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In brief:

  • Senior Singaporean Minister and Coordinating Minister for Social Policies Tharman Shanmugaratnam today called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.
  • During the meeting, Mr Modi and Mr Shanmugaratnam expressed satisfaction at the rapid pace of bilateral relations.
  • Mr Modi also expressed his desire to strengthen further cooperation between India and Singapore in the areas of infrastructure, tourism, digital payment systems, innovation and governance.

WORLD

Iran refusing to adhere to the 2015 nuclear deal

  • Iran said it would abandon limitations on enriching uranium, refusing to adhere to the 2015 nuclear deal it signed with six major powers, but would continue to cooperate with the UN nuclear watchdog.
  • The E3 group of countries – Britain, France, and Germany – have subsequently called on Tehran to resume its commitments under the deal.
  • Iran’s announcement comes after its top security and intelligence commander, Major General Qassem Soleimani, was killed in a US drone attack in Baghdad, marking a major escalation in the standoff between Washington and Tehran.
  • The Iran nuclear deal (formally the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) was signed between Iran and the P5 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council) plus Germany and the European Union.
  • Under the deal, Tehran agreed to limit its nuclear program in return for relief from the US and other economic sanctions.

China’s PLA begins major military exercises in Tibet

  • The Chinese army has begun major military exercises in the high-altitude Tibet bordering India, deploying latest weapons including the Type 15 light battle tank and the new 155-MM vehicle-mounted howitzer.
  • The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Tibet Military Command started its New Year exercises in which it has deployed helicopters, armoured vehicles, heavy artillery and anti-aircraft missiles across the region from Lhasa, capital of Tibet, to the border defence front lines with elevations of more than 4,000 metres.
  • India-China Line of Actual Control (LAC) covered 3,488 kilometres, including the border along Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim.
  • China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of South Tibet.
  • Both the tank and howitzer, which were revealed to the public on the National Day military parade on October 1 last year, are specifically designed with advantages for plateau regions and can play important roles in safeguarding border areas.

TAMIL NADU

Anna University’s name shouldn’t change after getting Institute of Eminence status

  • The higher education department has proposed to change the university’s name to Anna Institute of Eminence after getting the IoE status.
  • As per the proposal, Anna University and its four campuses will be separated from the rest of rest of university and it will be known as Anna Institute of university and it will be known as Anna Institute of Eminence.

AWARDS

CPI(M) MP wins literary award

  • CPI (M) MP and Sahitya Akademi winner Su. Venkatesan has been selected for the Iyal award-2019 of the Canada-based Tamil Literary Garden, an organisation dedicated to the promotion of Tamil internationally.
  • “I deem it a great honour to my literary journey,” said Mr. Venkatesan, who was elected from the Madurai Lok Sabha constituency.
  • His first novel Kaaval Kottam, tracing a unique security system that prevailed in Madurai six hundred years ago, won the Sahitya Akademi award in 2011. A subplot of the novel was made into a film Aravaan.

APPOINTMENTS

Juan Guaido

  • Venezuela, a country that has lived under dueling presidents for nearly a year, looks like it is heading for competing legislatures as well.
  • Allies of President Nicolas Maduro hijacked a session of the country’s National Assembly, while security forces locked out the body’s president, Juan Guaidó, and his supporters.
  • Meanwhile, inside the chamber lawmakers allied to Maduro’s government quickly selected a new head of the chamber.

SPORTS

WTA Auckland Classic

  • Serena Williams easily defeated Camila Giorgi in straight sets in the WTA Auckland Classic to notch up her first victory of 2020.

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