Current Affairs: January 29, 2012

India signs agreement to set up Vivekananda Chair at Chicago University

  • India has signed at agreement with the University of Chicago to set up a Vivekananad Chair at the University.
  • The agreement has been signed between India’s Ministry of Culture and the University.
  • This agreement entails the consideration of a 1.5 million dollar grant for creation of an endowment.
  • As per the agreement, the University of Chicago will establish to honour the life and legacy of Swami Vivekananda by promoting fields of study most relevant to his teachings.

Iran Parliament debates on banning oil sales to Europe

  • Iranian parliament debates a draft bill requiring the government to immediately halt crude oil sales to Europe. The European Union had imposed an oil embargo against Iran and froze the assets of its central bank.
  • Many Iranian lawmakers and officials have called for an immediate ban on oil exports to the EU before the ban fully goes into effect in July. They say the 27 EU nations account for only about 18 percent of Iran’s overall oil sales and they would be hurt more by the decision than Iran.
  • If parliament passes the bill to halt oil sales to Europe, the legislation must still be approved by the Guardian Council to become law.

India, Bangladesh to jointly set up thermal power plant at Khulna

  • India and Bangladesh sign an agreement to set up a 1,320 megawatt coal based power project jointly at Khulna in Bangladesh.

Arab League suspends monitoring mission in Syria

  • Arab League decides to suspend its controversial monitoring mission in Syria because of the upsurge in violence. The mission was set up in December to monitor Damascus ‘ compliance with the League’s plan to end bloodshed. But several countries withdrew monitors.
  • Previously, the head of the Arab League monitoring mission in Syria , General Mohammed Ahmed Mustafa al-Dabi said, unrest has soared in the country, especially in the central cities of Homs and Hama and in the northern Idlib region.

UN appeals for $1.28 bn to fund its 2012 humanitarian operations

  • United Nations makes an appeal for 1.28 billion dollars to fund its 2012 humanitarian operations in more than 25 countries.
  • One third of this total amount is needed for crisis in Somalia and across the Horn of Africa.

Leander Paes becomes first Indian to complete career Grand Slam

  • Tennis star Leander Paes has created history by becoming the first Indian to complete a career Grand Slam by winning the Australian Open men’s doubles title with Czech player Radek Stepanek. In the 2012 Australian Open, they defeated the top seeds Bob and Mike Bryan of the US in straight sets in Melbourne.
  • The latest feat is the 13th Grand Slam title for Paes with seven men’s doubles trophies and six mixed doubles titles and is India ‘s most successful doubles player in majors. Paes won French Open thrice in 1999, 2001 and 2009, and Wimbledon in 1999 and US Open in 2006.

2012 Australian Open: Main Winners


    Defending champion Novak Djokovic combated past Rafael Nadal in a five-set Australian Open final which lasted for 5hr, 53min, the longest title match in Grand Slam history.
    Djokovic fought back from losing the first set to take a 2-1 lead, but then he was taken to a spellbinding fifth set by resurgent Nadal before winning 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7(5), 7-5 for his third consecutive Major title.

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