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Government notifies rules for in-flight, maritime mobile phone services termed Flight and Maritime Connectivity Rules, 2018
On 14th December 2018, Government notified rules for in-flight calls, internet access through mobile phones known as Flight and Maritime Connectivity Rules, 2018,thereby allowing Indian & foreign airlines and shipping companies operating in the country to provide in-flight and maritime voice & data services in partnership with a valid Indian telecom licence holder.
i.This shall come into force on the date of their publication in the Official Gazette.
ii. The in-flight and maritime connectivity (IFMC) can be provided using telecom networks on ground as well as using satellites.
iii. A valid telecom licence holder in India can provide the service through domestic and foreign satellites which have permission of the Department of Space to do so.
iv. The IFMC services will be activated once the aircraft attains a minimum height of 3,000 metres in Indian airspace to avoid interference with terrestrial mobile networks.
v. The IFMC licences will be granted against an annual fee of Re 1 for a period of 10 years and the permit holder will have to pay licence fees and spectrum charges based on revenue earned from providing services.
About Ministry of Communications:
♦ Minister: Manoj Sinha, Minister of state (Independent charge)
♦ Headquarters: Sanchar Bhawan, New Delhi
Ministry of Railways has decided to give 25% discount in haulage rate on transport of empty containers and empty flat wagons
On 14th December 2018, Ministry of Railways under Piyush Goyal decided to give a discount of 25 per cent on existing haulage rate per Twenty Feet Equivalent Unit (TEU) on the transport of empty containers as well as empty flat container wagons.
i. The move will come into force with effect from 1st January 2019 and will remain valid for one year, up to 31st December 2019 but there will be a review meeting conducted by the railways after 30 June 2019.
ii. The move is aimed to facilitate movement of containers by rail towards ports, efficient handling of traffic at ports and attract larger share of container traffic to Rail.
iii. This initiative would also fulfill the demand for container train operators (CTOs) and is expected to give a boost to container business both in imports, exports and domestic.
iv. Presently 18 private container train operator (CTO) and Container Corporation of India (CONCOR) are operating this container service.
About Ministry of Railways:
♦ Union Minister: Piyush Goyal
♦ Minister of State: Manoj Sinha, Rajen Gohain
♦ Headquarters: Rail Bhavan, New Delhi
First National Workshop on Explosives Detection inaugurated at Pune
On 14th December 2018,the first ever two days, National Workshop on Explosive Detection (NWED -2018) was Inaugurated at High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL) Pune, Maharashtra.The workshop concluded on December 15,2018.
i. Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) Chief Atulchandra Kulkarni was the chief guest of the workshop.
ii. A total of 200 delegates from different Defence Research and Development Organization(DRDO) labs, Army, CRPF, CISF, Police, Academic Institutes, Industry and other Security agencies attended the workshop.
iii.HEMRL developed, OPX-Revelator, which is a portable, miniaturised, electronic detector capable of detecting almost all the explosives widely used by antisocial elements and in Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) was unveiled in the workshop.
iv. The OPX-Revelator has the capability to detect more than 25 explosives in traces, IEDs and in the presence of contaminants like mud, sand, sugar, diesel oil etc.
♦ Chief Minister: Devendra Fadnavis
♦ Governor: C. Vidyasagar Rao
♦ National Parks (NP): Chandoli NP, Gugamal NP, Nawegaon NP, Sanjay Gandhi (Borivilli) NP, Tadoba NP
Foundation Stone of Institute of High-Altitude Medicinal Plants (IHAMP) laid in J&K
On 15th December 2018, The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for AYUSH Shri Shripad Yesso Naik and Union Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Dr. Jitendra Singh laid the foundation stone of Institute of High Altitude Medicinal Plants (IHAMP) with an estimated cost of Rs. 100 crore at Bhaderwah in District Doda in Jammu & Kashmir.
i. The institute will be a dedicated facility for research in medicinal plants found at high altitude and shall also become a major source of income for the farmers in cultivation of medicinal plants.
ii. The institute would work towards introduction of new technologies in the cultivation of local medicinal plants through intensive research, training and capacity building of the farmers.
iii. A special camp for registration under AYUSHMAN Bharat (PM-JAY) in which as many as 200 eligible beneficiaries were enrolled and were give Golden cards on the spot, was also inaugurated by Shripad Yesso Naik and Dr. Jitendra Singh on the occasion.
About Jammu & Kashmir:
♦ Governor: Satya Pal Malik
♦ Capitals: Jammu (winter), Srinagar (summer)
♦ National Parks (NP): City Forest (Salim Ali) NP, Dachigam NP, Hemis NP, Kishtwar NP, Kazinag NP
Australia recognizes west Jerusalem as capital of Israel
On 15th December 2018, Australia became one of the few countries to formally recognize West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel however it will not move its embassy from Tel Aviv until a peace settlement is reached.
i. Both Israel and the Palestinians claim Jerusalem as their Capital and this dispute is not resolved yet.
ii. USA under the leadership of Donald Trump had already recognized the disputed city as the Capital of Israel.
iii. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison also clarified that Australia will recognize the future state of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital when the city’s status is determined in a peace deal.
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
Indian American Shree Saini from USA crowned Miss India Worldwide 2018
On December 15,2018,Indian-American Shree Saini has been crowned Miss India Worldwide 2018 at 27th annual global pageant held in the Fords City of New Jersey.It is Organised by the New York-based India Festival Committee (IFC).
i. Sakshi Sinha from Australia was declared as the first runner up and Anusha Sareen from United Kingdom declared as the second runner up.
ii. In the Mrs.India Worldwide 2018 Category,India’s Mandeep Kaur Sandhu, who hails from Haryana, was declared as the winner and crowned at 27th annual global pageant.Jeya Priya Pandian from Malaysia and Kavita Malhotra Pattani from USA were declared the first and second runner ups of the Mrs India Worldwide 2018.
iii. Girls andWomen’s of Indian Origin from 17 Countries Participated in this 27th annual global pageant.The next edition of the Miss India Worldwide will be held in Mumbai in 2019.
Ashok Amritraj was honoured with the French Knight of the National Order of Merit award in Mumbai
On December 14,2018,Producer Ashok Amritraj was honoured with the French Knight of the National Order of Merit for his contribution to the world of cinema and Indo-French film industry.
i. The award was presented to him at the Closing ceremony of 2 day Indo-French Professional Meeting for the Film and Television Industry held in Mumbai,India.
ii. He had Produced Hollywood Films such as Ghost Rider:Spirit of Vengeance with Nicholas Cage and 99 Homes starring Andrew Garfield.
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Ramphal Pawar appointed as the Director of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB)
On 14th December,2018,Ramphal Pawar, a 1988-batch IPS officer of the West Bengal Cadre appointed as the Director of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).He was the Joint Secretary in National Intelligence Grid(NATGRID).
About National Crime Records Bureau:
♦ It was Set up in 1986.
♦ Head Quarter:NewDelhi.
♦ It works under Ministry of Home Affairs.
♦ National Digital Police Portal was launched on 21st August 2017.
Ashok Kumar Singh assumes charge as secretary,National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST)
On 14th December,2018,Ashok Kumar Singh,Lok Sabha Secretariat has assumed charge as Secretary, National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST).
NCST is empowered to investigate and monitor matters relating to safeguards provided for STs under the Constitution or under other laws or under Govt. order.
About National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST):
♦ Formed: 19 February 2004
♦ Headquarters:New Delhi
Ranil Wickremesinghe sworn in as PM of Sri Lanka after resignation of Mahinda Rajapaksa
On 16th December 2018, Sri Lanka’s ousted Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn into office again, two months after being removed by the President Maithripala Sirisena, thus bringing an end to weeks-long political crisis in the country.
i. Mr. Wickremsinghe was removed as Prime minister on October 26 and was replaced by Mahinda Rajapaksa who resigned on 15th December after failing to garner majority in Parliament.
ii. Mr. Wickremsinghe has been sworn in as Prime minister for the 5th time, creating a record in Sri Lanka.
iii. The reinstatement Mr. Wickremsinghe came after the Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court ruled that President Sirisena had acted illegally in November by dissolving the Parliament before it completed its four-and-a-half year term, thus rejecting the Sirisena’s attempts to hold snap elections in early January.
iv. The court later said Mahinda Rajapaksa should not exercise the powers of the office and ordered his resignation, seven weeks after he was appointed as the Prime Minister.
About Sri Lanka:
♦ Currency: Sri Lankan rupee
♦ Capitals: Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte(Administrative),Colombo (Commercial)
Virat Kohli breaks another record; now second fastest to score 25 Test Centuries after Sir Don Bradman
On 16th December 2018, Indian Cricket Team captain Virat Kohli became the second fastest player to score 25 Test Centuries after scoring 123 runs on the third day of Second Test against Australia at Perth.
i. Virat Kohli is only behind of former Australian captain and cricketing legend Sir Don Bradman.
ii. Virat Kohli also equalled Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 6 Test Centuries in Australia.
Novak Djokovic and Simona Halep named 2018 ITF world champions
On 13th December,2018,The International Tennis Federation announced that Serbia’s Novak Djokovic and Romania’s Simona Halep as the 2018 ITF World Champions.The ITF World Champions will receive their awards at the 2019 ITF World Champions Dinner on Tuesday 4 June, in Paris, during Roland Garros.
i. In Men’s Singles Category: Djokovic receives the honour for the sixth time. He won four titles including Wimbledon and the US Open, and climb from No. 22 in the rankings to secure the year-end world No. 1 position.
ii. In women’s Singles Category: It is the first year Halep has been recognised.Halep also enjoyed Grand Slam success in 2018.The Romanian has spent 40 weeks of the year ranked as world No.1.she also won the 2018 WTA Shot of the Year.
iii. In the Men’s Doubles Category:USA’s Mike Bryan and Jack Sock will receive the award. It will be the 12th time Bryan has received the award but the first time Sock has been honoured.
iv. In the Women’s Doubles Category: Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova won the award.
About International Tennis Federation(ITF):
♦ President: David Haggerty
♦ HeadQuarter: London, United Kingdom
PV Sindhu Won BWF World Tour Finals 2018
On December 16,2018,BWF(Badminton World Federation) World Tour 2018,officially known as HSBC BWF World Tour Finals 2018,concluded in Tianhe,Guangzhou, China.It was the final tournament of the 2018 BWF World Tour.It was inaugurated from 12th December 2018.The total Prize of the Championship is $1,500,000.
Rio Olympics Silver medallist PV Sindhu,became the first Indian to win gold in the Badminton World Federation (BWF) World Tour.She defeated Japanese Nozomi Okuhara by 21-19, 21-17 in 62 minutes,to claim the top honours of the season-ending event and her first title of the year.With the win, Sindhu also equalled her head-to-head record with Okuhara to 6-6.
World No. 2 Chinese Shi Yuqi defeated Japan’s Kento Momota.This is Yuqi’s third title of the season to add to his triumphs at the All England Open and the India Open.
|Men’s Singles||Shi Yuqi(China)||Kento Momota (Japan)|
|Women’s Singles||P. V. Sindhu(India)||Nozomi Okuhara (Japan)|
|Men’s Doubles||Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen(China)||Hiroyuki Endo and Yuta Watanabe(Japan)|
|Women’s Doubles||Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi(Japan)||Lee So-hee and Shin Seung-chan(South Korea)|
|Mixed Doubles||Wang Yilü and Huang Dongping(China)||Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong(China)|
♦ President: Poul-Erik Høyer Larsen
♦ Headquarters: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Nation celebrates Vijay Diwas to commemorate India’s victory over Pakistan in 1971 war on December 16
On 16th December 2018, the nation celebrated Vijay Diwas to commemorate India’s victory over Pakistan in 1971 war – the war for the Independence of Bangladesh from Pakistan.
i. The day marks the end of Bangladesh Liberation War, when the chief of the Pakistani forces, General Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi, along with 93 thousand troops, had surrendered unconditionally to the allied forces consisting of Indian Army and Mukti Bahini, led by Lieutenant General Jagjit Singh Aurora in Dhaka.
ii. The war which lasted only 13 days led to one of the biggest surrenders and resulted in subsequent secession of East Pakistan into Bangladesh. Over 3,800 Indian soldiers were martyred in the war.
iii. A 72-member delegation of war veterans and Mukti Jodhas, led by parliamentarian Ms. Quazi Rosy from Bangladesh are taking part in Vijay Diwas celebrations.
Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore flags off special marathon ‘Soldierathon’ in New Delhi
i. On the occasion of Vijay Diwas, Sports Minister Col Rajyavardhan Rathore flagged off a special marathon ‘Soldierathon’ in the honour of Martyrs and wounded Soldiers at JLN Stadium in New Delhi.
ii. The marathon which witnessed the participation of Wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt and former cricketer Gautam Gambhir besides 12 thousand participants was held in five categories.
iii. The Indian Army’s Artificial Limb Centre will be donated the proceeds from the event so that the wounded soldiers acquire state-of-the-art prosthesis at the Paraplegic Rehabilitation Centre.