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1. International- The UN General Assembly has demanded an immediate ceasefire in Syria and urgent aid deliveries in a resolution adopted by a strong majority as Syrian forces launched another assault on - Aleppo

2. Person - President of South Koria  faces an impeachment vote- Park Geun-hye

3. National - The Union Government has waived the import duty on wheat to zero from 10 per cent for an indefinite period.
  • This move aims to improve domestic availability in the wake of rising prices and concerns about the wheat crop in 2016-17.
  • The duty was waived because of uncertainty over the wheat output this year.
  • Despite a rise in area sown, questions are raised over condition of the wheat crop, low fertiliser and pesticide use due to and fears of a warm winter
  • The waiving of import duty will make wheat imports (especially from Australia and Ukrainian) considerably cheaper
  • The wheat production in the country will be around 93.50 million tonnes in 2016-17 as per the government estimates.
  • However, many experts have pegged the figures around 90 million tonnes due to year-on-year droughts in 2014 and 2015.
  • Moreover, Union Government's own wheat stocks are at an all-time low due to less procurement

4. Science and Technology - Japan successfully launches space junk collector into orbit:
  • Japan's space agency (JAXA) successfully launched a Kounotori 6 (HTV-6) spacecraft that will deliver a large magnetic tether, a space junk collector technology into orbit.
  • The spacecraft was launched on board of H-IIB rocket from Tanegashima Space Center. 
  • It was also carrying essential supplies for International Space Station (ISS).
  • The space junk collector (electromagnetic tether) will perform Kounotori Integrated Tether Experiments (KITE) in order to test out new technology.
  • More than 5 decades of human space exploration since the first Soviet-launched Sputnik satellite in 1957 has produced this hazardous belt of orbiting debris in the space.
  • There are estimated to be more than 100 million pieces are circling our planet in the lower orbit, posing a growing threat to future space exploration.
  • These pieces of debris travel at high speeds.
  • A relatively small piece of orbital debris can inflict a great deal of damage on satellites or spacecrafts orbiting in the space.
  • This phenomenon is Kessler Syndrome which describes a self-sustaining cascading collision of space debris in low earth Orbit.

5. National - The Committee on Digital Payments headed by Ratan P. Watal has submitted its final report to the Union Finance Ministry
  • It was 11-member committee notified in August 2016 by the Finance Ministry.
  • It was tasked to review existing payment systems in the country and recommend appropriate measures for encouraging Digital Payments.
  • It was having representatives from Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), tax department and various industry bodies in the payments space.
  • The Committee has recommended medium term strategy for accelerating growth of Digital Payments in India. The strategy must be backed with regulatory regime which is conducive to bridging the Digital divide by promoting competition, interoperability and open access in payments.
  • It also recommends inclusion of financially and socially excluded groups and assimilation of emerging technologies in the market.
  • It calls for need of safeguarding security of Digital Transactions and providing level playing to all stakeholders and new players who will enter this new transaction space.
  • It has suggested inter-operability of payments system between banks and non-banks, up-gradation of digital payment infrastructure and institutions.
  • It also recommends a framework to reward innovations for leading efforts in enabling digital payments.
6. International - Human Rights Day: 10 December
  • The Human Rights Day is observed across the world on 10 December every year.
  • The day aims at promoting and raising awareness of the two Covenants of Human Rights Day.
  • Theme or campaign for this year is "Stand up for someone's rights today".
  • The Human Rights Day was formally established at the 317th Plenary Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on 4 December 1950.
  • The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was formally adopted and proclaimed by UNGA on 10 December 1948

7. International -China launches new cargo service linking Tibet with Nepal:
  • China launched a new cargo service connecting Tibet and Nepal.
  • On the occasion of the launch, dozens of trucks carrying goods worth 2.8 million dollars left the Tibetan border port of Gyirong en route to Kathmandu.
  • The trucks are responsible for the remaining 870 kilometre of the journey, carrying goods to Gyirong and then to the final stop in Kathmandu, Nepal's capital.

8. State - International film festival of Kerala begins :
  • International film festival of Kerala begins today in the capital city Thiruvananthapuram.
  • 185 films from 62 countries will attract cinema lovers during the 8 day-ong annual film festival of this State.
  • There will be 490 screenings in the 13 theatres in Thiruvananthapuram. The film festival was started in 1996 and is hosted by Kerala State Chalachitra Academy.

9. National - Union Government launches DigiShala TV channel to promote digital payments:
  • The Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has launched a TV channel named 'DigiShala' to promote cashless transactions.
  • The channel was launched as part of the 'Digidhan' campaign which aims to spread awareness about digital transactions. Key Facts DigiShala is dedicated 24*7 and 365 days free-to-air TV channel to inform citizens about digital payment ecosystem, benefits and processes.
  • It will be available through GSAT15 (DD Direct DTH), 93.5 degree East, Receive frequency: 11590 Mhz
  • It will impart information and education, especially in rural and semi-urban areas related to Digital Payment ecosystem, its tools, processes and benefits.
  • The services on the channel initially will be available in Hindi and English and later in local languages as well.
  • It is not mandatory for the service provider and direct-to-home (DTH) airing it and customers may opt for it.

10. State - Liquor banned in three Uttarakhand districts:
  • The Uttarakhand High Court has ordered the state government to impose a ban on liquor and tobacco in Rudraprayag, Chamoli and Uttarkashi districts.
  • The ruling came in response to a writ petition filed by Udit Narayan Tiwari, seeking a ban on a bar serving liquor in Haridwar, stating that it violated the government order passed in February 2002.
  • The order had prohibited the sale and consumption of liquor in Haridwar given its religious prominence.

11. State - Rajasthan High Court scraps 5% quota for Gujjars:
  • The Rajasthan High Court has scrapped the Rajasthan Special Backward Classes (SBC) Reservation Act, 2015 that provided 5% quota to five communities, including Gujjars in jobs and education.
  • The verdict was given on bunch of writ petitions challenging the 2015 Act on grounds of violation of Supreme Court mandated limit of 50% on reservation.

12. State - Kerala launches mobile apps to fight corruption:
  • The Kerala government has launched two mobile applications which can be used to upload information regarding graft.
  • Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan launched the applications  'ArisingKerala' and 'Whistle Now'  on the occasion of International Anti-Corruption Day.
  • Using the apps, people can upload videos and audios related to corruption around them.

13. National - Parliamentary Standing Committee seeks transparency in appointment of judges:
  • The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Law and Justice, has called for transparency in the appointments process on the part of the judiciary and the government.
  • The committee was headed by Deputy Leader of the Opposition (Rajya Sabha), Anand Sharma.
  • It has examined delay in filling vacancies in Supreme Court and High Courts.
  • It has tabled its report in the Rajya Sabha and now it is under the purview of the Union Law Ministry.

14. Person - Michael Jordan highest-paid athlete of all time: Forbes
  • Basketball legend, Michael Jordan, came in at number one in the list highest-paid athlete of all time.
  • The Chicago Bulls legend has amassed a massive wealth of $1.7 billion.
  • Jordan played 15 seasons in the NBA which allowed him to earn $93 million.

15. Award - Onir's documentary on Down Syndrome wins international award:
  • Indian filmmaker Onir's documentary, 'Raising The Bar' has won the 'Award of Recognition' at the 'Hollywood International Independent Documentary Awards'.
  • The documentary is about six Indian and Australian youth with Down Syndrome. "I have always celebrated human rights and diversity.

16. Sports - Peter Gilchrist wins the Long Up title of 2016 IBSF World Billiards:
  • Peter Gilchrist of Singapore defeated Sourav Kothari to win the 2016 IBSF World Billiards Long Up title.
  • The event was held in Bengaluru, India.
  • Peter defeated Sourav by 883 points with a score of 1500-617.


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