1. Madhya Pradesh achieves complete door-to-door garbage
The state government of Madhya Pradesh has claimed that the state has become the first one in the country to fully achieve the target of door-to-door garbage collection in areas under urban bodies.
The announcement was made by the state’s Urban Development and Housing Minister Maya Singh during a "Swachcha Bharat Abhiyan 2018" review meeting held on 15 January.
Singh said that the door-to-door garbage management was carried out after the state got rid of ‘ill practices’ such as open defecation in urban areas. The Minister also stated that works like solid waste management at landfill sites and processing through the Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode were being carried out in urban areas.
Further, the Minister directed concerned officials to file a weekly report on the progress of works related to solid waste management centres and said that the work of garbage collection would continue during holidays as well.
2. NHRC holds Open Hearing and Camp Sitting in Jaipur
The two-day Open Hearing and Camp Sitting, organised by the National Human Rights Commission to address the grievances of the people began in Jaipur on 18 January 2018.
Chairman Justice HL Dattu would be inaugurating the hearing of the cases. Following the inauguration, the Commission would be taking up 169 complaints in the Open Hearing, which will be heard by the Chairperson and other members.
The complaints relate to the grievances and atrocities against the persons belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes due to action, inaction or omission by the public authorities.
Further, on the second day of the sitting, 14 important cases will be taken up in the sitting of Full Commission. These include cases of atrocities on Scheduled Castes and other vulnerable sections, Witch hunting and functioning of government-run homes.
The Commission would also hold a meeting with NGOs followed by a discussion with the Chief Secretary, DGP and other senior civil, police and jail officials.
3. India successfully test-fires indigenously developed ICBM Agni-5
India on 18 January 2018 successfully test-fired the indigenously developed long-range surface-to-surface ballistic missile, Agni-5, off the coast of Odisha.
The state-of-the-art missile, developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation DRDO, was test fired successfully from the Abdul Kalam Wheeler Island.
The three-stage solid propellant Agni-5 missile has a strike range of over 5,000 kilometres and can carry a nuclear warhead of more than one tonne. According to defence sources, the missile covered 4,900 kilometres in 20 minutes in today's launch.
Unlike other missiles of Agni series, the latest one ‘Agni-5’ is the most advanced, as it is incorporated with new technologies in terms of navigation and guidance, warhead and engine. In size, the missile is about 17 metres long, 2 metres wide and has a launch weight of around 50 tonnes.
The missile can hit most northern parts of China and other parts of Asia, Europe and Africa. Once this missile is inducted into Services, India will join the super exclusive club of countries with Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles alongside the US, Russia, China, France and the UK.
4. Kolkata Police introduces LED-fitted uniforms to ensure safety of traffic cops
The Kolkata Police has introduced uniforms with LED lights attached to them for traffic police officers, who work after sunset, especially during the winters.
The "body lights" will help the commuters and the drivers spot the officers from a reasonable distance and cut the risk of fog-related road crashes. According to a senior official of the Kolkata Traffic Police, the LED-studded uniforms will ensure the safety of traffic police personnel on stretches that are dimly lit, accident-prone or remain shrouded in fog.
According to the official, around 1,000 red-and blue LED shoulder lights have been distributed among sergeants deployed on thoroughfares and 3,000 more will be rolled out to traffic constables soon.
5. 'Padmaavat' to be screened across India, SC stays states’ban
The Supreme Court of India on 18 January 2018 paved the way for an all-India release of Sanjay Leela Bansali’s controversial film ‘Padmaavat’ by staying the orders issued by some of the states including Rajasthan and Haryana that prohibited the screening of the film.
The bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra also restrained any other state from issuing such notifications and orders prohibiting the exhibition of the movie. The bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud observed that the states are obliged to maintain law and order.
The state governments of Haryana, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan had declared that they will not allow screening of the movie, which stars Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh in lead roles.
The producers had approached the apex court challenging the notification and orders issued by the states prohibiting the film's release. Senior advocates Harish Salve and Mukul Rohatgi, representing producers of the movie, told the bench that states have no power to issue such notifications when the Central Board of Film Certification has given a certificate of release. The bench posted the matter for further hearing in March.