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1. The Maharashtra government constituted a task force for setting up an International Financial Service Centre (IFSC) in Mumbai.
The task force includes
Union Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha (chairman)
Lok Sabha MP from Mumbai North Central Poonam Mahajan (deputy chairman)
Maharashtra Chief Secretary Swadheen Kshtriya
MMRDA Commissioner UPS Madan
Principal Secretary Urban development Nitin Kareer
A representative from the Department of Economic Affairs, Union Government
OSD in the Chief Ministers Office (CMO) Kaustubh Dhavse will be Member Convener.
2. To deal with traffic violations in the city, the Delhi Traffic Policewill start implementation of recommendations of the Supreme Court appointed committee chaired by Justice KS Radhakrishnan from 15th December 2015.
With this, Delhi Traffic Police is the first in the country to implement the directions of the Supreme Court appointed three-member committee on Road Safety.
3. The Supreme Court (SC) banned the registration of all diesel SUVs and luxury cars with engine capacity of 2000 cc or more in Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR) region till 31 March 2016.
4. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is liable to disclose information about the banks and financial institutions for their action against the loan defaulters including industrialists under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005 as declared by the Supreme Court.
5. Supreme Court said that temple priests should be appointed as per ancient Hindu rituals (Agamas).
It said that such appointments in accordance with Agamas do not violate the right of equality.
6. The National Stock Exchange (NSE) has launched three separate indices on three corporate houses of India viz. Tata, Aditya Birla and Mahindra Group.
These house have been designed to reflect the performance of companies belonging to the respective corporate group.
7. United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has unanimously adopted resolution cut off supply of revenue flows to Islamic State (IS) militant group. Decision in this regard was taken at the first-ever meeting of finance ministers of 15 member states to support a diplomatic push to end the war in Syria.
1. Saudi Arabia announced the launch of Islamic Military Coalition to counter terrorism. The coalition will be led by Saudi Arabia and see the participation of 34 nations.
2. World Bank Group and FIRST Initiative launched Principles for Public Credit Guarantee Schemes (CGSs).
The principles provide a generally accepted set of good practices that can serve as a global reference for the design, execution and evaluation of public CGSs that serve small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
3. The European Commission (EC) adopted the proposal for a European Border and Coast Guard force to protect Europe’s external border and Schengen area without internal border.
1. Olympic medalist Vijay Kumar of Indian Army has won gold medal at the 59th National Shooting Championship held in New Delhi.
Other winners in the Championship are –
25m standard pistol event: Gurpreet Singh (Indian Army)
Rapid fire pistol: Pemba Tamang (Indian Army)
Air pistol & Standard pistol events: Achal Pratap Singh Grewal.
2. India’s star golfer Anirban Lahiri has won the coveted Order of Merit crown of Asian Tour for year 2015.
3. Apurvi Chandela from Rajasthan has won a Gold medal in the 59th National Shooting Championship in Delhi.
4. Four Indian boxers, namely Shiva Thapa, Mandeep Jangra, Gaurav Bidhuri and Sumit Sangwan were selected by the International Olympics Committee (IOC) for a scholarship.
Under the scholarship, the boxers will get a sum of 800 US dollars (about INR 53,000) every month till August 2016.
Awards & Recognition:
1. As per the 2015 Human Development Report 2015 released by United Nations Development Program (UNDP), India has been indexed at 130th position among 188 countries.
2. Israeli-American violinist Itzhak Perlman has been awarded 2016 Genesis Prize which is also known as Jewish Nobel prize.
3. Rajasthan has become the first state in the country to submit smart city plans for three selected cities to Union Government.
In this regard, state government has submitted smart city Proposals of Udaipur, Kota and Ajmerto Union Ministry of Urban Development.
Under the proposal the investment outlays proposed by state government for developing these 3 cities as smart cities are Kota 1,493 crore rupees, Ajmer 1,300 crore rupees and Udaipur 1,221 crore rupees respectively.
4. The West Bengal Government honored music composer Bappi Lahiri and singer Kumar Sanu with Lifetime Achievement Awards.
5. Rory McIlroy was named the European Tour Golfer of the Year. He received the award for the third time in four years.
6. The husband-wife duo of Claude and Norma Alvares were honored with the 2015 Lifetime Service Award by Sanctuary Asia magazine.
7. The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) conferred Industrial Innovation Awards 2015 upon 35 companies. Among them 10 were start-ups and 25 were big and small companies.
Delhi-based start-up Right Track Admizzionz Campuz won the top award in the start-up category, while the pharma major Zydus Cadila was adjudged the Most Innovative Company of the Year.
8. Sahitya Academy has declared the names of 23 poets and authors to present the prestigious 2015 Sahitya Akademi Award.
23 Awardee’s are:
Poetry: Brajendra Kumar Brahma (Bodo), Dhian Singh (Dogri), Ramdarash Mishra (Hindi), K.V. Tirumalesh (Kannada), Kshetri Rajan (Manipuri) and Ram Shankar Awasthi (Sanskrit).
Short stories: Kula Saikia (Assamese), Man Mohan Jha (Maithili), Gupta Pradhan (Nepali), Bibhuti Pattanaik (Odia), Maya Rahi (Sindhi) and Volga (Telugu).
Novels: Cyrus Mistry (English), Jaswinder Singh (Punjabi) and Madhu Acharya ‘Ashawadi’ (Rajasthani).
Essays: Rasik Shah (Gujrati) and A. Madhavan (Tamil).
Plays: Uday Bhembre (Konkani), Rabilal Tudu (Santali).
Books on criticism: Bashir Bhadarwahi (Kashmiri) and Shamim Tariq (Urdu).
Memoirs: Arun Khopkar (Marathi).
Mergers & Acquisition:
1. Tech Mahindra and Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd, part of the Mahindra Group acquired Italian car designer Pininfarina SpA for 165 million US dollars in an all-cash deal.
2. Hindustan Unilever (HUL) announced that it signed an agreement with Mosons Group to acquire its flagship brand Indulekha for 330 crore rupees.
Appointments & Resignations:
1. Indian-origin politician, Pravin Gordhan has been appointed as South Africa’s new Finance Minister.
2. The Union Government appointed Justice L Narasimha Reddy, retired Chief Justice of Patna High Court, to head the Judicial Committee which will look into the implementation of One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme for the ex-servicemen.
3. Senior revenue service officer Arun Kumar Jainwas appointed as Chairman of Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT).
4. The Supreme Court appointed a retired judge Justice Virendra Singh as Uttar Pradesh’s Lokayukta or anti-corruption ombudsman.
5. Tata Starbucks announced the appointment of Sumi Ghosh as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
6. Jet Airways announced that its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Cramer Ball has resigned from the post with effect from 29 February 2016.
1. The World Bank approved a 1.5 billion US dollar loan for the ambitious Clean India Campaign (Swachh Bharat Mission).
The loan was granted to support the government in its efforts to ensure all citizens in rural areas have access to improved sanitation and end the practice of open defecation by 2019.
2. Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has cleared the purchase of Russian advance S-400 Trium Air Defence Missile Systems at an estimated cost of 40,000 crore rupees.
3. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) released the final guidelines on computing interest rates on advances based on the Marginal Cost of Funds Methodology.
The new methodology is aimed at bringing uniformity among BRs of banks so that they will be more sensitive to any changes in policy rates of the RBI like Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR), Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR), etc.
Bills – New & Amendments:
1. The Lok Sabha has unanimously passed the Atomic Energy (Amendment) Bill, 2015 by voice vote.
The bill seeks to amend the Atomic Energy Act, 1962 to facilitate and fast track setting up of new nuclear projects in the country.
2. Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave its approval for introduction of a Bill in the Parliament for Amendments in the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950.
The bill seeks to modify the list of Scheduled Castes in respect of Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Kerala, Odisha and West Bengal.
3. The Lok Sabha passed the Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts Bill, 2015.
The Bill will help bring in big foreign investments into the country and improve India’s global image on ease of doing business.
It will help set up commercial benches in select high courts to settle high value commercial disputes.
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU):
1. The Union Cabinetchaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval to a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between India and BRICS (Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa) countries for energy conservation.
Science & Technology:
1. The average temperature over Arctic land for the year ending in September 2015 was the highest on record indicating that the Arctic is warming twice as fast as other parts of the Earth.
2. Online marketplace Snapdeal.com launched its mobile website in Hindi and Telugu language. With this platform, Snapdeal will now cater to 270 million users in India.
The multilingual platform will be made available to users on the mobile website only.
3. Union Government has given in principle approval to work on Loon project of internet search engine giant Google for providing Internet connectivity by using large balloons.
To know more about Google’s Loon Project, please visit here – https://scoop.eduncle.com/google-project-loon/
4. The Union Cabinet has approved a policy framework for development of Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) in unexplored coal and lignite bearing areas in the country.
5. Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has successfully placed six commercial satellites from Singapore in their dedicated orbits.
These satellites were launched using Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C29) from the first launch pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.
1. Vijay Diwas was observed across the country on 16th December 2015. On this day, nation remembers martyrs, who laid down their lives during Indo-Pak War of 1971.
1. Noorul Huda, veteran leader of Communist Party of India (M) of eastern India, passed away. He was 86.