1) Planning Commission revamped & named as 'Niti Aayog': NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India) will replace the Planning Commission, which was established in 1950. The Prime Minister will be the chairperson of the panel. NITI Aayog to have a governing council comprising all chief ministers and lieutenant governors. In his Independence Day address to the nation, PM had announced his govt's intent to set up a new body. The body will be headed by the prime minister and comprise a vice-chairperson, besides full-time and part-time members. Aside from that, it will have up to four members of the council of ministers and a chief executive officer of secretary rank.
2) Realtime monitoring system of toilets soon: A nationwide "realtime monitoring" system of toilets constructed under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan will be active soon. The system, aimed at attaining a 100 per cent 'Open Defecation Free India by 2019', is expected to give a big push to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ambitious Clean India campaign, an official release said. People across the country will be mobilised to check and verify the use of toilets in the rural areas through mobile phones, tablets or iPads and upload the same in case of any discrepancy on the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation website in tune with online citizen monitoring.
3) IRDA renamed to Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India: Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) was renamed as Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India on 30 December 2014. The change in name came in to effect after the promulgation of Insurance Laws (Amendment) Ordinance, 2014, by the President of India on 26 December 2014.
4) A K Mittal appointed railway board chairman: A K Mittal has been appointed new chairman, railways board. He emerged on top superseding V K Gupta, member (engineering) who was eyeing the highest post in railways. Sources said that the selection was made on the basis of criteria of efficiency and probity. In a rare exercise, railways made a record 11 appointments including chairman of railway board and eight general managers in a day. Mittal, who was member (staff), has succeeded Arunendra Kumar, whose appointment as well as entire tenure was mired in lot of controversies.
5) Home Minister launched integrated women safety app ‘Himmat’: 'Himmat', a mobile application of Delhi Police that will allow women to send a distress call to Police Control Room and their relatives in case of any emergency, was launched in New Delhi on 1 January 2015 by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. The app will basically cater to employed women who have smartphones and travel alone even late in the night.
6) Maharashtra launched online RTI application filing facility: The Maharashtra government on 1 January 2015 launched an online facility for making application under the Right to Information Act. The website (www.rtionline.maharashtra.gov.in) received 40 applications on the first day, officials said. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had recently said such a facility would be started from 1st January.
7) Mangalyaan completed 100 Days in Mars orbit: India's maiden mission to Mars, Mangalyaan, on 1 January 2015 successfully completed 100 days in the orbit of the Red planet. Mangalyaan is said to be healthy and collecting scientific data. Mangalyaan had entered Mars orbit on September 24, after completing a 666 million km journey from Earth in more than 10 months, making India the first country in the world to have successfully launched its mission to the Red Planet on the very first attempt.
8) LPG consumers to get cash subsidy in bank accounts henceforth: LPG consumers across the country will henceforth get cash subsidy directly into their bank accounts so that they buy the cooking fuel at market price. Domestic LPG users will get Rs 568 in the bank account the moment they join the Direct Benefit Transfer Scheme for LPG, which has now been renamed PAHAL. They will have to use this money to buy 14.2-kg refill at the market price.
9) Government to launch water conservation initiative soon: The Union Water Resources Ministry will launch a “Hamara Jal, Hamara Jeewan” initiative to be adopted in every district of the country during the India Water Week from January 13 to 17. An official release said Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti announced the initiative during a videoconference with the principal secretaries of the water resources departments of various States on 1 January 2015.
10) Deadline to apply for small, payments bank licences extended: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has extended the deadline for the submission of applications to open small finance banks and payments banks to 2 February from 16 January. RBI also clarified that a minimum capital of Rs.100 crore is must for setting up niche banking entities.
11) Guwahati joined list of big cities; gets Police Commissioner: Assam's capital today joined the league of big cities in the country with adoption of Police Commissionerate system by ending 10-year-old administration of Senior Superintendent of Police.