1. Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) for capacity augmentation of navigation on 1,380-km Haldia-Varanasi stretch of National Waterway-1 (NW1) implemented on Ganga river was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA). The project envisages the development of waterway between Allahabad and Haldia on Ganga River that will cover a distance of 1620 km. The project will be implemented at a cost of over Rs. 5,370 crore rupees with the technical assistance and investment support of the World Bank. It is expected to be completed by March, 2023. The project covers Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal. The project aims to develop a fairway with three metres depth to enable commercial navigation of at least 1500 tonne vessels on the river.
2. The procurement of P-8I Training Solution for Indian Navy and Low Intensity Conflict Electronic Warfare System (LICEWS) for Indian Army was approved by the Union Ministry of Defence (MoD). LICEWS will be procured from Bharat Electronics Limited for Rs. 470 crore and the P-8I Training Solution will be brought from Boeing for Rs.1949.32 crore. The first P-8I aircraft was inducted in Indian Navy in 2013. As of date, 8 aircraft based at INS Rajali in Tamil Nadu have been fully integrated into Indian Naval operations. In 2016, MoD placed follow-on order for 4 additional P-8I and their delivery will begin in 2020. LICEWS will equip Indian Army with upgraded communications infrastructure that will help forces to effectively deal with advanced communications systems being used by terrorist groups.
3. India’s first digital Online Oncology Tutorial Series designed by Tata Memorial Centre (a grant-in-aid cancer centre under Department of Atomic Energy,GOI) was launched by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The Oncology Tutorial Series aim to train doctors across country to educate them in early detection, prevention, palliation, rehabilitation and treatment of various cancers. Oncology literally means a branch of science that deals with tumours and cancers. The word “onco” means bulk/ mass/ tumor while “-logy” means study.
4. The construction, operation and maintenance of 2-lane bi-directional Zojila Tunnel on Srinagar-Leh section connecting NH-1A in Jammu and Kashmir was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA).The Zojila Tunnel will be situated at an altitude of 11,578 feet on Srinagar-Kargil-Leh National Highway (NH-1A). The main objective of the project is to provide all whether connectivity to strategically important Leh region in J&K which at moment is limited to at best 6 months because of snow on the mountainous passes and threat of avalanches. Ladakh region remains cut off from rest of the country during winter months due to heavy snowfall. On completion, it will be Asia’s largest 2-lane bi-directional tunnel.
5. Namami Gange projects( Totally 5 projects) worth Rs 295.01 crore was approved by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG). Out of these 5 projects, three pertain to sewage management in West Bengal, one relates to sewage management in Uttarakhand and remaining one is related to ghat improvement works in Uttar Pradesh(Varanasi).
6. Lok Sabha on January 4, 2018 passed a bill to hike the salaries of judges of Supreme Court and 24 high courts. The bill proposes to raise the monthly salary of Chief Justice of India to Rs 2.80 lakh from the present Rs. one lakh per month. Similarly, salary of judges of the Supreme Court and chief justices of the High Court is to be raised to Rs 2.50 lakh from the current Rs 90000. The bill also proposes to raise the salary of judges of the high courts, from Rs. 80000 per month now, to Rs 2.25 lakh per month. The salary hike for judges is in line with the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission for officers of all-India services. Once this bill is passed by both the houses of Parliament, it will become a law and will come into force retrospectively from January 1, 2016. The salaries and allowances of CJI and Supreme Court judges are charged from Consolidated Fund of India. The salaries and allowances of state high court judges including chief justices are charged from Consolidated Fund of State. However, retired Judges are entitled to pension which is drawn from Consolidated Fund of India.
7. An MoU for joint funding of Technology Mission for Indian Railways (TMIR) were signed between three ministries viz Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) and Ministry of Science & Technology. The percentage division of the funding between the three ministries for Technology Mission for Indian Railways’ is Ministry of Railways: 30% ,Ministry of HRD: 25% and Department of Science & Technology: 25%. The MoU aims to facilitate co-financing of (TMIR) by investment sharing for identified railway projects for applied research.
8. Maharashtra State Government has decided to form an education board for non-English medium schools. Maharashtra State Education Minister, Vinod Tawde stated that an international education board will be formed to prepare syllabus for non-English medium schools in Maharashtra. In the first phase, 100 selected Marathi schools will follow the new syllabus.
9. Centre has approved West Bengal logo designed by CM Mamata Banerjee on Jan 4, 2017. The logo highlights the “Biswa Bangla” theme with Ashoka Pillars.
10. The residents of Bhanakpur village in Faridabad district of Haryana planned to begin their day by listening to the national anthem at 8am. This village becomes first in Haryana and second in India to introduce the system. Jammikunta (Telangana) become the first village which has implemented this system. Bhanakpur panchayat has installed 20 loudspeakers to help over 5,000 villagers sing the national anthem. The village has also installed 22 CCTV cameras.
11. Kolkata’s Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport has become the 5th airport in India having CAT III B landing system runway 01R and it can be a 24×7 functional airport. It enables flights to land even when visibility is 50 metres with decision height of 15 meters. List of other airports having similar facilities are Amritsar, Jaipur , Lucknow, Delhi
13. From January 1, 2018, a new law has come to force in Iceland, under which it has become illegal to pay men more than women for the same work. Iceland has thus becomes first country in the world to legalise equal pay. In context of this news, it is important to note that Iceland has been ranked as world’s most gender-equal country by World Economic Forum (WEF) since past nine years.
14. The United States has suspended more than USD 1.15 billion security assistance to Pakistan,accusing Islamabad of harbouring terror groups like the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani Network within its border.
15. Typbar TCV-World’s first typhoid vaccine clinically proven to be administered to children from six months of age to adults, and confers long-term protection against typhoid fever. Typbar Typhoid Conjugate Vaccine (TVC) developed by Hyderabad based Bharat Biotech for global use got its prequalification from the World Health Organisation (WHO). Typhoid fever is caused by bacterium Salmonella Typhi (S. Typhi).
16. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will soon issue Rs.10 denomination banknotes in the Mahatma Gandhi (New) Series. It will have motif of Sun Temple, Konark on the reverse side. Base colour of these new notes will be Chocolate Brown. These notes will bear signature of Dr. Urjit R. Patel, the current Governor of Reserve Bank of India.
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18. Air India has tied-up with UAE-based First Abu Dhabi Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and Mashreq Bank to avail loans for acquiring three Boeing 777 aircrafts. Two of the three B777-300 ER planes will be delivered by end of January 2018, while one will be delivered in February 2018.
19. The two new missions named GOLD and ICON to explore the ionosphere, located 96 km above Earth’s surface will be launched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The Global-scale Observations of the Limb and Disk (GOLD) mission will be launched in January 2018. It will be launched in geostationary orbit over Western Hemisphere, about 35,398 km above earth. It will help in full-disk view of ionosphere and upper atmosphere beneath it every half hour. Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) will be launched later this year. It will be launched in low-Earth orbit (LEO) located at 560 km above Earth, like a close-up camera
20. Ricky Ponting becomes the head coach of IPL team Delhi Daredevils. Ponting was earlier associated with Indian Premier League champions Mumbai Indians.
21. Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) appointed former captain Hasan Sardar as the new chief head coach of the national team.
22.Ravi Menon, managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), has been honoured the best central bank governor in Asia-Pacific for 2018 by UK-based magazine, The Banker
-Prepared By Sarala Dhavamanoharan