- Mali President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita appointed Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga as the new Prime Minister of the country. - The Assam government has published the part draft of the much-awaited National Register of Citizens (NRC) - Om Prakash Singh, the 1983 batch IPS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre, will be the new Director General of Police of Uttar Pradesh. He will succeed incumbent Sulkhan Singh. Presently, OP Singh is the Director General of Central Industrial Security Force (CISF). - Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, the BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP from Maharashtra, was appointed as President of the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) - Pratibha Laxman Gai Acclaimed scientist Pratibha Laxman Gai has been named for damehood, the female equivalent of a knighthood, leading a number of people of Indian-origin from various walks of life in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List 2018. - Israel Israel formally notified the UN’s culture and education body of its withdrawal from the organization. UNESCO chief Audrey Azoulay stated that Israel would leave on 31 December 2018. - Nagaland has been declared as a disturbed area for six more months, till the end of June 2018, under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA). - Tamil Nadu The 171st Araadhanai Music Festival of one of the Trinities of Carnatic music, Saint Thyagaraja began in Thiruvaiyaru, Tamil Nadu on 2 January 2018. The festival was inaugurated by the state’s Governor Banwarilal Purohit. - Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) introduced the Value Added Tax (VAT) for the very first time on 1 January 2018. - Arunachal Pradesh has emerged as the second state in the Northeast, after Sikkim, to be declared Open Defecation Free. - Prominent Urdu poet Anwar Jalalpuri, who translated Bhagwad Geeta into Urdu, passed away in Lucknow on 2 January 2018. - The state government of Karnataka has received the approval for the purchase of electric vehicles from the Department of Heavy Industry, Government of India, under FAME India Scheme. Under the scheme, the state will purchase 40 electric buses, 100 four wheelers and 500 three wheelers at a maximum of 60 percent subsidy. - The Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, India’s Premier Container Port, has won the ‘Samudra Manthan - Caring Organisation of the Year’ award. - Haryana government has announced that it will be implementing the integrated solar based micro irrigation scheme (ISBMI) in all districts of the State. - At a high-level meeting attended by senior bureaucrats, ASI officials, police and paramilitary officers in Delhi on 2 January 2018, it was decided that only 40000 visitors will be allowed to visit the Taj Mahal in a day, starting from 20 January. However, it was decided that there will be no daily limit of the number of foreign tourists. The decision is yet to attain a final approval. - Rajinder Khanna, the former chief of India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), was on 2 January 2017 appointed as the new Deputy National Security Adviser (NSA). - Egypt has extended its nationwide state of emergency by another three months, citing security reasons. - The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Amendment) Bill, 2017 was passed by the Parliament’s upper house, Rajya Sabha on 2 January 2018. The Lok Sabha had passed the bill by voice vote during its Monsoon Session in August 2017. The Bill will allow the central government to increase the authorised capital of NABARD from Rs 5,000 crore to Rs 30,000 crore. - With warmer global temperatures and dryer weather conditions threatening the survival of the fragile cocoa plant, researchers fear that chocolate could disappear by as early as 2050. To avoid the same, scientists are exploring the possibility of using the gene-editing technology CRISPR to evolve crops that can survive environmental challenges. - The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for establishment of new AIIMS in Bilaspur (Himachal Pradesh) under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY). - Union Minister of Women & Child Development, Maneka Sanjay Gandhi inaugurated an online portal NARI in New Delhi on 2 January 2018. The portal will provide women citizens with easy access to information on government schemes and initiatives for women. - The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on 3 January 2017 approved mandatory packaging of foodgrains and sugar in the jute material for the Jute Year 2017-18. The Jute Year 2017-18 period is from 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018. - The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on 3 January 2018 approved construction, operation and maintenance of 2-lane bi-directional Zojila Tunnel with parallel escape tunnel in Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) on Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) mode. - Radha Vishwanathan (83), Carnatic vocalist and former classical dancer, passed away in Bengaluru, Karnataka. - North Korea on 3 January 2018 reopened a key cross-border communication channel with South Korea for the first time in nearly two years, as the rivals explore the possibility of sitting down and talking after months of hostility and fears of war. The move signals a possible truce in relations between the two nations. - The state government of Maharashtra has announced a spot fine of 500 rupees for open defecation. - G Sathiyan has become India's highest- ranked player in the latest International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) rankings. - The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved an agreement between India and Myanmar to allow free movement of people across the land border of the two nations. - The new denomination of Rs 10 banknote has motif of Sun Temple, Konark on the reverse, depicting the country's cultural heritage. The base colour of the note is Chocolate Brown. The dimension of the banknote will be 63 mm x 123 mm. - The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has welcomed six new non-permanent members — Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kuwait, the Netherlands, Peru, and Poland. The six new countries, voted on by the 193-member General assembly will have a strong voice in matters dealing with international peace and security for two-year terms on the U.N.’s most powerful body. - Turkey’s endangered ‘bird language’ entered the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage. It is an unusual and very efficient whistle language used as a means of communication by villagers in remote northern Turkey - The Jaipur International Film Festival – JIFF 2018 which is now considered a part of the most prominent film festivals of the world has announced Opening and Closing film. Opening Hindi movie for JIFF will be Harish Vyas Directed Angrezi Me Kahte Hain, a story of middle-aged man. - Australian batting great Ricky Ponting was on 4 January 2018 appointed as the coach of the Delhi Daredevils franchise for the upcoming Indian Premier League. Ponting takes over the reins of Delhi Daredevils from former India captain Rahul Dravid, who had stepped down after the previous season owing to BCCI's conflict-of-interest regulations. - Following the Assam National Register of Citizens (NRC) implementation, the state government of Arunachal Pradesh has taken all possible preventive measures to prevent a possible spill over of illegal migrants to the state. Strict vigil has been ordered along the state’s border outposts to check entrance of illegal immigrants. - Three Ministries of the Union Government, the Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Human Resource Development and the Department of Science & Technology on 4 January 2018 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at Rail Bhawan, New Delhi for joint funding of Technology Mission for Indian Railways. - The New Delhi World Book Fair began at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi on 6 January 2018. It is organised by the National Book Trust (NBT) in association with India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO). The main theme of 2018 fair is “Environment and climate change” and European Union is the focus country. - Gilles Simon of France won the Tata Open Maharashtra Tennis trophy at Balewadi Sports Complex in Pune on 6 January 2018. - The Himalayan Hydro Expo 2018 started at Kathmandu in Nepal on 5 January 2018. President of Nepal Bidya Devi Bhandari inaugurated the exhibition. - Iceland became the first country in the world to enforce equal pay for women and men. - The World Sweet Festival will be held in Hyderabad from 13 January 2018 to showcase the cosmopolitan nature of Hyderabad in a sweet way. The sweets from around 25 states in India and 15 foreign countries, to be prepared locally by members of various associations, will be displayed at the event. - The world's largest known prime number, with 23 million digits, was discovered by a volunteer for a prime-number hunting project. The number, called M77232917, is the 50th "Mersenne prime" to be discovered. - The vibrant Khelo India logo reflecting the freshness, agility and vitality of New India was launched at a simple ceremony by the Union Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports Col Rajyavardhan Rathore at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi. The logo also conveys an impression of fitness and competitiveness. - With the declining levels of ozone-destroying chlorine, scientists have for the first time observed less ozone depletion .The findings showed that an international ban on chlorine has resulted in about 20 per cent less ozone depletion during the Antarctic winter from 2005 to 2016. - Actor Sterling K Brown created history by becoming the first African-American to win 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards for best actor in a drama television series for his role as Randall Pearson on NBC’s breakout hit “This Is Us”. - The Indian Navy signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Cochin Port Trust (CPT) for utilizing the Port’s berthing facility at Mattancherry wharf for Naval ships. As per the MoU, Cochin Port’s Q2 and Q3 berths at Mattacherry wharf, totaling 228 metre quay length, would be handed over to the Indian Navy for five years for berthing their ships. - National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on 4 January 2018 announced to launch two missions to explore 60 miles (96 KM) of area above Earth's surface. The Global-scale Observations of the Limb and Disk (GOLD) mission will be launched aboard a commercial communications satellite in January 2018 itself, while the other mission Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) will be launched later in 2018. - Paytm Payments Bank partnered with Induslnd Bank to introduce a facility to create a fixed deposit when the customer balance exceeds Rs 1 lakh at the end of day. Paytm Payments Bank customers can redeem their deposits instantly, anytime without paying any pre-closure or miscellaneous charges. - France will be conferring its highest order of merit, the 'Legion of Honour', on legendary film and theatre actor Soumitra Chattopadhyay at the 42nd International Kolkata Book Fair. - World Champion Powerlifter Saksham Yadav along with four other national-level powerlifters was killed after their car met with an accident near the Delhi-Haryana border on 7 January 2017. - The Supreme Court of India on 8 January 2018 stayed the Karnataka High Court order, which overturned the 2014 government regulation that packets of tobacco products must carry pictorial warning covering 85 per cent of the packaging space. - Union Minister of Earth Sciences Harsh Vardhan dedicated to India, the nation’s first and fastest multi-petaflops supercomputer at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) in Pune on 8 January 2017. Named ‘Pratyush’, which means the Sun, the supercomputer will be a national facility for improving weather and climate forecasts and services under the umbrella of the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES). - The Bihar Government has banned electronic cigarettes in the state. E-cigarette is a battery run electronic device that tries to create the feeling of tobacco smoking. It works by heating a liquid to generate an aerosol that users inhale. The prohibition will also be extended to online portals, which were prime facilitators between the distributors and the end user. - According to the instructions issued by the central government, the ban on the use of plastic tricolor has been announced. - Cotton buds have been banned in England. Cotton buds are cotton wrapped on either side of a plastic stick used to clean ears. After use, these cotton buds go directly to the seas while going through the sewage. - Former Indian wicketkeeper Saba Karim has been appointed as the General Manager of the Board of Control for Cricket in India. - Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the first Overseas Parliamentary Conference in the Overseas Center on January 9, 2018 in New Delhi. - Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal launched 'Delhi Common Mobility Card' with the help of which the Delhi Metro and 250 selected buses of the city can be traveled with the same card. - Famous composer AR Rahman has been appointed as the brand ambassador of Sikkim. - West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee unveiled the official logo of the state government. - Singapore-based Indian-origin businessman Sunny Verghese was appointed Chairman of Word Business Council for Sustainable Development. - Indian all-rounder Yusuf Pathan was on 9 January 2017 handed a five-month retrospective suspension for failing a dope test. He failed dope test for inadvertently ingesting a prohibited substance called Terbutaline commonly found in cough syrups. - The Matunga suburban station on the Central Railway (CR) entered the Limca Book of Records for having an all-woman staff. - The US government approved the sale of anti-ballistic missiles to Japan to defend itself against a growing nuclear and missile threat from North Korea. - The World Bank on 9 January 2018 released the Global Economic Prospects (GEP). As per the report, Indian economy is projected to grow at 7.3% in 2018 to regain the status of world fastest growing economy. - Aanchal Thakur created history by becoming the first Indian to register an international medal in skiing. - The World Hindi Day (WHD) is observed every year on 10 January to mark the first anniversary of World Hindi Conference (WHC) which was held in 1975. The first WHC was inaugurated by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Apart from India, the language is also spoken in Nepal, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname, Fiji and Mauritius. - Prime Minister Narendra Modi has affirmed that India will be a reliable and close neighbour of Maldives supporting it in its progress and security. - The state government of Kerala has decided to use robots for cleaning sewer holes, bringing an end to manual scavenging. The Kerala water authority has signed a MoU with Kerala transfer mission for the transfer of technology and products including the use of robots for the same purpose. - India has emerged as the top borrower from the Asian infrastructure investment bank ( AIIB) with loans worth USD 1.5 billion in 2017 and USD 3 billion more in the pipeline. - India on 12 January 2018 launched 31 satellites including a remote sensing satellite Cartosat-2. Among them, three are Indian and the rest 28 are from six nations including Canada, Finland, France, South Korea, UK and the United States of America. - The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle or PSLV-C40 lifted off successfully on 12 January 2018 from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. It carries 31 satellites in total, including 3 from India and rest 28 from six other nations. Among the satellites that the PSLV is carrying is India's 100th satellite, Cartosat 2 -- a surveillance satellite. The satellites are to be launched in two orbits. - Ecuador has granted citizenship to Julian Assange. - The Iranian government has announced that it has lifted all restrictions on the use of the Internet, including the Telegram message app. - Senior Rashtriya Janata Dal leader and former Union Minister Raghunath Jha passed away late on 14 January 2018 at Delhi’s Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital. He was suffering from kidney ailment. Jha was the Union minister of State for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprise in the UPA government led by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. - Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has ordered to re-impose ban on women buying alcohol or working in places that sell or manufacture liquor - The Bombay High Court has directed the Maharashtra government to file a report on steps taken by it to improve the condition of children's homes in the state. - The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDA) on 15 January 2018 introduced face authentication as an additional means of Aadhaar authentication along with fingerprint and iris scan. The move will enable easy authentication for those individuals who face difficulties in other biometric authentication such as fingerprint and iris scan. - The Teen Murti Chowk in central Delhi was formally renamed as Teen Murti-Haifa, after Israeli city Haifa in a solemn ceremony attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu on 14 January 2018. - Punjab Power and Irrigation Minister Rana Gurjit Singh has resigned from his post. Singh has been under fire from the Opposition for his alleged involvement in sand mining auctions. - In the United States, a group of Muhajirs have launched a 'Free Karachi' campaign to highlight the alleged state- sponsored atrocities against their community in Karachi, the port city of Pakistan. - 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. - Vice Admiral Ajendra Bahadur Singh, AVSM, VSM took over as Chief of Staff, Western Naval Command on 15 January 2018. - The Defence Acquisition Council on 16 January 2017 cleared the procurement of 72,000 assault rifles and 93,895 carbines on a fast track basis to meet the immediate requirement of the troops deployed along the borders. The procurement involves expenditure worth Rs 3,547 crore. The decision is expected to address the shortage of small arms for the armed forces. - The Indo-US joint military exercise ‘Vajra Prahar’ will be undertaken at the Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) in Seattle, - The Department of Commerce on 16 January 2018 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) for setting-up of an institutional mechanism for the integrated development of Logistics sector in the country. - Thomson Reuters Corp on 17 January 2018 published its debut ‘Top 100 Global Technology Leaders’ list, which was topped by Microsoft, followed by Intel Corp and Cisco Systems at the 2nd and 3rd position respectively. - The biennial search and rescue exercise by the ships and aircraft from the Indian and Japanese Coast Guards got underway on 16 January 2018. - China has launched a new guided- missile frigate called 'Wuhai', which has stronger anti- submarine capabilities. - Karnataka's Information Technology department would be organising a blockchain hackathon from 19 to 21 January 19 to see if participants can create demonstrable prototypes of the use of blockchain in government applications. The move comes as blockchain, the technology behind cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, is fast gaining acceptance worldwide. - YouTube on 16 January announced stricter rules regarding when it will run advertisements with videos as it scrambled to quell concerns by brands about being paired with troublesome content. The channels at YouTube will now need to have at least 1,000 subscribers and 4000 hours of watch time within the past year to be eligible for ads. - China has constructed an experimental air purifying tower called the Xian smog tower, which is touted to be the ‘world’s biggest air purifier’, to combat its severe smog and air pollution. - Indian Captain Virat Kohli was named the ICC Men’s Cricketer of the Year at the ICC annual awards, which were announced in Dubai on 18 January 2018. - The Prime Minister of United Kingdom, Theresa May on 17 January 2018 announced the appointment of Sports minister Tracey Crouch as the country’s first ‘Minister for loneliness’. - The Madhya Pradesh government has claimed that the state has become the first one in India to achieve 100 per cent door-to-door garbage collection target in urban bodies. - The Maharashtra state cabinet on 17 January 2018 approved one per cent reservation for orphans in government jobs under the general category. - North and South Korea, in a rare move, agreed on 17 January 2018 to march together under a single unified Korean flag at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics, which is scheduled to go underway in South Korea in February 2018. - A five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court headed by the Chief Justice Dipak Misra began the much-awaited hearing on the constitutional validity of Aadhaar card on 17 January 2018. The landmark hearing comes five months after a nine-judge bench of the Supreme Court ruled that the right to privacy is intrinsic to right to life and liberty and thus is a fundamental right guaranteed under Article 21 of the Indian constitution. - Indigenously-developed weapon system integrated helicopter Rudra will make its maiden appearance in the Republic Day parade on Rajpath in New Delhi on 26th January 2018. The flypast will be divided into two blocks. The second block will start with Rudra formation comprising Advanced Light Helicopter MK-IV WSI. - The Chief Minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal has inaugurated the girl child week, a week-long programme to celebrate the girl child and to create awareness about gender equality, ahead of the National Girl Child Day that is celebrated on 24th January. - India has jumped three places to be placed at the 102nd position in the first FIFA rankings of the year 2018, which were released on 18th January 2018. - The state government of Maharashtra has approved a Rs 4000 crore project aimed at promoting climate-resilient agriculture. The main objectives of the project will be to improve soil quality, develop food grain varieties that can sustain climate variations and effect necessary changes in the crop pattern as per the availability of water in a particular region. - A group of archaeologist has discovered the world’s biggest flooded cave in Mexico. The divers connected two underwater caverns in eastern Mexico to reveal what is believed to be the biggest flooded cave on the planet. - The state -run Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management-Kerala (IIITM-K) is all set to launch its proposed Kerala Blockchain Academy, the first of its kind in the country. The academy is a joint initiative of IIITM-K and the Blockchain Education Network (BEN), a global network of blockchain communities. - The state of Maharashtra has become the first state to come up with a public cloud policy, virtually mandating its departments to shift their data storage onto the cloud, creating a USD 2 billion opportunity for the industry. - Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on 17th January 2018 inaugurated the iCREATE facility at Deo Dholera Village in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. iCreate is an independent Centre created with the aim of facilitating entrepreneurship through a blend of creativity, innovation, engineering, product design and leveraging emerging technologies. - India has been ranked at the 62nd place among emerging economies on an Inclusive Development Index, released by World Economic Forum (WEF). India's position is much below its neighbours, China and Pakistan, which are ranked at 26th and 47th positions respectively. - Saudi Arabia has announced 1.5 billion US Dollars in new aid for Yemen, where nearly three years of conflict has devastated the local economy and pushed millions to the brink of famine, causing what the United Nations describes as the world's worst humanitarian crisis. - The eighth edition of the International Conference on Wild Silk Moths has begun in Guwahati, Assam. Attending the program, Minister of State for Textiles Ajay Tamta said that the Centre has taken the slew of measures for the development of silk and textile sector. He said that 110 districts of North East are silk producers and hoped that the conference would help in increasing income of the people of the region who are involved with silk industry. - The garbage festival ’Kachra Mahotsav’ was organized in the Raipur, the capital city of Chhattisgarh. - Senior-most Election Commissioner, Om Prakash Rawat was appointed as the Chief Election Commissioner in the Election Commission on 21st January 2018. He would be succeeding outgoing CEC Achal Kumar Joti, who retires on 22nd January. - The highly polluted Bellandur Lake in Bengaluru caught fire on January 19, 2018 for the fifth time in the last two and half years. The blaze could not be fully controlled and raged on for at least 12 hours. The lake is fully covered with toxic foam and froth. - Chandra Bhushan Paliwal was appointed as the chairman of the newly-constituted Uttar Pradesh Subordinate Services Selection Commission (UPSSSC) on January 22, 2018. - The Indian cricket team has won the 5th edition of Blind Cricket World Cup 2018 by defeating Pakistan in the final by two wickets at Sharjah in United Arab Emirates (UAE). With this, India has retained the World Cup for the Blind. - The former Chief Minister of Gujarat, Anandiben Patel has been appointed by President Ram Nath Kovind as the new Governor of Madhya Pradesh. - 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. - 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. - The Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Arun Jaitley has launched the National CSR Data Portal & Corporate Data Portal to enable greater transparency in corporate governance and promote accountability to the public at large. - 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. - Urban Development Minister Hardeep Singh Puri has 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. - The International Dam Safety Conference- 2018 began on January 23, 2018 at Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. The conference is a part of DRIP project, which aims to achieve rehabilitation of old dams in the country that may be experiencing distress and are in need of attention for ensuring their structural safety and operational efficiency. - China on January 22, 2018 invited the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) to join its ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative, as part of an agreement to deepen economic and political cooperation in a region where US influence is historically strong. - Soloman Deksisa from Ethiopia won the 15th edition of Tata Mumbai Marathon in men’s category on January 22, 2018. - Pema Khandu, the Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, inaugurated the World War II Memorial Museum in Jairampur in Changlang District on January 21, 2018. - Sudeep Lakhtakia, the 1984-batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer, has been appointed as the new Director-General of National Security Guard (NSG) and will hold the post till July 2019. - ‘Hindi Medium’, directed by Saket Chaudhary, bagged honours in the categories of Best Film and Best Actor in a Leading Role (Male) for Irrfan Khan’s impeccable performance at the 63rd Jio Filmfare Awards 2018. - Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on January 22, 2018 launched a state-level nutrition scheme for HIV-positive children. The nutrition scheme was launched during a campaign organised by the AIDS Control Society of Himachal Pradesh on the occasion of National Youth Day. - Renowned scientist, S Somanath took charge as the Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, succeeding K Sivan who was recently appointed as ISRO Chairman. The space centre is Indian Space Research organisation’s lead centre for launch vehicles. -India has been ranked 81st on the annual global index of talent competitiveness, which was released on the first day of the 48th World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland - The Uttar Pradesh Cabinet has approved 'one district, one product' scheme to promote products indigenous to every district. The implementation of the scheme will boost economic development of the state and will also help in the generation of five lakh new jobs annually. - The Supreme Court has directed the Centre to set up a tribunal within a month to resolve the dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh over the sharing of water from river Mahanadi. The bench, however, refused to grant any stay sought by the Odisha government on the seven small dams across Mahanadi River, which flows through Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Odisha before pouring into the Bay of Bengal. - The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued a notice to the Odisha government and the Centre on a media report that a large number of government-run primary and upper primary schools have been closed in the state due to less number of students. - India will host the Ministerial Meeting of International Energy Forum in New Delhi from April 10 to April 12, 2018. The International Energy Forum (IEF), with a membership of 71 countries (both producers and consumers), is the most representative international organization in the field of oil and gas. - The 2018 ICC Women’s World Twenty20 will be hosted by West Indies from November 9 to November 24, 2018. - India and World Bank on January 22, 2018 signed USD 120 million loan agreement to improve water supply services in peri-urban areas of Uttarakhand. The Uttarakhand Water Supply Program for Peri-Urban Areas will help the state in increasing water supply coverage as well as ensure sustainable water supply service delivery in peri-urban areas. - National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) has partnered with UAE-based DP World to create an investment platform for ports, terminals, transportation and logistics businesses in India. - Former football star George Weah was sworn in as President of Liberia on 22 January 2018, completing the country's first transition between democratically-elected leaders in three generations. - Ashok Lavasa on January 23, 2018 assumed charge as the Election Commissioner (EC) of India. He was appointed to the post by President Ram Nath Kovind on January 21, 2018. Lavasa succeeds Om Prakash Rawat, who was elevated as the Chief Election Commissioner. The third member of the top election body is Election Commissioner Sunil Arora. - The 8th National Voters' day was observed across India on January 25, 2018 with an aim to increase enrolment of voters, especially of the newly eligible ones. This was the eighth edition of the Day. The day also aims to spread awareness among voters regarding effective participation in the electoral process. - Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palanichamy received UNESCO Award of Merit for iconic Srirangam Ranganathaswamy temple in Tiruchirapalli. The award of merit was awarded by UNESCO Asia Pacific region for the reconstruction activities undertaken in the temple without in the least affecting its traditional splendor and Vedic rituals. - Dilip Chenoy was appointed as the new Director General (DG) of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI). - As part of the 2018 Republic Day celebrations, cultural extravaganza Bharat Parv will be organized by the Union Ministry of Tourism at the Red Fort in Delhi from January 26 to 31, 2018. The prime objective of the 3-day event is to generate a patriotic mood, promote the rich cultural diversity of the country and to ensure wider participation of the general public. - India ranked 177th among 180 countries on the Environmental Performance Index (EPI) 2018, released by Yale and Columbia Universities along with the World Economic Forum on January 24, 2018. The report was released during the ongoing World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. - The Maharashtra government has banned the sale of tobacco in shops selling Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) items in the state. - The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has stated that India is projected to grow at 7.4 per cent in 2018, surpassing China, which is expected to grow at 6.8 per cent. This would make India the fastest growing country among the emerging economies. - A group of scientists have found a small population of fish that "walk" along the seabed off Australia's south coast in Tasmania. The Red Handfish (Thymichthys politus) is found only in southeastern Tasmania, an isolated island state. - India and Vietnam on January 24, 2018 exchanged Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) for cooperation in the field of Information and Broadcasting and space. - The British government has handed out $1 million for research that uses satellites to identify deposits of minerals, including battery metal lithium, as part of efforts to bolster the economy after the exit from the European Union. The project is named Satellite Applications Catapult. - The National Girl Child Day was observed across India on January 24, 2018. The day is celebrated to increase the awareness among people about all the inequalities faced by the girl child in the society. It also aims to highlight the importance of education, nutrition, legal rights, medical care and safety of girl children. - The state government of Haryana has announced that it would be installing 10 lakh smart meters in the state to solve various complications faced by the power distribution sector. - The Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Jai Ram Thakur has launched the ‘Shakti’ app for women’s safety in the state. - Former Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been nominated for Padma Bhushan award 2018, the third-highest civilian award. President Ram Nath Kovind would be conferring the award to the cricketer and other 84 awardees. - The Mathrubhumi International Festival of Letters, one of the largest and most polyphonic cultural events would begin in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala from February 2, 2018. The event would witness participation from over 150 writers from both India and abroad. - President Ram Nath Kovind launched the Pulse Polio programme for 2018 by administering polio drops to children less than five years old, at the Rashtrapati Bhawan on January 27, 2018. More than 17 crore children of less than five years across the country will be given polio drops as part of the drive of Government of India to sustain polio eradication from the country. - Kolkata has become the first Indian metropolitan city to get a floating market. The market is located on a water body with boats doubling up as shops. It was inaugurated by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on January 24, 2018. - The Assam Assembly will introduce digital budget in its next session, doing away with the traditional printed booklet form practice. Apart from digital budget, the Assembly session will also see exclusive 'Members Hour', a year-long calendar, 'Best Legislator Award', setting up of a Pay Commission for MLAs' salary and fellowships for research work on history of the Assembly. - The United States has announced that it is lifting its ban on refugees from 11, which it had earlier termed high-risk countries. - India and Lao PDR have signed civil aviation cooperation agreement for providing SkyRev360, a comprehensive e-data gathering, invoicing and collection system. SkyRev360 is fully automated and comprehensive data gathering invoicing and collection service system, which has been developed in collaboration with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) under Indian government’s Make in India initiative. - The state government of Punjab has launched Mahatma Gandhi Sarbat Vikas Yojna (MGSVY) for the welfare of the downtrodden citizens across the state. This scheme’s main objective is to identify poor and distressed households that have been deprived of the benefits of the various welfare schemes launched by state government. - The World Leprosy Day was observed across the globe on January 28, 2018. The day is observed internationally every year on the last Sunday of January month to raise global awareness of Leprosy. The observance aims to achieve the target of zero cases of leprosy-related disabilities in children. - Legendary playback singer Asha Bhosle has been chosen for fifth edition of Yash Chopra Memorial Award for her outstanding contribution to the Hindi film industry. She will be presented with award in February 2018 by Maharashtra Governor C Vidyasagar Rao. - Himachal Pradesh Government has launched Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) project to promote organic farming. ZBNF is a set of natural farming methods where cost of growing and harvesting plants is zero. The project aims to increase agriculture produce and the income of farmers by the year 2022. - The three Municipal Corporations of Delhi have jointly brought out a mobile application called Mobile App 311 to enhance engagement of citizens in resolution of grievances and improvement of civic services in the city. - The National Human Rights Commission has issued notices to the Union Home Secretary and Chief Secretaries of all states and union territories over the health hazard faced by traffic police personnel due to high air pollution. - China's Ministry of Transport is planning to establish a laboratory specialising in treating oil spills at sea, the first of its kind in the country. The nation has been spending around 200 million yuan a year on researches for emergency treatment of oil spills but the technological expertise has not been widely applied because of lack of such a lab. - The new Economic survey of 2017-18 reveals that there has been a 50 per cent increase in unique taxpayers under the GST in comparison with the pre-GST system and also a boost in exports of ready-made garments. It states that there has been a large increase in registered indirect and direct taxpayers. - The state government of Uttar Pradesh has said that it would provide employment on compassionate grounds to the dependants of the martyred Jawans of armed forces and Central Para Military forces who had a domicile of origin in Uttar Pradesh. - In a rare celestial occurrence, people around the world would be able to witness a total lunar eclipse and a super blue moon today, January 31, 2018. The celestial event is a rare lunar trifecta where three particular events are colliding including total lunar eclipse (blood moon), blue moon and the super moon phenomena. - The state government of Maharashtra on January 30, 2017 approved a proposal to provide sanitary napkins at a subsidised rate of Rs 5 to women living in rural areas. - The anti-Leprosy Day was observed across the nation on January 30, 2018. The day is observed every year on the Martyrdom Day of Mahatma Gandhi, remembering his selfless efforts and care for the people affected by leprosy. The observance aims to make people aware of the real need to fight the infectious disease. - The Indian Parliamentary Group (IPG) on January 29, 2018 decided to confer Outstanding Parliamentarian Awards to five Members of Parliament. The award is conferred to an outstanding sitting Member of Parliament after considering his/her overall contribution to the house. The award for the year 2017 went to Bhartruhari Mahatab, a Lok Sabha MP. - The Indian Parliamentary Group (IPG) decided to confer Outstanding Parliamentary Awards on five members of parliament. For the year 2017, it has been awarded to Bhartruhari Mahatab (BJD’s Lok Sabha MP). For 2016, it has been awarded to Dinesh Trivedi (TMC’s Lok Sabha MP) and for the year 2015, it has been awarded to Ghulam Nabi Azad (Leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha). Hukumdev Narayan Yadav (BJPs Lok Sabha MP) has been awarded for the year 2014 and Najma Heptulla (Manipur Governor) has been awarded for the year 2013. - The Syrian National Dialogue Congress began on January 29, 2018 in the Russian city Sochi. The first Syrian peace talks have been sponsored by Russia, Iran, and Turkey. The main aim of the congress is to bring Syria closer to creating a post-war constitution. - VINBAX is the first Military Exercise between Indian and Vietnamese armies. - Vikram Singh Sisodia, the joint secretary of Indian Olympic Association (IOA), was appointed the Chef-de-Mission for the 21st Commonwealth Games 2018. - The Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeITY) launched “Stree Swabhiman” initiative. The aim of the initiative is to create a sustainable model for providing adolescent girls and women an access to affordable sanitary products by leveraging Common Services Centres (CSCs).