1. The Union Govt on December 14, 2016 appointed V.K.Sharma as the the chairman of state-owned Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) for a period of 5 years. Mr. Sharma was already acting as the chairman since September 2016 when his pre predecessor S.K.Roy resigned from his post. Prior to his formal elevation to the top LIC post. He is serving as its Managing Directors since November 2013.
2. Viral V. Acharya, the professor of Economics at the New York University, was appointed as a Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) as the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet cleared his name for the appointment on December 28, 2016 for a three-year tenure. Mr. Acharya’s appointment in RBI fills the vacancy that was created following Urjit Patel’s elevation to the post of RBI Governor in September, 2016. Besides Viral V. Acharya, S.S Mundra, N.S. Vishwanathan and R. Gandhi are other Deputy Governors at the RBI.
3. Eminent Bengali poet Shankha Ghosh was announced the winner of 52nd Gyanpith Award for the Year of 2016 on December 23, 2016 for his immense contribution to literature by the Gyanpith award jury chaired by author Namwar Singh. Mr. Ghosh, a widely-acclaimed literary authority on Rabindranath Tagore is the Sixth Bengali writer to win the Gyanpith honour after Mahasweta Devi, Ashapurna Devi, Tarashankar Bandopadhyay, Subhash Mukhopadhyay and Bishnu Dey.
4. Indian Oil clinched the 121st Beighton Cup Hockey Championship, beating Bharat Petroleum 5-3 in the summit clash at the SAI Complex in Kolkata on December 27, 2016. Gurjinder Singh successfully converted two penalty corners into goals for the Indian Oil. S.K. Uthappa, Deepak Thakur and Prabhjot Singh, each scored goal for the champion team in the final.
5. President Pranab Mukherjee on December 19, 2016 gave his nod for the appointment of Justice J.S. Khehar, the senior most judge of the Supreme Court as the new Chief Justice of India. He is the first CJI from the Sikh Community. He succeeds Justice TS Thakur who demits on January 3, 2017 as the CJI. Justice Khehar will hold the top judicial post of the Apex Court from January 4 to August 28, 2017. He will be the 44th Chief Justice of India.
6. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully placed its 1235 kg remote-sensing satellite RESOURCESAT-2A in its orbit onboard its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-PSLV-C36 which took off on December 7, 2016 from the first launch pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. ISRO used an XL version of the rocket in PSLV’s 38 flight to carry RESOURCESAT-2A for numerous agriculture applications
7. Former Miss World and noted actress Priyanka Chopra has been appointed as the Brand ambassador of Assam Tourism for two years. Assam’s Finance and Tourism Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma made the official announcement in this regard on December 19, 2016 in Guwahati. Priyanka a well known and popular figure in India and abroad as well, will play a role to promote Assam as a tourist destination. She will engage to shoot for TV Commercials and still photographs for a massive tourism campaign for Assam over the next two years.
8. In a major boost to women’s rights, the Allahabad High Court on December 8, 2016 called the Islamic practices of Divorcing a women by saying the word ‘Talaq’ three successive times is illegitimate. "Triple Talaq is Unconstitutional; it violates the rights of Muslims women. No Personal Law is above the Constitution," said the Allahbad High Court in its order. The order was passed by Justice Suneet Kumar while hearing a petition filed by a woman who claimed that her husband arbitrarily divorced her. Justice Kumar also said that triple talaq cannot be given arbitrarily. ”Personal Law cannot be above the Constitution,” he stated. Incidentally, the Supreme Court is also hearing a petition challenging the validity of triple talaq. ”The íssue of validity of triple talaq, Nikah halala and polygamy needs to be considered in the light of principles of gender justice and the overriding principle of non-discrimination, dignity and equality", the center has said.
9. India & Indonesia on December 12, 2016 signed three agreements following delegation level talks, in New Delhi, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the visiting Indonesian President Joko Widodo. India and Indonesia decided to step up the defence, counter-terrorism ties after meeting between Prime Minister Modi and Indonesian President. The two countries urged for implementation of the UN resolution designating terror entities and individuals, in an apparent reference to China blocking India’s move to get Jaishee-e-Mohamed Chief Masood Azhar designated as a global terrorist by the world body. PM said that both sides agreed that early implementation of the Indian-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement in Services and Investment and finalisation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership would be important steps to further boost trade ties.
10. Lt. General Bipin Rawat has been appointed the new chief of Army Staff. Lt. General Rawat AVSM, YSM, SM, VSM was the Vice-Chief of Army Staff. Govt of India has appointed him as the 26th Chief of Indian Army Staff. Lt. Gen. Rawat succeeds General Dalbir Singh who retires on December 31, 2016. Lt. Gen. Rawat is an alumnus of Defence Service Staff College Wellington, the Higher Command and National Defence College. He entered the army in 1978, after graduating from Indian Military Academy, Dehradun where he was awarded the Sword of Honour.
1. Time magazine on December 7, 2016 declared US President elect Donald Trump as its Time Person of the year for 2016 for his historical stunning victory as the Republican candidate in the US President election. Trump, the real estate billionaire in the USA, is featured on Time magazine’s cover described as ‘Donald Trump : President of the Divided State of America’.
2. Britain’s Andy Murray and Angelique Kerber of Germany were declared the winner of the International Tennis Federation’s World Champions (Singles) award for 2016 in male & female categories respectively on December 13, 2016. Andy Murray and Kerber won these honours for the first time in their respective careers. Andy’s brother Jamie won the ITF World Champions award in Men’s Doubles category along with his partner Bruno Soares. Murray ended the season with No. 1 ranking after winning the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals singles title.
3. Helen Marten, a young U.K. artist, was honoured with the Turner Prize for 2016 at a ceremony at Tate Britain gallery in London on December 5, 2016. Writer Ben Okri presented her the award, carrying $25,000 as prize money. She had also won the $30,000 Hepworth prize for sculpture a couple of weeks earlier.
4. China on December 22, 2016 successfully launched the 629 kg Tansat satellite, a global carbon dioxide monitoring satellite to understand climate change, from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in Northwest China’s Gobi Desert on board Long March-2D rocket. This was the 243rd mission of the Long March series rocket. After successful launching of the TanSat, China became the third country to have its own greenhouse gases.
5. Noted Bollywood and International actress Priyanka Chopra was named the new ‘Goodwill Ambassador’ of the UNICEF on the occasion of UNICEF’s 70th anniversary on December 12, 2016 in New York. Fellow UNICEF goodwill ambassadors David Beckham and Millie Bobby Brown Formally inducted Priyanka Chopra into the UNICEF global family at the event. She was previously appointed as UNICEF’s National Ambassador in India in 2010.
6. The UN Security Council unanimously imposed its toughest sanction on North Korea, placing a cap on the hermit state’s key coal exports after its defiant nuclear tests. The new sanctions resolution which was spear headed by the US and came after three months of tough negotiation with fellow veto-wielding council member China was passed by a 15-0 vote on November 30, 2016. The resolution demands that North Korea "abandon all nuclear weapons and existing all nuclear programmes" and take aim at the state’s exports of coal, its top external revenue source.
7. The US House of Representative has passed a defence bill that pledges $900 million in economic and other assistance to Pakistan, a significant portion of which is dependent on a Pentagon certification that the country is taking demonstrable steps against the dreaded Haqqani Network. The Senate passed the Bill later spelling out the same conditions to Pak. The Bill specifies that certain reimbursements are ineligible for a national security waiver unless the department of defence makes specified certifications regarding the activities of Pakistan with respect to the Haqqani network. The bill notes that "the United States and Pakistan continue to have critical shared interests, both economic and security related, which could be the foundation for a positive and mutually beneficial partnership."
8. John Glenn, the Astronaut, senator and presidential candidates died on December 8, 2016. He was a multifaceted personality, he was a US Marine Corps fighter pilot during World War 2 and the Korean conflict, flying 149 missions. His plane was once riddled with bullets when he flew at low altitude. As a military test pilot in 1957, Glenn broke the transcontinental air speed records, bursting from Los Angeles to New York City in three hours, 23 minutes and 8 seconds at an average of 725 miles an hour. Glenn went inti orbit on February 20, 1962, becoming the first American to do so.
9. Paolo Gentiloni appointed as the new Prime Minister of Italy. Gentiloni, who served as foreign minister under Renzi, was asked by President Sergio Mattarella to form a new centre-left govt that will guide Italy to elections due by February 2018.
10. Nearly 2,00,000 members of the Communist Party of China (CPC) have been punished for corruption since 2013, including on charges of misusing official funds for lavish meals with free flowing alcohol and taking public vehicles on personals rides, state media reported on December 4, 2016. "A total of 1,96,947 Party and government staff had been punished violating austerity rules since late 2012," the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) said, sharing the new statistics.
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