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1. PM Modi conferred the Times Now Amazing Indians Awards 2016
1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi conferred the Times Now Amazing Indians Awards 2016 to all the awardees.
2. The awards were given by Times Now in recognition of extraordinary achievers, ordinary people whose work shaped many lives
2. ‘Sahayog – Kaijin 2016’: India and Japan joint Coast Guard exercise
1. The 15th edition of bilateral exercise by the Indian Coast Guard and its Japanese counterpart titled ‘Sahayog-Kaijin 2016’ has begun off the coast of Chennai, Tamil Nadu in the Bay of Bengal.
2. Anti-piracy procedures, search and rescue operations and interoperability between the two forces and other areas of common professional interest.
3. Marat Safin inducted into International Tennis Hall of Fame
1. The Russian Tennis Federation on 14 January 2016 announced that former World No.1 tennis player Marat Safin joined the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
2. The official ceremony to induct Safin has been scheduled for 16 July 2016.
3. The Russian tennis player was announced as a candidate for the induction into the Hall of Fame in October 2015 together with Belgium's Justine Henin, a former women's singles No.1 and seven-time major champion, and Helena Sukova from the Czech Republic, who won 14 major titles in doubles and mixed doubles.
4. Kamal Haasan & Gautam Ghosh included in Shyam Benegal Committee on functioning of CBFC
1. Eminent film personalities Kamal Hassan and Gautam Ghosh were included in the Shyam Benegal Committee on functioning of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).
2. The inclusion was done to give representation to more regions of the country and on the recommendation of the existing four members committee.
3. Earlier, on 1 January 2016, the Union Information and Broadcasting Ministry set up the panel under the chairmanship of Shyam Benegal to review the provisions of the Cinematograph Act, 1952 and recommend measures for the smooth run of CBFC.
5. DRDO successfully test-fired anti-tank missile Nag in Rajasthan
1. The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in the second week of January 2016 successfully test-fired Nag anti-tank missile at the Mahajan Field Firing Range in Rajasthan.
2. The test was conducted during a night trial to validate the enhanced 4-km range capability of Imaging-Infrared seeker, which guides the missile to the target after its launch.
During the test, the Thermal Target System (TTS) was used as target for the missile. The TTS simulated a target similar to an operational tank as thermal mapping from tank to TTS was carried out for generating thermal signature.
6. Union Government signed a loan agreement with World Bank for Neeranchal National Watershed Project
1. Union Government signed a loan agreement with World Bank in New Delhi for the Neeranchal National Watershed Project.
2. All 28 states which implement the watershed projects will benefit from this project. However, the nine states, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujrat, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan and Telangana will benefit more from the project as they are implementation of large number of watershed schemes in their states.
Features of Neeranchal National Watershed Project
• The project was approved by the Union Cabinet in October 2015 with a total budget of 2142 crore rupees in which India would bear 1071 crore rupees and the rest 50 percent cost will be borne by the World Bank.
• It will be implemented by the 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.
• Around 12 percent of the area of wasteland will be targeted through this project to make about 336 lakh hectares of land arable.
• The Minister said that the effective implementation of the scheme will go a long way in strengthening the economic conditions of the farming community.
7. WHO declared end of Ebola outbreak in West Africa
1. The World Health Organisation (WHO) on 14 January 2016 declared West Africa free from Ebola outbreak. The decision was taken by the WHO as all known chains of transmission have been stopped in Liberia, which was worst affected among all the nations in the region.
2. The declaration came 42 days (two 21-day incubation cycles of the virus) after the last confirmed patient in Liberia tested negative for the disease 2 times.
3. Since its outbreak in December 2013 in the region, Liberia was worst hit as it killed 4809 people in the country. And, the region as a whole saw around 11000 deaths due to the outbreak.
4. Apart from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea were the other two most affected nations in the region. They were declared Ebola free in November 2015 and December 2015 respectively.
In the case of Liberia, the country was first declared free of Ebola transmission in May 2015, but the virus was re-introduced twice since then, with the latest flare-up in November.
8. 15 January: Indian Army Day
1. Indian Army Day is being observed every year on 15 January in India. This year it will be the 68th Indian Army Day.
2. Significance of Day: On this day in 1949, 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 (last British Commander-in-Chief of India.). This day inspires the troops to continue to enrich the glorious traditions of the Indian Army with their dedication and sacrifice.
9. Sania-Martina juggernaut continues to roll, wins Sydney title
1. Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis’ awe-inspiring run continued unabated as they lifted their second trophy of the season with the WTA Apia International title after clinching their 30th win a row.
2. The triumph over Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic though was not without initial hiccups as the top seeds lost the first set meekly before eking out a 1-6 7-5 10-5 win in one hour and 13 minutes.
3. The world number one team trailed 1-6 1-4 at one stage but they yet again came out unscathed, levelling the second set 5-5 and then sealed it to stretch it to a Super tie-breaker.
4. The US open and Wimbledon champions raced to a 8-3 lead in the decider and clinched the issue comfortably to stretch their unbeaten run to an incredible 30 matches.5. It was the 11th title together for the India-Swiss pair as continuing the good show from 2015 when they won 9 titles including the year-end WTA finale.