RBI recorded 11.4 lakh Online transaction in first 8 hours after NEFT was made 24/7 operational:
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) operationalized National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) System 24X7 from 12:00 am on 16 December 2019.
- After making the NEFT operational on a 24X7 basis, around 11.40 lakh transactions were settled in the first eight hours after widely-used NEFT.
- The aim is to ensure the availability of anytime electronic funds transfer.
Exercise Surya Kiran-XIV held in Nepal:
- A joint military training exercise “SURYA KIRAN-XIV” was held in Salijhandi, Rupendehi district of Nepal.
- The exercise was conducted between the armies of India and Nepal.
- Joint training exercise was based on counter insurgency operations in jungle and mountainous terrain and also practised response mechanism in the eventualities of natural and man made disasters.
DRDO successfully test-fired a BrahMos supersonic cruise missile:
- Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) on test-fired a BrahMos supersonic cruise missile off the coast of Odisha successfully on 17 December 2019.
- The target of the missile was a ship. The land-attack version of the missile was test-fired from a mobile autonomous launcher at Launch Complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur near Balasore, Odisha.
GeM launched GeM Samvaad, a National Outreach Programme:
- Government e-Marketplace (GeM) launched GEM Samvaad, the National Outreach Programme in New Delhi on 17 December 2019.
- The programme was launched by Anup Wadhawan, Secretary, Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce & Industry and Chairman, GeM. The outreach programme will be held from 19 Dec 2019 to 17 Feb 2020. It will cover all the States and UTs of the country.
ITBP launches matrimonial site to help staff find ‘suitable matches’:
- In a unique approach, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) has started a dedicated matrimonial site for its staff. The website started will be managed by ITBP and only the staff will be able to access it.
- This is the first-ever dedicated and well-managed matrimony portal among the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF).
- There are more than 25,000 unmarried men in the Force while more than 1000 women personnel are also unmarried.
- Keeping in view their duties and engagements after joining the service, finding suitable matches becomes an uphill task for the serving personnel.
Orange festival began in Manipur:
- The State-level Orange Festival began in Manipur on 16 December. The festival will be held on 16-18 December 2019.
- The 3-day festival was inaugurated by Chief Minister N. Biren Singh at district headquarters Tamenglong.
- The Orange Festival is conducted under the sponsorship of the North Eastern Council. The festival aims to promote the fruit and encourage its growers.
Madhya Pradesh CM to inaugurate International Film Festival in Khajuraho:
- The Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Kamal Nath will inaugurate the International Film Festival in Shilpkala village of Khajuraho.
- Films from the country and abroad including Bundelkhandi will be screened at the Tapra Talkies made for the festival.
- The International Khajuraho Film Festival is being organized by the Prayas Sanstha in collaboration with the State Government.
- Events like interaction with film stars, film making workshop, mobile film making workshop, plays, programmes for promoting local art and culture, herbal forest fair, animal fair etc. are also organized during the Film Festival.
Haryana Police became the first to introduce ‘Trakea’ software in FSL:
- Haryana police have introduced a unique barcoding software “Trakea” to enable foolproof security of the samples collected in Forensic reports.
- Haryana became the first state in the country to introduce this unique barcoding system.
- Manohar Lal Khattar, Chief Minister (CM) of Haryana inaugurated the TRAKEA barcoding system of Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) at Madhuban, Haryana.
- According to the police, Trakea ensures foolproof security of the samples collected from the scene of the crime, and the forensic analysis reports, and is different from traditional methods that the state police force has been following for decades.
- The software was developed by a software engineer Amit Mishra.
Kerala launched schemes to support differently-abled people:
- The Kerala state government launched two social welfare schemes to honour differently-abled people and NSS, NCC and Student Police Cadet (SPC) units working for their care and welfare.
- The schemes are Vijayamritham and Sahachari. Vijayamritham scheme.
- The Vijayamritham scheme was introduced to provide financial assistance for differently-abled people who fought the odds and scored high marks in degree, PG and professional courses.
India slips to 112th place on WEF’s Global Gender Gap Report:
- India has slipped four places to rank 112th globally as per the Global Gender Gap Report 2020.
- The report was released by World Economic Forum (WEF) headquartered at Geneva.
- Iceland has topped the report and remains the world’s most gender-neutral country while Yemen was ranked the worst (153rd) in the report.
- As per report, the most improved countries were Albania, Ethiopia, Mali, Mexico and Spain. Among regions, Western Europe has made the most progress on gender parity (standing at 76.7%).
- As per WEF, the time it will take to close the gender gap has narrowed to 99.5 years in 2019 while the number was 108 years in 2018.
- WEF stated that this year’s improvement can largely be ascribed to a significant increase in the number of women in politics.
Unesco removes ‘racist’ Belgian carnival from heritage list:
- UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), has removed the ‘Carnival of Aalst’ of Belgium from its Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity List.
- The 2019 carnival featured a parade float that included racist and anti-Semitic representations which mocked the Orthodox Jews.
- The carnival was added to the Intangible Cultural Heritage list in 2010.
Sri Lanka formally releases ‘Vistas of Prosperity and Splendor’:
- Sri Lankan government has formally released its new National policy Framework titled ‘Vistas of Prosperity and Splendor’.
- The framework is meant to guide the government ministries and departments in implementing their policies.
- It is aimed at achieving fourfold outcome of being a productive citizen, a contented family, a virtuous, disciplined and just society and a prosperous nation.
- Maintaining GDP growth rate of 6.5% or higher under the macroeconomic programme, achieving a per capita income exceeding 6,500 US dollar during 2020 to 2025 are one of the key objectives of the framework.
ICAR & NABARD signed MoU to promote agriculture & farming systems research:
- The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and the National Board of Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote sustainable agriculture and climate-resilient farming systems.
- The research will be of active participation in climate-resilient practices, models and integrated and hi-tech farming practices in a participatory model.
- The aim of this MoU was to promote sustainable agriculture and climate-resilient farming systems.
5th EAC meeting of 15th Finance Commission held in New Delhi:
- The 5th meeting of the Economic Advisory Council (EAC) of the 15th Finance Commission was held in New Delhi.
- In the meeting, possible macro assumptions related to real growth, inflation, ongoing structural reforms, tax revenue including GST, adherence to Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act and fiscal transparency were discussed.
- Further, the Advisory Council was informed about the submission of the 2020-21 report and Commission’s next course of actions pertaining to the preparation of the report for 2021-26 period.
Lt Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane to be next Army Chief:
- Lt Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane will be the next Chief of Army Staff of India.
- He is currently serving as Vice Chief of the Army. Lt Gen Naravane will succeed Gen Bipin Rawat, who will retire on the 31st December.
- He has served in numerous command and staff appointments in peace, field and highly active counter-insurgency environments in Jammu and Kashmir and the Northeast.
- In a distinguished military career spanning almost four decades, Lt Gen Naravane has the distinction of tenanting key appointments in active Counter Insurgency environments, both in the North East and in Jammu and Kashmir and was a part of the Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka during Operation PAWAN.
- He has been awarded the Sena Medal (Distinguished) for effectively commanding his battalion in Jammu and Kashmir.
- He is also a recipient of the Vishisht Seva Medal for his services as the Inspector General Assam Rifles (North) in Nagaland and the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal for commanding of a prestigious strike corps.
- He was honoured with Param Vishisht Seva Medal for his distinguished services as the General Officer Commanding in Chief of the Army Training Command.
IAS Ravi Mittal takes charge as new I&B Secy:
- IAS officer Ravi Mittal took charge as the new Secretary, Information and Broadcasting Ministry.
- Mr Mittal took charge from Amit Khare who has been appointed as Secretary, Department of Higher Education.
- Before this, Mr Mittal, a 1986 batch IAS officer of Bihar Cadre, was working as the Special Secretary in the Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance.
R N Ravi to hold additional charge as governor of Meghalaya:
- Nagaland Governor R N Ravi has been given additional charge of Meghalaya.
- The decision has been taken by the President of India in the wake of the “absence of leave” of Tathagata Roy, Governor of Meghalaya.
UN Medal awarded to Indian peacekeepers to support the people of South Sudan:
- Indian peacekeepers have been recognized for their strong contribution to building peace in conflict-affected South Sudan as well as for going above and beyond their duties to support local communities.
- Almost 850 Indian troops received the United Nations Medal for their dedication and sacrifice serving so far away from home to protect civilians and build durable peace in South Sudan.
- Currently, 2,342 Indian troops and 25 police personnel are deployed with the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
- The Indian troops were particularly praised for their efforts to support peace talks between Government and Opposition forces in the Upper Nile region and establishing the first-ever UNMISS base on the west bank of the Nile at Kodok.
Union Rural Development Ministry selected UT of J&K for National award:
- Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir has been selected for the national award by Union Rural Development Ministry for best performance in the implementation of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY).
- Union Rural Development Ministry has sanctioned 147 Road and Bridge projects under PMGSY-II covering a length of 783.88 kilometres at an estimated cost of 878.53 crore rupees for Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.
- The entire road length has been sanctioned for up-gradation of existing road infrastructure with 10-year maintenance.
Veteran film actor Danny Aiello passes away:
- Veteran film actor Danny Aiello, known for his roles in the movies Do The Right Thing and The Godfather Part II passed away.
- A veteran of stage and film, Aiello was best known for playing the pizza parlour owner Sal in Spike Lee’s 1989 Do the Right Thing.
Viswanathan Anand launched his autobiography titled Mind Master:
- India’s first Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand released his autobiography titled Mind Master. It was co-written by Susan Ninan.
- The book offers an insight into Anand’s greatest wins and worst losses. He has also shared his experience of facing the best minds in the world.
- Viswanathan Anand: Viswanathan Anand was born on 11 December 1969 in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.