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All India Radio News Summary: 20 JANUARY 2018

All India Radio News Summary: 20 JANUARY 2018

  1. India urges UN Security Council to focus on eliminating terrorist safe havens in Pakistan

India has urged the UN Security Council to focus on eliminating terrorist safe havens in Pakistan and accused Islamabad of differentiating between good and bad terrorists.

Indian Ambassador to the UN was addressing the UN Security Council during a special ministerial meeting on Afghanistan.  He said,

  • Support for voices of peace in Afghanistan alone is not enough; the United Nations must focus on addressing the challenges posed by cross border terrorism emanating from safe havens and sanctuaries to our region and especially to Afghanistan.
  • Terrorism and externally-induced instability pose the gravest threat to Afghanistan’s peace, stability and prosperity.
  • It is India’s vision that Afghanistan regains its place and New Delhi remains committed to work closely with its regional and international partners to bring peace, security, stability and prosperity in Afghanistan.


  1. US government shuts down for the first time in five years after lawmakers failed to agree on a spending bill.

The US government has begun a federal shutdown after the Senate failed to agree on a new budget. The bill to fund the government until 16 February did not receive the required 60 votes in the Senate, despite last minute bipartisan meetings. The House of Representatives voted 230-197 on Thursday night to extend funding until next month, but the measure failed to pass the Senate.

  • The shutdown comes exactly a year after Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the country.
  • Democratic leaders demanded that the measure include protections for about 700,000 undocumented immigrants from deportation who arrived in US as children.
  • However, the White House said in a statement that administration will not negotiate the status of unlawful immigrants. 
  • The effect of the shutdown would be felt most from Monday when the federal government employees would not be able to join for their work and be forced to stay at home without pay.
  • But, essential services like national security, post, air traffic control, inpatient and emergency outpatient medical services, disaster assistance etc. will continue. 


  1. The five-day Ramayana festival with the ASEAN nations will begin in Delhi

Troupes from ASEAN countries will display the shared heritage also at Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Ayodhya and Kolkata. 

  • Cultural groups from the 10 member-nations of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations will stage musicals and plays based on the epic at the festival celebrating the India-ASEAN dialogue.
  • The festival seeks to highlight the common cultural heritage and India’s friendship with ASEAN nations.
  • This festival celebrates India’s deep civilizational and historical relations with the ASEAN region.
  • An important part of a series of events to commemorate 25 years of India-ASEAN relations, the Festival is a fitting prelude to the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit on 25th January.


  1. TRAI has recommended allowing mobile and Internet services for passengers during air travel in the country

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, TRAI has recommended allowing mobile and Internet services for passengers during air travel in the country through both satellite and terrestrial network.

  • In its recommendation, the authority said Internet and Mobile Communication on Aircraft service should be permitted as In-Flight Connectivity in the Indian airspace.
  • The Department of Telecom had sought views of the TRAI in August last year over the proposal to introduce voice, data and video services over Indian airspace for domestic, international and overflying flights.
  • TRAI said, for mobile services, there should be flexibility to In-Flight Connectivity service providers in terms of use of technology and frequencies inside the aircraft cabin that should be consistent with international standards.
  • The authority also recommended that the operation of Mobile Communication on Aircraft services should be permitted with minimum height restriction of three thousand metres in Indian airspace for its compatibility with terrestrial mobile networks.
  • The regulator said, Internet services through Wi-Fi on-board should be made available when electronic devices are permitted to be used only in-flight or airplane mode.


  1. President felicitates women achievers at Rashtrapati Bhavan

President felicitated exceptional women achievers who are the first to set a milestone in their respective fields at Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi.

President said,

  • Women of the country can strengthen and develop rural India.
  • Women in India are breaking traditional barriers and growing day-by-day. Women have to become an inspiration for the rest of the world.
  • In India, women are now flying fighter planes and they are progressing despite several challenges.
  • The development of females will only decide the fate of India. He said, several schemes have been started by the government including Jan Dhan Yojana for the empowerment of women.
  • Violence against women is a major concern and the government and society should find ways to deal with this. Advocating equal rights for women, he said, they have to be empowered for overall development of the country.

Over 100 women were selected after an extensive research process by the Women and Child Development Ministry.

The women, who have been felicitated, are those who have been the first in any field like the first woman judge, first woman porter, and first woman to head a missile project, first para-trooper and first Olympian.


  1. Protocol for Star Rating of Garbage-free Cities is launched in Panaji

Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs and Goa Chief Minister launched the Protocol for Star Rating of Garbage-free Cities in Panaji.

  • The initiative under Swachh Bharat Mission – Urban, will rate Indian cities on a 7-star rating system based on multiple cleanliness indicators for solid waste management.
  • The rating protocol provides a single metric to rate a city’s cleanliness rather than separately evaluating multiple factors that contribute to its overall cleanliness and garbage-free status.
  • The initiative was launched from Goa because the state has made impressive strides under the Swachh Bharat Mission.


  1. The rural sanitation coverage has reached up to 76 per cent from 39 per cent

The rural sanitation coverage has reached up to 76 per cent from 39 per cent in October 2014 when the Swachh Bharat Mission was launched.

  • Three lakh villages, 300 districts and 10 States and Union Territories have been declared Open Defecation Free so far.
  • In the workshop, the States shared their plans on achieving an Open Defecation Free status this year, with a strong focus on behaviour change communication


  1. The  International Monetary Fund and World Bank have commended the Reserve Bank of India for its remarkable progress in strengthening banking supervision.

The IMF and World Bank released two separate Reports of the 2017 India Financial Sector Assessment Programme (FSAP) in December last year in which they said, the regulation by the Central bank has improved in recent years.

In continuation, the IMF and the World Bank yesterday released two detailed assessment reports relating to the 2017 India FSAP.