By: D.K. Choudhary
India, Indonesia sign three agreements
i. India and Indonesia have signed three agreements following delegation-level talks headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting Indonesian President Joko Widodo on 12th December.
ii. President Widodo was on a two-day visit to India from 12 December to 13 December 2016.
iii. Agreements are:
1. MoU on Youth and Sports Cooperation
2. MoU on Standardization Cooperation between the Bureau of Indian Standards and the National Standardization Agency of Indonesia.
3. Joint Communiqué on the Voluntary International Cooperation to Combat Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) Fishing and to promote Sustainable Fisheries Governance between the Union Government and the Government of Indonesia.
Nitin Gadkari lays foundation stones for Rs 1152 Cr projects in Manipur
i. Nitin Gadkari, the Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping laid the foundation stones for 17 road projects on 11 December 2016 during two functions held at Jiribam and Imphal.
ii. The project’s overall cost is estimated to be around Rs 1152 Cr.
iii. Also, present in the function at Jiribam was the Union Minister of Human Resource Development- Prakash Javedkar along with other BJP leaders.
Antonio Guterres sworn in as UN Secretary-General
i. Antonio Guterres, a former Portuguese Prime Minister, was sworn in as the ninth UN Secretary-General on 12th December 2016, succeeding Ban Ki-moon as the chief of the 71-year old world body.
ii. President of the UN General Assembly Peter Thomson administered the Oath of Office to Guterres at a special plenary meeting of the 193-member General Assembly.
EU, Cuba sign first agreement on political cooperation
i. The EU has signed a deal with Cuba on political dialogue and cooperation, with Cuba being the only Latin American country to lack such an agreement earlier.
ii. This comes after EU repealed its 1996 policy which stated that Cuba must improve its human rights conditions before normalisation talks with EU. The deal covers issues like trade, human rights and immigration.
Punjab govt launches country’s 1st amphibious bus project
i. The Punjab government has launched country’s first amphibious bus project at the Harike wetland near Amritsar.
ii. The project has cost the state government over Rs 11 crore.
Pankaj Advani beats Peter Gilchrist in final to win his 11th World Billiards Championship
i. Ace Indian cueist Pankaj Advani on 12th December 2016 won his 11th World Billiards (150-Up format) Championships title by beating Peter Gilchrist of Singapore in the summit clash in Bengaluru.
ii. Advani beat multiple world champion Gilchrist by six games to three in a gripping final contest to wrap up his 16th world title overall.
US: Vivek Ramaswamy, Apoorva Mehta included in Forbes’ under 40 rich list
i. Two Indian-origin men have figured in Forbes magazine’s second annual list of wealthiest entrepreneurs under the age of 40 which is topped by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
ii. Vivek Ramaswamy, a successful biotech entrepreneur has been ranked 24th on ‘America’s Richest Entrepreneurs Under 40 2016’ list with a net worth of 600 million dollars and Apoorva Mehta stands at 31st spot with a 360 million dollars net worth.
iii. Ramaswamy, 31, a Harvard University and Yale School of Management alumnus, continues to make waves in the biotech business with his deals and drug development plans
Lt Gen Naveed Mukhtar appointed new ISI chief
i. Lt. Gen. Naveed Mukhtar has been appointed as the new Director-General of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
ii. He replaces Lt. Gen. Rizwan Akhtar who has been appointed as president of the National Defence University (NDU) in Islamabad.
iii. Earlier, Lt. Gen. Mukhtar was the Commander of V Corps of Karachi from September 2014 to December 2016.
iv. He was commissioned in the Armored Corps regiment in 1983. He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General and posted to the army’s Corps V in September 2014
Cyrus Mistry removed as director of Tata Industries
i. Cyrus Mistry has been removed as director of Tata industries. Mistry, who was earlier removed from the post of chairman of Tata Industries, was removed as director after an Extraordinary General Meeting.
Cristiano Ronaldo voted best footballer in the world for 4th time
i. Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo beat rival Lionel Messi to win the prestigious Ballon d’Or award for the fourth time.
ii. Ronaldo also took home Ballon d’Or prize in 2013 and 2014, and FIFA award in 2008 while still playing for Manchester United.
ADB cuts India’s growth forecast to 7% post-demonetisation
i. The Asian Development Bank on Tuesday lowered India’s growth forecast for this year from 7.4 % to 7 % due to a slight slowdown in the economy following the central government’s demonetisation move.
ii. The Manila-headquartered ADB’s review said the shortage of cash after the demonetization of Rs 1,000 and 500 notes were one of the reasons for the decline in India’s economic growth in 2016.
iii. ADB highlighted weak investments and slow down in the agricultural sector in the country among other reasons for the fall.
Rajiv Gandhi airport achieves carbon neutral status
ii. It is the first in the Asia-Pacific region in the 5-15 million passengers per annum category to attain this status.
iii. Earlier in September 2016 GMR Group-led Delhi Airport had become the first airport in Asia-Pacific to achieve carbon neutral status among all categories.
ISRO signs deal for first privately built satellite
i. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has signed an agreement with a consortium of six companies to deliver India’s first industry-built satellite by late 2017.
ii. The agreement was signed between M Annadurai, Director of ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC) and the consortium lead Alpha Design Technologies P Ltd.
iii. ISAC assembles India’s satellites for communication, remote sensing and navigation. It is for the first time that ISRO outsourced the construction of entire satellite.