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CURRENT AFFAIRS: DAYS
Minorities Right Day in India
- To protect the rights of the minority communities every year on 18 December Minorities Rights Day is observed in India.
- This day also focuses on bringing a better understanding and educating people about the issues related to minorities and their safety.
Goa’s Liberation Day
- The Liberation Day of Goa is celebrated on 19 December
- On this date in 1961, Goa was released from the Portuguese dominion after army operation and extended freedom movement.
- This day is celebrated in commemoration of the Indian armed forces that helped Goa to received freedom from Portuguese rule.
- Goa chief minister: pramodsawant
- Goa governor: satyapalmalik
CURRENT AFFAIRS: NATIONAL
CPPIB to invest $225 million in Bain, Piramal-led India Resurgence Fund
- Canada Pension Plan Investment Board will invest $225 million in India Resurgence Fund (India RF), a distressed asset buyout platform.
- CPPIB, through its wholly-owned subsidiary CPPIB Credit Investments Inc, will infuse money into the fund, which was set up by Piramal Enterprises and Bain Capital Credit.
- India RF invests in distressed assets by purchasing existing debt and equity securities either through bankruptcy courts or directly from lenders. The fund also has option to invest money through newly-issued india RF had earlier raised $100 million from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) through its Distressed Asset Recovery Program.
- IFC has played the role of an anchor investor for India RF and will use its global expertise, alongside that of CPPIB, to help implement environmental, social and corporate governance standards at the fund.
- Helping to address India’s non-performing loan (NPL) problem will have a very significant positive spillover effect on the economy and and will help create jobs
- India RF also raised capital from other international high-net-worth investors and family offices through the current round.
About Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB):
- Founded– December 31, 1997
- Headquarters– Ontario, Canada
- President & CEO– Mark Machin
Tripura gets its firstAgro Based SEZ to come up in Sabroom.
- Tripura SEZ to open Avenues for Investment and Connectivity
- The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has notified the setting up of the first ever Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Tripura on December 16, 2019.
- The SEZ is being set-up at PaschimJalefa, Sabroom, South Tripura District, which is 130 km away from Agartala. It will be a Sector Specific Economic Zone for Agro-Based Food Processing.
- The estimated investment in the project will be around 1550 Crore. The developer of the SEZ will be Tripura Industrial Development Corporation (TIDC) Ltd. The SEZ is estimated to generate 12,000 skilled jobs. Rubber based industries, textile and Apparel Industries, bamboo and Agri-food Processing Industries will be set-up in the SEZ.
- Setting up of the SEZ in Sabroom will open up new avenues to attract private investment considering the proximity of the Chittagong Port and construction of the bridge across Feni River in South Tripura which is underway.
- After it is set up, 100 percent Income Tax exemption will be provided on export income for SEZ units under Section 10AA of the Income Tax Act for the first 5 years. Also 50 percent exemption will be provided for the next 5 years and 50 percent of the ploughed back export profit for another 5 years.
- Capital: Agartala
- Governor: Ramesh Bais
- Chief minister: Biplab Kumar Deb
QCI Conclave in Uttarakhand
- Quality Council of India (QCI) along with PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) is organizing its 11th Regional Quality Conclave (RQC) on 20th December 2019 at, Rudrapur, district Udham Singh Nagar, Uttarakhand.
- The Conclave will be inaugurated by MadanKaushik,Minister of Urban Development Government of Uttarakhand. Faggan Singh Kulaste,Minister of State, Ministry of Steel, Government of India will also attended.
- The theme of the Rudrapur RQC is “Advance Manufacturing with Quality, Innovation & Technology Interventions.” The objective of the Conclave is to create awareness about significance of quality culture in businesses, deliberate on how organizations could continuously improve and innovate and share the technological advancement like Industry 4.0 and predictive maintenance.
- The Conclave will have sessions on Adding Value in Manufacturing and Supply Chain with Digital Transformation, Mapping Organization’s Route to Quality, Up skilling for Industry 4.0.
- Capital: Dehradun
- Governor: Baby Rani Maurya
- Chief minister: trivendrasinghrawat
Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot releases Braille Edition of Book “Exam Warriors” written by Prime Minister.
- Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot released the Braille Edition of the book “Exam Warriors” authored by Prime Minister ShriNarendraModi .
- The Braille Edition in Hindi and English has been prepared in the Braille Press of Rajasthan Netraheen Kalyan Sangh.
- This release of Braille Edition of “Exam Warriors” is taking place at an opportune time when Exams of Secondary and Higher Secondary Standards are fast approaching.
- All the pictures of the book have been well described for the benefit of blinds readers.
136-km international rail link from Bihar to Kathmandu on track
- A direct rail ride to Nepal’s capital Kathmandu from India may become possible in the near future. Indian Railways has announced that the survey work on the 136-km international railway from Raxaul on the Bihar border has been completed and is targeted for completion by
- The project would cost Rs 16,550 crore excluding the cost of acquisition of land by Nepal.
- Rajesh Kumar, chief spokesperson of East Central Railway (ECR) stated that “The project is the outcome of an initiative by Prime Minister NarendraModi during his visit to Kathmandu on August 31, 2018, when a MoU was signed with the Nepalese PM for the railway project.”
- The initial survey has been completed and the Ministry of External Affairs of India is to fund the project.
- A total of 32 road over bridges, 53 underpasses, 259 minor bridges and 41 major bridges will be designed to facilitate the route, which would pass through 39 tunnels.
Dehradun: LS Speaker Om Birla inaugurates 79th Conference of Presiding Officers of Legislative Bodies.
- LokSabha speaker Om Birla in Dehradun inaugurated the 79th Conference of Presiding Officers of Legislative Bodies.
- The presiding officers of all state legislatures are participating in the two-day conference. Among the items on the agenda is the ‘Tenth Schedule to the Constitution and the role of the Speaker’.
- Addressing the conference Birla stated people of India are very democratic in nature, it was evident as 2019 elections were held with total transparency.
- He also shared his experience as a LokSabha Speaker and statedthat effort are put up to follow the parliamentary norms at all costs.
- He further stated that despite consent or disagreement in Parliament, the aim is to run democracy properly under parliamentary rules.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: STATES
MP police launch e-cop app for women’s safety
- The Madhya Pradesh police have launched ‘MP e-Cop’, a mobile app to facilitate girls to get immediate back-up just by the push of a button.
- The MP e-cop app has been introduced amid national debates over women’s safety triggered by a spate of crimes against women all over the country.
- There is SOS (an international code signal for extreme distress) facility in the app, which would trigger the SMS to Dial 100 and phone numbers fed in the app by the girls/women.
- The police will find the location of the person in distress after it receives the alert.
- People can avail several facilities through a single app. They can inform about missing documents and mobile phones from their homes. Secret information can be shared with police without disclosing the name.
Recent news on apps:
- Delhi Police launches ‘Tatpar’ app for citizens
- UP Police launches ‘C-plan’ app to keep tab on communal tensions
- Telangana Police launch emergency button service for cab riders
- Kavalan SOS app of TN police
- Capital Bhopal
- Chief Minister Kamal Nath
- Governor Lalji Tandon
Chennai first city in India to get online portal to exchange reusable products
- Chennai residents can now buy and sell reusable and recycled products online as the Greater Chennai Corporation launched a new website that facilitates waste-trading.
- The first-of-its-kind website in India, madraswasteexchange.com, has a variety of products made from dry and wet waste such as school bags, slippers, vermi-compost, manure, coconut powder, lemon dishwash among other products.
- All the products are priced suitably and is available in 210 Resource Recovery Points (RRPs) across the city. Residents can visit the website and sign up for free.
- If they are sellers, they can drop the products in the RRPs in their area, and, if they are buyers, they can choose from the available products in the RRP and purchase it on the website using credit/debit card.
- The city currently generates 5,220 metric tonnes of waste daily. Out of this, 2610 MT is wet-waste which is being recycled by the corporation in various composting methods.
- This website is part of the Smart City Mission and currently, the civic body only sells dry and wet waste.
About Tamil Nadu
- Capital Chennai
- Governor Banwarilal Purohit
- Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami
- Guindy National Park
- Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park
- Indira Gandhi (Annamalai) National Park
- Mudumalai National Park
- Mukurthi National Park
CM Kamal Nath inaugurates 5th Khajuraho International Film Festival
- Shri Kamal Nath was inaugurating the 5th International Film Festival in Khajuraho.
- The 5th Khajuraho International Festival organized in joint aegis of Culture and Tourism Departments in collaboration with Prayas Production, Mumbai was inaugurated with the screening of Gandhi Film on the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
- This year the theme of the Film Festival is ‘Comedy’. In this 7-Day festival, films will be screened and the comedians will also give their performances.
- Training in new film technology will be given to youth of our state through skill development centers so that they could get employment.
- It will help in providing means of entertainment to the people and on the other because of increase in the economic activities will also generate new employments.
- The Golden Jubilee edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) held in Panaji, Goa.
- Renowned Superstar Rajinikanth was bestowed with the Icon of the Jubilee Award.
- Renowned French film actor Isabelle Huppert was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Odisha CM launches ‘Jalsathi’ programme
- Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has launched the ‘Jalsathi’ programme to ensure supply of safe drinking water to all households in the state.
- The inclusion of woman volunteers from Mission Shakti for piped water supply will boost their economic empowerment.
- Patnaik also distributed water quality testing kits and POS (point of sale) machines to the women volunteers – ‘Jalasathis’.
- Clean water is most important factor for good health. Inclusion of woman volunteers from Mission Shakti for piped water supply is a cherished step as they will serve the people as ‘Jalasathis’.
- For implementation of the ‘Jalsathi’ programme, the Water Corporation of Odisha (WATCO) and women federations in Bhubaneswar signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU).
- The ‘Jalasathis’ will act as links between consumers and the Public Health Engineering Organisation (PHEO) or WATCO.
- They ‘Jalasathis’ will be responsible for water quality testing, facilitating new water connections, regularising connections, reassessment of demands, meter reading, bill generation, bill delivery, collection of water charges and facilitating complaints redressal.
Recent news related to Odisha:
- Earlier, the state government had engaged the women self-help groups under the ‘Mission Shakti’, for the collection of power dues, paddy procurement and mid day meal preparation activities.
- Odisha CM launches ‘Madhu’ app to help school students.
- Odisha CM launches ‘Mission Suvidya’ to imporve basic services in ST-SC hostels.
- Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on the occasion of 150th birth anniversary of Father of the Nation-Mahatma Gandhi launched the ‘Mu Safaiwala’ campaign.
- Capital Bhubaneshwar
- Governor GaneshiLal
- Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
Gehlot Government starts first Janta Clinic in Rajasthan to treat the needy
- Chief Minister Gehlot inaugurated the first Janta clinic at ValmikiBasti in the Malviya Nagar area to provide free primary health care to people living in slums.
- In its first phase, 12 Janta Clinics will be opened in Jaipur where people would get free medicines, and free medical examination in some cases. Later, in the second and third phases of this scheme, Janta Clinics will be opened in other areas.
- While inaugurating the first Janta Clinic, Gehlot stated that It is to provide free primary health care to poor people living in city slums and we hope to serve as many people as possible.
- To make healthcare facilities accessible to all. The government is also launching Nirogi Rajasthan for the same purpose.To begin with, the government has chosen areas that currently have no major health facilities but they are soon expected to expand their branches across multiple localities.
- Capital: Jaipur
- Governor: Kalraj Mishra
- Chief minister: Ashok Gehlot
China Launches Second Aircraft Carrier, to be Deployed in South China Sea.
- China launched its second aircraft carrier from a key base in the South China Sea, boosting its military ambition in the region where Beijing’s claims of sovereignty is challenged by the US and other nations.
- The ship named after Shandong Province in east China was launched from Sanya, located in the South China Sea coast by President Xi Jinping, who is also the General Secretary of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) and head of the country’s military. The aircraft carrier is China first domestically-built ship.
- China currently has one aircraft carrier Liaoning, a re-fit of the Soviet era ship which was commissioned in 2012. It is largely used for training, specially to test the fighter jet J-15, which has been specifically developed to operate from the decks of the aircraft carriers.
Recent news related to china:
- UNSC members force China to bury request for Kashmir debate.
- China tests mars lander in international corporation push
- Capital– Beijing
- Currency– Renminbi
- President– Xi Jinping
Germany moves to ban gay ‘conversion therapy’.
- The German government signed off on a new law banning “conversion therapies” designed to force heterosexuality on homosexuals.
- The legislation, set to be introduced next year, would see the practice made punishable with up to a year in prison and fines of up to 30,000 euros ($33,000).
- In March 2018, the European parliament passed a resolution condemning the practice and urging member states to ban it.
- Capital : berlin
- Currency : euro
India is world’s third-largest producer of scientific articles.
- With over 1.35 lakh scientific papers published, India has become the world’s third largest publisher of science and engineering articles, according to a US government agency data, topped by China.
- As per the statistics compiled by the US National Science Foundation (NSF), the number of scientific papers published worldwide increased from 1,755,850 in 2008 to 2,555,959 in 2018.
- The data, which was released on Tuesday, stated that in 2008, India published 48,998 science and engineering articles.
- China, which accounts for 20.67 per cent of all global publications in scientific articles, is at the top position, followed by the US at 16.54 per cent.
Google settles USD 327 million tax bill in Australia
- Google agreed to pay Australian tax authorities 482 million Australian dollars (USD 327 million) to settle a long-running dispute over the tech giant’s multibillion-dollar business in the country.
- The Australian Tax Office (ATO) stated the payment covered taxes owed for 2008-2018, and brought to 1.25 billion Australian dollars the amount recovered from global e-commerce titans including Microsoft, Apple and Facebook.
- The ATO launched its crackdown on multinational companies’ accounting practices in 2016 with the adoption of an anti-tax avoidance law and the launch of the taskforce.
- The ATO’s operation would be extended until 2023 to ensure multinational digital players continue to pay taxes on sales revenue from Australian customers.
- CEO: Sundar Pichai
- Founded: 4 September 1998, Menlo Park, California, United States
- Parent organization: Alphabet Inc.
- Headquarters: Mountain View, California, United States
- Founders: Larry Page, Sergey Brin
CURRENT AFFAIRS:BANKING AND FINANCE:
Gem Partners with UCO Bank and Bank of Maharashtra for Payment Related Services
- The Government e- Marketplace signed two MoUs with Bank of Maharashtra and UCO Bank on 16 Dec 2019 to offer a number of services including transfer of funds through GeM Pool Accounts (GPA), advising of Performance Bank Guarantees (e-PBG) and Earnest Money Deposit (EMD) to the registered users on the portal.
- Integration for payments and various banking services is one of the priorities for GeM towards the cherished goal of a paperless, contactless and cashless system. GeM has already signed MoUs with 19 Public Sector and Private Banks to enable these functionalities.
- GeM is also working with Banks, TReDs, and SIDBI to provide bill discounting and financing of working capital where the cost of capital is linked to the performance & rating of a seller on GeM. This will help the sellers in general and the MSMEs in particular to access easy credit and do better business with the government. In addition, GeM is contemplating the creation of EMD pool account for making it easy for sellers to comply with the EMD requirements while responding to bids.
- GeM SPV is the National Public Procurement Portal for ensuring efficient and transparent mechanisms for procurement of goods and services by Central and State government organizations. It is an initiative of the Government of India which offers a one stop inclusive platform for facilitating online procurement. GeM provides tools for Direct Purchase, bidding and reverse auction for ensuring transparent and efficient procurement.
GST Council’s decisions On Rate Changes
- The 38th meeting of the GST Council met under the Chairmanship of the Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman .has decided to keep the tax slabs untouched for the time being and has fixed a uniform tax rate of 28 per cent on both state and private lotteries, effective from March 1, 2020.
The GST Council recommended the following relating to changes in GST rates, exemptions.
- lotteries run by state governments attract 12 per cent GST, while those authorised by them and sold outside the state are taxed at 28 per cent.The decision had been pending since last one year. The Central government had formed a Group of Ministers to look into the matter, but despite several meetings they could not reach a consensus. for the first time since the implementation of GST, there was a voting on the issue, with as many as 21 states voted in favour of 28 per cent GST rates as opposed to seven against it.
- Apart from this, the council rationalised tax rates on woven and non-woven bags to 18 per cent and waived the GST payable for industrial and financial infrastructure plots by an entity with 20 per cent or more ownership of the Central or state government. This change will be effective from January 1, 2020.
- The council has also relaxed penalty for non-filing of GSTR-1 from July 2017.
- “The GST Council has decided to waive late fee for taxpayers who have not filed returns from July 2017 to November 2019, if all the returns are filed by January 10, 2020. This has been done to facilitate filing all past returns, as GSTR-1 is important for invoice matching. In case the taxpayer does not file GSTR-1 by January 10, 2020, the e-way bill will be blocked for them,” said revenue
- The GST council has also extended the annual returns filing date for GSTR-9 and reconciliation form GSTR-9C for FY 2017-18 to January 31, 2020.There was a general apprehension that GST rates will be hiked but sources added that most of the states were against a rate hike.
Government approves Rs 436 crore outlay for skilling 4 lakh persons.
- The government announced Rs 436 crore outlay for skilling 4 lakh professionals in futuristic areas such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, and cybersecurity over the next three years.
- The ‘Future Skills PRIME’ programme will be jointly rolled out by the information technology ministry and industry body Nasscom, and will seek to position the initiative as India stack for digital talent.
- India is upping the ante in digital skilling at a time when it is poised to see over 90 million people joining the overall workforce by 2030.
- Indian IT giants have been investing over Rs 1,000 crore per year to address the reskilling and upskilling requirements of their employees, given the magnitude of the challenge.
- In the last phase, two lakh IT employees were trained under the skilling program, and the new initiative will expand the scope beyond IT professionals to others keen to upskill themselves in areas like AI, Cybersecurity, blockchain.
HDFC Bank crosses $100 billion in market cap
- HDFC Bank Ltd crossed the $100 billion market capitalisation, becoming only the third firm in the country to achieve this milestone.
- The lender is now in the league of Reliance Industries Ltd, which has a market cap of $140.74 billion, and Tata Consultancy Services that has a market cap of $114.60 billion.
- With this, HDFC Bank now ranks 110th in the world’s most valued companies. According to Bloomberg data, currently, there are 109 companies in the list which have market cap of over $100 billion.
- Among the most valued banks and financial companies around the world which have a market cap of over $100 billion, HDFC Bank ranks 26th.
- CEO: AdityaPuri
- Headquarters: Mumbai
- Founded: August 1994, India
- Tag line:We understand your world
CURRENT AFFAIRS :MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS
Patanjali Ayurved completes acquisition of bankrupt Ruchi Soya for Rs.4,350 crore.
- Yoga guru Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali Ayurved on made its first big acquisition when it paid Rs. 4,350 crore to take over soya food brand Nutrela-maker Ruchi Soya through an insolvency process.
- The acquisition will help Patanjali acquire edible oil plants as also soyabean oil brands such as Mahakosh and Ruchi Gold.
- Sources stated that Patanjali settled Rs. 4,350 crore of dues Ruchi Soya had towards financial creditors by infusing Rs.1,100 crore equity and arranging another Rs. 3,250 crore via debt.
- The acquisition of Ruchi Soya by Patanjali Ayurveda has been completed, adding that the amount has been transferred to an escrow account and disbursals to financial creditors are in process.
- Ruchi Soya is the second big insolvency case to be completed this week. World’s largest steel maker Arcelor Mittal together with Japan’s Nippon Steel on completed the acquisition of Essar Steel for Rs. 42,000 crore.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: AWARDS AND HONOURS
CBI officer wins ”India Cyber Cop of the Year” award
- CBI officer B P Raju has won the ”India Cyber Cop of the Year 2019” award by NASSCOM-DSCI for cracking a fraud case in an online entrance exam conducted by an engineering college in Rajasthan.
- The award was given to Raju by Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Ajay Prakash Sawhney, during the annual Information Security Summit held at Gurgaon.
- Raju had investigated the case and exposed the fraud in the online entrance examination.
- The investigation team headed by B P Raju, arrested nine accused persons and collected incriminating evidence from digital devices, which revealed the modus operandi adapted by the accused. The investigation was also completed within the stipulated time period.
Sahitya Akademi announces annual Sahitya Akademi Awards in 23 languages
- Sahitya Akademi announced its annual Sahitya Akademi Awards in 23 languages.
- Seven books of poetry, four of novel, six of short stories, three of essays and one each of non-fiction, autobiography and biography have won the SahityaAkademi Awards 2019.
- Seven books of poetry were awarded to Dr.Phukan Ch. Basumatary (Bodo), Dr.Nand Kishore Acharya (Hindi), Sri Nilba A. Khandekar (Konkani), Sri Kumar Manish Arvind (Maithili), Sri V. Madhusoodanan Nair (Malayalam), Smt. AnuradhaPatil (Marathi) and Prof. Penna Madhusudan(Sanskrit).
- Four novels were awarded to Dr. Joysree Goswami Mahanta (Assamese), Sri L. BirmangolSingh (Beryl Thanga) (Manipuri), Sri Cho. Dharman (Tamil) and Sri Bandi Narayana Swamy (Telugu).
- Six books of short stories were awarded to Sri Abdul Ahad Hajini (Kashmiri), Sri Tarun Kanti Mishra(Odia), Sri Kirpal Kazak (Punjabi), Sri Ram sawroop Kisan (Rajasthani), Sri Kali Charan Hembram(Santali) and Sri Ishwar Moorjani (Sindhi).
- Shashi Tharoor (English), Dr. Vijaya(Kannada) and Prof. Shafey Kidwai (Urdu) have won for each of their works on creative non-fiction, autobiography and biography respectively. Three books of essays were awarded to Dr. Chinmoy Guha(Bengali), Sri Om Sharma Jandriari (Dogri) and Sri Ratilal Borisagar (Gujarati).
CURRENT AFFAIRS: SUMMITS AND CONFERENCE
Geneva hosts first Global Refugee Forum
- The first ever Global Refugee Forum is being held in Geneva, Switzerland. It is being jointly hosted by United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) along with Government of Switzerland.
- Co-convened by Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Germany, Pakistan and Turkey, the Forum is aiming to generate new approaches and long-term commitments from a variety of actors to help refugees and the communities in which they live.
- The main objective is to give impetus to efforts to achieve compact’s objectives and translate international solidarity into concrete action.
- Arrangements for burden and responsibility-sharing, Solutions, Energy and Infrastructure, Protection Capacity, Jobs and Livelihoods and Education are the Six Thematic Areas to be focussed.
Four objectives of GCR
- Share responsibilities more equitably
- Enhance refugee self-reliance
- Expand access to third-country solutions
- Support conditions in countries of origin for safe, voluntary, dignified repatriation
CURRENT AFFAIRS: DEFENCE
Indian peacekeepers in South Sudan receive prestigious UN medal
- India is among the largest troop contributing countries to UN peacekeeping operations.
- Currently, 2,342 Indian troops and 25 police personnel are deployed with the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
- About 850 Indian peacekeepers serving in South Sudan have been awarded the prestigious UN medal for their service and contribution to building peace in the strife-torn nation and supporting the local communities.
- Last month, a total of 323 of Indian peacekeepers serving with the UNMISS as engineers and medical staff were also honoured with UN medals for their distinguished service.
- They are working on rehabilitating 167-km of road from Malakal to Palouge, once the repairs are finished, the road will help facilitate peacekeeping operations, humanitarian access and trade.
CURRENT AFFAIRS :SPORTS
84-year-old Canadian becomes oldest to complete Antarctic Ice Marathon.
- An 84-year-old Canadian national named Roy Jorgen Svenningsen has become the oldest person ever to complete the Antarctic Ice Marathon.
- Roy, a retired oil worker, is from the Canadian city of Edmonton, and he has been running since 1964. He spent a year training for 42-km Antarctic marathon.
- The Antarctic Ice Marathon is the planet’s southernmost race and is considered one of the toughest.
- For an entry fee of 24,800 Canadian dollars (about $19,000), participants are flown to and from Antarctica via Chile’s southernmost airport and are fed and lodged in tented accommodations and provided professional photos of their once-in-a-lifetime run.
- The winner of this year’s race was William Hafferty of the US, who set an event record time of 3 hours, 34 minutes and 12 seconds.
CURRENT AFFAIRS :SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Apple, Amazon, Google partner to make smart devices compatible with each other.
- Apple Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Amazon.com Inc. — three of the biggest smart-home and voice-assistant providers — are joining forces to make internet-connected homes easier to set up and safer to use.
- The rivals announced that they’re working with the Zigbee Alliance, a foundation that promotes standards for the Internet of Things, and its members including Samsung Electronics Co., Somfy SA and IKEA, on a new standard thatwill ensure their products work with one another.
- The alliance is aiming to have its new joint protocol ready by the end of 2020.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: OBITUARY
Eminent theatre and film actor Shriram Lagoo passes away
- Eminent theatre and film actor Shriram Lagoo, who played an important role in the growth of theatre passed away following a cardiac arrest.
- Lagoo’s roles in Marathi plays such as “Natsamrat” and “Himalayachi Saoli”, and films like “Pinjra” made him popular.
- He essayed memorable roles in Bollywood films such as “Ek Din Achanak”, “Gharonda” and “Lawaris”
Mohun Bagan president Gitanath Ganguly passes away
- Mohun Bagan president and retired Justice Gitanath Ganguly passed away, following a cardiac arrest.
- Ganguly took over as the club president after the Swapan Sadhan Bose-led panel swept the elections in November last year.
Daily CA One Liner- 19th December – 2019
- Minorities Right Day in India- 18th December
- Goa’s Liberation Day-19th December
- CPPIB to invest $225 million in Bain, Piramal-led India Resurgence Fund
- Tripura gets its first Agro Based SEZ to come up in Sabroom
- Quality Council of india Conclave in Uttarakhand
- Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot releases Braille Edition of Book “Exam Warriors” written by Prime Minister
- 136-km international rail link from Bihar to Kathmandu on track
- Dehradun: LS Speaker Om Birla inaugurates 79th Conference of Presiding Officers of Legislative Bodies
- MP police launch e-cop app for women’s safety
- Chennai first city in India to get online portal to exchange reusable products
- CM Kamal Nath inaugurates 5th Khajuraho International Film Festival
- Odisha CM launches ‘Jalsathi’ programme
- Gehlot Government starts first Janta Clinic in Rajasthan to treat the needy
- China Launches Second Aircraft Carrier, to be Deployed in South China Sea
- Germany moves to ban gay ‘conversion therapy’
- India is world’s third-largest producer of scientific articles
- Google settles USD 327 million tax bill in Australia
- Gem Partners with UCO Bank and Bank of Maharashtra for Payment Related Services
- Government approves Rs 436 crore outlay for skilling 4 lakh persons
- HDFC Bank crosses $100 billion in market cap
- Patanjali Ayurved completes acquisition of bankrupt Ruchi Soya for RS. 4,350 crore
- CBI officer wins ”India Cyber Cop of the Year” award
- Geneva hosts first Global Refugee Forum
- Indian peacekeepers in South Sudan receive prestigious UN medal
- 84-year-old Canadian becomes oldest to complete Antarctic Ice Marathon
- Apple, Amazon, Google partner to make smart devices compatible with each other
- Eminent theatre and film actor Shriram Lagoo passes away
- Mohun Bagan president Gitanath Ganguly passes away
CA Revision – 18 December – 2019
- International Migrants Day- 18 december
- Government promises broadband access in all villages by 2022; launches National Broadband Mission.
- Yashwant Sinha-led group suggests restoration of statehood to Jammu and Kashmir.
- Mysuru Winter Festival from Dec. 24.
- GEM launches National Outreach Programme – GEM Samvaad.
- Indian Railways starts selling drinking water made from air, costs just Rs.5 per litre
- World’s first liquid hydrogen carrier ship launches in Japan
- ADB, India sign $250 million loan to expand energy efficiency investments in India
- Axis Bank, Indian Oil launch co-branded credit card for cashless payments.
- Five-day music festival ‘Tansen Samaroh’ begins in Gwalior
- 16th Orange Festival begins in Tamenglong
- Rajasthan government sets up Rs 1,000 crore Farmers Welfare Fund
- Sridhar Patra appointed NALCO CMD
- AmitabhaBagchi wins 2019 DSC Prize
- CSIR and the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), France ink MoU for Promotion and Support of Scientific and Technological Research
- IAF Phase of Indo – Russian Tri- Services Exercise Indra 2019 in Pune, Gwalior, Babina and Goa
- Kargil to Kohima Ultra Marathon- ‘Glory Run’
- Brah Mos Missile Successfully Test-fired from Odisha’s Chandipur
- Smriti Mandhana in ICC women’s ODI and T20 teams of the year
- ICC opens anti-corruption investigations into Qatar T10 League.
- England off-spinner Laura Marsh announces international retirement
- A star & planet get Indian names: ‘Bibha‘ after woman scientist & ‘Santamasa‘ in Sanskrit.
- A Dominant Character captures the thoughts of British-Indian scientist JBS Haldane.