1. The 171st Araadhanai Music festival of one of the Trinities of Carnatic music Saint Thyagaraja begins in Thiruvaiyaru, Tamil Nadu on 2nd Jan 2018. This festival was inaugurated by Governor of TN Banwarilal Purohit
2. Arunachal Pradesh was officially declared Open Defecation Free (ODF) state. Arunachal Pradesh has total 21 districts and it attained this major cleanliness feat under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan much before (one year and 10 months ahead) the national deadline of October 2, 2019. It is second State from Northeast, after Sikkim and overall fifth state after Himachal Pradesh, Kerala and Haryana to be declared ODF state. The announcement comes after three remaining districts – Upper Subansiri, Siang and Changlang were officially declared ODF. The State government also had launched Swachh Arunachal Mission on October 2, 2017 at Tawang which envisaged Swachh Protocol (Cleanliness Protocol) aimed at ensuring sustainability of assets created under SBM (Gramin).
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4. Preeti Sudan, Secretary of Health and Family Welfare Ministry on 1st Jan 2018 have launched the allied and health care professionals database portal to ensure better systems and frameworks for the health care workforce in the country.
5. The state of Nagaland has been declared as a disturbed area till June 2018.
6. Assam published the first draft of National Register of Citizens with 1.9 cr names.
7. According to researchers even a rise of just 2 degree Celsius in global warming could make over a quarter of the world’s land to become drier and desert- like. The change is expected to increase the threat of drought and wild fires.
8. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) introduced the Value Added Tax (VAT) for the very first time on 1st Jan 2018.the move is the first for the Gulf region ,which has long boasted of a tax free system.
9. India and Pakistan on 1st Jan 2018 exchanged 27th lists of their nuclear installations under an agreement which aims to prevent both sides from attacking such facilities.This was done through diplomatic channels simultaneously at New Delhi and Islamabad. The list –exchange come sin backdrop of a heated arguments between the two nations over the harassment and ill treatment of jailed Indian national Kulbushan Jadhav’s mother and wife by Pakistan
10. Showing zero tolerance towards terrorism, the US President issued a tough warning to Pakistan and said that the United States will no longer give any fund to Pakistan.
11. Israel recently confirmed its withdrawal from UNESCO following the withdrawal of US.
12. Vijay Keshav Gokhale was appointed as Foreign Secretary of India who succeeds S Jaishankar who will complete his tenure on 28 Jan 2018.
13. Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga was appointed as the new Prime Minister of Mali
14. Om Prakash Singh was appointed as the Director General of Police of Uttar Pradesh recently
15. A new species of frog named Mewa Singh’s night frog (Nyctibatrachus mewasinghi) was discovered by the scientists in Kozhikode’s Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary, Kerala in Western Ghats. The new night frog species is light brown in colour with an off-white underside.
16. Two new species of ginger named Hedychium chingmeianum and Caulokaempferia dinabandhuensis in easternmost districts of northeast India have been discovered by the scientists from Botanical Survey of India (BSI). Hedychium chingmeianum was discovered in Tuensang district in Nagaland. It is an epiphytic plant and grows on trunks of tall trees. It has reddish stems and creamy white flowers. Caulokaempferia dinabandhuensis was found growing in rock crevices, boulders and humus rich soil in the Shirui Hills in Ukhrul in Manipur. It has beautiful oval-shaped pink flowers which appear in June-July. It has been named after Mr. Dinabandhu Sahoo. Both the plants belong to the family of Zingiberaceae, to which the commonly found ginger (Zingiber officinale) belongs.
17. A new species of blind fish has been discovered inside a cave in East Jaintia hill districts of Meghalaya. It was named as Schistura larketensis after Larket village ,where the cave has been found.
18. To explore the sun’s outer atmosphere, Parker Solar Probe is going to launch by NASA in 2018. It is named after solar astrophysicist Eugene Parker. This is first time NASA spacecraft named after living person. It has been designed and built by Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. It is NASA’s planned robotic spacecraft to probe outer corona of Sun. It will perform its scientific investigations in a hazardous region of intense heat and solar radiation.
19. 2017 Ranji Trophy tournament won by Vidarbha cricket team by defeating Delhi in the final match held at Holkar stadium in Indore (Madhya Pradesh). It is Vidarbha’s first Ranji Trophy title.
20. Indian origin scientist Prathibha Laxman Gai was honoured with Dame hood by Queen Elizabeth