1. Rishabh Pant first Indian wicket-keeper to claim 20 catches in Test series
Indian wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant became the country’s first keeper to complete twenty catches in a Test series, during the final day of the ‘Boxing Day Test’.
- Pant surpassed former cricketers Naren Tamhane and Syed Kirmani who had recorded nineteen dismissals in 1954-55 and 1979-80 respectively.
- Australia’s Brad Haddin holds the record for taking most catches in a Test series (29).
2. Germany approved USD 8 billion rails and road tunnel link to Denmark
German authorities gave their approval to a US$8 billion(6.30 billion pounds) rail and road tunnel linking Denmark and Germany, despite environmental objections.
- It is part-funded by the European Union.
- The 19 km (11.8 mile) Fehmarnbelt link, connecting the Danish island of Lolland to the island of Fehmarn on the German side, was due to be completed in 2024.
3. Bangladesh’s PM Hasina won third straight
Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina has secured her third consecutive term, with her alliance winning 287 of the 298 seats for which results have been declared for the 300-strong parliament.
The main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party, which boycotted the 2014 poll, has won just six seats in the general election held on December 30.
4. Transgenders can file sexual harassment case under IPC
Delhi High Court has allowed that Section 354A of Indian Penal Code (IPC) can be used by transgenders to register complaints of sexual harassment.
According to the police, there was a lack of an appropriate penal section under which they could register such a complaint.
5. Cabinet approved the listing of 7 unlisted CPSEs on Stock Exchange
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave its approval to list seven Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSE) on the Stock Exchange through Initial Public Offering (IPO) /Further Public Offer (FPO):
- Telecommunication Consultants (India) [TCIL];
- RailTel Corporation India;
- National Seed Corporation India (NSC);
- Tehri Hydro Development Corporation (THDC);
- Water & Power Consultancy Services (India) [WAPCOS Ltd.];
- FCI Aravali Gypsum and Minerals (India) [FAGMIL];
- Kudremukh Iron Ore Company (KIOCL).
6. PM Modi inaugurated 6th International Rice Research Institute in Varanasi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Varanasi and Ghazipur in Uttar Pradesh. He dedicated the 6th International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), South Asia Regional Center (ISARC) to the nation. The Institute is built at the campus of National Seed Research and Training Center (NSRTC) in Varanasi.
- During the visit, he laid the foundation stone of medical College in Ghazipur. He also released a commemorative postal stamp on Maharaja Suheldev.
- Another important announcement is the SAMPANN software which is developed to ease the problems of pensioners.
- PM Modi also inaugurated 15 projects worth Rs. 80 crore in his constituency Varanasi.
7. Center has given an extension of 6 months to complete the ongoing exercise for updating the NRC in Assam
The Center given an extension of six months to complete the ongoing exercise for updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam by 30th June 2019 as the enumeration of citizens in the NRC cannot be completed within the earlier specified date of 31st December 2018.
- The Registrar General of India, Mr. Sailesh issued a notification that stated the Central Government considers the extension necessary in lieu of public interest to complete the update of the National Register of Citizens.
- The first notification regarding the same was issued by the Government on 6th December 2013 and had set a deadline of 3 years to complete the entire process but since then five extensions have been given but the exercise had not been completed.
8. ESAF small finance bank gets RBI nod to operate as a scheduled bank
ESAF Small Finance Bank received the Reserve Bank approval to operate as scheduled bank making it the fifth scheduled bank that operates from Kerala after Federal Bank, South Indian Bank, Catholic Syrian Bank, and Dhanlaxmi Bank.
- The ESAF Small Finance Bank Ltd has received the RBI’s approval for inclusion in the second schedule of the RBI Act, 1934 paving its way to operate as a scheduled bank.
- In 2016, RBI gave approval to ESAF MFI along with 9 other applicants to start banking operations as a small finance bank and within two years of its commencement of operations, it has received the scheduled bank tag.
- On the operation front, the ESAF Small Finance Bank has a network of 432 outlets across 13 states with 2.6 million customers and a loan book of Rs 4,660 crore and deposits if over Rs 3,300 crore.
9. NHRC launched toll-free helpline 14433 facilities to file the complaint through CSC
National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) launched a toll-free number 14433 and a facility to file complaints through Common Service Center (CSC).
- The toll-free number is 14433 and has been unveiled by Justice (retd.) H.L.Dattu, Chairperson of NHRC at the headquarters of the body, Manav Adhikar Bhawan.
- People can now send their complaints related to human rights violation through both the toll-free number and CSCs, although the toll-free number will only be available during office hours.
- A collaboration between NHRC and CSC has been formed and the service has been provided to 750 CSCs with at least one in each district. Secretary-General of NHRC.
10. AAAR okays GST on inter-state office services
Karnataka Appellate Authority for Advance Rulings (AAAR) upheld the levy of goods and services tax on services rendered by one office branch to other branches of the same company located in different states.
- In its ruling which will affect the companies with a presence in multiple states, the AAAR said that in-house service functions such as human resources and payrolls, if carried out from a center in one state for offices in other states, will attract GST for which it will have to issue an invoice.
- The decision will add the transaction costs and compliance burden for the companies with offices in many states, even though the tax paid can be adjusted against their final GST liability.
- The companies that deal in goods or services that are exempt from GST such as healthcare and education, and petroleum and liquor companies, which are out of the ambit of the tax will not have the option of adjusting the tax paid on in-house transfers.
11. Telangana MNJ Institute of Oncology and Regional Cancer Centre entered Guinness Book of World Records; also received High Range Book of World Records recognition
MNJ Institute of Oncology and Regional Cancer Centre has become the first State-run hospital in Telangana to enter into Guinness Book of World Records.
The Guinness recognition to the hospital has come for conducting the largest men’s health awareness programme on prostate cancer, which was attended by 487 men in a single day.
12. Prime Minister Narendra Modi to inaugurate Indian Science Congress-2019 in Punjab on Jan 3
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate Indian Science Congress-2019 in Jalandhar, Punjab on the third of next month. This will be the 106th edition of the event based on the theme ‘Future India: Science and Technology’.
- Prime Minister will also address about 30,000 delegates, including Nobel laureates, eminent scientists, policymakers, young researchers and school children, from across the country and abroad.
- During the five-day long Congress, more than 100 conferences and events on science and technology will be held.