National News Weekly Current Affairs Update (11 January to 17th January 2016)
The important weekly current affairs update have been listed below along with the other relevant and significant information regarding them. This compilation is not a substitute to regular newspaper reading. Rather, this will help in revision of all relevant current event happenings of the week starting from 11th January to 17th January 2016.
- At the official launch of the ‘Start up India’ programme, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced that profits of startups set up after 1st April 2016, shall be exempted from income tax for a period of three years. He also announced 80% rebate on filing of patents for startups. A dedicated fund of ₹10,000 crore will also be created.
- President Pranab Mukherjee has formally launched the Pulse Polio programme for 2016 by administering polio drops to children at Rashtrapati Bhavan on the eve of the National Immunization Day.
- After 400 years of prohibition, the Parsuram temple in Uttrakhand’s Jaunsar Bawar area has allowed entry to Dalits and women. The temple authorities are planning to stop its age-old animal sacrifice practice.
- 15th January has been celebrated as the 68th Indian Army Day. On this in 1949, Lt. General (later Field Marshal) KM Cariappa became the first Indian Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army post Independence. This Day also marks a day to salute the valiant soldiers who sacrificed their lives to protect the country and the people living in it.
- Jharkhand will hoist the world’s largest Tricolour flag flying atop the country’s tallest flagpole at the Pahari temple in Ranchi. It stands tall at 293 feet, and measures 99×66 feet. Note that: The Ranchi Tricolour beats a record held earlier by a flag in Haryana’s Faridabad.
- Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has been conferred the prestigious Lee Kuan Yew Exchange Fellowship at Singapore. The award has been conferred on Chouhan for excellent works and innovations in agriculture, irrigation, power, women’s empowerment and other sectors. Note that: Chouhan is the 4th Indian recipient of the award.
- The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2015, which allows children aged 16 to 18 years and in conflict with law to be tried as adults in cases of heinous offences, comes into force from 15th January. This Act, has been passed by the Rajya Sabha in the winter session of Parliament, and it received President Pranab Mukherjee’s assent on December 31. The Ministry of Woman and Child Development is the nodal agency for this law.
- Sikkim has become India’s first fully organic state by converting around 75,000 hectares of agricultural land into sustainable cultivation. This agricultural land was gradually converted to certified organic land by implementing organic practices and principles as per guidelines laid down under the National Programme for Organic Production.
- The Union Cabinet has given its approval for India becoming a member country of the International Energy Agency – Ocean Energy Systems (IEA-OES) by signing the Implementing Agreement (IA). The nodal agency will be – National Institute of Ocean Technology (ESSO-NIOT) under the Ministry of Earth Sciences. By becoming a member of the IEA-OES, India will have access to advanced R&D teams and technologies across the world.
- The Neerja Bhanot Pan Am Trust has conferred the Neerja Bhanot award on Bengaluru-based activist Subhashini Vasanth. This is the 24th year of the annual award which comprises Rs 1,50,000, a citation and a trophy.
- Subhashini Vasanth was presented the award for her endeavour to help people in distress and for empowering widows of martyrs and their families across the country.
- Neerja Bhanot was posthumously, honoured as the youngest recipient of India’s highest peacetime military award for bravery, the Ashok Chakra.
- Jharkhand government Cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister Raghubar Das, has decided to set up fast track courts in five districts for speedy trial of cases relating to witchcraft incidents. The setting up of courts will be in Ranchi, Chaibasa, Khunti, Palamau and Simdega districts.
- The festival of Lohri has been celebrated with traditional fervor and gaiety.
- The Gauhati High Court has issued order staying the Bulbuli fight at Hajo in Kamrup district. This age-old Bulbuli fight is organized during Bhogali Bihu.
- The Supreme Court has asked Mysore government’s lab to further clarify whether test reports relating to presence of lead & glutamic acid in Maggi noodles are within permissible parameters under law.
- Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan has been appointed as the new brand ambassador of the “Incredible India” campaign by Trust Research Advisory (TRA). He replaces actor Aamir Khan, whose contract was not renewed.
- The union cabinet has approved the crop insurance scheme Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) in order to boost the farming sector and ensure farmers’ welfare. Note that: Under the PMFBY, farmers are required to pay a uniform premium of 2 percent for all Kharif crops and 1.5 percent for all Rabi crops while it is 5 percent for annual commercial and horticultural crops.
- Union Government has constituted a committee headed by- Arvind Panagariya (vice-chairman of the NITI Aayog) to fast track the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail Corridor, which is meant for connecting these two cities with bullet trains. The committee is tasked to interact with the Japanese counterpart for taking further steps in implementation of Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail Corridor.
- Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan was awarded an honorary life membership of the Kolkata’s famed soccer outfit Mohammedan Sporting which is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year.
- The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation has won the National Award on e-Governance 2015-16 for launching the Universal Account Number (UAN). This gold award is in the ‘innovative use of technology in e-governance’ category and EPFO will get a cash prize of Rs 2 lakh.
- Vice President Hamid Ansari with Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has released a book Jawaharlal Nehru and Indian Polity in Perspective edited by former DGP P J Alexander, in Thiruvananthapuram. The focus of the book is on the role of India’s first Prime Minister, on shaping the polity of modern India.
- The Government has decided to set up a high-powered panel to process the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission which will have bearing on the remuneration of 47 lakh central government employees and 52 lakh pensioners. This panel will be headed by – P K Sinha (Cabinet Secretary). The implementation of the new pay scales is estimated to put an additional burden of Rs 1.02 lakh crore on the exchequer in 2016-17.
- Union Minister for Fertilizers and Chemicals Ananth Kumar has announced the sanction of Greenfield petrochemical complex and National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) in Visakhapatnam(AP) and full-fledged Central Institute of Plastics Engineering & Technology which will offer B.Tech and M.Tech courses in Vijayawada(AP).
- Kerala has become the first state in the country to attain complete primary education. This has been achieved through the primary education equivalency drive of the state literacy mission —Athulyam.
- Vice president Hamid Ansari has conferred the Sree Chithira Tirunal National Award on former Ambassador and vice chairman of the Kerala Higher Education Council T.P. Sreenivasan. This award is annually bestowed on persons reckoned to have an excellent public service record.
- (12th January) has been celebrated as the National Youth Day. This day is celebrated every year on 12th of January, which is the birth anniversary of social reformer, philosopher and thinker Swami Vivekananda. Since 1985 onwards, National Youth Day is being celebrated all over the country as an inspiration for all youth. He is a shining example of how much could be accomplished in a short time-span.
- Himachal Pradesh’s folk dance Kullu Natti has entered the Guinness Book of World Record as the largest folk dance in the world.
- The Supreme Court has passed a stay order on the Modi government’s lifting of four-year-old ban on holding of Jallikattu in the poll-bound state of Tamil Nadu.
- The government has unveiled a concerted action plan to reduce road accidents by half, by making it mandatory to install safety air bags in all passenger vehicles, spending Rs. 11,000 crore to fix fatal road spots and cracking down on bogus driving licences. The government also plans to declare about 50,000 km of highways as National Highways (NH).
- The government has showcased several low-cost medical innovations including home kits for measuring blood glucose, hemoglobin levels and real-time diagnosis of malaria, dengue. These innovations have been developed by the Centre’s Department of Biotechnology (DBT) as well as by start-ups supported by the government.
- Union Minister for Science and Technology, Harsh Vardhan , has that said India’s medical technology was fourth largest in Asia and by 2025 it will be worth USD 20 billion.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi has released a book titled “Maru Bharat Saru Bharat” (My India Noble India) written by Jain Acharya Ratnasundersuriswarji Maharaj through video conference.
- Scientists at Central Institute for Research on Buffaloes (CIRB) in Hisar has claimed to have successfully produced a cloned buffalo offspring ‘Cirb Gaurav‘. With this CIRB has become India’s second centre to produce a cloned buffalo.
- Border Security Force (BSF) has launched ‘Operation Cold‘ along the international border in Rajasthan over Sriganganagar, Bikaner, Barmer and Jaisalmer which will continue till January 30. This Operation Cold was launched to check any infiltration or intrusion from Pakistan in fog and cold wave weather conditions in the western desert.
- Telangana has become the first State to introduce compulsory gender education at the graduate level. Without repeating gender stereotypes in its bilingual textbook titled, ‘Towards a World of Equals.’ From information on unacknowledged women writers of Telangana to problems of sex selection and women’s work in politics and economics, the book attempts to cover it all.
- Former Gujarat cadre IAS officer Devender Kumar Sikri has taken oath as the Chairman of Competition Commission of India (CCI). He becomes the third chairman of country’s fair trade regulator. He succeeds Ashok Chawla, who superannuated on January 7.
- The government plans to reach up to 50 crore internet subscribers in next 6-7 months, besides installing 2,500 Wi-Fi hotspots at 256 places by the next fiscal, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has said this.
- The Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) has successfully test fired the new Penetration-Cum Blast (PCB) and Thermobaric (TB) Ammunition tank at Chandipur, Odisha. This has been specially designed for Arjun Main Battle Tank (MBT).
- Veteran poet Balkrishna Garg has been honoured with the second edition of Harikrishna Devsare Baalsahitya Award 2015 for his collection of poems for children titled ‘Baal Geet’. Apart from him, Yogendra Kumar and Hem Bhatnagar were also felicitated for their contributions to childrens literature.
- Additional Secretary of Home Affairs, Sailesh has also been appointed as the Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India.
- 10th January is observed as World Hindi Day with the objective to promote use of Hindi language abroad. Note that: the First World Hindi Conference was organized in Nagpur, India on January 10, 2006, since then every year 10th January is being observed as the World Hindi Day.
- The Indian Army has asked civilians to avoid wearing “Army-pattern” dresses and shopkeepers to refrain from selling combat clothes, as it issued fresh guidelines to the public to prevent terror attacks. The guidelines, to be followed across the country, have come nearly a week after six terrorists infiltrated through the border and launched attack at the Air Force station in Pathankot, claiming the lives of seven security personnel.
- Inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Digital India initiative, four techies from Madhya Pradesh’s Rajgarh district have turned three remote villages into first free Wi-Fi hamlets in the country without any government funding. These techies are – Shakeel Anjum, Tushar Barthare, Bhanu Yadav and Abhishek, who have launched the service at Shivnathpura village on October 4 and later extended the facility to Bawadikheda Jagir, Devria on 1st January 2016.
- Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has unveiled “Laman Diva” as the logo of the first Make in India Week. The Laman Diva or Nanda Deep, has great relevance in our culture as a symbol of auspicious beginning, peace, prosperity, growth. Note that: the First Make in India week is scheduled to be held in Mumbai during 13th February 2016 to 18th February 2016. It will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
International News Weekly Current Affairs Update – (11 January to 17 January 2016)
By reading the following Weekly Current Affairs 2016, you can know the highlights of the week starting from 11th January to 17th January in brief.
- Tsai Ing-wen of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has elected as the President of Taiwan. Tsai Ing-wen becomes Taiwan’s first female president.
- China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in which India and other 56 countries have joined as founding members has been opened at Beijing by Chinese President Xi Jinping.
- This bank was formally established in Beijing on 25th December 2015.
- Chinese Finance Minister Lou Jiwei has been elected as the first Chairman of the AIIB council.
- China’s former Finance Minister, Jin Liqun has been elected the first AIIB president.
- With an authorised capital of USD 100 billion and a subscribed capital of USD 50 billion, the AIIB will invest in sectors including energy, transportation, urban construction and logistics as well as education and healthcare.
- As per the World Bank report, Indian Government has succeeded in saving $1 billion Dollars (Rs 650 crore approx) per annum with the help of its Aadhaar ID which curbs corruption and leakages.
- India’s diaspora population is the highest in the world with 16 million people from India living outside their country in 2015, according to a UN survey on international migrant trends. This survey was conducted by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). It said the number of international migrants – persons living in a country other than where they were born – has reached 244 million in 2015 for the world as a whole, a 41 per cent increase compared to 2000.
- Former football star and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, David Beckham has received the UNICEF USAs Humanitarian Leadership Award. He has been honored with this award in recognition of his charity work and his continued efforts to help disadvantaged children through the organisation and his own offshoot, the Seven Foundation.
- The Union Cabinet has given an ex-post facto approval to a pact between India and Maldives on facilitating greater cooperation between both the nations and also assist the neighbouring country to develop human resources in healthcare.
- The United States has notified a massive increase in fees in certain categories of the popular H-1B and L-1 visas which would mainly hit Indian IT companies. The US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has said that applicants for certain categories of H-1B visas post December 18, 2015 must submit an additional fee of US $4,000.
- India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is set to visit Israel and Palestine on 17th and 18th January 2016 to further build on the goodwill generated by the trip of President Pranab Mukherjee to the two West Asian nations 3 months back.
- While Palestine will be Ms. Swaraj’s first destination where she will hold talks with leadership of the country, to boost bilateral engagement and deepen mutual understanding at the political level.
- She will go to Israel the same day for a two-day visit during which she will hold discussions with the Israeli leadership and review the entire gamut of India-Israel relations.
- United States and Jordan have signed a Joint Action Plan (JAP) aimed at improving efforts against nuclear and radiological smuggling. This partnership will help in enhancing the efforts to combat nuclear terrorism.
- A new Social Security Agreement that have been signed between India and Australia has come into operation enabling people of both nations to avail retirement benefits in each other’s country, a pact that is likely to boost bilateral business linkages. The agreement was signed in November 2014 and in came into operation on January 1, 2016.
- Nepal has been elected to the Unicef executive board, representing the group of Asia-Pacific countries for the term from 2016-2018. Nepal’s ambassador and permanent representative to the UN Durga Prasad Bhattarai, has also been unanimously elected as vice-president to the bureau of the executive board.
- In the 73rd Golden Globe Awards, Famous Titanic actor Leonardo Di Caprio has recieved the Best Actor award for his performance in ‘The Revenant’. The Revenant also took two honours in the Best Movie and Best Director categories. While Brie Larson has won the Best Actress award for the, Room.
- Syrian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Walid Al Moualem, is on a four-day visit to India. During this visit, he is set to hold talks with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and other leaders to seek India’s support for President Bashar al-Assad ahead of peace talks in Geneva.
- This visit assumes importance in view of fresh initiatives taken by the UN to bring about peace in war-torn Syria, where more than 300,000 people have been killed in the past four years and seven million have fled to other countries as refugees.
- A 11-year-old Indian-origin girl Kashmea Wahi, has achieved the top possible score of 162 on a IQ test of Mensa, thereby becoming one of the youngest brainiest students in the country. She achieved the top score of 162 out of 162, putting her in the league of scientists Albert Einstein and Steven Hawking and in the top 1 per cent of the country’s brightest.
- For the first time in the history of India, a strong contingent of French Army will march down the Rajpath on Republic Day along with Indian troops. They will march in the presence of French President Francois Hollande who is the chief guest for this year’s Republic Day celebrations. Note that: The French Army is already in India for a joint military exercise, ‘Shakti 2016′. Also, this will be the fifth time which a French leader will be a Chief Guest at India’s Republic Day celebrations, the maximum number from any country so far.
- China’s country code domain ‘.cn’ has become the world’s most commonly used in the internet, surpassing Germany’s ‘.de’ domain. According to the data released by the China Internet Network Information Centre (CNNIC), which manages the domain – ‘.cn’ had 16.36 million users by the end of year 2015.
- Economist Paul Kaba Thieba has been named as the Prime Minister of West African Country Burkina Faso by the President Roch Marc Christian Kabore. This announcement was made a week after the president was sworn in as the country’s first new leader in almost three decades following his election in November 2015.
Economics News Weekly Current Affairs Update – (11 January to 17th January 2016)
Important news and events in the economic world that happened over the whole week including the Sunday news has been listed here for quick revision.
- In order to meet the Basel III norms, the State Bank of India (SBI) has proposed to raise up to ₹15,000 crore from various means, including public offer and overseas issuance of shares, in the next 14 months.
- State Bank of India (SBI) has announced the launch of ‘SBI e-Smart SME’ to provide easy working capital to e-commerce players.
- State-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has extended its scheme, thereby slashing mobile call rates by up to 80% to existing prepaid mobile customers, with effect from January 16. The company had earlier (in December 2015) announced the scheme for new prepaid users.
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has fixed the public issue price of the sovereign gold bonds at ₹2,600/gram. The applications for the bonds are set be accepted from 18th January onwards.
- In order to spread awareness about various financial products, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has revised Financial Literacy Centres (FLCs) guidelines to align them with the current financial landscape.
- India’s grid-connected solar power generation capacity has crossed 5,000 MW mark, with Rajasthan on top, followed by Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.
- The Government of India has signed a loan agreement with World Bank for the Neeranchal National Watershed Project::
- The project is to be implemented by Ministry of Rural Development over a six-year period (2016-21)
- It will support the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayi Yojana in hydrology and water management, agricultural production systems, capacity building and monitoring and evaluation.
- United Nations has downgraded its GDP growth forecast for India for 2016 to 7.5 per cent from 8.2 per cent estimated earlier, mainly due to slow progress in implementing the reform policies such as the GST.
- French telecom major Orange has signed a deal with Bharti Airtel International (Netherlands) BV for acquiring its operations in two African countries, Burkina Faso and Sierra Leone in African continent.
- According to a report prepared by the National Science Foundation’s National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES), India sends the largest number of engineers and scientists to the US with about 950,000 immigrant scientists and engineers coming from the country. The number of scientists and engineers residing in the US rose from 21.6 million to 29 million from 2003 to 2013.
- The RBI has said in a clarification on the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) Scheme, that the use of Aadhaar cards and seeding of bank accounts with those numbers are purely voluntary and not mandatory.
- The State Bank of India has launched Exclusif and SBI InCube at Bengaluru.
- While ‘Exclusif’ is a wealth management offering which is targeted at the fast-growing affluent segment in the country.
- ‘SBI InCube‘ is a dedicated branch for start-ups, which will offer advisory services to the budding entrepreneurs under one roof.
- ICICI Bank has launched two new initiatives – Express Home Loans, a fully online home loan approval in 8 working hours, and a mobile app for part disbursement of home loans for under construction projects — in order to commemorate the milestone of crossing Rs 1 lakh crore in mortgage loans.
- Union Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari has inaugurated Mumbai Port Trust’s second liquid chemical berth at Pir Pau, Mumbai. Now the cargo handling capacity of the Port will be increased by 2.5 MMT (Million Metric Tonnes) per annum.
- The board of directors of US-India Business Council has appointed Edward Monser, president of Emerson, and Deloitte Global CEO Punit Renjen as Vice Chairs. Both have experience in global manufacturing, business strategy and business development.
- China has allowed the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and 5 other international financial institutions to participate in the country’s inter-bank foreign exchange market.
- Telecom major Vodafone has announced the availability of 4G SIMs for customers at multi-brand outlets in a phased manner.
- The import cover of India’s foreign exchange reserves has increased to 9.8 months as at September-end 2015 from 8.9 months in March-end 2015, according to the recently Reserve Bank of India’s ‘Half-yearly Report on Management of Foreign Exchange Reserves’. Note that: Import cover of reserves is the traditional trade-based indicator of reserve adequacy. This adequacy of reserves is an important parameter in gauging a country’s ability to absorb external shocks.
- Capital market regulator SEBI has tightened the norms for governing mutual funds investment in debt securities by lowering the maximum exposure which a fund can have in a single company and sector. According to these new regulations, a mutual fund debt scheme can’t invest more than 10 per cent of its corpus in a debt instrument issued by a company. Earlier the limit was 15 per cent.
- Airbus Group has announced, it has appointed Ashish Saraf as Vice-President – Industry Development, Strategic Partnerships and Offsets.
- Asia’s oldest stock exchange, Bombay Stock Exchange, will soon get its own postage stamp. Also notable here is, BSE had recently become the world’s fastest stock exchange after clocking a median trade speed of six micro seconds.
- Bank of Baroda has announced, it has timely paid over Rs 95 crore as interest to the beneficiaries of its additional tier-I Basel-III compliant bonds issue of Rs 1,000 crore.
- RINL (Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited) , the corporate entity of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant has inked an MoU with the Andhra Pradesh government. This MoU envisages investment of around Rs. 38,500 crore to take up various projects at Visakhapatnam.
- Indian e-commerce firm Flipkart has appointed Binny Bansal as the Chief Executive Officer and Sachin Bansal as the Executive Chairman.
- Srinivas Murthy, senior vice president of marketing at e-commerce major Snapdeal, has resigned to start his own venture. This is the second major exit at Snapdeal after its Head of Strategy Ranjan Kant quit to join online apparel retailer Jabong as its chief marketplace officer.
- Homegrown smartphone vendor Micromax has appointed Vikas Thapar as its new senior Vice President for finance recently.
- Urjit Patel, the Deputy Governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in-charge of the monetary policy department, has been re-appointed for a term of three years. He will complete his three-year term on January 10th, and he could become the longest serving deputy governor in recent times if he serves the full three-year term. This is because most of recent deputy governors served a maximum of five years.
- RBI has four Deputy Governors, two are from outside, a commercial banker and an economist while two others are promoted from within its ranks.
- The other three Deputy Governors of RBI are: H.R. Khan, S.S. Mundra and R. Gandhi.
- Wipro Ltd chairman Azim Premji has been named as the ‘Most Generous Indian‘ in the Hurun India Philanthropy List 2015, a ranking of the most generous individuals from India released . This is the third successive year which Premji has topped the philanthropy list.
- Azim Premji has donated Rs 27,514 crore for education through The Azim Premji foundation. It works in 8 states and has more than 350,000 schools.
- Tata Steel Limited has been declared as the winner of Prime Minister’s Trophy for being the ‘Best Performing Integrated Steel Plant‘ in the country for the performance year 2013 – 2014.
- Mukesh Ambani, Chairman of Reliance Industries, has announced that he will invest in West Bengal. These Investments will come mostly through its telecom arm, Reliance Jio. Around Rs. 5,000 crore have already been invested in laying high-speed optical fibre (for faster broadband connections) and connecting various parts of the State.
- Hindustan Zinc Ltd. (HZL) will invest Rs.8,000 crore in the next 3-5 years as the Vedanta Group firm looks to expand operations and capacity.
Sports News Weekly Current Affairs Update – (11 January to 17 January 2016)
Important happenings in the field of sports have been given below. Since candidates don’t focus on sports news over the week, below you will find all the exam worthy details. We hope this weekly sports update is sufficient for your perusal.
- Mesut Ozil has been named as Germany’s national team player of the year for 2015.
- Former World No.1 tennis player Marat Safin of Russia has been included in the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
- Brazilian Football Legend, Ronaldinho has been named as the ambassador of the Nagjee International Club Football tournament which is to be played in Kozhikode, Kerala
- Jerome Valcke has been dismissed as secretary general of FIFA. The former right-hand man to Sepp Blatter, the Fifa president banned for eight years, has been accused of aiding a scheme to sell 2014 World Cup tickets on the black market.
- World Number one pair of Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis have equaled the world record of winning 28 consecutive matches, which was set by Puerto Rican-Belarusian duo of Gigi-Fernandez and Natasha Zvereva in 1994. They have achieved this feat after defeating Chen Liang and Shuai Peng in the Apia International quarterfinals in Sydney.
- Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) has announced the launch of two sports channels in partnership with ESPN, which is making a comeback in India. These two channels will be, SONY ESPN and SONY ESPN HD, will go live on January 17.
- Lionel Messi has won the 2015 FIFA Ballon d’ Or Award after beating of the challenge from Ronaldo and Neymar. It is Messi’s record breaking 5th Ballon d’Or Award. While Carli Lloyd of United States has won FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year award.
- Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland has clinched the third consecutive Chennai Open tennis title by beating Borna Coric of Croatia.
- The Philippines’ Miguel Tabuena has been voted as the Hilton Asian Tour Golfer of Month for December 2015. Tabuena has won the award by beating Thailand’s Phachara Khongwatmai and India’s Himmat Rai.
- Alan Rickman, one of the best-loved and most warmly admired British actors, has passed away. He was famous for his role as Professor Snape in the Harry Potter films.
- Television actor Rajesh Vivek, known for his work in films such as Lagaan and Swades, has died of a heart attack in Hyderabad at age of 66 years.
- Key architect in India’s victory in 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War, Lt Gen JFR Jacob (retd) has passes away at age of 92 years. A jew by birth, he is revered in Israel as well. Jacob is best known for his role in India’s victory in the Indo-Pakistan war of 1971 and the liberation of Bangladesh.
- Hall of Famer Monte Irvin, an outfielder who starred for the New York Giants in the 1950s, has passed away. Note that: Irvin was the oldest living former Negro Leagues player.
- Noted Hindi writer and journalist Ravindra Kalia has passed away at age of 78 years. He was known for his works like Ghalib Chutti Sharab and Nau Saal Chotti Patni. He had also served as the Director of Bharatiya Jnanpith.
- British Singer David Bowie, one of the most influential musicians of his era, has died of cancer at age of 69 years. The artist’s hits include – Let’s Dance, Changes, Space Oddity, Starman, Modern Love, Heroes, Under Pressure, Rebel Rebel and Life on Mars. He has also been well known for creating his flamboyant alter ego Ziggy Stardust.
- First female Formula One driver, Maria Teresa de Filippis has passed away. She was the first woman to compete in a Formula One grand prix world championship .
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