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Centre to rename 3 islands of Andaman & Nicobar
The Centre has reportedly decided to rename Ross Island, Neil Island and Havelock Island in Andaman and Nicobar as Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Island, Shaheed Dweep and Swaraj Dweep respectively.

Japan Formally Announces IWC Withdrawal to Resume Commercial Whaling
In a landmark policy shift, Japan formally announced that it would withdraw from the International Whaling Commission (IWC) and resume commercial whaling in its territorial waters next year for the first time in more than 30 years.

Gitega named as the new capital of Burundi
The government of Burundi has declared Gitega as the country’s new political capital on 22nd December 2018. Bujumbura, the previous capital of Burundi will serve as the economic capital of the country. President Nkurunziza had made this promise of shifting the capital in 2007 which has been implemented now.

Japan gives Rs 6668.46 cr loan for developing projects in India
India will receive loan to the tune of Rs 6668.46 crore from Japan for various development projects. The loan will used to develop the phase two of the Chennai metro project, a dairy development project and a programme for Japan-India cooperative actions towards Sustainable Development Goals in India.

UAE Declares 2019 as the Year of Tolerance
UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan declared 2019 as the Year of Tolerance, an extension of the Year of Zayed which has run this year. The leader stated that 2019 would highlight the UAE as a global capital for tolerance, instilling the values of co-existence and peace in local, regional and international communities. In 2016, the UAE Cabinet introduced the first post of the Minister of State for Tolerance and launched the National Tolerance Programme.

Ranil Wickremesinghe Sworn in as PM of Sri Lanka
Mr. Ranil Wickremsinghe was sworn in as Prime minister of Sri Lanka by President Maithripala Sirisena thus bringing an end to the weeks-long political crisis in the country. Mr. Wickremsinghe was removed as Prime minister in October and was replaced by Mahinda Rajapaksa who resigned after failing to garner a majority in Parliament.

Australia recognizes west Jerusalem as capital of Israel
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. Both Israel and the Palestinians claim Jerusalem as their Capital and this despite is not resolved yet. USA under the leadership of Donald Trump already recognized the disputed city as the Capital of Israel.

Luxembourg to become first country to make Public Transport Free
Luxembourg is set to become the first country in the world to make all its public transport free. Fares on trains, trams and buses will be lifted next summer under the plans of the re-elected coalition government led by Xavier Bettel, who was sworn in for a second term as prime minister recently.

UAE Passport Ranked Most Powerful Globally: Arton Capital
The UAE now has the world’s most powerful passport, achieving the top ranking in an achievement hailed as a tribute to the legacy of the Founding Father, Sheikh Zayed, and the country’s diplomacy. The number 1 spot in the global Passport Index was achieved just as the UAE celebrates it 47th National Day and its achievements since 1971.

World’s 1st 3D-Printed Functional e-Bike made in Germany
German firm BigRep and NOWlab produced the world’s first fully functioning e-motorbike NERA using a 3D printer. The bike was conceptualized and developed in 12 weeks and includes 15 parts excluding the electrical components.

Qatar to leave OPEC from January 2019
Qatar has announced its decision to leave the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) from January 2019 and focus more on the production of natural gas. The announcement was made by Qatar’s new energy minister, Saad al-Kaabi. Qatar is the world’s largest exporter of LPG.

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador sworn in as Mexico President
With promises of uprooting corruption, poverty and violence in the country, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was sworn in as the President of Mexico for a term of six years. Holding the majority in Congress, Obrador would now enjoy the confidence of at least 56 per cent approval ratings, as compared to his predecessor, Enrique Pena Nieto.

Australia become first Country to Recognise Orphanage Trafficking as Slavery
Australia becomes the first country in the world to recognize ‘orphanage trafficking’ as a form of modern slavery. Children from smaller countries are recruited in orphanages in the West for the purpose of profit through foreign aid.

Georgia elects Salome Zurabishvili as first woman president
Salome Zurabishvili has won Georgia’s presidential election, becoming the first woman to hold the office. Zurabishvili, a government-backed independent candidate, won with 59.52 percent of some 1.98 million votes cast. Grigol Vashadze — backed by former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili — got some 40.48 percent of the vote.



India Takes Over Operations Of Chabahar Port in Iran
India Ports Global Limited Company has opened its office and took over operations at the Shaheed Behesti port at Chabahar. It happened during the occasion of the first meeting of the follow-up committee for implementation of the trilateral Chabahar agreement between India, Afghanistan and Iran.

India’s stock market overtakes Germany to become 7th largest in the world
India achieved another milestone when Indian Stock market overtakes Germany for the first time in seven years to become the world’s seventh largest stock market. This move reflects India’s positive returns this year as companies dependency on domestic demand enabled them to avoid meltdown in other emerging markets spurred due to U.S. – China trade war.

India retained highest Aviation Safety Ranking: US Watchdog FAA
The US regulator Federation of Aviation Administration (FAA) retained the highest aviation safety ranking for India. According to FAA, India’s International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) rating remains ‘Category 1’. This ranking was based on an audit of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

India sets World Record in Nuclear Plant Operation
The indigenously developed Kaiga Atomic Power Station in Karnataka has set a new world record, with one of its units operating uninterrupted for more than 940 days. This is a record for all kinds of nuclear power-generating units, including advanced gas-based reactors in the world.

India is fourth highest emitter of carbon dioxide in the world: Study
India is the fourth highest emitter of carbon dioxide in the world, accounting for 7 percent of global emissions in 2017, according to a study by Global Carbon Project. The top 10 emitters were China, the US, the EU, India, Russia, Japan, Germany, Iran, Saudi Arabia and South Korea.

Tactical exercise ‘Vajra Kayaa’ completed
The Special Forces of India and United States completed their three-day tactical exercise called ‘Vajra Kayaa’ on December 01, 2018. ‘Vajra Kayaa’ is a part of the joint military drill ‘Vajra Prahar 2018’. ‘Vajra Kayaa’ was based on the narrative of an imaginary country going into a civil war due to a weak democratic structure. ‘Vajra Prahar 2018’ is being held between India and the US.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to be chief guest at Republic Day celebrations 2019
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will be the Chief Guest at the 2019 Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, at a time when India is celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, it is our honour to welcome President Ramaphosa as the Chief Guest for 2019 Republic day celebrations.



India ranked 108th in WEF’s Gender Gap Index
India has come at 108th position in the recently released Gender Gap Index 2018 by World Economic Forum. India was ranked at the same position in 2017 rankings as well. The Global Gender Gap Report is published annually by the World Economic Forum since 2006.

Delhi HC Bans Online Sale of Medicines across India
The Delhi High Court ordered a ban on the sale of online medicines by e-pharmacists across the country. The court directed both Central and state government to ensure immediate implementation of the order.

Gender Wage Gap Highest in India, Women are Paid 34% Less than Men: ILO
Women are paid the most unequally in India, compared to men, when it comes to hourly wages for labour. On average, women are paid 34 per cent less than men, a recent report by the International Labour Organization (ILO) has found. This gap in wages, known as the gender wage gap, is the highest among 73 countries studied in the report.



Telangana & AP to get separate High Courts
President Ramnath Kovind issued orders constituting a separate High Court for Andhra Pradesh. The High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad will now become the High Court for Telangana. With the creation of the new High Court for Andhra Pradesh, the country now has 25 High Courts.

Manipur CM Biren Singh gets ‘Champions of Change’ award
Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh was conferred the ‘Champions of Change’ award by Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu for exemplary leadership in bringing about transformation in governance. The other awardees included Union Minister of State for Food Processing Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, Union Minister for Tribal Affairs Sudarshan and Member of Parliament Nishikant Dubey.

Maharashtra Launches Vajpayee International Schools For Rural Students
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has launched the ‘Bharat Ratna Atal Bihari Vajpayee International Schools’ for students in rural areas. Initially, 13 Zilla Parishad (ZP) schools would be part of the international board and it would be expanded in the coming years.

Madhya Pradesh Declares Kuno as National Park
Madhya Pradesh State government has declared Kuno wildlife sanctuary as a national park in compliance with the last condition imposed by a Supreme Court-appointed committee for the much awaited ‘translocation of Asiatic lions from Gir in Gujarat.’

Experts call to revisit ban on Plastic in Tamil Nadu
The government of Tamil Nadu on World Environment day 2018 on 5th June had announced that it would ban the use of plastic items, including non-biodegr adable bags, from January 1, 2019, with some exceptions. Plastic was allowed only for only milk, oil, medicine packets and other items of basic needs.

Atal Ayushman Uttarakhand Yojana Launched in Uttarakhand
‘Atal Ayushman Uttarakhand Yojana’ has been launched in Uttarakhand. Under the scheme, each household in the state will be able to avail medical treatment of up to 5 lakh rupees annually. The scheme will benefit 23 lakh households and cover 1,350 critical diseases. Launching the Yojna in Dehradun, Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat distributed scheme-related golden cards to beneficiaries.

PM Modi inaugurates Bogibeel Bridge in Assam
PM Modi inaugurated the Bogibeel Bridge on the birth anniversary of the late Atal Bihari Vajpayee i.e. December 25 which is observed as ‘Good Governance Day’. This 4.9 km-long bridge is the nation’s only fully welded bridge and for the first time European codes and welding standards were adhered to and for the first time European codes and welding standards were adhered to and it has a life of about 120 years.

Odisha government announces Rs 10,000 crore KALIA scheme
Odisha Cabinet headed by CM Naveen Patnaik announced the Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) scheme to empower small, marginal & landless farmers as well as landless labourers. The Rs 10,000 crore scheme, which would be executed through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) mode, covers 92% (over 30 lakh) of cultivators, loanee and non-loanee, share-croppers & landless labourers.

NITI Aayog releases Sustainable Development Goals Index
The NITI Aayog has released a first-of-its-kind Sustainable Development Goals index. According to the SDG Index, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu have been ranked on top 3 positions and are on track to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

Jharkhand announces Rs 2,250-crore scheme to help farmers: Mukhya Mantri Krishi Yojana
Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das announced a Rs 2250 crore scheme named as “ Mukhya Mantri Krishi Yojana” which will help around 22.76 lakh medium and marginal farmers to double their income by 2022. The Central Government has set a goal to double the income of all the farmers by 2022.

Startup Ranking 2018 released by DIPP
The National Report on States’ ‘Startup Ranking 2018’ was unveiled by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce and Industry. Gujarat has emerged as the best-performing state in the Startup Ranking 2018. Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha, and Rajasthan, with a score of more than 85 percentile, have been adjudged the top performers.

Jammu & Kashmir to come under President’s rule
President’s rule will be imposed in Jammu and Kashmir from 20 December with President Ram Nath Kovind signing a proclamation to give effect to the recommendation of the state Governor Satya Pal Malik. Kovind has signed the proclamation based on the proposal sent by the ministry following a report by the state governor.

Bhupesh Baghel to become the new CM of Chhattisgarh
Bhupesh Baghel, who is also the president of Chhattisgarh Pradesh Congress Committee, will be the new chief minister of Chhattisgarh state. Bhupesh Baghel has been named as the leader of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) by the newly elected legislators in Raipur. Bhupesh Baghel is a politician from Chhattisgarh and belongs to Indian National Congress.

Punjab Assembly passed resolution to seek 33% reservation for women in Parliament
Punjab Legislative Assembly unanimously passed a resolution for seeking 30% reservation for women in Parliament and State legislative assembly. The resolution was moved by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, urging the Centre to enact it. The bill would ensure the representation of men and women equally in national electoral process.

Gehlot to be Rajasthan CM, Pilot Deputy CM
The Congress declared that Ashok Gehlot will be the Rajasthan Chief Minister while state Congress chief Sachin Pilot will be his deputy. The announcement was made by party observer for the state K.C. Venugopal. He said the decision was taken by party President Rahul Gandhi.

Kamal Nath to be new CM of MP
Congress party has chosen MP statue unit president Kamal Nath as the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh. He will replace outgoing Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. A one-line resolution has been passed at the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting in Bhopal to choose the Madhya Pradesh chief minister. Congress party high command will now take the final decision.

TRS won the 119-member Telangana Assembly elections for second straight term
Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) has won 60 seats in Telangana, while Congress is in second position with 13 seats. TRS chief K Chandrashekar Rao won from his constituency Gajwel by 58,290 votes. Asauddin Owaisi-led All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) won seven of the eight seats it contested in the Telangana assembly polls.

Shi Yomi becomes 23rd district of Arunachal Pradesh
Shi Yomi formally became 23rd district of Arunachal Pradesh after it was inaugurated by Chief Minister Pema Khandu in presence of Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju. It was created by bifurcating West Siang district with its headquarters at Tato.

Delhi govt to begin 10 day minimum wages enforcement campaign
Labour and Employment Minister Gopal Rai said that the Delhi government will be carrying out a 10-day enforcement drive as the government has said that the workers will be paid with higher minimum wages. The Central government has set new minimum wage rates that are to be paid to the workers for their November salaries that will be disbursed in the first week of December.



12th Annual ISDSI Conference held in Mumbai
SPJIMR hosted the 12th Annual Indian Subcontinent Decision Sciences Institute (ISDSI) Conference at SPJIMR, Mumbai. The theme of this international conference is ‘Data-Driven Decision Making in the Digital Age’.

Eminent Sitar Player Manju Mehta conferred Tansen Samman, 2018
The Madhya Pradesh Government has conferred the annual Tansen Samman upon eminent Sitar Player Manju Mehta for her contribution in the field of Hindustani Classical Music.

15th Global SME Business Summit in New Delhi
15th edition of a two day Global SME Business Summit was organised by the Ministry of MSME and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in association with Government e-marketplace in New Delhi. The agenda of the summit is to bring together renowned speakers with unbounded experience and expertise, a global audience, and various national and international SME stakeholders to integrate Indian MSMEs into the Global Value Chains (GVCs).

9th India-ROK Joint Commission meeting held in New Delhi
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Foreign Affairs Minister of South Korea Kang Kyung-wha co-chaired the 9th India-ROK Joint Commission meeting. Ms. Kyung-wha arrived in New Delhi on a two-day visit to India.

UN Climate Conference 2018 held in Poland
The UN Climate Conference 2018 was held recently in Katowice, Poland. In the meeting ministers of 200 nations finally reached consensus on rules to implement the 2015 Paris climate agreement. The Paris accord aims to limit the rise in global atmospheric temperature to well below 2 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial revolution levels.

Annual Startup India Venture Capital Summit 2018 held in Goa
The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the Government of Goa, hosted the annual Startup India Venture Capital Summit in Goa. The theme of the Summit was ‘Mobilizing Global Capital for Innovation in India.’

Asia Pacific Summit 2018 began in Kathmandu
The ‘Asia Pacific Summit-2018’ was held in Kathmandu on 1 December 2018. The theme of the Summit is ‘Addressing the Critical Challenges of Our Time: Interdependence, Mutual Prosperity, and Universal Values’. It was organised by the South Korea-based ‘Universal Peace Federation’ and supported by the Government of Nepal.

EAM Sushma Swaraj Co-Chairs India-UAE Joint Commission Meeting
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj visited United Arab Emirates to co-chair the 12th session of the India-UAE Joint Commission Meeting for Economic and Technical Cooperation with UAE Foreign Minister, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi.

South Asia Youth Peace Conference held in New Delhi
The three day South Asia Regional Youth Peace Conference was held in New Delhi as part 150th birth anniversary celebrations of father of nation Mahatma Gandhi. It was organised by Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti, UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP) and STEP (Standing Together to Enable Peace).



Swachh Surveksahan Award For GHMC
The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation was awarded Best Capital City in the Solid Waste Management in the Swachh Survekshan 2018 rankings. The GHMC was also at the 27th place among 4,041 cities.

Luka Modric wins Balkan Athlete of The Year Award 2018
Croatia captain Luka Modric was named Balkan Athlete of the Year, becoming only the second soccer player to scoop the prize after Bulgaria’s former European Footballer of the Year Hristo Stoichkov in 1994.

Aadi Sai Vijaykaran wins ‘Top Debater in the World’ Title
Aadi Sai Vijaykaran created history by winning the Junior Debate Championship at the World Scholar’s Cup held at Yale University, the USA. The theme for the cup was ‘An Entangled World: diplomacy, human relationships, the science of memory, and literature, art’.

Mohammed Rafi Awards conferred
Mohammed Rafi Award instituted by the NGO Spandan Arts was bestowed upon late music composer Laxmikant Shantaram Kudalkar and playback singer Usha Timothy. The Mohammed Rafi Lifetime Achievement Award consisting of Rs 1 lakh and a trophy was conferred to Laxmikant Shantaram Kudalkar.

Suresh Prabhu conferred with Skoch Award 2018
Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu has conferred the Skoch Golden Jubilee Challenger Award at the 55th Skoch Summit in New Delhi. The Skoch Challenger Awards are the highest independently instituted civilian honours.

Mamata Banerjee awarded the Skoch CM of the Year Award
The Chief Minister of West Bengal has been awarded the Skoch Chief Minister of the Year Award for the year 2017. The award was given to Mamta Banerjee recognising her contribution in the overall development of West Bengal as West Bengal emerged as the best-performing state in the field of Governance.

40 workers conferred Prime Minister Shram Awards 2017
The Union Government has announced to confer the Prime Minister’s Shram Awards 2017 to 40 workers across country. These awardees have been selected among the workers of Departmental Undertakings & Central and State Government PSUs and Private Sector companies having 500 or more workers.

Pakistan activist Asma Jahangir honoured with top UN human rights award
The top United Nations human rights prize, which was posthumously awarded to Pakistan’s iconic human rights activist and lawyer Asma Jahangir, was received by her daughter, Munizae, at an impressive ceremony in the General Assembly hall of United Nations.

Textiles Minister gives away Handicrafts Export awards
Union Minister of Textiles, Smriti Zubin Irani, presented awards to handicrafts exporters for their outstanding performance in exports for the year 2015-16 and 2016-17 at a function at India Expo Centre & Mart in Greater Noida, Delhi NCR.

Sonam Kapoor Named PETA India’s 2018 Person of the Year
Sonam Kapoor, a vegan, has been named People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India’s Person of the Year for 2018. Whether she’s enjoying vibrant vegan meals or rallying her fans to do their part to stop animal suffering, Sonam Kapoor never hesitates to help animals any way she can,” said PETA India Associate Director Sachin Bangera in a statement.

Popular singers Shaan & Arijit Singh were given ‘Sangeet Mahasamman’ award by WB Govt
popular singers Shaan and Arijit Singh were given the “Sangeet Mahasamman” award by the West Bengal government at the inaugural session of the Bengal music and folk culture festival held in Kolkata. Legendary singer Sandhya Mukhopadhyay gave away the awards.

Ashok Amritraj was honoured with the French Knight of the National Order of Merit award
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. 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.

Author Amitav Ghosh honoured with 54th Jnanpith award
Noted English author Amitav Ghosh has been honoured with Jnanpith Award for 2018, an award for outstanding contribution to literature. The decision was taken in a meeting of Jnanpith Selection Board chaired by eminent novelist, scholar and Jnanpith laureate Pratibha Ray.

Manika becomes first Indian to win ‘Breakthrough Star’ award at ITTF ceremony
Manika Batra became the first ever Indian table tennis player to be decorated with the ‘Breakthrough Table Tennis Star’ award at the prestigious ITTF Star Awards in Incheon, South Korea. Manika started the year on a high at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, guiding India to it’s first-ever gold medal in the Women’s Team category.

Mary Kom honoured with ‘Meethoileima’ title
Manipur Government honored AIBA World Women Boxing Gold medalist MC Mary Kom with the title “Meethoileima” (par excellent queen) at a function in Imphal, Manipur. On the occasion, State Chief Minister N. Biren Singh handed over a cheque of ten lakh rupees to her.

Mushtaq Ahmad Tantray bags Sahitya Academy Award
Prominent Kashmiri short-story writer and eminent broadcaster Mushtaq Ahmad Tantray bagged this year’s Sahitya Academy Award for his collection of short stories “AAKH’’. Mr Tantray is presently posted as Head of the Regional News Unit at Radio Kashmir Srinagar.

Janhvi Kapoor to get Norwegian honour
Actress Janhvi Kapoor will be awarded ‘Arets Stjerneskudd’ rising talent of the year by the Norwegian Consulate General in Mumbai. Janhvi, who made her debut with “Dhadak”, will be felicitated at an event organised in association with theatre chain INOX.

Ministry of New & Renewable Energy conferred Skoch Award for National Significance
Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Government of India has been conferred the Skoch Award for National Significance at an event held recently in New Delhi. The award was received by Secretary, Ministry of New Renewable Energy Shri Anand Kumar.

Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper nominated for Golden Globe awards
Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper have earned nominations at the 2019 Golden Globe awards for their performances in the film ‘A Star is Born’. Gaga was nominated alongside Nicole Kidman and Melissa McCarthy in the ‘Best Actress – Drama’ category. Cooper was nominated in the ‘Best Actor – Drama’ category along with ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ star Rami Malek, among others.

Croatia’s Luka Modric wins Men’s Ballon d’Or award 2018
Croatia’s midfielder Luca Modrich (33) has won prestigious honor of football, Ballon d’Or. He was rewarded for his key role in Croatia’s historic run to FIFA World Cup final (defeated by France) and his club Real Madrid’s third straight Champions League trophy.

Delhi Minister Imran Hussain Awarded By PETA For Ban On Chinese Manjha
Hussain received a ‘Hero to Animals Award’ by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India for saving the lives of humans and animals by banning all forms of manja throughout the National Capital Territory of Delhi. In July, Hussain called for a complete ban on the sale, production, storage and import of Chinese ‘manja’, saying these sharp-edged threads not only hurt birds but also children.

Myanmar Leader Suu Kyi to be Stripped of Freedom of Paris award
The city of Paris will strip Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi of her honorary freedom of the Paris award over her failure to speak out against a crackdown on Rohingya Muslims. She has already been stripped of her honorary Canadian citizenship and her Amnesty International’s ‘Ambassador of Conscience Award’.

Abhinav Bindra conferred with Shooting’s Highest Honour by ISSF
India’s Olympic and world champion shooter Abhinav Bindra has been conferred the sport’s highest honour for his outstanding services as the chairman of the International Shooting Sport Federation’s Athletes Committee. He was a member of the ISSF Athletes Committee from 2010 to 2014 and chairman from 2014 to 2018.

Donbass wins the Golden Peacock at IFFI 2018
Donbass’ directed by Sergei Loznitsa has won the coveted Golden Peacock Award at the 49th International Film Festival of India (IFFI), which concluded in Goa. The Golden Peacock Award carries a cash prize of Rs 4 million (Rs 40 lakhs) to be shared equally between the Producer and the Director, Trophy and the citation.



3rd Edition of Women’s National Boxing Championships Begins
The third edition of women’s national boxing championships begins in Vijayanagara, Karnataka. Country’s top boxers will be vying for top honors as the tournament will be held at the JSW Sports-owned Inspire Institute of Sport.

Virat Kohli breaks Dravid’s 16 year old Test record with 82-run knock
Indian Cricket team Captain, Virat Kohli surpassed former India’s Captain Rahul Dravid’s 16 years record of highest runs in overseas Tests after playing a knock of 82 runs on the second day of 3rd Test against Australia.

Ricky Ponting Inducted into ICC Hall of Fame
Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting was formally inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame. Ponting received his commemorative cap from compatriot ICC Cricket Hall of Famer, Glenn McGrath at the MCG.

American Shiffrin youngest woman to reach 50 World Cup wins
American Mikaela Shiffrin became the youngest woman to win 50 World Cup ski races with victory in the slalom in the French Alps recently.

Real Madrid Beats Al Ain 4-1 To Win Club World Cup
Spain’s Real Madrid won the Club World Cup for a third consecutive year, and record fourth in total, by beating Abu Dhabi side Al Ain in the final. Real now hold the record for most victories in the competition, which was first held in 2000, moving one clear of Spanish rivals Barcelona.

India’s Vedangi Kulkarni becomes Fastest Asian to Cycle the Globe
Vedangi Kulkarni, a 20-year-old cyclist from Maharashtra’s Pune, achieved the feat by completing the 29,000-km distance required to qualify as bicycling across the globe in 159 days. She reached Kolkata after pedalling up to 300 km a day in 14 countries across the 159 days

Kabaddi Player Anup Kumar announces his Retirement
Anup Kumar, legendary Indian Kabaddi player and former World Cup-winning captain, announced his retirement from the sport with immediate effect on December 19, 2018, bringing an end to his 15-year-long career. Kumar, known to be one of the most efficient players, has led his team to victory on several occasions and contributed to the overall growth of the sport in the nation.

37th Senior National Rowing Championship begins in Pune
The 37th Senior National Rowing Championship began in the Army Rowing Node in Pune. Around 500 rowers and coaches from various rowing associations across the country are taking part in the Championship. The Rowers for the World Championships-2019 will be selected from this event. World Championship -2019 is the first qualifying Championship for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Novak Djokovic and Simona Halep named 2018 ITF world champions
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, in Paris, during Roland Garros.

Joshna Chinappa wins National Squash Women’s Singles Title
Joshna Chinappa won the National Squash Women’s Singles title after she defeated Urwashi Joshi in the final match of the competition by 9-11, 11-1, 11-6, 11-5. It was her 16th National title and with this win, she has equalled the record of Bhuvaneshwari Kumari of winning 16 titles.

PV Sindhu becomes 1st Indian to Win BWF World Tour Finals
PV Sindhu defeated world number five Nozomi Okuhara of Japan to record her 300th career match victory across categories and clinch the BWF World Tour Finals women’s singles title. Sindhu, who is ranked sixth worldwide, won the final with scoreline of 21-19, 21-17. It was the 23-year-old shuttler’s first title victory in 2018, after having lost five finals this year.

Belgium wins Hockey World Cup 2018 Title
Belgium Hockey team won their first ever Word cup title on 16th December 2018 after they defeated The Netherlands in sudden death. Belgium, which also won a silver medal in Rio Olympics 2016, made history by beating the opponents by 3-2 in the penalty shoot-out after finals ended without any goal.

Khelo India Youth Games to be held in Pune
Khelo India Youth Games-2019 will be held in Pune of Maharashtra in January. Sports Minister Col Rajyavardhan Rathore announced that 9000 youth will participate in this edition of the game. Under Khelo India programme, the government is providing scholarships to 1500 students from across the country.

SAIL Hockey Academy wins Aga Khan Gold Cup tournament
Steel Authority of India’s Hockey Academy beat Army XI Danapur 2-1 to clinch the 115th All India Aga Khan Gold Cup hockey tournament. Jay Prakash Patel scored the match-winning goal for the SAIL Hockey Academy (SHA) in the final match played at Major Dhyan Chand Hockey Stadium in New Delhi.

Sascha Bajin, Naomi Osaka’s coach became first ever WTA Coach of the Year
Sascha Bajin, coach of the world number five Naomi Osaka, became the first-ever recipient of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Coach of the Year Award. Under his guidance, Osaka won her career first WTA title at the Paribas Open (Indian Wells) and claimed her maiden Grand Slam title at the US Open after defeating American tennis ace Serena Williams.

Virat Kohli becomes first Asian skipper to win a Test in South Africa, England & Australia
Indian Skipper Virat Kohli became the first Indian skipper to win a Test in South Africa, England and Australia after defeating Australia by 31 runs in the First Test Match of the Four Match Test Series at Adelaide. Former Indian Captains Rahul Dravid and MS Dhoni won Test matches as Captains in England and South Africa but not in Australia. Out of 43 Tests, India won 25 Tests in Kohli’s Captaincy.

Ranji Trophy: Ajay Rohera creates world record for highest first-class debut score
Madhya Pradesh opener Ajay Rohera etched his name in the record books by slamming the highest first-class score on debut. He remained unbeaten on 267 against Hyderabad in their Ranji Trophy Elite Group-B Cricket in Indore. 21-year-old Rohera’s 267 not out is a world record.

Shubhankar clinches 2018 Asian Tour Order of Merit title
Shubhankar Sharma emerged as the 2018 Asian Tour Order of Merit champion following a dream season which saw him achieve many milestones and rewrite many Indian records. The 22-year-old Chandigarh-based Sharma now becomes the fifth and youngest Indian to top the Asian Tour money list in a particular season.

Anushka, Chaitanya youngest winners at U.S. Kids Golf’s first event in India
Golf in India took a major step towards the next level with the successful staging of the U.S. Kids Golf India Tours first event at the Jack Nicklaus designed Classic Golf and Country Club in Gurugram. The effort bore fruit as Anushka Gupta emerged champion in the U-7 girls’ category. Chaitanya Gupta won among the U-7 boys.

Yasir Shah becomes fastest bowler to take 200 Test wickets
Breaking an 82-year-old record, Pakistan leg-spinner Yasir Shah became the fastest bowler in the world to reach the milestone of scalping 200 Test wickets. Earlier, the record was held by former Australian leg-spinner Clarrie Grimmett who had scalped 200 wickets in 36 Tests. Shah, on the flip side, did the same in just 33 Test matches.

Eliud Kipchoge & Caterine Ibarguen named IAAF Athletes of the year
Kenyan distance runner Eliud Kipchoge and Colombian long and triple jumper Caterine Ibarguen have been named male and female world athletes of the year. The pair were honoured by the IAAF (The International Association of Athletics Federations ) at a ceremony in Monaco.

Gautam Gambhir announces retirement from all forms of Cricket
Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir represented India in 58 Tests, 147 ODIs and 37 T20Is. He made his debut in 2003 and last played for India in a Test against England in Rajkot in 2016. He retires with nine Test centuries and 11 ODI centuries to his name. He played key roles in India’s title victories in the 2007 World T20 and the 2011 World Cup, top-scoring for India with 75 and 97 in the respective finals.

Commonwealth Senior Fencing Championships in Canberra, Australia
From 23rd to 28th November 2018, Commonwealth Senior Fencing Championships, was held in Canberra, Australia. India won a total of 3 medals: 2 gold and 1 bronze, in the championship. The medal tally was topped by England with 6 gold, 6 silver and 4 bronze medals.

Ullas Narayan wins India’s 1st International medal in ultra running
Ullas Narayan became the first ever Indian individual medal winner in an international ultra running event by clinching a bronze in the 2018 International Association of Ultra Running (IAU) 24 Hour Asia & Oceania Championships in Taipei.Japan won the team event gold with a distance of 756 km and Australia (684 km) got the silver.

Minjee Lee becomes the first woman to win Australia’s Greg Norman Medal
22 Years old Australian Golfer, Minjee Lee became the first woman to win prestigious Greg Norman Medal as the best Australian golfer on the international stage after her brilliant performance in 2018. Minjee Lee who breaks into the Top 10 of the world ranking with the sixth rank joined the Jason Day and Marc Leishman in the list of winners of Australian golf’s prestigious individual honour.

Vinesh, Sakshi win gold at wrestling nationals
Vinesh Phogat announced her return from injury after a successful day out by grabbing the 57 kilogram title while Sakshi Malik emerged the champion in the 62 kg on the second day of the Tata Motors Senior Women’s National Championship in Gond, U.P.

National Shooting Championship: Esha Singh wins 3 Gold Medals
Telangana teenager Esha Singh prevailed over big names such as Manu Bhaker and Heena Sidhu to win 3 gold at the 62nd National Shooting Championships in Thiruvananthapuram. Esha shot 241.0 in the Women’s final to leave behind Youth Olympic games champion Manu who finished with 238.9. Shweta, representing ONGC, won bronze with a score of 217.2.

Magnus Carlsen retains his title as World Chess Champion
Norway’s Magnus Carlsen retained his title as World Chess Champion beating US opponent Fabiano Caruana in a tie-breaker event at the World Chess Championship held in London. Magnus Carlsen has won the Chess Championship thrice earlier. He had two match lead and he needs only a draw in the third tie-breaker to seal his victory.



India’s Forex Reserves declined by USD 613.9 million to USD 393.12 billion
India’s foreign exchange reserves declined in this week by USD 613.9 million reaching USD 393.12 billion. This decline has been attributed to the fall in foreign currency assets as per the Reserve Bank of India. The Forex reserves had increased by USD 16.6 million to reach USD 393.734 billion in the previous week.

CAD Widened to 2.9 % of GDP in Q2
Current account deficit (CAD) widened to 2.9% of GDP for the July-September quarter due to higher trade deficit compared with 1.1% during the same period of the previous year, according to the Reserve Bank of India.

India to retain top position in remittances with $80 billion:World Bank
India retain its position as the world’s top recipient of remittances this year with its diaspora sending $80 billion back home.India is followed by China ($67 billion), Mexico and the Philippines ($34 billion each) and Egypt ($26 billion).

Fitch Ratings lowered India’s GDP growth forecast to 7.2% on higher financing costs
Fitch Ratings, in its report- Global Economic Outlook, slashed India’s GDP growth forecast to 7.2 per cent for current fiscal, even lower than RBI’s projection of 7.4%. The main reasons cited for the decline are higher financing cost and reduced credit availability.

India’s growth forecast cut by 10 bps to 7.4% on weakening global growth: CRISIL
Crisil cut India’s growth forecast for current fiscal, by 10 basis points, to 7.4 per cent citing weakening global GDP and trade growth as the reasons for the decline. Due to lower global trade and GDP growth, emerging economies such as India would face a downward growth.

GDP in India will grow 7.2% in the year ending March 2019: Moody’s
Moody’s expects the real gross domestic product (GDP) in India to grow 7.2 per cent in the year ending March 2019 and 7.4 per cent in the following year. Earlier Moody’s Investors service growth prediction for India was 7.5% in 2018-19, 7.5% in 2019-20 released on 23rd August, 2018.

India’s economy grows at 7.1 per cent for 2nd part of 2018-19
Central Statistics Office (CSO) released a report showing that Indian Economy grew at 7.1 per cent in the second quarter (July-September) of 2018-19 which is lower than the first quarter in which GDP growth was 8.1 per cent. As per the report of CSO, despite having Manufacturing growth at 7.4, Indian Economy growth moderated in the second quarter of 2018 but it is higher than the second quarter of 2017-18 which shows a growth rate of 6.3 per cent.

Non-food bank credit grows at 15.6%: RBI
According to a Reserve Bank of India data, total credit growth from banks to the commercial sector grew at 15.6 per cent to Rs 97.32 lakh crore from previous Rs 84.22 lakh crore in the fortnight, the highest growth since demonetization of Rs.500 and Rs.1000 currency notes in 2016, as per Reserve Bank of India data.



China’s navigation satellite system BeiDou starts providing global service
China’s BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) has started offering global service. It is touted as a rival to America’s Global Positioning System (GPS). Pakistan has become the first foreign nation to use the BeiDou system ending its reliance on GPS.

ISRO Completes Fourth Orbit-Raising Manoeuvre Of GSAT-7A
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has completed the fourth manoeuvre to position the GSAT-7A military communication satellite closer to its final position. The satellite is currently between 35,800 and 36,092 kilometres from earth and is very close to its final position in the geostationary orbit, which is located at an altitude of around 35,786 km from Earth.

India successfully test-fires Agni-IV ballistic missile
India successfully test-fired its nuclear-capable long-range Inter Continental Ballistic Missile Agni-IV, with a strike range of 4,000 km. The test was part of a user trial by the Army. The strategic surface-to-surface missile was flight tested from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Dr Abdul Kalam Island off Odisha coast.

ISRO Launched GSAT- 7A Communication Satellite
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched GSLV-F11 which carried communication satellite GSAT-7A. The satellite is meant to enhance the communication infrastructure of the Indian Air Force (IAF).

ISRO to launch communication satellite GSAT-7A
India will launch its latest communication satellite, GSAT-7A aboard Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-F11) on December 19, 2018 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. The GSLV-F11 is ISRO’s fourth generation launch vehicle with three stages. The launch vehicle, which is in its 13th flight, will inject GSAT-7A into a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO).

Agni-5 missile successfully test-fired
India successfully test-fired nuclear-capable ballistic missile ‘Agni-5’ from Dr Abdul Kalam Island, off the Odisha coast. The missile was launched with the help of a mobile launcher from launch pad-4 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Dr Abdul Kalam Island in the Bay of Bengal. It was a user associated trial and was conducted by the Strategic Force Command with DRDO scientists.

Chang’e-4: China Launches 1st Mission to Land on the Far Side of the Moon
China launched the first-ever spacecraft, Chang’e 4, that will attempt landing on the far side of the Moon, which always shows the same face to Earth as it’s close enough to be locked by the planet’s gravitational field.

SpaceX Launches 64 Satellites Aboard Reusable Rocket
SpaceX successfully launched 64 small satellites, including India’s ExseedSAT-1 in the company’s largest-ever “rideshare” mission on a twice-reused Falcon 9 rocket that lifted off from a California launchpad. This is a new US record.

NASA’s InSight spacecraft successfully lands on Mars
NASA’s robotic InSight lander successfully landed on Mars after the six-month journey. The US space agency’s InSight mission team in a statement said, the lander sent signals indicating that its solar panels are open and collecting sunlight on the Martian surface. NASA’s Mars Odyssey orbiter relayed the signals of the landing, which were received on Earth.



Ambika Prasad Panda appointed CMD of SECL
Ambika Prasad Panda was appointed as Chairman and Managing Director of South Eastern Coalfields Limited (SECL). She is at present Director of finance in SECL. She has been appointed the CMD of SECL for a period of five years.

Justice Praveen Kumar appointed Acting Chief Justice of Andhra High Court
Honorable President Ram Nath Kovind appointed Justice Chagari Praveen Kumar as the fresh acting Chief Justice of Andhra High Court. He would assume the charge. Upon the requirement of creation of a new High Court for Andhra Pradesh in the state capital of Amravati, Mr. Praveen Kumar was hired for the new position.

Tata Coffee appoints Chacko Thomas as MD & CEO
Tata Coffee Executive Director and Deputy CEO Chacko Purackal Thomas has been promoted as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer. He will take over from Sanjiv Sarin. A decision in this regard was taken in the board meeting, according to a regulatory filing.

Rajesh Subramaniam is appointed as CEO of FedEx Express
FedEx Express, a U.S. multinational courier delivery giant, has named Rajesh Subramaniam, an Indian-American, as the President & Chief Executive Officer of the firm. He will assume his new role. He replaces David L Cunningham. Mr. Subramaniam currently holds the executive vice- president, chief marketing and communications officer position of FedEx Corporation.

CA Kuttappa appointed India’s new chief men’s boxing coach
Dronacharya awardee C A Kuttappa has taken over as India’s chief boxing coach. The 39-year-old Kuttappa, credited with shaping some of the country’s most successful boxers such as Vijender Singh, M Suranjoy Singh and Shiva Thapa among others, took over from veteran coach S R Singh.

P.V. Bharathi Appointed MD and CEO of Corporation Bank
P V Bharathi has been appointed as managing director and chief executive officer of the Corporation Bank. Bharathi is at present Executive Director, Canara Bank. She will replace Jai Kumar Garg. Birupaksha Mishra and Balakrishna Alse S have been appointed as executive director in the Corporation Bank and the Oriental Bank of Commerce, respectively.

BVP Rao Elected Archery Association of India President
B V P Rao was elected as the President of Archery Association of India(AAI),the election was held under the Supervision of former Chief Election Commissioner S. Y. Quraishi. Maha Singh was elected as secretary of Archery Association of India,D K Vidyarthi was elected as the treasurer. Sunil Sharma was elected senior vice-president and Rajendra Singh Tomar and Purnima Mahato will be the vice presidents.

Trump Replaces Defence Head Mattis With Deputy Patrick Shanahan
US President Donald Trump announced that he would replace Defence Secretary Jim Mattis with his deputy Patrick Shanahan as acting Pentagon chief. Shanahan will assume charge of Acting Secretary of Defense. Mattis resigned in protest after Trump announced the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria over the strong objections of Mattis and others on the national security team.

Nevada becomes 1st US state with female-majority Legislature
Twenty-three of the 42 available State Assembly seats will now be represented by a woman. This came after Clark County Commissioners appointed Rochelle Thuy Nguyen and Beatrice Angela Duran to Las Vegas-area legislative seats.

Infosys appoints Airtels Nilanjan Roy as new CFO
Infosys Ltd has appointed Bharti Airtel Ltd’s global CFO Nilanjan Roy as chief financial officer. He replaces interim CFO Jayesh Sanghrajka, who will resume his responsibilities as deputy CFO. Roy spent 13 years with Airtel, before which he worked for 15 years with Unilever across their global operations.

WV Raman appointed as the new coach of the India women’s cricket team
Ex-Indian men’s cricket team opener WV Raman has been appointed as the coach of the Indian women’s cricket team despite India’s 2011 men’s World Cup-winning coach Gary Kirsten being the first choice. Raman, who played 11 Tests and 27 ODIs, is now one of the most qualified coaches in the country. Raman is currently a batting consultant at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru.

Harsh Vardhan Shringla appointed India’s Ambassador to the US
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) appointed Harsh Vardhan Shringla as the new Ambassador of India to the United States of America. Shringla is currently serving as the High Commissioner in Bangladesh. He would be succeeding Navtej Singh Sarna.

Ashok Kumar appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Republic of Djibouti
Ashok Kumar was appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Republic of Djibouti. He is presently Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs.

Pranab K. Das new CBIC Chairman
Senior bureaucrat Pranab Kumar Das has been appointed as Chairman of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), the apex policy-making body for indirect taxes. Das, Special Secretary and Member (Customs) at CBIC, will succeed S. Ramesh, who superannuates.

Uday Shankar elected Vice President of FICCI
Uday Shankar is the first ever Indian media and entertainment executive to assume the leadership position in a national industry chamber – The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

Govt Appoints Interim CBI Head Nageswara Rao as Additional Director
CBI’s Joint Director M Nageswara Rao, who is currently the interim CBI Director, was promoted to the rank of Additional Director by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet. The 1986-batch IPS officer from the Odisha cadre had joined the CBI in 2016.

Sandip Somany takes over as new Ficci President
Leading industry chamber Ficci announced that it has elected Sandip Somany as the association’s President for 2018-19. The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) also announced that the current Joint Managing Director Apollo Hospitals Sangita Reddy has been elevated as Ficci Senior Vice President for next year, while Uday Shankar has joined the chamber as Vice President. Somany takes over as President from Rashesh Shah.

Madhavi Divan appointed Additional Solicitor General
With her appointment, Divan becomes only the third woman to become an ASG (Additional Solicitor General) in the Supreme Court. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment and Divan will hold office till June 30, 2020. Senior advocate Indira Jaising was the first woman to be appointed as the ASG, while the second one was Pinky Anand, who still holds the post.

Ramphal Pawar appointed as Director of NCRB
The government of India appointed Ramphal Pawar as Director of National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). He is the former Joint Secretary of NATGRID. He is the Indian Police Service (IPS) officer from West Bengal cadre.

Andreas Goss is appointed as CEO of Thyssenkrupp Tata Steel B.V
Andreas Goss is appointed as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Thyssenkrupp Tata Steel B.V., the proposed joint venture (JV) between Tata Steel and Thyssenkrupp. Mr.Goss is currently the CEO of Thyssenkrupp’s steel division.

Ashok Kumar Singh appointed Secretary of NCST
Ashok Kumar Singh, Lok Sabha Secretariat 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.

Yes Bank names Brahm Dutt as Interim Chairman
Yes Bank Ltd is likely to name independent director Brahm Dutt as the bank’s non-executive interim chairman after former finance secretary Ashok Chawla resigned from the position last month. Brahm Dutt is a former bureaucrat and is one of the oldest members of Yes Bank’s board.

CAG Rajiv Mehrishi appointed as Vice-Chair of UN Panel of Auditors
Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Rajiv Mehrishi was elected as Vice-Chair of United Nations (UN) Panel of Auditors at its annual meeting held in New York. In this meeting CAG of UK was also appointed as Chair of Panel for another term (2019).

Ex-SBI Chief Arundhati Bhattacharya appointed as SWIFT India Chairman
Arundhati Bhattacharya will be seen replacing Mavila Vishwanathan Nair, the present Chairman of The Indian arm of SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) SWIFT India Domestic Services, whose term is going to end after five years. Arundhati Bhattacharya served India’s largest bank by assets SBI as its 24th Chairman.

Shaktikanta Das: 25th Governor of RBI
India’s former economic affairs secretary and current member of the Finance Commission Shaktikanta Das is to be appointed as next RBI Governor. He will be the 25th Governor of the apex bank of the country. Shaktikanta Das is a 1980 batch IAS officer of Tamil Nadu Cadre and a very prominent bureaucrat who served under both NDA and UPA governments.

Sameer Aggarwal is appointed as CBO of Walmart India
Walmart India, the U.S. retail major, appointed Sameer Aggarwal as its Chief Business Officer. Mr.Sameer has been elevated from his position as EVP, chief strategy and administrative officer to the Chief Business Officer with immediate effect. Aggarwal will now lead strategy, merchandising, cost analytics, e-commerce, technology, marketing, and replenishment.

Shalindra Kumar is appointed as CEO of Jammu & Kashmir
Shalindra Kumar will take over as the Chief Electoral Officer of Jammu and Kashmir. He will be replacing the incumbent Shaleen Kabra. His office will take effect a day after the completion of the ongoing nine-phased panchayat polls in the State. The panchayat elections in J&K is being held after a gap of seven years.

James Quincey to Succeed Muhtar Kent as Chairman of The Coca-Cola Company
James Quincey was elected as the 14th chairman of the Coca-Cola Company, succeeding Muhtar Kent, who plans to retire in April after a Coca-Cola system career that started in 1978. Quincey, currently serves as president and CEO of the Coca-Cola Company and will become chairman following the company’s annual meeting in April 2019.

Axis Bank inducts Amitabh Chaudhry on its board
Axis Bank inducted Amitabh Chaudhry as additional director on its board. He will replace incumbent Shikha Sharma whose fourth term has been curtailed by the RBI by nearly two-and-half years. The board also gave its nod for the reappointment of Samir Barua, Som Mittal and Rohit Bhagat as independent directors.

Atul Sahai appointed CMD of New India Assurance
Atul Sahai has been appointed as the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of the country’s largest general insurance company New India Assurance. The post had been lying vacant since July 2018 after former chairman and managing director G Srinivasan retired.

Krishnamurthy Subramanian appointed as new Chief Economic Advisor
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) approved the appointment of Dr. Krishnamurthy Subramanian as the new Chief Economic Advisor (CEA) for a term of three years. This comes nearly six months after former CEA Arvind Subramanian stepped down from the post.

Trump names Heather Nauert as US Ambassador to United Nation
US President Donald Trump nominated State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert as the US Ambassador to the United Nations. The former Fox News presenter’s appointment to the UN role will have to be approved by the US Senate. Nauert will replace Nikki Haley, who will be leaving the post by the end of 2018.

Government appointed Lalit Kumar as its nominee on ICICI Bank
The government appointed Lalit Kumar, a 1995-batch Indian Economic Service (IES) officer as the new government nominee on private sector ICICI Bank. He is currently an Economic Advisor in the department of financial services of the finance ministry.

Indian-origin woman Shamila Batohi named South Africa’s 1st female chief prosecutor
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed Indian-origin Shamila Batohi as the country’s first female chief prosecutor. Batohi will start her new role as the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) in February 2019. Batohi is a former state prosecutor from KwaZulu-Natal and has served as a senior adviser to the prosecutor in the International Criminal Court since 2009.

Ajay Jha appointed new finance secretary
Government of India appointed Ajay Narayan Jha as new Finance Secretary. He replaced Hasmukh Adhia. He was the former secretary of Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance. He is a 1982-batch IAS officer of Manipur Tripura cadre.

SBI ropes in Swapna Barman as brand ambassador for YONO
State Bank of India roped in Asian Games gold medalist Swapna Barman as brand ambassador for its digital app YONO(You only need one). YONO is an integrated digital banking platform offered by State Bank of India (SBI) to enable users to access a variety of financial and other services such as taxi bookings, online shopping, or medical bill payments.

Jon Ridgeon appointed as CEO of IAAF
The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) announced the appointment of Jon Ridgeon as its new CEO following approval by the IAAF Council on the first day of its 215th Council Meeting in Monaco. Ridgeon will take up the new role.

Raninder Singh becomes first Indian to be elected ISSF Vice President
The elections were held during the General Assembly meeting of ISSF in Munich in which Raninder secured 161 votes to make it to the coveted position. The 51-year-old Raninder is currently the president of the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI).

Bank of Maharashtra appoints A.S. Rajeev as MD & CEO
The 54-year-old previously served as the Executive Director of Indian Bank and had also been the CFO of Vijaya Bank. He will hold the position for a period of three years or till further orders, whichever is earlier.

Mohammad Azharuddin appointed working president of Telangana Congress
AICC has appointed former MP and Cricketer Mohd Azharuddin as working president of the Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee. Congress General Secretary Ashok Gehlot announced this in a release in Delhi. He informed that Party President Rahul Gandhi also approved 14 more appointments for the Telangana PCC office bearers.

Ajay Bhushan Pandey takes over as Revenue Secretary
Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey took over as the Union Revenue Secretary. He will continue to head the UIDAI as its CEO and will also hold his position as the Chairman of Goods and Services Tax Network.

OYO appoints Rohit Kapoor as CEO of Real Estate Business
Hospitality startup OYO has appointed Max Healthcare Executive Director Rohit Kapoor as the CEO of its new real estate business. Rohit Kapoor stated that he is thrilled to join OYO’s mission of upgrading different forms of real estate and creating unique accommodations experiences.

World Gold Council appoints David Tait as next CEO
The World Gold Council announced the appointment of David Tait as its next CEO. David will join the organisation as CEO Designate for a transitionary period before becoming CEO. He will succeed Aram Shishmanian, who served as CEO over the last 10 years.



PHF secretary Shahbaz Ahmed resigned
Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) secretary Shahbaz Ahmed resigned over mistreatment of the national sport in the country. He had earlier been the captain and has been serving as the secretary for 3 years.

US Defence Secretary James Mattis resigns from his post
The United States Defence Secretary James Mattis has resigned from his post. His resignation came after his disagreement with the US President Donald Trump over the withdrawal of US troops from Syria.

Belgium Prime Minister Charles Michel Resigns
Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel has resigned amid pressure on his government over his support for the UN global compact on migration. The pressure increased after his biggest coalition partner, the right-wing N-VA party, quit the government over the issue.

Sri Lankan PM Rajapaksa Resigned
In Sri Lanka, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned to pave the way for the formation of new government under ousted Prime Minister Ranil Wickremsinghe. Earlier, the Supreme Court had refused to vacate interim order of lower court restraining Rajapaksa and his Cabinet from functioning.

Economist Surjit Bhalla resigns from EAC-PM
Economist Surjit S Bhalla has resigned from his position as the part-time Member of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister. The Council is headed by NITI Aayog member Bibek Debroy. Other part-time members on the Council include economists Rathin Roy, Ashima Goyal and former bureaucrat Ratan Watal.

Raman Singh resigns as Chhattisgarh CM
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh resigned taking moral responsibility for the BJP’s stunning defeat in Assembly election. He said that he had sent his resignation to Governor Anandiben Patel. Raman Singh, who was Chief Minister for 15 years, said as it became clear that the Congress was headed for a thumping victory in the 90-member House.

Upendra Kushwaha resigns from Union Council of ministers
Upendra Kushwaha, leader of the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP), announced his resignation from the Union Council of ministers and his party’s exit from the NDA. He was Minister of State for Human Resource Development.

RBI Governor Urjit Patel Resigns
A day before the results of polling in the five states, Reserve Bank of India governor Urjit Patel stepped down from his post. Patel, who cited ‘personal reasons’ behind his decision, was in a conflict with the Union finance ministry over matters related to the monetary policy. ​

Axis Capital CEO Dharmesh Mehta Resigns
Leading Investment Bank Axis Capital announced that its MD & CEO Dharmesh Mehta has stepped down. The bank has elevated Salil Pitale and Chirag Negandhi as Joint Managing Directors and Co-Chief Executive Officer. Pitale and Negandhi’s appointment will be with immediate effect.

Paul Polman step down as Unilever’s CEO
Unilever’s Chief Executive Paul Polman will step down next month after ten years in the job. The Anglo-Dutch group was forced to ditch a controversial post-Brexit plan to move its headquarters from London to the Rotterdam, Netherlands. Mr Polman will be succeeded by Alan Jope, the Scottish executive who has been running Unilever’s beauty and personal care business, its biggest division.



Former Nigerian President Shagari passed away at 93
Former Nigerian President Shehu Shagari passed away in the country’s capital city of Abuja at the age of 93. He served seven times in a ministerial or cabinet post as a federal minister and federal commissioner from 1958-1975 before he was elected president in 1979.

Prof Hamidi Kashmiri Passes Away
Dr. Hamidi Kashmiri, the tallest literary figure in the world of Urdu language, literature and literary criticism passed away. He was a prolific creative writer, an acclaimed critic and propounder of “Iktishaafi Tanqueed”. He has also been the Vice Chancellor of the University of Kashmir for years.

Paddy Ashdown: Ex-Liberal Democrats Leader Passes Away
Centrist politician Paddy Ashdown has died aged 77 after a short illness. Ashdown, who was born in India and moved to Northern Ireland as a young child, headed up the Lib Dems for more than a decade. He quit in 1999 and went on to become the European Union’s special representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Padma Shri Awardee Sulagitti Narasamma Passes Away
Social worker and Padma Shri awardee Sulagitti Narasamma passed away in Bengaluru. She was 98 years old. Narasamma had helped deliver more than 15,000 babies, free of charge, in Krishnapura, a remote village in Pavagada Taluk in Karnataka. Narasamma was awarded multiple honors for performing the traditional deliveries during her 70 years of service.

‘Nightingale of Assam’ Dipali Borthakur Passes Away
Legendary Assamese singer Dipali Borthakur popularly referred to as the “Nightingale of Assam” passed away. She was 77. Borthakur had been suffering from a motor neuron disease for the last four decades. For her outstanding contributions to the field of arts, Borthakur was honored with the Padma Shri award in 1998.

Noted Tamil writer Prabhanjan dies in Puducherry
Noted Tamil writer and Sahitya Akademi award winner Prabhanjan died due to Cancer at the age of 83 in Puducherry. Prabhanjan started his career as a Tamil Teacher and got Sahitya Akademi Award for his historic novel ‘Vaanam Vasapadum’ in 1995.

Ex-Nepal PM Tulsi Giri passes away
Former Nepalese Prime Minister Tulsi Giri passed away in Kathmandu. He was 92. The veteran politician breathed his last in his residence at Budhanilkantha after suffering from liver cancer. Giri was politically active from 1960 to 2005.

Renowned classical singer Pandit Arun Bhaduri passes away
Renowned classical singer Pandit Arun Bhaduri passed away at a city hospital in Kolkata after a prolonged illness. He was 75. Pandit Bhaduri, considered to be one of the masters of Bengali songs and bhajans. The veteran singer had served as a guru (teacher) at the ITC Sangeet Research Academy, and was a top radio and television artiste.

Malayalam film director Ajayan passes away
Ajayan, noted filmmaker and director of classic Malayalam movie Perumthachan, passed away at Thiruvananthapuram. Ajayan had directed the movie Perumthachan, scripted by MT Vasudevan Nair, in 1990. He won both the national award for debutant director and state award for debutant director for the movie. Also Perumthachan won the award for most popular movie in 1990.

Senior Kerala Congress Leader CN Balakrishnan passed away at 87
Senior Congress leader and former Kerala minister CN Balakrishnan passed away at 87 in Kochi, Kerala. He was the Thrissur district Congress committee president for 17 years and the state unit treasurer. In 2011, he became the state Cooperation Minister in the Oommen Chandy cabinet.

Mushirul Hasan, noted historian, passes away
Historian Mushirul Hasan, who has extensively written on India’s Partition, passed away. He was 69 years old. An alumnus of the Aligarh Muslim University and the University of Cambridge, Mr. Hasan was the Vice-Chancellor of the Jamia Millia Islamia University.

PM Modi’s PRO Jagdish Thakkar dies
Jagdish Thakkar, a public relations officer in the Prime Minister’s Office, died. Thakkar worked with Prime Minister Narendra Modi since his days as the chief minister of Gujarat and later joined him in the PMO. He also served nearly a dozen other chief ministers in Gujarat for over three decades.

Former Colombian president Belisario Betancur passed away at 95
Former Colombian president Belisario Betancur passed away at 95. He became president in 1982, after failing 3 times for the presidential election, and governed till 1986. He was the first president under whom the rebel groups, that emerged in the 1960s, signed a peace agreement.

Congress MP Maulana Asrar-ul-Haque Qasmi passes away at 76
Maulana Asrar-ul-Haque Qasmi, noted Islamic scholar and Congress Lok Sabha MP from Bihar’s Kishanganj constituency, passed away recently. He was 76. The state government has announced his funeral will take place with state honour. Qasmi won the Kishanganj seat in 2009 general elections by contesting on an Indian National Congress ticket after five consecutive failures.

Former National Champion Swimmer Arun Kumar Shaw passes away
Seven-time former national champion swimmer Arun Kumar Shaw passed away following a prolonged illness. He was 82. He was the first swimmer from Bengal to receive the Arjuna Award in 1967.

Senior AIR broadcaster Ashutosh Jain passes away
Senior Hindi News Reader of All India Radio, Ashutosh Jain passed away in New. He was 60. Ashutosh Jain, who joined the AIR in 1989 in Chandigarh retired from Delhi in April this year.

Former US President George H.W. Bush passes away
George Herbert Walker Bush, the 41st President of the United States who helped steer America through the end of the Cold War, passed away. He was 94. He is survived by four sons namely George W Bush, Jeb, Neil and Marvin and a daughter Dorothy Bush LeBlond.

WII vet, social activist Harry Leslie Smith dies at 95
British World War II veteran and political activist Harry Leslie Smith died at 95. Smith was an outspoken human rights activist and worked as an advocate of National Health Service to protect refugees.



Bhutanese PM Dr. Lotay Tshering on 3-day Visit to India
Prime Minister of Bhutan Dr. Lotay Tshering arrived in New Delhi on a three-day official visit to India. The visit of the Bhutanese Prime Minister is taking place during the Golden Jubilee year of the establishment of formal diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Overview of President of Maldives Ibrahim Solih’s maiden 3-day state visit to India
The President of the Republic of Maldives, H.E. Mr Ibrahim Mohamed Solih concluded his maiden 3-day state visit to India. Prime Minister announced financial assistance up to US$ 1.4 billion in the form of budgetary support, currency swap and concessional lines of credit to fulfil the socio-economic development programmes of the Maldives Maldives to re-join the Commonwealth and became the newest member of the Indian Ocean Rim Association.

Maldives President arrives in India
Maldives new President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih arrived in New Delhi on a three-day state visit during which he will hold talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi aimed at strengthening bilateral ties. Solih, who surprisingly defeated Maldivian strongman Abdulla Yameen in polls in September, arrived in New Delhi on his first foreign visit after assuming office and was received by Union minister Hardeep S Puri.

Overview of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s 2 day Visit to UAE
External Affairs Minister Smt. Sushma Swaraj participated in the two day 12th session of the India-UAE Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) for Economic and Technical Cooperation in Abu Dhabi. EAM Sushma Swaraj along with the Foreign Minister of the UAE, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan co-inaugurated the Gandhi-Zayed Digital Museum in Abu Dhabi.


Barack Obama named most admired man for 11th year in a row
Former President of United States of America (USA), Barack Obama has been named as the most admired man by Americans for the 11th year in a row according to a gallup poll. Present President of USA, Donald trumps ranked 2nd for the fourth consecutive year. Former First Lady of USA Michelle Obama was also voted as the most admired women by American.

American adventurer O Brady First Person to complete solo trek across Antarctica
American adventurer Colin O Brady became the first person to complete a solo journey across Antarctica, unaided and unsupported, after finishing a two-month expedition in frigid temperatures and winds of 30 mph.

Madhya Pradesh’s Divya Patidar Joshi Crowned Mrs. India 2018 Title
Divya Patidar Joshi from Madhya Pradesh was crowned with the Mrs. India 2018 title at the Mrs. India My Identity Beauty Pageant 2018 finale held in New Delhi. She defeated 24 promising contestants and won all the rounds of Beauty with Brain contest along with Best Cat Walk title.

Aadhaar not mandatory for admission in schools
The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has made it clear that schools cannot make Aadhaar a pre-condition to admit the students. UIDAI has categorically made it clear that asking for Aadhaar card for admissions is not as per the provisions of law and doing so will be against the recent order of the Supreme Court.

PM Modi releases Rs 100 commemorative coin in honour of ex-PM Vajpayee
On the eve of Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s 94th birth anniversary, Prime Minister Narendra Modi released a ₹100 commemorative coin in the memory of the former premier. The front of the Rs 100 coin features the National Emblem of India along with ‘Satyamev Jayate’ in Devanagari script inscribed below. The reverse side of the Rs 100 coin features a portrait of Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Miss Philippines Catriona Gray crowned Miss Universe 2018
Miss Philippines Catriona Gray was crowned Miss Universe after she won the final round of the Miss Universe 2018 pageant, held in Bangkok. Outgoing Miss Universe Demi Leigh Nel Peters from South Africa crowned her successor.

Indian American Shree Saini from USA crowned Miss India Worldwide 2018
Indian-American Shree Saini crowned Miss India Worldwide 2018 at the 27th annual global pageant held in the Fords City of New Jersey. It is Organised by the New York-based India Festival Committee (IFC). Sakshi Sinha from Australia was declared as the first runner-up and Anusha Sareen from the United Kingdom declared as the second runner-up.

Four Indians among world’s 100 most powerful women, list topped by Germen Chancellor Angela Merkel: Forbes
Forbes released The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women of 2018. Four Indians among world’s 100 most powerful women, list topped by Germen Chancellor Angela Merkel. The four members are Roshni Nadar Malhotra, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Shobhana Bhartia & Priyanka Chopra.

Mexico’s Vanessa Ponce de Leon wins Miss World 2018 Crown
Mexico’s Vanessa Ponce de Leon won the coveted Miss World 2018 crown at a grand event held in the Chinese city, Sanya. Thailand’s Nicolene Pichapa Limsnukan was declared the runner-up. Former Miss World Manushi Chillar (India) presented the crown to the new winner during the pageant in which 118 contestants participated.

Salman Khan tops Forbes’ richest Indian celebrity list for third time
Salman Khan has been named the highest-earning celebrity in India for the third time in a row by Forbes, with earnings of ₹253.25 crore. The second spot was captured by Indian cricket team skipper Virat Kohli, with Rs 228.09 crore to his name, to become the first sportsperson to reach the position.

PM Modi most followed world leader on Instagram
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has emerged as the most popular global leader on social media platform Instagram with 14.8 million followers. According to a list published by online platform twiplomacy, Mr Modi is closely followed by Indonesian President Joko Widodo with 12.2 million followers.

Microsoft passes Apple to become most valuable company
Microsoft has surpassed Apple as the most valuable US company with a market value of about $812 billion. Apple’s market cap was about $1 billion less. In August 2018, Apple became the first US company with a $1 trillion valuation.

4 Indian-Origin Women in Forbes US Top 50 Females In Tech
Four Indian-origin technology executives have made it to the Forbes’ list of America’s 50 women in technology space in 2018. The list includes Neha Narkhede, chief technology officer and co-founder of streaming platform Confluent; Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan, CEO, and founder of identity-management company Drawbridge; Padmasree Warrior, former chief technology officer (CTO) of Cisco, and Komal Mangtani, senior director at Uber.


Book ‘Early Indians: The Story of Our Ancestors and Where We Came From’ By Tony Joseph Released
The book titled ‘Early Indians: The Story of Our Ancestors and Where We Came From’ written by Tony Joseph was released. The book talks about the migration of the First Indians also known as ‘Aryans’ who arrived here 65,000 years ago.

‘A Rural Manifesto – Realising India’s Future through her Villages’
The book “A Rural Manifesto – Realising India’s Future through her Villages” authored by BJP MP Varun Gandhi was released in Bengaluru. The book focuses on challenges faced by farmers, labourers, student and teachers in villages across the country.

Book ‘Changing India’ By Manmohan Singh Released
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, ridiculed for his silence by his political opponents for years, had taken an unusual dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the release of his book, Changing India. Dr Manmohan Singh said he wasn’t ‘the PM who was afraid of talking to the Press’.

PM Modi releases book on renowned cartoonist R.K. Laxman
Prime Minister Narendra Modi released a book “Timeless Laxman”, based on the life and times of legendary cartoonist, the late R.K. Laxman. The book has been penned by cartoonist’s daughter-in-law Usha Srinivas Laxman. He passed away in January 2015 in Pune aged 93.

Book named ‘God of Sin: The Cult, The Clout and Downfall of Asaram Bapu’ released
Book on self-styled godman Asaram Bapu released after a Chandigarh court refused to stay its publication.The Book is Authored by Ushinor Majumdar. The plea was filed seeking a permanent injunction against publishing of the book. Book was published by Penguin Random.

‘Of Counsel:The Challenges of the Modi Jaitley Economy’ launched
Former Chief Economic Adviser (CEA) Arvind Subramanian said both demonetisation and implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) led to moderation of the Indian Economy. Speaking at the launch event of his book, ‘Of Counsel: The Challenges of the Modi-Jaitley Economy’, he said the structure of GST implemented to eliminate cascading taxes could have been much better.

‘The Republican Ethic’ in English & ‘Loktantra ke Swar’ in Hindi
Vice President of India Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu released two books on the compilation of selected speeches made by the President, Shri Ram Nath Kovind in the first year of assuming the office. The books are titled as, ‘The Republican Ethic’ in English and ‘Loktantra ke Swar’ in Hindi.

Admiral Sunil Lanba released book titled ‘Blue Waters Ahoy!’
Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chief of the Naval Staff, released a book titled ‘Blue Waters Ahoy!’ – chronicling the Indian Navy’s History from 2001-10. The unveiling was a part of an At Home function held at the Navy House in the presence of Ramnath Kovind, the President of India and the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.

Book on ‘anti-farmer policies’ of Modi government launched
A book detailing how Modi government’s policies have led to a drop in farmers’ income and caused rural distress across the country was launched in New Delhi. The book ‘Modiraj Main Kisan, Double Aamad Ya Double afat’ is authored by Swaraj India President Yogendra Yadav.


Forty First Meeting of Central Sanctioning and Monitoring Committee held in New Delhi
The 41st meeting of the Central Sanctioning and Monitoring Committee was held in New Delhi. In the meeting, the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs has approved the construction of another 3,10,597 more affordable houses for the benefit of urban poor under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban).

1st Meeting of Follow-up Committee held in Iran
The first meeting of the Follow-up Committee for implementation of the Trilateral Chabahar Agreement between India, Afghanistan and Iran was held in the port city of Chabahar in Iran. India Ports Global Limited company opened its office and took over operations at Chabahar.

Logistics Development Committee constituted under the Chairmanship of Dr. Bibek Debroy, Chairman EAC-PM
The Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) constituted a Logistics Development Committee under the Chairmanship of Dr. Bibek Debroy, Chairman EAC-PM.

IOC sets up human rights advisory committee starting in 2024
The International Olympic Committee IOC has set up an advisory committee on human rights chaired by Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the former United Nations commissioner for human rights starting in 2024. President Thomas Bach said Saturday at meetings in the Japanese capital that ‘human rights standards’ will be included in Olympic host-city contracts beginning with the 2024 Olympic in Paris.



25 December: Good Governance Day
Bharat Ratna and former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s birthday is celebrated as Good Governance Day across the country on 25 December. The Samadhi of Bharat Ratna and Former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee Sadaiv Atal was dedicated to the Nation.

23 December: National Farmers Day
National Farmers’ Day (Kisan Diwas) 2018 was celebrated all over India on 23rd of December. It is celebrated in the honour of the former Prime Minister of India Chaudhary Charan Singh with the focus on the upliftment of the status of farmers.

20 December: International Human Solidarity Day
International Human Solidarity Day is organized across the world on 20th December. It is a day to celebrate our unity in diversity and also a day to remind governments to respect their commitments to international agreements.

18 December: International Migrants Day
The International Migrants Day 2018 observed on 18th December across the world. In accordance with the Resolution 55/93 of the United Nations General Assembly(UNGA), the International Migrants Day is observed every year on 18 December. The Resolution 55/93 was adopted by UN.

14 December: National Energy Conservation Day
The National Energy Conservation Day is celebrated annually on 14th December. The 14th President of India Mr. Ram Nath Kovind was the Chief Guest on the occasion. The ECD is organized on 14th December each year by Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), under Ministry of Power. The Day is celebrated with an aim to demonstrate India’s achievements in energy efficiency and conservation.

12 December: International Universal Health Coverage Day
International Universal Health Coverage Day (UHC Day) is celebrated globally on 12 December. In 2017 the United Nations proclaimed 12 December as International Universal Health Coverage Day by resolution 72/138. The theme for the 2018 UHC Day is- ‘Unite for Universal Health Coverage: Now is the Time for Collective Action’.

11 December: International Mountain Day
International Mountain Day is held every year on 11 December, which was established by the UN General Assembly in 2003 to encourage sustainable development in mountains. The theme for 2018 IMD is ‘Mountains Matter’.

10 December: Human Rights Day
Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10 December. On this day, the United Nations General Assembly adopted, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This year, Human Rights Day marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. #StandUp4HumanRights is the global campaign launched on for year 2018.

05 December: World Soil Day
World Soil Day is celebrated annually on the 5th of December at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) headquarters in Rome, the regional offices and through national and local events. #StopSoilPollution is the objective of this World Soil Day on 5 December and throughout the year.

04 December: Navy Day
The day is celebrated in honor of the maritime force’s role during the war with Pakistan in 1971 when Indian warships attacked Karachi port and successfully hurt Pakistani operations in the western coast. The Day is also celebrated to highlight the role the Navy plays in securing the country’s marine borders during peacetime and carrying out humanitarian missions.

03 December: International Day of Persons with Disabilities
Since 1992, the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) has been annually observed on 3 December around the world. The theme for this year’s IDPD is ‘Empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality’.

1 December: World AIDS Day
World AIDS Day is designated on 1 December every year since 1988. The day provides an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness. The theme for the World AIDS Day 2018 is ‘Know Your Status’.



ESAF SFB Gets RBI Nod to operate as Scheduled Bank
ESAF small finance bank has got RBI approval to operate as a scheduled bank. This makes ESAF small finance bank (SFB) the fifth scheduled bank from Kerala. ESAF microfinance institution, started in 1992, was one among the ten applicants to receive approval from RBI to start banking operations in 2016.

ICICI Topped List of Banks Penalising Staff For Fraud in 2015-2017: RBI data
According to data furnished by the Reserve Bank of India, between 2015 and 2017, private lender ICICI Bank penalized the highest number of employees for defrauding bank assets in the last three year out of 60 scheduled commercial banks operating in India. It is followed by State Bank of India and Punjab National Bank.

RBI to soon release New Rs 20 Note
The Reserve Bank of India will soon introduce Rs 20 notes with additional features. The reserve bank has already issued new-look currency notes in the denominations of Rs 10, Rs 50, Rs 100, and Rs 500, besides introducing Rs 200 and Rs 2000 notes after demonetisation.

RBI limits total outstanding ECBs to 6.5% of GDP
The Reserve Bank of India, in consultation with the government, has decided to have a rule-based dynamic limit for outstanding stock of External Commercial Borrowings (ECB) at 6.5% of GDP at current market prices.

IDFC Bank & Capital First merged
IDFC Bank completed the merger process with non-banking financial company ‘Capital First’. After the merger, ‘Capital First’ has been renamed as ‘IDFC First Bank’. V. Vaidyanathan is the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the merged entity.

India & ADB sign Loan Agreement of $60 million for Assam
Union Government (Ministry of Finance) and Asian Development Bank (ADB) has signed $85 million loan agreement for Odisha Skill Development Project. It aims to improve the skill development eco-system in Odisha and establish World Skill Center (WSC), an advanced skill training center in state capital Bhubaneswar.

The Government of India and ADB sign a $31 Million Loan Agreement
The Government of India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a Loan Agreement for $31 million to build-up the State Tourism Industry and boost visitor arrivals. The Project will support the conservation and restoration of eight heritage monuments, one museum, three temples, and a pond.

SBI hikes Fixed Deposit Interest Rates
Country’s largest bank State Bank of India has increased fixed deposit or FD rates for some select maturity periods. According to the revised rates, SBI is offering 6.8% interest rate on FDs with maturity period of one to two years, as compared to 6.7% earlier. The interest rate for senior citizens also goes up to 7.30% on SBI FDs with tenure between one year and two years, from 7.2% earlier.


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