1. Indian-origin cancer expert Harpal Singh Kumar knighted
i. An Indian-origin cancer research expert Harpal Singh Kumar was honoured with a Knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II for his influential work on prevention and treatment of cancer.
ii. Mr. Singh’s name has appeared in the 2015 New Year’s Honours list that includes several other Indian-origin individuals.
iii. He is the chairman of the Board at the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) and also chairman of the Cancer Outcomes Strategy Advisory Group (COSAG) in England.
iv. He has won the Mobil Prize, Metal Box Prize, and Hughes Prize.
2. India’s Petronet LNG ink revised contract with RasGas of Qatar
i. India’s biggest state owned gas importer Petronet LNG has signed a revised contract with RasGas of Qatar to import gas at a significantly lower price than earlier.
ii. Under the new contract, Rasgas will supply Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to Petronet at 6-7 dollar per million British thermal units (mmBtu) from January 1, 2016. It would supply to 7.5 million tonnes of LNG India until the long-term contract ending in April 2028 The new rate is sharply lower than 12-13 dollar per mmbtu agreed earlier and has been revised after falling global prices of oil and gas, saving consumers around Rs.4,000 crore.
3. DAVA project bags 2015 eASIA award for trade facilitation
i. The Drug Authentication and Verification Application (DAVA) project of The Department of Commerce has won the 2015 eASIA Award under Trade Facilitation category. The award was announced by Asia Pacific Council for Trade Facilitation (APCTF) and Tehran based (Iran) Electronic Business.
ii. The eASIA award is administered by AFACT which aims to development and promotion of trade facilitation, electronic business policies and activities in the Asia Pacific region.
4. Union inks Financing Agreement with World Bank to fund education of minorities
i. The Union Government has signed a Financing Agreement of 50 million dollars with the World Bank for Nai Manzil Scheme- Education and Skills Training for Minorities.
ii. Under this agreement, the credit will be facilitated by the International Development Association (IDA), World Bank’s concessionary lending arm. This credit will be in the form of loan which carries a maturity of 25 years, including a 5-year grace period.
iii. The loan funds will be used for interventions under this scheme improve the employability and performance of minority youth in the labour market. The total project size is 100 million dollars, out of which 50 million dollars will be available as IDA credit and the remaining balance funding from the Union Budget.
5. India, Pakistan exchange lists of nuclear facilities
i. India and Pakistan have exchanged the list of their nuclear installations and facilities under the Agreement on the Prohibition of Attack against Nuclear installations.
ii. This exchange is done on 1st of January every year between the two neighbouring countries that bars them from attacking each other’s atomic facilities.
iii. This is the 25th consecutive exchange of such list between the two countries, the first one having taken place on 1 January 1992.