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1. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved creation of buffer stock of pulses to deal with wide fluctuation in prices of pulses and check food inflation.
The buffer stock will be created by the procurement and would be valid for fiscal year 2015-16.
2. Delhi Government announced vehicle rationing scheme to curb air pollution in the city.
The primary objective of the initiative is to halve the vehicular population in the city and thereby to bring pollution levels under control.
In the first phase of the scheme, vehicles with odd and even number plates would be allowed to run on alternate days between 1 January and 15 January 2016 in the capital city.
While the odd-numbered vehicles will play on odd dates, the even-numbered vehicles would play on even dates.
3. National Commission for Safai Karamcharis presented its Annual Report 2014-15 to the Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thawar Chand Gehlot.
4. Two Indian cities, Varanasi and Jaipur, have made it to the Creative City Network of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for the first time ever.
1. Myanmar launched its first UNSECO Biosphere Reserve Inle Lake in Shan state. The Inle Lake was designated as UNESCO Biosphere reserve in Paris in June 2015.
2. India and United Kingdom launched a joint initiative 2016: UK-INDIA Year of Education and Research in New Delhi.
It was launched by visiting Secretary of State, Business Innovation and Skill of the UK Sajid Javid along with Human Resource Development (HRD) minister Smriti Irani.
3. US House of Representatives passed the Visa Waiver Program Improvement Act of 2015. It amends the United States’ visa travel practices.
The lawmakers voted 407 to 19 in support of the Bill that seeks to impose restrictions on people who have visited Iraq, Syria and countries listed as supporting terrorism to travel visa-free to the United States.
1. World number one women shuttler Carolina Marin from Spain has won the 2015 Female Badminton Player of the Year award.
2. Indian cricketer Rohit Sharma became the co-owner of the Pro Wrestling League team, UP Warriors.
3. China’s Chen Long and all England and World champion Carolina Marin bagged the Badminton World Federation (BWF) Male and Female Player of the Year Awards respectively in Dubai.
4. Indian cyclist Deborah Herold became the first Indian female cyclist to be ranked fourth in the World Elite Women Ranking for the 500m time trial event.
5. Kerala’s Elizabeth Susan Koshy won the Women’s 50m Rifle 3 Positions Gold at the 59th National Shooting Championships held at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting range in New Delhi.
Awards & Recognition:
1. Time magazine has named German Chancellor Angela Merkel as Person of the Year 2015.
She was named for her role in Europe’s crises over migration and Greek debt as she had provided steadfast moral leadership in a world where it is in short supply.
2. Indian-American entrepreneur and philanthropist Frank Islam has been selected for the prestigious 2015 Uttar Pradesh Ratna Award.
3. Hyderabad-based Hetero Drugs announced that it received the approval of Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) to launch fixed-dose combination therapy Ledipasvir-Sofosbuvir.
4. Global software giant Wipro announced that it won the 2015 Aegis Graham Bell Award for developing a solution for the Internet of Things (IoT).
5. India-born author Salman Rushdie was awarded the prestigious Mailer Prize for lifetime achievement.
American experimental performance artist Laurie Anderson presented the award to Rushdie at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York City.
The prestigious Mailer Prize honours writers who fully exercise their freedom of creativity and thrive on dialogue and debate.
6. Veteran Bollywood actor Naseeruddin Shah has been honored with the lifetime achievement award at the 12th edition of Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF).
Mergers & Acquisition:
1. The Board of Directors of DuPont and Dow Chemical Company approved a definitive agreement to merge the two companies in an all-stock deal.
The merged company will be named DowDuPont and it will have a combined market capitalization of approximately 130 billion dollars at announcement.
1. Bengaluru based Indian Institute of Science (IISc) has bagged a United States military contract for research and development (R&D) on solar powered micro-grid.
The federal contract worth US 52,900 dollars was awarded to IISc by the US Pacific Air Forces (PAF), Yokota Air Base in Japan.
Under this contract IISc will develop solar powered micro-grid with battery and super capacitor energy storage system.
2. India has been placed at fourth position in black money outflows among the developing and emerging economies.
It was revealed by Global Financial Integrity’s (GFI’s) Illicit Financial Flows from Developing Countries: 2004-2013 Report.
3. Yes Bank Limited announced to mobilize 5 billion US dollars from 2015 to 2020 for climate action through lending, investing and raising capital towards mitigation, adaptation and resilience.
Bills – New & Amendments:
1. The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval to carry out official amendments in The National Waterways Bill, 2015.
The amendments seek to add 106 additional inland waterways as the national waterways based on the recommendations Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture and comments of State Governments.
2. The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2015.
The Bill seeks to protect the interest of consumers, promote fair play in real estate transactions and ensure timely execution of projects.
3. The Lok Sabha passed the Indian Trusts (Amendment), Bill 2015.
The Bill seeks to amend the Indian Trusts Act, 1882 to remove the archaic provisions from the 133 year old legislation which have no relevance.
4. Parliament passed the Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Bill, 2015.
The bill seeks to amend The Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 in order to make cheque-bounce filing of cases more convenient for check payees.
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU):
1. The Union Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval for signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on cooperation between India and United Kingdom in the energy sector.
2. The Union Ministry of Textiles, Union Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) and National Textile Corporation (NTC)signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to set up a Technology Centre (Tool Room) at Kanpur.
3. India and Japan exchanged 16 bilateral documents including agreement on civil nuclear energy cooperation.
Science & Technology:
1. Scientists have genetically modified malaria-causing mosquito Anopheles gambiae speciesto fight the deadly disease of malaria.
1. Human Rights Day (HRD) is marked annually on 10th December to commemorate the day in 1948 when the United Nations (UN) adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).
The theme chosen for the year 2015 HRD is ‘Our Rights. Our Freedoms. Always’.
2. International Anti-Corruption Day was observed across the world on 9th December 2015 with the theme Break the corruption chain.
The day was observed to raise public awareness about corruption and what people can do to fight it.
3. International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime was observed globally on 9th December 2015.