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National – Across the India:
1. The Union Agriculture & Farmers Welfare launched e-pashuhaat portal to connect farmers and breeders of bovine animals.
The portal will act as a single online e-trading market platform, including the availability of bovine germplasm. It will enable the farmers to buy bovine animals, frozen semen, and embryo.
2. The 51st Annual Conference of Directors-General of Police of States was held at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy (SVPNPA) in Hyderabad, Telangana.
The three day (from November 25-27, 2016) conference was inaugurated by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
It was attended by around 100 DGPs of states, Director Generals of Central paramilitary forces and their Inspector General.
3. Goa is likely to become the first state in India to go cashless from December 31, as people will be able to buy perishables such as fish, meat, vegetables or anything else at the press of a button on their mobile.
One has to dial *99# from their mobile phone, not necessarily a smart phone, and follow the instructions to complete the transaction.
4. Indian Railways and IRCTC have included “transgender as third gender” in the option alongside male and female in ticket reservation and cancellation forms.
The decision will include the facility for reservations and cancellations, both online as well offline.
5. Akodara village in Sabarkantha district of Gujarat has earned the coveted tag of becoming India’s first digital village in India.
The village with a total population of 1,191 people and 250 households uses various cashless system for payments of goods and services.
6. India hosted the golden jubilee (50th anniversary) celebrations of United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) in New Delhi.
7. Delhi has become India’s economic capital.
Mumbai ranks 31st among 50 top metropolitan economic entities globally in 2015, as per latest data released by Oxford Economics.
8. Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan’s film Pink, which dealt with crime against women, has been invited for a special screening at the United Nations headquarters in New York.
Pink is directed by Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury, starring Amitabh Bachchan, Taapsee Pannu, Andrea Tariang and Kirti Kulhari in lead roles.
9. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has flagged off the Humsafar train from Kushinagar that will ply between Gorakhpur and Delhi’s Anand Vihar terminus.
This tri-weekly train will have several new features, including LED screen display to show information about stations, train speed and will have announcement system as well.
10. Uttar Pradesh now has Asia’s first cycle highway.
A first-of-its-kind project, the 207-km-long cycle highway runs between Etawah and Agra and was declared open recently.
The cycle highway runs parallel to the main highway and is about 7-feet-wide.
11. 10-day long festival named Losar festival has begun in Ladakh region of J&K to mark the beginning of New Year in this Himalayan region.
Losar is Tibetan word for ‘new year’ and this festival is an important social and religious celebration in Ladakh.
12. The Union Cabinet has given its approval for inclusion of 15 new castes and modification in 13 other castes in the Central list of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in respect of 8 states.
These states are – Assam, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Uttarakhand.
13. The Supreme Court has ordered cinema halls to mandatorily play the national anthem before every screening and all those present in cinema halls have to “stand up to show respect.”
It will show respect to the National Anthem as well as to the National Flag.
14. The NITI Aayog has constituted a 13-Member Committee on promotion of cashless society and digital economy. It will be headed by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu.
15. The Union Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval to the negotiating position adopted by India at the recent 28th Meeting of Parties (MoP) to the Montreal Protocol in Kigali, Rwanda.
16. The Union Cabinet has approved Central Assistance of 2000 crore rupees for 36,384 displaced families from Pakistan Occupied areas of Jammu & Kashmir (POJK) and Chhamb.
17. The Union Cabinet has given its approval for liberalization, simplification and rationalization of the existing visa regime in India.
The approval will stimulate economic growth and ease travel for foreigners. It will facilitate entry of foreigners for tourism, business and medical purposes.
18. The Union Cabinet on 30 November 2016 approved the Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP) Phase-III.
The estimated cost of the project is Rs 8679 crore with completion cost of Rs 10947 crore.
19. The Border Security Force (BSF), the biggest border guarding force in the world celebrated its 51st Anniversary of Raising Day.
On this occasion, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh presented prestigious “Maharana Pratap Trophy- 2016” on the BSF Punjab Frontier.
20. Vittiya Saksharata Abhiyan (VISAKA) was launched by the Union Ministry for Human Resource Development (HRD) to make people aware about the cashless economic system.
It is a campaign by Higher Educational institutions for digital economy.
21. The Trial run of Lucknow Metro train was flagged off by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.
The solo trial run of the metro was undertaken by two young women pilots Prachi Sharma and Priyanka Sharma.
The trail run of the first phase of the metro project covers around four kms between Transport Nagar and Single Nagar Metro stations.
22. The Hornbill Festival began in the Naga Heritage village of Kisama.
The festival coincides with the Statehood Day of Nagaland which is observed on 1st December 2016.
It is tourism promotional extravaganza to revive, protect and preserve the richness and uniqueness of the Naga heritage.
It is also called as the “Festival of Festivals”.
23. The Delhi High Court has quashed ban imposed on 344 fixed dose combination (FDC) drugs by the Central Government over fears that they are potential health and safety hazards.
The HC held that Centre had acted in a haphazard manner and did not take the advice of the statutory bodies under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act before issuing ban notification.
24. The Supreme Court has approved Central Government’s Graded Response Action Plan to tackle different levels of pollution in Delhi-NCR.
The apex court also has asked Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to upgrade its existing infrastructure and set up additional monitoring stations in Delhi-NCR.
International – Across the Globe:
1. New Zealand was the most searched country by Indian travelers in 2016, with travel searches increasing by 52% this year when compared to 2015, according to a new Skyscanner survey.
Australia, the second most searched destination, recorded an increase of 47% in searches when compared to 2015.
2. The World Health Organization (WHO) has dropped the term ‘counterfeit’ and retained ‘falsified’ to describe medicines of inferior quality.
This decision was taken by a WHO’s technical working group on draft working definitions of substandard/spurious /falsely-labelled/falsified/counterfeit (SSFFC) medical products.
3. Thailand’s parliament invited Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn to be the new king, completing a formal step for the heir apparent to take the throne following the death of his father last month.
Vajiralongkorn’s father, the much-revered Bhumibol Adulyadej, who took the throne in 1946, died on October 13 at age of 88 after many years of ill health.
4. The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has formally inscribed Yoga in its representative list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Decision in this regard was taken by the Inter-governmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage meeting held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
5. China and Pakistan launched a direct rail and sea freight service with the first cargo train departing from China’s southwestern Yunnan province.
The service was launched with the first cargo train loaded with 500 tonnes of commodities left Kunming, the capital of Yunnan, an inland province in southwest China departed for Karachi.
1. Indian teen golfer Aditi Ashok shot a final round of three-under 69 on a weather-hit last day to notch up her second successive victory on the Ladies European Tour at the inaugural Qatar Ladies Open.
2. Indian boxer Sachin Singh won the gold medal at the AIBA (International Boxing Association) Youth World Championships in the 49 kg weight class.
In the summit clash held at St Peterburg (Russia), Sachin Singh defeated Jorge Grinan of Cuba by 5-0 score.
3. District Magistrate (DM) from Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh, Suhas LY created the history after winning the gold medal in the Asian Para-Badminton Championship in Beijing.
He defeated Hare Sushanto of Indonesia in the final.
4. Nico Rosberg won his first Formula 1 world title after finishing second at Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
5. AIBA has selected Vikas Krishnan for this year’s best boxer title for his excellent performance.
Vikas Krishan Yadav is the first Indian to receive this award.
6. Argentina fought back to beat Croatia 3-2 and win the Davis Cup for the first time in a dramatic final in Zagreb.
Argentina is the 15th winner of Davis Cup in 116 years.
7. Fifteen-time world champion Pankaj Advani suffered a 2-7 loss in the semifinals against Andrew Pagett of Wales to settle for a bronze medal at the IBSF World Snooker Championship.
8. Grandmaster Magnus Carlsen of Norway has won the 2016 World Chess Championship for the third consecutive time. He retained the title after defeating Sergey Karjakin of Russia.
Karjakin had tied against Carlsen in 12 regular rounds but was beaten in the final phase of four quickfire games.
9. 2016 world champion Nico Rosberg has sensationally retired from Formula 1 with immediate effect.
The German driver, 31, won the title less than a week ago, beating Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton to his first Drivers’ Championship.
Awards & Recognition:
1. Noted author Ruskin Bond was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award at Times Lit Fest for his outstanding contribution in the field of literature.
Bond, moments after receiving the award, reminded his young readers of climate change in the course of conversation with writer Paro Anand.
2. Iranian film “Daughter” has won the coveted Golden Peacock award at the 47th International Film Festival of India (IFFI).
It has been directed by Reza Mirkarimi.
It is a family drama set in southern Iran. It brings out the intergenerational conflict between a strict father and a young daughter.
3. “Magical Piano”, a short film by the Toonz Media Group has won an award at the prestigious UNESCO Salon Youth Video Competition 2016.
This unique story was written by Mayul Verma, an upper primary student from Agra, India, the release said.
4. As its 2016 word of the year, Dictionary.com has chosen “xenophobia,” which means “fear or hatred of foreigners, people from different cultures, or strangers.”
com is the second major outlet to make their 2016 selection, following Oxford’s choice to anoint ‘post-truth’ earlier in November.
5. A 1946 picture of Mahatma Gandhi with his ‘charkha’ (spinning wheel) in the foreground is among the 100 most influential images of all time, as per a compilation by Time magazine of “images that changed the world”.
The black and white photo of a bespectacled Gandhiji taken by Margaret Bourke-White shows the Father of the Nation sitting on a thin mattress on the floor, head bent down as he is reading the news while his spinning wheels sit in the foreground.
6. Microsoft’s Satya Nadella and Mastercard’s Ajay Banga are among four leading India-born CEOs who have sealed a place in Fortune’s Businessperson of the Year list topped by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Those India-born CEOs are: –
Nadella has been ranked fifth
Ajita Rajendra on the 34th spot
HDFC Bank’s Managing Director Aditya Puri on the 36th position
Mastercard’s Ajay Banga on 40th.
7. The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) has, for the first time, broken into the top 15 universities in the latest Times Higher Education (THE)’s BRICS and Emerging Economies University Rankings 2017.
8. Sachin Tendulkar’s autobiography “Playing it my Way” has won the Crossword Book of the Year Award (Autobiography category).
The book gives a rare insight into the life of arguably the greatest batsman of all time, who was even called the ‘God of Cricket’ by his fans.
9. The second Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) Ideologist Award for the year 2016 was awarded to Prof. Yu Long Yu of China.
The award is bestowed upon eminent Indologists working abroad who have made an outstanding contribution to the study/research/teaching of India’s history, philosophy, thought, art, culture, literature, languages, civilization, society etc.
10. All India Football Federation has won the AFC Developing Member Association of the Year Award at the Asian Football Confederation’s Annual Awards Night.
11. Katy Perry honoured with the humanitarian award at UNICEF event.
Hillary Clinton honoured singer Katy Perry with an Audrey Hepburn Humanitarian Award at UNICEF Gala.
Mergers & Acquisitions:
1. RBL Bank, one of the country’s fastest growing scheduled commercial banks, and Bajaj Finance, one of the most diversified NBFCs, announced a partnership to launch a series of co-branded credit cards for Indian customers.
The first of these credit cards is proposed to be launched in Q4 of FY17.
2. The Competition Commission (CCI) in the last week of November 2016 approved the merger of Bharatiya Mahila Bank Ltd (BMBL) with the country’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI).
In August, the SBI board cleared the merger of Bharatiya Mahila Bank Ltd (BMBL) and that of five associate lenders with itself.
Appointments & Resignations:
1. Lt. Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa was appointed Pakistan’s new army chief (or Chief of Army Staff, COAS).
He will succeed Gen. Raheel Sharif who has formally retired from service.
2. Former Hockey player Mariamma Koshy took charge of Hockey India as its president with immediate effect.
Hockey India, during its 41st Hockey India Executive Board meet, announced that Koshy will head the national body.
3. The Army has appointed Lieutenant General AK Bhatt as new Director General of Military Operations (DGMO).
Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh has been promoted to General Officer Commanding of Strike 1 Corps.
4. N Chandrababu Naidu appointed as the head of CMs Committee on Demonetization.
The Union Government has decided to constitute a sub-committee of Chief Ministers of five states in the wake of demonetization of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 denomination notes.
5. Susan Kiefel has been named as the next Chief Justice of the Australian High Court, the first woman to take on the role.
Justice Kiefel will replace the outgoing Chief Justice Robert French, who ends his term on the High Court bench because he has reached the mandatory retirement age of 70.
6. The Union Government has given senior IPS officer Rakesh Asthana additional charge of the post of Director, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
He took charge following the retirement of Anil Sinha.
7. Chitra Ramkrishna has quit as the Managing Director and CEO of the country’s premier bourse.
Her tenure was scheduled to end in March 2018.
Economics & Banking GK:
1. RBI has announced an incremental cash reserve ratio (CRR) of 100 per cent for banks for the fortnight beginning 26th November 2016, in order to tackle the surge in deposits following demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes.
2. South Indian Bank has launched a contactless debit card, which will make use of the Near Field Communication (NFC) technology.
Once the merchant enters the purchase amount in the contactless PoS terminal, the customer simply has to just wave the card on the terminal and the payment is processed wirelessly in a fast and secure manner.
3. After petrol pumps, cash can now be withdrawn by swiping debit cards at select Ola cabs as India’s largest ride-hailing service partners with lenders like State Bank of India (SBI) and Punjab National Bank to ease cash crunch.
POS machines are being installed by Ola on a test basis in its cabs in Kolkata and Hyderabad where taxis with a bank officer and POS machine are parked at different locations and dispense cash of Rs. 2,000 per card.
4. The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) has set up two high-level advisory committees to gather inputs from experts, including on service providers and corporate liquidation.
IBBI has been set up under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 and is expected to soon operationalize.
5. American Morgan Stanley has lowered its growth forecast for FY’17 to 7.3% from 7.7% earlier on account of currency replacement programme.
6. Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the economy grew by 7.1 per cent in the first half of 2016-17.
The economy grew by a five-quarter low of 7.1 percent in the first three months. Figures for the second quarter are to come on 1st December.
7. Utkarsh Micro Finance has received the final license from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to start operations as Small Finance Bank (SFB).
The new SFB will be named as ‘Utkarsh Small Finance Bank Ltd’ and is likely to start banking operations in early 2017, the company said in the statement.
8. ICICI Bank announced that it will transform 100 villages into ‘Digital Villages’ in as many days as part of its continuing effort to provide digital ecosystem across the country, including rural India.
Under this initiative, villagers will be able to open bank accounts using Aadharbased e-KYC and make cashless payments to retail stores through an SMS/USSD based mobile solution.
9. Home-grown food brand Amul will now sell its products in the US through online retailer Amazon‘s global selling programme.
Starting with Amul Ghee, the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), which markets brand Amul, will subsequently offer other products through this exclusive association in the US where it has been exporting since the last 20 years.
10. Private sector lender DCB Bank launched its own mobile and tab based digital wallet Cippy Wallet app.
This app will encourage consumers to experience cash free purchases from the mobile phone for day-to-day needs.
Bills – New & Amendments:
1. The Union Government has introduced the Taxation Laws (Second Amendment) Bill, 2016 (‘the Bill’) in the Parliament.
The bill amends existing tax laws to impose a higher rate of tax and penalty in respect of undisclosed incomes.
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU):
1. Canara Bank, a public sector bank, and Bajaj Allianz General Insurance, a private general insurance company, have signed a corporate agency agreement for the distribution of Bajaj Allianz’s general insurance products.
Both have set a target to achieve Rs. 400 crore business in the first year (FY 2017-18) of operations by utilizing Canara Bank’s 5,920 branch network spread across the country.
2. India has signed government-to-government (G2G) deal with the United States (US) to buy 145 M-777 Ultra-Light Howitzers worth $750 million under the Foreign Military Sales program.
Science & Technology:
1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently had launched the “Indian Police at Your Call” mobile app at a national police conference held in Hyderabad.
It was organized by the Intelligence Bureau (IB).
The app is a GIS Map based interface for the citizens to locate police stations near to their current location so that they can easily reach the police station in case of emergency.
2. Digital wallet firm MobiKwik has launched a data-light version of its mobile application, targeting smartphone users and small business owners who face challenges of slow Internet connectivity that hampers access to digital payments.
No email ID will be required for signing up.
3. An independent panel of British scientists and experts has formally given nod to introduce so-called three-parent baby fertility treatments or mitochondrial gene therapy (MGT) procedures.
4. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will launch 83 satellites, 80 of them being foreign, in one go in January next year.
Eighty satellites weighing 500 kg belonged to five foreign countries – Israel, Kazakhstan, Netherlands, Switzerland and the US.
5. Private sector lender Yes Bank launched SIMsePAY.
It allows any account holder to do money transfers, pay utility bills and other mobile banking services, without the need for smart-phones or internet.
6. Private sector RBL Bank has launched ‘Aadhaar Payment Bridge System’ (APBS) for small ticket micro-finance loan disbursements.
The APBS system can now enable MFIs to disburse loan amounts directly in Aadhaar enabled bank accounts through RBL Bank.
7. Scientists from Israel have created the world’s first ‘water-wave laser’ that emits a beam through the interaction of light and water waves.
The study conducted by the team of researchers from Technion-Israel Institute of Technology led by Professor Tal Carmon.
8. TeamIndus, a private aerospace startup company is planning to send a spacecraft to the moon aboard, an Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) rocket on 28th December 2017.
It will be India’s first private moon mission to be launched. It will be launched onboard of ISRO’s workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).
9. Scientists from Russia have developed a new unique, low-cost method for producing high-quality nuclear fuel using electricity.
It is an alternative novel method that forms the basis of powder metallurgy and involves electric pulse sintering under pressure.
1. International Day of Persons with Disabilities, celebrated on 3rd December 2016 is an international observance promoted by the United Nations since 1992.
The observance of the Day aims to bring the Persons with Disabilities into the mainstream.
The theme for this year’s International Day is “Achieving 17 Goals for the Future We Want”.
1. Noted Marathi author Anand Yadav passed away in Pune, Maharashtra. He was 80.
His autobiography novel ‘Zombi’ had won him prestigious Sahitya Akadmi award in 1991.
2. Cuba’s former president Fidel Castro, one of the world’s longest-serving and most iconic leaders, has died aged 90.
Castro toppled the government in 1959, introducing a Communist revolution.
He defied the US for decades, surviving many assassination plots.
Important Abbreviations Used in This Article
|SVPNPA||Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy|
|UNCITRAL||United Nations Commission on International Trade Law|
|POJK||Pakistan Occupied Areas of Jammu & Kashmir|
|MUTP||Mumbai Urban Transport Project|
|VISAKA||Vittiya Saksharata Abhiyan|
|WHO||World Health Organisation|
|UNESCO||United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization|
|AIBA||International Boxing Association|
|ICCR||Council For Cultural Relations|
|BMBL||Bharatiya Mahila Bank Ltd.|
|COAS||Chief Of Army Staff|
|DGMO||Director General of Military Operations|
|IBBI||Insolvency And Bankruptcy Board of India|
|MGT||Mitochondrial Gene Therapy|
|APBS||Aadhaar Payment Bridge System|
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