Current Affairs 5th December 2016 - Banking, SSC, UPSC Affairs

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Indian Golfer Mukesh Kumar became the oldest golfer to win an Asian Tour title on December 4, 2016 at Delhi Golf Club (DGC) after winning the Panasonic Open India.  The 51-year-old Mukesh, who has won 123 PGTI titles, scored two-under 70 in the final round which made his total to 10-under 206 to claim the trophy.

Online flea market app Yappily, which lets a buyer and seller interact and transact in 10 seconds literally. Over 17,000 users are doing that already. The management graduate has co-founders in technology graduates Rohit Kumar and Rashmi Ranjan Padhy. Their Bangalore-based startup would have to help in the discovery and curation of products which are otherwise difficult to find, provide a platform for new as well as pre-loved products, build a social network of “good” people, and make it work both offline and online. It recently raised $35 million in funding from marquee investors, including Sequoia India.  Yappily has confidently seized the space with over 1,200 unique sellers – both online and offline – and more than 500,000 products on board.

KPMG and Microsoft India on Monday announced a strategic Internet of Things (IoT) Advisory partnership to accelerate the digital transformation of large and mid-market enterprises in the country. The IoT Advisory will help enterprises deploy solutions that can drive Cloud-based automation, generate operational insights through IoT, provide better customer relationship management and analytics, improve organisational agility and increase workforce mobility. The IoT Advisory will help enterprises deploy solutions that can drive Cloud-based automation, generate operational insights through IoT, provide better customer relationship management and analytics, improve organisational agility and increase workforce mobility.. KPMG is successfully bringing together its business transformation expertise with Microsoft's Cloud technologies and business solutions globally to give companies the combined business and technological strengths they need to be successful. KPMG in India will also extend its services to the entire spectrum of Microsoft productivity tools, intelligent Cloud, blockchain technology and cyber security amongst others.

With increased 4G and 3G penetration, the Internet user base in India is rapidly expanding and has reached a penetration of over 27 per cent versus 50.3 per cent penetration in China and expected to double to 600 million users by 2020 from 343 million users currently, according to an ASSOCHAM- Deloitte joint study. India internet user is expected to almost double to 600 million users by 2020 from approximately 343 million users currently. Going forward, rural adoption of data-enabled devices is expected to increase with the BharatNet initiative under Digital India. India is the second largest mobile phone market globally with over 1 billion mobile subscriptions. Of this, smartphone users account for approximately 240 million subscriptions which are expected to grow to 520 million by 2020. Currently, over 55,000 villages remain deprived of mobile connectivity. This is largely due to the fact that providing mobile connectivity in such locations is not commercially viable for service providers. Challenges in policy, such as taxation, right of way, restrictive regulations etc. are major roadblocks in realising the vision of Digital India. Some of the common policy hurdles include the following lack of clarity in FDI policies, for instance, have impacted the growth of e-commerce. Implementation of the Digital India program has been hampered by contracting challenges such as the projects assigned to PSUs are delayed given challenges related to skills, experience and technical capabilities. Despite rising smartphone penetration and internet user base, digital literacy in India has been low. In order for the benefits of the Digital India programme to reach all sections of the population, improving digital literacy is imperative. A strong skill base is required to support the initiatives and services that are envisaged under the Digital India umbrella.

The premier cyber security agency CERT-In has cautioned bankers, customers and traders against skimming and malware attacks on micro ATMs and Point of Sale (POS) terminals. The move comes as usage of POS and micro-ATMs counters have witnessed a sharp surge post demonetisation. It has asked to adopt high-end encryption to plug possible breaches. In this regard, CERT-In has issued two specific advisories for micro-Automated Teller Machines and POS terminals. Skimming: It is the theft of classified credit/debit card data. Using this method, a hacker (thief) can obtain the victim’s card number using a small electronic device near the card acceptance slot and store hundreds of card details at a time. Social engineering attack : It can be engineered at these banking and POS facilities, by gaining trust of the card owner as the fraudster poses as a member of staff. Micro-ATMs security features must be strong and updated in order to check attempts by hackers who stealthily plan to steal private customer and bank data. Point to Point Encryption (P2PE) should be used to minimise this risk as it will encrypt the card data and keep it encrypted to the maximum extent throughout its life. Banks and micro ATM operators must use some counter-measures to thwart cyberattacks. Micro ATM must not transmit any confidential data unencrypted on the network. It must automatically log out the operator and lock itself after a period of inactivity. Operators must keep all micro ATM software, application, anti-virus regularly updated and educate the customer about basic functionalities and security best practises. Customers must render due diligence of securing their PIN and not sharing vital details with strangers. Micro ATM : It work with minimal power and connect to central banking servers through a GPRS network. It enables the un-banked rural population to access banking services in their villages or towns. It offers facilities of deposit, withdrawal, balance enquiry, issuance of mini-statement and funds transfer. CERT-In (Indian Computer Emergency Response Team): It is the nodal agency that deals with cyber security threats like hacking and phishing. It is government organisation under Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. It aims to strengthen security-related defence of the Indian Internet domain.  

The Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram launched ‘Stanpan Suraksha’ mobile application to promote breastfeeding and keep a tab on “inappropriate” promotion of baby food items. The mobile application has been developed by the Breastfeeding Promotion Network of India (BPNI). Stanpan Suraksha is first-of-its-kind app deveopled for promoting breastfeeding and baby food promotion reporting mechanism. Using it any person can click a photograph of inappropriate baby food promotion around them and related equipment and send it to BPNI.  The app also has a city-wise database of trained breastfeeding counsellor to educate and provide assistance to mothers during antenatal and postnatal period.  It has sign up option for mothers who wish to become a breastfeeding counsellor, pledging for petition and donation. It aims to become instrumental in gathering incremental evidence to report on promotion of baby foods from remote locations. Undermining of the breastfeeding practices is rampant in the country mainly due to cultural barriers and myths associated with breastfeeding. 79% of the babies are delivered in institutions, out of which only 45% given breastmilk in the first hour. To address this problem Union Government had launched MAA (Mothers Absolute Affection) programme.  

The International Volunteer Day (IVD) was observed across the world on 5 December 2016 with the theme Global Applause– give volunteers a hand. This year's theme recognizes the volunteers worldwide and their efforts in making peace and sustainable development a reality. To mark International Volunteer Day, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme released the data showing the increase in keyboard volunteers that is online volunteers. By volunteering online, volunteers work for sustainable human development by supporting the activities of development organizations. The Day was designated in 1985 by the United Nations as an international observance day to celebrate the power and potential of volunteerism. It is seen as a unique chance for volunteers and organizations to promote their work among their communities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), United Nations agencies and the government authorities. The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme contributes to peace and development by promoting the recognition of volunteers and working with partners to integrate volunteerism into development programming.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the clear winner of online reader’s poll for the TIME ‘Person of the Year 2016’.  Amoung the total votes cast, 18 percent went to Modi, which is almost two times more than the percentage of yes votes received by U.S President Barack Obama, US President-elect Donald Trump and Founder of Wikileaks Julian Assange, who all got 7% votes each. The results were calculated on the basis of votes received until the midnight of 4 December 2016. The Indian elected head was also way ahead of U.S presidential nominee Hillary Clinton who received 4 percent votes and the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, who just received 2 percent votes in his favour.  However, this is not the first time that Narendra Modi has dominated the online reader’s poll for the ‘Time Person of the Year’ title. He was at the top of the list in 2014 as well securing almost 16 percent of the total five million votes cast. That was the same year when he was elected as the Prime Minister of India, with his party gaining a landslide victory. The official result for the TIME ‘Person of the Year’ will be announced on 7 December 2016. The winner’s name will be decided by the editors of the magazine.  The prestigious title is presented every year to an individual who has had the most impact on the news and world in the past year, regardless of whether the influence was positive or negative. Last year the title had gone to the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel.  

Bharti Airtel Limited has announced the appointment of Sunil Taldar as the Chief Executive Officer and Director for its DTH business. Taldar will take over from Shashi Arora who moved as Managing Director and CEO of Airtel Payments Bank. Taldar will be a member of the Airtel Management Board and will report to Gopal Vittal, Chief Executive Officer at Bharti Airtel (India and South Asia). As per Airtel, Taldar will be “responsible for driving growth and innovation for Airtel Digital TV, which is a key growth driver within the company’s B2C portfolio.” Previously, Taldar worked with Cadbury as India Sales Director. He had also worked with Mondelez (Indonesia) as Country Head. Airtel digital TV : Airtel digital TV is an Indian direct-broadcast satellite service provider.It is owned and operated by Bharti Airtel. It was launched in 2008.Its satellite service transmits digital satellite television and audio to households in India. At the end of the September 2016 quarter, Airtel digital TV had 12.4 million customers and recorded revenue growth of 21 per cent.

The World Soil Day (WSD) 2016 was observed on 5 December 2016 at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) headquarters in Rome. The theme for the day is “Soils and pulses, a symbiosis for life.” The theme for the 2016 WSD focuses on the positive contributions of pulses to soil properties, such as fixing the atmosphere nitrogen and improving its biodiversity, fertility and structure. The observance of World Soil Day aims at connecting people with soils and raising awareness on their critical importance in lives of human beings. On the other hand, 2016 was declared the International Year of Pulses (IYP). International Year of Pulses : The year 2016 was declared as the International Year of Pulses by the 68th UN General Assembly. It aims to heighten public awareness of the nutritional benefits of pulses as part of sustainable food production aimed towards food security and nutrition. Objectives of the IYP 2016 are: To raise understanding about the important role of pulses in sustainable food production and healthy diets and their role in food security and nutrition. To promote the value and utilization of pulses throughout the food system, their benefits for soil fertility and climate change and for combating malnutrition. To encourage connections throughout the food chain to further global production of pulses, foster enhanced research, better utilize crop rotations and address the challenges in the trade of pulses.

In a surprising move, New Zealand’s Prime Minister, John Key announced his resignation during a weekly press conference in Wellington on 5 December 2016. He cited family reasons for his sudden exit. Key will be leaving the post after almost eight years of service. Explaining his decision, he stated that there was no way he could have sat through an entire fourth term. He, however, does plan to stay long enough to avoid by-election for his seat.  John Key : He started his career as a foreign exchange dealer and then went on to become the head of global foreign exchange at Merril Lynch in 1995. He was also appointed as a member of the Foreign Exchange Committee of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.  He entered politics through New Zealand National Party. He was one of the few new National members of Parliament in the 2002 elections. He was appointed as the Finance Spokesman of the party in 2004 and two years later, he succeeded Don Brash as its new leader.  After serving as the leader of Opposition for two years, Key led his party to victory in 2008 elections and became the 38th Prime Minister of New Zealand.   His winning streak continued into the next two general elections as well, which were held subsequently in 2011 and 2014.  Overall, Key’s governance was well appreciated, especially in the way how he steered New Zealand’s economy out of deep crisis following the recession in the late 2000s and a major earthquake in the country’s second largest city, Christchurch.  His resignation will be effective from 12 December 2016. The National Party would be convening on the same day to decide his successor. The most likely candidate for the role would be current deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Bill English.

The sixth 'Heart of Asia' ministerial conference will kick off on 3 December 2016 to discuss peace, cooperation and economic development in Afghanistan. Delegates from nearly 40 countries will participate in the conference organised on the theme 'Addressing Challenges, Achieving Prosperity'. The main conference will be inaugurated jointly by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will lead the Indian delegation in place of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. The foreign secretaries will have deliberations, while Ministers will attend the conference on Sunday. Eliminating terrorism in South Asia and improving connectivity in Afghanistan is likely to dominate the discussions. Describing terrorism as a constant threat, especially to India and Afghanistan, which is a creation of this region, Afghanistan Ambassador to India Dr. Shaida Abdalion said on Wednesday that Kabul expects the Heart of Asia will approve and adopt the Regional Counterterrorism Framework drafted by Afghanistan. Giving Afghanistan's perspective on the conference, Abdali said, "Unless we take a collective measure to fight terrorism; to fight the breeding ground of terrorism; and the safe sanctuaries; we will not be able to bring peace and stability either in Afghanistan or any other nation in the region, mainly in India.Stating that terrorism is a creation of this region, the Afghanistan envoy observed that the solution also lies within the region. Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's Foreign Policy Advisor Sartaj Aziz is also scheduled to attend the conference; however, no bilateral meeting is expected on the sidelines. In view of the event, the holy city has been turned into a fortress with deployment of 11 companies of the paramilitary forces and over 5,000 policemen. Heart of Asia Process was launched in 2011 from Istanbul. The conference is a platform for regional cooperation by placing Afghanistan at its center.

Tesla and SpaceX Founder Elon Musk has been named the most admired leader in the technology space, in a survey conducted by VC firm First Round Capital involving over 700 startup founders.  Amazon's Jeff Bezos emerged as the second most admired technology leader, followed by Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and Apple's Steve Jobs.

India's representative Srinidhi Shetty has been crowned Miss Supranational 2016, an international beauty pageant.  This marks the second time that India has won the pageant following the win by Asha Bhat in 2014.  Srinidhi Shetty qualified for the competition after becoming the first runner-up at the Miss India Universe pageant earlier this year, where she won the title 'Miss Diva Supranational'.

The Indian Navy Day is observed annually on 4 December to celebrate the magnificence, achievements and role of the naval force of the country.  Indian Navy is one of most potent maritime forces in the world and the most lethal in Indian Ocean. On the occasion of 45th Navy Day, President Pranab Mukherjee extended greetings to all members of the Indian Navy and their families. The observance of the day commemorates the launch of Operation Trident by the Indian Navy against Pakistan on 4th December, 1971. During the 1971 India-Pakistan war, the Indian Navy had played a significant role in the bombing of the Karachi harbour, the stronghold of the Pakistani Navy.  In this attack, Indian Navy sank four Pakistani vessels and ravaged the Karachi harbour fuel fields.  In this operation, three missile boats of the Indian Navy, INS Nirghat, INS Nipat and INS Veer had played a pivotal role.Operation Trident had also resulted in first use of anti-ship missiles in the Arabian Sea region.

The 7th World Ayurveda Congress (WAC) was held from December 2 to 4, 2016 at Science City in Kolkata, West Bengal. It was organised by the World Ayurveda Foundation with the support of the Union Ministry of AYUSH to facilitate development and growth of AYUSH system of medicine comprising Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy. The focus theme of the Ayurveda Congress was “Strengthening the Ayurveda Ecosystem“. The major components of the congress were public outreach session, Ayurveda Clinics for the general public and Public Lectures. During the 7th WAC, 5 plenary sessions, 25 parallel sessions and a large number of paper presentations were also held.  On behest of PHARMEXCIL and Union Ministry of Commerce & Industry, buyer seller meet was also held to boost the export potential of the Ayurvedic Industry.  Besides, to facilitate development and growth of AYUSH system of medicine the AYUSH ministry also had organised AROGYA Expo. It was inaugurated by Union Minister for AYUSH Shripad Naik.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is going to issue new currency notes of Twenty and Fifty rupees denomination in the Mahatma Gandhi Series-2005. All old the previous currency notes of old Rs. 20 and Rs. 50 denomination issued by the Bank will continue to be legal tender. The 50 rupees note will be without inset letter in both the number panels. The 20 rupees note will be with inset letter ‘L’ in both the number panels. Both notes will bear signature of incumbent RBI Governor Dr. Urjit R Patel.  The year 2016 will be printed on the reverse of both the notes. Earlier in November 2016, the Union Government had decided to ban Rs 500 and Rs 1000 denomination bank notes, in a move to curb black money.  Subsequently a new Rs 500 banknote and Rs 2000 with advance security features were also issued. However, Rs 1000 notes have not been issued yet.

Hailakandi district of Assam has become the first district to pay wages to tea garden workers through individual bank accounts. It completed this task before the December 15, 2016 deadline set by the state government for cashless transactions of salary payments to the plantation workers. At least 504 workers of Burnie Braes tea estate received their wages through bank accounts. The payment was made through five Banking Correspondents (CSPs) of Assam Gramin Vikash Bank. Such payments were possible due to the effort bankers, tea garden managements and mobile service providers. Following demonetisation of old high value 500 Rupees and 1000 Rupees currency notes, Assam government had set December 15, 2016 as the deadline for cashless transactions to tea plantation workers.

Kolkata bagged the best city award for its effective tackling of solid waste. Kolkata was awarded the the best cities of 2016 award in recognition of its inspiring and innovative programme with regard to solid waste management. It is the only Indian city, along with 10 other cities from around the world, to receive the prestigious award. C40 Chair and Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes gave away the prestigious award during the C40 Mayors Summit held in Mexico City. Other cities that won the award under various categories are: Climate Action Plans and Inventories: Portland Adaptation Plans and Assessments: Paris Building Energy Efficiency: Melbourne and Sydney Clean Energy: Yokohama Finance and Economic Development: Shenzhen Adaptation in Action: Copenhagen Transportation: Addis Ababa Sustainable Communities: Curitiba Social Equity and Climate Change: Seo C40 Cities Awards: The C40 Cities Awards are granted in 10 categories, which provide global recognition for cities that are demonstrating climate action leadership. C40: It is a network of the world's megacities committed to addressing climate change. Created and led by cities, C40 is focused on tackling climate change and driving urban action that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and climate risks, while increasing the health, wellbeing and economic opportunities of urban citizens.  

Sprint king Usain Bolt from Jamaica has been awarded the 2016 IAAF World Athlete of the Year award in male category for sixth time. Earlier he had won it in 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013. He was rewarded for his blistering performance in 2016 season in which he won three gold medals (100m, 200m and 4x100m relay) at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Bolt had won three gold medals, each in the 100 meters, 200 meters and 4×100 meters at the Rio Olympics, repeating his feats of the 2012 London Games and in Beijing in 2008. Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia won the award in women’s award category. She was presented with the award for her world-record run to win Olympic gold medal in the 10,000 meters. She is the third Ethiopian woman to win this award following Genzebe Dibaba (2015) and Meseret Defar (2007). Male Rising Star: Andre De Grasse (Canada).  Female Rising Star: Nafissatou Thiam (Belgium).  Coaching Achievement: Harry Marra (US).  President’s Award: Tegla Loroupe.  Women in Athletics: Polyxeni Argeitaki (Greece). IAAF World Athlete of the year award  : The awards are presented annually by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). The winners are chosen by athletics officials, athletes, journalists and an online public poll.

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has found an ancient camping site used by pre-historic man, at an altitude of about 4,200 metres near Saser La in Nubra Valley, Ladakh.  The camping site is a place where hunter-gatherers in the ancient times stayed temporarily before they moved on to another place. This camping site is located in Saser La which leads to the Karakoram Pass. It was used for a seasonal settlement not a permanent settlement.  Charcoal pieces from the earth activity and remains of bones associated were discovered at the site. The carbon dating of these charcoal pieces reveals that, the site dates back to circa 8500 BCE. Saser La site is the earliest camping site discovered in Ladakh on the basis of a scientific date. Prior it, Ladakh region was not having any archaeological importance.  Thus, it is considered as remarkable discovery. Earlier, only 6th century CE to 7th century CE remains were reported in Ladakh.

The South American economic bloc Mercosur has suspended Venezuela from it for violating the bloc’s democratic principles and failing to meet its basic standards. The membership was revoked by the Foreign Ministers of the four founding members of Mercosur — Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay. Venezuela was suspended :  Venezuela was blocked after it failed to comply with its commitments given when it had joined the group in 2012. It also failed to meet December 1, 2016 deadline to adopt certain standards and rules required for membership of the bloc.  The bloc considered Venezuela as burden for the economic group due to its poor performance of the economy, colluding with the goals of the bloc.  It is also suffering from broken economic system (world’s highest inflation and crumbling currency), corruption problem and is close to civil unrest. Since 2015, tensions between Venezuela and its Mercosur partners had exacerbated. Earlier in 2016, the bloc had stopped Venezuela from assuming the rotating presidency. Mercosur is a sub-regional bloc of South American countries. Its purpose is to promote free trade and the fluid movement of goods, people, and currency.  It was established in 1991 and its headquarters are located at Montevideo (Uruguay). It calls itself the common market of the South America.  At present, it is a full customs union and a trading bloc. Its full members are Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. Its associate countries are Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and Suriname. Besides, New Zealand, Mexico are observer countries.

The Public Financial Management System (PFMS) after implemented on full scale will help Union Government to save a significant amount on interest costs. It will allow the government to monitor and access the more than Rs.1 lakh crore of idle funds lying with it under various heads.  Once government access these funds through PFMS, it need does not need to borrow that amount. Government is planning to roll out this platform from next financial year i.e. April 2016 along with Goods and Services Tax (GST). It will be integrated with IT network of the GST. Public Financial Management System :  PFMS is an electronic fund tracking mechanism compiles, collates and makes available in real-time, information regarding all government schemes.  Besides, it will significantly provide government real-time information on resource availability and utilisation across schemes. In addition it allow government expenditure to adopt a Just-in- Time (JIT) approach, with payments made only when they are needed.

India and Qatar has signed four agreements to boost the bilateral relations between the two nations. The agreements were inked in New Delhi after delegation level talks held between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister of Qatar Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser Bin Khalifa Al Thani. Emir Al Thani was on a two-day visit to India. Agreement on the exemption from visa requirement for holders of diplomatic, special and official passports: The agreement allows holders of diplomatic, special and official passport of the two countries to visa-free travel between the two countries. Protocol on Technical Cooperation in cyber space and combating cyber crime: This Protocol adds an important dimension of bilateral Technical Cooperation in Cyber Space and Combating Cyber Crime to the existing framework agreement in the field of security signed on 10 November 2008. Letter of Intent regarding negotiations on an Agreement on the grant of e-Visa for businessmen and tourists of the two countries: This allows negotiations on an agreement on the grant of e-visa to businessmen and tourists of the two countries. MoU between Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy of Qatar and Confederation of Indian Industry: This MoU will provide the framework for project experts for Indian companies in Qatar, including through participation in infrastructure projects in Qatar undertaken for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Besides, a MoU to collaborate and exchange in the field of national ports management was inked between Qatar Ports Management Company "Mwani Qatar” and Indian Ports Global Private Limited (IPGPL).

India women’s cricket team  defeated Pakistan to win the 2016 Asia Cup T20 at Bangkok, Thailand. India defeated Pakistan in the final of the regional tournament by 17 runs. The win is India’s sixth Asia Cup crown. In the final, India, who remained undefeated during the tournament, batted first and scored 121/5. Player of the Series: Mithali Raj (India) Most runs in the Series: 220 by Mithali Raj (India) Most wickets in the Series: 12 by Sana Mir (Pakistan) Women's Asia Cup : The Women's Asia Cup is an international One Day International and Twenty20 International cricket tournament. It is contested by women's cricket teams from Asia. It has been played six times to date. In 2012, Indian had defeated Pakistan by 19 runs in the final of T20 in Guangzhou, China.

In an unexpected move, Nico Rosberg announced his retirement from Formula One on 2 December 2016, just five days after he grabbed his first-ever F1 World Champion title in the season’s final race at Abu Dhabi. The 31-year-old, who beat his Mercedes team-mate and three-time world champion Lewis Hamilton by five points, stated that he was retiring from the sport to spend more quality time with his wife, Vivian and baby daughter, Alaia. This is the first time that a reigning world champion has decided to quit the sport. Last time something similar happened was in 1993 when Alain Prost announced his retirement after winning his fourth driver’s title. Rosberg and his accomplishments : He is the son of former F1 world champion, Keke Rosberg, who won the title in 1982.He won the 2005 GP2 series for the French motor racing team, ART He made his F1 debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix in 2006 for Williams, his father’s old team.He raced for the team from 2006- 2009 and then joined Mercedes from 2010 until 2016.  He raced in 206 Grand Prix competitions and has 23 Formula one wins and 30 Formula one pole positions to his name.  He is also the fourth driver in the history of Formula one to win the Monaco Grand Prix thrice in a row and to have 7 consecutive Grand Prix wins.He has also won the Lorenzo Bandini Trophy in 2011, FIA Pole Trophy in 2014 and DHL Fastest Lap. Rosberg made the shocking announcement through a post on his social media account. His departure does surely raise an important question of – who will take his position in the Mercedes team. The popular names that cropped up were Sebastian Vettel, Pascal Wehrlein, and Fernando Alonso. However, Vettel and Alonso are already to their tied to their respective teams for another season.  

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will launch 83 satellites into space in one go, aboard a single rocket in January 2017.  This announcement was made during the proceedings of the lower house, Lok Sabha on 30 November 2016. Amoung the 83 satellites, 3 belong to India while the other 80, weighing 500 kg belong to five foreign nations including Israel, Netherlands, Kazakhstan, Switzerland and the United States of America.  The launch of these foreign satellites by India is a part of a commercial agreement signed between these countries and Antric Corporation Ltd, which is the commercial arm and Public sector undertaking of ISRO. The three Indian satellites that are going to be launched include:  Cartosat – 2 series, weighing 730 kg as primary payload INS-IA INS-1B The second and third satellites in total weigh 30kg. Going by the size of the project, this mission would be the first of its kind in ISRO’s space history. The last mission that comes just close to this event is when ISRO launched 20 satellites with the PSLC-C34 launch. Similarly, then also the launch included foreign satellites from countries such as Canada, Germany, Indonesia and the United States of America.  

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