Current Affairs of January Month

Appointment and Resignation
Piyush Goyal - Railways and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal appointed interim Finance Minister and Minister of Corporate Affairs for second time in the absence of Arun Jaitley, will present the upcoming Budget 2019. Mr. Jaitley would be designated as a Minister without a portfolio till the time he is able to resume work.
Gita Gopinath - India born Gita Gopinath joined the International Monetary Fund as its Chief Economist. She is the first woman and second Indian after Raghuram rajan to occupy the top IMF post. Gopinath is the 11th chief economist of the IMF.
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra - Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was on January 23, 2019 appointed AICC general secretary for Uttar Pradesh East by her brother and party chief Rahul Gandhi.
Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah - Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah was elected as Malaysia's new king by the members of the country's royal families. He replaced Sultan Muhammad V of Kelantan, who stepped down recently, making it the first abdication in Malaysia's history.
Jair Bolsonaro - Jair Bolsonaro, was sworn in as president of Brazil. Contesting from Social liberal party, Mr Bolsonaro,  won the presidential election by a wide margin against Fernando Haddad of the left-wing Workers Party on 28 October.
Nancy Pelosi - In US, Veteran Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, considered an ardent supporter of India-US ties, has been elected as Speaker of the House of Representatives for the second time, thus becoming the most powerful elected woman in America.
Hemant Bhargava - The government has appointed Hemant Bhargava, Managing Director, Life Insurance Corporation of India, as the Acting Chairman. The move comes after VK Sharma retired from the top job at LIC on December 31. 
Justice Thottathil Bhaskaran Nair Radhakrishnan - Justice Thottathil Bhaskaran Nair Radhakrishnan was on January 1, 2018 sworn in as the first Chief Justice of the Telangana High Court. With this, the state of Telangana will have its first independent high court. Prior to this, Justice Radhakrishnan had been serving as the Chief Justice of the High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad for both the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
Amitabh Chaudhry - Axis Bank announced its Managing Director and CEO Shikha Sharma has retired from the post and Amitabh Chaudhry will be the new managing director and CEO of the bank with effect from January 1, 2019.
Ravneet Singh Gill - YES Bank appointed Deutsche Bank’s Ravneet Singh Gill as its MD and CEO, who will succeed Rana Kapoor. Gill will join the private lender on or before March 1, 2019. 
Vivek Joshi - The Centre has appointed Vivek Joshi, an 1989 batch IAS officer from Haryana cadre, as the new Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India.
Rajeev Chopra - Lt Gen Rajeev Chopra assumed the appointment of Director General of NCC (DGNCC). 
Nicolás Maduro - Nicolás Maduro was sworn in for a second term as Venezuela's President amid the economic and humanitarian crisis. Maduro was re-elected last year. The US, EU and 13 other countries have stated that they would not recognise Maduro's Presidency.
Juan Guaido - Germany has said, it will recognize Venezuelan Opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country's interim President unless an election is announced within eight days. The statement comes after USA, France and Spain made the same announcements earlier in the day. President Nicolas Maduro was sworn-in for a second term earlier this month, after polls marred by an opposition boycott and allegations of vote-rigging.
Stefan Lofven - In Sweden, Prime Minister Stefan Lofven has been elected for a second term, ending a four-month political vacuum.
Andry Rajoelina - Andry Rajoelina was sworn in as President of Madagascar at capital city of Antananarivo.
Su Tseng-chang - Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen appointed Su Tseng-chang as Prime Minister of the state.
Felix Tshisekedi - Congo's Constitutional Court has declared the election of Felix Tshisekedi as the President and has rejected the challenges to the vote by runner-up Martin Fayulu.
Pranav R Mehta - Chairman of National Solar Energy Federation, Pranav R Mehta, has taken over as the president of Global Solar Council (GSC). He has become the first Indian to head the GSC. The Global Solar Council (GSC) has its headquarters in Washington D.C., USA.
Dilip Sadarangani - Kerala based private sector lender Federal Bank has appointed Dilip Sadarangani as the part-time chairman. The appointment of Sadarangani has been cleared by the Reserve Bank.
Pavan Vaish - Ride hailing platform Uber said it has appointed Daksh e-services co-founder Pavan Vaish as the head of central operations in India.
Kumar Rajesh Chandra - Civil Aviation Security head and senior IPS officer Kumar Rajesh Chandra was appointed as the director general of the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB). The SSB guards India's borders with Nepal and Bhutan.
Sheila Dikshit - Former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit was appointed the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee president days after Ajay Maken resigned from the post citing ill health.
Manu Sawhney - The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced that Manu Sawhney has been appointed as the organization's new Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
Ronojoy Dutta  - IndiGo owner InterGlobe Aviation has appointed Ronojoy Dutta as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company with immediate effect for the next five years. 
Kamala Harris - Kamala Harris, a U.S. Senator from California of African and Indian descent, officially launched her 2020 presidential campaign from her hometown of Oakland.
Ambassadors Appointed - Modi government nominated ambassadors to some key countries –
Sanjeev Singla - New ambassador to Israel
Ruchira Kamboj - Next Ambassador to Bhutan
Jaideep Sarkar - New Ambassador to South Africa.
Sunjay Sudhir - New ambassador to Maldives
Pranay Verma - Next ambassador to Vietnam
Muktesh Pardeshi – New ambassador to New Zealand,
Manpreet Vohra – New ambassador to Mexico.
Sanjeev Kohli - New ambassador to Tanzania.
Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul - Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul have been suspended pending an inquiry into their comments during a TV show ‘Koffee with Karan’, ruling them out of the ODI series against Australia starting.
Ashok Chawla - Ashok Chawla Former Finance Secretary Ashok Chawla has resigned as chairman of The Energy Resources Institute (TERI). Earlier, Mr. Chawla had stepped down as chairman of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) received the Finance Ministry’s approval to prosecute him in the Aircel-Maxis bribery scandal.
Alok Verma - The sacked CBI Chief, Alok Verma announced his resignation from service, refusing to take charge of the new role as DG, Fire Services. The move comes a day after a high-powered selection committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi removed him from the post of CBI Director, less than 48 hours after he was reinstated to the position by the Supreme Court after he was sent on forced leave by the government. Additional Director M. Nageswara Rao has again been appointed interim CBI Director.
Jim Yong Kim - World Bank President, Jim Yong Kim has made the surprise announcement that he is stepping down after six years in the post. His resignation will take effect from 1 February. Mr. Kim was not due to leave until 2022 after he was re-elected for a second five-year term in 2017. 
Sultan Muhammad V - Malaysia’s king has abdicated in a historic first for the country. Sultan Muhammad V’s decision marks the first time a king has abdicated in the country since it gained independence from Britain in 1957. Malaysia is a constitutional monarchy.
Kevin Sweeney - Kevin Sweeney, the chief of staff of the US Department of Defence, has announced his resignation from the post. The move comes a month after the Defence Secretary Jim Mattis resigned in protest after Trump announced the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria. 
Chanda Kochhar - The ICICI Bank has decided to terminate the contract of former managing director and CEO, Chanda Kochhar after the B.N. Srikrishna panel found that she violated the bank’s code of conduct. In June last year, the bank formed the one-member panel to look into the allegations of conflict of interest against Ms. Kochhar in relation to a loan given to Videocon Industries.
Awards and Honours
Pranab Mukherjee, Nanaji Deshmukh and Dr. Bhupen Hazarika - On the eve of the 70th Republic Day, former President Pranab Mukherjee, social activist Nanaji Deshmukh and musician Dr. Bhupen Hazarika have been awarded the Bharat Ratna. Mr. Deshmukh and Dr. Hazarika have been bestowed the nation's highest civilian honour posthumously.
Bharat Ratna - Bharat Ratna, the country’s highest civilian award instituted in 1954, is given in recognition of exceptional service, performance of the highest order in any field of human endeavour. Any person without distinction of race, occupation, position or sex is eligible for this award. The number of annual awards is restricted to a maximum of three in a particular years.
Gandhi Peace Prize - Gandhi Peace Prize for 2018 will be conferred on Yohei Sasakawa who is Goodwill Ambassador of the World Health Organization for eradication of Leprosy disease in India and across the world. Ekal Abhiyan Trust has been chosen for the award for the year 2017 while Akshaya Patra Foundation and Sulabh International will share the award for 2016. Vivekananda Kendra, Kanyakumari bagged the award for 2015.
Gallantry Awards - The President approved the award of 411 gallantry and distinguished service medals. These include one Ashoka Chakra, four Kirti Chakra, 11 Shaurya Chakra. The Kirti Chakras were awarded to Major Tushar Gauba and posthumously to Sowar Vijay Kumar, Constable Rajendra Kumar Nain and Constable Pradip Kumar Panda.
Ashoka Chakra - India’s highest peacetime gallantry medal, the Ashoka Chakra, will be awarded posthumously to Lance Naik Nazir Ahmad Wani, who laid down his life during an anti-terror operation at Batagund village in J&K’s Shopian in November last year.
Param Vishisht Seva Medal - In a rare gesture, the Chief of the Army Staff, General Bipin Rawat, has been awarded the Param Vishisht Seva Medal (PVSM) for distinguished service on the eve of the 70th Republic Day.
Jeevan Raksha Padak Series of Awards - The President of India has approved the conferment of Jeevan Raksha Padak Series of Awards – 2018 on 48 people, eight of them posthumously. The Jeevan Raksha Padak series of awards are conferred for the meritorious act of human nature in saving the life of a person. They are given under three categories:
# Sarvottam Jeevan Raksha Padak - Given to 8 people
# Uttam Jeevan Raksha Padak - Given to 15 people
# Jeevan Raksha Padak -  Given to 25 people
Philip Kotler Presidential Award - The Prime Minister Narendra Modi was conferred with the first-ever Philip Kotler Presidential Award for his outstanding leadership for the nation. The Award focuses on the triple bottom-line of ‘People, Profit and Planet’. The award will be offered annually to the leader of a Nation.
Subhash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar - The government has instituted an annual award titled Subhash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar. It will be announced every year on 23rd January, the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. The Award carries a certificate and a cash prize of 51 lakh rupees. This year, 8th Battalion of National Disaster Response Force located at Ghaziabad has been selected for the Award for its commendable work in disaster management. 
Saraswati Samman - Noted Gujarati poet Sitanshu Yashashchandra has been awarded Saraswati Samman - 2017, for his poetry collection in Gujarati named “Vakhar”. This is the 27th edition of the prestigious award instituted by K.K.Birla foundation given every year to an outstanding work of an Indian citizen published during the last 10 years in any of the languages mentioned in Schedule 8 of the constitution. 
Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award - Three Indian expats from the UAE are amongst those who won the prestigious Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award the highest honour conferred on Indian diaspora. President Ram Nath Kovind conferred the award on Girish Pant, Surender Singh Kandhari and Dr Zulekha Daud and other awardees at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) Convention in Varanasi.
Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar - The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind conferred the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar 2019. The awards were presented to 26 shortlisted awardees including one joint award for National Child Award (now renamed as Bal Shakti Puraskar). Under National Child Welfare Awards category (now renamed as Bal Kalyan Puraskar), 2 individuals and 3 institutions were awarded.
Sheikh Saud International Prize - Eminent scientist and recipient of Bharat Ratna C N R Rao has been chosen for the first Sheikh Saud International Prize for Materials Research by the Centre for Advanced Materials of the United Arab Emirates.
Golden Globe Awards - The 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards were announced in California, USA. While Green Book finished with three awards, Bohemian Rhapsody- the Queen biopic and Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma won two each.
Best Motion Picture Drama - Bohemian Rhapsody
Best Motion Picture Musical/Comedy - Green Book
Best Director in Motion Picture-Drama - Alfonso Cuaron (Roma)
Best Actress in Motion Picture-Drama - Glen Close (The Wife)
Best Actor in Motion Picture-Drama - Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody)
Exhibitor of the Year Award - The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) pavilion received ‘Exhibitor of the Year Award’ at 106th Indian Science Congress held at Lovely Professional University (LPU), Jalandhar, Punjab.
Adi Godrej - Industrialist and Godrej Group Chairman Adi Godrej was conferred the ICSIs Lifetime Achievement Award for 'Translating Excellence in Corporate Governance into Reality'. The awards were instituted by The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI), which is celebrating its golden jubilee. 
Japan Prize – 2019 - The Japan Prize Foundation announced India born professor Dr. Rattan Lal as the recipient of the 2019 Japan Prize for his contributions in the field of “Biological Production, Ecology”.
Sansad Ratna Award - Himachal Pradesh MP Anurag Thakur has been bestowed with Sansad Ratna Award for his distinguished performance as a parliamentarian under Jury Committee Special Award category. Thakur became the first BJP MP to receive the Jury Committee award.
Carnot Prize - Union Minister of Railways and Coal Piyush Goyal was formally conferred with the fourth annual Carnot Prize by the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design in New Delhi. The 2018 Carnot Prize has been conferred in recognition of India’s efforts towards eliminating energy poverty with sustainable energy solutions. Piyush Goyal has decided that the award money will be donated to the International Solar Alliance to institute the Diwakar Award.
Top Tableau in Republic Day - The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) tableau in the Republic Day Parade has won the first prize for its Kisan Gandhi theme. The ICRA tableau with the theme "Mishrit Kheti, Khushiyon Ki Kheti". Tripura bagged the first prize for the state tableau while tableau from Jammu and Kashmir was adjudged the second and Punjab won the third prize. The theme of Tripura's tableau was 'Empowering Rural Economy the Gandhian Way'.
Aparna Kumar - Aparna Kumar has become the first woman IPS DIG and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) officer to successfully complete the South Pole expedition. She has already scaled the top six mountain peaks of the six continents of the globe.
Gita Mehta - New York-based author and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s sister Gita Mehta declined to accept the Padmi Shri, stating that it could be “misconstrued” in the year of Lok Sabha polls. On 25 January, the Centre had announced Padma Shri for Mehta for distinguished contribution to literature and education.
Jean-Luc Van Den Heede - French sailor Jean-Luc Van Den Heede has won the round-the-world yacht race after 212 days alone at sea without modern instruments. The 73-year-old, who completed his sixth circumnavigation of the globe, became the oldest to complete the 30,000-mile Golden Globe race.
Special Guest at Republic Day in Mumbai - In an unprecedented gesture, India accorded the status of “special guests” to Mauritius Prime Minister P.K. Jugnauth and his wife, Kobita, at the Republic Day celebrations in Mumbai. Usually India hosted a foreign head of state or government or royalty as chief guest at the Republic Day function in New Delhi.
Franco German Human Rights Award - A detained Chinese rights lawyer Yu Wensheng has won a Franco-German human rights award for his 'exceptional contribution' to the protection and promotion of human rights. Yu Wensheng, who is in pretrial detention in China for more than a year.
Arunima Sinha - Arunima Sinha, the Indian mountaineer who became the world’s first woman amputee to climb Mount Everest in 2013, has now become the first woman amputee to climb Mount Vinson, highest peak of Antarctica. Arunima Sinha planned to scale six peaks in six continents. A Padmashri awardee, Sinha had earlier scaled five peaks including Mt Everest, Mt Kilimanjaro, Mt Ebrus, Mt Kosciuszko and Mt Aconcagua.
Satyarup Siddhanta - Indian mountaineer Satyarup Siddhanta became the world’s youngest mountaineer to climb the seven highest peaks and volcanic summits across all continents after conquering Antartica's highest point Mount Sidley. Satyarup achieved the unique feat at the age of 35 years and 262 days, setting a new world record by beating Australia's Daniel Bull who did it at the age of 36 years and 157 days.
Birendra Prasad Baishya - President of the Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWF), Birendra Prasad Baishya, has been named Chef de Mission for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. It is for the first time that the Weightlifting has been accorded with the honor of Chef de Mission for the Olympics. Baishya is also one of the Indian Olympic Association Vice Presidents.
Movie on Modi - Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to get a biopic. Produced by Suresh Oberoi and Sandip Singh, the film titled PM Narendra Modi will star Bollywood actor Vivek Oberoi. Directed by Omung Kumar, the film will go on floors in the coming days.
Vijay Mallya - Vijay Mallya became the first person to be declared a ‘fugitive economic offender’ under the Fugitive Economic Offenders’ Act, 2018 by a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) Court in Mumbai.
Fugitive Economic Offender - According to the new law, a fugitive economic offender is a person against whom an arrest warrant has been issued for his or her involvement in economic offenses involving at least Rs. 100 crore or more and has left India to avoid prosecution.
Person on Visit
Cyril Ramaphosa - President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa is arriving in New Delhi on a two-day visit to India. He will be the Chief Guest at the Republic Day Parade. Mr. Ramaphosa is the second President of South Africa after President Nelson Mandela to be the Chief Guest at the Republic Day parade. 
Pravind Kumar Jugnauth - Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth has reached New Delhi on a week-long visit to India. He will leave for Varanasi to take part in the Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas.
Sushma Swaraj Visited Uzbekistan - External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj embarked on a two-day visit to Uzbekistan. Mrs. Swaraj will be in Samarkand for the First India-Central Asia Dialogue which she will co-chair with Uzbekistan’s Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov. The Foreign Minister of Afghanistan will participate in the Dialogue as a special invitee for the session dedicated to connectivity issues in the region.
Erna Solberg - Prime Minister of Norway, Erna Solberg inaugurated a new green compound at the Royal Norwegian Embassy in New Delhi. Solberg is on an official visit to India. This green embassy can serve as an inspiration for the shared efforts to achieve the green transition and the Sustainable Development Goals. The two countries also signed a MoU for holding an India-Norway Ocean Dialogue.  
Taro Kono - External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj held a strategic dialogue with her Japanese counterpart Taro Kono. Both foreign minister attended 10th India-Japan foreign minister-level Strategic Dialogue. Swaraj also congratulated Kono for Japan's hosting of the G-20 Summit in Osaka in June 2019.
Person Died
George Fernandes - Former Defence Minister George Fernandes passed away following a prolonged illness. Fernandes was suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Fernandes held the portfolio of the Union Defence Minister from 2001 to 2004 under the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government. The Bihar government declared a two-day State mourning.
Shivakumara Swamiji - Prominent Lingayat seer of Tumakuru-based Siddaganga Math, 111-year old Shivakumara Swamiji, who was known as the 'Walking God', passed away after a prolonged illness. He received Padma Bhushan and Karnataka Ratna awards. Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy has announced a government holiday on January 22 and state mourning for three days.
Kader Khan - Veteran actor-writer Kader Khan passed away in Canada. Born in Kabul, Khan made his acting debut in 1973 with Rajesh Khanna's "Daag" and has featured in over 300 films. He wrote dialogues for over 250 movies.
Krishna Sobti - Eminent Hindi author and poet Krishna Sobti passed away in Delhi. She is a recipient of prestigious awards such as Sahitya Akademi award, Jnanpith and was also offered Padma Bhushan, which she had declined.
Ramakant Achrekar - Well-known cricket coach Ramakant Achrekar has died aged 87. Achrekar was born in 1932 and played a key role in shaping up Tendulkar’s career over the years. In 1990, Achrekar was conferred with the Dronacharya Award for Outstanding coaches in Sports and Games. He was honoured with one of the country’s highest civilian award the Padma Shri in 2010. 
Michel Legrand - Oscar-winning French composer Michel Legrand has passed away aged 86. During a career spanning more than half a century, Legrand won three Oscars. His first was in 1969 for the song ‘The Windmills of Your Mind’ from the film ‘The Thomas Crown Affair’.
Raghbir Singh Bhola - Former India hockey player Raghbir Singh Bhola, a two-time Olympic medallist, passed away. Bhola had represented India in the 1956 Melbourne and 1960 Rome Olympics, winning a gold and silver medal respectively for the country.
Vishweshwar Dutt Saklani - Vishweshwar Dutt Saklani, known as Uttarakhand’s ‘Vriksha Manav’ or ‘Tree Man’ died aged 96, and his family estimates that he must have planted as many as 50 lakh trees in Tehri Garhwal district in his lifetime. He was awarded the Indira Priyadarshini Award in 1986 by then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.
Meera Sanyal - Meera Sanyal, a former chief executive officer and the chairperson of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) in India passed away in Mumbai. She twice contested the Mumbai South Lok Sabha seat unsuccessfully.
Dibyendu Palit - Renowned Bengali writer and Sahitya Akademi awardee Dibyendu Palit passes away due to age-related ailments. Palit was conferred the Sahitya Akademi for his novel ‘Anubhab’ in 1998.
Atin Bandyopadhyay  - Sahitya Akademi award winning Bengali writer Atin Bandyopadhyay passed away of brain stroke.
Summit / Conference / Festival / Meeting
World Economic Forum - The World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meet will begin in Davos from 21 January 2019. The theme of the event would be 'Globalization 4.0: Shaping a Global Architecture in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution'.
Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit - Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the ninth edition of the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2019 on January 18, 2019 in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. The theme Summit is “Youth Connect 2019: Shaping A New India – The Story of Billion Dreams”. Heads of five countries - Uzbekistan, Rwanda, Denmark, Czech Republic and Malta would be attending the summit. Summit will also celebrate Africa Day on Jan 19, marking the trade ties between India and Africa.
Indian Science Congress - Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 106th Indian Science Congress at Lovely Professional University in Jalandhar. PM Modi gave away the slogan of New India as “Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan, Jai Vigyan, Jai Anusandhan”. The theme of this five-day mega event is  ‘Future India: Science and Technology’.
India Will Host UNCCD - India will host the 14th session of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) to address the issue of land degradation and desertification which will have participation from over 100 countries. It is likely to be held in October 2019.
Global Aviation Summit - The Union Minister of Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu inaugurated the Global Aviation Summit 2019 in Mumbai, Maharashtra. The theme of the Global Aviation Summit 2019 is 'Flying for all-especially the next 6 Billion'. 
India-Central Asia Dialogue - India and five Central Asian countries along with Afghanistan condemned terrorism in all its forms. This was part of a joint statement issued at the end of the first ever meeting of the India-Central Asia Dialogue. External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj along with the foreign ministers of Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan took part in the meeting.
National Youth Parliament Festival - Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, Col Rajyavardhan Rathore launched the National Youth Parliament Festival 2019 at a function in New Delhi. The festival will continue till 24th of next month. The theme of the festival is - Be the Voice of New India and Find solutions and contributes to policy.
Raisina Dialogue - The fourth edition of the Raisina Dialogue has begun in New Delhi. Norway Prime Minister Ms. Erna Solberg delivered inaugural address in presence of PM Narendra Modi. The theme of the Dialogue this year is “A World Reorder: New Geometries; Fluid Partnerships; Uncertain Outcomes”. 
Global Aviation Summit - 2019 - In a first, Global Aviation Summit 2019 with the theme “Flying for all” will be organised by the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) in collaboration with FICCI from January 15-16, 2019 in Mumbai, India.
Partnership Summit 2019 - The 25th edition of Partnership Summit 2019, a global platform for dialogue, debate, deliberation and engagement among Indian and global leaders on economic policy and growth trends in India was held in Mumbai. The two-day event was inaugurated by the Vice President of India, M Venkaiah Naidu.
Arab Economic and Social Development Summit - The Arab Economic and Social Development Summit kicked off in Lebanon's capital Beirut. The leaders of 20 countries taking part in the summit aim to make a joint statement on a 29-item agenda that ranges from discussions on an Arab free trade zone and the economic effect of Syrian refugees on host countries.
BES EXPO 2019 - Information and Broadcasting Secretary Amit Khare and TRAI Chairman RS Sharma inaugurated the 25th International conference and exhibition on terrestrial and satellite broadcasting, BES EXPO 2019 in New Delhi. The theme for this exhibition is Next Gen Broadcasting in the IT World. 
Making Elections Inclusive and Accessible - Election Commission of India will be hosting an International Conference on ‘Making Elections Inclusive and Accessible’ on January 24, 2019, in consonance with the 9th National Voters’ Day which will be held on January 25, 2019. Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora will be attending the conference along with heads from six Election Management Bodies (EMBs) namely, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Kazakhstan, Maldives, Russia and Sri Lanka.
Global Investor Summit - Tamil Nadu Government organised the 2nd edition of Global Investor summit in Chennai. The state government would soon unveil e-vehicle policy to give a boost to electric vehicles manufacturing in the state. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was the chief guest. 
Bharat Parv - Fourth edition of Bharat Parv, showcasing the spirit of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat will begin at Red Fort in Delhi on 26 January. It will continue till 31st January. The five day event is a part of Republic Day Celebrations and the objective of this festival is to generate a patriotic fervour and promote rich cultural diversity of the country.
World Book Fair - The 27th New Delhi World Book Fair has begun at Pragati Maidan. Human Resources Development Minister Prakash Javadekar inaugurated the 9-day annual event. Over 20 countries including Canada, China, Sri Lanka, and the US are participating in the book fair. The theme of this year is 'Readers with Special Needs'.
Sur Jahan Music Festival - The three-day music festival Sur Jahan, previously known as Sufi Sutra, will be held in Goa from February 6 to 8. Based on the theme “Music for all, music for peace”, the festival is likely to draw musical talents from around the world and India.
Pakke Paga Hornbill Festival - Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister, Pema Khandu declared Pakke Paga Hornbill Festival (PPHF) as the State Festival.
World Integrated Medicine Forum - Union Minister of State for Ayush Shripad Naik inaugurated the 2nd World Integrated Medicine Forum 2019 in Panaji, Goa. The forum is themed on ‘Regulation of Homeopathic Medical Products; Advancing Global Collaboration’.  Around 150 delegates from 21 countries are participating in the event.
India Steel Exhibition and Conference 2019 - India Steel 2019 Exhibition and Conference had begun in Mumbai. The three-day event organized by the Ministry of Steel helped chart out the future growth path of the steel industry.
Agri Vision 2019 - The 2-day Agri Vision 2019 Conference on envisioning Agro solutions for Smart and Sustainable Agriculture was held in Hyderabad. It was inaugurated by Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu. 
Jallikattu - A grand jallikattu (bull-taming) event held in Pudukottai, Tamil Nadu on January 20, 2019 entered the world record for the maximum number of bulls released into the sporting arena which was over 1,300 and almost double than the previous record. The bull taming sporting event, coordinated by Tamil Nadu Health Minister C Vijayabaskar at Viralimalai saw the participation of 1,354 bulls and 424 tamers.
Shehri Samridhi Utsav - Hardeep S. Puri, Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs informed that a series of events named ‘Shehri Samridhi Utsav’ will begin from 1 February to 15 February. The event will focus on urban livelihoods and extending the outreach of National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM) to the poorest of the poor and the most vulnerable.
World Orange Festival - The second World Orange Festival began in Nagpur. The festival, while offering its famed oranges to the world, will also showcase and brand the exquisite fruit in order to boost its export. 
Trump Has Cancelled WEF Meeting - President Donald Trump has cancelled the US delegation's trip to the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) at Davos, Switzerland, due to the partial government shutdown. The announcement comes as the shutdown entered its 27th day on 18 January.
Meeting of Tourism Ministers of ASEAN and India - The Union Minister for Tourism, Shri. K. J. Alphons attended the Seventh Meeting of Tourism Ministers of ASEAN and India held in Ha Long City, Viet Nam. As a follow up to the Summit, the Ministers launched the ASEAN-India Tourism Cooperation Year 2019.
Rubber Expo - Union Minister for Commerce and Industries, Suresh Prabhu inaugurated the 10th edition of the India Rubber Expo - 2019 in Mumbai. The India Rubber Expo is Asia's largest rubber expo. The event offers a unique opportunity for Indian companies to meet and collaborate with overseas companies.
Micro Irrigation Conference - Ministry of Water resources and River development has organized 9th International Micro irrigation conference in Aurangabad, Maharashtra. The conference focused on the theme of “Micro Irrigation and Modern Agriculture”.
Act / Ordinance / Judgment
President Approved Reservation Bill - President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent to the Constitution (124th  Amendment) Bill, 2019 that provides 10% reservation for ‘economically backward’ upper castes in government jobs for those belonging to the upper castes and earning less than Rs 8 lakh per year and possess less than 5 acres of land. According to a gazette notification, the legislation will be known as the Constitution (103 Amendment) Act, 2019.
103rd Constitutional Amendment Act 2019 - The Act amends Articles 15 and 16 of the Constitution — ensuring Fundamental Rights to a citizen — by adding a clause that allows the State to make “special provision for the advancement of any economically weaker sections of citizens”. These provisions would relate to “their admission to educational institutions, including private educational institutions, whether aided or unaided by the State, other than the minority educational institutions”. The Act makes it clear that reservation would be “in addition to the existing reservations and subject to a maximum of 10% of the total seats in each category”. Unlike other Constitutional Bills that require ratification from half of the State Assemblies, the Law Minister had clarified that this Act would not require such a process.
Constitution Validity of Reservation - A proposed law may run into rough weather if challenged in the Supreme Court. A nine-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court in the Indira Sawhney case of 1992 specifically held  that a backward class cannot be determined only and exclusively with reference to economic criterion. The Indira Sawhney judgment declared 50% quota as the maximum limit unless extraordinary situations arises. 
Gujarat: First State To Implement EWS Reservation - Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani announced that Gujarat has become first state to implement 10 per cent quota for economically weaker sections in general category. It will be implemented in all ongoing recruitment process too wherein there is the only advertisement published.
Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019 - Lok Sabha passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019, which seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955 to make illegal migrants eligible for citizenship. The Bill seeks to provide Indian citizenship to non-Muslims from neighbouring countries. The bill will provide Indian citizenship to the Hindus, Christians, Jains, Sikhs, Parsis and Buddhists from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh after six years of residing India rather than ongoing 12 years even when they do not have any document. Mizoram and Meghalaya governments have opposed the bill by adopting a resolution against it in their respective Cabinet meetings.
Protest Against Citizenship Bill - The Chief Ministers of Meghalaya, Conrad K Sangma  and Mizoram, Zoramthanga said that 11 parties resolved to jointly oppose the Citizenship Amendment bill. The parties include Asom Gana Parishad, National Peoples Party, Mizo National Front and others. Nagaland became the third NDA-ruled state in the region to reject the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016. 
Amendment in Aadhar Act - The government introduced a bill in the Lok Sabha that will allow individuals to offer voluntarily biometric ID Aadhaar as a means of identity verification for obtaining services like opening a bank account and getting a mobile phone connection. The bill also gives a minor an option to opt out of the 12-digit identity scheme on attaining the age of 18 years. The bill proposes a civil penalty of up to Rs 1 crore on entities that violate the provisions of the Aadhaar Act, with an additional fine of up to Rs 10 lakh per day in case of continuous non-compliance. 
Chhattisgarh Withdrew General Consent To CBI - After West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh, Congress-led Chhattisgarh too has withdrawn general consent accorded to the CBI to probe cases in the state. With this, the Central Bureau of Investigation would now require permission of the state government to conduct raids and probe in Chhattisgarh. West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh governments had late last year withdrawn the general consent accorded to the CBI to conduct probe and raids in the states.
Ordinance On Instant Triple Talaq - The Union Cabinet approved a proposal to re-promulgate the ordinance making the practice of instant triple talaq a criminal offence. The earlier ordinance was to expire on January 22. The Bill to convert the first ordinance into a law is pending in Rajya Sabha.
Char Dham Project - The Supreme Court allowed the Centre to go ahead with its ambitious ‘Char Dham’ project to provide all-weather connectivity of Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath and refused to stay ongoing construction work but said any new project under the scheme must be undertaken after getting the environment impact assessment (EIA) clearance.
13 Central Universities Within 36 Months - The Union Cabinet granted approval to an expenditure of over Rs 3,600 crore for setting up of 13 new central universities within the next 36 months. The new Central universities were established under the Central Universities Act, 2009 in Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu. While one university each is to be set up in 11 of these states, Jammu and Kashmir will get two new central varsities.
Right to Education Act Amended - Parliament had passed the bill seeking to further amend the Right to Education Act, 2009 to abolish the no-detention policy in schools. No student can be detained up to class 8th under current provisions of the Act. As per the amendment, it would be left to the States to decide whether to continue the no-detention policy. 
DNA Technology Regulation Bill - 2019 - The Lok Sabha passed the DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2019 by voice vote. The bill seeks to provide regulation for the use and application of DNA technology for the purpose of establishing the identity of certain category of persons including the victims, offenders, suspects, under trials, missing persons and others.
Allahabad is Now Prayagraj - Days before Kumbh Mela, the Union Home Ministry has approved the Uttar Pradesh government’s proposal to rename Allahabad as Prayagraj. No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the MHA will now ensure that names of other institutes in the district, including railway station, High Court and university, are also changed.
Cabinet Approved Three AIIMS - The Union Cabinet approved a proposal for establishing three new AIIMS -- two in Jammu and Kashmir and one in Gujarat. The AIIMS at Vijaynagar in Samba, Jammu, will be set up at a cost of Rs 1,661 crore, the one at Awantipora in Pulwama, Kashmir, at a cost of Rs 1,828 crore and the AIIMS at Rajkot, Gujarat, will be set up at a cost of Rs 1,195 crore.
Goods and Services Tax Appellate Tribunal - Cabinet has approved the creation of National Bench of the Goods and Services Tax Appellate Tribunal, GSTAT. The bench will be situated at New Delhi. 
Women Will Be Inducted in Military Police - The government has decided to induct women for the first time in Personnel Below Officer Rank, PBOR, role in Corps of Military Police. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, the women will be inducted in graded manner to eventually comprise 20 per cent of total Corps of Military Police.
Fixed Dose Combination (FDC) Drugs Banned - The Union health ministry has banned 80 more fixed-dose combination (FDC) drugs. With this, the total number of banned FDCs now stand at 405. Another 325 drugs were banned in September last year. A fixed-dose combination contains two or more drugs combined in a fixed ratio of doses, available as a single dose.
Cabinet Approved MoU on Mines Safety - Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi MoU between India and Australia on the safety in Mines, Testing and Research Station.
Cabinet Approved Visa Arrangements - Union Cabinet approved the Agreement on the facilitation of visa arrangements signed between India and Maldives signed in December 2018.  The Agreement provides for 90-day visa free travel for tourism, medical and limited business purpose and also provides for easy conversion of such visa free entry to medical visa.
Reservation For EWS in Academic Session 2019 - The HRD ministry announced that it will implement 10 per cent reservation for economically weaker section of the general category from the 2019 academic session and increase around 25 per cent seats in higher educational institutions and universities across the country.
Single Use Plastic Ban in Puducherry - Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy said that the cabinet has decided to ban production, sale and use of single-use plastic products in the Union Territory from March 1. Tamil Nadu government had already announced that it would ban the use of plastic items including non-biodegradable carry bags from January 1, 2019 to "gift a plastic-free state to future generations".
One Family One Job - Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling launched the ‘One Family One Job’ scheme which entitles one government job for every family in the state. Chamling said that Sikkim has become the first state in the country to carry out such an exclusive programme.
Norms For Food Packaging - Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has said that food businesses would need to comply with new packaging regulations that bar use of recycled plastics and newspapers to wrap food articles by July 1, 2019.
Bilateral Swap Arrangement - The Union Cabinet has approved the proposal for entering into an Agreement for Bilateral Swap Arrangement (BSA) between India and Japan and authorizing the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to sign the Agreement for Bilateral Swap Arrangement between the RBI and the Bank of Japan for a maximum amount of USD 75 billion.
Reservation For Local People - Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath amended the policy for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) to make it compulsory to provide 70 per cent jobs to permanent residents of the state. Accordingly, concessions such as cheap land and other subsidies will be given to MSMEs only if they provide 70 per cent of the total jobs to local persons.
Sterlite Copper Smelter Plant - The Supreme Court upheld the National Green Tribunal (NGT) order allowing the reopening of the Sterlite Copper smelter plant in Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu. In May 2018, the state government had ordered that the smelter be shut after protests over the plant’s alleged pollution led to widespread violence. After the NGT allowed the plant to reopen in December, the AIADMK government moved a petition in the Supreme Court.
Manipur People’s Protection Bill - Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh has assured the people of Manipur that his government will protect the indigenous people of the state at any cost, citing the Manipur People’s Protection Bill, 2018. The Manipur People’s Protection Bill, 2018 which was passed during the 5th session of the Manipur Legislative Assembly on July 23, 2018, seeks to regulate entry and exit of non-Manipuris from outside the state.
Single Use Plastic In Airports - The Airports Authority of India (AAI) imposed a ban on single-use plastic items in its 129 airports across the country. These steps include banning of single-use plastic items like straws, plastic cutlery, plastic plates etc.
All India Radio News - Union Minister of State (IC) for Information & Broadcasting and Youth Affairs & Sports, Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore (Retd) launched the sharing of All India Radio News with private FM broadcasters. This will be done free of cost, on trial basis initially till 31st May, 2019. 
Constitution Bench For Ram Janmabhoomi Dispute - The Supreme Court set up a five-judge Constitution Bench to hear the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land title dispute case. It will hear the matter on January 10. The Bench, headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, comprises Justices S.A. Bobde, N.V. Ramana, U.U. Lalit and D.Y. Chandrachud.
Leprosy No Ground For Divorce - The Lok Sabha passed the Personal Laws (Amendment Bill), 2018, which seeks to remove leprosy as a ground for divorce as it is now a curable disease as against the earlier notion of it being incurable. The Bill seeks to amend five personal laws- the Hindu Marriage Act 1955, Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act 1939, Divorce Act (for Christians) 1869, Special Marriage Act 1954 and the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act 1956.
CNG From Agriculture Waste - Government owned farm cooperative Nafed will set up 100 facilities, which will use agriculture waste such as sugarcane press-mud, the residue of the filtration of sugarcane juice, and stubble to produce bio-CNG. The first such plant will come up at Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh, which is in the sugarcane belt. Indian Oil Corporation has agreed to procure the bio-CNG from these plants at Rs 48 per kg.
6 Monuments Declared As National Importance - Ministry of Culture announced that Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) declared 6 monuments as ‘protected and of national importance’ under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958, in 2018. These sites are -
Old High Court Building in Nagpur, Maharashtra.
Group of Temples in Ranipur Jharail in Bolangir district of Odisha.
Agra- Haveli of Agha Khan
Hathi Khana
Neemrana Baori in Alwar district of Rajasthan
Vishnu Temple in Kotali, Pithoragarh district in Uttarakhand.
Miners Trapped in Meghalaya - National Green Tribunal imposed a fine of whopping Rs 100 crore on the Meghalaya government for failing to curb illegal coal mining in the state. At least 15 miners are trapped in the 370 foot-deep illegal coal mine in Lumthari village of East Jaintia Hills district of Meghalaya since December 13 and all efforts to pump the water out of flooded mine have been in vain. Supreme Court also had expressed strong dissatisfaction over the rescue efforts to trace the miners.
Event in News
70th Republic Day - India celebrates 70th Republic Day honouring the date on which the Constitution of India came into effect on 26 January 1950 replacing the Government of India Act (1935).
# Life of Gandhi - The theme of the 70th Republic Day parade is 'life of Gandhi' which is a tribute to the father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birth anniversary. Highlights of Republic Day -
# Highest Number Of Women Officers - The 70th Republic Day parade will have the highest number of women officers participating in the celebrations with Lt. Bhavana Kasturi leading a contingent of 144 male personnel. This is the first time in the history of Indian Army that a woman will lead the Army services corps.
# All Women Contingent - An all-women contingent of Assam Rifles, India's oldest paramilitary force, will be participating for the first time.
# New Weapons - The weapons which will be showcased for the first time in a Republic day parade are M777 and K-9 Vajra ultra light howitzers along with the Medium-Range Surface-to-Air Missile (MRSAM) missile of the DRDO.
# Bio Fuel Aircraft - For the first time in the Republic Day parade, An-32 aircraft will be flying using a mix of traditional and biofuel.
# INA Soldiers Participated - Four former Indian National Army (INA) soldiers will participate for the first time in the parade. INA was an armed force formed by Indian nationalist Rash Behari Bose in 1942 in Southeast Asia during World War II
# Sankhnaad - Sankhnaad', a martial tune created for the Indian armed forces, will be played for the first time on the 70th Republic Day parade. Since Independence, the Indian defence forces have been playing 'martial tune' created by the Britishers. `Sankhnaad' is based on Indian classical music.
Beating the Retreat - The four-day long celebrations of the 70th Republic Day concluded on January 29, 2019 with 'Beating the Retreat' ceremony, which was held at the historic Vijay Chowk in New Delhi. The Beating Retreat' marks a centuries-old military tradition, when the troops ceased fighting, sheathed their arms and withdrew from the battlefield and returned to the camps at sunset at the sounding of the Retreat.
Ganga Expressway - Uttar Pradesh State Cabinet approved the construction of a four-lane Ganga Expressway connecting Prayagraj to Meerut. Once completed, it would be longest expressway in the world. The decision was taken during UP State Cabinet meeting at Prayagraj during the ongoing Kumbh Mela. For the first time in the history of Kumbh, UP State Cabinet meeting was held at Prayagraj. The four-lane expressway will be 600 kilometres long. It would cost around Rs 36,000 crore.
Vande Bharat Express - Acknowledging its made-in-India status, the Indian Railways has named the indigenously manufactured Train 18 as Vande Bharat Express. The train is set to run between Delhi and Varanasi at a maximum speed of 160kmph. The 16-coach train, built in 18 months at a cost of Rs 97 crore by the Integral Coach Factory, Chennai, is regarded as a successor to the 30-year-old Shatabdi Express. It’s also the first locomotive-less train in the country.
Cloning of Monkeys - Scientists in China have cloned five monkeys for human disease research. The research team edited genes of monkeys to induce several human diseases like Alzheimer's claiming that it would help in medical research. This experiment may likely to raise fresh ethical concerns about gene-editing. As per reports, this is the first time multiple clones had been made from a gene-edited monkey for biomedical research.
National Salt Satyagraha Memorial - Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated the National Salt Satyagraha Memorial at Dandi in Navsari district, Gujarat to the nation, on the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi’s 71st death anniversary. The Prime Minister also unveiled at the memorial site, the statues of Mahatma Gandhi and 80 Satyagrahis who had marched with him during the historic Dandi Salt March in 1930 to make salt from sea water against the British law. 
Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Museum - Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose museum at the iconic Red Fort in Delhi to mark the leader’s 122nd birth anniversary. The museum showcases various artefacts related to Subhash Chandra Bose and Indian National Army.
National Museum of Indian Cinema - Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the National Museum of Indian Cinema (NMIC) in Mumbai. The development of the Museum was guided by the Museum Advisory Committee headed by Shyam Benegal. An innovation Committee headed by Prasoon Joshi provided an upgrade to the NMIC.
National Museum Institute - Prakash Javadekar, Union Minister for Human Resource Development will inaugurate the new Campus of the National Museum Institute at NOIDA. Since its inception, the Institute has been one of the leading centers in the country for training and research in the field of art and cultural heritage. 
Tamil Nadu Defence Industrial Corridor - Defence Minister Nirmala Seetharaman will formally launch the Tamil Nadu Defence Industrial Corridor. This will be the country's second defence industrial corridor, the first one has already been launched in Aligarh, UP in last August. The Tamil Nadu corridor is expected to have six nodes at Trichy, Salem, Hosur, Kovai, Madurai as well as Chennai.
First Private Howitzer Gun Factory - Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Armoured Systems Complex of Larsen and Toubro in Gujarat, the first private facility in the country where the K9 Vajra self-propelled Howitzer guns will be manufactured. L&T had in 2017 won the Rs 4,500-crore contract from the Ministry of Defence to supply 100 units of K9 Vajra-T 155 mm/52 calibre tracked self-propelled gun systems to the Indian Army under the Centre’s ‘Make in India’ initiative.
Centralised Processing Centre 2.0 Project - The government said IT major Infosys will develop the next-generation income tax filing system for Rs 4,241.97 crore which will cut down the processing time for returns to one day from 63 days and expedite refunds. The Cabinet gave its approval for Integrated E-filing and Centralised Processing Centre 2.0 Project of the Income Tax Department. Project is expected to be completed in 18 months. 
One nation One Grid - Kargil and Leh is now connected to national power grid. In a major push to the ‘One nation One Grid’ project’ Ladakh has been connected to the National Grid for the first time since 1947. Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation for the 220 kV Leh-Kargil-Alusteng Single Circuit transmission line in August 2014.
Defence Innovation Hub - Nasik in Maharashtra will be the site of the country’s second defence innovation hub after Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu. Defence innovation hub at Nashik will help local industries and entrepreneurs and further the Centre’s Make in India push in the country’s defence sector.
Domestic Council for Gems & Jewellery - The Commerce Ministry announced the formation of a Domestic Council for Gems & Jewellery to bring the industry’s domestic business stakeholders under one umbrella so that they could evolve a unified approach to promote growth in the sector. The basic objective of the government is to make this unorganised sector organised and structured.
System For Predicting Thunderstorms And Lightening Strikes - Government will set up a complete system for predicting thunderstorms and lightening strikes in the country in next three months. Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) has already installed 48 lightening sensors across the country. This tool is developed by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune and India Meteorological Department (IMD), New Delhi. IITM has also developed a mobile app called ‘Damini’ for giving updated information about lightening activity over a certain area.
Alliance Between SP and BSP - In Uttar Pradesh, Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party have entered a alliance for Lok Sabah Poll 2019. SP and BSP will fight coming lok Sabha election jointly on seat sharing of 38 each in Uttar Pradesh. Two seats are left for other parties. Alliance will not field it's candidate on Amethi and Raebareli seats.
Prime Minister Released Rs 350 Coin - Prime Minister Narendra Modi released a commemorative coin of Rs. 350 in the national capital to mark the birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Gobind Singh jee. Rs 350 commemorative Coin with the standard weight of 35 gram will bears the rupee symbol and denominational value ‘350’ in international numerals below the Lion Capital.
Time Capsule - A laptop, a smartphone, a drone and VR glasses were among 100 items buried as part of a Time Capsule during the ongoing 106th Indian Science Congress by three Nobel Laureates — Avram Hershko, F Duncan M Haldane and Thomas Christian Sudhof. The Capsule, which will remain buried for 100 years, was developed with an objective to “capture” the current technological essence for future generations. The capsule was buried on the campus of Lovely Professional University, in Jalandhar at a depth of 10 ft. According to university officials, it will be unearthed and opened on January 3, 2119.
25 States Achieved 100% Electrification - The country achieved yet another milestone in the power sector with the completion of electrification in 100% households in 25 states at year end. Now, only about 10.48 lakh households are left to be electrified in 4 states - Assam, Rajasthan, Meghalaya and Chhattisgarh. The central government launched 'Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana' (Saubhagya) in September 2017 to achieve the goal of universal household electrification in the country by 31 March, 2019.
Samwad with Students - Indian Space Research Organisation ushered in new year by launching a student outreach programme called ‘Samwad with Students’ at its facility in Bengaluru. ISRO will organise guided tours of students thrice in a year, especially during summer and Christmas holidays. Students will be taken to ISRO facilities in Thiruvananthapuram and Bengaluru and the launch centre at Sriharikota. They will also be allowed to make small satellites.
World’s Largest Cricket Stadium - The construction of the world’s largest cricket stadium, which will have a seating capacity of over 1 lakh, at Motera in Ahmedabad is underway. Stadium will be built across 63 acres of land and is being designed by renowned architect firm M/s. Populous. The cost of the project is estimated to be Rs 700 crore and the construction tender has been given to L&T.
Tulip Garden - Uttarakhand's first tulip garden will come up in Pithoragarh district. The state government has obtained the Centre's nod for development of the garden. To be developed by the ONGC, under its corporate social responsibility programme, the proposed tulip garden will be the country's second after the one located in Srinagar (J&K).
Reliance E-Commerce - Reliance Industries Ltd Chairman and managing director Mukesh Ambani announced that group companies Reliance Retail and Reliance Jio Infocomm would jointly launch a new e-commerce platform in the country. The announcement was made at the inauguration of the three-day Vibrant Gujarat summit. 
Atal Setu - Union Minister Nitin Gadkari inaugurated four-lane 5.1-kilometer long “Atal Setu”, the third Cable Bridge across river Mandovi in Panaji, Goa. Infrastructure works worth Rs 15000 crore have been sanctioned for the state of Goa. 
First Geographical Indication Store - The Civil Aviation ministry launched the country’s first Geographical Indication (GI) store at Dabolim International Airport in Goa. Union Minister for Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu stated that the GI stores will promote local products made by the artisans and handicrafts at the airport. 
Rajiv Saxena and Deepak Talwar - Dubai-based businessman Rajiv Saxena, the co-accused in 3,600-crore rupee Agusta Westland chopper deal case and corporate lobbyist Deepak Talwar were extradited to India from United Arab Emirates. 
Penalty on Indian Railway - The Central Pollution Control Board has slapped a fine of Rs 1 crore each on the North Delhi Municipal Corporation and the Northern Railways over non-compliance of norms. The board sent the notice to the Northern Railways over its construction and demolition activities.
Central Assistance From NDRF - The High Level Committee, chaired by the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, approved the additional Central assistance from National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) of Rs 7214.03 crore to 6 States and one Union Territory. The funds allocated to these states are - Rs 317.44 crore to Himachal Pradesh, Rs 191.73 crore to Uttar Pradesh, Rs. 900.40 crore to Andhra Pradesh, Rs. 127.60 crore to Gujarat, Rs. 949.49 crore to Karnataka, Rs. 4,714.28 crore to Maharashtra and Rs. 13.09 crore to UT of Puducherry.
Eco Smart Stations - National Green Tribunal has directed the Railways to identify and develop at least 36 stations as "eco-smart stations" within two weeks. ‘Polluter Pays' principle may be invoked by regulatory authorities, including the Railways, for compliance of Solid Waste and Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016.
Tiger Protection Force - Telangana government has decided to form a 'State Tiger Protection Force' to save the Big Cat population in the State. The State and Central government will share the cost of the force on 40:60 basis. Fund amount of 2.25 Cr was also sanctioned to protect the tigers and to prevent forest fire accidents.
Norms Relaxed For Under Trial Prisoners - Home Minister Rajnath Singh has said that the Centre has issued an advisory to release under trial prisoners who have served half of their maximum punishment provided under the law. There are about four lakh prisoners in jails and out of them about half are under trials. 
Reservation in Andhra Pradesh - Andhra Pradesh cabinet has decided to cater 5% reservation each for Kapu community and the economically backward classes (EBCs) among the forward castes.
Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust - The Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), India’s premier container port got listed amongst the top 30 container ports globally, as per the latest Lloyds Report. JNPT notched up five spots, to be 28th on the list, compared to its previous ranking.
Bio-Fuel For Military Aircraft - In a significant move, the use of indigenously produced bio-fuel for military aircraft has been cleared after months of exhaustive ground and flight trials, The Indian Air Force is expected to use bio fuel for its transport fleet and helicopters following the clearance given by the Centre for Military Airworthiness and Certification (CEMILAC).
National Women’s Party - The National Women’s Party (NWP), which has been formed with the motto of women empowerment, was launched in Mumbai, Maharashtra. The party has been founded by Dr Swetha Shetty, a medical practitioner-cum - activist from Hyderabad, who would also serve as its President. Announcing its formation, Shetty said that apart from ensuring empowerment of women, issues like getting 50 per cent reservation for women in the parliament and state assemblies.
No Single Use Plastic in Election Campaign - Seeking to meet India’s voluntary commitment to eliminate single-use plastic in the country by 2022, the Centre urged states and Union territories to desist from single-use plastic election material and requested use of sustainable alternate materials during the campaign.
Mahatma Gandhi Convention Centres - External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj mentioned that India will build Mahatma Gandhi Convention Centres across African nations on grant assistance basis to mark 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
ROADEO Robot - The Chennai Traffic Police inducted a road safety robot into service on January 14, 2019 for traffic management. The robot is named as ‘ROADEO’. The robot will help police in traffic management and assist pedestrians in Chennai roads.
Vision 2040 - The Ministry of Civil Aviation unveiled the Vision 2040 document, which highlights the growth potential in different sub-sectors of Indian aviation. As per the document the total passenger traffic in India is expected to rise nearly six-fold from 187 million in FY 2018 to around 1124 million in FY 2040. This includes around 821 million domestic passengers and around 303 million international passengers.
Multi-Modal Logistics Park - PM Modi dedicated to the nation the Multi-Modal Logistics Park at Jharsuguda, Odisha. The Park promotes movement of goods for domestic as well as global trade. It will establish Jharsuguda as a prime logistics hub and boost ease of doing business in the state.
DD Science and India Science - The Department of Science and Technology, along with Doordarshan, launched two science communication initiatives - DD Science and India Science. While DD Science is a one hour slot on Doordarshan National channel, India Science is an internet based science channel. 
Kumbh 2019 - The world's largest religious and cultural human congregation, ‘Kumbh 2019’ began at Prayagraj (erstwhile Allahabad), Uttar Pradesh on January 15, 2019 and will go on till March 4, 2019. This 7-week event began with the holy dip at Sangam, the confluence of three rivers - Ganga, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati.
Longest Cable Suspension Bridge - India’s longest 300-meter single lane steel cable suspension bridge was inaugurated by Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu. The bridge across the Siang river at Yingkiong in Upper Siang district has been named Byorung Bridge.
Ads Transparency Centre by Twitter - With general election in India less than five months away, Twitter will soon introduce its Ads Transparency Centre in the country that will enable users to see the identity of advertisers funding a political ad on the platform as part of efforts to be more transparent.
Privatisation of Delhi Metro - The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) will privatise operations of two of its oldest corridors - Red (Dilshad Garden-Rithala) and Yellow Lines (Samaypur Badli-HUDA City Centre) - and outsource arguably the most crucial job: that of a train operator (driver).
Insurance For Air Passengers - Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), the Railways’ subsidiary, will offer insurance of up to Rs 50 lakh for free for air passengers who book their tickets through its portal. IRCTC has tied up with Bharti-Axa for the offer. IRCTC’s service charge of Rs 59 is the cheapest compared with travel websites. IRCTC has tied up with Galileo, a computer reservation system, for powering the flight search engine.
Seaplanes For Andaman Islands - According to the Ministry of Civil Aviation, islands in Andaman will soon be connected by seaplanes that can land on or take-off from the water. To facilitate the same, the government has approved flight operations on 13 water aerodrome routes under the Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN) scheme.
Airboat Service From Varanasi To Prayagraj - Minister for Shipping and Water Resources Ministry has said the government will launch an airboat service from Varanasi to Prayagraj for the Kumbh Mela from January 26. The airboat is a popular means of waterway transportation propelled by an aircraft-like rotor and powered by an aircraft or an automation engine.
Integrated Security System For Indian Railways - Indian Railways is planning to seal railway stations 15-20 minutes before the scheduled departure of trains, in order to complete the process of security checks. Passengers will now have to arrive at least 20 minutes before the scheduled departure of their trains. Security plan with high-end technology has already been implemented at Allahabad, before the Kumbh Mela 2019 and at Hubli railway station in Karnataka. These steps are a part of a security plan under the Integrated Security System (ISS) which was approved in 2016 to strengthen surveillance mechanism at 202 railway stations.
Asia Pulp & Paper Group - Indonesian pulp and paper giant Asia Pulp & Paper Group (APP) is setting up India’s largest paper mill with a capacity of a staggering 5 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) at Ramayapatnam in coastal Andhra’s Prakasam district. This could well be the world’s largest such facility at a single site.
Polavaram Project - The Polavaram project in Andhra Pradesh entered the Guinness Book of World by pouring 32,100 cubic metres of concrete in 24 hours. The project had recently bagged the Central Board of Irrigation and Power (CBIP) award for speedy execution of Polavaram multipurpose project and best implementation of water resources project for better planning, implementation and monitoring.
Cyclone Pabuk - A ‘yellow alert’ was issued in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands as Cyclone Pabuk made its way towards the archipelago. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted heavy to very heavy rainfall.
India Will Be Most Populous Country - Prediction of the United Nations about India to be the world’s most populous country in the 21st century may soon turn into a reality as the nation is likely to produce as many as 69,944 babies on New Year’s Day. Globally, around 18 per cent of total baby births are estimated to take place in India only. As per the latest data compiled by the United Nations, over 69,944 children will be born in India on New Year’s Day followed by China and Nigeria with 44,940 babies and 25,685 babies respectively.
Banking and Economic
CSO Data on GDP - The government revised the economic growth rate upwards to 7.2% for 2017-18 from the 6.7% estimated earlier. Earlier, the CSO in its advance estimate had pegged the GDP growth rate for 2018-19 at 7.2%. India’s contribution to global economy has increased from 2.6 per cent in 2014 to 3.3 per cent in 2017 on the back of high growth rate during the last four and a half years.
India is Second Largest Producer of Steel - According to World Steel Association India has replaced Japan as the world's second-largest steel producing country, only behind China, which is the largest producer of crude steel accounting for more than 51 per cent of production. India's crude steel production in 2018 was at 106.5 MT. Japan produced 104.3 MT. While China's crude steel output was 928.3 MT.
Cabinet Approved Merger Of Three PSB - Union Cabinet approved the proposal to merge Bank of Baroda (BoB), Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank with an aim to make it India’s third largest bank. The merger will become effective from April 1 2019. Of the three banks, Dena Bank is the weakest bank with highest NPA ratio of 11.04% and lowest business of merely Rs 1.72 lakh crore as compared to 5.4% NPA and Rs 10.2 lakh crore worth business of Bank of Baroda and 4.10% NPA and Rs 2 lakh crore worth business of Vijaya Bank.
Employment Data of NSSO - The assessment by the National Sample Survey Office conducted between July 2017-June 2018, showed the unemployment rate stood at 6.1 percent, the highest since 1972-73 (45-year high). Joblessness stood at 7.8 percent in urban areas compared with 5.3 parts in the countryside. India’s economy has been expanding by 7 percent plus annually but the uneven growth has meant there are not enough jobs created for millions of young Indians.
Legal Tender of Indian Notes In Nepal - The Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) has written to the Reserve Bank of India, asking it to make Indian bank bills Rs 200, Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 legal tender in Nepal. The NRB has asked RBI to issue a notification under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), which will make Indian bank notes of denomination more than Rs 100 legal tender in Nepal. The RBI has only allowed the circulation of Indian currency notes of Rs 100 and less in Nepal.
Before Demonetisation - Before the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 bank notes in November 2016, the RBI had issued a FEMA notification allowing Nepali citizens to carry Rs 25,000 worth of such bank notes. After the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 Indian currency notes, circulation of new bank notes of denominations Rs 200, Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 was started by the Indian government. The RBI did not issue the notification for the newly circulated bank notes, making their use illegal in Nepal.
Calamity Cess Approved - The ministerial panel under Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi approved levy of 1 per cent ‘calamity cess’ by Kerala for a period of two years to fund rehabilitation work in the state hit by floods. Later GST Council headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley also allowed the state government of Kerala to impose 1 per cent disaster cess on intra-state sales for a period of two years.
Paytm Payments Bank Allowed To Open New Accounts - The Reserve Bank of India has allowed Paytm Payments Bank to restart opening new accounts for its consumers after almost six months of the ban. Paytm Payments Bank stopped enrolling new customers in June 2018, following an audit by the RBI, which made certain observations about the process the company follows in acquiring new customers and its adherence to know-your-customer (KYC) norms.
Liability in Prepaid Payment Instruments - Reserve Bank of India has come up with a framework for customer protection by limiting the liability in the case of an unauthorised transaction in any Prepaid Payment Instruments (PPIs). PPI issuers have been asked to compulsorily send the SMS and e-mail alert for any payment transaction. PPI issuer shall have to reverse the transaction and refund the amount involved in the unauthorised electronic payment transaction to the customer’s PPI within 10 days. Customer’s liability in case of unauthorised transaction –
Fraud / Negligence / Deficiency on the Part of the PPI issuer - Liability of Customer is Zero.
Third Party Breach where the deficiency lies neither with the PPI issuer nor with the customer - Liability of Customer is Zero if reported within three days.
Negligence by a customer - The customer will bear the entire loss until he reports the unauthorised transaction to the PPI issuer.
Old ATM Card Banned From 1 January 2019 - Reserve Bank of India in 2015 had issued a directive to all bank across India mandating them to get rid of old magnetic stripe cards. This is because magnetic stripe cards can easily be skimmed and misused by criminals. As per the RBI directive, all magnetic stripe cards were to be replaced by EMV (Europay, MasterCard, Visa) Chip Based cards by December 31, 2018.
Universal Basic Income - With the Congress announcing to introduce a minimum income guarantee scheme in 2019, if voted to power, talks about Universal Basic Income has again gained steam. The idea was first mooted by the Economic Survey of 2016-2017. “A Universal Basic Income (UBI) is a periodic cash payment unconditionally delivered to all on an individual basis. Many countries like Norway and Finland practice it, whereas others like Germany, Switzerland and France are experimenting with it.
Gau Kalyan Cess - The UP government has introduced a “gau kalyan” (cow welfare) cess, a 0.5% additional levy on excise items, which could include alcohol apart from toll tax, as well as several public sector infrastructure companies, to fund construction and maintenance of cow shelters across the state.
Recession Again - U.S. economic growth will slow this year to 2.3 percent from 3.1 percent in 2018, as the stimulative effects of President Donald Trump’s tax cuts wane and the federal budget deficit climbs to nearly $900 billion, congressional researchers said. US and China are considered two main drivers of global growth because of the size of their economies and a less than expected GDP growth in both the countries will ring alarm bells in other emerging economies including India.
PSU Banks Authorised To Issue Lookout Circulars - In a bid to prevent big economic offenders like Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi from fleeing the country, the government has empowered PSU banks to request lookout circulars (LOCs) against wilful defaulters and fraudsters. The Home Ministry has also authorised the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), a statutory corporate fraud investigation agency, to request LOCs if it feels the suspect may escape from India.
Best Performing States - Bihar and Andhra Pradesh led the pack among States in terms of GDP growth in financial year 2017-18, clocking 11.3% and 11.2% growth, respectively, compared with the national GDP growth of 6.7% for the year, according to a report by CRISIL. Even as 12 large states grew faster than national GDP in FY18, the same has not translated into job creation, says report. 
Top Performer - Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, and Gujarat.
Worst Performer - Jharkhand, Kerala, and Punjab.
IDFC First Bank Ltd - Private sector lender IDFC Bank said its name has been changed to IDFC First Bank Ltd with effect from January 12, 2019. IDFC Bank and non-banking financial company Capital First had announced completion of their merger on December 18. Following the merger, the board of IDFC Bank had approved the appointment of V Vaidyanathan, founder and chairman of Capital First Ltd, as managing director and chief executive officer of the merged entity. 
BHIM-UPI Transactions - Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad informed via tweet that the total value of BHIM-UPI transactions crossed 1 Lakh Crore Rupees mark in December 2018. The Minister said BHIM-UPI, a unique fintech innovation of India, has become immensely popular among users. 
Merger of Rural Regional Bank - The government has amalgamated three Regional Rural Banks - Punjab Gramin Bank, Malwa Gramin Bank and Sutlej Gramin Bank - into a single RRB.
Gruh Finance Merged With Bandhan Bank - Gruh Finance board approved merger of housing financier with Bandhan Bank. The merger is effective from January 1, 2019. The deal follows the Reserve Bank of India’s decision to impose strictures on Bandhan Bank for failing to reduce promoter shareholding as per the agreed regulatory timeline.
HDFC Mutual Fund - HDFC Mutual Fund has pipped ICICI Prudential MF to become the country's largest asset management company As of December-end. HDFC MF manages assets to the tune of Rs 3.35 lakh crore, while those of ICICI Prudential MF stood at Rs 3.08 lakh crore, as per the latest data available with Association of Mutual funds in India (Amfi).
Jet Airways Downgraded to Default Grade - Jet Airways India Ltd. has missed payment to lenders, prompting ratings agency ICRA to downgrade the rating to ‘D’ or default grade due to the default and the inability of the airline to mobilise funds to improve liquidity. The company’s liquidity position is stressed with operating losses, high debt levels and negative networth.
NHAI Signed MoU with Oil Marketing Companies - To ensure easier availability of FASTags, Indian Highways Management Company Ltd. (IHMCL), a company promoted by NHAI, is signing MoUs with state-run Oil Marketing Companies (IOCL, BPC, and HPC).  It will ensure availability of FASTags at petroleum outlets across India. In the first phase, the tags will be available across 50 Fuel Station in Delhi NCR. IHMCL has been mandated to implement the National Electronic Toll Collection Program (NETC) in the country.  IHMCL is also striving for the vision of One Nation – One Tag.
GST e-way Bill Will Be Integrated With FASTag - The GST e-way bill system is likely to be integrated with NHAI’s FASTag mechanism from April to help track movement of goods and check GST evasion. Integration of e-way bill with FASTag would help find the location of the vehicle and when and how many times it has crossed NHAI’s toll plazas. The integrated system on an all-India basis is planned to be rolled out from April. Karnataka is implementing an integrated system on a pilot basis.
Roshni Android App - The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Ropar, has developed first Android app Roshni that would help the Visually Impaired to recognise currency notes. The app can recognise both old and new notes and gives audio information as to which note you are holding in your hands.
CBI Filed Case in ICICI Loan Case - Central Bureau of Investigation registered an FIR regarding the alleged irregularities in the Rs 3,250 crore loan case by ICICI Bank to Videocon. The CBI had in 2018 registered a preliminary enquiry against Videocon promoter Venugopal Dhoot and Deepak Kochhar. Since then, ICICI Bank has also initiated an internal enquiry under former Supreme Court judge BN Srikrishna. Earlier, ICICI bank CEO Chanda Kochhar resigned from her post in October 2018.
India Fastest Growing Economy - India will continue to remain the world’s fastest-growing large economy in 2019 as well as in 2020. According to the UN’s World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2019, India’s GDP growth is expected to accelerate to 7.6 per cent in 2019-20 from an estimated 7.4 per cent in the current fiscal ending March 2019. In the case of China, the growth is estimated to decelerate to 6.3 per cent in 2019 from 6.6 per cent in 2018.
Digital Currency Aber - The central banks of the UAE and Saudi Arabia have launched a common digital currency called "Aber", which will be used in financial settlements between the two countries through Blockchains and Distributed Ledgers technologies.
India Will Surpass China In Fuel Consumption - India will surpass China to become the second largest oil demand growth centre globally in 2019 on back of buoyant auto fuel and LPG consumption, as per a report by research and consultancy group Wood Mackenzie. According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), India is currently ranked behind the United States and China as the world's third-largest oil consumer. 
Recapitalisation of Export-Import Bank - The Union Cabinet approved the recapitalisation of the Export-Import Bank of India. The Cabinet also approved an increase in the authorized capital of EXIM Bank from Rs 10,000 crore to Rs. 20,000 crore. The Government will issue the Recapitalization Bonds to the tune of Rs 6000 crore for capital infusion in the EXIM Bank. The equity will be infused in two tranches. First tranche will be of Rs 4,500 crore in FY 2018-19, and then of Rs 1,500 crore in FY 2019-20.
Allahabad Bank and SBI Life Signed Pact - Allahabad Bank and SBI Life Insurance came together and signed a bancassurance pact, to offer a holistic financial planning solution to consumers. This will empower the consumer to address their complete financial needs under one roof. The tie-up, one of the largest Bancassurance partnerships in the country.
Capital Infusion in PSB - The government has infused 10,882 crore Rupees in four public sector banks, including UCO Bank and Syndicate Bank. It is a part of 28,615 crore rupees capital infusion to be done in about half a dozen public sector lenders. UCO Bank has received 3,074 crore rupees. Besides, Bank of Maharashtra got 4,498 crore rupees, Syndicate Bank 1,632 crore rupees and Central Bank of India 1,678 crore rupees.
Tokenisation For Card Transactions - Reserve Bank of India released guidelines on tokenisation for various card transactions. Tokenisation, which aims at improving safety and security of the payment system, refers to replacement of actual card details with an unique alternate code called the ‘token’, which shall be unique for a combination of card, token requestor and identified device. Instead of using actual card details, this token is used to perform card transactions in contactless mode at point of sale (POS) terminals, quick response (QR) code payments. A customer would not have to pay any charges for availing this service.
HDFC Standard Life Insurance Renamed - HDFC Standard Life Insurance has changed its name to HDFC Life Insurance following the receipt of relevant approvals from regulatory authorities.
Record Quarterly Profit - Reliance Industries Ltd became the first Indian private sector company to report a quarterly profit of more than Rs 10,000 crore after record earnings from petrochemical, retail and telecom business. State-owned Indian Oil Corp (IOC) holds the distinction of posting highest ever quarterly profit by any Indian firm when it had reported a net profit of Rs 14,512.81 crore in January-March 2013.
Automatic Exchange Of Information - India will start receiving from Switzerland this year information relating to financial accounts held by Indians in Swiss banks on automatic basis. Switzerland has been long perceived as one of the safest havens for illicit wealth allegedly stashed abroad by some Indians In 2016, India and Switzerland signed a joint declaration relating to automatic exchange of information (AEOI) relating to tax.
RBI Reviewed PCA Framework - The Reserve Bank of India has decided to allow three public sector banks — Bank of India, Bank of Maharashtra and Oriental Bank of Commerce — to exit the PCA framework following capital infusion by the government and a decline in net non-performing asset ratio. The RBI which conducted a review following a demand made by government to lift the restrictions in order to boost credit growth.
Kochi Refinery Project Dedicated To Nation - Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated Kochi Refinery project and IOCL LPG Bottling Plant to the Nation in Kochi, Kerala. Prime Minister also laid a foundation stone for Petrochemical Complex.
SBI Card and Etihad Signed Agreement - SBI Card and Etihad Guest, the loyalty programme of Etihad Airways, have joined hands to launch a travel-specific Visa credit card for members and Indian travelers. This is the first international co-brand partnership of SBI Card, the country's second-largest credit card issuer.
Praveen Kutumbe Panel - Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has set up a panel headed by Praveen Kutumbe, to identify domestically systematically important insurers (SIIs) and an augmented regulatory framework is logically established in this regard.
Highest Allocation for MGNREGA - After exhausting 99% of its annual allocation three months ahead of time, MGNREGA scheme has been given an additional allocation of Rs 6,084 crore to tide over the next three months. This lifts the total allocation to MGNREGA for 2018-19 to Rs 61,084 crore, which is the highest ever allocation.
SEBI Issued Guidelines For REITs And InvITs - Markets regulator Sebi amended guidelines for Real state Investment Trusts (REITs) and Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvITs) to ease the process of public issue of their units. Now, these trusts can accept only Applications Supported by Blocked Amount (ASBA). Among others, the manager on behalf of the REIT or InvIT will announce the floor price or price band at least two working days prior to the opening of the bid in case of an initial public offer.
Inflation Declined - Retail inflation in December 2018 continued the downward trend, slipping to an 18-month low of 2.19 per cent with food prices staying in the negative zone along with lower vegetable and fuel prices. Earlier Whole Sale Price Inflation data showed that it fell to 8-month low in December falling to 3.80 per cent from 4.64 per cent in November amid decline in fuel and food items.
Hike in Non Performing Assets - Reserve Bank of India has raised a red flag over spike in non—performing assets (NPAs) under the government’s flagship scheme to support micro enterprises in the country — the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana. RBI said that bad loans under PMMY had risen to Rs 11,000 crore.
Penalty on Citibank - The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has slapped a penalty of Rs. 3 crore on foreign lender Citibank India for not complying with ‘fit and proper’ criteria for directors. It said the action is based on deficiencies in regulatory compliance.
India Will Be Second Largest Economy - India is likely to overtake the United States and become the world’s second-largest economy by 2030, a British financial services firm has predicted. According to Standard Chartered Plc, China will assume the top spot by dislodging the US, which will fall to third on the list behind the two Asian giants.
ADB Forecast on GDP Growth - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) forecast that the Indian economy would grow at 7.3 per cent in FY19. On the back of strong investment and GST stabilisation, the growth would improve to 7.6 per cent in FY20. Earlier World Bank had also said that India’s GDP is expected to grow at 7.3 per cent in the fiscal year 2018-19. It has forecast the growth to hit 7.5 per cent in the following two years.
SAARC Swap Facility - Sri Lanka’s Central Bank announced that the Reserve Bank of India has agreed to provide USD 400 million under a swap arrangement to boost the island nation’s reserves. The RBI has agreed to provide the funds under its SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) Swap Facility. 
Pasargad Bank - Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has announced that India has allowed an Iranian bank, Pasargad Bank, to open a branch in Mumbai. The move is aimed at circumventing US trade and investment sanctions as India builds a strategic port in the West Asian country. Alongside, India’s UCO Bank will open a branch in Iran. 
Relief For MSMEs - In a major relief to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), the GST Council chaired by finance minister Arun Jaitley doubled the GST exemption limit for companies in the sector to those with an annual turnover of Rs 40 lakh from the current Rs 20 lakh. For North East and hilly states, the limit has been increased to Rs 20 lakh from Rs 10 lakh. 
Per Capita Income - According to first advance estimates of national income released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), Per Capita income earned by an average Indian doubled in 7 years, from Rs 63,642 per year in 2011-12 to Rs 1.25 lakh in 2018-19.
Unemployment Rate Worsen - The estimated unemployment rate rose to a 27-month high of 7.38% in the month of December 2018 and the total number of people employed fell by about 1.09 crore, according to CMIE data. In December 2017, a total of 40.78 crore people were employed, while in the month of December 2018 the number fell to 39.69 crores, the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) data showed.
Public Sector Banks Rationalising Foreign Operation - Public sector banks are in the process of closing or rationalising about 69 overseas operations in the next few months as part of their capital conservation exercise. Following the review, 35 overseas operations were closed while 69 are under process or being considered for rationalisation.
NHAI Plans To Raise Rs 10,000 Cr - The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) plans to raise Rs. 10,000 crore through Bharatmala Taxable Bonds in the current fiscal. Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said as per the internal and extra budgetary resources approved for 2018-19 by the government, Rs. 62,000 crore is to be raised by NHAI through various sources including Bharatmala bonds.
ICICI Band Signed MoU with FinCredit India - ICICI Bank, in a first-of-its-kind programme, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Small Business FinCredit India Pvt. Ltd. (SBFC), a systemically important Non-Banking Finance Company for entrepreneurs, to jointly provide credit worth up to Rs 1 crore to MSMEs for a tenure of 15 years.
Growth Outlook for 2019 - In its ‘Growth Outlook for 2019’, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) stated that the GDP growth will be in the range of 7.5% in 2019. A settled goods and services tax (GST), improving credit availability and capacity expansion from increasing investment in infrastructure are among seven key drivers that will help Indian economy grow 7.5% in 2019. 
Interest Subsidy Scheme Extended - The government extended the interest subsidy scheme for middle-income group till 31 March 2020 for first time urban homebuyers who have annual income between Rs 6 lakh and Rs 18 lakh. This will enable new home buyers to avail up front financial assistance of about Rs 2.5 lakh from the central government, which they can use for down payment while booking, construction or re-purchasing the flat.
International News
Shutdown Ended in USA - Submitting to mounting pressure, U.S. President Donald Trump has signed a Bill to reopen the government for three weeks, backing down from his demand that Congress give him money for his border wall before federal agencies go back to work. The deal he reached with congressional leaders contains no new money for the wall but ends the longest shutdown in U.S. history. Mr. Trump’s retreat came on the 35th day of the partial shutdown.
Nicolas Maduro - Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro rejected an international ultimatum to call elections within eight days and said Opposition leader Juan Guaido had violated the Constitution by declaring himself the interim leader. Israel joined a growing list of countries led by the United States that back Mr. Guaido’s claim to the presidency on the basis that Mr. Maduro’s second-term election victory was fraudulent.
World Economy Outlook Report - India is projected to grow at 7.5 per cent in 2019 and 7.7 per cent in 2020, an impressive over one percentage point ahead of China’s estimated growth of 6.2 per cent in these two years, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in its World Economy Outlook report. The IMF trimmed global growth projections for 2019 and 2020 to 3.5 per cent and 3.6 per cent respectively.
World Capital of Architecture for 2020 - The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has named the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro as the World Capital of Architecture for 2020. Rio will be the first city to receive the title under a programme launched together by UNESCO and the International Union of Architects (UIA) in November 2018. The city beat Paris and Melbourne to get the position.
Aadhaar Cards is Valid For Traveling Nepal - According to a Home Ministry Aadhaar cards are now valid travel documents for Indians under 15 and over 65 travelling to Nepal and Bhutan. Indian citizens going to Nepal and Bhutan don't need a visa if they have a valid passport, a photo identity card issued by the government of India or an election ID card issued by the Election Commission.
Palestine Took Chairmanship of G 77 - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has pledged to protect the interests of all 134 countries in the UN's Group of 77, as Palestine took the chairmanship of the group from Egypt for 2019. The G77 group was originally founded by 77 members in 1964 but has expanded to 134 mainly developing nations.
British PM Faces Defeat in Parliament - British Prime Minister Theresa May suffered a crushing defeat in the Parliament on January 15, 2019 when lawmakers overwhelmingly rejected Britain’s withdrawal deal by a vote of 432 to 202, a majority of 230 votes, with just 73 days to go until Britain is scheduled to leave the European Union. Britain is scheduled to leave the EU on March 29, 2019. Following the vote, Labour tabled a no-confidence motion against May's minority government but Prime Minister Theresa May survived a no-confidence vote in Parliament. May won a narrow victory, 325 votes to 306 votes.
US and Israel Quit From UNESCO - The United States and Israel officially quit the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) with the close of 2018. The Trump administration filed its notice to withdraw in October 2017 and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu followed suit for agency’s anti-Israel bias.
Qatar Quits OPEC - Qatar will cease to be a member of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries from 1 January 2019. Now OPEC will focus on its liquefied natural gas production. The decision came amid the ongoing diplomatic and economic blockade imposed on the country by its Persian Gulf neighbours and several Arab states. These countries accuse Doha of supporting terrorism and interfering in their internal affairs.
Republic of Macedonia Renamed - The parliamentarians of the Republic of Macedonia voted on January 11, 2019 to change their country’s name to the “Republic of North Macedonia”. The move now awaits approval from the Greece Parliament. The change of name, if cleared by Athens, would pave the way for the small republic to enter NATO and the European Union. 
GAFA Tax - The finance minister of France Bruno Le Maire announced that France will introduce its own tax on large internet and technology companies from January 1. France has been pushing hard for a new so-called “GAFA tax” -- named after Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon -- to ensure the global giants pay a fair share of taxes on their massive business operations in Europe.
New Temporary Members Joined UNSC - Five nations, namely, Belgium, Dominican Republic, Germany, Indonesia and South Africa assumed the charge as the Non-Permanent Members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). These five countries will hold a two-year term in the Council with effect from January 1, 2019. This will be the Dominican Republic’s first time on the Security Council. 
Chinese Telecom Giant Huawei  - The U.S.’s Department of Justice has charged Chinese telecom giant and world’s second largest smartphone manufacturer Huawei and its CFO Meng Wanzhou with attempts to steal trade secrets, obstructing a criminal investigation and evading U.S. sanctions against Iran. Huawei has denied the charges against itself and Ms. Weng.
Africa Centre for Climate and Sustainable development - Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte along with UN representative has launched Africa Centre for Climate and Sustainable development. The new center is located near the Food and Agriculture Organization headquarters in Rome. The major objective is boosting the agricultural sectors and promoting rural development in Africa.
Dubai International Airport - Dubai International Airport (DXB) retained its position as the world's busiest airport for international customer numbers for the fifth consecutive year with annual traffic for 2018. It overtook the crown of the world's busiest hub for international travel from London's Heathrow in 2014.
America and Taliban Will Sign Peace Agreement - American and Taliban officials have agreed to the framework of a peace deal in which the insurgents guarantee to prevent Afghanistan from being used by terrorists, and that could lead to a full pull-out of U.S. troops in return for a ceasefire and Taliban talks with the Afghan government.
India and OECD Signe Agreement - Human Resources Development Ministry signed an agreement with Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) for India’s Participation in Programme for International Student Assessment - PISA 2021.  PISA is a triennial international survey which aims to evaluate the education system worldwide by testing the skills and knowledge of 15-year-old students.
General Data Protection Regulation - Nearly 65% of Indian organizations are better prepared for the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), making the country the sixth leading nation globally in the GDPR readiness index, global networking leader, according to CISCO. The GDPR, which focused on increasing protection for EU residents' privacy and personal data, came into force in May 2018.
India Will Surpass UK in 2019 - India is likely to surpass the United Kingdom in the world's largest economy rankings in 2019, to become world's fifth largest economy, according to a report by global consultancy firm PwC. According to World Bank data, India became the world's sixth largest economy in 2017 surpassing France.
Pakistan Received Assistance From Gulf Nation - Cash-strapped Pakistan has received USD 1 billion each from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), as part of the bailout package by the two Gulf nations to help shore up Islamabad’s dwindling foreign currency reserves. The assistance was the first part of the USD 3 billion assistance announced by the Gulf nation. 
India Signed Agreement With South Africa - Following delegation level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, the two sides inked an agreement to further deepen their strategic partnership. India and South Africa are keen on expansion of cooperation in sectors including agro-processing, defence, mining and the financial sector. India will also be setting up Gandhi-Mandela Skills Institute in Pretoria.
India and Australia Revamped Extradition Treaty - India is all set to sign a revamped extradition treaty with Australia that would enable both countries to exchange information on spies, terrorism and human traffickers. India and Australia signed an extradition treaty in 2008, but it came into force only in 2011. Under this treaty, both countries decided to recognise extraditable offences which are punishable by an imprisonment of at least one year or severe penalty.
India Donated Ambulance to Nepal - India donated 30 ambulances and six buses to Nepal and extended its support to the country in achieving prosperity. India’s gesture came as it marked 70th Republic Day.
India and Maldives Agreed for Cooperation - India and Maldives have agreed to continue their traditionally close cooperation on issues of maritime security, counter-terrorism and medical cooperation. This was decided during the meeting between Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and her Maldivian counterpart Mariya Ahmed Didi in New Delhi. 
India Signed MoU With Bhutan - On the sidelines of the international conference, the Election Commission of India will renew Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for cooperation in the field of election management with the Election Commission of Bhutan.
Dispute Between Venezuelan and USA - Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has announced that he is breaking off diplomatic ties with the United States after his American counterpart Donald Trump recognized Opposition leader Juan Guaido as the South American country's interim President. 
Institute for Ethics in Artificial intelligence - Social media giant Facebook announced that it will create an independent Institute for Ethics in Artificial intelligence (AI) with an initial investment of $7.5 million over a period of five years. Technical University of Munich (TUM) in Germany will collaborate with this project which aims to explore fundamental issues affecting the use and impact of AI.
India and Japan Signed MoU - The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval to the Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) between India and Japan in the field of food processing sector. The MoC will lead to betterment of the food processing sector in the country by introducing innovative techniques and processes.
India and Kuwait Signed MoU - The Union Cabinet approved the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Kuwait for cooperation on the recruitment of domestic workers. The move is likely to benefit around 3 lakh Indian workers deployed in Kuwait, including about 90,000 female domestic workers.
Swami Vipulananda Institute of Aesthetic Studies - India and Sri Lanka signed an MoU to provide modern infrastructural facilities to Swami Vipulananda Institute of Aesthetic Studies of Eastern University in Batticaloa district of Sri Lanka.
Penalty on Google - France’s data watchdog announced a fine of 50 million euros (USD 57 million) for US search giant Google, using the EU’s strict General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for the first time.
India Signed MoU with Uzbekistan - India has signed a long-term contract with Uzbekistan for supply of uranium ore concentrates to widen its source base for the nuclear fuel. The contract was exchanged in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, who were at the Vibrant Gujarat summit in Gandhinagar. The Exim Bank also signed an agreement with Uzbekistan to extend a 200-million US dollar line of credit for financing housing and social infrastructure projects.
Netherland Signed 10 MoU - The Netherlands said it is signing 10 MoUs at the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit starting with focus on sectors like smart city and waste management, healthcare and agricultural cooperation.
Farm-To-Port Project - The UAE and Saudi Arabia will use India as a base in addressing their social security concerns. For the first time, India’s export policy launched farm-to-port project which is similar to a special economic zone but in the style of a corporatised farm, where crops would be grown keeping a specific UAE market in mind.
Facebook Will Invest in Local News Programs - Facebook says it is investing $300 million over the next three years in local news programs, partnerships and other initiatives. The move comes at a difficult time for the news industry, which is facing falling profits and print readership. Facebook, like Google, has also been partly blamed for the ongoing decline in newspapers’ share of advertising dollars as people and advertisers have moved online.  In the U.S. social media has overtaken print newspapers as a news source for Americans.
OPEC Will Cut Oil Production - OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia announced that it has decided to slash its oil exports in January by 10 per cent in comparison to November. OPEC and its allies had decided last month to cut their overall output by 1.2 million bpd starting in January, to boost prices hit by a supply glut and fears demand could plummet.
India Will Be Third-Largest Consumer Market - According to World Economic Forum (WEF) India is poised to become the third-largest consumer market behind only the US and China; and consumer spending in India is expected to grow from $1.5 trillion at present to nearly $6 trillion by 2030.
Chabahar Port - India has taken over operations of the strategic Chabahar port in the Sistan-Balochistan province of energy-rich Iran's southern coast. This is the first time India will be operating a port outside its territory. The heads of Indian, Iranian and Afghanistan delegation jointly inaugurated the office of the Indian SPV - India Ports Global Chabahar Free Zone (IPGCFZ) at Chabahar.
Data Leak in Germany - Personal data and documents on hundreds of German politicians and others have been posted online, and the German government said authorities were examining how the information was obtained. Politicians at all levels, including the European, German and State parliaments as well as at municipal level, appeared to have been affected.
iPhone Sale Banned in Germany - US chipmaker Qualcomm Inc took steps to enforce a court order banning the sale of some iPhone models in Germany following a patent dispute, a move that will likely see Apple Inc pull those models from its German stores. The German case is Qualcomm’s third major effort to secure a ban on Apple’s lucrative iPhones over patent infringement allegations after similar moves in the United States and China.
Asia Reassurance Initiative Act - U.S. President Donald Trump signed into law the Asia Reassurance Initiative Act (ARIA), which passed the U.S. Senate earlier in December. Act establishes a multifaceted U.S. strategy to increase U.S. security, economic interests, and values in the Indo-Pacific region. Specifically, the ARIA will authorize $1.5 billion in spending for a range of U.S. programs in East and Southeast Asia and develop a long-term strategic vision.
No Immediate Pullout of US Troops From Syria - President Donald Trump appeared to water down shock plans for an immediate pullout of U.S. troops from Syria. Mr. Trump had promised to stay in Syria to finish the job of destroying the Islamic State (IS) — days after he shocked allies, and his own military establishment, by saying troops were coming home. Trump has agreed to give the military about four months to withdraw the two thousand American troops in Syria. 
India and Pakistan Exchanged Nuclear Facilities List - India and Pakistan exchanged the list of nuclear installations and facilities covered under the Agreement on the Prohibition of Attack against Nuclear installations between them. Under the 1988 agreement, the two countries inform each other of nuclear installations and facilities on the first of January every year.
Scheme / Programme / Policy / Mission
Pravasi Teerth Darshan Yojana - Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Pravasi Teerth Darshan Yojana under which a group of Indian diaspora will be taken on a government-sponsored tour of religious places in India twice a year. The first batch will include 40 Indian-origin people from Pravasi Bharatiya Divas. All people of Indian-origin, aged between 45 and 65 can apply. The first preference will be given to people from 'Girmitiya countries' such as Mauritius, Fiji, Suriname, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica.
Sovereign Gold Bonds 2018-19 (Series V) - Sovereign Gold Bonds 2018-19 (Series V) will remain open from 14th to 18th January, 2019. The Issue Price of the Gold Bond is fixed at Rs 3,214 per gram. Government has decided to allow discount of Rs 50 per gram from the issue price to those investors who apply online and the payment is made through digital mode. Investors will get a fixed interest rate of 2.50% per annum on principal amount payable semi-annually. 
UNNATI programme - Minister of State in Department of Space Dr. Jitendra Singh inaugurated UNNATI programme of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in Bengaluru. UNNATI is an acronym for Unispace Nanosatellite Assembly and Training programme launched by ISRO as part of initiative by United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs that is commemorating the 50th anniversary of the first United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. India will train participants from 45 countries in nano-satellite making through a new capacity building programme. The programme named Unispace Nanosatellite Assembly and Training by ISRO (UNNATI) was flagged off by Minister of State in Deparment of Space Jitendra Singh in Bengaluru yesterday.
Lakhwar Multipurpose Project - More than four months after the Centre revived the Lakhwar Multipurpose Project, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) stayed the project, directing the Expert Appraisal Committee to “appraise the project afresh” by April 15. In August 2018, Union Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari signed an MoU with chief ministers of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Uttarakhand and Delhi and revived work on the dam project in Uttarakhand. The 204-m concrete dam was slated to come up in the upper Yamuna basin near Lohari village in the state and is aimed at providing water for domestic and industrial use in the six basin states.
Renukaji Dam Multipurpose Project - An agreement for Renukaji Dam Multipurpose Project was signed in New Delhi among the States of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand. Under the agreement, three storage projects are proposed to be constructed on the river Yamuna and two of its tributaries. These include  Lakhwar project on river Yamuna in Uttarakhand, Kishau on river Tons in Uttarakhand and  Himachal Pradesh and  Renukaji on river Giri in Himachal Pradesh.
Swasth Bharat Yatra - The Swasth Bharat Yatra, the world’s biggest cyclothon to push people to eat right, culminated in New Delhi on 28 January. The campaign was flagged-off on 16th October last year on the occasion of World Food Day. The yatra began from six different locations - Leh, Panaji, Thiruvananthapuram, Puducherry, Kolkata and Agartala on six different tracks in which more than ten thousand volunteer cyclists covered over twenty thousand kilometres spreading the message of ‘Eat Safe, Eat Healthy and Eat Fortified. This yatra is a part of the Eat Right India movement.
National Clean Air Programme - The Centre has launched 300-crore rupees programme to reduce particulate matter (PM) pollution by 20-30% in at least 102 cities by 2024. The National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) is envisaged as a scheme to provide the States and the Centre with a framework to combat air pollution. The NCAP will be five-year action plan with 2019 as the first year. This is not a pan-India, but a city-specific programme.
Swadesh Darshan Project - K.J. Alphons, Union Minister for Tourism will inaugurate the first project under the Swadesh Darshan Project of the Union Ministry of Tourism at the Zero Point, Gangtok, Sikkim. Under the scheme Government is focusing on development of quality infrastructure in the country. The scheme was launched in 2014 -15 when the Ministry sanctioned 77 projects worth projects. 
Jiban Sampark - Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has announced "Jiban Sampark" project in partnership with UNICEF India to generate awareness about the development and welfare initiatives of state government among the Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups of the state.
Pravasi Dividend Pension Scheme - Kerala government has floated a 'Pravasi Dividend Pension Scheme' to provide regular pension to Non-Resident Keralites on a one-time payment of Rs 5 lakh.  A non-resident Keralite can invest an amount ranging from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 50 lakh, as a whole or as 6 installments paid within 3 years. Each beneficiary will be entitled to receive pensions ranging from Rs 5,000-50,000 every month, 3 years after the total amount is deposited, at a dividend rate of 12%.
Yuva Swabhiman Yojana - Madhya Pradesh Government announced the Yuva Swabhiman Yojana to provide employment for the unemployed youth from the economically weaker sections of the society. The scheme aims to provide 100 days of employment to youngsters from economically weaker sections of the society in urban areas.
E-passports - E-passports to be issued soon in India. Indian passport holders will soon travel with e-passports which will be based on Indian software developed by IIT-Kanpur and National Informatics Centre (NIC). Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke at the Pravasi Bhartiya Divas about the new e-passports that will soon be introduced.
Jai Bhim Mukhyamantri Pratibha Vikas Yojana - The ‘Jai Bhim Mukhyamantri Pratibha Vikas Yojana’, launched by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for ST/ST category. The scheme provides free coaching for students preparing for civil services, judicial services, banking, engineering, medicine, and other competitive examinations through known and established coaching institutions. 
Pradhan Mantri Rozgar Protsahan Yojana - The Pradhan Mantri Rozgar Protsahan Yojana (PMRPY) crossed the milestone of one crore beneficiaries. The scheme is being implemented by the Union Ministry of Labour and Employment through the Employees’ Provident Fund Organization (EPFO). Under the scheme, Government is paying full employers’ contribution of 12 percent towards Employees’ Provident Fund and Employees’ Pension Scheme both for a period of 3 years. The new employees who are registered with the EPFO on or after April 1, 2016, with salary up to Rs. 15,000 per month are covered under the scheme.
Womaniya on Government e Marketplace - The Union Government launched the ‘Womaniya on Government e Marketplace (GeM)’, an initiative to enable women entrepreneurs and Women Self-Help Groups (WSHGs) to sell handicrafts, handloom, accessories, and other products directly to Government departments and institutions.
Jai Kisan Rin Mukti Yojana - Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath launched his government’s Rs 50,000-crore farm debt-waiver scheme named ‘Jai Kisan Rin Mukti Yojana’. Kamal Nath said it would benefit 55 lakh small and marginal farmers. 
National Action Plan for Drug Demand Reduction - The Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has drafted a five-year action plan for addressing the problem of drug and substance abuse in the country. The National Action Plan for Drug Demand Reduction (NAPDDR), 2018 to 2023, aims to employ a multi-pronged strategy to address the issue of drug abuse. It involves education, de-addiction and rehabilitation of affected individuals and their families.
Global Innovation Policy Center - The Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC) of United States Chamber of Commerce launched a new innovation strategy at Raisina Dialogue, 2019 in New Delhi. The Initiative is titled as “Fair Value for Innovation”. The Initiative will examine economic underpinnings in order to enable breakthrough innovation and explore the opportunities to harness innovation capital in India.
Global Housing Technology Challenge - Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri launched the Global Housing Technology Challenge (GHTC) among stakeholders, a move aimed at introducing best technologies that seek to construct houses in a shorter period of time with lower cost. Under the initiative launched by the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban (PMAY-U), the government will hold 'grand expo-cum-conference' in March where stakeholders will showcase their best technologies to build houses.
Ayushman Bharat scheme - West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced that her government will pull out of the Centre’s Ayushman Bharat scheme. She said the Narendra Modi-led BJP government has been taking credit for the scheme, which is funded by state governments. Now, the Centre will have to bear the entire cost of the scheme. Till now States bear 40 per cent of the cost of the scheme.
Free High Speed Wifi - Indian Railways is now providing free high-speed WiFi on all railway stations of Kalka-Shimla section. RailTel has transformed all railway stations into a digital hub by providing public WiFi through its RailWire WiFi project.
Interest Free Loans For Women Self Help Group - Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced interest-free loans of up to Rs. 3 lakh for women self-help groups (WSHGs) in the State. Speaking at the ‘Mission Shakti’ convention, Mr. Patnaik said the initiative would benefit about 70 lakh women.
KYC Norms For Corporate - Corporate Affairs Ministry plans to collect KYC details of companies, chartered accountants, cost accountants and company secretaries. Last year, the ministry carried out the Know Your Customer (KYC) initiative for directors to ascertain their identities as part of larger efforts to clamp down on entities that are suspected to be conduits for illicit fund flows.
Projects Launched in Odisha - Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid foundation stone of revival of six irrigation projects, including North Koel (Mandal Dam) project amounting to 2,500 crore rupees and Kanhar Stone Pipeline irrigation system. Mr Modi will dedicate to the nation, Balasore-Haldia-Durgapur section of LPG pipeline project of IOCL and the Balasore multi modal logistic park, at Baripada in Odisha.
Krishi Krishak Bondhu - West Bengal government announced two welfare initiatives for farmers. Both initiatives, which are part of the ‘Krishi Krishak Bondhu’ scheme, will come into effect from 1st January 2019. The first of the two initiatives will provide Rs 2 lakh to the family of a deceased farmer. Under the second initiative, farmers would get Rs 2,500 twice a year for growing a single crop on one acre of land.
Smart phones Distributed to Student - Punjab Cabinet approved the modalities for the distribution of smart phones, with graduating students of government schools, colleges and technical institutions to be covered in the first phase of the scheme. The scheme will give a further impetus to the state government’s digital empowerment agenda.
Defence / Exercise / Space
ISRO Launced Military Satellite - The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched PSLV C-44 (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) to space which injected a 740kg imaging satellite for military applications into orbit with precision before going to demonstrate a new technology that can eventually reduce space debris. PSLV C-44 lifted off with Microsat R, a military application satellite, and Kalamsat, a 10cm cubesat made by students from the first launch pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.
NGARM Missile Tested - India has tested a new indigenous air-launched missile called NGARM, which is designed to destroy a variety of surveillance and radar targets on the ground after being fired from a Sukhoi-30MKI fighter at Balasore, Odisha. This new-generation anti-radiation missile (NGARM), with a strike range of around 100-km, is the first indigenous air-to-ground missile to be developed by the DRDO.
Apache and Chinook Helicopter - India will start taking deliveries of the Boeing AH-64E Apache Longbow attack Helicopters and Chinook CH 47F (I) helicopters. The delivery of Apache helicopters by the company will start in July and will be completed by March 2020 and the delivery of the Chinooks which starts in March this year too is expected to be completed by March 2020. The helicopters coming through the Foreign Military (FMS) route was inked in 2015 worth $3 billion for 22 Boeing AH-64E Apache Longbow attack Helicopters and 15 Chinook heavy-lift machines.
Arrow 3 Interceptor System - The Israeli and US defence ministries announced that they have successfully tested ballistic missile interceptors deployed at Israeli airbases. The Arrow 3 interceptor system, designed to shoot down missiles above the atmosphere, was deployed at air force bases across Israel two years ago.
Chinese Spacecraft Chang'e-4 - ‘Chang'e-4’, a Chinese spacecraft, has made the first-ever landing on the far side of the moon. Earlier in 2013, China landed its rover on the moon, joining the United States and the Soviet Union as the only nations to have carried out a “soft landing” there, but the Chang’e-4 is the first to touch down on the far side of the moon that perpetually faces away from the Earth. The far side of the moon is relatively unexplored. It is also known as the dark side of the moon.
Yutu-2 Lunar Rover - China has named the lunar rover, successfully deployed to carry out a string of experiments on the far side of the moon, as ‘Yutu-2’. Yutu-2 touched the lunar surface on 3 January. The rover’s touchdown is part of China Chang’e-4 lunar probe.
Opportunity Rover - NASA's Opportunity rover has completed 15 years of its touchdown on the surface of Mars. The six-wheeler rover had landed in a region of Mars called Meridiani Planum on January 24, 2004. The solar-powered rover went silent since a global dust storm in June last year. 
Plant on Moon - A small green shoot is growing on the moon in an out-of-this-world first after a cotton seed germinated on board a Chinese lunar lander. The sprout has emerged from a lattice-like structure inside a canister since the Chang’e-4 lander set down earlier this month. The Chang’e-4 probe made the world’s first soft landing on the moon’s “dark side” on January 3.
China Developed ‘Mother of All Bombs’ - China has developed a massive bomb, said to be the country’s answer to the US-built ‘Mother of All Bombs’, the most powerful non-nuclear weapon. China’s defence industry giant NORINCO for the first time showcased the aerial bomb. The bomb was airdropped by an H-6K bomber and caused a gigantic explosion.
Israel Aerospace Industries - Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) announced entering into agreements worth $93 million this for providing Naval Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missile (MRSAM) systems to India. The contracts for the air defence system were entered with the Indian Navy and the Cochin Shipyard.
Nasr Missile Tested - Pakistan successfully conducted training launch of the short range surface-to-surface ballistic missile “Nasr”. The launch was aimed at enhancing the operational efficiency of Army Strategic Forces Command.
Sea Vigil Exercise - The Indian Navy on January 22, 2019 commenced its largest-ever coastal defence exercise - ‘Sea Vigil’-off the Indian coast, ten years after the "26/11" attack. The exercise, a first of its kind, is being undertaken along the entire 7516.6 km coastline and Exclusive Economic Zone of India and is involving all the 13 coastal States and Union Territories.
Indian Africa Field Training Exercise - The final planning conference to work out the modalities for Indian Africa Field Training Exercise (IAFTX)-2019 is being conducted at Pune on 23-24 January 2019. Delegates from Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan, South Africa, Tanzania, Namibia, Mozambique, Uganda, Niger & Zambia attended the conference.
IMBEX Exercise - The second edition of the India-Myanmar bilateral army exercise, IMBEX 2018-19, commenced at Chandimandir Military Station in Chandigarh. The aim of this joint training programme is to train the Myanmar delegation for participation in United Nations peacekeeping operations under the UN flag. 
Joint Military Drill Involving Three Forces - Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will witness a joint military drill involving the Army, the Air Force, the Navy and the Coast Guard in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. She will witness three exercises - general survival exercise, amphibious drill and a joint drill. Andaman and Nicobar is an Integrated Services Command. The Marine Commando (MARCO) unit of the Indian Navy and specialist platoon (GHATAK) of the Indian Army displayed their operational capabilities by carrying out helocasting and beach assault.
Iran And Russia Will Hold Joint Naval Exercises - Iran and Russia are preparing to hold joint naval exercises in the Caspian Sea, including rescue and anti-piracy drills. Iran and Russia have close ties, including in Syria where they both back President Bashar al-Assad in the country's civil war.
Underground Steel Great Wall - According to Chinese defence scientist Qian Qihu, China has built an “Underground Steel Great Wall” below the mountains to hide its nuclear weapons from the potential attacks. China’s nuclear strategy follows the principle of “no first use” and requires the country to have the capability of withstanding a nuclear attack before it responds with its strategic weapons.
Manned Space Mission - ISRO is aiming for a manned mission to space in December 2021. This will be preceded by two unmanned missions, slated for December 2020 and July 2021. ISRO got a shot in its arm with the approval of Rs 10,000 crore budget for the human space mission recently.
Construction of Six Submarines Approved - Defence Ministry Approved In a major decision, the Defence Ministry approved indigenous construction of six submarines for the Indian Navy at a cost of over Rs 40,000 crore. This was decided at a meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC). The Defence Acquisition Council headed by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also gave approval for the Rs 12,000 crore Milan-2T anti-tank missiles.
INS Kohassa - Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba commissioned the new Naval Air Base ‘INS Kohassa’ at Diglipur in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The Naval Air Base will enhance the maritime capability along with keeping the northern part of Andaman sea and the area under surveillance.
Japan Will Launched Mini Satellite - Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency has launched Tokyo-based startup Star-ALE’s mini-satellite aimed to deliver the world’s first artificial meteor shower. The satellite carries 400 tiny balls, will be enough for 20-30 events, that will glow as they rush down the atmosphere on being released. ALE plans to deliver its first show in Hiroshima in early 2020.
Iran Launched Satellite - Iran launched a satellite, however, it failed to reach the orbit in the final stage. Payam satellite was successfully launched with the Basir satellite carrier. Iran still plans to launch another low Earth orbit satellite, Doosti which mean Friendship in Persian. 
40 Satellite In Next 4 Years - Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman Dr. K Sivan stated that the Union Government has allocated 10,900 crore rupees for the development of 40 satellite launch vehicles in the next 4 years. Dr. Sivan also stated that Chandrayan Mission will be launched within three months. He also said that the human spaceflight Gaganyaan is planned to be launched by 2022, the 75th anniversary of Independence.
Space Galleries - The ISRO has plans to set up Space Galleries in various locations in the country. Initially, Space Galleries are planned to be established at Birla Science Centre at Hyderabad, Nehru Science Centre at Mumbai and National Science Centre at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi.  In addition to this, ISRO has taken initiatives to establish space gallery in all the national museums/science centres (under Ministry of Culture) across the country in a phased manner.
India’s Space Diplomacy - As part of New Delhi’s space diplomacy, India will set up five large ground stations and more than 500 small terminals in five neighbouring countries – Bhutan, Nepal, Maldives, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. These stations and terminals will help put in place applications ranging from television broadcasting to telephony and internet, disaster management and tele-medicine. ISRO meanwhile can use these ground stations to communicate with its own satellites. first of the five ground stations, coming up in Bhutan’s capital Thimphu, will be ready for commissioning on January 9. A similar project in Afghanistan is set to come up later.
Committee / Report / Index / Ranking
Committee on GST - Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi will head the seven-member committee to look into revenue shortfall being faced by the states after the GST roll-out, and suggest steps for augmenting collections. Several states including Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Odisha, Goa, Bihar, Gujarat and Delhi are facing revenue shortfall in the range of 14-37 per cent in the April-November period following the implementation of goods and services tax (GST). Among the union territories, Puducherry is facing maximum shortfall of 43 per cent. Out of 31 states, only Andhra Pradesh and five north eastern states — Mizoram, Andhra Pradesh, Manipur, Sikkim and Nagaland — have recorded revenue increase post the GST roll out. 
Committee For EVM Manipulation - A four-member committee of opposition party leaders has been formed after reports of EVM manipulation by the BJP, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said. The committee, comprising Abhishek Manu Singhvi (Congress), Akhilesh Yadav (Samajwadi Party), Satish Mishra (Bahujan Samaj Party) and Arvind Kejriwal (Aam Aadmi Party) will submit its recommendations to the EC for implementation and will press for wider use of VVPAT.
Corruption Perceptions Index - India rose by three points to 78 in the list of 180 countries in the world, while China ranked 87 and Pakistan 117 in 2018, the Transparency International said in its Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) for 2018. The top countries on the list are Denmark and New Zealand. Somalia, Syria and South Sudan are at the bottom of the list. 
Global Talent Competitive Index - India has moved up one position to rank 80th on the global talent competitive index, but remains a laggard among the BRICS nations. Switzerland continues to top the list, released on the first day of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting at Davos by INSEAD business school in partnership with Tata Communications and Adecco Group.
Top 3 Countries - Switzerland, Singapore, USA. 
Innovative Index - In Bloomberg 2019 Innovative Index, India has grabbed the 54th position among 95 countries. South Korea has retained the top spot, Germany ranked second.
N.K. Singh Committee - While the Centre is moving in the right direction in terms of meeting the N.K. Singh Committee recommendations on public debt, the States are moving in the opposite direction. Centre’s total debt as a percentage of GDP reduced to 46.5% in 2017-18 from 47.5% as of March 31, 2014. The total debt of the States, however, has been rising over this period, to 24% in 2017-18, and is estimated to be 24.3% in 2018-19.
FRBM Act - The N.K. Singh-headed FRBM (Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management) Review Committee report had recommended the ratio to be 40% for the Centre and 20% for the States, respectively, by 2023. 
Committee For Digital Payment - The Reserve Bank of India has appointed a five-member panel headed by Nandan Nilekani to suggest ways to improve digital payments. The committee will submit its report in 90 days. Other Member are - Former Deputy Governor of RBI H.R. Khan, former Vijaya Bank MD and CEO Kishore Sansi, former Secretary of Information and Technology Aruna Sharma and Sanjay Jain, Chief Innovation Officer, Center for Innovation, Incubation & Entrepreneurship (CIIE), IIM Ahmedabad.
Andhra Pradesh Topped in Ease Doing Business Index - Andhra Pradesh emerged on top of Asia Competitiveness Institute (ACI), Singapore's 2018 Ease of Doing Business (EDB) Index ABC rankings for economies of 21 states of India, while Maharashtra and Delhi came in second and third place, respectively. Andhra Pradesh rose from the 5th rank in 2016 to the top spot in 2018.
Committee For Lokpal Selection - The government informed the Supreme Court  that a eight-member search committee has been constituted in September 2018 for zeroing in on eligible candidates for Lokpal and the anti-corruption authority will frame its own rules of functioning. The panel is led by former Supreme Court judge, Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai.
Swachh Survekshan 2019 - Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister, Hardeep Singh Puri, launched the ‘Swachh Survekshan 2019’, the fourth edition of the annual nationwide cleanliness survey of urban India in New Delhi. The survey will cover 40 crore people across over 4000 towns and cities. Swachh Survekshan 2019, completely digital and paperless survey, will be completed in a record time of 28 days.
Six districts Selected for Ease of Doing Business - Six districts in Maharashtra, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, and Himachal Pradesh have been selected towards district-level ease of doing business, commerce minister Suresh Prabhu said. The minister added that a baseline is being created for the purpose and resources and skills available in districts are being identified so that they could be harnessed.
Bloomberg Innovation Index - India has been ranked in Bloomberg’s 2019 list of most innovative countries in the world - 2019 Bloomberg Innovation Index - for the first time ever. India has grabbed the 54th spot with a score of 47.93 out of 100 in the Innovation Index of 60 economies. South Korea has topped the Index for the sixth time, followed by Germany and Finland.
UK Sinha Committee - The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) has set up an 11-member working group under the Chairmanship of former SEBI chief UK Sinha to go into the concept of ‘Group Insolvency’ and suggest a suitable framework. This Working Group has been tasked to submit a report within two months.
Committee for MSME - Reserve Bank of India has appointed an eight-member expert committee headed by former SEBI chairman U.K. Sinha to comprehensively review and propose long-term solutions for revival of the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector.
Economist Intelligent Unit Democracy Index - The 11th edition of Economist Intelligent Unit Democracy Index 2018 was released by the Economist Intelligent Unit compiling the state of democracies in 167 countries in the world. In the list, Norway topped and India ranked at 41st place. Top 3 performing countries – Norway, Iceland and Sweden.
Committee on Digital Media - Committee headed by Umesh Sinha has submitted its report on digital media and campaigning during last 48 hours before polls to the Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora. Task of maintaining campaign silence during last 48 hours before the conclusion of polling is becoming increasingly onerous due to the influence of digital media. No campaigning is allowed in the last 48 hours so that voters can think independently.
Henley Passport Index - According to the Henley Passport Index Japan for the second time in a row, has topped a global index for the world's most powerful passport in 2019, while India ranked at the 79th position.
Tata Most Trusted Indian Brand - Tata group has been ranked 86th in the list compiled by the London-based consultancy Brand Finance, up from 104 in 2018. It is the only domestic brand in the global top-100. The value of the brand Tata has soared 37 percent to USD 19.5 billion in 2019.
Standing Committee Drug Pricing - The Government constituted a Standing Committee headed by NITI Aayog to oversee the drug pricing regime. The constitution of the Committee is seen as a move that would curb the powers of the National Pharmaceuticals Pricing Authority (NPPA) when it comes to regulating the prices of medicines in the country.
Edelman Trust Barometer Report - According to Edelman Trust Barometer report - 2019 India is among the most trusted nations globally when it comes to government, business, NGOs and media but the country’s brands are among the least-trusted. China topped the Trust Index among both the informed public and the general population segments. India was at the 2nd place in the informed public category and 3rd place in the general population category. The findings are based on an online survey in 27 markets covering over 33,000 respondents.
Group of Ministers on Lottery - The Ministry of Finance constituted a Group of Ministers (GoM) on issues relating to lottery. The GoM was constituted in pursuance of the decision of GST Council taken in the 32nd meeting held on January 10, 2019 at New Delhi. Sudhir Mungantiwar is the Convener of GoM.
Group of Ministers on Real Estate - The Ministry of Finance constituted a Group of Ministers (GoM) for boosting the Real Estate Sector under the GST regime. Deputy Chief Minister of Gujarat Nitin Patel is the convener of the GoM. The Secretary of the GoM will be Manish Sinha. Finance Ministers of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh and the Panchayat Minister of Goa are the members. 
SEBI Constituted Research Advisory Committee - Security and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has constituted a "Research Advisory" committee that will assist in formulating policy to undertake research relevant for development and regulation of capital markets. The committee, headed by Sankar De, would comprise prominent financial economists and market practitioners. 
Global Economic Prospects Report - According to Global Economic Prospects report released by the World Bank, India’s GDP is expected to grow at 7.3% in the fiscal year 2018-19, and 7.5% in the following two years. India will continue to be the fastest growing major economy in the world. China’s economic growth is projected to slow down to 6.2% each in 2019. While The World Bank has projected moderation of global growth from three per cent last year to 2.9 per cent this year.
Web Wonder Women Campaign - The government launched Web Wonder Women Campaign to celebrate the exceptional achievements of women who have influenced and impacted society through social media. Ministry in collaboration with Breakthrough and Twitter India has started this campaign. The Campaign invites entries from across the world till 31st of this month. Indian-origin women, working or settled anywhere in the world, are eligible for nomination. The shortlisted entries will be open for public voting on Twitter and the finalists will be selected by a specialized panel of judges. 
Grading Index For School - The HRD ministry has introduced a 70-point grading index to assess the quality of school education offered by states. A state performance grading will be done wherein the states will be marked out of 1,000 scores on 70 parameters. It will give the correct picture of where every states. There will be a fair competition to improve each other's performances.
Task Force For Navodaya Vidyalayas - The Union Human Resource Development Ministry constituted a task force under the Chairmanship of Psychiatrist, Dr Jitendra Nagpal, to look into the issues of suicides of the students in Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas. The task force will look into the circumstances leading to the suicidal deaths of students residing in the hostels of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas residential schools.
Books and Authors
Malala Yousafzai - Nobel Peace Prize winner and Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai pens a new book, titled 'We Are Displaced: My Journey and Stories from Refugee Girls Around the World,' charting her experiences traveling the world and visiting refugee camps.
Important Days
15th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas - The 15th edition of the Pravasi Bhartiya Divas (PBD) began at Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh on January 21, 2019, giving a chance to the Indian diaspora to participate in the ongoing Kumbha Mela. For the first time in the history of Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas, the event is being held in Varanasi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will formally inaugurate the event on January 22, 2019, along with his Mauritian counterpart Pravind Jugnauth, the Chief Guest of the event. The theme 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas was 'Role of Indian Diaspora in building New India'. The Youth Pravasi Bhartiya Divas and Uttar Pradesh Pravasi Bhartiya Divas were held on the opening day itself that is on January 21, 2019.
National Voters' day - The 9th National Voters' day was observed across India on January 25, 2019 with an aim to increase enrolment of voters, especially of the newly eligible ones. The theme of the Day is - No Voter to be Left Behind. 25th January is the foundation day of the Election Commission of India (ECI) which came into existence in 1950. 
World Leprosy Eradication Day - 30th January 2019, is celebrated as World Leprosy Eradication Day which stresses the need of eradicating the disease. This year’s theme for World Leprosy Day is ‘ending discrimination, stigma, and prejudice’. Leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease is a highly contagious infection caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium leprae.
Uttar Pradesh Foundation Day - Uttar Pradesh celebrated its 69th foundation day on January 24, 2019.  To celebrate the occasion, the main function was organised at Awadh Shilp Gram in Lucknow. Uttar Pradesh was earlier known as United Province but through a Gazette notification, it got its name of Uttar Pradesh on January 24, 1950.
Manipur, Meghalaya and Tripura Statehood Day - Manipur, Meghalaya and Tripura are celebrating their statehood day on 21 January. On this day in 1972, all the three states became full-fledged states under the North Eastern Region (Reorganisation) Act, 1971. President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended his best wishes to the states for a bright and prosperous future.
Himachal Pradesh Statehood day - Himachal Pradesh is celebrating its 49th full Statehood day on 25. It was on this day in 1971 when Himachal Pradesh was carved out as the 18th State of the country. 
Hindi Word of The Year - Nari Shakti was chosen as the Hindi word of the year 2018 by Oxford Dictionary. The March 2018 recorded a large spike in the use of ''Nari Shakti'' as discussion began around Indian government's Nari Shakti Puraskar given by the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
National Girl Child Day - National Girl Child Day is being celebrated on 24 January. The theme this year is “Empowering Girls for a Brighter Tomorrow”.  Women and Child Development Ministry have organised an event in Delhi to observe the anniversary of Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme. 
Army Day - 71st Army Day was celebrated across India on January 15, 2019. The Day is celebrated every year to commemorate the day when General (later Field Marshal) KM Carriappa took over the command of Indian Army from General Sir FRR Bucher, the last British Commander-in-Chief in 1949 and became the first Commander-in-Chief of Indian Army.
World Hindi Day - World Hindi Day is celebrated on January 10 every year, marking the anniversary of first World Hindi Conference which was held in 1975. World Hindi Day and National Hindi Diwas are completely different. National Hindi Diwas is celebrated every year on September 14.
DRDO Day - Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) day was observed on 1 January. The DRDO was established in 1958 with just 10 laboratories to enhance the research work in defence sector. 
World Braille Day - The world Braille Day is being celebrated on 4 January. The day is marked remembering the birth anniversary of Louis Braille, the inventor of Braille - for the people with visual disabilities. United Nations observes the first official World Braille Day for raising awareness on the importance of Braille.
National Youth Day - The National Youth Day is celebrated across the country on 12th January. This day is celebrated on the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda.
Data Protection Day - The Council of Europe had launched a Data Protection Day to be celebrated each year on 28 January, the date on which the Council of Europe’s data protection convention, known as “Convention 108”, was opened to the signature.
Sports News
Novak Djokovic - Novak Djokovic defeated Rafael Nadal to win his 7th Australian Open Men's Singles title at Melbourne. The resurgent world No.1 outplayed the second-ranked Nadal 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 in a largely one-sided match. Earlier, In Women's Singles, Japan's Naomi Osaka clinched her maiden Australian Open Grand Slam Singles title in Melbourne. Osaka defeated Petra Kvitova of Czech Republic.
Saina Nehwal - Ace shuttler Saina Nehwal won her first Indonesia Masters title after three-time world champion Carolina Marin limped out of the final due to a leg injury. The Spaniard was leading 10-4 in the first game at Jakarta today when she developed an injury in the knee.
Maharashtra Topped in Khelo India Youth Games - Maharashtra topped the medal tally with 37 golds at the Khelo India Youth Games in Pune. It had 111 medals in its kitty with 37 gold, 31 silver and 43 bronze. Delhi was at second position with 35 gold and Haryana too maintains its third position with 29 gold. 10-year old Abhinav Shaw became the youngest gold medallist in the shooting. 
Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri - Indian national cricket team's captain Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri received the honorary membership of the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) for their contribution to the sport of cricket. The Indian team defeated Australia 2-1 in the four-match Test series, ending the country's 71-year-old wait for a rare series win Down Under.
D Gukesh - Tamil Nadu lad D Gukesh became the 2nd youngest Grand Master in the world and the youngest Indian to achieve the feat at 12 years, 7 months and 17 days. Gukesh becomes India's 59th Grand Master. Ukraine's Sergey Karjakin remains the youngest-ever GM, having achieved the feat at the age of 12 years and 7 months in 2002.
MC Mary Kom - MC Mary Kom became the World No 1 Boxer in 45-48 kg category with 1700 points in the latest International Boxing Association’s (AIBA) World Rankings. An Indian Olympic boxer from Manipur, Mary Kom is the only woman to become World Amateur Boxing champion for a record six times.
Africa Cup of Nations - Egypt will host the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations between June 15 and July 13, 2019. Confederation of African Football executive committee preferred Egypt to South Africa as replacement for original hosts Cameroon, who were dropped due to delays in preparations and concerns over security.
Virat Kohli - Indian skipper Virat Kohli became the first cricketer to win all the top three ICC individual awards including the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for ICC Cricketer of the Year, the ICC Men's Test Player of the Year and the ICC ODI Player of the Year for his performances in 2018.
ICC Emerging Player Of The Year - Rishabh Pant was named the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Emerging Player Of The Year following an impressive show in India's first-ever Test series win in Australia. With an unbeaten 159-run knock in the 4th Test in Sydney, Rishabh Pant became the first Indian wicket-keeper to score a Test century in Australia. 
Mohammed Shami - Mohammed Shami became the fastest Indian bowler to claim 100 ODI wickets, during the first one-dayer against New Zealand at Napier. Shami reached the milestone in his 56th match. The Indian record was previously held by Irfan Pathan, who got there in his 59th match. The world record is currently held by Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan, who needed only 44 games to reach the mark. 
Jasprit Bumrah - The 25-year-old fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah became the highest international wicket-taker across formats in 2018. He took a total of 78 wickets in the calendar year. Bumrah surpassed South Africa's Kagiso Rabada's tally of 77 wickets to reach the milestone.
Rohit Paudel - Nepal batsman Rohit Paudel has become the youngest male cricketer to score an international fifty at the age of 16 years and 146 days, breaking Sachin Tendulkar's previous mark. He is also the youngest man to score a one-day international half-century, beating Shahid Afridi.
IPL From 23 March - This year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) will be held in India from March 23. The BCCI confirmed that the IPL will be staged in India despite the general elections. Panel decided to advance the IPL dates on account of the ICC World Cup to be held in England from May 30.
Ambati Rayudu - Part-time bowler Ambati Rayudu was banned from bowling in international cricket by the International Cricket Council (ICC) after he failed to submit a test of his bowling action. His action was reported by the match officials during the first ODI between India and Australia in the recently-concluded series.
World Para Swimming Championships - Malaysia was stripped of the right to host the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships. The International Paralympic Committee announced the decision after the Malaysian authorities failed to provide the necessary guarantees that Israeli Para swimmers could participate safely in the Championships, free from discrimination.
Amateur Golf Championship - India's Kartik Sharma won the New South Wales men's Amateur Golf Championship in Australia. Kartik notched up a magnificent win over Australia's Nathan Barberie in the scheduled 36-hole final to emerge as champion.
Johan Botha - Veteran South African all-rounder Johan Botha has announced his immediate retirement from all forms of cricket. The former cricketer had played for the South African national team between 2005 and 2012.
Ankita Raina - India's Ankita Raina has won the International Tennis Federation's 25,000-dollar Women's tournament in Singapore. In the final faceoff Ankita defeated Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands.
India and Australia ODI - India defeated Australia in the third ODI to clinch the three-match series 2-1. With this, India became the first visiting side to win a bilateral series (two or more matches) in all three formats in Australia. 
Shakil Ahmed - Asian Cup gold medallist Shakil Ahmed has set up a world record in indoor rowing by completing 1 lakh meters in above-40 years category in Kolkata. Shakil began his record-setting indoor rowing feat in Salt Lake stadium complex and achieved the milestone of covering 1 lakh meters of simulated distance in 10 hours.
Vinesh Phogat - Indian star wrestler Vinesh Phogat became the first Indian athlete to be nominated for the prestigious Laureus World Comeback of the Year Award. The Awards will be presented on February 18, 2019 in Monaco, a tiny independent city-state on France’s Mediterranean coastline.
Mohammed Ali Qamar - Mohammed Ali Qamar, the man who won India's first Commonwealth Games gold medal in boxing, has taken over as the chief coach for the country's female boxers. He has replaced veteran Shiv Singh.
Eklavya Model Residential Schools - The 1st National Level Sports Meet for the students of Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRS) was inaugurated by Jaswantsinh Sumanbhai Bhabhor, Minister of State for Tribal Affairs at G.M.C Balayogi Stadium, Hyderabad.
Stephen Constantine - Stephen Constantine has decided to step down as the head coach of the Indian football team following team's exit from 2019 AFC Asian Cup.
African Football Player of the Year - Egypt ‘s Mohamed Salah has been named as the 2018 Confederation of African Football Player of the Year. For the second consecutive year he has won the award.
Harendra Singh - Hockey India officially parted ways with Harendra Singh as the men’s chief coach and recommended him for the junior side instead.
Hopman Cup - Switzerland's Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic secured victory over Germany's Angelique Kerber and Alexander Zverev to win the Hopman Cup for the second year in a row.
National Table Tennis Championship - The 80th National Table Tennis Championship began at Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium in Cuttack