India joins Wassenaar Arrangement after completing internal procedures
- India has announced that it has joined the Wassenaar Arrangement after completing the internal procedures and the membership that will give the facility of the high-technology tie-ups for countrys defence and space programmes.
- “India has joined the Wassenaar Arrangement on December 8, 2017 following the completion of internal procedures for joining the Arrangement,” an external affairs ministry statement said.
- “India would like to thank each of the 41 WA participating States for their support for Indias membership. We would also like to thank Ambassador Jean Louis Falconi of France, 2017 Plenary Chair of the WA for his role in facilitating Indias accession to the Arrangement,” it said.
- “Indias WA membership is expected to facilitate high technology tie-ups with Indian industry and ease access to high-tech items for our defence and space programmes,” he said.
- “While membership of WA would not automatically entail any preferential treatment from other member nations, it would create the grounds for realignment of India in the export control policy framework of other WA members including eligibility for certain licensing exceptions,” the spokesperson added.
MoHUA inks agreement with German firm GIZ for technical cooperation in transport project
- There has been the agreement of the ministry that is the Urban Transport project between Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs and GIZ was signed here today in the presence of Shri Hardeep Puri, Minister of State(I/C) Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs and the German Ambassador.
- Sh Mukund Kumar Sinha, OSD & ex officio Joint Secretary, MoHUA from Indian side and Mr. Wolfgang Hanning, Country Director, GIZ from German side, have signed this agreement.
- This is a Technical Cooperation non-cash Grant for three Indian cities, namely Coimbatore, Bhubaneshwar and Kochi for urban transport activities. There has been the Euro 4 million (approx… 29 crores) through GIZ is envisaged for this purpose over a period of three years. The main aim of this project is to improve planning and implementation of sustainable urban Transport.
- The Annual Negotiations and Consultations between India and Germany in 2015, enumerated Technical Cooperation by Government of Germany for Urban Mobility in India, which later formalised with an MoU between two Governments encompassing this project. The project will give the desired impetus in three major interventions proposed under Smart City Mission of this Ministry viz. ITS based transport solutions, Non-motorised vehicles and Last mile connectivity.
Meghalaya to get its first LPG bottling facility
- The Centre has given the some of the Rs 75 crore for setting up a Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) bottling plant in Meghalaya, which will help increase the clean fuel’s penetration, especially in the rural areas of the state.
- A memorandum of understanding (MOU) has been signed between the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and the state government in the presence of Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma in the city.
- “I have signed an MOU to set up a bottling plant with an annual capacity of 13,000 metric tonnes. The Government of India will do the investment of Rs 75 crore for the bottling plant. Only 27 per cent of the households in the state are linked with LPG connectivity, which is much below the national average, Pradhan said.
- “For the forthcoming election, I am confident that the present incumbent Congress-led government is going to see the exit route and the state will have a new government in which the BJP will play a major role in the state politics,” he said.
Iraq declares war with Islamic State is over
- Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has said that the final victory over Islamic State on Saturday that is after the Iraqi forces drove its last remnants from the country, three years after the militant group captured about a third of Iraq’s territory.
- “Honorable Iraqis: your land has been completely liberated. The dream of liberation is now a reality,” Abadi said in a televised address. He was speaking with five Iraqi flags and dozens of service members from different branches behind him.
- “We have accomplished a very difficult mission. Our heroes have reached the final strongholds of Daesh and purified it. The Iraqi flag flies high today over all Iraqi lands.”
- “We congratulate the Prime Minister and all the Iraqi people on this significant achievement, which many thought impossible. We honor the sacrifices of the Iraqi people, its security forces, and the Kurdish Peshmerga, and admire the unity in their ranks that had made this day possible,” he said in a series of tweets.
- “Daesh’s dream is over and we must erase all its effect and not allow terrorism to return. Despite announcing final victory, we must remain vigilant and prepared against any terrorist attempt on our country, for terrorism is an eternal enemy. Weapons should only be in the state’s hands. The rule of law and respect for it are the way to build the state and achieve justice, equality, and stability,” he said.
- Iraq, officially known as the Republic of Iraq, is a country in Western Asia, bordered by Turkey to the north, Iran to the east, Kuwait to the southeast, Saudi Arabia to the south, Jordan to the southwest and Syria to the west
- Capital: Baghdad
- Currency: Iraqi dinar
- President: Fuad Masum
- Prime minister: Haider al-Abadi
- Points of interest: Hanging Gardens of Babylon
UN rejects US recognition of Jerusalem as Israeli capital
- The United States has been get that isolated at a special United Nations Security Council meeting in the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a move that set off alarms about the risk of escalating conflict in the Middle East.
- “The status of Jerusalem must be determined through negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians leading to a final status agreement,” the five European nations said in a statement at the end of the meeting.
- The European Union “has a clear and united position: we believe that the only realistic solution to the conflict between Israel and Palestine is based on two States, and with Jerusalem as the capital of both the State of Israel and the State of Palestine,” the statement said, indicating that until that occurs, the EU will not recognise any sovereignty over Jerusalem.
- Mladenov said that for both Israelis and Palestinians, Jerusalem “is and always will be the centre of their life, their culture,” as well as the “symbol and cornerstone” of the faith of many millions of people around the world.
- “Jerusalem is a final status issue for which a comprehensive, just and lasting solution must be achieved through negotiations between the parties,” said the UN special envoy to the Middle East.
BANKING AND FINANCE
FE Best Banks Awards: SBI bags best Nationalised Bank award
- There has been the held of the India’s most coveted banking awards i.e FE Best Banks Awards ceremony is taking place in the country’s financial capital on Saturday.
- The chief guest for this prestigious FE Best Bank Awards was Nitin Gadkari, who is Union Minister for Shipping, Road Transport & Highways, Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.
- Best Nationalised Bank – State Bank of India
- Best Banker of the Year – Arundhati Bhattacharya
- Lifetime Achievement Award – Uday Kotak
- Best New Private Sector Bank – HDFC Bank
- Best Old Private Sector Bank – City Union Bank
- Best Savings Bank Product – Kotak Mahindra Bank
- Best Mobile Banking Application – ICICI Bank
- Best Non- Banking Financial Institution – Ujjivan Financial Services
- Best Special Initiative Award – Shriram Transport Finance
Direct Tax Collections for Financial Year 2017-18 show Growth of 14.4% upto November, 2017
- There has been the some of the figure that is of Direct Tax collections up to November, 2017 show that net collections are at Rs. 4.8 lakh crore which is 14.4% higher than the net collections for the corresponding period of last year.
- The Net Direct Tax collections represent 49% of the total Budget Estimates of Direct Taxes for the Financial Year.
- 2017-18 (Rs. 9.8 lakh crore). Gross collections (before adjusting for refunds) have increased by 10.7% to Rs.5.82 lakh crore during April-November, 2017. Refunds amounting to Rs. 1.02 lakh crore have been issued during April, 2017 to November, 2017.
Science and Technology
ISRO to launch Chandrayaan-II in Q1 2018
- Indian Space Research Organisation’s second unmanned moon mission, Chandrayaan 2, has been decided to start in March 2018, that is decade after Chandrayaan 1 was launched, Isro sources told Hindustan Times on Tuesday.
- Chandrayaan 2 has been Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark 2 (GSLV Mk 2) that will blast off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, sources said, refusing to disclose the exact lift-off date.
- This will be the advance trend of the Chandrayaan 1 that was a landmark mission for Isro, with India becoming only the fourth country to plant its flag on the moon after the US, erstwhile USSR and Japan.
- Chandrayaan 1 was launched on October 22, 2008, and included a probe, impactor and orbiter. Its moon impact probe crash-landed on the lunar surface on November 14, 2008.
- In July 2016, scientists at Nasa’s jet propulsion laboratory in California located the spacecraft. “We have been able to detect Nasa’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and the Indian Space Research Organisation’s Chandrayaan-1 in lunar orbit with a ground-based radar,” Nasa scientist Marina Brozovic had told media.
Rafael Nadal, Garbine Muguruza named ITF world champions
- Spaniards Rafael Nadal and Garbine Muguruza has been given the name in the International Tennis Federation (ITF) world champions on Friday (Dec 8) – that is the first time in 19 years the awards have gone to players from the same country.
- Nadal, who has clinched the honour for the third time, made a sensational comeback from an injury-plagued 2016, winning a 10th French Open title and the US Open to take his Grand Slam haul to 16, three behind Roger Federer who also won two of the year’s Majors after returning from injury.
- The 31-year-old Mallorcan ended the year as world No. 1, although he pulled out of the season-ending ATP Finals in London due to a knee injury.
- Muguruza won the ITF award for the first time after capturing the Wimbledon title and ascending to the world No. 1 ranking for the first time.
AWARDS & RECOGNITION
Chandigarh shooter Arjun Babuta wins silver in Asian Airgun Championship 2017
- The shooter of Chandigarh that is the 18-year-old Arjun Babuta has started his path for the second international medal of the year when he shot a final round score of 249.7 and has won the silver medal in the junior category in the 10 M Air Rifle event in the 10th Asian Airgun Championship 10 M Rifle/Pistol being held at Wako City, Japan.
- “It was a close final and it is a day of mixed feelings for me. I shot a score of 623.8 in the qualification and shot well in the final. I had a chance to win the gold medal till the last shot of the final but unfortunately I shot a score of 9.5 at the last show. The floor at the range was shaky and it was tough shooting in such conditions but I am happy to win my second medal at the international level this year,” shared Babuta, who is a student of BA-II in DAV College, Sector 10.
- “Competing at the international level in the junior circuit is the key for me and the medal in Czech Republic early this year boosted my confidence. My next target is the Senior Nationals to be held in Kerela next week apart from the trial series for Commonwealth Games and Asian Games. I finished fourth in last month’s trials and shooting consistent scores has been on my mind. National chief coach for juniors Deepali Deshpande and Deepak Kumar Dubey has been helping us a lot,” shared Babuta.
- “Arjun shot a good qualification score and it helped him in the final. He shot well in the first series and recovered well in the last series to miss the gold medal narrowly. But such contests will boost his confidence a lot,” shared Dubey.
International Mountain Day
- Mountain Day has been get on the three more events: (1) Mountain Day, a student celebration in some colleges in the United States in which classes are cancelled without prior notice, and the student body heads to the mountains or a park, (2) International Mountain Day, held each year on 11 December, which was established by the UN General Assembly in 2003 to encourage sustainable development in mountains, and (3) Mountain Day, a national holiday in Japan as of 2016.
- December 11 has been celebrated as the, “International Mountain Day”, was designated by the United Nations General Assembly in 2003. The General Assembly “encouraged the international community to organize events at all levels on that day to highlight the importance of sustainable mountain development.”