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ENG-BOOSTER-DECEMBER

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BANKING
30 December: The RBI committee under the Chairmanship of Deepak Mohanty (Executive
Director, RBI) on pushing Financial Inclusion released its report. The committee recommended a
slew of measures, including a special deposit scheme for the girl child, government-to-person
social cash transfer, and opening interest-free windows (Islamic banking) by banks. This
committee (titled ‘Medium-Term path on Financial Inclusion’) was constituted in July 2015 with
the objective of working out a medium-term (five-year) measurable action plan for financial
inclusion
29 December: Software services company Tech Mahindra Ltd, which is among the 11 firms to
get a payments bank licence, launched a mobile wallet called ‘MoboMoney’. ‘MoboMoney’ will
allow consumers to complete online as well as offline transactions, including payments at
grocery stores, tea vendors and restaurants that accept only cash. The company claims the
platform allows transactions as low as Rs.1. Tech Mahindra claimed that it is India’s first
commercial rollout of a contact-less payment wallet.
28 December: In a major push to their strategic ties, India and Russia decided to expand
cooperation in various sectors as they signed 16 pacts worth €6.4 billion, including on joint
manufacture of 226 military helicopters and construction of 12 atomic plants with involvement
of local companies in India. These agreements were signed during Prime Minister Narendra
Modi's two day visit to Russia.
28 December: The RBI once again extended the date for exchanging pre-2005 currency notes
with new ones to 30 June 2016 from 31 December 2015. This is the fifth time RBI extended the
deadline that started in January 2014. The old notes, of Mahatma Gandhi series, will continue to
remain legal tenders.
28 December: Tata Power has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of
Development of Russian Far East to explore and develop investment opportunities in the energy
sector.
26 December: E-commerce major Amazon has signed an agreement with the National Institute
for Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development (NIESBUD) aimed at encouraging SMEs to
grow business profitably online.
26 December: Indian Railways tied up with ICICI Bank to sell rail tickets through its applications.
It is the first time that IRCTC has tied up with a banking entity to sell tickets through the various
applications of the bank. For this purpose the bank tied up with Railways’ e-ticketing platform
Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC).
24 December: India's third largest software major Wipro Ltd. announced the acquisition of USbased back-office firm Viteos Group for alternative investment management industry for $130
million (Rs.861 crore). The initiative will help India's largest information technology company to
strengthen its position in outsourcing area of the capital market.
24 December: State Bank of India launched a Mobile App “State Bank Samadhaan” on Google
Play Store. This is a Self-Service App and will enable SBI customers to avail a range of services
and obtain commonly sought information, without visiting the branch. The App will provide
information about deposits, advances, Internet Banking, Mobile Banking, EMI calculation, SBI
Branch and ATM Locations.
23 December: Private sector lender Axis Bank has partnered with a digital security company, eMudhra to start online electronic signature service "e-sign". The new service will facilitate a
Aadhaar holder to digitally sign a document within seconds. Axis Bank is the first bank in the
country to launch this service. The online signature is legally valid and completely safe.
21 December: The World Trade Organisation (WTO) formally approved Afghanistan’s
membership at its 10th ministerial conference in the Kenyan capital Nairobi. It thus became the
164th member of WTO, the global trade body engaged in promoting multilateral trade all over
the world. Apart from this Afghanistan has become the 36th least developed country (LDC) to
join the WTO.
21 December: Kotak Mahindra Bank launched ‘Phone Phone Mein Kotak’ campaign which will
enable consumers to see how mobile banking using Kotak’s app and Hashtag Banking features,
has transformed the way people lead their lives. Bank has offered 77 services through its mobile
banking app which includes services like, mobile, DTH recharge, e-commerce exchange.
19 December: Rating agency ICRA downgraded United Bank of India's long-term ratings to
‘stable’ from ‘positive’. The long-term ratings of Kolkata-based United Bank of India were
constrained primarily due to its weak asset quality and low profitability due to high credit
provisioning.
19 December: India's GDP is likely to grow at 7-7.5% for FY 2015-16, lower than the earlier 8.18.5% predicted, according to the Mid-Year Economic Review tabled in the Parliament.
18 December: The Supreme Court ruled that RBI is liable to disclose information about the
banks and financial institutions for their action against the loan defaulters including industrialists
under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005. The Court further ruled that RBI has statutory
duty to uphold public interest and not the interest of individual banks.
18 December: Union Finance Ministry made it mandatory to quote PAN (permanent account
number) for all transactions in excess of Rs. 2 lakh, regardless of the mode of payment, to curb
black money. The new rule, to come into effect from 1 January 2016 will cover purchases of all
goods or services, such as gold jewellery or furniture. This includes all payments made through
cash, cheques or debit or credit cards.
18 December: The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its
approval for signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between India and Spain on
cooperation in Port matters. The agreement has been signed with an aim to strengthening
cooperation and to render sustained mutual assistance and advice on port matters and other
related maritime matters.
18 December: The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has given its
ex-post facto approval to an MoU signed between India and its BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China
and South Africa) counterparts for strengthening and further developing of energy saving and
energy efficiency cooperation based on the principles of equality and mutual benefit.
17 December: The World Bank has approved a $1.5 billion loan for the ambitious clean India
campaign to support the government in its efforts to ensure all citizens in rural areas have
access to improved sanitation and end the practice of open defecation by 2019.
16 December: IDFC Bank appointed Rajan Anandan, Vice President and Managing Director of
Google South East Asia and India, as Independent Director. Rajan Anandan’s appointment
expands the Board to 9 Directors, 7 of whom are Independent Directors.
16 December: Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. announced to acquire the ‘South China Morning Post’,
an iconic Hong Kong-based English-language newspaper, and other media assets of SCMP Group
Ltd for $266 million. This all-cash deal will thus transfer control of the 112-year-old English
language newspaper from Malaysian tycoon Robert Kuok to Chinese billionaire Jack Ma.
15 December: India and Japan signed 16 agreements in the fields of high-speed trains, defence
equipment and technology, security, infrastructure, education and economy including civil
nuclear energy, etc. Japan committed $12-billion loan at negligible interest for the India's first
"Bullet Train". The agreements were signed after the delegation-level talks between Prime
Minister Narendra Modi and visiting Japanese Prime MInister Shinzo Abe.
15 December: India’s Vice-President Hamid Ansari, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif,
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow laid
the foundation of the $7.6 billion and 1800-kilometre TAPI pipeline project in Mary,
Turkmenistan, which will provide India gas for its power plants. They pushed a button which
started the welding process of pipes. This pipeline will get operational by December 2019.
15 December: India announced to impose anti-dumping duties for five years on imports of
Stainless Steel from China, the European Union and the United States with the objective of
protecting the interests of local producers. Imports from South Korea, South Africa, Taiwan and
Thailand will also be taxed. The anti-dumping duties, on cold-rolled flat stainless steel products,
ranged from 4.6% to 57.4%.
12 December: RBI announced that Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR) would be lowered to 20.5% by
January 2017. As of now, banks are mandated to invest 21.5% of their total deposits in
government securities. According to the new time table SLR would be reduced by 25 basis
points to 21.25% as on April 2, 2016. It would fall to 21% by July 9, 2016. It would further be
lowered from October 1, 2016 to 20.75%. In the last round of reduction in the SLR would be one
20.50% by January 1, 2017.
12 December: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) announced that it would lend $1 billion to
state-run Power Grid Corporation for expanding its transmission capacity in the country. ADB
will provide a $500 million government-backed loan and a further $500 million in non-sovereign
lending to India's national transmission company, Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd.
11 December: India and United Kingdom launched a joint initiative 2016: UK-INDIA Year of
Education and Research in New Delhi. It was launched by visiting Secretary of State, Business
Innovation and Skill of the UK Sajid Javid along with Human Resource Development (HRD)
minister Smriti Irani. In 2016, it will allow UK academicians to come to India under Global
Initiative of Academic Networks (GIAN) programme.
11 December: The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its
approval for a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Indonesia in the field
of new and renewable energy. The MoU was signed in Jakarta last month during Vice President,
M. Hamid Ansari’s visit to Indonesia.
11 December: The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its expost facto approval for signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and
Britain on cooperation in the energy sector.
11 December: A New Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on suspension of collection of
taxes during pendency of Mutual Agreement Procedure (MAP) was signed between India and
South Korea. This MoU will relieve the burden of double taxation for the taxpayer in both the
countries during the pendency of MAP proceedings.
9 December: International ratings agency Fitch Ratings announced that India’s investment rating
would remain at ‘BBB-’ -- the lowest investment grade -- with a stable outlook. Fitch forecast
that India’s GDP growth will accelerate to 7.5% in the current fiscal year, which will increase to
8% in 2016-17 supported by the government’s investments and reform measures.
9 December: Tata Trust entered into 5-year partnership agreement with Khan Academy, a free
online education initiative for making localized content accessible to students across the
country. Khan Academy is one of the world’s largest free online education initiatives and has
been established by Silicon Valley-based education entrepreneur Salman Khan.
8 December: Singapore has replaced Mauritius as the top source of Foreign Direct Investment
(FDI) into India during the first half of the current fiscal. During April-September 2015, India has
attracted $6.69 billion (Rs. 43,096 crore) FDI from Singapore while from Mauritius, it received
$3.66 billion (Rs. 23,490 crore), according to data from the Department of Industrial Policy and
Promotion (DIPP).
8 December: In an important development in India-Pakistan relations NSA-Meet-India- Pakistan2015, the National Security Advisor-level talks between the two countries were held in Bangkok,
Thailand. Indian National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and his Pakistani counterpart Nasir Janjua
held a four hour meeting. Discussions covered peace and security, terrorism, Jammu and
Kashmir, and others including tranquility over the Line of Control.
8 December: Karur Vysya Bank announced a donation of Rs. 2 crore to the Tamil Nadu Chief
Ministers Relief Fund to help the Chennai flood victims.
7 December: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) kept its economic growth forecast for India
unchanged at 7.4 per cent for the current financial year and 7.8 per cent for the next fiscal.
7 December: The government-constituted committee on Goods and Services Tax (GST) headed
by Arvind Subramanian, the Chief Economic Advisor (CEA), submitted its report to Union Finance
Minister Arun Jaitley. The committee recommended that the standard GST rate be in the range
of 16.9-17.9%. The standard rate would apply to most goods and services under the new
indirect tax regime. The committee also recommended that 1% tax proposed to be levied on the
inter-state trade of goods to help the manufacturing states be done away with.
5 December: India's third largest private sector lender Axis Bank has become the first bank of
the country to launch a 'display variant' debit card which does away with the hassles of
generating one time password (OTP) over SMS while transacting. The card, which is being made
available for high-value NRE customers, has an embedded EMV chip, a display screen and a
touch-sensitive button which helps generating the OTP on the card itself.
5 December: National Textile Corporation (NTC) Limited signed a MoU with Transparency
International India (TII) for adopting Integrity Pact (IP). With this signing, NTC became the 51st
Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) and 49th Central PSU to sign a MoU with TII. Integrity Pact is a
tool which ensures that all activities and transactions between a Company or Government
Department and their Suppliers are handled in a fair, transparent and corruption-free manner.
4 December: Bihar has emerged as the fastest growing state in terms of Gross State Domestic
Product (GSDP), clocking a growth rate of 17.06 per cent in FY 2014-15, while Maharashtra grew
by 11.69 per cent to become the biggest state with Rs. 16.87 trillion economy. Tamil Nadu and
Uttar Pradesh come in the second place, but far behind Maharashtra, with a GSDP of Rs 9.67
trillion each, according to the report by Brickwork Ratings.
4 December: Tata Group announced signing up an alliance with Industrial and Commercial Bank
of China Ltd (ICBC) to provide it with a host of banking services. Under the alliance, ICBC will
provide the Tata group with financing products, global cash management, consulting,
international trade finance business, investment banking, foreign exchange, derivatives trading,
and other global financial services. The services will be provided to Tata Group in locations
including India, China, the United States and Europe.
4 December: The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved signing
and ratification of Protocol between India and Japan for amending the Double Taxation
Avoidance Convention (DTAC) in order to facilitate tax-related exchange of information. DTAC
was signed between the two countries in 1989 for avoidance of double taxation and prevention
of fiscal evasion through a protocol.
3 December: Export Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) has inked an agreement with Exim Bank of
Malaysia to strengthen financial cooperation. The memorandum of understanding (MoU) will
also help in providing financial mechanisms to support projects of interest of both the banks.
3 December: Private sector lender YES Bank has signed loan agreements worth $265 million
with OPIC and Wells Fargo to support small business growth in India.
3 December: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) admitted China’s Yuan into its benchmark
currency basket. With this Yuan will be added to the Special Drawing Rights (SDR) basket
alongside the dollar, euro, pound sterling and yen. The Yuan (also known as the Renminbi) will
have a 10.92% share in the SDR basket and will officially be included in it from October 2016.
2 December: RBI released its fifth bi-monthly policy review of this fiscal. The key policy interest
rates remain unchanged in the review. Repo rate will remain unchanged at 6.75%. Similarly CRR
also remained unchanged at 4%.
2 December: Indian economy's GDP growth rate during the second quarter (July-September) of
2015-16 stood at 7.4%, as compared with 7% in the previous quarter (April-June 2015) and 8.4%
in the same quarter last year, as disclosed in the data released by the Central Statistics Office
(CSO).
1 December: Albania and India have signed an agreement on the removal of visa requirements
for diplomatic and service passport holders between the two countries. The agreement will
serve the interests of both countries and strengthen friendly relations and cooperation in
various areas of mutual interest.
NATIONAL
 31 December: The Centre has sanctioned over Rs. 5,000 crores for drought-hit Maharashtra and
Madhya Pradesh. Rs. 3049 crores have been allotted for the drought affected regions of
Maharashtra and around Rs. 2000 crores for Madhya Pradesh.
 30 December: In a decision to restrict subsidy only to those who need it, the Ministry of
Petroleum and Natural Gas announced that the benefit of subsidised LPG will not be given to a
consumer whose annual taxable income is more than Rs. 10 lakh in the previous financial year.
This ruling will apply from 1 January 2016.
 30 December: The Ministry of Culture has approved Rs. 400 crore for the scheme “National
Mission on Libraries – Up-gradation of Libraries – Providing Services to the Public” for the 12th
Plan period.
 28 December: The first cable-stayed bridge of north India was inaugurated by Defence Minister
Manohar Parrikar. The bridge that will provide close connectivity between the three states of
Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab, is built on River Ravi at Basholi in Kathua
district of Jammu and Kashmir. The Basohli Bridge is fourth of its kind in India. The other three
cable-stayed bridges are – Hooghly Bridge at Kolkata, Naini Bridge in Allahabad and Rajiv Gandhi
Sea Link in Mumbai.
 28 December: J.P. Nadda, Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare announced four new ITbased initiatives on Good Governance Day celebrated on 25th December. First initiative is
‘Kilkari’--an audio-based mobile service that delivers weekly audio messages to families about
pregnancy, child birth and child care. Second is new mobile-based application, Mobile Academy,
for training of ASHA workers. Third initiative is making the Revised National TB Control
Programme (RNTCP) more patient-centric. Last initiative is ‘M-Cessation’- an IT-enabled tool to
help tobacco users to quit tobacco.
 26 December: Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh (SAAP) Chairman P.R. Mohan announced that
Andhra Pradesh will host National Games in 2019. This announcement was made after the
Indian Olympic Association, at its annual meeting held in Guwahati, agreed to the proposal of
Andhra Pradesh to host the Games.
 26 December: INS Godavari, the first indigenously designed and built warship of the Indian
Navy, was decommissioned in Mumbai. INS Godavari, built by Mazagon Dock Limited in
Mumbai, was the first indigenously designed and built guided-missile frigate of the Indian Navy.
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It was the lead ship of her class and was commissioned into the Indian Navy on 10 December
1983.
24 December: Union Cabinet approved the construction of first phase of the Metro Rail Project
in Lucknow at an estimated cost of Rs. 6,928 crore. Chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi,
the Cabinet approved the Lucknow Metro Rail Project Phase - 1A covering 22.878 km distance
between Chowdhary Charan Singh Airport and Munshi Pulia with 22 stations.
24 December: Union Government took a big step towards putting in place an effective legal
framework for insolvency resolution in a time-bound manner. This was done with introduction
of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2015 in the Rajya Sabha. It fixes a time limit of 180 days
(extendable by a further 90 days) for completion of the corporate insolvency-resolution process.
The current insolvency-resolution process in India is tedious and delay-ridden and it takes
anywhere between 5and 15 years for lenders to recover money in the event of corporate
default. As on date, there is no single law in India that deals with insolvency and bankruptcy
23 December: Gujarat has become the first state in the country to take up Public-Private
Partnership Projects for in-situ redevelopment of slums in urban areas under the recently
launched Prime Minister’s AwasYojana (Urban). The inter-ministerial Central Screening and
Monitoring Committee (CSMC) of the Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation chaired
by Dr.Nandita Chatterjee, Secretary(HUPA) approved 30 PPP Projects proposed by Gujarat
Government for rehabilitation of slum dwellers in Ahmedabd, Surat, Rajkota and Vadodara.
23 December: Seeking to make defence acquisition process simpler and transparent,
government launched a new 'Make in India' website that will provide an interface with industry
and promised to finalise the new revised defence procurement procedure by January.
23 December: The Uttar Pradesh Government and the Tata Trusts signed a long-term
partnership agreement in community development related works. Its aim is to improve the
quality of life of the people of Uttar Pradesh.
 22 December: The Government has announced to set up the country’s first medical devices park
with the cost of Rs. 500 crore in Gujarat, as it looks to encourage medical devices industry under
the 'Make in India' mission. The proposed medical devices park will also have a ‘Centre of
Excellence’ for research.
 19 December: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav banned polythene bags in the state
citing environment degradation as a major reason for the same. Yadav also announced the 'Dial
100' scheme for better handling of crimes in the state.
 18 December: The Supreme Court gave two important decisions pertaining to usage of diesel
vehicles in New Delhi and NCR, in order to control the environmental degradation in the region.
It ordered a ban on registration of diesel-run passenger vehicles of over 2000cc engine capacity
in New Delhi and NCR till 1 March 2016 and it banned the commercial vehicles registered before
2005 from entering Delhi.
 18 December: President of France Francois Hollande will be the Chief Guest at 67th India’s
Republic Day (26 January 2016) celebrations. Hollande accepted the invitation of Prime Minister
Narendra Modi.
 16 December: The Union Govt. constituted a committee to look into the implementation of One
Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme for the Ex-Servicemen. Justice L. Narasimha Reddy, retired
Chief Justice of Patna High Court, will head the Judicial Committee.
 14 December: Prime Minister Narendra Modi released the autobiography of Nationalist
Congress Party founder Sharad Pawar -- “On My Terms: From the Grassroots to the Corridors of
Power”. Through this autobiographical book, Pawar offers the inside story of numerous political
events in which he was involved.
 12 December: Ahead the Varanasi visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his Japanese
counterpart, Shinzo Abe on December 12, Japan Foundation of the government of Japan and
Banaras Hindu University (BHU) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) of educational
cooperation to promote Japanese language in Varanasi. Under this the Japan Foundation will
establish country's largest Japanese Language Center in BHU.
 12 December: Telangana Intellectual Property Crime Unit (TIPCU) , country’s first-of-its-kind
anti-piracy police is being established in the state of Telangana to stop online piracy of movies.
It is expected to start work in the next few months and its main aim will be to stop piracy of
movies done online. TIPCU is modeled on London’s Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit
(PIPCU).
 11 December: Japan will build the first high-speed bullet train for India that will run between
Mumbai and Ahmedabad — with the possibility of extending it to Delhi in future. Japan left
behind China to win this project. The cost of this project is Rs. 98,000 crore.
 11 December: Department of Heavy Industry and Ministry of Skill Development &
Entrepreneurship have signed a MoU for capital goods and automotive sector for large scale
capacity building by providing infrastructure and facilities, improving training content,
curriculum and methodology and use of latest technologies, during DHI-FICCI-HMFI WIN (World
of Industry) India conference.
 10 December: Indian Parliament passed Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Bill, 2015 that
permits the filing of cases at the place where a cheque is presented for clearance and not the
place of issue in cases pertaining to cheque bouncing. The bill seeks to overturn a Supreme
Court ruling which said cases have to be initiated where the cheque-issuing bank branch is
located.
 9 December: Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu flagged off the first Goa to Mumbai doubledecker Shatabdi train through video conference from Panaji, Goa. The fully air-conditioned
double-decker train is the first-of-its-kind in India and it will promote tourism.
 8 December: After Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand has become the second state to join the union
government’s UDAY (Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana) Scheme, aimed at revival of debt-stressed
power distribution companies. The Jharkhand government has conveyed its in-principle
approval for joining UDAY Scheme.
 8 December: Vyachakurahalli village (in Gauribidanur taluk of Chikkaballapur district) in
Karnataka was officially declared as India’s first “smokeless village”. Every households in the
village gained access to LPG connections. This became possible as Indian Oil Corporation (IOC)
piloted the ‘Mission Smokeless village’ project, under which 274 households in the village were
provided LPG connection.
 7 December: To address pipeline safety concerns, state-run energy major GAIL and National
Remote Sensing Centre, a unit of ISRO, have launched an innovative surveillance geo-portal
called 'Bhuvan-GAIL Portal' for utilising space technology for its pipeline application.
 7 December: The first India International Science Festival (IISF) was organised at IIT-Delhi. The
aim of this festival is to support flagship programs like Make in India, Digital India, Start-ups
India, Smart Villages, Smart Cities, etc. initiated by the Govt. of India.
 7 December: Microsoft founder and one of the world's richest men Bill Gates met Bihar Chief
Minister Nitish Kumar to discuss support to health, education and other sectors for
 human development. Bill Gates has assured support to Bihar to improve health and education
sector.
 5 December: Social media giant Facebook, which has over two million Indian small and medium
businesses (SMBs) on its platform, has set up a SME Council in India to help small ventures from
various industries share feedback and discuss ideas around leveraging technology to grow their
enterprise. This is the second SME Council set up by Facebook globally, the first one being in the
USA.
 5 December: Union Minister of Finance, Arun Jaitley along with Minister of Social Justice &
Empowerment, Thaawar Chand Gehlot launched “Accessible India Campaign” (Sugamya Bharat
Abhiyan), a nationwide campaign that will enable persons with disabilities to gain universal
access, equal opportunity for development, independent living and participation in
 all aspects of life in an inclusive society. Under the campaign, atleast 50% of all the government
buildings of National Capital and all the State capitals will be made fully accessible for persons
with disabilities by July 2018.
 5 December: With the launch of the Rotavirus vaccination project by Chief Minister Virbhadra
Singh, Himachal Pradesh has become the first state in the country to start this project. The
vaccine will help in controlling the child mortality rate (under five years of age) due to diarrhoea.
INTERNATIONAL
 31 December: Asia's largest underground railway station opened in the China's Shenzhen city,
enabling high-speed trains to slash the travel time between Guangzhou and Hong Kong to half
an hour. The Futian High-speed Railway Station covers a total area of 147,000 sq. metres, or the
size of about 21 football fields.
 30 December: The Iraqi Government has liberated Ramadi, an important Iraqi city from the
Islamic State. Ramadi is situated around 90 km west of Baghdad, which was captured by the
militant group Islamic State in May 2015.
 29 December: Nepal government has decided to grant free visas to visitors from neighbouring
China. During his China tour Nepal's Foreign Minister Kamal Thapa also issued instructions to
implement it immediately.
 29 December: China officially junked its controversial one child policy, allowing couples to have
a second child amid deepening demographic crisis of shrinking workforce and aging population
in the world's second largest economy. Chinese lawmakers passed a historic decision allowing all
couples to have two children from January 1, ending its over three and half decades old policy.
 29 December: Afghanistan's new Parliament complex, built by India, was inaugurated by Afghan
President Ashraf Ghani and the Indian PM Narendra Modi in Kabul. This inauguration function
was held on the occasion of Modi’s state visit to Afghanistan. The new Parliament building is
located across from the now-ruined ‘Darul Aman Palace’, the now-gutted palace of King
Amanullah Khan.
 26 December: Zimbabwe has announced that it will make the Chinese yuan legal tender after
Beijing confirmed it would cancel $40m in debts.
 24 December: Slovenia rejected same-sex marriage in the country in a referendum held in the
country. About 63.4% of voters of Slovenia rejected the law in a referendum that would have
given same-sex couples the right to marry and adopt children.
 24 December: China launched the Dark Matter Particle Explorer (DAMPE) Satellite to shed light
on mysterious dark matter. It was the country's first space telescope and launched on a Long
March 2-D rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. The purpose of the satellite is to
search for smoking-gun signals of dark matter, invisible material that scientists say makes up
most of the universe's mass.
 22 December: The United States lifted a 40-year-old ban on export of crude oil. The US
administration lifted the ban on the export of US crude oil, a policy enacted during the 1970s. In
the 1970s America banned crude-oil exports in an effort to stabilize domestic prices.
 22 December: The 10th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO)
concluded with some landmark agreements on a series of trade initiatives. This WTO
Conference was held at Nairobi (Kenya). It is the first such meeting hosted by an African nation.
The Conference was chaired by Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International
Trade, Amina Mohamed.
 22 December: The UN declared 2016 as the International Year of Pulses (IYP) to create greater
awareness about the importance of Pulses for human health.
 21 December: The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) has issued commemorative silver coins to
mark the establishment of ASEAN - Association of Southeast Asian Nations - Community. The
ten Asean members inked the 2015 Kuala Lumpur Declaration on the Establishment of the
ASEAN Community which will be formed on December 31.
 19 December: India announced to contribute $500,000 to a UN rapid response funding
mechanism for the 2015-16 period to support global humanitarian relief operations.
 17 December: 34 Islamic countries announced to form an “Islamic military alliance” to fight
terrorism. Saudi Arabia is leading this alliance, which will primarily target the Islamic State (IS).
This alliance will have a joint operations centre based in Saudi Arabia’s capital, Riyadh.
 17 December: New Zealand confirmed the black, white and blue design, called Silver Fern, to
become country’s new flag, after the final votes were counted in a referendum for the same.
About 1.5 million votes were casted in the referendum
 17 December: Russian spacecraft Soyuz with three new crew onboard was launched to the
International Space Station (ISS) from the space launch facility of Kazakhstan. The crew included
Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko (Russia), NASA astronaut Timothy Kopra (US) and
European Space Agency’s Timothy Peake (Britain). The mission is to spend 6 months aboard the
space station.
 15 December: A historic climate agreement was adopted unanimously at the UN Climate
Change Summit (COP21) in Paris with 196 countries adopting a goal of “well below 2 degrees C”
for temperature rise, and instituting a regime of financing of developing economies to help
make the transition. The agreement is scheduled to go into effect from 2020 while first global
evaluation of the implementation of the agreement is to take place in 2023, and thereafter
every five years to help all countries.
 15 December: Gambian President Yahya Jammeh declared his Muslim-majority country an
Islamic republic. 90% of Population of Gambia is Muslim.
 15 December: At least 20 women have won seats in Saudi Arabia's municipal polls, the country's
first-ever elections open to female voters and candidates. Salma bint Hizab al-Oteibi created
history by becoming the first woman elected representative of Saudi Arab by winning the
municipal council elections of Madrakah, a region in Mecca.
 14 December: The U.S. Administration updated its technology transfer policy associated with
Gas-turbine engine technology transfer agreement, a major defence cooperation agreement
with India. This will help India in developing this technology in India. This was done during
India's Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar's US visit.
 14 December: Pakistan successfully test-fired the medium-range Shaheen-III surface-to-surface
ballistic missile which can carry nuclear warheads up to 2,750 kms bringing many Indian cities
within its range.
 12 December: The U.S. military successfully test-fired a missile defense system 'SM-3 missile'
interceptor designed to protect NATO forces in Europe from attack. An Air Force C-17 aircraft
launched a medium-range target over the ocean southwest of Hawaii.
 12 December: North American country Mexico, approved the use of the first-ever vaccine
against dengue fever, which will be publicly available for the first time. This vaccine is developed
by French pharmaceutical group Sanofi's medicine department 'Sanofi Pasteur'. This vaccine is
only for the 9 to 45 years age group.
 10 December: India will host the next multilateral meeting on Afghanistan, the 'Heart of Asia'
conference, in the last quarter of 2016. This year Heart of Asia conference is organised in
 Islamabad, Pakistan. The aim of this conference is to coordinate the efforts of the countries in
the region to support Afghanistan in achieving peace and stability
 10 December: Democratic Unity Roundtable won the National Assembly elections with a
comfortable majority in Venezuela. This overturned the nearly two decades of dominance of the
ruling Socialists. The opposition Democratic Unity Roundtable won 112 of the total 167 seats in
Venezuelan National Assembly, while President Nicolás Maduro’s ruling PSUV got just 55 seats.
 10 December: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar visited the US Pacific Command headquarters
in Hawaii, in order to deepen military ties between the two strategic partners. Hence, he
became the first-ever Indian Defence Minister to visit the key center.
 9 December: The 8th edition of the Indo-Russian joint naval exercise INDRA NAVY-15
commenced in the Bay of Bengal, off the coast of Andhra Pradesh. INDRA is the name given to
the bi-annual naval exercise held between India and Russia. The primary aim of this exercise is
to increase interoperability between the two navies and develop common understanding of
procedures for maritime security operations.
 8 December: India received its first uranium consignment of about 2730 tonnes from Canada.
The uranium is shipped to India for the country’s nuclear power reactors.
 7 December: A broad coalition of nations, river basin organizations, business and civil society
announced the creation of the International Paris Pact on Water and Climate Change
Adaptation. The announcement was made at the Water Resilience Focus event held under the
Lima to Paris Action Agenda on climate change.
 7 December: Ola– India’s largest app-based taxi aggregator announced forming an alliance with
four companies--- China’s Didi Kuaidi, US-based Lyft and Southeast Asia’s GrabTaxi . The main
objective of this alliance is to strongly take on Uber, their biggest rival globally. This global
alliance has been promoted by Japan’s SoftBank and China’s leading online marketplace Alibaba.
 5 December: With 16 Indian educational institutes among top 200 universities, India occupied
third place in Times Higher Education BRICS and Emerging Economies rankings for 2016. At 16th
place, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore is the only Indian institute to feature in the top 20.
China dominates the rankings, with Peking University and Tsinghua University at first and
second position respectively.
 5 December: Brazil’s economy contracted by 1.7 percent during July-September 2015 compared
to April-June period in 2015. It was Brazil's third consecutive quarter of contraction starting from
January 2015 and thus, making it the country's longest recession since the 1930s. Inflation rose
to over 10 percent, the highest in 12 years, in October 2015. Unemployment rate was pegged at
8.9 percent during July-September 2015 up from 6.8 percent in 2014-15.
 4 December: Four European countries - Germany, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland announced a new $500 million initiative that will find new ways to create incentives aimed at
large scale cuts in greenhouse gas emissions in developing countries to combat climate change.
The World Bank Group worked with the countries to develop the 'Transformative Carbon Asset
Facility' initiative.
 2 December: The United Nations Climate Change Conference or the 21st United Nations
Conference of the Parties (COP21) started in Paris on 30 November 2015. This ambitious and
historic conference aims to unite around 150 nations for a single agreement on tackling climate
change. COP21 aims to cap the rate of global warming at 2 degrees Celsius, as compared to the
current 2.5 to 3.76 degrees celsius.
 2 December: During the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, 21 countries including India
launched an ambitious initiative to double their clean energy research and development budget
over the next five years as part of global efforts to tackle climate change. Under ‘Mission
Innovation’ countries pledged $20 billion to promote clean technologies.
 1 December: India and Japan exchanged documents for Japan's Official Development Loan
Assistance (ODA) worth Rs. 5,536 crore to India for Chennai and Ahmedabad Metro Rail
Projects.
 1 December: The 2-day Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting for 2015 (CHOGM 2015)
concluded. This 24th edition of the biennial meet of the 53 Commonwealth countries was held
in Malta. External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj represented India in the meeting instead of
Prime Minister Narendra Modi. London will host the next edition of CHOGM in 2018, as the next
summit originally scheduled for 2017 in Vanuatu, was cancelled.
APPOINTMENT
 31 December: The Georgian Parliament confirmed Giorgi Kvirikashvili as the country`s new
prime minister. Kvirikashvili, 48, became Georgia`s third prime minister since the Georgian
Dream coalition came into power in October 2012. Kvirikashvili was nominated by the Georgian
Dream ruling coalition as new prime minister following surprise resignation of Irakli Garibashvili.
 31 December: Senior IAS officer Aradhana Johri has been shifted out as Disinvestment Secretary
to Cabinet Secretariat. Johri, a 1980 batch IAS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre, has been replaced
by Neeraj Kumar Gupta, Special Secretary in Department of Public Enterprises. Now Johri has
been appointed as Chairperson of National Authority for Chemical Weapons Convention under
Cabinet Secretariat. Sanjay Mitra has been named as the new Road Transport and Highways
Secretary.
 30 December: The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, presided by Prime Minister
Narendra Modi gave Amitabh Kant, Secretary of Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion,
the additional responsibility of being Chief Executive Officer of NITI Aayog, effective from 31
December 2015. Kant will replace the incumbent NITI Aayog CEO Sindhushree Khullar whose
extended tenure will end on 31 December 2015.
 29 December: Satyavati Berera has been appointed as the COO of a ‘Big Four’ accounting firm in
India. She is the first woman officer to acquire this post. She will take charge as COO on January
1, 2016, becoming second only to chairman Deepak Kapoor in hierarchy. Berera will replace Neil
Wilson, who is moving to London as global operations partner with PwC.
 28 December: Senior diplomat Gautam Bambawale, currently India’s envoy to Bhutan, has been
appointed as next High Commissioner to Pakistan. An IFS officer of 1984-batch, Bambawale will
replace T.C.A. Raghavan, who is retiring at the end of this month.
 26 December: Senior IAS officer Pawan Kumar Agarwal was appointed as Chief Executive Officer
(CEO) of food regulator Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). He succeeded
Yudhvir Singh Malik, who was shifted as Additional Secretary in Niti Aayog in September 2015.
 26 December: The United Nations has appointed a new peacekeeping chief in Mali, amid
criticism of the country's peace process. Chad's foreign minister Mahamat Saleh Annadif will
replace Tunisia's Mongi Hamdi, who held the position for just a year.
 23 December: Lakshmi Vilas Bank (LVB) has appointed Parthasarathi Mukherjee as its MD &
CEO. Mukherjee succeeds Rakesh Sharma, who joined Canara Bank as MD & CEO in September.
 21 December: Former Defence Secretary R.K. Mathur was appointed as Chief Information
Commissioner (CIC), thus breaking away from the convention of appointing the head from
among the serving Information Commissioners. The post had fallen vacant after Vijai Sharma
completed his tenure on 1 December 2015.
 21 December: Apple Inc., an American consumer electronics company, has appointed Jeff
Williams as its new chief operating officer, a job that hasn't been filled since Tim Cook left the
position more than four years ago to become CEO.
 18 December: The Supreme Court, in an unusual order, invoked its constitutional powers and
appointed Justice Virendra Singh as Lokayukta of Uttar Pradesh after the State government
failed to comply with its directives to appoint Lokayukta. The Supreme Court appointed former
High Court judge, Justice Virendra Singh, as Lokayukta of Uttar Pradesh under Article 142 of the
Indian Constitution.
 17 December: Senior revenue service officer Arun Kumar Jain was appointed Chairman of
Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT). Jain will have short tenure of two months, till January
2016.
 17 December: Union Government appointed senior diplomat Akhilesh Mishra as India's High
Commissioner to Maldives. Mishra, a 1989 batch IFS officer replaced Rajeev Shahare who has
been appointed as India's ambassador to Denmark.
 16 December: Pravin Gordhan, a widely respected Indian-origin politician, has been appointed
South Africa's new Finance Minister by President Jacob Zuma, becoming the third finance chief
of the country in a week amid a raging economic turmoil.
 15 December: Muniba Mazari (disabled from both legs) has become Pakistan’s first female UN
Goodwill Ambassador. ‘UN Women’, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the
Empowerment of Women appointed her on this post to advance gender equality and the
empowerment of women and girls.
 14 December: Prakash Kumar Singh has taken charge as Chairman of Steel Authority of India
(SAIL). Prior to this assignment, 57 year old Singh was the chief executive officer of SAIL's
Durgapur unit, a position he took over in 2012.
 14 December: Mumbai Police Commissioner Ahmad Javed was appointed as India's next
Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, six months after last Ambassador Hamid Ali Rao had retired. Javed
is expected to take charge after his retirement next January.
 9 December: General Motors (GM) India appointed Kaher Kazem as the President and Managing
Director of the company with effect from 1 January 2016. Kazem will succeed Arvind Saxena.
Kazem is an Australian executive who became GM India's Chief Operating Officer (COO) in
August 2015.
 8 December: Renowned Scientist M. Nair Rajeevan has been appointed as Secretary, Ministry of
Earth Sciences. 54-year-old Rajeevan is presently Director, Indian Institute of Tropical
Meteorology in Pune.
 7 December: India will head the first Asian Youth Hostelling Union. Union will represent all
youth hostel organisations in the continent that will promote efforts to provide adequate
accommodation to young people. Mohammad Shafi Pandit, a retired IAS officer from Jammu
and Kashmir, will be chairperson of the newly created body which will take forward the youth
hostelling movement in the Asian region.
 5 December: Indian-American Dr. Vijay M. Rao was named as the chairperson of the prestigious
Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) Board of Directors.
 4 December: Senior Janata Dal (United) leader Vijay Kumar Chaudhary was unanimously elected
new Speaker of the 16th Bihar Legislative Assembly.
 4 December: Senior public health specialist Henk Bekedam has taken charge as the World
Health Organisation (WHO) representative to India. Henk Bekedam is a Dutch national and a
medical doctor by training.
 2 December: Anil Khanna has been re-elected as the President of Asian Tennis Federation (ATF).
He was elected for four years in the Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
At present, he is the president of the All India Tennis Association (AITA).
 2 December: India has been re-elected unopposed to the Council of the International Maritime
Organization [IMO] under Category 'B' at the 29th session of the Assembly of the IMO held in
London.
 1 December: Dominica-born lawyer Patricia Scotland, who is a former attorney general to the
British government, was elected as the new Secretary-General of the Commonwealth during its
summit (2015) in Malta. She thus became the first-ever woman to be elected for running the 53country organisation. She will thus replace Indian diplomat Kamalesh Sharma on 1 April 2016,
who will complete his second term then.
 1 December: A.R.K. Kini, IPS (BH:81), Special DG, BPR&D took over the additional charge of the
post of Director General, Bureau of Police Research & Development (BPR&D). He succeeded
N.R. Wasan, IPS (AP:80), DG BPR&D.
 11 December: Latvia’s first female Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma announced her
resignation. Straujuma resigned from the post after the elections held for the Parliament of
Latvia for the formation of a new government. She became the first female Prime Minister of
Latvia in 2014.
 22 December: FIFA President Sepp Blatter and UEFA boss Michel Platini have been suspended
for eight years from all football-related activities following an ethics investigation.
AWARD
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31 December: Noted Gujarati writer Raghuveer Chaudhary has been selected for the Jnanpith
award for the year 2015. 77-year-old Chaudhry will be honored with 51st Jnanpith award at a
ceremony next year.
31 December: Mizoram footballer Lallianzuala Chhangte became the youngest ever goal-scorer
for India in an international match. 18-year old Lallianzuala Chhangte made his name into
history books as he scored two goals in India’s thrashing of Nepal in a match of the South Asian
Football Federation Cup (SAFF Cup).
29 December: 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
received the award from Communication and IT Minister Ravishankar Prasad
28 December: Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) topped the Fortune 500 List of Indian companies for
2015 with an annual revenue of Rs. 4,51,911 crore. This was the sixth consecutive time that IOC
grabbed the top spot. Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) was second in the
list. Tata Motors is on the third place. State Bank of India moved to the fourth position.
28 December: In the ORB International's ‘International World Leader Index’ survey, people from
across 65 countries around the world voted. In terms of popularity the US President Barack
Obama tops the list. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on 7th number. According to the
survey, Obama is followed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is second on the list and
British Prime Minister David Cameron is on the third place.
26 December: American Football team and Toronto FC Captain Michael Bradley has been
awarded U.S. Soccer's Male Player of the Year for his unmatched performances.
24 December: Australia captain Steve Smith has been named the International Cricket Council
(ICC) Test player and cricketer of the year while South Africa’s A.B. de Villiers has been awarded
the best ODI player for 2015.
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24 December: Haryana Government has appointed film actor Dharmendra and MP Hema Malini
as brand ambassador of the tourism department to promote tourism in the state. Haryana
government has decided this to promote tourism industry in the state.
23 December: Britain's Davis Cup hero Tennis star Andy Murray won the BBC Sports Personality
of the Year award for 2015. The world number two, who was picking up the honour for the
second time, led Great Britain to their first Davis Cup title since 1936 last month.
22 December: Miss Philippines Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach was crowned Miss Universe 2015 at the
final of 64th edition of Miss Universe held in Las Vegas, the USA. First runner-up was Miss
Colombia Ariadna Gutiérrez and Miss US Olivia Jordan was second runner-up. Urvashi Rautela
who represented India in the contest couldn't make it to the top 15.
22 December: Mireia Lalaguna Royo, the 23-year old professional model from Barcelona (Spain)
won the 2015 Miss World beauty pageant in Sanya (China). The victory marked the first-ever
win for a Spanish contestant. Sofia Nikitchuk of Russia was the runner-up and Indonesia's Maria
Harfanti took third place in the final following a lengthy competition featuring 114 women.
21 December: Pakistani actress Jeba awarded Indian film director Madhur Bhandarkar in the
Rafi Peer International Film Festival 2015. The National Award-winning filmmaker is best known
for his films like "Chandni Bar", "Page 3", "Traffic Signal" and "Fashion.
19 December: Cairn India, India's largest private sector oil and gas exploration and production
company has been awarded CII-ITC Sustainability Awards for the year 2015 for its improved
performance in the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) sector.
19 December: The President of India, Pranab Mukherjee received Garwood Award for
‘Outstanding Global Leader in Open Innovation’ from UC Berkeley-Haas School of Business at
Rashtrapati Bhavan. The University of California, Berkeley, one of the most prestigious
educational institutes in the world, has established the Garwood Award to acknowledge
individuals who have embraced, supported and encouraged open innovation in a significant and
impactful way.
19 December: InterGlobe Aviation, an Indian private sector aviation company which operates
‘IndiGo’ brand of airlines, created history by becoming the first-ever aviation company to enter
the top-50 most valuable companies in terms of market capitalization (m-cap) on the BSE. It
stood at 47th place in overall. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) topped the list.
19 December: India has been ranked 97th out of 144 nations, behind Kazakhstan and Ghana, on
Forbes’ annual list of the best countries for business in 2015, scoring poorly on metrics like trade
and monetary freedom and tackling challenges like corruption and violence. Denmark topped
the list.
18 December: Veteran actress Rekha has been selected for 3rd National Yash Chopra Memorial
Award. The award was constituted by the T. Subbarami Reddy in association with Shashi and
Anu Ranjan 3 years back. Rekha will be presented with the award in a ceremony to be organised
on January 25 2016.
17 December: Rajasthan’s Apurvi Chandela bagged a Gold medal in the 10-metre Air Rifle event
on the final day of the 59th National Shooting Championship in Delhi.
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17 December: Renowned Israeli-US violinist Itzhak Perlman was announced as the 2016 Genesis
Prize Laureate for his accomplishments as a musician, teacher and advocate for people with
disabilities. Perlman will receive the award on 23 June 2016 from Israel’s Prime Minister
Binyamin Netanyahu at a ceremony in Jerusalem.
16 December: Global software giant Wipro announced that it won the 2015 Aegis Graham Bell
Award for developing a solution for the Internet of Things (IoT). Wipro’s IoT solution and
development, Universal Data Parser (UDP), fetched the prestigious award.
15 December: Dilip Kumar, Indian cinema’s one of the greatest actors, was conferred with the
Padma Vibhushan, India's second-highest civilian honour. The 93-year-old actor received the
award from Home Minister Rajnath Singh at his residence in Mumbai.
14 December: Jamaludeen Mohamed Sali, a 76-year-old Indian-origin writer whose 57 books are
read in universities has been declared as the winner of this year's prestigious South East Asia
Write Award. Better known as J.M. Sali, he has been writing for over 50 years. The author has
written 57 books, 80 plays and more than 400 short stories.
14 December: Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan acquired the No. 1 position in the 2015
Forbes India Celebrity 100 list, with a whopping Rs. 257.5 crore earnings. With Rs. 202.75 crore
earnings Salman Khan has acquired second rank in the list. Salman was followed by megastar
Amitabh Bachchan (Rs.112.00 crore). Indian cricket ODI captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni
maintained his position at No. 4 in the list.
12 December: Reliance Industries and Hindustan Petroleum CEO Nishi Vasudeva are among a
handful of global energy companies and individuals, awarded for their leadership, innovation
and performance at the 17th annual Platts Global Energy Awards, often called the Oscars of
energy. Reliance Industries has been awarded under the category of corporate social
responsibility, while Vasudeva has bagged the top honours for chief executive of the year.
12 December: India’s legendary actor Naseeruddin Shah and the great French actor, Catherine
Deneuve were presented with Lifetime Achievement award in the 12th edition of the Dubai
International Film Festival opened in Dubai. Naseeruddin Shah's most popular films include
“Sparsh”, “Paar”, “Aakrosh” and “Chakra”. Naseeruddin Shah also worked in Hollywood movie
‘The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen'.
11 December: German Chancellor Angela Merkel was named as 2015 Person of the Year by
Time Magazine. The magazine has given her this award for her commendable leadership in
Europe’s crisis over migration and Greek debt.
11 December: Frank Islam, an Indian-American entrepreneur and philanthropist, will be
conferred with Uttar Pradesh Ratna Award on 4 January 2016 at the inaugural UP Pravasi Diwas
in Agra by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. The Uttar Pradesh Government will be
honouring Islam to recognise his achievements and outstanding contributions in a foreign
country.
10 December: Professor U. Ramamurty of the Indian Institute of Science has bagged the 2015
Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) prize, which carries a cash prize of $15,000, in the
engineering category.
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10 December: India's Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), a leading global IT services and
consultancy company, bagged four awards in the European Software Testing Awards, 2015. The
awards were organised by TEST Magazine, the UK's leading software testing magazine. These
four awards are: The Best Agile Project award, The Best Mobile Project award, Testing Innovator
of the Year award and The Leading Vendor award.
9 December: China’s top badminton player Chen Long was awarded the Male Player of the Year
award and Spain's Carolina Marin was awarded Female Player of the Year award by World
Badminton Federation (BWF).
9 December: The Indian multinational information technology company Tech Mahindra was
awarded the prestigious 'Forbes Top 100 Middle East - Global Meets Local 2015' Award in Dubai.
The award was organized by Forbes Middle East. The winners are judged on criteria's of Global
strength, experience in region, Geographical reach, Employment impact & Position in the Middle
East region.
7 December: The Union Territory of Chandigarh has been conferred with CSI-Nihilent eGovernance Awards for 2014-15 under the category of state for sustained excellence in egovernance. This award recognises Chandigarh for its key projects like Sampark, gram-sampark,
e-kosk, online payment of utility bills, campus wide area network, online college admission
portal, grievance redressal system and e-stamping.
4 December: Pulin Kumar, senior legal and compliance director of Adidas India group , has been
conferred with the Indian National Bar Association's ‘General Counsel of the year 2015 - Retail
Award’. Kumar received the award for his contribution to the legal field in and outside the
country for more than 21 years.
3 December: The film “Embrace of Serpent” won the prestigious Golden Peacock award in the
46th International Film Festival of India (IFFI 2015) that concluded in Goa. Colombian film
‘Embrace of Serpent’ was declared the best film of IFFI 2015. The best director award went to
Peter Greenaway for ‘Eisenstein’. The only Indian name in the winner’s list was that of Bengali
filmmaker Kaushik Ganguly, who was given the inaugural ‘ICFT – UNESCO Fellini Medal’ for his
movie ‘Cinemawala’.
2 December: Hinduja Brothers were honoured with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award
at the annual Asian Business Leadership Forum (ABLF) Series in Dubai.
2 December: Wealth-X released the World’s 20 Most Generous People list. Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates ($27 billion) was adjudged as the top philanthropist in the world, Wipro’s
Chairman Azim Premji ($8 billion) was the only Indian in the list and stood at the fourth
position. Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway ($21.5 billion) came on the second place.
George Soros, Founder of Soros Fund Management ($8 billion) ranked third on the list.
1 December: Salt-to-software conglomerate Tata Group has been ranked as India's most
creative brand, according to a TRA Research study. Brands insights company TRA Research,
formerly Trust Research Advisory, conducted the study in 16 cities.
SPORT
 31 December: Rakhi Haldar and Kavita Devi bagged gold in their respective weight categories in
the Senior National Weightlifting Championships in Patiala, Punjab. Rakhi lifted 94kg in the
snatch and 119kg in clean and jerk to come up with a total lift of 213kg in Women's 69kg to win
the gold medal. In Women's 75kg, Kavita Devi lifted 95kg in snatch and 122kg in clean and jerk
for a total of 217kg to clinch the yellow metal.
 30 December: Gujarat won its maiden Vijay Hazare Cricket Trophy. In the final match played in
Bengaluru, they beat Delhi by 139 runs.
 30 December: Premier Badminton League (PBL) announced Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar
as the brand ambassador for the much-awaited badminton League tournament beginning
January 2, 2016.
 30 December: Indian Golfer S. Chikkarangappa won the McLeod Russel Tour golf Championship
Title. Bangalore's 22 years old Golfer Chikkarangappa made a double delight by sealing his
maiden Rolex Player of the Year title for the PGTI order of merit. Chikkarangappa became the
youngest Golfer to win the Rolex Ranking title (order of merit).
 30 December: Ashok Kumar, International UWW Referee from India has been qualified for
officiating in the 2016 RIO Olympic Games scheduled to be held at Rio-de-Janeiro Brazil from 5th
to 21st August 2016 as Wrestling referee. Ashok Kumar is presently serving in the Indian AirForce as Warrant Officer.
 29 December: Mumbai Garuda emerged as the champions of the inaugural Pro Wrestling
League after they defeated Haryana Hammers 7-2 in the finals to clinch the title in New Delhi
 29 December: Lionel Messi has topped Spanish paper Marca’s list of the top 10 players of 2015.
Cristiano Ronaldo was eighth on the list
 29 December: The five-time Olympian and two-time Asian champion India's star player Shiva
Keshavan grabbed a silver medal in the 18th edition of the Asian Luge Championship concluded
in Japan. The first place was claimed by defending champion Hidenari Kanayama of Japan. On
the other hand, South Korea's Kim Dong-hyeon grabbed the third place and won bronze medal
 28 December: Sanjita Chanu and Korada Ramana bagged gold medals in the women’s 48
kilogram and men’s 56 kilogram categories, respectively in the Senior National Weightlifting
Championships at the SAI centre in Patiala.
 24 December: The International Tennis Federation (ITF) named the Indo-Swiss pair of Sania
Mirza and Martina Hingis as the 2015 ITF women's doubles World Champions. American Serena
Williams and Serbian Novak Djokovic were named the women's and men's singles World
Champions, respectively.
 24 December: A 50-year-old disabled Keralite has swum his way into the URF Asian Records.
With 40 per cent disability, E. D. Baburaj, swam 10km at the widest part of the Vembanad lake,
which flows through in Kerala. The URF Asian Records is on a par with the Asian record title and
is recognised globally.
 23 December: New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum announced his retirement from
international cricket. The 34-year-old batsman has confirmed that the two-Test series against
Australia in February will be his last.
 23 December: Bengaluru FC (BFC) midfielder Eugeneson Lyngdoh and striker Bala Devi was
named the 2015 All India Football Federation (AIFF) Player-of-the-Year and woman Footballerof-the-Year respectively.
 22 December: Barcelona FC has won the 2015 FIFA Club World Cup for a record third time. In
the final match played at International Stadium Yokoham in Japan the winning team defeated
River Plate FC.
 22 December: The 2015 Indian Super League (ISL) for football, which is India’s most prestigious
professional football league, was won by Chennaiyin FC. They defeated hosts Goa FC by in a
dramatic final at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium at Fatorda (Goa). This was the second edition of
ISL. The first edition of ISL was won by Atletico de Kolkata in 2014.
 21 December: Pakistani actress Jeba awarded Indian film director Madhur Bhandarkar in the
Rafi Peer International Film Festival 2015. The National Award-winning filmmaker is best known
for his films like "Chandni Bar", "Page 3", "Traffic Signal" and "Fashion.
 19 December: Cairn India, India's largest private sector oil and gas exploration and production
company has been awarded CII-ITC Sustainability Awards for the year 2015 for its improved
performance in the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) sector.
 19 December: The President of India, Pranab Mukherjee received Garwood Award for
‘Outstanding Global Leader in Open Innovation’ from UC Berkeley-Haas School of Business at
Rashtrapati Bhavan. The University of California, Berkeley, one of the most prestigious
educational institutes in the world, has established the Garwood Award to acknowledge
individuals who have embraced, supported and encouraged open innovation in a significant and
impactful way.
 19 December: InterGlobe Aviation, an Indian private sector aviation company which operates
‘IndiGo’ brand of airlines, created history by becoming the first-ever aviation company to enter
the top-50 most valuable companies in terms of market capitalization (m-cap) on the BSE. It
stood at 47th place in overall. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) topped the list.
 19 December: India has been ranked 97th out of 144 nations, behind Kazakhstan and Ghana, on
Forbes’ annual list of the best countries for business in 2015, scoring poorly on metrics like trade
and monetary freedom and tackling challenges like corruption and violence. Denmark topped
the list.
 18 December: Veteran actress Rekha has been selected for 3rd National Yash Chopra Memorial
Award. The award was constituted by the T. Subbarami Reddy in association with Shashi and
Anu Ranjan 3 years back. Rekha will be presented with the award in a ceremony to be organised
on January 25 2016.
 17 December: Rajasthan’s Apurvi Chandela bagged a Gold medal in the 10-metre Air Rifle event
on the final day of the 59th National Shooting Championship in Delhi.
 17 December: Renowned Israeli-US violinist Itzhak Perlman was announced as the 2016 Genesis
Prize Laureate for his accomplishments as a musician, teacher and advocate for people with
disabilities. Perlman will receive the award on 23 June 2016 from Israel’s Prime Minister
Binyamin Netanyahu at a ceremony in Jerusalem.
 16 December: Global software giant Wipro announced that it won the 2015 Aegis Graham Bell
Award for developing a solution for the Internet of Things (IoT). Wipro’s IoT solution and
development, Universal Data Parser (UDP), fetched the prestigious award.
 15 December: Dilip Kumar, Indian cinema’s one of the greatest actors, was conferred with the
Padma Vibhushan, India's second-highest civilian honour. The 93-year-old actor received the
award from Home Minister Rajnath Singh at his residence in Mumbai.
 14 December: Jamaludeen Mohamed Sali, a 76-year-old Indian-origin writer whose 57 books are
read in universities has been declared as the winner of this year's prestigious South East Asia
Write Award. Better known as J.M. Sali, he has been writing for over 50 years. The author has
written 57 books, 80 plays and more than 400 short stories.
 14 December: Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan acquired the No. 1 position in the 2015
Forbes India Celebrity 100 list, with a whopping Rs. 257.5 crore earnings. With Rs. 202.75 crore
earnings Salman Khan has acquired second rank in the list. Salman was followed by megastar
Amitabh Bachchan (Rs.112.00 crore). Indian cricket ODI captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni
maintained his position at No. 4 in the list.
 12 December: Reliance Industries and Hindustan Petroleum CEO Nishi Vasudeva are among a
handful of global energy companies and individuals, awarded for their leadership, innovation
and performance at the 17th annual Platts Global Energy Awards, often called the Oscars of
energy. Reliance Industries has been awarded under the category of corporate social
responsibility, while Vasudeva has bagged the top honours for chief executive of the year.
 12 December: India’s legendary actor Naseeruddin Shah and the great French actor, Catherine
Deneuve were presented with Lifetime Achievement award in the 12th edition of the Dubai
International Film Festival opened in Dubai. Naseeruddin Shah's most popular films include
“Sparsh”, “Paar”, “Aakrosh” and “Chakra”. Naseeruddin Shah also worked in Hollywood movie
‘The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen'.
 11 December: German Chancellor Angela Merkel was named as 2015 Person of the Year by
Time Magazine. The magazine has given her this award for her commendable leadership in
Europe’s crisis over migration and Greek debt.
 11 December: Frank Islam, an Indian-American entrepreneur and philanthropist, will be
conferred with Uttar Pradesh Ratna Award on 4 January 2016 at the inaugural UP Pravasi Diwas
in Agra by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. The Uttar Pradesh Government will be
honouring Islam to recognise his achievements and outstanding contributions in a foreign
country.
 10 December: Professor U. Ramamurty of the Indian Institute of Science has bagged the 2015
Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) prize, which carries a cash prize of $15,000, in the
engineering category.
 10 December: India's Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), a leading global IT services and
consultancy company, bagged four awards in the European Software Testing Awards, 2015. The
awards were organised by TEST Magazine, the UK's leading software testing magazine. These
four awards are: The Best Agile Project award, The Best Mobile Project award, Testing Innovator
of the Year award and The Leading Vendor award.
 9 December: China’s top badminton player Chen Long was awarded the Male Player of the Year
award and Spain's Carolina Marin was awarded Female Player of the Year award by World
Badminton Federation (BWF).
 9 December: The Indian multinational information technology company Tech Mahindra was
awarded the prestigious 'Forbes Top 100 Middle East - Global Meets Local 2015' Award in Dubai.
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The award was organized by Forbes Middle East. The winners are judged on criteria's of Global
strength, experience in region, Geographical reach, Employment impact & Position in the Middle
East region.
7 December: The Union Territory of Chandigarh has been conferred with CSI-Nihilent eGovernance Awards for 2014-15 under the category of state for sustained excellence in egovernance. This award recognises Chandigarh for its key projects like Sampark, gram-sampark,
e-kosk, online payment of utility bills, campus wide area network, online college admission
portal, grievance redressal system and e-stamping.
4 December: Pulin Kumar, senior legal and compliance director of Adidas India group , has been
conferred with the Indian National Bar Association's ‘General Counsel of the year 2015 - Retail
Award’. Kumar received the award for his contribution to the legal field in and outside the
country for more than 21 years.
3 December: The film “Embrace of Serpent” won the prestigious Golden Peacock award in the
46th International Film Festival of India (IFFI 2015) that concluded in Goa. Colombian film
‘Embrace of Serpent’ was declared the best film of IFFI 2015. The best director award went to
Peter Greenaway for ‘Eisenstein’. The only Indian name in the winner’s list was that of Bengali
filmmaker Kaushik Ganguly, who was given the inaugural ‘ICFT – UNESCO Fellini Medal’ for his
movie ‘Cinemawala’.
2 December: Hinduja Brothers were honoured with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award
at the annual Asian Business Leadership Forum (ABLF) Series in Dubai.
2 December: Wealth-X released the World’s 20 Most Generous People list. Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates ($27 billion) was adjudged as the top philanthropist in the world, Wipro’s
Chairman Azim Premji ($8 billion) was the only Indian in the list and stood at the fourth
position. Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway ($21.5 billion) came on the second place.
George Soros, Founder of Soros Fund Management ($8 billion) ranked third on the list.
1 December: Salt-to-software conglomerate Tata Group has been ranked as India's most
creative brand, according to a TRA Research study. Brands insights company TRA Research,
formerly Trust Research Advisory, conducted the study in 16 cities.
1 December: Britain's tennis player Andy Murray won the 2015 Davis Cup Tennis title by
defeating Belgium's David Goffin in the 2015 Davis Cup finals held at Ghent in Belgium. Great
Britain have won the Davis Cup for the first time since 1936.
1 December: Indian badminton ace P.V. Sindhu won the women’s singles title of Macau Open by
defeating Japan’s Minatsu Mitani. With this title win, Sindhu completed a hat-trick of titles at
the Macau
Open.
1 December: British boxer Tyson Fury created history in the world of boxing when he defeated
legendary Ukrainian boxer Wladimir Klitschko’s on points basis in a title fight. With this
Klitschko’s 11-year reign as the world heavyweight champion came to an end. This bout was
held in Dusseldorf (Germany) and Fury won it on points basis.
EULOGY
 28 December: Veteran actress Sadhana Shivdasani passed away. She was 74. She had worked in
about 35 films. Some of her famous movies were Mera Saya, Woh Kaun Thi and Waqt.
 15 December: Noted agriculture-economist, politician, journalist and well-known farmer leader
Sharad Joshi passed away at the age of 81 in Pune. He had founded ‘Shetkari Sanghatana’famous farmer’s organisation in Maharashtra.
 5 December: Noted industrialist and former parliamentarian M.A.M. Ramaswamy passed away.
He was 84-years old. He was the Chairman of Tamil Nadu's famous Chettinad Group. The group
is engaged in diverse areas like cement, granite and engineering services.
 4 December: Former US National Security Adviser Sandy Berger passed away. He was 70 years
old. He served as National Security Adviser during the tenure of former US President Bill Clinton.
 3 December: Renowned sarangi player Ustad Sabri Khan passed away in New Delhi. He was 88.
The Government of India honoured him with the prestigious Padma Shree Award in 1992 and
Padma Bhushan Award in 2006.
MISCELLENEOUS
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31 December: Indian Navy achieved a significant milestone in enhancing its Anti Air Warfare
capability with the maiden firing of its newly developed Long Range Surface to Air Missile
(LRSAM). The firing was undertaken on the Western Seaboard by INS Kolkata, wherein the
missile successesfully intercepted an Aerial Target at extended ranges.
31 December: American Movie “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” became the fastest movie to
pass the $1 billion mark in global box office sales. The statement released by US production
house Disney mentioned that the movie made this record in just 12 days after it first hit screens.
It thus broke the record of ‘Jurassic World’ which took 13 days to reach $1 billion mark.
31 December: World's highest observation deck 'Burj Khalifa At The Top' has been voted as the
'Best Attraction' in the world for 2015 in an international poll. The observation deck of Burj
Khalifa offers visitors to soak up views of whole of Dubai through telescope. 'Burj Khalifa At The
Top' surpassed Disney World's Magic Kingdom and Britain's London Eye in the poll conducted by
Attractiontix, an online ticket specialist for attractions around the world.
30 December: China launched its most sophisticated observation satellite, Gaofen-4, as part of
the country's high-definition (HD) earth observation project. Gaofen-4 was launched from the
Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in the southwestern province of Sichuan aboard a Long March3B carrier rocket. It was the 222th flight of the Long March rocket series.
29 December: Public broadcaster Prasar Bharati and top Russian pay-tv programmer Digital
Television Russia (DTR) have inked a pact for joint production and exchange of TV programs and
related services. This alliance will focus on high-quality production, marketing and distribution of
content related to art, culture, trade & science, research and technology among others.
26 December: The Philippines became the first Asian country to approve the sale of the world's
first-ever dengue vaccine, Dengvaxia. The Philippines’ Food and Drug Administration approved
the dengue vaccine. It is for individuals in the age group of 9 to 45 years.
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23 December: Secretary, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Lov Verma,
formally launched the ‘Eyeway National Helpdesk’ for the blind and visually impaired at the
Department Headquarters in Paryavaran Bhawan. Eyeway National Helpdesk is an initiative of
Score Foundation with support from the Department and other organizations like Essel
Foundation, Tech Mahindra Foundation and the Hans Foundation. Now visually impaired
citizens of India will be able to call the Eyeway Helpdesk on a toll free number, 1800-300-20469,
and get queries addressed.
22 December: Tata Motors has entered the top-50 league of the world's biggest companies in
terms of their R&D investments, topped by German automaker Volskwagen. It is the only Indian
company in the list. This list is prepared by European Commission, Volkswagen is followed by
Samsung, Microsoft, Intel and Novartis. Tata Motors has moved up from 104th position last year
to 49th now.
19 December: Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Entertainment and acclaimed Hollywood director
Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks Studios jointly formed a new film, television and digital content
creation company. Its name is Amblin Partners.
18 December: Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully launched the PSLV-C29
rocket into the space from its Sriharikota spaceport in Andhra Pradesh that carried with it 6
satellites of Singapore. These satellites will be used to help the country gather information on
disaster monitoring and urban planning. Of the six satellites, TeLEOS-1 is the primary satellite.
TeLEOS-1 is the first Singapore commercial earth observation satellite.
16 December: The 2015 edition of the Global Human Development Report was released by the
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). India was placed at 130th place in the index
thus gaining one place from its 131st place during 2014. 2015 HDI ranking is based on data from
188 countries. Norway topped the 2015 HDI ranking, followed by Australia, Switzerland and
Denmark.
16 December: India's IT major Infosys invested USD 3 million in U.S.-based sports equipment
manufacturer startup company WHOOP to pick up a minority shareholding in the company.
WHOOP’s system includes a device worn by athletes on their wrist. This enables athletes and
coaches to gain visibility into the drivers of high performance, guide training and make optimal
game day decisions.
14 December: In an important decision, the Competition Appellate Tribunal (CAT) quashed the
Rs. 6,316.59 crore penalty imposed on 11 cement firms by the Competition Commission of India
(CCI). The CCI had passed the orders after an investigation into complaints, against alleged price
cartelisation among cement firms. On 20 June 2012, the CCI imposed a heavy penalty of Rs.
6,316.59 crore on these 11 cement companies.
12 December: Delhi has the highest per capita income in India during 2014-15 as reported in
Delhi government’s Delhi Statistical Hand Book, 2015. It mentioned that Delhi’s per capita
income in 2014-15 rose 13.5% to Rs. 2,40,849 from Rs. 2.12 lakh in the previous year.
Puducherry recorded the second highest per capita income in the country at Rs. 1,75,006,
followed by Haryana at Rs. 1,47,076 during 2014-15.
12 December: Ministry for Skill Development has set up Self-Employment and Talent Utilisation
(SETU) mechanism with the objective of supporting all aspects of start-up businesses and
entrepreneurs who are engaged in self- employment activities.
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11 December: China put a new communication satellite successfully into orbit from the
southwestern Xichang Satellite Launch Center. The “ChinaSat 1C” satellite was carried by the
Long March-3B carrier rocket. It will provide high-quality voice, data and radio and TV
transmission services.
10 December: India ranks fourth in black money outflows with a whopping USD 51 billion
siphoned out of the country per annum between 2004-2013, according to the annual report
released by Global Financial Integrity (GFI), a Washington-based research and advisory
organisation. China tops the list with USD 139 billion average outflow of illicit finances per
annum, followed by Russia (USD 104 billion per annum) and Mexico (USD 52.8 billion per
annum).
10 December: USS Zumwalt headed out to sea for the first time. USS Zumwalt is the name of the
newest and the largest destroyer ship ever made for the U.S. Navy. It is 183 meter tall and
weighs almost 15,000 tons. USS Zumwalt is named after former US naval officer Elmo Russell
Zumwalt, Jr. The huge ship is a guided missile destroyer having incredible stealth capabilities.
5 December: Aricent, a US-based product engineering firm, tied-up with Nasscom Foundation to
launch Aricent Employability Programme. This programme is CSR initiative to create
employability opportunities for 2500 engineering graduates. The programme will be offered to
under graduate students across Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Delhi NCR and Rajasthan.
4 December: Four persons of Indian origin are featured in 'Foreign Policy' magazine's list of 100
Leading Global Thinkers who have generated ideas that could promise humankind a better
future. These four thinkers are Nina Tandon, Rajan Anandan, Ayesha Khanna and Zainab
Ghadiyali.
3 December: Thaawar Chand Gehlot inaugurated First International Film Festival for Persons
with Disabilities at Siri Fort Auditorium, New Delhi. The film festival started with the screening of
the film Yellow. Yellow is a Marathi film directed by Mahesh Limaye.
3 December: India has been ranked a low 131 out of 167 nations on Global Index of Information
Technology Access, that measures the level of information and communication technology
access, even as the number of households with Internet and computer has increased in the
country over the last five years. South Korea is ranked at the top of the index. South Korea is
followed by Denmark and Iceland, in second and third place.
3 December: In an important development in the field of global solar energy scenario, India
launched International Agency for Solar Technologies and Applications (IASTA), an international
solar alliance at the UN Climate Summit at Paris. It seeks to mobilize public finance from richer
countries to help deliver universal global energy access. IASTA will have its headquarters in
India. The Indian government is investing an initial $30m in setting up its headquarters in India.
1 December: In an important event associated with India’s defence forces, the Long Range
Surface to Air Missile (LRSAM), jointly designed and developed by Israel’s IAI and India’s DRDO,
was successfully flight tested from an Israeli naval platform. LRSAM (or Barack 8, as it is called in
Israel) is an advanced, long-range missile defence and air defence system. Its main features are
long range, active radar seeker missile, vertical launch and multiple simultaneous engagements.
RECURRING TERMS
(1) LRSAM
In an important event associated with India’s defence forces, the Long Range Surface to Air Missile
(LRSAM), jointly designed and developed by Israel’s IAI and India’s DRDO, was successfully flight tested
from an Israeli naval platform. LRSAM (or Barack 8, as it is called in Israel) is an advanced, long-range
missile defence and air defence system. Its main features are long range, active radar seeker missile,
vertical launch and multiple simultaneous engagements.
(2) SDR
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) admitted China’s Yuan into its benchmark currency basket. With
this Yuan will be added to the Special Drawing Rights (SDR) basket alongside the dollar, euro, pound
sterling and yen. The Yuan (also known as the Renminbi) will have a 10.92% share in the SDR basket and
will officially be included in it from October 2016.
(3) INDRA NAVY-15
The 8th edition of the Indo-Russian joint naval exercise INDRA NAVY-15 commenced in the Bay of
Bengal, off the coast of Andhra Pradesh. INDRA is the name given to the bi-annual naval exercise held
between India and Russia. The primary aim of this exercise is to increase interoperability between the two
navies and develop common understanding of procedures for maritime security operations.
(4) 'HEART OF ASIA' CONFERENCE
India will host the next multilateral meeting on Afghanistan, the 'Heart of Asia' conference, in the last
quarter of 2016. This year Heart of Asia conference is organised in Islamabad, Pakistan. The aim of this
conference is to coordinate the efforts of the countries in the region to support Afghanistan in achieving
peace and stability.
(5) 2016: UK-INDIA Year of Education and Research
India and United Kingdom launched a joint initiative 2016: UK-INDIA Year of Education and Research in
New Delhi. It was launched by visiting Secretary of State, Business Innovation and Skill of the UK Sajid
Javid along with Human Resource Development (HRD) minister Smriti Irani. In 2016, it will allow UK
academicians to come to India under Global Initiative of Academic Networks (GIAN) programme.
ABBREVIATION
LiDAR - Light Detection and Ranging technology
DMFs - District Mineral Foundations
BSEC - Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission
JAXA - Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency
NIIF - National Investment and Infrastructure Fund
AMRIT - Affordable Medicines and Reliable Implants for Treatment
ITPO - India Trade Promotion Organisation
APEC- Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation
TPP- Trans-Pacific Partnership
IFS- Indian Foreign Service
CIL- Coal India Limited
RRSK- Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh
NFDB- National Fisheries Development Board
LiDAR- Light and Radar
OIR- Operation Inherent Resolve
ISIS- Islamic State of Iraq and Syria
CIBIL- Credit Information Bureau of India Limited
NABARD- National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development
EDI- Electronic Data Interchange
DRI- Differential Rate Of Interest
IMPORTANT DAYS
December 1: World AIDS Day
December 2: International Day for the Abolition of Slavery
December 3: World Conservation Day
December 5: World Soil Day
December 7: International Civil Aviation Day
December 9: The International Day against Corruption
December 10: Human Rights Day
December 11: International Mountain Day
December 14: World Energy Day
December 18: International Migrants Day
December 20: International Human Solidarity Day
December 29: International Biodiversity Day
SPECIAL FEATURE OF THIS MONTH
(1) CHOGM 2015
The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting for 2015 (CHOGM 2015) concluded. This 24th edition
of the biennial meet of the 53 Commonwealth countries was held in Malta. External Affairs minister
Sushma Swaraj represented India in the meeting instead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. London will
host the next edition of CHOGM in 2018, as the next summit originally scheduled for 2017 in Vanuatu,
was cancelled.
Dominica-born lawyer Patricia Scotland, who is a former attorney general to the British government, was
elected as the new Secretary-General of the Commonwealth during its summit (2015) in Malta. She thus
became the first-ever woman to be elected for running the 53-country organisation. She will thus replace
Indian diplomat Kamalesh Sharma on 1 April 2016, who will complete his second term then.
(2) COP21
The United Nations Climate Change Conference or the 21st United Nations Conference of the Parties
(COP21) started in Paris. This ambitious and historic conference aims to unite around 150 nations for a
single agreement on tackling climate change. COP21 aims to cap the rate of global warming at 2 degrees
Celsius, as compared to the current 2.5 to 3.76 degrees celsius.
During the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, 21 countries including India launched an ambitious
initiative to double their clean energy research and development budget over the next five years as part of
global efforts to tackle climate change. Under ‘Mission Innovation’ countries pledged $20 billion to
promote clean technologies.
In an important development in the field of global solar energy scenario, India launched International
Agency for Solar Technologies and Applications (IASTA), an international solar alliance at the UN
Climate Summit at Paris. It seeks to mobilize public finance from richer countries to help deliver universal
global energy access. IASTA will have its headquarters in India. The Indian government is investing an
initial $30m in setting up its headquarters in India.
A historic climate agreement was adopted unanimously at the UN Climate Change Summit (COP21) in
Paris with 196 countries adopting a goal of “well below 2 degrees C” for temperature rise, and instituting a
regime of financing of developing economies to help make the transition. The agreement is scheduled to go
into effect from 2020 while first global evaluation of the implementation of the agreement is to take place
in 2023, and thereafter every five years to help all countries.
(3) 46th International Film Festival of India (IFFI 2015)
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The 10-day long International Film Festival of India (IFFI) for year 2015 commenced at Panaji (Goa) from
20 to 30 November 2015.
IFFI, which is country’s biggest film extravaganza, featured as many as 187 films in World Cinema
section. This is 46th edition of IFFI.
The festival was inaugurated with actor Anil Kapoor presiding over the opening ceremony as the chief
guest.
Spain has been selected as the Focus Country at the IFFI-2015.
The film “Embrace of Serpent” won the prestigious Golden Peacock award in the 46th International Film
Festival of India (IFFI 2015) that concluded in Goa. Colombian film ‘Embrace of Serpent’ was declared the
best film of IFFI 2015. The best director award went to Peter Greenaway for ‘Eisenstein’. The only Indian
name in the winner’s list was that of Bengali filmmaker Kaushik Ganguly, who was given the inaugural
‘ICFT – UNESCO Fellini Medal’ for his movie ‘Cinemawala’.
(4) Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan
Union Minister of Finance, Arun Jaitley along with Minister of Social Justice & Empowerment, Thaawar
Chand Gehlot launched “Accessible India Campaign” (Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan), a nationwide campaign
that will enable persons with disabilities to gain universal access, equal opportunity for development,
independent living and participation in all aspects of life in an inclusive society. Under the campaign,
atleast 50% of all the government buildings of National Capital and all the State capitals will be made fully
accessible for persons with disabilities by July 2018.
(5) NSA-Meet-India- Pakistan-2015
In an important development in India-Pakistan relations NSA-Meet-India- Pakistan-2015, the National Security
Advisor-level talks between the two countries were held in Bangkok, Thailand. Indian National Security Advisor
Ajit Doval and his Pakistani counterpart Nasir Janjua held a four hour meeting. Discussions covered peace and
security, terrorism, Jammu and Kashmir, and others including tranquility over the Line of Control.