CBI Dispute: Alok Verma resigns after PM Modi-led panel removed him as CBI Chief
The sacked CBI Chief, Alok Verma on January 11, 2019 announced his resignation from service, refusing to take charge of the new role as DG, Fire Services. The move comes a day after a high-powered selection committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi removed him from the post of CBI Director in a 2:1 vote, less than 48 hours after he was reinstated to the position by the Supreme Court after he was sent on forced leave by the government.
The selection panel removed Verma from the post over charges of corruption and doubtful integrity as per the findings of the Central Vigilance Commission. There were eight counts of charges against him in the CVC report presented before the Committee. This makes him the first chief in the history of CBI to be ousted from the post.
The Indian Parliament passed the Constitution 124th (Amendment) Bill, 2019 that seeks to provide 10 per cent reservation in jobs and educational institutions to economically backward section in the general category with the Rajya Sabha approving it on January 9, 2019.
The legislation was passed in the upper house of the Parliament with 165 members voting in favour of it and seven voting against. The motion moved by AIADMK, left parties and others to refer the bill to the Select Committee was also defeated.
The Lok Sabha had already given its approval to the bill with over two-thirds of majority, with 323 members voting in favour and three voting against.
Environment Ministry launches National Clean Air Programme
The Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr Harsh Vardhan on January 10, 2019 launched the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP), a time-bound national level strategy for pan India implementation to tackle the increasing air pollution problem across the country in a comprehensive manner.
The main objective of the programme is comprehensive mitigation actions for prevention, control and abatement of air pollution besides augmenting the air quality monitoring network across the country and strengthening the awareness and capacity building activities.
2019 Golden Globe Awards: Bohemian Rhapsody wins Best Picture Drama
The 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards were announced on January 7, 2019 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, the United States of America. These annual awards honour the best in Motion Pictures and Television for the year 2018.
The Globes this year pulled a twist at the end of the ceremony, with Green Book and Bohemian Rhapsody staging upset wins. While Green Book finished with three awards-the maximum for the evening, Bohemian Rhapsody- the Queen biopic and Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma won two each.
Though "A Star Is Born" was the odds-on favourite for the Best Motion Picture (Drama), ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ won the award.
Lok Sabha passes bill to remove leprosy as ground for divorce
The Lok Sabha on January 7, 2019 passed the Personal Laws (Amendment Bill), 2018, which seeks to remove leprosy as a ground for divorce. Leprosy is being removed as a ground for divorce as it is now a curable disease as against the earlier notion of it being incurable.
The Bill seeks to amend five personal laws- the Hindu Marriage Act 1955, Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act 1939, Divorce Act (for Christians) 1869, Special Marriage Act 1954 and the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act 1956- to remove leprosy as a ground for divorce.
Lok Sabha passes DNA (Use and Application) Technology Regulation Bill
The Lok Sabha on January 8, 2019 passed the DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2019 by voice vote after a brief discussion.
The bill seeks to provide regulation for the use and application of DNA technology for the purpose of establishing the identity of certain category of persons including the victims, offenders, suspects, under trials, missing persons and others. The main objective behind the enactment of the bill is to expand the application of DNA-based forensic technologies to support and strengthen the justice delivery system of the country.
Lok Sabha passes Citizenship Amendment bill
The Lok Sabha on January 8, 2019 passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955 to make illegal migrants who are Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, eligible for citizenship. The bill has now been tabled in the Rajya Sabha.
Under the 1955 Act, one of the requirements for citizenship by naturalisation is that the applicant must have resided in India during the last 12 months and for 11 of the previous 14 years. The bill relaxes this 11-year requirement to six years for persons belonging to the all the six religions from the three countries.
RBI forms Nandan Nilekani led Committee to boost digital payments
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on January 8, 2018 constituted a High-Level Committee on Deepening of Digital Payments to encourage digitisation of payments and enhance financial inclusion. The five-member committee will be headed by UIDAI’s former Chairman Nandan Nilekani.
The committee will review the existing status of digitisation of payments and suggest ways to bridge any gaps in the ecosystem. The Committee will submit its report within a period of 90 days from the date of its first meeting.
Mary Kom becomes 'World No 1' Boxer in latest AIBA World Rankings
The celebrated MC Mary Kom became the World No 1 Boxer in 45-48 kg category in the latest International Boxing Association’s (AIBA) World Rankings released on January 10, 2019. Mary Kom was placed by AIBA at top of the charts in the 45-48 kg category weight division with 1700 points.
‘Magnificent Mary’ became the most successful boxer in world championships history when she claimed the 48kg category top honours in November 2018, her unprecedented sixth world title triumph.
Harendra Singh removed as head coach of Indian men's hockey team
Indian men's hockey coach Harendra Singh was on January 9, 2019 sacked from the position and offered the task of helming the junior squad by the national federation.
Explaining the sudden decision, Hockey India said in a statement that though the year 2018 was very disappointing for the Indian Men's Hockey Team with results not going as expected, they believe investing in the junior program will reap long-term benefits.