Leander Paes: The oldest Grand Slam champion Age is just a number for Indian tennis great Leander Paes

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Leander Paes: The oldest Grand Slam champion

Age is just a number for Indian tennis great Leander Paes who has put youngsters to shame with another Grand Slam doubles title at Australian Open 2015 - becoming the oldest to capture a Grand Slam title at the age of 41 with his mixed doubles Swiss partner Martina Hingis.

It is his 15th Grand Slam trophy that includes 8 Men's doubles and 7 mixed doubles crowns. They beat Daniel Nestor and Kristina Mladenovic in the final. 

List of all 15 titles won by Paes

  • Australian Open (3): in 2003, 2010, and now in 2015

  • Wimbledon (3): in 1999, 2003, and 2010

  • US Open (1): It came in 2008

  • French Open (1): in 2005

He was also the sole Indian medalist in Atlanta Olympic 1996; winning a bronze medal in singles.

Other Winners

Men's Singles

  • Novak Djokovic once again reigned supreme and captured his 5th Australian Open and 10th Grand Slam single's title overall. 

  • He overwhelmed Andy Murray. 

Women's Singles

  • Serena Williams overpowered Maria Sharapova to bag her 19th Grand Slam singles title. 

  • She is just 3 title behind the all time great Steffi Graf who has 22. 

Women's Doubles

  • Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova are the new champion.

  • They beat Zheng Jie and Chan Yung-jan in the final.

Men's Doubles

  • All Italian pair of Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini beat Frenchmen Pierre-Hughes Herbert and Nicolas Mahut.

Mixed Doubles

  • Leander Paes and Martina Hingis

List of Grand Slams: 

  • Australian Open take place in January and played on hard court.

  • French Open take place in May/June and played on clay court.

  • Wimbledon take place in June/July and played on grass court. Its the oldest Grand Slam.

  • US Open take place in August/September and played on hard court. 

Maharashtra clears open field trials of Genetically Modified (GM) Crops; becomes 4th state in the country to do so after Punjab, Delhi and Andhra Pradesh.  

  • The No Objection Certificates (NOC) is issued for the field trials of genetically modified (GM) lines of rice, chana (chickpeas), maize, brinjal and cotton.

  • The decision is in tune with recommendations given by state-level committee, headed by Anil Kakodkar, which was constituted to consider individual crop applications for GM trials.

NASA launches Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite to observe soil moisture

  • The satellite - launched aboard the Delta 2 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California (US) - will monitor drought, predict floods, assist crop productivity, weather forecasting and linking water, Energy and Carbon Cycles.

  • Its the first Earth satellite designed to collect global observations of the vital soil moisture hidden beneath our feet.

  • The mission has a lifespan of 3 years.

India's first fenced elephant sanctuary to come up within the Bannerghatta Biological Park, Bengaluru (Karnataka).  

  • The park spread across 49.5 hectare area will be constructed by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).

  • It will provide resident elephants, presently 15, the luxury to move around freely.

The 17th Bharat Rang Mahotsav, the prestigious international theatre festival organized by NSD, begins in New Delhi. 

  • The largest theatre festival of Asia, will attract both national and international performances/productions including those from Poland, Israel, USA, France and Bangladesh this year.

  • National School of Drama (NSD) - nation's premier theatre training institute - is among the top 15 schools of the world that teach theatre.

Foundation stone laid for campus buildings of National Museum Institute of History of Art, Conservation and Museology (NMI) and Indian Culinary Institute (ICI) in Noida.

  • Institutes will help generate employment, promote Indian culture and culinary art.

  • While NMI belongs to the Ministry of Culture, ICI is an Institute of the Ministry of Tourism.


Now Rail Tickets on Cash-on-Delivery

You must have enjoyed Pizzas using Cash-on-Delivery mode of payment. Now you can do the same with Rail tickets !!

Indian Railway has taken another significant step to make it easier to attain tickets for offline banking population.

The move will also decongest ticket booking counters across country and reduce the hassle travellers face.

Passengers can now book a rail ticket online and pay for it later when the ticket arrives at their doorsteps.

A large chunk of population is still out of online payment system and like to deal in cash; this initiative is tailor made for them.

This CoD scheme has initially been launched on pilot basis across over 200 cities.

Key Points

  • Tickets have to be booked 5 days prior to commencement of journey.

  • There will be additional delivery charge of Rs 40 for each Sleeper Class ticket; for AC class ticket it goes up to Rs 60.

  • You can avail this initiative either on IRCTC mobile application or on web-portal BookMyTrain.com.

  • Anduril Technologies is the authorized agency to provide CoD services through their web-portal BookMyTrain.com is the web-portal of 'Anduril Technologies' - the authorized agency to provide CoD services under this scheme.

UK: first country to legalize creation of babies from three people

Britain's 'Lower House' has passed a historic law which allow parents borrow a much healthier mitochondria from a donor woman to boost the immunity of the resultant child.

The bill however needs to be passed by the Upper House to become a law.

The move is a life-saving one for babies having mothers with defective mitochondria.

The 3rd parent - a donor woman with healthy mitochondria - will eliminate the potential health deficiency arising out of the not-so-good mitochondria of the real mother.

How it works?

The baby will be made through IVF technology using Mitochondrial Donation Technique.

What is Mitochondrial Donation Technique?

  • It combines the DNA of the two parents with the healthy mitochondria of a donor woman.

  • The technique replaces defective mitochondria in the mother's egg with the healthy one donated by the donor woman.

  • The egg is then fertilized with the father's sperm.

  • This makes the child escape all the shortcomings arising out of defective mitochondria like brain damage, muscle wasting, heart failure and blindness.


  • Its the tiny compartment within the cell which convert the food we eat into usable energy.

  • This is the reason we call it 'powerhouse of the cell'.

  • It has its own DNA, but does not affect important characteristics of the resultant child like his appearance and other visible traits.

Why only women as donor?

  • Mitochondria are passed down only from the mother and father has no role in it.

Giorgio Napolitano, 89, quits as President of Italy due to old age; Sergio Mattarella is the new Head of State.

  • He is the 12th President of the country since the country became a Republic following World War II.

  • Like India, The post is largely ceremonial but has a longer tenure of 7 years.

At 12, Saloni Dalal (Karnataka) becomes the youngest medal winner at the 35th National Games taking place in Kerala.

  • She grabbed a Bronze medal in the 200 meter breast stroke swimming event and then followed it up with silver in women's 4x100 meter Relay Medley alongwith Anisha Gaonkar, Malika A Honagekar and Rutuja Pawar.

US gets its first women-only mosque at Los Angeles

  • Though women are allowed in the mosques, they are often relegated to the secondary places like basements or balconies in the place of worship.

  • There are about 2000 mosques in the US.

Neither Croatia nor Serbia committed genocide during violent break-up of Yugoslavia: International Court of Justice 

  • Both the nations were absolved of the genocidal charges - alleged against each other - as the tribunal could not establish 'Intent for genocide'.

  • Though forces of both countries had committed crimes during the 1990s conflict, but there was no proof to establish that it was done with aim to 'destroy a community in whole or in part' - a mandatory precondition to prove genocide.

Centre forms a high level panel to suggest a framework to monitor CSR activities done by companies. 

  • It will be headed by former Home Secretary Anil Baijal.

  • As per the new company act 2013, certain class of profitable companies have to spend at least 2% of their three-year average annual net profit towards Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities.

Bihar to provide free education to SC, ST girls upto Post Graduation level. 

  • The entire money spent on the academics will be reimbursed by the state after getting all the details from the college in question.

  • The move aims to boost their participation in higher studies (PG) which - as per the recent data - stands at paltry 10870 students as against over 4 lakh at undergraduate level.

LC Goyal is appointed as the new Home Secretary for a 2-year stint. 

  • Incumbent Anil Goswami was fired for using his position to stall the arrest of Saradha scam accused Matang Sinh - a former Congress minister at the Centre.

Noted sculptor and artist Mrinalini Mukherjee passes away at 65

  • Her artistic works are known for the use of knotted hemp fibre, ceramics and cast bronze.

  • The exhibitions of her work have been held abroad in the countries like UK and Europe.


HAL to supply fourteen 'Do-228' aircraft to IAF



Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) bags Rs 1090 Crore contract for supplying 14 Do-228 aircraft to Indian Air Force.

The deal also includes six reserve engines, one flight simulator and associated equipments.

Advantages of 'DO-228'

  • The Aircraft enjoys several in-built features such as highest fuel carrying capacity in its class (2850 litres) due to integral fuel tanks in wings.

  • Short take-off and landing capability- the aircraft can take off from around 700 m and land within 575 m- essentially required for operations from short and semi-prepared airfields

  • Low structural weight ensured through use of advanced composite materials.

  • High wing design for unobstructed view and radar coverage.

  • Wide wheel base for better stability.

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited

  • HAL is a government-owned aerospace and defence company based in Bangalore.

  • Its primary job is to manufacture Aircraft, Navigation and related Communication equipments and manage airports operation.

The Roongta committee, set up to suggest reforms in Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs), submits report.  

  • Some of the suggestions recommended by the committee includes better corporate governance, more autonomy to Boards of PSUs, better utilisation of resources and transparency and fixing tenures of CMDs of PSU companies.

Ministry of Mines assign more powers to States; to notify 31 major minerals as minor minerals  

  • As opposed to major minerals, the regulatory and administrative jurisdiction of minor minerals falls under the purview of State governments.

  • The decision empowers States to customise regulatory framework to suit local conditions.

  • These include the powers to frame rules, prescribe rates of royalty, contribution to District Mineral Foundation, the procedure for grant of mineral concessions etc.

  • These 31 minerals account for over 55% of the total number of leases and nearly 60% of total leased area.

  • After agriculture, mining is the second largest employer in the country.

Kolkata becomes the 1st metro city in India to be covered by free Wi-Fi (4G) service. 

  • The service, launched from Park Street area, will soon engulf the other parts of the megacity (and beyond) in a phased manner.

  • The whole city is expected to come under the Wi-Fi coverage by mid-April in 2015. Reliance Jio is the service provider for this project.

MO Garg assumes charge as the Director General of the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR). 

  • Earlier, He was the Director of CSIR-Indian Institute of Petroleum (CSIR-IIP), Dehradun.

Justice Madan Mohan Das is appointed to probe the multi-crore chit fund scam in Odisha

  • The post was vacant after the demise of the incumbent Justice Radha Krushna Patra.


India, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal come together to finalize a Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA) for a seamless transit of passenger and cargo vehicles among them. 

  • The agreement will enable passenger, personal and cargo vehicles to transit without the need for costly and time-consuming trans-shipment (loading and unloading) of goods and passengers at the border crossings.

  • It is expected to be signed at a meeting of Transport Ministers of the four countries to be held soon this year.

  • The economic corridor would also boost people to people contact apart from enhancing trade benefits.

Centre to create 3 sub-groups of Chief Ministers within NITI Aayog on following themes. 

  • Sub-group to study the 66 Centrally Sponsored Schemes and recommend which to continue, which to transfer to states, and which to cut down.

  • Sub-group to recommend how NITI Aayog can promote skill development and creation of skilled manpower within states.

  • Sub-group to decide on institutional mechanisms to be evolved, and technological inputs, for ensuring that commitment to Swachh Bharat becomes a part of our life.

Each state has also been asked to form task forces under the Aayog.

  • One task force would focus on poverty alleviation.

  • While the other would focus on future development of agriculture in the state, and how the Centre can assist the state in this regard.

Centre to infuse Rs 6990 crores in 9 Public Sector Banks (PSBs) in the Current Year on basis of new criteria based on Efficiency Parameters. 

  • As per the new criteria, the banks which are more efficient would be rewarded with extra capital for their equity so that they can further strengthen their position.

National Awards for Excellence in Hospitality Education 2012-13 conferred. 

  • The annual awards were given in four categories including those to individual students for excellence in academic performance, Best Teachers Awards, Best Institute Award, and Special Awards.

  • It aims to recognize academic excellence in hospitality education.

Model Polling Booth



Election Commission experimented with several 'Model Polling Booths' in the recently concluded Delhi assembly election. 

Lets see what it is all about.

A Model Polling Booth is expected to have the following additional features which separate it from the regular ones.

  • A display board conveying the name of location, polling station number, Assembly Constituency, District, ECI symbol, National Emblem and Logo of the state.

  • Emergency light for power back up, Stickers with Logos of ECI on three sides of the Voting Compartment. 

  • Furniture for polling personnel as well as in the waiting lounge.

  • Drinking water, Queue manager in steel with nylon separator.

  • First aid facility, Volunteers for assisting disabled persons and senior citizens Decoration of Polling Station.


  • The experiment evoked a mixed reaction as many of them lacked the very same facilities which they promised to provide to the voters.

  • But all is not lost as a fraction of them did live upto the expectation offering impressive experience to the people using them.

- See more at: http://www.erewise.com/current-affairs/model-polling-booth_art54d85fbf84629.html#.VNmHHsl1CBM
Government launched the National Deworming initiative to protect more than 24 crore children in the ages of 1-19 years from intestinal worms, on the eve of the National Deworming Day (Feb 10), at Jaipur. 

  • Albendazole tablets will be given to all targeted children; half tablet to 1-2 years children and one full tablet for 2-19 years.

  • In the first phase about 14 crore children across eleven States/UT of Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Haryana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Tripura will be covered.

  • While nearly 10 crore will be targeted in the second phase.

Japan to have a high-tech hotel, 'Henn-na Hotel', with humanoid robots as staffs in Nagasaki. 

  • The multilingual robots - fluent in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and English - will check in guests, carry bags, make coffee, clean rooms, and deliver laundry.

  • However, these robots for the time being would be supplemented with a human staff.

  • The hotel plan to have more than 90 percent of hotel services operated by robots in near future.

Rajasthan to have the nation's largest solar plant with 10,000 MW capacity, thanks to Adani Enterprises

  • The joint project will come up over the next 10 years at an estimated investment of about Rs 40,000 crore.

Haryana government to launch 'Digital Saksharta Abhiyaan' to make the people digitally literate

  • Training would be imparted in 2 levels to at least one person from every household.

  • The first level would enable the trainee to operate a computer or digital access devices, send and receive emails, and surf the internet for information.

  • The advance level-2, would empower people avail themselves of various government-to-citizen and business-to-citizen services besides basic level IT literacy.

Central Silk Board opens high capacity 'Silkworm Egg Cold Storage Plant' at Mysore

  • Cold Storage Plants are indispensable in silkworm egg production system, principally to enable uninterrupted and continuous supply of basic and commercial silkworm seed.

  • The silkworm eggs are preserved in these cold storage plants for short term or long term (up to 10 months) to regulate seed supply, matching the demand.

  • The plants also oversee systematic incubation of silkworm eggs prior to its dispatch to farmers.

  • National Silkworm Seed Organization (NSSO), the mulberry silkworm seed production and management arm of Central Silk Board, operates the cold storage plants set up at Mysore, Hosur and Dehradun to manage its seed production and distribution across the country.

National Security Guard (NSG) to conduct 15th International Seminar on Counter IED Strategy (Feb 10-11, 2015) at NSG Training Centre, Manesar, Gurgaon.

  • The theme for the seminar is 'Addressing Vulnerabilities in CI-IED Strategy'.

  • Apart from leading security agencies of the country, the Seminar also features global experts for exchange of expertise, ideas and experiences.

Vodafone India appoints Naveen Chopra as Chief Operating Officer, succeeding Sunil Sood from April 1, 2015. 

  • Sunil Sood is going to take over as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer from the same date.

New Web Based System inaugurated to make Payment process for National Highways' works more transparent efficient, time bound and result oriented.
Facebook to give free internet to users in India through 'Internet.org' in a partnership with Reliance Communications. 

  • The service is accessible only to Reliance subscribers who can now access few chosen (33 at present) websites and services for free.

What are Free:

  • News websites such as BBC News, IBNLive, Times of India; Educational services such as Wikipedia, Translator, wikiHow; sports websites; Health and welfare services such as BabyCentre, iLearn, Socialblood and so on.

How to avail:

  • Log on to www.internet.org or call toll free number 1800 300 25353 to register. Its also available as an app on play store.


  • At present, the facility is only limited to the telecom circle of Mumbai, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Chennai, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

Internet.org is a Mark Zuckerberg's initiative to provide free internet in a limited way to mobile users in developing countries.

Centre amends the Kerosene order, 1993 (Restriction on Use and Fixation of Ceiling Price) to ease the sale and availability of white Kerosene (market priced Kerosene). 

  • All the activities of storage, transportation and sale of non-PDS Kerosene have now been freed of regulatory control.

  • The move is expected to reduce demand for diverted PDS Kerosene by improving availability of non-PDS Kerosene in the open market and thus meet the demand of Kerosene for various legitimate end uses for the industry and for individual consumption by those who can afford it at market price.

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