Current Affairs 16th December 2018

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16 December 2018

Haj agreement 2019 was signed between India and Saudi Arabia by Union Minister for Minority Affairs, Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, and Haj and Umrah Minister of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Dr Mohammad Saleh bin Taher Benten at Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. This year more than 2,100 women have already applied to go to Haj without ‘Mehram’ (male companion) after the Modi Government had lifted the ban on women going to Haj without Mehram last year and they had also been exempted from the lottery system.

16 December 2018

OBOPAY, the global financial technology company, announced the launch of a new generation pre-payment instrument called- OBOPAY Card-in partnership with Federal Bank and Mastercard. It is built as a one-stop solution that facilitates easy disbursements and payments by enterprises. The multi-wallet facility that allows dedicated payments and allocation of money for various purposes, The ‘Split transaction’ feature which provides payment flexibility to users and multiple payment scenarios among many others. Card to card money transfer, making online payments, withdrawing cash at ATMs. This card can be used for multiple payments such as bank accounts for using salary, digital wallets for payments, food coupons for food coupons, insurance cards for an insurance claim.

16 December 2018

India‘s first private sector unit for manufacturing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) was inaugurated by Telangana’s Home Minister Mohammad Mahmood Ali at Adani Aerospace Park in Hyderabad, Telangana. The 50,000 square feet facility has been built by the Adani Group and Israel-based Elbit Systems.

16 December 2018

Amazon India partnered with the Federation of Indian Micro and Small & Medium Enterprises (FISME) to encourage MSMEs to sell products online through e-commerce. Amazon.in will collaborate with FISME to conduct various events and workshops across the country to educate MSME. B2C exports to enable them to sell across multiple international locations.

16 December 2018

Tata Steel Limited had been declared as the winner of the Prime Minister’s Trophy for the ‘Best Performing Integrated Steel Plant’ in the country for the performance year 2016-17 making it the fourth consecutive year for Tata Steel being honored with this coveted award. Along with the trophy a cash award of Rs. 2 crores was also given to the company. Having won the PM’s Trophy 11 times and receiving the Certificate for Excellence twice, Tata Steel has been recognized as the best-integrated steel plant 13 times, since the inception of this award in 1992-93. The performance of the plants is judged by a Panel of Judges headed by Secretary (Steel) and with members from eminent technologists, management experts, trade union leaders, economists, consumers of iron & steel according to a scheme drawn up by an expert committee. The intention of the award is to spur steel plants to achieve international standards of efficiency, quality, and economy in their operations.
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16 December 2018

Indian Hotels Company Ltd. (IHCL), Tata group's hospitality arm, has signed an agreement for construction of a second Taj branded hotel in Lucknow. The new hotel is to come up in partnership with Luxus Hospitality Pvt. Ltd. The Taj branded hotel will be located at Vibhuti Khand, New Gomti Nagar Centre, with close proximity to key corporate parks, institutions, and recreational facilities. IHCL at present has two hotels in the city Taj Mahal Lucknow and Ginger Gomti Nagar. This signing is aligned to Aspiration 2022 with its focus on aggressive domestic growth.

16 December 2018

NCP chief and Rajya Sabha MP Sharad Pawar and veteran BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi were presented the Lifetime Achievement award. Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad and BJP MP Nishikant Dubey were selected for the Best Parliamentarians award. Four women MPs from both Houses were also be awarded for their contribution. While actor-turned-politician Hema Malini was awarded for her outstanding work inside and outside Parliament as a first-time MP, Lok Sabha MP Rama Devi was selected as the Best Woman Parliamentarian. DMK leader Kanimozhi was presented the award for the Best Woman Parliamentarian in the Rajya Sabha. The Best Debut Woman Parliamentarian award was be presented to Chhaya Verma. The Lokmat Parliamentary Awards is the brainchild of Lokmat Media group chairman Vijay Darda.

16 December 2018

The Union Ministry of Agriculture had selected Jharkhand for “Krishi Karman” award in the rice category. The award which carries a cash prize worth Rs 2 crore and a citation will be given away in February 2019 by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. As a gesture of appreciation to the farmers of the state for achieving the milestone, two progressive farmers, i.e. one male and one female, would also be given ‘Agriculture Minister’s Krishi Karman Award,”

16 December 2018

Iranian director Ruhollah Hejazi’s “The Dark Room” was selected as best film at the 23rd International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) in Thiruvananthapuram, India. The award for best director went to Lijo Jose Pellissery for his film “Ee.Ma.Yau” from India. Iranian director Asghar Farhadi’s latest movie “Everybody Knows” was the opening film of the festival.

16 December 2018

Indian shuttlers PV Sindhu and Sameer Verma progressed to the semi-finals stage of the BWF Tour Finals. Sindhu and Sameer are the only Indians at the BWF Tour Finals this year. Sindhu, who won all of her group matches, reached the semi-finals stage by beating USA's Beiwen Zhang 21-9, 21-15 in the women's singles. Sameer Verma too is on the verge of securing a semi-final berth after his 21-9, 21-18 win over Kantaphon Wangcharoen of Thailand in the men's singles.

16 December 2018

Debt worldwide reached a record-high of $184 trillion in nominal terms, a nearly 222 per cent of the GDP in 2017, according to a report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). On average, the world's debt now exceeds $ 86,000 per person more than 2 times the average income per-capita. The world’s top three borrowers - the US, China and Japan accounted for more than half the debt.

16 December 2018

Uday Shankar, currently chairman and CEO of Star India and president of 21st Century Fox, Asia, will lead the India and Asia Pacific business of The Walt Disney Company once it completes the acquisition of 21st Century Fox’ assets. Disney agreed to buy Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox for about $52.4 billion in stock last December.

16 December 2018

Sonata Software, an IT software services and solutions provider, announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire U.S.-headquartered Sopris Systems, a Microsoft Dynamics 365 enterprise partner. The firm hasn’t yet disclosed the value of the deal yet. Sopris specializes in helping project-centric and field services companies improve business performance.

16 December 2018

Producer Ashok Amritraj was honoured with the French Knight of the National Order of Merit. French Minister of Europe and Foreign Minister, Mr. Jean-Yes Le Drian presided over the occasion. Mr. Amritraj has been the producer of Hollywood films such as Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance with Nicholas Cage and 99 Homes starring Andrew Garfield. The former CEO of National Geographic Films and United Nations Goodwill Ambassador was lauded for his contribution to the world of cinema and Indo-French film industry.

16 December 2018

Google developed an Artificial Intelligence (AI) model that can detect diabetic retinopathy with a level of accuracy on par with human retinal specialists. Verily, an Alphabet-owned company is working on rolling out the diabetic retinopathy initiative in clinics in India. Using the new assistive technology, doctors and staff can screen more patients in less time, sparing people from blindness through a more timely diagnosis. While the blindness can be prevented, diabetic retinopathy often goes undetected because people do not always get screenings.

16 December 2018

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) terminated the contract of Larsen & Toubro and Scomi Engineering (LTSE) for the Mumbai Monorail. MMRDA took over the Operations and Maintenance (O&M) of the Monorail. The move ends months of speculation about the future of the transport system, which has been plagued with issues. LTSE was an independent company in which L&T and Scomi Engineering had 55% and 45% stake respectively. L&T was to complete the civil works of the project, while Scomi Engineering was to provide rolling stock and handle the O&M.

16 December 2018

The Delhi High Court rejected the Centre’s decision to ban the manufacture and sale of oxytocin by private firms. Oxytocin is a drug which induces labour and controls bleeding during childbirth. A Bench of Justices S.Ravindra Bhat and A.K. Chawla set aside the government’s April 27 notification imposing the ban, saying it was arbitrary and unreasonable.

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