Digest year-ender for domestic stories for month of January, 2018

New Delhi, Dec 31 (PTI) Assembly elections in nine states, loss of hundreds of lives in Kerala caused by flood and rains, and a number of major bank frauds made the headlines in the year 2018.The Supreme Court delivered some pathbreaking judgements this year including decriminalising homosexuality, lifting Sabarimala temple's ban on women devotee, and invalidating Aadhaar for bank services as well as to avail new mobile connections.While sexual harrasment allegations against some of the most prominent names from media, art, and film world gave a renewed push to India's #MeToo movement this year, the country also came together to mourn the deaths of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Bollywood celebrities including Sridevi, Shashi Kapoor, Vinod Khanna, and Mrinal Sen among others.Following is the diary of domestic events in the month of January:Jan 1: New Delhi/Islamabad: India awaits consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav and other Indian nationals in Pakistan's custody, the external affairs ministry said today, as it exchanged with Islamabad the list of civilian prisoners and fishermen lodged in each other's jails. Jan 2: New Delhi: Rajinder Khanna, former chief of the country's external intelligence agency RAW, was today appointed as Deputy National Security Adviser, according to an official order.Jan 3: New Delhi: The Railways has said Aadhaar is not compulsory for booking tickets for rail journey, but it is encouraged by the transport behemoth by promoting it on a voluntary basis by incentivising it.Jan 4: Guwahati/Kolkata: The Assam Police today registered an FIR against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on complaints over her allegation that the Centre was conspiring to drive Bengalis out of Assam with the state's National Register of Citizens (NRC) that is being updated.Jan 5: New Delhi: The Congress today held the BJP responsible for the impasse in the Rajya Sabha due to which the triple talaq bill could not be taken up, and accused the ruling party of trying to use Parliament as a "rubber stamp".Jan 6: Ranchi: A special CBI court today sentenced RJD chief Lalu Prasad to three-and-a-half years in jail and imposed a fine of Rs 10 lakh on him in a fodder scam case relating to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 89.27 lakh from the Deoghar Treasury 21 years ago.Jan 7: New Delhi: The electoral bonds mechanism is a substantial improvement in transparency over the present system and the government is open to suggestions to further cleanse political funding, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said today.Jan 8: New Delhi: The Supreme Court today agreed to reconsider its 2013 verdict criminalising gay sex and referred to a larger bench the plea challenging the colonial penal provision, observing societal morality "changes from age to age."Jan 9: New Delhi: Reversing its order, the Supreme Court today held that playing of national anthem in cinema halls before screening of films is no longer mandatory and left it to a government panel to frame guidelines on this sensitive matter.Jan 10: New Delhi: In big bang reforms ahead of BJP government's last full Budget, foreign airlines were today allowed to buy up to 49 per cent stake in Air India while easing FDI rules for several sectors including single brand retail and construction.Jan 11: New Delhi: The Income Tax Department seizes gold jewellery, bullion and cash valued at more than Rs 20 crore as part of its anti-black money drive against illegal private vaults operating in the national capital.Jan 12: New Delhi: Warning that democracy is at stake, four senior judges of the Supreme Court mount a virtual revolt against the country's chief justice, raising questions on "selective" case allocation and certain judicial orders, sending shockwaves across the judiciary and polity.Jan 13: New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) today conducted searches at ten premises linked to Karti Chidambaram, including the residence of his father and Congress leader P Chidambaram in Delhi, in connection with its money laundering probe in the Aircel-Maxis case.Jan 14: New Delhi: The government is planning to raise 15 new battalions in the country's two important border guarding forces -- the BSF and the ITBP -- to fortify defence along the strategic frontiers with Pakistan, Bangladesh and China. Jan 15: New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu today held "wide-ranging and intensive" talks to bolster cooperation in key areas such as defence and counter-terrorism.Jan 16: New Delhi: There will be no subsidy for Haj from this year and the funds saved will be used for providing education to minorities, Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said today, while projecting the move as an effort by the government to "empower minorities" without appeasement.Jan 17: Chennai: Amid hype over their political entry, the Tamil film industry's top two actors, Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan, today shared the dais at a function here with the former saying only time will tell whether he will forge an alliance with the latter, who seconded the view.Jan 18: Balasore (Odisha): India successfully test-fires its nuclear capable surface-to-surface ballistic missile Agni-5 - the most advanced missile in the Agni series with a strike range of over 5000 km -- from a test range off Odisha coast.Jan 19: New Delhi: In a blow to Delhi's ruling Aam Admi Party, the Election Commission recommends to the President the disqualification of 20 of its MLAs for holding office of profit, setting the stage for their ouster from thes Assembly.Jan 20: New Delhi, Jan 20 (PTI) The tragic fire accident in Delhi's Bawana area tonight also assumed political hues, as several leaders from the BJP, visited the site, even as Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh each to the family of the deceased. Jan 21: New Delhi, Jan 21 (PTI) Six months into the rollout and after dozens of changes, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said he is open to more changes in the GST to plug loopholes and make it a more efficient tax. Jan 22: Lucknow, Jan 22 (PTI) Ahead of the release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's 'Padmaavat' on January 25, leaders of the Shree Rajput Karni Sena met Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath today and demanded a ban on the film in the state. Jan 23: Mumbai, Jan 23 (PTI) The Shiv Sena said today it will have no truck with ally BJP in the 2019 Maharashtra Assembly and Lok Sabha polls, but was silent about its continuance in the governments at the Centre and in the state, drawing ridicule from the Congress which dubbed the announcement as "laughable". Jan 24: New Delhi, Jan 24 (PTI) Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Myanmar's State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and Singaporean Premier Lee Hsien Loong were among the nine ASEAN leaders who arrived here today, a day ahead of the India-ASEAN summit. Jan 25: New Delhi, Jan 25 (PTI) Former India cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and multiple world champion cueist Pankaj Advani were today conferred with the country's third-highest civilian award, Padma Bhushan. Jan 26: New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today held bilateral talks with his Malaysian counterpart Nazib Razak, focusing on ways to enhance counter-terror cooperation and boost ties in areas of defence, trade and investment. Jan 27: Kasganj (UP): At least three shops, two private buses and a car were torched on the second day of violence in Uttar Pradesh's Kasganj city today, police said, after a young boy was killed in clashes following stone-pelting on a motorcycle rally taken out to celebrate the Republic Day.Jan 28: New Delhi: Seasoned diplomat Vijay Keshav Gokhale, who played a key role in resolving the Doklam standoff with China, will take charge as the next foreign secretary tomorrow,succeeding S Jaishankar.Jan 29: New Delhi: The Goods and Services Tax (GST) implementation has increased indirect taxpayer base by more than 50 per cent with 34 lakh businesses coming into the tax net, the Economic Survey said today.Jan 30: New Delhi: After months of snipping at the BJP, a disgruntled Yashwant Sinha today launched a political platform, joined by a number of politicians led by BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha.Jan 31: Lucknow: The prime accused in the murder of Chandan Gupta in Kasganj was arrested today as the strife-torn western Uttar Pradesh town, hit by communal clashes last week, moved towards normalcy despite tension in some pockets, officials said. MAHMAH