1) Nation celebrated its 66th Republic Day: India on 26 January 2015 celebrated its 66th Republic Day. US President Barack Obama has become the first American President to be Chief Guest on Republic Day celebrations. India’s military might and cultural diversity was showcased in the nearly two-hour-long republic day parade. President Barack Obama broke Secret Service's sacred security protocol by remaining in the open for more than two hours when he graced the Republic Day celebrations as the Chief Guest. Obama spent over two hours in the open as the Chief Guest of India's 66th Republic Day celebrations. The security guidelines of Secret Service, the exclusive agency responsible for an American President's security, mandate that he does not spend more than 45 minutes at any open-air venue.
2) DP Sinha appointed security secretary: The government on 26 January 2015 appointed special director with Intelligence Bureau, Divya Prakash Sinha, as secretary (security) in the Cabinet secretariat. The post had been lying vacant since November 2013 when Yashovardhan Azad, holding the post then, was appointed information commissioner by the government.
3) Eminent cartoonist R K Laxman died: R K Laxman, the country's best-known cartoonist, passed away on 26 January 2015, at the Dinanath Mangeshkar hospital in Pune, where he was on life support for the past few days. He was 93. Born in 1921 in Mysore, Laxman had no formal training in cartooning but the work he put out over decades was sheer genius. He began by drawing for local papers, and illustrating the stories of his famous elder brother, novelist R K Narayan, while still at college. The recipient of numerous awards, among them the Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan and Magsaysay Award, Laxman's fan base ran into millions. He is best known for creation of iconic character ‘The Common Man’, for his daily cartoon strip, ‘You Said It’ in The Times of India(TOI) started in 1951.
4) Durga Prasad appointed special DG of CRPF: Government on 24 January 2015 appointed K Durga Prasad, previously sacked as the director of the Special Protection Group, as the special director general of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). Prasad, a 1981 batch IPS officer of Andhra Pradesh cadre, was unceremoniously removed as chief of the SPG — which provides security to the prime minister, former prime ministers and their family members — during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s trip to Nepal to attend the Saarc summit.
5) First ever all-women contingent marched through the 66th Republic Day Parade: For the first time in the history of India’s Republic Day, all-women contingent from the three forces Army, Air Force and Navy marched down in the parade. Army contingent was led by Capt Divya Ajith. Navy contingent was led by Lt Commander Sandhya Chauhan. Air Force contingent was led by Squadron Leader Sneha Shekhawat. While women officers have been participating in previous Republic Day parades, this was for the first time that an all-women contingent of the armed forces participated.
6) Colombia’s Paulina Vega crowned Miss Universe 2014: Colombia’s Paulina Vega was crowned 63rd Miss Universe after beating out contenders from the United States, Ukraine, Jamaica and Netherlands. Miss USA Nia Sanchez from Las Vegas was named a runner-up, along with Miss Ukraine Diana Harkusha. The event is actually the 2014 Miss Universe pageant. The competition was pushed back until now to try to get a bigger television audience.
7) Major Mukund Varadarajan, Naik Neeraj Kumar Singh posthumously awarded Ashok Chakra: Major Mukund Varadarajan and Naik Neeraj Kumar Singh, the two army personnel who laid down their lives combating militants in Kashmir Valley, were on 26 January 2015 awarded posthumously the highest peacetime military honour, the Ashok Chakra, by President Pranab Mukherjee. The awards were received by their wives at the 66th Republic Day celebrations, which was graced by US President Barack Obama.
8) Alexis Tsipras sworn in as prime minister of Greece: Greek left-wing leader Alexis Tsipras was sworn in on 26 Jan 2015 as the Prime Minister of a new hard-line, anti-bailout government determined to face down international lenders and end nearly five years of tough economic measures. 40-year old Alexis Tsipras will be Greece’s youngest Prime Minister.