Sunday, January 31, 2016

Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu lead states pack in insurance penetration

Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu have retained their top two positions in terms of general insurance premium collection and penetration.
According to the data from General Insurance Council
RankStatePremium CollectionInsurance penetration
1.MaharashtraRs 19,336 crore1.15%
2.Tamil NaduRs 8,238 crore0.84%
3.KarnatakaRs 6,847 crore0.98%
4.GujaratRs 6,306 crore0.71%
5.DelhiRs 5,797 crore1.28%(Highest)
6.Uttar PradeshRs 4,859 crore0.50%
7.RajasthanRs 3,605 crore0.63%
*Key point:
Insurance penetration: Insurance penetration, measured as a percentage of premiums to a country’s gross domestic product(GDP)

China officially abandons its One Child Policy by passing law China officially abandons its One Child Policy by passing law

China has passed a bill ending one-child policy.
Objective:To tackle an ageing population.
Newly-amended Law on Population and Family Planning:The state advocates that one couple shall be allowed to have two children.
  • The move effectively ends the infamous one-child rule, which has been in force since 1971 when the Asian giant sought to curb population explosion.
  • Couples have been limited to having a single child since 1979, an often brutally enforced rule intended to slow population growth and boost the economy.
Another Reason:The change in China’s family planning policy also comes against the backdrop of a shrinking workforce.
*Key points: China
  • President& PM:   Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang
  • Capital: Beijing
  • Currency: Renminbi
  • Largest city:Shanghai

Make in India Week’ to start from Feb 13 Make in India Week’ to start from Feb 13

The manufacturing push ‘Make in India’ given by the Modi government will start in February next year in Mumbai.
  • First flagship event of ‘Make in India’ to be held in India’s financial capital will feature sector-wise, state-wise pavilions, exhibitions of products and manufacturing processes, besides conference rooms and meeting lounges for B2B, G2B, G2G meetings.
  • Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) and trade body, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) are involved in the planning of the event that will see representations from global investors, states, export promotion councils, local trade bodies, buyers and union ministries.
Sectors covered under this programme:Automobile, auto components, aviation, defence manufacturing, leather, food processing, mining, oil and gas, ports and shipping, textiles and tourism and hospitality.
Prime Minister NarendraModi will inaugurate the event on 13 February.
  • 14 February– CNN Asia Business Forum meeting
  • 15 February-“Make in Mumbai” session and “Maharashtra Investor Summit”.
  • 16 February– Gujarat Investor Summit, Andhra Pradesh Investor Summit
  • 17 February– Make in India magazine will be launched
*What is MAKE IN INDIA Project?
Make in India is an initiative of the Government of Indialaunched by Prime Minister NarendraModi on 25 September 2014, to encourage companies to manufacture their products in India. The main objective of this campaign is to make country a manufacturing hub for domestic as well as foreign companies.

Gujarat govt planning to launch e-voting in panchayat polls

Gujarat government is planning to extend the e-voting facility to panchayat polls. At present, the e-voting facility is available only for voters of all the eight municipal corporations in the state.
  • Voters of District, Taluka and Gram Panchayats are not given this facility yet.
  • E-voting was introduced by Gujarat State Election Commission (SEC) for polling in six municipal corporations.
  • Gujarat SEC has been the first in the country to allow online voting facility for voters of municipal corporation areas of the state.
This facility was first offered to voters in the year 2010. The recently concluded local body polls were the second election where voters were given the facility to vote online without coming to the polling booth by registering themselves with the SEC on their website and follow procedures.

Microsoft’s Nadella inked pacts with Andhra Pradesh

Microsoft India signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Andhra Pradesh Government as a part of which former will provide technical knowledge to A.P. Government.
(Andhra Pradesh CM – N. Chandrababu Naidu)
  • It was signed during the Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, visit to T-Hub, an incubation facility promoted by the Telangana government to support technology-enabled start-ups.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Veteran actress Sadhana passes away in Mumbai Veteran actress Sadhana passes away in Mumbai

Veteran Hindi film actress Sadhana known for popularising the fashionable Sadhana cutpassed away in Mumbai at the age of 74.
About Sadhana :
  • Born in 1941, the actress was one of the top actors of the 1960s and 70s. She is remembered for her roles in blockbuster films like ‘Love in Simla’, ‘Hum Dono’.
  • Sadhana was known for her on-screen simple looks as well glamour quotient and is closely associated with some of the most memorable Hindi film songs during the 1960s.

Indian referee selected for 2016 Rio Olympic Games Indian referee selected for 2016 Rio Olympic Games

An international level referee Ashok Kumar was selected for officiating in the Rio Olympics next year by the United World Wrestling (UWW). Ashok Kumar currently serving as a warrant officer in the Indian Air Force.
  • A total of 50 referees, including supervisors and instructors, have qualified for the Olympics. The United World Wrestling (UWW) has picked nine referees from Asia and Ashok Kumar is the only one from India for the first time.
The referees have been selected based upon their performance during the 2015 World Senior Wrestling Championship held at Las Vegas from September and subsequently the clinic conducted for these referees at Sochi, Russia from December.

Djokovic, Federer in race to be first $100m man

Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer are poised to become the first $100 million menin tennis in 2016, in a gripping sub-plot to the new grand slam season.
  • No player in the history of the sport has broken through the $100m on-court earnings barrier but world No 1 Djokovic and world No 3 Federer should reach the landmark next year.
Djokovic (28) has just over $94m in prize money while Federer (six years the Serb’s senior) has banked $97.3m.

Kusal Perera handed four year ban for doping Kusal Perera handed four year ban for doping

Sri Lankan wicketkeeper-batsman Kusal Perera faces a four-year ban after the ‘B’ sample has tested positive for a prohibited substance.
  • The International Cricket Council (ICC) provisionally suspended Perera after he failed an out-of-competition anti-doping test in October.
Sri Lanka Cricket sent back Perera from their tour of New Zealand earlier this month while also promising to provide support for the dashing left-handed batsman to get back on the field as soon as possible.

Strong earthquake hits Afghanistan, Pakistan

6.2-magnitude earthquake hit northern Afghanistan and Pakistan, two months aftermore than 300 people were killed by a quake in the same mountainous region.
Strong shocks were felt in the Afghan capital Kabul at 11:14 p.m.Tremors were felt as far away as New Delhi, officials said.
  • The U.S. Geological Survey said the earthquake, initially reported as magnitude 6.4, was at a depth of 126.5 miles (203 km) and centred 51 miles (82 km) southeast of the town of Feyzabad, capital of the Afghan province of Badakhshan.
  • A magnitude 6.2 quake is considered strong and can cause severe damage.
  • A magnitude-7.5 quake hit northern Afghanistan and Pakistan on Oct. 26, destroying thousands of houses and killing more than 300 people.

U.S. listed Indian Lion in “endangered” species

The United States will place a breed of lion found in India and Africa in the endangered species list in a bid to curb the dramatic decline of their population.
  • As per U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, it will list Panthera leo leo (a subspecies of lion) located in India and western and central Africa as endangered
  • Panthera leo melanochaita, located in eastern and southern Africa, will be listed as threatened.

Tech Mahindra launches contactless wallet MoboMoney

IT major Tech Mahindra has launched first of its kind “Tap N Pay” contactless digital payment wallet MoboMoney for the Indian masses. MoboMoney has been billed as India’s first commercial NFC ecosystem rollout that would allow consumers to convert cash into e-cash for making payments.
  • MoboMoney is a prepaid wallet, issued in the form of an NFC (Near-Field Communication) contactless tag.
  • It can be used to ‘Tap n Pay’ on a network of NFC-enabled merchant point-of-sale device.
  • Consumers can load their wallet by paying cash at the merchants as well as using their credit/debit cards and Internet banking.
  • The money loaded to make over the counter payments, recharges, bill payments, as well as online purchases.
About Near field communication (NFC)
NFC is a short-range high frequency wireless communication technology. It basically is a set of protocols that enable two electronic devices (one usually us a portable device such as a smartphone) to establish radio data communication with each other by bringing them closer typically, 10 cm (4 in) from each other.

Amway India signs Farhan Akhtar as Nutrilite brand ambassador Amway India signs Farhan Akhtar as Nutrilite brand ambassador

Direct-selling FMCG firm Amway India on Friday announced Bollywood actor Farhan Akhtar as its brand ambassador to promote Nutriliterange of the products.

Johnny Depp leads Forbes Most Overpaid Actors list

Actor Johnny Depp (52) has been named Hollywood’s most overpaid actor in 2015 by Forbes. According to the magazine he only returned $ 1.20 for every $ 1 he was paid.
  • The “Black Mass” star replaced last year’s most overpaid movie actor Adam Sandler to top the list.
  • Depp’s last four Pirates of the Caribbean movies grossed a combined $3.7 billion, making it one of the most successful franchises ever. But as Lord Charlie in Mortdecai or Dr. Will Caster in Transcendence, he failed to strike box office gold despite pocketing millions personally.

Alibaba agrees to invest $1.25 bn in Chinese online food delivery service

The e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd plans to inject $1.25 billion in aShanghai-based food delivery service,
  • With this move Alibaba is likely to acquire 7% stake in, which will make it the biggest shareholder of the company. is a part of online-to-offline (O2O) services trend in China, where customers use their smartphones to order offline services.
  • Earlier raised $350 million from investors, including CITIC Private Equity, Tencent Holdings Ltd, Inc, Dianping and Sequoia Capital.

19.52 Bank accounts opened under Prime Minister’s Jan Dhan Yojana till December

As per RBI, banks opened 19.52 crore accounts under the Prime Minister’s Jan Dhan Yojana till the first week of December.
  • RBI’s half-yearly report on the operations and performance of scheduled commercial banks showing most of these accounts are in rural areas.
  • As on December 9th, 7 million RuPay debit cards have been issued.
As many as 92.6 million beneficiaries have been enrolled under the Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana and 29.2 million under Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana13 lakh account holders have been enrolled under Atal Pension Yojana as on December 16.

Seychelles government allows India to build Naval Base on its Assumption Island

Seychelles government allowed India to build its first Naval Base on the Assumption Island in the Indian Ocean region (IOR) as a joint project between both countries which will help to enhance mutual security along our western seaboard in IOR.
  • On completion, the naval base would be used by the defence forces both countries.
  • It would help India to exercise greater control over the strategic western region of IOR to the piracy-prone eastern African coastline that commands vital energy (oil) sea transport lines.
Seychelles Capital – Victoria
Seychelles Currency – Seychellois rupee

PM Modi visit to Afghanistan & Pakistan

After two days visit to Russia, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi landed in Afghanistan to inaugurate the newly-built Afghan parliament building in Kabul.
  • The building is the latest symbol of a longstanding diplomatic effort by New Delhi to cultivate its links to Afghanistan.
  • It was constructed by India at a cost of USD 90 million.
  • The construction of building was started in 2009 and has missed its completion deadlines at least 3 times since 2011, and has gone over-budget by double the original costing of $45 million.

AP State ranked first in e-transactions

According to the National e-Transaction Count maintained by the Electronic Transaction Aggregation and Analysis Layer (Etaal) under the Union Department of Electronics and Information Technology
Andhra Pradesh has tops the list registered a quantum leap with 111.88 crore transactions since the start of the year.
  • AP is followed by Telangana with 87.34 crore transactions.
  • Kerala stood at 3rd rank which had registered 67 crore e-transactions in 2015, representing a 15- fold growth from 3.69 crore transactions in 2014.
Toppers in e-services:
Andhra Pradesh leads the list with 263 services followed by Telangana (225), Madhya Pradesh (206), Gujarat (195) and Kerala (180).

National Food Security Act launched in Assam

Panchayat and Rural development minster of the state Rakibul Hussain launched the Food Security Act (FSA) in Nagaon district of Assam to address the hunger of the people.
  • Under this Act, every person belonging to priority households will be entitled to receive 5 kg of food grains per person per month at subsidised prices not exceeding Rs. 3.00 per kg for rice.
About NFSA:
National Food Security Act (NFSA) is an Act to provide food and nutritional security in human life cycle approach by ensuring access to adequate quantity of quality food at affordable prices for people to live with dignity.
  • Under NFSA 2013, a total of 2 crores 11 lakh 69 thousands have been identified as priority households in the State of Assam and 22 lakhs 65 thousands 136 household in Nagaon district will be benefitted by the scheme.

Union Government brings 376 drugs under the NLEM

The Union Government has added 106 drugs including that of HIV/AIDS, Cancer and Hepatitis C to the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM). In this regard, Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s core committee has revised the NLEM.
  • The committee was headed by M. Katoch, former secretary of Department of Health Research.
  • The revision includes addition of 106 essential medicines and deletion of 70 medicines.
  • With this total number of essential medicines in the list have gone up to 376from earlier 348 medicines.
This move will ensure their availability across the country at affordable prices. The new list takes cues from the World Health Organisation (WHO’s) 2015 list of essential drugs and medicines that satisfies the priority healthcare needs of people and ensure affordability.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

National Good Governance Day

Good Governance Day  is observed annually on the 25th December in India to mark the birth anniversary of former-Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.Good Governance Day was established in 2014 to honor Prime Minister Vajpayee by fostering awareness among the Indian people of accountability in government.
The health ministry Nadda launched four information technology driven initiatives to mark good governance day
  • Kilkari – Audio-based mobile service that delivers weekly audio messages and is being supported by Tata Consultancy Services as part of its CSR initiative.
  • M-Cessation – IT-enabled tool to help tobacco users to quit tobacco.
  • Mobile Academy – Mobile App developed through which about 90,00,000 Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) will be imparted training.
  • Nadda also inaugurated the new IT-enabled OPD registry block at AIIMS.

Former Chief Justice of Karnataka and Kerala HC VS Malimath dead Former Chief Justice of Karnataka and Kerala HC VS Malimath dead

Former chief justice of Karnataka and Kerala high courts and chairman of the Karnataka Border Protection Commission (KBPC) Justice V S Malimath died at Manipal Hospital in Bengaluru.
About VS Malimath :
  • Appointed as head of KBPC by the Karnataka government in June to provide legal counselling on the boundary dispute with Maharashtra. Justice Malimath headed the Committee on Reform of Criminal Justice System in India and was theUnited Nations Representative to monitor human rights enforcement in Nigeria and Sri Lanka.
  • He served as an International Observer to oversee the referendum in Sri Lanka.He was appointed Advocate General in 1968 and later as judge of the Karnataka high court in March 1970.
  • He was appointed Chief Justice of Karnataka high court in 1984 and later transferred to Kerala high court.
He was conferred with the National Citizen’s Award by the President of India,Karnataka Rajyotsava Award and honorary Doctorate of Law by Karnatak University.

Olympian cyclist Suprabhat Chakrabarty passed away Olympian cyclist Suprabhat Chakrabarty passed away

Olympian cyclist Suprabhat Chakrabarty (86) passed away on 24 dec 2015 following a heart attack. He leaves behind his wife, son and daughter.
  • Five-time National champion Chakrabarty, fondly known as ‘Khaja’ in cycling circles, was a key member of the National squad that took part in the first edition of the Asian Games in 1951 in Delhi, 1952 Olympics in Helsinki and World Peace Race the same year.

Indian cancer scientist develops software for patients

An Indian scientist in the United States has developed a new MRI-based technique to predict survival of patients with aggressive brain tumours and help provide personalised therapy.
  • Dr. Pallavi Tiwari’s work is based on recent clinical findings that 90 per cent of the Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) recurrences occur close to the tumour margin, suggesting that malignant cells are present at the periphery of the tumour but are not visually discernible.

India’s first Artificial Liver Tissue developed using 3D printing

A Bengaluru-based biotech start-up, Pandorum Technologies, has become the first Indian firm to develop artificial living tissue, which performs the function of a human liver and can lead to affordable, full-scale transplantable organs in few a years.
  • The tissue has been developed by the trio comprises of Arun ChandruDr Abdullah Chand and Dr Sivarajan T.
  • The tissue performs critical functions of a human liver tissue includingdetoxification, metabolism and secretion of biochemicals such as albuminand cholesterol.
  • The tissue can grow and survive up to eight weeks.

Thomas Cook India elevates Madhavan Menon as CMD

Travel services provider Thomas Cook India has re-designated its present MD Madhavan Menon as Chairman and Managing Director, effective January 1, 2016.
Thomas Cook India elevates Madhavan Menon as CMD
  • The board of directors of the company has appointed “Madhavan Menon as Chairman and re-designated him as Chairman and Managing Director with effect from January 1, 2016.

Gautam Bambawale appointed as India’s next High Commissioner to Pakistan Gautam H Bambawale appointed as India's High Commissioner to Pakistan

Senior diplomat Gautam Bambawale, currently India’s envoy to Bhutan, has been appointed as next High Commissioner to Pakistan, External Affairs Ministry officially announced.
  • An IFS officer of 1984-batch, Bambawale will replace T C A Raghavan, who is retiring at the end of this month.

IOC, RIL fixed top 2 slots in Fortune 500 India list

In the list of Fortune 500 Indian companies 2015, State-owned Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has maintained its No.1 position followed by Reliance Industries (RIL) in terms of revenue for the 6th consecutive year.
  • IOC tops the chart with an annual revenue of Rs 4, 51,911 crore while Mukesh Ambani-led RIL’s revenue is Rs 3, 82,565 crore.

Col. C.K. Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award for Syed Kirmani

Former India stumper Syed Kirmani (65) was chosen for the prestigious Col. C.K. Nayudu Lifetime Achievement award for 2015.
  • He is the first wicketkeeper in 21 years to be nominated for this award. Popularly known as “Kojak” for his Telly Savalas-look, Kirmani will be the 23rd recipient of the award.
  • He has being chosen for the award by BCCI’s special committee comprising President Shashank ManoharAnurag Thakur (secretary) and Ram, Chairman and Publisher, Kasturi and Sons Ltd.

Aurobindo Pharma gets USFDA nod for acid reflux drug

Aurobindo Pharma Ltd. has received 54th approval of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration(USFDA) to manufacture and market Famotidine tablet that is used for the short-term treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease and active duodenal ulcer.
  • The approved abbreviated new drug application (ANDA) is bio and therapeutically equivalent to the reference listed drug product Pepcid tablets of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc., the Hyderabad firm.
  • With this, Aurobindo has a total of 226 ANDA approvals.

Biocon launched generic version of hepatitis-C drug Harvoni in India

The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) recently approved the sale of Sofosbuvir-Ledipasvir combination, which is being manufactured in India under a license from Gilead.
  • Biopharmaceutical company Biocon launched a generic version of Gilead Life sciences’ hepatitis C drug, Harvoni, in India.
  • The novel therapy named CIMIVIR-L is a fixed dose combination of Ledipasvir 90 mg and Sofosbuvir 400 mg, and an improved version of Gilead’s blockbuster hepatitis C drug Sovaldi.
  • Recently Natco Pharma has received a license from Gilead to sell a generic version of the drug in India, sells a bottle of 28 tablets at about Rs 20,000.

Reserve Bank of India Invites Applications for Innovative Payment Solutions

India’s central bank The Reserve Bank of India has invited applications for “Payment System Innovation Awards” to encourage innovative solutions in the field ofPayment and Settlement System.
  • With this initiative, the RBI is hoping to transform the way transactions are processed in the world’s fastest growing emerging economy.
  • The Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology (IDRBT), which is the technology arm of the RBI, will organize the competition.
  • Panels of experts will shortlist the most innovative applications, and the best three will be rewarded with citations/prizes. The winners may also be given a chance to present their ideas/ technologies to the industry representatives.

Current Account Deficit narrowed to 1.6 % of GDP

The current account deficit (CAD) narrowed to 1.6% of GDP at USD 8.2 billion in the second quarter ended September.
  • The contraction in CAD was primarily on account of lower trade deficit (USD 37.4 billion) as compared with USD 39.7 billion in Q2 of last year though it was higher than the level in the preceding quarter (USD 34.2 billion).
According to experts, a CAD up to 2.5% of GDP can be financed with the current level of foreign fund inflows and remittances. In FY14, it had risen to a historic high of4.8% of GDP.
  • The foreign direct investment also slowed down during the July-September period to USD 15.1 billion from USD 16.7 billion in the preceding quarter.
  • On portfolio investments, there was a net outflow of USD 6.5 billion as against anet inflow of USD 9.8 billion in the year-ago period.
Foreign exchange reserves on a balance of payment basis also came down by USD 0.9 billion in Q2 of the current fiscal.

China-backed AIIB formally established in Beijing

China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in which India is a founder member along with other 56 countries was formally established here and expected to start operation next month.
  • Articles of Agreement outline the financial share of each founding member as well as rules for policymaking, governance structure and business and operational systems for the bank.
The bank’s establishment came after 17 funding members of the AIIB, which account for just over 50% of its share capital, ratified the agreement on the bank.
  • With authorised capital of USD 100 billion and subscribed capital of USD 50 billion.
  • AIIB, based in Beijing will invest in sectors including energy, transportation, urban construction and logistics as well as education and healthcare.
China, India and Russia are the three largest shareholders, taking a 30.34 per cent, 8.52 per cent, 6.66 per cent stake respectively in the newly-formed bank. Based on the shareholding, India is expected to get the post of the Vice President.

UN approves $5.4 billion operating budget for 2016-2017

The General Assembly has approved a $5.4 billion budget for the United Nations’ regular operations during 2016 and 2017.
  • The regular budget is separate from the budget for the U.N. far-flung peacekeeping operations, which totals $8.27 billion for the year ending June 30, 2016.
  • Many U.N. agencies are funded by voluntary contributions from member states.
The United States, the largest contributor, pays 22% of the regular budget followed by Japan with 9.68%.

PM Modi visit to Russia – An overview

PM Modi was in Russia for two days to attend the annual India-Russia Summit inMoscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin to further strengthen the already close bilateral strategic partnership.
  • The two countries signed memorandums of understanding (MOU) on technical cooperation in the railway sectorbuilding solar energy plants in Indiainvestment cooperation in Russia’s Far East.

Chattisgarh top performer in “Digital India Week”

Chhattisgarh has been adjudged as the best performing State for its exemplary work in the field of information technology during the “Digital India Week 2015”.
  • The State will receive the award from Communication and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.
  • Chhattisgarh was followed by Himachal Pradesh and Meghalaya at the third place.
Within Chhattisgarh, the districts of KondagaonKoriya and Gariyaband were adjudged the best performers for its digital facilities and services to the people. CM Raman Singh had launched 16 premium digital services.
  • Wi-Fi city scheme to ensure free high speed internet facilitymobiles app for e-district servicesonline facility for five pension schemes of social welfare department and six of revenue departmentintegrated Chhattisgarh mobile appChhattisgarh campus connect portalLok Seva Kendra and Common Service Centres in villages were among the facilities started during the week.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

National Consumer Day – 24th December

The Department of Consumer Affairs, Ministry of Consumer Affairs Food and Public Distribution, Government of India is celebrating the National Consumer Day 2015 in Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi.
Theme: “Safe & Healthy Food: Combating Food Adulteration.”
  • The programme w inaugurated and presided over by Shri Ram Vilas Paswan, Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.
  • The day is being observed on 24 December, since the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 was enacted on this day in 1986.

Senior Telugu actor Chilukoti Kashi Viswanath passed away Senior Telugu actor Chilukoti Kashi Viswanath passed away

Senior Telugu actor and dialogue writer Chilukoti Kashi Viswanath passed away on 22 December 2015 following a massive cardiac stroke while travelling in Lokmanya Tilak Express from Hyderabad to Visakhapatnam. He was 69.

ITF announced winners of 2015 World Champions

International Tennis Federation (ITF) announced the winners of 2015 World Champions. The awards were conferred on the basis of players’ performance in the 2015 season.
  • The ITF also announced American Serena Williams and Serbian Novak Djokovic as the 2015 ITF World champions.
  • Serena is named women’s World champion for the 6th time, while this is the5th occasion that Djokovic has received the honour.

Idea became third mobile operator to launch 4G services in India

The country’s third largest mobile operator by revenues and subscriber base, the Aditya Birla group’s, Idea Cellular launched high-speed 4G services across 750 towns in the five southern states of Andhra Pradesh & Telengana, Karnataka, Kerala andTamil Nadu.
  • Idea Cellular currently holds 1800 MHz 4G spectrum in these 10 circles .By June 2016, Idea’s 4G footprint will cover 750 cities across 10 telecom circles.
  • Idea have started 4G services ahead of the launch of such services by Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio Infocomm.
Managing Director, Idea Cellular: Himanshu Kapania

Union Government launches two mobile apps for farmers

Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Radha Mohan Singh launched two mobile apps ‘Crop Insurance’ and ‘AgriMarket’ for farmers. Launching of these mobile apps is the part of the week-long celebrations of Kisan Jai Vigyan Week.
  • The government would launch a new crop insurance scheme next month, which would aim speedy disposal of claims with very less premiums.
Crop Insurance: It would help the farmers not only to find out complete details about insurance cover available in their area
AgriMarket: It could be used by the farmers to get the prices of crops in the market(mandi) within 50 km radius of the device and other mandis in the country,.
  • The Ministry was organising “Kisan Jai Vigyan Week” to celebrate birth anniversary of Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Ch. Charan Singh, starting ensuing December 25.

Jaguar Land Rover India announces InControl apps

Jaguar Land Rover India announced the launch of its innovative new smartphone integration platform InControl Apps, which has been developed in conjunction with Bosch.
About InControl Apps :
  • The InControl Apps platform transfers the interface from the phone to the in-car infotainment touch-screen, to allow users access to popular apps, thus significantly enhancing user experience.
  • It enable access to an initial suite of Android and iOS compatible applications.
  • InControl Apps are available on Land Rover Models: Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and Discovery Sport (2016 Model Year).

SRK is brand ambassador of Reliance Jio SRK is brand ambassador of Reliance Jio

Shah Rukh Khan is expected to be the brand ambassador for Mukesh Ambani ownedReliance Jio. ET reported earlier that Reliance Jio Infocomm will launch its much-delayed but eagerly awaited 4G services on December 27, but only for group employees.
  • Earlier SRK was brand ambassador for telecom major
  • Musician A R Rahman too is expected to perform in the event.

Guinea PM steps down after prez Conde re-elected Guinea PM steps down after prez Conde re-elected

Guinea’s prime minister Mohamed Said Fofana’s stepped down in order to make way for a new administration after President Alpha Conde was sworn in for a controversial second five-year term.
  • While accepting Fofana’s resignation, Mr. Conde asked the government to continue exercising its functions until a new cabinet is formed.
  • Conde (77) was re-elected in controversial October polls and sworn in for asecond term.
  • The constitutional court last month formally confirmed Conde’s re-election with57.8% of the vote, dismissing opposition claims of vote rigging and fraud.

Dr. Rakesh K. Jain selected for 2015 National Medal of Science Dr. Rakesh K. Jain selected for 2015 National Medal of Science

Indian American professor Dr. Rakesh K. Jain has been selected for 2015 National Medal of Science of the United States.
  • He will be presented this top award along with 16 other winners by President Barack Obama at a White House ceremony in January 2016.
  • All of them were chosen for this award for their individual achievement and leadership in advancing the fields of science and technology
About Dr. Rakesh K. Jain
  • Rakesh K. Jain is currently working as professor at Harvard Medical School and also is the director of tumour biology laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital.
  • He is regarded as a pioneer in the area of tumour micro-environment and widely recognized for his seminal discoveries in tumor biology, in vivo imaging, bioengineering, drug delivery and bench-to-bedside translation.
About National Medal of Science
  • It is an annual award established in 1959 by United States Government. It is bestowed by the US President to individuals in science and engineering.
  • These individuals must have made important contributions to the advancement of knowledge in the fields of behavioural and social sciences, chemistry, engineering, biology, mathematics and physics.

Indian-American doctor is Ohio’s first Poet Laureate

A 36-year-old Indian-American doctor has been named the first Poet Laureate by theU.S. State of Ohio for showcasing a variety of styles in his poetry.
  • Amit Majmudar, a diagnostic nuclear radiologist, was named to the two-year honorary position by Governor John Kasich who created the honour.
  • He was recommended for the position by the Ohio Poet Laureate Selection Committee, following an extensive state-wide nomination and review process.

Zimbabwe to adopt China’s currency the yuan

  • Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa on 21 December 2015 announced that the country has planned to adopt the Chinese Yuan as legal tender. It will be done in return for debt cancellation worth 40 million dollars in the second week of December 2015.
  • As per the decision, Yuan will be a function of trade between China and Zimbabwe and acceptability with customers in Zimbabwe.
  • China has become the largest investor in Zimbabwe, which has been shunned by the West over its human rights record and is struggling to emerge from a deep 1999-2008 recession that forced the government to ditch its own currency in 2009.

RBI extends deadline to exchange pre-2005 notes to June 30

  • Reserve Bank today extended the deadline for exchanging pre-2005 currency notes of various denominations, including Rs 500 and Rs 1,000, by another six months to June 30, 2016.
  • The Reserve Bank had, in June 2015, set the last date for public to exchange pre-2005 banknotes notes as December 31, 2015.
  • RBI, on a review, decided to extend the date for the public to exchange their pre-2005 banknotes till June 30, 2016