1. India begins countdown to launch 31 satellites
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on 11 January 2018 began the 28-hour countdown to launch 31 satellite in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. It will be the first space mission of India in 2018.
Among these 31 satellites, three will be of India and 28 of six other countries. These satellites will be launched onboard the PSLV-C40 rocket.
This launch comes four months after the rocket failed to deliver the India's eighth navigation satellite in the earth's lower orbit on 31 August 2017. The PSLV-C39 was unsuccessful as the heat shield failed to separate.
2. UIDAI introduces Virtual ID, limited KYC to address privacy concerns
The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), in order to address privacy concerns, introduced a new concept of Virtual ID which Aadhaar-card holder can generate from its website and give for various purposes, wherever Aadhaar number is necessary to provide.
Now, Aadhaar-card holders do not need to share the actual 12-digit biometric ID for any authentication, instead they can simply give the newly introduced Virtual ID.
The Virtual ID would be a random 16-digit number. It will be linked with the biometrics of the user that would give any authorised agency like a mobile company, limited access of details like name, address and photograph, which are sufficient for any verification.
3. Rocket scientist Sivan K appointed as Chairman of ISRO
Renowned scientist Sivan K was on 10 January 2018 appointed as the Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and also as Secretary in the Department of Space and chairman of Space Commission for a tenure of three years.
His appointment was approved by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet. Sivan K will succeed A S Kiran Kumar, who was appointed on 12 January 2015.
Sivan joined the ISRO in 1982 in Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) project and since then, he has contributed immensely towards end to end mission planning, mission design, mission integration and analysis.
4. Gujarat tops logistics performance index chart
Gujarat has topped Logistics Ease Across Different States (LEADS) index, a logistics index chart, which is an indicator of the efficiency of logistical services necessary for encouraging exports and economic growth.
As per the report by the Commerce Ministry, LEADS (Logistics Ease Across Different States) would help us to find out the right problem areas in the export sector and prepare policy accordingly.
In the Logistics Ease Across Different States (LEADS) index, Gujarat state occupied the first position among 22 states; while Jammu and Kashmir came last, even below Bihar.
5. Harjinder Singh appointed as Chef de Mission for 23rd Winter Olympic Games
Harjinder Singh was on 10 January 2018 appointed as the Chef De Mission of Indian Contingent participating in the 23rd Winter Olympic Games to be held in Pyeongchang, South Korea in February 2018.
Singh's appointment was confirmed by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA). Currently, Singh holds the post of General Secretary in the Ice Hockey Association of India.
The 2018 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XXIII Olympic Winter Games is scheduled to take place from 9 to 25 February 2018 in Pyeongchang County, South Korea.