1. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for enhanced cooperation in the health sector was signed between India and Cuba. The objective of MoU is to establish comprehensive inter-ministerial and inter-institutional cooperation between two countries in the field of health. It aims at regulation of pharmaceuticals, medical devices and exchange of information. It aims at exchange and training of medical doctors, officials, other health professionals and experts.
2. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for intensive efforts towards achieving the immunization target was signed between the Union Health Ministry and Rotary International India National PolioPlus. It aims to provide collaborative support and accelerate efforts under Polio Eradication Programme, Routine Immunization including Mission Indradhanush.
3. A three member committee led by NCM’s Vice Chairman George Kurien has been set up by the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) to study the matter to give minority status to Hindus in 8 states where their population is less than 50%.The committee has been given three months to submit its report. According to 2011 Census, Hindus are in monitory in eight states — Lakshadweep (2.5%), Mizoram (2.75%), Nagaland (8.75%), Meghalaya (11.53%), J&K (28.44%), Arunachal Pradesh (29%), Manipur (31.39%), and Punjab (38.40).
4. Time magazine has named ‘the silence breakers’ as its Person of the Year for 2017. It was referring to those individuals, mostly women, who came forward this year with #MeToo movement to publicly expose patterns of sexual harassment and assault by powerful public figures in United States.
5. 2017 Ballon d’Or (Golden Ball) for world player of the year in Paris, France for the fifth time was awarded to Real Madrid and Portugal superstar Cristiano Ronaldo. In this year’s Ballon d’Or Award competition, Lionel Messi came second while Paris’ Neymar Jr, came third, Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon finished fourth and Luka Modric came fifth. With this Ronaldo equals record of his great Barcelona rival Lionel Messi. Earlier Ronaldo had won Ballon d’Or in 2008, 2013, 2014 and 2016. FIFA Ballon d’Or Award is annual football association award given by FIFA to the male player who has performed the best in previous calendar year.
6. Uttar Pradesh became first state to endorse Union Government’s draft law — Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act that makes practice of instant “triple talaq” or talaq-e-biddat. a cognisable and non-bailable criminal offence. The draft law was endorsed by the state cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
7. India and Israel have jointly set up a centre for excellence in floriculture at Thally in Krishnagiri district of Tamil Nadu. It is first agro-technology development centre to be set up with Israel’s assistance in Tamil Nadu. The centre at Thally and similar centre planned for vegetables to be established in Dindigul, Tamil Nadu. The Dindigul centre, specialises in vegetables such as cucumber, capsicum and tomatoes, is expected to be launched in January 2018. More such centres of excellence are planned in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh in near future. Centres in Karnataka will come up in Dharwar, Kolar and B agalkot and will focus on vegetables, mangoes and pomegranate, respectively. The centre in Andhra Pradesh will come up in Kuppam and will work on both floriculture and vegetable research.
8. A high-level committee headed by NITI Aayog Chief Executive Amitabh Kant has been constituted by the Union Government to address problem of Non-performing assets (NPAs) or stressed assets in India’s power sector.
9. The Intergovernmental Committee for Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage under UNESCO has inscribed ´KumbhMela´ on UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. KumbhMela is the 14th intangible cultural heritage from India to be listed in UNESCO’s list. KumbhMela is held every four times every 12 years at four different locations across central and northern India. Kumbh Mela is held every third year at one of four places by rotation: Haridwar, Allahabad, Nashik and Ujjain. Thus, it is held at each of these four places every twelfth year. Ardha Kumbha Mela, which is next in sanctity, is held only at Haridwar and Allahabad. The rivers at these four places are Ganga at Haridwar, Prayag Sangam at Allahabad, Godawari at Nashik, and Shipra at Ujjain.
10. “SAICON 2017”- the first International Conference on Sports Medicine & Sports Sciences was held in New Delhi which was inaugurated by the Minister of State (I/C) Youth Affairs and Sports Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore. The theme of the conference was ‘Scoring Goals in Sports with Science and Technology’. The 3-day conference was organized by Sports Authority of India (SAI). It aimed at promoting scientific temperament in country and inspire students, researchers and educationists alike to take up sports science and research to next level.
11. Kacheguda Railway Station in Hyderabad has become the first energy-efficient ‘A1 Category’ railway station in India. Kacheguda Railway station is one of the historic building in Hyderabad that has completed 100 years. Kacheguda Railway Station attained the 100% energy-efficient status by replacing 1312 conventional lights with light-emitting diode (LED) lighting, 12 air conditioners (ACs) with energy efficient inverter type ACs and 370 ceiling fans with Brushless DC Electrical (BLDC) motors energy-efficient fans.
12. Multilateral funding agency Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved $346 million loan for highways upgradation project in Karnataka. The loan funds will be used for Karnataka State Highways Improvement III Project to upgrade 419 km of state highways from two to four–lane widths and improving culverts and bridges along stretch of road. This is second loan from ADB for improving state’s road network. The project roads will address needs of residents along roads for adequate footpaths, lights, and improvement to curves that pose safety hazards, especially at night.
13.Elite export control regime Wassenaar Arrangement (WA) has decided to admit India as its new member. The decision was taken at two-day plenary meeting of grouping in Vienna, Austria. India will be Arrangement’s 42nd participating state. The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies, commonly known as the Wassenaar Arrangement is a multilateral export control regime (MECR). It is elite club of countries subscribing arms controls similar to NSG and MTCR.