1. ICCG’s 23rd annual conference of the European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (EAERE) was held in Athens, Greece. TERI, the New Delhi-based The Energy Resources Institute was ranked number two under the category ‘2016 Top Climate Think Tanks in the Rest of the World-Absolute Global Rankings’ among world’s best climate think tank by the International Centre for Climate Governance (ICCG).
2. Senior IPS officer Sanjay Kumar (1985-batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer of Himachal Pradesh cadre) was appointed as Director General (DG) of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF). He will succeed R K Pachnanda who was has taken charge as DG the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).
3. Maitree 2017 (A joint military training exercise) between Indian Army and Royal Thailand Army commenced at Bakloh in Chamba district in Himachal Pradesh. A 14 day long exercise is aimed to build and promote closer relations while exchanging skills and experiences between the two armies. The previous edition of the exercise was held at Krabi in Thailand in 2016
Earlier, a joint training exercise between the Indian Army and the Royal Army of Oman, named Al Nagah-II 2017, was held at Bakloh in March 2017.
4. India became 11th country whose citizens are now eligible to enroll in the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) initiative. The United States of America (USA) has rolled out pre-approved expedited entry clearance for low-risk Indian travellers under its Global Entry programme (GEP). Under this initiative, international GEP member traveller can enter in US through automatic kiosks, rather than queuing up to clear immigration check by meeting an immigration officer at selected airports.Indian Ambassador to US Navtej Sarna was the first Indian national to enroll in the programme.
5. Under the Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY) about 97% of the total outstanding debt of all state power distribution companies (discoms) has been covered as per the announcement of the Union Ministry of Power.
6. Hwasong-14 the North Korea’s first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) has successfully test-fired into waters near Sea of Japan . It was claimed by North Korea and the claim was confirmed by United States. The launch appeared to be North Korea’s most successful missile test since its ballistic missile programme.
7. MERIT app (Merit Order Despatch of Electricity for Rejuvenation of Income and Transparency)’ and the e-bidding portal for offering an e-Bidding solution to States has been launched by Piyush Goyal, the Union Minister of State for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines. The app and the portal would help the states to select Independent Power Producers (IPPs) for procurement of power by transferring their domestic coal under the scheme of flexibility in utilisation of domestic coal.
8. For the first time in the Nilgiris a rare ‘white tiger’ with a pale skin was spotted by a photographer named Nilanjan Ray. The discovery has aroused interest among conservationists and forest officials to whether the white tiger is a true genetic mutant. According to the scientists, white tigers lack pheomelanin, which is responsible for the red-yellow hue in the skin coat . The tiger which was spotted does not seem to be albino and was found to be whitish with golden brown patches.
9. At present due to lack of a parliamentary law, there is no transparency in the eligibility, criteria required for a person to be appointed as an election commissioner. So The Supreme Court has asked the Union government to formalise appointment of election commissioners through law.
10. The reason for unprecedented heavy rainfall in Chennai for three days between November 30th to December 2nd in 2015 has been found out by a study conducted by the scientists of University of Hyderabad and the Indian Institute of Technology – Bombay and the reason behind it was that the extreme El Nino conditions and warming of the Bay of Bengal. Based on several experiments, the scientists have attributed around 21% of the intensity of the extreme Chennai rainfall to the extreme El Nino condition. El Nino usually causes less than normal rainfall in the case of south-west monsoon. However, it does the reverse in the case of the northeast monsoon. It causes above-normal rainfall during the northeast monsoon. This is due to the difference in seasonal wind patterns between the two monsoons.
11. This is the first time the EPFO(The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation ) has roped in private banks, namely, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank and Bank of Baroda for the purpose of collection of provident fund dues from the employers and payments to its subscribers. This move of the EPFO will help the organisation to save nearly Rs 300 crore per year as the five banks have agreed to zero transaction charges. Already the EPFO had tied up with five other banks. The five other banks are State Bank of India (SBI), Punjab National Bank, Allahabad Bank, Indian Bank and Union Bank of India.
12. An emergency meeting of the UNSC was called by the United States, Japan and South Korea to agree on a response to the North Korea’s ICBM test. In the emergency meeting, the US has said that the launch of an ICBM by the North Korea is a clear and sharp escalation. Under the new sanctions, the US has decided to use trade restrictions targeting those countries that continue to have dealings with North Korea. France has expressed its support for a new resolution.
13. The Indian national football has managed to secure the 96th spot as per the updated FIFA world football rankings. At present, Germany leads the rankings and among Asian countries, Iran leads at No. 23.
14. For the second time, RP Sanjiv Goenka Group Chairman, Sanjiv Goenka, has been named as the Chairman of the Board of Governors at IIT-Kharagpur He will serve as the Chairman for three years. He held his previous stint between 2002 and 2007.
15. The 2017 Asian Athletics Championship is the 22nd edition and will be held from 6 July to 9 July 2017 at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneshwar. Manpreet Kaur and Govindan Laxman has managed to win gold medals on the opening day of Asian Athletics Championships. Vikas Gowda, though failed to defend his title in the men’s discus throw has managed to win a bronze medal in the men’s discus throw.
16. India is expected to register a growth of 6.9% in this financial year according to BMI Research, a Fitch group company.
17. RBI has issued the revised directions on ‘Customer Protection – Limiting Liability of Customers in unauthorised Electronic Banking Transactions’ amidst a recent increase in customer grievances related to un authorised transactions. The bank has to credit the amount involved in the unauthorised electronic transaction to the customer’s account within 10 working days of reporting of fraud. The bank has to do this without waiting for settlement of insurance claim if any. The banks should ask its customers to mandatorily register for SMS alerts and e-mail for email alerts for electronic banking transactions.
18. Under the Right to Education Act, no child will be detained or held back in any class or expelled till the completion of elementary education covering classes 1 to 8 from next academic year said by the HRD ministry .
19. India has become the fourth largest foreign investor into the UK in 2016-17 as per the official figures published by the UK’s Department for International Trade. The US remains the top most investor in the UK, China (2nd), France ( 3rd)
20. As per the Index has been released by the UN telecommunications agency International Telecommunication Union (ITU), India has been ranked 23rd out of 165 nations in the second Global Cyber security Index (GCI) that measures the commitment of nations across the world to cyber security. Singapore has topped the index followed by United States (2nd), Malaysia (3rd), Oman (4th), Estonia (5th), Mauritius (6th), Australia (7th), Georgia (8th), France (9th), Canada (10th) and Russia (11th). China has been placed at 34th. Equatorial Guinea is the worst performer among all nations with a score of zero.
21. The UNESCO World Heritage Committee acting on a proposal brought by Palestine has put the West Bank city of Hebron on its list of world heritage in danger. The inclusion of the Old City of West Bank into the list of World Heritage in danger is aimed at drawing world’s attention to the situation in Hebron.
22.Vietnam has granted ONGC Videsh a two-year extension to explore oil block 128 in the South China Sea.