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December 2018 Daily News Current Affairs

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  1. Dec 31, 2018
    1. Visits to India (Dec 21 - 31, 2018) -
      1. Prime Minister of Bhutan, Lotay Tshering Visited India.
        1. India announced to contribute INR 4500 crores to Bhutan for 12th five-year plan.
        2. 2018 also marks 50th (Golden Jubilee year) of establishment of formal diplomatic relations between India and Bhutan.
        3. 2018 also marks 50th (Golden Jubilee year) of establishment of formal diplomatic relations between India and Bhutan.
      2. Wang Yi, Foreign Minister of China Visited India, to attend first-ever meeting of India-China High-Level Mechanism on Cultural and People-to-People Exchanges, held in New Delhi.
    2. National Children’s Science Congress 2018 held at SOA (Deemed to be university) in Bhubaneswar (Odisha), as 26th edition of National Science Congress. Theme of 26th National Children’s Science Congress is Science, Technology and Innovation for a Clean, Green and Healthy Nation.
    3. General Conferences (Dec 21 - 31, 2018) -
      1. To commemorate 200th Birth Anniversary of Sikh philosopher, reformer and freedom fighter, Sri Satguru Ram Singhji, an International Seminar held in New Delhi.
      2. World Herbal Forest Project inaugurated as a collaboration of Patanjali and Haryana Government, at Morni Hill, near Chandigarh. It is aimed at developing a forest of medicinal plants which will provide a boost to Ayurvedic industry. About 25 different varieties of plants found in the country will be housed in this forest.
      3. President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated Centre of Excellence Genetic Blood Disorders at Prathima Institute of Medical Sciences in Karimnagar (Telangana).
      4. Sahitya Kala Parishad, Department of Art, Culture and Languages (Delhi Government) organized 6th edition of Yuva Natya Samaroh at Kamani Auditorium in New Delhi.
      5. 15th edition Global SME Business Summit organised by Ministry of MSME and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in association with Government e-marketplace in New Delhi.
      6. First meeting of Follow-up Committee for implementation of the Trilateral Chabahar Agreement between India, Afghanistan and Iran held in the port city of Chabahar in Iran.
        1. India Ports Global Limited Company has opened its office and took over operations at the Shaheed Behesti port at Chabahar.
      7.  A Joint workshop between ICRC and CUNPK on “Integrated Protection on Civilians (IPOC)” in UN peacekeeping operations conducted at Manekshaw Centre in New Delhi.
      8. International Gita Festival 2018 organised in Kurukshetra in Haryana, as 3rd edition of the event. Mauritius is partner country and Gujarat is partner state.
      9. 12th edition of annual Global Healthcare Summit held in Mumbai,  jointly organized by American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) and Global Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (GAPIO).
      10. India submitted its Sixth National Report (NR6) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), during 13th National Meeting of the State Biodiversity Boards (SBBs) in New Delhi.
        1. Submission of national reports is a mandatory obligation on Parties to international treaties, including CBD. 
        2. NR6 provides an update of progress in achievement of 12 National Biodiversity Targets (NBT) developed under Convention process in line with the 20 global Aichi biodiversity targets. 
      11. 3 state level campaign on “Beti Bachao Beti Padhao” organized in Maharashtra, Goa and Dadra & Nagar Haveli to spread awareness among people to save and educate girls.
    4. Bills passed in Winter Session 2018-2019 -
      1. Lok Sabha passed Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, known as Triple Talaq Bill. It would replace the ordinance passed in September 2018. It makes all types of declaration of triple talaq to be void and illegal. Declaration of Triple Talaq would be a cognizable offence, attracting up to three years’ imprisonment with a fine.
        1. Cognizable offence is one for which a police officer may arrest an accused person without a warrant.
        2. A Muslim Women against whom the triple talaq is pronounced is entitled to seek subsistence allowance from her husband for herself and for her dependent children and the amount of the allowance will be determined by Magistrate.
      2. Lok Sabha passed Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill 2016, banning commercial surrogacy and allowing only altruistic surrogacy. It protects rights of the surrogate mother and child born from surrogacy and promotes ethical surrogacy.
        1. Surrogacy is defined as an agreement between a couple who cannot conceive and a surrogate mother to carry their child.
        2. The bill is applicable to all Indian states, except Jammu and Kashmir.
        3. Bill provides for constitution of National Surrogacy board and State Surrogacy board for regulation of surrogacy process.
        4. It bars couple who already have children, to go for surrogacy.
        5. Women can only surrogate once in her lifetime and her age should be in between 25 to 35 years.
        6. Couple who intend for surrogacy should be aged between 23 to 50 years and married for at least 5 years.
      3. Lok Sabha passed Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill 2016, which seeks to empower the transgender community in the country by providing them a separate identity.
      4. Lok Sabha passed Consumer Protection Bill 2018 -
        1. It aims to protect consumers' interests through a redressal mechanism that would ensure timely and effective settlement of disputes.
        2. It seeks to establish a Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) to protect consumer rights and look into the issues related to false or misleading ads. It calls for strict punishment and fines for misleading advertisements and food adulteration.
        3. District Commissions will have mandate to hear complaints having claim worth one crore rupees. In the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 this limit was 20 lakh rupees. Limit of Commissions’ at State level enhanced from 1 to 15 crore rupees. Complaints above 15 crore rupees worth of claim will be settled by National Commission.
    5. Misc. Sporting Events (December 2018) -
      1. Commonwealth Senior Fencing Championships held in Canberra (Australia). India won 3 medals (2 gold and 1 bronze).Medal tally topped by England with 6 gold, 6 silver and 4 bronze.
      2. Ullas Narayan became first ever Indian individual medal winner in an international ultra running event by clinching a bronze in 2018 International Association of Ultra Running (IAU) 24 Hour Asia & Oceania Championships in Taipei.
      3. Australian Golfer Minjee Lee became first woman to win prestigious Greg Norman Medal as best Australian golfer.
      4. Atlawim Debebe of Ethiopia won Men's Full Marathon Title in Pune International Marathon 2018, with timing of 2 hours 17 minutes 17 seconds. In women’s Full Marathon, Pascalia Chepkogei from Kenya stood first with timing of 2 hour 50 minutes 27 seconds.
      5. Indian Olympic Association (IOA) submitted formal expression of interest to bid for 2032 Olympics, with Mumbai and Delhi as top two options under consideration. Bidding process will start in 2022 and host city will be decided by 2025.
      6. International Olympic Committee IOC has set up an advisory committee on human rights chaired by Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein. Human rights standards will be included in Olympic host-city contracts beginning with 2024 Olympic in Paris.
      7. Senior National Wrestling Championships held at Nandini Nagar in Gonda (Uttar Pradesh).
      8. 9th Admirals Cup Sailing Regatta (2018) held at Ettikulam Beach at Indian Naval Academy Ezhimala (INA) Kerala. tonight. Team Italy won it with Team Singapore staying 2nd. Host country (Indian Naval Academy) finished 4th.
      9. 2nd Edition of Khelo India school games will begin from January 9, 2019 in Pune (Maharashtra). It will allow participants to compete in two categories, (Under 17) and (Under 21). Now, these games will be known as Khelo India Youth Games, also allowing students from colleges and Universities to compete.
      10. Pakistan leg-spinner Yasir Shah became fastest bowler to take 200 Test wickets (in 33 Test matches), Breaking an 82-year-old record held by Australian leg-spinner Clarrie Grimmett who did it in 36 Tests.
      11. Golfer Shubhankar Sharma won 2018 Asian Tour Order of Merit champion Title, becoming 5th overall and youngest Indian to top Asian Tour money list in a particular season.
      12. Madhya Pradesh's Ajay Rohera slammed highest first-class score world record on debut, with unbeaten 267 score against Hyderabad in Ranji Trophy Match.
      13. First event of the US Kids Golf India Tour was held Classic Golf & Country Club in Gurugram(Haryana).
      14. 62nd National Shooting Championship Competitions (NSCC) Shotgun organized by National Rifle Association of India at Jaipur (Rajasthan).
      15. SAIL won 115th All India Aga Khan Gold Cup hockey tournament, defeating Army XI.
      16. American professional basketball team Golden State Warriors named 2018 Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year. Other Winners of 2018 Sports Illustrated Awards. WWE Player John Cena received Muhammad Ali Legacy Award.
      17. 21st Usha National Athletics Sports Championships held in New Delhi.
      18. Joshna Chinappa won National Squash Women’s Singles title as her 16th National title.
      19. 37th Senior National Rowing Championships held in Pune.
      20. Indian Cricketer Virat Kohli became second fastest player to score 25 Test Centuries, only behind former Australian legend Sir Don Bradman.
      21. Belgium ranked at number one position in end-of-the-year FIFA global Football team rankings, 1 point aheadof current World Champions France.
      22. Lewis Hamilton (UK) has been awarded with Drivers’ Driver of the Year after claiming 5th F1 World Drivers’ Championship, becoming 3rd racer to secure 5th world title.
      23. Croatia Footballer Luka Modric named Balkan Athlete of the Year, becoming only 2nd soccer player to win this title.
      24. 3rd women’s national boxing championships held in Vijayanagara (Karnataka).
      25. Indian bowler Jasprit Bumrah became highest wicket-taker in international cricket in 2018, picking 78 wickets in 2018.
      26. Cricketer Dale Steyn became highest wicket-taker for South Africa in Test cricket, overtaking Shaun Pollack.
      27. American alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin became youngest woman to win 50 World Cup ski races with victory in slalom in French Alps.
      28. Wrestler Bala Rafiq Shaikh won Maharashtra Kesari Wrestling Championship 2018, by defeating Abhijeet Katke.
      29. Indian Junior Golfers won 11 medals, including 4 Gold at US Kids Golf World Championship.
    6. Persons Retired / Resigned (December 2018) -
      1. Gautam Gambhir - Indian cricketer.
      2. Paul Polman - Resigned as CEO of Unilever (consumer goods firm).
      3. Urjit Patel - Resigned as Governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Mr. Patel is First RBI governor to resign before completion of term, which was to end in September 2019.
      4. Upendra Kushwaha - Resigned as Minister of State in Ministry of Human Resource Development.
      5. Ananth Narayanan - Resigned as CEO of Fashion e-tailer Myntra,with his Postset to be abolished. Flipkart's Amar Nagaram appointed as head of Myntra.
      6. Dharmesh Mehta - Resigned as MD & CEO of Axis Capital. Salil Pitale and Chirag Negandhi appointed as Joint MD and Co-CEO of the entity.
      7. Surjit S Bhalla - resigned as Member of Economic Advisory Council to Prime Minister. Council is headed by NITI Aayog member Bibek Debroy.
      8. Charles Michel - Resigned as Belgian Prime Minister.
      9. Anup Kumar - Indian Kabaddi player and former World Cup-winning captain.
    7. Obituaries (Dec 2018) -
      1. George H .W. Bush - Former USA President.
      2. Arun Kumar Shaw - Swimmer (Seven-time former national champion).
      3. Jagdish Thakkar - Senior journalist and Public Relations Officer (PRO) in PM office.
      4. Lyudmila Alexeyeva - Noted Russian rights activist and former Soviet dissident.
      5. Mushirul Hasan - Noted Historian. He has extensively written on India’s Partition.
      6. Thoppil Ajayan - National award winning Malayalam film director.
      7. Nancy Wilson - 3 times Grammy award winner american jazz singer.
      8. Pandit Arun Bhaduri - Noted classical singer. She is named as one of masters of Bengali songs and bhajans.
      9. Tulsi Giri - Former Nepalese Prime Minister.
      10. Tulsi Ramsay - Filmmaker. He is noted for directing old Bollywood Horror flicks.
      11. Sulagitti Narasamma - Padma Shri awardee Noted Social worker.
      12. Dipali Borthakur - Noted Assamese singer, also known as the “Nightingale of Assam”.
      13. Prabhanjan - Noted Tamil writer and Sahitya Akademi award winner.
      14. Dwijen Mukhopadhyay - Noted Rabindra Sangeet singer.
      15. Jai Narain Prasad Nishad - Former Union Minister, served as Minister of state, Environment and Forests (IC) during 1996-97.
      16. Hamidi Kashmiri - Noted Urdu Literataur.
      17. Mrinal Sen - Noted filmmaker.
      18. Lawrence Gilman Roberts - American Scientist, known for development of ARPANET, called early Internet.
      19. Norman Gimbel - the Oscar and Grammy-winning American lyricist.
      20. Nirendranath Chakraborty - Noted Bengali poet.
      21. Shehu Shagari - 2nd President of Nigeria.
    8. Misc. Appointments (December 2018) -
      1. National Healthcare Foundation NATHEALTH appointed Siddhartha Bhattacharya as Secretary-General.
      2. Yes Bank appointed former IRDAI chief T.S. Vijayan as an additional director (Independent).
      3. Indian-origin Shamila Batohi appointed as South Africa’s first female chief prosecutor.
      4. Heather Nauert - New US Ambassador to United Nations.
      5. Mark Milley - Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff of USA (senior most military officer in USA and principal military advisor to President).
      6. Government appointed Lalit Kumar as new government nominee on private sector ICICI Bank Board.
      7. Bharat Bhushan Vyas - Member in Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).
      8. Anil Srivastava - Re-designated as Principal Adviser in NITI Aayog.
      9. Ashok Kumar Singh - Appointed as Secretary in National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST).
      10. Ashley Giles appointed as managing director of England’s cricket team.
      11. Justice Tarun Agarwala appointed as Securities Appellate Tribunal presiding officer.
      12. T.C. Barupal appointed new Ambassador of India to Republic of Guinea (West Africa).
      13. Andreas Goss - Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Thyssenkrupp Tata Steel B.V., proposed joint venture (JV) between Tata Steel and Thyssenkrupp (Germany based industrial engineering and steel production Firm).
      14. Madhavi Divan Appointed as ASG (Additional Solicitor General) in Supreme Court.
        1. Solicitor General of India is subordinate to Attorney General of India. He is 2nd law officer of the country and assists Attorney General. Solicitor General is assisted by 4 Additional Solicitors Generals.
        2. Current solicitor general of India is Tushar Mehta.
        3. Current Attorney General of India is K. K. Venugopal.
      15. Ashok Kumar appointed as Ambassador of India to Djibouti (East Africa).
      16. M Nageswara Rao - Appointed as Additional Director in CBI.
      17. Mohinder Pratap Singh appointed as Ambassador of India to Mongolia.
      18. Infosys appointed Nilanjan Roy as its chief financial officer.
      19. Sangeeta Verma appointed as a member of Competition Commission of India (CCI). Current chairperson of CCI is Ashok Kumar Gupta.
      20. Indian Olympic Association (IOA) Secretary General Rajeev Mehta elected as President of South Asian Fencing Federation (SAFF).
      21. Rajeev Sachdeva apointed as Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff (Operations) (DCIDS). 
      22. FedEx Express (U.S. multinational courier delivery giant) named Indian-American Rajesh Subramaniam as President & CEO.
      23. Y.K. Sailas Thangal appointed as New Indian ambassador to Liberia.
      24. Ambika Prasad Panda appointed as Chairman and Managing Director of South Eastern Coalfields Limited (SECL).
      25. Riva Ganguly Das appointed as India's next High Commissioner to Bangladesh.
      26. Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd appointed Bijay Kumar as its deputy managing director.
      27. Rahul Chhabra appointed as next Ambassador of India to Somalia.
    9. Industrial Awards (December 2018)
      1. Outstanding Case Writer award presented to ICFAI Business School by UK- Based The Case Centre.
      2. Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has been conferred the Skoch Award for National Significance, for its critical role in installing about 73 GW renewable energy capacity in country. India ranks 4 in in wind energy capacity and 5th in solar & total renewable energy.
        1. Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu has been conferred Skoch Golden Jubilee Challenger Award at 55th Skoch Summit in New Delhi.
        2. Chief Minister of West Bengal has been awarded the Skoch Chief Minister of the Year Award for 2017.
      3. IIT Kharagpur won DSCI Excellence Award 2018 by Data Security Council of India (DSCI), for its contributions inCyber Security education.
      4. Sundaram Finance MD T T Srinivasaraghavan presented the lifetime achievement award at Trinity Arts Festival in Chennai.
      5. IIT Mandi Professor Rajanish Giri has been given Innovative Young Biotechnologist Award (IYBA) 2018 for his proposed innovative idea on Zika virus Capsid Folding and inhibitor discovery.
      6. Tata Steel declared as winner of Prime Minister’s Trophy for ‘Best Performing Integrated Steel Plant’ for 2016-17, as 4th consecutive year for Tata Steel being honored with this award.
      7. Jharkhand selected for "Krishi Karman" award in rice category from Ministry of Agriculture. Award to be given away in February next year carries a cash prize of Rs 2 crores.
      8. Energy efficient pumps maker CRI pumps won National Energy Conservation Award 2018 in pumps category for fourth time. While, Indian Railways won 17 awards, as highest number of awards bagged by a single organisation.
      9. Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation awarded Best Capital City in Solid Waste Management in Swachh Survekshan 2018 rankings.
    10. Indian GDP Growth Forecasts (December 2018) -
      1. Crisil has cut India’s growth forecast for current fiscal (2018-19), by 10 basis points to 7.4 %.
      2. Fitch Ratings, in its report- Global Economic Outlook, slashed India’s GDP growth forecast to 7.2 % for current fiscal, lower than RBI’s projection of 7.4%.
      3. Asian Development Bank (ADB) retained India’s growth forecast at 7.3% for current fiscal (2018-19) and 7.6% in following financial year (2019-20).
      4. ICICI Bank projected Indian GDP to grow at 7.2% in 2018-19 and 7.4 % in FY 2019-20.
  2. Dec 30, 2018
    1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Andaman and Nicobar Islands, to mark 75th anniversary of hoisting of Tricolour on Indian soil by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.
      1. On December 30 in 1943, Indian tricolour was hoisted at Cellular Jail in Port Blair for first time by legendary freedom fighter Netaji Subash Chandra Bose. It was before India attained Independence, declaring island as the free territory from British rule.
      2. Central Government released Rs 75 coin to commemorate this historic event.
      3. On this occasion, Govt. renamed Ross Island as Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Dweep, Neil Island as Shaheed Dweep and Havelock Island renamed as Swaraj Dweep.
    2. PM Narendra Modi released commemorative stamp on Maharaja Suheldev, who ias said to have defeated and killed Ghaznavid general Ghazi Saiyyad Salar Masud at Bahraich, in early 11th century.
    3. A single-member DS Hooda panel, set up by Defence Ministry and National Security Advisory Board (NSAB) has recommended creation of new specialised units for information warfare in areas where counter-insurgency operations are being conducted. Mr Hooda oversaw surgical strikes conducted across Line of Control (LoC) in 2016.
    4. Provision Coverage Ratio (PCR) of Public sector banks gone up from 46.04 on March 2015 to 66.85% in September 2018, reflecting improvement in their financial health. Provision coverage ratio (PCR) gives an indication of the provision made against bad loans from the profit generated. Higher the PCR, lower is unexposed part of bad debts.
    5. Indian American Mahum Siddiqi won inaugural “Digital Transformation Hackathon” at Cornell University in USA, for designing a device which can detect actual level of pain of a patient during a diagnosis.
    6. China launched 6 Yunhai-2 atmospheric environment research satellites and a test communication satellite of Hongyan constellation into orbit. Yunhai-2 satellites will study environment and first test satellite of Hongyan constellation will be used to verify function of mobile communications in low earth orbit (LEO).
    7. Uzbekistan named 2019 as Year of Active Investment and Social Development, after proposed investments from India to boost its economy.
    8. Telangana’s MNJ Institute of Oncology and Regional Cancer Centre entered Guinness Book of World Records ‘for organising the largest men’s Health Awareness programme on prostate cancer on a single day.’
    9. UN General Assembly adopted two Russian Resolutions on International Information Security (IIS), aimed at achieving inclusive and transparent UN negotiations process on security in use of information and communication technologies. Resolutions are Developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security and Countering the use of information and communications technologies for criminal purposes.
    10. National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) launched a toll-free number 14433 and a facility to file complaints through Common Service Center (CSC). People can now send their complaints related to human rights violation through both the free number and CSCs.
    11. Delhi Police became first police force in country to digitise all malkhanas across every police station in state under e-malkhana project.
      1. Makhanas are rooms for keeping seized arms and ammunition.
    12. RBI extended relaxation offered to banks for offering liquidity support to non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) until March 31st 2019.
      1. To facilitate banks to lend to NBFCs / Housing Finance Corporations (HFCs), RBI allowed banks to use government securities equivalent to their outstanding credit for non-bank lenders(NBFC and HFC), in addition to outstanding credit they had, to comply with requirements of liquidity coverage index (LCR).
      2. Highly liquid assets that banks and financial institutions hold to meet their short-term obligations is known as LCR.
  3. Dec 29, 2018
    1. Book ‘Prince, Patron and Patriarch Maharaja Jagatjit Singh of Kapurthala’, co-authored by Maharaja’s grandson Sukhjit Singh, and Cynthia Frederick, has been released.
    2. Uttar Pradesh Cabinet approved constituting Bundelkhand Development Board (BDB) and Purvanchal Development Board (PDB). Cabinet also approved setting up of the UP Traders Welfare Board to address problems faced by traders in state with regards to the GST.
    3. Tribal Baduga community in Nilgiris district of Tamil Nadu celebrated their annual Heddaiyamman festival.
    4. West Bengal Govt. approval for an online system for mutation of propert, to ease property mutation and check illegal practices. State Cabinet also approved a proposal by Flipkart to set up a logistic hub at Haringhata in Nadia district, at investment of Rs INR 991 crores.
    5. Power Ministry mandated use of smart prepaid electricity meters in the country beginning April 2019, to be completed in 3 years. This would help in reduction in AT&C losses, better health of DISCOMs, ease of bill payments and doing away with paper bills.
      1. Ministry of Road Transport and Highways mandated fitting of high security registration plates (HSRP) for all vehicles from April 2019. An HSRP is a chromium-based hologram on number plates, making it easier to track in case of stolen vehicle.
    6. According to research firm CRISIL, compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of security-service small and medium enterprises(SMEs) would be at 18-20% over next 2 years.
    7. Russia successfully tested a new hypersonic missile dubbed “Avangard,” with speeds of more than 30,000 kilometres per hour. It can fly at 20 times speed of sound and could manoeuvre up and down, to breach defence systems.
    8. Andry Rajoelina won presidential elections of Madagascar (East Africa).
  4. Dec 28, 2018
    1. Cabinet Approvals (Dec 28, 2018) -
      1. General Approvals -
        1. Approved Submission of India's second Biennial Update Report (BUR) to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change towards fulfilment of reporting obligation under Convention.
          1. BUR contains five major components - National Circumstances, National Greenhouse Gas Inventory, Mitigation Actions, Finance, Technology and Capacity Building Needs and Support Received and Domestic Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) arrangements.
        2. Approved draft National Commission for Homoeopathy Bill 2018, that seeks to replace existing regulator Central Council for Homoeopathy (CCH) with a new body to ensure transparency. It includes constitution of a National Commission with three autonomous boards entrusted with conducting overall education of Ayurveda.
        3. Approved National Commission for Indian Systems of Medicine (NCIM) Bill 2018, to replace existing regulator (Central Council for Indian Medicine). National Commission for Indian Systems of Medicine aims to promote transparency and accountability. It provides for constitution of a National Commission with four autonomous boards.
          1. Board of Ayurveda would be responsible for overseeing the overall education of Ayurveda.
          2. Board of Unani, Siddha and Sowarigpa will be responsible for overseeing the overall education of Unani, Siddha and Sowarigpa.
          3. The bill provides for two common boards, Board of Assessment and Rating and Board of Ethics and Registration.
        4. Approved proposal for Amendment in Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act 2012, to make punishment more stringent for committing sexual crimes against children, Inlcluding death Penalty.
          1. Section-4, Section-5 and Section-6 are proposed to be amended to provide option of stringent punishment, including death penalty, for aggravated penetrative sexual assault crime on a child.
          2. Amendments are also proposed in section-9 to protect children from sexual offences in times of natural calamities and disasters.
          3. Section-14 and 15 are proposed to be amended to address menace of child pornography.
        5. Approved Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification 2018, which was last reviewed and issued in 2011. It will lead to enhanced activities in coastal regions while conserving the coastal environment. Features Include -
          1. Allowing Floor Space Index (FSI) or Floor Area Ratio (FAR) as per current norms in CRZ areas, which was frozen as per 1991 Development Control Regulation (DCR) levels in As per CRZ 2011 Notification
          2. Densely populated rural areas to be afforded greater opportunity for development
          3. Tourism infrastructure for basic amenities to be promoted.
          4. Pocedure for CRZ clearances has been streamlined.
          5. A No Development Zone (NDZ) of 20 meters has been stipulated for all Islands.
          6. All Ecologically Sensitive Areas have been accorded special importance
          7. Pollution abatement has been accorded special focus
          8. Defence and strategic projects have been accorded necessary dispensation. 
        6. Approved Gaganyaan Programme with demonstration of Indian Human Spaceflight capability to low earth orbit for a mission duration ranging from one orbital period to a maximum of seven days. A human rated GSLV Mk-lll will be used to carry orbital module which will sustain a 3-member crew for the mission. Total fund requirement for Gaganyaan Programme is within 10000 crores.
      2. MOUs -
        1. Cuba and South Korea in area of Biotechnology.
        2. Approved Framework Agreement with Sao Tome & Principe (Central Africa) on Cooperation in Exploration and Uses of Outer Space for Peaceful Purposes.
      3. CCEA Approvals -
        1. Approved listing 7 Central Public Sector Enterprises(CPSE) on Stock Exchange through Initial Public Offering (IPO) /Further Public Offer (FPO) -
          1. Telecommunication Consultants (India) Ltd.[TCIL]- IPO
          2. RailTel Corporation India Ltd. - IPO
          3. National Seed Corporation India Ltd. (NSC) - IPO
          4. Tehri Hydro Development Corporation Limited (THDC) - IPO
          5. Water & Power Consultancy Services (India) Limited [WAPCOS Ltd.] - IPO
          6. FCI Aravali Gypsum and Minerals (India) Limited [FAGMIL]- IPO
          7. Kudremukh Iron Ore Company Limited (KIOCL) – FPO
        2. Approved increase in Minimum Support Price (MSP) for Fair Average Quality (FAQ) of "Milling Copra" to 9521 per quintal for 2019 season (Hike of INR 2000 per quintal).
        3. Increased export incentives granted for Onions under Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) from existing 5% to 10%, to benefit farmers.
    2. Home Ministry declared Nagaland as disturbed area for six more months till June-end under Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA).
    3. Indian Short film Finding Beauty in Garbage won best short documentary award at Asia South East Short Film Festival recently held at Phnom Penh in Cambodia. Its based on issues surrounding mountains of garbage in Dibrugarh town of Assam.
    4. HDFC Group overtook Tata Group to become India’s largest business house in terms of market value. Combined market capitalisation of five listed companies from HDFC Group stood at 10.4 lakh crores, as per Bloomberg data. This is higher than 10.38 lakh crore market value of 25 listed companies of Tata Group.
    5. Central Railways developed an in-house robot named 'USTAAD' - 'Undergear Surveillance Through Artificial Intelligence Assisted Droid', to checks for safety in under gear parts of train coaches.
      1. Also, Central Railways’ Nagpur division introduced technology called Automated Train Examination System (ATES) for enhancement of train safety, developed by Konkan Railway. It eliminates mechanical examination of parts of trains, to uplift efficiency and safety
    6. Thailand became first Southeast Asian nation to legalise use of marijuana and kratom for medical use and research.
      1. Also, Israel’s parliament (Knesset) approved exporting of medical marijuana, making Israel 3rd country after Netherlands and Canada, to take its medical cannabis global.
    7. According global capital markets data provider Dealogic, India is now getting more FDI than China for first time in two decades. In 2018, India saw more than $38 billion of inbound deals compared with China’s $32 billion.
    8. Pakistan cabinet approved issuance of first-ever renminbi-denominated 'Panda Bonds' to raise loans from China's capital markets, as country moved a step forward to give Chinese currency status at par with US dollar.
    9. Government appointed Sudhir Bhargava as New Chief Information Commissioner (CIC), along with four new information commissioners - Yashwardhan Kumar Sinha, Vanaja N Sarna, Neeraj Kumar Gupta and Suresh Chandra.
    10. As per RBI Data, Banks swas a significant improvement in recovery of stressed assets in FY 2018, helped by Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) and amendments in Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interests (SARFAESI) Act. In FY 2018, banks recovered INR 40400 crore worth of bad loans as against INR 38500 crores recovered in FY17.
      1. Also, As per RBIs Trends & Progress of Banking in 2017-18 report, system-wide Gross Non-Performing Assets (NPA) of banks rose to 11.2 % or at Rs 10.39 trillion in FY18 from 9.3 % a year ago.
      2. Share of public sector banks stood at 8.95 trillion (14.6 %), where as Private sector banks’ NPA ratio is much lower at 4.7 %.
    11. 42nd Indian Social Science Congress held at KIIT University campus in Bhubaneswar (Odisha), with theme Human Future in Digital Era.
    12. RBI approved Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) to use a INR 1000-crore corpus for funding microlenders, kept by SIDBI for some other purposes. SIDBI recently sought RBI’s approval for using it for microfinance sector.
    13. RBI launched a ‘Survey on Retail Payment Habits of Individuals', to capture payment habits of individuals in six cities Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru and Guwahati. Sigma Research & Consulting Pvt Ltd has been engaged to conduct fieldwork of survey.
    14. Central Asian Nation Turkmenistan launched its first messaging app BizBarde. ex-Soviet Nation Turkmenistan has blocked Western social services including Twitter, Facebook and Whatsapp.
    15. Nepal imposed a monthly limit on the amount of Indian currency its citizen can spend in India. Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) stated that a Nepali citizen would be unable to spend more than INR 1 lakh per month while paying for goods and services in India.
      1. Recently, Nepal banned Indian currency above Rs 100 (Including New Indian notes of Rs 2,000, Rs 500 and Rs 200 denominations).
  5. Dec 27, 2018
    1. Government will soon appoint a committee to oversee the implementation of recommendations of the Doubling Farmers’ Income (DFI) committee headed by Ashok Dalwai.
      1. DFI Committee was formed in 2016, headed by Ashok Dalwai, to suggest ways to reform agricultural ecosystem, so that farmers’ income can be doubled by 2022.
    2. Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan launched ‘Ujjwala Sanitary Napkin’ initiative In Odisha, to improve accessibility to basic sanitary pads and create employment opportunity to women.
      1. In February 2018, Odisha government had launched ‘Khushi’ scheme, to provide free sanitary napkins in government schools.
    3. New State government of Rajasthan abolished condition of a minimum educational qualification to contest local body elections, which was put in place in 2015 by previous Goverment.
      1. Candidates were Required to have passed Class X for contesting municipal elections, Class VIII for contesting panchayat polls for the post of a sarpanch, and Class X for contesting zila parishad or panchayat samiti elections.
    4. PM Narendra Modi inaugurated International Rice Research Institute South Asia Regional Centre (IRRI SARC) in Varanasi, as 6th campus of IRRI SARC. IRRI SARC will educate scientists and agriculture leaders about latest technologies and innovations for sustainable farming.
    5. RBI has set up an expert committee headed by its former governor Bimal Jalan, to suggest how the central bank should handle its reserves and whether it can transfer its surplus to the government. Former RBI deputy governor Rakesh Mohan is committee's vice chairman.
    6. A postal stamp dedicated to Nabin Chandra Das, inventor of Rosogolla launched during Bagbazar-O-Rosogolla Utsob in West Bengal, marking 150th year of its invention.
      1. Tussle between Bengal and Odisha over originship of Rosogolla started in 2015. GI authorities ruled in the favour of West Bengal. Odisha has now applied to get GI tag for a variant of Rosogolla, the Odishara Rosogolla.
    7. Government launched Subhash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskaar annual awards to recognise exemplary work done in field of disaster management. 3 institutions and individuals will be given the award annually with cash rewards between 5 - 51 lakh. For 2019, award would be announced on January 23, birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.
    8. Indian Railways will build India’s first vertical-lift bridge to connect Rameswaram to mainland India, allowing ships to pass without any hindrance. It would replace 104-year-old Pamban bridge, to be ready by 2023.
      1. New Vertical Bridge will have a 63-metre stretch which will lift up while remaining parallel to the deck to allow access to the ships.
      2. Pamban Bridge was first sea bridge of India and was the longest sea bridge in India until the Bandra-Worli Sea Link was opened in 2010.
    9. China’s BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) started offering global navigation services, to rival America’s Global Positioning System (GPS). Pakistan became first foreign nation to use BeiDou system.
      1. BeiDou is 4th global navigation system after US’s GPS, Russia’s GLONASS and the European Union’s Galileo.
      2. India’s Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) (named NAVIC) is a regional satellite navigation system that provides accurate real-time positioning services covering region extending 1500 km around India. Plans are to expand NavIC system by increasing number of satellites from 7 to 11.
    10. As per Public Enterprises Survey 2017-18 -
      1. Top 5 Most Profitable PSUs - Indian Oil Corporation, ONGC, NTPC Coal India and Power Grid Corporation.
      2. Top 10 profitable CPSEs accounted for 61.83 % of total profit earned by all 184 profitable CPSEs.
      3. BSNL, Air India and MTNL incurred highest losses for 2nd consecutive year, with 52.15 % of total loss incurred by CPSEs in 2017-18.
      4. There were 339 Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSE) in 2017-18, out of which 257 was in operation. Remaining 82 of CPSEs are under construction.
    11. Annual river festival named Dwijing held on the bank of River Aie at Chirang district in Assam.
    12. Government banned Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for its unsocial activities during its violent campaign for secession of Punjab. KLF is 40th organisation to be proscribed under UAPA law.
      1. KLF came into existence in 1986 with objective of establishing an independent Khalistan by secession of Punjab from India through violent means.
    13. Odisha forest department will add another olive ridley mass nesting site to its wildlife map, after preparing beach at Bahuda river mouth in Ganjam districtm, to lure endangered turtles to come over for mass nesting next year.
      1. Gahirmatha marine sanctuary and Rushikulya rookery coast in Ganjam district are main Olive Ridley Nesting sites in Odisha.
      2. Olive Ridley turtle is smallest and most abundant of all sea turtle found in world, known for their unique mass nesting called Arribada, where thousands of females come together on the same beach each year to lay eggs.
    14. Italy’s Mount Etna volcano erupted with triggering over 130 earthquakes of up to 4.3 in magnitude.
      1. Mount Etna is Europe’s highest and most active volcano outside Caucasus. It lies above convergent plate margin between African Plate and Eurasian Plate.
    15. Haryana Govt. renamed Child Care Institutes in state as Jagannath Ashrams, stating that since all Child Care Institutions have a similar goal of all-round development of children, it would be appropriate to give a single name to all.
    16. Indian Coast Guards deployed two new hovercrafts to enhance its surveillance capabilities and to protect against any filtration bids from Pakistan Side in contentious area around Sir Creek in Gujarat. Sir Creek (Kutch district) is a disputed area between India and Pakistan.
    17. Uttar Pradesh government initiated One District, One Product scheme to encourage indigenous and specialized products and crafts of state. It aims to revive Rich traditional heritages of state by reviving them through modernization and publicisation.
    18. India’s fiscal deficit in first eight months of FY2018-19 rose to Rs 7.17 lakh crore, being 115% of budgeted target for current FY, breaching target of Rs 6.24 lakh crore set by government - Fiscal Deficit is difference between total revenue and total expenditure of the government. It gives indication about total borrowings required.
    19. Indian Women Cricketer Smriti Mandhana won Rachael Heyhoe Flint Award for ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year 2018, also adjudged as ICC Women’s ODI Player of the Year. Noted Awardees are -
      1. Rachael Heyhoe Flint Award for ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year - Smriti Mandhana (India)
      2. ICC Women’s ODI Player of Year - Smriti Mandhana (India)
      3. ICC Women’s T20I Player of the Year - Alyssa Healy (Australia)
      4. ICC Women’s Emerging Player of the Year - Sophie Ecclestone (England)
    20. United Arab Emirates resumed its diplomatic services at its embassy in Syria, after six years of suspension, amid syrian civil war.
  6. Dec 26, 2018
    1. Tourism Ministry handed over an MOU to Resbird Technologies under ‘Adopt a Heritage’ project for development of a mobile audio guide application for five iconic sites - Amer Fort (Rajasthan), Kaziranga (Assam), Colva Beach (Goa), Kumarakom (Kerala), Mahabodhi Temple (Bihar).
    2. Government revised Minimum Support Price of 23 items of Minor Forest Produce items and introduced MSP for 17 new MFP items. Items whose MSP has been revised include those Minor Forest Produce items which have been covered under the scheme since its inception in 2013-14.
    3. NITI Aayog released 2nd Delta ranking for Aspirational Districts, measureing progress made by them between June - October 2018 across six developmental areas - Health and Nutrition, Education, Agriculture and Water Resources, Financial Inclusion, Skill Development, and Basic Infrastructure -
      1. Most Improved (June - October 2018 Period) -
        1. Virudhunagar (Tamil Nadu)
        2. Nuapada (Odisha)
        3. Siddharthnagar (Uttar Pradesh)
        4. Aurangabad (Bihar)
        5. Koraput (Odisha)
      2. Least Improved (June - October 2018 Period) -
        1. Pakur (Jharkhand) - Rank 111
        2. Hailakandi (Assam) - Rank 110
        3. Chatra (Jharkhand) - Rank 109
    4. Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS) for MIG Scheme has been extended by Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs by another 12 months i.e..till 31-03-2020. 
      1. CLSS for MIG scheme, launched originally for 12 months till 31-12-2017, covered Beneficiaries of MIG seeking housing loans for construction of houses from Banks, Housing Finance Companies etc.
      2. Dwelling unit carpet area was revised to ‘upto 120 Sq.m’ and upto ‘150 Sq.m’ for MIG I and MIG II respectively in November 2017 and further enhanced to ‘upto 160 Sq.m’ and ‘upto 200 Sq.m’ for MIG I and MIG II respectively in June 2018.
    5. Govt. approved additional assistance from National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) of 1146 crores to Tamil Nadu, which was affected by cyclone ‘Gaja’ recently. The deciding High Level Committee (HLC) was chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
    6. Former Australian Cricketer Ricky Ponting formally inducted into ICC Cricket Hall of Fame.
    7. Madhya Pradesh government declared Kuno wildlife sanctuary as a national park, in compliance with condition imposed by Supreme Court for ‘translocation of Asiatic lions from Gir in Gujarat.’
    8. India's Aadi Sai Vijaykaran won Junior Debate Championship at World Scholar’s Cup at Yale University (USA), becoming first Indian to do so.
    9. Japan announced to withdraw from International Whaling Commission (IWC) and resume commercial whaling in its territorial waters next year, after 30 years.
    10. Madhya Pradesh Government conferred its annual Tansen Samman upon eminent Sitar Player Manju Mehta.
    11. C A Kuttappa appointed as India’s chief boxing coach.
    12. Divya Patidar Joshi from Madhya Pradesh won Mrs. India 2018 title.
    13. Manipur CM N Biren Singh has been conferred ‘Champions of Change’ award by Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, for his good governance practices.
    14. Maharashtra Govt. launched ‘Bharat Ratna Atal Bihari Vajpayee International Schools’ for students in rural areas.
    15. Colin O’Brady (USA) became first person to complete a solo journey across Antarctica, unaided and unsupported, after finishing a two-month expedition.
    16. Chagari Praveen Kumar is appointed as acting Chief Justice of Andhra High Court. Andhra HC is newly created and 25th High Court in India.
    17. Book Early Indians: The Story of Our Ancestors and Where We Came From written by Tony Joseph has been released. It talks about migration of First Indians also known as ‘Aryans’ who arrived here 65000 years ago.
    18. ESAF small finance bank received RBI approval to operate as a scheduled bank, making it 5th scheduled bank from Kerala.
    19. Sheikh Hasina won her 3rd consecutive term and fourth overall, as Prime Minister of Bangladesh.
    20. Madhya Pradesh Government announced setting up of a new Adhyatmik Vibhag (spiritual department), to be set up by merging several existing departments.
  7. Dec 25, 2018
    1. PM Narendra Modi inaugurated Bogibeel Bridge as India’s longest rail-road bridge with length of 4.94 km.
      1. Former PM HD Deve Gowda laid foundation stone for Bogibeel bridge in January 1997, work started in April 2002 by Former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
      2. Its India's only fully welded bridge and for first time European codes and welding standards were adhered to. It has lifespan of over 120 years.
      3. It connects southern bank of Brahmaputra River in Assam’s Dibrugarh district with Silapathar in Dhemaji district, bordering Arunachal Pradesh. It is constructed at a cost of Rs 5,900 crores and it is Asia’s second-longest railroad bridge.
      4. It is referred to as “Lifeline of Assam”, and is an important asset for entire north-eastern region.
      5. Benefits include reducing travel time from Assam to Arunachal Pradesh to four hours and eliminate a detour of over 170 km via Tinsukia. It also reduces train travel time between Delhi and Dibrugarh by about three hours.
    2. Dec 25 - Birth Anniversary of Former PM and Bharat Ratna Atal Bihari Vajpayee. It is observed as Good Governance Day in India, since 2014.
      1. Sadaiv Atal, Samadhi of Former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee was dedicated to Nation in New Delhi.
      2. PM Narendra Modi released a commemorative coin worth Rs 100 in honour of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The years 1924 and 2018 are inscribed below Vajpayee’s portrait to mark year of his birth and death respectively.
    3. Punjab National Bank (PNB) in collaboration with Uttar Pradesh government launched a special card called PNB Rupay card, for Kumbh Mela 2019, aimed at convenient and hassle-free transactions for over 12 crore devotees.
    4. American Space Exploration Firm SpaceX launched U.S. Air Force’s newest ‘GPS III’ satellite, to replace aging GPS 2R spacecraft launched in 1997. The solar-powered spacecraft, dubbed “Vespucci,” is company’s first official “National Security Space” mission. Vespucci’s nickname honours Italian cartographer and explorer Amerigo Vespucci, after whom North and South America were named.
    5. A new generation Mainline Electrical Multiple Unit (EMU) with underslung equipments and some advanced features from Train 18 is launched by Integral Coach Factory (ICF) Chennai. It is capable of running at around 130 kilometres an hour.
  8. Dec 24, 2018
    1. India-China Film Festival held at Siri Fort Auditorium in New Delhi, to deepen cultural understanding between two countries.
    2. Dec 24 - National Consumer Day in India, with 2018 theme Timely Disposal of Consumer Complaints.
      1. On this day in 1986, Consumer Protection Act 1986 received assent of the president.
    3. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched several developmental initiatives in Odisha, worth over INR 14500 crores, as part of Mission Purbodaya : a prosperous East for building a new India -
      1. Released a commemorative stamp and coin on Paika Rebellion. The Paika Rebellion (Paika Bidroha) was fought against British rule, in Odisha in 1817. It is noted as First ever armed conflict as part of Indian Freedom movement. A Chair on Paika Rebellion has been set up in Utkal University Bhubaneswar.
      2. Inaugurated Lalitgiri Museum, a famous Buddhist centre of archaeological importance, comprising Stupa, Viharas (monasteries) and images of Lord Buddha. 
      3. Dedicated IIT Bhubaneswar campus and inaugurated new ESIC Hospital at Bhubaneswar.
      4. Laid foundation of Paradip-Hyderabad Pipeline Product Project by IOCL and Bokaro-Angul section of Jagdishpur-Haldia & Bokaro-Dhamra Gas Pipeline Project by GAIL.
    4. 55th SKOCH Summit held in Constitution Club of India (New Delhi), hosted by socio-economic issues think tank SKOCH group. Various Awardees in this year's SKOCH Summit -
      1. Skoch Golden Jubilee Challenger Award - Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu
      2. Skoch Chief Minister of the Year Award - Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee (West Bengal won 31 SKOCH awards for its performance in different fields)
      3. Skoch IT minister of the Year - Nara Lokesh
      4. Skoch Governance Person of the Year - K T Rama Rao
  9. Dec 23, 2018
    1. Dec 23 - National Farmers’ Day (Kisan Diwas) in India. It honours former Prime Minister Chaudhary Charan Singh, who did substantual wotk for upliftment of farmers.
      1. On This Occasion, Jharkhand Govt. announced INR 2250 crores scheme called Mukhya Mantri Krishi Yojana, to help around 22.76 lakh medium and marginal farmers to double their income by 2022.
    2. Indo China Joint Military Exercise Hand-in-Hand held at Chengdu (China), as 7th edition of this exercise.
    3. IT Industry Body National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) partnered with IIT-Madras to provide re-skilling/upskilling of four million people on digital skills.
    4. Atal Ayushman Yojana launched in Uttarakhand, enabling every household to avail medical treatment of up to 5 lakh rupees annually.
    5. Manipur Assembly passed bill named The Manipur Protection from Mob Violence Bill 2018, which recommends life imprisonment for those involved in mob violence if it results in death of a person.
    6. Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh were the top three performing states under the maternity benefit programme Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY).
    7. National Film Archive of India (NFAI) and Film & Television Institute of India (FTII) signed MoU for transfer of three acres of land for the construction of storage facility for films and film material, at FTII Kothrud campus in Pune.
    8. Former PM Manmohan Singh received South Indian Education Society (SIES) Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati National Eminence Award as part of Kanchi Mahaswami festival.
    9. Nevada became first US state with a majority female legislature, with Women holding 32 of 63 seats in state’s legislature.
    10. Government renamed Ross Island, Neil Island and Havelock Island in Andaman and Nicobar as Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Island, Shaheed Dweep and Swaraj Dweep respectively.
    11. National Green Tribunal (NGT) banned all mining activities within 10 km of the Sariska Tiger Reserve in Rajasthan, following a plea challenging environmental clearance granted to 24 mines within 10 km radius. Supreme Court in 2006 had prohibited mining within 1 km of national parks and sanctuaries.
    12. New Zealand government announced phasing out single-use plastic shopping bags from July 2019, applicable for plastic up to 70 microns in thickness.
    13. Civil aviation ministry and Airports Authority of India (AAI) launched an official mobile app for the global aviation summit to be held in Mumbaiin January 2019. App is named GAS 2019.
    14. Maharashtra government approved INR 4089 crores for Tembhu lift irrigation scheme in Tembhu village of Satara district. The perennially drought prone areas of Satara, Solapur and Sangli districts will get benefit by this scheme.
    15. Meghalaya Govt. launched Meghalaya Health Insurance Scheme(MHIS-IV) in convergence with that of Centre’s Ayushman Bharat scheme. It targets to cover over 8 lakh households offering over 2300 medical and surgical packages and up to Rs 5 lakh per family, functional from February 2019. It covers all citizens in state while Ayushman Bharat(Centre’s Scheme) targets bottom 40 % of lower income families.
  10. Dec 22, 2018
    1. Minister for Science & Technology, Earth Sciences, Environment and Forests & Climate Change, Harsh Vardhan inaugurated newly constructed International Training Centre for Operational Oceanography (ITCOocean) Complex in the INCOIS (Hyderabad).
      1. UNESCO Category 2 Centre established as a training facility at INCOIS will give an opportunity to Nations bordering Indian Ocean and small island nations in Pacific to benefit from expertise of INCOIS in areas of ocean science and management.
      2. UNESCO approved offer of Government of India to establish ITCOocean as a UNESCO Category 2 Centre in November 2017, Aimed at assist Member Nations of IOC/UNESCO in areas of ocean science and management.
    2. Mohammed Rafi Awards instituted by NGO Spandan Arts bestowed upon late music composer Laxmikant Shantaram Kudalkar and playback singer Usha Timothy.
    3. China launched its first communication satellite to offer broadband internet services to users worldwide, as CASIC's (China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation) first satellite under Hongyun project. It aims to rival companies which have similar plans for providing Internet services worldwide.
      1. Hongyun Project began in September 2016. Under this, China plans to give broadband internet connectivity to users globally by building a space-based communications network.
      2. CASIC will be placing than 150 Hongyun satellites on orbits about 1,000 km above ground around 2023.
      3. OneWeb, a USA Firm, will launc 648 low-Earth orbit microsatellites by end of 2019 to provide broadband services.
    4. Dec 22 - National Mathematics Day in India, marking birth anniversary of Noted Indian Mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan. It is observed Since 2011.
      1. Sh. Ramanujan was born in 1887. He compiled nearly 3,900 results, mostly identities and equations, on his own without any assistance.
      2. Number 1729 is famously known as the Hardy-Ramanujan number.
    5. Spain’s Real Madrid won Club Football World Cup for 3rd consecutive year (and its 4th in total), by beating Abu Dhabi side Al Ain in final.
    6. government notified 10 Central Agencies giving them power to intercept, monitor and decrypt all data contained in any computer system in India. The Agencies are Intelligence Bureau, Narcotics Control Bureau, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, CBI, National Investigation Agency, Enforcement Directorate, Central Board of Direct Taxes, Research and Analysis Wing, Directorate of Signal Intelligence (in Jammu & Kashmir, the North-East and Assam) and the Delhi Police.
      1. Section 69 of Information Technology Act 2000 provides for interception and monitoring along with decryption for cyber-crime investigations. This notification by government caused oppositon in Parliament.
      2. Government clarified that it has not given blanket power to any agency to intercept information from any computer and they have to strictly adhere to existing rules and stick to the book while carrying out such action.
    7. Country’s first music museum will be set up in Thiruvaiyaru, birthplace of Saint Tyagaraja, one of Trinities of Carnatic music. Other two Trinities are Muthuswami Dikshitar and Syama Sastri.
    8. P.V Bharathi is appointed as managing director and chief executive officer of PSB Corporation Bank.
    9. Indian Navy commissioned naval hospital ship INHS Sandhani at Naval station Karanja in Raigad district of Maharashtra.
    10. India extended ban on import of milk products from China for 4 months, upto 23rd April 2019. Ban was imposed due to concerns about presence of melamine in some of milk consignments from China. Melamine is toxic non-edible chemical used for making plastics and fertilisers.
      1. India is largest producer and consumer of milk.
    11. South East Asian Nation Indonesia hit by giant Tsunami waves, causing large scale losses.
      1. Tsunami waves are different from normal sea waves as Normal waves are generated due to wind and gravitational pull of Moon / Sun.
      2. Tsunami is generated by an abrupt movement on the ocean floor due to triggering points like Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, underwater explosions, landslides, glacier calving or meteorite impacts.
      3. Tsunami which Indonesia witnessed on 22nd December was due to collapse in west-southwest flank of Anak Krakatau volcano.
    12. RBI shortlisted 6 major IT firms to set up a wide-based digital Public Credit Registry (PCR) for capturing details of all borrowers and wilful defaulters. Shortlisted Firms are TCS, Wipro, IBM India, Capgemini Technology Services India, Dun & Bradstreet Information Services India, and Mindtree Ltd.
      1. PCR is a digital registry of authenticated granular credit information and will work as a financial information infrastructure providing access to various stakeholders and enrich existing credit information ecosystem.
      2. It would be mandatory for reporting for all material events for each loan to Public Credit Registry.
    13. US Central Bank Federal Reserve has raised key interest rates to a range of 2.25 to 2.5 %, as 4th such raise this year, reaching highest point since 2008. It would result in increased borrowing costs for individuals and businesses.
    14. NASA’s new Mars landerInSight has set up its first instrument on planet Mars, a quake monitor (seismometer) that will listen for quakes and wobbles. It is first time that a scientific instrument has ever been placed on another planet’s surface. InSight will also put a wind cover over the seismometer next month and initiate a new experiment.
  11. Dec 21, 2018 -
    1. India Russia Joint Airforce Exercise Aviaindra held in Jodhpur (Rajasthan), as 2nd edition of this exercise.
    2. 31st GST Council Meeting held in New Delhi. Key Highlights are
      1. Approved Creation of a Centralised Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling (AAAR) to conflicting decisions by several State Appellate Advance Ruling Authorities on the same issue.
      2. GST rates on 23 goods and services have been reduced.
      3. 7 Goods and 1 Service went out of 28% tax slab. Among Goods, Notable was Parts and accessories for carriages for disabled persons, on which GST was reduced from 28 % to 5 %. Among Services, GST rate on cinema tickets above INR 100 reduced from 28% to 18% and on cinema tickets upto 100 from 18% to 12%.
      4. Services supplied by banks to Basic Saving Bank Deposit (BSBD) account holders under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) shall be exempted.
    3. Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced annual Sardar Patel Award for National Integration, to be given annually for outstanding efforts to further national integration.
    4. Logistics Development Committee under Chairmanship of Bibek Debroy (Chairman of Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister) submitted its report about key challenges in logistics development and associated commerce andsuggest policy reforms for ease of doing trade in India. Reform agenda comprises of a number of specific policy actions covering entire logistics value chain.
    5. NITI Aayog released Baseline Report of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) India Index, stating Indian progress towards 2030 SDG targets.
      1. SDG India Index is developed in collaboration with Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation (MoSPI), Global Green Growth Institute and United Nations.
      2. SDG India Index tracks progress of all States / UTs on 62 Priority Indicators selected by NITI Aayog, guided by MoSPI’s National Indicator Framework comprising 306 indicators. Index spans 13 out of 17 SDGs. Progress on SDGs 12, 13 & 14 could not be measured as relevant State/UT level data were not available and SDG 17 was left out as it focuses on international partnerships.
      3. Classification Criteria based on SDG India Index Score is as -
        1. Aspirant (0-49) - Assam, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh
        2. Performer (50-64) - Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Telangana, Tripura, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu, Delhi and Lakshadweep
        3. Front Runner (65-99) - Himachal Pradesh (Top State), Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Chandigarh (Top UT) and Puducherry
        4. Achiever (100) - Not Available
    6. Ministry of Women and Child Development constituted a committee under Vinod K. Paul, for deciding parameters and operational modalities for Conditional Cash Transfer to be carried out in few blocks of two districts each in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.
    7. An MoU signed between Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment's National Backward Classes Finance and Development Corporation (NBCFDC) and BSE Institute Ltd., for facilitating Skill Development Training to target group of NBCFDC. BSE Institute is a promoter of Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI) Sector Skill Council of India under Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE).
    8. India and Japan signed agreement for official development assistance loan for Yen 105 billion (INR 6666 crores approx) for 3 Projects -
      1. Chennai Metro Project (Phase 2) (I) for JPY 75 billion
      2. Program for Japan-India Cooperative Actions towards Sustainable Development Goals in India for JPY 15 billion
      3. Project for Dairy Development for JPY 15 billion
    9. India’s national accreditation body National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies (NABCB) secured equivalence for its accreditation programme for Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems (OHSMS) Certification Bodies in Asia- Pacific region, by signing Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (MLA) of Pacific Accreditation Cooperation (PAC).
      1. Now, Any industry carrying ISO 45001 certificate with NABCB logo will be recognized in Asia Pacific region. It will benefit Indian Industry as it is exporting products to various countries in Asia Pacific region.
      2. Now, NABCB can facilitate export of Indian goods into the world market by attesting that these are certified as per international standards by competent certifying bodies.
      3. NABCB is 3rd accreditation body in Asia Pacific Region to become internationally equivalent in the region, after accreditation bodies of Hong Kong and Mexico.
      4. MLA with PAC would now facilitate signing MLA with International Accreditation Forum (IAF) to secure full international equivalence.
    10. B V P Rao elected as President of Archery Association of India(AAI).
    11. WV Raman appointed as coach of the Indian women’s cricket team.
    12. Book A Rural Manifesto – Realising India’s Future through her Villages, authored by Varun Gandhi has been released.
    13. Indian Stock market overtook Germany to become world’s seventh largest stock market.
    14. RBI 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.
    15. US regulator Federation of Aviation Administration (FAA) retained highest aviation safety ranking for India, at ‘Category 1’, based on an audit of Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
    16. Maharashtra's 20-year-old cyclist Vedangi Kulkarni completed 29,000-km distance required to qualify as bicycling across globe in 159 days. She reached Kolkata after pedalling up to 300 km a day in 14 countries across 159 days.
    17. Odisha Govt. announced INR 10000 crores Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) scheme to empower small, marginal & landless farmers as well as landless labourers. It would cover 92% (over 30 lakh) of cultivators, loanee and non-loanee, share-croppers & landless labourers.
    18. Government of Burundi (East Africa) declared Gitega as country’s new political capital, replacing Bujumbura, that will from now on serve as economic capital of the country.
    19. Patrick Shanahan appointed as acting Defence Secretary of USA, replacing Jim Mattis who resigned recently.
    20. Winter solstice 2018 took place on December 21, as time of the year when one of the Earth’s poles has its maximum tilt away from the Sun. Winter Solstice happens twice yearly, once in each hemisphere. It marks shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere.
  12. Dec 20, 2018
    1. President’s rule has been imposed in Jammu and Kashmir, after a span of 22 years, after President Ram Nath Kovind signing a proclamation to implement recommendation of state Governor Satya Pal Malik for the same
    2. Pune District court became first court in India to allow e-payments of court fee, judicial deposits, fines and penalties, the facility which will be eventually available across all courtrooms in country to bring transparency to cash transactions.
    3. Most-distant object ever observed in our solar system known as 2018 VG18 and nicknamed “Farout,” has been discovered by American scientists. It is the first to be observed at a distance of more than 100 AU (astronomical units ) which almost 120AU or 11 billion miles from the sun.
    4. Dec 20 - International Human Solidarity Day.
    5. World’s oldest plant virus dating back 1,000 years named Zea mays chrysovirus 1(ZMCV1) has been discovered at a Native American archeological site. The previous oldest was found about 750 years ago.
    6. Visits to India (Dec 11 - 20, 2018) -
      1. Foreign Affairs Minister of South Korea, Ms. Kang Kyung-wha Visited India, for 9th India-Korea Joint Commission Meeting held in New Delhi. India and South Korea agreed to raise bilateral trade to 50 billion dollars by 2030.
      2. Minister of Trade of Turkey, RusharPekcan Visited India.
      3. Nepal Minister for General Administration and Federal Affairs, Lal Babu Pandit Visited India.
      4. Thailand Navy Chief Luechai Ruddit Visited India.
      5. Patrick Matibini, Speaker of National Assembly of Zambia visited India. Zambia approved its membership of India led International Solar Alliance.
      6. Foreign Affairs Minister of Denmark, Anders Samuelsen Visited India.
      7. Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of France Visited India.
        1. India signed mega supercomputer Bull Sequana deal with France, to procure supercomputers worth INR 4,500 crores into India. Contract will last for 3 years for developing Bull Sequana (high-performance supercomputers), with computing power of over 10 petaflops.
      8. Achmad Taufiqoerrochman, Chief of Indonesia Coast Guard (called BAKAMLA) visited India, for 6th India-Indonesia Joint Defence Cooperation Committee (JDCC) meeting in New Delhi.
      9. Maldives President Ibrahim Solih Visited India -
        1. India announced a $1.4 billion package for Maldives, to meet its capital requirements.
        2. 4 agreements signed - Facilitation of Visa Arrangements , Cultural Cooperation, Mutual Cooperation to Improve Ecosystem for Agribusiness AND Cooperation in field of Information & Communications Technology and Electronics.
          1. Maldives announced to re-join the Commonwealth AND joining Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) family.
      10. Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu visited India for 18th meeting of India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military Technical Cooperation (IRIGC-MTC), held in New Delhi.
      11. Foreign Affairs Minister of South Korea, Kang Kyung-wha visited India for attending 9th India-ROK Joint Commission meeting, held in New Delhi.
    7. Visits from India (Dec 11 - 20, 2018) -
      1. Indian Army Chief Bipin Rawat visited Tanzania and Kenya.
      2. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman visited USA, focusing around US-India Defence partnership.
      3. President Ram Nath Kovind visited Myanmar.
        1. He dedicated - India assisted project 'Advanced Centre for Agricultural Research & Education' (CARE) - to the people of Myanmar.
        2. 2 MOUs signed -
          1. MOU on training of Myanmar judicial officers in India.
          2. MOU to enhance cooperation in science and technology.
      4. Minister for Minority Affairs, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi Visited Saudi Arabia. India and saudi Arabia signed bilateral annual Haj 2019 agreement.
    8. General Conferences (Dec 11 - 20, 2018) -
      1. 39th Gulf Cooperation Council Summit held in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia). Next (40th) Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit will be held in UAE.
      2. 4th WHO Global Forum on Medical Devices held in Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh). To boost medical device sector, Govt. announced setting up of a National Medical Devices Promotion Council under Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) in Ministry of Commerce & Industry.
      3. 4th edition of Partners’ Forum held in New Delhi, hosted by government of India in association with Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and child Health (PMNCH). It aims to explore findings of 12 success factors case studies which shows how the countries are working towards improvement of women’s and children health.
      4. Minister of State for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (I/C), Giriraj Singh inaugurated a Multi-Disciplinary Training Centre (MTDC) of Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) named Samadhan at Rajghat (New Delhi).
      5. All India Institute of Ayurveda New Delhi organized a National conference ‘AYUSHCHARYA’ on Dinacharya (Daily Regimen) and Ritucharya (Seasonal Regimen) for public health promotion.
  13. Dec 19, 2018
    1. India launched its latest communication satellite, GSAT-7A aboard Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-F11) from Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota (Andhra Pradesh).
      1. GSAT-7A is 39th Indian communication satellite of ISRO to provide services to the users in Ku-band over Indian region. It weighs 2250 KG.
      2. GSAT-7A satellite is the heaviest satellite (2250 kgs) with an indigenously developed cryogenic stage that has been launched by GSLV.
    2. Dec 19 is Liberation Day of Goa. It marks state's getting independence from 450-years of Portuguese rule on this day in 1961. Operation Vijay was completed by Indian Forces liberating Territories of Goa, Daman and Diu and the Anjadiv Island and from Portuguese rule.
    3. Government appointed Arti Chhabra Srivastava as first full-time Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO) of SEBI for 3 years.
    4. Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) created a 12 member committee headed by S K Dash for a fresh cadre review and restructuring of Income Tax Department.
    5. Silao Khaja, the Traditional delicacy of Nalanda district of Bihar, has been granted GI tag by Geographical Indications Registry (Chennai). Silao Khaja is a crisp, multi-layered dough sheeted sweet, made up of wheat-flour, sugar, maida, ghee, cardamon and aniseeds as ingredients.
    6. India will launch 2 Satellite Indian Data Relay Satellite System (IDRSS) As a part of its proposed manned space mission, to improve data relay and communication links with its remote sensing/earth observation satellites.
      1. IDRSS will reduce the dependence on the ground stations in tracking satellites. Communication and data transfer would be in real time as remote sensing satellites can relay data gathered to IDRSS satellites which in turn can transmit them to the ground.
      2. IDRSS will be like a hub as it can receive commands from the ground stations and in turn relay the same to other satellites.
  14. Dec 18, 2018
    1. Dec 18 - International Migrants Day. 2018 theme is Migration with Dignity. It is also noted as UN World Arabic Language Day.
    2. Dec 18 - Minorities Rights Day in India.
    3. UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan declared 2019 as Year of Tolerance, an extension of the Year of Zayed which has run in 2018. In 2016, UAE introduced first post of Minister of State for Tolerance and launched National Tolerance Programme.
    4. Book on self-styled godman Asaram Bapu titled 'God of Sin: The Cult, The Clout and Downfall of Asaram Bapu', has been released. It is Authored by Ushinor Majumdar.
    5. World Bank report titled In the Dark: How Much Do Power Sector Distortions Cost South Asia. As per the report -
      1. Efficiency gap in India’s power sector costs the Indian economy 4% every year ($86 billion in 2016 FY).
      2. Rural household’s income in India can be increased by $9.4 billion and business losses worth USD 22.7 billion can be eliminated with 24 hours access to power supply. In 2016, around 20% of electricity generated was lost during transmission and distribution, as highest loss rate in world.
      3. The consumption of groundwater in India has increased by 700% from 1950 to 2014.
      4. Reliable access to electricity will have positive impact on Gender Equality by increasing women’s employment and girls’ study time. It will lead to lower use of kerosene lamps which would improve environment. Energy prices should be rationalised to reflect actual cost of supply.
    6. Harsh Vardhan Shringla appointed as Ambassador of India to USA, replacing Navtej Sarna.
    7. World Economic Forum Gender Gap Index 2018 -
      1. India ranked at 108th position, same rank as 2017.
      2. Top 10 - Iceland (1), Norway (2), Sweden (3), Finland (4), Nicaragua (5).
    8. Haryana Government launched a mobile app named as ‘Shiksha Setu’, aiming to help students and bring transparency in Education administration. It will contain information about attendance, fee, online admission and scholarships in all the Haryana government colleges.
    9. IDFC Bank completed its merged with non-banking financial company Capital First, making a new entity called IDFC First Bank, with loan asset book of 1.03 lakh crores. V Vaidyanathan is appointed as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of new entity.
    10. India’s largest Cancer Institute named National Cancer Institute (NCI) opened in Jhajjar (Haryana), to be formally inaugurated in January 2019 for public services. It wil be headed by G.K. Rath. NCI is built at cost of Rs 2035 crores, and will act as thenodal institution for all cancer-related activities in India.
    11. Tamil Nadu government distributed 200 NavIC- powered satellite-enabled communication devices developed by ISRO to 80 fishing boat groups in Tamil Nadu. These gadgets will help fishermen to get cyclone and weather updates on a real-time basis. Alerts received can be read on NavIC App.
      1. NavIC (Navigation with Indian Constellation) is touted to be Indian version of USA's merican GPS (Global Positioning System), consisting of 8 satellites. NavIC provides accurate real-time position, navigation and timing services over India and region extending 1,500 km around Indian borders.
    12. US Based Merriam-Webster declared ‘Justice’ as its 2018 Word Of The Year.
      1. Earlier, ‘Toxic’ was chosen as ‘Word of the Year 2018’ by Oxford Dictionaries. Also, chosen misinformation as its word of the year.
    13. Government launched information fusion centre (IFC) to boost maritime security and Information exchange in Indian Ocean Region(IOR), set up by Indian Navy at Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC) in Gurugram (Haryana).
      1. IFC-IOR will share information on “white shipping”, or commercial shipping with the countries in the region to improve maritime security and tackling piracy and terrorism in Indian Ocean. Those countries will be served that have White Shipping Information Exchange agreements with India.  (21 countries so far).
      2. IFC will generate a seamless real-time picture of the nearly 7,500-km coastline of India by linking all coastal radar chains.
      3. India also recently signed ascension agreement to Trans Regional Maritime Network (T-RMN), that will allow information exchange on movement of commercial ships on high seas. T-RMN agreement is being steered by Italy.
    14. Central Indonesia’s Mount Soputan volcano erupted with ash going upto 7.5 km high in sky.
      1. Indonesia is highly prone to earthquakes and volcanoes as it is located on the Pacific Ring of Fire, a major area in Pacific Ocean, spread approx 25000 miles. 75% of world’s volcanoes are located in this region.
    15. Indian Short Film Period. End of Sentence made it Oscar shortlist in Documentary Short Subject category. Its about women in India fighting against deeply rooted stigma of menstruation and delving upon work of real-life ‘Pad Man’ Arunachalam Muruganantham. India’s entry for the Foreign Language Film Category, Village Rockstars is out of Oscar race.
    16. Book Changing India written by Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has been released.
    17. Assam government announced three schemes for the welfare of farmers. -
      1. Assam Farmers’ Credit Subsidy Scheme (AFCSS) - Under it, 25% of amount of Farmer Loans will be reimbursed by state government, upto 25000.
      2. Assam Farmers’ Interest Relief Scheme (AFIRS) - Currently, 3% of 7% interest against farm loan is paid by Central government and remaining 4% is required to be paid by farmers. Under AFIRS, State government will pay remaining 4% loan.
      3. Assam Farmers’ Incentive Scheme (AFIS) - Government would focus on bringing back defaulting farmers into banking system. Government will give INR 10000 to a farmer to help him repay loan.
    18. UN General Assembly adopted a framework to strengthen international response to global refugee crisis, with USA and Hungary only nations to have voted in against the Global Compact on Refugees.
    19. Netherlands (Northwestern Europe) has built 5 artificial islands to bring wildlife back, in Markermeer, one of Europe’s largest freshwater lakes.
  15. Dec 17, 2018
    1. Cyclonic Storm Phethai stuck Andhra Pradesh with winds upto 100 KMPH. It is 6th cyclone of 2018 North Indian Ocean Cyclone season. Previous ones being Sagar, Mekunu, Luban, Titli and Gaza.
    2. Catriona Gray of Philippines crowned as Miss Universe 2018, with pageant held in Bangkok (Thailand).
      1. 1st Runner-Up - Tamaryn Green (South Africa)
      2. 2nd Runner-Up - Sthefany Gutiérrez (Venezuela)
    3. Cabinet Approvals (Dec 17, 2018)-
      1. MOUs -
        1. France - New and renewable energy.
        2. Afghanistan - Human resource development.
        3. Approved Joint Issue of Postage Stamps by India and South Africa on theme 125th Year of Mahatma Gandhi’s Pietermaritzburg Station Incident & Birth Centenary of Nelson Mandela.
        4. Australia - Disability Sector.
      2. General Approvals -
        1.  Approved establishment of 2 new All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) at Madurai (Tamil Nadu) at cost of 1264 crores and Bibinagar (Telangana) at cost of 1028 crores, under Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY).
      3. CCEA Approvals -
        1. Approved proposal of Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas to release deposit free LPG connections to poor families, who have not been considered earlier for release of LPG connections under Pradhan MantriUjjwalaYojana (PMUY), for their names not covered in any of Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) list OR Seven identified categories (SC/STs households, beneficiaries of Pradhan MantriAwasYojana(PMAY) (Gramin), Antyodaya Anna Yojana(AAY), Forest dwellers, Most Backward Classes (MBC), Tea & Ex-Tea Garden Tribes, people residing in Islands / river islands).
          1. PMUY was launched on 1st May, 2016 through which deposit free LPG connections are released with the cash assistance of Rs 1600 per connection by Government. Interest free loan are available to purchase stove and refill by Oil Marketing Companies.
          2. Over 5.86 crore LPG connections are released so far under PMUY, against target of 8 crore.
        2. Approved construction of a 5.634 km long new 4 - lane bridge across river Ganga, just 38 meters on upstream side of existing MG Setu on NH-19 at Patna in Bihar, with cost of 2926 croreS. It is to be completed by January 2023. Total Project is 14.5 km long and passes through Patna, Saran and Vaishali districts of Bihar.
        3. Approved setting up of Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRSs) in every block with more than 50% ST population and at least 20,000 tribal persons. CCEA approved cost of 2242 crores during 2018-19 and 2019-20 for rolling out revamped scheme.
          1. There will be an Autonomous Society under Ministry of Tribal Affairs similar to Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti to run EMRSs.
          2. Upgradation of already sanctioned EMRSs with unit cost subject to a maximum of 5 crore per school.
          3. Setting up sports facilities in 163 tribal dominated districts at a unit cost of 5 crore each to be constructed by 2022.
          4. Facts -
            1. 102 of such blocks are already having EMRSs. Thus, 462 new EMRSs will be established in these blocks across country.
            2. Increase in construction cost of EMRS from current 12 crore to 20 crore to improve construction quality.
            3. Recurring cost to be enhanced to 109000 per student per year from existing 61500 per student per year from 2019-20.
    4. Indian Air Force's ASTE (Aircraft & Systems Testing Establishment) flew India’s first military flight using blended bio-jet fuel on the An-32 transport aircraft. This fuel is made from Jatropha oil sourced from Chattisgarh Biodiesel Development Authority (CBDA) and then processed at CSIR-IIP Dehradun. IAF intends to fly An-32 transport aircraft using biojet fuel on 26 January 2019, in Republic Day flypast.
    5. Minister of State (IC) Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), Jitendra Singh launched iGOT (Integrated Government Online Training Programme) developed by Department of Personnel and Training (Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions). It will augment existing training mechanism with online module-based training coupled with certification. This will make training inputs available to government servant on site and on flexitime basis.
    6. Government will confer Prime Minister’s Shram Awards 2017 to 40 workers employed in Public Sector Undertakings. This year, no nomination was found suitable for presitigious Shram Ratna Award. 3 nominations for Shram Bhushan Award, 12 for Shram Vir/Shram Veerangana and 16 for Shram Shree/Shram Devi Awards have been selected.
    7. International Centre for Automotive Technology (ICAT) launched Certification with high security features in order to prevent use of forged certificates, as first such initiative by any automotive certification agency in India for enhancing security of CMVR certificates which includes Type Approval Certificates (TAC) and Conformity of Production (COP) Certificates for vehicles, engines and components.
      1. With new high security features it will become difficult to forge or counterfeit the ICAT certificate.
      2. ICAT is premier certification agency authorized by Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MORTH) for providing testing and certification services to vehicle and component manufacturers within India and abroad.
    8. Government moved proposal in Parliament for enhanced bank recapitalisation outlay from 65,000 crore to 1,06,000 crores in current financial year, to strengthen PSU Banks. The enhanced provision is aimed at -
      1. Meeting regulatory capital norms
      2. Providing capital to better-performing PCA Banks to achieve 9% Capital to Risk-weighted Asset Ratio (CRAR); 1.875% Capital Conservation Buffer and 6% Net NPA threshold, facilitating them to come out of PCA
      3. Facilitating non-PCA banks that are in breach of some PCA thresholds to not be in breach
    9. Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change launched Asiatic Lion Conservation Project, to protect world’s last ranging free population of Asiatic Lion and its associated ecosystem. Its budget for 3 years is approx INR 98 Crore.
      1. Asiatic lions once ranged from Persia (Iran) to Palamau in Eastern India, were almost driven to extinction by indiscriminate hunting and habitat loss. Single population of less than 50 lions persisted in Gir forests of Gujarat by late 1890's. With efforts of Indian Government, number of Asiatic lions increased to over 500.
    10. Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) announced results of first ever States’ Start-up Ranking 2018 (exercise began in January 2016). On the basis of performance, States are recognised in several categories -
      1. Best Performer - Gujarat
      2. Top Performers - Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha, and Rajasthan
      3. Leaders - Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, and Telangana
      4. Aspiring Leaders - Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal
      5. Emerging States - Assam, Delhi, Goa, Jammu & Kashmir, Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, and Uttarakhand
      6. Beginners - Chandigarh, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Puducherry, Sikkim, and Tripura
    11. NITI Aayog unveiled its comprehensive national Strategy for New India, which defines clear objectives for 2022-23, titled ‘Strategy for New India @75’. Focus of Strategy document is to further improve policy environment in which private investors and other stakeholders can contribute their fullest towards achieving the goals set out for New India 2022 and propel India towards a USD 5 trillion economy by 2030. Document has been disaggregated under four sections - Drivers, Infrastructure, Inclusion and Governance.
    12. MoRD (Ministry of Rural Development) signed MOU with Maruti Suzuki India Ltd for training rural youth for skill development, to provide training to over 5000 candidates in two years with assured placement to the rural youth of our country
    13. MoRD (Ministry of Rural Development) signed MOU with Automaker Maruti Suzuki for training rural youth for skill development, by providing training to atleast 5000 candidates in 2 years with assured employment, under Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY).
    14. IN LCU L55 has been commissioned into Indian Navy, as 5th ship of Landing Craft Utility (LCU) Mk-IV class. It is indigenously built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) Kolkata.
    15. Govt.released a Commemorative Postage Stamp on Rajkumar Shukla, who drew attention of M K Gandhi to plight of peasants suffering under an oppressive system established by European indigo planters in Champaran (Bihar). He made great contribution in launch of Champaran Satyagraha in 1917.
    16. Prime Minister Narendra Modi released book titled Timeless Laxman, based on noted cartoonist RK Laxman, containing his work over the years. It has been written by R K Laxman’s daughter-in-law Usha Srinivas Laxman.
    17. Sandip Somany has been appointed as President of FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry) for 2018-19. While, Uday Shankar is appointed as is Vice President of FICCI.
    18. Singers Shaan and Arijit Singh honored with Sangeet Maha Samman award by West Bengal government at inaugural session of Bengal music and folk culture festival in Kolkata.
    19. Actress Sonam Kapoor named by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) as India’s Person of the Year 2018.
    20. Government appointed Pranab K. Das as Chairman of Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), replacing S. Ramesh.
  16. Dec 16, 2018
    1. 2018 Men's Hockey World Cup -
      1. It was 14th edition of the tournament, hosted by India at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar (Odisha).
      2. 16 teams participated in the event.
      3. Belgium won the Title, as their first Hockey World Cup title. They defeated Netherlands in Final. Australia were ranked at Third place.
      4. India ranked 6th and were eliminated in Quarter finals, after a defeat by Netherlands.
      5. Arthur Van Doren (Belgium) was named as Best Player of tournament. Australia’s Blake Govers and Belgium’s Alexander Hendrickx scored most number of goals (7).
      6. Team of Spain was given Fair Play award.
      7. Mascot was Turtle ‘Olly’, representing Olive Ridley turtles which are an endangered species.
    2. Dec 16 - Observed as Vijay Diwas in India, marking India's military victory over Pakistan in 1971 during war for independence of Bangladesh. War resulted in unconditional surrender of 93000 Pakistan Army Soldiers and subsequent secession of East Pakistan into Bangladesh.
    3. 10th edition of Russia and India Joint Navy Exercise INDRA NAVY 2018 conducted off Visakhapatnam coast.
    4. RBI allowed Bandhan Bank to open as many as 40 new branches by end of 2018, releasing restriction that was put on Bandhan bank 3 months back.
      1. RBI barred bank from opening new branches in September after It failed to bring down main shareholder’s stake to below 40 % as mandated in licensing norms for universal banks.
      2. Bandhan Financial Services (BFSL) the promoter of Bandhan Bank, currently holds 82.28 % stake in bank.
    5. Delhi Police entered Limca Book of Records for training 208125 women and girls in 989 self-defence programme in 2017. Self-defence programme of Delhi Police was started in 2002. Delhi Police have set a target to train around 3.5 lakh women in 2019.
    6. Amazon partnered with Federation of Indian Micro and Small & Medium Enterprises (FISME) to encourage Micro and Small & Medium Enterprises(MSMEs} to sell products online through e-commerce.
    7. Nepal banned Indian currency above Rs 100 (Including New Indian notes of Rs 2,000, Rs 500 and Rs 200 denominations). It can affect Indian tourist and Nepali people working in India, who carry currency in Nepal for transaction.
    8. Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) stated that customers would be covered under standalone compulsory personal accident (CPA) from January 1, 2019. IRDAI introduced standalone PA cover where a single PA cover can be taken for multiple vehicles.
      1. In September 2018, IRDAI raised minimum insurance cover for owner-driver to 15 lakh from 1 lakh for an annual premium of 750.
    9. Novak Djokovic (Serbia) and Simona Halep (Romania) named as 2018 International Tennis Federation (ITF) world champions by International Tennis Federation (ITF). It is Djokovic's 6th honour and Halep's first time with this honour.
    10. Asian Cricket Council (ACC) approved Pakistan as hosts of 2020 Asia cup.
    11. Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) approved registration of record 15 new breeds of livestock and poultry in 2018. Newly registered breeds include -
      1. 2 cattle breeds – Ladakhi (J&K) and Konkan Kapila (Maharashtra & Goa)
      2. 3 buffalo breeds – Luit (Assam & Manipur), Bargur (Tamil Nadu), Chhattisgarhi (Chhattisgarh);
      3. 1 sheep breed – Panchali (Gujarat)
      4. 6 goat breeds – Kahmi (Gujarat), Rohilkhand (UP), Assam Hill (Assam & Meghalaya), Bidri (Karnataka), Nandidurga (Karnataka), Bhakarwadi (J&K)
      5. 1 pig breed – Ghurrah (UP)
      6. 1 donkey breed – Halari (Gujarat)
      7. 1 chicken breed – Uttara (Uttarakhand).
  17. Dec 15, 2018
    1. National Green Tribunal dismissed Tamilnadu government’s order of May 2018 to permanently shut down Vedanta’s Sterlite Copper plant in Thoothukudi. Recently, the Tamil Nadu government has announced to approach the Supreme Court challenging the National Green Tribunal (NGT)’s order allowing the reopening of .
      1. Thoothukudi Sterlite Plant is largest copper smelter plant in India, operated by Vedanta group. It started operation in 1998 till 2018 when the plant was shut on the orders of Tamil Nadu government in May 2018, after various violent protests from locals demanding the entire shutdown of operational smelting plants.
      2. This plant is long-opposed by local residents for polluting their environment as well as causing a range of health problems and has been subject to several closures, on grounds of violating environmental norms.
    2. Foundation stone of Institute of High-Altitude Medicinal Plants (IHAMP) laid in Bhaderwah in Doda district of Jammu & Kashmir. It will provide research in medicinal plants and promote cultivation of medicinal plants.
    3. Railways Minister Piyush Goyal dedicated India’s first railway university to Nation in Vadodara (Gujarat), as 3rd such institution in world after Russia and China, named as National Rail and Transportation Institution (NRTI). Chairman of Railways Board Ashok Lohani is named Vice Chancellor of University.
    4. Russia’s Akademik Lomonosov, world’s first floating nuclear power plant (FNPP) become operational. For power generation, it has been fitted with two modified KLT-40 naval propulsion nuclear reactors (each of 35 MW capacity) together providing up to 70 MW of electricity and 300 MW of heat. It is named after Russian Academician Mikhail Lomonosov.
    5. Central Ground Water Authority (Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation) notified revised guidelines for ground water extraction, to be effective from June 1, 2019.
      1. One of noted features of revised guidelines is introduction of Water Conservation Fee (WCF), fee charged on extraction of ground water. It will vary betwe areas, and may progressively increase from safe to over-exploited areas and from low to high water consuming industries.
      2. Mandatory water audit by industries abstracting ground water 500 m3/day or more in safe and semi-critical area and 200 m3/day or more in critical and over-exploited assessment units. Mandatory roof top rain water harvesting except for specified industries.
      3. Ground water extraction in India is primarily for irrigation in agricultural activities, aprox 228 Billion Cubic Meters, which amounts to 90 % of annual ground water extraction.
    6. India's Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) partnered with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institutes of Health (USA), to become a member of NIAID TB Portals program.
    7. Indian American Producer Ashok Amritraj honoured with French Knight of the National Order of Merit. He is former CEO of National Geographic Films and United Nations Goodwill Ambassador.
    8. As per the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) report, FDI inflows to South and South-West Asia decreased by 6% in 2017 (USD 63 billion), due to drop in foreign funding flow to countries like India and Turkey.
    9. India' first private sector unit for manufacturing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) opened at Adani Aerospace Park in Hyderabad, Built by Adani Group and Israel-based Elbit Systems. iT will develop Hermes 900 medium altitude long-endurance UAVs.
    10. As per International Monetary Fund, global debt reached an all-time high of 184 trillion US dollars with USA, China and Japan accounted for over half of it. On average, world’s debt exceeds 86,000 USD dollars per person, which is over 2.5 times average income per-capita.
    11. Government constituted a panel to select managing directors of public sector insurance companies, to be headed by Banks Board Bureau (BBB) chairman B P Sharma.
    12. Eight parliamentasrians honoured by Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu under Lokmat Parliamentary Awards 2018 -
      1. Lifetime achievement - Rajya Sabha MP Sharad Pawar and Murli Manohar Joshi
      2. Best Parliamentarian - Ghulam Nabi Azad AND Nishikant Dubey
      3. Best debut woman parliamentarian (Lok Sabha) - Hema Malini
      4. Best woman parliamentarian Lok Sabha - Rama Devi
      5. Best woman parliamentarian in Rajya Sabha - Kanimozhi
      6. Best debut woman parliamentarian (Rajya Sabha) - Chhaya Verma
    13. Government constituted a Group of Ministers headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to vet recommendations of a high-level panel on stressed power projects, which was headed by Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha and submitted its report in November 2018.
    14. Star Screen Awards 2018 Winners -
      1. Best Actor - Ranveer Singh for Padmaavat
      2. Best Actress - Alia Bhatt for Raazi
      3. Best Director - Sriram Raghavan for Andhadhun
      4. Best Film - Stree
      5. Best Actor in Supporting Role (Male) - Pankaj Tripathi for Stree
      6. Best Actor in Supporting Role (Female) - Surekha Sikri for Badhaai Ho
      7. Lifetime Achievement - Shabana Azmi
      8. Best Music - Amit Trivedi for Manmarziyaan
      9. Best Male Playback singer - Arijit Singh for Ae Watan from Raazi
      10. Best Lyrics - Gulzar for Ae Watan from Raazi
      11. Best Female Singer - Harshdeep Kaur for Dilbaro from Raazi
    15. Global financial Firm OBOPAY launched a new generation pre-payment instrument called- OBOPAY Card-in partnership with Federal Bank and Mastercard. It aims to be one-stop solution that facilitates easy disbursements and payments by enterprises.
    16. Ireland parliament passed a landmark legislation to make abortion legal in country. Note that in 2012, an Indian dentist died in Ireland, from blood poisoning in 2012 when doctors refused her repeated requests to abort the foetus.
    17. Himachal Pradesh assembly adopted a resolution to declare cow as the “rashtra mata” or ‘mother of the nation', to boost cow protection efforts in State.
    18. Indian Coast Guard launched an exercise along serene sea waters of Gahirmatha marine sanctuary in Odisha to protect endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles, named 'Operation Oliva'.
    19. European Parliament approved a free trade agreement between Japan and EU, covering 63.5 croee people and almost 33% of world's economy, known as world's largest free trade agreement. EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement will remove duties on almost all agricultural and industrial products as well as open up service sector and procurement, eliminating all non-tariff barriers for trade.
    20. Dec 15 is observed as International Tea Day. On this occasion, Indian Tea Association (ITA) signed MoU with China Tea Marketing Association (CTMA).
  18. Dec 14, 2018
    1. 24th meeting of Conference of Parties (COP-24) to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) held at Katowice (Poland). Main Objective of COP 24 is to finalise guidelines for implementation of Paris Agreement adopted in 2016, to keep global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius.
      1. India at COP 24 -
        1. On Behalf of India, it was attended by Environment Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan.
        2. India has ambitious goal of generating 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022, with achievement of 72 GW renewable energy by 2018.
        3. During COP-24, India has set up a Pavilion to create awareness about India’s positive climate actions in various sectors of economy, themed as One World One Sun One Grid.
        4. NABARD signed loan agreement worth USD 100 mn with Green Climate Fund (GCF) to boost rooftop solar power capacity projects through private sector participation. Total corpus of project is USD 250 mn, to be executed by Tata Cleantech Capital Ltd.
        5. Uttar Pradesh based startup HelpUsGreen honored by UN for its works to clean River Ganga by recycling tonnes of floral waste. UN presented the award to 14 other countries along with India at Nations Climate Action award ceremony during UN Climate Change Conference (COP 24).
          1. HelpusGreen collects floral waste daily from the temples. These flowers are then recycled to produce charcoal free incense, organic vermicompost and biodegradable packaging material through Flowercycling technology. It cycled 11060 metric tonnes of temple waste, through women working with startup.
          2. Over 800 million metric tonnes of flowers are used in temples and these flowers are thrown into Ganga river.
      2. Other Facts About COP 24 -
        1. World Bank unveiled US $200 billion in climate action investment for 2021 to 2025 to fight impact of climate change, comprising of approx 100 billion direct finance from World Bank.
        2. Climate Change Performance Index 2019 was released on the sidelines of COP24 UN Summit in Katowice. The index was produced by the New Climate Institute, Climate Action Network and Germanwatch.
          1. No countries were in top three ranks because none did well in all categories assessed.
          2. Sweden topped the list with 4th rank, followed by Morocco in 5th position.
          3. European Union as a whole rose from 21st to 16th place. But Germany fell from 22nd to 27th because of its reliance on lignite coal, a big source of greenhouse gas emissions.
          4. Bottom ranked - Saudi Arabia (60), USA(59), Iran (58), Korea (57), Chinese Taipei (56),Australia (55),Canada (54),Russian Federation (52),Turkey (50),Japan (49).
          5. India ranked 11th. China ranked 33. Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Myanmar were not assessed.
        3. World Bank released report named Regulatory Indicators for Sustainable Energy (RISE) 2018 . Number of countries with strong policy frameworks for sustainable energy more than tripled,from 17 to 59 in 8 years till 2017.
          1. RISE 2018 charts global progress on sustainable energy policies and shows that policies matter – they are a leading indicator and building block of the world’s transition to sustainable energy.
        4. Katowice package, the rulebook for implementation of 2015 Paris climate agreement, was signed during this conference.
          1. One of key components is a detailed transparency framework to promote trust among nations. It sets out how countries will provide information about Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), including reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
          2. Sets a way to decide on ambitious funding targets from 2025 onwards from current commitment to mobilise USD 100 billion per year as of 2020 in support of climate action in developing countries.
          3. Nations agreed to collectively assess effectiveness of climate action in 2023, and finalised procedure to monitor and report progress on the development and transfer of technology.
          4. Countries can now establish the national systems that are needed for implementing Paris Agreement by 2020.
          5. Main issues still need to be resolved such as use of cooperative approaches, and sustainable development mechanism. Resolution of these issues would allow countries to meet a part of their domestic mitigation goals through use of market mechanisms.
          6. These negotiations will be taken up at UN climate change conference, COP25, set to take place in Chile in November 2019.
      3. About -
        1. UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) is international environmental treaty negotiated at Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and entered into force in 1994. It is parent treaty of 1997 Kyoto Protocol which was ratified by 192 of the UNFCCC Parties.
          1. Objective of both treaties is to stabilize greenhouse gas (GHGs) concentrations at a level, to prevent dangerous human interference with climate system.
        2. Conference of Parties (COP)COP is supreme decision-making body of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). ‎At COP, all parties review implementation of Convention and take decisions necessary to promote the effective implementation of Convention.
    2. 4th Edition of India-USA Joint Air Force Exercise Cope India-18 conducted at Kalaikunda and Panagarh Air Force bases in West Bengal.
    3. Ramphal Pawar has been appointed as Director in NCRB (National Crime Records Bureau).
    4. Doordarshan TV Channel DD Kisan launched a first-of-its-kind reality show 'Mahila Kisan Awards', To be telecast from 17th December. It will include two women farmers from across country, talking about their achievements in each episode. Judges will score these contestants based on their assessment. 5 contestants will reach finals and 1 will be declared winner.
    5. Dec 14 - National Energy Conservation Day in India.
      1. On this occasion, Ministry of Power launched ECO Niwas Samhita 2018 , an Energy Conservation Building Code for Residential Buildings launched Implementation of this Code expected to save 125 Billion Units of electricity per year by 2030, which is equivalent to 100 million ton of CO2 emission.
        1. Initially, Part-I of Code is launched that prescribes minimum standards for building envelope designs with purpose of designing energy efficient residential buildings.
        2. It is estimated that energy demand in the building sector will rise from around 350 billion units in 2018 to approximately 1000 billion units by 2030.
      2. On this occasion, 26 industrial units got National Energy Conservation Awards for excellent performance in energy efficiency.
    6. Author Amitav Ghosh honoured with 54th Jnanpith Award for 2018, an award for outstanding contribution to literature. Selection committe was chaired by novelist Pratibha Ray.
    7. Indian-American Shree Saini crowned Miss India Worldwide 2018 at annual global pageant held in New Jersey (USA), Organised by New York-based India Festival Committee (IFC). Sakshi Sinha from Australia declared as first runner-up.
    8. Indian National Congress announced that Bhupesh Baghel will be new chief minister of Chhattisgarh and Ashok Gehlot will be New Chief Minister of Rajasthan, after Congress won recent assembly elections 2018 in both states. All New CMs of 5 States who recent went for state assembly elections -
      1. Madhya Pradesh - Kamal Nath (Indian National Congress)
      2. Rajasthan - Ashok Gehlot (Indian National Congress), Sachin Pilot (Deputy CM)
      3. Telangana - K Chandrasekhar Rao (President of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS)). Its his 2nd consecutive term as CM.
      4. Chhattisgarh - Bhupesh Baghel (Indian National Congress)
      5. Mizoram - Zoramthanga (Mizo National Front (MNF)), Tawnluia (Deputy CM)
    9. Ranil Wickremesinghe appointd as Prime minister of Sri Lanka by President Maithripala Sirisena, bringing an end to the weeks-long political crisis in country.
      1. Mr.Wickremesinghe was removed as Prime minister in October and was replaced by Mahinda Rajapaksa who resigned after failing to garner a majority in Parliament.
    10. 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 globally.
    11. Punjab Assembly passed a resolution for seeking 30% reservation for women in Parliament and State legislative assembly.
    12. PV Sindhu became first Indian Badminton Player to win BWF World Tour Finals tournament in Guangzhou (China), the season-ending Tournament. She defeated Nozomi Okuhara (Japan). Total Prize of Championship is USD 1500000. Winners of BWF World Tour 2018 -
      Category Winner Runner-Up
      Men’s Singles Shi Yuqi (China) Kento Momota (Japan)
      Women’s Singles P. V. Sindhu (India) Nozomi Okuhara (Japan)
      Men’s Doubles Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen (China) Hiroyuki Endo and Yuta Watanabe (Japan)
      Women’s Doubles Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi (Japan) Lee So-hee and Shin Seung-chan (South Korea)
      Mixed Doubles Wang Yilü and Huang Dongping (China) Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong (China)
    13. Australia formally recognized West Jerusalem as capital of Israel, becoming one of few countries to do so (Including USA). However, it will not move its embassy from Tel Aviv until a peace settlement is reached.
    14. Yes Bank named Brahm Dutt as bank’s non-executive interim chairman, after Ashok Chawla resigned last month.
    15. Supreme Court gave clean chit to Central government for purchase of 36 Rafale fighter Jets from Dassault Aviation (France), stating nothing wrong found in purchase of 36 fighter jet instead of 126 from France.
      1. Dassault Rafale won MMRCA competition in January 2012 to supply 126 Jet aircraft with additional 63 aircraft to Indian Air Force. First 18 aircrafts were to be supplied by Dassault and remaining were to be manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.
      2. Dassault refused to ensure quality of aircraft produced by HAL. In 2014, price of deal increased to $30 billion. This created price issue and deal couldn’t be signed.
      3. Thereafter, New central government confirmed the deal for 36 multirole fighter aircraft of 58000 crores from France’s Dassault Aviation.
    16. 23rd International Film Festival of Kerala held at Nishagandhi Auditorium (Kanakakunnu) -
      1. Crow Pheasant Award (Suvarna Chakoram) – Iranian film The Dark Room
      2. The Silver Crow Pheasant Award (Rajatha Chakoram) for best Director – Lijo Jose Pellissery
      3. Audience Poll Award for Best Film – Malyalam Film Ee. Ma.Yau
      4. FIPRESCI Award – Zakariya’s Sudani from Nigeria
      5. Special Jury Mention Award – The Silence
    17. 4th edition of Kochi-Muziris biennale began at Fort Kochi (Kerala), as first Biennale in world in which participation of women accounts for half of participating artists. 108-day long event will showcase 94 artists, with Theme Possibilities for a Non- Alienated Life.
      1. Contemporary artists Bose Krisnamachari and Riyaz Komu proposed state government the idea of Biennale on the lines of Venice Biennale.
    18. 3rd edition of Women Transforming India Awards organized by NITI Aayog in New Delhi. NITI Aayog also launched upgraded portal of Women Entrepreneurship Platform. 2018 theme is – Women and Entrepreneurship and 15 winners have been selected.
    19. Jammu and Kashmir assembly passed law to ban sexual extortion of woman in offices and became first Indian state to amend law on Sextortion.
      1. New law amended section 154, 161 and schedule of Criminal Procedure Code and Section 53 of Evidence Act to bring Sextortion as a similar offence prescribed under RPC. New Section E has been added to Section 354 of Ranbir Penal Code that makes sexual harassment a criminal offence with 3 years of imprisonment.
      2. Ranbir Penal Code - Indian Penal code is not applicable to Jammu and Kashmir and in place of IPC, a similar criminal law Ranbir Penal Code applies in . It was introduced by Ranbir Singh during Dogra Dynasty and it came in effect from 1932. Provision of code was prepared by Thomas Babington Macaulay.
    20. Government notified Flight and Maritime Connectivity Rules 2018, allowing phone calls and internet on flights and ship voyage within India’s territory. Airlines and shipping companies operating in India can provide in-flight and maritime voice and data services by partnering with an Indian telecom company, using satellites.
      1. Both domestic and foreign satellites can be used for providing IFMC (in-flight and maritime connectivity) services by a telco after permission of Department of Space.
      2. The in-flight and maritime connectivity services will only be activated once aircraft reaches a minimum height of 3,000m in Indian airspace. Objective is to avoid any interference with terrestrial mobile networks.
      3. Licences for IFMC will be granted for an annual fee of Rs. 1 for a period of 10 years.
  19. Dec 13, 2018
    1. Indian Ports Association (IPA) launched a new Port Community System ‘PCS 1x’, as a cloud based new generation technology, with user-friendly interface to increase ease of doing business. URL for portal is Various Services offered by PCS1x platform will reduce up to 2 days in a life of transaction.
    2. As per a study published in journal Royal Society Open Science, Dracula ant possesses fastest animal movement on record, With speeds of up to 90 metres per second / 200 miles per hour.
    3. Delhi government launched a 10-day special inspection drive named- “Operation Minimum Wage”, to check implementation of minimum wage rules set by state government. Violation would be checked as per Minimum Wages Act 2017 and labourers can lodge a complaint by calling 155214.
    4. Uttar Pradesh Government announced creation of an umbrella university named after former Prime Minister late Atal Bihari Vajpayee. University would be the controlling authority of all medical and dental colleges and nursing institutions in state.
    5. 3-day AdventureNext 2018 event, concluded in Madhya Pradesh, organised by The Adventure Travel Trade Association as first-of-its-kind in India & Asia, with theme Pulse of Tomorrow. Major partner was Jharkhand Tourism.
  20. Dec 12, 2018
    1. Dec 12 - International Universal Health Coverage Day, proclaimed In 2017 by UN. 2018 theme is Unite for Universal Health Coverage: Now is the Time for Collective Action. Dec 12 is also noted as International Day of Neutrality after, adopted by UN General Assembly in 2017.
    2. Ukraine approved ending two-decade-old treaty on friendship, cooperation and partnership between Ukraine and Russia. Treaty will be terminated on April 1, 2019 amid rising tensions between two countries.
    3. Delhi High Court banned online sale of medicines by e-pharmacists across country, till proper regulations are set in place.
    4. President of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), K Chandrasekhar Rao, sworn-in as Chief Minister of Telangana for 2nd consecutive term, after his party won recent state assembly elections 2018.
    5. Mizo National Front (MNF) President Zoramthanga sworn-in as new Chief Minister of Mizoram, after his party won recent state assembly elections 2018.
    6. Israel became a full member of Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an international body set up to combat money laundering, terrorist financing and other threats to international financial system.
    7. Cricket Australia (CA) and Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) rebranded Allan Border Medal to Australian Cricket Awards from 2019 onwards.
    8. India signed ascension pact to 30-member Trans-Regional Maritime Network that will give it an access to information on ships passing through Indian Ocean Region. India already has bilateral White Shipping Agreements with 36 countries.
    9. Swedish think tank Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) announced that Russia has emerged as world's second-largest arms producer after USA. Russia surpassed Britain for the 2nd spot. Report also said that 4 Indian PSUs ranked among top 100 arms producers globally - Indian Ordnance Factories (37th), Hindustan Aeronautics (38th), Bharat Electronics (64th), Bharat Dynamics (94th).
    10. Asian Academy Creative Awards (AAA’s)  2018 (held in Singapore). Notable winners are -
      Category Show Winner
      Best entertainment host/presenter Bigg Boss Salman Khan (India)
      Best direction (fiction) Netflix’s original series Sacred Games Anurag Kashyap (India)
      Best actress Critical Eleven Adinia Wirasti of Indonesia
      Best Actor The Hunter Yu Hewei of China
      Best Supporting Actor Kenapa Harus Bule Michael Kho of Indonesia
      Best Supporting Actress Roseki Candy Yang of Taiwan
    11. Jana Small Finance Bank launched Jana bankable Debit Card, in association with Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), designed for cricket fans and offers several related deals.
    12. US Senate approved ending US military support for Saudi-led coalition in Yemen’s civil war.
    13. Ayushmann Khurrana and Tabu starrer AndhaDhun as top Indian movie of 2018 by global film and TV website IMDb.
    14. Indian Air Force (IAF) concluded exercise codenamed CROSS BOW 18 at Suryalanka in Andhra Pradesh.
    15. Central Asian Nation Kazakhstan opened a consulate in Gujarat to enhance development of mutually beneficial cooperation between Kazakhstan and India.
  21. Dec 11, 2018
    1. Dec 11 - International Mountain Day, established by UN General Assembly in 2003. 2018 theme is Mountains Matter. Dec 11 is also formation day of UN Body UNICEF.
    2. Government appointed Brijendra Pal Singh as President of FTII Society and Chairman of FTII Governing Council.
    3. India signed $60 Million Loan Agreement with Asian Development Bank (ADB) to continue financing riverbank protection works and community-based flood risk management activities in flood-prone areas along Brahmaputra River in Assam. This Tranche 2 loan is part of $120 million financing facility for Assam Integrated Flood and Riverbank Erosion Risk Management Investment Program approved by ADB in October 2010.
    4. India signed $31 million Loan Agreement with Asian Development Bank (ADB) to build-up State Tourism Industry and boost visitor arrivals in Tamilnadu.
    5. Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has added 2 new currencies (Korean Won (WON) and Turkish Lira (TRY)) into list of currencies whose Rate of Exchange it notifies for purpose of conversion of foreign exchange to Indian Rupees (INR) and vice versa for assessment of imports & exports. Now, number of currencies in list has gone up to 22.
      1. South Korea and Turkey are both Important Trade partners for India as Trade between India-South Korea grew to $16.36 Billion during 2017-18 from $12.59 Billion in 2016-17 and India - Turkey trade stood at US $ 7.2 Billion during 2017-18.
      2. This Inclusion of 2 new currencies will facilitate trade & business by easing process of conversion of these currencies into INR and vice versa. It will also help exporters claim benefits of Merchandise Export Incentive Scheme (MEIS) easily, as rates of TKY and WON will be readily available on realization date of remittances.
    6. Government appointed Shaktikanta Das as new (25th) Governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for 3 years term. This appointment is made after Urjit Patel Resigned as RBI Governor recently. Mr. Patel is First RBI governor to resign before completion of term, which was to end in September 2019.
    7. Indian Navy's first flyaway Deep Sea Submarine Rescue System inducted at Naval Dockyard Mumbai.
      1. New Submarine rescue system was needed as traditional methods of search and rescue at sea are ineffective for a disabled submarine.
      2. Indian Navy's Deep Sea Submarine Rescue System considered to be the most advanced system currently in operation globally, which is capable of undertaking rescue from a disabled Submarine upto 650 m depth.
    8. Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Minister Radha Mohan Singh launched ENSURE- National Livestock Mission-EDEG Portal developed by NABARD.
      1. Government Launched National Livestock Mission for sustainable development of livestock sector. Under Mission’s component called Entrepreneurship Development and Employment Generation (EDEG), subsidy payment for activities related to poultry, small ruminants, pigs etc. goes directly to beneficiary’s account through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT).
      2. ENSURE Portal is developed to make the process simpler and more transparent (URL, so that information related to beneficiary and processing of application can be made readily available.
    9. Manika Batra became first Indian table tennis player to be honored with ‘Breakthrough Table Tennis Star’ award at ITTF Star Awards in Incheon (South Korea). Other Awardees at event are -
      1. Star Point - Xu Xin (China)
      2. Female Para Table Tennis star - Kelly van Zon (Netherlands)
      3. Male Para Table Tennis star - Jordi Morales (Spain)
      4. Star Coach - Massimo Costantini (Italy)
      5. Female Table Tennis Star - Ding Ning (China)
      6. Male Table Tennis Star - Fan Zhendong (China)
    10. Book Of Counsel: The Challenges of the Modi-Jaitley Economy, written by Former Chief Economic Adviser (CEA) Arvind Subramanian has been released.
    11. India's Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Rajiv Mehrishi elected as Vice-Chair of United Nations (UN) Panel of Auditors. CAG of UK was also appointed as Chair of Panel for another term (2019).
    12. Sascha Bajin (coach of Naomi Osaka (Japan)) became first-ever recipient of Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Coach of the Year Award.
    13. Manipur Government honored Noted Boxer MC Mary Kom with title “Meethoileima” (par excellence queen).
    14. Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has launched Twitter account @CyberDost to spread awareness about cybercrimes and normal precautions to be taken.
    15. European Union (EU) established India’s first Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence (CoE) at Department of European Studies (DES) at Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) in New Delhi. It comes with grant of €1,00,000 to pursue India-EU interdisciplinary studies in culture, literature, education and society. This is for fifth time MAHE has been awarded grants under Erasmus+Jean Monnet initiative.
  22. Dec 10, 2018
    1. Dec 10 - Human Rights Day. On this day in 1948, UN General Assembly adopted Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 2018 theme is Stand Up For Human Rights.
    2. Visits from India (Dec 01 - 10, 2018) -
      1. Defence Minsiter Nirmala Sitharaman visited USA.
      2. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj visited UAE for 12th India-UAE Joint Commission Meeting for Economic and Technical Cooperation. During this meet, India and UAE signed an agreement on Currency Swap worth INR 3500 crores, along with MOU for Development Cooperation in Africa.
      3. Indian Air Force Chief Birender Singh Dhanoa visited Japan.
    3. General Conferences (Dec 01 - 10, 2018) -
      1. 1st India Indonesia Business forum (IIBF) was held at Port Blair in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
      2. Indian Owl Festival, India’s first owl fest, held at Pingori village in Pune (Maharashtra).
      3. Conference on partnership between European Union and India for Cultural Heritage Conservation held in New Delhi.
      4. Global Agriculture and Food Summit 2018 held in Ranchi (Jharkhand), with participation of 7 countries.
      5. National Mission for Clean Ganga organised a two-day international workshop on 'Developing a Ganga Museum Concept: Exchanging Experiences and Ideas between India and Europe' in Delhi.
      6. India Water Impact Summit 2018 organized by National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) and Centre for Ganga River Basin Management and Studies (Ganga) in New Delhi. During this, Govt. announced sanction of 254 projects worth over 24 thousand crore rupees under National Mission for Clean Ganga.
      7. 13th edition of CII Agro Tech India 2018 held in Chandigarh.
      8. Minister for Electronics & IT, Law & Justice, Ravi Shankar Prasad launched a National Challenge for Youths,  Ideate for India - Creative Solutions using Technology in New Delhi. It aims to give school students across the country a platform to become solution creators for problems they see around them and their communities.
      9. 1st International Conference under aegis of National Hydrology Project (Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation) at Indian School of Business Mohali with theme ‘Sustainable Water Management’.
      10. Conference on ‘Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code – A New Paradigm for Stressed Assets’ organised in New York (USA), addressed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley through Video Conferencing. 
      11. Annual Startup India Venture Capital Summit held in Goa with theme ‘Mobilizing Global Capital for Innovation in India.’
      12. Military Literature Festival (MLF) 2018 held in Chandigarh.
      13. Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Radha Mohan Singh laid Foundation stone of Pusa Kisan Haat in Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Agricultural Technology Information Centre (ATIC) in New Delhi. It will allow farmers to sell their agricultural products, along with other farmer friendly facilities.
    4. Visits to India (Dec 01 - 10, 2018) -
      1. Minister of Foreign Affairs & Cooperation of Mozambique (East Africa), Jose Condungua Antonio Pacheco Visited India.
      2. Foreign Minister of Romania, Teodor Melescanu visited India.
      3. Foreign Minister of Maldives, Abdulla Shahid visited India.
      4. Chairman of ‘Duma’ of Russian Parliament (Counterpart of India's Lok Sabha), Vyacheslav Volodin Visited India. He attended 5th Meeting of India-Russia Parliamentary Commission in New Delhi.
    5. 2018 Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly Election Results (230 Seats) -
      1. Indian National Congress (INC) emerged largest Party with 114 Seats. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) 2nd with 109 Seats.
      2. In terms of Votes, BJP got 41 % votes while INC got 40.9%.
      3. INC Leader Kamal Nath is set to be appointed as Next chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, replacing BJP's Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
    6. 2018 Rajasthan Legislative Assembly Election Results (200 Seats)-
      1. Indian National Congress (INC) emerged largest Party with 99 Seats. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) 2nd with 73 Seats.
      2. In terms of Votes, INC got 39.3 % votes while BJP got 38.8%.
    7. 2018 Telangana Legislative Assembly Election Results (119 Seats) -
      1. Telangana Rashtra Samithi emerged largest Party with 88 Seats. INC 2nd with 19 Seats.
      2. In terms of Votes, TRS got 46.9 % votes while INC got 28.4%.
    8. 2018 Chhattisgarh Legislative Assembly Election Results (90 Seats) -
      1. Indian National Congress (INC) emerged largest Party with 68 Seats. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) 2nd with 15 Seats.
      2. In terms of Votes, INC got 43 % votes while BJP got 33%.
    9. 2018 Mizoram Legislative Assembly Election Results (40 Seats) -
      1. Mizo National Front emerged largest Party with 26 Seats.
      2. In terms of Votes, MNF got 37.6 % votes while INC got 30.2%.
    10. As per Oxford Economics report, top 10 fastest growing cities in the world from 2019 to 2035 are in India -
      1. Surat, a diamond processing and trading center in Gujarat will see fastest expansion through 2035. Agra and Bangalore gets 2nd and 3rd spot respectively. Hyderabad is in the fourth place, followed by Nagpur, Tirupur, Rajkot, Tiruchirappalli, Chennai and Vijayawada.
      2. In Africa - Tanzanian port of Dar es Salaam is fastest City, while top spot in Europe is held by Armenian capital of Yerevan, San Jose a proxy for Silicon Valley will be best performer in North America.
    11. India signed an agreement with Iran to make Oil Import payments in Indian rupees. MoU was signed after US letting India and seven other nations to keep buying Iranian oil despite sanctions were imposed on Iran in November.
      1. Earlier India paid Iran in Euros using European banking channels. Under the 180-day USA exemption, India is allowed to import a maximum of 300,000 barrels a day of crude oil. This compares to an average daily import of about 560,000 barrels this year.
    12. Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed arrangement with World Bank to enact a single framework to make co-financed projects more efficient. ADB’s first Alternative Procurement Arrangement (APA) with World Bank will allow procedures on co-financed projects to follow a single procurement framework, in line with ADB's Strategy 2030.
      1. Strategy 2030 is ADB’s long-term plan to respond effectively to Asia and Pacific region’s changing needs.
    13. Scottish artist and film maker Charlotte Prodger won 2018 Turner Award, Britain’s prestigious contemporary art award, for her 33-minute film called ‘BRIDGIT’, that explores queer identity, which was shot in an iPhone. She would receive £25,000 as prize.
    14. Sweden and India signed 2 MoUs in Renewable Energy sector to enhance technology and bring in power efficiency, during inauguration of ‘Sustainability by Sweden – Showroom India’ under Sweden India Nobel Memorial Programme.
      1. First MOU between Swedish firm Spowdi and EMVEE for setting up local assembly unit in Bangalore
      2. 2nd MoU between Swedish Neutral and Tata Power DDL for setting up pilot for earth fault protection in Delhi.
    15. HDFC ERGO General Insurance Company signed bancassurance tie up with Federal Bank, to enable distribution of HDFC ERGO’s insurance offerings to Bank's customers.
    16. Punjab Govt. decided to merge 20 District Central Cooperative Banks (DCCBs) with Punjab State Cooperative Bank (PSCB), to strengthen state’s rural credit system and facilitate farmers taking credit from cooperative banks.
    17. RBI issued guidelines for enhancing credit discipline of large borrowers by allowing a minimum of 40% of working capital to be drawn. large borrowers with working capital of over 150 crores can draw a minimum loan component of 40% of capital. This will be effective from April 1, 2019. Also, 40 % loan component will be revised to 60 5, from July 2019.
  23. Dec 09, 2018
    1. Dec 09 - International Anti-Corruption Day (IACD).
    2. 175th Meeting of Organization of Petroleum Exporting Companies (OPEC) Conference & 5th OPEC and Non OPEC Ministerial Meeting held in Vienna (Austria).
      1. Qatar announced to withdraw its OPEC membership with effect from January 1, 2019,
      2. Next OPEC and Non-OPEC Ministerial Meeting will convene in Vienna, Austria in April, 2019.
    3. Hungarian capital Budapest confirmed as host city of 2023 International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships. Upcoming hosts are - Qatar in 2019 and Eugene (USA) in 2021.
    4. Japan approved a new law allowing foreigners into country from April 2019, to ease labour shortages. Workers in first category will be allowed in for five years if they have a certain level of skill and some proficiency in Japanese and Workers with a higher level of skills would qualify for the second visa category and would eventually be allowed to apply for residency.
    5. Beijing based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) approved a $400 million loan for a Water Sanitation Project in Andhra Pradesh. India is second largest shareholder of Asian Infrastructure Development Bank (7.5 % Stake of India) after China (26.06%).
    6. Lieutenant governors (LGs) and administrators of UTs have been empowered by central government to designate civil courts as special courts to adjudicate contracts relating to infrastructure projects. State government, in consultation with high court, can designate civil courts as special courts within local limits of area to exercise jurisdiction.
    7. Gujarat Govt. approved 50-crore rupees to Science & Technology Innovation (STI) Fund for assistance in research and development, first such fund in India for high-end technology and innovation. Assistance up to Rs. 50-lakh will be provided to UGC and AICTE recognized central and state universities and colleges, for up to 3 years.
    8. Crown Prince of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum launched Dubai Audio Library, the largest Arabic audio library in world. It targets seven million visually impaired people in Arab world. Library will provide 300,000 books in Arabic and over 10000 volunteers will convert Arabic books into digital format and upload them.
    9. As per Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australia surpassed Qatar to become world’s leading exporter of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) for the first time. Australia exported 6.55 million tonnes of LNG in November 2018 compared to Qatar’s 6.27 million tonnes. LNG is Australia’s third-largest export commodity behind coal and iron ore.
    10. Pakistani Nobel Peace Prize-winner Malala Yousafzai honored by 2018 Gleitsman Award from Harvard’s Kennedy School in Cambridge, Massachusetts (USA) for her work promoting girls’ education. It provides $125,000 monetary Prize.
    11. Bharti Enterprises chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal became first Indian to receive ESCP Europe’s highest honour ‘Doctor Honoris Causa’ for his innovative entrepreneurship and philanthropy in education.
    12. Kirthiga Reddy (former Facebook India Chief) joined Japanese Imvestment Giant SoftBank as its first venture partner at its $100 billion Vision Fund. She is first women on board of Softbank.
  24. Dec 08, 2018
    1. As per index compiled by Arton Capital, Top three most powerful passports are - UAE (1), Singapore (2), Germany (3).
    2. Kolkata-Patna bercame India’s 2nd Inland Water Transport (IWT) origin-destination pair for containerised cargo movement on National Waterway-1.
      1. Ministry of Shipping is developing NW-1 (River Ganga) under Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) from Haldia to Varanasi (1390 Km) with assistance of World Bank, at estimated cost of INR 5369 crores.
    3. Indian IT Firm HCL will acquire seven IBM products by mid-2019 for $1.8 billion, as HCL's biggest ever acquisition so far.
    4. Export-Import Bank of India extended a credit facility of USD 500 million to Tanzania (East Africa) for water supply projects in country.
    5. Current account deficit (CAD) widened to 2.9% of GDP for July-September quarter due to higher trade deficit compared with 1.1% during same period of previous year. CAD for Previous (April-June) quarter was 2.4% of GDP or $15.9 billion.
    6. Financial products marketplace launched an industry-first feature that will help loan applicants choose their most-suited lender on its platform, Named 'Chance of Approval', made using last four years lending data.
    7. German firm BigRep produced the world's first fully functioning e-motorbike NERA using a 3D printer. NERA has features like airless tires, embedded electronics, and forkless steering.
    8. Odisha Government launched Peoples Empowerment - Enabling Transparency and Accountability of Odisha Initiatives (PEETHA) initiative, as part of 3T initiative of Technology, Transparency and Team Work model. PEETHA is a sub-scheme of the Odisha government's flagship Ama Gaon Ama Bikash Yojana.
    9. Goa's Prathamesh Maulingkar became first Asian/Indian to win Mister Supernational title, after he won 2018 edition in a competition held in Poland.
    10. RBI imposed fine of Rs 1 crore on Indian Bank for violating cyber security norms.
    11. French Govt. declared state of “social and economic” emergency amid the ongoing ‘yellow vest’ protests. Macron announced monthly increase in the minimum wage by €100, cancellation of taxes on overtime labour.
    12. Brokerage Firm ICICI Securities (ISec) launched ‘eATM’ instant fund credit feature to enable real-time payments in bank accounts upon selling stocks in Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). This is available to retail investors who can get payment against sale of stocks in BSE instantly, compared to earlier waiting time of T+2 days.
    13. INS Cuddalore, a Pondicherry-class vessel that was decommissioned in March 2018, will be sent to the seabed at a depth of 26m about 7km off Puducherry coast to create India’s first underwater museum.
    14. SWIFT India, local unit of SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) appointed former SBI chief Arundhati Bhattacharya as its Chairperson.
    15. TIME magazine named 'The Guardians', a group of journalists, as its 'Person of the Year 2018'. Group includes Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, marking it first time that TIME has chosen a deceased person as 'Person of the Year'. Others are Filipina journalist Maria Ressa, Reuters' jailed journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, and US newspaper Capital Gazette.
  25. Dec 07, 2018
    1. Dec 07 - Armed Forces Flag Day, observed Since 1949. December 1 - 7 is observed as Armed Forces week.
    2. Indian Coast Guard (ICG) conducted Regional Level Marine Oil Pollution Response Exercise titled ‘Clean Sea– 2018’ at sea off Port Blair (Andaman & Nicobar (A&B) Islands).
    3. India and Japan Conducted Joint First Air Force exercise called SHINYUU Maitri-18, at Air Force Station Agra.
    4. RBI introduced ‘Ombudsman Scheme for Digital Transactions’ to provide cost-free mechanism to redress grievances of customers related to digital transactions. Scheme will be notified by end of January 2019.
    5. Maharashtra Government launched World Bank assisted State of Maharashtra’s Agribusiness and Rural Transformation (SMART) Project to transform rural Maharashtra. SMART Project aims to create and support value chains in post-harvest segments of agriculture, facilitate agribusiness investment, stimulate SMEs within value chain. It will be implemented in 10,000 villages of state.
    6. Shi Yomi became 23rd district of Arunachal Pradesh, created by bifurcating West Siang district with its headquarters at Tato. 2 more districts Pakke-Kesang and Lepa Rada will be formally inaugurated in state.
      1. In August 2018, State assembly passed Arunachal Pradesh Re-Organisation of Districts (Amendment) Bill 2018 for creation of three new districts, Pakke-Kesang, Lepa Rada and Shi Yomi.
    7. Kerala becAme first state to have 4 international airports, with inauguration of Kannur airport. other three international airports are AT Trivandrum, Cochin and Calicut.
    8. As per WHO’s Global Nutrition Report 2018,India has highest number of ‘stunted’ children in world (nearly third of global count).
      1. Globally, Stunting (low height for age) among children aged under five has fallen from 32.6 per cent in 2000 to 22.2 per cent in 2017.
      2. About 46.6 million children in India suffer from stunting due to poor nutrition intake in long term and repeated infections. India also tops in number of Wasted children (Low Weight for height), amounting 25.5 million.
      3. In creating this report, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) used district-level aggregate data from 2015-2016 National and Family Health Survey (NFHS) in India along with data from UNICEF/WHO/World Bank Group.
    9. Ministry of Health & Family Welfare notified 4 medical devices including blood pressure monitors, nebulisers, digital thermometers and glucometers as drugs under Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940. Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) will regulate import, manufacture and sale of these devices from January 2020, ensuring their quality and performance.
    10. UN along with 39 international entities signed a framework to deal with terrorism and promote peace and sustainable growth, To deal with Terrorism. It is also termed as Global compact. United Nations office of counter terrorism will serve as Secretariat of Global Compact. The event was held at Marrakesh, Morocco.
      1. To combat terrorism, UN created UN counter-terrorism implementation task force in 2005, which consists of 38 international entities.
    11. United Arab Emirates (UAE) Govt. increased representation of Emirati women in Federal National Council to 50 % (from 22.5 % currently), to enforce women empowerment.
    12. SEBI approved several relaxations for start-ups in sectors like e-commerce, data analytics and bio-technology to raise funds and list them on stock exchanges.  Changes include renaming the 'Institutional Trading Platform' (ITP) of start-ups’ listings as 'Innovators Growth Platform'. Other Changes include -
      1. Do away with requirement of at least 50 % of pre-issue capital held by qualified institutional investors.
      2. Do away with a cap of 25 percent holding for any person. It will ensure that investors are able to invest more than 25 percent in a start-up.
      3. Reduce minimum application size for share offers to Rs 2 lakh from Rs 10 lakh earlier to attract more investors to the new platform
      4. Do away with allocation of 75 % of net offer to institutional investors and remaining 25 % to non-institutional investors. There should be no minimum reservation for any specific category of investors.
      5. Retains provisions for lock-in period of entire pre-issue capital
      6. SEBI proposed to reduce time period from 3 years to 1 year for the company listed on the start-up platform to main board of stock exchange.
      7. Fixing minimum offer size at Rs 10 crore.
    13. Tamil Nadu government launched a 24-hour toll-free helpline ‘181’ for women facing domestic violence and sexual harassment.
    14. Delhi Govt. launched 'Mukhyamantri Tirth Yatra Yojana', which will offer free travel packages for senior citizens from Delhi to five religious circuits. 1100 senior citizens from every constituency of Delhi will be able to avail this facility at one go. Total 77000 pilgrims will be able to avail this facility every year.
    15. Former Indian diplomat Preeti Saran has been elected unopposed to an Asia Pacific seat on United Nation's Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR).
    16. Employees' State Insurance Corporation decided to allow Non-IPs (Non Insured Persons) to avail medical services from underutilised ESIC Hospitals. Non insured persons would now be able to avail medical services at subsidised cost of Rs 10 for OPD Consultation, at 25 % of CGHS package rates for admitted patients and to provide medicines on actual rate.
    17. Dec 7 - International Civil Aviation Day.
  26. Dec 06, 2018
    1. Cabinet Approvals (Dec 06, 2018) -
      1. MOUs -
        1. Japan - Environmental Cooperation.
        2. USA - Scientific and Technical Cooperation in the Earth Sciences.
        3. Apprved Revised Model MOU between Financial Intelligence Unit(FIU) – India (FIU-Ind) with its counterpart foreign Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) for exchange of information.
        4. France - energy efficiency / energy conservation. 
        5. Algeria - Space Sciences, Technologies and Applications.
        6. Armenia - Joint issue of postage stamp
        7. Japan - Postal, Healthcare and Wellness.
        8. Tajkistan, Uzbekistan, Morocco - Peaceful uses of Space Technology for Development.
        9. Russia - Joint Activities under Human Spaceflight Programme.
        10. Zimbabwe - geology, mining and mineral resources. 
      2. General Approvals -
        1. Approved Amendment of Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial Act 1951. Proposed amendment ensures representation of the Opposition Party in Trust. It will empower Government to terminate and replace a Trustee to participate in functioning of Trust or for any other reason.
        2. Approved Agriculture Export Policy 2018, along with establishment of Monitoring Framework at Centre, to oversee implementation of Agriculture Export Policy. It aims to double farmers’ income by 2022 by doubling agricultural exports from present US$ 30+ Billion to ~US$ 60+ Billion by 2022 and reach US$ 100 Billion later. Its Elements have been organised in two categories – Strategic and Operational.
        3. Approved implementation of Shahpurkandi Dam Project on river Ravi in Punjab, to be completed by June 2022.
          1. On completion, Irrigation Potential of 5,000 ha in Punjab and 32,173 ha in J&K would be created.
          2. Some of water of River Ravi at present is going waste through the Madhopur Headworks downstream to Pakistan whereas there is water requirement in Punjab and J&K. Implementation of the project would minimise such wastage of water.
          3. Balance cost of works component of ShahpurKandi Dam project is Rs. 1973 crores. Out of this, 485 Crores would be provided as Central Assistance.
        4. Approved launching National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems (NM-ICPS) to be implemented by Department of Science &Technology at a total outlay of INR 3660 crores for 5 years.
          1. It addresses increasing technological requirements of society. It would develop and bring Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) and associated technologies within reach in country and adoption of CPS technologies to address National / Regional issues.
          2. 4 focused areas along which mission implementation will proceed - Technology Development. HRD & Skill Development, Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Start-ups Ecosystem Development AND International Collaborations.
          3. It aims at establishment of 15 Technology Innovation Hubs (TIH), 6 Application Innovation Hubs (AIH) and 4 Technology Translation Research Parks (TTRP). These Hubs & TTRPs will connect to entities in developing solutions at reputed academic, R&D and other organizations across country in a hub and spoke model.
      3. CCEA Approvals -
        1. Approved sale of Government’s existing 52.63% stake in Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) to Power Finance Corporation (PFC), to achieve integration across Power Chain and have enhanced capability to support energy access and efficiency by improved capability to finance power sector.  REC and PFC are Central PSEs under Ministry of Power.
        2. Approved streamlining National Pension System (NPS) -
          1. Enhancement of contribution by Central Government for its employees covered under NPS Tier-I from 10% to 14%.
          2. Providing freedom of choice for selection of Pension Funds and pattern of investment to central government employees. ·
          3. Tax exemption limit for lump sum withdrawal on exit has been enhanced to 60%. Entire withdrawal will now be exempt from income tax.
          4. Contribution by Government employees under Tier-II of NPS will now be covered under Section 80 C for deduction up to 1.50 lakh.
    2. Long range surface-to-surface Nuclear Capable Ballistic missile Agni V successfully test fired.
      1. It has strike range of 5000 km.
      2. It was 7th successful trail of Agni V. It is capable of carrying 1.5 tonnes of nuclear warheads.
    3. UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) approved India’s proposal to observe an International Year of Millets in 2023. FAO also approved India’s membership to Executive Board of UN World Food Program (WFP) for 2020 and 2021.
    4. NITI Aayog partnered with Perlin (Singapore-based AI start up) to launch ‘AI 4 All Global Hackathon’,  to further expand the idea of‘Artificial Intelligence, AI for All’. It aims to develop solutions that deliver twin benefit of efficient computing to address the infrastructure challenges, while also not compromising on privacy of data for training AI algorithms. Hackathon will be run two stages in Jan and Mar 2019.
      1. First stage will invite ideas for use cases of multi-party computation in areas such as Healthcare, Education, Agriculture, Urbanization, Financial Inclusion.
      2. 2nd stage will call for these ideas to be matured and developed, with a focus on privacy preserving AI and distributed computing.
      3. Winners will share in a prize pool worth USD $50,000.
    5. Books The Republican Ethic and Loktantra Ke Swar have been launched, containing Selected Speeches of President Ram Nath Kovind.
    6. Ministry of Shipping approved development of INR 156 crore freight village in Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh), adjoining Inland Waterways Terminal on River Ganga. It will serve as a cargo hub, and a centre for aggregation and value addition.
    7. Ministry of Road Transport & Highways notified amendments in Central Motor Vehicles Rules 1989, to rule that All new vehicles will be sold pre-fitted with High Security Registration Plates – HSRP from the 1st April, 2019. It is likely to improve the coverage of HSRP on vehicles, while ensuring its quality by the vehicle manufacturers.
    8. China launched Chang’e 4, first-ever spacecraft that will attempt landing on far side of Moon, which always shows the same face to Earth as it’s close enough to be locked by planet’s gravitational field.
    9. Forbes World’s 100 Most Powerful Women of 2018 -
      1. 4 Indians in the list - Roshni Nadar Malhotra (HCL Enterprises CEO), Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw (CMD of Biocon Limited and chairperson of IIM Bangalore), Shobhana Bhartia (Chairperson and Editorial Director of Hindustan Times Group) & Priyanka Chopra (Actress).
      2. Top 5 in List -
        1. Angela Merkel (German Chancellor)
        2. Theresa May (UK Prime Minister)
        3. Christine Lagarde (IMF Chief)
        4. Mary Barra (CEO of General Motors USA)
        5. Abigail Johnson (CEO of Fidelity Investments USA)
    10. Atul Sahai has been appointed as Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of PSU New India Assurance.
    11. Actress Janhvi Kapoor will be awarded ‘Arets Stjerneskudd’ rising talent of year honor by Norwegian Consulate General in Mumbai.
    12. Governmemnt appointed Krishnamurthy Subramanian as new Chief Economic Advisor (CEA) for 3 years, replacing Arvind Subramanian.
    13. Sahitya Akademi Awards 2018 announced for 24 languages. It contains prize money of 1 Lakh INR. Awardees -
      1. Assamese - Sananta Tanti (Poetry)
      2. Bengali - Sanjib Chattopadhyay (Story)
      3. Bodo - Rituraj Basumatary (Short Stories)
      4. Dogri - Inderjeet Kesar (Novel)
      5. English - Anees Safim (Novel)
      6. Gujarati - Sharifa Vijiwala (Essay)
      7. Hindi - Chitra Mudgal (Novel)
      8. Kannada - K G Nagarajappa (Literary Criticism)
      9. Kashmiri - Mushtaq Ahmad Mushtaq (Short Stories)
      10. Konkani - Paresh Narendra Kamat (Poetry)
      11. Maithili - Bina Thakur (Short Stories)
      12. Malayalam - S Rameshan Nair (Poetry)
      13. Manipuri - Budhichandra Heisnamba (Short Stories)
      14. Marathi - Ma. Su. Patil (Literary Criticism)
      15. Nepali - Lok Nath Upadhyay Chapagain (Short Stories)
      16. Odia - Dasarthi das (Literary Criticism)
      17. Punjabi - Mohanjit (Poetry)
      18. Rajasthani - Rajesh Kumar Vyas (Poetry)
      19. Sanskrit - Rama Kant Shukla (Poetry)
      20. Santhali - Shyam Sundar Besra (Novel)
      21. Sindhi - Khimam U Mulani (Poetry)
      22. Tamil - S Ramkrishnan (Novel)
      23. Telugu - Kolakaluri Enoch (Essay)
      24. Urdu - Aahman Abbas (Novel)
    14. James Quincey appointed as 14th chairman of Beverages Major Coca-Cola, succeeding Muhtar Kent.
    15. Shalindra Kumar appointed as Chief Electoral Officer of Jammu and Kashmir.
    16. As per A World bank Report, India retained its position as world’s top recipient of remittances in 2018, with Indians abroad sending $80 billion back home. India is followed by China ($67 billion), Mexico and Philippines ($34 billion each) and Egypt ($26 billion).
    17. Mexico’s Vanessa Ponce de Leon won coveted Miss World 2018 crown at an event in Sanya (Chinea). Thailand’s Nicolene Pichapa Limsnukan declared runner-up. Former Miss World Manushi Chillar (India) presented crown to the new winner. India's Anukreethy Vas made it to top 30.
    18. Kenyan distance runner Eliud Kipchoge and Colombian long and triple jumper Caterine Ibarguen named male and female world athletes of the year by IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations).
  27. Dec 05, 2018
    1. Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) Launched its heaviest and most-advanced high throughput communication satellite GSAT-11, from Spaceport in French Guiana (South America), on board Launch vehicle Ariane 5 VA-246. It also carried South Korea’s GEO-KOMPSAT-2A satellite.
      1. The 5,854-kg GSAT-11 will provide high data rate connectivity to users of Indian mainland and islands through 32 user beams in Ku-band and 8 hub beams in Ka-band. It will boost broadband connectivity to rural and inaccessible areas in India.
      2. GSAT-11 was launched from French Guiana as its heaviest satellite of ISRO (5.86 ton) and cannot be carried by ISRO's GSLV Mk – III which has capacity to lift only up to four-ton class payloads.
    2. Dec 5 - World Soil Day. 2018 theme is Be the Solution to Soil Pollution.
      1. On this Occasion, Rattan Lal (Indian Origin American Professor at Ohio State University) won Glinka World Soil Prize 2018 in Rome headquarters of UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), for his contribution to sustainable soil management. Glinka World Soil Prize is named after Russian scientist Konstantin D. Glinka, considered as highest honour in soil science profession.
    3. Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) rolled out its contracts system for Wrestlers, to be reviewed after one year. Wrestlers are placed in four Grades. WFI is only Indian Olympic Association-affiliated National Sports Federation to offer contracts to its athletes and only second sports federation in India after BCCI.
      1. Grade A offers assistance of 30 lakh rupees and includes Bajrang Punia,Vinesh Phogat along and Pooja Dhanda.
      2. Grade B contract offers assistance of 20 lakh rupees and includes Sushil Kumar and Sakshi Malik.
      3. Grade C offers support of 10 lakh rupees and features Sandeep Tomar, Sajan Bhanwal, Ritu Phogat, and Divya Kakran.
      4. Grade D offers support of 5 lakhs and includes Rahul Aware, Naveen, Sachin Rathi, and Anshu Malik.
    4. Delhi government launched a common mobility card called ‘One’, with a tagline of ‘One Delhi One Ride’. It would enable access to Metro and bus services with a single card at a 10 % discount. Further provision of coverage of auto-rickshaws, taxis and other modes would be inducted soon.
    5. Book authored by father-son duo Vinay Thakur and Amogh Thakur named Architecture of Justice: A pictorial walk-through of the supreme court and High courts of India has been launched.
    6. Maharashtra government allowed citizens to inspect records in district-level offices and local bodies throughout state under Right To Information (RTI) for 2 hours every Monday (3 pm to 5 pm ). It aims to bring transparency in functioning of government and reduce RTI applications. People can directly go to the offices and inspect the records.
    7. Tri-service exercise ‘Madad 2018’ conducted at sea off Goa and Karwar coasts in a move aimed at fine-tuning joint war-fighting capabilities and enhancing operational synergy.
    8. UK’s Cambridge Dictionary named “nomophobia” as inaugural People’s Word of the Year (2018). It means fear or worry at the idea of being without your mobile phone or unable to use it.
    9. December 5 - International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development. It is also called International Volunteer Day.
  28. Dec 04, 2018
    1. Dec 04 - Indian Navy day.
      1. On this occasion, Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba released a book titled ‘Blue Waters Ahoy!’ – chronicling the Indian Navy’s History from 2001-10. Book has been authored by Vice Admiral Retd. Anup Singh.
      2. The Day marks Navy's offensive actions during 1971 war with Pakistan.
    2. Indian Navy's Vijay Varma and P Rajkumar honoured at 7th ‘Asian of The Year’awards acknowledging their selfless service and bravery in rescue operations during devastating floods in Kerala.
    3. National Green Tribunal (NGT) has put INR 5 crore penalty on West Bengal Govt for its failure to comply with orders to improve air quality of Kolkata and Howrah.
    4. As per UN World Meteorological Organization, Global temperatures will rise between 3-5 degrees Celsius by 2100, far overshooting a global target of limiting this increase to 2 degree Celsius.
    5. RBI made Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) code mandatory for all market transactions regulated by RBI. LEI is a 20-character unique identity code assigned to entities who are parties to a financial transaction. It excludes individuals and transactions undertaken on recognised stock exchanges. It aims to improve risk management by bettering accuracy of financial data.
    6. RBI will implement its Net Stable Funding Ratio (NSFR) norms from April 1, 2020.
      1. NSFR norms were issued after Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) proposed certain reforms to strengthen global capital and liquidity regulations, after global crises since 2007, to promote more resilient banking sector.
      2. NSFR is defined as amount of available stable funding relative to amount of required stable funding.
    7. Tamil Nadu government hiked health insurance cover under Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme (CMCHIS) from 2 to Rs 5 lakh. Through this, state would cover 1027 medical procedures for most of those who earn less than 72,000 per annum.
    8. India’s first international indigenous film festival will be held in February 2019 in Odisha, as an initiative of activist film collective ‘Video Republic’.
    9. National Green Tribunal (NGT) appointed U C Dhyani as head of 3 member committee to oversee rejuvenation work of Ganga River.
    10. Tata Open Badminton 2018 (Mumbai) -
      1. Men’s Singles - Lakshya Sen (India)
      2. Women’s Singles - Ashmita Chaliha (India)
      3. Men’s Doubles - Arjun M.R., B. Sumeeth Reddy (India)
      4. Women’s Doubles - Ng Wing Yung, Yeung Nga Ting (Hong Kong)
      5. Mixed Doubles - Nipitphon Phuangphuapet, Savitree Amitrapai (Thailand)
  29. Dec 03, 2018 -
    1. Dec 03 - International day of Persons with Disabilities. 2018 theme is Empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality. Dec 3 also Birth Anniversary of Dr Rajendra Prasad, first President of India.
    2. Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation (MOSPI) released revised Gross Domestic Product (GDP) data for years 2005 - 06 to 2011 - 12.
      1. Modifying data of past years using 2011-12 as base year instead of 2004-05, Central Statistics Office (CSO) lowered GDP growth rate under UPA Government.
      2. GDP Data and Changes from 2004-05 Onwards -
        Assesment Year GDP Growth with Base Year 2011 - 12 (New Base year) GDP Growth with Base Year 2004 - 05 (Old Base year for Assesment years 2005 - 06 to 2010 - 11)
        2005 - 06 7.9 9.3
        2006 - 07 8.1 9.3
        2007 - 08 7.7 9.8
        2008 - 09 3.1 3.9
        2009 - 10 7.9 8.5
        2010 - 11 8.5 10.3
        2011 - 12 5.2 6.6
        2012 - 13 5.5  
        2013 - 14 6.4  
        2014 - 15 7.4  
        2015 - 16 8.2  
        2016 - 17 7.1  
        2017 - 18 6.7  
      3. Base year is periodically revised to uncover the structural changes that have taken place in economy over time and to depict a better picture of economy through Gross Domestic Product (GDP), expenditure etc.
    3. Four Indian-origin women named in Forbes among America's top 50 female technology moguls. These Include Padmasree Warrior (Cisco), Komal Mangtani (Uber), Neha Narkhede - (streaming platform Confluent), Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan (identity-management Firm Drawbrige).
    4. FMCG Firm Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) approved merger with GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare (GSKCH India) through an-all equity deal, valuing GlaxoSmithKline at INR 31700 crores.
    5. RBI approved merger of SBM (Mauritius) India with Its Indian Subsidiary SBM Bank (India).
    6. European Central Bank launched TARGET Instant Payment Settlement (TIPS), a new system aimed at letting banks settle payments instantly across Europe, helping them compete with global tech giants like Paypal. It will let people and companies in Europe transfer euros instantly.
    7. Bahrain's Economic Development Board signed MoU with Maharashtra Government to provide a framework for Co-operation, to promote FinTech in respective markets.
    8. Forbes India Celebrity 100 list -
      1. Top 5 Most Earning Celebrities - Salman Khan (1), Virat Kohli (2), Akshay Kumar (3), Deepika Padukone (4), M S Dhoni (5)
    9. As per report by Global Carbon Project, 2017's top 4 emitters were China (27%), US (15%), European Union (10%) and India (7%).
    10. Telangana government and British Council signed MoU to strengthen educational and cultural cooperation.
    11. As per report by Bain & Company, India has fastest growing online retail market among top global economies, with compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 53% for the period 2013 to 2017.
    12. Nagaland government signed 5 year MoU with e-Governance Academy of Estonia to provide advisory and technical knowledge for setting up of e-Governance Academy of Nagaland (e-GAN).
    13. Indian Premier League franchise Delhi Daredevils renamed as Delhi Capitals ahead of the 2019 Indian Premier League season.
    14. NASA launched VISIONS-2 (Visualizing Ion Outflow via Neutral Atom Sensing-2) rocket to get a closer look at how earth’s atmosphere is leaking into space. It has several applications including predicting which planets might be habitable.
    15. Supreme Court (SC) introduced witness protection regime, amid several incidents of witnesses turning hostile due to no security given to them. Witness Protection Scheme 2018 will come into effect immediately across all States, to stay a law till Parliament enacted suitable legislation.
    16. Panama became first Latin American country to join China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
    17. Luxembourg became first country to make all public transport free, implementing it from 2020. It is aimed at addressing environmental issues and problem of traffic congestion.
    18. Google confirmed it will shut down its messaging app Allo in March 2019 after 2.5 years of debut. Recently, Google also announced that it will shut down its social media platform Google+ over next 10 months.
  30. Dec 02, 2018
    1. Dec 02 - International Day for Abolition of Slavery. It marks adaptation of resolution ‘Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Prostitution of Others’ by UN GA on 2 December 1949. It is also observed as Computer Literacy Day.
    2. Government included Gangotri and Yamunotri in Uttrarakhand, Amarkantak in Madhya Pradesh and Parasnath in Jharkhand under Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive (PRASAD), meant to develop pilgrimage and heritage destinations in country. Number of sites under PRASAD has now reached to 41 in 25 states.
    3. Odisha’s Kandhamal Haldi (turmeric) will get Geographical Indications (GI) tag, famous for its healing properties. It is main cash crop of tribal people in Kandhamal. It is also used for cosmetic and medicinal purposes.
    4. According to report by United Nation’s World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), patents granted by India increased by 50% in 2017, from 8,248 in 2016 to 12,387 in 2017. Globally, 1.4 million patents were granted in 2017. China led with 4,20,144 granted patents and was followed by US with 3,18,829.
    5. NASA’s first OSIRIS-REx (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer) mission designed to visit asteroid and return sample of its dust back to Earth reached its destination, Bennu, two years after its launch. It will study the asteroid for 1.5 years. It is NASA’s first asteroid sampling mission i.e. it will survey surface, collect sample and deliver it safely back to Earth.
    6. Indian Navy will conduct its flagship annual Western Seaboard coastal defence exercise Theatre Level Operational Readiness Exercise (TROPEX) from January to March 2019. As part of TROPEX, Navy will conduct coastal defence exercise ‘Exercise Sea Vigil’.
    7. Croatia’s Footballer Luca Modrich won Ballon d’Or, prestigious honor of football. He was instrumental in Croatia’s historic run to FIFA World Cup final (defeated by France). In past decade, the noted award has been rotating between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Women’s Ballon d’Or was won by Norway’s Ada Hegerberg, as inaugural edition of Women’s Ballon d’Or. France’s Kylian Mbappe won Trophee Kopa (best young player under 21 years age) at Ballon d’Or ceremony.
    8. India will Chair Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) from 1st January 2019, after being handed Chairmanship by European Union during KPCS Plenary 2018 held in Brussels (Belgium).
      1. Kimberley Process is Joint interational initiative to stem flow of ‘conflict diamonds’, rough diamonds used by rebel groups to finance wars against legitimate governments. At present, KPCS has 54 members representing 81 countries including EU with 28 members.
      2. Botswana and Russia will serve as Vice-Chair during 2020.
    9. 2018 G20 Summit held in Buenos Aires (Argentina) -
      1. It was 13th meeting of Group of Twenty (G20) Nations, and first to be hosted in South America. Theme of this year's summit was  Building Consensus for Fair and Sustainable Development
      2. Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended on India's Behalf.
        1. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will be chief guest at India’s 70th Republic Day celebrations on 26 January 2019. Mr Ramaphosa was invited to be chief guest by PM Narendra Modi during G20 summit in Buenos Aires (Argentina).
        2. Mr Modi Announced that India will host G20 Summit In 2022, 75th year of Indian Independence.
        3. During the G20 Summit, PM Narendra Modi, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin met for 2nd Russia-India-China ‘RIC’ Trilateral Summit at leaders’ level after 12 years.
      3. G20 includes Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, India, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Turkey, South Africa, UK, US and EU.
    10. Government constituted committee to look at selling as many as 149 small and marginal oil and gas fields of state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) and Oil India Ltd (OIL) to private and foreign companies to boost domestic output. It will be headed by NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar.
    11. India’s first indigenously designed locomotive-less (engine less) train known as Train 18, breached 180 kmph speed limit during test run in Kota-Sawai Madhopur section. Once made operational, it will become country’s fastest train. It is capable of touching 200 kmph, replacing 30-year-old Shatabdi Express. It is developed by Chennai-based Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in just 18 months.
    12. Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) under Ministry of Commerce and Industry has put imports of gold dore in restricted category. Now, importer will need a license to import this commodity. Gold dore is semi-pure alloy of gold and silver which is refined for further purification. Proportions of silver and gold can vary widely. Refined gold bars are manufactured from gold dore bar.
    13. Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) launched media campaign “Heart Attack Rewind”, calling for elimination of industrially produced trans-fat in food supply. It will support FSSAI’s target of eliminating trans-fat in India by 2022, a year ahead of global target by World Health Organization (WHO).
    14. Railways' National Rail Museum (NRM) signed MoU with Madame Tussauds Wax Museum to foster tourism in Delhi NCR region, as first ever public-private museum collaboration. Under this, discount of 35 percent will be offered on ticket prices to National Rail Museum visitors when they visit Madame Tussauds Museum Delhi.
    15. Asia Pacific Summit 2018 held in Kathmandu (Nepal), with Theme Addressing the Critical Challenges of Our Time: Interdependence, Mutual Prosperity, and Universal Values. It was organised by South Korea-based Universal Peace Federation.
  31. Dec 01, 2018
    1. Dec 1 - Nagaland Statehood Day, formed on December 1, 1963.
      1. On this occasion, Home Minister Rajnath Singh launched Emergency Response Support System (ERSS) for Nagaland, with single helpline number 112 for all emergency services.
      2. Hornbill Festival was also inaugurated on the occasion.
      3. Nagaland is first North-Eastern State and 2nd State in India to launch Pan-India single emergency number ‘112’ under ERSS, after Himachal Pradesh.
      4. Govt also intgrated a special women safety feature in India 112 app, called SHOUT, to get immediate assistance from police and volunteers, when need arises.
    2. Dec 1 - World AIDS Day, being observed since 1988.
    3. 80th Session of Policy Commission Meeting of World Customs Organization (WCO) held in Mumbai (Maharashtra), organised by Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs(CBIC).
      1. During the event, An Agreement between India and Peru (South America) has been signed, for Co-operation in Customs Matters.
    4. First Swadesh Darshan Project in Nagaland has been inaugurated, named Development of Tribal Circuit: Peren-Kohima-Wokha Project. It was sanctioned by Tourism Ministry in November 2015 for INR 97 Crores. Ministry has sanctioned another project in Nagaland “Development of Tribal circuit: Mokokchung–Tuensang-Mon” for 99.67 crores.
    5. Government appointed A. N. Jha as New Finance Secretary.
    6. India signed $85 million loan with Manila (Philippines) based Asian Development Bank (ADB), to improve skill development eco-system in Odisha and establish an advanced skill training center named World Skill Center (WSC) in state capital Bhubaneswar.
    7. Government Launched Digital Sky platform, for managing flying of Remotely Piloted Aerial Systems (known as drones) across Country.
      1. In August 2018, Govt released Civil Aviation Regulations (CAR) to enable safe flying of RPAS in India.
      2. Digital Sky Platform will implement 'no permission, no take-off’ (NPNT) system of software-based self-enforcement to minimize deviations from CAR.
      3. Nano drones in India can start flying legally from Dec 1, 2018. For micro and above categories, operators and pilots are required to register on Digital Sky Portal.  
      4. Payments for Unmanned Aerial Operator’s Permit (UAOP) and Unique Identification Numbers (UIN) will be accepted through the Bharat Kosh ( portal.
      5. Flying in ‘green zones’ will require only intimation of time and location of flights. Permissions will be required for flying in ‘yellow zones’ and flights will not be allowed in the ‘red zones’. Location of zones will be announced soon.
    8. RBI Monetary Policy Committee (MPC)'s 5th bi-monthly Statement -
      1. Policy Repo Rate under Liquidity Adjustment Facility (LAF) unchanged at 6.5 %.
      2. GDP growth projection for 2018-19 is retained at 7.4 %.
      3. RBI decided to reduce SLR from existing 19.5% to 18.0% in six quarterly instalments beginning January 2019.
      4. Monetary Policy Rates are -
        1. Repo Rate - 6.50 %
        2. Reverse Repo - 6.25 %
        3. Bank Rate - 6.75 %
        4. CRR (Cash Reserve Ratio) - 4 %
        5. SLR(Statutory Liquidity ratio) - 19.5 % (RBI decided to reduce SLR from existing 19.5% to 18.0% in six quarterly instalments beginning January 2019)
        6. Marginal Standing Facility (MSF) Rate - 6.75 %
    9. International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) appointed Jon Ridgeon as its new CEO.
    10. Delhi Minister Imran Hussain received ‘Hero to Animals Award’ by People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India banning life threatening forms of manja throughout National Capital Territory of Delhi.
    11. USA Space Exploration Firm SpaceX launched 64 small satellites, including Including India’s ExseedSAT-1, as SpaceX's largest-ever “rideshare” mission on a twice-reused Falcon 9 rocket.
    12. Book Modiraj Main Kisan, Double Aamad Ya Double aafat, authored by Swaraj India President Yogendra Yadav has been released.
    13. India's Raninder Singh become first Indian to be elected one of the four vice-presidents of the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF). Also, Pawan Singh become first Indian to be elected one of 7 member's of Judges Committee of International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF).
    14. Qatar announced to leave Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) from January 2019 and focus more on production of natural gas.
      1. Qatar became first Gulf country to leave OPEC bloc of oil-producing countries led by Saudi Arabia. Qatar is world’s largest exporter of liquified natural gas (LPG) and 17th largest producer of crude oil. It also only holds around 2% of world’s global oil reserves.
    15. Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has been appointed as President of Mexico for 6 years.
    16. The city of Paris will take back Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi's honorary freedom of 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’.
    17. Bank of Maharashtra appoints AS Rajeev as MD and CEO.