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In a Landmark move, Chinese lawmakers have adopted first bill against domestic violence and counter-terrorism law to bring traditionally silent abuse victims under legal protection & to address terrorism at home and help maintain world security respectively. Both laws will go into effect in March 2016.
- According to the domestic violence bill, victims and those in immediate danger can file a personal protection order and the court must rule within 72 hours. In urgent cases, decisions must be made within 24 hours.
- The domestic violence law also applies to those in cohabitation, meaning those who are not related but living together.
According to a report by the UK think tank Centre for Economics Business and Research (CEBR), India could become the world’s third largest economy after 2030.
- India’s projected GDP in 2030 was USD 10,133 billion, behind China’s USD 34,338 bn and America’s USD 32,996 bn.
Dubai to host multi-event yoga initiative
In a bid to encourage people to meditate and maintain a healthy lifestyle, Dubai is going to host the city’s largest all-inclusive yoga initiative.
- The new yoga initiative will also encompass a two-day mega festival of the body and mind dubbed XYoga Dubai Festival.
- The festival is scheduled to take place from February 19 to 20, 2016.
With sessions available for people of all ages and abilities, the festival will host yoga classes such as Vinyasa Yoga to AcroYoga as well as meditation and healthy eating workshops for complete beginners, pre-trained instructors, pregnant women, children, elderly and more.
Greek Parliament legalises same-sex marriages
Greece’s parliament has approved legislation legalising civil partnerships for gay couples, two years after the country was condemned by a European Court for discrimination.
- Lawmakers voted 193-56 in favour of the bill to extend civil partnerships to same-sex couples but provisions regarding family law that could pave the way for adoption applications were dropped before the vote.
Several hundred pro-gay rights protesters gathered outside parliament before the vote, under a large banner that read “Love is the law”.
Greece Capital – Athens
Greece Currency – Euro
BANKING & FINANCE
FCI, nodal agency for procurement and distribution of foodgrains has raised Rs 30,000 crore as a short-term loan from 15 consortiums of banks including SBI and PNB to meet working capital requirements.
- The state run FCI is facing a liquidity crunch as its subsidy arrears are estimated to cross Rs 58,000 crore by March 2016 against Rs 50,000 crore at the start of this fiscal.
- The loan has been raised at average interest rate of 9.6% and is for the period of 150 days.
- Maximum amount of Rs 10,000 crore has been raised from PNB, followed by Rs 7,000 crore from SBI and remaining from others including public and private sector banks
SIDBI Clears $140M from Fund-of-Funds to Support VCs in India
Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) has cleared $140 million (Rs 930 crore) from the $302 million (Rs 2,000 crore) fund-of-funds that was launched in August to support venture capital funds.
- SIDBI’s aspiration Fund will be making investment in venture capital funds (VCF) to meet MSME startups equity requirement.
- 24 venture capital funds for an aggregate commitment of Rs 930 crore have been cleared in principle by the venture capital investment committee (VCIC) so far, out of which sanction letters have already been issued to 16 VCFs with an aggregate commitment of Rs 482 crore, where documentation is in progress.
SIDBI CEO – Kshatrapati Shivaji
SIDBI Headquarter – Lucknow
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
RBI institutes “Payment System Innovation Awards”
In order to encourage innovators in India in the area of Payment and Settlement System, the Reserve Bank of India has announced “Payment System Innovation Awards”. Broad areas of innovation which could be considered for the awards are:
- Mobile payments
- Customer convenience and cost reduction
- Use of emerging technologies for payments
- Payment security including fraud prevention
- Acceptance /electronic payment infrastructure
The contest would be organised by the Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology (IDRBT), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Reserve Bank. Three best innovators will be rewarded with citations/prizes. They will also get an opportunity to present their ideas to industry representatives.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
The anti-jamming capability of the air-to-air Astra missile was successfully validated in recent trials conducted by missile scientists of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
- After carrying out some more trials, including air launch trial with a warhead, the beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) is set to be inducted into the Indian Air Force in 2016.
The ECCM (electronic counter-counter measure) features of the missile to overcome any jamming were evaluated.
DCB Bank, M2P launches mobile wallet service YAP
Maharashtra headquartered DCB Bank and M2P, a digital payment solutions company, have jointly launched a new platform YAP for wallet services.
- The Bank’s digital wallet can be embedded into any website or mobile application and has a high level of security, reliability and trust.
- It includes a host of features including one-click checkout and instant processing of refunds as well as voucher and coupon offers.
Further, customers have the option to add a Visa Prepaid Card linked to their digital wallets to power online commerce transactions and payments to offline merchants.
Aircraft-carrier INS Viraat wins its last regatta
Aircraft-carrier INS Viraat won the coveted Cock Trophy during the Western Fleet Whaler Pulling Regatta making it the last time the warship participated in the event before she is decommissioned. The INS Viraat will be called the Cock Ship till the next regatta.
Coveted Cock Trophy :
- Winner : INS Viraat
- Runner-up :INS Vikramaditya
Vice-Admiral S.P.S. Cheema, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Mumbai-based Western Naval Command, presided over the finals as the chief guest and also gave away the prizes to the winners.
Key facts :
- The whaler is a 27-foot-long boat that is rowed by five men called ‘pullers’ using 15 to 17-foot-long oars who cover a distance of 1.3 km.
- INS Viraat, which is expected to be decommissioned sometime next year, had first served the British Navy for over 30 years before being bought by India.
- It was inducted into the Indian Navy in 1987 after undergoing extensive refits.
Gold coins found in 2,000-yr-old China tomb
Archaeologists have unearthed a record number of gold coins and plates, 378 in total from a 2,000-year-old Han dynasty tomb in east China.
About Gold coins :
- The new finds include 20 thin plates about 22 centimetres long and 10 centimetres wide.
- It is the largest discovery of gold coins in any Han Dynasty tomb.
- The gold coins, most of which weigh about 250g, were unearthed from the tomb of the first “Haihunhou” (Marquis of Haihun) in Nanchang city, capital of east China’s Jiangxi province.
The tomb dates back to western Han dynasty (206 BC-24 AD) and it is thought to belong to Liu He, grandson of Emperor Wu.
Chennai techie lifts Indian Crossword League trophy
Ramki Krishnan of Chennai emerged the winner of the Indian Crossword League (IXL) 2015 and lifted the National Crossword Champion Trophy. The 16 finalists were selected on the basis of the final Leader board formed after 10 online weekly rounds.
- The event also marked the 100 years of the first published crossword whose creator was Arthur Wynne and which appeared in the Christmas-eve edition of New York World.
About Indian Crossword League (IXL) 2015 :
- The IXL 2015 was launched by West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi in Kolkata on September 27.
- Organised by the Patna-based Extra-C,a non-profit organisation, the IXL aims to bring Indian crossword enthusiasts across the globe on a common competitive platform in order to promote a fun-filled intellectual pursuit.
Shiva Keshavan wins silver at Asian Championship
Seasoned Indian luger Shiva Keshavan won a silver medal at the Asian Championship in Nagano.
- The race consisted of two heats closely contested by athletes. Though in the first heat Shiva was a mere 2/10th of a second behind, minor technical snags cost him the gold medal in the second heat.
|Gold||Japan’s Hidenari Kanayama|
|Siver||Indian luger Shiva Keshavan|
|Bronze||Korea’s Dong Hyeon Kim.|
- Shiva will continue the season by participating in three of the remaining World Cups, all to be held in Germany.
- The season will end with the Homologation of the Olympic Track in Korea, where selected athletes will be able to preview and test the track there.
- Shiva had won two gold, a silver and two bronze medals in the previous editions of the event.
Andhra Pradesh to host 2019 National Games
National Games in 2019 would be held in Andhra Pradesh, Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh (SAAP) Chairman P R Mohan
Pakistan’s Yasir Shah suspended for doping: ICC
Pakistan’s leg-spinner Yasir Shah was on 27 Dec 2015 provisionally suspended for failing a dope test by the International Cricket Council (ICC).
- “Shah has been charged with an anti-doping rule violation on a sample he provided in an in-competition test,” an ICC statement announced.
- “The test, conducted on 13 November 2015, was found to contain the presence of chlortalidone, a Prohibited Substance which appears in Section 5 of the World Anti-Doping Agency list (in the category of Specified Substances).”
Belarussian girl Aryna wins ITF singles title
Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus won the biggest pay cheque of her career after beating Viktoria Kamenskaya of Russia in straight sets to win the singles title in the $25,000 NECC-ITF women’s tennis tournament at the Deccan Gymkhana
- Aryna’s only other title triumph was at the USD 10,000 ITF Women’s tournament in Antalya, Turkey early this year, where she also won the doubles title.
Renowned science-fiction writer George Clayton Johnson died
Popular science-fiction writer George Clayton Johnson, who penned the script for the first Star Trek episode, The Man Trap, passed away on 25 December 2015 due to cancer in Los Angeles, California. He was 86.