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01 December 2021



What are govt's new int'l travel rules that came into effect today amid Omicron scare?

According to government's new international travel rules that came into effect today, international travellers will have to provide their 14-day travel history. Only those passengers who have filled in Self Declaration Form on Air Suvidha portal, will be allowed to board flights. Travellers from countries excluding at-risk nations shall self-monitor their health for 14 days post-arrival.

Bill repealing 3 farm laws gets assent from President Ram Nath Kovind

The Farm Laws Repeal Bill has received President Ram Nath Kovind's assent, meaning that the three farm laws have been officially repealed. "This Act may be called the Farm Laws Repeal Act, 2021," the government notification read. The new bill was passed in Lok Sabha without any discussion. Last month, PM Narendra Modi had announced the laws will be withdrawn.

Jr NTR, Chiranjeevi, Mahesh Babu donate ₹25 lakh amid Andhra flood

Telugu actors Jr NTR, Chiranjeevi and Mahesh Babu on Wednesday announced that they have made donations of ₹25 lakh each to the Chief Minister's Relief Fund amid heavy floods in Andhra Pradesh. As per reports, 44 people have died while 16 are still missing in the state. IMD has issued alert for Cyclone Jawad saying it may hit Andhra Pradesh.

Cyclone Jawad may reach Andhra, Odisha coasts on Dec 4; IMD issues alert

IMD has issued alert for Cyclone Jawad and said it may reach the coasts of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha on December 4 morning. IMD predicted heavy rainfall over north coastal Andhra Pradesh and south coastal Odisha from December 3 evening. Rough to very rough sea conditions are expected along and off north Andhra Pradesh and Odisha coasts from December 3-4.



Varanasi to become first Indian city to start ropeway service in public transportation

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s constituency Varanasi will soon become the first Indian city to start ropeway service as a mode of public transport. The proposed ropeway will be constructed between Cantt Railway Station (Varanasi Junction) to Church Square (Godauliya) to ease the traffic congestion.  Covering an aerial distance of 3.45km, the cost of the project is said to be over ₹400 crore.  The ropeway will reduce the journey between the two stations to only 15 minutes. Around 220 trolleys will run at a height of 45 metres. The trolleys will move in a gap of 90 seconds to 120 seconds. Around 4,000 people will be able to travel in one direction at a time.



World’s tallest railway bridge pier coming up in Manipur

The Indian Railways is constructing the world’s tallest bridge pier in Manipur which is a part of 111 km long Jiribam-Imphal railway project.  The bridge, which is being built at a pier height of 141 metres, will surpass the existing record of 139 meter of Mala – Rijeka viaduct, Montenegro in Europe. The total anticipated cost of the bridge is Rs 374 crore.  With the completion of the project, the 111 km of distance will be covered in 2-2.5 hours. Presently, the distance between Jiribam-Imphal (NH-37) is 220 km, which took about 10-12 hours of travelling. The work on the bridge will be completed by December 2023.



Which 23 countries have confirmed cases of Omicron coronavirus variant?

WHO has said at least 23 countries from five of six WHO regions have now reported cases of Omicron. "We expect that number to grow," it added. The 23 countries are Australia, Austria, Belgium, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden and UK.



India, Maldives and Sri Lanka hold conclave to enhance maritime security

The ships and aircraft of the Indian Navy participated in the first-ever Colombo Security Conclave (CSC) Focused Operation to enhance maritime security in the Indian Ocean region, along with Sri Lanka and the Maldives, a statement from the Indian Navy said.  During the conclave, exercises were conducted between the lead maritime security agencies of India, Maldives and Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean region.  The conduct of ‘CSC Focused Operation’ exemplifies the deep trilateral engagement between India, Maldives and Sri Lanka, and emphasises their commitment to promote peace, and security in the region.





India's manufacturing PMI hits 10-month high in November at 57.6

India's manufacturing sector activity grew at its fastest pace in 10 months in November, according to a private survey. The IHS Markit India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose to 57.6 in November, remaining above the 50-mark threshold, that separates expansion from contraction, for the fifth straight month. This figure was at 55.9 in October.


India's GDP likely to grow more than 9.5% in FY22: SBI Research

India's GDP is likely to grow over 9.5% in financial year 2021-22, an SBI Research report said. In first half of FY21, India exhibited a real GDP loss of ₹11.4 lakh crore due to complete lockdown in April-May and partial lockdown in June-September, it added. However, in first half FY22, the real gain was around ₹8.2 lakh crore, it said.



Fedo launches “Health Savings Account” in partnership with neo bank Open

AI driven Health- tech company Fedo has announced a announced ‘Health Savings Account’, called Fedo HSA, in collaboration with neo bank Open.  Fedo HSA will be offering a combined account that helps customers meet their required spends through a combination of smart savings, insurance, line of credit all bundled in a powerful savings account that comes with a health Credit/ Debit cards with health benefit features and rewards.



India’s forex kitty increases by $289 mln to $640.40 bln

India’s forex exchange reserves increased by USD 289 million to USD 640.401 billion for the week ended November 19, the Reserve Bank said.  The overall reserves had declined by USD 763 million to USD 640.112 billion in the previous reporting week. They had touched a life time high of USD 642.453 billion in the week ended September 3, 2021.  Foreign Currency Assets (FCA), a major component of the overall reserves, increased by USD 225 million to USD 575.712 billion, according to the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) weekly data.


GDP seen growing at 8.3% in Q2, 9.4% full year: Report

Leading rating agency India Ratings expects the economy to grow 8.3 per cent in Q2 and close the year with 9.4 per cent in FY’22, which is 10 bps lower than the consensus forecast.  The agency has attributed the higher growth to the nine consecutive quarters of over 3 per cent agriculture growth, which has brightened consumer spending and the resultant uptick in private final consumption expenditure, which is likely to clip at around 10 per cent in the September quarter of the current fiscal.  Another major reason is the near three-fold jump in vaccination, which soared to 890.21 million as of October-end from 335.72 million at June-end.


Amazon, Asian Paints, Tata Tea India’s ‘most purposeful’ brands in 2021: Kantar report

E-commerce giant Amazon, Asian Paints and Tata Tea have been named as the “most purposeful” brands in India 2021 in tech, non-FMCG and FMCG categories, the latest BrandZ India report by insights and consulting firm Kantar shows.  In the technology category, Amazon is followed by food delivery platform Zomato, Google-backed YouTube, food delivery platform Swiggy, and Walmart-backed Flipkart.  In the FMCG category, Tata Tea is followed by Surf Excel, Taj Mahal, Maggi, Parachute, Britannia. In the non-FMCG category, Asian Paints is followed by Jio, Samsung, MRF, Tata Housing and Airtel.  The Kantar BrandZ database for Most Purposeful Brands of India for 2020-21 cover 418 brand cases. In each case, brand perception and brand equity metrics were analysed across 30 categories and these data points were sourced from a total of over 12,000 respondents.




Saurav Ghosal becomes first Indian to win Malaysian Open Squash Championship

Squash star Saurav Ghosal made history as he became the first Indian to win the Malaysian Open Championships after beating Miguel Rodriguez in the men’s singles final.  The second-seeded Ghosal, often regarded as the face of Indian squash, outclassed top seed Rodriguez of Colombia 11-7, 11-8 and 13-11 in 55 minutes to become the first from his country to be crowned.





Admiral R Hari Kumar assumes charge as 25th Chief of the Naval Staff

Admiral R. Hari Kumar assumed charge as the 25th Chief of the Naval Staff. He received Guard of Honour at the South Block lawns in New Delhi as the new Chief of Naval Staff.  Admiral Hari Kumar succeeds Admiral Karambir Singh who superannuated on November 30,2021.  Admiral R. Hari Kumar was commissioned on 1st January 1983 into the Executive Branch of the Indian Navy. During his long and distinguished service spanning nearly 39 years, he has served in a variety of Command, Staff and Instructional appointments. He has been decorated with the Param Vishist Seva Medal, Ati Vishist Seva Medal and Vishist Seva Medal.


Former SBI chairman Rajnish Kumar joins Hero MotoCorp as Independent Director

Hero Motocorp said that Rajnish Kumar, former chairman of State Bank of India (SBI), has been appointed as an independent non-executive director on the board of the company.  Mr. Kumar completed his three-year term as chairman of SBI in October 2020. He is credited with steering the bank successfully through very challenging times and adopting key technology transformations.  Hero MotoCorp also appointed Vasudha Dinodia, the entrepreneur credited with founding the boutique chocolate start-up Choko La in 2005, as a non-executive director on the board of the company.


IRS officer Vivek Johri appointed CBIC chairman

1985-batch Indian Revenue Service officer Vivek Johri has been appointed as the chairman of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs CBIC.  Mr Johri is currently working as the member in the CBIC. He succeeds M Ajit Kumar who is completing his tenure on November 30,2021.





Nagaland police launches ‘Call your Cop’ mobile App for citizens

Nagaland DGP T. John Longkumer officially launched the ‘Call your Cop’ mobile App at Police Headquarters in Kohima.  The App will enable all citizens of the state especially those in distress to get in touch directly with the police as easily available with just one click away.  The features in the App include directory, alerts, tourist tips, SOS, nearest police station and search. Citizens can download the app from google store on any android phone. One can download the app from the google store.




National Award Winning Choreographer Shiva Shankar Master passes away

Popular choreographer Sivasankar, who rose to prominence through his work in Telugu and Tamil films, passed away, after weeks of battling COVID-19. He was 72 years old.  In 2011, he received the National Award for the song ”Dheera Dheera” from Ram Charan’s ‘Magadheera’ directed by SS Rajamouli. He choreographed more than 800 songs, created innumerable hits, won a dozen prestigious awards and had millions of fans in India and globally.  He also acted in several Tamil and Telugu serials. He also appeared in several films. She appeared as a judge on one of the most popular reality TV dance shows.




‘Bangladesh Liberation @ 50 years: ‘Bijoy’ with Synergy, India-Pakistan war 1971’ book released by General MM Naravane

General MM Naravane released a book ‘Bangladesh Liberation @ 50 years: ‘Bijoy’ with Synergy, India-Pakistan war 1971’, a compilation of personal accounts of the war by veterans from India and Pakistan.  The book is an amalgamation of historical and anecdotal accounts of the 1971 War and comprises authors from both India and Bangladesh. Mostly who fought the war.




2 December 2021




All schools in Delhi to be closed from tomorrow till further orders amid air pollution

All schools in Delhi will be closed from tomorrow till further orders amid air pollution, Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai said on Thursday. This comes after the Supreme Court asked Delhi government that why are children being forced to go to school when the government has implemented work from home for adults.

Kerala, German agency sign MoU to provide jobs to nurses

Pinarayi Vijayan-led Kerala government on Thursday signed an MoU with German Federal Employment Agency for the recruitment of nurses from the state. The Chief Minister said in a Facebook post that the German scheme 'Triple Win' can provide over 10,000 employment opportunities for nurses. He said it's the "first step towards tapping the possibilities of migration to European countries".



Govt Appoints Committee to Revisit Criteria for EWS Quota; Ex-Finance Secy Ajay Pandey to Head Panel

The Centre has formed a three-member committee to review the criteria for reservation for the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) category, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment announced.  The committee will be headed by former finance secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey and other members are member secretary of Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) V K Malhotra and principal economic advisor to the government Sanjay Sanyal. The committee has been asked to complete its work within three weeks.



Telangana, Kerala top in H1 capex; UP, Maha among laggards: Report

Telangana and Kerala lead the capital expenditure chart of states in the first half of 2021-22 while the biggest two spendersUttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, are the laggards with not even spending a fifth of the budgeted amount, thereby pulling down the overall capex by states to a low 28.4% in the period, shows a report.  According to Madan Sabnavis, the chief economist at Care Ratings, 24 states have budgeted for Rs 5,76,181 crore capex for FY22 but have spent only Rs 1,63,868 crore in H1FY22, which is just 28.4 per cent. Of the Rs 5.76 lakh crore by 24 states, the top 10 states constitute as much as Rs 4.45 lakh crore or 77 per cent.  While UP is the largest in term of capex planned at Rs 1,14,274 crore, it has spent only 20.8 per cent of it Rs 23,803 crore, followed by Maharashtra with a capex of Rs 59,139 crore but has spent only Rs 8,454 crore so far while the smaller states like Telangana tops the list of states with the highest capex spends at Rs 14,814 crore in H1 which is 51.9 per cent of the budgeted Rs 28,518 crore for the full year.  The other big spenders are MP (46.5 per cent of its Rs 39,704 crore capex budget) and Rajasthan has spent 40.5 per cent of the budgeted Rs 26,936 crore, while the other big laggards are Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Bihar, Gujarat, and Andhra.





Turkish President Erdogan replaces Finance Minister as Lira plunges

short by Atharva Pande / 10:07 pm on 02 Dec 2021,Thursday

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has appointed Nureddin Nebati as the new Finance Minister amid looming economic crisis. This comes as the Turkish currency, Lira fell by 27% last month making it one of the worst-performing currencies in the world. Earlier, Nebati had lauded Erdogan's drive to slash interest rates. "We're determined to implement it this time," he said.



Merriam-Webster chooses vaccine as the 2021 word of the year

Merriam-Webster announced that “vaccine” was its word of the year for 2021.  The selection follows “vax” as word of the year from the folks who publish the Oxford English Dictionary. And it comes after Merriam-Webster chose “pandemic” as tops in lookups last year on its online site.


South Korea to get world’s first floating city by 2025

The world’s first “floating city” will be built off the coast of South Korea — and it will be hurricane-proof, flood-proof and self-sustaining.  The United Nations-backed project will be constructed off the coast of Busan and was designed as a response to rising sea levels. It is expected to be completed by 2025.  The futuristic city will be made up of large hexagonal platforms that float on the water. The design will utilize a limestone coating that’s buoyant, despite being two to three times as hard as concrete, project leaders told the outlet.




Disney names Susan Arnold as its 1st woman Chairman in 98-year history

Walt Disney has elected a woman to become its chairman for the first time in its 98-year history. Susan Arnold, who has been a board member for 14 years, will succeed Bob Iger as Chairman on December 31. Iger, who stepped down as Disney's CEO in 2020 after 15 years in the role, will leave the company later this month.

OYO appoints SBI's ex-Chairman Rajnish Kumar as Strategic Group Advisor

Hospitality firm OYO on Thursday said that it has appointed former SBI Chairman Rajnish Kumar as Strategic Group Advisor. Kumar will advise the company's management on short and long-term strategies, regulatory and stakeholder engagement besides enhancing the brand of the company globally, OYO said. Recently, fintech startup BharatPe had appointed Kumar as Chairman of its board.

WhatsApp banned more than 20 lakh accounts in India in October

short by Pragya Swastik / 07:00 am on 02 Dec 2021,Thursday

WhatsApp banned 20.7 lakh accounts in India in October 2021, the Meta-owned messaging app said in its latest compliance report. Most of the accounts were banned on the basis of technology tools deployed to prevent harmful behaviour and a few were banned following user complaints. WhatsApp also received 500 grievance reports in October and took action on 18 of those.



SBI signs MoU with Usha International for empowering women entrepreneurs

State Bank of India (SBI) has signed an agreement with Usha International Limited (UIL) for empowering women entrepreneurs by providing financial assistance.  The financial assistance will be provided under the Joint Liability Group model, SBI said.  As per the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between SBI and UIL, branches of the bank in Uttarakhand, Delhi, Western UP, and NCR Haryana will be financing women entrepreneurs to Usha Silai School to purchase sewing machines for enhancement and upgradation of technical sewing skills or to purchase thread of clothes, etc. related to above for running their livelihood.


NBFC Agriwise Finserv partners Central Bank of India for agri loan disbursals

Agriwise Finserv Limited, an agri-focussed NBFC, has entered into a co-lending agreement with Central Bank of India for agri-loan disbursal.  The co-lending agreement will ensure that the farmer, agri and allied community get finance at affordable rates in a simple, transparent and speedy manner.  The loan will be disbursed at a blended interest rate, as per the RBI directive on co-lending of loans.



Govt sells Central Electronics to Nandal Finance and Leasing for Rs 210 cr

The government approved sale of Central Electronics Ltd to Nandal Finance and Leasing for Rs 210 crore, marking the second strategic disinvestment of the current fiscal.  Incorporated in 1974, CEL, under the Ministry of Science and Technology, is a pioneer in the field of Solar Photovoltaic (SPV) and has developed the technology with its own R&D efforts. It has also developed axle counter systems that are being used in railway signalling systems for safe running of trains.



redBus, IRCTC collaborate to launch rail ticketing service ‘redRail’

Online bus ticketing platform redBus announced its foray into rail ticketing with the launch of redRail.  redBus has launched this rail ticket booking service in collaboration with IRCTC (Indian Railway Catering & Tourism Corporation) as their authorised partner.  The Android app users of redBus will be able to make reservations for bus as well as rail travel now within the same app. In an official statement, redBus has stated that the service will be available on desktop, mobweb and iOS phones.


India’s GDP grows at 8.4 per cent in second quarter of current fiscal

India’s Gross domestic product, GDP, for the second quarter of the current fiscal logged fastest growth among major economies in the world.  According to the government data released, GDP of the country grew by 8.4 percent from a year ago. As per the National Statistics Office, NSO, data, Manufacturing output increased 5.5 percent during the period while construction segment grew 7.5 percent in the second quarter.





UAE’s Ahmed Nasser Al Raisi elected Interpol president

The International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) has elected Major General Dr. Ahmed Nasser Al Raisi, inspector general of the UAE’s Ministry of Interior, as its new president.  In the final round, the UAE candidate received 68.9 per cent of votes cast by member countries.  As president, Al Raisi’s role during his four-year term will be to chair meetings of the executive committee which supervises the implementation of decisions taken at the General Assembly.


Magdalena Andersson re-elected as Sweden’s first female PM

Sweden’s first female prime minister Magdalena Andersson has been reappointed as the head of the country’s government, less than a week after she resigned within hours of taking the job.  Andersson served as prime minister for seven hours before stepping down last week after the Greens left her two-party coalition.  Their move followed the parliament’s rejection of her government’s budget proposal in favour of one presented by opposition parties including the right-wing populist Sweden Democrats.




NDTV, The Week journalists honoured with International Press Institute award

The International Press Institute (IPI) India Award for Excellence in Journalism-2021 has been awarded jointly to Sreenivasan Jain and Mariyam Alavi of NDTV, and Lakshmi Subramanian and Bhanu Praksh Chandra of The Week.  Jain and Alavi have been awarded for their report on “untruthfulness of the cases of forcible conversion registered against young men belonging to the Muslim community who had married Hindu women in Uttar Pradesh, in the name of love Jihad.  The award has been jointly given to Subramanian and Praksh Chandra of The Week on their report on tracing Indians, especially women, who were trapped in refugee camps in the civil war-torn regions of Syria and Iraq.


Lionel Messi and Alexia Putellas win Ballon d’Or awards

Lionel Messi won the men’s Ballon d’Or for a record-extending seventh time, ending the year in style after a brilliant final season with Barcelona and earning his first major international trophy with Argentina.  Alexia Putellas became the third winner of the women’s award for an outstanding season with Barcelona and Spain.  In other awards, the Kopa Trophy for the best under 21 player went to 19-year-old Spain and Barcelona midfielder Pedri. He caught the eye at Euro 2020 and reached the Olympic final.  The Lev Yashin for best goalkeeper was won by Gianluigi Donnarumma, who helped Italy win the Euros.




Centre launches ‘unique’ face recognition technology for pensioners

Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh launched a “unique” face recognition technology that would act as a proof of ‘life certificate’ for pensioners and ensure ease of living for the retired and elderly citizens.  All pensioners are mandated to submit their life certificate annually to continue receiving pension. The Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions has already implemented a facility of giving the certificate digitally.  The central government has been sensitive to the needs of pensioners and to ensure ease of living for them. Soon after coming to power in 2014, the government decided to introduce and implement digital life certificate for the pensioners. This unique face recognition technology will further help pensioners.


China launches new communications satellite ChinaSat 1D

China successfully launched a new communications satellite from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in southwest Sichuan Province. The satellite, ChinaSat 1D (Zhongxing 1D) was launched by a Long March-3B carrier rocket and entered the planned orbit successfully.  Developed by the China Academy of Space Technology, the satellite is able to provide high-quality voice, data, and radio and television transmission services.  The launch marked the 399th mission for the Long March series carrier rockets.




“Indian Innings: The Journey of Indian Cricket from 1947” book by Ayaz Memon

The book titled ‘Indian Innings: The Journey of Indian Cricket from 1947’ written by Ayaz Memon has been released recently.  It is an anthology of Indian Cricket and marked several insights of Indian cricket of the last 70 years. The book has covered the era of veteran cricketers K N Prabhu to P N Sundaresan and Dicky Rutnagar to Ramachandra Guha and Suresh Menon, those years of famous victories consist of experiences about World Cups, various Test cricket, etc.




Noted Telugu Lyricist Sirivennela Seetharama Sastry passes away

Award-winning Telugu lyricist and Padma Shri awardee Sirivennela Seetharama Sastry passed away. He was 66.  Sastry had penned over 3000 songs. He wrote songs for films like Swayamkrushi, Swarna Kamalam, Shrutilayalu, Gaayam, Swati Kiranam, Kshana Kshanam, Sindhooram, Nuvve Kavali, Okkadu, Varsham and Gamyam among others. He was known for his classical style of writing, rich with poetry.  In 2019, Sirivennela Seetharama Sastry was awarded the Padma Shri for his contribution and excellence in the field of arts.

'Mirzapur' actor Bramha Mishra found dead at his flat in Mumbai

Actor Bramha Mishra, best known for portraying Lalit in the series 'Mirzapur', has passed away in Mumbai. On Thursday, the police found his semi-decomposed body from his flat in Versova. The body has been sent for an autopsy. Actor Divyenndu took to Instagram to mourn his demise and wrote, "Our Lalit is no more. Let's pray for him, everyone."























3 December 2021




With DBT, government forecasts saving of over ₹44,000 crore in fiscal 2020-21

The government has estimated a saving of over ₹44,000 crore in fiscal 2020-21 with the help of the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) mechanism.  With this, total savings till March 31, 2021 have crossed ₹2.22 lakh crore. The saved amount is close to the total expenditure on health and wellbeing for the current fiscal or more than three times the allocation for Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).  As on date, 310 schemes of 54 Central Government Ministries and Departments are under DBT wherein cash assistance is directly transferred to the beneficiary account or the assistance in kind is ensured for the beneficiaries using JAM (Jan Dhan, Aadhaar and Mobile) trinity.


CM Neiphiu Rio launches NIPUN Bharat Mission in Nagaland

Nagaland is celebrating its 59th Statehood day on December 1,2021.A state level programme was held at Civil Secretariat Plaza Kohima this morning. Addressing the people of the state, Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio said the Government is committed to take necessary steps for all round development and to ensure the best opportunities for growth and progress of the state.  He also inaugurated the Photography exhibition on the Glimpses of the History of the State.



Centre forms three-member committee to review criteria for EWS quota

The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment announced the formation of a three-member committee to review the criteria for Economically Weaker Section (EWS) reservations.  The committee will comprise Former Finance Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey, Member Secretary ICSSR Prof VK Malhotra and Principal Economic Advisor to the Indian government Sanjeev Sanyal.  The committee will examine various approaches followed in the country so far for identifying the economically weaker sections. It will also send its recommendations to the Centre in the next three weeks.


Govt approves continuation of Scheme for Investment Promotion for 5 years

The government has approved the continuation of the Scheme for Investment Promotion (SIP) for five years (2021-26) with a financial outlay of Rs 970 crore, according to a notification of the commerce and industry ministry.  The scheme comprises a number of components and activities for the promotion of investment into the country; enhancing international co-operation for promoting FDI and capacity building.  To increase the investment inflow, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has been undertaking various initiatives and reforms such as the launching of Make in India, setting up of project development cells, creating a GIS-based Industrial Information System and National Investment Clearance Cell.




Tel Aviv overtakes Hong Kong, Paris and Zurich as most expensive city to live in

Tel Aviv has been ranked the world’s most expensive city to live in thanks to the rapid rise in inflation that has pushed up the cost of a whole range of goods and services across the world in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.  The Israeli city climbed five spots in the past 12 months to take the unwanted title away from last year’s joint winners of Paris, Hong Kong and Zurich, according to the authoritative ranking system compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).  The French capital was joint second with Singapore, while Zurich and Hong Kong made up the rest of the top five. New York was in sixth, with Geneva in seventh, and Copenhagen, Los Angeles and Osaka rounding off the Top 10.London rose three spots to 17 in the annual ranking, with Sydney up one to 14, and Melbourne up two to 16.  The price of energy and food have rocketed in some countries thanks to restrictions on trade, labour shortages and ongoing supply chain bottlenecks. The average cost of a litre of unleaded petrol has soared by 21%, the survey found.


India and EU agrees to set up Clean Energy and Climate Partnership

India and European Union (EU) have agreed to step up their Clean Energy and Climate Partnership.  India-EU Energy Panel met which was co-chaired by India’s Ministry of External Affairs Secretary (West), Reenat Sandhu, and Deputy Director-General for Energy, European Commission Mechthild Wörsdörfer.  They jointly agreed on a detailed work programme until 2023 to implement the 2016 India-EU Clean Energy and Climate Partnership.  The Panel agreed on increased technical cooperation in energy efficiency, renewable energy, green hydrogen, grid integration, storage, power market design, interconnection, cold chain, and sustainable financing.




DBS Bank India introduces an industry-first digital & paperless trade financing solution

DBS Bank India has introduced a paperless proposition for the financing of domestic invoices by buyers and sellers. The bank now digitally validates the e-Way Bill (i.e. proof of movement of goods) for the purpose of establishing the genuineness of underlying trade transactions.  The adoption of this approach has enabled DBS to process transactions quicker without the need to obtain underlying physical documents.  The bank has also executed its first paperless domestic trade financing transaction with Lincon Polymers Pvt. Ltd., marking a significant milestone in the bank’s digital transformation journey. With this solution, the bank will eliminate the need for cumbersome documentation, making the entire financing journey paperless and seamless.


IDFC FIRST Bank launches India’s first standalone metal debit card

IDFC FIRST Bank announced the launch of FIRST Private Infinite, the country’s first-ever standalone metal debit card, in partnership with Visa, the global leader in digital payments.  First Private Infinite is a lifetime free card designed specifically for customers who are part of the Bank’s FIRST Private program, a premium savings and wealth offering.  The FIRST Private program offers an unrivalled banking and investment experience to customers and comes with a range of exceptional investment, banking, lifestyle and wellness benefits.


India1 Payments installs 10,000 white-label ATMs

India1 Payments Ltd (formerly BTI Payments Pvt Ltd) has crossed the ATM deployment milestone of 10,000 White Label ATMs.  India1 Payments is IPO-bound and is promoted by the Banktech Group of Australia. It was formerly known as BTI Payments. India1 ATM has become the second-largest white label ATM brand on semi-urban and rural areas.  With the deployment of 10000 ATMs, India1 Payments has become the largest player in this segment.





Walmart, Flipkart announce MoU with Madhya Pradesh government to train, support local MSMEs

Walmart and its subsidiary Flipkart announced they will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Madhya Pradesh government to create an ecosystem of capacity building for MSMEs in the state.  Under the partnership with Department of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) of the MP government, Walmart and Flipkart will help MSMEs digitize their businesses and enable them to sell products across India through online retail.  They will also have an opportunity to unlock their export potential and become part of Walmart’s global supply chain.




Rajshree Sancheti claims women’s 10-metre air rifle national title at Madhya Pradesh State Shooting Academy range

In Shooting, Rajshree Sancheti claimed the women’s 10-metre air rifle national title at the Madhya Pradesh State Shooting Academy range in Bhopal.  Rajshree finished the eight-woman final with a score of 251.8, more than 1.6 ahead of the silver winning Zeena Khitta of Himachal Pradesh. Shreya Agrawal won bronze ending with 227.7, to bow out after the 22nd shot of the 24-shot final.  The junior women’s 10m air rifle crown was won by Tamil Nadu’s R. Narmada Nithin, who shot a National finals record score of 252.1 to strike gold. Zeena finished second yet again, while Pahuni Pawar of Karnataka won the bronze.




Lt Gen Manoj Kumar Mago takes over as NDC Commandant

Lt Gen Manoj Kumar Mago has taken over as the Commandant of National Defence College (NDC), New Delhi.  He hails from Ludhiana, was commanding the 10 Corps at Bathinda before being given the assignment at NDC that entails evolving a strategic culture among the country’s senior-most officials of the military, the civilian bureaucracy and the Indian Police Service.  Lt Gen Mago, who passed out of Indian Military Academy, Dehradun, was commissioned into the 7th Battalion of the Brigade of Guards in 1984. He later commanded 16 Guards.


Arunachal Pradesh govt ropes in Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt as brand ambassador for 50th year celebrations

Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt has been roped in by the Arunachal Pradesh government to be the brand ambassador for the state.  Along with Sanjay, filmmaker Rahul Mittra has been roped in as the brand advisor on the occasion of the golden jubilee celebrations, marking the 50th year of the naming of the state.




IGI Airport adjudged the ‘Best Airport in India and Central Asia’ this year by Skytrax: MoS Gen VK Singh

The Centre has said the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi has been adjudged the ‘Best Airport in India and Central Asia’ this year by Skytrax.  In a written reply in the Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Gen VK Singh said the Delhi airport along with the others in Hyderabad, Mumbai, and Bengaluru feature in the World To 100 airports list published by Skytrax.  He said 36-thousand crore rupees worth investments are being planned to develop new greenfield airports across the country under the Public-Private Partnership mode.


Barbados Becomes the World’s Newest Republic, Rihanna Declared as National Hero

Barbados has declared Rihanna a national hero after removing Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state and entering a new era as a republic.  Prime Minister Mia Mottley announced that the 33-year-old Barbadian musician and entrepreneur would be conferred with the honour of National Hero of Barbados to cheers during a ceremony held overnight in the capital, Bridgetown, to mark the political transition.


Star Air Bags Award For ‘Highest Average Passenger Load Factor on RCS Flights’ by MoCA

With a commitment to enhance regional connectivity throughout the country, Star Air has had an incredible and exciting journey during the winter schedule of October 2020. It has been voted as the airline with the highest average passenger load factor on RCS flights by the Ministry of Civil Aviation.  As passionate advocates for hassle-free, affordable, on-time services, Star Air promises its passengers utmost care. Making Star Air all about fulfilling everyone’s travel aspirations, the airline constantly seeks Connecting Real India and making travel accessible and affordable.




Dinyar Patel’s biography of Dadabhai Naoroji wins Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay NIF Book Prize 2021

biography of Dadabhai Naoroji, one of the founders of the Indian National Congress, by Dinyar Patel was named winner of the Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay NIF Book Prize 2021.  “Naoroji: Pioneer of Indian Nationalism” was selected from the six shortlisted books that covered a variety of themes and subjects and showcased some of the finest non-fiction writing about India, organisers New India Foundation said.  This is the fourth edition of the prize instituted in 2018. The prize celebrates high-quality non-fiction literature on modern and contemporary India from writers of all nationalities published in the previous calendar year and carries a cash award of Rs 15 lakh and a citation.




The last surviving member of West Germany's 1954 world champions Horst Eckel died aged 89, the German Football Association (DFB) said on Friday. Eckel was the youngest player in the 1954 FIFA World Cup final, where West Germany defeated Hungary 3-2. The 1954 triumph was Germany's first world title. Germany has won three more since, their last being in 2014.





4 December 2021




Ratan Tata to be conferred Assam's highest civilian award 'Asom Baibhav'

The Chief Minister of Assam, Himanta Biswa Sarma, on Saturday announced that the state has chosen 19 personalities for its three newly-instituted awards - Asom Baibhav, Asom Sourav and Asom Gourav. He said industrialist and Tata Trusts' Chairman Ratan Tata will be conferred the state's highest civilian award, Asom Baibhav, for his exceptional contribution towards furthering cancer care in Assam.



PM Modi inaugurated ‘Infinity Forum’ on fintech; over 70 countries to participate

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated a leadership Forum on Financial Technology (FinTech) via virtual conference. This is the first edition of the summit.  More than 70 nations, while Indonesia, South Africa and the United Kingdom are partner countries are participated in the summit.  The two-day summit will bring together the leading minds of the world in business and technology to come together to discuss how technology and innovation can be leveraged by the FinTech industry for inclusive growth and serving humanity at large. It is being hosted by the International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA) under the aegis of the Government of India in collaboration with GIFT City and Bloomberg.




Saudi Arabia lends $3 billion to Pakistan as part of economic aid

Pakistan received a $3 billion (over ₹20,000 cr) loan from Saudi Arabia as part of an economic support package, said Pakistan PM's Finance Advisor, Shaukat Tarin. The loan will be for one year at a 4% interest rate and will include a $1.2 billion oil loan facility. This comes after a deal was signed last month in Riyadh.




Bangladesh-US commence bilateral maritime exercise CARAT

A nine-day joint maritime exercise between Bangladesh and the United States (US) has commenced in the Bay of Bengal.  The bilateral exercise, part of the 27th annual Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (Carat), highlights the two countries mutual ability to work together to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific.  CARAT exercise is an annual bilateral exercise. United States Pacific Fleet, a command of the US Navy conducts it with several ASEAN members. Currently, Exercise CARAT is conducted with navies of nine nations, which are the navies of Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.





Arms deal with UAE to support 7,000 domestic jobs: French official

An arms deal sealed on Friday between France and the United Arab Emirates worth €17 billion will directly support 7,000 domestic jobs, a French defence official said. The deal includes the largest ever overseas sale of France's Rafale warplanes, and will secure the supply chain of more fighter jets for a decade, the official added.


Federal Bank launches an exclusive feature-rich scheme for women

Private sector lender Federal Bank has launched a feature-rich savings bank product for women.  The savings scheme is called Mahila Mitra Plus and provides a curated set of features, designed to make financial planning and investments easy for women.  The special features include exclusive preferential interest rates on housing loans, processing fee waiver for home loans, complimentary and customised insurance cover.


Paytm signs MoU with Skill Development Ministry to train youngsters in fintech

Paytm, the digital payment company, will train 6000 individuals over three years, to make them ready for the fintech domain. The tech company has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to this effect, with the Directorate of General Training (DGT), Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.  The training programme, which will last six months, is designed by Paytm, in consultation with the DGT.  This partnership with DGT, which focuses on the vocational and skill-based training of eligible youth in India, will help increase the availability of trained talent to fulfil the needs of the fintech industry.


SBI partners with Adani Capital for co-lending to farmers

State Bank of India (SBI) has recently inked an agreement with Adani Capital Private Ltd (Adani Capital), the NBFC arm of Adani Group, for co-lending to farmers for purchase of tractor and farm implements.  With this partnership, SBI would be able to target farmer customers in the interior hinterland of the country looking for adoption of farm mechanization to enhance productivity of crops.




States debt-to-GDP ratio worryingly higher than FY23 target, says RBI report

States have budgeted to bring down their deficits by a full percentage point from last year, as revenue improved in sync with lift in pandemic-related restrictions, but the local bodies have been badly hit by the pandemic and must be allowed functional autonomy, said a report by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).  For 2021-22, the states have budgeted their consolidated gross fiscal deficit (GFD) to gross domestic product (GDP) ratio at 3.7 per cent, “a marked improvement from the level of 4.7 per cent in the revised estimates for 2020-21, the year of the first wave of the pandemic,” stated the State Finance Report of the RBI.  As various estimates cited by the RBI report, the local authorities would lose around 15-25 per cent of their revenues in 2021, which may make the maintenance of the current level of service delivery difficult. In the survey, 22 per cent of the respondents reported revenue loss of over 50 per cent during the second wave of the pandemic, as against 16 per cent in the first wave.  For states, the ratio of revenue spending to capital outlay (RECO) is budgeted to decline to 5.5 in 2021-22 from 6.7 in 2020-21, the RBI report noted.


West Bengal secures $135 million World Bank loan to upgrade rural power distribution network

International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) has approved a USD 135 million loan to West Bengal to improve the operational efficiency and reliability of electricity supply in select pockets in the state.  The variable spread loan or floating interest loan will have a maturity of 17 years, including a grace period of seven years and will aim to strengthen distribution networks, invest in smart-grid technologies, and ensure financial sustainability of the state discom.



Unemployment Rate in India rose to 9.3% in January-March 2021

The urban unemployment rate has increased to 9.3% in the January-March 2021 period from 9.1% in the year-ago period, according to a periodic labour force survey by the National Statistical Office (NSO).  While 9.3% is lower than the peak urban unemployment level of 20.8% recorded in the April-June quarter of last year, it is still at higher than pre-Covid levels.  The figures, released, also showed that unemployment among women is rising as 11.3% of women in the labour force found themselves without a job in the January-March 2021 quarter compared to 10.6% in the year-ago period. Unemployment among males remained at the same level as last year, at 8.6%


India’s GDP growth projection for FY22 unchanged at 9.5%, says S&P

S&P Global Ratings said in a note that it has kept India’s economic growth forecast in the fiscal year to March 2022 unchanged at 9.5% but raised its predictions for the subsequent year on broadening out of the recovery.  The Indian economy had shrunk by 7.3% in 2020-21 fiscal (April 2020 to March 2021) as pandemic induced restrictions battered business activity.  Meanwhile, India’s gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 8.4% during the July-September quarter of 2021-22. GDP at Constant (2011-12) Prices in Q2 2021-22 is estimated at Rs35.73 lakh crore, as against Rs32.97 lakh crore in Q2 2020-21, showing a growth of 8.4% as compared to 7.4% contraction in Q2 2020-21.




Bhaker wins 10M Air Pistol gold at National Shooting Championship

Haryana's Manu Bhaker won women's 10M Air Pistol gold medal for the second successive time, shooting 241.6 in the final of the ongoing 64th National Shooting Championship in Tughlakabad on Saturday. She beat Shri Nivetha by 1.7 points for the gold. Bhaker has now won three of the last four nationals in the event. Qualification topper Esha Singh won bronze.


Ajaz Patel's all 10 wickets in an innings against India

New Zealand spinner Ajaz Patel became the third bowler in history after ex-England spinner Jim Laker and ex-India captain Anil Kumble to take all 10 wickets in a Test innings today. Patel registered figures of 47.5-12-119-10 in the first innings against India. The dismissals included three LBW, two bowled, two caught behinds and three caught outs.




BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra appointed as Chairman of ITDC

BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra has been appointed as the Chairman of India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC).  Appointment of Dr. Sambit Patra as Part-Time Non Executive Director & Chairman of ITDC for a period of three years from the date of assumption of charge, or until further orders, whichever is earlier.  The order added that 1990 batch IAS officer Ganji Kamala V. Rao will continue to hold the post of MD, ITDC, till further orders.


Film director Naomi Kawase named UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador

Director Naomi Kawase, winner of several Cannes awards, was named UNESCO goodwill ambassador, becoming the first Japanese woman to hold this post, according to the permanent delegation of Japan to the UN organization.  Kawase, 52, also the fifth Japanese to be nominated for the role, was selected in recognition of her cinematic work focused on the stories of women across generations. She should use this post to promote gender equality in cultural industries.


Gita Gopinath to replace Okamoto as IMF’s No. 2 official

International Monetary Fund Chief Economist, Gita Gopinath is set to take over from Geoffrey Okamoto as the institution’s No. 2 official. It is going to be a historic movement when International Monetary Fund has the female at its first two leading positions.  The IMF has done some changes in the roles and responsibilities of the fund’s senior management team. In which they introduced deputy managing director for the first time and it is gone to the first female named Indian born economist Gita Gopinath.




Legendary Anju Bobby George wins Woman of Year Award from World Athletics

Legendary Indian athlete Anju Bobby George has been bestowed with the Woman of the Year Award by World Athletics (WA) for grooming talent in the country and advocating gender equality.  The 44-year-old Anju, the only Indian to have won a medal in the World Championships with a long jump bronze in the 2003 edition, was named for the award in the world body’s annual awards night on December 1.


Bihar pavilion bags gold medal at India International Trade Fair 2021

Bihar bagged gold medal in the 40th India International Trade Fair (IITF) held at Pragati Maidan in Delhi for “excellence in display” in state government/union territory pavilion category.  The Bihar Pavilion comprised 41 stalls exhibiting the finest products from the state to reflect the traditional folk art culture.  IITF was organized by the India Trade Promotion Organisation with ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ as the theme and to further promote the idea of ‘Vocal for Local’. Bihar is the partner state for the 40th IITF and the focus states are Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand.


Shivaram's last rites to be done with state honours: Karnataka CM

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said that veteran Kannada director-actor Shivaram's last rites will take place with full state honours. "Shivaram's contribution to the Kannada film industry is immense," Bommai said. Shivaram passed away on 4TH December at the age of 83 due to a brain haemorrhage. Shivaram worked in over 200 Kannada films.





Priyanka Chaturvedi resigns as Sansad TV show host after suspension from RS

Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi on Sunday wrote to Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu, expressing her wish to step down as the host of Sansad TV's show 'Meri Kahaani'. Chaturvedi's decision comes following her suspension from the House during the Winter Session. "The suspension has disregarded established Parliamentary norms and rules, to stifle my voice...inside the chamber," she stated.


Earth Station of Doordarshan Kendra inaugurated in Gorakhpur

Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting Anurag Singh Thakur and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath inaugurated Earth Station of Doordarshan Kendra at Gorakhpur.

Three FM stations of All India Radio were also inaugurated virtually on the occasion. This will be the second earth station of Doordarshan in Uttar Pradesh and it is being built at a cost of Rs.7 crore.

This Earth Station will enable the programmes generated at the local level to be telecast live through DTH across the world. The Earth Station at Doordarshan Kendra Gorakhpur will be a boon to local Bhojpuri artists as they have been demanding it for a long.

Three FM stations of All India Radio were inaugurated today are at Etawah, Lakhimpur Kheri and Bahraich districts. The addition of these FM stations will further enhance the reach of All India Radio, especially, in the Indo-Nepal border areas.

India will have nine nuclear reactors by 2024


The nation will have nine nuclear reactors by 2024 and a new nuclear project, the first in northern India, will come up 150 kms away from Delhi in Gorakhpur of Haryana, the government informed the Rajya Sabha.

By 2024, India will have nine nuclear reactors plus 12 new additional ones which were approved during the Covid times with a capacity of 9000 MW.

The minister said that nuclear energy will soon emerge as one of the most important sources of alternative or clean energy for the increasing power demand of the country.

India is counting on its nuclear program to help meet its Paris climate commitments to reduce the emissions intensity of its economy by a third from 2005 levels by 2030.

Appointments News


Pradip Shah appointed as Chairman of National Asset Reconstruction Company


Pradip Shah, the founder of IndAsia Fund Advisors, has been appointed chairman of the National Asset Reconstruction Company (NARCL). Shah, an MBA from Harvard and chartered accountant, is credited for establishing India's first and largest housing finance company, HDFC, and rating firm Crisil.

While Aditya Birla Asset Reconstruction Company managing director Sanjay Jain will be the chief executive of India Debt Resolution Company (IDRCL), the privately-owned asset management company (AMC) mandated to resolve bad loans acquired by NARCL.

Banking , Business and Economy


SBI listed USD 650-million Green Bonds on India INX and LuxSE


State Bank of India (SBI) listed its USD 650-million green bonds simultaneously on the India International Exchange (India INX) and the Luxembourg Stock Exchange (LuxSE).

This dual listing is in line with 2021’s topic of the World Investor Week (WIW), ‘sustainable finance’, as indicated by the regulatory body International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA). India INX has now emerged as the leading bond listing venue with over $33 billion.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:


India INX Founded: 2017;

India INX Headquarters: Gandhinagar, Gujarat;

India INX MD & CEO: V. Balasubramaniam. Federal Bank launches an exclusive feature-rich scheme for women


Private sector lender, Federal Bank has launched a feature-rich savings bank product for women. The savings scheme is called Mahila Mitra Plus and provides a curated set of features, designed to make financial planning and investments easy for women.

The special features include exclusive preferential interest rates on housing loans, processing fee waiver for home loans, complimentary and customised insurance cover.

The special features include exclusive preferential interest rates on housing loans, processing fee waiver for home loans, complimentary and customised insurance cover.


Federal Bank Founded: 23 April 1931;

Federal Bank Headquarters: Aluva, Kerala;

Federal Bank MD & CEO: Shyam Srinivasan;

Federal Bank Tagline: Your Perfect Banking Partner.

 ADB approves $500-million loan to improve quality of school education

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $500 million loan to the Government of India to help improve the quality of the country’s school education and mitigate the impact of the Covid-19) pandemic on students’ learning.

The loan supports the Integrated Scheme for School Education (Samagra Shiksha) and the new Exemplar School Initiative of the Ministry of Education (MOE) to improve education quality by focussing on inclusive and equitable learning outcomes.

About 1,800 government schools will be transformed into exemplar schools in Assam, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu, and Uttarakhand. Exemplar schools will demonstrate quality learning environments and effective learning, which will become a model for replication in other government schools across the country.

Minister of Education: Dharmendra Pradhan.

Economy News

Ranks and Reports News


 World Cooperative Monitor report 2021: IFFCO ranks first

The Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IFFCO) has been ranked 'number one Cooperative' among the top 300 cooperatives in the world. The ranking is based on the ratio of turnover over the gross domestic product (GDP) per capita.

It signifies that IFFCO is contributing significantly to the GDP and economic growth of the nation. The 2021 edition of the 10th Annual World Cooperative Monitor (WCM) report, withholding its position from the 2020 edition.

The 2021 WCM report is published by the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) and European Research Institute on Cooperative and Social Enterprises (Euricse). WCM is a project designed to collect robust economic, organizational, and social data about cooperatives worldwide.

The report is the 10th annual one and explores the economic and social impact of the largest cooperatives and mutual worldwide, providing a ranking of the top 300, sector rankings, and an analysis of responses to the current global challenges: Covid and climate change.


IFFCO Founded: 1967;

IFFCO Headquarters: New Delhi, Delhi;

IFFCO MD & CEO: DR. U. S. Awasthi.

Important Days

. Indian Navy Day : Celebrate The Achievements 04 December

In India, December 4 is observed as the National Navy Day every year, to celebrate the achievements and role of the naval force to the country.

The theme of Indian Navy Day 2021 is ‘Swarnim Vijay Varsh’ signifying 50 years of India’s victory in the Indo-Pakistan war that took place in 1971.

Indian Navy is a naval branch of Indian armed forces Led by the President of India (commander-in-chief). Back in 1971, during the Indo-Pakistan war, December 4 was chosen to launch Operation Trident against Pakistan.

Chief of Naval Staff: Admiral R Hari Kumar;

Indian Navy Founded: 26 January 1950.

 International Day of Banks: 04 December

International Day of Banks is celebrated on December 4 to recognise the importance of multilateral and international development banks in financing sustainable developments.

United Nations also observes the day in recognition of the vital role of banking systems in Member State in contributing to the improvement of the standard of living.

In 2019, the United Nations General Assembly designated December 4 as the International Day of Banks. It is elebrated for the first time in 2020.

So proud of you: Aparna to daughter Konkona on winning Best Actress award

National Award-winning director Aparna Sen took to Twitter to congratulate her actress daughter Konkona Sensharma for winning the Best Actress award at Asian Academy Creative Awards. "Congratulations to my lovely, talented daughter for winning Best Actress! That too on your birthday! So, so proud of you, Coco-ma," she wrote. Konkona won the award for 'Ajeeb Daastaans: Geeli Pucchi'.




6 December 2021


We perceive India as a great power: Russian Prez during Delhi visit

During the 21st India-Russia Annual Summit with PM Narendra Modi in Delhi, Russian President Vladimir Putin said, "We perceive India as a great power, a friendly nation, and a time-tested friend." "The relations between our nations are growing and I'm looking into the future," Putin added. "The relation between India and Russia is...a...reliable model of interstate friendship," PM Modi said.





India, B'desh observe 'Maitri Diwas' to mark 50 yrs of friendship

India and Bangladesh commemorated 'Maitri Diwas' on Monday to mark 50 years of establishment of diplomatic ties and friendship between the two countries. "I look forward to continue working with...PM Sheikh Hasina to further expand and deepen our ties," PM Narendra Modi tweeted. Ten days before the liberation of Bangladesh, India had recognised Bangladesh on December 6, 1971.


Will do utmost to ensure wage hikes to protect Japan's economy: PM

Japanese PM Fumio Kishida on Monday said that he will do his "utmost" to ensure wage hikes for workers through tax breaks to protect the country's economy from global inflation. This comes as the country's government submitted a draft supplementary budget worth a record 36 trillion yen (over ₹23 lakh crore) to revive its economy after the coronavirus pandemic.



India reaches 40 per cent target of power from non-fossil fuel

In line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement to achieve 500 GW of installed electricity capacity from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030 at COP26 Climate Conference, the government said it has already achieved 40% of the target.  As per the government, the country’s installed Renewable Energy (RE) capacity today stands at 150.05 GW while its nuclear energy-based installed electricity capacity stands at 6.78 GW.  Prime Minister Modi at COP26 Climate Conference in Glasgow, pledged India will achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2070.


India, European Union agree to enhance clean energy and climate partnership till 2023

India and the EU have agreed on a detailed work programme until 2023 to implement the 2016 EU-India Clean Energy and Climate Partnership with a focus on increasing technical cooperation in the area of energy efficiency, renewable energy, cooperation within the International Solar Alliance and green hydrogen.  As part of this strengthened cooperation, India and the EU will undertake new studies, study visits and joint workshops, exchanging knowledge and best practices on these areas.  In addition, the Energy Panel agreed to jointly host/organize the India-EU offshore wind business and investment summit in the first half of next year, with an exhibition of European and Indian companies, B2B facilitation and sessions on decreasing the cost of offshore wind and of financing offshore wind.





T-Series becomes 1st ever channel to cross 200 million subscribers on YouTube

Film and music producer Bhushan Kumar's T-Series has become the world's first channel to surpass 200 million subscribers on YouTube. The T-Series network, which has 29 YouTube channels in different languages and genres, has a total subscriber base of more than 383 million. "I dedicate this success to my digital and music teams," Kumar said.

Hindustan Unilever MD Sanjiv Mehta to be appointed FICCI President

The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) on Monday announced that Hindustan Unilever's Chair and Managing Director Sanjiv Mehta will be appointed as its President on December 18. Mehta, who currently serves as FICCI's Senior Vice President, will succeed Uday Shankar, the former President of The Walt Disney Company Asia Pacific.



Paytm Money launches Portfolio Management Services marketplace for HNI investors

Digital payments platform Paytm announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary Paytm Money has launched Portfolio Management Services (PMS) Marketplace for HNI (High Networth Individuals) investors.  The marketplace has been launched in partnership with PMS advisory startup PMS Bazaar. The platform aims to offer a transparent and comprehensive analysis of all PMS schemes for HNI investors.  PMS is an investment service offered to HNIs with SEBI mandating a minimum investment of ₹50 lakh.  The PMS marketplace will offer key parameters for PMS schemes such as total assets, inception date, benchmark, and fund manager details for each scheme. It will include a funds listing section that will show the performance of schemes over multiple time horizons and against benchmarks.


ADB approves $500-million loan to improve quality of school education

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved a $500 million loan to the Government of India to help improve the quality of the country’s school education and mitigate the impact of the Covid-19) pandemic on students’ learning.  The loan supports the Integrated Scheme for School Education (Samagra Shiksha) and the new Exemplar School Initiative of the Ministry of Education (MOE) to improve education quality by focussing on inclusive and equitable learning outcomes.  It will also provide professional development for teachers and principals to enhance their pedagogic skills, subject knowledge, and digital skills.


ADB gets Rs 15 cr-grant from JFPR for urban primary healthcare usage across India

Asian Development Bank (ADB) has received a grant of nearly Rs 15 crore from Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction (JFPR), which will be utilised to enhance urban primary healthcare usage across India. The Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction (JFPR) has approved a USD 2 million (nearly Rs 15 crore) technical assistance (TA) grant to provide key technical support to an ADB-financed programme.  It aims to strengthen the comprehensive primary health care (CPHC) system in urban areas across India, ADB said.  The grant is aligned with the ADB-supported USD 300 million (Rs 2,249 crore) CPHC under the Pradhan Mantri Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana (PM-ASBY), which is recently renamed to Pradhan Mantri Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission (PM-ABHIM).

250 of them were working just 2 hours a day: CEO who fired 900 staff

US-based mortgage lender's CEO Vishal Garg, who fired 900 employees over a video call, claimed that 250 of them were working two hours a day while clocking over eight hours daily in the payroll system. "They were stealing from you and stealing from our customers who pay the bills that pay our bills," he wrote in a blog post.



DBS revises India’s FY2023 growth forecast by 100 bps to 7%

DBS has revised India’s FY23 growth forecast upwards to 7 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) (CY2022 6.5 per cent) from 6 per cent earlier.  The MNC bank maintained India’s full-year FY22 forecast at 9.5 per cent y-o-y. It noted that with a receding Covid case count, India’s recovery is turning more broad-based.  The DBS team assessed that into FY23, beyond the thrust from reopening gains, precautionary savings and sectoral normalisation to pre-pandemic levels, capex generation is likely to be the next driver in raising and maintaining growth on a higher plane.




I&B Minister Anurag Thakur inaugurates Earth Station of Doordarshan Kendra in Gorakhpur

Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Singh Thakur and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath inaugurated Earth Station of Doordarshan Kendra in Gorakhpur. Three FM stations of All India Radio in Etawah, Lakhimpur Kheri, and Bahraich districts were also inaugurated at this juncture virtually.  Mr. Thakur said that with the inauguration of Earth Station at Doordarshan Kendra, now the local programmes originating from Gorakhpur will reach all over the country. He also announced that a one-hour programme in Bhojpuri will be telecast from Gorakhpur Doordarshan Kendra with effect from 11th of December.


India to have nine nuclear reactors by 2024

India will have nine nuclear reactors by the year 2024. This Minister of state for personnel, public grievances and pensions Jitendra Singh said this in the Rajya Sabha on behalf of the Centre.  He also said that a new nuclear project, the first in northern India, will come up 150 kilometres away from Delhi, in Haryana’s Gorakhpur.  India is counting on its nuclear program to help meet its Paris climate commitments to reduce the emissions intensity of its economy by a third from 2005 levels by 2030.


Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren launches mobile app for budget suggestion

Chief Minister Hemant Soren launched “Hamar Apan Budget” and a mobile application prepared by the state finance Department from the Chief Minister’s residential office in Ranchi.  Through this portal, the general public of the state will be able to share their valuable suggestions for the 2022-23 budget.  One can use the link to register oneself on ‘Hamar Apan Budget Portal’. For that one has to enter the mobile number and e-mail (optional) in the space provided on the home page and click to generate OTP. OTP can be ordered by e-mail or mobile at any time as per convenience. After successful authentication of the OTP, one can record the suggestion by selecting the concerned department/region.




India, Bangladesh to recognise December 6 as ‘Maitri Diwas’

India and Bangladesh will jointly observe Maitri Divas or friendship day on December 6 in Dhaka and New Delhi and 18 countries around the world, including Russia, Saudi Arabia and the US.  The two countries had decided during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Bangladesh in March to commemorate December 6 as Maitri Divas as it was on this day in 1971 that India recognised the new country.







Ravindra Jadeja ropes as Brand Ambassador of Kinara Capital

Bangalore based innovative, fast-growing fintech, Kinara Capital signed the Indian cricketer Ravindra Jadeja, as its official brand ambassador on the occasion of the company’s 10th anniversary.            Kinara Capital provide loan service to India’s MSMEs. Till date, Kinara Capital has disbursed 70,000 collateral-free loans. With this partnership, Kinara aims to boost its outreach in financing the MSME sector in the country. With a current AUM of INR 1000 crores, Kinara Capital plans to grow 500 per cent by the year 2025.


Social Justice and Empowerment Minister launches SRESHTA scheme for socio economic upliftment of SC students

Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Dr Virendra Kumar launched Scheme for Residential Education for Students in High Schools in Targeted Areas (SRESHTA) for socio-economic upliftment and overall development of Scheduled Castes students.  The scheme was launched on the occasion of Mahaparinirvan Diwas of Dr B R Ambedkar in New Delhi. The scheme will enable bright SC students to have a better future by getting high-quality education.  It will also aid in controlling dropout rates of SC students from class 9th to 12th. In the next five year the Ministry will extend support to around 25 thousand meritorious SC students involving 300 crore rupees for providing them quality residential education.


Centre initiates Scheme for Protection and Preservation of Endangered Languages of India

The Centre has said it has initiated a Scheme for the Protection and Preservation of Endangered Languages of India.  In a written reply in the Lok Sabha, Minister of Education Dharmendra Pradhan said the Mysuru based Central Institute of India Languages is working on the protection, preservation and documentation of all Indian languages which are spoken by less than ten thousand people. He said the scheme at present covers 117 languages.  Mr Dharmendra Pradhan also said, the National Policy of Education, 2020, provides for the medium of instruction to be in the mother tongue or the local language wherever possible, at least up to 5th standard and preferably up to 8th class.



HCL Technologies to hire 12,000 in US over 5 years

HCL Technologies will hire 12,000 people in the US over the next five years. Nearly 2,000 of the new jobs will go to college graduates over the next three years, HCL said, adding it will focus its recruitment drive on seven states. Hiring will be done across roles including in IT consulting, cloud, data analytics and digital engineering.

UAE to move its weekend to Saturday and Sunday from Jan 1, 2022

The United Arab Emirates (UAE), which currently has a Sunday-Thursday working week, will switch its weekend to Saturday and Sunday from January 1, 2022. It will also adopt a four-and-a-half-day working week as the country looks to bring itself more in line with other countries. Friday, a holy day in Islam, will be a half-day in the UAE.

US marks 80th anniversary of Pearl Harbor attack by Japan during WW2

The US on Tuesday will mark the 80th anniversary of the attack on the US naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, carried out by Japan on December 7, 1941, during World War II. The US defeated Japan after dropping two atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing hundreds of thousands of civilians in August 1945.

Anil Menon, son of Indian immigrant, among NASA's 10 new astronaut recruits

NASA has announced 10 new astronaut candidates chosen from over 12,000 applicants to train for future missions. Anil Menon, born to Indian and Ukrainian immigrants, is among the recruits. Menon is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force and was SpaceX's first flight surgeon. He earlier served NASA as crew flight surgeon for various expeditions on the ISS.

'Earth's Black Box' with steel walls to be built in Aus to gather all climate data

A bus-sized steel box will be built in Australia to record data sets, measurements and interactions relating to the Earth's health. The 'Earth's Black Box' will have 3-inch thick steel walls and storage drives inside with storage for up to 50 years. The purpose of the device is to provide an account of events that led to the climate crisis.




Joint military exercise between India and Maldives begins at Kadhdhoo Island

The 11th edition of Exercise EKUVERIN between India and Maldives will be conducted at Kadhdhoo Island, Maldives. It will conclude on 19th of this month.  The exercise will enhance synergy and inter-operability between Armed Forces of both the nations in terms of understanding transnational terrorism both on land and at sea, conducting Counter-Terrorism and Counter-Insurgency Operations and sharing best military practices and experiences.


Cambridge Dictionary names ‘perseverance’ Word of the Year 2021

Cambridge Dictionary has announced perseverance as its Word of the Year 2021.  It’s a word that perfectly captures the undaunted will of people across the world to never give up, despite the many challenges of 2021.  And, of course, the global interest in the NASA mission to Mars. Keep reading for practical resources to use in your classroom to teach about the Word of the Year 2021.








RIL forms $2 billion production JV with Abu Dhabi chemical company

Reliance Industries and Abu Dhabi state-owned Chemicals Derivatives Company (TA'ZIZ) have agreed to start a more than $2 billion chemical production partnership in Ruwais, Abu Dhabi. The joint venture will construct and operate a chloralkali, ethylene dichloride (EDC) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) production facility. The project marks Reliance's first investment in the MENA region, TA'ZIZ said.

Deposit $5 million in two weeks or face liquidation: Madras HC to SpiceJet

The Madras High Court has stayed its earlier order of winding up SpiceJet and appointing an official liquidator for SpiceJet's non-payment of $24 million to Credit Suisse AG. The Madras High Court has now asked SpiceJet to deposit $5 million within a period of two weeks. "The company is examining the order and shall initiate appropriate remedial steps," SpiceJet said.



PNB launches android app for differently-abled employees

Punjab National Bank (PNB) said it has launched PNB Pride-CRMD module tool, an android-based application for differently-abled employees, to monitor and effectively follow up with the special mention account (SMA) borrowers.  This tool shall be compatible with iOS also very soon, it said. SMA accounts are stressed loans recognized early, enabling banks to initiate timely remedial actions, and preventing such borrowers from slipping to non-performing asset (NPA).


Paytm partners AWS to offer its startup toolkit for entrepreneurs

India’s leading digital ecosystem for consumers and merchants, Paytm, has partnered with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to offer its startup toolkit to startups onboarded on AWS Activate, a program that offers startups free tools, resources, and more to quickly get started on AWS.  Paytm will help entrepreneurs operating in India in the AWS Activate program grow their businesses with payment, distribution, and growth solutions.  The Paytm startup toolkit is a single-stop platform that offers solutions in the domain of payments, payouts, banking and distribution with services including Paytm Payment Gateway, which helps businesses accept digital payments on their website, app; Paytm Payouts, which helps companies streamline their payments to employees, vendors, distributors and channel partners; and Paytm Payments Bank including nodal banking, which provides truly digital banking.


Aditya Birla Health Insurance launches plan for senior citizens

Aditya Birla Health Insurance Co. Ltd. (ABHICL), the health insurance subsidiary of Aditya Birla Capital Limited (ABCL) – a significant non-bank financial services’ conglomerate – has launched a new plan called Activ Health Essential, an affordable health solution plan for the special.  This plan will offer coverage from day one of chronic health management, along with optional benefits to waive off mandatory co-payment.  The senior citizen plan also comes with counselling support and health coaching features that are so important for senior citizens.




ITF World Tour Championships: Pranjala beats Sowjanya to clinch women’s singles title

Pranjala Yadlapalli clinched the KSLTA ITF World Tour Championships women’s singles title beating Sowjanya Bhavisetti, in Bengaluru.  Yadlapalli, who played two back-to-back three-setters in her quarterfinal and semifinal matches and suffering cramps, dreaded yet another three-setter in the title clash against statemate Sowjanya.  After being 3-5 down in the first set, she went all out to claim the set 7-5 and breezed through the second after initial hiccups to win the Championships. This was Pranjala’s fourth ITF title of her career.


India dethrone New Zealand to reclaim top spot in ICC Test Rankings

India beat New Zealand by 372 runs in the second test at Mumbai to win the two-match series 1-0. India mopped up the New Zealand lower order within 40 minutes of play on day four at the Wankhede Stadium. Chasing a mammoth 540, the Black Caps were bowled out for 167 in 56.3 overs.  With this Virat Kohli and his men dethroned New Zealand in the latest ICC Test championships rankings and climbed to the top spot. India now has 124 rating points, while New Zealand lost three points and remains with 121 points. The victory in Mumbai also meant that India registered their 14th consecutive series win at home. Kohli became the first player with 50 international wins in each format of the game.  They are followed by Australia (108), England (107), Pakistan (92), South Africa (88), Sri Lanka (83), West Indies (75), Bangladesh (49) and Zimbabwe (31).


Hamilton wins 3rd straight in chaotic Saudi Arabian F1 race

Lewis Hamilton passed Max Verstappen with six laps remaining to win the chaotic inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix and pull even on points with his rival as Formula One’s thrilling championship race heads into the title-deciding finale.  Valtteri Bottas finished third to put both Mercedes drivers on the podium. Esteban Ocon of Alpine was fourth and followed by Daniel Ricciardo of McLaren.


Argentina lift Junior Hockey WC title after defeating Germany 4-2

Argentina lifted the coveted trophy of the Junior Men’s Hockey World Cup after defeating Germany, 4-2 in the Summit Clash in Bhubaneswar.  Argentina’s forward Lautaro Domene made all the difference in the match with his hat-trick and then in the last minute Agostini sealed the championship trophy with his brilliant goal.




Adama Barrow re-elected The Gambia’s president

Adama Barrow has comfortably won a second term in The Gambia’s presidential election, with thousands of supporters celebrating and opponents disputing the results.  Barrow garnered 53 percent of the vote, according to results released by the electoral commission. His main challenger Ousainou Darboe won 27.7 percent.


Alka Upadhyaya appointed chairperson of National Highways Authority of India (NHAI)

The Government has appointed Alka Upadhyaya as chairperson of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). Upadhyaya is a 1990-batch IAS officer of Madhya Pradesh cadre and is serving as Additional Secretary, Department of Rural Development.

Other Appointments :

  • The Additional Secretary, Ministry of Ports, Sanjay Bandopadhyay has been appointed as chairman of Inland Waterways Authority of India. Dharmendra S Gangwar as Secretary, Department of Border Management.
  • Sundeep Kumar Nayak as Director-General, National Productivity Council, Department for Promotion of Industry & Internal Trade.
  • Upma Srivastava as Secretary, National Commission for Scheduled Castes. Juthika Patankar as Secretary, Central Information Commission.



Dr Sarada Menon, India’s First Woman Psychiatrist, passes away

Sarada Menon, the longest-serving head of the Institute of Mental Health, died in Chennai. She was 98.  She is the country’s first woman psychiatrist and was honoured with Padma Bhushan in 1992. She founded the Schizophrenia Research Foundation (SCARF India) in 1984 along with psychiatrist R. Thara.  Menon was honoured with Padma Bhushan in 1992. In 2016, she was bestowed with the Avvaiyar Award by the Tamil Nadu government.






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