BFSI & Economy

  • The Union Government has signed US $250 million loan agreement with World Bank for “Skills Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion” (SANKALP) Project to support livelihood. World Bank’s financing arm International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) will provide this loan. The closing date for the project is 31st March, 2023.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has commissioned scorpene-class submarine INS Kalvari into the Indian Navy in Mumbai, Maharashtra. It is first of the six Scorpene-class submarines built under the strategic Project 75 built by Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) with assistance and technology transfer from France’s DCNS. The commissioning comes days after Indian Navy observed the golden jubilee of its submarine wing.
  • India was ranked 100th among 149 countries on the list of prosperous countries released as part of The Legatum Prosperity Index 2017. The index offers an insight into how prosperity is forming and changing across the world.
  • The Asian Development Bank (ADB) in its Asian Development Outlook Supplementhas lowered India’s economic growth forecast for current fiscal i.e. FY 2017-18 by 0.3% to 6.7% from earlier 7%.The reasons cited for this downward revision of growth forecast of largest economy South Asia are lingering effect of demonetisation, transitory challenges to Goods and Services Tax (GST) and weather-related risks to agriculture.
  • The government today extended the Deadline for linking Aadhaar with PAN to March 31, 2018. It said this is to provide relief to taxpayers who haven’t yet completed the linking of the two.
  • Markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has imposed a penalty of ₹10 lakh on Tata Steel over delays in making necessary disclosures. Tata Steel on multiple occasions failed to disclose its increased shareholding in a group firm, Tinplate Company of India, within the prescribed time.
  • World’s largest retailer Wal-Mart Stores is changing its legal name to ‘Walmart’ after 47 years, effective February 1.
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has launched an SMS campaign titled  “Suno RBI Kya Kehta Hai” along with a missed-call helpline to warn people against scams promising prize money from the RBI.
  • According to a recently released report by global brokerage firm Morgan Stanley, India’s GDP growth is likely to accelerate from 6.4% this year to 7.5% in 2018, and to 7.7% in 2019.
  • India’s largest lender State Bank India (SBI) has changed names and IFSC codes of nearly 1,300 of its branches, post its merger with associate banks.
  • India’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki today became India’s sixth most valued firm, crossing India’s largest lender SBI.  Reliance Industries is the country’s most valued company with a market value of ₹5.8 trillion, followed by TCS, HDFC Bank, ITC and Hindustan Unilever.
  • The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) has asked mutual fund companies to ensure that individual clients compulsorily submit Aadhaar details from January 2018.
  • India is going to host the 3rd Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of AIIB at Mumbai on 25th and 26th June 2018. Theme of this Meeting : “Mobilizing Finance for Infrastructure: Innovation and Collaboration”.
  • Billionaire Elon Musk-backed digital payments startup Stripe has launched its private beta version in India. The US-based startup has launched the invite-only service with a small group of companies to test the platform and get feedback on its features
  • The World Bank announced that it will stop financing upstream oil and gas projects after 2019. The move is aimed at helping nations meet their targets of curbing greenhouse gas emissions as part of the 2015 Paris climate agreement.
  • Chandigarh Administrator VP Singh Badnore has launched Smart city cards for facilitating payments for various government and commercial utilities in the Union Territory. The card, which can be availed by Aadhaar card holders, costs ₹500 of which ₹150 is non-refundable. While users can transfer up to ₹50,000 to the card, one-time passwords will be sent for transactions worth over ₹2,000.
  • The US Federal Reserve has raised the benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points, the third such increase in 2017.
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has penalised IndusInd Bank with 3 crore for violating guidelines in the assessment of bad loans and extension of non-fund based facilities.

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International

  • The US’ decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital was condemned by United Nations’ member states during an emergency meeting of the global body today over the issue.
  • Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has launched the UAE’s first astronaut programme.The programme is designed to train four Emirati astronauts for various space missions, eventually sending them to the International Space Station (ISS) within five years.
  • Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Culture and Information Awwad bin Saleh Al-Awwad today announced that Public cinemas would be allowed in the country for the first time in over 35 years.

Sports

  • India won five medals at the 10th Asian Airgun Shooting Championships in Japan.
  • The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has confirmed that India will host the 2021 ICC Champions Trophy and 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup. This will be the first time that India will entirely host the World Cup, after having previously hosted the tournament partially in three editions.
  • Indian Cricketer Rohit Sharma became the 1st-ever player in ODI history to hit three Double Hundreds, slamming his third in the Mohali ODI against Sri Lanka today.

Science and Technology

  • China-based firm Three Gorges Group has started producing power from part of a 150-megawatt Floating Solar Plant in east China, the largest of its kind in the world.
  • The Indian Space and Research Organisation (ISRO) is developing small satellite launch vehicles to launch low-cost small satellites.
  • Eminent scientist and father of DNA fingerprinting in India Lalji Singh passed away following heart attack. He was 70. He was one of the leaders instrumental in making DNA fingerprinting mainstream in India, both at level of research as well as for forensic applications.

National & Business

  • Rajasthan has become the first state in India to launch free email addresses in Hindi for its residents. The facility will be available at name@rajasthan.bharat (in Devanagari script). The initiative aims to ensure maximum participation of people towards e-governance and ensure that maximum government facilities are available in vernacular language.
  • The National Commission for Minorities (NCM) has set up 3 Member committee to study the matter to give minority status to Hindus in 8 states where their population is less than 50%.
  • 10th December) is Human Rights Day.This day is observed annually on December 10, to honour the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations in the year 1948.
  • The government is going to issue Universal ID cards to persons with disabilities which will be valid throughout India, Union minister Krishan Pal Gurjar said.
  • Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar today launched India’s first-ever mobile food testing laboratory. Built at a cost of ₹41 lakh, the laboratory is mounted on a bus which will travel across the state checking food samples on the spot.
  • Kacheguda Railway Station in Hyderabad has become the first energy-efficient ‘A1 Category’ railway station in India. It falls under the Hyderabad division of the South Central Railway (SCR).