Vijay Keshav Gokhale to take charge as new Foreign Secretary
Vijay Keshav Gokhale, a senior diplomat of the External Affairs Ministry, will take charge as the next Foreign Secretary on January 29, 2018.
Gokhale would be succeeding S Jaishankar, who is retiring from the post after getting one-year extension in January 2017. Gokhale had played a key role in negotiations to resolve the 73-day-long Doklam standoff between Indian and Chinese armies last year.
The 1981-batch Indian Foreign Service officer is currently serving as the Secretary (Economic Relations) in the Ministry of External Affairs. He has previously held the posts of Director (China and East Asia) and then Joint Secretary (East Asia) in the MEA.
President Ram Nath Kovind launches Pulse Polio Programme 2018
President Ram Nath Kovind on 27 January 2018 launched the Pulse Polio programme 2018 by administering polio drops to children less than five years old at the Rahstrapati Bhawan, New Delhi.
The programme was launched on the eve of the National Immunization Day, which is observed every year on 28 January 2018. Under the Pulse Polio Programme 2018, more than 17 crore children of less than five years across the country will be given polio drops to sustain polio eradication from the country.
Stree Swabhiman Initiative launched for Women Health and Hygiene
Union Information Technology and Electronics Ministry on 27 January 2018 announced to launch the Stree Swabhiman initiative to ensure and maintain perfect health for women and maintain health hygiene.
The initiative was launched in partnership with Common Service Centres (CSCs). Under it, the CSCs will provide access to affordable, reliable and modern (eco-friendly) sanitary napkins (menstrual pads) to adolescent girls and women in rural areas.
Further, it will also lay the foundation for the setting up of semi-automatic and manual sanitary napkin manufacturing units at CSC for producing affordable and eco-friendly sanitary napkins.
Economic Survey 2017-18: Top 10 facts on Indian Economy
1. There has been a large increase in registered indirect and direct taxpayers
There has been a 50 per cent increase in unique taxpayers under the GST in comparison with the pre-GST system.There has also been an addition of about 1.8 million in individual income tax filers since November 2016.
2. Indian society exhibits strong son ‘Meta’ Preference
Parents continue to have children until they get the desired number of sons. This kind of fertility-stopping rule leads to skewed sex ratios but in different directions: It is skewed in favour of males if it is the last child and in the favour of females if it is not the last.
Where there are no such fertility-stopping rules, ratios remain balanced regardless of whether the child is the last or not.
Economic Survey 2017-18: Key Highlights
The Economic Survey 2017-18 was tabled in the Parliament on January 29, 2018 by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
Major reforms were undertaken in 2017 including the launch of the transformational Goods and Services Tax (GST) in July. The survey notes that with a policy change of such scale, scope and complexity, the transition unsurprisingly encountered challenges of policy, law and information technology systems, which especially affected the informal sector. However, it also states that prompt responses followed to rationalise and reduce rates and simplify compliance burdens.