1. ISRO launched HysIS into orbit
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched the Hyper Spectral Imaging Satellite (HysIS), being dubbed ‘Sharp Eye’, into space along with 30 other foreign satelliteson board the workhorse PSLV rocket on 29th November.
- HysIS with a mission life of five years was placed in an orbit 636 km above the earth. It will travel over the poles and always face the son. While 23 satellites were from the US, the rest were from Australia, Canada, Columbia, Finland, Malaysia, the Netherlands, and Spain.
- These satellites were commercially contracted for launch through Antrix Corporation Limited, the commercial arm of ISRO.
2. Germany asked France to give its UN Security Council seat to EU
Germany’s Vice-Chancellor Olaf Scholz has called for France to give up its permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council and turn it into a seat for the European Union (EU).
- This would allow the EU to speak “with one voice” at the world body.
- France could instead become the permanent EU ambassador to the UN.
- France has been one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council since the body was first established in 1945 in the wake of World War II to prevent another large-scale conflict.
The Royal Navy of UK will be represented by HMS Dragon, a Type 45 Class Destroyer equipped with an integral Wildcat helicopter.
- The Indian Navy will field INS Kolkata, the first ship of latest Kolkata class destroyers, equipped with integral Seaking and an IN submarine during the sea phase between December 2 to 6.
- In addition, Indian Navy’s maritime patrol aircraft Dornier will also participate in the exercise.
4. NGT imposed Rs.5 crore on the DJB
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has imposed a cost of Rs.5 crore on the Delhi Jal Board (DJB). It directed the DJB to complete work on the sewerage network in Inderpuri by May 2019.
- A Bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel directed the DJB to deposit a “performance guarantee” to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) within one month.
- The tribunal directed DJB that steps be taken at the earliest for disposal of municipal solid waste and cleaning of drains. The steps should be taken on a weekly basis for ensuring the cleaning of garbage and drain, and de-silting may be done at least once a month.
5. Slovenia became only NATO country with female Army Chief
Slovenia became the first North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Country with the female Army Chief after the appointment of Major General Alenka Ermenc to the post of Head of its Army.
- The 55 years Old former Army Commander, Alenka Ermenc started her military career in 1991 when Slovenia won independence from former Yugoslavia.
- Uttarakhand adjudged best state; Himachal pavilion gets silver medal at India International Trade Fair, New Delhi
- The states were awarded due to their pavilions showcasing potential to boost tourism and the promotion of local products.
- For Uttarakhand, Kedarnath reconstruction work, Home Stay scheme initiated by the Department of Tourism, nutraceutical products based on mountain grains, handloom products, and handicrafts were displayed at the Uttarakhand pavilion.
- For Himachal Pradesh, the traditional products like Kullu and Kinnauri shawls, Chamba Rumaal, Kangra and Thangka paintings and wooden and metal craft manufactured by the rural entrepreneurs were exhibited at the Himachal pavilion.
6. Bengaluru’s proposed 102 km elevated corridor to cost 26,000 cr
Bengaluru’s Elevated Corridor Project, covering a distance of 102 kilometers with six corridors, is estimated to cost between ₹25,000 and ₹26,000 crore.
- The proposed elevated corridors along with the Peripheral Ring Road are proposed as the answers to decongest the city’s roads.
- The project, expected to be completed by 2025-2026, awaits Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy’s nod.
- A part of Eiffel Tower’s staircase was auctioned for 1.34 crore
- 25 steps of Eiffel Tower was sold for ₹1.34 crore (€1,69,000), three times the original estimate, at an auction in Paris.
- The 129-year-old staircase, 14-feet in height, weighs about 900 kilograms and includes about 25 steps. It connected the top two floors of the Eiffel Tower, before it was cut out in 1983 to instal a lift.
- It is still the country’s third tallest structure, and was the highest building in the world for 41 years until the construction of the Chrysler Building in New York in 1930.
7. Global Water Monitor & Forecast Watch List released by IScience US based limited liability Corporation
According to the latest edition of Global Water Monitor & Forecast Watch List (November 2018), released by IScience (US-based limited liability Corporation), Water deficits will increase and intensify in India in 2019.
- Exceptional water deficits occur throughout Gujarat in the west and severe to exceptional deficits from Madhya Pradesh through Karnataka, as well as in Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana, and India’s far northeast.
- The forecast predicts severe to exceptional surplus water for regions including Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Mizoram.
- Moderate to severe deficits were forecast for Bihar.
8. Karnataka Government and Numa launched DataCity urban challenge in Bengaluru
Karnataka government in partnership with start-up accelerator Numa, launched an initiative called ‘DataCity’ in Bengaluru.
It will be jointly organised by Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) and French utility company Suez.
About Data City:
- It will be a 7-month innovative programme that will enable corporates to identify the relevant innovative start-ups.
- These startups will be chosen based on the solutions they provide using data and technology, for addressing cities’ challenges.
9. Reggae music gets into heritage list of UNESCO
Reggae music, with artists like Bob Marley, won international fame and secured a spot on the United Nations’ list of global cultural treasures. UNESCO, the world body’s cultural and scientific agency, added the genre that originated in Jamaica to its collection of intangible cultural heritage deemed worthy of protection and promotion.
- Reggae music emerged in the late 1960s out of Jamaica’s ska and rocksteady styles, also drawing influence from American jazz and blues.
- It quickly became popular in the U.S. as well as in Britain, where many Jamaican immigrants had moved in the post-World War years.
10. Pakistan to turn Rishi Kapoors ancestral home into museum
The Pakistan government has decided to convert Bollywood star Rishi Kapoor’s ancestral home in the Qissa Khwani Bazar in Peshawar into a museum soon. This is after the request by the actor.
- The Kapoor Haveli in Qissa Khwani Bazar was built by Basheswarnath Kapoor, the father of Bollywood icon Prithviraj Kapoor.
- Raj Kapoor, the son of Prithviraj Kapoor, was born in Peshawar on December 14, 1924. The actor-director is best known for a string of hit films he made in the 1950s and 1960s.
11. RBI moves to ease liquidity for NBFC
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has relaxed the securitization norms by relaxing the Minimum Holding Period (MHP) requirement in order to make more liquidity available to Non-Banking Finance Companies (NBFC). The move follows a demand from the government for a special window for NBFCs, to provide them liquidity support.
- RBI has decided to relax MHP requirement for originating NBFCs, as they are now allowed to securitize loans with a maturity of more than five years after holding them for six months on their books, as compared to one year earlier. The relaxation on the MHP will be allowed when the NBFC retains 20% of the book value of these loans.
- After the introduction of Infrastructure Leasing & Finance Services (IL&FS), a core investment company, the NBFC sector is facing liquidity shortage as IL&FS started defaulting on loans which resulted in the government dismantling the existing board of IL&FS and installing a new one.
12. Global Nutrition Report 2018 – One-third of world’s stunted children live in India
Nearly one-third of the world’s 150.8 million stunted children live in India, the 2018 Global Nutrition Report revealed.
- With 46.6 million children who are stunted, India tops the list of countries followed by Nigeria (13.9 million) and Pakistan (10.7 million).
- Over 46 million Indian children aged under five years are stunted due to malnutrition and 25.5 million more are ‘wasted’, meaning they don’t weigh enough for their height.
- India is suffering from two forms of malnutrition– anaemia and stunting.
13. Georgia elects Salome Zurabishvili as first woman president
- Salome Zurabishvili has won Georgia’s presidential election, becoming the first woman to hold the office. The new president is expected to take office on Dec. 16.
- Zurabishvili, a government-backed independent candidate, won with 59.52 percent of some 1.98 million votes cast.
- Grigol Vashadze — backed by former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili — got some 40.48 percent of the vote.
14. President Kovind presented the top IAF honour for Guwahati helicopter unit
During his two day visit to Assam, President Ram Nath Kovind took part in India Air Force’s special programme held in Borjhar. He presented Standards to 118 Helicopter Unit in Guwahati and Colors to Air Defense College, Lucknow.
- The President in his speech said the world looks at India differently today. India is seen as an eminent power, expected to play a prominent role in shaping the global paradigm with regards to international security, trade and commerce, and environmental protection.
- The Standards is the Indian Air Force’s topmost peacetime award for an operational or fighting unit.
- The Colors is for a static unit.