The year 2017 was an exciting one for India, with some top achievements in diverse spheres ranging from development, the sporting arena and space as well as defence technology. New Year 2018 promises to be no different. Several landmark events are scheduled for the year, including progammes that will further boost India’s infrastructure. There are some interesting developments to watch out for in technology, sports and politics.
Here is what you should know about what to expect in New Year 2018
- Leaders of all 10 ASEAN countries will attend the Republic Day parade in New Delhi on 26 January as chief guests. US Former President Barack Obama is among world leaders who have attended the event in the recent past. ASEAN, or the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, includes countries like Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia.
- India’s second mission to the moon, Chandrayaan 2 is scheduled for a launch in mid-2018. This includes an Orbiter, Lander and Rover. After reaching the 100 km lunar orbit, the Lander housing the Rover will separate from the Orbiter. The Lander will then land on the moon’s surface and deploy a six-wheeled Rover which will gather information about the moon. Success of the mission will add another feather in the cap for India’s space programme.
- The number of smartphone users in India is expected to cross the 500 million mark during 2018. India will be second only to China and ahead of the United States in this regard, a study by US-based media agency Zenith has projected.
- India’s performance in the 2018 ICC U-19 World Cup will be followed very closely. Earlier editions of the tournament have seen the emergence of the likes of Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan. The Indian team for the tournament to be held in Australia and New Zealand in January-February will be led by young batting sensation Prithvi Shaw.
- A 10% hike in salaries is projected for 2018, the highest in the Asia Pacific region. The highest projected salary increase will be in the energy, FMCG and retail sectors, a report by global advisory Willis Towers Watson has said.
- Indian Railways is expected to roll out the first indigenous, semi-high speed self-propelled train set by the end of 2018. To be manufactured under the Train-2018 project, these 16-coach train sets, much like the locomotive-less metro trains that run in Delhi and other cities, will run at a maximum speed of 160 kmph.
- The Supreme Court will begin final hearing in the Ram-Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute case. The apex court will take up appeals against the 2010 Allahabad High Court order on 8 February, it ruled on 5 December, a day before the 25th anniversary of the structure’s demolition. The High Court had ruled a three-way split of the disputed area between Ram Lalla, the All India Sunni Waqf Board and the Nirmohi Akhara.
- India is expected to deploy its Advanced Air Defence System (AADS) to protect important locations and installations during New Year 2018. It completed its fourth successful test off the coast of Odisha last Thursday.
- The 2018 Assembly elections are due in eight states, including Karnataka, Rajasthan and Chhattigarh. The states of Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh will also go to the assembly polls in what will be final test of strength before the 2019 Parliament elections.
- India’s most ambitious highway project is scheduled to commence by December 2018. This includes the first phase of the Bharatmala Pariyojana which will see economic corridors, improvement of the existing national corridor and international connectivity.