1. Anandiben Patel appointed as Governor of Madhya Pradesh
The former Chief Minister of Gujarat, Anandiben Patel has been appointed by President Ram Nath Kovind as the new Governor of Madhya Pradesh.
The announcement was made by the Rashtrapati Bhavan through an official notification on 19th January 2018. Patel would be replacing Om Prakash Kohli, who was holding the additional charge of the office of MP Governor along with the office of Gujarat Governor.
Patel had previously succeeded Narendra Modi as Gujarat CM after the 2014 parliamentary polls. In 2016 however, she resigned from the post on the grounds that she was completing 75 years, as an unwritten rule set by PM Narendra Modi mandates party leaders above the age of 75 to quit the executive post in the government.
2. Govt announces names of nine more smart cities
Urban Development Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on 19th January 2018 announced the names of nine more smart cities, which takes the total tally to 99.
The selected cities include Union Territory Dadra and Nagar Haveli’s capital Silvassa, Erode in Tamil Nadu, Diu in Union Territory of Daman and Diu, Biharsharif in Bihar, Bareilly, Saharanpur and Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh and Arunachal Pradesh and Lakshadweep’s capital cities Itanagar and Kavaratti respectively.
Speaking on the occasion, the Urban Development Minister stated that with the selection of these nine cities, the total proposed investment in 99 Smart Cities will be Rs 203979 Cr.
Giving details of the progress made in Smart Cities scheme, Puri said, 189 projects have been completed so far.
3. India’s Manav Thakkar becomes World No 2 in latest International TT rankings
India’s Manav Thakkar climbed to World Number 2 spot in the boys' under-18 category while Diya Chitale rose to Number 5 in the girls' under-15 category in the International Table Tennis Federation rankings.
Thakkar's jump has been particularly phenomenal as he moved from 18th to his current position. According to an official release by the ITTF, the top place is within striking distance of Thakkar, which will become India's moment of crowning glory.
Previously, Thakkar also broke into the top 15 in the boys' under-21 rankings. Among other successes, recently crowned Junior National Champion Payas Jain climbed to the 11th spot, followed by Jeho H at rank 12.
In the girls' under-18 category, Karnataka’s Archana Girish Kamath moved up from 34th rank to the 18th spot. Archana has also earned a spot in the top-50 of the under-21 category.
4. Britain announces world’s first public register against money laundering
Britain has announced the world's first public register that requires overseas companies that own or buy property in the country to provide details of their ultimate owners.
The government is set to publish relevant draft laws and the register will go live by early 2021.Speaking on the development, British Business Secretary Greg Clark said that this register will build on their reputation for corporate transparency as well as help create a hostile environment for economic crimes like money laundering.
In Britain, properties worth 250 million dollars have been under criminal investigation for being linked to corruption since 2004. Over 75 per cent of the properties currently under investigation have been suspected of being used as off-shore corporate secrecy, a tactic regularly seen by investigators pursuing high-level money laundering.
5. Rajasthan to have candidates' picture on EVMs in upcoming bypolls
Rajasthan's Chief Election Officer Ashwani Bhagat announced on 19th January 2018 that the Electronic Voting Machines in the state’s by-polls would carry photographs of candidates contesting elections.
The by-polls are due on 29th January in Ajmer and Alwar Parliamentary seats along with Mandalgarh Assembly seat.
Although, the same procedure was followed in the Dholpur Assembly by-poll in Rajasthan in 2017, this will be the first that it will be done in a Lok Sabha election.
Under the new system, a 2.5 cm size photograph of the candidate contesting will be displayed on the EVM along with the name, photo and election symbol of the candidate. However, for NOTA option the space for photo will be left blank.
6. US asks Pak to prosecute Hafiz Saeed to fullest extent of law
The United States has asked Pakistan to prosecute Hafiz Saeed to the fullest extent of the law.
Supporting the Indian view on the Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) chief, the US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert stated during a press conference that Saeed was the mastermind behind 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed many people, including Americans as well.
Nauert further stated that America regards Saeed as a terrorist and a part of a foreign terrorist organisation.
7. President to felicitate women achievers at Rashtrapati Bhawan
President Ram Nath Kovind would be felicitating exceptional women achievers who are the first to set a milestone in their respective fields at Rashtrapati Bhawan on 20th January 2018.
The information was shared the Women and Child Development Ministry through an official release. The statement read that 112 women have been selected after an extensive research process by the Ministry.
The women being felicitated are those who have been the first in any field like the first woman judge, first woman porter, first woman to head a missile project, first para-trooper and first Olympian. For the same, a list of 227 women was compiled through various sources including Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Sports, Limca Book of Records, press clippings and internet.
The final 112 names were finalised by the Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi along with an esteemed panel of judges. The selected women rose through barriers, standards and oppressive notions to become the first women to excel in the fields.