1. India and Italy have signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for enhanced cooperation in health sector with an objective to establish comprehensive inter-ministerial and inter-institutional cooperation between two countries in the field of health by pooling scientific, technical, financial and human resources.
2. Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has approved procurement of 260 Software Defined Radios (SDR), a naval communication sets for Indian Navy at cost of Rs. 490 crore to ramp up surveillance on the high seas. The DAC is defence ministry’s highest decision making body on procurement.
3. India and Singapore have signed Bilateral Agreement which was announced during second Defence Ministers’ Dialogue between India and Singapore held in New Delhi for Navy Cooperation that will allow Indian Navy ships logistical support, including refuelling at Singapore’s Changi Naval Base located near disputed South China Sea (SCS).
4. The Higher Education Funding Agency (HEFA) has approved projects worth over Rs. 2,066 crore for six higher educational institutions (IITs Bombay, Delhi, Madras, Kharagpur, Kanpur and NIT Suratkal) to improve the research infrastructure and further their standing at global level. The approved funds will be in addition to grants being given to these institutions by the government. Decision in this regard was taken at 2nd HEFA Board meeting chaired by Chairmanship of Secretary Higher Education.
5. ‘Clean Sea-2017’ -The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) conducted the Regional Level Marine Oil Pollution Response Exercise at sea off Port Blair, Andaman & Nicobar Islands with an objective to ascertain preparedness of IGC, resource agencies and other stakeholders in responding to major oil spill in line with provisions of National Oil Spill Disaster Contingency Plan (NOS-DCP).
6. India’s Saikhom Mirabai Chanu won gold medal by lifting new world record of 194kg – 85kg snatch and 109kg clean-and-jerk in the 48 kg weight category at World Weightlifting Championships held in Anaheim, United States. With this victory, Mirabai Chanu became first Indian in over two decades to win the medal at the Championships. She is only second Indian weightlifter after Karnam Malleswari to achieve this feat. Olympic bronze medallist Karnam Malleshwari had won the top prize in worlds twice in 1994 and 1995. She hails from Manipur and currently is employed with the Indian Railways. She had won medals in Commonwealth games and silver medal in women’s 48 kg weight class at 2014 Commonwealth Games at Glasgow. Thailand’s Sukcharoen Thunya won silver medal with total lift of 193, while Segura Ana Iris won bronze medal with 182kg lift.
7. Australian Marine Scientists have made the use of an algorithm, which was developed by NASA to study star charts , in order to track and identify whale sharks. The project mainly relied on photos sent by the citizen scientists and eco-tourists. Brad Norman has collected around 30,000 photos of the species from citizen scientists from 54 countries around the world. The extensive research project applied the technology developed by NASA to examine the distinctive spots that appear on whale sharks.
8. The inaugural edition of the Indian Sports Honours , which was held in Mumbai , is a joint initiative by Indian Skipper Virat Kohli and Sanjiv Geonka to support the development of Indian sports. Main Honours ( SJFI-EnY Process) Ace Shuttler Srikanth who won the four super series titles this year won the Sportsman of the year award. Rio Olympics silver medalist Sindhu won the sportswoman of the year award in the individual sport category. Sportsman of the year ( Team Sport ) –Ravichandran Ashwin, Sportswoman of the year ( Team Sport)- Mithali Raj, Team of the year ( Men/women) – Indian Women’s Cricket Team. Coach of the year – Bisveshwar Nandhi.Emerging sportswoman of the year – Aditi Ashok, Emerging sportsman of the year – Neeraj Chopra. Differently abled sportsman of the year –Devendra Jhajaria, Differently abled sportswoman of the year –Deepa Malik Jury Honours: Inspirational Honour –Sania Mirza , Transformational contribution to sport – Abhinav Bhindra, Keep Walking Honour for Life Time achievement –Balbir Singh Popular Choice Honours: Breakthrough performance of the year – Hardik Pandya . Star Sport believe honour ( Comeback of the year) – Saina Nehwal, Spirit of Sport – Yogeshwar Dutt , Player of the year - Sunil Chhetri , Club of the year – Mumbai Indians , Best Fan Club –Manjappada Kerala Blasters VKF Athelete Development Programme –Scholarship Athletes :Sumit nagal –Tennis Karman Kaur Thandi –Tennis , Diya Dhayal –Archery , Shivani Kataria – Swimming , Swastika Ghosh – Table Tennis , Aadil Bedi –Golf , Aryamann Tandon –Badminton
9. Union Finnce Minister Arun Jaitley has officially launched the ‘Paytm payments Bank ‘, India’s largest digital wallet firm. Paytm Payments Bank aims to bring Indians into digital economy . with the launch of the Bank, Paytm account holders can enjoy the benefits like zero balance account, free IMPS, NEFT, RTGS,URI transactions and a complimentary virtual Rupay cards for online transactions.Paytm Payments bank has an annual subscription cost of Rs 100 plus delivery charges for RuPay digital debit card. The bank allows customers to withdraw cash from their RuPay digital debit card from any ATM. The account holders will earn 4% interest every month on their savings. They will be offered a free insurance of Rs. 2 lakh in case of death or permanent disability according to terms and conditions. This is India’s first only mobile bank that offers zero balance accounts , zero digital transaction charges . currently India has four operating payments bank including Paytm Payments Bank . The other three are Airtel Payments Bank , India Post Payments Bank and Fino Payments Bank.
10. The US –India Business Council (USIBC) launched a collaborative initiative for Women Entrepreneurs titled ‘Women for Women Innovators, Social Leaders and Entrepreneurs’(WISE). The program was launched during USIBC’s Road to GES event ‘Creating the Foundations of Innovation ‘WISE will work with key women leaders to offer mentoring and development opportunities for Women Entrepreneurs to increase women’s participation in growing India’s economy.
11. Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana ( Gramin ), under which a target of completing one crore new houses by 31st March 2019 was set, was launched on Nov 20,2016 from Agra. Of this target, 51 lakh houses are to be completed by 31st March 2018. To meet the target of 51 lakhs under PMAY ( Gramin) by March 2018, the Ministry of Rural Development ( MoRD) in partnership with the State Governments, has taken many steps, including setting a month-wise target for completion of houses.