- After Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan too waives farm loans
- Chief minister Ashok Gehlot announced that farm loans up to Rs 2 lakh defaulted till November this year will be waived. The CM said it would cost the state exchequer Rs 18,000 crore. Rajasthan is the fourth state to waive farm loans after Congress-held MP and Chhattisgarh and Assam.
- In addition, loans up to Rs 2 lakh will be waived for eligible farmers who took loans from nationalised, commercial or other banks but are unable to pay back. All this is for defaulters till November 30, 2018.
· EU parliament approves ‘world’s largest’ free trade deal with Japan
- EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement will remove dutieson almost all agricultural and industrial products as well as open up the service sector and procurement. It also moves to eliminate non-tariff barriers to trade.
- The deal will create an open trading zone covering 635 million peopleand almost one-third of the world’s total GDP.
- Japan’s Parliament has already approved the agreement.
- EU businesses export €58 billion ($66 billion) in goods and €28 billion in services to Japan every year.
· Statue of Mahatma Gandhi removed in Ghana, Accra
- Astatue of Mahatma Gandhi has been removed from one of the most prestigious universities of Ghana, West Africa. This move is after the complaints citing that “he was racist against black Africans”.
- The statue of the global peace icon at the University of Ghana in Accra was unveiled by India’s former president Pranab Mukherjeetwo years ago. It remained as a symbol of close ties between the two nations.
· Russia Emerges As Worlds No. 2 Arms Producer: SIPRI Report
- Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)announced that Russia has emerged as the world’s second-largest arms producer after the United States.
- Russia surpassed Britain which had held that spot since 2002 and remains Western Europe’s No. 1 arms maker.
- SIPRI announced in its annual report on the world’s 100 biggest armaments groups that the combined arms sales of Russian companies amounted to $37.7 billion in 2017, an 8.5 percent rise from a year earlier.
· National Energy Conservation Day celebrated on December 14
ð The main aim of National Energy Conservation Day is to create awareness among the people about the significance of our energy resources and also to minimize the energy consumption.
ð In India, Energy Conservation Act was implemented by Energy Efficiency Bureau (BEE) in 2001. Energy Efficiency Bureau (BEE) is a constitutional body which works under Government of India and helps in the development of policies and strategies to reduce use of energy.
· ISRO to launch GSAT-7A Communication Satellite on December 19
- India will launch its latest communication satellite, GSAT-7AfromSatish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota onboard the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle GSLV-F11 on December 19.
- The 2,250 kg GSAT-7A is the 35th Indian Communication satellite built by ISRO.
- GSAT-7A can be used by the Indian Air Force and the Indian Army.
· Supreme Court gives Clean Chit to Centre Government over Rafale Deal
- Supreme Court has given clean chit to Modi government for purchase of 36 Rafale fighter Jets. The three Judge bench headed by Ranjan Gogoi, find nothing wrong on the purchase of 36 fighter jet instead of 126 from France.
- The litigation had questioned the deal on the ground of pricing mechanism, commercial favoritism and procurement of less number of fighter jets.
- Dassault Rafale won the MMRCA competition in January 2012 to supply 126 Jet aircraft with additional 63 aircraft to Indian Air Force. First 18 aircrafts were to be supplied by Dassault and remaining were to be manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. Dassault refused to ensure the quality of aircraft produced by HAL.
· Government to set up National Medical Devices Promotion Council
- The government will set up a National Medical Devices Promotion Council (NMDPC) under the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) in the Ministry of Commerce & Industry to promote the medical devices sector.
- National Medical Devices Promotion Council will have representations form concerned departments of the Government of India and also healthcare industry and quality control institutions of the country.
- The objective of this would be to work as a facilitating and developmental body for Indian Medical Devices Industry and to identify redundant processes and provide technical assistance to simplify the approval processes involved in medical devices industry.
- The current value of India Medical device industry is more than USD 5 Billion and India is one of the top 20 global medical devices markets. However, the medical devices market in India is currently dominated by imports.
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