1. Spain’s ruling conservative People’s Party wins 2015 general election
i. Ruling conservative People’s Party (PP) of Spain led Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy by has won the 2015 general election of the country. In the general election, PP won the 123 seats by securing in the lower house of the 350-member Parliament and securing 28.7 percent vote share.
ii. However, it has fallen short of absolute majority which can be achieved by any party that wins minimum 176 seats. Now the People’s Party has to form a coalition government with support of other political parties to govern for another four-year term.
2. India joins select club nations to build LNG ships
i. India has joined select club nations to build Liquefied natural gas (LNG) ships after state owned Cochin Shipyard has received certification in this regard. Cochin Shipyard also became first shipyard in India to get the nod to build LNG-transporting ships for any client world-wide.
ii. Key facts In this regard, Cochin Shipyard has signed a license agreement with French technology company Gaztransport & Technigaz (GTT). GTT holds patented technology for LNG ships and provides the certification in design engineering and membrane-type containment systems for the transportation and storage of LNG.
iii. GTT would provide technology for the cryogenic containment and handling system which is most critical part of an LNG ship as the LNG is carried at a temperature of -163 degrees.
iv. This license agreement authorises Cochin Shipyard to use the membrane type technologies of GTT for any liquid gas carriers, more particularly the LNG carriers. v. With this India joins the league other nations including South Korea, Japan and China building LNG transportation ships. It also opens a new chapter in ship-building technology in India and marks a big step for Make in India.
3. PM Narendra Modi flags off first prototype electric bus for MPs
i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off first prototype pollution free electric bus for Members of Parliament.
ii. The bus powered by battery has been manufactured in the lines with Union Government’s flagship Make in India campaign. Key facts The 15-seater eco-friendly bus is coloured in green and blue. It has Go Green message on it.
iii. It is powered by lithium battery developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and is very economical. The bus is a collaborative effort between the Union Transport Ministry and Pune-based technology company KPIT.
iv. It has been converted from diesel to electric and will be used to ferry Parliamentarians. The noiseless bus can save carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions up to 48,000 kg a year. That’s equal to planting 2400 plants annually and will also save diesel worth Rs. 10 lakh a year.
4. Lok Sabha passes The National Waterways Bill, 2015
i. Lok Sabha has unanimously passed the National Waterways Bill, 2015 by voice vote after it was introduced by Union Shipping, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari.
ii. The bill aims at declaring 106 additional inland waterways as National Waterways in addition to the five existing National Waterways.
5. Delhi Government appointed Gopal Subramanium Commission on DDCA scam
i. Delhi Government appointed a one-member commission of inquiry on Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) scam. A decision in this regard was taken in a cabinet committee meeting headed by the Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
ii. The commission will be headed by former Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium. It will probe the alleged financial irregularities by the administrators of the DDCA.
iii. The commission was appointed on the basis of recommendation of the three-member committee headed by Chetan Sanghi. The committee was constituted to probe alleged financial irregularities in DDCA after the Chief Minister’s office received serious complaints about its functioning.
iv. The committee, which submitted its report on 17 November 2015, suggested the Delhi Government to set up a commission under the Commission of Enquiries Act 1952 to probe affairs of the cricket administrators.
6. Odisha Government launched Anwesha scheme to provide free education to SC/ST students
i. The Odisha Government launched Anwesha scheme to provide free education to scheduled caste and scheduled tribe students. Under the scheme, 5000 SC and ST children will annually be enrolled into Standard I in leading private schools in urban areas of the state.
ii. State Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced the scheme at Saragi Phul- a three day children's festival for ST, SC children held at Adivasi Ground, Bhubaneswar.
7. Andy Murray won 2015 BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award
i. Andy Murray of the UK received the 2015 BBC Sports Personality of the Year award in London. The Scottish tennis-player was presented the award by Irish boxing legend Barry McGuigan.
ii. Murray was chosen for the award after a public vote in which he received 361446 of the 1,009,498 votes cast. The voting was based on performance of sports personalities in 2015.
iii. For Murray, it was the second award in three years. He received the previous award in 2013.
8. National Mathematics Day observed to commemorate birth anniversary of Srinivasa Ramanujan
i. India on 22 December 2015 celebrated National Mathematics Day. The day was observed to commemorate the birth anniversary of great Indian Mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan.
ii. On this occasion, India and UNESCO agreed to work jointly in spreading the joy of mathematics and knowledge to students and learners across the world.
iii. To this end, Conferences on the “Zero” at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, as well as at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore were held in recognition of Aryabhata’s role in the invention of zero.
iv. The conferences brought together academics, mathematicians and teachers to explore and discuss key associated concepts.
9. New Zealand cricket captain Brendon McCullum announced retirement
i. New Zealand cricket captain Brendon McCullum on 22 December 2015 announced retirement from all forms of international cricket. He will retire after the two home test series against Australia, which will begin in February 2016.
At present, the batsman and wicket-keeper, is New Zealand’s captain in all three forms of the international game viz., tests, ODIs and twenty20.