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January 2020 - Persons in News



  • Australia has conferred its highest civilian honour, the Order of Australia honour, on Biocon founder Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw for her contribution towards advancing the country's relationship with India. Australia's High Commissioner to India Harinder Sidhu invested Mazumdar-Shaw as an Honorary Member within the Order of Australia (AM) in the General Division at a ceremony in Bengaluru. An alumnus of Federation University Australia, Mazumdar-Shaw is the founder of Biocon, one of India's largest bio-pharmaceutical companies.


  • High court judge and human rights advocate Katerina Sakellaropoulou has been elected Greece's first female president by parliament. Sakellaropoulou was nominated by the ruling conservative New Democracy party, but also managed to secure the backing of the main opposition party Syriza and the center-left Movement for Change.


  • The ruling Nepal Communist Party's Agni Sapkota has been elected as the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the lower house of Parliament in Nepal.


  • The Calcutta University conferred Honorary D.Lit. Degree to Nobel Laureate Prof. Abhijit Binayak Bandyopadhyay at its Annual Convocation on Jan 28, 2020. Mr Monoranjan Bapari received Rabindra Nath Tagore Memorial Medal for his outstanding contribution in the field of Literature. Prof. Joyanta Bishnu Narliker got Asutosh Mukherjee Memorial Medal at this juncture.


  • In the US, Kobe Bryant, 41-year-old National Basketball Association (NBA) legend and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna died in a helicopter crash in the city of Calabasas, California.


  • Rabindra Nath Mahato was unanimously elected as the Speaker of the Jharkhand Legislative Assembly on January 7, 2019.


  • Haitham bin Tariq al-Said was sworn in as the new Sultan of Oman on January 11, 2020 after the death of long-time ruler Qaboos bin Said Al Said. Late Sultan Qaboos bin Saeed had ruled Oman since 1970 as the 8th Sultan of the House of Al Said. He was the Arab world's longest-serving ruler. He passed away on January 10 due to prolonged illness at the age of 79 years.


  • Google celebrated 101st birth anniversary of India’s famous poet, lyricist, and activist Kaifi Azmi on January 14, 2020. Google has prepared a special doodle on his 101st birth anniversary. Kaifi Azmi was one of the most famous poets of the 20th century. He wrote his first poem at the age of 11 years only. At that time, Kaifi Azmi was inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s Quit India Movement.


  • Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been appointed the new chancellor of Queen's University in Belfast, Ireland. Clinton, who has been a regular visitor to Northern Ireland going back to the first visit of President Bill Clinton in 1995, becomes the university's first female chancellor.


  • Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei named the Deputy Head of the Revolutionary Guards' foreign operations arm Esmail Qaani to replace Qasem Soleimani as its commander. Soleimani was killed in a pre-dawn US strike in Baghdad.



  • Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen secured a landslide victory in presidential elections with voters resoundingly handing its first female leader a second term.


  • In the West African state of Guinea-Bissau, Opposition leader Umaro Sissoco Embalo has won presidential elections, picking up 53.55 per cent of votes. His rival Domingos Simoes Pereira, head of the country's ruling party PAIGC, bagged 46.45 percent votes.


  • Former Governor of Karnataka T N Chaturvedi passed away.


  • IPS officer Anand Prakash Maheshwari took over as the new director general of the CRPF. CRPF is the world's largest paramilitary force with about 3.25 lakh personnel.


  • The nation pays homage to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose on his 123rd birth anniversary on January 23, 2020. It was on this day in 1897, Netaji was born in Cuttack, Odisha. A number of functions have been organised across the country to mark the occasion.



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