1.Novac Djokovic wins Australian open Men's single title:
i. Novak Djokovic returned to his dominant best to win his third consecutive Australian Open title, denying Andy Murray a second major championship with a 6-7 (2), 7-6 (3), 6-3, 6-2 victory Sunday night at Rod Laver Arena.
ii. The top-ranked Djokovic is the first man in the Open era to win three straight Australian titles nine others have won back-to-back but were unable to win three in a row.
NOTE:i. In the grand semi-final clash yesterday Murray battled past Roger Federer 6-4, 6-7, 6-3, 6-7, 6-2 to reach his third Australian Open and sixth Grand Slam final.
ii. Victoria Azerankasuccessfully defended her Australian Open title and retained the number one world ranking after hitting back to beat a battered and bruised Li Na in three sets.
2. Indo-Pak water talks postponed
i. Talks between the Water Secretaries of India and Pakistan, scheduled to be held in Islamabad during January 28-29, have been put off in the wake of tensions between the neighbours over ceasefire violations along the Line of Control.
ii. The two-day talks were cancelled in the wake of tension between the two countries over ceasefire violations along the Line of Control.
iii. The two countries were scheduled to discuss the Tulbul navigation project-Wullar Barrage issue during the talks.
NOTE: This is the second high-level bilateral interaction that has been put off because of tension between India and Pakistan over ceasefire violations along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir
3. Incredible India at EMITT 2013 in Istanbul
i. India Tourism is promoting the brand Incredible India at the ongoing Eastern Mediterranean International Tourism and Travel Exhibition, EMITT-2013 in Istanbul.
ii. A team of tour and travel operators from different parts of India took part at the Mediterranean region’s largest tourism and travel festival.
iii. The four day event was inaugurated by India’s Consul General in Istanbul, Shri Vanlalhuma on Thursday
NOTE: The move is aimed at showcasing India’s tourism destinations and attract a large number of foreign tourist from Turkey and other parts of the region.
4. Yash Pal, Rajesh Khanna, Dravid, Mary Kom among Padma awardees:
i. Noted scientists Yashpal and Roddam Narasimha, cricketer Rahul Dravid, actor Rajesh Khanna and comedian Jaspal Bhatti (both posthumous), and boxer Mary Kom, are among the 108 eminent and illustrious personalities named for India's highest civilian honours, Padma awards, this year.
ii. Among the Padma Vibhushan awardees are Yashpal, Roddam Narasimha and artist S. Haider Ali Raza.
iii. Among the Padma Bhushan awardees are actors Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore, Bhatti, industrialist Adi Godrej, as well as Dravid and Mary Kom.
iv. Actor Nana Patekar, Urdu poet Nida Fazli, wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt, boxer Dingko Singh, filmmaker Ramesh Sippy, Magsaysay Award winner Nileema Mishra, Olympic medallist Vijay Kumar are among the Padma Shri awardees.
NOTE: i. President Pranab Mukherjee approved the names of the 108 awardees, who include four Padma Vibhushan, 24 Padma Bhushan and 80 Padma Shri.
ii. As many as 24 of the awardees are women.
5. K-5 ballistic missile successfully test fired
i. India today successfully test fired a ballistic missile, with a strike range of around 1500 kilometres, from an underwater platform in Bay of Bengal.
ii. Medium range K-5 ballistic missile was test-fired from an underwater ponto
iii. K-5 missile, which is a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM).
About K-5 ballistic missile:
i. K-5 ballistic missiles is part of the family of underwater missiles being developed by DRDO for the Indian strategic forces underwater platforms. This missile will help India to achieve the capability of launching nuclear warheads from underwater facilities.
ii. This is the first missile in the underwater category to have been developed by India. So far, India had the capability of delivering nuclear weapons from land and aerial platforms only.
iii. K-5 ballistic missile, which is also known as BO5, has been developed by DRDO's Hyderabad-based Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL).
NOTE: Only a select few nations including the US, France, Russia and China have this type of missile capability.
6. Indo-Japan SME meet in Chennai
i. The Indo-Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IJCCI) is organising a two-day conference on SME (small and medium enterprise) in Chennai.
ii. The conference will begin on February 18.
iii. The two-day meet is being organised with the support of Indian Embassy in Tokyo, and Consulate-General in Osaka.
iv. The conference will be followed by a Golf tournament on February 20
i. The objective of the conference is to bring together the SMEs of Japan and India under a common platform, and facilitate co-operation between businessmen of the two countries.
ii. The conference will focus on the commonalities between the economies of the two nations, and work to beef up co-operation in areas that could further cement the ties between the two countries.
NOTE: i. The conference is being held at a time when the SMEs in both the countries are going through a tough phase.
ii. According to a rough estimate, India has around 50 million SMEs.
iii. Japan, however, reportedly has twice that number.
Iv. “The forthcoming conference tries to build a bridge between the two communities in distress in both the countries for a better tomorrow,” the release adds.
v. Five Southern States and Gujarat have been invited “to partner in the conference”.
7. VP to inaugurate Global Partnership Summit in Agra :
i. In Uttar Pradesh, Vice President Hamid Ansari inaugurate the Global Partnership Summit in the Taj city Agra today.
ii. Many countries of Europe, North America and South America and Australia are participating in the Summit. A 29 member delegation from United states are coming to participate in the meet.
NOTE: The ministry of commerce and industry in association of the CII is organising the 19th edition of The Partnership Summit 2013, for which Uttar Pradesh is the partner state.
ii. The theme for this year is "global partnerships for enduring growth".
8. SBI to open second branch in China
i. State Bank of India (SBI) will next month open its second branch in China in the north-eastern port city of Tianjin to cater to the growing trade with India, particularly from the northern part of the country.
ii. While much of the annual $66 billion bilateral trade is driven by China’s more prosperous southern provinces, SBI officials believe the increasing trade from northern China — and particularly through the fast-developing trade hub of Tianjin — will provide a platform to grow the operations of the bank’s second China branch.
iii. The Tianjin branch will open with $47 million capital. SBI Shanghai operates with $76 million capital, including 300 million RMB.
NOTE: i. SBI Shanghai, in 2010, became the first Indian bank to acquire a licence from Chinese authorities to do business in the local Renminbi (RMB) currency.
ii. Dinesh Sharma, CEO of the SBI Shanghai Branch, said the Tianjin branch would open towards the end of February. Under Chinese rules, banks have to go through a five-year waiting period before they can acquire an RMB licence.
iii. SBI is also considering opening a third office in the southern port city of Guangzhou.
9. Chidambaram to launch RGESS in Mumbai
i. Aiming to attract first-time stock market investors, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram will launch the much-awaited Rajiv Gandhi Equity Savings Scheme (RGESS) in Mumbai on February 9.
ii. The RGESS, which was announced in the Budget for 2012-13, seeks to provide tax benefits to first-time investors in stock markets.
iii. Under the scheme, an individual with an income of less than Rs 10 lakh would get tax incentives for investing up to Rs 50,000 in the stock market.
iv. As per the notification issued by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on the RGESS, there would be a lock—in period of one year on investments made under the scheme.
v. For transactions undertaken by investors through their RGESS designated Demat account, depositories would be required to seek necessary transactional details from stock exchanges for enforcing lock-in.
NOTE: The scheme was notified by the Department of Revenue, Finance Ministry on November 23 last year.
10. India’s 5-year steel output second highest in the world:
i. India’s 33 per cent growth in steel production in the last five years was second only to China among the top-five producing nations.
ii. China’s production grew by 39 per cent during 2008-2012, the latest World Steel Association (WSA) data has revealed.
iii. India’s production grew constantly in the last five years from 57.8 MT in 2008 to 63.5 MT in 2009, 69 MT in 2010, 73.6 MT in 2011 and 76.7 MT in 2012.
iv. China, which produces nearly half of world’s steel, had output of 512.3 MT in 2008, 577.1 MT in 2009, 638.7 MT in 2010, 694.8 MT in 2011 and 716.5 MT in 2012.
NOTE: i. Russia, which holds the fifth rank in the world order of steel production in 2012, had clocked a mere three per cent growth in output during the last five years.
ii. Japan and the US, which occupy the second and third ranks respectively since 2010, have, in fact, produced less steel in 2012 than what they had produced in 2008.
iii. India is projected to grab the second slot in the world of steel production within a year or two on new capacity expansions, mainly through the brown field route.
11. Hinduja group acquires Belgium media firm
i. UK-based global conglomerate Hinduja group has signed a deal to acquire Belgian media company Alfacam, which provides TV facilities and services to broadcasters and production houses.
ii. After this acquisition, the over $ 25 billion Hinduja group would look to expand Alfacam’s services and businesses in different parts of the world, including India.
iii. The Memorandum of Understanding for the acquisition was announced here on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meet by NRI billionaire brothers Gopichand Hinduja and Prakash Hinduja, as also Flemish Minister-President Kris Peeters
iv. Alfacam is best known for its broadcasting vehicles for filming and broadcasting of major sports and entertainment events. They were also used in a big way at the Olympic Games in London last year.
NOTE: Hinduja group is present across diversified businesses including banking, oil, power, transport, healthcare, technology, media and telecom. It has been on a major expansion spree in recent years
12. England beat India by 7 wickets in the 5th ODI
England beat India by 7 wickets in the 5th ODI in Dharamshala on Sunday as India wins the series 3-2 and retained its No. 1 title in the ODIs.
For the winners, Man of the Match, Ian Bell, remained unbeaten on 113.