- A visionary in the field of Solar Energy and the chairman of National Solar Energy Federation, Pranav R Mehta, has taken over as the president of Global Solar Council (GSC). He has become the first Indian to head the GSC. The Global Solar Council (GSC) was launched on December 6, 2015, following the historic United Nations Climate Change Conference (UN COP 21). The GSC came into being as International Coalition of more than 30 nations, utilising maximum solar energy, decided to harness the renewable energy for the greater good.
- The All India Radio National Poets Conference will be held in Chennai on January 10, 2019. It will be inaugurated by the Tamil Nadu Governor Bunwarilal Purohit. This is the first time the city would be hosting the Sarva Basha Kavi Sammelan since its launch in 1956. In it, 22 poets representing as many languages included in the eighth schedule of the Constitution would be presenting their poems. Scholars in Hindi and Tamil will present the translated version of the poems in the Conference itself. The programme will be aired on the 25th of this month.
- The Group of States' Finance Ministers (GoFM) led by Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar, Sushil Kumar Modi approved levy of 1%'calamity cess' by Kerala for a period of two years to fund rehabilitation work in the state of Kerala. It will recommend the same to the GST council meeting which will be held in January 10, 2019. The goods and services, which will attract the 1% cess, would be decided by Kerala and any other state considering to do the same would have to approach the council. It also suggested the GST council to allow additional borrowing over the permitted limit by states hit by natural calamity.
- The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi cleared the redrafted Citizenship Amendment Bill thus providing Indian citizenship to non-Muslims from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan. First introduced in Parliament in 2016, the bill seeks to amend the Citizenship Act 1955. It enables grant of Indian nationality to people from minority communities - Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians- from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan after six years of residence in India instead of 12 even if they don't possess any proper document. This would, however, nullify the 1985 Assam Accord under which any foreign national, irrespective of religion, who had entered the state after 1971 should be deported.
- The North Central Railway, (NCR) launched a mobile application the 'Rail Kumbh Seva Mobile App' to help navigate the attendees of the Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj city from January 15- March 4, 2019. It will also provide information regarding all the 'Mela special' trains that will be run during the period. The app will provide a link to the user to buy both unreserved and reserved train tickets. Also, the users will not only get to know their current location, but will also be able to reach to all railway stations, the mela zone, major hotels, bus stations and other facilities within Prayagraj. A photo gallery, containing pictures of previous Kumbh Melas can also be accessed through the app.
- An MoU was signed between the Indian Army and Punjab National Bank on the Defence Salary Package. The signing ceremony was chaired by the Adjutant General, Lt Gen Ashwani Kumar. Salient features of the improved and updated MoU are free 'RAKSHAK PLUS' Scheme for serving pers and veterans, overdraft facility range from Rs 0.75 to 3.0 lakhs, multicity 'At Par' cheques, instant credit of outstation cheques, preferential allotment of lockers at concessional AMC and free SMS alerts.
- Airport Authority of India (AAI) banned single-use plastic items at 16 airports. This entails air travellers not getting any single-use plastic items like straws, plastic cutlery and plastic plates etc at passenger terminals and city side. The 16 airports declared as single-use plastic free are: Indore, Bhopal, Ahmedabad, Bhubaneswar, Tirupati, Trichy, Vijayawada, Dehradun, Chandigarh, Vadodara, Madurai, Raipur, Vizag, Pune, Kolkata and Varanasi. The first batch of 16 airports was selected on the basis of third-party assessment carried out by Quality Council of India.
- S. Vijay Kumar, Senior Deputy Editor with The Hindu in Chennai, was presented the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Award for Investigative Reporting (Print category) for his reports on how taxmen alerted officials about payoffs in the Tamil Nadu gutka scam - but were ignored. The award was presented by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh at a ceremony in New Delhi on January 7. The award for Investigative Reporting in the broadcast category was won by Anand Kumar Patel of India Today TV. The awards for Political Reporting went to Brajesh Rajput of ABP News Network and Sushant Kumar Singh of the Indian Express. The award in the Environmental Reporting category were presented to Sushil Chandra Bahuguna of NDTV and Sandhya Ravishankar of the online magazine The Wire.