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President of Indonesia, Joko Widodoi Visits India to Enhance Strategic Partnership
i. President of Indonesia, Mr. Joko Widodoi was on a three day visit to India from December 11-December 13, 2016, at the invitation of Prime Minister of India, Mr. Narendra Modi. Jokowi was accompanied by his spouse, Iriana Widodo, several cabinet ministers, senior officials and a 22-member very high level business delegation from Indonesia.
ii. This was the first visit of President Joko Widodo to India after coming to power in October 2014.
iii. India and Indonesia signed three agreements in various areas to enhance strategic partnership.
1.MoU on Youth Affairs and Sports Cooperation.
2.MoU on Standardization Cooperation.
3.Joint Communiqué on on Ilegal and Unauthorised Fishing.
PM Modi Inaugurates Cheese Plant at Palanpur, Gujarat
i. The Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, attended a programme organized by the Banaskantha Cooperative Milk Producers Union (Banas Dairy) at Deesa in Gujarat on December 10, 2016 to celebrate the Golden Jubilee year of the Dairy.
ii. On this occasion, the Prime Minister unveiled a plaque by remote control, to mark the inauguration of a cheese plant and whey drying plant at Palanpur.
iii. Addressing the gathering, PM Modi said that Union Government is working tirelessly for welfare of the poor. He encouraged people to use e-banking and e-wallets. He said India wants progress and for that, the evils of corruption and black money must end.
Banas Dairy :
♦ Banas Dairy is a dairy based in Banaskantha district of Gujarat, India and is Asia’s No.1 in milk production.
♦ Founded: 1969
♦ Headquarter: Palanpur, Gujarat, India
♦ Chairman: Shankarbhai Chaudhary
Punjab Launches its Ambitious Amphibian Bus ‘Harike Cruise’
i. The Punjab government launched first of its kind, amphibious bus project “Harike Cruise” at the Harike wetland near Amritsar on December 12, 2016, almost after two years of announcing the launch.
ii. The bus was launched by the Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal who took the inaugural ride with sister Praneet Kaur Kairon and other officials including media.
iii. The vehicle, which can run both on land and water, was imported from Swedish automobile company Scania and was reassembled in Goa before being brought to Harike.
iv. The overall cost of the bus has is about Rs 11 crore.
Uttar Pradesh Government Approves Recommendation of Seventh Pay Commission
i. Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav led Uttar Pradesh Cabinet approved the recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission on December 13, 2016.
ii .The pay hike will be applicable from January 1, 2017.
iii. The pay hike is likely to benefit 21 lakh state employees, teachers, and pensioners of the
state. However, it will add a burden of Rs 24,000 crores on the state government.
iv. Under the 7th Pay Commission recommendations, the state government employees will get about 10-15 per cent hike in their salaries.
v. According to the salary structure recommended by the 7th Pay Commission, basic salary of the lowest rank employee will be around Rs 18,000 while for the highest office of Chief second will be around Rs 2.25 lakh.
vi. Akhilesh Yadav government may organise a meeting around December 21 to allocate required amount for the implementation of the 7th Pay Commission recommendations.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj Named in Top 100 Global Thinkers 2016 list
i. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has been named among the top 100 global thinker by the US based Foreign Policy magazine.
ii. Swaraj was named in the Global Thinkers of 2016 Lis tunder the ‘Decision-makers’ category along with the Democratic nominee for US President Hillary Clinton, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US Attorney General Loretta Lynch among others.
iii. Apart from Swaraj, the magazine also listed the co-founders of Sampark Foundation, Anupama Nayar and Vineet Nayar, under the ‘the Moguls’ category for transforming learning techniques in Schools.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on 3 Day Visit to Mauritius
i. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar was on a three days visit to Mauritius from December 10 to December 12, 2016 to strengthen close political and bilateral strategic ties between the two countries.
ii. This was the first ever visit by a Defence Minister of India to Mauritius. He was accompanied by senior officers of the Indian Navy, Indian Air Force and Ministry of Defence.
iii. During the visit Defence Minister will commission a fast patrol vessel, CGS Victory, for the Coast Guard of Mauritius and hand over two upgraded Cheetah helicopters to the local police of the country.
iv. CGS Victory, a Water Jet Fast Attack Craft (WFAC), was manufactured by the Goa Shipyard Limited and funded by a Government of India Line of Credit that will enable the National Coast Guard of Mauritius to tackle transnational crimes such as drug and human trafficking, piracy, smuggling and terrorism.
v. The two Chetak helicopters build by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), have an operational life of 15 years and enhance for Search and Rescue operations, emergency evacuations and Anti-Cannabis cultivation operations in Mauritius.
vi .Indian Minister will meet with the President of Mauritius on December 11, 2016 and on board the offshore patrol vessel Barracuda, the first warship to be exported by India that was commissioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Mauritius in 2015.
vii. Parrikar will also board INS Darshak which is a hydrographic survey ship of the Indian navy and at present is in Mauritian waters.
European Union Signs Deal with Cuba to Normalize Relations
i. The European Union (EU) and Cuba signed a deal in Brussels on December 12, 2016, to normalize relations, change interaction on human rights issues and increase already existing business ties between Europe and Cuba.
ii. Cuba was the only Latin American country that had no “dialogue and cooperation” deal with the 28-nation EU covering issues such as trade, human rights and migration.
iii. The deal was signed to end a 20-year policy, which stated that Cuba first had to improve its human rights record before getting closer links with the bloc.
iv. The accord was signed by Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla, EU Foreign Affairs Chief Federica Mogherini and representatives from the EU member states at a Brussels ceremony.
v. The aim of the agreement is to create a more transparent and predictable atmosphere for economic operators and increase their economic capacity to produce, trade and create jobs.
♦ Capital: Havana
♦ President: Raul Castro
♦ Currencies: Cuban peso, Cuban convertible peso
BANKING & FINANCE
UBI adopts two villages in Tripura to implement schemes in line of digital India programme
i. Kolkata based United Bank of India has adopted Patunagar and Sachindranagar Colony in the state of Tripura to implement schemes in the line of digital India program.UBI will make necessary steps to change the villages into truly cashless villages.
ii. To implement this initiative, the bank has begun campaign to empower villagers to use various mobile applications like Mobile banking, United UPI, e-Passbook etc to facilitate their everyday banking operations.
iii. The Bank has also planned to provide free Wi-Fi internet connectivity for the two villages towards uninterrupted access to digital and net connectivity.
United Bank of India :
♦ CEO: P. Srinivas
♦ Headquarters: Kolkata
♦ Founded: 1950
LIC MF & Standard Chartered Bank to Partner for UPI
i. LIC Mutual Fund Asset Management Company on December 12, 2016, announced its readiness on Unified Payment Interface (UPI) in partnership with Standard Chartered Bank as mode of payment for its investors to invest in its schemes.
ii. UPI is a payment mechanism which allows instant money transfer without bank details. Instead of bank account number and IFSC code, the virtual payment address is used to pay through the UPI.
iii. UPI platform would help retail investors to participate actively in mutual fund investment opportunities making the transaction experience user-friendly and hassle free.
iv. Initially the company will offer the solution only to existing investors through web based online investment channel for lump-sum purchase, which will soon be extended for SIP purchase as well, for existing, new and first time investors in LIC Mutual Fund.
Standard Chartered Bank :
♦ Standard Chartered is a British multinational banking and financial services company. It is a universal bank with operations in consumer, corporate and institutional banking, and treasury services.
♦ Founded: 1969
♦ Headquarter: London
♦ Chairman: Sir John Peace
Yes Bank ties with Grofers to deliver cash at doorstep
i. Yes Bank has tied-up with e-grocer Grofers to deliver cash at doorstep, allowing customers to get cash of up to Rs 2,000 when they order grocery online.
ii. The cash delivery service started operating from December 12, 2016, to all customers of bank across Mumbai, Gurgaon and Bengaluru. Other cities will be added to the list gradually.
iii. Customers who wish to get the money will have to buy grocery of minimum of Rs 2,000 and pair it with a special code.
iv. Grofers delivery executives will carry PoS machines (powered by Yes Bank) where customers can swipe and get cash direct at their homes
v. Earlier, Yes Bank had partnered with app-cab service Ola to deliver cash-on-demand at doorstep.
♦ Headquarters: Maharashtra
♦ CEO: Rana Kapoor
Venezuela bans 100 bolivars banknote to fight black money
i. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has signed an emergency order to ban country’s largest banknote 100 bolivars banknote to be taken out of circulation in the next 72 hours
ii. The decision was taken by Venezuelan government to fight smuggling and food scarcity
iii. Venezuela also shutting down its western border with Colombia for 72 hours in order to combat currency smuggling
iv. Venezuela government were given 10 days time to exchange 100-bolivar notes for new coins and bills that would range in value from 500 to 20,000 bolivars. New currencies are slated to be introduced on December 15.
♦ Capital: Caracas
♦ Currency: Venezuelan bolívar
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
Cristiano Ronaldo defeats Lionel Messi to win Ballon d’Or 2016
i. Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid, beat rival Lionel Messi to win the prestigious Ballon d’Or award for a fourth time.
ii. Ronaldo, 31, previously won the award in 2008 as well as in 2013 and 2014.
iii. Lionel Messi took the honour for a fifth time last year. Atletico Madrid’s French forward Antoine Griezmann finished third in the vote.
♦ The Ballon d’Or is voted for by 173 journalists from around the world.It has been awarded by France Football every year since 1956, but for the past six years it became the Fifa Ballon d’Or in association with world football’s governing body and was awarded to the world’s best player.
♦ However, Fifa ended its association with the award in September.Fifa will hand out its own prize for the world’s best men’s player, along with the best women’s player and team of the year, at the Best Fifa Football Awards ceremony in Zurich on 9 January.
Indian Origin Apoorva Mehta, Vivek Ramaswamy Listed In Forbes List Of US’ Richest Entrepreneurs Under 40
i. Two Indians have been listed in Forbes magazine’s second annual list of wealthiest entrepreneurs under the age of 40.
ii. Vivek Ramaswamy, a successful biotech entrepreneur has been ranked 24th on ‘America’s Richest Entrepreneurs Under 40 2016’ list having a networth of 600 million dollars while Apoorva Mehta stands at 31st spot with a 360 million dollars networth.
iii. Ramaswamy, 31, a Harvard University and Yale School of Management alumnus, is in the biotech business along with deals and drug development plans.
iv. Apoorva Mehta after engineering from University of Waterloo worked at Blackberry, Qualcomm, and then Amazon. In 2012, he cofounded Instacart, a grocery delivery service that partners with grocery chains.
v. The list has been topped by Zuckerberg, whose Facebook shares and net worth is now worth USD 50 billion.
vi. Newcomers to the 2016 ranks include NBA stars Kobe Bryant and LeBron James and boxer Floyd Mayweather as well as pop star Beyonce and actress-turned-consumer products marketer Jessica Alba. All five of these superstars have net worths that range from USD 275 million to USD 350 million.
Forbes List Of US’ Richest Entrepreneurs Under 40
♦ To be eligible for the list, individuals had to be under the age of 40. These entrepreneurs also have to reside in the US and requires to have made their own fortunes in this country.
PV Sindhu wins BWF Most Improved Player award
i. Rio Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu awarded with Badminton World Federation (BWF) Most Improved Player of the Year award at the Players’ Reception and Gala Dinner in Dubai on December 12, 2016
ii. BWF also unveiled the first five Integrity Ambassadors for their “i am badminton” programme includes Misaki Matsutomo, Ayaka Takanashi, Viktor Axelsen, Christinna Pedersen and Saina Newhal
Other Winners :
♦ Male Player of the Year award – Lee Chong Wei from Malaysia
♦ Female Player of the Year award – Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi from Japan
Badminton World Federation (BWF) :
Headquarters: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Google’s Pulkit Trivedi joins Facebook India as new Industry Director
i. Google’s former Head of Industry, e-commerce Pulkit Trivedi was appointed as Industry Director for e-commerce, retail, travel and financial services verticals of Facebook on December 12, 2016
ii. Pulkit has 18 years of extensive industry experience covering sales, business development and partnerships. He has worked in Google, Intel, Microsoft, IBM and HCL.
Key People of Facebook :
♦ CEO: Mark Zuckerberg
♦ India Head :Umang Bedi
Priyanka Chopra is UNICEF global ambassador, joins David Beckham and Jackie Chan.
i. Bollywood Actress Priyanka Chopra is appointed as UNICEF Global Goodwill Ambassador for campaign “For Every Child.”
ii. Chopra would be joined with Jackie Chan, Orlando Bloom and David Beckham to works towards protecting children’s rights around the world.
♦ CEO: Anthony Lake
♦ Headquarters: New York , USA
Akbar Ebrahim elected as the president of FMSCI
i. Veteran Akbar Ebrahim has been elected as the president of Chennai based Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI) at the FMSCI Annual General Meeting, which was held in Chennai on December 12, 2016. He will replace Zayn Khan.
ii. J Prithiviraj was elected as the vice-president and also councillors were elected for various motor clubs.
Mutated fish becomes 8,000 times more resistant to toxic waste discovered in US
i. US Scientists have discovered a Mutated fish in the east coast of the US, which has evolved to be 8,000 times more resilient to toxic waste.
ii. The small striped ‘mud minnow’, or killifish, is known for living in heavily polluted estuaries such as New Jersey’s Newark Bay and Virginia’s Elizabeth River.
iii. The mix of dioxins, polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB), and heavy metals in these sites were anywhere up to 8,000 times the level that would make most killifish go belly-up.
iv. Researchers have shown surveys that lets them endure toxic waste.They collected 400 Atlantic killifish from a number of heavily polluted sites along the US East Coast and sequenced their genomes.
Faf du Plessis the new test captain of South Africa as AB de Villiers steps down
i. Faf du Plessis is the new full time Test captain of South Africa after AB de Villiers voluntarily stepped down from captaincy. The decision taken by deVilliers was to focus more on his fitness as he has undergone an elbow surgery recently.
ii. Under the captaincy of Faf du Plessis South Africa defeated Australia last month in both test and ODI. However that time Faf was just a provisional captain. But now he has been appointed as the full time test captain by Cricket South Africa (CSA).
iii. However AB de Villiers will remain the captain of the One Day International team. Faf Du Plessis is also the T-20 captain of South Africa.
iv. De Villiers was appointed as test captain in January 2016 following Hashim Amla’s resignation.
India’s Pankaj Advani beats Singapore’s Peter Gilchrist to clinch his 11th World Billiards Championship
i. Indian snooker player Pankaj Advani won the IBSF World Billiards Championship in Bengaluru on December 12, 2016.
ii. The Indian cueist, Advani beat multiple world champion, Peter Gilchrist of Singapore by 6-3 in the final match to claim his 11th World Billiards Championship and 16th overall world title.
iii. Pankaj Advani defeated Myanmar’s Aung Htay in the semi-finals to enter into the final game with Peter Gilchrist.
Adelaide Oval, Australia to host first ever Day and Night Ashes
i. Cricket Australia (CA) has announced that the first ever Day and Night Ashes test match will be played at Adelaide Oval from 2-6 December 2017. Out of the 5 match test series this will be the 2nd test match which will be the first day and night Ashes.
ii. The 5 matches test series will be followed by 5 matches One Day International and a 6 match T20 tri series with England and New Zealand. The Adelaide stadium has earlier hosted the first-ever day and night Test match that was played using a pink ball.
iii. The Ashes is a Test cricket series played between England and Australia and the first match was played in Melbourne, Australia, in 1877 .
BOOKS & AUTHORS
Ravindra Kumar, First IAS Officer To Scale Mt Everest Pens Motivational Book
i. Ravindra Kumar, the first IAS officer as well as the first Seafarer of India, to climb the Mount Everest has written a motivational book for students, which was released by the Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha on December 12, 2016 in New Delhi
ii. The book titled ‘Many Everests: An Inspiring Journey of Transforming Dream into Reality’ is penned by Ravindra Kumar, a 2011 batch IAS officer.
iii. In the book, Kumar has shared the secrets of his success and his journey of the deep sea, where he spent almost a decade as a seafarer before climbing the Mt Everest.
iv. The book is motivational in nature and deals with the ups and downs of Kumar’s life and how he avoided the negatives and focused on positives to realise his dream.
v. The book has the capacity to change people’s life by teaching them a positive way of life and giving them a miraculous tool to success called ‘Advanced Positive Visualization’.
vi. Ravindra Kumar is at present posted as Chief Development Officer of Sitapur district in Uttar Pradesh. He is also an adventure sports lover. He was awarded with Sikkim Khel Ratna Award and Vishesh Khel Samman.