•  The 42nd International Kolkata Book Fair at Central Park, Salt Lake was inaugurated today in presence of Hon’ble Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. The International Kolkata Book Fair will continue from 31st January to 11th February, 2018. Actor Soumitra Chatterjee was felicitated in today's programme for his outstanding contribution to the world of creativity. This year, the theme country is France. Mr Alexander Ziegler, HE Ambassador of France was present on the occasion. The Hon’ble Chief Minister also inaugurated several book stalls including those of the Kolkata Police and the West Bengal Police. Nine books authored by the Hon’ble Chief Minister, including two translated versions in Santali and Hindi of her earlier works were published today from the book fair. With these, the number of books authored by her numbered to 79. The Hon’ble Chief Minister announced that the next Kolkata Book Fair will be inaugurated on 19th January, 2019.
•  Hon’ble Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was present today in the programme ‘Banglar Abas Divas’ organised by the State Government on providing assistance for housing to 5 lakh people in one go at Netaji Indoor Stadium. The Hon’ble Chief Minister informed that assistance to so many people on a single day in the state is a record. She pointed out that the State Government has already provided assistance to more than 25 lakh families in the state to have their own houses over the last 6 years. Due to such performance, Bengal has been among the top states and No 1 in the country in rural housing sector, she informed.
•  On Khadya Sathi Day, Hon’ble Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, in a statement said that introduced by the present Government, this scheme ensures food security for all in Bengal. She stated that nearly 9.5 crore people of the State, which is almost 90% of the population of the State get foodgrains at Rs 2/Kg under Khadya Sathi. The Hon’ble Chief Minister informed that 100% digitization of ration cards of beneficiaries under the scheme has been achieved. She informed that from Jangalmahal to the tea gardens, from Singur to Aila affected areas, all across the state, lakhs and lakhs of families are benefitted under the scheme and do not have to worry about food now. She also stated that a strong network of public distribution and food storage system has been built to support the scheme so that people get the benefits under the scheme on time.
•  The 69th Republic Day celebration was held on Red Road, Kolkata with due honour and dignity. Hon’ble Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and all the Hon’ble Ministers of the State Cabinet were present on the glorious occasion where the Hon’ble Governor unfurled the National Flag. March pasts by defence forces personnels and state police forces added colours to the event. A colourful parade and procession with decorated tableaux portraying the State’s culture and heritage were the highlights of the programme. Various developmental schemes of the State Government were also showcased in the parade. Students from various parts of Bengal took part in the colourful parade. The Hon’ble Chief Minister congratulated members of the Armed Forces, Police, members of Uniformed Services, students, people from all walks of life and even from far flung places, who took part in today’s ceremonial march past and parade and made it such a spectacular show. She thanked the people at large who turned out in huge numbers to witness the celebration and encourage the participants.
•  Hon’ble Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was present today in a government programme involving different stakeholders of Cooperative Sector at Netaji Indoor Stadium. She stressed on the importance of cooperatives in strengthening the rural economy and urged all concerned to come forward and do their best to help the rural sector grow at a faster pace. She said that the Government would give the cooperatives necessary support. A high-power committee headed by Chief Secretary would examine and give recommendations to the government on ways and means to strengthen the cooperative sector, the Hon’ble Chief Minister informed today.
•  Hon’ble Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was present in the ceremony on felicitation and conferment of awards to distinguished sports personalities for outstanding contribution in sports, at Netaji Indoor Stadium today, organised by the Sports Department. Nearly 15,000 clubs are being given financial assistance on the occasion to develop sports infrastructure and encourage sports throughout the state. From today’s programme, Hon’ble Chief Minister announced the Government’s decision of extending health insurance benefits under ‘Swasthya Sathi’ to former players. She said that she wanted the people of the State to excel in sports and bring more honour for the country and the state in the days ahead. She said that the veterans also have a great role to play in encouraging the young generation. She said that the government is committed to extend all assistance for developing sports infrastructure and sports talent in the state.
•  The birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose was celebrated everywhere in befitting manner. Hon’ble Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was present in the state-level programme at Kolkata Maidan. On the occasion, she said that Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose is a National Hero, an epitome of patriotism, selfless service, courage, dignity and dedication. She urged all, including the young generation to take pledge again to work tirelessly for the good our country and the people, on the day of his birth anniversary.
•  Hon’ble Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in a statement said that Swami Vivekananda and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose are national and international icons and she has written a letter to the Hon’ble Prime Minister urging the GOI to declare both their birthdays as (January 12 and January 23) National Holidays.
•  Hon’ble Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was present in the Tele Academy Awards presentation ceremony at Nazrul Mancha today. Initiated by the West Bengal Government in 2014, this award is conferred for outstanding contribution in television industry. On the occasion, the Hon’ble Chief Minister said that the Government is always with the cinema and TV artistes and technicians. She said that the Government has already introduced health insurance benefit for them. Now The Government is extending the coverage amount to extend them more help in times of exigency, she informed. After the award ceremony, a beautiful cultural program was presented by the tele-artistes.
•  The Bengal Global Business Summit, 2018 was inaugurated today at the Biswa Bangla Convention Centre, Kolkata. Business leaders like Mr Mukesh Ambani, Mr L N Mittal, Mr Sajjan Jindal, captains of industries, distinguished invitees from all across the globe are participating in the Summit. The Hon’ble Chief Minister informed that with nine partner countries, 32 countries with big delegations and more than 4000 participants, she was looking forward to the Summit with lots of optimism.
•  Hon’ble Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was present in a government public distribution program at Salboni, Paschim Medinipur today. Government benefits were handed over to thousands of beneficiaries and hundreds of new projects were launched that will give a huge boost to irrigation, infrastructure, road connectivity and overall development of the region.

•   Hon’ble Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was present in the inauguration ceremony of the new 2.4 MTPA Cement Plant of JSW Group at Salboni, Paschim Medinipur today. Noted industrialists, Mr Sajjan Jindal, Mr Parth Jindal, along with their family members and distinguished guests were present on the occasion. The Hon’ble Chief Minister said that in January, 2016, she was present in the commencement of construction ceremony of the plant. Within a very short time, the plant has been commissioned, she said. She wished her best to the Jindal Group, their family members and the local people. She said that it was indeed a very happy occasion on the eve of Bengal Global Business Summit, 2018, starting the next day, January 16, 2018.

•   Hon’ble Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in a statement informed that more than 30 lakh pilgrims took holy dip on the occasion of auspicious Makar Sankranti at Gangasagar this year. She said that it was a tough challenge as, unlike other Melas which are connected by roads and railways, Gangasagar Mela involves pilgrims travelling to the holy island crossing a huge stretch of river. She informed that the entire administration of Government of West Bengal, NGOs, Kapil Muni temple authorities, pilgrims and local people cooperated fully.

•   To mark the beginning of the Bengal Global Business Summit, 2018, captains of industry, eminent leaders, business delegates, distinguished guests from all across the world were present to celebrate a get together at Eco Park today in presence of Hon’ble Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. She said that she was immensely honoured with the positive feelings generated and was looking forward to a very promising and successful Summit ahead.
•  Hon’ble Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was present in the Convocation Ceremony of Calcutta University at Nazrul Mancha today where she was conferred Honorary D.Litt. Being an ex-student of the University, she said that she was deeply touched by the recognition the University gave to her creativity, art, literary activities, social service and public work. She said that the glory and heritage of Calcutta University transcend boundaries. Legends have been associated with the University and its students are spread all over the world, she said. She also said that the Calcutta University was one of the topmost universities in the academic world. She conveyed her greetings and best wishes to the Chancellor, Vice Chancellor, Members of the Syndicate and the Senate, Pro VCs, Deans, Professors, Registrar, Officials and students of Calcutta University.
•  On the occasion of birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, Hon’ble Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced that “Vivek Chetna Utsav” will be celebrated in all the blocks, municipalities and municipal corporations all over the state from 10th to 12th January, 2018, in association with Ramakrishna Math and Mission. Today, the Hon’ble Chief Minister was present in the inaugural ceremony of this important programme at Babughat, Kolkata. She informed that for unity, peace and harmony Swami Vivekananda is the inspiration for the people. She said that through the festival, the Government wants to spread the message of goodwill and brotherhood among all. She also informed that the Government has taken decision to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Swami Vivekananda’s historic address at Chicago in a befitting manner. Around lakh youth will assemble at Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan to celebrate the occasion, she said. After the inaugural programme the Hon’ble Chief Minister spent some moments with Gangasagar pilgrims at Babughat camp.
•  On the second day of her visit to North Bengal, Hon’ble Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was present in a government public distribution program at Shamukpota, Alipurduar today. After creation of the new district of Alipurduar, Hon’ble Chief Minister today inaugurated the new administrative complex of the district, “Dooars Kanya”, which is unique of its kind that will accommodate different departments of the government in one place. A bouquet of new government schemes were also launched from the venue which will give further boost to infrastructure, connectivity, employment and overall development of the region. Government benefits were handed over to thousands of beneficiaries on the occasion.
•  Hon’ble Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was present today in the inauguration ceremony of “Uttarbanga Utsav” at Kanchenjunga Stadium, Siliguri, during her visit to North Bengal. Started by the present government, this unique festival showcases the beauty of North Bengal with its amazing bounty of nature, rich cultural heritage, immense tourism potential and remarkable achievements of the people of the region. The festival will be celebrated across eight North Bengal districts till 14 January. The State’s highest civilian award, “Banga Ratna” were conferred for outstanding contributions in various disciplines on the occasion to Dr Manas Dasgupta (economist from Darjeeling), Dinesh Chandra Roy (researcher on folk culture of the region from Jalpaiguri), Prem Dorejee Bhutia (social worker of Kalimpong), Dr Debkumar Mukherjee (educationist from Cooch Behar), Malin Chandra Das (folk music instrumentalist of Cooch Behar), Prof. Dr. Dilip Kumar Roy (writer from Alipurduar), Prem Bihari Thakur (retired teacher from North Dinajpur), Prof. Tapas Kumar Kundu (researcher on Molecular Biology from South Dinajpur) and Dr Radhagobinda Ghosh (social worker of Malda). Meritorious students were also felicitated for excellent academic performance. On the occasion of the auspicious “Tithi Puja” of Swami Vivekananda, a statue of the great saint installed in Ramakrishna Mission Seva Pratisthan (Sishumangal), Kolkata was unveiled from the “Uttarbanga Utsav” inauguration ceremony today by the Hon’ble Chief Minister through remote control.
•  The own official emblem of the State Government was launched today from a programme at Nabanna, the state headquarters, by Hon’ble Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. On the occasion, the Hon’ble Chief Minister announced that from now on, the new official emblem of the state government will feature on all official stationery and displays of the state government. She said that this historic achievement is indeed a new feather in Bengal’s cap after a long wait of 70 years since independence. She also informed that she had made a small contribution in design of the emblem.

•   Hon’ble Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, in a statement, informed that a section of the press has reported that AADHAAR cards are now easily available from fictitious agencies upon payment of small amounts. She stated that if this was to be true, then this is a huge infringement of individual privacy and data security. She said that from the very beginning, she had been voicing her serious concern over violation of privacy due to AADHAAR and urging to ensure a foolproof mechanism to ensure security of data. She requested all citizens of the country to be more alert and cautious to prevent data theft and violation of privacy.

•   Hon’ble Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee informed that West Bengal has been conferred the Best Performance Award for excellence in e-tender work by Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India. In 2016-17, among 24 participating states, Bengal had awarded almost Rs 36,000 Crore worth of projects through nearly 53,000 e-tenders and secured the top position in the country, she informed. This is yet another reflection of our commitment on transparency, efficiency and good governance, she stated and congratulated all.
•  The annual “Baul and Lok Utsav”, ahead of the famous Joydev Mela, was inaugurated by Hon’ble Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at Joydev-Kenduli in Birbhum today. Thousands of bauls from all over the state were present creating an amazing aura of captivating baul and folk songs and music and echoing the great heritage of folk arts of Bengal. The Hon’ble Chief Minister today laid the foundation stone of “Baul Bitan”, a new facility for baul singers to propagate their practice and tourism destination She also laid the foundation stones for two long-awaited bridges on river Ajoy from the program. The Hon’ble Chief Minister informed that Government has decided to observe the “Makar Sankranti” day every year as “Lok Prasar Shilpi Dibas” to celebrate the glorious place of folk arts in the cultural world of Bengal.
•  Hon’ble Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was present today in a government public distribution program at Ahmedpur, Birbhum today where thousands of beneficiaries received benefits under different government schemes. Several hundred new schemes were launched today that would give infrastructure, tourism, roads, employment generation and overall development of Birbhum a huge boost. The fourth ‘Jangalmahal Utsav’, to be held at Jhargram from 3rd to 10th January, was also inaugurated from today’s occasion. Later, the Hon’ble Chief Minister visited some areas of the district and interacted with the local people.
•  Hon’ble Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee was present in the inauguration ceremony of ‘Mati Utsav’, 2018 in Mati Tirtha-Krishi Katha, Purba Burdwan. To strengthen the bonding of humanity with ‘Mati’ (earth), which sustains and nourishes life and provides livelihood to millions of people, the West Bengal Government had started the festival in 2013. The focussed purpose of this event is convergence of agriculture with allied sectors and improving productivity and income of farmers with sustainability. Outstanding contributions in the farming sector were felicitated with “Krishak Samman” awards today. The Hon’ble Chief Minister also felicitated Kanyashree girls who played active roles in stopping child marriages. From today’s programme, Purba and Paschim Burdwan were declared ODF districts. A bouquet of new projects was also launched on the occasion.
•  Hon’ble Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wished all a Happy New Year 2018.