AWARDS AND HONOURS
1. Indian peacekeepers in Sudan awarded UN medal
Fifty Indian peacekeepers stationed in South Sudan have been awarded the UN Medal for their professionalism and service in protecting civilians and building durable peace in the conflict-ridden country.
The Indian peacekeepers are part of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).They are deployed with the Indian battalion stationed at Bor in the Jonglei region of South Sudan.
2. Indian-American attorney recognised with philanthropy award
Noted Indian-American attorney Ajay Raju has been honoured with the third American Bazaar Philanthropy award in recognition of his philanthropic activities in the US.
The American Bazaar, an online ethnic news publication about Indian-Americans publisher Asif Ismail said “Raju was honoured for his commitment to revive Philadelphia through the Germination Project.”
3. George Saunders wins the Man Booker Prize
George Saunders just became the second American ever to win the Man Booker Prize, Britain’s most prestigious literary award, for his first novel, Lincoln in the Bardo.
Released in February of this year to widespread acclaim, Lincoln in the Bardo is a triumph of a book, built around a single quasi-historical image: A year into the Civil War, the president’s son, Willie Lincoln, died of typhoid fever, prompting rumors that Abraham Lincoln would sneak into his crypt to cradle the dead body in his arms.
4. Aadhaar-bank account link must: RBI
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) clarified that linking of Aadhaar to bank accounts was mandatory under the Prevention of Money-laundering (Maintenance of Records) Second Amendment Rules, 2017.
The clarification comes after a section of the media, citing a reply to a Right to Information Act application, reported that the linking of Aadhaar and bank accounts was not mandatory.
5. India Post Payments Bank gets private-sector stamp
India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) appointed Suresh Sethi as its Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer.
The company said in a statement that “Sethi had been selected by the Banks Board Bureau from top contenders for the post, including public and private sector banking and fintech professionals.”
6. HSBC Names Jayant Rikhye as India CEO
HSBC has named company veteran Jayant Rikhye as the new chief executive of its India operations, effective Dec. 1.
The company said Rikhye, who has been with the bank for 28 years in various roles, will replace Stuart Milne who will move to a new role after leading India operations for five years.
7. SBI inks agreement with Escorts Ltd to finance tractors purchase
State Bank of India (SBI) on Monday said it has signed an agreement with Escorts Limited to finance farmers for purchase of Escorts Tractors.
The bank said in a statement The aim of the tie-up with Escorts Limited is to promote, market and make accessible, organized finance facility at competitive interest rates to farmers, who wish purchase POWERTRAC and FARMTRAC Tractors manufactured by Escorts Ltd.
8. EEPC inks pact with PNB
The Engineering Export Promotion Council (EEPC) of India has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Punjab National Bank to provide easy access to finance to SMEs and merchant exporters of the council.
Punjab National Bank will provide finances with assurance that loans up to Rs. 10 crore would be provided within six to seven weeks at competitive rates, said a press statement issued by EEPC India.
9. CVC to develop Integrity Index of 25 Organizations
In line with the broader strategy and emphasis on preventive vigilance, the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) believes that the next level of systemic change can be through the tool of Integrity Index.
The CVC has therefore decided to go in for development of the Integrity Index-based on bench-marking of internal processes and controls within an organisation as well as management of relationships and expectations of outside stakeholders.
10. Bank funding will be liquidity-neutral
According to Urjit Patel, Governor, Reserve Bank of India, the Centre’s move to infuse Rs. 2.11 lakh crore capital into public sector banks through recapitalisation bonds and budgetary support is a welcome step.
He added the recapitalisation bonds will be liquidity-neutral for the government except for interest payment.
11. RCom may hang up on 2G ‘in 30 days’
Debt-laden Reliance Communications (RCom) has decided to close down its 2G wireless business due to mounting losses.
A source in the know of the development told “ We will ask our 2G and 3G customers to upgrade to our 4G network as we are making losses in the 2G business, due to free voice calls offered by another telco”.
Recent entrant Jio had introduced free offers on both data and voice plans, disrupting the market.
12. Power exports from India to meet 25% of Bangladesh demand
According to a senior Bangladeshi official “Electricity imports from India may meet nearly a quarter of Bangladesh’s total demand for power in the next couple of years”
India currently exports 660 MW of electricity, on a daily basis, to Bangladesh. Of the total, 250 MW is sold through a bilateral agreement at India’s domestic generation tariff. The rest are open market purchases.
13. Usage of bio-pesticides growing at a faster pace
Even as the Maharashtra government grapples with farmers’ deaths and injuries due to their exposure to chemical pesticides, data from the Union Ministry of Agriculture show a more positive all-India trend, with the usage of bio-pesticides across the country rising faster than that of chemical pesticides.
Between 2010-11 and 2016-17, usage of bio-pesticides increased by 23 per cent, while that of chemical pesticides grew only 2 per cent.
14. ₹2.11 lakh crore for public sector banks banks to boost lending
The Union government unveiled an ambitious plan to infuse ₹2.11 lakh crore capital over the next two years into public sector banks (PSBs) that are saddled with high, non-performing assets (NPAs) and facing the prospect of having to take haircuts on loans stuck in insolvency proceedings.
The move is vital for the slowing economy, as private investments remain elusive in the face of the “twin-balance sheet problem” afflicting corporate India and public sector banks reflected in slow bank credit growth.
15. Plan to alter criteria for PM’s research fellowships
MHRD is looking to tweak the criteria for grant of Prime Minister’s fellowships to research students. The fellowships – which are meant to promote research and innovation – will give the students about Rs. 75,000 a month.
An official said anonymously “While the earlier plan was to let anyone scoring a Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 8 or above in B.Tech apply for the scholarship, now the plan is to allow those students of these institutions who scored in the top 20 percentile to apply for it ”.
16. Akshay Ruparelia becomes UK’s youngest millionaire
Akshay Ruparelia, who has become the youngest millionaire in the UK. Akshay Ruparelia is the founder of doorstep.uk, an online estate agency business that has recently been valued at 12 million pounds, in just over a year.
The teenager also had to borrow money from his relatives to start the website. Ruparelia eventually started the site with 7,000 pounds.
17. 7,000 newborns die every day
Every day in 2016, 15 000 children died before their fifth birthday, 46% of them – or 7 000 babies – died in the first 28 days of life, according to a new UN report.
Levels and Trends in Child Mortality 2017, reveals that although the number of children dying before the age of five is at a new low– 5.6 million in 2016, compared with nearly 9.9 million in 2000 – the proportion of under-five deaths in the newborn period has increased from 41% to 46% during the same period.
18. World’s oldest warship, sails again
The newly refurbished USS Constitution is taking its first spin through the harbor in three years.
Friday’s joyride from Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston to Fort Independence on Castle Island will celebrate the U.S. Navy’s 242nd birthday and the 220th anniversary of the iconic vessel’s maiden voyage.
19. WHO rescinds Mugabe’s appointment
The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) on Sunday reversed his decision to name Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe as a goodwill ambassador, following widespread uproar.
The head of the UN agency, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said in a statement “Over the last few days, I have reflected on my appointment of H.E. President Robert Mugabe as WHO Goodwill Ambassador for (Non-communicable diseases) in Africa. As a result I have decided to rescind the appointment.”
20. Japan votes under North Korea threats
Millions of Japanese braved typhoon conditions on Sunday for a snap election likely to hand Prime Minister Shinzo Abe a fresh mandate to revive the world’s third-largest economy and press his hardline stance on North Korea.
If pre-election surveys prove correct, Mr. Abe’s conservative coalition will cruise to a crushing majority to win a fresh term at the helm of the key US regional ally and Asian economic powerhouse.
21. U.S. sees threat to Pak. Stability
Visiting U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said “The United States is worried that emboldened terror outfits could threaten the stability of the government of Pakistan.”
He also explained that he had discussed the issue with Pakistan during his meeting in Islamabad.
However, while India and the U.S. agreed on Pakistan and Afghanistan-related concerns, India defended its ties with Iran and North Korea.
22. Singapore has the most powerful passport
Tiny Singapore now has the world’s most powerful passport, according to a new ranking, with its citizens able to travel to the greatest number of countries visa free.
Passport Index, which keeps track of how usable such documents are, said the city-state grabbed the top spot after Paraguay removed restrictions for Singaporeans.
23. 1.2-lakh crore universal social security plan for poorest
The government has drafted an ambitious Rs 1.2 lakh crore plan to provide universal social security coverage for the poorest fifth of the country as part of a bigger scheme that’s being planned for all individuals.
This broader programme envisages three categories — the poorest 20%, who will get a government payout; those who subscribe on their own and formal sector workers who will need to set aside a fixed proportion of income toward the scheme.
24. 65 AYUSH hospitals in three years
The government is working towards setting up an Ayurveda hospital in each district, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday and asserted that time had come for a “health revolution” under the aegis of the traditional medicine system.
Addressing a gathering after dedicating the first All India Institute of Ayurveda to the nation here, the Prime Minister pitched for affordable and accessible healthcare for the poor on Ayurveda Day.
25. Indians bag medals at Worldskills competition
Two Indians bagged a silver and a bronze at the global skill competition in Abu Dhabi, showing the best ever performance by India since the country began participating in the WorldSkills’ challenge in 2007. The Indian team comprising 28 competitors also won nine Medallions of Excellence across key skills. India had won a silver medal in 2009 and five medallions of excellence in 2015.
26. India in the State of the World Population Report
It is no secret that the world suffers from acute gender inequalities. Rights of women to study, work and reproduce are obstructed at various junctures and India is one of the prime culprits. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)’s flagship State of the World Population Report 2017 — Worlds Apart: Reproductive Health and Rights in an Age of Inequality, shows the substantial gap in egalitarianism.
27. No financial support for those opposing development,says PM
In a veiled attack on the Opposition, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday warned ‘anti-development forces’ that they will not get any financial support from the Centre for public works.
At a public rally in Vadodara on Sunday, Modi came down heavily on those mocking at his development model terming them anti-development forces, who (if they came to power), will not get any support from the Centre. Notably, Gujarat goes to the polls in December.
28. UIDAI security key in 13.8 lakh telecom biometric units: CEO
According to CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey Nearly 13.8 lakh biometric devices in use by the telecom sector for Aadhaar authentication have been made compliant with UIDAI’s new encryption norms,
The move is aimed at adding a new device-level security layer at a time when Aadhaar-based e-KYC is being used by telecom industry for fresh connections and re-verification of existing mobile subscribers. “In telecom sector, about 13.8 lakh fingerprint devices have been upgraded as registered devices with the new encryption key. Telecom industry is now fully compliant,” the UIDAI CEO told PTI.
29. Why make a show of patriotism: SC judge
Justice Misra had reasoned that the practice would “instil a feeling of committed patriotism and nationalism.”
Finally, the court left it to the government to bring out any notification, if necessary, to make or not make the playing of the anthem mandatory in cinema halls. The case was posted for hearing on January 9, 2018.
30. Centre eases norms for sewage plants
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has relaxed standards for upcoming sewage treatment plants (STP), including those to come up on extremely polluted stretches of the Ganga.
One of the prongs of the government’s ₹20,000 crore push to clean the river was a 2015-proposal to have higher standards for STPs. That is, they would have to ensure that the biochemical oxygen demand (Bod) — a marker for organic pollutants — in the treated water had to be no more than 10 mg/litre. Existing laws permit BoD up to 30 mg/litre.
31. Modi, Ghani to discuss terror, defence
Terrorism, trade and defence assistance will be on the top of the agenda as Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani here this weekend, which will also see a fresh focus on India’s plans to develop the Chabahar port in Iran for trade to Afghanistan.
32. Government to build 83,677 km of infrastructure projects
In a fillip to India’s highway development programme, the Union cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved a plan to build thousands of kilometres of roads and highways over the next five years at a cost of about Rs 7 lakh crore, a spending push that could help generate jobs and lift the economy.
Announcing the Cabinet decision, Union finance minister Arun Jaitley called this public expenditure on infrastructure projects as “unprecedented” and “something which has not happened in the country till date.”
33. SC bans dirty pet-coke, furnace oil in Haryana, Rajasthan, UP
The Supreme Court directed the governments of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan to ban the use of pet coke and furnace oil in the industries and made it clear that their failure to do so would force it to ban these materials from 1 November.
A bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta, which slapped a fine of Rs2 lakh on union environment ministry for not finalising pollution emission standards for industries using petcoke and furnace oil in the national capital region (NCR), asked the three states to ban the use of these pollution causing materials.
34. Ministries of Power & Textiles join hands for SAATHI initiative
The ministries of textiles and power have joined hands for SAATHI (Sustainable & Accelerated Adoption of efficient Textile technologies to Help small Industries). Under the initiative, Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL) will procure energy efficient powerlooms, motors and rapier kits and give them to small and medium powerloom units at no upfront cost.
35. India-NDB signs $350 mn loan agreement to upgrade roads in MP
India signed the first loan agreement with the New Development Bank for USD 350 million for development and upgradation of road project in Madhya Pradesh.
The project, which is to be implemented over 5 years, is expected to improve transport connectivity to the interior regions and resultant boost to economic activity in the rural hinterland.
36. ‘Linking of Aadhaar, bank account must’
The government has proposed extending the deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar with bank accounts and mobile phones from December 31, 2017 to March 31, 2018, but only for those who are “willing to enrol for Aadhaar.”
The proposal was contained in a one-page note that was passed on to a Bench led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra. The note, however, insisted that those who already have Aadhaar will be “required” to sync their numbers with SIM cards, bank accounts, PAN and “other schemes where Section 7 (Aadhaar Act) notifications have been issued.”
37. Mamata won’t link mobile, Aadhaar
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee strongly opposed the Central government’s move to link mobile number to Aadhaar.
“We will not link mobile with Aadhaar. If we do not have a mobile connection for that, so be it. I challenge that I will not provide my Aadhaar number even if my connection is stopped. I don’t care.”
38. Centre to aid offshore e-commerce play
The Union government is working on a new policy to expand the footprint of the Indian e-commerce sector to tap potential markets outside the country, including Africa and Southeast Asia.
a senior official of the Electronics and Information Technology Ministry told “This is part of efforts to achieve the target of making India a trillion-dollar digital economy in the next seven years”
39. Danske Bank, Teradata deploy AI to monitor fraud
From fighting financial fraud, reducing the time to find lost packages to optimising how ships approach the harbour, were some of the artificial intelligence and data analytics-based innovations showcased by Teradata, a leading data and analytics company.
40. Stephen Hawking’s Ph.D Thesis Goes Online
London (AP) — Cambridge University has put Stephen Hawking’s doctoral thesis online, triggering such interest that it crashed the university’s website.
Completed in 1966 when Hawking was 24, “Properties of Expanding Universes” explores ideas about the origins of the universe that have resonated through the scientist’s career.
41. Organic near-infrared filter developed by NIIST team
An organic filter that allows only near-infrared (NIR) light to pass through has been developed by scientists at the CSIR-National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology (CSIR-NIIST) based in Thiruvananthapuram.
The new NIR filter can be used for night vision glasses, night photography, and will have applications in security and forensics such as identifying blood stains on a dark fabric.
42. The kilogram will get a new measure
In 2019, the kilogram will get more accurate. For 125 years, a salt-shaker-sized cylinder housed at the BIPM, Paris and weighing exactly a kilogram served as the definition of the measure.
In the last 60 years, several standard units — the second, metre, ampere, Kelvin, mole, candela and, the kilogram — have all ceased to be defined by physical objects.
43. India’s Selena clinches triple gold
India’s young paddler Selena Selvakumar completed a golden sweep in the Egypt Junior and Cadet Table Tennis Open, adding the junior girls’ singles and doubles titles at Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt.
The 17-year-old Chennai lass had claimed the Girls’ Team gold earlier on Friday to make it three out of three; even more fantastically as she remained unbeaten all through this elite 2017 ITTF World Junior Circuit event.
44. Curator Salgaonkar caught in sting operation
Ahead of the India-New Zealand second ODI, Pandurang Salgaonkar, a long-time ground in-charge at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) International Cricket Stadium, caused much embarrassment to the cricket fraternity, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the MCA by engaging in conversation with two television journalists who posed as bookies.
45. Bhavantar Bhugtan Yojana launched
The benefit under Bhavantar Bhugtan Yojana will be available only to registered farmers on the sale of agricultural produce produced in Madhya Pradesh only in the notified Mandi premises. The benefit will be given up to production limit on the basis of average production on crop cutting experiments. Under the scheme, the difference amount will be paid to the eligible farmers by State Co-operative Marketing Federation and State Civil Supplies Corporation.
Around 23 lakh farmers have got registered so far in Bhavantar Bhugtan Yojana launched in Madhya Pradesh
46. Naidu hard sells State to IT entrepreneurs
Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu called upon the entrepreneurs in the information technology (IT) space in the USA to explore investment opportunities in Andhra Pradesh (A.P.) which, he asserted, abound as the State has vastly improved the business climate by bringing about some drastic changes in the way clearances are given and follow-up action is taken through different stages of project implementation.
47. Ex-IB chief to initiate talks with all J&K stakeholders
In a reversal of its earlier stand, the Centre announced the appointment of former Intelligence Bureau (IB) chief Dineshwar Sharma as a “special representative” to initiate and “carry forward a dialogue” with the elected representatives, various organisations and concerned individuals in Jammu and Kashmir.
48. J&K interlocutor is known as a dove
Former Intelligence Bureau (IB) chief Dineshwar Sharma, who was appointed as the government’s special representative to carry forward a dialogue with all sections of the people in Jammu and Kashmir, has said that he would ensure that “normalcy returns to the State as soon as possible.”
49. Veteran south Indian film director IV Sasi Passes away
Well-known south Indian film director IV Sasi, who directed at least 150 films in different languages, died in Chennai on Tuesday after prolonged illness. He was 69.
A native of Kozhikode in north Kerala, he was undergoing treatment in Chennai for some time. According to reports he was suffering from cancer
50. Gujarat elections on Dec. 9 & 14
Gujarat will go to polls in two phases on December 9 and 14, and the results will be declared along with that of Himachal Pradesh on December 18, according to the schedule announced by the Election Commission.
The election to the Himachal Pradesh Assembly, as announced earlier, will be on November 9.