- The Andhra Pradesh assembly is all set to decide the fate of the legislative council.
- The development comes in the wake of the main Opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) delaying two bills dealing with the decentralization of Andhra Pradesh‟s capital in the upper House, where the TDP has 27 MLCs out of the total 58.
- The ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP), miffed with constant opposition in the council, may decide to dissolve it by passing a resolution in the assembly.
- This will be a cake walk for the YSRCP, led by chief minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, as it holds 151 out of the total 175 seats in the assembly.
Michelle Obama wins a Grammy
- Former first lady Michelle Obama has snagged her first Grammy win for the audiobook version of her best-selling memoir “Becoming.” It‟s the third Grammy win for the Obama household.
- Obama‟s husband won for the audiobook recordings of his memoirs “Dreams of My Father” and “The Audacity of Hope” in 2006 and 2008.
- Obama‟s win for best spoken word album beat out nominees John Waters and the Beastie Boys, among others. She did not attend the ceremonies.
- The text version of “Becoming” has sold millions of copies, and had the longest streak at No.1 on Amazon for any book since “Fifty Shades of Grey” in 2012. The memoir traces Michelle Obama‟s Chicago roots to her time in the White House.
- Obama isn‟t the only former first lady to win a Grammy for best spoken word album. Hillary Clinton won in 2003 for “Living History.”
Swiss scientist developing robot that “grips without touching”
- The technology is based on sound waves, or “ultrasound waves”, to be more precise.
- ETH pioneer fellow Marcel Schuck is responsible for the invention, and has a small version of the robot on his desk.
- The device is described as “comprising two semi-spheres and resembling a pair of headphones”. It is connected to a circuit board carrying microchips.
- Schuck is using the assembly to demonstrate a physical effect. A small sphere hovers between the two semi-spheres, held up by ultrasound waves.
Coast Guard Ship “Annie Besant” reaches base harbour at Chennai
- The recently inducted Indian Coast Guard Ship Annie Besant has reached its base harbour at Chennai.
- It was received with pomp and splendour by the staff and their family members of the Coast Guard Chennai office.
- The ship Annie Besant is the third Fast Patrol Vessel of the „Priyadarshini‟ class.
- The ship has been indigenously designed and built and was commissioned at Khidderpore Dock, Kolkata recently.
- It is capable of undertaking multi-faceted maritime operations such as Surveillance, Search and Rescue and Interdiction.
Senior bureaucrat B Anand appointed secretary of National Commission for Minorities
- Senior bureaucrat B Anand was appointed as the secretary of National Commission for Minorities, according to a personnel ministry order.
- Anand, a 1987-batch IAS officer of Tamil Nadu cadre, is at present additional secretary and financial advisor, the department of science and technology.
- He is also holding additional charge of financial advisor, department of biotechnology and ministry of earth sciences.
UDAY Not Failure; New Version Likely in Budget: Power Minister
- Ahead of the upcoming Union Budget on Saturday, Power Minister R K Singh said that the UDAY (Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana) scheme was not a failure.
- However, an improved version of the programme, meant for revival for Discoms and to ensure 24X7 power, maybe announced in Budget.
- Power Ministry launched UDAY Scheme which was approved by the Union Cabinet on November 05, 2015.
- It envisages financial & operational turnaround of the power distribution utilities (Discoms) of the country.
Grant of Presidential Awards to the Officers of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC)
- Every year, the Officers of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) Department are considered for grant of Presidential Award.
- This year, three (3) officers have been selected for grant of Presidential Awards of Appreciation Certificate for „Exceptionally Meritorious Service at the Risk of Life‟ and forty three (43) Officers have been selected for grant of Presidential Awards of Appreciation Certificate for “Specially Distinguished Record of Service‟.
Gujarat will soon have world’s largest cricket stadium
- In a country where cricket is a religion, here‟s a “temple” like no other. If everything goes as planned, in a few months, India will have the world‟s largest cricket stadium.
- The Sardar Patel Stadium or the Motera Cricket Stadium is in the final stages of completion in Ahmedabad, Gujarat-a state which has given the Indian cricket team stars like Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ravindra Jadeja.
- It will have a whopping spectator capacity of 1.10 lakh-higher than the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Australia, which can accommodate 1,00,024 spectators.
International Customs Day 2020
- The International Customs Day (ICD) on 26 January 2020 will be dedicated to the contribution of Customs towards a sustainable future where social, economic, health and environmental needs are at the heart of our actions, with the slogan “Customs fostering Sustainability for People, Prosperity and the Planet”.