NASA’s “Girl of the Year” doll
NASA, is collaborating with American Girl, a doll and book company, to inspire children to dream big and reach for the stars. The focus of the collaboration is the “Girl of the Year” doll for 2018, an 11-year-old aspiring astronaut named Luciana who wants to be the first person to put boots on Mars. NASA want to encourage girls and boys to pursue their dreams.
Nepal bans solo climbing on Mount Everest and other peaks
Nepal has banned solo climbers from scaling its mountains, including Mount Everest, in a bid to reduce accidents. The new safety regulations also prohibit double amputee and blind climbers from attempting to reach the summit of the world’s highest peak without a valid medical certificate. The law had been revised to make mountaineering safer and to decrease deaths. World-renowned Swiss climber Ueli Steck, who was known as the “Swiss Machine”, also died during a solo climb to a peak neighbouring Everest. Foreign climbers will have to be accompanied by a guide, according to the new regulations. The new rule also will help create more job opportunities for Nepali mountain guides.
Maiga appointed as the new PM of Mali
Mali President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita has appointed Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga, a former defence and foreign minister and intelligence chief as the new Prime Minister. Maiga will form a new government. This is done after his predecessor Abdoulaye Idrissa Maiga and his entire cabinet’s resignation. The new government will be the fifth to serve under President Keita since his election in 2013.
Israel withdraws from UNESCO
Israel has formally notified UNESCO of its withdrawal from the education and science organization. Israel, which has been a member since 1949, has nine sites on the list, including the ancient Masada fortress next to the Dead Sea. Tensions had been bubbling since UNESCO controversially admitted Palestine as a member state in 2011 – a move opposed by the US and Israel.
China cuts the ribbon of its first solar highway which will charge the running electric vehicles
China didn’t stop to make the first solar road of the world despite many-sided the concept as impractically. The project will serve as a clean energy testbed to evaluate new technologies, with an overarching goal to reduce the amount of land needed for solar farms and transmission wires. The panels, covering 5,875 square meters, can generate 1 million kWh of power in a year, enough to meet the everyday demand of around 800 households. Electricity produced by the test section will be used to power highway lights, signboards, surveillance cameras, tunnel and toll gate facilities. Surplus power will be supplied to the state grid. Future functions to be developed include mobile charging for electric vehicles and providing internet connection.
China launches World’s Largest Human Genome Research Project
The world’s largest human genome research project of 100,000 people was launched by China to document their genetic makeup for a study that aims to help generate the precision medicines of the future. It is the country’s first large project detecting the genetic links between health and sickness and will involve 100,000 people from different ethnic backgrounds and regions. The project includes four stages – collecting, sequencing gene samples, gathering the data and sharing the findings.
US and Turkey open gates for visa services
The US embassy in Turkey announced it is resuming normal visa services for Turkish citizens, saying Turkish authorities fulfilled assurances no local staff would be detained or arrested for performing their duties. But Turkey swiftly denied having granted such assurances in the affair that has tested relations since the two local employees of the U.S. consulate in Istanbul were held on suspicion of ties to last year’s failed coup against President Tayyip Erdogan. The United States suspended visa services at its missions in Turkey in October and Turkey reciprocated.
China successfully tested its first Photovoltaic road
China successfully tested its first photovoltaic (solar) highway based on home-grown technology in country’s eastern Shandong province. With this, China became the second country in the world to construct a photovoltaic highway. China’s photovoltaic highway is constructed using solar panels which have a thin sheet of transparent concrete on top of them, protecting the surface.
Ex-footballer George Weah to become Liberia’s president
The former football star George Weah has won Liberia’s presidential election, defeating the vice-president, Joseph Boakai, in a runoff with 61.5% of the vote.
Prince Harry named President of African Conservation Group
Prince Harry has been named the president of African Parks, a conservation group that manages a dozen wildlife areas across the continent. As per the environmentalist organisation, Prince Harry will contribute to its effort to protect Africa’s natural heritage and support both wildlife and communities, who live in and around conservation areas.
Israel to name a station after Trump
Israel’s transport minister wants to dig a railway tunnel under Jerusalem’s Old City and name a station next to the Western Wall after US President Donald Trump. Yisrael Katz said he wanted to honour the US president for his decision to recognise the city as Israel’s capital. The Western Wall is the holiest site where Jews are permitted to pray.
Former Zimbabwe army chief sworn in as vice president of Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe’s former army commander, Constantino Chiwenga, who led a military takeover that helped end Robert Mugabe’s 37-year rule sworn in as one of the country’s two Vice Presidents. He is the most senior of a clutch of military figures to enter government. Chiwenga’s ascent to the country’s second most powerful job has further consolidated the military’s power in the political space of the southern African country.
Guatemala to move embassy to Jerusalem
Guatemala has decided to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, following US President Donald Trump’s decision in the holy city. It said that its decision to follow the US in shifting its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem was a “sovereign” matter that should not affect ties with other countries. Guatemala made this declaration after UNGA (United Nation General Assembly) rejected Trump’s decision to have the United States recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital with two-thirds of the majority.
WHO to add ‘gaming disorder’ as a mental condition in 2018
For the first time, WHO will add gaming disorder to its International Classification of Diseases (ICD). The ICD – a diagnostic manual that’s published by the WHO – was last updated 27 years ago, in 1990. The 11th edition of the manual is due in 2018, and will include gaming disorder as a serious health condition to be monitored.
UN Security Council imposes new sanctions on North Korea
The UN Security Council approved tough new sanctions against North Korea in response to its latest launch of a ballistic missile that Pyongyang says is capable of reaching anywhere on the US mainland. The resolution adopted by the council includes sharply lower limits on North Korea’s refined oil imports, the return home of all North Koreans working overseas within 24 months and a crackdown on ships smuggling banned items including coal and oil to and from the country. The resolution, adopted in response to North Korea’s sixth and strongest nuclear test explosion on 3 September 20717, banned North Korea from importing all natural gas liquids and condensates.
UN General Assembly rejects US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital
The United Nations General Assembly resolution declaring US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital as ‘null and void’, was passed with an overwhelming majority. The resolution moved by Turkey and Yemen was passed despite US President Donald Trump’s threats to cut funding to US and recipients who voted in favor. Overall, 128 nations including India voted in favour of the resolution, 9 voted against and 35 abstained from voting. The symbolic vote by the General Assembly is not, however, legally binding.
2017 may be among top 3 hottest years
The year 2017 will likely be among the three warmest years on global record, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). The first 11 months of 2017 were the third warmest on record, behind 2016 and 2015. 2017 may also be the warmest year without an El Nino – a climate phenomenon that causes global temperatures to shoot up.
France passes law to ban all Oil and Gas Production by 2040
France’s parliament has approved a law banning all exploration and production of oil and natural gas by 2040 within the country and its overseas territories. Under that law that passed a final vote, existing drilling permits will not be renewed and no new exploration licenses will be granted. The French government claims the ban is a world first.
UK govt extends pilot student visa scheme to 23 more universities
The UK announced extending a pilot student visa scheme to 23 more universities under which Indian and other non-EU students will get six months time to find a job after finishing their course. The scheme was introduced last year on a pilot basis in four British varsities — Oxford, Bath, Cambridge and Imperial College London.
Sebastian Pinera wins Chile’s Presidential Election
A conservative billionaire and former president, Sebastian Pinera, has won Chile’s presidential election run-off. With nearly all votes counted, Mr Pinera has polled more than 54%. Left-winger Alejandro Guillier was his closest opponent. Sebastian Pinera has replaced Michelle Bachelet.
Women to drive trucks, bikes in Saudi
After allowing women to drive, Saudi Arabia has now permitted females to drive trucks and ride bikes. Women involved in road accidents or who commit traffic violations will be dealt with at special centres that will be established and run by women. Saudi Arabia was the only country in the world where women were barred from receiving a driver’s license.
WHO certifies Gabon as polio free
The World Health Organisation has declared Gabon a “polio-free country”, given the lack of new reported or suspected cases in the central African country. Now the disease is endemic only in Afghanistan and Pakistan, where the WHO recorded four cases this year – two in each country.
Sri Lanka accede to landmine ban treaty
Sri Lanka has become the 163rd nation to accede to the anti-personnel mine ban convention. By joining the Convention each state undertakes to destroy all stockpiled anti-personnel mines it owns or or control, not later than 4 years after the acceding to this treaty. The treaty, which came into force on March 1, 1999, prohibits use, stockpiling, production & transfer of antipersonnel mines.
Norway becomes 1st Nation to Shut National Broadcasts on FM
Norway became the world’s first country to shut down national broadcasts of its FM network by completing its transition to digital radio. The transition will allow for better sound quality, a greater number of channels and more functions, at a cost eight times lower than FM radio. The transition concerns only national radio channels.
WTO talks collapse, no agreement on food security
The 11th ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organization hung in the balance after the US refused to budge on relaxations demanded by developing countries to provide for their food security programmes. The matter went into deadlock after India and China stuck to their stance. An outcome on the permanent solution is key, as this is the only mandated issue for the Buenos Aires meeting.
Russia and Egypt signed for Egypt’s first nuclear power plant
Russia and Egypt have signed an agreement for state-owned Rosatom to construct Egypt’s first nuclear plant. The Dabaa nuclear plant, with 4 reactor units and capacity of 5 gigawatts, is planned to be completed by 2029 at a total financing cost of $21bn. Moscow and Cairo in 2015 agreed to the nuclear plant initiative, including a loan from Russia.
Google to open AI research lab in China, first in Asia
In an apparent move to rebuild its presence in China, Google will open a research lab focused on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Beijing – its first such centre in Asia. The “Google AI China Centre” will join the other AI research groups that the company has in other parts of the world, including in New York, Toronto, London and Zurich.
UN releases World Economic Situation and Prospects 2018 Report
The United Nations (UN) has released the World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2018 report in New York. As per the World Economic Situation and Prospects 2018, the current macroeconomic condition offer policy-makers greater scope to address some of the deep-rooted issues that hamper progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals. In 2017, World Economic growth reached 3 per cent, the highest growth since 2011. The global growth is expected to remain steady at 3 per cent in 2018 and 2019.
Sri Lanka formally hands over Hambantota Port to China for 99-Year Lease
Sri Lanka formally handed over its southern strategic port of Hambantota to China on a 99-year lease. Two Chinese firms managed by China Merchants Port Holdings Company (CM Port) and Sri Lanka Ports Authority will own port and the investment zone around it. Hambantota port is strategically located right in the middle of vital energy supply lines in the Indian Ocean, connecting the Middle East and East Asia.
Saudi Arabia to allow movie theaters
Saudi Arabia will allow movie theaters to open in the conservative kingdom next year, for the first time in more than 35 years. Movie theaters were shut down in the 1980’s during a wave of ultraconservatism in the country. It’s the latest move as part of the young crown prince’s efforts to socially reform the country. The first cinemas are expected to open in March 2018.
World’s largest automated container terminal opens in Shanghai
China started trial operations of the world’s biggest automated container terminal – the Shanghai Yangshan Deep Water Port – in the country’s commercial hub. The port will help consolidate Shanghai port’s standing as the world’s busiest container port and further support Shanghai’s efforts to become a world shipping centre.
US, South Korea, Japan started missile-tracking drill
The US, South Korea and Japan started joint exercises on 11 December to track missiles from North Korea. The two-day exercise – the sixth since June 2016 – kicked off in waters near the Korean peninsula and Japan. The exercise is being held as North Korea fired a powerful missile in November which could target the entire US mainland. Since then, the US and North Korea had enough angry exchange of words.
China starts World’s Biggest Floating Solar Project
A unit of China Three Gorges Corp. is building a 1 billion yuan ($151 million) floating solar power plant, the world’s biggest, in the nation’s eastern province of Anhui. China Three Gorges New Energy Co. started building the 150-megawatt project in July and part of the plant was connected to the grid. The project features panels fixed to floats on the surface of a lake that formed after a coal mine collapsed, according to the unit. The entire facility is expected to come online by May 2018.
US to recognise Jerusalem as capital
President Donald Trump will recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital despite intense Arab, Muslim and European opposition. In recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, US becomes the 1st country to do so since the foundation of the state in 1948. Israel has always regarded Jerusalem as its capital city, while the Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state.
Australian Govt passes Marriage Equality Law
Australia’s parliament has legislated for marriage equality, passing a bill almost unanimously to allow two people, regardless of sex, to marry. The House of Representatives passed a cross-party bill after an unprecedented national postal survey gave unstoppable momentum to legislate the historic social reform. Australia, which changed the law in 2004 to say that marriage is only between a man and a woman, now becomes the 25th country to recognize same-sex marriage.
UAE and Saudi Arabia form new group, separate from GCC
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia have formed new economic and partnership group named Joint Cooperation Committee, separate from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). This move that could undermine six-member GCC amid Saudi led Arab countries diplomatic crisis with Qatar as half of countries members are boycotting Qatar, accusing it for supporting and funding terrorism. The new committee is assigned to cooperate and coordinate between UAE and Saudi Arabia in all military, political, economic, trade and cultural fields, as well as others in the interest of the two countries. It will be headed by Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, crown prince of Abu Dhabi and Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE’s deputy prime minister and minister of presidential affairs, will serve as the Deputy Chairman of the committee.
ILO releases World Social Protection Report 2017-2019
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has released the World Social Protection Report 2017-2019. The World Social Protection Report depicts that only 45 per cent of the global population is effectively covered by at least one social benefit, while the remaining 55 per cent that is 4 billion people are left unprotected.
UAE, UK, US and French Armies hold Joint Exercises in Abu Dhabi
UAE Armed Forces along with the UK, US and French armies are participating in joint exercises in Abu Dhabi. The drill code is named as “Flag4″. The two-week long joint exercise aims to increase combat efficiency, gain more field expertise, and work to unify military concepts among participating parties.
US Supreme Court allows full enforcement of President Trump’s travel ban
The United States Supreme Court ruled that the travel ban imposed on six Muslim countries by President Donald Trump can now go fully into effect. Out of the bench of nine justices, seven justices lifted the ban imposed by lower courts on the policy. Only justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor asserted that the President’s order should remain blocked. However, the directive against travellers from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen still faces legal challenges. The new ban also bars travellers from North Korea and Venezuela, but they were not affected by the injunctions.
US pulls out of UN’s migrant and refugee pact
The United States has withdrawn itself from a United Nations pact to improve the handling of migrant and refugee situations deeming it ‘inconsistent’ with its policies. The announcement was made by the US Mission to the United Nations in a statement, in which it informed the UN Secretary-General about US’s intention of ending its participation in the Global Compact on Migration.
South Korea, US launches largest Air Exercise
South Korea and the United States launched their largest-ever joint aerial drills. The annual US-South Korean drill, called Vigilant Ace, will run for 5-days, with six F-22 Raptor stealth fighters to be deployed among the more than 230 aircraft taking part. Around 12,000 US service members, including from the Marines and Navy, have joined South Korean troops.
Iranian President inaugurates First Phase of Chabahar Port
The first phase of Chabahar port was inaugurated by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. The port, located in Iran’s southeastern Sistan-Baluchestan Province, was inaugurated in the presence of representatives from India, Afghanistan and several other countries of the region. The port will open up a new strategic transit route between Iran, India and Afghanistan, bypassing Pakistan. The port is likely to ramp up trade between India, Afghanistan and Iran in the wake of Pakistan denying transit access to New Delhi for trade with the two countries.
Kenyatta sworn in as President of Kenya
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has been sworn in for a second and final five-year term, a month after winning a bitterly disputed election rerun marked by delays and boycott. Kenyatta, 55, won 98 percent of the votes cast in October’s poll, which was boycotted by the main opposition leader, Raila Odinga, who alleged the poll wouldn’t be free and fair.
World’s largest propeller plane lands at UK airport
The world’s largest propeller plane, Antonov AN-22, landed at the Manchester Airport in England. The heavy military transport aircraft drew a large crowd of aviation enthusiasts to witness its landing. The aircraft has a 211-foot wingspan and is capable of carrying cargo weighing up to 80,000 kilograms.
Russia to create ‘Independent Internet’ for BRICS Countries
The Russian Security Council has asked the Russian government to develop a separate infrastructure for BRICS countries’ internet needs while still being linked to the World Wide Web, which they claim will continue services in the event of a global internet infrastructure collapse. The plan has a deadline set for August 1, 2018.
INDIA & WORLD
Bilateral Meeting held between External Affairs Minister of India and Jordan
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Jordanian counterpart Ayman Al Safadi held a bilateral meeting in New Delhi and discussed deepening bilateral ties across multiple sectors. Mr Safadi discussed steps to set up a robust agenda for deepening and diversifying areas of cooperation in the fields of trade and investment, defence and security and people-to-people contact.
India ranks 5th in list of countries with highest NPA levels
According to a report by CARE Ratings, India has the highest level of non-performing assets (NPA) among BRICS countries and is ranked 5th on a list of countries with the highest levels of NPAs. The only countries ranked higher than India on the list are Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Ireland in order.
India and Afghanistan launch 2nd air cargo route linking Kabul with Mumbai
The second India-Afghanistan air cargo route linking Kabul to Mumbai was officially inaugurated at Hamid Karzai international airport in Kabul. It is expected to boost export of fresh fruits and medicinal plants from Afghanistan. The launch of second route follows the success of the first air corridor between both countries linking Kabul-New Delhi that was inaugurated by President Ashraf Ghani in June 2017.
India provides medical assistance to Yemen
India has provided medical assistance worth about $1 million to Yemen in response to a request from the Yemeni government. As part of its commitment to provide humanitarian assistance to Yemen, India has been a member of the ‘Friends of Yemen’ Group.
India’s first pod taxi to follow US safety norms
The five-member committee set up for technical and safety standards of India’s first pod taxi project or Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) has invited fresh bids for strictest safety standards on lines of those prescribed in US. In this regard, the committee has recommended issuance of fresh EOI (expression of interest) incorporating automated people mover (APM) standards and specifications in US, along with other general safety parameters with recommendations of NITI Aayog.
Modi to be First PM to attend World Economic Forum in 20 years
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will become the first PM in 20 years to attend the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) annual jamboree of the global elite. The meeting will be held in Davos town of Switzerland. The five-day Davos Annual Meeting of Geneva-based WEF will began in January 2018. Top Indian CEOs will also be present at the meeting including Mukesh Ambani, Chanda Kochhar and Uday Kotak. Modi will be the first Indian Prime Minister at the Davos summit since 1997 when the then Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda had attended.
India is the 5th most vacation deprived country globally
According to a survey of Expedia Vacation Deprivation Report 2017, globally India has been ranked as the 5th most vacation deprived country due to heavy work schedule, with 60 percent respondents corroborating with the view. South Korea stood at number one position with 82 percent, followed by France (66 percent), Malaysia (65 percent) and Hong Kong (64 percent).
India and Switzerland ink deal for Information Exchange
In a move aimed at combating black money stashed abroad, India signed an agreement with Switzerland that would allow automatic sharing of tax-related information from January 1, 2018. The agreement was signed by CBDT chairman Sushil Chandra and Swiss Ambassador to India Andreas Baum at the North Block.
Naseem-Al-Bahr 2017: India, Oman conducts naval exercise
The 11th edition of Naseem-Al-Bahr (Sea Breeze) 2017 Naval exercise between India and Oman was held at Said Bin Sultan Naval Base, Wudam in Oman. The year marks 24 years of Indian Navy-Royal Navy of Oman bilateral exercises that has been a biennial feature since 1993.
India, Myanmar sign MoU for Rakhine State’s development
India and Myanmar signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) aimed at developing Myanmar’s Rakhine state. It was signed by Foreign secretary S Jaishankar and Myanmar’s deputy minister for social welfare, relief and resettlement U Soe Aung. Under this MoU, Government of India proposes to take up, among others, a project to build prefabricated housing in Rakhine State so as to meet the immediate needs of returning people.
India and Sri Lanka completes 2nd phase of joint oceanographic survey
Indian Navy in collaboration with its Sri Lankan counterpart has successfully completed the second phase of the joint oceanographic survey conducted off the South Western Coast of Sri Lanka. The survey commenced on 26 October with the arrival of Indian Naval Ship Sutlej in Sri Lanka. The Indian side handed over the survey charts to the Commander of the Sri Lankan Navy. The survey extended to a depth contour of 200 m from the coastline, ranging from Colombo to Galle. The move is expected to benefit the international shipping traffic passing the southern coast of Sri Lanka and will pave the way for the blue economy.
Iraq overtakes Saudi Arabia as top Oil supplier to India
Iraq overtook Saudi Arabia for the first time to become India’s top crude oil supplier in the current fiscal, according to the Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan. Saudi Arabia traditionally has been India’s top oil source but in the April-October period of 2017-18, Iraq dethroned it, supplying 25.8 million tonnes (MT) of oil. Iran was India’s second biggest supplier of crude oil after Saudi Arabia till 2010-11 but western sanctions over its suspected nuclear programme relegated it to the 7th spot in the subsequent years. Iran fell to third and Venezuela is in fourth followed by Nigeria.
India-Maldives bilateral military exercise ‘Ekuverin 2017′ held in Belagavi
The eight edition of India, Maldives bilateral military exercise EKUVERIN 2017 was held in India in Belagavi, Karnataka. The aim of the exercise was to conduct military training between armies of both countries with emphasis on counter insurgency, counter terrorism operations (CICT Ops).
India and Cuba Sign MoU for Enhanced Cooperation in Health Sector
India and Cuba signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for enhanced cooperation in the health sector. The objective of this MoU is to establish comprehensive inter-ministerial and inter-institutional cooperation between the two countries in the field of health by pooling technical, scientific, financial and human resources in both countries.
Wassenaar Arrangement decides to admit India as its new member
Wassenaar Arrangement (WA) decided to admit India as its new member. India’s entry into the export control regime would enhance its credentials in the field of non-proliferation despite not being a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty. The decision was taken at the two-day plenary meeting of the grouping in Vienna. The grouping statement that the Wassenaar Arrangement participating states reviewed the progress of a number of current membership applications and agreed at the plenary meeting to admit India. India will become the Arrangement’s 42nd participating state as soon as the necessary procedural arrangements for joining the WA are completed. The WA membership is also expected to build up a strong case for India’s entry into the 48-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).
Indian and Italy Sign MoU for Cooperation in Agriculture and Phytosanitary Issues
Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister, Shri Radha Mohan Singh with H.E Maurizio Martina, Italian Minister for Agriculture Food and Forestry Policies have signed a new MoU for cooperation in Agriculture and Phytosanitary issues that will replace the one signed in 2008. The MOU provides a good framework for cooperation in this field. India has contributed 37 million USD in the 10th replenishment of IFAD for the period 2016-2018. Mr. Singh with the Italian Minister participated in the AGRIMACH India, 2017 along with a large business delegation.
ISA becomes Treaty-based International Intergovernmental organization
The International Solar Alliance (ISA) became treaty-based international intergovernmental organization on 6th December 2017 one month after Guinea became 15th country to ratify it. ISA is first treaty-based international government organisation to be based in India. So far, 46 countries have signed and 19 ratified Framework Agreement of ISA.
India and Germany sign Govt to Govt Umbrella Agreement
India and Germany has signed the Government to Government Umbrella Agreement concerning the Financial Cooperation in 2016 (II) under the Indo-German Development Cooperation. the agreement was signed to formalize an amount upto 200 million Euros for the financial cooperation in form of loan for the project ‘Climate Friendly Urban Mobility III’ and 11 million Euros in form if grant for four projects. The Agreement was signed by Martin Ney, Ambassador on behalf of the Federal Republic of German and S. Selvakumar, Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs of Union Ministry of Finance.
Madame Tussauds debuts in Delhi with Indian celebrities
Madame Tussauds has debuted in Delhi, with 50 wax models of Indian and international celebrities. Waxworks of Bollywood actors, sports stars, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and father of the Indian nation Mahatma Gandhi are on display at the museum. The museum is located in the historic Regal building in Connaught Place. The Delhi centre is the 23rd museum for Madame Tussauds which has centres in major cities across the globe, including London, Washington, New York, Amsterdam, Berlin, Bangkok, Tokyo and Beijing.
India re-elected to International Maritime Organisation Council
India has been re-elected to the Council of the International Maritime Organisation under a category that represents nations with the largest interests in international sea borne trade. India was re-elected to the body under Category B at an assembly of the organization at its headquarters. Indian High Commissioner to the UK Y K Sinha represented India at the assembly where India secured the second-highest number of votes (144) from member-countries, just after Germany’s 146 and ahead of Australia’s 143.
India and Singapore ink Bilateral Agreement for Navy Cooperation
India and Singapore have signed Bilateral Agreement for Navy Cooperation that will allow Indian Navy ships logistical support, including refuelling at Singapore’s Changi Naval Base located near disputed South China Sea (SCS). The agreement was announced during second Defence Ministers’ Dialogue between India and Singapore held in New Delhi. The Bilateral Agreement for Navy Cooperation will allow Indian Navy ships sailing through disputed SCS or in eastern waters of Andaman Sea to refuel.
India, UK combined military exercise ‘Ajeya Warrior-2017′ begins in Rajasthan
The 14-day long Combined Military exercise ‘Ajeya Warrior- 2017′ between Indian and the United Kingdom began at the Mahajan Field Firing Range near Bikaner, Rajasthan on 1 December 2017. The participants include 20 Rajputana Rifles unit of the Indian Army and the first battalion of the Royal Anglian Regiment of the UK Army. In total, about 120 Army personnel from both the armies are participating in the exercise.
7th edition of Kathakar: International Storytellers Festival held in New Delhi
7th edition of Kathakar, International Storytellers Festival was held at Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts (IGNCA), New Delhi. It was inaugurated by Minister of State (MoS) for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju. The partners for this edition of three day festival are IGNCA of Union Ministry of Culture in Delhi, Heritage Transport Museum, Gurugram and National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), Mumbai.
India leads in global milk production
According to the Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh during the past 3 years, India has outpaced the global milk production with an annual growth rate of 5.53% compared with the 2.09% achieved globally. India has been the largest producer of milk in the world for the past 15 years. Milk production, which was around 17-22 million tonnes in the 1960s, has increased to 163.7 m tonnes in 2016-17.
Nirmala Sitharaman launches Start-up Incubation Centre in Mangalore
Nirmala Sitharaman launched a start-up incubation center called the Centre for Entrepreneurship Opportunities and Learning (CEOL) in Mangaluru, Karnataka. She has allocated Rs. 1.5 crore from her MPLAD (Member of Parliament’s Local Area Development) scheme for the development of CEOL. She represents Karnataka as an MP in the Rajya Sabha.
78th Session of Indian History Congress held in Kolkata
The three-day long 78th session of the Indian History Congress begun in Kolkata, West Bengal. The Indian History Congress had six sections this time – Ancient India, Medieval India, Modern India, Countries Other than India, Archaeology and Contemporary India. The aim of conducting Indian History Congress is for promotion and encouragement of the scientific study of Indian History.
Agriculture Minister launches LDF app
Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Minister, Shri Radha Mohan Singh has launched Livestock Disease Forewarning – Mobile Application (LDF-Mobile App). The app is developed by ICAR-National Institute of Veterinary Epidemiology and Disease Informatics, Bengaluru. Apart from early warning, the app will also provide information about clinical samples for the diagnosis in case of the epidemic.
Triple Talaq Bill passed in Lok Sabha
The Lok Sabha passed the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriages) Bill 2017 making instant triple talaq illegal with up to three years in jail for the husband. The proposed law would only be applicable on instant triple talaq or ‘talaq-e-biddat’. Ravi Shankar Prasad is Minister for Law and Justice. The bill will now be sent to the Rajya Sabha for approval.
Gujarat CM inaugurates 25th National Children’s Science Congress
The 25th edition of National Children Science Congress (NCSC-2017) was inaugurated in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. It was inaugurated by Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani in Ahmedabad. The theme of the five-day Congress this was ‘Science and Innovation for Sustainable Development’ with the special focus on persons with disabilities.
BND-4201: India’s first home-grown high purity gold reference standard launched
India’s first home-grown high purity gold reference standard – the Bharatiya Nirdeshak Dravya (BND-4201) – was launched at the India Government Mint, Mumbai. BND-4201, which is the reference material for gold of ‘9999’ fineness (gold that is 99.99 per cent pure), will be beneficial to the consumers and public at large to ensure purity of gold. Gold reference standard is indispensable in gold and jewellery hall marking. This will also be useful for Collection and Purity Testing Centres to certify the purity of gold deposits under the gold monetisation scheme.
Made-in-India Surface-to-Air Missile QRSAM successfully test fired
Made-In-India’ Surface-to-Air Missile QRSAM was successfully test fired by the Defence Research and Development Organisation from a defense base off Odisha coast. The homegrown canister-based high-speed weapon system can deceive enemy radars making it difficult to be detected, is capable of destroying aerial targets, tanks, bunkers and short-range missiles. It is a highly mobile air defence system which can destroy multiple targets at a distance of 25 km in less than one minute. Considered to be a unique system in its class, the missile is expected to supplement medium-range surface-to-air missile Akash.
National Family Health Survey shows decline in Child Marriages
As per National Family Health Survey, the percentage of women, who were married before legal age, has reduced from 47.4% in 2005-06 to 26.8% in 2014-15. Further, as per analysis of Census 2011 data by NCPCR, ‘nil’ marriages were reported in the age group of 0-9 years for both boys and girls. India has enacted the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 in order to prohibit child marriages.
ICGS Sujay commissioned into by Indian Coast Guard
An Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) named ICGS Sujay was recently commissioned into Indian Coast Guard (ICG). It is sixth and last in the series of six 105m OPV built indigenously by Goa Shipyard Limited for ICG. Presently, ICG has fleet of 134 ships and boats and 66 ships and boats are at various stages of construction at different shipyards in India.
India’s First National Rail and Transportation University to come at Vadodara
The Union Cabinet has approved proposal of Ministry of Railways to set up first ever National Rail and Transport University (NRTU) in Vadodara to skill its human resources and build capability. The University will be set up as Deemed to Be University under de novo category as per UGC (Institutions Deemed to be Universities) Regulations, 2016. The first academic program is expected to be launched in July 2018.
DARPAN Project launched for Financial Inclusion of Rural Population
The Minister of Communications Manoj Sinha launched DARPAN- “Digital Advancement of Rural Post Office for A New India” Project to improve the quality of service, add value to services and achieve ‘financial inclusion’ of the unbanked rural population. The goal of the IT modernization project with an outlay of Rs. 1400 Crore is to provide a low power technology solution to each Branch Postmaster (BPM) which will enable each of approximately 1.29 Lakhs Branch Post Offices (BOs) to improve the level of services being offered to rural customers across all the states.
Golden Jubilee celebrations of Indian Women Pilots Association held
The golden jubilee celebrations of Indian Women Pilots Association (IWPA) were held recently. During the celebrations the Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha stated that India has the maximum number of women pilots in the world. The IWPA was founded in Mumbai in the year 1967 by five ladies, namely Chanda Sawant Budhabhatti (first woman to obtain an FAA Commercial Pilot certificate), Mohini Shroff, Rabia Fatehally, Dr. Sunila Bhajekar and Capt. Durba Banerjee (in 1956 was the second woman commercial pilot of India). The IWPA then was the 5th national organisation of its kind in the world, next to the British Women Pilots Association, Australian Women Pilots Association, German Women Pilots Association and Finnish Women Pilots Association.
India’s first design university ‘World University of Design’ opens campus
India’s first and only design university, World University of Design opened it campus at Sonipat, Haryana. The campus is situated on NH1 in Rajiv Gandhi Education City (NCR), Sonipat, the largest planned integrated city for education in India. WUD is India’s first university dedicated to education in the creative domain; WUD underlines the movement of design from being purely vocation-oriented to becoming academic-oriented; and from certificate & diploma stage to degree, postgraduate degrees, research and doctoral programmes.
Training of Trainers Program for Sendai Framework held in New Delhi
The Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri Kiren Rijiju, inaugurated the first national-level training of trainers program to sensitize various Central Ministries and Departments on utilization of Sendai Monitor for developing action plans for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in New Delhi. The three-day programme was organized by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in collaboration with the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction-Global Education and Training Institute (UNISDR-GETI).
HAMESHA VIJAYEE: Southern Command conducts major exercise in Rajasthan
The Southern Command of Indian Army conducted major army exercise called ‘Hamesha Vijayee’ in deserts of Rajasthan from December 16 to 22, 2017. The purpose of the exercise was to evaluate capability of armed forces to strike deep into enemy territory in an integrated air-land battle. The Southern Command (headquarters Pune) undertakes such exercises at regular intervals to ensure high degree of battle readiness as well as validation of operational plans using modern weapons and equipment.
BJP wins Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh Elections
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is back in power for the sixth straight term in Gujarat and also it has won the Himachal Pradesh Elections. With this, the party now controls 19 of the 29 states. Never before has any political party controlled as many states in India. Congress, 24 years ago, was the last time a political party was in control of 18 states.
India ranked 60th most Innovative Country, Switzerland Tops
India currently ranks 60th out of 127 countries on the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2017 as compared to 66th rank on GII 2016. The list was topped by Switzerland. NITI Aayog, Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) together launched a mega initiative “India Innovation Index”. This Index will rank states on Innovations through country’s first online innovation index portal that will capture data on innovation from all Indian states on innovation and regularly update it in real time.
Samsung, UNESCO partner for videos on Indian Heritage Sites
Samsung India has entered into a partnership with UNESCO to launch virtual reality content and 360-degree videos on Indian heritage sites. Indian heritage sites include the Sun Temple in Konark, Odisha and Taj Mahal in Agra, Uttar Pradesh. The project will provide experiential educational content to students across the country. There are 36 UNESCO heritage sites in India at present.
India reaches 2nd position on horticultural crops, fruits production list
Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh research and development projects in horticulture crops have yielded encouraging results, as a result, the production of horticulture crops have been more than food grains irrespective of adverse climatic conditions. After China, India is the second largest producer of horticultural crops and fruits. In terms of area in India, the citrus fruits hold second position (10.37 lakh hectare) and third (12 million tonnes) in production.
PM Modi inaugurates 60-Megawatt Tuirial Hydro power Project in Aizawl
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 60-Megawatt Tuirial Hydropower Project in Aizawl, the capital of Mizoram. The completion of this project is a reflection of the Centre’s commitment to complete ongoing projects and usher in a new era of development in the North Eastern region. He will inaugurate the Shillong-Nongstoin-Rongjeng-Tura Road, which will improve connectivity and further economic growth.
National Workshop on Role of Sakhi One Stop Centres held in New Delhi
National Workshop on Role of Sakhi One Stop Centres (OSCs) in Strengthening Multi Sectoral Response to Violence was held in New Delhi. It was organized by the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) and was inaugurated by WCD Minister Maneka Sanjay Gandhi.
Union Cabinet clears bill criminalising Instant Triple Talaq
The Union Cabinet cleared the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017, or the Triple Talaq bill, which makes the practice a non-bailable offence. The bill proposes a three-year jail term for men who practise instant Triple Talaq. Under the draft law, triple talaq in any form – spoken, in writing or by electronic means such as email, SMS and WhatsApp – would be banned or illegal. The draft law also provides for three years in prison and a fine for a Muslim man trying to divorce his wife by uttering “talaq” three times.
Indian Diaspora is Largest in the World: World Migration Report 2018
The Indian diaspora is the largest in the world, with over 15 million migrants from India living abroad, according to the World Migration Report 2018 published by the International Organisation for Migration, the United Nations migration agency. Because the country has the largest number of migrants abroad, India also receives the highest amount in remittances ($68.91 billion). The largest migration corridor is from India to UAE, where 3.5 million Indians were residing in 2015. The United States remained the top destination for migrants in the world in 2015, with 46.6 million migrants moving to the US in that year.
PM Modi inducts scorpene-class Submarine Kalvari into Indian Navy
Prime Minister Narendra Modi commissioned India’s first modern conventional submarine, INS Kalvari, into Navy’s fleet in Mumbai, a first in almost two decades. Kalvari is the first of the six Scorpene-class submarines handed over by shipbuilder Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL). The Navy last inducted a conventional diesel-electric submarine, INS Sindhushastra, procured from Russia in July 2000.
10 ASEAN leaders to be chief guests for Republic Day
At least 10 leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will be taking part in the 2018 Republic Day celebrations as chief guests. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had invited the ASEAN leaders to be the chief guests earlier this year.
India ranks 100 in global prosperity index
After rising up in the Ease of Doing Business Index, India has upgraded its ranks in ‘The Legatum Prosperity Index 2017’ as well. The index, which offers an insight into how prosperity is forming and changing across the world, ranks India 100th on the list of prosperous countries among 149 countries. Norway heads the ranking, followed by New Zealand, Finland, Switzerland and Sweden.
India’s first Electronic Manufacturing Cluster to be set up in Andhra Pradesh
India’s first Electronic Manufacturing Cluster (EMC) will be coming to Andhra Pradesh. EMC has been designed and developed for providing facilities and amenities for manufacturing mobiles and allied products. The Union Government, through Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeiTY) in 2012 had announced about setting up EMC in India, with grant-in-aid for establishing such clusters.
Govt launches mobile app to ease child deliveries in peripheral areas
With the motto to improve labour room quality, the government has launched LaQshya, a safe delivery mobile application for health workers who manage normal and complicated deliveries in peripheral areas. The initiative will be implemented in Government Medical Colleges besides district hospitals, and high delivery load sub-district hospitals and Community Health Centres.
Rahul Gandhi elected Indian National Congress President
The Indian National Congress announced that Rahul Gandhi has been elected as its new President, taking over from his mother Sonia Gandhi. Rahul was declared the party President after no other candidate filed a nomination to contest the presidential elections. The Congress had earlier announced that 89 nominations were filed proposing Rahul Gandhi’s candidacy for the presidential elections.
UN Women, Facebook inaugurates ‘We The Women’ event in Mumbai
UN Women in collaboration with Facebook inaugurated a two day event in Mumbai titled ‘We The Women’ to empower and recognise the magnificent contribution of women in our society. The event witnessed speakers from different walks of life including Textile and I&B Minister, Smriti Irani, Sakshi Malik, Mithali Raj, Ekta Kapoor, Karan Johar and others.
Maruti Suzuki replaces SBI as 6th most valuable Indian firm
India’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki became India’s sixth most valued firm, crossing India’s largest lender SBI. Maruti Suzuki’s market capitalisation stood at Rs2.74 trillion, marginally ahead of SBI’s market value of Rs2.71 trillion. Reliance Industries is the country’s most valued company with a market value of Rs5.8 trillion, followed by TCS, HDFC Bank, ITC and Hindustan Unilever.
SBI changes name, IFSC codes of branches
Post merger of its 5 associates, SBI has changed names & IFSC codes of nearly 1,300 of its branches. The Bank has changed names & IFSC codes of branches located Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai & Kolkata and others. Indian Financial System Code (IFSC) is an 11-digit alpha-numeric code used to uniquely identify all bank branches participating in any RBI regulated funds transfer system.
India declared free from Trachoma, a bacterial infection of eye
India has been declared free from infective Trachoma which is a contagious bacterial infection of the eye. It causes inflamed granulation on the inner surface of the lids. Releasing the National Trachoma Survey Report (2014-17) in New Delhi, Health Minister J P Nadda made an announcement in this regard and termed it as a momentous achievement.
Prez inaugurates Naval Maritime Aircraft Museum in RK Beach
President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the Naval Maritime Aircraft Museum in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh featuring the maritime patrol aircraft Tupolev-142M, which served the Navy for almost three decades. The museum, at the famous RK Beach Road, will feature the reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft, which was decommissioned in March this year.
Mahesh Sharma inaugurates ‘Bodhi Parva’
Minister of State for Culture (Independent Charge) Dr. Mahesh Sharma has inaugurated the three days ‘Bodhi Parva: BIMSTEC Festival of Buddhist Heritage’ in New Delhi. India is hosting the “Bodhi Parva: BIMSTEC Festival of Buddhist Heritage” from 8 to 10 December as part of celebrations of 20th anniversary of BIMSTEC.
Akshay Kumar to promote government’s flagship agri-schemes
Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar will promote the government’s flagship agriculture schemes like soil health card and crop insurance. The Union Agriculture Ministry has roped in the actor for television advertisements to intensify the publicity of the agri-schemes. Besides soil health card scheme, the actor will promote Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bhima Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana, Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana and others.
Vice President inaugurated 12th Annual Convention
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated the 12th Annual convention of central information commission at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi. The Vice President stressed on maintaining transparency and accountability in public life. As per the Minister of State in PMO Dr. Jitender Singh, the government has filled all vacant posts in the commission. He accused the earlier government of being negligent on the matter.
BSF launches test to check personnel’s Psychological health
The Border Security Force (BSF) engaged doctors to conduct a psychological analysis of its 2.5 lakh members amid concerns over rising cases of suicide by security personnel. The Wellness Quotient Assessment Test will question personnel to detect issues such as anxiety, depression, phobia, and insomnia among others. The Troubled personnel will be offered help under the buddy support system.
PM Modi inaugurated B R Ambedkar International Centre
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the BR Ambedkar International Centre in New Delhi. The prime minister also unveiled two statues of the Dalit icon at the center in Janpath. Union Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Vijay Goel was also present at the event. The center was a fusion of Buddhist and modern architecture. He had laid the foundation stone of the center in 2015.
Center enhances Monetary Allowances for Gallantry Award Winners
The Government has enhanced the monetary allowances for the Gallantry Award winners. The enhancement is for the recipients of post-independence Gallantry Award, pre-independence Gallantry Award and the monetary allowance attached to ‘Jangi Inam’, a pre-independence Gallantry Award. The allowances have been doubled in most of the cases and in a few cases have been increased by more than 100%.
Nation remembers India’s First President on his Birthday
Nation on 03rd December 2017 remembered India’s first President Rajendra Prasad on his 133rd birthday. Born on December 3, 1884, in Siwan, Bihar, Prasad was a Gandhian and participated in India’s freedom movement. Dr Prasad was one of the prominent leaders of the Indian Nationalist Movement alongside Jawaharlal Nehru, Vallabhbhai Patel and Lal Bahadur Shastri.
MP CM flags off mobile museum Adi Shankara Sandesh Vahini in Kochi
As part of the Ekatm Yatra, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan flagged off a mobile museum, showcasing various aspects of the life of Adi Shankaracharya, from the home of the saints mother near Kochi, Kerala. The journey of the mobile museum Adi Shankara Sandesh Vahini, is being organised to propagate the philosophy and teachings of Adi Shankaracharya among the youth.
Delhi govt launches mobile app that would connect 1600 SMC members
The Delhi government has launched a mobile app that would connect around 16,000 members of School Management Committees (SMCs). It is aimed at helping the schools, parents and students in better coordination and result oriented performance. The launch was conducted by Delhi’s Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia in the capital itself.
International sweet festival going to held in Hyderabad
Featuring more than 1,000 sweets, an international sweet festival will be held in Hyderabad, Telangana for the first time ever. Telangana Tourism is planning to hold a mammoth inter-State sweet festival where the most popular delicacies from each State will be offered in various varieties.
India’s First Runway on ‘Sea Bridge’ in Lakshadweep
India is all set to get its first runway on a ‘sea bridge’, as the Airports Authority of India (AAI) has been given a nod to extend Lakshadweep’s Agatti Airport. The task will be carried out by building an RCC platform on the beach and shallow area which will allow bigger ATRs to operate on the island. The Project is likely to cost about Rs 1,500 crore.
UP govt launches free household power connection scheme ‘Prakash hai to vikas hai’
Uttar Pradesh government has launched a free household power connection scheme ‘Prakash hai to vikas hai’ for the poor in the state to mark former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s birthday on 25th December. Under the news scheme the government has a target of covering 16 million by the end of 2018.
Bengaluru becomes First Indian City to have its own Logo
Karnataka’s capital city Bengaluru has become the first Indian city to have its own logo after the state government launched it. The logo was designed by a design start-up and uses both English and Kannada alphabets. The red and black logo is part English and part Kannada. With this, Bengaluru joins a select group of global cities like New York City, Melbourne and Singapore to have a tourism logo of its own.
Mystic Kalinga poetry fest takes off
Mystic Kalinga, the international festival of poetry and performances, kicked off in Bhubaneswar. The central theme for this year’s festival is: “Aseema” – Transcending Boundaries. Mystic Kalinga is an extension of Kalinga Literary Festival. The Kalinga Literary Festival is organized every year in the month of June by Odisha Media info Service Private Ltd and Odisha Diary Foundation.
Jairam Thakur will be Himachal Pradesh’s new CM
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Jairam Thakur has been announced as the next Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh. He will succeed Virbhadra Singh, who is serving as the Chief Minister of Himachal since 2012. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Five-time legislator Jairam Thakur, who rose through the ranks and is known for his humble, clean and low-profile nature, will be the 14th Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh.
Vijay Rupani remains Gujarat CM, Nitin Patel his Deputy
Vijay Rupani will continue as chief minister of Gujarat and Nitin Patel as his deputy chief minister, the Bharatiya Janata Party has made the announcement after a meeting of the party’s newly-elected legislators in the state’s capital Gandhinagar. The BJP had won 99 seats, only seven more than it needed for a majority to form government and 16 less than it had won last time.
OEC 2017 kicked off to foster Sustainable River Basin Management
Odisha Environment Congress 2017 kicked off with an aim to foster ‘Sustainable River Basin Management’. OEC-2017 kicked off at Regional Museum of Natural History in Odisha. The integrated approach to river basin management is needed with a focus on water-use-efficiency in both agricultural as well as industry. This may save adequate water for the river to serve itself. Conscious efforts by all to reduce pollution load on the river system would be beneficial to both human societies as well as to nature.
Haryana govt to provide free sanitary napkins to poor women
The Haryana government would distribute sanitary napkins free of cost to all women belonging to BPL (Below Poverty Line) category in the State. Earlier on 1st December, the Haryana government had announced that it would make plans for free supply of sanitary napkins to girls in the schools across the state. The government also stated that the State would become malnutrition- free in the coming 3-years.
Losar Festival celebrated in Ladakh
The traditional festival of Losar was celebrated in Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir to mark the beginning of New Year in this Himalayan region. The 10 day long festival began with illumination of religious and residential places and by visiting monasteries for prayer. The Losar festival marks the beginning of New year in Ladakh and Tibet region and falls in December. Losar is Tibetan word for ‘new year’.
Odisha CM inaugurates Tribal Sports Meet 2017
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik inaugurated the Tribal Sports Meet 2017, a first-of-its kind event in the country to promote sports among tribals in Odisha. The meet was inaugurated in Bhubaneswar. Patnaik also unveiled the logo of the event and mascot of the meet ‘Olly’.
Goa celebrates 56th Liberation Day
Goa has celebrated its 56th Liberation Day. The state was liberated on 19th December in 1961 from Portuguese control after almost 450 years of colonial rule. The main program was organised at the Sports Authority of Goa Ground, Campal in state capital Panaji. Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar unfurled the national flag at the Goa Liberation Day celebrations in Panaji.
Andhra Pradesh Cabinet approves Pension for State’s Transgenders
The Andhra Pradesh Cabinet approved a scheme to provide a pension of Rs 1500 to transgenders above 18 years of age in the state. Under this scheme the transgenders will be provided ration cards, plots and scholarships, also skill development for financial stability. After Kerala and Odisha, Andhra Pradesh becomes the next state to sanction pension scheme for the transgender community.
Meghalaya launches India’s first social audit law
Meghalaya became first state in country to operationalize The Meghalaya Community Participation and Public Services Social Audit Act, 2017, a law that makes social audit of government programmes and schemes a part of government practice. It was launched by Chief Minister Mukul Sangma at a national convention in Shillong.
Telangana develops app to connect citizens, technicians
The Telangana government has announced to launch a mobile application ‘Urban Genie’ which will enable citizens in urban areas across the state to find certified technicians and workers. The service will be available in over 70 municipal towns and cities. Job seeking technicians can also register themselves with the app, following which the government will provide training.
Mumbai Metro launches ‘SecuCare’ app for safer commuting
Mumbai Metro launched a new security app ‘Secucare’, which can be downloaded on Android and IOS platforms, for raising an alarm to ensure passengers’ safety. Through the app, commuters can raise an alarm in case of any problem. The control room will be alerted once the alarm is raised. The security personnel in the control room will be able to track the exact location of the passenger through the application.
Official Logo for Allahabad Kumbh Mela 2019 released in Lucknow
The official Logo and tagline for Allahabad Kumbh Mela 2019 were released in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. The logo comprises of temples, seers, a kalash & a Swastika. The tagline for Kumbh Mela 2019 is Chalo Chalo Chalo, Kumbh Chalo”. It will be held in Allahabad. A website to facilitate tourists was also launched. The government had, earlier, announced to rename the Ardh Kumbh held every six years as Kumbh and Kumbh held every 12 years as Maha Kumbh. In the same ceremony, the tagline -”Agar UP Nahi Dekha Toh India Nahi Dekha” – for UP Tourism was also unveiled. Traditionally, the fairs at the following four sites are recognized as Kumbh Melas: Prayag (Allahabad), Haridwar, Trimbak-Nashik and Ujjain.
Rajasthan, first in India to offer e-mail IDs in Hindi
Rajasthan has become the first state in the country to launch free email addresses in Hindi (in Devanagari script) for its residents, as per the state IT department Principal Secretary Akhil Arora. The initiative aims to ensure maximum participation of people towards e-governance and that maximum facilities are available in the vernacular language. The first e-mail ID was created for CM Vasundhara Raje.
Bihar Govt launches Safe City Surveillance scheme for Women Safety
The Bihar government has launched Safe City Surveillance Scheme for checking crime against women. It aims to bring all major public places under watch of close-circuit television (CCTV) cameras and improve overall crime control in the state. The scheme has been launched in a phase-wise manner, will commence from capital city Patna. It has specially launched for checking crime against women.
UP and Maharashtra tops in highest number of cyber-crimes
Uttar Pradesh stands on top of recording highest number of cyber crimes in India followed by Maharashtra. While Assam stands on the fifth position, as per latest data from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), a total of 696 cybercrime cases were reported during 2016 in Assam, which is an increase of over 44 percent compared to the previous year. In 2015, there were 483 such cases in the State. Nationally, a total of 12,317 cases of cybercrimes were reported in 2016 compared to 11,592 in 2015, which is an increase of over six per cent.
Punjab & Haryana HC bans bursting of crackers on New Year
Punjab & Haryana High Court has banned bursting of crackers on New Year’s Eve & on Jan 1, as well as during weddings or other celebratory functions in Punjab, Haryana & Chandigarh. However, the areas of Haryana falling in NCR have been kept out of purview of the order. Concerned over the pollution, high court had in its earlier order in Oct also issued a number of instructions to authorities.
U.P. becomes first State to endorse Centre’s triple talaq draft bill
Uttar Pradesh has become the first State to endorse the Central government’s draft bill that makes instant triple talaq a cognisable and non-bailable offence. The draft law, which provides for three-year imprisonment and a fine to a man trying to divorce his wife by uttering “talaq” three times, got the State government’s approval at a Cabinet meeting.
Kerala raises minimum liquor drinking age to 23
The Kerala government came out with a new Ordinance raising the minimum age for liquor consumption from 21 to 23. The Ordinance will make suitable amendments to the state Abkari laws and has been sent to Governor P. Sathasivam for his clearance.
Telangana announces WE-Hub for women
Telangana Minister for IT and Industries KT Rama Rao stated that 3 initiatives for women entrepreneurs including setting up ‘We-Hub’ on the lines of T-Hub and also to create Rs 15 crore fund. T-Hub is a partnership between the government of Telangana with three of India’s premier academic institutes and key private sector leaders. The WE-Hub will be funded under the Atal Innovation Mission.
Andhra Pradesh assembly unanimously passes Kapu Reservation Bill
The Andhra Pradesh assembly has unanimously passed the Kapu reservation bill which will provide the community with a 5 per cent quota in education and employment in the state. The Kapu community, with 27 per cent population in the state, has been demanding reservations for decades. It is being stated that as 5% of reservation of Kapus makes total reservation exceed 50%, central govt nod is compulsory. In Andhra Pradesh, 25 per cent reservation is provided to BCs (A, B, C, D categories), backward Muslim communities BC (E) have 4 per cent reservation, SCs- 15 per cent and STs- per cent totalling 50 per cent reservations.
The 6th International Tourism Mart 2017 inaugurated in Assam
The 6th ‘International Tourism Mart’ (ITM) was inaugurated by Assam’s governor Jagdish Mukhi in Guwahati, Assam on 5 December 2017. The mart has been organised by the Ministry of Tourism in association with the North Eastern States. It will be held from 5 to 7 December 2017. Assam’s Chief Minister Sarbanand Sonowal and Union Tourism Minister (I/C) K L Alphons also attend the inaugural programme along with other dignitaries from the Central Ministries and North Eastern States.
UPs Shamli District included in NCR
Uttar Pradesh’s Shamli district was included in the National Capital Region (NCR), taking the total number of districts in the NCR to 23. Cities in the NCR get funds at “attractive” interest rates from the National Capital Region Planning Board (NCRPB) for infrastructure development. The decision to include Shamli in the NCR was taken at the 37th meeting of the NCRPB.
India’s Largest Floating Solar Power Plant opens in Kerala
The largest-ever floating solar power plant in India inaugurated by state power minister MM Man at the Banasura Sagar dam in Wayanad. The solar power plant that floats on the surface of water has a capacity of 500 kilowatts (KW). The solar plant consists of 1,938 solar panels with a capacity of 260 watts, a 500 kilo volt ampere (KVA) transformer and 17 inverters. The unique feature of this plant is the anchoring mechanism used by the overwhelming technology to maintain the plant with the alteration of the water level. Constructed by the Thiruvananthapuram-based Ad tech Systems, the plant will generate seven lakh units of power in a year. The total cost of the project is Rs. 9.25 crore.
PM Modi inaugurated Unique World-Class Hospital in Ahmedabad
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated a unique world-class hospital at the Swaminarayan Gurukul Vidyapeeth Pratisthanam in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. The 200-bed hospital is an integration of Yoga, Ayurveda, and Allopathy. The hospital has world-class facilities in all the 3 streams offering the best possible care for any ailment. This world-class hospital aims at providing top of the line medical and health care on subsidized rates.
Nagaland celebrates 54th Statehood Day, 18th Hornbill festival
Nagaland is all set to celebrate the 54th Statehood Day and the 18th Hornbill festival 2017 today at Naga Heritage Village, Kisama. President Ram Nath Kovind who is on a maiden visit to the state will grace the occasion and inaugurated the 10 day State Hornbill festival 2017. The route leading to Kisama, which is 12Km away from the capital city has been all decked up with decoration to give a festive ride. Tight security arrangement has been made in view of the festival.
Chhattisgarh bans use of fire crackers in six cities
The Chhattisgarh government has ordered a ban on bursting fire crackers in six of its cities, including the state capital –Raipur, ahead of the wedding season from December 1 to January 31. The Chhattisgarh Environment Conservation Board said the ban will be implemented every year during the period to curb pollution in the state.
President inaugurates conference at ANU in Andhra Pradesh
President Ram Nath Kovind formally inaugurated the Annual Conference of Indian Economic Association at Acharya Nagarjuna University campus near Guntur in Andhra Pradesh. Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu felicitated the President at the event. Speaking on the occasion, Mr Kovind said, India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. The imaginative policy making is required to tackle the inequities in our society.
Singapore’s Dy PM to join Sushma Swaraj at ASEAN-India PBD in Singapore
Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean will join India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj for a two-day ASEAN-India Pravasi Bharatiya Divas to be held in Singapore next month. Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari and chief ministers of Andhra Pradesh and Assam, N Chandrababu Naidu and Sarbananda Sonowal, will also attend the function on 6-7 January 2018. The Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) is celebrated every year to mark the contribution of overseas Indian community in the development of India.
World Telugu Conference begins
The third World Telugu Conference is all set to begin in Hyderabad. The aim of the Conference is to promote Telugu and its literature besides helping the present generation learn more about Telugu language & its rich culture and heritage. Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu will be formally inaugurating the Conference, 50 thousand participants are expected to witness the literary-cultural event.
India hosted 4th India-Australia-Japan trilateral meeting
Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar hosted the 4th India-Australia-Japan trilateral meeting with his Australian and Japanese counterparts in New Delhi. Issues of maritime security, counter terrorism and economic cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region were discussed.
2nd UNWTO/ UNESCO World Conference on Tourism & Culture held in Oman
The Second UNWTO/UNESCO World Conference on Tourism and Culture: Fostering Sustainable Development, hosted by the government of the Sultanate of Oman, was held in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman on 11-12 December 2017 within the framework of International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.
14th Inclusive Finance India Summit begins in New Delhi
The 14th Inclusive Finance India Summit began in New Delhi to build consensus on strategies and a unified vision for achieving universal financial inclusion in India. The summit offers a platform for a plethora of information to all the thought leaders and industry veterans to debate and discuss the issues and challenges involving the Financial Inclusion in the country.
Finance Minister holds 5th Pre-Budget Consultation Meeting
The Finance Minister of India Arun Jaitley holds his 5th Pre-Budget Consultation Meeting with the leading Economists in New Delhi. According to the Finance Minister, India recorded an average growth of 7.5% from 2014-15 to 2016-17, significantly higher as compared to the growth in the previous two years. The fiscal deficit as a ratio of GDP stood at 3.9% in 2015-16 and 3.5% in 2016-17 and is budgeted to be 3.2% for the Current Financial Year 2017-18.
Russia-India-China Foreign Ministers meet begins in Delhi
Foreign Ministers of Russia, India, and China (RIC) are holding a trilateral meeting in New Delhi. The meeting is expected to review global and regional issues of mutual interest as well as discuss trilateral exchanges and activities. The External Affairs Minister will have separate bilateral meetings with her Russian and Chinese counterparts. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Minister of Foreign Affairs of China Wang Yi have arrived in New Delhi.
ASEAN India Connectivity Summit begins in Delhi
The ASEAN India Connectivity Summit (AICS) began in New Delhi on 11 December 2017. The theme of the two-day Summit is “Powering Digital and Physical Linkages for Asia in the 21st Century”. The summit would be attended by Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari along with ministers of state for External Affairs, Gen VK Singh and MJ Akbar and Minister of State for Communications (Independent Charge), Manoj Sinha.
International Conference on Groundwater Organized
An International conference is being organized on the Groundwater issues in the country with a theme of “Groundwater Vision 2030- Water Security, Challenges, and Climate Change Adaptation”. The conference has been organized by the National Institute of Hydrology (NIH), Roorkee and Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) under the aegis of Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.
Suresh Prabhu in Argentina to attend 11th Ministerial Conference of WTO
Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu is in Buenos Aires, Argentina to attend the 11th Ministerial conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Trade in Services remains an area of key interest to India and other developing countries.
First International Conference on Sports Medicine & Sports Sciences SAICON 2017 Inaugurated in Delhi
The First International Conference on Sports Medicine and Sports Sciences SAICON 2017 was inaugurated in New Delhi by the Minister of State (I/C) Youth Affairs and Sports Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore. The SAICON 2017 will promote scientific temperament in the country and inspire students, researchers and educationists alike to take up sports science and research to the next level. Organized by Sports Authority of India, the 3-day conference is being attended by about 1000 national and international delegates.
First Meeting of the Fifteenth Finance Commission held
The Fifteenth Finance Commission held its first meeting at North Block in New Delhi under the Chairmanship of Shri N.K. Singh and was attended by all the other Members of the Commission. The main objective was to hold wide-ranging consultations with all stakeholders including various Ministries of the Union Government, all State Governments, Local Bodies, Panchayats and Political parties of each State Government needed to be expeditiously initiated. The Commission approved the setting-up of its office at Jawahar Vyapar Bhawan on Janpath in New Delhi.
1st International Exhibition and Conference AROGYA 2017 begun
The first International Exhibition and Conference on AYUSH and Wellness sector- AROGYA 2017 has begun in New Delhi. The four-day event was inaugurated by Ayush Minister Shripad Yesso Naik. The theme of the conference is ‘Enhancing the global potential of Ayush’. The main objective of the event is to showcase the strength and scientific validation of Indian System of Medicine in the global context. The fair will give a boost to AYUSH Products in International Market.
International Conference on Climate Change begins in Nepal
Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari inaugurated an international conference to draw attention towards the adverse effects of global warming in the Hindu Kush mountain range. The conference ‘Resilient Hindu Kush Himalaya: Developing Solutions towards a Sustainable Future for Asia’ is being organized by Nepal’s Ministry for Environment in collaboration with International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD). The four-day conference is attended by more than 300 experts from different countries of Asia including India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan, Myanmar. V K Saraswat, member of India’s Neeti foundation is leading the Indian delegation in the conference.
AWARDS & HONOURS
Chola MS honoured with Golden Peacock Award for risk management
Cholamandalam MS General Insurance Company Limited has been awarded the prestigious “Golden Peacock Award for Risk Management” for the year 2017. The Golden Peacock Awards were instituted in 1991 by the Institute of Directors (IOD), now regarded as a benchmark of Corporate Excellence worldwide, are presented annually to recognise the best corporates through competition.
K S Chitra bags ‘Harivarasanam’ Award
Veteran singer K S Chitra has been selected for prestigious ‘Harivarasanam’ award 2017, instituted by the Kerala government. The award carrying a cash prize of Rs one lakh, citation and plaque would be presented to the veteran playback singer at a function on January 14, 2018.
12th edition of the Ramnath Goenka Excellence Awards
The 12th edition of the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards were presented. The awards, which come with a trophy and a reward of Rs 1 lakh to each of the winners, recognise courage and commitment and showcase the outstanding contributions of journalists from across the country. Total 25 persons were awarded in different fields.
Mamang Dai, Ramesh Kuntal win Sahitya Akademi Award 2017
Mamang Dai and Ramesh Kuntal Megh has won the Sahitya Akademi Award 2017. Mamang Dai was awarded in English language for his novel The Black Hill. While, Ramesh Kuntal Megh won the award in Hindi for his literary criticism work Vishw Mithak Sarit Sagar. They were among the 24 winners who were awarded for their work in 24 different Indian languages.
The Other Winners of Sahitya Akademi Award 2017:
1. Udaya Narayana Singh (Maithili)
2. Shrikant Deshmukh (Marathi)
3. Bhujanga Tudu (Santali)
4. Inquilab (Tamil)
5. Devipriya (Telugu)
6. Shiv Mehta (Dogri)
7. Autar Krishen Rahbar (Kashmir)
8. Gajanan Jog (Konkani)
9. Gayatri Saraf (Odia)
10. Baig Ehsas (Urdu)
Sonu Sood honoured with Punjab Ratan award
Actor Sonu Sood has received the Punjab Ratan award for his contribution to the welfare of people of Punjab. Governor of Punjab, V P Singh Badnore, honoured the actor at an event at Fazilka in Punjab. During the ceremony, the 44-year-old actor also paid homage to the soldiers who fought the 1971 Indo-Pak war.
Rekha receives first Smita Patil Memorial Award
The first ever Smita Patil memorial award was given to Rekha for her contribution in the film industry. National award-winning actor Smita Patil passed away in 1986.
Tata Steel Joda Mine gets Golden Peacock Innovation Award
Joda East Iron Mine (JEIM) of Tata Steel has been honored with the prestigious Golden Peacock Innovation Management Award for the year 2017 for driving innovation in mines. The award was given at Institute of Directors India’s 2nd Global Convention held at Singapore. Golden Peacock Awards Secretariat receives over 1,000 entries per year for various awards, from over 25 countries worldwide.
Satheesh Reddy conferred with National Design Award
G. Satheesh Reddy, Scientific Adviser to Raksha Mantri and Director General, Missiles and Strategic Systems, has been conferred with the prestigious National Design Award. He has bagged this award for his significant national contribution towards indigenous design and development of diversified missile systems, guided weapons, avionics technologies and for his sustained efforts leading to the advancement of aerospace technologies and industries in India.
Joy Goswami to get 31st Moortidevi Award
Eminent Bengali poet Joy Goswami will be given the 31st Moortidevi Award for the year 2017. Committee, headed by poet and scholar Satya Vrat Shastri, unanimously decided to confer the award upon Goswami for his poetry collection titled Du Dondo Phowara Matro. It is the first time the award will be given to a Bengali poet.
Piyush & Prasoon Pandey to honour with Cannes Lions’ Lifetime Achievement Award
Cannes International Festival of Creativity is set to honour Piyush & Prasoon Pandey with Cannes Lions’ Lifetime Achievement Award. The Lion of St. Mark is the highest honour that Cannes International Festival of Creativity bestows on creative geniuses within the communications inustry. Pandey brothers are not only the 1st Asians to win the award, but are also the 1st from WPP to be awarded.
Priyanka Chopra receives Mother Teresa Memorial award
Priyanka Chopra has been honoured with this year’s Mother Teresa Memorial award for social justice. She received the award for her contribution towards lending support to social causes, such as her recent visit to Syria, where she met and interacted with refugee children. She is also UNICEF’s Goodwill Ambassador and is known for supporting various philanthropic activities.
Sumitra Bhave to get Kalamaharshi Baburao Award
Noted Marathi filmmaker Sumitra Bhave will be honoured with the Kalamaharshi Baburao Painter Sanman, instituted by the Kolhapur International Film Festival. Sumitra is a filmmaker working predominantly in Marathi cinema and Marathi theatre. Bhave along with Sukthankar have made 14 feature films, more than 50 short films, and 4 TV serials.
Vice President confers ‘Yerarignar’ Award to Prof. M.S. Swaminathan
Vice President of India M. Venkaiah Naidu conferred the ‘Yerarignar’ Award to Prof. M.S. Swaminathan, in Chennai. The award is given by New Delhi-based Agricultural Scientific Tamil Society in collaboration with Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU), Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (TNVASU) and Tamil Nadu Fisheries University (TNFU). The award was conferred on eminent agricultural scientists and father of green revolution in India MS Swaminathan for his lifetime contribution for the betterment of Indian farming community.
Hindi writer Mamta Kalia chosen for Vyas Samman 2017
Renowned Hindi scholar and writer Mamta Kalia (77) was chosen for Vyas Samman 2017 for her novel “Dukkham Sukkham”. She was selected by selection committee headed by author Vishwanath Prasad Tiwari. Dukkham Sukkham published in 2009 is saga of a lower middle-class family’s three generations. The literary work focuses on the transition in relations and situations of our society.
Ram Nath Kovind awards Presidents Colours to submarine arm of Navy
President Ram Nath Kovind awarded the President’s Colours to the submarine arm of the Indian Navy in recognition of its extraordinary service to the nation in the past 50 years. Till date, 17 submarines of the Navy have been awarded the Chief of Naval Staff’s Unit Citation for exceptional service. The first Indian naval submarine, on which the naval ensign and the national flag were hoisted on this day in 1967, was also named Kalvari.
Star Screen Awards 2017 held in Mumbai
Star Screen Awards, the annual film awards recognises the best of talent in Hindi films. Vidya Balan bagged the award for Best Actress (Critics) for Tumhari Sulu, Irrfan won the Best Actor Award for his performance in Hindi Medium. Rajkummar Rao won the Best Actor Award (Critics) for Newton & Best Actor in a Supporting Role Award for Bareilly Ki Barfi as well.
The complete list of winners are as follows:
Best Film (Critics): Newton
Best Director: Nitesh Tiwari (Dangal)
Best Actress (Critics): Vidya Balan (Tumhari Sulu)
Best Actress: Konkona Sen Sharma (Lipstick Under My Burkha)
Best Actor (Critics): Rajkummar Rao (Newton)
Best Actor: Irrfan Khan (Hindi Medium)
Best Supporting Actor: Rajkummar Rao (Bareilly Ki Barfi)
Best Supporting Actor (Female): Neha Dhupia (Tumhari Sulu)
Best Dialogues: Nitesh Tiwari and Shreyas Jain (Bareilly Ki Barfi)
Best Lyrics: Amitabh Bhattacharya (Dangal)
Best Music Debut Director: Pritam (Dangal)
Best Debut Director: Suresh Triveni (Tumhari Sulu)
Best Playback Singer: Arijit Singh (Raees – Zaalima and Jagga Jasoos)
Best Playback Singer: Shashaa Tirupati (Kanha – Shubh Mangal Savdhaan).
National Awards for the Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities presented
The Award was presented by the President of India Ram Nath Kovind on the occasion of International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The National Awards were presented in 14 main categories to 52 individuals and institutions. Some important awards are:
Award for Best State in Promoting Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities: Chhattisgarh
Award for the Best District in Providing Rehabilitation Service: Madurai
The Best Braille Press Award: Mumbai-based National Association for the Blind.
Lipstick Under My Burkha wins tves Global Sustainability Film award in London
In London “Lipstick Under My Burkha”, which explores women’s sexuality, has bagged a top prize at the time Global Sustainability Film Awards 2017.”Lipstick Under My Burkha” is produced by Prakash Jha and directed by Alankrita Shrivastava and stars Konkona SenSharma and Ratna Pathak Shah. The Founders Award for Sustainability on the Big Screen was introduced this year and sponsored by philanthropist Surina Narula. The time Global Sustainability Film Awards was launched in 2012. It is an annual film competition for companies and institutions, recognising those whose films most powerfully portray solutions for sustainability.
Manushi Chhillar awarded Indian of the year special achievement award
Miss World 2017, Manushi Chhillar was awarded the Indian of the year special achievement award by Minister of Finance and corporate affairs, Arun Jaitley at a recent event at New Delhi. The beauty queen was given the award for her historic win at the Miss World pageant. She was greeted by Star cricketer Virat Kohli who congratulated her on her success.
India awarded for its effort to combat illegal wildlife trade
India was awarded with the Certificate of Commendation for its exemplary enforcement action in its regional and global effort to combat illegal wildlife trade. The award was conferred to the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) by the Secretary General of Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) at the 69th Standing Committee meeting of CITES at Geneva, Switzerland. India was the only recipient of the Certificate of Commendation at the esteemed meeting. The convention currently has 183 nations from across the world as its signatories.
SPORTS & GAMES
Jitu Rai bags men’s 50m pistol national title
Ace Indian marksman Jitu Rai won the men’s 50m pistol national title with a new national record score of 233 at the 61st National Shooting Championship in Thiruvananthapuram. Rai’s score of 233 was a new record in the finals of the event. Jitu Rai also won the team gold in the event combining with Jai and Omprakash Mitherwal for a total of 1,658.
Viswanathan Anand bags bronze
Grand Master Viswanathan Anand continued his excellent run by bagging a bronze in the World Blitz Chess Championship at Riyadh, Saudi. He defeated Maxim Vachier-Lagrave of France in the final round to take his tally to 14.5 points. World Champion Magnus Carlsen won the tournament scoring 16 points followed by Sergey Karjakin with 14.5 points out of the maximum possible 21 points.
Cristiano Ronaldo wins best player at Globe Soccer Award
Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid was awarded the Globe Soccer’s Best Player award, in Dubai. Cristiano Ronaldo has won the award for the second consecutive year and fourth time overall. Also, Real Madrid club was named the best club of the year. Also, Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane was given the best coach award.
Anisa wins Women’s 25m Pistol with New National Record
Haryana shooter Anisa Sayyed won the women’s 25m pistol gold with a new record at the ongoing 61st National Shooting Championship Competitions (61st NSCC), in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. Anisa shot a new finals national record score of 33 to prevail over the Maharashtra duo of Shital Shivaji Thorat and Rahi Sarnobat, who won the silver and bronze medals respectively at the National Games Shooting Range.
In a first, Saudi Arabia hosts World Chess Games
Saudi Arabia is hosting a world chess tournament for the first time, nearly two years after the country’s top cleric issued a religious edict against playing the board game. The tournament has been named as the King Salman World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships. The world’s top three chess players from Norway, Armenia and Azerbaijan are participating in the tournament.
Indian Boxers won 5 Medals at Galym Boxing Tournament
Indian boxers have claimed three gold, a silver, and a bronze medal at the Galym Zharylgapov Boxing Tournament in Karaganda, Kazakhstan. In the event, the country’s Gold Medal winners were K Shyam Kumar in 49kg, Naman Tanwar in 91kg and Satish Kumar in the 91kg category claimed gold medals. The 19-year-old Naman Tanwar was also adjudged the best boxer of the tournament.
Vijender Singh retains WBO Oriental and Asia Pacific Super Middleweight titles
Indian star Vijender Singh defeated Zulpikar Maimaitiali of China, to retain his WBO Asia Pacific Super Middleweight title and take over his opponent’s WBO Oriental Super Middleweight crown. Both boxers were slightly tentative in an evenly matched opening round. Zulpikar tried to go on the offensive at the start of the second round but Vijender did well to negate his attacks. It was the 32-year-old Beijing Olympic bronze medallist’s ninth successive win in his professional career.
IOC bans 11 Russians for life over alleged Sochi Games doping violations
The Olympic governing body announced on Friday it had banned the athletes based on findings from the Oswald Commission, which is looking into alleged doping violations at the 2014 Winter Games held in Russia. The Internationa Olympic Committee has banned 11 Russian athletes for life over alleged doping viloations at the Sochi Games in 2014. The results of the athletes will be annulled, and those who won medals will have them stripped.
Sushil becomes PWL’s Most Expensive Wrestler at Rs.55 lakh
Sushil Kumar was wanted by all the teams ahead of the new season of Pro Wrestling League (PWL) and the bidding war created history in New Delhi. Sold to Delhi Sultans for a whopping amount of Rs 55 lakh, Sushil is now the most expensive player in the history of the tournament. PWL 3 is slated to begin from January 9, 2018 and the auction in underway as teams fight to pick the best players and set up a strong team. Sakshi Malik, India’s 2016 Olympic bronze medalist, was bought by the Mumbai Maharathi side for Rs.39 lakh. World Championship gold medalist Helen Maroulis was bought for Rs.44 lakh by Haryana Hammers.
Rohit Sharma hits fastest T20I century, equals world record
Indian batsman, Rohit Sharma equalled David Miller’s record for the fastest century in T20 format by hitting a 35-ball hundred in the second T20I against Sri Lanka in Indore. Sharma also became the first Indian to score two tons in T20Is. His knock of 118 (43 balls) was studded with 10 sixes and 12 boundaries. It was part of an incredible opening partnership with KL Rahul as the duo put up more than 150 runs in 12 overs. Sharma had recently also scored a record-setting 3rd ODI double century against Sri Lanka.
No shooting at 2022 Commonwealth Games
Shooting has been excluded from the Commonwealth Games 2022 edition. At the same time, the push to bring cricket back into the fold has gathered momentum, with Commonwealth Games Federation. The CGF declared Birmingham as the host city on Thursday after Durban, the original pick, had pulled out earlier this year due to financial constraints.
India’s Mithali Raj, Ekta Bisht selected in ICC Women’s ODI Team of the Year
Indian skipper Mithali Raj was named in the ICC Women’s ODI Cricket Team of the Year while left-arm spinner Ekta Bisht was the lone cricketer to find a place in the both the ODI and T20 Teams of the year announced by the world body. While England’s Heather Knight was named as the captain of the ICC ODI team of the year. Stafanie Taylor of the West Indies was appointed as the skipper of ICC T20I side. The teams were selected taking into consideration player performances from September 21, 2016 to date.
Indian Hockey Umpires named as umpires for 2018 Hockey Men’s World Cup
Indian Umpires, Raghu Prasad and Javed Shaikh, were named in the panel of umpires for next year’s Hockey World Cup to be held in Bhubaneswar. Besides Prasad and Shaikh, amongst those appointed are Golden Whistle umpires Spain’s Francisco Vazquez, Martin Madden of Scotland and Simon Taylor of New Zealand.
Bobsledder banned for life from Olympics
Russian bobsledder Alexey Voevoda has been given a life ban from the Olympics for anti-doping violations at the Sochi Games where he won two gold medals. The decision comes two weeks after the IOC banned Russia from next year’s Pyeongchang Winter Olympics for what it called “unprecedented systematic manipulation” of the anti-doping system. He won gold in the two-man and four-man bobsled.
Messi beats Ronaldo for La Liga Best Player Award
Lionel Messi, the star forward of Barcelona, has received La Liga’s top scorer and best player awards for the 2016-2017 football season. The Argentine beat rival Cristiano Ronaldo, who guided Real Madrid to their first title since 2012 in the recent campaign. Messi scored 37 goals in league action last season to earn his fourth Pichichi award for most goals in La Liga and his fifth Alfredo Di Stefano trophy for best player.
BBC Sports Personality 2017: England women cricketers win team award
England women’s cricketers won the Team of the Year award at the BBC Sports Personality show after their 2017 World Cup triumph. They beat India by nine runs after a stunning fightback in the final at Lord’s in July.
India won 10 medals in Wushu Sanda Asian Cup
India bagged as many as 10 medals in the first Wushu Sanda Asian Cup that concluded in Guangzhou, China. Rajvir Singh was the coach of the Indian contingent. Praveen (48kg), Mukesh Chaoudhary (70kg), Rajender Singh (90 kg), Arunpama Devi (60kg) and Visakhapatnam Malik (70kg) won silver medals for India. Besides this, India also bagged five bronze medals.
Aakarshi Kashyap wins U-17 & U-19 singles titles at Badminton Jr Nationals
India’s top-ranked junior shuttler Aakarshi Kashyap won U-17 and U-19 singles titles at Badminton junior Nationals in Guwahati, Assam. In Under-17 category, 16-year-old from Bhilai defeated Malvika Bansod in the final. In under 19 categories final, Kashyap has beaten Vaidehi Choudhari.
India finishes 1st at Junior Boxing Championship in Germany
Indian junior boxers clinched total 11 Medals (six gold, four silver and a bronze medal) at the fifth International Sven Lange Memorial Tournament to finish as overall champions in the German city of Schwerin. Bhavesh Kattamani (52kg) picked up the best boxer trophy along with his gold medal. In the three-day tournament, the other gold-medallists for India were Vijeydeep (63kg), Akshay (60kg), Ish Pannu (70kg), Lakshay Chahar (80kg) and Vinit (75kg). India was named the tournament’s best team.
Real Madrid presented with the FIFA World Champions Badge
Real Madrid has earned the honor of being able to wear the official FIFA World Champions Badge on their competition jerseys for the duration of 2018 by defeating Gremio in the final of the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2017. Real Madrid will be able to display the emblem all the way up to the next FIFA Club World Cup, which will take place in the United Arab Emirates in December 2018.
PV Sindhu wins Silver at Dubai World Badminton Superseries
Top Indian shuttler P V Sindhu won the Silver medal in women’s singles summit clash of the Dubai World Super Series Final in Dubai. She went down fighting against World No. 2 Akane Yamaguchi of Japan. In the prestigious season-ending tournament finale, Sindhu lost in three games, 21-15 12-21 19-21, to Yamaguchi in the final.
Sushil Kumar, Sakshi Malik clinches Gold at Commonwealth Wrestling C’ships
Double Olympic medalist Sushil Kumar clinched a gold medal at the Commonwealth Wrestling Championships in South Africa. In Johannesburg, Sushil defeated New Zealand’s Akash Khullar via a pinfall in the final of the 74kg freestyle category to clinch the medal. Parveen Rana also won a bronze medal in the same category. Another Olympic medalist, Sakshi Malik also clinched a gold medal in the championships. Sakshi defeated New Zealand’s Tayla Tuahine Ford in the final of the 62kg women’s freestyle category.
FIFA bans head of Brazilian football
FIFA has suspended the head of Brazilian football federation Marco Polo Nero for 90 days. Nero was accused of accepting 6.5mn euro commission. In the wake of these accusations, ethics committee opened an inquiry that led to his suspension. Nero is the latest prominent South American official to be banned by the sport’s governing body as part of its investigation into a vast corruption scandal.
Christian Pulisic becomes youngest to get US men’s footballer of the year
Christian Pulisic won US Soccer’s Male Player of the Year award for 2017 in a landslide. At the age of 19 only, he has earned the honor and has become the youngest footballer to win US Soccer’s. The previous youngest winner of the prize, first awarded in 1984, was Landon Donovan, who was 21 when he won in 2003.
Nepal hosts first International Wheelchair Cricket Tournament
The first ever International Wheelchair Cricket Tournament was organised in Nepal’s Kathmandu. The tournament has participation of teams from Nepal, India and Bangladesh.
Official emblems for Beijing 2022 Winter Games unveiled
The emblems of the Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, respectively named “Winter Dream” and “Flight”, have been unveiled in Beijing, China.
Sachin Siwach named Asia’s youth boxer of the year
World youth champion Sachin Siwach was named the Asian Boxing Confederations best youth boxer of the year after winning an online poll conducted by the continental body. Siwach who won the world title in 2016, claimed the Asian youth championships silver in 2017 besides a gold at the Youth Commonwealth Games. India also fetched the Best Asian International technical Official (ITO) award with Lenny DGama winning the online poll.
Indian hockey teams end year on 6th and 10th spots
India’s men and women’s hockey teams remained in the 6th and 10th positions respectively in the rankings revealed by the International Hockey Federation (FIH). The men’s team were at the sixth spot at the beginning of the year and maintained it throughout the year. The women’s team started the year at the 12th spot but slowly they jumped two spots.
India becomes 1st ever team to register Hundred 300+ ODI totals
India has become the first-ever team to register 300+ totals 100 times in ODIs, after posting 392/4 against Sri Lanka in Mohali. This was also the 25th instance of India scoring 350+ in an ODI innings, second-most by a team after South Africa (26). India was driven by captain Rohit Sharma’s 208, his third ODI double hundred which is also a record in ODIs.
Shubhankar Sharma wins Joburg Open
21-year-old Indian Shubhankar Sharma claimed his maiden European Tour victory in the Joburg Open, in South Africa. He has defeated South Africa’s Erik Van Rooyen. This was a maiden European Tour win for Shubhankar Sharma. He has five victories on the professional tour of India and he now has a European Tour title to add to his list of achievements. England’s Marcus Armitage was the top British finisher in Joburg.
Rohit Sharma becomes 1st batsman to score 3 ODI double centuries
Indian batsman Rohit Sharma created history on 13 December 2017 by becoming the first batsman in the history of cricket to score three double centuries in one-day internationals (ODI). The ace batsman achieved the feat during India’s second ODI against Sri Lanka in Mohali, Punjab, in which India put up a mammoth score of 394/4 in 50 overs. Sharma’s individual score card read 208 runs in mere 153 balls, which was studded with 13 fours and 12 sixes.
Australia wins Gold of Hockey World League final
Australia beat Argentina 2-1 to win the second straight gold of Hockey World League Final (HWLF) final at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar. For the bronze play-off India defeated Germany 2-1 to finish the HWLF tournament at third place.
Jitu Rai and Heena Sidhu wins 10-m air pistol Bronze at 10th Asian C’ship
Pistol ace Jitu Rai and Heena Sidhu bagged a bronze medal each to continue India’s medal charge at the 10th Asian Airgun Championship in Wako City, Japan. Jitu won an individual bronze in the men’s 10m Air Pistol, which also helped the Indian team comprising Shahzar Rizvi and Omkar Singh, besides Jitu, to bag the team gold in the event. Heena claimed an individual bronze in the women’s 10m Air Pistol. Her effort, along with teammates Shri Nivetha Paramantham and Harveen Srao, helped the team finish with Silver.
BCCI lifts ban on RCA
Board of Control for Cricket in India has decided to lift the ban on the Rajasthan Cricket Association provided former IPL chief Lalit Modi stays away from its functioning. RCA was suspended by the Indian cricket board in May 2014 when ex-Indian Premier League Commissioner Modi was re-elected its president. Since its suspension in 2014, RCA’s cricket affairs are being looked after by BCCI.
India to host 2021 Champions Trophy, 2023 World Cup
India is all set to host the 2023 World Cup, the global cricketing event’s 13th edition after the BCCI confirmed the host nation. India will also host the upcoming Champions Trophy in 2021. The ICC World Cup 2019 will be held in England and Wales. This will be the first time that the event will be held entirely in India: the nation on three occasions previously, hosted the World Cup partially (1987, 1996 and 2011).
Saurabh Chaudhary claims Youth Olympics Games spot with Gold
India’s Saurabh Chaudhary qualified for the Youth Olympics Games with a gold medal and a junior world record in 10m air pistol at the ongoing Asia Youth Olympics Games qualification tournament in Wako City, Japan. He became the third Indian to bag quota places for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games at the 10th Asian Airgun Championship. The 15-year-old shot a record score of 243.1 in the final to storm to the top of the podium, after finishing third in the qualification round with a score of 573.
India bags 21 medals including 6 gold at Asian Airgun Shooting C’ships
India bagged a rich haul of 21 medals including six gold, eight silver and seven bronze medals at the 10th Asian Airgun Shooting Championships which was concluded in Wako City, Japan. India added four medals to their kitty on the final day of the competition to finish with a total haul of 21 medals over four days, besides four Youth Olympic Games quotas.
India beat Germany, win Bronze at Hockey World League Final
India defeated Germany 2-1 in the Hockey World League Final to grab the bronze medal at the event, in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. SV Sunil and Harmanpreet Singh scored for the world number six Indian side. The world’s fifth-ranked side Germany was without any substitutes as seven of their players were unavailable for the match either due to injury or high fever. For India’s success, Odisha government presented each player a cheque of Rs 10 lakh.
Indonesia Open Aquatic: Indian Diving Team wins 6 Medals
Indian Diving Team won 1 Gold, 3 Silver and 2 Bronze Medals in Indonesia Open Aquatic Championship 2017. The five-day championship concluded recently in Indonesia’s Jakarta. More than 1,500 athletes from eight countries, participated in the 5 day event. At the championships, the diving category featured athletes from India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.
Shooters Ghosh, Mane bag Youth Olympic Games quota places
Mehuli Ghosh and Tushar Mane became the first Indian shooters to secure the women’s and men’s quota places for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) by winning a gold and bronze each at the 10th Asian Championship 10M Rifle/Pistol at Wako City, Japan.
Kanchanmala Pande wins Gold at World Para Swimming Championship
Visually impaired swimmer Kanchanmala Pande scripted history as she became the 1st Indian to win gold at World Para Swimming Championship, taking place in Mexico. Pande stood 1st in the in 200 meters medley event in the S-11 category. She was selected in the Indian squad on basis of her excellent performance at IDM Berlin Para-Swimming Championship at Berlin.
FIFA Lifts Kuwait Football Ban
The international football federation, FIFA, has lifted a two-year suspension against Kuwait’s football association that has prevented the country from participating in international tournaments. FIFA president Gianna Infantino confirmed the move in a video posted on the Instagram account of Kuwait’s minister of trade and industry and acting minister of youth affairs Khaled Al-Roudhan.
Lifter Gurdeep creates three national records in IWF C’ships
Gurdeep Singh created three new senior national records in +105 kg weight category in the just concluded IWF World Weightlifting Championships at Anaheim in USA. Singh finished 13th overall with a total lift of 388 kg (172 + 216) but created national records in snatch, clean and jerk, and the total lift. In the total lift, Gurdeep bettered the earlier national record of 384 kg which was in the name of Sarabjit.
Cristiano Ronaldo Wins Ballon d’Or, Equals Lionel Messi’s Record
Cristiano Ronaldo (from Portugal) has won the Ballon d’Or for a fifth time to move level with rival Lionel Messi. The Real Madrid forward was named the winner of France Football’s prestigious award at a ceremony in Paris, France. The award caps a year in which Ronaldo has won LaLiga, the Champions League and the Spanish Super Cup with Real Madrid, as well as helping Portugal qualify for the 2018 World Cup. Messi, the only other player to have won the award since 2008, finished second.
India win South Asian badminton title
India beat Nepal 3-0 to win the first ever South Asian Regional Badminton Tournament (team championship) held at Guwahati, Assam.
Mujeeb Zadran From Afghanistan Becomes First Cricketer Born in 21st Century
Mujeeb-ur-Rehman Zadran, the 16-year-old off-spinner, became the youngest ever from Afghanistan to play International cricket and overall he is the 9th youngest to make debut in ODI cricket. He was born in Khost on March 28 in 2001. Zadran has been making the headlines over the last couple of months for his outstanding performances for their Under-19 team. The bowler recorded the 2nd best bowling figures in Youth ODI cricket with 7/19 against Bangladesh and also became the first player with two 6-wicket hauls.
Russia Banned from 2018 Winter Olympics
Russia was banned from the 2018 Winter Games by the International Olympic Committee over its state-orchestrated doping programme, but clean Russian athletes will be allowed to compete under an Olympic flag. The sanction was the toughest ever levelled by the IOC for drug cheating and came just 65 days ahead of the Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Getachew Besha wins full Pune International Marathon
Despite being denied the permission by Athletics Federation of India, the Pune International Marathon was held on December 3, 2017. In men’s category, the first position was grabbed by Ethiopia’s Getachew Besha with a time of 2 hours 15.15 sec. The second and third position was grabbed by Zelalem Lema Dlema and Deveje Kasaw respectively. Among Indian runners, Karan Singh from Pune clocked 2:28.01s to win the category and was followed by another city runner Kishor Gavane, who finished the race in 2 hours 29.26s. GD Khilare finished third with a timing of 2:20.27s.
Prithvi Shaw named India’s captain for U-19 World Cup
Mumbai batsman Prithvi Shaw saw his performance in domestic season bear fruit as the 18-year was named as the captain of India’s squad for the upcoming ICC U-19 World Cup next year in New Zealand. Shubman Gill is named the vice-captain.
Virat Kohli surpasses Brian Lara for Most Double Centuries as Captain
Virat Kohli after becoming the first captain to register a hat-trick of centuries in a three-match series, the Indian skipper scaled yet another milestone when he scored his sixth double century, the highest as a captain. He overtook West Indies great Brian Lara, who held the record previously with five double tons in Tests.
Deepika Kumari wins bronze medal at Indoor Archery World Cup
Indian archer Deepika Kumari won the bronze medal at the Indoor Archery World Cup Stage 2, which conducted in Bangkok, Thailand. The third seeded Deepika defeated the 13th seeded Sayana Tsyrempilova of Russia 7-3 in the women’s recurve bronze play-off. Her medal is however, the only one India managed to grab at the tournament, as other Indian archers crashed out early from the tournament.
Kohli becomes 4th fastest Indian to 5,000 Test runs
Virat Kohli became the fourth fastest Indian batsman to reach the landmark of 5,000 runs in the five-day format on the opening day of the third and final cricket Test against Sri Lanka in New Delhi. Other three are legendary Sunil Gavaskar followed by former star opener Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar.
Shiva Keshavan wins Gold in Asian Luge Championships
The sole Indian participant and defending Asian champion Shiva Keshavan retained his title with a time of 55.60 seconds. India’s veteran Winter Olympian Shiva Keshavan won a gold medal at the Asian Luge Championships at Altenberg, Germany. Due to technical reasons, the Asian Luge Championships took place at Altenberg in Germany.
India’s first bitcoin trading app
Cryptocurrency dealer Pluto Exchange announced the launch of India’s first mobile application for transacting in virtual currencies. The Pluto Exchange mobile app offers a solution to the coordination problem between payment processors, financial gateways, and banks. By using a four-digit personal identification number, users can now buy, sell, store and spend bitcoins via a mobile number.
United Nations cuts budget by $286 million
The UN has approved a $286 million cut in its annual budget for the next year, a 5% “historic reduction in spending”. The General Assembly approved the regular budget of $5.397 billion for 2018-2019. The amount sets the budget level around $286 million (or 5%) below the final approved level for 2016- 2017, and $193 million below the initially proposed budget level for 2018-2019, including all “add-ons”.
Only 1.7% Indians paid income tax
Just over 2 crore Indians, or 1.7 % of the total population, paid income tax in the assessment year (AY) 2015-16, according to data released by the I-T department. The number of income-tax return filers increased to 4.07 crore in assessment year 2015-16 (FY 2014-2015) from 3.65 crore in the previous year. Only 2.06 crore actually paid tax as the others claimed income below taxable limits.
India to become fifth largest economy in 2018: Report
According to recently released report titled 2018 World Economic League Table, India is set to overtake the United Kingdom and France to become the world’s fifth largest economy in 2018. The report was released by Centre for Economics and Business Research, an economics consultancy based in Britain.
Maharashtra tops in GST collection in first five months
Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh are top contributors among states and Union Territories in the first five months since the rollout of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime in July 1, 2017. The data was revealed by Minister of State (MoS) for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla in reply to a question in Lok Sabha.
Indian Economy may reach 7% growth
According to the recently released ASSOCHAM Year-Ahead Outlook, Indian economy may reach a 7% growth in 2018. AYAO forecast pointed out that after disruptions like demonetisation & GST roll-out, the economic expansion may reach 7% mark by the end of September 2018 quarter. ASSOCHAM outlook said that the economy is also likely to tilt towards farm sector which has been witnessing some stress.
US President Signs $1.5 Trillion Tax Overhaul Law
US President Donald Trump has signed into law a sweeping overhaul of the US tax code, two days after the Republican plan was adopted by Congress in a major political victory. Trump this week celebrated his first major legislative victory since taking office a year ago as Congress passed the 1.5 trillion dollars overhaul, set to impact every corner of the economy through dramatic tax cuts for corporations and temporary reductions for individuals.
Income Inequality Highest in India since 1980s
Since 1980 India led to substantial increase in inequality so much that top 0.1% of earners has continued to capture more growth than all those in the bottom 50% combined, according to the World Inequality Lab in its World Inequality Report 2018. In 2014, the share of national income captured by India’s top 1% of earners was 22%, while the share of top 10% of earners was around 56%.
Disney to acquire 21st Century Fox assets for USD 52.4 Billion in stock
Disney has reached a deal to acquire certain assets of 21st Century Fox (FOXA), the parent company of FOX Business, for approximately USD 52.4 billion in stock. The total transaction is valued at USD 66.1 billion, including 21st Century Fox’s debt. The deal includes 21st Century Fox assets- Twentieth Century Fox Film and Television studios, along with cable and international TV businesses like Star India. Prior to this acquisition, Fox will separate the Fox Broadcasting network and stations, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, FS1, FS2 and Big Ten Network into a newly listed company. Disney’s Robert Iger will continue to serve as the Chairman and CEO of Disney through 2021.
South Korea bans its banks from dealing in Bitcoin
South Korea banned its financial institutions from dealing in virtual currencies such as Bitcoin, as the cryptocurrency soars in a bubble fuelled by retail speculators, many of them from the country. There are many of them small-time investors, are estimated to own Bitcoins and demand is so high that prices for the unit are around 20 percent higher than in the US, its biggest market.
Indian Economy likely to Grow by 7.2% in 2018, 7.4% in 2019: UN Report
Indian economy is likely to grow by 7.2 percent in 2018 and go up further to 7.4 percent in 2019 on the back of strong private consumption, public investment and the ongoing structural reforms, according to a UN report. The ‘World Economic Situation and Prospects 2018’ report unveiled by United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA). In India, the report has projected a positive outlook despite the slowdown early this year and the lingering effects of demonetisation. The UN DESA report said the GDP growth is projected to be 6.7 percent in 2017.
Pakistan to depreciate currency
Pakistan has agreed to allow the depreciation of rupee post talks with International Monetary Fund on nation’s economy. Authorities believe the currency adjustment would help shift foreign currency holdings from commercial banks back to official reserves. State Bank of Pakistan would now let the currency exchange rate to adjust to market conditions after many years of resisting expectations.
India’s GDP growth to rise to 7.5%
Indian economy is expected to witness cyclical growth recovery, with real GDP growth likely to accelerate from 6.4% to 7.5% in 2018 & to 7.7% in 2019, says a Morgan Stanley report. Firm is confident about prospects for a recovery in private capital spending as demand conditions are improving post demonetisation & GST. Pickup in Consumption & Exports is expected to improve corporate revenues.
Venezuela to launch new virtual currency
The President of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro has announced the creation of a new virtual currency in a bid to ease the country’s economic crisis. The economy of the country has been impacted heavily by the falling oil revenue and plummeting value of its existing currency, the bolivar. According to the President, the new crypto-currency-Petro – would allow the country to advance in issues of monetary sovereignty, to make financial transactions and overcome the financial blockade. Venezuela’s economic crisis is mainly triggered by a fall in crude oil prices and a drop in oil production, Petroleum is its main source of hard currency.
CCI imposes Rs. 52.24 crore penalty on BCCI
The Competition Commission (CCI) imposed a fine of Rs 52.24 crore on the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for anti-competitive practices with respect to the Indian Premier League. CCI had penalized the BCCI for the same amount in February 2013 as well. CCI had said this penalty comes to nearly 4.48% of the average of the BCCI’s relevant turnover during the last 3 financial years.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Prithvi supersonic interceptor missile successfully test fired
Indigenously developed Prithvi Advanced Air Defence (AAD) supersonic interceptor missile was successfully test-fired from a test range in Odisha. It is capable of destroying any incoming ballistic missile in low altitude. The target missile Prithvi interceptor AAD missile was launched from launch complex 3 of Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur in Odisha. After getting signals by tracking radars the missile directed its trajectory to destroy hostile target missile in mid-air in an endo-atmospheric altitude.
Russia launches satellite for Angola
Russia has launched a rocket carrying Angosat-1, the first national telecoms satellite for Angola. The Zenit-2SB rocket carrying Angosat to orbit was supplied by Ukrainian maker Yuzhmash, making the launch a rare joint project between the two countries since 2014. The Angosat project was agreed by Russia and Angola in 2009.
Dr. Reddy’s unveils cancer drug in U.S.
Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories has introduced Melphalan Hydrochloride for injection, a therapeutic equivalent generic version of Alkeran for injection, in the U.S. market. Melphalan hydrochloride for injection is indicated for the palliative treatment of patients with multiple myeloma for whom oral therapy is not appropriate. It has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
ISRO, NASA jointly working Dual Frequency Synthetic Aperture Radar Imaging Satellite
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) of NASA are jointly working on the development of NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR), a Dual Frequency Synthetic Aperture Radar Imaging Satellite. NISAR is a dual frequency (L & S Band) Radar Imaging Satellite. It will be the first radar imaging satellite to use dual frequency.
China launches land exploration satellite
China has launched a land exploration satellite into a preset orbit for remote sensing operations. The satellite launch was conducted from the Jiluquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi desert, northwest China’s Gansu Province during early morning hours. The satellite will be mainly used for remote sensing exploration of land resources. It was carried by a long march-2D rocket.
Samsung Unveils ‘World’s Smallest’ DRAM Chip
Samsung Electronics developed the world’s smallest DRAM chip. The “2nd-generation” 8-gigabit DRAM chips with improved energy efficiency and data processing performance will be used in mobile devices and high-speed graphics cards. The advantage of DRAM is the structural simplicity of its memory cells. Only 1 transistor and a capacitor are required per bit, compared to 4 to 6 in SRAM.
SpaceX for first time successfully launches recycled rocket and spaceship
US based private rocket launching company SpaceX for first time ever has successfully launched used Dragon spacecraft with a used Falcon 9 rocket. The 2 pre-flown rocket parts were launched together for the first time as part of resupply mission to International Space Station (ISS).
China unveils satellite network plan for South China Sea
China unveiled a satellite network plan for round-the-clock surveillance on the South China Sea. The East Asian country plans to launch 10 satellites into space over the next three years to maintain non-stop surveillance on the disputed waterway. The program would provide scientific support for its One Belt One Road initiative and emergency response efforts at sea.
Akash Missile Successfully Launched
The Surface to Air Missile AKASH with indigenous radio frequency seeker against target Banshee has been successfully launched from the Launch Complex-III at ITR Chandipur, Odisha. The Radars, telemetry and electro-optical systems along the coast have tracked and monitored all the health parameters of the missile. This missile is being inducted into Army as Short Range Surface to Air Missile (SRSAM). With this success, India has achieved the capability of making any type of Surface to Air Missile.
PERSONS IN NEWS
Vinay Sahasrabuddhe appointed as President of ICCR
President Ram Nath Kovind has appointed BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Vinay Sahasrabuddhe as President of the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR). He will succeed scholar and thinker Lokesh Chandra, who was appointed by the NDA government in October 2014 and has completed his three-year-term.
Amardeep Singh Bhatia appointed as Director of SFIO
Senior IAS officer Amardeep Singh Bhatia was appointed as new director of Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO). He is a 1993 batch IAS officer of Nagaland cadre. At present, he is joint secretary in Ministry of Corporate Affairs. The SFIO is a fraud investigating agency in India, under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. The SFIO is involved in major fraud probes and is the co-ordinating agency with the Income Tax Department and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
IPS officer Abhay appointed DG of Narcotics Control Bureau
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has appointed senior IPS officer Abhay as new Director General of Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB). He will have tenure till November 18, 2019. The post was lying vacant after R R Bhatnagar took over as DG of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in April this year. He is at present working in CRPF.
UN appoints Henrietta Fore as UNICEF head
United Nations (UN) has appointed former senior US government official Henrietta H Fore as the new executive director of UNICEF. She will succeed William Anthony Kirsopp Lake who assumed office in 2010.
Dhirendra Pal appointed as UGC chairman
Professor Dhirendra Pal Singh, director, National Assessment and Accreditation Council was appointed the chairperson of UGC. He has been serving as director of NAAC (National Assessment and Accreditation Council) since August 2015. He has 34 years of professional experience in various fields of education. He has served as vice-chancellor of Banaras Hindu University.
BCCI appoints Saba Karim as General Manager
Former India wicketkeeper Saba Karim has appointed as General Manager (Cricket Operations) of the BCCI. Karim will assume office from 01st January and he will report to CEO Rahul Johri. He will assist Johri in meeting the Board’s vision and strategy. The General Manager’s post has been lying vacant since the resignation of MV Sridhar in September over the issue of conflict of interest. Sridhar passed away on October 30th, 2017.
Lt Gen B S Sahrawat takes over as Director-General of NCC
Lieutenant General B S Sahrawat took over the reins of National Cadet Corps as its Director General. The General Officer is a third generation army officer. He is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla and Indian Military Academy, Dehradun. He was commissioned in December 1980 in 13th Battalion (Rezang La), the Kumaon Regiment. He has been awarded the Sena Medal during the floods of Kosi River in Bihar in 2008.
M. Subbarayudu appointed as Next Ambassador of India to the Republic of Peru
Shri M. Subbarayudu, presently Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Republic of Peru. He is expected to take up his assignment shortly.
Justice U.D. Salvi appointed acting chairperson of NGT
Justice Umesh Dattatraya Salvi took charge as acting chairperson of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), a day after Justice Swatanter Kumar retired. Justice Salvi is set to retire on February 13, 2018.
Smita Nagaraj takes over as UPSC member
Senior IAS officer Smita Nagaraj took over as the member of Union Public Service Commission. Nagaraj was appointed to the post with effect from Dec 1 for a period of 6 years or until she attains the age of 65 years. With her appointment, strength of UPSC has gone up to 8. Nagaraj is a 1984 batch IAS officer of Tamil Nadu cadre, her last posting was Director General in the Defence Ministry.
Vodafone India appoints Dawar as its CFO
Vodafone India has appointed Manish Dawar as its Chief Financial Officer with effect from January 1, 2018. Dawar will replace Thomas Reisten, who after completing a 4 year stint with Vodafone India, will be moving to a new senior role within the Vodafone Group. He will report to Sunil Sood, MD and CEO, Vodafone India. Dawar joins Vodafone from Den Networks Limited where he was Group CFO.
R Hemalatha takes charge as Director, NIN
R Hemalatha has been appointed as the new Director of the country’s premier National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), Hyderabad. Hemalatha is a medical graduate of Gandhi Medical College, Hyderabad. She assumes office at a historic moment as the institute enters its centenary year. Hemalatha has served as secretary of the Nutrition Society of India, is a fellow of the National Academy of Medical Sciences and a fellow of the International Union of Nutritional Sciences.
Narinder Batra New President of Indian Olympic Association
Narinder Batra formally took over as the new president of the Indian Olympic Association after winning elections at the Annual General Meeting. Batra received 143 of the 160 votes polled to elect the office-bearers for the next period of four years from 2018-22 while his rival Anil Khanna, honorary life president of the All India Tennis Federation, got 13. Handball Federation of India’s Anandeshwar Pandey was elected as the treasurer after Rakesh Gupta withdrew and Mukesh Kumar of Judo Federation of India was rendered ineligible. Rajeev Mehta was re-elected unopposed as the secretary-general while R. K. Anand won to the lone senior vice-president post defeating kabaddi federation’s Janardhan Gahlot.
Dhammapiya elected New Secretary General of Intl Buddhist
Buddhist monk Dhammapiya from Tripura has been elected as the new secretary general of the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC). He was elected to the post at the second general assembly of the IBC. The IBC is a global Buddhist forum for preservation and development of heritage sites of the religion in India and other parts of the world.
Ola appoints Viraj Chouhan as its CCO
Ola has announced appointment of Viraj Chouhan as its chief communications officer (CCO). As CCO, Chouhan would be reporting to co-founder and CEO, Bhavish Aggarwal. Chouhan brings over 20 years of experience across global brands like MTS, Coca-Cola and Bharti Airtel.
Nakul Chopra elected as BARC India Chairman
Nakul Chopra, President of AAAI and Senior Advisor, Publicis Communications, has been elected as the next Chairman of BARC India. Nakul succeeds Viacom18 Group CEO Sudhanshu Vats. Nakul will be the third Chairman of BARC India. He had joined the BARC India Board in September 2016.
Pradeep Singh Kharola takes over as Air India CMD
Senior IAS officer Pradeep Singh Kharola took charge as the Chairman and Managing Director of Air India. Kharola assumed charge from Rajiv Bansal. He was the managing director of Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited since February 2015.
Shankar appointed RBI Executive Director
Uma Shankar, chief general manager (CGM) in charge of RBI’s financial inclusion and development department has taken over as executive director. Shankar has been elevated after Meena Hemchandra the executive director in charge of the central bank’s supervision department retired at the end of November. Shankar is most likely to take charge of the supervision department of the central bank.
Sarvesh Tiwari appointed as President Para Sports Foundation
On the occasion of International Day of Persons with Disabilities, a renowned communication expert, Sarvesh Kumar Tiwari, was appointed as the President of Para-Sports Foundation (PSF), India. The announcement was made at the National Award for Divyangjan 2017 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. Para Sports Foundation is a non-profit organization working towards the social welfare of persons with disabilities.
London Mayor Names Deepak Parekh as First International Ambassador
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has named noted Indian businessman, Deepak Parekh, as ‘International Ambassador’ who will be tasked with championing the UK capital across the globe. Parekh, is one of the first of a network of international ambassadors, that would include high-level business and cultural figures based in London or overseas. Parekh is the chairman of India’s premier housing finance company HDFC Ltd.
Azar A.H.Khan Appointed Next Ambassador of India to Turkmenistan
Shri Azar A.H.Khan, presently Consul General in the Consulate General of India, Istanbul has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to Turkmenistan. He is expected to take up his assignment shortly.
Swiggy appoints Vishal Bhatia as CEO of New Supply Business
Online food delivery start-up Swiggy (Bundl Technologies Pvt. Ltd) has appointed Vishal Bhatia as the chief executive officer for its new supply business. Bhatia comes with 19 years of experience in consumer goods firms like Reckitt Benckiser Group, PepsiCo and Britannia.
Rahul Singh New president of NRAI
Rahul Singh, the founder, and CEO of The Beer Café has been appointed as president of the National Restaurant Association of India. He will replace Riyaaz Amlani, CEO & MD of Impresario Entertainment & Hospitality who resigned from his duties due to health reasons. Rahul is the recipient of the TiECON 2014 Entrepreneurial award for excellence, Entrepreneur India 2015 award in F&B service.
British singer Ellie appointed as UN environment global goodwill ambassador
British singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding is appointed as Global Goodwill Ambassador for UN Environment, joining the fight to save the lives and habitats of people and animals by cleaning up the planet’s air and seas, fighting climate change and protecting species.
A Surya Prakash re-appointed Prasar Bharati Chief
Veteran journalist A Surya Prakash appointed the chairman of the Prasar Bharati board for a second consecutive term till February 8, 2020. Information and broadcasting ministry issued an order after a panel headed by Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu recommended Prakash’s name for the post.
Infosys appoints Salil S Parekh as MD & CEO
Infosys announced the appointment of Salil S. Parekh as its new CEO and Managing Director. Salil was in Capgemini earlier. The Bengaluru-headquartered company was searching for a new CEO after former CEO Vishal Sikka resigned in August 2017. Cofounder Nandan Nilekani returned to the company as non-executive chairman to steady operations.
Sibi George appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Holy See
Sibi George was appointed the next Ambassador of India to the Holy See. He is an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) Officer of 1993 batch. He is presently Ambassador of India to Switzerland. He has been concurrently appointed the next Ambassador of India to the Holy See, with residence in Berne. He is expected to take up the assignment shortly.
Dia Mirza appointed as UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador for India
Actor-activist Dia Mirza appointed UN (United Nations) Environment’s Goodwill Ambassador for India. As a Goodwill Ambassador, she will work with the UN to further spread the message on priority areas including clean air, clean seas, wildlife protection and climate change. UN Environment head, Erik Solheim congratulated Dia Mirza to the programme. Dia Mirza joined the prestigious list of UN Environment Goodwill Ambassadors, which includes Hollywood stars such as Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Angelina Jolie, Katy Perry and Emma Watson.
Airtel Payments Bank CEO Shashi Arora resigns
Airtel Payments Bank Chief Executive Shashi Arora has quit the company after a recent controversy surrounding India’s largest telecom operator and its payment bank’s alleged violation of rules on using Aadhaar for its electronic know-your-customer (e-KYC) verification process. He has been associated with Airtel in senior leadership roles since 2006. the suspension of the e-KYC licence of Airtel Payments Bank has not been revoked.
Himachal Pradesh CM Virbhadra Singh resigns
Incumbent Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh has resigned from his post, a day after the results of the assembly election were announced in the state. Governor Acharya Devvrat, asked him to continue in the office along with his council of Ministers to discharge the functions till an alternative arrangement is made or the new government is formed. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) wrested power from the Congress, winning close to a two-thirds majority with 44 seats in its kitty in the 68-member assembly.
NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar retires
The Chairperson of National Green Tribunal (NGT), Justice Swatanter Kumar announced his retirement from the post of 19 December 207, after completing his five-year tenure. A full bench reference was organised at the NGT on the occasion. Justice Swatanter Kumar was appointed to the post of NGT Chairperson on 20 December 2012. Prior to it, he was serving as a judge in the Supreme Court of India.
2002 World Cup winner Kaka retires from Football
Former AC Milan and Real Madrid midfielder Kaka, who lifted the 2002 World Cup with Brazil, announced his retirement from football. Kaka, who won the Champions League and the Ballon d’Or award in 2007 while playing for AC Milan, had become the most expensive footballer in history after his then-world record £56 million transfer from Milan to Madrid. He was the last Brazilian to be voted world player of the year in 2007.
After Mary Kom, Sushil Kumar resigns as National Sports Observer
A week after five-time world champion Mary Kom resigned as the National Sports Observer, Indian star wrestler and two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar also stepped down from the position of wrestling.
Ola CEO Shalabh Seth resigns
Shalabh Seth, CEO of Ola Fleet Technologies has resigned from the firm. Seth is one of several high-profile executives hired by Ola over the past 3 years. Seth, a former CEO of brewer SabMiller India, had joined Ola in Jan. OLA has been struggling to retain senior-level employees for a while now & Seth’s resignation adds on to the long list of executives that have stepped down.
Mary Kom resigns as National observer for Indian Boxing
Five-time world champion M C Mary Kom has resigned as the national observer for Indian boxing. The information was shared by the Olympic bronze-medallist herself. She revealed that she had taken the decision after having a word with Sports minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, who had recently stated that active sportsperson will not be considered for the position. Kom is one among the 12 national observers appointed in March 2017.
Pakistan’s Law Minister Zahid Hamid resigns
Pakistan’s law minister Zahid Hamid has quit as the Civilian government surrendered to the wishes of hardline religious groups. The groups on their part, who had held Islamabad under a protest siege for nearly a month, called off their violent protests.
Mystery Writer Sue Grafton passes away at 77
Sue Grafton, author and creator of the Alphabet Series of mystery novels, has passed away at age 77. She was dealing with cancer for the last two years.
The creator of Bugs Bunny, Bob Givens, passes away at 99
Bob Givens, one of the animators behind designing the iconic characters Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd, died at the age of 99. He was from the USA. He also brought his skills to TV advertising, animating cartoon insects for Raid bug-killer commercials. Givens served in the US army during the Second World War, before returning to the animation industry.
Music Legend Robbie Malinga passes away
Legendary South African musician Robbie Malinga passed away. The veteran musician suffered from anaemia. He announced his retirement as a solo artist in 2016, after more than 20 years in the industry. The musician is known for his hit songs such as, ‘Sobabili’, ‘Mthanda’ and ‘Baby Please’.
Bengali film actor Partha Mukhopadhyay passes away
Famed Bengali film actor Partha Mukhopadhyay had passed away. He was 70. Mukhopadhyay portrayed a number of memorable roles in the 1960s after getting a break as a child artiste in the film Maa directed by Chitto Basu in 1958. The state government had conferred Mukhopadhyay with a special award for his contribution to Bengali films. Balika Bodhu (1967), Dhonyi Meye (1971), Agnishwar (1975), Amar Prithivi (1985), Baag Bandi Khela (1975) are some of his popular movies.
Banwari Lal Joshi passes away
Former UP Governor Banwari Lal Joshi passed away at AIIMS due to septic shock after an infection on the valves. Joshi was 82 years old. He has served as governor of many states. He has served as lieutenant governor of Delhi, governor of Meghalaya, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
Bengali Singer Jatileswar Mukhopadhyay passes away
Acclaimed Bengali singer Jatileswar Mukhopadhyay passed away in Kolkata following prolonged illness. He was 82. He passed away due to multi-organ failure. The West Bengal government had conferred him with the Sangeet Samman award in 2012. He had a great place in bengali music in the 70s-80s. Some of his popular works are E Kon sakal, Tomar Sange Dekha Na Hole, Aamar Swapan Kinte Paare and Bondhuya Amar Chokhe Jal Enechhe.
Pop singer Keely Smith dies at 89
Keely Smith, a pop & jazz singer known for her solo recordings of jazz standards as well as her musical partnership with Louis Prima, has died of apparent heart failure in Palm Springs. She was 89. Smith was a Grammy-winning talent who gained much attention when as a teenager she got the job as the “girl singer” in Prima’s band in 1948. She married Prima in 1953 and achieved success together.
Actor-Director Neeraj Vora passes away
Bollywood actor, writer, and filmmaker Neeraj Vora, in coma since a year, died at a Mumbai hospital. He was 54. His initial work as a writer includes superstar Shah Rukh Khan starrer TV show Circus. As an actor, his first work professional work came in the form of Ketan Mehta’s Holi (1984), which also starred Aamir Khan. His last film as an actor was Anil Kapoor starrer Welcome Back, which released in 2015.
Pioneer of DNA Fingerprinting Lalji Singh passes away
Lalji Singh, a pioneer of DNA fingerprinting technology in India and former Vice-Chancellor of Benares Hindu University, BHU (2011 to 2014), passed away at the age of 70. Lalji Singh and his team developed the indigenous probe that was first applied to settle paternity disputes in the late 1980s at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) Hyderabad.
Veteran journalist Sukharanjan Sengupta passes away
Veteran journalist Sukharanjan Sengupta died in Kolkata due to old age-related health problems. Sengupta had worked for Bengali dailies Jugantar and Ananda Bazar Patrika in his long career spanning over six decades. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed grief at Sengupta’s death and remembered his reportage of the 1971 Bangladesh liberation war.
Tamil journalist & humourist Ja Ra Sundaresan dies aged 87
Senior Tamil journalist & humourist Ja Ra Sundaresan died at a private hospital. A prolific writer, Mr. Sundaresan had authored over 1,000 short stories and 2 dozen novels. His main fictional characters were “Appusami” & “Seetha patti”. He joined Tamil weekly, Kumudam, as a member of the editorial desk in 1953 & worked for the journal as assistant editor & deputy editor till 1990.
King of rock Johnny Hallyday dies
France’s best-known rock star Johnny Hallyday has died aged 74 after a battle with lung cancer. Known simply as Johnny at home & “the French Elvis” abroad, Hallyday was a singer, actor & consummate showman who sparked scenes of mass hysteria in his heyday. Hallyday broke from France’s classic chanson tradition in the late 1950s, selling more than 100 million albums & headlining 50 major tours.
Singer Purabi Mukhopadhyay passes away
Veteran Rabindrasangeet singer Purabi Mukhopadhyay has passed away at her city residence in Kolkata after suffering from age-related health problems. She was 83.
Veteran Actor Shashi Kapoor passes away
Veteran actor Shashi Kapoor died at the age of 79. Kapoor was unwell for quite some time. The actor was admitted to the Kokilaben Hospital in Mumbai. The third and youngest son of Prithviraj Kapoor, Shashi Kapoor made his Bollywood debut in 1961, as the lead actor, in the film Dharmputra. Kapoor acted in more than a hundred films, of which he played the solo lead in 61.
Russia’s Dy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin visits India
Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin arrived in New Delhi. He will co-chair the meeting of India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation (IRIGC-TEC). The External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will host Mr. Rogozin and lead the Indian side. The meeting will enable the two sides to review the progress achieved by various working groups and sub-groups under the IRIGC-TEC.
Second vice president of Afghanistan arrives in India for 5 day visit
Afghanistan’s second vice president Mohammad Sarwar Danish will be on a five-day visit to India starting 09 December. During his visit, Danish will go to Mumbai to attend an international conference on ‘Harmony and Memorial of Mother Teresa’.
Pratibha Gai honoured with Damehood by queen Elizabeth
Acclaimed York-based scientist Pratibha Laxman Gai has been named for damehood , the female equivalent of a knighthood, leading a number of people of Indian-origin from various walks of life in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List 2018. Gai, professor and acclaimed expert on electron microscopy based at the University of York, grew up in India and won the national science talent scholarship before winning another scholarship to study at the University of Cambridge. She is the fourth Indian-origin woman conferred with the honour since it was institute in 1917. She has been honoured for “services to chemical sciences and technology”.
Vin Diesel, Forbes 2017 top-Grossing Actor
Vin Diesel has been named the top-grossing actor of 2017 by Forbes, with $1.6 billion in global ticketing receipts from his film ‘The Fate of the Furious’. The second spot was occupied by Dwayne Johnson ‘The Rock’, with $1.5 billion receipts. ‘Wonder Woman’ actress Gal Gadot, whose films earned $1.4 billion worldwide, featured in the third spot on the list.
Anushka Sharma crowned PETA’s ‘Person of the Year’
Popular actor and vegetarian Anushka Sharma has been crowned the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ (PETA) 2017 Person of the Year Award. The actress has taken the title for her wide-reaching work for animals, from helping to protect dogs from fireworks to advocating for horses who are forced to pull carriages in Mumbai.
Paytm becomes India’s first payments app to cross 100 mn downloads on Play Store
India’s largest mobile-first financial services platform, Paytm announced that its app has crossed the 100 million milestone on Google Play Store in the second week of December 2017. This makes Paytm the country’s first payments app to cross the 100 million downloads mark. Paytm has become the most preferred payments app in the country today, allowing users to scan its QR and pay at large merchants, grocery and kirana stores, milk-booths, local taxi/autos fares, petrol pumps, multiplexes, restaurants and more.
PM Modis Mann Ki Baat among most trending Twitter hashtags in 2017
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s radio programme “Mann Ki Baat” was the most trending hashtag on Twitter in 2017, followed by #jallikattu and #GST. The micro-blogging platform said #Mannkibaat sparked a great deal of commentary all over the year, including a tweet from cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar that went viral. Mann Ki Baat is a radio programme hosted by the PM on the last Sunday of every month to address people of the nation on All India Radio, DD National, and DD News. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also emerged as the most mentioned personality on Twitter during the course of Gujarat elections, followed by Congress President Rahul Gandhi.
Sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik creates world’s biggest sand Santa face at Puri beach
On the eve of Christmas celebrations, international sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik created the world’s biggest sand Santa-face with the message “world peace” on the Puri beach of Odisha. The Santa face is 25 feet high and 50 feet wide and will be placed in the Limca Book of World Records. He has also created a sand sculpture of Jesus Christ in front of the Santa face.
AG600: World’s largest amphibious aircraft takes off
China’s home-grown AG600, also known as ‘Kunlong’, the world’s largest amphibious aircraft took off took off from the southern city of Zhuhai and landed after roughly an hour-long flight. Its successful maiden flight makes China among the world’s few countries capable of developing a large amphibious aircraft. It also further strengthens China’s rapidly modernising military.
Mumbai, Gurugram girls win Mrs India contest
Mayanka Patel from Mumbai and Poonam Gaur from Gurugram were crowned Mrs India-Pride of Nation in two different categories at the grand finale. Mayanka was announced winner in Group A category that had participation of girls in the age bracket of 21 years to 34 years while Group B (34-45 years) saw Poonam taking the crown at the event.
Patanjali ranked India’s most trusted FMCG Brand
Brand Trust Report, India Study 2017 has ranked Patanjali as India’s most trusted Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) brand. Patanjali has also been named the most attractive brand. The study was conducted on 11,000 brands in 16 cities of India.
Kohli becomes India’s most valued celeb
For the first time, a cricketer, Virat Kohli has emerged as the top-ranked celeb with a brand value of $144 million. In 2016, SRK was on the top spot with $131.2m brand value. He has slipped to the second rank this year, with a brand value of $106m. Kohli endorses 20 brands as of October 2017, while Khan and Deepika Padukone – ranked on number 3 – endorse 21 and 23 brands, respectively.
Salman Khan tops Forbes India Celebrity List 2017
With earnings of Rs232.83 crore, actor Salman Khan has topped the Forbes India Celebrity 100 list 2017 for the second consecutive year. While Shah Rukh Khan featured in the second spot with earnings of Rs170.50 crore, Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli came third with Rs100.72 crore earnings. Akshay Kumar and Sachin Tendulkar featured in the fourth and fifth spots respectively.
UK tops Forbes’ List of Best Countries for Business in 2018
The United Kingdom has topped Forbes’ rankings of best countries in the world for business in 2018 for the first time, up from fifth last year. The list ranks 153 countries on 15 factors including property rights, innovation, taxes and red tape. The UK is followed by New Zealand and the Netherlands, while India was ranked 62nd on the list. The UK’s $2.6 trillion economy is the fifth largest in the world. The world’s second (China) and third (Japan) biggest economies rank 66th and 21st, respectively. Chad ranks last for the third straight year.
Delhi ranks 7th in Most Expensive Office Locations list
Delhi has emerged as one of the most expensive premium office locations in the world. Ranked 7th in the list, rent of Delhi’s premium office location is higher than San Francisco and Dubai, according to the latest report by JLL India, a real estate services firm. Mumbai is at 16th position in the list. The top spot is again taken by Hong Kong and there is huge margin between the rent rates between Hong Kong and London (West), which is second in the list. New York, Beijing, Tokyo are on the third, fourth and fifth position respectively.
Shree Saini from Washington crowned Miss India USA 2017
Washington resident Shree Saini has been crowned Miss India USA 2017. While Prachi Singh from Connecticut was declared the first runner-up at the pageant, which was held at the Royal Alberts Palace in Edison, New Jersey. Shree Saini is an anti-bullying activist. At the beauty pageant, cancer surgeon Kavita Malhotra Pattani from Florida was declared Mrs India USA 2017. Swapna Mannam, 17, from New Jersey was crowned with Miss Teen India USA 2017.
World’s longest wedding dress train sets Guinness record
A Guinness World Record has been set in France for the world’s longest wedding dress train, measuring over 8,095 metres long. Construction company Dynamic Projects, with the help of 15 volunteers, spent two months stitching individual pieces of the rain before sewing them all together to form a whole. The team also incorporated part of the previous record – breaking garment that measured 1,203.9 metres. The wedding dress was unveiled in Caudry, a French town famous for its production of lace, 11 years after the Guinness World Records title was first set there.
Mo Farah wins BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year Award
World 10,000m champion Sir Mo Farah has been voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2017. The 34-year-old, a four-time Olympic champion, won his third successive world 10,000m gold medal in London in August. He becomes the first long-distance runner to win the Sports Personality award since Paula Radcliffe in 2002.
Man Sails around the World in 42 days, breaks World Record
Frenchman Francois Gabart smashed the world record for the fastest non-stop solo navigation of the globe, completing the mammoth feat in 42 days, 16 hours, 40 minutes and 35 seconds. The 34-year-old sailor crossed a virtual finish line drawn between the island of Ushant off France’s northwest tip and Lizard Point in southwest England at 0145 GMT, comfortably beating the previous record set by compatriot Thomas Coville last year by six days and 10 hours.
‘Youthquake’ named Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionaries
Oxford Dictionaries has crowned “youthquake” as its word of 2017 in a nod to the unexpected level of youth engagement in this summer’s election in the United Kingdom. An amalgamation of “youth” and “earthquake”, the noun is defined as “a significant cultural, political, or social change arising from the actions or influence of young people”. The word was coined in the 1960s by then-Vogue editor, Diana Vreeland, to describe upheavals in fashion and music caused by Britain’s youth culture.
Roger Federer named BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year
Roger Federer has been named BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year for a record fourth time. Federer overtook fellow three-time winners Muhammad Ali and Usain Bolt after rolling back the years to win the Australian Open before becoming the first man to win eight Wimbledon singles titles, at the age of 35. His dramatic five-set win over Rafael Nadal in Melbourne ended a near five-year drought of grand slam triumphs, with his victory at the All England Club increasing his haul of majors to a record 19.
Lucknow’s Jitesh Singh Deo named Mr India 2017
Jitesh Singh Deo from Lucknow was declared the winner of the 2017 Mr India pageant. Indian footballer Prathamesh Maulingkar won the title of Mr India Supranational and will compete at Mr Supranational 2018. Abhi Khajuria was declared the first-runner up while Pavan Rao was the second runner-up. Actress Kangana Ranaut felicitated the winners.
JK Rowling named a ‘Companion of Honor’
The royal family has presented J.K. Rowling with a Companion of Honor award at Buckingham Palace. The “Harry Potter” author received the prestigious award from Prince William, as recognition of her services to literature and philanthropy. The prestigious award is given to people who have made major contributions in their field.
Michael Jordan, World’s Highest-Paid Athlete of All Time
In the latest list released by Forbes, Michael Jordan has been named as the highest-paid athletes of all time. The 54-year-old has a whopping $1.7 billion in the bank. Former world number one golfer Tiger Woods is standing at the second spot. Late American golfer Arnold Palmer is at No.3 with incredible $1.4 billion to his name.
‘Feminism’: Merriam-Webster’s Word of the year 2017
Feminism’ was on 13 December 2017 named as the Merriam-Webster’s Word of the year for 2017. In the year 2017, searchers for ‘feminism’ increased by 70 per cent over 2016 on Merriam-Webster.com. ‘Feminism’ has also been in Merriam-Webster’s annual Top 10 list for the past few years. ‘Feminism’ has its roots in the Latin language, where it was used for “woman” and “female” in 14th century English.
ICAN receives 2017 Nobel Peace Prize
The Geneva-based International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) received the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize at ceremony held in Oslo, Norway. The award was received by Beatrice Fihn, leader of ICAN and Hiroshima nuclear bombing survivor Setsuko Thurlow. ICAN, a coalition of 468 grassroots non-governmental groups has been in forefront of pushing for end to use of nuclear weapons through United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons adopted by 122 nations in July 2017.
Lakshmi Puri among six diplomats felicitated with ‘Power of One’
Six top diplomats including one Indian were felicitated with the inaugural Diwali ‘Power of One’ award at the UN headquarters in New York for their contribution to help form a more perfect, peaceful and secure world. The awards were presented on the occasion of the first anniversary of the issuance of a ‘forever Diwali stamp’ by the US Postal Services.
List of Awardees:
Matthew Rycroft: The outgoing British Ambassador to the UN
Nawaf Salam: The Lebanese Ambassador to the UN. He was also elected to the International Court of Justice in November 2017.
Lakshmi Puri: She is the Indian head of the UN Women.
Maged Abdelaziz: The former Permanent Representative of Egypt to the UN.
Ion Botnaru: The former Permanent Representative of Moldova to the UN.
Yuriy Sergeyev: The former Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the UN.
Dangal named the Best Asian Film at Australian Gala
Aamir Khan-starrer Dangal has been named the Best Asian Film at 7th Australian Academy of Cinema & Television Arts Awards. Directed by Nitesh Tiwari, Dangal is a biographical sports drama film featuring Fatima Sana Shaikh, Sanya Malhotra, Zaira Wasim. It is inspired by lives of Phogat family members, telling the story of Mahavir Phogat who trains his daughters to become world-class wrestlers.
Former supermarket worker Dan Middleton named World’s richest YouTuber
The Forbes Magazine has named former Tesco supermarket worker Dan Middleton as the world’s richest YouTuber after he made a fortune of $16.5 million this year. The 26-year-old shares videos of himself playing video games and describes gameplay and strategies on his YouTube channel, DanTDM. He has earned popularity around the world, with his live tour most recently including a stopover at the Sydney Opera House in Australia – with the show the second-fastest show in the venue’s history.
Diddy tops Forbes Highest Paid Musicians of 2017 List
Forbes has revealed its annual list of the highest-paid musicians. Diddy [Sean Combs] was named the highest earner ranked in $130 million.
The top 3 in the list are:
1) Diddy ($130m)
2) Beyonce ($105m)
3) Drake ($94m).
Facebook Co founder Saverin becomes richest man in Singapore
Facebook Co-founder Eduardo Saverin has become Singapore’s richest person with a net worth of $10.4 billion. Saverin became a Singapore resident after giving up his US citizenship in 2012.
Shah Rukh Khan named top Indian actor of 2017 by IMDb
Actor Shah Rukh Khan has been named the top Indian actor of 2017 by Internet Movie Data Base (IMDb). Aamir Khan and Salman Khan occupied the second and third spots respectively.
2nd best UNESCO world heritage site
The Taj Mahal in Agra, is the second best UNESCO world heritage site in the world, according to a new survey. With over 8 million visitors per year, the monument of love built by mughal emperor Shah Jahan is rated after Cambodia’s Angkor Wat. Conducted by online travel portal TripAdvisor, the survey lists the UNESCO Cultural & Natural heritage sites best rated by travellers around the globe.
Kerala’s Alappuzha in Top 5 UN Clean City List
The waste management system being implemented in Kerala’s coastal town of Alappuzha recognized by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) as one of the five models across the world for fighting the pollution menace. Alappuzha, often called “the Venice of East”, has been listed in the UNEP environment report entitled, ‘Solid approach to waste: how five cities are beating pollution’ alongside cities like Osaka in Japan, Ljubljana in Slovenia, Penang in Malaysia and Cajica in Colombia.
Time readers vote Saudi Crown Prince Person of the Year
Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been voted the Time magazine readers’ Person of the Year, despite spearheading the continued bombardment of Yemen, leading to the starvation of its citizens. The award goes to those who “for better or worse” influenced the year. The 32-year-old scored 24 percent of the vote, with the #MeToo movement against sexual assault and harassment. Bin Salman overtook Hillary Clinton, Vladimir Putin and even the Pope to be crowned the people’s choice, winning far more votes than the three combined.
PM Modi Most tweeted about world leader after Trump
PM Modi has emerged as the “most tweeted about world leader” after U.S. President Donald Trump in 2017. Mr. Modi with 37.5 million followers is the 2nd most tweeted about the world leader, after Mr. Trump with 44.1 million followers. Other world leaders to figure in the top-10 list include Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, Turkish President Recep Erdogan and French President Emmanuel Macron.
World smallest Mona Lisa created using DNA origami
Caltech scientists have made the world’s smallest recreation of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, the size of a bacterium, out of DNA. The technique, dubbed DNA origami, enabled scientists to fold DNA into desired self-assembling structures using 64 tiles, which were 100 nanometers wide. The team also created a life-sized portrait of a bacterium and a bacterium-sized portrait of a rooster.
Kumbh Mela on UNESCO list of intangible cultural heritage
UNESCO has inscribed ‘Kumbh Mela’ on the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The decision was taken during the 12th session of the Intergovernmental Committee on Intangible Cultural Heritage at Jeju in South Korea. This inscription is the third in two years following the inscriptions of ‘Yoga’ and ‘Nouroz’ on 1st December 2016. The ‘Kumbh Mela’ is the largest peaceful congregation of pilgrims on earth.
Syrian boy wins Children’s Peace Prize
Mohamad Al Jounde from Syria has been awarded the International Children’s Peace Prize for his efforts to ensure rights of Syrian refugee children Al Jounde set up a school together with his family in a Lebanese refugee camp that currently provides 200 children with education. He received the prize from Malala Yousafzai, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 for her work for children’s rights.
Indian-American Senator Harris tops Global Thinkers List
Indian-American California senator Kamala Harris has topped the prestigious Foreign Policy magazine’s 2017 list of ’50 Leading Global Thinkers’ which also features US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley. Besides Harris and Haley, Indian-origin stand-up comedian Hasan Minhaj has also made it to the list. South Korean President Moon Jae-in is ranked second in the list for trying to rebuild decent democratic leadership in South Korea. Popular comedian Minhaj is placed third in the ranking for defining the narrative of a “New Brown America”.
First Sikh Woman elected as Mayor in the US
Preet Didbal has been elected as the mayor of Yuba city in California, becoming the first Sikh woman to hold the position in the United States. Ms. Didbal was appointed by the California city council and will be sworn in on December 5. However, Ms. Didbal is the first Sikh woman to be elected as mayor in the country.
Aditya Puri only Indian on Fortune’s Businessperson of the Year Top 20 List
Aditya Puri, the Managing Director of HDFC Bank, is the only Indian on Fortune’s ‘Businessperson of the Year’ list. The Businessperson of the Year list is an annual ranking of world’s top 20 heads of companies. At the 18th position, Aditya Puri is the only head of an Indian company on the list.
Raj Shah becomes First Indian-American to hold Press Gaggle
Raj Shah who holds a key position in the White House, gaggled with reporters on board US Presidential chopper Air Force One, becoming the first Indian-American to enjoy the privilege. Thirty-three old, He did so in the capacity of the Principal Deputy Press Secretary. He was accompanying Mr Trump as he flew to Missouri to deliver a major speech on middle-class tax relief and business tax relief.
‘Populism’ Named Cambridge Dictionary’s Word of the Year
The word ‘populism’ has been announced as Cambridge Dictionary’s Word of the Year 2017. The dictionary defined populism as “political ideas and activities that are intended to get the support of ordinary people by giving them what they want”. It said searches for ‘populism’ rose when Pope Francis made statements warning against its rising tide.
Miss Korea Jenny Kim Crowned Miss Supranational 2017
The 24-year-old model and Miss Korea Jenny Kim has bagged the title of Miss Supranational 2017 at the gala event, which was held in Poland’s Spa Resort of Krynica- Zdroj. Miss Columbia Tica Martinez and Romania’s Bianca Tirsin were adjudged First Runner’s Up and the second runner-up in the event, respectively. Kim left behind 64 contestants from different countries to bag the title. India’s official entry to the competition, Peden Ongmu Namgyal, reached top 25.
PLACES IN NEWS
World’s Longest Glass Bridge opens in China
The world’s longest glass bridge has been opened in China to the public. Though it has a capacity to hold 2000 people, only 500 would be allowed at a time. Located in Shijiazhuang, the magnificent bridge lies 218 meters above hanging between the two cliffs in Hongyagu Scenic Area in Pingshan county. The bridge is 488 meters long and two meters wide, with two dragon statues on top that could produce smoke. Another 430 meters long and 6 meters wide bridge was opened last year in the Grand Canyon Scenic Area in Zhangjiajie, China.
NGT declares Amarnath Cave shrine a ‘Silent Zone’
In order to protect the eco-sensitive Amarnath cave shrine, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) declared it a “silence zone” and prohibited religious offerings like chanting of hymns, and ringing bells beyond the entry point. The Amarnath cave temple is situated in the Himalayas in the state of Jammu & Kashmir.
Mount Hope named UK’s new highest peak
British authorities have named Mount Hope as the country’s new highest peak. Hope, which is sited in the part of the Antarctic claimed by the UK, was recently re-measured and found to tower above the previous title holder, Mount Jackson.
BOOKS IN NEWS
Book on Gauri Lankesh’s writings launched
A book containing selected writings by late journalist Gauri Lankesh was launched at the Mumbai Press Club, three months after she was gunned down. The book, The Way I See It – a Gauri Lankesh Reader, has been edited by writer and sociologist Chandan Gowda. The six sections of the book comprise Lankesh’s early reportage in various publications and selected articles she wrote for the Kannada language Gauri Lankesh Patrike, which she edited.
Uttarakhand CM launches his biography
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat has launched a biography based on chronicles of his early struggle and lesser known aspects of his life. Titled ‘Trivendra Ek Zindaginama – Khairasain ka Sooraj’, the book is written by a doctor named Nandan Singh Bisht.
Amitabh Bachchan launches Book on Indian Cinema
Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan launched a book based on Indian cinema in showbiz capital Mumbai. The book, titled ‘Bollywood: The Films! The Songs! The Stars!’, is a coffee table book, which provides historical insights, lesser-known facts and behind-the-scene exclusives of the most iconic movies made in the history of the Indian film industry. The book is co-authored by S.M.M. Ausaja, Karan Bali, Rajesh Devraj and Tanul Thakur, the book on India’s tinsel town is published by British multinational publishing company Dorling Kindersley (DK).
IMPORTANT DAYS & DATES
25 December: Good Governance Day
The Good Governance Day (GGD) is celebrated every year in India on December 25 to mark the birthday anniversary of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The day was established by Central Government in 2014 to honor Vajpayee by fostering awareness among the people of accountability in government.
23 December: Kisan Diwas
Kisan Diwas (Farmer’s Day) is observed every year on 23 December to celebrate the birth anniversary of the fifth prime minister late Chaudhary Charan Singh. He was the PM of India for a very short tenure starting from 28th of July 1979 until 14th January 1980. When he became the Prime Minister of India in July 1979 he made many changes to improve the lives of the farmers. This is also an interesting fact that as the Prime Minister of India, Chaudhary Charan Singh never visited the Lok Sabha. He also served as the Deputy Prime Minister during the reign of Morarji Desai. He introduced Budget 1979 which was designed to accomplish the needs of the farmers in all respects. It had several policies in favour of Indian farmers.
22 December: National Mathematics Day
The famed Mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan’s birth anniversary on December 22 is celebrated as National Mathematics Day. It was in 2012 that then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh declared December 22 as National Mathematics Day. In 1917, Ramanujan was elected to be a member of the London Mathematical Society. In 1918 he also became a Fellow of the Royal Society, becoming the youngest person to achieve the feat. He passed away on April 6, 1920.
20 December: International Human Solidarity Day
The International Human Solidarity Day was observed across the world on 20 December 2017. In the Millennium Declaration, solidarity is identified as one of the fundamental values of internal relations in the 21st Century, wherein those who either suffer or benefit least deserve help from those who benefit most. The Day aims to raise public awareness of the importance of solidarity and encourages debate on the ways to promote solidarity for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals including poverty eradication.
18 December: International Migrants Day
The International Migrants Day was observed across the world on 18 December 2017 with the theme ‘Safe Migration in a World on the Move’. Migration has always been a way-out for individuals to overcome the hitches and snags and to live a better life. In this new era of crisis and complexity, challenges and difficulties, international migration requires enhanced cooperation and collective action among countries and regions. The total number of international migrants has increased from an estimated 175 million in 2000 to 244 million in 2015. Nearly two thirds of all international migrants, that is 76 million people, live in Europe or Asia. One in every ten migrants is below 15 years of age.
16 December: Vijay Diwas
Vijay Diwas was observed across the nation on 16 December 2017. The day is commemorated every year, as it marks India’s victory over Pakistan during the Indo-Pakistani war of 1971, which led to the creation of Bangladesh. The day’s celebrations would witness participation from many ex-servicemen who had fought in the war. This year marks the 46th anniversary of India’s victory over its neighbour. The day is celebrated as a Victory day by Bangladesh as well, as the surrender of Pakistan Armed Forces marked an end to its 9-month-long Liberation War.
14 December: National Energy Conservation Day
The National Energy Conservation Day is celebrated annually on 14th December. The 14th President of India Mr. Ram Nath Kovind was the Chief Guest on the occasion. The ECD is organized on 14th December each year by Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), under Ministry of Power. The Day is celebrated with an aim to demonstrate India’s achievements in energy efficiency and conservation.
11 December: International Mountain Day
International Mountain Day was observed across the world on 11 December 2017 with the theme ‘Mountains under pressure: climate, hunger and migration’. The day provides an occasion to highlight how climate, hunger and migration are affecting highlands and to ensure that sustainable mountain development is integrated into the 2030 Agenda and in the implementation of the Paris Agreement. This year’s theme is also linked to the Mountain Partnership Global Meeting, which is scheduled to be held from 11 to 13 December 2017 at the headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations in Rome, Italy.
10 December: Human Rights Day
Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10 December. The day the United Nations General Assembly adopted, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This year, Human Rights Day kicks off a year-long campaign to mark the upcoming 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a milestone document. It is the most translated document in the world, available in more than 500 languages. The Campaign is named as #standup4humanrights.
07 December: Armed Forces Flag Day
Armed Forces Flag Day is being observed throughout the country on 7 December to honor the martyrs and the men in uniform who valiantly fought on our borders to safeguard the country’s honor. The day marks the annual Armed Forces Flag day in India since 1949. The day is also dedicated towards the collection of funds from people for welfare of Indian Armed forces personnel and to commemorate the soldiers, airmen, and sailors of the armed forces for their yeomen services.
5 December: World Soil Day
The World Soil Day was observed across the world on 5 December 2017 with the theme ‘Caring for the Planet starts from the Ground’. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the soil holds three times as much carbon as the atmosphere and can help us meet the challenges of a changing climate.
4 December: Indian Navy Day
The 46th Indian Navy Day was celebrated on 4 December 2017. The day is observed every year to celebrate the achievements and role of the naval force in the country. On this day in 1971, the Indian Navy carried out Operation Trident, which was a devastating attack on Pakistan’s Naval Headquarters of Karachi. The attack irreparably damaged destroyers and oil storage tanks at the Karachi port and sank Pakistan Naval Ships, PNS Ghazi.
3 December: International Day of Persons with Disabilities
International Day of Persons with Disabilities (December 3) is an international observance promoted by the United Nations since 1992. The observance of the Day aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. The theme of International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2017: “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient society for all”.
1 December: BSF Raising Day
Border Security Force (BSF), the sentinels of Indian borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh, celebrated its 52nd Anniversary of Raising Day on 1st December. BSF is the biggest border guarding force in the world. It came into existence on the eventful day of 1st December, 1965. BSF is deployed on Indo-Pakistan International Border, Indo-Bangladesh International Border, Line of Control along with Indian Army and in Anti-Naxal Operations.
1 December: World AIDS Day
World AIDS Day, designated on 1 December every year since 1988, is a day dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection and mourning those who have died of the disease. The theme for World AIDS day 2017 is ‘Right to health’.