cricketer Michael Hobden dies at 22

1. Sussex cricketer
Matthew Hobden was found dead in a private property and under mysterious

2. The seam bowler was
regarded as a potential future in international cricket and made his final
appearance in a one-day match against Essex in August 2015.

8.  Government
announces setting up of CCL Sports University in Jharkhand

1. Union Minister Piyush
Goyal has announced the setting up of CCL Sports University in Jharkhand as per
the MoU signed between Central Coalfields limited (CCL) and the Jharkhand

2. The Sports University
located in Khelgaon, Hotwar, aims to help the youth from the state to sharpen
their skills under coaches of international standards.

3. The University will
admit 1400 students, of which 700 students will be absorbed from the state.

9.  Oscar-winning cinematographer
Vilmos Zsigmond dies

1. Oscar-winning
cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond passed away at the age of 85.

2. Hungary-born Zsigmond
won the Oscar for the Steven Spielberg movie ‘Close Encounters of the Third
Kind’ and was nominated for the Oscars for various other movies such as ‘The
Deer Hunter’, ‘The River’ and ‘The Black Dahlia’.

3. He studied cinema at
the Academy of Drama and Film in Budapest and completed his MA in

4. A survey conducted by
the International Cinematographers Guild ranked him among one of the 10 most
influential cinematographers in history.

10. Union Cabinet gives ex-post facto approval for MoU on
BRICS Network University

1. The Union Cabinet has
given its ex-post facto approval for signing the Memorandum of Understanding
(MoU) among BRICS countries on BRICS Network University.

2. The approval was given
during the 3rd BRICS Education Ministers meeting and Senior Officials meeting
in November, 2015 at Moscow, Russia.

3. The MoU will help in
developing proactive cooperation among the BRICS nations for the purpose of
enhancement of scientific research, higher education, information exchange,
analysis and implementation of best practices, joint research programmes, and
mobility of students, researchers and educators.

11. India wins the 2015 SAFF championships

1. India has won the South
Asian Football Federation Cup Championship, which was held in the Trivandrum
International Stadium, Kerala.

2. India defeated
defending champions Afghanistan 2-1.

3. Jeje Lalpehlua and
Sunil Chhetri scored the goals helping India win the match 2-1.

4. India has won 7 of the
11 editions of the championship making it the most successful side in the game.

12. Arunima Sinha conquers Mt. Aconcagua in Argentina

1. Amputee mountaineer
Arunima Sinha has conquered the Mt. Aconcagua in Argentina as a part of her
Mission 7 Summits.

2. Mount Aconcagua is the
highest mountain outside of Asia, measuring 6,960.8 metres. This is Arunima’s
5th successful summit of the Mission 7 Summits.

3. Arunima started her
climb on December 12, 2015 and successfully completed it on the December 25,

4. This climb makes
Arunima the first female amputee to have climbed 5 mountain summits in the

5. Arunima Sinha is also
the first female and the first amputee to have climbed Mount Everest in 2013.

6. She was awarded the
Padma Shri, India’s fourth highest civilian award in 2015.

13. Mizoram government
to implement Food Security Act

1. Mizoram government will
be implementing the National Food Security Act (NFSA) starting February.

2. According to reports,
the computerisation of the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) for the
implementation is almost over.

3. The NFSA entitles
up to 75% of the rural population and up to 50% of the urban population to
receive food grain at subsidised prices.

Under the rules of the National Food Security
Act, each eligible person would get 5 kg of food
grains a month at Rs.3 per kg for rice, Rs.2 per kg for wheat and Re.1 per kg
for coarse cereals through the state governments.

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