Current Affairs | National | International | SSC | UPSC - 6th December 2023


National News 

1.11th Bangladesh Book Fair begins in Kolkata 

  • The Eleventh Bangladesh Book Fair begins at College Square, 
  • 65 publishing houses are participating in this year’s event. 
  • This would help the publishers to reach out to more people in Kolkata who are interested in Bangladeshi literature, as many publishers do not get the opportunity to participate in Kolkata International Bookfair. 
  • The fair will continue till December 13. 

3.The Ambedkar touch in rethinking social justice policies 

  • Modern democracy is synonymous with both the values of social harmony and reforms that ensure dignity and self-respect to its participants, especially the historically deprived and socially marginalised people. Further, democratic institutions are mandated to engage with the worst-off social groups and ensure their substantive participation as a significant governing class in political affairs. The socially oppressed groups in India, especially Dalits, adored and celebrated such modern virtues because of their liberative potential and egalitarian goals. Babasaheb Ambedkar emerged as a torchbearer of liberal enlightened ideas and expected that post-colonial India would be distinct from the exploitative Brahmanical past and invite Dalits and other marginalised communities to be equal shareholders in the nation's economic and political development. Ironically, the modernist objectives have been partially achieved only today. 
  • With the ascent of neo-liberal economic development, the conventional support that Dalits and Adivasis have received from state institutions, has derailed A tokenistic presence In current times, it is a norm to witness the domination of the social elites as powerful authorities, national leaders, business tycoons, and cultural influencers. The control and the hegemony of the conventional ruling class have been perpetuated without much disturbances, whereas the socially marginalised groups have only managed to have a tokenistic presence in the domain of power and privileges. Though various political regimes vouch to implement social justice policies, this has little impact in ensuring the significant participation of the worst-off social groups in the domain of power. 
  • B.R. Ambedkar's principles of social justice would reprimand the current realm of neo-liberal economy for its neglect of the concerns of Dalits and Adivasis and would direct the market to be more responsible towards the worst-off social groups. It would also direct the state to reduce the pitfalls and slippages now in social justice policies and make Harish S. Wankhede is Assistant Professor, Centre for Political Studies, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi The leaders of the market economy should be educated to adopt welfarist measures for the worst-off social groups, in turn making them integral to economic development them more relevant in the present day, Ambedkar becomes crucial in such a discourse because his approach allows us to diagnose illnesses in the social and economic order. He offers ethical corrective measures to make Institutions more democratic, representative and closer to the claims and the desires of marginalised social groups. 
  • Though the mechanism of social justice is not radical and transformative (unlike the Marxist model), it provides moral sensibilities to institutions and makes it responsible towards the diverse population. It is well-documented that the neo-liberal market is alien to such ethical values and overtly celebrates the exclusive control of few corporate bodies and businessmen over capitalist development. Such a distancing of the market from social responsibilities, especially its neglect towards the aspirations and the demands of Dalits and Adivasis has made the market enterprise more exploitative and closer to a crony capitalist mode. This version of the market economy needs reforms.Reimagine the new order It is an appropriate time to imagine how the worst-off social groups can become an integral and substantive part of the new economic order, reducing their perpetual subjugation as a passive exploited class. It is required that the new social Justice policies be expanded to the private economy, with a focus to democratise the working classes and to reduce poverty. 
  • A substantive Integration of social justice policies in directing the prospects of the market economy would integrate Dalits and Adivasis as a part of the working classes and also elevate their stature as influential upholders of capitalist assets. Adivasi concerns to protect their habitats, ecological order and cultural autonomy must be addressed, while endorsing the fact about themarket economy's inevitability. Therefore, it is necessary that the current phase of economic development, technological innovations and the expansion of the market economy should also be directed toward making Dalit and Adivasi groups as influential arbitrators in the nep-liberaldiscourse. Newer conditions and reparation policies should be adopted to fight the historical wrongs and social discrimination against these groups, ensuring their equitable participation in the diverse spheres of economic development. 
  • The new framework of social justice mast ensure that an impressive class among Dalits and Adivasis emerges as the leaders, business entrepreneurs and influencers in the economic sphere. Such a prospect would allow policymakers to look beyond the conventional social justice policies that often address Dalit Adivasi groups as the passive recipient of the state's welfare packages. Further, Dalits and Adivasis should not be identified only as the poor and migrant working class that is dependent upon the benevolence of corporate social responsibility for their livelihood. Instead, these groups should be advanced as the essential components of urbanisation, industrial production and technological innovations. 
  • More affirmative action policies are required to democratise the niche sphere of big businesses so that the Dalit Adivasi class should also emerge as industrialists, market leaders and crucial influencers in the global econoту.The state deviates from its responsibilities Ambedkar looked upon the modern state as the key transformative force for the emancipation of Dalits and Adivasis. However, in the neo-liberal realm, the state has been converted as the passiveassociate of big business that readily deviates from its social responsibilities and welfarist values. The new agenda of social justice should be oriented towards the leaders of the market economy, educating to adopt welfarist measures for the worst-off social groups, and making them Integral to economic development. Ambedkar's version of social justice would help us to redefine capitalism as a pluralist and cooperative mode of economic order that guarantees the substantive participation of Dalits and Adivasis in the market economy and in the associated institutions of power and privileges. 

4.How did benefits for migrants impact Assam, asks SC 

  • Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud on Tuesday asked petitioners to show material that benefits given to cross-border migrants, who arrived in India bet ween 1966 and 1971 just be fore the Bangladesh Liber ation War, had led to a radical demographic change which impacted the Assamese cultural Identity.The Chief Justice is heading a Constitution Bench hearing a series of petitions challenging the constitutionality of Section 6A of the Citizenship Act, 1955.
  • Section 6A was a special provision inserted into the 1955 Act in furtherance of a Memorandum of Settle- ment called the Assam Ac- cord signed on August 15, 1985 by the Rajiv Gandhi government. Under Sec- tion 6A, foreigners who had entered Assam before January 1, 1966, and been "ordinarily resident" in the State, would have all the rights and obligations of In- dian citizens. Those who had entered the State between January 11, 1966 and March 25, 1971 would have the same rights and obligations, except that they would not be able There is no material to indicate that the Impact of benefits affected the cultural Identity of the Stateto vote for 10 years. 
  • "There is no material to indicate that the Impact of granting certain benefits to people who came in bet- ween 1966 and 1971 was so great that the demograph ics or the cultural identity of the State was affected," Chief Justice Chandrachud told senior advocate Shyam Divan, appearing for the petitioners. The Constitution Bench also made it clear that its ambit was limited to exa- mining the validity of Sec- tion 6A and not the Assarn National Register of Citi- zens. In the hearing, Mr. Di- van asked why Assam alone, among the border States, was singled out to implement Section 6A. ""This way an illegal can just Infiltrate into Assam and settle there as a citi- zen. My land, my political and economic rights are ta- ken away." Chief Justice pointed out that migrants who entered India from 1966 to 1971 had no aspiration to citizen- ship. "They just came in", 

5.Is unmarried women having children by surrogacy an 'accepted norm', asks SC 

  • The Supreme Court on Tuesday questioned whether a single, unmar- ried woman having a child through surrogacy is an "accepted norm" in Indian society. "A single woman bear- ing a child is an exception and not a rule in Indian so- ciety because our society says to have children with- in marriage. A single wo- man bearing a child is out- side marriage... That is not the accepted norm of In- dian society," Supreme Court judge B.V. Nagarath- na orally observed.
  • The Bench, including Justice Ujjal Bhuyan, was hearing a petition filed by a 38-year-old single woman to become a mother through surrogacy. The petitioner, representative Surrogacy Act allows a widow, a divorcee between the ages of 35 and 45 to avail the benefit of surrogacy. sented by senior advocate Saurabh Kirpal, said she was "heavily diabetic" and pregnancy would pose a grave risk to her. "Even an unmarried woman has the right to have a child," he said.The Surrogacy (Regula- tion) Act, 2021 allows a wi- dow, a divorced woman between the ages of 35 and 45, or an infertile couple toget the benefit of surrogacy. 
  • Mr. Kirpal said the law only banned commercial surrogacy. The purpose of the petitioner was obvious- ly not towards that end. Limiting the right to be- come a mother and discriminating against a wo man on the basis of her status of marriage was dis- criminatory and violative of her fundamental rights. Justice Nagarathna said Parliament had recognised the "potential" of a widow or a divorcee to have a child through surrogacy.The petitioner's side argued that it was not their "misfortune" which led Parliament to allow divor- cees and widows to have children through surroga- cy. They argued that the exclusion of unmarried women boiled down to "patriarchal against them. 

6.Akshata Krishnamurthy becomes first Indian to operate Mars rover 

  • Akshata Krishnamurthy is an Indian woman who created history as she became the first person from the country to operate the Mars rover with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the United States. 
  • Akshata is a PhD holder from the MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). She is among the few Indians who joined NASA for a full-time opportunity. 
  • Akshata’s journey began 13 years ago when she came to the United States with a dream to work at NASA and lead science and robotic operations on Earth and Mars. 
  • However, she was discouraged from having unrealistic goals as she was a foreign national on a visa. People told her to have a different plan or change her field entirely. However, Akshata blocked those comments and persevered until she reached the goal. 

7.Jithesh John took charge as Executive Director of IBBI 

  • Jithesh John took charge as Executive Director of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI). 
  • John has a postgraduate degree in Economics. He has completed more than 21 years in Government of India in various capacities. 
  • He has also worked in various sectors such as financial, energy, infrastructure, and small and medium enterprises 
  • IBBI is a key institution in implementing the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC). 

International News 

9.World’s biggest experimental nuclear fusion reactor JT-60SA inaugurated in Japan 

  • The world’s largest and most advanced nuclear fusion reactor ‘JT-60SA’ started its official operations in Japan’s Ibaraki Prefecture.
  • JT-60SA is a joint initiative between the European Union and Japan 
  • The experimental nuclear fusion reactor is quite a new technology. However, some say that it is the answer to humanity’s future energy needs by establishing nuclear fusion as a clean energy source. 
  • Notably, fusion differs from fission, the technique currently used in nuclear power plants. The process includes fusing two atomic nuclei instead of splitting one. 
  • The JT-60SA reactor is a six-storey-high machine, which is kept in a hangar in Naka north of Tokyo. It comprises a doughnut-shaped “tokamak” vessel set to contain swirling plasma heated up to 200 million degrees Celsius. 

About Japan 

  • Capital – Tokyo 
  • Currency – Yen 
  • Prime Minister – Fumio Kishida 

10.Captain Geetika Koul becomes first woman medical officer to be deployed at Siachen 

  • Captain Geetika Koul has become the first woman medical officer in the Indian Army to be deployed at Siachen, the world’s highest battlefield.
  • This achievement follows her successful completion of rigorous induction training at the esteemed Siachen Battle School, which includes high-altitude acclimatization, survival techniques, and specialized medical procedures. 
  • Captain Geetika Koul from the Snow Leopard Brigade becomes the first woman medical officer of the Indian Army to be deployed at the world’s highest battlefield, Siachen after successfully completing the induction training at Siachen Battle School Siachen, located in the northern Himalayas, poses challenges due to its strategic importance, harsh climate, and demanding terrain. 

11.Honest reckoning Major world economies seem unwilling to move away from fossil fuel

  • The boundary wall enclosing discussions around global climate is 1.5°C, or the average increase in global temperatures since pre-industrial times. Now that I°C is crossed, all the wrangling under way at the climate summit in Dubai is to cap the half-degree rise. Global pledg es to cut emissions are insufficient to achieve this. Current estimates are that to limit warming to 1.5°C, the world requires three times more renew- able energy capacity by 2030, or at least 11,000 GW. 
  • That there is wide global consensus on the need for this tripling was first formally articulated in the New Delhi Leaders' Declaration at the G-20 summit in Delhi in September. In the run-up to the Dubai summit, it was perceived that this would be widely endorsed by the larger group of about 190 countries signatory to the UN conven- tion on climate. It turns out that, so far, 118 coun- tries have endorsed the pledge and two major countries, i.e., India and China, have so far ab- stained from signing. 
  • The Global Renewables and Energy Efficiency Pledge, while still a draft text, says that in their pursuit of tripling renewable energy capacity, signatories should also commit to "...phase down of unabated coal power, in par- ticular ending the continued investment in un- abated new coal-fired power plants". This is a major red line for India. While India has positioned itself as a cham- pion for renewable energy - its 2030 targets as articulated in its formal, nationally determined contributions (NDC) speak of tripling renewable energy capacity to 500 GW from the current 170 GW- it has reiterated several times that it could not be forced to give up certain fuels. Coal-fired plants are responsible for nearly 70% of India's greenhouse gas emissions. 
  • Developed countries that have made commitments to give up coal of- ten have other large, fossil fuel resources as back- up. The United States joined 56 other countries at Dubai in a commitment to completely eschew coal for its energy use, by 2035. However the U.S. only draws about 20% of its energy from coal and at least 55% from oil and gas, with plans to actual- ly produce more of it in 2030 than at present. 
  • The paradox of the world's major economies' commitment to renewable energy is that it is not, as of now, actively geared to replace fossil fuel. Till there is an honest commitment to actually re- place existing and future fossil capacity with clean energy, pledges and declarations are worth little more than the paper they are drafted on. 

12.U.S. official raises Pannun plot case, asks India to probe 

  • Finer is one of a series of US officials who have raised the case with their counterparts since details of a plan to assassinate Sikhs for Justice leader Pannun in In Delhi New York emerged
  • Calling the US department of Justice (DOJ) case against an Indian national alleged ly working at the behest of a government employee to target wanted Khalistani separatists a "lethal plot", a senior U.S. official visiting Delhi stressed the need for India to investigate and bring those involved to ac- count, the White House Tuesday. U.S. Prin- said on Tuesda cipal Deputy National Se- curity Adviser (NSA) Jo- nathan Finer is one of a series of American officials who have raised the case with their counterparts in Delhi since the details of a plan to assassinate Sikhs for Justice leader Gurpat want Singh Pannun in New York were reportedly reco- vered from communica- tions between the Indian national, Nikhil Gupta, and a government official re- cruiting a hitman who later turned out to be an under- cover officer of the U.S. FBI/DEA (Federal Bureau of Investigation/Drug En- forcement Administration). 
  • Mr. Finer met with External Affairs Minister S.Jaishankar, National Secur ity Adviser Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary Vinay Kon level talks delega tion-level talks with his counterpart, Deputy Na tional Security Adviser Vik ram Misri.White House statement While the Ministry of Ex. ternal Affairs issued a rea dout on Monday, referring to talks on the India-U.S. Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies (ICET), the White House readout on Tuesday morn ing included details of the conversations Mr. Finer had on the Israel-Hamas conflict, the hijacking of a cargo ship in the Red Sea, as well as the Pannun assassination case, where india has instituted a high-level inquiry to Investigate the U.S. allegations Deputy a meeting with Vikram Misri and other officials in Delhi. ANI "Mr. Finer acknow ledged India's establish ment of a Committee of Enquiry to investigate lethal plotting in the United States and the importance of holdes accountable anyone found responsi. ble," the U.S. White House statement said.
  • The MEA did not react to requests for a response to the White House's statements The White House sald Mr. Finer had held "in- depth discussions aimed at strengthening coordina tion and policy alignment across the Indo-Pacific, In- cluding the wider Indian Ocean region. They dis cussed West Asia, including the recent attacks on commercial vessels in the Red Sea and the impor tance of safeguarding free- dom of commercial naviga tion, as well as plans for a post-conflict Gaza and a pathway toward a two- state solution." 
  • Mr. Finer's visit to Delhi comes close on the heels of a number of high-level vi- sits since June, a period that coincided with the U.S. federal agencies In- vestigation into the alleged plot against Pannun.International news re ports, which have not been denied, have suggested that the U.S. concerns over India's involvement in the plot have been conveyed at several levels since then, including by U.S. President Joseph Biden with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who met in Washington and Delhi; by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who has met Dr. Jalsh ankar four times the most recentlyfor the 2+2 dialogue; U.S. NSA Jake Sulli- van with NSA Ajit Doval; and visits to Delhi by the Central Intelligence Agen cy (CIA) and National Intelligence chiefs William Burns and Avril Haines, respectively. 

13.U.K. tightens immigration rules to curb record high migrant numbers 

  • K. Home Secretary ames Cleverly, on Mon- day, announced a signifi- Saw Full cant tightening of the thountry's immigration pol- ays ky, in an attempt to curb ed migration which has been at record highs. The new as policies will impact Indian of dtizens, who constituted hthe largest group is 1,53,000) of incoming mi- The grants as per provisional fi- an gures for the year ending by June 2023.This week's measures would render some 3,00,000 would-be immi- grants under the current rules, ineligible to move to n the U.K. once the new pol- icy kicks in, as per the Home Office. Net migra- etion into the U.K. was at a record 7,45,000 in Decem- ber 2022, pushing the go- vernment of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to Patisports Fast Track New policy: The rule will enable some 3 lakh immigrants ineligible to move to the U.K. REUTERS announce further action migration as the country heads towards a gener- al election. The policies an- nounced include an increase in threshold salar- ies for skilled worker visas from £26,200 to £38,700 (except for the Health and Care visa route) starting next spring. The income requirement for certain fa- mily members of British ci- tizens or those 'settled per- sons (ie., those with permanent residence for example) will also in UK Bordercrease. An annual 'health surcharge' to support Bri- tain's National Health Ser- vice(NHS), will increase from £624 to £1,035.A list of 'shortage occupations' would be re- viewed and the 20% lower salary thresholds for em- ploying foreign worker in this category would end.International students except those in postgrad- uate research courses will not be able to bring de- pendents from January 2024. The Sunak government also announced a tightening of the health vi sa route.The Home Office said that 1,01,000 healthcare vi- sas were granted in the year ending September 2023, with an associated 1,20,000 dependent visas for these workers: health care visa migrants would no longer be allowed to bring dependents with them. "Immigration is too high," Mr. Sunak said, as he called for "radical action" to curb it. "I am taking decisive ac- tion to halt the drastic rise in our work visa routes and crack down on those who seek to take advantage of our hospitality," Mr. Cleverly said. He travelled to Rwanda on Tuesday to fi- nalize a new asylum treaty after the U.K.'s Supreme Court ruled that the old ar- rangement to send asylum seekers from the U.K. to Rwanda was unlawful. 

14.Global Stocktake draft calls for phasing out fossil fuels 

  • For the first time, a key document being negotiated at the UN's annual cli- mate summit has under- lined the need for the world to do away with all fossil fuels, in its draft text. As the first week of negotia- tions at COP-28 nears an end, the latest version of the Global Stocktake (GST) includes a clause commit- ting all signatories to "an orderly and just phase out of fossil fuels".
  • The summit's location COP28UAE in the United Arab Emi- rates, a petro state, and the COP leadership's own ties to oil have "influenced lan- guage" in the GST, said a person closely involved in negotiations.In previous years, climate talks have generally circled around the need for the world to wean itself away from coal, but negotiations have generally ended in a stalemate.
  • However, with the science becoming more emphatic that any hope of keeping a global tempera- ture rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius requires significant cut in emissions, and fossil fuel responsible for 80% of them, its mention in an early draft is significant. 

15.Glaciers shrank 1 m a year in a decade: WMO. 

  • The 2011-2020 decade, If corded in history, saw the lowest number of deaths from extreme events, said a report from the World e Meteorological Organisa- tion on Tuesday.The agency attributed this to an improvement in the "early warning system" driven by improvements in forecasting and better dis- aster management. In In- dia, for instance, improve- ments in forecasting cyclone formation and the time it took to reach land have led to greater preparedness and evacuation of those most at risk."The 2011-2020 decade was the first since 1950 when there was not a sin- gle short-term event with 10,000 deaths or more," says the report The Global Climate 2011-2020: A De- cade of Acceleration. 
  • The report also says that this was the first decade that the depleted ozone hole visibly showed recovery. Glaciers that were measured around the world thinned by approximately 1 metre per year on an average between 2011 and 2020. Greenland and Antarctica lost 38% more ice during the period thanduring the 2001-2010 pe- riod. The report also had a mention of the 2021 Utta- rakhand rock-avalancheduring that was triggered from a breach in the Nanda Devi glacier in the Himalayas. 
  • The report further underlined that human- caused climate change sig- nificantly increased the risks from extreme heat events. Heatwaves were responsible for the highest number of human casual- ties, while tropical cy- clones caused the most economic damage.Public and private cli- mate finance almost dou- bled during the period. However, it needed to increase at least seven times by the end of this de- cade to achieve climate ob- jectives, including keeping global temperature from rising by more than 1.5 de- grees Celsius by the end of the century. . 

Business News

16.Takeda partnered with BIRAC in India for healthcare innovation 

  • Takeda has signed a three-year MoU with India’s Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) to extend advisory and mentoring support to healthcare innovators and entrepreneurs. 
  • The partnership, announced at the Global Bio-India 2023 event, is a blueprint for how public and private entities can collaborate for substantial advances in healthcare.
  • BIRAC is a public sector enterprise set up by the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India. 
  • The partnership will allow Takeda to extend advisory and mentoring support to innovators and entrepreneurs while assisting them from ideation to market deployment of new-age healthcare solutions. 

Economy News 

17.India set to become third-largest economy by 2030: S&P 

  • India will become the world’s third-largest economy by 2030, a report released by S&P Global Ratings.
  • In 2026-27, India’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to grow 7 percent. India is currently the fifth largest economy in the world behind the US, China, Germany and Japan.
  • In its “Global Credit Outlook 2024”, S&P said that India would be the fastest-growing emerging market in the world. Still, its paramount test will be whether the country can become the next big global manufacturing hub. 
  • S&P said India is expected to grow at 6.4 percent in 2023-24 as compared to 7.2 percent in the previous financial year. The growth rate will remain at 6.4 percent in 2024-25 before climbing to 6.9 percent in the next and 7 percent in 2026-27.

18.Nov. services PMI signals slowdown 

  • India's services sector momentum faltered to a one-year low in November, ber, as per the sea- sonally adjusted S&P Glo- bal India Services Business Activity Index, which slid to 56.9 from 58.4 in Octob er, with widespread slow- downs in growth rates for new orders and output.Taken together with the manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), No- vember marked the weak est rise in private sector activity in the country in a year. The S&P Global India Composite PMI Output Index eased to 57.4, from New export orders for services firms grew at the slowest pace since June even as input costs and output prices rose at an eight-month low rate. 
  • While remained positive about business prospects in the year ahead, there was some evidence of opti- mism fading due to worries about faster inflation. Outstanding business volumes were broadly stable among services firms, which triggered a restrained approach to fresh hiring. Though net em- ployment still expanded, it was at a pace that was the weakest since April. Firms reported a further increase in operating expenses, with labour, food, material and transporta tion costs rising since Oc- tober, but the overall up- tick was below the long-run average. Consumer services firms recorded the highest rate of input cost inflation.
  • However, the pace at which prices were raised was above the long-run trend, despite being the slowest in eight months.The strongest upturn in selling prices was evident in finance and insurance. "India's service sector has lost further growth momentum midway through the third fiscal quarter, but we continue to see robust demand for services fuelling new business intakes and output," said Pollyanna De Lima, eco- nomics associate director at S&P Global Market Intel- ligence, which compiles the survey-based index.With some relief on costs, fewer firms raised their own fees in Novem- ber, an aspect that might provide a further boost to demand as 2023 draws to a close, Ms. De Lima noted. 

19.India provides $250 million Line of Credit to Kenya for agricultural modernization 

  • India has extended a $250 million Line of Credit for modernization of agriculture  
  • Under this initiative, both sides will carry out joint military exercises and will collaborate on counter-terror projects. 
  • Government of India has undertaken to encourage Indian companies to invest in the Kenyan agri sector inclusive of “equipment and technology”. 
  • Both sides noted that enhancing bilateral agricultural cooperation would increase bilateral trade and contribute to food security in Kenya,” the Joint Statement declared. 
  • The two sides also agreed to cooperate in cyber security, anti-money laundering, small arms and light weapons, drugs and human trafficking. 

About Kenya 

  • Capital- Nairobi
  • Currency- Kenyan Shilling
  • Continent – Africa
  • President- William Ruto 
  • Official languages- Swahili, English 

Appointment News 

20.Deven Parekh appointed to IDFC board 

  • President Joe Biden has nominated prominent Indian-American global venture capitalist Deven Parekh as a member of the Board of Directors of the International Development Finance Corporation, a development finance institution and agency of the US government. 
  • Parekh is the managing director at software investment firm Insight Partners. His nomination will be for a period of three years. 
  • By statute, the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) Board of Directors includes four members recommended to the President from Senate and House leadership. 
  • In 2020, Parekh was nominated to the Board of Directors of the DFC by then-President Donald Trump. 
  • Parekh also served on the Overseas Private Investment Corporation board from 2016 to 2018 and was a member of the United States Export-Import Bank advisory board from 2010 to 2012. 

21.Recent Appointment in Banking & Insurance Sector 

  • MD of State Bank of India – Vinay M. Tonse (till 2025; for 2 years) 
  • Director of Jio Financial Services – Isha Ambani, Anshuman Thakur, and Hitesh Kumar Sethia 
  • MD & CEO of Kotak Mahindra Bank – Ashok Vaswani (replace Dipak Gupta) effect from 1 Jan 2024 
  • Executive Director of Bank of Maharashtra – Rohit Rishi (replace Asheesh Pandey) 
  • Executive Director of RBI – Manoranjan Mishra 

Important Day News 

22.6 December – National Microwave Oven Day 

  • National Microwave Oven Day is observed every year on 6 December.
  • Objective – To create awareness about the things that a microwave oven can perform and explore ways by which we can simplify our kitchen work. 
  • In 1945, Percy Spencer – a self-taught engineer, realised that while working with active radar, a candy bar placed inside his pocket was melting. 
  • He used the same technique to make popcorn in a microwave. However, that became a funny story to be told later – the popcorn test blew up in his coworker’s face 
  • After multiple trials, microwaves came to be used in the households. It got a negative reputation in the early days because of leaks in some of the models – however, soon microwaves became a necessity in the kitchen. 

Award News 

26.Jason Momoa’s ‘Deep Rising’ movie won ALT Environment Film Festival 

  • Jason Momoa produced “Deep Rising” and director Luke Griswald-Tergis’ “Pleistocene Park” are the top winners at the All Living Things Environment Film Festival. 
  • ALT EFF focuses on imperative topics of climate change and the environment at large through the lens of cinema. 
  • The festival, which runs till 19 December, is screening over 60 films from 50 countries with shows in across 20 cities in India
  • Deep Rising,” produced by Momoa and directed by Matthieu Rytz, won the best international feature, while the best of the festival award by the Habitat Trust went to Griswald-Tergis’ “Pleistocene Park” at an event. 

Books and Authors News 

27.Huma Qureshi launches 1st novel ‘Zeba’ 

  • Popular Bollywood actor Huma Qureshi has now turned author with her debut novel titled ‘Zeba: An Accidental Superhero’. 
  • Set in a fantasy land with its own geo- and socio-political spin, she launched her book at the 12th edition of the Bangalore Literature Festival (BLF). 
  • The book is a fantasy fiction novel set very specifically between 1992 and 2019. It talks about a make-believe kingdom and an evil king and how this girl, Zeba, who has these superpowers, manages to defeat him.” 

Recent Books

  • Welcome to Paradise – Twinkle Khanna 
  • Breaking the Mould – Raghuram Rajan & Rohit Lamba 
  • The Book of Life: My Dance with Buddha for Success- Vivek Agnihotri 
  • The Day I Became a Runner – S Chattopadhyay 
  • Tales from the Home of Wags & Wiggles – V Raghavan 

Ranks and Reports News 

28.Kolkata declared safest in India for 3rd consecutive year: NCRB report

  • Kolkata emerged as the safest city in India for the third consecutive year, recording the least number of cognizable offences per lakh population among metropolises, according to the report published by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). 
  • The eastern metropolis, which reported 86.5 cases of cognizable offences per lakh people in 2022, was followed by Pune (280.7) and Hyderabad (299.2).
  • Cognizable crimes are those for which cases are registered under sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and SLL (Special and Local Laws). 
  • According to the NCRB report, Kolkata had registered 103.4 cases of cognizable crimes per lakh people in 2021, which dropped to 86.5 this year. In 2020, the count was 129.5. 
  • In 2021, Pune and Hyderabad had reported 256.8 and 259.9 cognizable offences per lakh population, respectively.
  • The rankings were issued after comparison among 19 cities with over 20 lakh population. 
  • Kolkata, however, recorded an increase in crimes against women as the number of cases rose from 1,783 in 2021 to 1,8 in 2022.
  • The crime rate against women in Kolkata was at 27.1 per lakh population, greater than Coimbatore’s 12.9 and Chennai’s 17.1. 
  • This year, the eastern metropolis also witnessed a drop in violent crimes with only 34 murder cases beig reported, down from 45 last year. 
  • The NCRB report ‘Crime in India 2022’ is based on data collected from 36 states and Union territories and central agencies. 

Sports News

29.Germany won the FIFA U-17 World Cup-2023 by defeating France in the penalty shootout 

  • Germany emerged victorious after defeating France 4–3 in a penaltyshootout in the U-17 World Cup football final at the Manahan Stadium in Jakarta, Indonesia on 2 December 2023. Mali took third place after defeating Argentina 3–0. 
  • This historic win makes Germany the first team to win both the World and European age group titles in the same year. Four-time FIFA World Cup winners Germany have won the Under-17 Men's World Cup for the first time in 2023. 
  • Goalkeeper Constantin Heide was the German hero, saving two penalties, before Borussia Dortmund's Almugera Cabrer scored the decisive spot-kick to seal the shootout 4–3. 
  • The 2023 FIFA U-17 World Cup was the 19th edition of the FIFA U-17 World Cup, a biennial international men's youth football tournament contested by the under-17 national teams of FIFA's member associations. It was held in Indonesia from 10 November to 2 December 2023. This was the first time that Indonesia hosted a FIFA tournament.

Award winner 

  • Adidas Golden Ball: Paris Brunner 
  • Adidas Golden Boot: Agustin Ruberto 
  • Adidas Golden Glove: Paul Argeni 

Indian polity 

30.Congress announces Revanth Reddy as 'CM of Telangana 

  • Ending two days of suspense, the Congress central leadership named Telangana party chief A. Revanth Reddy as its choice of Chief Minister of the State. He will take the oath of office on Thursday.Mr. Reddy was named the leader of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP), and he will become the first Congress Chief Minister of Telangana, a State formed in 2014.
  • Congress president Mal- likarjun Kharge gave his stamp of approval on the basis of a report submitted by the party's poll observers.The Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee President was elected with a thumping majority from the Kodangal Assembly constituency, though he - along with outgoing Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao lost the Kama- reddy seat to the BJP candidate Katipally Venkataramana Reddy.Dynamic leader'Making the announcement at a press conference in New Delhi, 
  • All India Con- gress Committee generalsecretary K.C. Venugopal said: "Going by the feed- back provided by the Con- gress observers, including Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister D.K. Shivakumar, party in-charge for Telan- gana Manikrao Thakare, and other leaders, the Con- gress president decided to nominate Mr. Reddy as the CLP leader."The observers had attended the Telangana CLP meeting in Hyderabad on Monday, which had auth- orised the party president to nominate the CLP lead- er.Terming Mr. Reddy a dy- namic leader, Mr. Venugo- pal said that he had cam- paigned extensively in the run-up to the election, along with all senior leaders. 

31.In a first, Mizoram now has more than one woman MLA 

  • Mizoram's 'Mandate 2023' was a first on two counts. The State's electorate voted a party other than the Mizo National Front (MNF) and the Congress to power for the first time in almost 40 years. It also elected more than one woman to the 40-member Assembly for the first time. The first political party to rule Mizoram after it be- came a Union Territory in 1972 was the Mizo Union. The State had to wait for six years to get its first wo- man MLA L. 
  • Thanmawii of the People's Conference, which formed the government under Brigadier Thenphunga Sailo in 1978. K. Thansiami of the People's Conference became the second woman MLA in 1984, three years before the MNF's Lalhlimpuii be- came the first woman Mi- nister of the State. Vanla Vanneihsangi has been elected to the Assembly on ZPM ticket. SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT lawmpuii Chawngthu became the second Minis- ter in the Congress govern- ment headed by Lal Than- hawla in 2017. 
  • Each of the four from 1972 to 2017 was the lone woman MLA in Mizoram. A total of 16 women con- tested the Assembly elec- tion this time with Lalramdingngheti and Lalruatfeli Hlwando contesting two seats each as Indepen- dents. The victory of Lal rinpuii and Baryl Vanneih- sangi, both of the Zoram People's Movement (ZPM) and Prova Chakma of the MNF has ensured the best strike 0.19 - ever for women Mizoram. candidates in Ms. Vanneihsangi, a former radio jockey, said the entry of more women in the Mizoram Assembly was inevitable as barriers are being broken across the globe. 
  • "It is a proud moment for women but the challenge ahead is to live up to the expectations of the people who gave us a chance to change the sys- tem," she said. Victorious trio Ms. Vanneihsangi won from the Aizawl South-III seat by defeating F. Lalnun- mawia of the MNF by 1,414 votes while Ms. Lalrinpuii triumphed over Joseph Lalhimpuia of the Con- gress by 1,646 votes to win the Lunglei East seat. Ms. Prova Chakma won the West Tuipui constituency by defeating Nihar Kanti Chakma of the Congress by 711 votes. 

32.Ministry of Panchayati Raj launched “Gram Manchitra” 

  • Ministry of Panchayati Raj has launched the Geographic Information System (GIS) application “Gram Manchitra” ( 
  • This application facilitates and supports Gram Panchayats to perform planning at Gram Panchayat level using geo-spatial technology. 
  • It provides a single/ unified Geo Spatial platform to better visualize the various developmental works to be taken up across the different sectors and provide a decision support system for Gram Panchayat Development Plan (GPDP).
  • Ministry has also launched mActionSoft, a mobile based solution to help in capturing photos with Geo-Tags (i.e. GPS Coordinates) for the works which have asset as an output.

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