1. The Union Government has reconstituted Multi-Agency Group (MAG) led by Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) Chairman and will have representatives from Enforcement Directorate, RBI and Financial Intelligence Unit to investigate cases relating to ‘Paradise Papers’ data disclosure which is also probing the Panama Papers leak. The Paradise Papers, a largest ever leak of financial data containing 13.4 million documents on offshore entities involving people and companies from 180 countries to dodge tax. The leaked data includes seven million loan agreements, financial statements, emails, trust deeds and other paperwork over nearly 50 years from Appleby, a prominent offshore law firm with offices in Bermuda and also from Asiacity, a Singapore-based family-owned trust company. India with 714 names, ranks 19th in terms of number of names that feature in papers. The files were first obtained by German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung and shared with ICIJ and partner 95 media outlets that includes Indian partner The Indian Express.
2. Seven commodities were granted Geographical Indication (GI) this year by the Indian patent office. It includes Banaganapalle mangoes (Andhra Pradesh), Tulaipanji rice (West Bengal), Pochampally Ikat (Telangana), Gobindobhog rice (West Bengal), Durgi stone carvings and Etikoppaka toys (Andhra Pradesh) and Chakshesang shawl (Nagaland). In 2016-17, as many as 33 items got GI registration. A GI is primarily given to agricultural, natural or manufactured product (handicrafts and industrial goods) originating from a definite geographical territory for 10 years at a time. Typically, such name conveys an assurance of quality and distinctiveness, which is essentially attributable to place of its origin.
3. Scientists have detected dust belts around Proxima Centauri, these new observations were made by Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) observatory in Chile indicates presence of elaborate planetary system hosted by closest star to solar system.
4. India has pledged additional US $100 million towards UN-India Partnership Fund to significantly scale up its support to sustainable development projects across the developing world. The first project from fund is being executed in partnership with seven Pacific Island countries.
5. US$ 119 million Financing Agreement with World Bank for IBRD loan for the Odisha Higher Education Programme for Excellence & Equity (OHEPEE) Project was inked by the Union Government. This project aims is to improve the quality of ‘students’ equitable access to selected institutions and enhance governance of the higher education system in Odisha. The closing date for project is November, 2022.
6. ‘Nirbhay’- long range sub-sonic cruise missile indigenously designed and developed. by DRDO successfully conducted its test flight from test range at Chandipur, Odisha. It is India’s first indigenously designed and developed Long Range Sub-Sonic Cruise Missile. It has blended missile and aeronautical technologies which allows it to take off vertically like missile and cruise horizontally like an aircraft. It was the fifth experimental test of Nirbhay missile system. It achieved all mission objectives completely from lift-off till the final splash, boosting the confidence of all scientists associated with the trial
7. The Reserve Bank of India has asked banks to provide doorstep banking facilities to senior citizens who are more than 70 years of age and differently- abled persons by Dec 2017.
8. The Union Government has announced that it would be full scholarship to 100 non- Indian students if they study Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy (Ayush) in any of the public institutions across India.
9. GST rate on various mass consumption items reduced to 18 %. All type of chewing gums, chocolates, preparation for facial make-up, shaving and after shave items, shampoo, deodorants, washing powder, detergent ,granite and marble will now attract 18%.GST.
10. UNHCR to receive the Mother Teresa Award 2017 for social justice. The award will be presented to the UNHCR at a function on 10th Dec 2017 on the occasion of the celebrations of unique legacy of Mother Teresa popularly known as the “Saint of the Gutters .
11. International Children’s Film Festival India (ICFFI) popularly known as the Golden Elephant began in Hyderabad,Telangana on 8 Nov 2017. The festival would conclude on the occasion of Children’s day (14th Nov). the golden festival which would witness participation from over 100000 children and 100’s of film professionals and eminent guests from around the world. This golden festival every 2 years, to bring the most imaginative cinema including both national and international to the young audiences in India.
12.Paytm introduces BHIM UPI payments on its platform .that allows one to create a UPI address linked to a bank account and then send or receive money using it. Morever, one can also make payments to online merchants and outlets who accepts BHIM UPI as a payment mode for transactions.