AWARDS AND HONOURS
- Sahitya Academy Award for Lomte’s story collection ‘Alok’
Marathi author Asaram Lomte’s book ‘Alok‘ has been selected for the prestigious Sahitya Academy Award. Published in 2010, ‘Alok’ is a collection of six stories that largely reflect rural life and people. Before Lomte, story writer and dramatist Jayant Pawar’s “Phoneixchya Rakhetoon Uthala Mor”, had won the Sahitya Academy Award for his collection of stories in 2013. The collection has already been translated into Kannad language under the title ‘Kotemane’.
- Nandan Nilekani among Bill Gates’ favourite fanatics of 2016
Nandan Nilekani, a prominent figure in Indian business and politics, is one of Bill Gates’ five favourite ‘fanatics’ of 2016. Nilekani is the former chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) which brought the famous Aadhaar card to so any Indians. Earlier he had an extremely successful career at Infosys.
- Maharashtra to become 1st state to have 24×7 helpline for forests
In a first in the country, the Maharashtra forest department will launch a statewide call centre facility from January 6. It will operate from Goregaon in Mumbai and is currently functioning on a trial basis. Citizens will soon be able to call on a 24×7 toll free number (1926) to lodge complaints or get information about a variety of issues related to forests and wildlife.
- Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh inaugurates MSG skin bank
Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh has established a new global skin bank in the Shah Satnam Ji Specialty Hospital in Sirsa from the revenue that was generated from his movie “MSG 2 – The Messenger”. MSG Global Skin Bank is equipped with state-of-the-art modern medical machines including an incubator, bio-safety cabinet, hot air oven, dermatome, skin graft mesher and cold room.
- 39 infra projects to be inaugurated in Ghaziabad
Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament (MP) and Samajwadi Party general secretary Ramgopal Yadav will inaugurate and lay the foundation stone of 39 projects of Ghaziabad Development Authority’s (GDA) valued at Rs 1,260 crore. The foundation stone will be laid for 14 projects that will include two flyovers in Vasundhara, Raj Nagar Extension and Hapur Chungi, road widening near Hindon air base, Bunkar Mart for weavers at Madhuban Bapudham and construction of housing under Samajwadi Avas Yojna scheme. The projects are expected to cost Rs 683 crore.
- UP CM Akhilesh Yadav inaugurates 5,500 projects in 6 hours
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav inaugurated and laid foundation stone of more than over 5,500 projects in about six hours, at 13 different places in Lucknow. He began the day by inaugurating a new building at state capital’s Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital.
Among these, were the works for villages under the Janeshwar Mishra Gram Yojna, newly-constructed kisan bazaars at Lucknow, Saifai, Jhansi, Kannauj among others, special mandis for Lalitpur, Jhansi, Hamirpur, Banda, Mahoba and Jalaun, nearly 183 link roads, and a 199 KW solar power plant at Naveen Mandi in Ghaziabad.
- Bengaluru to get India’s second sericulture centre
Union government is all set to launch its second centre of excellence for sericulture in Bengaluru. This will provide a fillip to Karnataka’s status as the premier sericulture hub of India. The first such centre was set up in Ranchi, Jharkhand. The Central Silk Board has set up the centre to boost the silk industry, which is going through a tough phase.
The country now imports nearly 4,000 metric tonnes of high quality raw silk from China. The automatic reeling machine can produce about 20 metric tonnes of silk per year utilizing cocoons produced by around 200 local farmers.
BANKING AND FINANCE
- Deutsche Bank allows men six-month childcare leave in India
In a first and major step towards breaking gender stereotypes, Deutsche Bank (DB) has delinked parental leave from gender. From January 1, the bank will offer the same quantum of childcare leave — maternity leave of 6 months in India — to men as well, if they happen to be primary caregivers. The new leave policy is being rolled out across Asia Pacific.
- RBI slaps fine on 5 foreign banks for violating FEMA rules
The Reserve Bank has imposed penalty on five foreign banks, including Deutsche Bank and Standard Chartered Bank, for violation of its instructions on reporting requirements of the FEMA. The three other banks are: Bank of America, Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi and The Royal Bank of Scotland.
The penalties have been imposed in exercise of the powers vested in the Reserve Bank under the provisions of Section 11(3) of FEMA 1999, taking into account, the violations of the instructions/directions/guidelines issued by the Reserve Bank of India, from time to time.
- Pakistan Navy launches live missile from Arabian Sea
Pakistan Navy has undertook live missile firing in the North Arabian Sea. Pakistan Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah witnessed the launch of the surface-to-surface anti-ship missile from sword class frigate PNS Aslat.
- The missile successfully destroyed its intended target with pinpoint accuracy.
- The missile was equipped with state-of-the-art navigational technologies of Terrain Contour Matching (Tercom) and all-time Digital Scene Matching and Area Co-relation (DSMAC) which enables it to engage various types of targets with pinpoint accuracy even in the absence of GPS navigation.
- Babur weapons system is an important force multiplier for Pakistan’s strategic defence.
- Pakistan Senate adopts resolution seeking withdrawal of Rs 5,000 notes
The Pakistan Senate has passed a resolution seeking withdrawal of high denomination Rs. 5000 currency notes from circulation in order to curb the flow of black money. Senator Usman Saif Ullah Khan of Pakistan Muslim League (PML) tabled the resolution that was endorsed by the majority of lawmakers in the Upper House.
The resolution said that the withdrawal of Rs 5,000 notes will encourage the use of bank accounts and reduce the size of the undocumented economy adding that the withdrawal of the currency notes should take place within three to five years in order to purge markets of the notes.
- 102-yr-old scientist wins case for office in college campus
A 102-year-old Australian ecologist, the country’s oldest working scientist, has won a battle to keep working on campus at an Australian university. Dr David Goodall was ordered to work from home next year after his presence at Western Australia’s Edith Cowan University was deemed a safety risk. Australia’s oldest working scientist, Goodall has produced more than 100 research papers in an ecology career spanning 70 years.
- 28-time medalist Phelps confirms retirement from Olympics
American swimmer Michael Phelps has confirmed his retirement this time from the Olympic. With the end of 2016 and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics slowly approaching, speculations of the Swimmer’s return were increasing until he repeatedly began to downplay. His performances cemented his title as the greatest swimmer of all time, winning 28 medals throughout his career, 23 of them gold.