AWARDS AND HONOURS
- Lionel Messi named World’s Best Playmaker of 2016 by IFFHS
Barcelona coach Luis Enrique was named the World’s Best Club Coach in 2015 by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS) while Argentine star Lionel Messi was chosen as the World’s Playmaker of the Year.
Four times Ballon d’Or winner Messi received his first award as the IFFHS World Playmaker of the Year as the award was given to Real Madrid player Toni Kroos in 2014.
- Sorin Grindeanu appoint as new PM of Romania
Romania’s president has named social-democrat Sorin Grindeanu as the nation’s new prime minister, bringing to a close weeks of uncertainty since the left won a parliamentary vote on December 11. The centre-right president Klaus Iohannis signed the official decree naming Grindeanu, a 43-year-old former communications minister, as the new premier. Grindeanu now faces a confidence vote in parliament on his programme and cabinet nominees.
- Navy Chief takes over as head of Chiefs of Staff Committee
Navy Chief Sunil Lanba will take over charge as chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee and has been handed over the ceremonial baton by outgoing incumbent, IAF Chief Arup Raha. The senior-most of the service chiefs is given the charge of the Chiefs of Staff committee. Air Chief Marshal Raha handed over the baton to Admiral Lanba at a ceremony in the South Block, which houses the Defence Ministry.
- MEA eases passport rules for orphans, single parents
The government has announced a series of steps that would help single mothers, orphaned children, and sadhus obtain passports with ease. The new rules for online application require the applicant to provide the name of father or mother or legal guardian. “This would enable single parents to apply for passports for their children and facilitate issue of passports where the name of either the father or the mother is not required to be printed at the request of the applicant.
MEA eases the process for passport applicants can submit:
- PAN Card, birth certificate, voter identity card, Aadhaar, driving license
- Students can submit transfer certificate/school leaving certificates
- Online passport application form now requires the applicant to provide the name of any one among the father, mother or legal guardian.
- No marriage certificates needed for married applicants.
- No need to name the spouse in cases of applicants who are divorcees.
- Orphaned children can submit a declaration from their respective orphanages while sants can name their spiritual gurus.
- PM Modi launches mobile payments app BHIM
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched a mobile app for the Unified Payment Interface (UPI). The application, which will be common across all banks and financial institutions, is called BHIM (Bharat Interface for Mobile). The BHIM app will empower the poorest of the poor, he said. “It is for the small merchant, farmers in far-flung areas, tribals. That’s why its name has been borrowed from the man who sacrificed his life for the downtrodden
- Government launches IVRS platform to tackle call drops
The Union government has launched an Integrated Voice Response System (IVRS) system at multiple locations including Delhi and Mumbai to obtain direct feedback from subscribers on call quality. The feedback will be shared with operators so they can take corrective steps in the problem areas and address the issue of call drops.
In order to obtain direct feedback from subscribers and use that feedback to solve the problem of call drops, Department of telecommunications (DoT) launched an IVRS system in Delhi, Mumbai, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Maharashtra and Goa on 23 December 2016.
- Arunachal CM Pema Khandu suspended from party
Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu was temporarily suspended from Peoples’ Party of Arunachal along with six other lawmakers for alleged anti-party activities. Khandu, Deputy CM Chowna Mein and 5 other MLAs were suspended from the party’s primary membership with immediate effect. The five other MLAs are Zingnu Namchom (Namsai), Passang Dorjee Sona (Mechuka), Chow Tewa Mein (Chowkham), Jambey Tashi (Lumla)and Kamlung Mossang (Miao). Due to the latest development, Khandu now ceases to be the leader of the PPA Legislature Party.
- Amazon launches platform to let people sell used products
Amazon has launched a service called Sell as Individual, which will let you sell old goods on its platform. With the new service currently available for users in Bengaluru, you can sell products locally in the city. Amazon will also offer doorstep pickup, packing and delivery of products you are selling.
To sell a product, you will need to go to Sell as Individual page, and fill a form, where you choose the category of the product, add price, photos, and the pickup details. Although you can choose the city, Bengaluru is the current option that will be shown on the screen at the moment.
- Karan to launch his autobiography ‘An Unsuitable Boy’ in Jan
Veteran actor Rishi Kapoor is going to launch his autobiography titled An Unsuitable Boy has unknown and intimate details of Karan’s life, his growing up years, and his Bollywood career. Karan Johar has penned the book along with Poonam Saxena. The book is published by Penguin Books, and they have released a short video to make this announcement. Here’s the video of the announcement.
- New technology developed to detect skin cancer early
Researchers have developed an automated technology that combines imaging with digital analysis and machine learning to help physicians detect melanoma at its early stages.
People with melanoma often have mole-looking growths on their skin that tend to be irregular in shape and colour and can be hard to tell apart from benign ones, making the disease difficult to diagnose.
- India, Singapore sign revised tax avoidance agreement
India has signed a revised double tax avoidance agreement (DTAA) with Singapore to tax capital gains on investments from the city-state starting 1 April 2017. India has already revised similar tax agreements with Mauritius and Cyprus, the two other top sources of foreign direct investments into the country. Under the new treaty with Singapore, India will tax investments at 50% of the capital gain tax between 1 April 2017 and 31 March 2019.
13. China to hold first military drills with Nepal next year
China will hold its first military drills with Nepal next year. China is vying to increase its influence in landlocked Nepal, which serves as a natural buffer between China and India, challenging India’s long-held position as the dominant outside power. China and Nepal had been in “initial communication” about joint army exercises, and details would be announced in due time, Yang said without giving details.
14. China blocks India’s move to label Masood Azhar as terrorist
With Beijing blocking its move to list JeM chief Masood Azhar as a UN designated terrorist, India has said the development reflected “double standards” in the fight against terrorism and was “surprising” as China was itself a victim of terrorism.
China’s decision to block the proposal to list Masood Azhar as a designated terrorist under the 1267 Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council which had been presented nine months ago and had received the strong backing of all other members of the Committee.
15. World’s highest bridge opens in China
The world’s highest bridge has opened to traffic in China, connecting two provinces in the mountainous southwest and reducing travel times by as much as three-quarters, local authorities. The Beipanjiang Bridge soars 565 metres (1,854 feet) above a river and connects the two mountainous provinces of Yunnan and Guizhou.
16. Egypt approves deal to hand over islands to Saudi Arabia
Egypt’s government has approved a deal to hand over two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia and has sent it to parliament for ratification on Thursday, according to state television. An Egyptian state advisory body recommended that a Cairo court uphold a ruling that annulled an agreement giving Saudi Arabia control of two islands. The agreement, announced in April, caused a public uproar and rare protests by Egyptians who said the uninhabited islands of Tiran and Sanafir were Egyptian.
17. Colombia approves amnesty deal for FARC rebels
Colombia’s Congress has approved an amnesty law to protect thousands of demobilising Farc guerrilla fighters from prosecution for minor crimes committed during the country’s 52-year war. The law, a key part of a peace deal signed last month between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia rebels, will not include those who have committed war crimes or human rights violations.
18. Actress Barbara Tarbuck dies at 74
Barbara Tarbuck, the busy actress who played Lady Jane Jacks on General Hospital for more than a decade and recently appeared on American Horror Story, has died. She was 74. In the 1980s, Tarbuck portrayed another nun, Sister Allegra, on the NBC daytime serial Santa Barbara, and she had a recurring role as Dr. Randall on the CBS primetime soap Falcon Crest.