1. India to contribute 5 lakh US Dollars to CERF for year 2016-17
i. India is going to contribute $5 lakh to the United Nations’ Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) for the year 2016-17.
ii. CERF allocates approximately 450 million US Dollars in a year for humanitarian operations in about 50 countries. So far India has contributed six million Dollars to the fund.
2. Sushma Swaraj named Global Thinker for ‘novel Twitter diplomacy
i. Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has been named as one of 15 Foreign Policy Global Thinkers. She has named in the decision-makers category for fashioning a novel brand of Twitter diplomacy.
ii. The list has been compiled by the Foreign Policy magazine. 14 other notable thinkers in the list include Hillary Clinton, Angela Merkel and Justin Trudeau.
3. NGT imposes interim nationwide ban on manja for flying kites
i. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has imposed an interim nationwide ban on use of glass-coated ‘manja’ for flying kites as the sharp string poses a danger to humans, animals and bird. The ban order will apply on nylon, Chinese and cotton manja coated with glass.
4. Trade between India, China expected to be $65 billion for 2016
i. The bilateral trade volume between India and China is expected to be more than 65 billion US dollar for 2016.
ii. The bilateral trade between both countries was 52.14 billion US dollar for January to September 2016.
5. India’s growth projection at 7.0%: ADB
i. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has lowered its growth forecast for Indian economy to 7.0% as an aftermath of demonetization. This is much slower than earlier projected growth rate of 7.4%.
ii. The growth rate was trimmed because of weak investment, slowdown in agriculture and due demonetization.
iii. However, the growth forecast for 2017 is at 7.8%. China’s growth forecasted was at 6.6% and for 2017 was 6.4%.
6. Cyrus Mistry removed as director of TCS
i. Cyrus Mistry was removed as the director of Tata Consultancy Services, India’s biggest software company.
ii. He was removed by 93% of the votes of TCS shareholders. Earlier, he was also removed earlier as chairman of Tata Teleservices by its board in extra ordinary general meeting.
7. Cuba signs Internet deal with Google
i. Cuban government has signed a deal with Internet giant Google to provide faster access to Google’s data.
ii. The deal allows Google to install servers on the island nation which will store much of the company’s most popular content.
iii. Earlier, Cuba was dependent on Google server’s located in Venezuela as US has had virtually no economic ties with Cuba.
iv. Thus, this deal removes one of the many obstacles to a normal internet in Cuba, which at present suffers from some of world’s most limited and expensive access.
8. Andy Murray, Angelique Kerber named ITF Players of the Year
i. Andy Murray and Angelique Kerber were named ITF (International Tennis Federation) World Champions of the year 2016.
ii. Andy Murray (Britain) has won 9 titles in this year and sealed the year-end rankings top spot. Angelique Kerber (Germany) has won Australian and US Open titles as well as a silver medal in Rio Olympics. She is the first German to win this award since Steffi Graf claimed in 1996.
9. Rajya Sabha passes Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2014
i. Rajya Sabha has passed the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2014. The bill repeals Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunity Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act of 1995.
10. 6th Asia Pacific Ministerial Conference on Housing and Urban Development begins in New Delhi
i. The sixth edition of Asia Pacific Ministerial Conference on Housing and Urban Development (APMCHUD) began in New Delhi. It was inaugurated by Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu.
ii. The three days conference seeks to address issues ranging from crowded city centres to peripheral expansion, metropolitan based urban population growth, megacities and urban corridors etc.
11. India becomes world’s 4th largest defence spender
i. According to the recently released 2016 IHS Jane’s Defence Budgets report, India has become the world’s fourth largest defence spender.
ii. In this edition of report published by US research firm IHS Inc, India has surpassed Russia, France, Japan and Saudi Arabia to become the world’s fourth largest defence spender.
12. Legendary horse jockey Walter Swinburn passes away
i. Walter Swinburn, one of the most renowned jockeys of his generation and rider of the Shergar, passed away on 12 December 2016 following a prolonged illness. He was 55.
ii. He was famously known for winning the Epsom Derby horserace three times in his career as a jockey.
13. Priyanka Chopra, Anita Dongre among Google's top searches in 2016
i. Actress Priyanka Chopra and fashion designer Anita Dongre feature in Google's official list of top searches of the year.
ii. Priyanka, who will soon be making her Hollywood movie debut with 'Baywatch', is on the seventh number in the Oscar Red Carpet Dresses category, while Dongre is also at the 7th spot in the fashion designers list, reported Entertainment Weekly.
14. Tijan Bai Bags Bharatmuni Award
Renowned Pandavani Folk Singer Padmabhushan Tijan Bai will be conferred Bharatmuni Samman 2016. She will be the eighth Cultural Cult Figure to receive this coveted National honour.
ii. Instituted by Bhubaneswar based cultural Organisation Kalingayana Touryatrikam, The Award is presented annually to a nationally acclaimed Artiste as a tribute to Sage Bharatmuni, whose magnum opus Natyashastra is treated as 5th Veda.
15. Virat Kohli gets career-best ranking
i. Indian captain Virat Kohli rose one place to a career-best second position among Test batsmen on the back of his match-winning double ton against England while spinner Ravichandran Ashwin consolidated his number one place among bowlers in the ICC Player Rankings issued.
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