Person in news

President of France Mr. Francois Hollande was on a three-day state visit to India as he was invited as the Chief Guest at nation’s 67th India’s Republic Day celebrations on January 26, 2016. During his visit, India and France signed 16 MoUs, including a deal to buy 36 Rafale jets from France. This is Mr. Hollande’s second visit to India. Earlier, he had visited the nation in February 2013.
Hassan Rouhani
Iran’s President Mr. Hassan Rouhani was on a four-day visit to Italy and France from January 25 to 28,
2016. This is the first visit by an Iranian President since a warming of relations between Iran and Western powers following the lifting of EU and US sanctions on Tehran, in return for Iran’s agreement with six major world powers in July 2015 to significantly scale down its nuclear programme.
Tsai Ing-wen
Pro-Independence Opposition candidate of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Ms. Tsai Ing-wen, aged 59, has been elected as first female and 14th President of Taiwan. Ms. Tsai’s victory is the biggest mandate ever won by a DPP president and is only the second-ever victory for the DPP since Taiwan split with China in 1949.
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa
Mr. Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa won the Presidential election of Portugal on January 24, 2616. Mr. Sousa, a centre-right^ Social Democrats candidate and a former journalist, won
became the first female amputee to climb 5 mountains of the world. The four other peaks conquered by her include Everest in Asia, Kilimanjaro in Africa, Elbrus in Europe, and Kosizko in Australia, as the world’s four highest peaks.
Sania Mirza
Sania Mirza, the ace tennis player from India, along with Martina Hingis made the headlines the world over when they won the Australian Open women’s doubles title on January 29,
2016. They extended their unbeaten run to 36 matches, winning eight tides in a row.
The duo defeated Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka of Czech Republic. Earlier, Ms. Sania’s name was announced on J anuary 25,2016 as a winner of the Padma Bhushan, the third most prestigious award of the country.
Angelique Kerber
Germany’s Angelique Kerber hogged the limelight on January 30, 2016 when she defeated the invincible USA’s Serena Williams in a three-set classic final to win the Australian Open women’s singles title. She became Germany’s first Grand Slam Champion in 17 years since Steffi Graf raised her 22nd and final trophy at the 1999 French Open.
Novak Djokovic
Serbian tennis ace Novak Djokovic became the cynosure of all eyes on January 31, 2016 when he crushed Andy Murray of Great Britain in the Australian Open men’s singles to match Ray Emerson’s record of six Australian Open titles. This was Djokovic’s fifth Australian Open President of France Mr. Francois Hollande was on a three-day state visit to India as he was invited as the Chief Guest at nation’s 67th India’s Republic Day celebrations on January 26, 2016. During his visit, India and France signed 16 MoUs, including a deal to buy 36 Rafale jets from France. This is Mr. Hollande’s second visit to India. Earlier, he had visited the nation in February 2013.
Hassan Rouhani
Iran’s President Mr. Hassan Rouhani was on a four-day visit to Italy and France from January 25 to 28,
2016. This is the first visit by an Iranian President since a warming of relations between Iran and Western powers following the lifting of EU and US sanctions on Tehran, in return for Iran’s agreement with six major world powers in July 2015 to significantly scale down its nuclear programme.
Tsai Ing-wen
Pro-Independence Opposition candidate of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Ms. Tsai Ing-wen, aged 59, has been elected as first female and 14th President of Taiwan. Ms. Tsai’s victory is the biggest mandate ever won by a DPP president and is only the second-ever victory for the DPP since Taiwan split with China in 1949.
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa
Mr. Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa won the Presidential election of Portugal on January 24, 2616. Mr. Sousa, a centre-right^ Social Democrats candidate and a former journalist, won
became the first female amputee to climb 5 mountains of the world. The four other peaks conquered by her include Everest in Asia, Kilimanjaro in Africa, Elbrus in Europe, and Kosizko in Australia, as the world’s four highest peaks.
Sania Mirza
Sania Mirza, the ace tennis player from India, along with Martina Hingis made the headlines the world over when they won the Australian Open women’s doubles title on January 29,
2016. They extended their unbeaten run to 36 matches, winning eight tides in a row.
The duo defeated Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka of Czech Republic. Earlier, Ms. Sania’s name was announced on J anuary 25,2016 as a winner of the Padma Bhushan, the third most prestigious award of the country.
Angelique Kerber
Germany’s Angelique Kerber hogged the limelight on January 30, 2016 when she defeated the invincible USA’s Serena Williams in a three-set classic final to win the Australian Open women’s singles title. She became Germany’s first Grand Slam Champion in 17 years since Steffi Graf raised her 22nd and final trophy at the 1999 French Open.
Novak Djokovic
Serbian tennis ace Novak Djokovic became the cynosure of all eyes on January 31, 2016 when he crushed Andy Murray of Great Britain in the Australian Open men’s singles to match Ray Emerson’s record of six Australian Open titles. This was Djokovic’s fifth Australian Open

Australian Open 2016

Australian Open 2016

Men’s Singles: World No. 1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia clinched his sixth Australian Open men’s singles title in Melbourne on January 31, 2016. In the final, Djokovic defeated World No. 2 Andy Murray of Britain in straight sets 6-1, 7-5, 7-6(3) and equalled Australian Roy Emerson’s record of six Australian Open tides. It was Djokovic’s 11th career Grand Slam title apd drew level with Australian Rod Laver and Swede Bjorn Borg. It was defending champion’s fifth Australian Open crown out of the last six finals.

Women’s Singles : In a thrilling women’s singles final, seventh seed Angelique Kerber of Germany stunned Serena Williams of USA, beating her 6-4, 3-6, 6-4. By clinching her maiden major title, Kerber became Germany’s first Grand Slam champion since; Steffi Graf’s 1999 French Open crown.

Women’s Doubles : Continuing their successful journey, the India-Swiss pair of Sania Mirza and Martina

Hingis woii the Australian Open 2016 women’s doubles crown in Melbourne on January 29, 2016. They defeated Czech duo of Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka in
straight sets 7-6 (1), 6-3. It was the World No. 1 doubles team’s third Grand Slam in a row after winning Wimbledon and US Open in 2015 and overall 12th major tide. With this victory, the duo registered their 36th consecutive match win and eighth successive title.

Men’s Doubles : Jamie Murray (Britain) & Bruno Soares (Brazil) beat Daniel Nestor (Canada) & Radek Stcpanek (Czech Republic).

Mixed Doubles : Plena Vesnina (Russia) & Bruno Soares (Brazil) beat Coco Vandeweghe (USA) & Iloria Tecau (Romania).

ATHLETICS

Mumbai Marathon

Kenyan pacemaker Gideon Kipketer won the men’s race in an all-East African clean sweep of the podium by setting a new record in the 13th Mumbai Marathon on January 17, 2016. He was followed in second place by Ethiopia’s Seboka Dibaba in 2:09:20 and Marius Kimutai of Kenya (2:09:39). Kipketer stopped the clock at 2:08:35, shaving almost a full second off the 2013 record of 2:09:32 set by Ugandan Jackson Kiprop.

The women’s crown was clinched by Ethiopian runner Shuko Genemo in 2:27:50, well off the 2:24 course record set in 2013 by Kenya’s Valentine Kipketer, sister of the winner of the men’s race. In second place was Kenya’s Bornes Kitur (2:32:00), while Valentine finished a distant third in 2:34:07.

BADMINTON

Syed Modi International Grand Prix

singles title. In the final clash at Penang, she defeated Scotland’s Kirsty Gilmour 21-15, 21-9. This was Sindhu’s second Malaysia Masters Grand Prix Gold title, having won it in 2013 as well.

In men’s singles category, Lee Chong Wei beat Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin in an all-Malaysian men’s singles final, winning 21-18, 21-11. It was his fifth Malaysian Masters triumph, having also emerged champion in 2009-2012.

In men’s doubles, Indonesian pair of Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo and Markus Fernaldi Gideon defeated Malaysian pair of Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boort Heong by 18-21, 21-13, 21-18. In women’s doubles, Japanese pair of Ayaka Takahashi and Misaki Matsutomo defeated Chinese pair of Yu Yang and Tang Yuanting by 21-18, 22-20.

Premier Badminton League

Delhi Acers on January 17, 2016 emerged victorious over Mumbai Rockets by 4-3 in the summit clash to clinch the Premier Badminton League (PBL) tide. The matches were held at the Siri Fort Sports Complex in New Delhi. Indonesia’s ace shuttler Tommy Sugiarto beat Mumbai Rockets’ HS Prannoy 15-9, 15-9. In a trump match, Delhi Acers’ Rajiv Ouseph won the final match, against RMV Gurusaidutt 15-11, 15-6. Men’s Doubles: Pair of Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong of Delhi Acers defeated Mumbai Rockets Mathias Boe and Vladimir Ivanov by 15-10, 15-14. Women’s Singles (trump match): Han Li (Mumbai) beat PC Thulasi (Delhi) 12-15,15-8,15-8. Mixed Doubles: Koo Keat Kien and Tan Boon Heong (Delhi) Mathias Boe Vladimir Ivanov (Mumbai) 14-15, 15-10, 15-14.

BASKETBALL

66th Senior National Basketball
Championship

The 66th Senior National Basketball Championship was held in Mysuru from January 8 to 16, 2016. The Indian Railways women and Services men captured the Gold medals, with Kerala women and Uttarakhand men finishing runners-up. Delhi women and Tamil Nadu men sealed third place, going home with Bronze medals. Navaneetha PU of the Indian Railways was awarded the Most Valuable Player in the women’s section, while Services point guard Joginder Singh was awarded the men’s Most Valuable Player.

BOXING

5th AIBA Nations Cup

Indian women boxers made India proud at the 5th AIBA Nations Cup in Ruma, Serbia, notching up a rich haul of 4 Gold, 9 Silver and 9 Bronze medals at the tournament. In simultaneous competitions in the senior, youth and junior categories, Indians made an impression in all three age groups. Seema Punia (+81kg) and Pwilao Basumatary (57kg) fetched Gold medals in the senior category. On the other hand, Soniya (48kg) and Manisha (60kg) clinched the yellow metal in the youth and junior competitions, respectively.

This year’s Nations Cup, held in Ruma, Serbia from January’ 8 to 12, 2016 has been the biggest so far with participation from 34 nations belonging to all five AIBA confederations. In all, 151 Elite, 60 Youth and 45 Junior boxers took part in the event.

CHESS
Chennai Open

Russian Grandmaster Vladimir Belous emerged champion while India’s Subbaraman Vijayalakshmi finished second after the 10th and final round of the Chennai Open International Grandmaster, Chess tournament in Chennai on January 25, 2016. Belous ended with 8.5 points while Vijayalakshmi shared the second spot with 8 points with Russia’s Grachev Boris. In crucial final-round games, Belous defeated Dzhumaev Marat from Uzbekistan while tournament leader Solodovnichenko Yuri of Ukraine went down to Boris.

14th Parsvnath Delhi International
Chess Festival

It was an intense final round of 14th Parsvnath Delhi International Chess Festival as overnight sole leader Ivan Popov suffered a shock defeat at the hands of veteran Grandmaster Valeriy Neverov of Ukraine. While it did not alter the final rankings, it counted for a thrilling day as Neverov defeated Popov in a class act with white pieces. At the end, it was a three-way tie for the top spot on eight points each with Hungarian Grandmaster Attila Czebe who also reached the magical eight points. As the tie was resolved, Popov still had the best tiebreak and he walked away with the winner’s title. Czebe came second and Neverov had to be content with a third-place finish.

GOLF

Abu Dhabi Championship

Rickie Fowler won, his fourth tide since May 2015, producing magical-‘shots en route to clinching the Abu

Dhabi Golf Championship on January 24, 2016 in Abu Dhabi. He finished with a three-under par 69 round for a four-day tally of 16-under par 272, one better than long- hitting Belgian Thomas Pieters,’ who closed with a five- under par 67. World number three Rory Mcllroy (68) made an eagle on the 18th hole and world number five Henrik Stenson (67) made three birdies in his last four holes to finish on 14-under par 274.

HOCKEY

26th Lai Bahadur Shastri Hockey
Tournament

Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) on January 3, 2016 won the 26th Lai Bahadur Shastri Hockey tournament, defeating Indian Railways 3-0 on penalties in the final match held at the Shivaji Stadium in New Delhi. At the end of the stipulated time, both the teams stood at 2 points each. In the shootout, Sumit Kumar, Gurjant Singh and Vikramjit Singh scored for ONGC while the Railways players could not score a single goal.

SHOOTING

Asia Olympic Qualifying Shooting
Competition

Four Indian shooters—Heena Sidhu, Ayonika Paul, Kynan Chenai and Sanjeev Rajput booked their berths for the Rio Olympics 2016 after their impressive performance at the Asia Olympic qualifying competition held at Karni Singh Range in New Delhi from January 27 to February 2, 2016. World record holder and Asian champion Heena Sidhu proved her class by bagging Gold in the women’s 10 m air pistol event. World Cup medallist Ayonika Paul also qualified after winning Silver in the women’s 10 m air rifle event while Kynan Chenai won the Olympic quota with a spectacular performance in the men’s trap event. Sanjeev Rajput clinched the men’s rifle 3-position quota place. With four shootersjbooking their berths, India’s tally has increased to 12 for the Rio Games.

Swedish Cup Grand Prix

Indian shooter Apurvi Chandela broke the world record on January 5, 2016» to grab a Gold medal

in the women’s 10 metre air rifle event at the Swedish Cup Grand Prix. Chandela shot 211.2 in the event held at Savsjo Shooting Centre to outshine the feat of Chinese Olympic Gold medallist Yi Siling, who held the record with 211. Swedish shooters Astrid Steffensen and Stine Nielsen won the Silver and the Bronze, respectively.

SNOOKER & BILLIARDS
National Billiards Championship

Kolkata cueist Sourav Kothari pocketed the National Billiards tide, defeating Siddharth Parekh 5-2 in the final of the National Billiards Championship in Indore, Madhya Pradesh on January 23, 2016. Kothari started with a bang to win four straight frames in the best-of-nine frame (150-up each) summit clash.

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reduction in overall power cost. Transmission projects are to be developed through competitive bidding process to ensure faster completion at lower cost. Faster installation of Smart meters is to enable Time of Day metering, reduce theft and allow net-metering. It will lower power cost by creating transmission capacity for accessing power from across India.

The amendments propose Renewable Power Obligation (RPO), i.e. in order to promote renewable energy and energy security, 8 percent of electricity consumption excluding hydro power will be from > solar energy by March 2022. It talks about Renewable Generation Obligation (RGO), i.e new coal/ lignite based thermal plants after specified date to also establish/procure/purchase renewable capacity.

The amendments aim to give a boost to Swachh Bharat Mission with procurement of 100% power produced from Waste-to-Energy plants. To release clean drinking water for cities and reduce pollution of rivers like Ganga, thermal plants within 50 km of sewage treatment facilities are to use treated sewage water. It proposes promotion of Hydro projects through long-term PPAs and exemption from competitive bidding till August 2022. It also proposes ancillary services to support grid operation for expansion of renewable energy. The amendments aim to generate employment in coal-rich Eastern States like Odisha, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, etc. by encouraging investments. States will be allowed to set up plants, with up to 35 percent of power procured by DSICOMs on regulated tariff.

MGNREGA Completes Ten Years Of
Implementation

The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), 2005 completed ten years of implementation on February 2, 2016. Under the Act, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme was launched with the objective of providing at least 100 days of employment in rural areas across the country. Touted as one of the largest employment-generation programmes in the modern world history, it made the right to employment as a legal right in independent India. In 10 years of its implementation, the expenditure on the programme has amounted to Rs. 3.13 lakh crore and out of this 71 percent was spent on wage payments to workers. Of the workers, the percentage of Scheduled Caste (SC) workers has consistently been about 20 percent and Scheduled Tribe (ST) workers has been about 17 percent. A. total of 1980.01 crore person days were generated, out of which the percentage worked by women has steadily increased much above the statutory minimum of 33 percent.

Under the programme, sustainable assets have been created linked to conservation of natural resources and overall development of gram panchayats. More than 65 percent of the works taken up under the programme are linked to agriculture and allied activities. It institutionalised progressive administrative practices like electronic fund management system, social audit, participation of people in the entire programme cycle, redressal of grievances through ombudsman, etc. To a great extent, it helped to address the problem of employment in rural areas especially in times of distress. Consequently, it helped in reducing rural to urban migration to a great extent. The World Bank in its State of Safety Nets 2015 Report declared the scheme as the largest in the Public Works Programme (PWP) category in the world with 182 million beneficiaries.       GS3

6th Snooker Masters

Ronnie O’Sullivan on January 17, 2016 won his sixth Snooker Masters title after defeating Barry Hawkins 10-1 in the final at the Alexandra Palace in London. O’Sullivan had previously won the event in 1995, 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2014, equalling the record set by Stephen Hendry. The Masters is a professional invitational snooker tournament which is held every year since 1975.

TENNIS

Brisbane International

Milos Raonic of Canada on January 10, 2016 won the 2016 Brisbane International Tennis men’s singles trophy. To win the title, the 14th world ranking player defeated Roger Federer of Switzerland 6-4, 6-4 in the final held at Brisbane in Australia. For Raonic, it was the 8th World ATP tour title in his career and the first title in the 2016 season. Victoria Azarenka of Belarus defeated Angelique Kerber of Germany 6-3, 6-1 to win women’s singles title in the Brisbane International.

French pair Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic by 1-6, 7-5, 10-5.

Men’s Doubles: Henri Kontinen of Finland and John Peers of Australia defeated Australians James Duckworth and Chris Guccione by 7-6(7-4), 6-1.

Chennai Open

Stanislas Wawrinka on January 10, 2016 won Chennai Open title. In the summit clash at the Nungambakkam tennis stadium of Chennai, he defeated Croatian Borna Coric 6-3, 7-5. This is the fourth Chennai Open title for the Swiss player and the third consecutive win, who first won it in 2011.

Men’s Doubles: Austria’s Oliver Marach and French Fabrice Martin defeated United States’ Austin Krajicek and French Benoit Paire by 6-3, 7-5.                                                W33