1. Sudhir Bhargava appointed new chief information commissioner
- The Union government has appointed Sudhir Bhargava as the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC), along with four information commissioners in the Central Information Commission.
- Four new information commissioners are Yashwardhan Kumar Sinha (IFS officer), ex-IRS officer Vanaja N. Sarna (the only woman), Neeraj Kumar Gupta (1982-batch IAS officer) and Mr Suresh Chandra(former law secretary).
- Mr. Bhargava was Information Commissioner in the CIC.
2. Delhi Metro’s Lajpat Nagar-Mayur Vihar Pocket 1 corridor opens today
- Union Minister Hardeep S Puri & Deputy CM of Delhi Manish Sisodia jointly flag off Lajpat Nagar-Mayur Vihar Pocket 1 section of Pink Line of Delhi Metro.
- Around ten-kilometre stretch is the extension of 59 kilometres long Majlis Park-Shiv Vihar corridor.
- The section has five stations namely Vinoba Puri, Ashram, Hazrat Nizamuddin, Mayur Vihar -I and Mayur Vihar Pocket-1.
- It will be a major boon for the commuters of prominent areas like Ashram and Mayur Vihar.
- With the opening of this section, the Delhi Metro network has become 327 kilometres long with 236 Metro stations.
3. Indian Railways to grant fare concession to transgender senior citizens
- The Indian Railways has decided to grant 40% concession in passenger fares to transgender senior citizens (60 years or above).
- It will be available from 1st January 2019.
- Though a column for transgender (T) was introduced in the reservation form, the concession was not admissible to them.
4. PM Modi renames Ross, Neil & Havelock Islands in Andaman and Nicobar
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced the renaming of three islands of Andaman and Nicobar on 75th anniversary of Tricolour hoisting by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in Port Blair.
- The Ross Island has been renamed as Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Dweep.
- Now, The Neil Island would be known as Shaheed Dweep and Havelock Island as Swaraj Dweep.
- The Prime Minister also visited the Cellular Jail and laid a wreath at the Martyrs’ Column.
- The Prime Minister inaugurated the ITI Arong and interacted with Members of Tribal Council.
5. Veteran filmmaker Mrinal Sen passes away
- Legendary filmmaker Padma Bhushan and Dada Saheb Phalke awardee Mrinal Sen(95-years) passed away due to age-related ailments in Kolkata.
- He was the recipient of 12 international film awards including Cannes Film Festival.
- Mrinal Sen was also a member of the Indian People’s Theatre Association.
Banking & Finance
6. Government infuses Rs 2159 Crore in United Bank of India
- According to The United Bank of India, the Union government has decided to infuse Rs 2,159 crore in the bank.
- The government has decided to pump Rs 28,615 crore into seven public sector banks (PSBs) through recapitalization bonds soon.
- Bank of India is likely to get the highest amount of Rs 10,086 crore.
7. MSP for Copra hiked by more than Rs. 2000 per quintal
- The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved a hike in Minimum Support Price for Copra by more than two thousand rupees per quintal for 2019 season.
- The MSP of Copra has been increased to 9521 rupees per quintal from 7511 rupees per quintal in 2018.
- The MSP of Ball Copra will now be 9920 rupees per quintal which were earlier 7750 rupees.
8. Bangladesh Elections: Awami League registers landslide victory
- Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s (71-years) Awami League has registered a landslide victory in Parliamentary elections.
- The ruling Awami League-led grand alliance bagged 266 seats and its ally Jatiya Party secured 21 in the 300-member House.
- The opposition National Unity Front (UNF) with BNP being its key partner got only seven seats and Independent candidates won in two seats.
- The election was postponed in one seat due to the death of a candidate.
9. The United Arab Emirates reopens its embassy in Syria
- The United Arab Emirates (UAE) resumed its diplomatic services at its embassy in Damascus (Syria) after six years of suspension.
- In February 2012, The UAE broke ties with Syria as the repression of nationwide protests demanding regime change was escalating into a devastating war.
- The decision follows a careful reading of the latest developments and a conviction that the next phase requires Arab involvement to protect Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
- The UAE had closed its Embassy in the early years of the Syrian conflict.
10. Tony Joseph’s Early Indians Tells Us The Story Of Our Ancestry
- The book titled “Early Indians: The Story of Our Ancestors and Where We Came From” written by Tony Joseph was released.
- The book talks about the migration of the First Indians also known as ‘Aryans’ who arrived here 65,000 years ago.
- This book relies heavily on path-breaking DNA research of recent years.
11. Luka Modric wins Balkan Athlete of the year award 2018
- Croatia soccer star Luka Modric has been chosen Balkan athlete of the year 2018.
- Now, He became only the second soccer player to scoop the prize after Bulgaria’s former European Footballer of the Year Hristo Stoichkov in 1994.
- Tennis great Novak Djokovic of Serbia was second in the Balkan poll, and Romania’s Simona Halep third.
- Modric also won the prestigious Ballon d’Or for the first time earlier in December.
12. Sports Ministry embarks Rs 100 Cr for funding athletes under TOPS
- According to Director General of Sports Authority of India (DGSAI) Neelam Kapur, the sports ministry has earmarked Rs. 100 crores for funding the athletes under the (TOPS) Target Olympic Podium Scheme ahead of 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
- Under the scheme, the athletes were also given financial assistance to prepare for Commonwealth Games and Asian Games.
- The scheme was launched in September 2014 to provide financial assistance to potential Olympic medal winners.
- The flagship scheme of the government will also nurture future sporting talent by supporting a group of athletes who are a potential medal winner in 2024 and 2028 Olympic Games.
13. Saurabh Chaudhary sweeps men’s air pistol national trials
- Indian Shooter Saurabh Chaudhary has won the 10m air pistol trials at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range by winning the second National trial competitions in both the men’s and junior boy’s categories.
- Asian Games and Youth Olympic Games champion
- Earlier, Saurabh had won the first trial in both events as well and in one final shooting event way above the existing world record score.
- He won the men’s final with a relatively modest 243.3 score, leaving behind Punjab’s Arjun Singh Cheema, who shot 239.8 to emerge second.
14. 3rd Edition of Women’s national boxing championships begins today
- The third edition of women’s national boxing championships begins in Vijayanagara, Karnataka.
- Country’s top boxers will be vying for top honours as the tournament will be held at the JSW Sports-owned Inspire Institute of Sport till 6th of the next month.
- Around 250 entries received from 31 states and institutions, pugilists will compete in all 10 weight categories (48kg, 51kg, 54kg, 57kg, 60kg, 64kg, 69kg, 75kg, 81kg and +81kg class.).