✔ UIDAI introduces ‘Virtual ID’ for Aadhaar cardholders to address privacy concerns
In a bid to address privacy concerns, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) on Wednesday introduced a ‘Virtual ID’, which Aadhaar cardholders can generate from its website and use for various purposes, including SIM verification, instead of sharing the actual 12-digit biometric ID.
This will give the users the option of not sharing their Aadhaar number at the time of authentication.
✔ Government eases norms for FDI in single brand retail, construction, civil aviation
The Union government on Wednesday liberalised and simplified the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) regime in a host of sectors, including Single Brand Retail Trading (SBRT), civil aviation (aimed at facilitating Air India’s divestment), construction development, power exchanges, pharmaceuticals and audit firms.
✔ Supreme Court to form its own special team to probe 186 anti-Sikh riots cases
In a relief to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots victims, the Supreme Court on Wednesday decided to set up its own three-member special investigation team (SIT) to probe 186 cases not investigated further by the Union government’s SIT.
A Bench led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra said the three-member SIT would be headed by a former High Court judge and have a former IPS officer not below or who is equivalent to the rank of an IG and a serving IPS officer, all available in Delhi.
✔ Link your country’s priorities with development, Ram Nath Kovind tells PIO lawmakers
President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday asked parliamentarians of Indian origin to link the priorities of their countries with India’s development and see how the two can intersect.
Addressing the inaugural session of the international conference of PIO (persons of Indian origin) Parliamentarians in New Delhi, the President said India offers opportunities for huge investment, trade and development.
✔ K. Sivan named new ISRO chairman
The government on Wednesday appointed renowned scientist K. Sivan as the chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to replace of A.S. Kiran Kumar.
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet approved his appointment as secretary, Department of Space and chairman of Space Commission for a tenure of three years, an order issued by the personnel ministry said.
✔ Pakistani journalist escapes abduction bid in Islamabad
Unknown men on Wednesday tried to kidnap journalist Taha Siddiqui, known for his critical views on the powerful Pakistan military, when he was on his way to the Islamabad airport to board a flight to London. Taha received minor injuries as he resisted and his phone was snatched.
✔ Judge blocks Trump decision to end programme protecting young immigrants from deportation
A judge on Tuesday night temporarily blocked the United States government’s decision to end a programme protecting young immigrants from deportation.
U.S. District Judge William Alsup granted a request by California and other plaintiffs to prevent President Donald Trump from ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programme while their lawsuits play out in court.
✔ ‘Agnyaathavaasi’ review: Did they have a plan B?
‘Agnyaathavaasi’ is incoherent and a huge letdown
✔ Mithali to lead, teenager Jemimah in Indian team to South Africa
Seventeen-year-old Mumbai school girl Jemimah Rodrigues became one of the youngest to be selected in the Indian women cricket team that will travel to South Africa for a three-match away ODI series next month.
Mithali Raj had made her debut as a 16-year-old.
✔ Why were prime numbers in the news recently?
Last week, a very big number – over 23 million digits long – became the “largest known prime number.”
The number, 2-1, was discovered using a software called GIMPS, which allows volunteers to search for Mersenne prime numbers (more on that below). Jonathan Pace, a volunteer from Tennessee, made the discovery on December 26, and it was further confirmed using four different programs on four different hardware.