Weekly Current Affairs December 2017 2nd Week

1. India gets admission into Wassenaar Arrangement

The Ministry of External Affairs on Friday welcomed the decision of the Wassenaar Arrangement to admit India as the 42nd member of the organisation which aims to regulate trade and use of dual use technology.

  • Officials said that following admission into the club, India will get access to high technology, which will help address the demands of Indian space and defence sectors.

Points to Remember

  • Wassenaar Arrangement, is a multilateral export control regime (MECR) with 42 participating states including many former Comecon (Warsaw Pact) countries.
  • The Wassenaar Arrangement was established to contribute to regional and international security and stability.

2. International Human Rights Day: 10 December

Human Rights Day is celebrated annually across the world on 10 December every year.

  • The date was chosen to honour the United Nations General Assembly’s adoption and proclamation, on 10 December 1948, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).
  • This year’s theme is “Let’s stand up for equality, justice and human dignity”.

3. International Anti-Corruption Day: 9 December

International Anti-Corruption Day has been observed annually, on 9 December, since the passage of the United Nations Convention against Corruption on 31 October 2003.

  • International Anti-Corruption Day 2017 Theme: “United against corruption for development, peace and security”.

4. Saudi Arabia lifts decades-long ban on cinemas

Saudi Arabia has lifted a decades-long ban on cinemas, part of a series of social reforms by the powerful crown prince.

  • Commercial cinemas will be allowed to operate in the kingdom as of early 2018, for the first time in more than 35 years.

Points to Remember

  • Saudi Arabia is a sovereign Arab state in Western Asia.
  • Saudi Arabia is sometimes called “the Land of the Two Holy Mosques” in reference to Al-Masjid al-Haram (in Mecca) and Al-Masjid an-Nabawi (in Medina), the two holiest places in Islam.
  • Saudi Arabia has since become the world’s largest oil producer and exporter.
  • Riyadh is the capital of Saudi Arab while Riyal is the Currency.

5. Mount Hope named UK’s new highest peak

British authorities have named Mount Hope as the country’s new highest peak, a media report said.

  • Hope was recently re-measured and found to tower above the previous title holder, Mount Jackson, by 160ft.
  • Hope is now put at 10,626ft and Jackson at 10,446ft.

6. India ranks 100 in global prosperity index

After rising up in the Ease of Doing Business Index, India has upgraded its ranks in ‘The Legatum Prosperity Index 2017’ as well.

  • The index ranks India 100th on the list of prosperous countries among 149 countries.
  • Norway topped the ranking while New Zealand and Finland sealed second and third spot respectively.

7. UNWTO/UNESCO World Conference on Tourism and Culture

The Minister of State for Culture (Independent Charge) and Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Dr. Mahesh Sharma led the Indian delegation to the second UN World Tourism Organization/UNESCO World Conference on Tourism and Culture, with focus on sustainable development, which was held in Muscat, Capital city of Oman, during 11-12th December, 2017.

  • Speaking during the Ministerial Dialogue on Tourism, Culture and Sustainable Development, Dr. Mahesh Sharma highlighted India’s approach to sustainable development, while preserving nature and India’s cultural heritage.
  • The Conference had also on its agenda themes such as culture and tourism as a factor of peace and prosperity; tourism development and protection of cultural heritage; culture and tourism and urban development and creativity; and exploring cultural land escapes in tourism. The conference also finalized the 2030 Agenda.

8. Prime Minister inaugurates Dr. Ambedkar International Centre

The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated the “Dr. Ambedkar International Centre” at 15, Janpath, New Delhi.

  • He had laid the foundation stone of this Centre in April 2015.
  • Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister expressed confidence that the Centre would play a key role in the dissemination of Dr. Ambedkar’s teachings and vision.

9. Sports Minister Col Rajyavardhan Rathore inaugurates SAICON 2017

The First International Conference on Sports Medicine and Sports Sciences SAICON 2017 was inaugurated in New Delhi by the Minister of State (I/C) Youth Affairs and Sports Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore.

  • He said contribution of Sports Science will become important under the Khelo India Programme launched by his ministry.
  • He said in accordance with the intentions of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi of empowering youths, ‘Khelo India’ programme has been chalked out to tap talent at the school and college level.

10. India, Israel to open centre for floriculture in Tamil Nadu

India and Israel are coming together to set up a centre for excellence in floriculture at Thally in Krishnagiri district of Tamil Nadu.

  • The centre, the first agro-technology development centre to be set up with Israel’s assistance in the State, was officially inaugurated on 7 December.
  • These centres would not only develop agricultural practices suitable for selected geographical regions, but would also transfer the best practices to farmers in and around.

11. First-time ever in India: The Global Partnership Summit 2017

The Global Partnership Summit (GPS) 2017 is scheduled to be held at Aerocity, New Delhi from 11th to 14th December 2017.

  • India Center Foundation (ICF), a not for profit and non-governmental organisation, which has been working for over two decades towards nation’s socio-economic development, will organise it in India for the first-time ever.
  • The GPS will focus on clean energy, healthcare, infrastructure and logistics, energy, tourism, art and culture, agro economy, banking and finance, education and skill development and information communication technology.

12. India’s 1st Military Literature Fest starts

The first Military Literature Festival took off in Chandigarh with Punjab Governor VP Singh Badnore formally declaring it open.

  • Military leaders, veterans, thinkers, scholars, writers, journalists, war correspondents, historians, poets, artists, composers, researchers and industrialists have come together to share their experiences and insights on this platform.

13. International conference on Ground water

An International conference is being organized on the Ground water issues in the country with a theme of “Ground water Vision 2030- Water Security, Challenges and Climate Change Adaptation” from December 11 to 13, 2017.

  • The conference has been organized by the National Institute of Hydrology (NIH), Roorkee and Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) under the aegis of Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Government of India.

14. Giriraj Singh Launches Public Procurement Portal for MSEs – MSME Sambandh

A Public Procurement Portal ‘MSME Sambandh’ was launched by Shri Giriraj Singh, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for MSME.

  • The objective of the portal is to monitor the implementation of the Public Procurement from MSEs by Central Public Sector Enterprises.
  • He stated that in the words of the Prime Minister MSME sector generates more employment next only to Agriculture sector.

15. Kacheguda becomes India’s first energy-efficient railway station

Kacheguda Railway Station under the South Central Railway (SCR) has earned the unique distinction of being the first Energy Efficient ‘A1 Category’ Railway Station on Indian Railways.

  • The station has achieved 100% energy efficiency by replacing 1,312 conventional lights with light-emitting diode (LED) lighting.
  • About 370 ceiling fans, too, were replaced with energy efficient Brushless DC Electrical (BLDC) motors fans, and 12 air conditioners with energy efficient inverter-type air conditioners.
  • Kacheguda Railway station is a historic building and had completed 100 years.

16. India declared free from Trachoma, a bacterial infection of eye

India has been declared free from infective Trachoma which is a contagious bacterial infection of the eye.

  • It causes inflamed granulation on the inner surface of the lids.
  • Releasing the National Trachoma Survey Report (2014-17) in New Delhi, Health Minister J P Nadda made an announcement in this regard and termed it as a momentous achievement.

17. Mahesh Sharma Inaugurates the ‘Bodhi Parva: BIMSTEC Festival of Buddhist Heritage’

Minister of State for Culture (Independent Charge) Dr. Sharma inaugurated the three days ‘Bodhi Parva: BIMSTEC Festival of Buddhist Heritage’ in New Delhi on December 08, 2017

  • He said that the message of Lord Buddha is as relevant in the twenty first century as it was two and a half millennia ago and has been a unifying force among nations.
  • He said that BIMSTEC has a crucial role in development of the region.

18. India to host southeast Asia connectivity summit

New Delhi will host an Asean-India Connectivity Summit (AICS) on December 11-12 on the theme “Powering Digital and Physical Linkages for Asia in the 21st Century”.

  • The event comes ahead of the visit of the leaders of the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) here next month for the commemorative summit of 25 years of the India-Asean dialogue partnership.
  • In a historic first, the 10 leaders will collectively be the chief guests at next year’s Republic Day celebrations here.

19. Goa CM unveils country’s ‘first’ mobile food testing lab

India’s ‘first’ mobile food testing laboratory, which will enable on-the-spot food safety tests to be conducted in Goa, was launched by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar.

  • The vehicle is equipped to conduct on-the-spot tests to check the food quality.
  • It will also check the hygiene level of water, he said adding that the results can be received within 15 minutes.

20. UN Women, Facebook inaugurates ‘We The Women’ event in Mumbai

UN Women in collaboration with Facebook has inaugurated a two day event in Mumbai titled ‘We The Women’ to empower and recognise the magnificent contribution of women in our society.

  • The event witnessed speakers from different walks of life including Textile and I&B Minister, Smriti Irani, Sakshi Malik, Mithali Raj, Ekta Kapoor, Karan Johar and others.
  • Union I&B minister Smriti Irani said that it is time that every women should stand up for themselves and again the power to empower themselves.

21. Sh. Ravi Shankar Prasad launches first NIC CERT

Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Hon’ble Minister of Law & Justice and Electronics & Information Technology inaugurated the “NIC-CERT”, a setup of National Informatics Centre, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology on 11thDecember 2017.

  • During the inauguration, Hon’ble Minister said that as part of its Digital India initiatives, the Government has introduced a lot of its services online.
  • Although this has made services very accessible to the citizens, it has also exposed them to the threats and vulnerabilities which are an inherent part of cyberspace.

22. India proposed $1 billion credit for connectivity with ASEAN: Nitin Gadkari

India has proposed USD 1 billion line of credit to promote sea, air and road connectivity projects with ASEAN, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said.

  • Apart from this, India has set up a project development fund of USD 77 million for various developments.
  • He was addressing the ASEAN-India Connectivity Summit jointly organised by CII and ASEAN India Centre.

23. WB announces life insurance of Rs. 5 lakh each for pilgrims

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee announced that pilgrims coming to Gangasagar next year will be covered by life insurance amounting to Rs 5 lakh each.

  • The premium in this regard will be borne entirely by the state government.
  • Around five to six lakh pilgrims attend the Gangasagar fair on the occasion of Makar Sankranti.

24. J P Nadda launches new initiatives on Universal Health Coverage Day, 2017

The Union Health Minister J P Nadda has launched “LaQshya – Labour Room Quality Improvement Initiative, a Safe Delivery Mobile Application for health workers who manage normal and complicated deliveries in the peripheral areas.

  • The goal of this initiative is to reduce preventable maternal and new-born mortality.
  • He also released the Operational Guidelines for Obstetric High Dependency Units (HDUs) and Intensive Care Units (ICUs).

25. Hyderabad to become ‘beggar-free’ city

Hyderabad once again launched a drive to turn Hyderabad into “Beggar Free” city which was earlier put to halt after rumors that the drive was initiated because of US president Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump to the city.

  • Telangana Prisons Department Inspector General Narsimha said that the Prison Department has recently started two Beggar homes one is in Chanchalguda jail for male beggars and another is in Challapalli jail for female beggars.

26. National Energy Conservation Day to be celebrated on 14th December

Hon’ble President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, will preside as the Chief Guest over the National Energy Conservation Day celebrations, to be held in New Delhi, on 14th December, 2017.

  • The occasion will also be graced by the presence of Union Minister of State (IC) for Power and New & Renewable Energy, Shri Raj Kumar Singh.
  • Hon’ble President of India will give away National Energy Conservation Awards to industries that have demonstrated measurable reductions in their energy use.

27. India to host 3rd Annual Meeting of Board of Governors of AIIB

India will host the 3rd Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of AIIB at Mumbai on 25th and 26th June 2018.

  • The Theme of the Annual Meeting, 2018 will be “Mobilizing Finance for Infrastructure: Innovation and Collaboration”.
  • The Government of India and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) Secretariat signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to delineate the duties and responsibilities of major stakeholders who would be involved in organizing the aforesaid Annual Meeting.
  • The AIIB also approved a US$335 million loan to finance a 100-percent electric Bangalore Metro Rail—R 6 project.

Points to Remember

  • India is not only one of the founding members of AIIB but is also the 2nd largest shareholder in AIIB.
  • The Government of Maharashtra has nominated Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) as the nodal agency for organising the Annual Meeting.
  • AIIB is a multilateral development bank with a mission to improve social and economic outcomes in Asia and beyond.
  • Headquartered in Beijing, China, AIIB commenced operations in January 2016.

28. 14th Inclusive Finance India Summit held in New Delhi

The 14th Inclusive Finance India Summit was held in New Delhi to build consensus on strategies and a unified vision for achieving universal financial inclusion in India.

  • A book- ‘Talking financial inclusion in liberalized India: Conversations with Governors of the RBI’, edited by Prof. MS Sriram was released during the inaugural session.

29. Rajasthan becomes first in country to offer e-mail IDs in Hindi

Rajasthan has become the first state in the country to offer free e-mail address in Hindi to its residents.

  • This facility will lead to millions of new users who are not comfortable with English e-mail ids.
  • The project has been implemented by the state IT department with the partnership in form of in-sourcing with private IT companies.

30. Submarine Kalvari to be commissioned by PM Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will commission India’s first Scorpene class submarine, Kalvari, into the Indian Navy in Mumbai on 14 December.

  • The Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders delivered Kalvari on September 21to the Navy after successfully completing all trials.
  • Scorpene submarines can undertake varied missions such as anti-surface and antisubmarine warfare, intelligence gathering and mine laying.

31. India hosts 4th India-Australia-Japan trilateral meeting

Issues related to counter-terrorism, economic cooperation and maritime security were highlighted in the 4th India-Australia-Japan trilateral meeting hosted by Foreign Secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar in New Delhi.

  • On the other hand, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj held the 15th Russia-India-China (RIC) trilateral meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
  • Russia and India also extended support and cooperation for China as the chair of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) for 2017-2018 and for China’s hosting of 2018 SCO Summit.

32. MHA releases Rs 174 crore to six states for border development

The Home Ministry has released Rs 174 crore to six states having an international border for development of infrastructure in forward areas.

  • The states that will be benefited under the Border Area Development Programme (BADP) are Assam, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.

33. Govt sets up panel to address NPAs in the power sector

The government has set up a high-level committee headed by NITI Aayog chief executive Amitabh Kant to address the problem of stressed assets in India’s power sector.

  • Non-performing assets (NPAs) in power generation accounted for around 5.9% of the banking sector’s total outstanding advances of Rs4.73 trillion.
  • Tackling the issues that afflict the so-called stranded power assets will provide much-needed relief for Indian banks weighed down by bad loans.

34. India’s GDP growth to rise to 7.5% in 2018: Morgan Stanley

The Indian economy is expected to witness cyclical growth recovery, with real GDP growth likely to accelerate from 6.4 per cent this year to 7.5 per cent in 2018 and further to 7.7 per cent in 2019, says a report.

  • According to global financial services major Morgan Stanley, corporate return expectations and balance sheet fundamentals are improving, and a strengthening financial system should be able to meet investment credit demand.

35. RBI Launches Campaign Against SMS Fraudsters

Taking the fight to the arena used by fraudsters promising prize money from the RBI, the central bank has itself launched an SMS campaign and a ‘missed-call’ helpline to warn people against such scams.

  • Typically, such fraudsters make calls or send SMSes and emails to gullible people promising lotteries and prize money from the Reserve Bank — at times from the RBI Governor himself — to trap them into sharing their banking account details or paying some ‘fees or charges’ to get the money.
  • RBI has has now taken to SMSes to spread public awareness against such frauds and has also set up a ‘missed call’ helpline that provides all necessary information to the callers, including about filing of complaints.
  • RBI/RBI Governor/Government never sends such email/SMS/call,” the central bank says in one such SMS, while asking them to give a missed call to a phone number (8691960000).

36. Delhi-NCR 84th most expensive office location globally: Report

Delhi-NCR is ranked 84th in the list of most expensive office locations in the world with an annual cost of USD 5,392 (over Rs 3.5 lakh) per workstation, according to property consultant Cushman & Wakefield.

  • Hong Kong emerged as the most expensive location with an annual cost of USD 27,431 per workstation, followed by London and Tokyo, the consultant said in its report ‘Office Space Across the World 2017’ that evaluated 215 global locations.

37. Indian economy to grow at 7.2% in 2018, says UN report

The Indian economy will grow at 7.2% in 2018 and accelerate to 7.4% in 2019 as a result of robust private consumption, public investment and structural reforms, a United Nations report said.

  • The report also forecast that inflation in India will be 4.5% in 2018 and 4.8% in 2019, slightly above the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) medium-term consumer price index-based (CPI-based) inflation target of 4%.

38. India’s economy expected to grow at 7.5% in 2018, says Nomura

Global investment bank Nomura has predicted India’s economy to register a 7.5 per cent growth rate in 2018, saying it is on the cusp of a cyclical recovery.

  • It has forecast 6.7 per cent in the fourth quarter and a full-year growth of 6.2 per cent this year, rising to 7.5 per cent in 2018.

 39. RBI imposes restrictions on Corporation Bank

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed certain restrictions on Corporation Bank on carrying out banking activities as its share of bad loans rose sharply.

  • The government owned bank said that the RBI has triggered prompt corrective action (PCA) against it in view of high non-performing loans and requirement to raise capital.
  • This makes Corporation Bank eighth bank to face restriction in a span of 10 months.

40. India Signs Loan Agreement with World Bank for SANKALP Project

A Financing Agreement for IBRD loan of USD 250 million (equivalent) for the “Skills Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion (SANKALP) Project” was signed with the World Bank.

  • The Objective of the project is to enhance institutional mechanisms for skills development and increase access to quality and market-relevant training for the work force.

41. RBI imposes Rs 3 crore penalty on IndusInd Bank

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed Rs 3 crore penalty on IndusInd Bank for breaching rules on income classification norms.

  • A statement issued by RBI said that the penalty was imposed after the regulator observed violation of various regulations issued by the RBI on non-performing loans and extension of non-fund based limits.

42. ADB lowers India’s GDP forecast for FY18 to 6.7 per cent

The Asian Development Bank has raised its economic growth estimate for developing Asia to 6 percent for this year from a previous estimate of 5.9 per cent, citing stronger than expected exports and China’s resilience.

  • The Manila-based ADB kept its 2018 Asia growth forecast at 5.8 per cent.
  • By region, South Asia will remain the fastest growing region in Asia Pacific, the ADB said, with India’s growth outlook lowered to 6.7 per cent from 7.0 per cent.

43. Japan To Offer Grant For Vocational Training Centre In Rajasthan

Japan has decided to offer a grant worth 8.4 million Yen for the construction of a vocational training centre for poor women and youth in Rajasthan’s Baran district

  • The Grant Assistance for Grassroots Projects (GGP) for development projects are designed to meet the diverse basic human needs of the people in developing countries.

44. Azar A.H.Khan appointed as the next Ambassador of India to Turkmenistan

Shri Azar A.H.Khan has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to Turkmenistan.

  • He is expected to take up his assignment shortly. He is presently Consul General in the Consulate General of India, Istanbul.

45. Nawazuddin Siddiqui to be face of water conservation campaign

Actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui, who comes from an agricultural background, will now be the face of a water conservation campaign, which is an initiative by the Central government.

  • He was approached by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation to spearhead the campaign.
  • The actor, who was a farmer, is aware of the various new technological advances farmers across the world use to conserve water.

46. Uma Shankar appointed RBI Executive Director

Uma Shankar, chief general manager (CGM) in charge of the Reserve Bank of India’s financial inclusion and development department has taken over as executive director (ED) in the central bank.

  • Shankar has been elevated after Meena Hemchandra the executive director in charge of the central bank’s supervision department retired at the end of November.

47. Rahul Gandhi elected unopposed as Congress President

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi was elected unopposed as president of the Indian National Congress.

Briefing reporters, the party’s central election authority chief Mullappally Ramachandran said Mr. Gandhi will formally take over on December 16.

  • He is the 16th president of the Congress since Independence.

Points to Remember

  • The Indian National Congress was Founded on 28 December 1885
  • The Indian National Congress conducted its first session in Bombay from 28–31 December 1885.
  • Womesh Chunder Bonnerjee was the first president of Indian National Congress.

48. K. Jeeva Sagar appointed Ambassador of India to Kuwait

Shri K. Jeeva Sagar (IFS: 1991) has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the State of Kuwait.

  • He is expected to take up his assignment shortly. He is presently Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs.

49. FIH chief Batra elected unopposed as IOA President

International Hockey Federation (FIH) chief Narinder Batra has been elected unopposed as the president of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), while Rajeev Mehta was re-elected secretary general for a four-year term.

  • The 59-year-old Mr. Batra, thus, became one of the few sports administrators to head a national Olympic committee while heading an important international sports federation.

50. Aamir Khan’s Dangal Wins Best Asian Film at Australian Gala

Aamir Khan-starrer Dangal was on Wednesday named the Best Asian Film at the 7th Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) Awards.

  • Dangal, directed by Nitesh Tiwari, is a biographical sports drama film.
  • It is inspired by the lives of the Phogat family members, telling the story of Mahavir Singh Phogat, an amateur wrestler, who trains his daughters Geeta and Babita to become India’s first world-class female wrestlers.

51. Unesco recognizes Kumbh Mela as India’s cultural heritage

The Kumbh Mela has been recognized by Unesco as an “intangible cultural heritage of humanity”.

  • The intergovernmental committee for the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage under the UN body inscribed the Kumbh Mela on the “representative list of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity” at its 12th session in Jeju, South Korea.
  • The Kumbh Mela, held in Allahabad, Haridwar, Ujjain and Nasik, represents a syncretic set of rituals related to worship and cleansing in holy rivers.

52. Hindi writer Mamta Kalia to get the 27th Vyas Samman

Eminent Hindi writer Mamta Kalia will be honoured with literary award Vyas Samman for year 2017 for her novel “Dukkham Sukkham”, the K K Birla Foundation announced.

  • The writer will receive an amount of Rs 3.5 lakh as the prize money.
  • Eminent literary critic and poet Ram Vilas Sharma was the first recipient of Vyas Samman in 1991.

53. Cristiano Ronaldo wins fifth Ballon d’Or

Cristiano Ronaldo has won the Ballon D’Or for the fifth time to equal his great rival Lionel Messi’s haul.

  • The Real Madrid and Portugal superstar pipped the Argentine Barcelona legend to prize in Paris this evening.
  • PSG forward Neymar was also in the top three alongside Ronaldo and Messi.
  • He is now level with Lionel Messi on five Ballon d’Or wins each.

54. Kerala’s ‘zero-waste’ Alappuzha among top five cities in UN list

The waste management system being implemented in Kerala’s coastal town of Alappuzha has been recognised by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) as one of the five models across the world for fighting the pollution menace.

  • Alappuzha, often called “the Venice of East”, has been listed in the UNEP environment report entitled, ‘Solid approach to waste: how five cities are beating pollution’ alongside cities like Osaka in Japan, Ljubljana in Slovenia, Penang in Malaysia and Cajica in Colombia.

55. Irrfan Khan Gets Honoured At Dubai International Film Festival

Irrfan Khan was recently honoured at the 14th Dubai International Film Festival for his “incredible body of work.”

  • From proving his acting mettle in serious roles like Paan Singh Tomar to tickling our funny bones with his great comic timing in films like Hindi Medium, Irrfan Khan has also made a mark in Hollywood.

56. Manish Sisodia Bags ‘Finest Education Minister Award’

Delhi Education Minister Manish Sisodia was awarded the ‘Finest Education Minister’ award by former President Pranab Mukherjee.

  • Mr Sisodia, who also holds the Deputy Chief Minister portfolio, was presented the award at a national convention on education, The Fifth Estate, organised by an educational think tank.

57. Vice President confers Yeraringan award to M.S. Swaminathan

M.S. Swaminathan has been given ‘Yeraringan’ Award recently by M. Venkaiah Naidu, Vice President of India.

  • Mankombu Sambasivan Swaminathan is known as “Indian Father of Green Revolution” for his leadership and success in introducing and further developing high-yielding varieties of wheat in India.

58. Indian short film ‘The School Bag’ wins award in Vancouver Film Festival

Indian film “The School Bag” has bagged the Best Short Film award at the Vancouver Golden Panda International Film Festival.

  • The fiction film, directed by Dheeraj Jindal, is based in Peshawar, Pakistan.
  • The School Bag” also won the Best Short Film award at the Lahore International Children’s Film Festival and Jindal received the Best Director award at the Indian Film Festival of Cincinnati, US.

59. Priyanka Chopra receives Mother Teresa Memorial award

Actor Priyanka Chopra has been honoured with this year’s Mother Teresa Memorial award for social justice.

  • Priyanka received the award for her contribution towards lending her support to social causes, such as her recent visit to Syria, where she met and interacted with refugee children.
  • The actor is also UNICEF’s Goodwill Ambassador and is known for supporting various philanthropic activities.

60. India’s Lakshmi Puri Receives ‘Power of one’ Award At UN

Six top diplomats, including an Indian woman Lakshmi Puri, have been felicitated with the inaugural Diwali “Power of One” award at the UN headquarters in New York for their contribution to help form a more “perfect, peaceful and secure world”.

  • The awards were presented on Monday on the occasion of the first anniversary of the US Postal Service’s issuing of a forever Diwali stamp last year.

61. Lucknow’s Jitesh Singh Deo wins Mr. India World 2017 title

Jitesh Singh Deo from Lucknow has bagged the Mr. India World 2017 title. He will represent India at the Mr World competition.

  • Prathamesh Maulingkar, a model and entrepreneur from Goa, won the Mr India Supranatural 2017 title.

62. India to host senior women’s, men’s boxing World Championships

India will host the Senior Women’s World Boxing Championships next year and the Senior Men’s World Championships in 2021, Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore announced.

  • Rathore was speaking a function to felicitate the Indian women’s squad which registered a tally of five gold and two bronze medals at the Youth Women’s World Championships in Guwahati last month.

63. Hockey World League Final: India beat Germany 2-1 to win bronze

India defeated a spirited but depleted Germany 2-1 to win the bronze medal at the Hockey World League Final.

  • SV Sunil put India in the lead in the first half but a poor defending saw Mark Appel equalise in the second half.
  • Harmanpreet Singh then converted a penalty corner six minutes before the final hooter to seal the match in India’s favour.

64. Delhi to host India Open boxing tournament

The national capital will host the inaugural India Open International Boxing Tournament for senior men and women from January 28 to February 1 in 2018.

  • Boxing Federation of India President Ajay Singh revealed this during the felicitation ceremony of Indian pugilists who won medals in the AIBA Youth Women’s World Championships in Guwahati last month.

65. Australia wins Men’s Hockey World League title

Australia have defended the Hockey World League title by claiming a 2-1 triumph over reigning Olympic champions Argentina at the Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar.

  • Earlier, India defeated Germany to claim bronze medal.
  • Men’s FIH Hockey World League Final took place between 1 and 10 December 2017 in Bhubaneswar, India.

66. Siwach named ABC’s best youth boxer

World youth champion Sachin Siwach was named the Asian Boxing Confederation’s best youth boxer of the year after winning an online poll conducted by the continental body.

  • Siwach polled 36.2 % votes in his category.
  • India also fetched the Best Asian International Technical Official (ITO) award with Lenny D’Gama winning the online poll.

67. Michael Jordan becomes the world’s highest-paid athlete of all time

In the latest list released by Forbes, Michael Jordan has been named as the highest-paid athletes of all time.

  • Meanwhile, former world number one golfer Tiger Woods is standing at the second spot, with an eye-popping $1.7 billion pretax.

68. Father of DNA fingerprints Prof Lalji Singh passes away

DNA Scientist and former BHU VC Prof Lalji Singh passed away on 10 December. He was 70.

  • He held the position of BHU VC from August 22, 2011 to August 22, 2014.
  • He is considered to be father of DNA fingerprints, who worked in the area of molecular basis of sex determination, wildlife conservation, forensics and evolution and migration of humans.

69. Actor-director Neeraj Vora passes away

Bollywood actor, writer and filmmaker Neeraj Vora died at a Mumbai hospital. He was 54.

  • His last film as an actor was Anil Kapoor starrer Welcome Back, which released in 2015.
  • Neeraj Vora was also known for writing the first part of the Hera Pheri series (2000) and Rohit Shetty’s Golmaal (2006).
  • He also directed Hera Pheri 2.
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