1) Filmmaker Pahlaj Nihalani appointed new censor board chief: Filmmaker Pahlaj Nihalani was on 19 January 2015 appointed chairperson of the censor board, days after Leela Samson resigned as its chief alleging interference by the government in its matters. The government also reconstituted the board appointing nine others as members including BJP leader Vani Tripathi Tikoo and filmmakers Ashoke Pandit and Chandra Prakash Dwivedi. An official statement said that Nihalani was appointed as chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) in an honorary capacity for a period of three years or until further orders, whichever is earlier.
2) Eminent political scientist, theorist Rajni Kothari passed away: Eminent political scientist and theorist Rajni Kothari passed away on 19 January 2015. Kothari was the founder of Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) in 1963, a social sciences and humanities research institute, based in Delhi and Lokayan (Dialogue of the People), started in 1980 as a forum for interaction between activists and intellectuals. Kothari was member of the Planning Commission during the National Front government led by V P Singh.
3) Indian-American Frank Islam received Martin Luther award: An eminent Indian-American entrepreneur and philanthropist, Frank Islam, has been presented with the prestigious Martin Luther King Jr Award, in recognition of his contribution to the legacy of the great leader, through his efforts in international service and civil engagement. The award, which carries the name of Martin Luther King Jr, an apostle of peace, is about building bridges between humanity.
4) Ex-Minister Krishna Tirath joined BJP: Former UPA Cabinet minister and Congress leader Krishna Tirath joined BJP on 19 January 2015, in a move that may help the party gain support of dalits in the coming assembly elections. Krishna Tirath, who served as women child and development minister in the UPA Cabinet, met BJP chief Amit Shah and joined the party.
5) ICICI Bank customers can use Twitter to transfer money: ICICI Bank, India’s largest private sector bank, on 19 January 2015 announced the launch of banking services on Twitter, the first of its kind service, in India. Christened, ‘icicibankpay’, enables ICICI Bank customers to transfer money to anyone in the country who has a Twitter account, check account balance, view last three transactions and recharge prepaid mobile “in a completely secure manner”. For fund transfer, the sender needs to know the beneficiary's Twitter handle. The sender will get an SMS with a unique code after the transfer; the beneficiary would need to enter it on the special webpage where he/she would be directed, to complete the transaction. ICICI Bank claimed it is the first in Asia and only second in the world to offer a Twitter-based fund transfer service.
6) RBI asked banks to review minimum lending rate every quarter: The Reserve Bank of India, on 19 January 2015, asked banks to notify the Base Rate, or the minimum lending rate, at least once in every three months based on the cost of funds, a move seen as a nudge to lenders to pass on the changes in the policy rate to borrowers. The direction comes soon after the RBI cut the repo rate by 0.25 percentage point, the first reduction in 20 months, to boost credit and economic growth. The new guidelines will come into effect from February 19.
7) Kiran Bedi to be BJP's CM candidate in Delhi: BJP on 19 January 2015 announced that former IPS officer Kiran Bedi will be its chief ministerial candidate for the upcoming elections in Delhi. Addressing a news conference after the party's central election committee meet, BJP president Amit Shah said, "BJP's parliamentary board has decided that the party will contest Delhi elections under the leadership of Kiran Bedi. She will also be our CM candidate."