Parliament passes Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill, 2018
The Indian Parliament on January 3, 2018 passed the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill, 2018 that seeks to do away with the no-detention policy in schools.
The motion to pass the bill was accepted by voice vote in the upper house of the Parliament, the Rajya Sabha. Union minister for Human Resources Development Prakash Javadekar’s motion to amend the name of the bill to reflect that it was passed in 2019 was also accepted by voice vote. The Lok Sabha had already passed the bill in July 2018.
Parliament passes National Council for Teacher Education (Amendment) Bill, 2018
The Indian Parliament on January 3, 2019 passed the National Council for Teacher Education (Amendment) Bill, 2018, following the approval of the Rajya Sabha. The Lok Sabha had already passed the Bill on July 23, 2018. The Bill seeks to amend the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) Act, 1993.
The bill aims to grant retrospective recognition to Central and State institutions which had conducted teacher education courses without approval by the Council. This will ensure that the future of about 17 thousand students having degrees from such institutions is secured.
Legendary filmmaker Mrinal Sen passes away at 95
Legendary filmmaker Mrinal Sen passed away on December 30, 2018 in Kolkata, West Bengal after a prolonged battle with age-related ailments. He was 95. He is survived by his son. His wife, actor Geeta Sen, passed away in 2017.
The Padma Bhushan and Dada Saheb Phalke awardee was known primarily for paving the way for the reign of parallel cinema in the country with films such as Ek Din Achanak, Padatik,Mrigaya, Akaler Sandhane, Chorus, Kharij, Kandahar, Bhuwan Shome, Akash Kusum and Calcutta 71.
His demise brings the end of legends of the golden era of Parallel cinema, who crossed boundaries in placing Indian cinema into the global platform.
Veteran Bollywood actor-writer Kader Khan passes away
Veteran Bollywood actor-director and scholar, Kader Khan passed away on January 1, 2019 following a prolonged illness in Toronto, Canada. He was 81. He is survived by his wife Hajra, son Sarfaraz, daughter-in-law, and grandchildren.
He was known for his comic roles in films like Dulhe Raja, Aakhein, Coolie No. 1, Haseena Maan Jayegi, and several others. Despite being an actor, he was also a prolific writer. He wrote the story or dialogues for more than 250 films in Hindi and Urdu, beginning with Randhir Kapoor - Jaya Bhaduri starrer ‘Jawani Diwani’ (1972).
Justice T B N Radhakrishnan sworn in as first Chief Justice of Telangana HC
Justice Thottathil Bhaskaran Nair Radhakrishnan was on January 1, 2018 sworn in as the first Chief Justice of the Telangana High Court.
The oath to the office was administered to Justice Radhakrishnan by Telangana and Andhra Pradesh Governor ESL Narasimhan at a ceremony held at Raj Bhavan. The ceremony was attended by Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and other judges, lawyers and senior government officials. With this, the state of Telangana will have its first independent high court.
Cabinet approves merger of Vijaya Bank, Dena Bank and Bank of Baroda; first-ever three way merger in Indian Banking
The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on January 2, 2019 approved the ‘Scheme of Amalgamation’ for merger of Bank of Baroda, Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank.
The amalgamation will be the first-ever three-way consolidation of banks in India. The merger of Bank of Baroda, Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank was proposed by the Union Finance Ministry on September 17, 2018.
The amalgamated entity will be India's second largest Public Sector Bank and India’s third largest bank with a total business of more than Rs 14.82 lakh crore.
Bill to make marital rape a crime introduced in Lok Sabha
A private bill titled the Women's Sexual, Reproductive and Menstrual Rights Bill 2018 has been introduced in the Lok Sabha by Congress MP Dr Shashi Tharoor. The bill proposes to make marital rape a crime and gives more decisional autonomy to women in termination of pregnancy.
The bill proposes the deletion of exception 2 to Section 375 of Indian Penal Code, which states that sexual intercourse by a man with his own wife is not rape. It also grants women an absolute right to termination of pregnancy where they may terminate pregnancy merely by request until the 12th week of pregnancy.
Five nations assume charge as Non-Permanent Members of UN Security Council
Five nations, namely, Belgium, Dominican Republic, Germany, Indonesia and South Africa assumed the charge as the Non-Permanent Members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
These five countries will hold a two-year term in the Council with effect from January 1, 2019. This will be the Dominican Republic’s first time on the Security Council. The other four countries have previously served on the body.
They will fill the seats vacated by Bolivia, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands and Sweden on December 31, 2018, after serving two-year term on the 15-member Security Council.
Bangladesh Elections 2018: Sheikh Hasina wins third consecutive term as prime minister
Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina secured her third consecutive term and fourth overall with a landslide victory in the nation’s general elections. The results were announced by the Election Commission on December 31, 2018.
Sheikh Hasina’s ruling party Bangladesh Awami League and its allies won 288 of the 299 parliamentary seats contested, surpassing its previous election win when it had won 234 seats. This is an unprecedented feat in the country’s political history as no other leader in Bangladesh has been able to win a third consecutive term.
Smriti Mandhana named ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year
India’s left-handed opener Smriti Mandhana has won the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Award for the ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year. Mandhana was also adjudged as the ICC Women’s ODI Player of the Year. The announcement was made by the International Cricket Council on December 31, 2018.
The 22-year-old, who has also been named in the ICC Women’s ODI Team of the Year and the ICC Women’s T20I Team of the Year, scored 669 runs at an average of 66.90 in 12 ODIs and 622 runs at a strike-rate of 130.67 in 25 T20Is during the voting period, which ran from January 1 to December 31, 2018.
The cricketer had played a crucial role in India’s semi-final appearance at the ICC Women’s World T20 in the West Indies, scoring 178 runs in five matches at a strike-rate of 125.35.