National News

1. Kaspersky, IIT Delhi partner for cybersecurity talent development in India

  • Global cyber security company Kaspersky and the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IIT Delhi) have signed an agreement to jointly work on cybersecurity-related research and educational initiatives at the institute.
  • Under the agreement, Kaspersky and IIT Delhi will exchange knowledge and expertise, develop educational materials, organise and promote events to raise cybersecurity awareness, and sponsor merit (academic) awards or prizes to encourage IIT Delhi students to pursue careers in ICT and Cybersecurity.
  • This partnership will enhance the IIT Delhi graduates’ desirability on the job market by adding IIT Delhi’s educational and scientific activities of new training courses and programs that provide the graduates with relevant competencies that are in demand.

2. IITs in News

  • Airbus tie-up with IIT Kanpur to promote aerospace education
  • IIT Guwahati signed MoU with the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA) to build capacity/skills in international affairs and foreign policy
  • IIT Guwahati researchers develop Al-based model for knee X-ray
  • University of Jaffna & IIT Madras sign MoU for promote research initiatives

3. Wax statue of Babasaheb Ambedkar installed in Jaipur Wax Museum

  • wax statue of Constitution architect Baba Saheb Ambedkar was installed in Jaipur Wax Museum, Nahargarh Fort on the occasion of Mahaparinirvan Day.
  • The wax statue has been placed in the set of Rashtrapati Bhavan along with the statue of India’s second great personality, ‘missile man’ and Bharat Ratna Dr APJ Abdul Kalam.
  • The height of the statue is 5 feet 11 inches, while the weight is about 38 kg.
  • After this wax statue of Baba Saheb, a total of 43 celebrities have been installed in the Jaipur Wax Museum. It is noteworthy that Jaipur Wax Museum is the first wax museum in the world which is located in a “heritage site”, Nahargarh Fort.
  • Founder-director of the museum – Anoop Srivastava

4. Defense Ministry partners with ISB to offer scholarships for ex-servicemen

  • The Defense Ministry has collaborated with the prestigious Indian School of Business (ISB).
  • The initiative focuses on providing scholarships to military personnel transitioning to civilian life after retirement.
  • The Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare has forged a partnership with ISB to facilitate educational opportunities for veterans. The collaboration intends to equip armed forces personnel with the latest and in-depth management skills, leveraging the substantial skillset they already possess.
  • As part of this collaboration, ISB will extend a 50 percent tuition fee waiver across its postgraduate and advanced management programmes, amounting to a total of Rs 2.3 crore annually.
  • This generous scholarship initiative is expected to benefit 22 ex-servicemen each academic year, fostering their academic pursuits and aiding their transition to civilian roles.

5. EKI Energy, Indian Oil to jointly promote indoor solar cooking system

  • EKI Energy Services, a carbon credits developer and supplier, and Indian Oil Corp. Ltd (Indian Oil) have agreed to jointly promote Surya Nutan, IndianOil’s innovative indoor solar cooking system.
  • Toward that objective, it has developed “Surya Nutan,” a stationary, rechargeable, and always kitchen-connected indoor cooking solution based on IndianOil’s patented technology.
  • Under the terms of their agreement, Indian Oil will share the technology of “Surya Nutan” with EKI to enhance its production and distribution, supported by carbon finance.
  • EKI will oversee the end-to-end management of ‘Surya Nutan’ encompassing manufacturing, marketing, installation, and the provision of after-sales services. This will be achieved by leveraging carbon finance, corporate social responsibility, or any other similar means.

International News

6. Indonesia’s Ibu volcano erupts, ash up to 1,200m

  • The Ibu volcano on Halmahera Island in the eastern Indonesian province of North Maluku erupted.
  • Local time for about 90 seconds, throwing ash up to 1,200 metre above its peak, according to the country’s Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (PVMBG).
  • Standing as high as around 1,300 metre above sea level, Ibu volcano is classified in the second danger level, below the highest level of IV.
  • Located on the Pacific Ring of Fire, Indonesia is one of the countries with the most volcanoes in the world.

About Indonesia

  • Capital – Jakarta
  • Currency – Rupiah
  • Official language – Indonesian
  • President – Joko Widodo

Banking and Financial News

7. Union Bank collaborates with Accenture to boost operational efficiency

  • Union Bank of India has collaborated with Accenture to design and develop a scalable and secure enterprise data lake platform to boost its operational efficiency.
  • This will also enhance its ability to offer customer-centric banking services and manage risk.
  • Accenture will work with the Bank to build new AI and machine learning models that can help generate actionable insights for improved business forecasting, facilitate personalized offers for customers and enable intelligence for fraud detection, prevention, and mitigation.
  • The program will enable the public sector bank to develop robust data visualization and reporting capabilities including interactive dashboards and reports for business, operational, and regulatory purposes, per the Bank’s statement.

Recent MoU in Banking Sector

  • Ujjivan Small Finance Bank partners to offer sanitation loan
  • Karnataka Bank ties up with HDFC Life to offer life insurance products
  • Axis Bank signed MoU with IRMA to promote financial inclusion and literacy in India
  • Kotak Bank partnered with NeSL to issue electronic Bank Guarantee
  • IndusInd Bank partnered with Viamericas to enhance Fast Remit platform

8. SBI Card joins Bharat BillPay in the credit card category

  • NPCI Bharat BillPay (NBBL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), has successfully integrated SBI Card, one of India’s leading credit card issuers, into the credit card category of Bharat BillPay.
  • This integration marks a significant advancement, streamlining the credit card bill payment process for millions of customers.
  • Noteworthy credit card issuers already present in this category include Kotak Mahindra Bank, BoB Financial, Federal Bank, AU Small Finance Bank, IndusInd Bank, and Canara Bank.
  • SBI Card has an extensive customer base, totaling around 1.68 crores. Through the utilization of Bharat BillPay, SBI Card customers gain the advantage of seamlessly handling their credit card bill payments across various Bharat BillPay-supported payment channels.
  • This includes online platforms through banks or payment apps, as well as the extensive network of physical outlets enabled by Bharat BillPay.

9. LIC fourth largest insurer in the world based on reserves: S&P Global study

  • Insurance behemoth Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) is the fourth largest insurer in the world, according to a ranking based on life and accident & health reserves of companies in 2022 by S&P Global Market Intelligence.
  • The state-owned insurer is ranked after Allianz SE, China Life Insurance Company, and Nippon Life Insurance Company.
  • According to the report, LIC’s reserves stood at $503.7 billion. Germany’s Allianz SE ($750.20 billion), China Life Insurance Company ($616.90 billion), and Nippon Life Insurance Company ($536.80 billion) are the top three insurance companies in the world.
  • The S&P list of the top 50 global life insurance companies was dominated by European firms, taking 21 spots. On an individual country basis, the US has the highest number of life insurers on the list, with eight companies headquartered in the region, followed by the UK with seven companies.
  • Out of the top 50 companies, Asian firms followed their European counterparts with 17 of them featuring on the list. China and Japan share the top spots in Asia with five companies headquartered in the two countries. The top 50 companies were ranked on their life and accident & health reserves, one of the key financial strengths of a life insurer.
  • North America had 12 spots on the list with eight companies based in the US, two in Canada, and two in Bermuda.

10. UPI transaction limit for medical, educational services to be hiked to ₹5 lakh

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has proposed enhancing the limit of UPI transactions undertaken for medical or healthcare and educational services from ₹1 lakh to ₹5 lakh per transaction.
  • The limit for various categories of UPI transactions has been reviewed from time to time. It is now proposed to enhance the UPI transaction limit for payment to hospitals and educational institutions.
  • This will enable the users who are comfortable with making payments through UPI to continue using the platform for high-value payments as well. The transaction limit would no longer be a bottleneck which refrains the user from using UPI, especially when it comes to payments which are urgent in nature.
  • Currently, the transaction limit for UPI is capped at ₹1 lakh, except in a few categories like capital markets (AMC, broking, mutual funds, etc.), collections (credit card payments, loan re-payments, EMI), Insurance, etc. where the transaction limit is ₹2 lakh
  • In December 2021, the transaction limit for UPI payments for Retail Direct Scheme and IPO subscriptions was increased to ₹5 lakh.

Appointment News

11. World Radiocommunication Conference 2023 appoints UAE’s Mohammed Al Ramsi as Chairman

  • United Arab Emirates’ Mohammed Al Ramsi has been appointed Chairman of the World Radiocommunication Conference 2023 (WRC 23).
  • The event is being held in Dubai, UAE, from November 20th to December 15th, 2023.
  • WRC is organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) every four years to revise the global use of radio-frequency spectrum, geostationary-satellite, and non-geostationary-satellite orbits.
  • This year, more than 4,000 government officials and 900 international organizations from 193 countries are attending the conference.

Recent Appointment

  • Head of British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Board – Samir Shah
  • Chairman of Swiggy India – Anand Kripalu
  • First Indian to operate Mars rover – Akshata Krishnamurthy
  • First woman medical officer to be deployed at Siachen – Captain Geetika Kouls
  • CM of Telangana – Revanth Reddy

12. Lalduhoma takes oath as Chief Minister of Mizoram

  • Veteran politician and Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) leader Lalduhoma sworn in as the Chief Minister of Mizoram at Raj Bhawan in Aizawl.
  • Governor Dr Hari Babu Kambhampati administered the oath to Mr Lalduhoma.
  • The 74-year-old Lalduhoma joined politics in 1984 when he was elected as Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha) on Congress ticket.
  • He has walked the political corridor for almost 40 years before assuming the Chief Ministership.
  • In this year’s elections, he led the Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) to a decisive victory bagging as many as 27 seats in the 40-member House.
  • The ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) was reduced to 10 seats while the BJP got 2 seats.

About Mizoram

  • Formation – 20 February 1987
  • Capital – Aizawl
  • Chief Minister – Lalduhoma
  • Governor – Hari Babu Kambhampati
  • High Court – Gauhati High Court

Awards News

13. TIME ranks Sam Altman as CEO of the Year

  • Sam Altman was named CEO of the Year 2023 by TIME magazine.
  • Sam Altman marked ‘10-out-of-10 crazy thing to live through’ when he had to spend a rather strange Thanksgiving- losing a company he co-founded, only to be reinstated after five frantic days.
  • Sam Altman co-founded OpenAI developed ChatGPT, a revolutionary tool, launched in November 2022. ChatGPT became one of the most rapidly adopted technology ever.
  • TIME eulogized American singer Taylor Swift being made Person of the Year as, the editors pointed out, since 1927, the ‘person chosen has typically been a ruler over traditional domains of power.
  • He—and yes, usually it has been a “he”—is very often a politician or a titan of industry. Fourteen US Presidents, five leaders of Russia or the Soviet Union, and three Popes have all been recognized.
  • Athlete of the Year – Lionel Messi

Defence News

14. Gen. Anil Chauhan inaugurated Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. Avionics Expo

  • Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Anil Chauhan has inaugurated the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited Avionics Expo 2023 in New Delhi.
  • Chauhan said the aviation sector needs to keep up with a rapidly changing world and new technological innovations.
  • He added that military affairs are headed to convergence warfare where different technologies converge to make battles more automated and autonomous.
  • CDS Chauhan also stressed on the need for Aatma-Nirbharta in the aviation sector to reduce import dependency, boost the economy, and better handle geo-political and economic instabilities.

Sports News 

15. ICC launches new vibrant logo for Men’s and Women’s T20 World Cup 2024

  • International Cricket Council (ICC) has unveiled the logo for the upcoming T20 World Cup in Men’s and Women’s cricket next year.
  • While the men’s event is set to take place from June 4 to June 30, 2024 in the West Indies and USA.
  • While, Women’s T20 World Cup will happen in Bangladesh.
  • The new logo, according to ICC, captures the inherent drama the shortest forma brings with it. It also showcases the relentless energy in T20 cricket even as the new brand identity incorporates textures and patterns inspired by host country.

About International Cricket Council (ICC)

  • The International Cricket Council is the global governing body of cricket.
  • It was founded as the Imperial Cricket Conference in 1909 by representatives from Australia, England and South Africa.
  • It was renamed as the International Cricket Conference in 1965, and took up its current name in 1987.
  • Formation – 15 June 1909
  • Headquarters – Dubai, UAE
  • Chairman – Greg Barclay (New Zealand)
  • Deputy Chairman – Imran Khwaja (Singapore)
  • CEO – Geoff Allardice (Australia)
  • General Manager – Wasim Khan
  • Membership – 108 members

Important day

16. 9 December – International Anti-Corruption Day

  • International Day Against Corruption or International Anti-Corruption Day (IACD) is celebrated every year on December 9.
  • Objective – To raise awareness among the general public on the impact of the prevailing malice in many countries.
  • Theme 2023 – UNCAC at 20: Uniting the World Against Corruption
  • Corruption is such a malpractice that threatens the social and economic development of societies across the world, which is why this day aims to educate people on this crucial issue.
  • As an initial step in combating corruption, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the United Nations Convention against Corruption on OctobeThe authorities also designated the date of Anti-Corruption Day to raise awareness about corruption and the role of the Convention in preventing it. Following the same, the observance of the day was first officially held on 9 December 2005.