1. INS Karanj, Scorpene submarine was launched by Indian Navy at the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd (MDL), Mumbai, Maharashtra. It the third Scorpene class submarine built by MDL under ambitious Project 75 of the Indian Navy. INS Karanj has an overall length of 67.5 metres and height of about 12.3 metres. The first of these, INS Kalvari was commissioned in December 2017 and second, INS Khanderi is undergoing sea trials. Remaining 4 submarines will be inducted gradually by 2020. In all, six scorpion submarines being indigenously built at MDL under Project 75 with help of French naval defence and energy company DCNS. These are diesel-electric attack submarines equipped with anti-ship missile. The first four submarines will be conventional, while last two will be equipped with the Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) system, which will enable them to stay underwater for longer duration. INS Karanj has been named after older submarine as per Indian naval tradition that was in operation from 1969 to 2003. It served country for 34 years and was also part of operations in 1971.
2. To Improve Rural Connectivity in 5 States viz. Assam, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), the Union Government has inked $250 Million Loan Agreement with Asian Development Bank (ADB). The program is aimed to improve rural connectivity, facilitate safer and more efficient access to livelihood and socio-economic opportunities for rural connectivity, facilitate safer and more efficient access to livelihood and socio-economic opportunities for rural communities through improvements to about 12,000 kms Rural Roads across 5 States.
3. India has overtaken US to become the world’s third largest steel producer in 2017, according to recent report published by World Steel Association (WSA). India’s crude steel production has grown by 6.2% to 101.4 million tonnes (MT) in 2017 compared to 95.5 MT in the previous year. China has remained world leader by producing 831.7 MT in 2017, up 5.7% from 786.9 MT in the year-ago period. Japan is second largest global steel producer.
4. While addressing the joint sitting of Parliament on the commencement of the Budget Session, President Ram Nath Kovind has called for simultaneous elections to Lok Sabha and state assemblies. He called for sustained debate on subject of simultaneous elections and urged all political parties to arrive at consensus on this issue.
5. Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) project to promote organic farming have been launched by Jai Ram Thakur (CM of Himachal Pradesh.)in the state . ZBNF is set of natural farming methods where cost of growing and harvesting plants is zero. It is a farming practice that believes in natural growth of crops without adding any fertilizers and pesticides or any other foriegn elements. It is different from organic farming. The project aims to increase agriculture produce and the income of farmers by the year 2022.
6. The first military exercise (VINBAX-2018) between India and Vietnam was conducted at Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh as a part of joint training undertaken with friendly foreign countries by Indian Army.
7. Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C), an apex coordination centre was set up in New Delhi to deal with cybercrimes by the Union Home Ministry.
8. The agreement of Thar Link Express, second solitary rail service between India and Pakistan was extended for three more years i.e. till 2021. It was set to expire in March 2018, but has now been extended to January 31, 2021. The agreement to link the two countries by rail service through Munabao-Khokhrapar link was signed in 2006 to facilitate people-to-people contact.. The Thar Express links Jodhpur (India) and Karachi (Pakistan) via Munabao (Rajasthan)-Khokhrapar (Sindh province) border crossing and carries only passengers.
9. Third version of the Government e-Marketplace (GeM 3.0) was launched by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry. It aims to enhance transparency, efficiency and speed in public procurement of goods and services and eliminate corruption. GeM is an Online Market platform to facilitate procurement of goods and services by various Ministries and agencies of the Government. It has been envisaged as National Procurement Portal of India. The earlier version GeM 2.0 was launched as pilot project in August 2016.
10. High performance computer system (HPC) or supercomputer Mihir (meaning sun) has inaugurated by Ministry of Earth Science (MoES) at National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF), Noida. It is country’s largest HPC facility in terms of peak capacity and performance. It also propelled India’s ranking to Top 30 in the list of HPC facilities in world. The HCP will provide facility for improving weather/climate forecasts.
11. India was ranked sixth in list of wealthiest countries with total wealth of US $8,230 billion in 2017 according to New World Wealth Report. Top 10 Wealthiest Countries are United States (1st, total wealth held US $ 64,584 billion), China (2nd, $24,803 billion), Japan (3rd, $19,522 billion) United Kingdom (4th, $9,919 billion), Germany (5th, $9,660 billion), France (7th, $6,649 billion), Canada (8th, $6,393 billion), Australia (9th, $6,142 billion) and Italy (10th, $4,276 billion).
12. The Union Government has inked $100 million Loan Agreement with World Bank for Project to Boost Rural Economy of Tamil Nadu. The project aims to promote rural enterprises, facilitate their access to finance and create employment opportunities for youth, particularly women in. selected blocks of Tamil Nadu across 26 districts.
13. Jan 29 –Hicky’s Day. 238th anniversary of India’s first newspaper the Hicky’s Bengal Gazette was celebrated by the journalists and social activists Hicky’s Dayis celebrated to pay tributes to the fighter-journalist James Augustus Hicky who is considered as founder of journalism in India.
14. NITI Aayog member Dr Vinod Paul became first Indian to be awarded prestigious IhsanDoğramacı Family Health Foundation Prize by World Health Organisation.
15. France’s highest civilian award, Legion d’Honneur was awarded to Legendary Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee (83) .Chatterjee was awarded in recognition of his remarkable career and his outstanding contribution in promoting Indian cinema in France and his long-standing attraction for our country. He was presented the medal by French Ambassador Alexandre Ziegler at a function in Kolkata, West Bengal.
16.Outstanding Parliamentarian Awards was conferred to five Members of Parliament by the parliamentarian Group. They are Dr Najma Heptulla: former Rajya Sabha MP was selected for this award for the year 2013. Hukumdev Narayan Yadav, Lok Sabha MP and he was selected for this award for the year for 2014. Ghulam Nabi Azad MPof Rajya Sabha and was selected for this award for the year for 2015. Dinesh Trivedi, Lok Sabha MP and was selected for 2016. Bhartruhari Mahatab, Lok Sabha MP and was selected for 2017.