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16/12/16
Rocket Launches 8 Tiny NASA Satellites
A rocket propelled into orbit eight tiny NASA satellites meant to peer deeply into hurricanes. NASA’s Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System mission, or CYGNSS, was launched aboard Orbital ATK’s Pegasus rocket XL. It will probe the inner core of hurricanes to learn about their rapid intensification. Current remote sensing technology is unable to peer past heavy rain in the inner core.
Nobel-Winning Economist Schelling Dies
Thomas Schelling, an economist who won a Nobel Prize for using game theory to explain nuclear strategy, has died. He was former Harvard University professor as well as University of Maryland professor. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in economics in 2005. His best-known book was The Strategy of Conflict (1960), in which he used game theory to analyze negotiations between nuclear powers.
Indian-American Elected as Mayor
In a first, an Indian-American woman, Savita Vaidhyanathan, has been elected as the the Mayor of the Cupertino city of California. She completed her MBA from San Jose State University. She has worked as a high school Mathematics teacher and an officer in a commercial bank. She has also chaired a number of Rotary Club fundraisers including the Silicon Valley Fall Festival.
EU Agrees to Extend Russia Sanctions
European Union leaders agreed extend economic sanctions against Russia over the turmoil in Ukraine until mid-2017. The decision was expected and the formal process to extend the sanctions on Russia’s defense, energy and financial sectors will take place early next week. The bloc slapped sanctions on Russia after it annexed Ukraine’s Black Sea peninsula of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.
Amina is UN Deputy Secretary-General
New UN Secretary-General António Guterres announced Nigeria’s Environment minister, Amina Mohammed as his Deputy Secretary-General. Mohammed served as UN under-secretary-general & special adviser on post-2015 development planning to Ban Ki-moon. She was instrumental in bringing about the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the sustainable development goals.
Lok Sabha Passes Disabilities Bill
Parliament has passed the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2016 with Lok Sabha approving it. The Rajya Sabha has already passed it. The Bill replaces the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995. The Bill provides for penalties for offences committed against persons with disabilities..
Assam to Make Majuli Carbon Neutral
Assam Government has initiated a project to make the river island Majuli as the first ever Carbon Neutral District in India. To achieve this goal, the Department of Environment and Forest has launched a project ‘Sustainable Action for Climate Resilient Development in Majuli’. The project has been initiated to combat climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions..
Vijay Diwas Observed Across the Country
People across the country observe 45th anniversary of Vijay Diwas. On this day, nation remembers martyrs, who laid down their lives during Indo-Pak War of 1971. It was the first major victory for a young Indian democracy and helped strengthen the confidence of the leadership. On 16 December 1971, Chief of Pakistan forces General Niazi, along with 93000 troops surrendered unconditionally.
SC Court Bans Liquor Shops on Highways
The Supreme Court has banned all liquor shops within 500 metres of national and state highways across the country. A move aimed at reducing drink driving and road accidents. A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur ordered removal of all signboards of alcohol vends along highways. The order came on petitions challenging high court verdicts.
Vasundhara Launches Annapurna Rasois
Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje has launched a subsidised meal scheme in the state. The tagline for the scheme, named Annapurna Rasoi Yojana, is: “Sabke liye bhojan, sabke liye sammaan. The CM launched the scheme by feeding a morsel to a Dalit and a Gurjar woman. The scheme aims to benefit labourers, rickshaw pullers, auto-rickshaw drivers, students, working women, senior citizens & others.
Bates Named ICC ODI & T20I Player
New Zealand women captain Suzie Bates became the first player to win both the ICC Women’s ODI and T20I Player-of-the-Year awards. Bates has been named the T20I Player of the Year for the first time. Bates scored 472 runs in seven ODI innings at an average of 94.40. In T20Is, Bates topped the run-scorers’ list with 429 runs at an average of 42.90.
Smriti Named in ICC Women’s Team
Indian batswoman Smriti Mandhana became the only Indian cricketer to be named in the first ever ICC Women’s Team of the Year 2016. The women’s team of the year will be captained by West Indies’ Stafanie Taylor. This is the first time that the ICC has named a women’s team of the year. The side was selected by a panel consisting of Clare Connor (Chair), Mel Jones and Shubhangi Kulkarni.
Trade Deficit Widens in November
The country’s trade deficit ballooned to $13 billion in November. The highest since $13.08 billion in July 2015, and sharply wider than the $10.41 billion gap in October. The trade deficit in November 2015 was $10.47 billion. For the third consecutive month, exports recorded a positive growth of 2.29 per cent year-on-year to $20 billion.
Govt Appoints Sunil Arora as IICA DG
Sunil Arora has been appointed as the Director General and CEO of the Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA). He retired as I&B Secretary earlier this year and was also serving as an advisor at Prasar Bharati. IICA focuses on matters impacting functioning of corporates and works towards capacity building with various stakeholders. IICA under the Corporate Affairs Ministry.
Larry Page Named World Most Powerful CEO
Google’s parent company Alphabet’s CEO Larry Page was named the named the world’s most powerful CEO by Forbes. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos have been ranked second and third respectively. Warren Buffet was fourth on the Forbes list followed by Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase. Tesla chief Elon Musk is sixth on the list.
Karnataka Bank Raises 659 cr Capital
The bank had come out with a rights issue in the ratio of one share for every two shares held on the record date at 70 per share. The rights issue had opened for subscription on Nov 7 & closed on Nov 28. A rights issue is an issue of rights to a company’s existing shareholders that entitles them to buy additional shares directly from the company in proportion to their existing holdings.
Cyprus Removed from India Tax Blacklist
Cyprus has been formally removed from India’s tax blacklist. The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has issued a notification, rescinding it’s executive order blacklisting the island nation from November 1, 2013. Cyprus was the only country to have been blacklisted by India as a non-cooperative jurisdiction. The decision comes on the heels of the two countries firming a new tax treaty
NITI Aayog Announces Launch of Schemes
NITI Aayog has the launch of two schemes,Lucky Grahak Yojna & Digi Dhan Vyapar Yojna. Lucky Grahak Yojana: This scheme is for the consumers who will conduct daily transaction using electronic medium. Digi-Dhan Vyapar Yojana:This scheme is applicable for those merchants who make digital transaction at merchant establishments. These schemes aim to promote digital payments post demonetization.
India, ASEAN Set Target of $100 b Trade
India and ASEAN have set a target of trading at 100 billion dollar to be achieved by 2020. Currently the trade between ASEAN and India is 57 billion dollars. ASEAN and India will celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2017. It will be attended by the head of states of all the ASEAN countries. Showcasing movies of ASEAN countries and India will also be a part of the celebrations.
IBBI Notifies Norms for Liquidation
The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) notified regulations for liquidation process. An insolvency professional is barred from acting as a liquidator unless that individual is independent of the corporate debtor concerned. Among others, advocates, ca, company secretaries & cost accountants with 15 years of experience in their respective fields can serve as insolvency professional.

17/12/16
6th BRICS Health Ministers’ Meet
The BRICS countries met in New Delhi on 16 December 2016 at the Sixth BRICS Health Ministers Meeting. They committed to strengthen intra-BRICS cooperation to promote health, acknowledged the renewed commitment to health. They also welcomed the recommendations made in the BRICS workshop on drugs and medical devices in Goa, India in November 2016.
Birth Centenary of Deendayal Upadhyaya
Committees have been constituted for commemoration of Birth centenary of Pt. Deendayal Upadhyaya & 350th Birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh. It has been decided to commemorate 200th Birth Anniversary of Satguru Ram Singh in a befitting manner. Satguru Ram Singh was a great leader of Kuka Movement and Namdhari Sikh Sect, a Spiritual Teacher, Social Reformer and a prominent Freedom fighter
Pakistan successfully test-fires Babur
Pakistan conducted a successful test of an enhanced version of the indigenously developed Babur Cruise Missile. Babur Weapon System-2 incorporates advanced aerodynamics and avionics that can strike targets both at land and sea with high accuracy, at a range of 700 km. It is a low flying, terrain hugging missile, which is capable of carrying various types of warheads.
5.0 magnitude earthquake strikes Chile
A magnitude 5.0 earthquake has occurred on the coast of Chile, in the northern region of Coquimbo. The US Geological Survey said that the quake hit early morning today at a depth of just over 28 kilometers. The National Seismological Center of the University of Chile put the earthquake’s magnitude at 5.2, saying that it was also felt in the coastal region of Valparaiso.
Punjab to give free LPG to BPL families
The Punjab Cabinet appred free LPG connections to those BPL families, who were missed in the 2011 Socio Economic Caste Census on the lines of Pradhan Mantri Ujwala Yojana. This decision was taken at a Cabinet meeting chaired by CM Parkash Singh Badal at the Chief Minister’s Office. It was informed that the State Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs department has an E-PDS portal.
Gujarat’s stringent proposal on Liquor
The Guj govt has cleared a new law regarding alcohol. The law passed during a Cabinet meeting proposed imprisonment upto 10 yrs for those involved in the sale and purchase of liquor besides a maximum fine up to Rs 5 lakh. To deter govt officials from helping those involved in violation of the Act, the ordinance proposed a max of 7 year imprisonment to such staffers & of Rs 1 lakh fine.
Muslims in IAF can’t keep beard
Emphasising the need to “maintain discipline” in Indian Air Force, the Supreme Court ruled that Muslim personnel cannot keep beards by citing religious grounds. The bench, comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud & L Nageswara Rao, said there was nothing to show that Islam prohibit cutting hair or shaving the face, like Sikhs. Regulations do not interfere with religious rights of individuals.
India to Receive Euro 1 billion Loan
In order to facilitate integration of large scale renewable generation capacity, a system has been identified as a part of ‘Green Energy Corridors’. Intra-State Transmission System & Inter-State Transmission System is being implemented by Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd. For the funding of green energy corridors ‘KfW Germany’ is providing soft loan to the tune of Euro 1 billion.
Interpol to stop child pornography
Modi government has roped in Interpol in a bid to crack down on sexual abuse and pornography of children amid a surge in photographs and videos on the internet showing kids being sexually exploited. Advent of digital cameras and camcorders have fueled an explosion in such material online. Interpol is a source of getting access to lists of websites containing child sexual abuse.
Niti Aayog announces two award schemes
Niti Aayog announced awards for people making payments through digital means. The scheme runs from Dec 25, 2016, to April 14, 2017. On April 14, a mega award of Rs 1 crore will be announced for consumers. This announcement comes days after the finance ministry declared multiple incentives ranging from discounts on fuel, highway toll and railway tickets for those using digital payment modes.
Efforts to make Hindi official language
Efforts are on to make Hindi one of the official languages of the United Nations and popularise the language the world over. The government continues its efforts in popularising Hindi worldwide and for the acceptance of Hindi as one of the UN official languages. In this regard, one significant achievement has been the UN broadcasting its programmes on the UN Radio website in Hindi language.
SC orders panel on NE people’s safety
The Supreme Court has passed a slew of directions, including setting up of a three-member panel headed by a Joint Secretary-level officer to end violence against people from NE India. The court also directed the government that the effective monitoring mechanism suggested by the M P Bezbaruah Committee in its report should be implemented. The Bench was headed by TS Thakur
Arnab Goswami announces new venture
Exactly a month after his last show on Times Now, senior journalist Arnab Goswami has announced that his new venture would be called Republic. Goswami had resigned from Times Now on November 1. Rahul Shivshankar has since taken over as Editor In Chief of the news channel.
New income disclosure scheme
The govt has launched a new scheme for people with unaccounted wealth to come clean or face action. Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana will start on Dec 17 and will end on Mar 31. Those who declare cash deposits will be levied a charge of 50%, which breaks down into 30% tax, 33% surcharge and 10% penalty. In addition to this, 25% of the amount will go into the scheme for 4 years
Britain to license three-parent babies
Britain became the first country to license an in-vitro fertilisation treatment designed to create babies from 3 people. Critics say it is a dangerous step that will lead to the creation of genetically modified “designer babies”. Britain’s Human Fertilisation & Embryology Authority gave nod for the treatment of mitochondrial transfer, which could help prevent incurable inherited diseases.
India: one of fastest-growing countries
India remains one of the fastest-growing countries in the world, the White House said. The report says that economic growth in India continues at a solid pace of a projected 7.4 per cent over the four quarters of 2016. Inefficiencies remain in the public sector, with India’s poor still lacking healthcare coverage, educational attainment, and access to financial services, the report said.
UGC asks colleges to go cashless
The University Grants Commission issued a circular asking educational institutes to move away from cash-based transactions and adopt online payment modes. They are looking at ways to make other transactions such as canteen payments, parking fee and journal fee online. The University of Mumbai has forwarded the circular to all its affiliated colleges to follow the apex body’s guidelines.
China ‘seizes US vessel’ in S China Sea
The Chinese navy seized the US underwater research vessel in the South China Sea. The device, dubbed an “ocean glider”, was used to test water salinity and temperature, officials say. The US has issued a formal request to China to deliver an unmanned underwater drone that was seized in international waters, US officials say.
Putin and Erdogan push for Syria talks
President Vladimir Putin said he and his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan are working to organise a new series of Syrian peace talks without the involvement of the US or the UN. In a snub to Washington, Putin made clear that the initiative was the sole preserve of Moscow and Turkey. Putin, wants new peace talks in Kazakhstan.
Beijing to implement ‘odd-even’ scheme
Beijing city will implement the road rationing scheme “odd-even” from tonight and suspend schools bracing for heavy smog after the Chinese capital issued its first red alert for air pollution this year. The red alert is being activated from 8 PM (local time) and is expected to be lifted on December 21. Public transportation will be arranged with more buses running for longer.

18/12/16
Priyanka on IMDb’s Celebrities’ List
IMDb has just released the list of the most popular celebrities across the globe. Priyanka Chopra is the only Indian who’s made it to the list. Priyanka stands at number 55. She has beaten the likes of Hollywood biggies like Jennifer Aniston, Emma Watson, Leonardo Di Caprio, Johnny Depp, Scarlett Johansson and others. Number one on the list is Sofia Boutella.
UNSC to Vote on Aleppo Observers
The UN Security Council will vote on a French proposal to send observers to the flashpoint Syrian city of Aleppo. The council will meet to decide on the draft resolution, despite resistance from Russia, Syria’s ally and a veto-wielding Security Council member. France circulated a draft text stating that the council is alarmed by the worsening humanitarian crisis in Aleppo.
Heimlich Manoeuvre Inventor Dies
US doctor Henry Heimlich, who invented the manoeuvre used to help victims of choking, has died. He invented the lifesaving technique, which uses abdominal thrusts to clear a person’s airway in 1974. In 1962 he developed the Heimlich Chest Drain Valve which was credited with saving many soldiers’ lives in the Vietnam War. It is still used for patients undergoing chest surgery.
BS Dhanoa to be New IAF Chief
Air Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa will take over as the new Indian Air Force (IAF) chief on Jan 1, 2017. He will take over from the current IAF chief Arup Raha, whose terms ends on Dec 31, 2016. He is currently the Vice Chief of the Air Staff. Prior to being appointed as Vice Chief of the Air Staff, the Air Marshal was the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the South Western Air Command.
Anil Dhasmana to be New RAW Chief
Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) Special Director AK Dhasmana has been appointed as the next chief of the country’s external intelligence agency. He will take charge as the new chief on Jan 30, 2017. He has been with RAW for the last 23 years. He is the 1981-batch Madhya Pradesh cadre IPS officer’s domain of expertise is considered to be Balochistan, counter-terrorism and Islamic affairs.
Rajiv Jain Named Next Director of IB
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Rajiv Jain as the Director of Intelligence Bureau. Mr. Jain, an IPS officer of 1980 batch of Jharkhand cadre, is currently working as Special Director in the Intelligence Bureau. He takes over from IB chief Dineshwar Sharma. He is an expert on J&K & Islamic extremism & has supervised many operations in the recent past.
Bipin Rawat to be Next Indian Army Chief
The Vice Chief of Army Staff, Lt General Bipin Rawat will be the new Chief of Army Staff. He will replace General Dalbir Singh. He has tremendous hands on experience of serving in combat areas. He have been commissioned in the Fifth Battalion of the Eleven Gorkha Rifles. He has commanded the Dimapur based 3 Corps which was involved in taking out insurgent camps in Myanmar.
Pimpri Budruk Declared Cashless Village
The Centre for Good Governance under the Union Ministry of Corporate Affairs has declared that Pimpri Budruk in Pune district as a cashless village. This is first cashless village in the Khed district. Each of the eligible members of the village has an account, where every transaction is being done through mobile banking. All the villagers have been trained by the bank officials.
PMGKY Comes into Effect
The Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY) comes into effect. Any unaccounted cash or deposit in a bank account can be disclosed under the scheme before April 1, 2017. The PMKGY provides for 50 per cent tax and surcharge on declarations of unaccounted cash deposited in banks. The money generated from disclosure of unaccounted cash will be used for this yojana.
India-Tajikistan Ink Four Agreements
India & Tajikistan signed 4 agreements in areas including double taxation, money laundering & terrorism. The two sides also inked pacts on broadcasting of audio visual programmes. The MoU’s were signed following talks between PM Modi & visiting Tajik President Emomali Rahmon. Both the countries also agreed to increase the scope and scale of economic engagement.
Himachal Attain 100% Aadhaar Saturation
The Himachal Pradesh has achieved 100 percent Aadhar saturation on the basis of population of year 2015. With this, Himachal Pradesh has become the sixth State/UT in the Country. Earlier, Delhi, Telangana, Haryana, Punjab and Chandigarh have achieved this milestone. In Himachal Pradesh, Aadhaar numbers have been generated for 72, 52,880 residents.
Phelps to be Given Lifetime Award
Record-breaking swimmer Michael Phelps will be honoured with the lifetime achievement award at BBC Sports Personality show. American Phelps won his 23rd Olympic gold in his final Games as he bowed out in Rio. The most decorated Olympian of all time, he claimed five golds and a silver this year. He has amassed a total of 28 medals since making his Games debut in 2000.
Sharad Pawar Resigns as MCA President
NCP chief Sharad Pawar announced his resignation as Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) president. He have been disqualified as a cricket administrator if the BCCI & its state units were to implement the Lodha committee reforms that suggested age and tenure caps. The MCA is yet to accept Pawar’s resignation. In June 2015,Pawar was re-elected as MCA president for the third time.
Vijender Retains WBO-Asia Pacific 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. Cheka was the most experienced rival Vijender had faced till today. He has been a professional boxer for 17 years now.
Rahil Appointed as Audi India Head
Audi, the German luxury car manufacturer, has appointed Rahil Ansari as the Head of Audi India, effective February 1, 2017. He replaces Joe King, whose tenure ended. He has previously served as Director of Network Development for Audi India. He has a broad range of experience in finance, sales, network development, retail operations and after sales business.
Venezuela Delays Banknote Withdrawal
Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro has delayed the withdrawal of the 100-bolivar banknote until 2 January. The sudden change of policy comes after days of economic chaos. He claimed his country had been the victim of international sabotage, which had prevented new 500-bolivar notes arriving in time. Many Venezuelans have spent several days in long queues trying to swap the old notes.
BEML Conferred CEPM Fellowship Award
BEML Ltd, a defence public sector undertaking, has been conferred with CEPM Fellowship Award-2016. The company bagged the award for its recognition and commitment in transforming and driving organisational capabilities through human centric approach. The award was given at the 24th global symposium. Deepak Kumar Hota, CMD, BEML received the award from Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog.
HDFC Get RBI Nod to Raise Rs 3,000 crore
HDFC gets RBI approval to raise Rs 3000 crore more via masala bonds. It has already raised Rs 5,000 crore through the ‘masala bond’ route. Masala bonds are bonds issued outside India but denominated in Indian Rupees, rather than the local currency. Unlike dollar bonds, where the borrower takes the currency risk, masala bond makes the investors bear the risk.
RBI Lowers Charges on Card Payments
The Reserve Bank announced special measures to be adopted between 1st Jan 2017 & 31st March 2017 in order to incentivise greater adoption of digital payment methods. It has asked issuing entities not to levy any charges for transactions upto 1000 rupees. RBI has advised banks to cap the Merchant Discount Rates for debit card transactions upto 1000 rupees at 0.25% of the transaction value.
SBI Launches State Bank MobiCash
The SBI, in partnership with BSNL launched its mobile wallet application ‘State Bank MobiCash’. It will allow users to deposit cash through BSNL retail outlets & withdraw funds from their account. The new wallet services will initially be available in Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana & Bihar. It will be expanded pan-India by the end of December

19/12/16
Miss Puerto Rico Wins Miss World 2016
Stephanie del Valle of Puerto Rico has been crowned Miss World 2016. Del Valle is a student who speaks Spanish, English & French & plans to join the entertainment industry. First runner-up was Yaritza Miguelina Reyes Ramirez of the Dominican Republic, followed by Miss World Indonesia Natasha Mannuela. Contestants from Kenya & Catriona Gray of the Philippines also were in the final five.
World’s Largest Ice Rink Inaugurated
A 2,700-square-meter skating space has recently opened at the Grand Palais in Paris, France. It is the world’s largest non-permanent indoor ice rink. The rink was inaugurated at the third edition of the ‘Grand Palais des Glaces’ festival featuring skating stunts and acrobatics. Over 100 workers constructed the ice rink, which will remain open until January 2, 2017.
Scientists Build Smallest Radio Receiver
Scientists from the Harvard John A Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences have created the world’s smallest radio receiver using imperfect pink diamonds. The research team has made NV centers in diamonds by replacing a carbon atom with a nitrogen atom. To change radio stations, an electromagnet is used. The electromagnetic field created by it is used to change stations
Goat with Superfine Wool Cloned in China
The world’s first cloned goat bearing superfine cashmere wool was born in North China’s Inner Mongolia autonomous region. The goat will be raised in a base for animal husbandry research conducted by experts. The cashmere fiber from the goat is less than 13.8 micrometers thick. It is much finer than the average of 15.8 micrometers grown by the famous Erlang Mountain goats in Inner Mongolia.
Hollywood Legend Zsa Zsa Gabor Dies
Hungarian-born actress Zsa Zsa Gabor has passed away. Born in Hungary, she emigrated to the United States during World War Two and made her Hollywood debut in 1952. She appeared in more than 70 films, but was more famous for her celebrity lifestyle. Her credits include a long list of roles in such hit films as Moulin Rouge (1952), Lili (1953) and Queen of Outer Space (1958).
PM Launches Skill Development Projects
PM Modi laid the foundation stone of the country’s first ever Indian Institute of Skills in Kanpur. The Institute has been conceptualized by Mr. Modi during his visit to Singapore’s Institute of Technical Education. The institute is opened by the Skill Development Ministry in partnership with the Institute of Technical Education, Singapore. PM also inaugurated the Kaushal Pradarshani.
Kyrgyz President Arrives in New Delhi
            President of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Sharshenovich Atambayev arrived in New Delhi on a four day state visit to India. President Atambayev is leading a high-level delegation comprising ministers, senior officials and business leaders. This is his first visit to India as President. The trade between the two countries was 27.99 million dollars during the last fiscal.
Goel Inaugurates Conference on Youth
Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports,Vijay Goel inaugurated the Conference on Youth Development in Delhi. Mr. Goel emphasized on the efficiency of youth & how it can be utilised for the development of the country. It was organized by the Ministry of Youth Affairs &Sports & National Yuva Kendra Sangathan. Suggestions from delegates from various sectors were invited during the deliberations.
Single Tribunal to Resolve Water Dispute
The govt has decided to set up a single,permanent Tribunal to solve all inter-state river water disputes subsuming existing tribunals. It also proposed to float some benches by amending the Interstate Water Disputes Act,1956 to look into disputes as and when required along with the Tribunal, the amendment proposes to set up Dispute Resolution Committee to handle disputes prior to the Tribunal
Murray Wins Sports Personality of Year
Andy Murray has been voted the BBC Sports Personality of the Year for a record third time. Murray, the 2013 and 2015 winner, took Olympic gold, claimed his second Wimbledon title & became tennis’ world number one in a remarkable 2016. Triathlete Alistair Brownlee was second and show jumper Nick Skelton third. Brownlee became the first man to retain the Olympic triathlon title at Rio 2016.
Indore to Host Ranji Trophy Final
The final match of this season’s Ranji Trophy will be played at Indore’s Holkar stadium from Jan 10 to 14. Earlier it was to be played on 12th January. The first Ranji Trophy semi-final will be played at Rajkot while another will be played at Nagpur. The Ranji Trophy is a domestic first-class cricket championship played in India between teams representing regional cricket associations.
India Clinches Hockey Junior World Cup
India produced a clinical performance to outclass Belgium 2-1 and clinched their second Hockey Junior World Cup title. Gurjant Singh and Simranjeet Singh scored the two goals for India. Belgium scored their goal at the death via Fabrice van Bockrijck. India had finished runners-up in 1997. It was also the first time that a host nation had won the tournament since its inception.
Atletico De Kolkata Win ISL Title
Atletico De Kolkata scripted history after winning Indian Super League (ISL) football tournament for the second time in three years. Kolkata defeated Kerala Blasters 4-3 in a penalty shootout in Kochi. Both teams were one goal each in the stipulated time. In the penalty shootout, the Kolkata team scored four goals against the three by Kerala Blasters.
IMF Chief Lagarde to Hear Trial Verdict
IMF MD, Christine Lagarde will learn the verdict in her trial for approving a massive state payout to a tycoon when she was French finance minister At the heart of the case is Lagarde’s decision to allow a dispute with Bernard Tapie to be resolved by arbitration in 2007. Her later failure to contest the huge award linked to the flamboyant businessman’s sale of the Adidas to Credit Lyonnais
19 Insurers Remained Profitable in FY16
Of the 24 life insurance companies operating in India, only 19 insurers remained profitable in 2015-16. This was according to the annual report by Insurance Regulatory & Development Authority of India. During 2015-16, the life insurance industry reported profit after tax at 7,415 crore rupees. The life inflation adjusted insurance premium in India increased by 7.8 percent.
Pankaj Takes over as President of FICCI
Zydus Cadila Healthcare Chairman and Managing Director Pankaj R Patel took over as the President of the FICCI for 2016-17. Patel brings with him over 35 years of professional experience. He is also the chairperson of the Board of Governors of the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, IISER, Kolkata. He is also the chairman of the Finance Committee of the IIM, Ahmedabad.
Economist Saumitra Chaudhuri Passes Away
Eminent economist and a former member of the erstwhile Planning Commission, Saumitra Chaudhuri, passed away. He had been a member of the erstwhile Planning Commission of India from 2009. He had also been a member of the then Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council from 2005 onwards. He had also been in the race for the RBI governor’s post, but Raghuram Rajan was eventually chosen.
Aditya Puri is BS Banker of the Year
Aditya Puri, managing director of HDFC Bank is the Business Standard Banker of the Year for 2015-16. He was selected by a six-member jury headed by former Economic Affairs Secretary C M Vasudev. He joined HDFC Bank as a founding member and managing director in 1994 Since then, he has taken the bank to great heights and is third most valuable company on the bourses.
Ukraine Nationalises Largest Lender
Ukraine has nationalised the country’s largest bank in an attempt to avert a financial meltdown. The govt moved to take over Private Bank after rumors that the lender was heavily burdened by bad debts. The decision falls in line with IMF demands for Ukraine to stabilise its financial sector in order to achieve sustainable growth. Private Bank controls one-third of the country’s deposits.
Yes Bank Partners with Ola
Yes Bank has partnered with Ola to provide Cash-on-Demand at Customer’s doorstep. Customers will be able to use the Ola App to book a cab & opt for Cash at their Doorstep which will be enabled using PoS Machines powered by Yes Bank. The service will be available across 10 cities. It will available in Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Pune, Kolkata, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad & Jaipur.

20/12/16
Jet Stream Detected in Earth’s Core
Scientists have discovered a jet stream within the Earth’s molten iron core using the latest satellite data that helps create an X-ray view of the planet. Researchers from the University of Leeds,UK found that the position of the jet stream aligns with a boundary between two different regions in the core. The European Space Agency’s Swarm satellites are providing our sharpest X-ray of the core
UNSC Backs Sending Observers to Aleppo
UN Security Council members have unanimously voted in favor of a resolution to send observers to Syria’s Aleppo to monitor the ongoing evacuations there. The resolution which was proposed by France urges those involved in the evacuations to report on the fate of people who have remained in the city. Last week, the Syrian govt reached an agreement with armed groups to evacuate the city.
China Returns Seized US Sea Drone
A US underwater drone seized by the Chinese navy in the contentious South China Sea has now been returned. The drone was handed over some 92km north-west of Subic Bay in the Philippines. China seized the vehicle in international waters, in one of the most serious confrontations between the powers in decades. China has claimed territorial rights over most of the South China Sea.
Russia Ambassador to Turkey Assassinated
The Russian ambassador to Ankara died after being shot in a gun attack in the Turkish capital. Andrei Karlov was attacked at the opening of an art exhibition in Ankara. The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, called the killing a “provocation” aimed at sabotaging a rapprochement between Moscow and Ankara. The attacker was killed by Turkish special forces after they surrounded the gallery.
Trump Wins Electoral College Vote
Donald Trump surpassed the necessary 270 votes in the Electoral College, taking the next step in the official process to become President. Trump received 304 electoral votes to Hillary Clinton’s 227. The Electoral College results will be officially certified Jan 6 during a joint session of Congress. The result will be officially announced on 6th Jan in a special joint session of Congress.
India and Kyrgyzstan Sign 6 Agreements
India & Kyrgyzstan have signed six MoU including in the fields of tourism, agriculture & food industry, youth development, broadcasting & exchange of audio-visual programmes. The agreements were inked after delegation level talks between President of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Sharshenovich Atambayev & PM Modi in New Delhi. The two leaders also reviewed cooperative engagement in the field of defence.
Govt Revises NEIIP, 2007
The govt has revised the North East Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy. All payments will me made through Direct Benefit Transfer The subsidy for the new industrial units going for substantial expansion will be limited to Rs 5cr per industrial unit operating in manufacturing sector & Rs 3cr per industrial unit operating in services sector
PC is Assam Tourism’s Brand Ambassador
The Assam government has appointed top Bollywood actor Priyanka Chopra as the state’s tourism brand ambassador for two years. She will be responsible for the campaign, “Awesome Assam”. She will be in contract as brand ambassador for two years, during which she will promote Assam tourism. Assam Tourism could have a presence in countries like the US, UK, Japan and Germany.

Justice J S Khehar Appointed Next CJI
Justice J S Khehar was appointed as the new Chief Justice of India after President Mukherjee’s approval. Justice Khehar, the country’s first CJI from the Sikh community, will take over on Jan 4, a day after incumbent CJI TS Thakur retires. This appointment follows the tradition of the CJI being succeeded by the senior-most judge. He will have a short tenure of a little over seven months.
Swasthya Raksha Programme Launched
The Union AYUSH Ministry has launched ‘Swasthya Raksha Programme’ to promote health and health education in villages. Aims is organize Swasthya Parikshan Camps, Swasthya Rakshan OPDs and Health and Hygiene awareness programme. Create awareness about cleanliness of domestic surroundings and environment. Provide medical aid and incidental support in the adopted villages and colonies.
Kuheli Wins 50m Rifle Prone
Kuheli Gangulee won the women’s 50m rifle prone at the 60th National shooting championship. Representing CISF, Kuheli finished with a new national record score of 626.5 from 60 shots. Maharashtra’s Tejaswini Sawant, who held the previous national record with a score of 622.1 achieved also finished with a high score of 625.0. Gujarat’s Lajja Gauswami took the third position.
Nair Enters Record Books with Triple Ton
Indian cricketer Karun Nair scored a triple century in the 5th Test match against England held in MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai. He became the second Indian cricketer to score triple century in Test Cricket after Virendra Sehwag. This was his 3rd test match. He scored 303 not out in 381 balls when the Indian captain declared the innings on 759-7.
IMF Chief Convicted Over Payout
A special French court convicted the IMF Christine Lagarde of negligence for her role in a controversial 2008 arbitration award to a businessman. Lagarde approved an award of €404m to businessman Bernard Tapie for the disputed sale of a firm. She was France’s finance minister at the time, was spared punishment. She began her second five-year term at the IMF last February,.
Softbank Invest in 1bn Satellite Startup
Japanese technology giant Softbank is investing $1bn in US space start-up OneWeb. OneWeb is working on satellites that will help bring faster internet to developing countries. Softbank’s investment will give it a 40% stake in the Florida-based firm, making it the biggest shareholder. The deal will create about 3,000 jobs.
Florida-based OneWeb is a direct rival to Elon Musk’s SpaceX.
Less Tax for Traders on Digital Pymt
FM Arun Jaitley has said that small traders with a turnover of up to 2 crore rupees will pay less tax if they accept payments through banking & digital means. He said, in 2016-17 budget, small traders who did not maintain proper accounts,were presumed to have earned 8% income or profit for tax purposes. But if they use digital modes,their income will now be presumed to be 6% of the turnover.
MetLife Launch VR-based Customer Service
PNB MetLife has announced the launch of a virtual reality-based customer service platform converse. This is the first time virtual reality is being used in the insurance industry. Customers need to visit select PNB MetLife branches and wear the VR headset to get their service requirements addressed. It will make customers take informed decisions and experience enhanced service quality.
Amazon India Introduces Online Wallet
Amazon India has launched its online wallet Amazon Pay Balance, in a bid to increase cashless transactions. It will helps customers store balances for essential items and solves the pain point of tendering exact amount of cash at the time of delivery. It can be credited with money using internet banking and credit or debit card. The balance amount will be refunds to the user’s bank account.
Mistry Steps Down from All Tata Boards
Cyrus Mistry stepped down from the board of all Tata Group companies, eight weeks after he was ousted as the Chairman of Tata Sons. Mistry said he would now take the battle to the court, where he expected the rule of law to be upheld. The move comes after three Tata Group entities showed Mistry the door at their respective EGMs. Mistry was replaced by his predecessor Ratan Tata on Oct 24
RBI Chief to Brief Parliamentary Panel
Reserve Bank Governor Urjit Patel will brief the Parliamentary Committee on Finance about the demonetisation process & its impact. The Govt has taken a host of measures for promote digital payment. RBI last week said that 12.44 lakh crore rupees in demonetised notes have been collected at banks. Also, banks have issued 4.61 lakh crore rupees to the public.
EPFO Lowers Interest Rate on EPF
The Employees Provident Fund Organisation, EPFO has lowered the interest rate on provident fund deposits to 8.65 per cent for the current fiscal, from 8.8 per cent in 2015-16. The decision was taken by EPFO’s apex decision making body, the Central Board of Trustees (CBT), headed by the Labour Minister. The move is in line with the falling rate regime which has seen RBI cut key lending rates.

21/12/16
Note Ban Could Bring Banks Windfall
The note ban has the potential to drive big treasury gains for Indian banks, says a report from rating agency India Ratings. Banks are likely to see register Rs. 38,200 crore of potential treasury gains for the current financial year (2016-17) which will be their highest ever. Banks are currently facing significant challenges, from bad assets to weak credit growth to capital requirement.
India boycotts Pakistan again
India, along with Bangladesh and Iran, has pulled out of a key regional conference on sustainable development which is being held in Pakistan. The three-day session of the Governing Council of the Asian and Pacific Centre for Transfer of Technology (APCTT) started in Islamabad on Monday. India had earlier in November boycotted the SAARC Summit that was to be held in Islamabad.
CBSE brings Class X board exams back
The CBSE has approved a proposal to reintroduce compulsory Class X board examination from the 2017-18 academic year. Also, apart from English and Hindi, students may also have to study another Indian language, according to reports. The decision was taken during a meeting of the CBSE governing body and the first exam will be conducted in 2018.
Zuckerberg Posts Video of Jarvis
Mark Zuckerberg has posted the video of his new housemate: Jarvis, an artificial intelligence assistant. Jarvis can control appliances, play music, recognize faces and, perhaps most impressively, entertain his toddler. The Facebook founder spent 100 hours putting together the virtual assistant – named after the artificial intelligence system in “Iron Man”.
Facebook Charged on WhatsApp Takeover
European Union antitrust regulators have charged Facebook Inc with providing misleading information during its takeover of WhatsApp. The statement of objections sent to Facebook will not have an impact on the approval of the $22 billion merger in 2014. Facebook had indicated in its notification of the acquisition that it would be unable reliably to match the two companies’ user accounts.
NASA shows Solar transit of ISS;
In the latest image of the day released by the US space agency NASA has shown solar transit made by the International Space Station. International Space Station is the largest artificial satellite in space orbiting Earth. The habitable satellite is visible through naked eyes from Earth. The stunning image is a delight to watch for skygazers as it shows ISS crossing the solar surface.
Volkswagen to pay another $1 Billion
Volkswagen has agreed to buy back or fix the remaining diesel cars caught up in its emissions cheating scandal, at an expected cost of about $1 billion. The settlement involves Volkswagen and the federal government, and covers about 80,000 Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche cars. The agreement addresses vehicles that were not included in Volkswagen’s agreement in June to pay nearly $15 billion.
No VoA in Hong Kong for Indians
Two of the hottest international destinations for Indians, Thailand and Hong Kong have taken diametrically opposite views on visitors from the country. Thailand has either waived or halved visitor visa fees for Indians for three months. Hong Kong now wants them to take pre-authorisation and has withdrawn the visa-on-arrival facility for Indians.
Major overhaul continues in Twitter
Twitter’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Adam Messinger and its Vice President for products Josh McFarland have quit. Twitter’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) Adam Bain who was in charge of the micro-blogging website’s revenue business also decided to leave the company. As of the third quarter of 2016, the microblogging service averaged at 317 million monthly active users.
Lunar Prize teams will ride to the Moon
Two of the teams competing in the Google Lunar X Prize competition have agreed to share a ride to the Moon next year. The Japanese team, HAKUTO and Indian group Team Indus will use the same rocket to get its four-wheeled lunar rover to the Moon’s surface. Team Indus’ spacecraft, a lunar lander and rover combo is slated to ride on a PSLV rocket to the moon.
Obama bans future oil leases in Atlantic
Barack Obama designated the bulk of U.S.-owned waters in the Arctic Ocean and certain Atlantic Ocean off limits to future oil and gas leasing. The move helps put some finishing touches on Obama’s environmental legacy. It will also test President-elect Donald Trump’s promise to unleash the nation’s untapped energy reserves.
Poll panel lists 200 parties on paper
The Election Commission of India (EC) will soon write to the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) informing it about its decision to delist 200-odd political parties. These political parties, EC officials suspect, could be nothing but money-laundering operations. Most of these parties have not contested any election since 2005 and exist mostly on paper.
Govt to let companies pay e-salary
The Centre has decided to bring in an ordinance to amend the Payment of Wages Act. New act will allow business and industrial establishments to pay salaries through cheques or electronically. Employers will also have the option to pay wages in cash, the source added. The Bill was introduced by Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya amid din over the demonetisation issue.
Amul ties up with MobiKwik for e-payment
Domestic mobile wallet platform MobiKwik has tied up with Indian dairy co-operative Amul to help customers make cashless payments at its outlets. The facility can be used at 7,000 Amul outlets and three lakh Amul multi-brand outlets and retailers across the country. MobiKwik has added 1,50,000 retailers to its network in November and has a network reach of over 2,50,000 retailers in India.
IIT KGP students on hunger strike
The students of IIT Kharagpur are sitting on a hunger strike against the institution’s decision to hike the registration fee. The students said that they would continue with the protest if their grievances are not addressed. Earlier in April, 2016 the students protested against the HRD Ministry’s decision to hike the fee structure almost two fold.
Airtel to get Orascom’s stake in MENA
Bharti Airtel has said that its subsidiary Network i2i has entered into a definitive agreement with Egyptian firm Orascom. The move is done to acquire the latter’s entire equity stake in Middle East North Africa Submarine Cable Systems (MENA-SCS). MENA-SCS is operational in connecting Mumbai, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Italy.
Sao Tome cuts ties with Taiwan
The government of Sao Tome and Principe has cut diplomatic ties with Taiwan according to the officials. China welcomed the decision by the African island nation saying it was “back onto the correct path of the One China principle”. Sao Tome suspended ties with China in 1997, after choosing to officially recognise Taiwan.
NASA orbiter discovers Martian ‘spiders’
NASA’s researchers have detected cumulative growth of erosion-carved troughs that may be infant versions of larger features known as Martian “spiders. The spiders range in size from tens to hundreds of yards (or meters). Multiple channels typically converge at a central pit, resembling the legs and body of a spider. One Martian year lasts about 1.9 Earth years.
31 Dead in Mexico Fireworks Market Blast
A massive explosion gutted Mexico’s biggest fireworks market on Tuesday, killing at least 31 people and injuring 72, the authorities said. The conflagration in the Mexico City suburb of Tultepec set off a series of multicolored blasts all over the capital. The market had been packed with customers buying pyrotechnics for traditional end-of-year festivities such as Christmas and New Year.
IS responsible for Berlin attack
The Islamic State group claimed responsibility on Tuesday for a truck attack on a crowded Berlin Christmas market. The attack was done on popular market by the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in the heart of former West Berlin that left 12 dead and 48 injured. It was the first mass casualty attack by Islamic extremists carried out on German soil.

22/12/16
US Returns Some Land on Japan’s Okinawa
The U.S. military announced the return to the Japanese govt of the largest tract of land in more than 40 years. It will reduce American-administered areas on the southern island of Okinawa by 17 percent. PM Shinzo Abe & the U.S. ambassador to Japan attended the ceremony in Tokyo. The U.S. retained control of Okinawa after its World War II victory,returning the islands to Japan only in 1972.
Dubai Opens Multi-Theme Based Parks
Motiongate, the largest multi-themed leisure and entertainment destination has been opened in Dubai, UAE. The theme park unites three Hollywood movie studios namely Columbia Pictures, DreamWork Animation and Lionsgate. Motiongate, Dubai is spread across five zones. The destination is spread across 30.6 million square feet, with over 100 rides, 50 themed retail, dining.
Japan Cancels Failed Monju Reactor
Japan is a scrapping an experimental reactor which has worked for just 250 days of its 22-year lifespan and cost $9bn (£7.2bn). The Monju reactor, in western Japan’s Fukui city, was designed to burn most of its own spent fuel. It eliminate the need to deal with the nuclear waste. But it suffered its first problems months after it went live, and has not worked properly since.
Cabinet Nod to Enemy Property Ordinance
The Union Cabinet gave approval for introduction of an ordinance for the fifth time to make up for its failure to have the Enemy Property Act amended during Parliament’s just-concluded winter session. The ordinance will now be sent to President Pranab Mukherjee for re-promulgation. It is pending before a Parliamentary select committee after Rajya Sabha referred it to the panel.
India Tests ‘Nirbhay’ Cruise Missile
India conducted the flight test of indigenously-designed and developed long range subsonic cruise missile Nirbhay from the ITR at Chandipur in Odisha. The test had failed like most of the earlier launches. The sophisticated missile has a strike range of 1,000 km. It is powered by a solid rocket motor booster,with a turbo-fan engine is guided by a highly advanced inertial navigation system.
Guj Announces Aerospace & Defence Policy
The Guj govt has announced Aerospace and Defense Policy 2016 India is eyeing an estimated $250 billion investment in aerospace and defense sector. Govt will give land at 50% for setting up units & 100% rebate of stamp duty It will also give 100% relief in taxes for a period of 10 yrs & exemption in electricity duty. With this policy the govt expects to attract 10-15% investment in Guj
Vannadasan Wins Sahitya Akademi Award
Tamil literary writer, Vannadasan from Tirunelveli region won has the country’s highest literary award—Sahitya Akademi Award this year. He was selected for his short story collection, Oru Siru Isai. He was recipient of ‘Kalaimamai Award,Thamil Perayam Award & Ilakkiya Sinthanai Award’ for his literary works. The Sahitya Akademi Award is a literary honor in India & was established in 1954.
Cabinet Approves Creation of IEDS
Cabinet approves creation of Indian Enterprise Development Service (IEDS) in the Office of Development Commissioner (MSME) under the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. The measure will enhance the capacity and efficiency of the organization. It also help in achieving growth in MSME sector through a focussed and dedicated cadre of technical officers.
Uttarakhand Inks Pact With DMRC
The Uttarakhand government has inked a pact with the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation for introducing metro rail in the state. The MoU for preparing the detailed project report for the Haridwar-Rishikesh-Dehradun Metro rail project was signed. It was signed between the state Urban Housing Development Authority (UUHDA) & DMRC. An initial amount of Rs 2.10 crores has been sanctioned.
Mary Kom, Vikas Get AIBA Special Awards
5-time world champion & Olympic bronze-medallist Mary Kom was presented the AIBA Legends award for her trailblazing boxing career. Vikas Krishnan was handed the APB (AIBA Pro Boxing) Best Boxer trophy. Kom was christened ‘Magnificent Mary’ by AIBA after her fourth world title back in 2008. The awards were presented at the International Boxing Association’s 70th anniversary gala in Montreux.
South Africa Give Petersen Two-year Ban
Former South Africa batsman Alviro Petersen has been banned for two years. He has admitted failing to disclose details of an approach to fix matches. It follows a lengthy investigation into South Africa’s domestic Ram Slam T20 Challenge Series competition in 2015. In January, as part of the same investigation, former South Africa spinner Gulam Bodi was banned for 20 years.
BFI Gets AIBA’s Full Membership
The International Boxing Association (AIBA) unanimously granted full membership to the recently-formed Boxing Federation of India, BFI at a meeting. With this, India’s return to the international boxing fold is complete. The BFI, which came into existence as the new national federation, got provisional membership from the AIBA following its elections in September last.
Ashwin, Jadeja go 1-2 in Test Rankings
Indian duo Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja have made it to top slots in the ICC Test rankings of bowlers. Jadeja’s career best 10-wicket haul against England in the Chennai Test helped him vault to the second spot. Ravichandran Ashwin occupies the 1st position in the ICC rankings. This is just the second time the top two spots in the bowlers chart is occupied by India players.
India End 2016 as No.1 Test Team
India have ended the year as the Number one ranked Test side after posting a 4-nil win over England in the five-match series. India won the final Test at Chennai by an innings and 75 runs. The series win helped India gain five points and they have moved to 120 points in the last Test team rankings update of 2016, 15 points ahead of second placed Australia. Pakistan was ranked third.
US Puts Alibaba Back on Blacklist
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group is back on the US government’s annual list of ”notorious markets” that sell pirated goods. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said that Alibaba’s on-line marketplace Taobao sells “high levels” of counterfeit goods. USTR took Alibaba off the blacklist in 2012, but several U.S. trade groups successfully sought to get it reinstated.
Hershey Names Michele Buck as Next CEO
U.S. chocolate maker Hershey named Chief Operating Officer Michele Buck as its chief executive and president, effective March 1. She will succeed John Bilbrey, who said in October he would retire as CEO and president. Bilbrey will continue as the non-executive chairman. Buck has joined Hershey in 2005 & was the architect of the company’s expansion into broader snacking categories.
RBI Modifies Old Currency Deposit Rules
The Reserve Bank of India has done away the restrictions placed on deposit of over Rs 5,000 in the scrapped Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes. The restrictions are not applicable if the deposits are made into fully compliant Know-Your-Customer (KYC) accounts. The RBI on December 19 had said deposits of over Rs. 5,000 in old notes could be made only once till December 30.
RBI Imposes Penalty on 5 Foreign Banks
RBI imposed monetry penalty on five authorised dealer banks for violation of norms. A penalty of Rs 10,000 each has been imposed on Bank of America, Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi, The Royal Bank of Scotland, Standard Chartered Bank. While the Deutsche Bank hass been fined Rs 20,000. Reserve Bank came to the conclusion that the violations were substantiated and warranted imposition of penalty.
RCom Sells 51% Stake in Tower Business
Reliance Communications has sold its tower business to Brookfield Infrastructure for $1.6 billion or Rs 11,000 crore. RCom will also receive Class B non-voting shares in the new Tower company. The transaction will represent the largest ever investment by any overseas financial investor in the infrastructure sector in India. RCom will utilize the upfront cash payment to reduce its debt.
India Becomes Sixth Largest Economy
India surpassed its colonial masters, the United Kingdom, to become the world’s sixth-largest economy in GDP terms. India is now behind the United States, China, Japan, Germany, and France. The milestone is a symbol of India’s rapid economic growth and, conversely, the U.K.’s post-Brexit slump. The UK’s economy is expected to grow by 1.8 percent this year & slow down to 1.1 percent in 2017.

23/12/16
Supercluster of Galaxies Near Milky Way
An international team of astronomers has found one of the universe’s biggest superclusters of galaxies near the Milky Way. Researchers said the Vela supercluster, which had previously gone undetected as it was hidden by stars and dust in the Milky Way, was a huge mass that influenced the motion of our galaxy. This is one of the biggest concentrations of galaxies in the universe.
Japan,UK Sign MoU on Nuclear Cooperation
The MoU on cooperation in the nuclear sphere was signed by Japanese Minister Hiroshige Seko & UK Business Secretary Greg Clark. They agreed that their governments will seek to conduct technological research on scrapping the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant and decontamination near the facility. They also agreed to discuss planned construction of a nuclear power station in the UK.
China Launches Satellite to Monitor CO2
China successfully launched TanSat, a global carbon dioxide monitoring satellite to understand the effects of climate change. It weighs 620 kg and will be located in sun synchronous orbit about 700 kms above the earth, it has 3 year mission life. It was the 243rd mission of the Long March series rockets.
Japan Approves Biggest Defence Budget
Japan cabinet approved it’s biggest annual defence budget in the face of North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats and a territorial row. The Cabinet approved 43.6 billion dollars in defence spending for the fiscal year starting in April. It is up 1.4% from the initial budget for the current fiscal year. It marks the fifth straight annual increase & attempt to build up Japan’s military.
Naidu Launches Google Map Toilet Locator
Information and Broadcasting Minister Venkaiah Naidu launched google map toilet locator It will help people find access to clean public restrooms. The feature, designed by Google, will make information available about thousands of public toilets throughout two locations now — Delhi NCR & Madhya Pradesh. It is an attempt at providing access to a toilet facility every 500 meters in cities.
Aizawl Becomes First Free Wi-Fi City
Aizawl became the first free Wi-Fi city in the North-East region. Free wi-fi is a pilot project of the Aizawl Municipal Corporation. The free Wi-Fi facilities would enable the much needed internet accessibility to one and all. Providing free Wi-Fi facility to the residents of Aizawl city was an election manifesto of the Mizo National Front (MNF), who won the municipal polls last year.
MS Dhoni, Sarbjit Make it to Oscars List
Indian biopics MS Dhoni: The Untold Story & Sarbjit have made it to the long list of 336 feature films eligible for the Oscars. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences released the list of films in contention for the best picture Oscar. Indian-American filmmaker Mira Nair’s Queen of Katwe is also part of the list. The list also includes La La Land,Moonlight,Arrival & Hacksaw Ridge.
PM Lays Foundation Stone for Hospital
Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation of Madan Mohan Malviya Cancer Center at Banaras Hindu University, Uttar Pradesh. The dedicated cancer centre will be built at a cost of about 500 crore rupees. Modi also laid the foundation of super specialty block of Institute of Medical Science of BHU. He also inaugurated the new Trade Facilitation Centre and Crafts Museum.
Govt Launches ‘GARV-II’ App
Minister of State for Power, Coal, New & Renewal Energy Piyush Goyal launched the ‘GARV-II’ App. The new version GARV-II unveiled is providing real time data for all six lakh villages in the country. The purpose is to ensure transparency in implementation of rural electrification programme. It would enable the commoners can give their input about rural electrification programme.
Najeeb Jung Resigns as Delhi L-G
Najeeb Jung resigned as the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi with 18 months left in his tenure. He has submitted his resignation to the government of India. He was also the Vice-Chancellor of the Jamia Milia Islamia University from 2009 to 2013. He became the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi on July 9, 2013, replacing Tejendra Khanna. He is an IAS officer from the Madhya Pradesh cadre.
National Mathematics Day Observed
National Mathematics Day is being celebrated all across the country on 22 Dec. The day was first introduced by Manmohan Singh on 26 Feb, 2012. The Indian mathematical genius Srinivasa Ramanujan was born on 22 Dec 1887. The mathematician compiled about 3,900 results & nearly all his claims have been proven correct. Some of his famous results are the Ramanujan prime & theta function.
Indian Women’s Hockey Team Clinch Bronze
Indian Women’s Under-18 team have clinched the bronze medal in the 4th Women’s Under-18 Asia Cup hockey tournament. In the bronze-medal play off match in Bangkok, they blanked Korea 3-0. Sangita Kumari scored twice after Ritu had put India ahead in the 45th minute. Hockey India announced cash rewards of 1 lakh rupees for each player and 50,000 rupees for each of the support staff.
ICC 2016 Awards Announced- 1
India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin win the prestigious Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy. Ashwin was also adjudged the ICC Test Cricketer of the Year. This has made him only the second India player after Dravid to bag the two coveted prizes in the same year. Ashwin had finished 2015 as the number-one ranked Test bowler in the world, a position he twice reclaimed in 2016.
ICC 2016 Awards Announced- 2
South Africa’s wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock was named ICC ODI Cricketer of the Year. Carlos Brathwaite of the West Indies won the ICC T20 International Performance of the Year award. Bangladesh fast bowling sensation Mustafizur Rahman was named ICC Emerging Cricketer of the Year. Afghanistan’s Mohammad Shahzad also won the ICC Associate and Affiliate Cricketer of the Year.
Kohli Captain of ICC ODI Team of 2016
Virat Kohli was chosen as the captain of the ICC One Day International Team of the Year 2016. Kohli is the vice-captain of India’s ODI and T20 teams. He has been named as leader of the 12-member side which features 4 South Africans and 3 Australian cricketers besides one each from England & West Indies. This is for the first time that Kohli has been picked as the skipper of ICC ODI team.
Cisco Inks MoU with MeitY
Cisco has signed a MoU with Ministry of Electronics & IT (MeitY) for cyber security cooperation. Under the MoU, Cisco and Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) will establish a threat intelligence sharing program. The Security and Trust Office (STO) in Gurgaon will help the govt shape the national cyber security strategy. This is the third STO for Cisco, after France & Germany.
Sun Pharma to Buy Novartis’ Cancer Drug
Sun Pharmaceutical Industries has agreed to buy cancer product Odomzo from Novartis for $175 million. The closing of the transaction is subject to anti-trust clearances. Odomzo was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in July 2015. It is indicated to treat patients with locally advanced basal cell carcinoma that has recurred following surgery or radiation therapy.
Hrithik Roshan Pays Highest Advance Tax
Actor Hrithik Roshan has become the leading actor to pay the highest advance tax till mid-December. Hrithik has seen a 1500% jump in his gross earning as compared to last year in the same quarter. He paid an advance tax of Rs 80 crore this time (till December 15, 2016). After Hrithik, it is Mr. Perfectionist Aamir Khan, who has paid Rs. 74 crore to Income Tax Department.
Govt Waives Transaction Fee on IMPS,NEFT
Finance Ministry has asked PSU banks to restrict fees on payments through IMPS & UPI to the extent that is applicable for NEFT fund transfer of over 1,000 rupees. IMPS is an interbank electronic instant mobile money transfer service. The UPI app enables customers to make online as well as offline payment. For USSD above 1,000 rupees, a further discount of 50 paise on these rates will apply.
NDB Grants USD 72 mln Loan to China
The New Development Bank (NDB) has provided USD 72 million loan for a solar project in China. This is the bank’s first loan agreement with the communist giant. The loan agreement was signed by Shi Yaobin, Vice Minister of the Chinese Ministry of Finance and NDB President K V Kamath. Under the framework of the Project, a solar photovoltaic power plant will be built in Lingang Industrial Area.

24/12/16
UN Urges End to Israeli Settlements
The UN Security Council has passed a resolution urging an end to illegal Israeli settlements after the US refused to veto it. The UN resolution was passed by 14 votes to zero, with one abstention. The US has traditionally sheltered Israel from condemnatory resolutions. Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said he would not abide by the vote. About 500,000 Jews live in about 140 settlements.
Vogue Italia Editor Franca Sozzani Dies
Franca Sozzani, editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia for 28 years and a champion of Italian fashion has passed away. She took charge of Vogue Italia in 1988 & became a key figure on the global fashion scene. She was also a champion of humanitarian causes. She served as goodwill ambassador to fashion for the UN, supporting workers in the fashion world & helping to raise money to fight hunger.
Japan Launches Solid Fuel Rocket
Japan’s space agency has successfully launched a solid fuel rocket named Epsilon-2. The 26-meter-long rocket was launched from the Uchinoura Space Centre in southern Japan. It released a satellite for studying radiation belts around the earth. The Epsilon-2 three-stage rocket is part of a new generation of solid propellant rockets. It makes it possible for launch costs to be reduced.
Salman Tops Forbes India Celebrity List
Bollywood superstar Salman Khan has become the top earning celebrity of 2016 in the Forbes India Celebrity 100 List. He has an estimated income of Rs 270.33 crore. SRK at No 2, has reportedly earned Rs 221.75 crore. Kohli jumped to the No. 3 spot overall from No. 7 last year. The list is compiled based on two parameters: estimates of entertainment related earnings & estimates of fame.
MEA Updates Passport Norms-1
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has announced new passport rules in order to streamline, liberalize & ease the process of issue of passport. Minister of State for External Affairs, Gen V K Singh, said birth certificate is no longer mandatory for getting passport. He said date of birth on documents such as PAN card, driving license, Aadhar, Matriculation Certificate will also suffice.
MEA Updates Passport Norms-2
The online passport application form now requires the applicant to provide the name of only one parent and not both. The application form does not require the applicants to provide the name of their spouse in case of separated or divorced persons. Sadhus and Sanyasis can now mention names of their spiritual gurus instead of biological parents under the new passport rules.
Shankha Ghosh Chosen for Jnanpith Award
The 52nd Jnanpith Award for 2016 will be conferred on eminent Modern Bengali Poet Shankha Ghosh. The decision was taken in a meeting of Jnanpith Selection Board chaired by noted scholar, writer and critic Prof. Namwar Singh. Shankha Ghosh is a prolific poet, critic and academician. Adim lata -gulmomay, Murkho Baro, Samajik Noy, Baborer Prarthana are some of his classic creations.
Piyush Goyal Launches Coal Mitra Portal
Power Minister Piyush Goyal has launched ‘Coal Mitra’ Web Portal to facilitate Flexibility in Utilization of Domestic Coal. With this Government has also allowed Coal Swapping between PSUs & the Private Sector. This move is aimed at optimum utilisation by private as well as public power companies of the coal. The portal will enhance transparency in coal swapping.
MEA Launches Twitter Seva
External Affairs Ministry deployed Twitter India’s live customer service resolution solution, Twitter Seva. It will help Indians here and abroad, tourists and business travellers with speedy resolution to their visa and passport queries. It will be supported by 198 twitter accounts of Missions & High Commissions. Under the service, authorities concerned will be assigned to resolve problems.
NITI Aayog Rolls Out Health Index
The NITI Aayog along with Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has rolled out Performance on Health Outcomes index to rank States on the basis of their performance on measurable health indicators. The index was developed with inputs from domestic & international experts,as well as feedback from States. All data will have to be uploaded on web by September 2017.
Pankaj Advani Wins National Title
Sixteen-time world champion Pankaj Advani has won the National title in 6-red Snooker, the shorter format of the game. He defeated Ishpreet Chadha in the final 7-4. He reclaimed the title, which he had won during the inaugural edition in Bangalore in 2010. He is the only player in the world to win all titles — National, Continental & World — in 6-red Snooker.
Keshavan Grabs Gold at Luge Championship
India’s first Winter Olympian Shiva Keshavan clinched a gold medal at the Asian Luge Championships. He finished with a time of 1 minute, 39.962 seconds and top speed of 130.4 km/h to clinch the title. Japan’s Tanaka Shohei came in second with a combined time of 1:44.874 second. Luge involves competitors lying on their backs on a tiny sled & racing down an icy track without brakes.
Indian Achieves Highest FIFA Ranking
India jumped two places to finish 2016 at 135, their best in the last six years, in the FIFA rankings. It is their best in the last six years. In 2009, India had finished at 134. Argentina finish 2016 on top of the FIFA World Ranking, earning the accolade of “Team of the Year.” The FIFA World Ranking is a ranking system for men’s national teams in association football.
India U-19 Lift Youth Asia Cup Title
India defeated Sri Lanka in U-19 Youth Asia Cup 2016 to lift the trophy in Colombo. India was defending the score of 273 runs and managed to get Sri Lanka all-out on 239 runs. India was guided by Himanshu Rana and Shubhnam Gill to reach a respectable total of 273. In bowling department, Indian spinners got better of Sri Lankan batsmen & bowl out Sri Lanka Under-19 to 239 in 48.4 overs.
ICICI Bank Launches EazyPay App
ICICI Bank has launched a mobile application eazypay for merchants that allows consolidation of all modes of payment. It includes digital wallets, Unified Payments Interface (UPI), QR code, and credit & debit cards. The app eazypay is designed for business, allows multiple users to connect to the same account. This makes it possible to be used for cash-on-delivery payments.
Deutsche Bank Agrees $7.2bn Penalty
Germany’s Deutsche Bank says it has agreed a $7.2bn payment to US authorities over an investigation into mortgage-backed securities. The agreement is less than the $14bn the US asked Deutsche Bank to pay in Sept to settle the claims. Deutsche Bank would pay a civil monetary penalty of $3.1bn & provide $4.1bn in consumer relief. Several banks in the US have been subject to investigations.
Italy Approves Bailout for Oldest Bank
Italy’s government approved a state bailout for Monte dei Paschi di Siena after the world’s oldest bank failed to secure backing from private investors. Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni had authorised a 21 billion dollars fund to support Italy’s embattled banking sector. The announcement came after Monte dei Paschi had failed to raise 5 billion euros from private investors.
Saudi Arabia Projects $53bln Deficit
Saudi Arabia cabinet has projected a 2017 Budget deficit of about $53 bln This year’s deficit will be $79 bln down 8.9% from 2016’s budget forecast. Expenses next year will reach $237 bln against revenues of $184 bln. The world’s biggest oil exporter froze major building projects,salaries in the wake of last year’s record deficit. Spending is expected to come in at 825 bln Riyals.
Council Clears Primary Drafts of GST Law
The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council approved the primary drafts of Central GST & State GST laws. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the CGST & GST draft laws comprise 197 provisions and five schedules. The CGST is to be approved by Parliament while the SGST to be approved by States legislative Assemblies. The states will be fully compensated for any loss of revenue for five years.
Nusli Wadia Voted Out of Tata Motors
Shareholders of Tata Motors have voted to remove independent director Nusli Wadia from the board of directors. He was removed at an extraordinary general meeting. During which 71.20% of the shareholders voted in favour of a resolution moved by Tata Sons to remove Mr Wadia as independent director of Tata Motors. Earlier Wadia was removed as independent director from the board of Tata Steel.

25/12/16
Mexico’s ‘Volcano of Fire’ Erupts
Mexico’s renowned Colima volcano has erupted a second time. It was just months after another eruption forced the evacuation of more than 350 people. The most recent eruptions sent plumes of ash and smoke billowing 2500m into the air. The Colima volcano, also known as the ‘Volcano of Fire’, is one of the most active volcanoes in central America.
Sri Lanka Claims Tallest Christmas Tree
In Sri Lanka, a 73-meter Christmas tree, claimed to have broken previous records, was unveiled in Colombo on Christmas eve. The tree has beaten the existing Guinness record. The tree is 18 meters taller than the current record holder in a Chinese city. The tree’s steel-and-wire frame is covered with a plastic net decorated with more than 10 lakh natural pine cones, 6 lakh LED bulbs.
Obama Signs $618 billion Defence Bill
US President Barack Obama has signed a $618 billion defence policy bill, which when in place, will enhance security cooperation with India. The National Defence Authorization Act (NDAA) was passed by both the House and the Senate with veto-proof majorities earlier this month. It enhances security cooperation between the US and India, under the ‘Supporting Allies and Partners’ section.
Donald Trump to Dissolve Foundation
President-elect Donald Trump said he will dissolve his charitable foundation. It aims to eliminate any conflicts of interest before he takes office next month. The revelation comes as the New York Attorney General’s office investigates the foundation following reports that foundation spending went to benefit Trump’s campaign. Mr. Trump said he will pursue philanthropic efforts in other ways
Typhoon Nock-Ten Threatens Philippines
A super typhoon with winds of 150mph looks likely to hit the Philippines east coast on Christmas Day. With winds of up to 150mph (240km/h), Nock-Ten is due to make landfall in the Bicol region. Dozens of ports have been closed, as officials warn of potentially deadly two-metre (6.6ft) waves. In October, Super Typhoon Haima hit the country, killing at least four people.
Leone Declared PETA’s Person of the Year
Sunny Leone has been named PETA’s Person of the Year for 2016. She will receive PETA’s award for her dedication to promoting the rescue of homeless dogs and cats, as well as her compassion for animals abused and killed for their skin. Earlier this year, she featured in an ad the campaign by the organisation which encouraged people to be an angel and adopt a homeless dog.
Odisha Launches Biju Sishu Surakshya
The Odisha Government launched the Biju Sishu Surakshya Yojana. It is a scheme to nurture the orphan and HIV-infected children residing in different childcare institutions and orphanages. The main aim of the scheme is to facilitate care and protection towards orphans and HIV infected children of the state. It will act and supplement for providing additional resources.
PM Lays Foundation Stone of Pune Metro
PM Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of Pune Metro project’s Phase-I. The project will be set up at a cost of Rs 11,420 crore under the aegis of Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MAHA-METRO). PM Modi said the government is actively working on the Rurban Mission, which caters to the places that are urbanising quickly.
PM Perform Jal Pujan of Shivaji Memorial
PM Modi performed Jal Pujan for the Rs 3,600-crore Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Memorial in the Arabian Sea, 4 kms off Mumbai’s Marine Drive. It is going to be the tallest such structure in the world. Modi immersed a ‘kalash’ (vase) containing river waters and soil collected from all districts in Maharashtra. PMr hailed the contribution of Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj to the history of India.
25th-Dec: Good Governance Day
Good governance day is observed every year on 25th of December. It is being observed today to mark the birthday of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The government would be launching a 100-day campaign across the country on the theme of good governance. Ministers and Members of Parliament will travel across the country and attend programmes highlighting the government’s key initiatives.
DRDO Tests Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon
The Defence and Research Development Organization, DRDO has successfully flight-tested the Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon, SAAW. The flight test was conducted at the integrated test range in Chandipur, Odisha. SAAW is an indigenously designed and developed 120 kilogram class smart weapon. It is capable of engaging ground targets with high precision up to a range of 100 kilo metres.
Jeje Lalpekhlua Adjudged Best Footballer
Mohun Bagan and Chennaiyin FC striker Jeje Lalpekhlua has been nominated as the ‘2016 All India Football Federation (AIFF) Player of the Year. Sasmita Malik was conferred the 2016 AIFF Woman Footballer of the Year award. AIFF also awarded ‘2016 AIFF Award for Special Recognition’ to Gurpreet Singh Sandhu and Uvena Fernandes. Pranjal Banerjee from IFA won ‘2016 AIFF Award for Best Referee’
Russian Athletics Coach Mokhnev Banned
Russian athletics coach Vladimir Mokhnev has been banned for 10 years after being found guilty of breaching IAAF regulations on banned substances. The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) deemed that Mokhnev, broke rules relating to possession, trafficking and administration of banned substances. Mokhnev will be prevented from coaching for a decade after CAS imposed a ban.
RGA Gets Final Nod from IRDAI
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has granted a Certificate of Registration to the Reinsurance Group of America (RGA) to set up a branch in India. IRDAI has approved the R3 license to the re-insurer. RGA has been operating in India since 2001 as a foreign reinsurer. RGA is globally strong in actuarial, underwriting & product development segments.
China Slaps GM with $29-mn Fine
China slapped a $29-million fine on General Motors Co. for antitrust violations. The largest US automaker is accused of setting minimum prices on some models in its SAIC General Motors joint venture. GM punished dealers who sold cars for less than the prices set by the Detroit-based automaker. This is the first time China has fined GM, the second-largest foreign carmaker in China by sales.
SBI Adopt Shirki to Make it Cashless
State Bank of India (SBI) has adopted Shirki village in Pen taluka in Maharashtra for driving the Aadhaar-based merchant payment. Under this initiative, the merchants in this village have been provided with simple android phones with a USB-based fingerprint capture device. The only precondition is that the merchant needs to have a bank account, with an Aadhaar number seeded.
Govt Launch App Smart Consumer & OCMC
The government launched a host of online initiatives including a mobile App Smart Consumer & an Online Consumer Mediation Centre (OCMC). It aims to provide speedy redressal of consumer grievances. A helpline 14404 was also launched for consumer related grievances. The initiatives were unveiled by Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan on the occasion of National Consumer Day.
Allahabad Bank Merges AllBank Finance
Allahabad Bank said it has merged its wholly-owned subsidiary AllBank Finance with itself. The merger was okayed at the Board of Directors meeting of the bank. All Bank Finance is the merchant banking arm of Allahabad Bank & also holds licence for debenture trusteeship. BFL offers various merchant banking services such as IPO management, debt/loan syndication, investment advisory.
ONGC Acquires GSPC’s Stake in KG Block
Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has acquired 80% stake in Gujarat government run Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation’s (GSPC) KG-OSN-2001/3 block. ONGC has bought the entire 80% Participating Interest (PI) of GSPC along with operatorship rights, for $ 995.26 million for the Deen Dayal West Field in the Block. The trial gas production from Deen Dayal West Field has already begun.
Yes Bank raises Rs3,000 crore via bond
Private sector Yes Bank has raised Rs3,000 crore from bonds to fund business expansion. With this capital raising, the bank’s Tier-I Capital Ratio will be at 12 per cent including profits and adjusted for pro-rata dividend. The Basel-III compliant additional Tier-1 (AT1) Bonds will be listed on the BSE. Its proceeds will qualify for Basel III Tier-I Capital.

26/12/16
Govt to develop ferry services
The Centre will ink a deal with Infrastructure Architecture Lab of Massachusetts Institute of Technology for developing ferry services at 18 locations across six cities. All the cities, Allahabad, Varanasi, Patna, Munghyr, Kolkata and Haldia – are located on National Waterways-1. The 1620 km long waterway runs from Haldia in Sagar to Allahabad across three rivers Ganga, Bhagirathi & Hooghly
Yoga not a sport, says Sports Ministry
After 14 months of being constituted as a sport, Yoga has been derecognised as a sport by the Sports Ministry. Yoga was recognised as a sport in September in 2015 and had the stamp of approval coming from the Prime Minister’s Office. The order says the decision to derecognise Yoga came about because yoga has various dimensions/arms in which competitions are not possible.
Super Typhoon ‘Nock-Ten’ Makes Landfall
A typhoon Nock-ten slammed into central part of the Philippines bringing strong winds & heavy rains and cutting off power. Typhoon Nock-ten was packing maximum sustained winds of 185 kph with gusts up to 255 kph when it made landfall over Catanduanes province. Around 218,000 people fled to evacuation centres. In the past 65 years, seven typhoons have struck the Philippines on Christmas Day.
German town evacuated on Christmas Day
Thousands of people in the southern German city of Augsburg left city after they were forced from their homes while authorities disarmed a large II World War aerial bomb. The bomb was uncovered last week during construction work in the city’s historic central district. Police said Christmas Day was the best time to defuse it because there is less traffic and people can stay with relatives.
Pakistan releases 220 Indian fishermen
Pakistan released the 220 fishermen who were arrested for entering Pakistan’s territorial waters illegally. The goodwill gesture comes amid strain in ties between the two countries after Pakistan-based terrorists attacked an Indian army base in Uri. The fishermen boarded a train to Lahore, from where they will be handed over to Indian authorities at the Wagah border.
Dinanath Bhargava passes away
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. Bhargava was suffering from cardiac ailments since past decade. He was born on November 1, 1927 at Multai in Betul district of Madhya Pradesh.
Kuchipudi Dancers Put A.P. in Guinness
Andhra classical dance Kuchipudi found a place in the Guinness Records when a record 6,117 dancers came together to present a show in Vijaywada. Guinness adjudicator Rishinath declared that “Jayamu Jayamu” item presented in unison by the participants created a new record. The grand group dance, “Maha Brunda Natyam” was organised as part of the 5th International Kuchipudi Dance Convention.
Santosh Kumar New IMA Commandant
Lt General Santosh Kumar Upadhya has been appointed as the new commandant of prestigious Indian Military Academy (IMA). A decorated soldier,Lt General S K Upadhya is an alumni of National Defence Academy (NDA) and IMA. In 1981, he was commissioned to the13thBattalionof the Garhwal Rifles. He is a recipient of Sena Medal, Vishisht Seva Medal & Chief of Army Staff Commendation Card.
Assam CM Launches Atal Amrit Abhiyan
Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal launched the Atal Amrit Abhiyan in Guwahati. It is a health assurance scheme which will give comprehensive coverage for six disease groups. A total of 437 diseases will be covered under this scheme divided into six disease groups. This scheme will cover all individuals in eligible families with annual income below 5 lakh rupees
Ronaldo Joins Campaign to Help Children
The Real Madrid and Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo has joined a campaign Save The Children to provide food, medicine & psychological help for kids in Aleppo & other war-stricken cities. He called Syria’s long-suffering children “the true heroes”. At least 15,000 children are among the more than 300,000 people who have been killed in the Syrian war over the past five years.
AC Milan Win Italian Super Cup
            AC Milan has lifted the Supercoppa Italiana for the first time in five years with a 4-3 shootout victory over holders Juventus in Doha. It is the second time Milan have beaten Juventus, who lead Serie A by four points, this season. In October, they won 1-0 in the San Siro. The match, the second time the Super Cup has been played in Qatar
Ethiopian Running Legend Miruts Dies
Miruts Yifter, an Ethiopian running legend who inspired world-class athletes like Haile Gebrselassie has died. He earned his nickname of `Yifter the Shifter` when he claimed 10,000 gold in Russia with an electrifying burst of speed over the final 300 metre. The athlete won two gold medals at the 1980 Moscow Olympics at age 40 and a bronze at the 1972 Munich Games.
Kohli Tops the List of Lord’s Top 20
Lord’s Cricket Ground has released its top 20 players for this calendar year. Virat Kohli got the number 1 spot in the ranking owing to his marvelous performance in all format of the game. Englishman Jonny Bairstow followed the Indian Test captain. Apart from Virat the other 3 are off spinner Ravichandran Ashwin at 3rd spot, Ajinkya Rahane at 13th & Cheteshwar Pujara at 18th spot.
Govt Set up 1st 2G Ethanol Bio-Refinery
The foundation stone of India’s first 2G (Second Generation) Ethanol Bio-refinery was laid at Tarkhanwala village in Bathinda, Punjab. Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) is setting up this project at a cost of 600 crore. HPCL’s bio-refinery will produce 100 kilolitres of ethanol per day. It will be sufficient to meet the 26% of the ethanol blending requirement of Punjab.
Snapdeal Launches ‘Cash@Home’ Service
Snapdeal announced the launch of a ‘Cash@Home’ service, which allows users to order Rs 2,000 cash and get it delivered at their doorstep. The launch of the cash on demand service is intended to further help our consumers tide over any cash crunch. Snapdeal will be using the cash that it receives through Cash on Delivery. Snapdeal will charge a nominal amount of Rupee 1 as convenience fee
Law Against Benami Property Soon
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that the government will soon operationalise a strong law to effectively deal with benami properties. The law, which was kept on back burner since 1988, will be implemented stringently in the coming days. The revived law will give more teeth to the Benami Property legislation to deal with this menace. The New Benami Act came into effect from November 1.
Google,Consumer Affairs Min Join Hands
Google India in collaboration with Ministry of Consumer Affairs announced a nationwide Digitally Safe Consumer campaign. It is part of a larger effort to help better protect consumer interest online. It will focused on building capacities of consumer organisations, personnel of consumer affairs department& counsellors of National Consumer Helpline on Internet safety & related issues.
India May Clock GVA Growth of 6.6%
India’s gross value added growth is likely to be at 6.6 per cent in 2016-17. According to ICRA economic activity will take more time to normalise following the government’s move to demonetise high-value notes. The report said that the currency liquidity is likely to improve significantly by the end of Jan 2017. The loss of income in some sectors is likely to weigh on capacity utilisation
Govt Launches Grahak & Digi-Dhan Yojana
            The Government launched the Lucky Grahak Yojana for Consumers and Digi-Dhan Vyapar Yojana for Merchants. The schemes are aimed at encouraging people to move towards use of digital transactions. The primary aim of these schemes is to incentivize digital transactions. Under Lucky Grahak Yojana Daily reward of Rs 1000 will be given to 15,000 lucky Consumers for a period of 100 days.
IDFC Bank Unveils Aadhaar Pay
IDFC Bank has announced the nation-wide launch of aadhaar-linked cashless merchant solution. Aadhaar Pay, launched by the govt has been developed by IDFC Bank in association with UIDAI and the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). Aadhaar Pay will enable millions of merchants across the country to facilitate cashless purchases for customers in a cost effective and scalable way.

27/12/16
Ammonia Detected in Earth’s Troposphere
For the first time, researchers have discovered ammonia in the Earth’s lowest atmospheric layer. The highest emissions of the gas were encountered in North India & Southeast China. The gas is responsible for the formation of aerosols, smallest particles that might contribute to cloud formation. Ammonia, a chemical compound of nitrogen & hydrogen, mainly originates from agricultural processes.
China Tests New Stealth Fighter
China successfully tested its newest twin-engine radar-evading stealth fighter of the fifth generation. The newest version of the J-31 now renamed the FC-31 Gyrfalcon — took to the air for the first time The new FC-31 has better stealth capabilities & improved electronic equipment. The jet is manufactured by Shenyang Aircraft Corp.,a subsidiary of the Aviation Industry Corp of China.
Saudi Launches Campaign to Collect Fund
Saudi Arabia has launched a fundraising campaign for Syrians displaced by a five-year civil war. More than 11 million Syrians – around half of the population – have been displaced by the fighting, which began in 2011 and has killed more than 300,000 people. Saudi Arabia has been one of the main supporters of rebels fighting to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
China Passes Environment Tax Law
China has passed a new law to levy environment tax on polluters, specially on heavy industries. The Environment Tax Law was adopted by the legislature. The law will enter into force on January 1, 2018. The tax rate will be 1.2 yuan per unit of atmospheric pollution, 1.4 yuan per unit of water pollution, 5 yuan per tonne of coal waste & 1,000 yuan per tonne of hazardous waster.
US Astronomer Vera Rubin Dies
US Astronomer Vera Rubin,whose pioneering work on galaxy rotation rates led to the theory of dark matter, has died. In 1974,Rubin discovered that the stars at the edges of galaxies moved faster than expected. Her studies earned her numerous honours, including elected at the US National Academy of Sciences. In 1993, US President Bill Clinton presented her with the national Medal of Science.
Singer George Michael Passes Away
George Michael, the English singer, songwriter, and record producer who rose to fame as a member of Wham! has passed away. Michael, whose real name is Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, rose to fame as the lead singer of the pop-duo Wham! He delivered a series of hits such as Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go, Young Guns & Freedom. He sold more than 100 million albums throughout a career.
Odisha Launch Malaria Control Programme
The Odisha govt has decided to launch a new malaria control programme, Durgama Anchalare Malaria Nirakaran (DAMAN). It aims to control malaria in inaccessible areas. The programme will be implemented in 8000 villages of all 79 blocks of eight high malaria endemic districts. These districts contributed around 60% cases and 56% death to the state malaria burden in 2015 – 16.
Centre Releases Stamp on Freedom Fighter
Department of Posts has brought out a Special Cover on freedom fighter Shri Gaya Prasad Katiyar. It also launched a set of 8 Commemorative Postage Stamps on “Personalities Series: Bihar” & a stamp on Hardayal Municipal Heritage Public Library. The personalities are Sachchidananda Sinha, Karpoori Thakur, Dashrath Manjhi, Vidyapati, Kailashpati, Kunwar Singh, Phanishwar Nath & Sri Krishna Sinha.
Sagarmala Development Co. Office Opened
Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari inaugurated Sagarmala Development Company’s (SDC) office in New Delhi. The SDC has been incorporated under the Companies Act, 2013. The Union Cabinet in July 2016 had approved formation of the SDC under the administrative control of the Union Ministry of Shipping. The main objective SDC is to identify port-led development projects.
India Test-Fires Agni-5 Missile
India successfully test-fired intercontinental surface-to-surface nuclear capable ballistic missile Agni-5. The missile developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation. The three-stage solid propellant Agni 5 missile is capable of striking a target more than 5,000 kilometres. It is about 17 metre long, 2 metre wide and has launch weight of around 50 tonnes.
Bhambri wins ITF Hong Kong F4 Futures
Indian Tennis Player Yuki Bhambri, clinched $10000 ITF Hong Kong F4 Futures title. It was his 11th title on the ITF Pro Circuit. He defeated Shintaro Imai of Japan 6-4, 7-5 who has been placed at second position. Yuki Bhambri is an Indian professional tennis player and former Junior No. 1. He was the winner of the 2009 Australian Open Junior Championship.
New Zealand Beat Bangladesh in First ODI
Opener Tom Latham’s career best 137 set New Zealand up for a crushing 77-run victory over Bangladesh in their opening one-day international at Christchurch. With the help of Latham and Colin Munro’s 87, New Zealand posted 341 for 7. The Bangladesh innings closed at 264 for 9 with Mushfiqur Rahim retired hurt. It was New Zealand’s highest score in 26 matches against Bangladesh.
Jharkhand Enter Ranji Trophy Semi-finals
Jharkhand defeated Haryana by 5 wickets at Vadodara last evening to enter the Ranji Trophy semi-finals for the first time. With the win, Jharkhand has joined Tamil Nadu in the semi-final stage. Tamil Nadu had defeated Karnataka by 7 wickets in the other last-8 match. The remaining two quarter-finals are still being played. Mumbai is taking on Hyderabad, while Gujarat is playing Odisha.
Tata Motors Signs up Akshay Kumar
Tata Motors roped in Bollywood star Akshay Kumar as brand ambassador for its commercial vehicle (CV) business unit. Besides products and solutions, he will be actively involved in a host of innovative marketing and customer experience initiatives. Akshay’s popularity will further help complement & articulate the future direction of the Tata Motors commercial vehicles brand.
BMW to Recall 1.93 lakh Cars in China
German automaker BMW will recall 1,93,611 cars in China over a defect in their airbags. About 1,68,861 imported cars manufactured between December 9, 2005 and December 23, 2011 as well as 2,4,750 sedans will be recalled from August 1, 2017. When the driver and front passenger airbags of the affected vehicles inflate, the gas generators inside may become damaged and cause flying debris.
First Case Under the Bankruptcy Code
ICICI Bank Ltd has filed an application in the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) against Innoventive Industries Ltd to initiate a corporate insolvency process under the new bankruptcy law. This is the first case in India filed under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016. The Pune-based steel products maker had debt of Rs955 crore at the end of September.
Indian Banks May Raise $30 billion
Indian banks need around USD 90 billion additional capital by March 2019. One-third of this amount is expected to be raised through bonds, says a report. Indian banks are likely to become more active in the Additional Tier 1 (AT1) market in 2017, after issuing around USD 2.8 billion so far in 2016. Banks need around USD 90 billion in extra capital by March 2019 to support credit growth.
Households Own 61.5% of Bank Deposits
The RBI has said households owned the majority of deposits, 61.5% of the total bank deposits of Rs 98,41,290 crore. The government sector and the private corporate sector followed contributing 12.8 per cent and 10.8 per cent, respectively. A majority (63.8 per cent) of the deposits was term deposits. The combined share of current and savings deposits increased to 36.2 per cent in 2016.
KVG Bank Launches Bank Sakhi Scheme
The Karnataka Vikas Grameen Bank (KVGB) has come out with an innovative method of employing women in villages to promote and popularize cashless transaction. The bank launched a scheme named ‘Bank Sakhi’ at a programme. Under the initiative, the bank would APPOINT women business correspondents called “Bank Sakhi” in select villages where this scheme would be implemented.
First Digi Dhan Mela Held in Gurugram
The first Digi Dhan mela in the country was organised on Monday in Gurugram. The fair also educated the people on how to use mobile phones or AADHAR for making payments online. There were also counters for making Aadhar cards. 15000 winners of the Lucky Grahak Yojana daily reward were also drawn. This was the first such fair in the country since demonetisation for educating masses.

28/12/16
Japan PM Offers Pearl Harbor Condolences
Japanese PM Shinzo Abe has visited the US naval base at Pearl Harbor. He offered “sincere and everlasting condolences” to the victims of Japan’s attack on the base 75 years ago. Mr Abe was accompanied by US President Barack Obama, making the visit the first by the leaders of both countries. Japan devastated much of the base, killing more than 2,400 Americans.
Former Sri Lankan PM Wickremanayake Dies
Former Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake passed away. Wickremanayake is a senior member of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and was serving as a senior advisor to President Maithripala Sirisena. He was appointed Prime Minister by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa on November 21, 2005. He had earlier served as Prime Minister from August 2000- December 2001.
China Launches Two Satellites
            China successfully launched two high-resolution remote sensing satellites to get commercial images. The satellites called ‘SuperView-1 01/02’ were launched from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre in Shanxi Province. They are able to provide commercial images at 0.5-meter resolution. The satellites launch followed release of a white paper which said China plans to form a BeiDou network.
Star Wars Actress Carrie Fisher Dies
Carrie Fisher, the actress best-known for playing Princess Leia in the Star Wars franchise, has passed away. She got her showbiz start at age 12 in her mother’s Las Vegas nightclub act. She made her film debut as a teenager in the 1975 comedy “Shampoo,” two years before her “Star Wars” breakthrough. She was also a successful writer, publishing several novels and memoir.
Trump Pick Thomas Bossert as Top Adviser
US, President-elect Donald Trump has named an experienced national security adviser to serve as Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counter terrorism. Thomas Bossert will advise the President on issues related to homeland security, counter terrorism, and cyber security. He will coordinate the Cabinet’s process for formulating and executing policy.
SRK Receives Honorary Doctorate
Bollywood’s superstar Shah Rukh Khan has received an honorary doctorate from Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU) in Hyderabad. Chancellor Zafar Sareshwala conferred the ‘honorius causa’ (doctor of letters) on Khan and Rekhta Foundation founder Sanjiv Saraf. They were honored for their extraordinary contribution in promotion of the Urdu language and culture through his films.
Gujarat Announces Biotechnology Policy
Gujarat government has introduced the Biotechnology Policy-2016. It aims to establish Gujarat as a preferred destination for manufacturing of biotechnology products. Under this policy, state govt would provide capital subsidy up to Rs 25 crore on the total investment for developing a Biotechnology (BT) Park. The developer of such park will be eligible for 100% reimbursement of stamp duty
CCEA Approves Road Connectivity Project
Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved centrally sponsored road connectivity project for Left Wing Extremism, LWE affected areas to improve rural road connectivity. The project aims to provide connectivity in 44 worst left wing affected districts. It will be implemented under Prime Minister Gram Sadak Yojana. It is critical from security & communication point of view.
Former MP CM Sunderlal Patwa Dies
Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister and seasoned BJP leader Sunderlal Patwa has passed away. He was a two-time Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh. His first term lasted a month in 1980 & his second term lasted for two years from 1990 to 1992. He was also elected to the Lok Sabha from Chhindwara in 1997. He also won the 1999 Lok Sabha poll from Hoshangabad.
PM Lays Foundation Stone of Highway
PM Modi laid the foundation stone of Char Dham highway development project in Dehradun. The Project will benefit people visiting holy shrines in Uttarakhand. The project will allow uninterrupted access for pilgrims to the four Himalayan shrines of Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri. Mr. Modi also visited exhibition during the launch of Char Dham highway development project.
Virat Named as Australia’s ODI Captain
Virat Kohli has been named as the captain of Cricket Australia’s ODI team of the year. He was preferred over Australian captain Steve Smith. Recently he was also named the captain of ICC’s ODI team of the year. Another Indian cricketer who got place in the Cricket Australia’s ODI team is Jasprit Bumrah. The unorthodox pace bowler had a great first year in international cricket.
Kalmadi, Chautala IOA Life Presidents
Suresh Kalmadi and Abhay Singh Chautala were appointed as life presidents of Indian Olympic Association. Before Kalmadi & Chautala, only Vijay Kumar Malhotra, who served as acting IOA chief between 2011 and 2012, was made the Life President. Kalmadi served as IOA president from 1996 to 2011. Chautala served as the president of Indian Olympic Association from December 2012 to February 2014.
Gujarat’s Samit Gohel Slams Unbeaten 359
Gujarat batsman Samit Gohel created a world record in the ongoing Ranji Trophy quarter-final match against Odisha. He notched up the highest score by an opener in the history of first-class cricket. He remained unbeaten on 359 as he surpassed the 117-year old record set by Surrey’s Bobby Abel who scored 357. He also become the fourth triple centurion in the history of first-class cricket.
Meghalaya to Host 2022 National Games
Meghalaya will host the 2022 National Games. Indian Olympic Association, IOA accepted Meghalaya’s bid to host the National Games overshadowing four other bidders Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Chhattisgargh and Uttarakhand. Meghalaya will be the third northeastern state after Manipur and Assam to host the National Games. Goa will host the next National Games in November 2017.
Viral Acharya Appointed RBI Deputy Gov
The government has appointed Viral V Acharya as one of the central bank’s four deputy governors for a term of three years. The RBI had a vacancy for Deputy Governor after Urjit Patel was promoted to Governor earlier this year. Acharya teaches at the Stern School of Business in New York university. He has research interests in regulation of banks, corporate finance, credit risk.
Bank of Maharashtra Adopt a Village
Bank of Maharashtra, has adopted the village of Malangaon, in Sangli district, Maharashtra. It aims to make it a completely cashless village. The bank Business Correspondents did door to door campaigns across the village to enroll the people through Aadhaar linked bank accounts to enable them to make payments digitally. The bank also conducted various educational initiatives in the village.
Paytm to Invest 50 crore
E-wallet major Paytm would invest 50 crore to set up a 100-member strong merchant help desk to educate them on various aspects of digital payments. Under this program, merchants will be educated on all the important aspects & also dispelling a lot of myth around safety, security and delay in money transfer. Paytm currently has over 1.5 million merchants on its platform.
FCRA Licences of 20,000 NGOs Cancelled
Licences of around 20,000 of 33,000 NGOs have been cancelled by the govt. Licences were cancelled after they were found to be allegedly violating various provisions of the FCRA, thus barring them from receiving foreign funds. After cancellation of FCRA licences only 13,000 NGOs are legally valid now. The exercise of reviewing the working of the NGOs was started about a year ago.
Farmers Get 60 more Days to Repay Loans
The Reserve Bank gave an additional 60 days to repay their crop loans due in November-December. Prompt repayment would be eligible for the extra 3 per cent interest subsidy. According to the Interest Subvention Scheme for the year 2016-17, besides subvention of 2 per cent per annum, an additional interest subvention of 3 per cent is provided for prompt payment.
Nedumkayam 1st Digital Tribal Colony
The Nedumkayam tribal colony at Nilambur in Malapuram District of Kerala has become the first cashless and digital tribal colony in the country. The declaration was made after adequate training for the entire tribal people. The training was completed with the support of National Service Scheme, volunteers of an Arts and Science College at Kondotty & Jan Sikshan Sansthan.

29/12/16
Scarlett Johansson Ist Top Grossing Actor
Scarlett Johansson has been named as the top grossing actor of 2016 by Forbes magazine. The US actor topped the list after her films brought in $1.2 billion globally over the past 12 months. Johansson’s Marvel co-stars Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr tied for second place with $1.15bn each. Forbes calculated the annual ranking using the global ticket sales of top actors’ films.
US Actress Debbie Reynolds Dies
US actress Debbie Reynolds has passed away, a day after the death of her daughter Carrie Fisher. The Hollywood legend is best known for her role in the 1952 musical “Singin’ in the Rain”. She was nominated for a best actress Oscar for her role in “The Unsinkable Molly Brown”, a 1964 musical. She received an honorary Oscar in 2015 & the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.
Pak PM Inaugurates Chashma Nuclear Project
Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif inaugurated the Chashma Nuclear Project – III, having a capacity of generating 340 megawatts of electricity. The 340MW power plant is a joint collaboration of Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission & China National Nuclear Corporation. This is the third project after successful operation of Chashma-I & Chashma-II projects. Chashma – IV Project is to be completed in 2017
China Begins Transport Water from Tibet
China started transporting bottled water to other parts of the country by charter trains from the Himalayan rivers in Tibet. A train full of Tibetan bottled water left Lhasa, the provincial capital of Tibet Autonomous Region. It is the first of a regular set of cargo trains to bring bottled drinking water from Tibet. Tibet, often called Asia’s Water Tower, is rich in water resources.
Colombia Approves Peace Deal Amnesty
The Colombian Congress has approved a law offering amnesty to some of those accused of minor crimes in the country’s decades-long civil conflict. President Juan Manuel Santos hailed it as a the first step towards the consolidation of peace with the Farc guerrilla group. The amnesty is part of a revised deal agreed after the original pact with the Farc was rejected in a popular vote.
Khattar Inaugurates DIATC at Gurugram
Haryana CM Manohar Lal inaugurated country’s first Digital Investigation,Training & Analysis Centre (DIATC) at Gurugram. It would enhance technological capabilities of the police in solving cybercrime cases. It is first of its kind, has been set up in collaboration with National Technical Research Organisation. The Centre has Cyber Forensic Laboratory & has Social Media Monitoring Lab.
CM Khandu Inaugurates 6th ALG in Tuting
The Indian Air Force Advanced Landing Ground, ALG at Tuting in Arunachal Pradesh has become functional. The ALG was inaugurated by State Chief Minister Pema Khandu. The strategic location of Tuting ALG will make it a launching pad for the IAF operations as well as a facilitator to the Administration. With ALGs being operationalised in Tuting, Mechuka, Aalo, Pasighat, Ziro & Vijoynagar.
Panel Reconstituted for AIIMS Top Job
The search-cum-selection committee, tasked with shortlisting names for the AIIMS director’s post, has been reconstituted following orders from the PM’s Office. It would be headed by the Health Secretary instead of the Union Health Minister. The new five-member panel will be led by Health Secretary C K Mishra as the chairman. The PMO last week had ordered reconstitution of the search panel.
Cabinet Approves ISA Framework Agreement
Cabinet has given ex-post facto approval to Ministry of New and Renewable Energy’s proposal for ratification of International Solar Alliance, ISA’s Framework Agreement by India. ISA was launched jointly by PM Modi & French President Francois Hollande in November last year. ISA will strive to bring together more than 121 nations for coordinated research,low cost financing & rapid deployment..
Anil Baijal to be Next Delhi L-G
The President has formally appointed former Union home secretary Anil Baijal as the Lt Governor of Delhi. The post had fallen vacant after the sudden resignation of Najeeb Jung. Baijal had served as Union home secretary under the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government besides holding key positions in other ministries. He is a former vice chairman of Delhi Development Authority.
Ana Ivanovic Retires from Tennis
Former world number one &d 2008 French Open champion Ana Ivanovic from Serbia has retired from tennis. She spent 12 weeks as world number one in 2008 and won 15 career singles titles. She has been out with injury since August and dropped to 63 in the world rankings. She reached the French Open semi-final in 2015 & was runner-up at Wimbledon in 2007 & at the 2008 Australian Open.
Former TT Int. Pappu Haldankar Dies
Former international table tennis player and a former India number one, Prafulla ‘Pappu’ Haldankar passed away. He started playing table tennis for Deccan Gymkhana, Pune and represented India for 5 years from 1961 to 1965. He was ranked first in India in 1961-62 season. He also represented the country in two Asian Championships and two World Championships.
Sir Bradley Wiggins Retires from Cycling
Five-time Olympic champion Sir Bradley Wiggins has announced his retirement from cycling. Wiggins became Britain’s most decorated Olympian in August when he won the team pursuit gold on the track in Rio, his fifth gold and eighth Olympic medal. He secured eight world titles on the road and track. He set the world record for the furthest distance ridden in one hour.
RBI Allows Banks to Include Unlisted Cos
The RBI has allowed banks to facilitate issuance of prepaid payments instruments (PPIs) to unlisted corporates, public entities. Banks may include other entities/employers such as unlisted corporates, public organisations like municipal corporations for onward issuance to their staff or workers. Pre-paid payment instruments helps purchase of goods and services against the value stored in it.
Govt Grants Rs 200 crore for Dyeing Units
The Centre has sanctioned 200 crores for Tirupur’s dyeing industry that was on the verge of closure due to severe financial crisis. Tirupur is a hub of the textile processing and knitting industry providing employment to over five lakh persons. It contributes 22% of India’s total garment exports. The 200 crore assistance is in the form of an interest free loan to be converted into grant.
Cabinet Okays Sale of First Pharma Firm
The Union Cabinet has approved the sale of India’s first pharmaceutical company Bengal Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals as well as Hindustan Antibiotics. This is the second strategic sale approval after 12 years. The first one was in Sept when the Cabinet had cleared the strategic sale of Bharat Pumps & Compressors. BCPL was set up in 1892 by eminent scientist Prafulla Chandra Ray.
Twitter Partners with ICICI Bank
Twitter & ICICI Bank announced a partnership that integrates a slew of digital customer care support features for the bank. It will benefit customers with direct online response to their queries and feedback in real-time. Customers can now use these functions to resolve their banking related queries. ICICI Bank is the first bank in India to implement the new features to its Twitter account.
SIB Launches Mobile Banking App
South Indian Bank has introduced a NRI-focused mobile banking application called SIB Mirror+. SIB Mirror+ equips the customers to perform almost all banking transactions from their smart phones. The app comes with self-registration facility for ease of activation. The innovative feature Social Money allows customers to transfer money from & to their friends through social media channels.
NSE Files IPO Papers with Sebi
The National Stock Exchange (NSE) filed draft papers with market regulator SEBI for its much-awaited IPO. The IPO is expected to be one of the biggest in recent times, with an estimated size of over Rs, 10,000 crore. The offer may give the exchange a valuation of Rs. 50,000-55,000 crore. NSEs IPO would be the biggest initial public offering after Coal India.
Cabinet Approves Note Ban Ordinance
The Cabinet approved promulgation of an Ordinance to make possession of a large number of scrapped banknotes of old 1,000 & 500 rupee a penal offence after March 31st. The possession will attract a monetary fine of Rs 10,000 or five times the cash held. A maximum of 10 banned notes may be allowed to be held by any person. The Ordinance will come into force once it gets Presidential assent.

30/12/16
Nuke Club May Allow India’s Membership
A new draft proposal circulated among Nuclear Suppliers Group member states could pave the way for India to become a member of the elite club. The American push for India to become a full-fledged member of the NSG would now have to be pursued by the incoming Trump Administration. India’s NSG membership is an unfinished agenda of the India-US relationship of the outgoing US President
Mansell voted greatest F1 champion
Nigel Mansell has been named Formula 1’s greatest one-time world champion by BBC Sport readers. His 32% share was almost double that of fellow Briton James Hunt, the 1976 champion, who got 17%. He’s seventh on the all-time list of grand prix winners, enjoyed a stellar 15-year career. He was rated by many as the strongest and bravest driver in an era of megastars
Sevilla midfielder investigated
Sevilla midfielder Samir Nasri is being investigated by the Spanish Anti-Doping Agency over treatment he received at a Los Angeles clinic. The Drip Doctors clinic posted a tweet saying the star had been given an immunity IV drip. It triggered a series of embarrassing tweets, which were subsequently deleted, leading to the Frenchman claiming his account had been hacked.
Obama expels 35 Russian diplomats
The Obama administration on Thursday announced its retaliation for Russian efforts to interfere with the US presidential election. It ordered sweeping new sanctions that included the expulsion of 35 Russians. US intelligence services believe Russia ordered cyber-attacks on the Democratic National Committee (DNC), Hillary Clinton’s campaign and other political organizations.
Russia to respond to diplomat expulsion
Russia has promised to respond to the expulsion of 35 of its diplomats from Washington. US has announced sanctions against nine entities and individuals including two Russian intelligence agencies, the GRU and the FSB. President Barack Obama had vowed action against Russia amid US accusations that it directed cyber-attacks against the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
Poland buys Da Vinci and collection
The Polish government has purchased a private art collection, including one of Leonardo da Vinci’s most famous paintings, for a fraction of its value. The Czartoryski collection of about 86,000 pieces, based in the city of Krakow, includes da Vinci’s Lady with an Ermine and works by Rembrandt. Lady with an Ermine, painted in 1490, is one of only four portraits of women by Da Vinci.
Russia-Turkey brokered truce holding
A new nationwide ceasefire between Syrian government forces and rebel groups appears to be largely holding. The deal includes many rebel groups but not jihadists such as so-called Islamic State, or the Kurdish YPG. Unlike previous ceasefires, this has not come out of US and Russian bilateral spadework, but from a new understanding between Moscow and Ankara.
PM to launch Swasth Sarvatra initiative
Swachh Swasth Sarvatra initiative, aimed at strengthening health centres in open defecation-free blocks, will be launched by the Union Health Ministry. The objective is to strengthen community health centres in 708 open defecation-free blocks across the country to achieve higher levels of cleanliness. Under it, 10 lakh rupees of assistance will be given to the community health centres.
Apple plans to make iPhones in Bengaluru
Apple plans to make iPhones for the Indian market in Bengaluru. Wistron, a Taiwanese OEM maker for Apple, is setting up a facility in Peenya, the city’s industrial hub, to manufacture the iPhones. The facility will start production from next April, according to industry sources.
India aims big in 2017 on space
Simultaneous launch of 83 satellites and fast breeder reactor going critical are some of the targets set by the Departments of Atomic Energy and Space. Dept. looks forward to 2017 to put behind the lows of this year of missing out an NSG spot and losing Antrix Devas case. Launching of GSLV Mark III will be a crucial development in the country’s space history.
First transgender principal resigns
India’s first transgender college principal Manabi Bandopadhyay has resigned after about one-and-a-half years in office. Manabi alleged that she started facing non-cooperation from a section of teachers soon after she took over as the principal of the well-known women’s college. Manabi, whose earlier name was Somnath, underwent a series of operations in 2003-2004 and became a woman.
India gearing to recapitalise its banks
India’s banks need a cash injection, and 2017 looks like the year that they will get it. The country reckons ailing state lenders need at least 1.8 trillion rupees ($27 billion) or more to shore up their balance sheets and meet global capital requirements. Non-performing and stressed assets at state lenders already stood at almost 15 percent of total loans at the end of March.
SP Vaid is new J&K police chief
SP Vaid has been appointed as the new director general of J&K police in place of K Rajendra Kumar, whose extended tenure comes to an end on December 31. Vaid, 57, is currently the special director general (Law and Order), will be in office till October 2019. He played a major role in controlling the unrest in the Kashmir Valley following the killing of militant commander Burhan Wani.
Pema Khandu suspended from PPA
Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu was temporarily suspended from People’s Party of Arunachal. Khandu and others were suspended with immediate effect. He is also barred from exercising his power as LPL. PPA, a regional political player in Arunachal, had played a crucial role in ousting the Congress government in the state earlier in 2016.
Anuradha Paudwal given honorary D.Litt
Noted playback singer Anuradha Paudwal will be conferred with honorary D. Litt degree by the D Y Patil University on its 5th convocation ceremony. The degree is being conferred on Paudwal for her outstanding contribution in popularising Sanskrit shlokas. She is National Award recipient & also the four-time winner of prestigious Filmfare Award.
FIPB clears FDI proposals
Inter-ministerial body FIPB approved six investment proposals, including that of Sanofi Synthelabo India, Star Den Media Services and Idea Cellular Infrastructure Services. Proposals are worth foreign investment of Rs 1,200 crore. The Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), headed by Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das.
CBDT signs two more APAs
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has signed two more advance pricing agreements (APAs), taking the total number of such pacts to 117. The two APAs signed today pertain to the Information Technology and automobile sectors of the economy. The international transactions covered in these agreements include software development services, IT enabled services and business support services.
Lakshmi Vilas Bank to raise 600 crore
Lakshmi Vilas Bank has launched QIP to raise over 599.88 crore by issuing 4.25 crore shares in domestic or international markets. The Committee of Directors for Capital Raising of the bank approved the floor price for the QIP issue at 141.15 per equity share. The bank had informed that it will raise funds in one or more public or private offerings in domestic and/or international markets.
Ambuja Cement, ICICI enter into pact
Ambuja Cement has tied up with ICICI Bank to drive cashless transactions among its business partners — retailers, contractors and masons. It will help them open current accounts for regular business transactions. Post-demonetisation, construction activity, especially in rural and semi-urban areas, has been facing several challenges as it mostly deals in cash.
RBI warns of further rise in bad loans
RBI has released its Financial Stability Report (FSR) December 2016. It has said that banks, particularly public sector banks, continue to face significant levels of stress. The banking stability indicator (BSI) shows that the risks to the banking sector remained elevated due to continuous deterioration in asset quality, low profitability and liquidity.

31/12/16
Curiosity Rover Spots Purple Rocks
A patch of purple rocks was found in Mars’ Mount Sharp, which is officially known as Aeolis Mons, and is located in the Gale Crater of the planet. The images taken show a layer of purple-hued rocks, which might be the the possible future destination of the Mars mission. The images were taken by the Mars Curiosity Rover. Curiosity rover also detected the presence of hematite.
Romania’s Grindeanu Named PM-Designate
Romania’s president accepted Sorin Grindeanu for the post of prime minister. Grindeanu is a mathematician and former deputy mayor of the city of Timisoara. He is a member of the Social Democratic Party that won December 11 elections. He now faces a confidence vote in parliament on his programme and cabinet nominees. Earlier president rejected the nomination of Shhaideh for the post.
China Announces Ban on Ivory Trade
China has announced a ban on all ivory trade &processing activities by the end of 2017. The move follows a resolution at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) in South Africa in October. China has the biggest ivory market in the world. A surge in the killing of elephants over the past seven years has seen populations across Africa shrink by a third.
The World’s Highest Opens in China
China has opened the world’s highest bridge sitting at 1,854 feet above the ground. Stretched across a giant mountain overpass,the Beipanjiang Bridge cost a staggering £120million. The giant Beipanjiang Bridge is the highest on the planet & is open to traffic. The structure overtakes the Sidu River Bridge,which is also in China, beating it by a mere five metres to become the highest bridge.
China Again Blocks UN Ban Against Azhar
China has yet again blocked a proposal at the United Nations to list Jaish-e-Muhammad’s Chief Masood Azhar as a global designated terrorist. China is the lone member among the 15-member UNSC to oppose the ban on Azhar. Earlier, China had twice imposed technical hold on the Indian proposal. India’s proposal was submitted in February to the 1267 Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council.
Anil Baijal Takes Oath as Delhi Lt.Gov
Anil Baijal took oath as new Lieutenant Governor of Delhi. Earlier, President Pranab Mukherjee approved his appointment. Mr. Baijal, a 1969 batch IAS officer, had served as Union Home Secretary under the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government besides holding key positions in other ministries. His appointment came after the sudden resignation of Najeeb Jung from the post.
Govt Issues 1.5 cr LPG Connections
The Govt has met the 1.5-crore target for LPG connections under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) in the 2016-17 financial year. This Target was achieved within a span of less than eight months since the launch of the scheme. Since the launch of the PMUY, the LPG coverage across the country has increased to 70% as of December 1, 2016 from earlier 61% as of January 1, 2016.
Ex Minister Balasaheb Vikhe-Patil Dies
Senior Congress leader & former union minister Balasaheb Vikhe Patil passed away. He served as Union minister of State for Finance in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee cabinet. He was one of the pioneers of Maharashtra’s cooperative movement. He also launched Asia’s first cooperative sugar factory at Loni. He represented the Ahmednagar Lok Sabha constituency for eight terms.
Akhilesh Yadav Expelled from SP
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has been expelled from the Samajwadi Party for six years by his father and party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav. Mulayam also expelled Ram Gopal Yadav from the party on disciplinary grounds. The SP chief accused Ram Gopal of indulging in anti-party activities. He also accused Ram Gopal Yadav of hurting the interests of chief minister.
Murray Knighted in New Year Honours List
Andy Murray received a knighthood in Queen Elizabeth II’s New Year’s Honours list. He was previously named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2012. Joining Murray in being knighted in British sports is Mo Farah, who retained his 5,000& 10,000-meter titles at the Rio. The full New Year Honours lists recognise the achievements and service of extraordinary people across the UK.
Kush Creates History in UAE Tourney
Mumbai prodigy Kush Bhagat has won all three gold medals on offer in the 1st Western Asia Youth Chess Championships. The event was held at Al Ain Chess Club in UAE. The second standard student reigned supreme in all the three categories – rapid, blitz and standard. He overcame the challenges from 158 participants from 20 countries across the world.
Sports Ministry Suspends IOA
Government has de-recognised the Indian Olympic Association(IOA) on the issue of nominating Suresh Kalmadi and Abhay Chautala as its life presidents. Kalmadi & Chautala were elevated to the honorary position. Sports Ministry has suspended the deemed recognition of IOA. Kalmadi was jailed in connection with the CWG scam while Chautala is facing charges in disproportionate assets case.
Mother Dairy Launch Aadhaar-enabled Mode
Mother Dairy has introduced Aadhar enabled payment system(AEPS) in more than 1,000 milk booths & ‘Safal’ retail stores. The service was commissioned in association with CSC e-Governance Service India Ltd under the aegis of Department of Electronics and Information Technology (Deity). The AEPS mode of payment does not require any physical cash or card to make the transactions.
RBI Notifies Closure of Old Notes
RBI has notified the closure of the deposit and exchange of the old notes. With the closure of the facility all banks should report information on collection on December 30, itself. From next week onward, those still holding the scrapped currency can deposit it only with the RBI till March 31, 2017. The govt had on Nov 8 announced that Rs 500 &1,000 notes were no longer the legal tender.
President Clears Currency Ban Ordinance
President Pranab Mukherjee gave his assent for the promulgation of the Specified Bank Notes (Cessation of Liabilities) Ordinance, 2016. The Union Cabinet had earlier approved the ordinance. It provides for making holding of old 1,000 & 500 rupee notes after 31st of March next year a offence. It will attract a fine of 10 thousand rupees or five times the cash held, whichever is higher.
India, Singapore Signs Protocol on DTAA
India and Singapore have amended the DTAA for the avoidance of double taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion by signing a Third Protocol. This is in line with India’s treaty policy to prevent double non-taxation, curb revenue loss and check black money. India had amended the DTAA with Mauritius and Cyprus. Double taxation avoidance agreements will block the routes to evade taxations.
Venezuela Extends Money Swap Deadline
Venezuelan President has again extended the deadline to withdraw from circulation the country’s most common currency note. The deadline had been set for 2 Jan but will now be on 20 Jan. Mr Maduro said he did not want Venezuelans to worry about exchanging the currency near the New Year festivities. Venezuelans had been initially given 72 hours in mid-December to swap their 100 bolivar notes.
CBDT Extends Deadline for Tax Scheme
The scheme for resolving tax disputes introduced by the govt in June this year has been extended by one more month till Jan 31. The Direct Tax Dispute Resolution Scheme seeks not just to settle disputes in retrospective taxes, but end nearly 2.6 lakh pending tax cases. The scheme provides for waiving interest & penalties if the principal amount involved in retrospective tax cases is paid.
Withdrawal Limit from ATMs Increased
RBI has increased the daily limit of ATM withdrawal to Rs 4500 from current Rs 2500 with effective from Jan 1, 2017. There has been no change in the weekly withdrawal limit, which stands at Rs 24,000, including from ATM, for individuals and Rs 50,000 in case of small traders. Following demonetisation of old notes limits had been imposed on withdrawal of cash from banks as well as ATMs.
PM Modi Launches ‘BHIM’ Mobile App
PM Modi launched a mobile app Bharat Interface for Money, BHIM. The app will facilitate digital cash transactions with only a thumb print after the bank account is linked with Aadhaar gateway. Payments through the new system can be made by just a thumb impression. The new indigenously developed payment app BHIM has been named after the main architect of Indian constitution, Dr B R Ambedkar.


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