1. Microsoft passed Apple to become most valuable company
Microsoft has surpassed Apple as the most valuable US company with a market value of about $812 billion. Apple’s market cap was about $1 billion less.
- In August 2018, Apple became the first US company with a $1 trillion valuation.
- Under CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft has made a years-long bet on cloud computing. This has positioned Microsoft as one of the two dominant players – along with Amazon (AMZN) – in a fast growing market, and propelled the company to its first $100 billion sales year.
2. Defence Ministry approves military procurement worth Rs 3000 crore
The approved deal includes procurement of indigenous BrahMos missiles for two Indian Navy ships that are to be built in Russia.
- The Defence Acquisition Council also approved the procurement of Armoured Recovery Vehicles (ARVs) for the Indian Army’s main battle tank, Arjun.
- Jointly developed by India and Russia, the BrahMos missile flies at almost three times the speed of sound.
3. Centre approved release of Rs 353 crore to Tamil Nadu as relief
The Centre has approved the release of Rs 353.70 crore to Tamil Nadu as assistance for the damage caused by Cyclone Gaja on November 15 and 16, during which 12 districts of the state were severely affected.
Further, assistance will be provided from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF), based on the final report of the Inter-ministerial Central Team (IMCT).
4. China, U.S. declare 90-day halt to new tariffs
China and the United States have agreed to halt new tariffs as both nations engage in trade talks with the goal of reaching an agreement within 90 days, the White House announced after US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping held high-stakes talks in Argentina G20 summit.
- Mr Trump agreed not to boost tariffs on US$200 billion (S$274 billion) of Chinese goods to 25 per cent on Jan 1 as previously announced.
- US has imposed tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese goods, and China has responded by imposing duties on $110 billion in US goods.
5. Govt forms 6-member panel to look at selling 149 fields of ONGC, OIL to private companies
The panel is headed by NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar and includes Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha, Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg, Oil Secretary M M Kutty, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant and ONGC Chairman and Managing Director Shashi Shanker.
- The fields will be sold to private companies to boost domestic output.
- The government gave out 34 fields to private firms by offering them pricing and marketing freedom for oil and gas they produced from the fields in the first round of Discovered Small Field (DSF).
- The second round of DSF with 25 fields on offer is currently under bidding.
6. Bank of Maharashtra appointed A.S. Rajeev as MD and CEO
The 54-year-old previously served as the Executive Director of Indian Bank and had also been the CFO of Vijaya Bank.
- He will hold the position for a period of three years or till further orders, whichever is earlier.
- Rajeev has about three decades of professional experience in three lenders – Syndicate Bank, Vijaya Bank and Indian Bank.
7. Sunil Arora took charge as new Chief Election Commissioner
Sunil Arora, the senior-most election commissioner, on Dec 2 took charge as the 23rd Chief Election Commissioner, succeeding OP Rawatwho demitted office on December 1.
- Besides the Parliamentary polls, the 2019 assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir, Odisha, Maharashtra, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim will be held during his tenure.
- He will be in office till October 2021.
8. State Bank of Mauritius gets RBI approval for subsidiary
Mauritius based SBM group granted a license by Reserve Bank of India to operate SBM Bank (India) Limited through Wholly Owned Subsidiary (WOS) mode under the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 with effect from December 1, 2018.
- Now at present SBM operate its branches in Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, and Ramachandrapuram since 1994.
- It plans to open six new branches in Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, Pune, Ahmedabad, and Jaipur by next year.
9. Andrs Manuel Lpez Obrador became first leftist president of Mexico
He became as President and signed an agreement with three Central American counterparts to create a plan to stem the flow of migrants seeking asylum in the USA.
- Capital – Mexico City
- National language – Spanish
- Currency – Peso (MXN)
10. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated the Hornbill Festival of Nagaland
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated the 10-day-long Hornbill Festival of Nagaland at Naga Heritage Village Kisama on 1st December 2018. More than 60,000 people have visited the Hornbill Festival.
- The assistant director of Tourism department (Statistics) T. Khakihe Sumi said that altogether 63,032visitors with 780 foreigners have visited the picturesque venue. The inaugural day had 19,953 visitors. The count increased up to 43,079 on the second day of the festival.
- The visitors were treated with cultural performances from across the country including Odisha, Assam, Manipur, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya and Jammu and Kashmir.
11. Raninder Singh became first Indian to be elected ISSF Vice President
The elections were held during the General Assembly meeting of ISSF in Munich in which Raninder secured 161 votes to make it to the coveted position.
- The 51-year-old Raninder is currently the president of the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI).
- The NRAI president was also awarded the ISSF diploma of honor gold medal at the General Assembly by the outgoing longest-serving president of the ISSF, Olegario Vázquez Raña, who was at the helm for 38 years.
- Vladimir Lisin, of Russia, was elected as the seventh president of ISSF and Alexander Rather was elected as the new secretary general of ISSF in the same General Assembly meeting.
- Indian Shooter and 2008 Olympic gold medalist, Abhinav Bindra was honored with the prestigious Blue Cross, the highest recognition of the ISSF in the meeting.