In India, Army Day is being observed every year on 15 January.
Significance of Day: In 1949, on this day Lt. General (later Field Marshal) Kodandera Madappa Cariappa became the first Indian Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army (of the independent India) by succeeding British Army General Roy Butcher.
Events: It is celebrated every year at all the Army Command headquarters and national capital by organizing army parades including many other military shows. This day inspires the troops to continue to enrich the glorious traditions of the Indian Army with their dedication and sacrifice. On 15 January 2015, it will be the 67th Indian Army Day.
India’s open water swimmer Bhakti Sharma has set a new world record by swimming 1.4 miles in 52 minutes in one degree temperature in the Antarctic Ocean. She has bettered the earlier record of British open water swimmer Lewis Pugh and American swimmer Lynne Cox. She is also the first Asian girl and youngest in the world to achieve this feat. Hindustan Zinc had sponsored her to achieve this feat and pursue swimming career.
She has been pursuing open water swimming for the last 10 years. She holds the distinction of being the youngest female swimmer in the world to swim in 5 oceans (Indian, Atlantic, Pacific, Antarctic and Arctic) and 7 seas.
Awards: She is recipient of the Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award-2010.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has handed over Resident Identity Card (RIC) readers to Navy Chief Admiral R K Dhowan and Coast Guard Director General Vice-Admiral A G Thapliyal. As part of RIC Scheme, these maritime security gadgets will be used by security agencies to check identity cards of the residents of coastal areas issued under RIC Scheme. Government had issued more than 65 lakh people mainly residents of coastal villages with identity cards as per RIC Scheme under the National Population Registrar.
It aims to strengthen coastal security measures in 9 states and 4 Union Territories which have a sea-line running along their borders. The scheme of issuing Cards is being implemented by the Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner- an office under the aegis of Union Home Ministry. Under this scheme, Union Government will prepare National Population Registrar (NPR) in 3,331 coastal villages by issuing Resident Identity Cards (RIC). RIC readers will be used by coastal security agencies to authenticate an individual’s demographic and biometric authentication without using Internet services. RIC cards are manufactured indigenously and can be read only when the key present in the RIC readers. RIC reader is temper-proof and self-destructs itself if it is opened in an unauthorized manner. Initially, these card readers will be issued to the Navy and Coast Guard. Later it will be given to Maritime Police stations and state governments.
United States has designated Maulana Fazlullah, chief of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP)– an outfit of Pakistan’s Taliban, as global terrorist and has imposed sanctions against him. It was announced after US Secretary of State John Kerry had asked Pakistan to target all terror outfits like the Lashkar-e-Taiba, Taliban and the Haqqani Network that pose a threat to itself, neighbours like India and to US.
Being designated as global terrorist, all the property and interests of Maulana Fazlullah that are in US or that come within the US, or the possession or control of US persons will be freezed. It also prohibits US nationals against engaging in transactions with Maulana Fazlullah.
In November 2013, he was elected as TTP chief commander after the death of former TTP leader Hakimullah Mehsud. Under his leadership, TTP had carried out barbaric attack on army school in Peshawar on 16 December 2014, killing at least 150 people, mostly children. In 2012, prior to becoming the leader of TTP, he was behind the killing of Pakistani Army Major General Sanaullah Niazi as well as ordering the shooting of schoolgirl and activist Malala Yousafzai (later won Nobel peace prize-2014). He is also responsible for the beheading of 17 Pakistani soldiers. It should be noted that United Nations and US already have declared Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) as banned Terrorist Organisation after Al-Qaeda.
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has cut down repo rate by 25 basis points to 7.75 percent from 8 percent, with immediate effect. It was announced ahead of the scheduled date of monetary policy announcement on 3rd February 2015 as part of RBI’s 6th bi-monthly monetary policy statement.
Repo rate: RBI has reduced the policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) by 25 basis points from 8.0 per cent to 7.75 per cent.
Cash reserve ratio (CRR): RBI has unchanged CRR and kept it at 4.0 per cent of net demand and time liabilities (NDTL).
Reverse repo rate: RBI has adjusted reverse repo rate under the LAF to 6.75 per cent.
While, RBI has adjusted Marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate to 8.75 per cent with immediate effect.
Indian cricket team has unveiled new eco-friendly ODI jersey ahead of the triangular series starting in Australia on 16 January 2015. It was unveiled in Melbourne.
It is made out of 100% recycled polyester obtained from 33 recycled plastic bottles. The new light weight kit combines high performance innovation with sustainability. The jersey is light, comfortable and packed with innovation. This eco-friendly jersey kit is made by BCCI’s official apparel sponsor Nike.
President Pranab Mukherjee has appointed Harishankar Brahma as the new Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) of India. He will be 19th CEC of India and succeed V S Sampat who had retired after attaining age 65 on 15 January 2015. He will take charge on 16 January 2015.
He is a retired IAS officer of 1975 batch from the Andhra Pradesh cadre. He hails from the state of Assam. He is second person from North East India to become Chief Election Commissioner after J. M. Lyngdoh. He had assumed charge of Election Commissioner on 24 August 2010, after he retired from position of Secretary in Ministry of Power.
As per the provisions of Article 324 of Constitution Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners are appointed by the President. They hold office for the term of 6 years or until they attain age of 65 years, whichever is earlier. The Chief Election Commissioner can be removed from office only through impeachment by Parliament.
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