i) EidMilad-un-Nabi, the birthday of Prophet Muhammad is being celebrated with fervour in various places of the country today. 'Milad Mehfils' and 'Seerat Conferences' are being organised, emphasising the teachings of Prophet Muhammad. Processions are also being organised to observe the occasion.
ii) President Pranab Mukherjee and Vice President Hamid Ansari have greeted the people on the occasion.
i) The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee marked his 81st birthday by launching a ‘100 Million for 100 Million’ Campaign organized by the KailashSatyarthi Children’s Foundation at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
ii) Speaking on the occasion, the President said that he was delighted to launch the campaign led by Nobel peace prize winner, Shri Kailash Satyarthi, from Rashtrapati Bhavan, an institution which symbolises our Republic’s commitment to democracy, pluralism and secularism.
iii) The ‘100 Million for 100 Million’ Campaign aims to mobilise 100 million youth and children for 100 million underprivileged children across the world, to end child labour, child slavery, violence against children and promote the right of every child to be safe, free, and educated, over the next 5 years.
i) Minister of State( I/C) for Youth Affairs and Sports Vijay Goel here today led a Mobile and Digital Banking induction campaign for youth at Maj. Dhyanchand National Stadium.
ii) As the demonetisation phase completes one month, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports continues to promote the benefits of online banking and boosts the methods of cashless transactions with the help of youngsters.
iii) The Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan which comes under the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports is leading the initiative and has invited interested youngsters to join the drive for #Youth4DigitalPaisa.
i) Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) has constituted a working group as part of its efforts to fight online piracy and developing business standards and best practices for the digital entertainment industry.
ii) The committee will be chaired by Ajit Mohan of Hotstar and co-chaired by UdaySodhi of SET India and SalilKapoor of HOOQ.
iii) Other member companies are: Star Plus, Digivive, Radio Mirchi, Shemaroo, Viacom 18, Netflix, Arre, Eros, among others.
iv) The mandate of the group is to safeguard the interest of the digital entertainment businesses, IAMAI said in a statement.
i) Three books on Rashtrapati Bhavan ‘Life at Rashtrapati Bhavan’; ‘Indradhanush – Volume II’ and ‘Rashtrapati Bhavan: From Raj to Swaraj’ were released at a function held at Rashtrapati Bhavan yesterday (December 11, 2016) by the President of India, ShriPranab Mukherjee, Vice President of India, Mohd. Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister, Shri NarendraModi respectively.
ii) The book ‘Rashtrapati Bhavan: From Raj to Swaraj’, is a book for children which recreates the story of Rashtrapati Bhavan from its inception as Government House, a symbol of imperial might, to the present day.
iii) The book ‘Life at Rashtrapati Bhavan’ is an attempt to record the human history of the residents living in the President’s Estate.
iv) The book ‘Indradhanush Volume-II’ is a compendium of music, dance, theatre and cinematic presentations organized at Rashtrapati Bhavan from mid 2014 to September 2016.
i) Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Sunday launched Narmada SevaYatra at Amarkantak. The five months long Yatra aims at turning the Narmada river pollution free and unceasing river. Chouhan performed religious rituals before kick-starting the campaign.
ii) He also went to ashrams of religious leaders to invite them to join the Yatra. The Chief Minister said that he will join the campaign every week. He also said that the participation of public and society will be ensured in it.
iii) The Narmada SewaYatra will create awareness about the conservation of the river. It will cover more than 1,900 kilometres in 16 districts.
i) Regular rail service through the world’s longest tunnel began on Sunday, carrying passengers deep under the Swiss Alps from Zurich to Lugano.
ii) The famed Gotthard Base Tunnel (GBT) had a ceremonial opening in June, attracting European leaders like German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande for its maiden ride.
iii) The Swiss national rail service (SBB) had announced that Sunday would mark the start of normal commercial traffic through the 57-kilometre GBT, which took 17 years to build, at a cost of over 12 billion Swiss francs ($11.8 billion).
iv) The Swiss news agency ATS reported that the first regular passenger train to use the GBT pulled out of Zurich at 6:09 am local time (0509 GMT) and arrived in Lugano at 8:17 am, with the tunnel passage shaving a full 30 minutes off the previous travel time for the same route.
The Reserve Bank of India, today, released the Annual Report of the Banking Ombudsman Scheme for the year 2015-2016.
The achievements of the ombudsman scheme is as follows:
i) 1,02,894 complaints were received by 15 Offices of the Banking Ombudsmen
ii) Complaints increased by 21% compared to the previous year.
iii) Offices of Banking Ombudsmen maintained a disposal rate of 95%.
iv) 18 Awards were issued by the Banking Ombudsmen.
v) 34 appeals were received by the Appellate Authority against the awards/decisions of Banking Ombudsmen.
vi) Complaints pertaining to failure to meet commitments, non-observance of fair practices code, Banking Codes and Standards Board of India (BCSBI) Codes taken together constituted the largest category of complaints with 33.9% of complaints received.
i) To tap opportunities arising out of limited cash supply, SBI Cards will soon launch a credit card with a cap of Rs 25,000 for those at the lower strata of the society, who have the capacity to pay but don't have cards, a top company official said to PTI.
ii) SBI Cards is also in the process of speeding up customer acquisition process by reducing the delivery period so that more and more people are added to the network.
iii) The company will also deploy more people on the field who will be present in all prominent markets and malls so that if anyone wants a card, the team can talk to such people, accept their application, document and quicken the period of processing and delivery.
MOU’S AND AGREEMENTS SIGNED
i) India and Indonesia have signed three agreements in various areas including youth affairs and sports, fishing and standardization to enhance strategic partnership.
ii) The agreements were signed after delegation level talks between between Prime Minister NarendraModi and visiting President of Indonesia JokoWidodo in New Delhi this afternoon.
iii) MrModi said, the partnership between the two countries will also be increased for combating terrorism, organized crime, drugs and human trafficking.
iv) The two countries agreed for an early implementation of India-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement in Services and investment, and finalization of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.
v) Mr. Widodo arrived in New Delhi for a two-day visit to India last night. President Widodo is accompanied by a high level delegation including several cabinet ministers, senior officials and a 22 member business delegation.
i) New Zealand's socially conservative finance chief Bill English is sworn in as the country's new prime minister following last week's resignation of his predecessor John Key. With degrees in commerce and literature, Mr. English has been in parliament since 1990.
i) Writer and scholar Akshaykumar M Kale, a critic of modern Marathi poetry, has been elected as the President of the 90th AkhilBharatiya Marathi SahityaSammelan to be held from February 3 to 5. He is also a member of the General Council of Sahitya Akademi.
ii) The three-day annual conference is expected to be attended by Marathi litterateurs from Maharashtra and other parts of the country.
iii) A well-known critic of modern Marathi poetry, Kale was Professor and Head of Marathi Department at RTM Nagpur University. In the field of criticism of modern Marathi poetry, his contributions have attracted the attention of scholars of Marathi language and literature throughout the state.
i) Antonio Guterres, a former Portuguese Prime Minister will be sworn in today as the next UN Secretary General, succeeding Ban Ki-moon as the ninth chief of the organisation.
ii) President of the UN General Assembly Peter Thomson will administer the Oath of Office to Guterres, 67, at a special plenary meeting of the 193-member General Assembly. The Secretary-General-designate will then address the General Assembly.
iii) Guterres was unanimously appointed by the General Assembly as the successor to Ban, after the 15-nation SecurityCouncil had in October decided by acclamation to send his nameto the Assembly for final approval.
iv) Mr. Guterres will assume his new role fora five-year tenure beginning January 1, 2017.
i) Paolo Gentiloni was named on Sunday as Italy’s new Prime Minister following reformist leader Matteo Renzi’s resignation in the wake of a crushing referendum defeat.
ii) Mr. Gentiloni, who served as Foreign Minister under Mr. Renzi, was asked by President Sergio Mattarella to form a new Centre-Left government that will guide Italy to elections due by February 2018.
iii) In a brief statement, Mr. Gentiloni said there was an “urgent need for a fully functioning government” to address a series of pressing international, economic and social issues.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY:
i) The first of China’s second-generation weather satellites in geostationary orbit, is also the country’s first quantitative remote-sensing satellite in high orbit.
ii) The satellite, launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in southwest China’s Sichuan Province, was taken into orbit by a Long March-3B carrier rocket. The launch marked the 242nd mission of China’s Long March series of rockets.
iii) The satellite will make high time, spatial and spectral resolution observations of the atmosphere, clouds and space environment of China and surrounding regions, significantly improving capabilities of weather and climate forecasts, according to the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense.
i) Scientists, including one of Indian origin, have created a nanoceramic material, which may be used in next-generation nuclear reactors that will operate at higher temperatures and radiation fields, producing energy more efficiently and economically.
ii) The material can not only withstand the harsh effects of radiation, but also becomes tougher under radiation, researchers said.
iii) Traditionally, water has been used as the primary coolant in reactors, absorbing the heat released from fission reactions.
i) India won the five-Test series 3-0 as they defeated England today in the fourth cricket Test by a innings and 36 runs margin.
ii) Spinner Ravichandran Ashwin was the pick of the bowlers with 6 wickets for 55 runs in the second innings as England were all out for 195 in 55.3 overs.
iii) This is the first time in India that a visiting team could not win the Test match after scoring 400 runs in their first innings.
iv) Ashwin had his 7th 10-wicket achievement in Test cricket tofinish with match-figures of 12 for 167. The next Test in Chennai starting December 16-20 has now been rendered inconsequential.
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