World Leprosy Day, observed annually on the last Sunday of January, is a crucial event dedicated to raising awareness about leprosy, also known as Hansen’s Disease. As we mark World Leprosy Day on January 28 this year, it’s important to understand the disease, its impact, and the significance of this day. Leprosy is a chronic infectious disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium leprae. It primarily affects the skin, nerves, upper respiratory tract, and eyes. Symptoms include blisters, loss of skin color, rashes, reduced sensation of touch, loss of temperature sensation, nerve injury, weight loss, and joint pain. Despite being a curable disease, early detection and awareness are vital for effective treatment.

India commemorates Martyrs’ Day, also known as Shaheed Diwas, on January 30th each year. This day holds a dual significance as it marks the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, the “Father of the Nation,” and also serves to honour all the brave souls who sacrificed their lives for the country’s freedom and sovereignty. Martyrs’ Day is observed annually on January 30th, the day Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated in 1948. Gandhi, a globally revered leader, was known for his peaceful and non-violent methods in the struggle against British colonial rule. His assassination by Nathuram Godse, a Hindu nationalist, led to widespread mourning across the nation and the world. In 1949, Godse was sentenced to death for his crime. While Martyrs’ Day primarily commemorates Gandhi’s death, it also serves as a solemn occasion to remember and pay tribute to all martyrs who laid down their lives for India.

The National Chilika Birds Festival, a hallmark event in Odisha’s calendar, commenced with grandeur on January 26. Hosted against the breathtaking backdrop of Chilika Lake, this festival brings together birders and enthusiasts from across India to celebrate the State of India’s Birds. The festival’s inauguration, graced by Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, marked the beginning of a three-day extravaganza. A captivating ‘Photo Exhibition’ showcased the vibrant avian life of Chilika, setting the stage for an immersive experience.

Indian boxer Mandeep Jangra secured a remarkable triumph at the US-based National Boxing Association’s (NBA) intercontinental super featherweight championship. His win came after a compelling bout against American Gerardo Esquivel in Toppenish City, Washington. Jangra, known for his prowess in the ring, showcased exceptional skill as he transitioned from his previous 75kg weight class to compete for the intercontinental super featherweight title. Trained under the guidance of former Olympic silver-medalist Roy Jones Jr, the 30-year-old displayed resilience and strategic brilliance throughout the match.

Naorem Roshibina Devi, the pride of Manipur, has clinched the prestigious title of International Wushu Federation Female Athlete of the Year, solidifying her place as a powerhouse in the world of wushu. Roshibina’s triumphs at the Asian Games in 2018 and 2022 have been pivotal moments in her career, showcasing her dominance in the sport. Her silver and bronze medals in the sanda category have earned her widespread recognition and admiration.

Sonam Maskar made a remarkable debut in the shooting World Cup in Cairo, Egypt, clinching the women’s air rifle silver medal. Despite her impressive performance, she was narrowly beaten by Anna Janssen of Germany by a mere 0.9 points. Maskar’s stellar performance highlights her potential as a rising star in the sport. Joining Maskar in the final was Nancy Mandhotra, who displayed excellent form during the qualification round with a score of 633.1. However, Mandhotra missed out on securing a medal by a slim margin of 0.2 points, showcasing the intense competition at the World Cup.

Sharat Chauhan, a seasoned 1994 batch IAS officer of the AGMUT cadre, has been designated as the new Chief Secretary of Puducherry. The announcement of his appointment came through an official order issued by the Union Home Ministry on January, 29. With an extensive background in administration, Chauhan is poised to bring fresh perspectives and efficient governance to the union territory.

Bhutan’s liberal leader, Tshering Tobgay, from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), has commenced his second term as prime minister, following recent elections in the nation. The formal appointment was marked by King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck presenting Tobgay with a scarf, as announced on the king’s official Facebook page. Bhutan, with a population of less than 800,000, has embraced democracy for 15 years and is renowned for its unique Gross National Happiness (GNH) index, measuring factors like recreation and emotional well-being.

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma released the first edition of ‘Political History of Assam (1947-1971)’- Volume 1, marking a significant step in documenting the state’s political journey. CM Sarma emphasized the need to rewrite history based on factual evidence, rather than through the lens of ideology. He criticized the approach of viewing history from a leftist or rightist perspective and advocated for a more balanced and factual representation of Assam’s political history.

In a disputed electoral process, Comoros President Azali Assoumani has claimed victory for a fourth term with 63% of the vote, as announced by the electoral body Ceni. However, the opposition, boycotting the poll, decries it as “fraudulent.” Turnout was remarkably low at 16%, attributed to an opposition boycott. The opposition alleges instances of ballot stuffing and premature closure of polls in favor of Assoumani, while international observers maintain the overall fairness of the election despite reported irregularities.

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