CBI Dispute: Alok Verma resigns after PM Modi-led panel removed him as CBI Chief
The sacked CBI Chief, Alok Verma on January 11, 2019 announced his resignation from service, refusing to take charge of the new role as DG, Fire Services. The move comes a day after a high-powered selection committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi removed him from the post of CBI Director in a 2:1 vote, less than 48 hours after he was reinstated to the position by the Supreme Court after he was sent on forced leave by the government.
The selection panel removed Verma from the post over charges of corruption and doubtful integrity as per the findings of the Central Vigilance Commission. There were eight counts of charges against him in the CVC report presented before the Committee. This makes him the first chief in the history of CBI to be ousted from the post.
Environment Ministry launches National Clean Air Programme
The Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr Harsh Vardhan on January 10, 2019 launched the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP), a time-bound national level strategy for pan India implementation to tackle the increasing air pollution problem across the country in a comprehensive manner.
The main objective of the programme is comprehensive mitigation actions for prevention, control and abatement of air pollution besides augmenting the air quality monitoring network across the country and strengthening the awareness and capacity building activities.
Top Cabinet Approvals: 11 January 2019
The Union Cabinet on January 10, 2019 approved the establishment of three more All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to boost healthcare infrastructure in the country.
Among them, while two will be set up in Jammu and Kashmir's Samba and Pulwama districts, the third AIIMS will be set up in Rajkot, Gujarat. These institutes will be set up under Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY).
The establishment of the new institutes involve the creation of hospital, teaching block for medical and nursing courses, residential complex and allied facilities and services, broadly on the pattern of AIIMS, New Delhi and other six new AIIMS taken up under Phase-I of PMSSY.
First manned mission to space by December 2021: ISRO
ISRO announced on January 11, 2019 that it is well prepared to meet the targets of launching Gaganyaan manned mission to outer space by December 2021.
Addressing a press conference, ISRO Chairman Dr K Sivan said that a human space centre has been set up for the mission. Under the Gaganyaan project, India is planning to send three astronauts to outer space for seven days and bring them back.
Speaking on other missions, the Chairman said that 332 launches are planned in 2019, the most important being the Chandrayaaan -2 mission to the moon in mid-April. ISRO is also conceiving a mission to Venus by 2023.
Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has said that food businesses would need to comply with new packaging regulations that bar use of recycled plastics and newspapers to wrap food articles by July 1, 2019.
In a release January 10, FSSAI CEO Pawan Agarwal said the new packaging regulations would raise the bar of food safety in India to the next level. The new regulations prohibit packaging material made of recycled plastics including carry bags for packaging, storing, carrying or dispensing articles of food.