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- Sahitya Akademi announced its annual Sahitya Akademi Awards in 23 languages. Seven books of poetry, four of the novel, six of short stories, three of essays and one each of non-fiction, autobiography and biography have won the Sahitya Akademi Awards 2019. This time, the awards for the Nepali language will be announced
The complete list of winners in a different language and genre categories is given in the table below.
|S.No||Language||Title and Genre||Name of the Author|
|1||Assamese||Chanakya (Novel)||Joysree Goswami
Darja Thele (Essays)
Era of Darkness (Non-Fiction)
Revu Re (Essays)
Hue Apne Ko (Poetry)
Yaad Akh Qayamat (Short Stories)
Oriaon Kariat (Poetry)
Piranna Veedu (Poetry)
Adungeigi Eethat (Novel)
Birmangol Singh (Beryl Thanga)
|(Short Stories)||Kanti Mishra|
|16||Punjabi||Antheen (Short Stories)||Kirpal
|21||Tamil||Sool (Novel)||Cho Dharman|
Syed: Ek Bazadeed (Biography)
- The Award in the form of a casket containing an engraved copper-plaque, a shawl and an amount of Rs. 1,00,000/- towards cash content will be presented to the authors of these books at a special function to be held on 25 February 2020 at New Delhi during the Festival of Letters organized by Sahitya Akademi.
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will simultaneously purchase and sell government securities worth Rs 10,000 crore under a special Open Market Operation (OMO).
- On a review of the current liquidity and market situation and an assessment of the evolving financial conditions, the Reserve Bank has decided to conduct simultaneous purchase and sale of government securities on December 23,
- The purchase will be for government securities worth Rs 10,000 crore for the instrument ‘6.45 per cent GS 2029’.
- he Reserve Bank reserves the right to decide on the quantum of purchase/sale of individual securities and to accept bids/offers for less than the aggregate
India celebrates Vijay Diwas: 16 December
- The nation celebrates 16 December as Vijay Diwas to commemorate India’s victory over Pakistan in 1971
- The Indo-Pakistan war of 1971 which began on December 3 lasted for 13 days and officially ended on December 16, after which Pakistan surrendered to
- It was on this day in 1971, the chief of the Pakistani forces, General AA Khan Niazi, along with 93 thousand troops, had surrendered unconditionally to the allied forces consisting of Indian Army and Mukti
- The end of the war also resulted in subsequent secession of East Pakistan into Bangladesh.
|Lt Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane
to be next Army Chief
|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.
Insights of WEF’s Global Gender Gap Report:
· The Global Gender Gap Report 2020 has assessed 153 countries on their progress towards gender parity in 4 dimensions:
1. Economic Participation and Opportunity
2. Educational Attainment
3. Health and Survival
4. Political Empowerment
5. The report also examines gender gap prospects in the professions of the future.
From World perspective:
· Political Representation: According to the report, it will take 95 years to close the gender gap in political representation, with women in 2019 holding 25.2% of parliamentary (lower- house) seats and 21.2% of ministerial positions.
· 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.
|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
- Labour Market: Only 55% of women (aged 15-
64) are engaged in the labour market as opposed to 78% of men.
- Economic participation and opportunity: In this dimension, the progress has regressed with a deteriorating situation forcing gender parity to a lowly 57.8%, which in time represents a massive 257 years before gender parity can be
From India’s perspective:
- With a score of 0.668, India has been ranked 112th in the WEF’s Global Gender Gap Report 2020.
India’s ranking in different dimensions:
- In terms of Economic participation and opportunity, India has been ranked 149th with a score of 0.354 in the WEF’s Global Gender Gap Report
- In terms of Educational attainment, India has been ranked 112th with a score of 0.962 in the WEF’s Global Gender Gap Report
- In terms of Health and survival, India has been ranked 150th with a score of 0.944 in the WEF’s Global Gender Gap Report
- In terms of Political empowerment, India has been ranked 18th with a score of 0.411 in the WEF’s Global Gender Gap Report
- Overall around the world, this year’s index highlights areas where policy makers need to focus greater attention. At the federal level, greater political representation and in some nations, any representation at all for women is a pressing need. Policy makers are also required to take action to better equip younger generations particularly in developing nations with the skills to succeed in the world of future
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has waived NEFT, RTGS transfer charges for savings account
- In an order, RBI instructed banks to make all online payments done through RTGS and NEFT free of cost for savings account
- The new rule will be effective from January 1, 2020.
- The Goods and Services Tax or GST Council has fixed a uniform tax rate of 28% on both state-run and private
- It also decided to rationalise the GST rate on
woven and non-woven bags to 18%.
- It was for the first time that the GST Council resorted to voting to decide on an issue as it fixed a uniform tax rate on both state and private
- The GST Council also decided to exempt upfront amount payable for long term lease of industrial and financial infrastructure plots by an entity having 20% or more ownership of Central or State
- India and the US have signed an agreement to facilitate the transfer of defence technology.
- During a 2+2 dialogue held at Washington DC, the top foreign affairs and defence leaders on growing strategic relations between the world`s largest and most powerful
- India and the US have a common vision of a free, seamless and peaceful Indo-Pacific region.
- India has bought weapons worth more than
$15 billion from the United States over the past decade as it seeks to replace its Russian- origin military and is in talks for helicopters, armed drones and a bigger Indian plan for local production of combat planes together worth billions of dollars.
- HDFC Bank has become the 3rd Indian firm to cross $100 billion mark in market capitalisation.
- HDFC Bank has joined the league of Reliance Industries Ltd, which has a market cap of
$140.74 billion, and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) that has a market cap of
- With this achievement, HDFC Bank is now ranked 110th in the list of world’s most valued
- Among the world’s most valued banks and financial companies which have a market cap of over $100 billion, HDFC Bank is ranked at 26th
- FASTags or prepaid rechargeable tags for toll collection have become mandatory for all vehicles from 15th December
- Bureau of Energy Efficiency has organised the “29th National Energy Conservation Awards” under the guidance of Ministry of Power, Government of
- The Union government has launched National Broadband Mission to provide Broadband access to all villages by
- Government e-commerce portal GeM has launched a national outreach programme, “GeM Samvaad”, to bring on-board more local sellers.
- Indian Railways has decided to grant 50% concession for the youth participating in the “Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat”
- Chennai Corporation, Tamil Nadu launched India’s first waste exchange platform namely “Madras Waste Exchange” (www.madraswasteexchange.com) to buy and sell municipal solid waste
- Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa announced the setting up of a Gandhi Citizenship Education
- The Indian Pharmacopoeia (IP) has been recognised formally by the National Department of Regulation of Medicines and Health Products of the Ministry of Public Health of Islamic Republic of
States in the News
- The Coal Ministry will establish ‘Sustainable Development Cell’ (SDC) for promoting sustainable coal mining in the
- The Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Kamal Nath will inaugurate the International Film Festival in Shilpkala village of
- 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.
- In Madhya Pradesh, popular classical music festival ‘Tansen Samaroh’ began with traditional style in Gwalior with the recitations of Harikatha and
- Chief Minister Biren Singh inaugurated the State-level Orange festival at district Tamenglong in Manipur.
- Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has launched the ‘Jalsathi’ programme to ensure supply of safe drinking water to all households in the state. The Odisha CM also launched the ‘JalSathi’ App on the
- The Meghalaya Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution urging the Government of India to implement Inner Line Permit in the state under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation,
- Thailand’s famous 2000-year-old massage, Nuad Thai was added to UNESCO’s (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) prestigious heritage
- Abdelmadjid Tebboune, former Prime Minister (PM) of Algeria was elected as the President of Algeria succeeding Abdelkader Bensalah.
- Sri Lankan government has formally released its new National policy Framework titled ‘Vistas of Prosperity and Splendor’.
- Donald Trump has become the third US President in history to be impeached by the House of
- Ethiopia launched its first satellite, a landmark achievement for the country’s space program that caps a banner year for the African space
- US President Donald Trump has picked Indian-American computer scientist Sethuraman Panchanathan to lead the prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) in
- The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote sustainable agriculture and climate-resilient farming systems.
- State Bank of India (SBI) has signed a loan agreement worth of $277 million (about Rs 1,958 crore) with Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) German development bank for establishing an energy-efficient housing programme in
- “Amazon.com Inc”, “Apple Inc” and Alphabet Inc’s “Google” have announced a partnership to lay the groundwork for better compatibility among their smart home products.
Books and Authors
- Viswanathan Anand has launched his autobiography ‘Mind Master’. Anand’s autobiography is co-authored by sports journalist Susan
- Social Justice and Empowerment Minister launched the Braille version of the book “Exam Warriors” written by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New
- Edelweiss Asset Management Company (AMC), a subsidiary of Edelweiss Capital Limited (ECL) has launched India’s 1st Corporate Bond ETF (exchange trade fund) called the Bharat Bond
- The Government of India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have signed a $250 million loan for Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL).
- Infosys has announced the launch of three blockchain-powered distributed The applications will be dedicated for government services, insurance, and supply chain management domains.
- French carmaker “Peugeot SA” and US- Italian “Fiat Chrysler” have signed an agreement to create the world’s fourth largest automaker.
- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India has signed a $490 million loan. The loan is signed for public- private partnership (PPP) project through the hybrid-annuity model (HAM) to upgrade about 1,600 km of state highways and major district roads in the state of Madhya
- Google searches for “Operation Twist” surged in India after the central bank announced its version of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s unconventional monetary policy. The Reserve Bank of India will buy longer- tenor bonds while selling shorter debt. The concept is similar to Operation Twist used by the Fed in 2011-2012 in an effort to cheapen long-term borrowing and spur bank
- IAS officer Ravi Mittal took charge as the new Secretary, Information and Broadcasting Ministry.
- Nagaland Governor R N Ravi has been given additional charge of
- British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has won the historic UK General Election as his Conservative Party crossed the magic number of 326 required for a majority in the Parliament.
- Sridhar Patra was appointed as the chairman-cum-managing director of National Aluminium Company Ltd (NALCO). He is at present Director (Finance) in
- The Laura Alexandra Marsh, England cricketer announced her
- The Union Government appointed a senior Gujarat Cadre IPS officer Atul Karwal, as Director of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy in Hyderabad.
- Devesh Srivastava has been raised to the position of Chairman and Managing Director (MD) at the General Insurance Corporation India (GIC Re).
- Former High Court Judge Justice CV Ramulu has been appointed as the Lokayukta of Telangana. Former Law Secretary V Niranjan Rao has been appointed as Upa
- 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.
- India successfully conducted a developmental trial of the land-attack version of BrahMos supersonic cruise missile from Chandipur Integrated Test Range, off Odisha
- The Indian Navy, in collaboration with Indian Coast Guard, Cochin Port Trust and all other concerned stakeholders, conducted a large- scale anti-hijacking exercise off the Port of Kochi.
- An upgraded version of the indigenously developed Pinaka-guided rocket system with enhanced strike range and guidance system was successfully test-fired from the DRDO’s Proof and Experimental Establishment firing test range off Odisha. The International Astronomical Union (IAU) announced the names of the newly discovered stars and planets, where the name “Sharjah” was chosen for a star with “Barjeel” being the name of one of its
Awards and Recognitions
- Tony-Ann Singh of Jamaica was announced as the winner of the Miss World 2019 beauty pageant held at the ExCeL
- 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
- 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).
- The state police of Gujarat were honoured with ‘President’s colours’. The Gujarat police were presented with the President’s colours by Vice President of India Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu in Gandhinagar,
- England cricketer Ben Stokes has been voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year
Summit and Conference
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi has chaired the first meeting of the National Ganga Council. The meeting was held in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh.
- The World Design Organization is all set to launch its new global programme World Design Protopolis in Bengaluru. It is aimed at implementing holistic progress in megacities across the world and thus making them sustainable.
- Rashtrapati Bhavan hosted a conference of 46 Heads of Central Universities and Institutes of Higher Learning in several fields including agriculture, pharmaceuticals, aviation, design, petroleum and
- The 5th meeting of the Economic Advisory Council (EAC) of the 15th Finance Commission was held in New
- Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla inaugurated the 79th Conference of Presiding Officers of Legislative Bodies. The conference was held in
- Union Minister of State for Home affairs inaugurate a National Conference on ‘Uniformed Women in Prisons Administration’ begins in Central Academy for Police Training in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.
- Summit on “Environmental Sustainability and Economic Development” was held in Delhi.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) annual conference in Delhi. The theme of the event was ‘New India Aspiring for a USD 5 trillion economy’. The event was organised on the completion of 100 years of
Schemes and Committee
- The government announced Rs 436 crore outlay for skilling 4 lakh professionals in futuristic areas such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, and cybersecurity over the next 3
- India opener Smriti Mandhana was named in both the International Cricket Council’s ODI and T20 teams of the year. She has Jhulan Goswami, Poonam Yadav and Shikha Pandey for the company in the ODI team of the year and all-rounder Deepti Sharma in the T20 side.
- The Indian men’s football team remained static at 108th spot in the year-ending FIFA rankings.
- Indian weightlifter Mirabai Chanu won the women’s 49kg category gold medal to open India’s account at the 6th Qatar International Cup in
- Belgium has been crowned FIFA ‘Team of the Year’ for the second successive time after a record-breaking year for the global
- The International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced that it has extended its partnership with UNICEF through to the Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 with the focus on empowering women and girls through cricket.
- The International Migrants Day is organized across the world on 18th December to protect the rights of migrant workers and members of their
- International Human Solidarity Day is organized across the world on 20th December.
- New Zealand’s 3-times Olympic middle- distance champion Peter Snell passed
- Veteran film actor Danny Aiello, known for his roles in the movies Do The Right Thing and The Godfather Part II passed
- Veteran actor Shriram Lagoo passed away. He played important role in the growth of theatre movement in Maharashtra in the post- Independence
- Bollywood actress Gita Siddharth Kak passed away. Her most well-known movies include Garm Hava (1973), Parichay (1972), Gaman (1978) among
- Former Union Minister ID Swami passed away. He served as the Union Minister of State for Home Affairs in 1999 in former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s government.
- Nationalist Congress Party’s Kerala State President and former Minister Thomas Chandy passed
- Kannada writer and critic S. Sheshagiri Rao passed away. His first work was Idu Jeevana, an anthology of short stories was released in 1948.
- Search engine giant Google has revealed that it’s powerful mapping service, Google Earth now covers more than 98 per cent of the world, and has captured 10 million miles of Street View imagery, a distance that could circle the globe more than 400
- UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), has removed the ‘Carnival of Aalst’ of Belgium from its Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity
- 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
- In Turkey, the main body of the 610-year-old Er-Rizk mosque was removed from the town of Hasankeyf ahead of its submergence as part of a Ilisu da
- Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh: Kamal Nath.UNESCO formation: 4 November 1946; UNESCO headquarters: Paris, France; UNESCO Director-General: Audrey
- Algeria Capital: Algiers; Algeria Prime Minister (PM): Noureddine Bedouia; Algeria Currency:
- Minister of Coal and Minister of Mines: Pralhad
- Edelweiss Capital Limited Headquarters: Mumbai; Founder: Rashesh Shah; Edelweiss Capital Limited founded:
- The International Council of Societies of Industrial Design was founded in 1957 from a group of international organizations focused on industrial design. It was renamed the World Design Organization in January
- Google CEO: Sundar Pichai; Founded: 4 September 1998.
- Sri Lanka Capitals: Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte; Currency: Sri Lankan rupee; Prime minister: Mahinda
- Governor of Madhya Pradesh: Lal Ji
- Governor of Haryana: Satyadeo Narayan
- United Nations Headquarters: New York, USA.It was founded on 24 October
- Secretary-General of the United Nations: Mr Antonio
- Governor of Jammu and Kashmir: Girish Chandra Murmu.
- The motto of Indian Army: “Service Before Self”; Headquarters: New Delhi; Commander- in-Chief: President Ram Nath
- NABARD founded: 12 July 1982; NABARD Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra; NABARD Chairperson: Harsh Kumar Bhanwala.
- Chairman 15th Finance Commission: NK Singh.
- The ITBP was raised on October 24, 1962; DG of ITBP: Surjeet Singh
- Commerce Secretary of India: Anup Wadhawan.
- Governor of Madhya Pradesh: Lal Ji
- Governor of Manipur: Najma
- Gujarat CM: Vijay Rupani; Governor: Acharya Dev
- United Kingdom Capital:
- United Kingdom Currency: Pound
- NALCO is a Navratna Public Sector Enterprise under ministry of mines; NALCO Established: 7 January 1981; NALCO Headquarters: Bhubaneswar, Odisha.
- England Capital: London; Currency: Pound sterling.
- SBI Chairperson: Rajnish Kumar; Headquarters: Mumbai; Founded: 1 July
- RBI 25th Governor: Shaktikant Das, Headquarters: Mumbai, Founded: 1 April 1935,
- Capital of Turkey: Ankara; Currency of Turkey: The Turkish
- The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is being implemented in the country since 1 July
- Minister of Finance and Minister of Corporate Affairs: Nirmala
- Railway Minister: Piyush
- Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs: Hardeep Singh Puri.
- Minister of Defence: Raj Nath Singh; Minister of External Affairs: Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.
- Governor of Odisha: Ganeshi
- Indian Coast Guard founded: 18 August 1978; Headquarters: New Delhi; Motto(s): Vayam Raks amah (We protect).
- Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Infosys: Salil Parekh; Headquarters: Bengaluru.
- Managing Director of HDFC Bank: Aditya Puri; Headquarters: Mumbai,
- Union Minister of State for Home affairs: Nityanand Rai.
- Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change: Prakash
- ICC CEO: Manu Sahney; Headquarters: Dubai, United Arab
- Social Justice and Empowerment Minister: Thawarchand Gehlot.
- Union Minister for Electronics and IT: Ravi Shankar Prasad.
- Portugal Capital: Lisbon; Portugal Currency: Euro.
- DRDO Chairman: G Satheesh Reddy, Established: 1958, Headquarters: New
- Meghalaya Capital: Shillong; Chief Minister: Conrad Sangma; Governor: Tathagata
- President of FIFA: Gianni Infantino; Founded: 21 May 1904; Headquarters: Zürich, Switzerland.
- Asian Development Bank Headquarters: Manila, Philippines, President: Takehiko Nakao.
- General Insurance Corporation India founded: 22 November
- General Insurance Corporation India Headquarters: Mumbai,
- International Astronomical Union Headquarters: Paris,
- International Astronomical Union Founded: 28 July 1919.
- CM of Telangana: K Chandrashekhar Rao; Capital of Telangana: Hyderabad; Governor of Telangana: Tamilisai
- Qatar Capital: Doha; Currency: Qatari
- Ethiopia Capital: Addis Ababa; Currency:
- President of FIFA: Gianni Infantino; Founded: 21 May 1904; Headquarters: Zürich, Switzerland.
- Assocham President: B K Goenka; Headquarters: New Delhi; Est:
- RBI 25th Governor: Shaktikant Das; Headquarters: Mumbai; Founded: 1 April 1935,