Japan successfully launches solid fuel rocket
Japan’s space agency has announced successfully launched a 26- meter long rocket named Epsilon-2, which put a satellite that helps study radiation belts in orbit. Epsilon – 2 is part of a new generation of solid propellant rockets, which can reduce launch costs up to one – third reduction in cost can allow countries to put more communications and weather satellites in space.
India surpasses Britain to become world’s sixth largest economy: Forbes magazine
India has now surpassed its former colonial master, the united kingdom, making it self the sixth largest economy in the world. For the first time in more than 100 years, India has achieved this feat. The US, China, Japan, Germany and France make up the top five economies of the world.This advancement is primarily because of the rapid economic growth of India and Brexit fiasco
Ukraine Nationalized Nations largest private Bank “Privat Bank”
Privat Bank, Ukraine’s largest private bank, is being nationalized to protect country’s financial system and preserve an essential bailout loan from the International Monetary Fund. It was running out of money because of the recession in Ukraine and questionable loans. The central bank said 97% of its corporate loans had been made to companies to its share holders.
Puerto Rico’s Stephanie Del Valle crowned Miss World 2016
Puerto Rico’s 19-year-old Stephanie Del Valle has been crowned as the Miss World 2016 at an event held in Maryland, US. Miss Dominican Republic Yaritza Miguelina Reyes Ramirez was the first runner-up. Notably, Valle is the second Puerto Rican to hold the title after Wilnelia Merced won it in 1975. India’s Priyadarshini Chatterjee also reached the top 20.
China opens first fully-owned satellite ground station near North Pole
China has launched its first fully-owned overseas satellite ground station near the North Pole enabling it to collect satellite data anywhere on the Earth at fastest speed in the world. It is formally known as China Remote Sensing Satellite North Pole Ground Station. It is located about 200 kms north of the Arctic Circle in Sweden.
Indian-American woman elected as Mayor of Californian city
For the first time, an Indian-American woman has been elected as the new Mayor of the key Californian city of Cupertino, globally known for its Apple headquarters. Savita Vaidhyanathan, an MBA who worked as a high school Math teacher and an officer in a commercial bank as well as in non-profit management.
Rio Gets UNESCO World Heritage Status
The Marvelous City or Rio de Janeiro officially has entered into the UN’s list of world heritage sites. The UN cultural body, UNESCO given this status to Rio to highlighted the “extraordinary fusion” of man-made and natural beauty.
India becomes world’s 4th largest defense spender
India has outshone Russia, France, Japan and Saudi Arabia in the defense budget and has become world’s 4th largest defense spender . With an expenditure of over 3 lakh core in 2016, India is now behind the US, China and the UK. Furthermore, by 2018 India will surpass the UK.
Sushma Swaraj, Vineet Nayar in FP’s Global Thinkers 2016 list
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and philanthropist couple Anupama and Vineet Nayar are among the Indians who have been named in the Global Thinkers of 2016 List compiled by the Foreign Policy magazine. Swaraj was named in the ‘Decision-makers’ category along with the Democratic nominee for US President Hillary Clinton, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US Attorney General Loretta Lynch among others.
Viola Desmond becomes first Canadian woman to appear on banknote
Viola Desmond will appear on the Canadian $10 bill – replacing the nation’s first prime minister John A Macdonald who will be moved to a higher bill – when new banknotes go into circulation in 2018, Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced on Thursday morning.
China launches advanced weather satellite Fengyun-4
China has launched the first of its new generation weather satellites Fengyun-4.
The New technology on the satellite will improve the accuracy of weather forecasts just in time for the winter season.It was China’s First second-generation weather satellites launched as well as the country’s first quantitative remote-sensing satellite in the geostationary orbit.
Donald Trump is Time magazine’s Person of the Year
Donald Trump, the US President-elect who bitterly divided his nation by running a campiagn that close to half the US considered racist and sexist, has been named TIME magazine’s Person of the Year.Time magazine named President-elect Donald Trump its Person of the Year. Time editor Nancy Gibbs said on the programme that Democrat Hillary Clinton was the No. 2 finalist.The Time cover reads, “Donald Trump — President of the Divided States of America” and the cover image features a photograph of the President-elect sitting in his private residence at Trump Tower.
BRICS nations to share tax information automatically to eliminate tax evasion
The BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries have agreed to share tax information automatically as per their commitment to ensure the fairness of the international tax system. Decion in this regard was taken at the meeting of Heads of Revenue of BRICS Countries in Mumbai, Maharashtra.BRICS members will exchange tax information, both on request and on automatic basis, and to adopt global standards on tax transparency.They also reiterated their endorsement for global Common Reporting Standard for Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) on a reciprocal basis to prevent cross-border tax evasion.
Crown prince Maha Vajiralongkorn becomes Thailand’s new king
Thailand named its crown prince Maha Vajiralongkorn as its new king on 1 December 2016, 50 days after the passing of King Bhumibol Adulyadei. Dressed in white, prince Vajiralongkorn ascended the throne and accepted his new responsibilities at the invitation of the National Legislative Assembly’s (NLA) President in his Bangkok Palace amidst the whole of Thai media.
Mercosur revokes membership of Venezuela
The South American economic bloc Mercosur has suspended Venezuela from it for violating the bloc’s democratic principles and failing to meet its basic standards. The membership was revoked by the Foreign Ministers of the four founding members of Mercosur — Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay.
UAE-based Indian girl Kehkashan Basu wins 2016 International Children’s Peace Prize
UAE based Indian environmental activist Kehkashan Basu (16) has won 2016 prestigious International Children’s Peace Prize. She was bestowed with this prestigious award for her fight for climate justice and combating environmental degradation. She was presented with the award by Bangladesh’s Nobel peace laureate Mohammad Yunus at a glittering ceremony held in The Hague, Netherlands.
UNESCO includes Yoga in Intangible Cultural Heritage list
Yoga, India’s one of the ancient practices to keep oneself healthy, has been inscribed on UNESCO’s Representative List as the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. It was inscribed on the list during the 11th session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The declaration describing Yoga as a Human Treasure got unanimous support of the 24 members of the Committee.
Pak-China start direct rail and freight service
China and Pakistan have launched a direct rail and sea freight service with the first cargo train departing from China’s southwestern Yunnan province. The service was launched with the first cargo train loaded with 500 tonnes of commodities left Kunming, the capital of Yunnan, an inland province in south-west China departed for Karachi, state-run Xinhua.
INDIA AND WORLD
India tops Asia’s innovation chart Index
India has Topped the Asia’s innovation chart Index.The ‘Silicon Valley’ of the east, Bengaluru, which is 5th largest hub at global level, saw most of the innovations in 2016 including opening of 3 new centres between March and October 2016, apart from setting up of startup accelerator by Apple.
Priyanka appointed UNICEF Global Goodwill Ambassador
Priyanka Chopra has been announced as the UNICEF Global Goodwill Ambassador to promote child rights at the UNICEF 70th anniversary event. She was presented as the ambassador by former footballer David Beckham and actress Millie Bobby Brown.
India, Indonesia sign three agreements
India and Indonesia have signed three agreements following delegation-level talks headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting Indonesian President Joko Widodo on 12th December.
1. MoU on Youth and Sports Cooperation.
2. MoU on Standardization Cooperation between the Bureau of Indian Standards and the National Standardization Agency of Indonesia.
3. Joint Communique on the Voluntary International Cooperation to Combat Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) Fishing and to promote Sustainable Fisheries Governance between the Union Government and the Government of Indonesia.
India, Vietnam sign Civil Nuclear deal, three other agreements
India and Vietnam have signed a civil nuclear cooperation agreement. With this, Vietnam became 14th country with which India has signed the civil nuclear deal.
The MoU in Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy was signed by Sekhar Basu, Secretary of Department of Atomic Energy and Pham Cong Tac, Vietnam’s Deputy Minister of Science and Technology in New Delhi.The two countries also signed three other agreements in the fields of energy, aviation and government cooperation.
Molinari Rail to set up manufacturing unit in India
Swiss major Molinari Rail will set up a manufacturing and assembly centre for auxiliary power units for diesel locomotives in India by next year. Molinari Rail AG has entered into a strategic pact to design, manufacture and deliver the auxiliary power units (APUs) for 1,000 diesel locomotives to be built in India for Indian Railways.
India, Bhutan signs agreement on trade for better bilateral relations
Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Bhutan’s Economic Affairs Minister Tengye Lyonpo Lekey Dorji signed the agreement in New Delhi. The first agreement on trade and commerce between both countries was signed in 1972.
India, Vietnam sign Civil Nuclear deal, three other agreements
India and Vietnam have signed a civil nuclear cooperation agreement. With this, Vietnam became 14th country with which India has signed the civil nuclear deal. The MoU in Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy was signed by Sekhar Basu, Secretary of Department of Atomic Energy and Pham Cong Tac, Vietnam’s Deputy Minister of Science and Technology in New Delhi. The two countries also signed three other agreements in the fields of energy, aviation and government cooperation.
Pakistan Lifts Undeclared Ban on Import of Ginned Cotton from India
Pakistan has removed an “undeclared” ban on import of ginned cotton from India. Earlier from November 23, The Department of Plant Protection (DPP) of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research had banned the cotton imports from India through Wagah and Karachi port as the shipments did not fulfil phyto- sanitary conditions.
India, Qatar inks five agreements
India and Qatar have signed five agreements including in the field of visas, cyberspace and investments. These agreements were signed after bilateral talks held between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Qatari counterpart Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani in New Delhi. Singed Agreements are
1.Protocol on Technical Cooperation in cyber space and combating cybercrime.
2.Letter of Intent on an Agreement on grant of e-Visa for businessmen and tourists
3.MoU on greater collaboration and exchange in the field of national ports management.
4.Agreement on exemption from visa requirement for holders of diplomatic, special and official passports.
5.MoU between Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).”
PM. Narendra Modi launches BHIM APP
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 30th December launched a new mobile app called BHIM to enable fast, secure and reliable payments system that uses smart phones for cashless transactions. BHIM, shor for Bharat Interface for Money. can be used with other Unified payments Interface (UPI) applications and bank accounts.
Government to set up single tribunal to arbitrate inter-State water disputes
The Union Government has decided to set up a single permanent Tribunal to adjudicate all inter-State river water disputes. This single body will subsume all existing tribunals for resolving grievances of inter-State water disputes in a speedy manner. It will be headed by a retired Supreme Court judge. The Tribunal will also have more teeth as whenever it gives order, the verdict gets notified automatically. Until now, the Union Government was required to notify the awards, causing delay in its implementation.
Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana comes into effect
The Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY) comes into effect from 17 December 2016. Any unaccounted cash or deposit in a bank account can be disclosed under the scheme before April 1, 2017. The PMKGY provides for 50% tax and surcharge on declarations of unaccounted cash deposited in banks.
Nation pays tribute to bravehearts of 1971 Indo-Pak war on Vijay Diwas
The nation is paying tributes to the bravehearts on 16 December 2016 who laid down their lives during 1971 India-Pakistan war on the occasion of Vijay Diwas which is observed on 16 december of every year . On the occasion, Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar along with three Service chiefs paid tributes to the bravehearts at Amar Jawan Jyoti.
Union Government launches Lucky Grahak Yojana, Digi Dhan Vyapar Yojana to promote digital payments
The Union Government has launched Lucky Grahak Yojana to encourage consumers and Digi Dhan Vyapar Yojana to encourage merchants for transition to digital payments. These award based schemes were launched by the NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog, government’s policy think-tank.
President Pranab Mukherjee launches 100 Million for 100 Million Campaign
President Pranab Mukherjee launched a ‘100 Million for 100 Million’ Campaign at Rashtrapati Bhavan. The campaign was conceptualized by Nobel peace prize winner Kailash Satyarthi and was organized by the Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation.The campaign aims to mobilize 100 million youth and children for 100 million underprivileged children across the world. Its prime objective is to end child labour, child slavery, violence against children over the next 5 years. It also seeks to promote the right of every child to be safe, free, and educated. It will strive to inspire 100 million children to speak and act for the numerous other unfortunate children living in terrible conditions to build a child-friendly world.
Triple talaq unconstitutional, violates rights of Muslim women: Allahabad high court
The Allahabad High Court has ruled that the practice of triple talaq (Talaq-e-bidat) among Muslims is unconstitutional and violates the rights of women enshrined in constitution. The order was passed by HC Justice Suneet Kumar while hearing a petition filed by a woman who claimed her husband arbitrarily divorced her. Besides, the High Court also held that No Personal Law Board is above the Constitution i.e. it was indirectly referring to All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB). Talaq-e-bidat is Muslim man divorcing his wife unilaterally by pronouncing the word ‘talaq’ thrice in one go. Thus, it is oral talaq pronounced for irrevocable instantaneous divorce at one go. Many activists say that this practice is not of Islamic origin.
Horse racing not animal cruelty: SC
The Supreme Court has ruled that horse racing per se is not animal cruelty. It held that it is different from Jallikattu, which metes out specific methods of torture to bulls. This observation was made by a Bench of Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud on a petition challenging a Rajasthan High Court’s order banning tonga races in the State. The Rajasthan High Court had banned tonga races in the state by relying on a Supreme Court judgment of 2014 banning jallikattu. Against the tonga races ban, a petition was filed in the apex country saying that the 2014 judgment banning jallikattu was confined only to bulls and not horses.
NITI Aayog to provide Rs 5 lakh per district
To encourage each district in the country to take the digitization route without fear, the NITI Aayog will be immediately transferring Rs.5 lakh to every one of them as seed money to kick start this drive.A letter has been written to district collector, commissioners and magistrates in this regard by NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, who is also member of the committee to promote cashless payments.For availing the incentive, the district collector, commissioner or magistrates would have ensure that individuals transiting to digital payment mode should do at least two successful transactions by any of the five methods.These five modes are – unified payment interface (UPI), Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), Aadhaar Enabled Payments, e-wallets and Rupay debit/credit/prepaid cards.
Modi wins reader’s poll for TIME ‘Person of the Year’
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has won the reader’s poll for TIME ‘Person of the Year 2016’.Mr. Modi won 18 per cent of the vote, significantly more than his closest rivals, including U.S. President Barack Obama, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange.The Prime Minister was also ahead of other prominent figures, including Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (2 per cent) and U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton (4 per cent).The editors of the magazine will decide the ‘Person of the Year’ later this week.Last year, German Chancellor Angela Merkel was awarded the title.
Union HRD Ministry launches Vittiya Saksharata Abhiyan
Union HRD Minister launches ‘Vittiya Saksharata Abhiyan’ to use the network of Centrally-run educational institutions for propagating the benefits of digital mode of payment in wake of the government’s demonetisation move. It was launched by Union HRD minister Prakash Javadekar in New Delhi.It is campaign by Higher Educational institutions for digital economy.VISAKA aims to create awareness among people about digital economy and cashless modes of transactions It was launched on line with Prime Minister’s appeal to youth in ‘Mann Ki Baat’ for creating awareness for making India digital and cashless economy. Under it, young students and faculty members will be roped to encourage and motivate people to use a digitally enabled cashless economic system for transfer of fund.
Sasikala takes charge as AIDMK general Secretary
Former CM. J. Jayalalithaa’s close friend V.K. Sasikala on Saturday took charge as the party’s general secretary in front of the portraits of her predecessors MGR and Jayalalithaa. She came to the party office in the same car used by Jayalalithaa amidst slogans by partymen greeting the New leader. On entering the party office she garlanded the MGR statue and paid floral tributes to a portrait of Jayalalithaa in the office entrance.
Kuchipudi performers create a Guinnes world Recores
AP’s own classical dance “Kuchipudi” found a place in Guinnes World Records yet again when a record 6,117 dancers came together to present a show at the IGMC stadium in Vijayawada, Guinness adjudicator Rishinath declared that “Jayamu Jayamu” items presented in unison by the participants created a new record and handed over a certificate Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu. Thde “Maha Brunda Natyam” (grand group dance) was organised as part of the 5th International Kuchipudi Dance Convention.
Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah inaugurates first air ambulance service in Bengaluru
Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah inaugurated state’s first air ambulance services at HAL air port in the state capital Bengaluru.The air ambulance Service has fleet three nearly built helicopters which are specially designed to fulfill the requirements of the patients while transporting them from one place to another.
Lanura is first village to go cashless in J&K
Lanura in Budgam district has become the first village to go ‘cash less’ in Jammu & Kashmir. At least one member of each family in the village has been trained by using the Electronic Payment System (EPS).It was achieved due to the efforts of the CSC e-Governance Services India limited and the National Informatics centre.
GOA Celebrated 55th liberation Day
GOA celebrated its 55th liberation Day on 19 Dec, 2016. On this day in 1961 Goa was liberated from Portuguese rule after a prolonged freedom struggle and military operation.It was granted state hold in 1987. Later on it went ahead to become one of the richest and highest per capita in come states for the country.
Manipur Chief Minister inaugurates two new districts amid Naga protests
Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh has inaugurated two new districts Pherzawl and Noney. Pherzawl carved out of Churachandpur the district, and Noney from Tamenglong district in Manipur.Now, the total number of the district is 11. Manipur government resolved to create Kangpokpi, Jiribam, Noney, Tengnoupal, Pherzol, Kamjong and Kaching districts by carving up seven of the existing nine districts of the state on 8 December 2016.
First Cyber crime police station opens in Shimla
In Himachal Pradesh, the first Cyber Crime Police Station has been opened at state police headquarter in Shimla. Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh inaugurated this Police Station through video conferencing from his office. According to Deputy Inspector General CID and Cyber Crime Vinod Kumar Dhawan, the main objective of this police station is to deal with increasing crime based on misuse of information technology by the High tech criminals.
Kochi to get India’s first transgender school
Sahaj International School in Kochi in will be the first residential transgender school in the country. The school will initially accommodate 10 transgender children, who will study under the National Open School system. The school will be inaugurated on December 30 by transgender rights activist and artist Kalki Subramaniam.
Haryana becomes first state to launch Mahila Police Volunteer initiative
Haryana became the first state in the country to launch Mahila Police Volunteer (MPV) initiative for safety of women. It was launched by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar. Mahila Police Volunteer is a joint initiative of Union Ministry of Women & Child Development and the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.
Rajiv Gandhi airport achieves carbon neutral status
A. The Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA), Hyderabad has achieved carbon neutral status.It is the first in the Asia-Pacific region in the 5-15 million passengers per annum category to attain this status. Earlier in September 2016 GMR Group-led Delhi Airport had become the first airport in Asia-Pacific to achieve carbon neutral status among all categories.
Andhra Pradesh launches website of APEDB
Andhra Pradesh Government launched website of state Economic Development Board (AP-EDB). It aims at providing a repository of knowledge on investing in Andhra Pradesh, policies of various sectors and give investors various investment opportunities offered by state.
Madhya Pradesh launches Narmada Seva Yatra
Madhya Pradesh Government has launched five months long Narmada Seva Yatra to turn the Narmada river pollution free. It was launched by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan at Amarkantak. The Narmada Sewa Yatra aims to create awareness about the conservation of the river. It is one of the biggest public campaign of the world to conserve river and environment.
Tropical Cyclonic Storm Vardah to hit Andhra Pradesh
The tropical cyclonic storm Vardah over southeast Bay of Bengal is expected to hit Andhra Pradesh coast between Nellore and Kakinada. It is the third cyclonic storm of the season after Cyclone Kyant and Nada, that were formed during the Northeast Monsoon season.It was created as depression (low pressure) over Andaman Sea and later slightly intensified further as cyclonic storm. The reason for the intensification can be attributed to warm sea surface temperatures of Bay of Bengal and longer sea travel.
Panneerselvam sworn in as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
AIADMK leader O. Panneerselvam was sworn in as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu following death of Chief Minister Jayalalithaa.He was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor Ch. Vidyasagar Rao at a solemn ceremony held in the Raj Bhavan, Chennai.Besides, all 31 members of the outgoing Ministry from the Jayalalithaa’s council of Ministers were sworn in.This is for third time he has sworn in as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.
Maharashtra Gets Its First ‘Cashless Village’
Amid the Centre’s push for the digital transaction, Dhasai village in Thane district has become the first “cashless village” in Maharashtra. This was informed by Maharashtra Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar on 1st December. All payments in the Dhasai village are being done through plastic money. Traders, vegetable and fruit vendors and others providing goods and services in Dhasai are using swipe machines for cashless transactions.
5th Global conference on Cyber Space in India
Global conference on Cyber Space (GCCS) will be held in India in 2017. This will 5th edition of GCCS and India is hosting it for the first time. Over a 100 countries are expected to participate in this conference. It and law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said. India has been selected for hosting Global Conference on Cyber Space (GCCS) in 2017.
6th Asia Pacific Ministerial Conference on Housing and Urban Development begins in New Delhi
The sixth edition of Asia Pacific Ministerial Conference on Housing and Urban Development (APMCHUD) began in New Delhi. It was inaugurated by Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu. The three days conference seeks to address issues ranging from crowded city centres to peripheral expansion, metropolitan based urban population growth, mega-cities and urban corridors etc.
7th World Ayurveda Congress held in Kolkata
The 7th World Ayurveda Congress (WAC) was held from December 2 to 4, 2016 at Science City in Kolkata, West Bengal. It was organised by the World Ayurveda Foundation with the support of the Union Ministry of AYUSH to facilitate development and growth of AYUSH system of medicine comprising Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy. The focus theme of the Ayurveda Congress was “Strengthening the Ayurveda Ecosystem“.
AWARDS AND HONOURS
Mary Kom givenn AIBA Legends Award
India’s legendary boxer MC Mary Kom was awarded the Legend award at the 70th anniversary of International Boxing Fedaration (AIBA) in Montreux, Switzerland. The Indian Boxer who’s a five time world Champion and an Olympic bronze medal winner was honoured for her promising career in boxing.
Goalie who died in plane crash named Brazil’s player of year
Chapecoense goalkeeper Danilo, who died in the Colombian plane crash, has been posthumously named as Brazil’s player of the year on 12 December 2016. Danilo’s mother, Ilaides Padilha, collected the award on his behalf at a ceremony in Rio de Janeiro. Danilo, whose last-gasp save in the semi-final helped his side reach the Copa Sudamericana final, got 48% of the fan votes.
5 decades and 200 films later, Jackie Chan ‘finally’ wins Oscars
Hollywood actor Jackie Chan received his little gold statuette, an honorary Oscar for his decades of work in film on November 13th at the annual Governors Awards. While receiving the award Chan (62) praised his hometown Hong Kong for making him “proud to be Chinese,” and thanked his fans.
Professor Raj Bisaria selected for Kalidas Samman
Madhya Pradesh Government has selected renowned theatre personality Prof Raj Bisaria for the prestigious ‘Kalidas Samman’ national award for 2015-16. He will be bestowed with the prestigious award for achievement in theatre in a ceremony to be held in Ujjain. He was born on November 10, 1935. He is director, producer, actor and educationalist. The Press Trust of India (PTI) describes him as the father of the modern theatre in North India.
Indian-origin humanitarian gets Global Citizen Award
An Indian-origin man from South Africa was awarded the Global Citizen Award for his “innovative and visionary” contribution to the global community. Imtiaz Sooliman founded the internationally-lauded Gift of the Givers Foundation, which is Africa’s largest disaster relief organization. “It will build faith and confidence in others to support African NGOs in the future
John Kerry conferred with Highest French civilian award
US Secretary of State John Kerry has been has been awarded Officer of the Legion of Honour, the highest French civilian distinction for his contribution in peace effort.
President presents 2nd ICCR Ideologist award to Prof. Yu Long Yu
Prof. Yu Long Yu of China was awarded the second Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) Ideologist Award for the year 2016.He was presented with this award by President Pranab Mukherjee at a function in Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi. He is Professor and Director at the Centre for Indian Studies, Shenzhen University. He has studied Indology for half a century and is the pioneer for Indology in South China.He has set up the Centre for Indian Studies and Tan Yunshan Sino-Indian Friendship Museum in Shenzhen University.
SPORTS AND DAMES
Ravichandran Ashwin – ICC Crickter of 2016
Indian off – spinner R. Aswin has claimed the top ICC awards – ICC cricketer of the year and Test cricketer of the year. Ashwin is the third Indian after Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid to win the Sir Garfield sobers Trophy for Cricketer of the year. In 2016 alone, he picked up 72 wickets in 12 Tests and became the second-fastest bowler to 200 wickets during the Kanpur match against New Zealand.
Vijender Singh retains WBO-Asia Pacific Super title
Indian boxing star Vijender Singh knocked out former world Francis Cheka to retain WBO-Asia Pacific Super Middleweight title. Vijender took less than 10 minutes to beat Tanzanian boxer to defend his title at the packed Thyagraj Stadium in New Delhi last night.
Vijender landed the winning blow in the third round of what was to be a 10-round contest to leave Cheka dazed and delirious.
Pankaj Advani beats Peter Gilchrist in final to win his 11th World Billiards Championship
Ace Indian cueist Pankaj Advani Monday won his 11th World Billiards (150-Up format) Championships title by beating Peter Gilchrist of Singapore in the summit clash in Bengaluru. Advani beat multiple world champion Gilchrist by six games to three in a gripping final contest to wrap up his 16th world title overall.
LeBron named Sports Ilustrated’s Sportsperson of the Year
Basketball player LeBron James has been chosen as the Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of the Year, becoming the second athlete ever to win the award twice. James edged out Usain Bolt, Phelps, Premier League champions Leicester City, among others. James had led his team Cleveland Cavaliers to the 2016 NBA title and was named NBA Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP).
India’s foreign exchange reserves down by USD 887.2 mn to USD 362.987 bn
India’s foreign exchange reserves declined by 887.2 million dollars to 362.987 billion dollars in the week ended 9th December. A RBI press release has informed that foreign currency assets, a major part of the overall reserves fell by 873 million dollars to 339.258 billion dollars. In the previous week too, the reserves had declined by 1.431 billion dollars to 363.874 billion dollars.
RBI to introduce new 20 & 50 rupee currency notes
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is going to issue new currency notes of Twenty and Fifty rupees denomination in the Mahatma Gandhi Series-2005. All old the previous currency notes of old Rs. 20 and Rs. 50 denomination issued by the Bank will continue to be legal tender.The 50 rupees note will be without inset letter in both the number panels. The 20 rupees note will be with inset letter ‘L’ in both the number panels. Both notes will bear signature of incumbent RBI Governor Dr. Urjit R Patel. The year 2016 will be printed on the reverse of both the notes.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
India successfully test – fires its Agni-V
India on Monday (26th December) successfully test-fired its nuclear-capable, Inter continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) Agani-V, that has range of more than 5000 km or the ability to reach northern most China, Agni-V is the most advanced with inbuilt new technologies for navigation and guidance war head and engine.
Long range nuclear – capable subsonic cruise missile Nirbhay test fired
The defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is all set to go for a fresh trial of India’s home made cruise missile Nirbhay from a defence base of Odisha coast on Wednesday 21st December. The indigenously developed surface to surface sub-sonic missile. Which is compared with America’s Tomahawk missile is likely to be test fired at chandipur – on – sea.
NASA successfully launches 8 mini-satellites for hurricane forecasting
The NASA has successfully launched constellation of eight mini-satellites as part Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS) into space to improve hurricane forecasting. These satellites were air launched by aerospace company Orbital ATK onboard of Pegasus rocket fired from plane at height of 12km. NASA had opted for air launch rather than traditional rocket liftoff from the ground, to cut costs.
ISRO signs deal for first privately built satellite
The Indian Space Research Organisation has signed an agreement with a consortium of six companies to deliver India’s first industry-built satellite by late 2017. The agreement was signed between M Annadurai, Director of ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC) and the consortium lead Alpha Design Technologies P Ltd. ISAC assembles India’s satellites for communication, remote sensing and navigation. It is for the first time that ISRO outsourced the construction of entire satellite.
Scientist creates Nano ceramic material for safer, cheaper nuclear reactors
Scientists from US including one of Indian origin have created a nano ceramic material that can used for safer, cheaper nuclear reactors. The new material is made of aluminum oxide nano ceramic coating. It can withstand high temperatures, the harsh effects of radiation and also becomes tougher under radiation. Potential Applications: It can be used in next- generation nuclear reactors that will operate at higher temperatures and radiation fields, producing more energy efficiently, safely and economically.
Japan successfully launches space junk collector into orbit
Japan’s space agency (JAXA) successfully launched a Kounotori 6 (HTV-6) spacecraft that will deliver a large magnetic tether, a space junk collector technology into orbit. The spacecraft was launched on board of H-IIB rocket from Tanegashima Space Center. It was also carrying essential supplies for International Space Station (ISS). The space junk collector (electromagnetic tether) will perform Kounotori Integrated Tether Experiments (KITE) in order to test out new technology. It is an experimental space scavenger that aims to study possibility of getting rid of space junk (debris) left into orbit by earlier space exploration missions.
Elon Musk named most admired leader in technology
Tesla and SpaceX Founder Elon Musk has been named the most admired leader in the technology space, in a survey conducted by VC firm First Round Capital involving over 700 startup founders. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos emerged as the second most admired technology leader, followed by Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Apple’s Steve Jobs.
TeamIndus to launch India’s first private moon mission in 2017
TeamIndus, a private aerospace starup company is planning to send a spacecraft to the moon aboard an Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) rocket on December 28, 2017. It will be India’s first private moon mission to be launched. It will be launched onboard of ISRO’s workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).TeamIndus moon mission’s aim is to land this spacecraft on the moon. It will also travel at least 500 metres and beam high- definition images, video and data back to the earth.Except for the launch vehicle, all of the technology that will power the lander and rover will be developed in-house by TeamIndus.
PERSONS IN NEWS
Viral Acharya appointed as RBI deputy governor
The Govt has appointed Viral Acharya as deputy governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for three years. The CV Star professor of Economics in the Department of Finance at New York University stern school of business. He is the program Director for Financial Economics and a Research Affiliate at the center for economic policy Research, a director of WESTERN FINANCE association, the National Stock Exchange of India (NSE)
Lt Gen Bipin Rawat appointed Chief of Indian Army Staff
The Union Government has appointed Lt. Gen. Bipin Rawat as new Chief of Army Staff (CoAS). He succeeds Army Chief General Dalbir Singh who retires on December 31, 2016. His appointment goes against the long-held tradition of appointing the senior-most eligible officer to the topmost post. With this criterion, he has superseded two seniormost commanders Eastern Army Commander Lt Gen Praveen Bakshi and Southern Army Commander Lt Gen PM Hariz.
Paolo Gentiloni named as Italy’s new Prime Minister
Paolo Gentiloni has been named as Italy’s new Prime Minister following reformist leader Matteo Renzi’s resignation in the wake of a crushing referendum defeat. Gentiloni, who served as the Foreign Minister under Renzi, was asked by President Sergio Mattarella to form a new centre-left government on 11th December that will guide Italy to elections due by February 2018.
Antonio Guterres sworn in as UN Secretary-General
Antonio Guterres, a former Portuguese Prime Minister, was sworn in as the ninth UN Secretary-General on 12th December 2016, succeeding Ban Ki-moon as the chief of the 71-year old world body.President of the UN General Assembly Peter Thomson administered the Oath of Office to Guterres at a special plenary meeting of the 193-member General Assembly.
Batra 1st Indian to be International Hockey Federation chief
Narinder Batra has become the first Indian to be elected the President of the International Hockey Federation. He was voted to the top post by an overwhelming margin during the penultimate day of the 45th FIH Congress in Dubai. Batra, who is the president of Hockey India, defeated David Balbirnie of Ireland and Australia’s Ken Read to become the 12th FIH President and also the first Asian to grab the post.
Bernard Cazeneuve named as new French prime minister
Bernard Cazeneuve, currently French interior minister, will replace Manuel Valls as the country’s new prime minister. Valls is stepping down in order to seek the Socialist Party’s nomination to be its presidential candidate in the 2017 election.
Alexander Van der Bellen elected Austrian President
Independent candidate and pro-European Alexander Van der Bellen has won the Austria’s re-run presidential election with around 53.5% votes. Bellen had won an earlier election in May by a narrow margin after which it was declared void by the Constitutional Court due to irregularities.
Justice JS Khehar appointed as 44th Chief Justice of India
Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar (64) will be the next Chief Justice of India (CJI). He will be the 44th CJI and shall succeed Chief Justice TS Thakur who retires on January 3, 2017. Justice Khehar will be sworn in as the CJI by President Pranab Mukherjee on January 4, 2017. With this, he will be the first Sikh to become the CJI. Justice Khehar’s name for appointment as the next CJI was recommended by SC collegium headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur. He would remain in office from January 4, 2017 till August 4, 2017 i.e. till he attains the age of 65.
Narender Batra resigs as IOA associate Vice President
Senior functionary Narender Batra on Friday resigned as the associate Vice-President of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) as a mark of protest against the IOA for not taking back its decision to appoint scam-tainted Suresh kalmadi and Abhay Singh Chautala as honorary life presidents. Batra, who recently became the International Hockey Federation (FIH) president, said he was strongly against the back door entry of kalmadi and Chautala in the IOA.
Actor Midhun Chakraborthy Resigns from Rajya Sabha
Veteran Bollywood actor Mithun Chakraborty of the Trinamool congress has resigned as a Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament (MP), citing failing health, according to the party’s chief of the upper houe, Derek O’ Brien. Mithun Chakraborty was nominated to te Rajya Sabha in January 2014 by All India Trinamool Congress, following which he became a M.P to Rajya Sabha, Mithun’s term was due to end in 2020.
Former Sri Lankan P.M Ratnasiri Passes away
Former Sri Lankan P.M. “Ratnasiri Wickremanyake” passed on 27th December. He was 83. Wickremanayake was the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka from 2000 to 2001 and 2005 to 2010. He entered politics in 1960, winning a set in the legislature as a member of the Mahajana Eksath peramuna (People’s United Front). The 83 year – old leader, ailling for some time now, breathed his last on 27th December morning his family said.
Co- Artist of Nationl Emblem, Dinanath Bhargava died at 89:
Dinanath Bhargava, a co-artist in the team that sketched the National Emblem “Lion Capital of Ashoka” and decorated the pages of the constitution’s manuscript, died at the age of 89 in Indore.
British Singer George Michael dies at 53
British Singer Grorge Michael who has launched his career with wham in the 1980 s and continued his success as a solo performer, has died on 25 December 2016 at the age of 53 and cause of death was heart failure.
Noted economist saumitra Chaudhuri passed away
Noted economist and former member of erst while planning commission saumitra Chaudhuri passed away due to lung cancer, He was 62. He was appointed member of the planning commission in June 2009 and was one of the longest serving members of the planning commission. He also had served as chairman of the committee for formulation of All Industry Rates of Duty Draw back. (2005 – 06 to 2009 – 10) in the Union Ministry of Finance.
A dead Zone discovered in Bay of Bengal
Scientists including those from India have found a huge dead zone of an estimated 60,000 square Kilometres in Bay of Bengal.This area is said to supports microbial processes that remove vast amount of nitrogen from the ocean.The study published in Nature Geosciences.Deal Zone is an area in water body that contain little or no oxygen in bottom and near-bottom water.They are well-known off western coasts of North and South America, off coast of Namibia and off west coast of Indai in Arabian Sea.
Brexit word added in Oxford English Dictionary
The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) has officially added word ‘Brexit’ in it. It is among 1,500 new words added to the OED. The OED has defined word ‘Brexit’ as “the (proposed) withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, and the political process associated with it”. Another popular new coinage is the word ‘YouTubers’ was also added in OED. It has been defined as “frequent user of the video-sharing website YouTube, especially someone who produces and appears in videos on the site.”
PLACES IN NEWS
World’s first solar road opens in France:
A small village in France is now home to the world’s first solar road, aka watt way.French Ecology Minister Segolene Royal officially inaugurated the 1 km-long road covered with 2800 square-meters of resin – encased panels in Tourouvre in Normandy on Thursday.The French ministry of Environment invested $ 5.2 million to build the project engineered by French road construction company “Colas”
BOOKS IN NEWS
Harry Potter script best-selling books of 2016
Amazon has announced its best-selling books of 2016, with the two-part play “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” topping the chart.Other entries in the top ten include books in David Baldacci’s Amos Decker series, Lee Child’s Jack Reacher novels, Jeff Kinney’s “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” and Daniel Silva’s Gabriel Allon series.
24th National Children’s Science Congrees inaugurated in Pune
The 24th National Children’s Science congress (NCSC) was inaugurated at Vidya Pratisthan’s Institute of Information technology, Baramati in Pune, Maharashtra. The five day science congress will see participation of more than 700 child scientists under one umbrella to show case their talents. The top 25 projects will be shortlisted and respective students will be provided with training support.
DAYS AND DATES
December 25 : Nation Celebrates Good Governance day
Former Prime Minister and Bharat Ratna recipient Atal Bihari Vajapayee’s 90th birthday was observed as National Good Governance Day on 25th December 2016. In order to mark the occasion of this day, several programmers were organized Nationwide and new initiatives were announced. It was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the BJP Parliamentary Board meeting held New Delhi.
December 24 : National Consumer Day
The National Consumer Day is observed every year in India on 24th December. On this day the consumer protection Act, 1986 had received the assent of te president. It highlights the importance of the consumer movement and promote basic rights and responsibilities of all consumers.
December 22 : National Mathematics Day
The National Mathematics Day is observed every year on 22nd December to celebrate birth anniversary of great Indian autodidact Mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan. This year it is 129th birth anniversary of Srinivasa Ramanujan.The National Mathematics Day instituted in 2011 by the Union Government to celebrate Ramanujan’s 125th birth anniversary.Besides the year 2012 was also declared National Mathematics year.
December 10: Human Rights Day
The Human Rights Day is observed annually on 10th December to commemorate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Observance of the day seeks to encourage, support and amplify measures to be taken by everyone to defend human rights. 2016 Theme or campaign: “Stand up for someone’s rights today”. It aims to re-emphasise how important it is to live in peace and harmony, compassion and concern for each other’s rights with respect towards the idea of mutual co-existence. In run up to the celebration of Human Rights Day, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had organised a series of events.
December 4 : Navy Day
The Indian Navy Day is observed annually on 4 December to celebrate the magnificence, achievements and role of the naval force of the country. Indian Navy is one of most potent maritime forces in the world and the most lethal in Indian Ocean. On the occasion of 45th Navy Day, President Pranab Mukherjee extended greetings to all members of the Indian Navy and their families.
December 3 : International Day of Persons with Disabilities
The International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) 2016 was observed across the world on 3 December 2016. The theme for the day was Achieving 17 Goals for the Future We Want. In 2016, the goal of the IDPD is assessing the current status of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and SDGs. The day also looks forward for laying the foundation for a future of greater inclusion for persons with disabilities.The observance of the 2016 International Day of Persons with Disabilities coincides with the 10-year anniversary of the adoption of the CRPD.The CRPD is one of the most quickly and widely ratified international treaties put forth by the United Nations till now.
2 December: National Pollution Control Day
he National Pollution Control Day 2016 was observed on 2 December 2016 in India with an aim to make aware the people and industries about the need of Pollution Control Acts.This day is observed every year to give honour to thousands of human beings who lost their lives in 1984 due to the Bhopal gas tragedy and who were left severely affected due to leakage of poisonous gas from Union Carbide plant in Bhopal. This catastrophe was the worst in the world’s industrial history and people there still continue to witness physical and mental disabilities.