1) PM Modi Inaugurates Project Commencement of Rajasthan’s first Oil Refinery in Barmer
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated the project commencement of the Rajasthan Refinery at Pachpadra in Barmer district. This is the first oil refinery in the state. The 43,000 crore rupee project is a joint venture between HPCL and the Rajasthan government.
The refinery is expected to be operational in 4 years and the state will have an additional income of 34,000 crore rupees from it. The project is expected to generate thousands of direct and indirect jobs.
2) 65th meeting of Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) held in New Delhi
- 65th meeting of Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) was held in New Delhi on January 15, 2018. CABE is the highest advisory body to advise the Central and State Governments in the field of education.
- While speaking at the meeting, Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Prakash Javadekar stated that Centre and state governments have resolved to identify the number of children out of school in the country. Scheme to identify ‘out of school children’ will start from September, 2018.
- However, sub-committee on out of school children, which will submit its final report on January 31, 2018, has recommended the need to have a standardised definition of out of school children.
3) Indian Oil signs LoI with 2 Israeli Firms
Indian Oil Corporation has signed Letters of Intent (LoI) with Phinergy, an Israeli start-up company, and YEDA, a technology spin-off company from Weizmann Research Institute, Israel.
The agreement with Phinergy will allow Indian Oil to work on adoption of advanced energy systems for the Indian market both for mobility and stationary industrial applications. This association could lead to the setting up of manufacturing units for these energy systems initially in India.
4) Bar Council of India forms 7-member delegation to mediate between Supreme Court judges
- Bar Council of India (BCI) has announced that it has formed a seven-member delegation that will meet honourable judges of the Supreme Court and will try to bridge their differences with the incumbent Chief Justice of India (CJI), Dipak Misra.
- On January 12, 2018, the four senior most judges of Supreme Court – Justices Chelameswar, Madan B Lokur, Ranjan Gogoi and Kurian Josephhad called a press conference and alleged that CJI Dipak Misra has been arbitrarily assigning important cases to benches headed by junior SC judges, ignoring senior ones.
- It was stated that they were forced to hold the press conference as a letter they had sent to the CJI two months ago pointing out mistakes had gone unanswered.
5) DIPP arm Launches Competition for College Students
Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM), under the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), has launched a competition for college and university students to foster a culture of innovation and creativity in theyouth.
The competition – IPrism – invites students to submit films on piracy and counterfeiting under two categories of 30 and 60 seconds. Another category in the competition is for a mobile gaming app on intellectual property (IP). Cash prizes of Rs 4 lakh will be given to the winning teams along with mementos and certificates.
6) BBIN pact: India, Bangladesh, Nepal okay vehicle movement procedure
- On January 15, 2018, Bangladesh, India and Nepal agreed upon operating procedures for trans-border movement of passenger vehicles under Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) motor vehicles agreement.
- BBIN motor vehicles agreement (MVA), aimed to facilitate seamless flow of passenger and cargo traffic in the sub-region was signed by the transport ministers of the BBIN countries in Thimphu, Bhutan on 15 June 2015.However Bhutan did not ratify the same.
- Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has stated that Bangladesh, India and Nepal have agreed on the text of the operating procedures for passenger vehicle movement under the BBIN MVA and will soon complete the internal approval processes for signing of the passenger protocol.
7) India, Israel ink Nine Pacts on Cyber Security, Other Sectors
India and Israel signed nine documents to further the cooperation. These include cooperation in Cybersecurity, cooperation in the field of Petroleum and natural gas, document for the amendment to the air transport agreement, cooperation in film co-production, cooperation in the homoeopathy medicines, co-operation in the field of space science, boosting investment, cooperation in metal-air batteries and cooperation in solar thermal technology.
The documents were signed in the presence of the two prime ministers. The two leaders also addressed a joint press conference.
8) India attends its first SCO military cooperation meeting in Beijing
- On 15th and 16th January 2018, India attended a meeting of the international military cooperation departments of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) for the first time, in Beijing, China.
- India joined Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in 2017. The Indian delegation was led by Major General Ajay Seth.
- Main issues discussed were related to practical cooperation among SCO countries. India and China consider SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organisation) as an important platform to enhance bilateral ties.
9) Exports rise more than 12% Riding on Engineering Goods and Petroleum Products
The Country’s exports grew by 12 point 36 percent in December 2017 to 27 point 03 billion US dollars on account of strong performance by sectors like engineering goods and petroleum products.
According to data released by Ministry of Commerce and Industry, exports have been on a positive trajectory since August 2016 to December 2017 with a dip of 1.1 percent in the month of October last year. Exports of engineering goods as well as petroleum products showed an increase of over 25 percent in December.
10) AB Singh takes over as Chief of Staff Western Naval Command
- On 15th January 2018, Vice Admiral Ajendra Bahadur Singh, AVSM, VSM took charge as Chief of Staff, Western Naval Command.
- Vice Admiral Ajendra Bahadur Singh replaces Vice Admiral Ravneet Singh as Chief of Staff, Western Naval Command.
- Earlier, Vice Admiral AB Singh was the Deputy Commander-in-Chief, Strategic Forces Command.
- He is a specialist in Navigation and Aircraft Direction. He has commanded IN Ships Veer (Missile Vessel), Vindhyagiri (Frigate), Trishul (Guided Missile Frigate) and Viraat (Aircraft Carrier).
11) Khelo India anthem launched by sports minister Rajyavardhan Rathore
Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore made the announcement during the launch of the official anthem and mascot of Khelo India School Games, beginning January 31. “Now when an athlete wins a medal at Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and Olympics, the coach gets incentive.
The video features India’s eminent sports personalities such as Sardar Singh, Sunil Chhetri, Devendra Jhajharia, Baichung Bhutia, Pullela Gopichand, Leander Paes, Mary Kom, Akhil Kumar, Sakshi Malik and Saina Nehwal.