1. IndiGo got its first long-range A321neo plane
India’s largest airline IndiGo has become the first domestic airline to have longer range Airbus A321neo (new engine option) plane in its fleet with the first aircraft arriving from the European aviation major Airbus’ Hamburg facility in Germany.
This is part of its 150-aircraft order.
- The new aircraft will help the Rahul Bhatia-led airline to fly to Europe, and add destinations in Asia.
- IndiGo now has 204 planes in its fleet, including one A321neo, 65 A320neos, 126 A320ceos (current engine option), and 12 ATRs.
- IndiGo at present operates over 1,300 daily flights to 52 domestic and 15 international destinations.
2. India cut the tax on palm oil imports from ASEAN countries
The duty on crude palm oil from Malaysia, Indonesia and other members of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) was cut to 40% from 44%, while the tax on refined palm oil was cut to 45% from 54% if imported from Malaysia and to 50%, if purchased from Indonesia or other member-nations of Asian.
In March 2018, India had raised import tax on crude palm oil to 44 percent from 30 percent and lifted the tax on refined palm oil to 54 percent from 40 percent.
3. TB Radhakrishnan sworn-in as 1st Chief Justice of Telangana High Court
Justice Thottathil Bhaskaran Nair Radhakrishnan had been serving as the Chief Justice of the combined high court of the two Telugu states since July last year.
- Telangana High Court came into existence on January 1, 2019, after the bifurcation of the High Court at Hyderabad.
- Justice Praveen Kumar was sworn in as the acting Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh HC, which also came into existence the same day.
4. Axis Bank MD & CEO Shikha Sharma retires; Amitabh Chaudhry takes charge
Amitabh Chaudhry, the former MD, and CEO of HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company, was in September named the MD and CEO of Axis Bank for a period of three years.
- In July 2017, the board of Axis Bank had approved the reappointment of Sharma, who was to start her fourth term as MD and CEO from June 2018.
- However, in April this year, Sharma wanted her new term to be reduced to seven months from a three-year tenure without citing any reasons.
5. Vinod Kumar Yadav appointed as Railway Board Chairman
General Manager of South Central Railway, Vinod Kumar Yadav, has been appointed as Chairman of Railway Board and ex-officio Principal Secretary to Government of India.
- His appointment came after Ashwani Lohani’s superannuation on Monday (31 December).
- Vinod Kumar Yadav belongs to the 1980 batch of Indian Railway Service of Electrical Engineers (IRSEE).
6. Smriti Mandhana wins ICC women’s cricketer of the year award
India’s opening batter Smriti Mandhana won the Rachael Heyhoe-Flint Award for best cricketer of the year and the ICC ODI player of the year award.
- Mandhana has helped India win an ODI series against England and T20 and ODI series against Sri Lanka and South Africa this year.
- She finished as the highest scorer in ODIs in 2018 with 669 runs in 12 matches at an average of 66.90.
- New Zealand’s Sophie Devine was the runner-up for the ODI Player of the Year, while Pakistan bowler Sana Mir was third in the race.
7. Virat Kohli equals Ganguly’s record with 11th away test win as captain
Indian Cricket team captain Virat Kohli equaled Former Indian Captain Sourav Ganguly’s record with 11th away test win as a captain after defeating Australia in the 3rd Test Match held in Melbourne, Australia.
Virat Kohli became the first Indian captain to retain the Border-Gavaskar trophy on Australian soil. India is leading the series with 2-1.
8. Sudhir Bhargava appointed New Information Chief Commissioner; Government appoints 4 New Information Commissioners
Sudhir Bhargava, an information commissioner in the Central Information Commission as the new chief information commissioner.
- The government has also appointed four new information commissioners.
- President Ram Nath Kovind has approved the appointment of former bureaucrats Yashwardhan Kumar Sinha, Vanaja N Sarna, Neeraj Kumar Gupta, and Suresh Chandra as the new information commissioners.
- The appointments came weeks after the Supreme Court asked the Centre to disclose the process of appointment of the members of the Central Information Commission, including details on applicants and search committees.
9. National Nritya Shiromani Award 2019 for Anindita
Anindita Neogy Anaam will be honored with the National Nritya Shiromani award for promoting the dance from across the world.
- This award of national repute has been given in the past to the outstanding Indian classical dance performers and musicians of India and abroad.
- The award would be conferred on her in Cuttack on the opening day of the 10th Cuttack Mahotsav: International Dance and Music festival in Cuttack on 2nd January 2019.
10. Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan launched Ujjwala sanitary napkin initiative in Odisha
Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan launched the Ujjwala Sanitary Napkin initiative in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.
- The main aim is to provide access to hygiene products and employment to opportunities in every district of the state.
- The cost of setting up each manufacturing unit is expected to be Rs 2.94 crores.
- Around 100 local manufacturing units will be set up by oil marketing companies at Common Service Centres (CSCs) across 93 blocks in all 30 districts of Odisha in the first phase.
- The sanitary napkins will be priced at Rs 42 per pack of eight pads.