1. RBL Bank appointed Pankaj Sharma as its chief operations officer
Private sector lender RBL Bank appointed Pankaj Sharma as its chief operations officer (COO).
- Prior to this, Sharma was heading retail operations of Axis Bank.
- Under his leadership, the ATM channel, phone banking and branch automation and digital initiatives at Axis Bank took shape.
2. NCC Limited caught order worth Rs.2,890.7 crore
NCC Limited, formerly Nagarjuna Construction Company Ltd, an infrastructure firm, received four new orders totaling to Rs. 2,890.7 crore (exclusive of GST) in December 2018 from government agencies.
- One of them for Rs.680.3 crore pertains to water and environment division, while two orders totaling Rs.2,126.8 crore pertain to roads division. The fourth order for Rs.83.7 crore pertains to building division. Shares of NCC were trading 3.12% up at Rs 74.40 apiece on the BSE.
- The Company has a cluster of regional offices in Delhi, Ahmedabad, Bhubaneshwar, Kolkata, Mumbai, Bhopal, Lucknow, Hyderabad, Chennai, and Bangalore. Also, NCC has a presence in international level through offices in Dubai (UAE) and Muscat (Sultanate of Oman).
3. Justice AK Sikri nominated as Executive Chairman of NALSA by President Ram Nath Kovind
President Ram Nath Kovindnominated Justice Arjan Kumar Sikri as Executive Chairman of National Legal Services Authority (NALSA).
- His appointment is effective from December 31, 2018.
- The NALSA was constituted under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 to provide free legal services to the weaker sections of the society and to organize Lok Adalats for amicable settlement of disputes.
4. About 123 crore Aadhaar cards issued to people till Nov 2018
The UIDAI has issued a total of 122.90 crore Aadhaar cards as on November 30, 2018.
- Out of these, 6.71 crore Aadhaar cards were issued to children aged below five years while over 29 crore were given to those aged between 5-18 years.
- Union Minister Hansraj Ahir said the number of children born within last one year of the 2011 census is 2,08,98,228.
5. Jair Bolsonaro gets Oath As New President of Brazil
Mr. Bolsonaro, 63 won the presidential election by a wide margin against Fernando Haddad of the left-wing Workers’ Party.
- Capital: Brasilia.
- Currency: Brazilian real.
6. Cabinet clears merger of Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank with Bank of Baroda
With the merger, Bank of Baroda (BoB) will become the country’s third-largest bank after State Bank of India and ICICI Bank.
- This marks the first-ever three-way amalgamation in the country’s banking sector. The merger will come into force on April 1, 2019.
- As per the scheme of amalgamation, Bank of Baroda will be the transferee bank while the other two public sector banks will be transferor banks.
7. France Introduced GAFA Tax On Global Internet, Technology Firm
France will introduce its own tax on large internet and technology companies from January 1, finance minister Bruno Le Maire said Monday amid difficulties in finalizing a new EU-wide levy.
France has been pushing hard for a new so-called “GAFA tax” named after Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon to ensure the global giants pay a fair share of taxes on their massive business operations in Europe.
8. Sweden ranked first in climate action CCPI
Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) reported that Sweden has been named the first best-performing country in the CCPI 2019 list. CCPI evaluates the climate protection performance of 60 countries, responsible for over 90% of global energy-related CO2 emissions.
- Morocco has been named second. Morocco, the North African country significantly increased the share of renewables over the past five years and increased new renewable energy capacity. Lithuania is in the third position in CCPI 2019.
- The bottom five in the list are Saudi Arabia, U.S., Iran, South Korea, and Taiwan. With the connection of the world’s largest solar plant to the grid, Morocco is on track for achieving its target of 42% installed renewable energy capacities by 2020.
9. Manoj Das was awarded the Kabi Samrat Upendra Bhanja National Award
Manoj Das, an eminent English and Odia writer, received the Kabi Samrat Upendra Bhanja National Award for Lifetime Achievement in Literature. This ceremony was instituted by the Berhampur University, Odisha.
During the 53rd foundation day ceremony, the university also honored noted folk dance guru Nabaghana Parida with Dakshin Odisha Loksanakruti Samman.
10. French World Cup champions awarded Legion of Honour
France‘s football team which last year defeated Croatia to win the World Cup were awarded the Legion of Honour, France’s highest award for “exceptional service” to the nation, in the New Year’s honors list.
- The football World Cup 2018 at Russia was France’s second World Cup title, after the 1998 World Cup.
- Each of the 23 players of the French football team, including star strikers Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann, received France’s top medal for their part in beating Croatia in the World Cup final in Moscow.
11. Cabinet approved the amendment on Trade Unions Act
The Union Cabinet approved the amendment on Trade Unions Act, 1926, to facilitate recognition of trade unions at the Central and federal level. The amendment was proposed by the Centre. Most trade unions opposed the proposed amendments saying the government was trying to interfere in, and cripple, their functioning.
- Ten Central trade unions had earlier written to the Labour Ministry objecting to the draft version of the amendment Bill; the only major standout was the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, affiliated to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.
- The amendment will ensure that the nomination of workers’ representatives in tripartite bodies by the government will become more transparent and reduce litigation and industrial unrest. Trade unions which are recognised under the amended law would be accountable in maintaining industrial harmony. Ten Central trade unions have issued a general strike call on January 8 and 9.
12. ISRO launched Samwad with students to engage them on space science
The first SwS event saw interaction of 40 students and 10 teachers from select schools with ISRO Chairman Dr K Sivan during which the students were briefed about Indian space programme and their benefits to the common man at the Anthariksh Bhavan, Bengaluru.
- The Q&A session that followed saw Dr. Sivan engaging students on a series of topics ranging from rockets, satellites, Chandrayaan, Gaganyaan, and various space applications.
- The Chairman asked students to study science and mathematics with absolute seriousness which would enable them to take up challenging careers.
13. Home Ministry approved UPs proposal of renaming Allahabad as Prayagraj
Kumbh Mela 2019’, the Union Home Ministry (MHA) approved the Uttar Pradesh government’s proposal to rename Allahabad as Prayagraj.
- MHA had earlier approved the renaming of the British-era railway station Robertsganj as Sonbhadra, Farah Town railway station near Mathura and iconic Mughalsarai junction after Deen Dayal Upadhyay both in Uttar Pradesh.
- The Centre also approved the renaming of Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai as Chhatrapati Shivaji ‘Maharaj’ International Airport, earlier.
- The Tripura government also got Centre’s approval to change the name of Agartala Airport as Maharaja Bir Bikram Manikya Kishore, the erstwhile ruler of the state.