India and Sri Lanka signed four agreements on 15 January 2018 for collaboration in the Information and communication technology (ICT) sector, setting up of an e-office system and connecting of National Knowledge Network (NKN) for collaboration among universities and academics.
With the move, Sri Lanka has become the first country to be connected to India’s NKN through a Gigabyte optical fibre network.The dedicated high-speed internet connectivity will connect NKN to Sri Lanka’s education & research network (LEARN) through which academic institutions of both the nations would be able to collaborate and share best practices and research ideas.
Vice Admiral Ajendra Bahadur Singh, AVSM, VSM took over as Chief of Staff, Western Naval Command on 15 January 2018.
AB Singh would be succeeding Vice Admiral Ravneet Singh, AVSM, NM. Prior to his appointment to the post, Vice Admiral AB Singh served as the Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Strategic Forces Command.
The Supreme Court on 16 January 2018 termed the attack and interference by Khap panchayat or similar associations against an adult man and woman opting for marriage, especially inter-caste marriage as ‘absolutely illegal’.
The apex court stated that no khap panchayat, individual or society can question an adult man and woman once they decide to get married. The ruling was made by a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 16 January 2017 inaugurated the project commencement of the Rajasthan oil refinery at Pachpadra in Barmer district of the state.
The oil refinery is the first one to be set up in Rajasthan. It is expected to bring to the state an additional income of Rs 34000 crores and generate thousands of direct and indirect jobs.
Further, it is expected to bring an unprecedented surge in infrastructure development, improvement of healthcare services and the establishment of prestigious education institutions in Western Rajasthan.
The Union Government has decided to end Haj subsidy from this year, as a part of its policy to 'empower minorities without appeasement'. The announcement was made by Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on 16 January 2018.
The Minister stated that the decision is a part of the government’s policy to empower minorities with dignity and without appeasement. He further said that despite the withdrawal of the subsidy, a record number of 1.75 lakh Muslims would be undertaking the pilgrimage this year from India after Saudi Arabia increased India's quota by 5,000.