1. Portugal PM Antonio Costa to be Chief Guest of 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas:
- António Costa (54), the Indian origin Prime Minister of Portugal will be the chief guest at the 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) Convention.
- The PBD Convention is scheduled to be held from January 7 to 9, 2017 in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
- Besides, Surinam Vice president Michael Ashwin Satyandre Adhin will be the Special Guest at the Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) to be held in Bengaluru on January 7, 2017.
2. EU selected as Chair and India Vice – Chair for the Kimberly Process 2018:
- The European Union will take over from Australia as the Chair of the Kimberly Process (KP) Certificate Scheme, Gem & Jewelry Export Promotion Council (GJEPC)in January 2018.
- India will serve as the Vice – Chair for 2018 and as the Chair in 2019.
3. World Robot Olympiad to be held for the first time in India:
- The 13th World Robot Olympiad will be held in India for the first time ever.
- It will be organised jointly by NCSM under the aegis of Ministry of Culture and India STEM Foundation (ISF) from 25 November to 27 November 2016 at the India Expo Mart, Greater Noida.
- More than 2000 students from 54 countries will participate in the event to find innovative ways, using robotic technology, to reduce, manage and recycle waste.
- The theme for the 13th World Robot Olympiad is Rap the Scrap.
4. India, Switzerland sign Joint Declaration for implementing AEOI:
- India and Switzerland have signed a Joint Declaration for implementation of Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) in respect of accounts of Indians held abroad.
- Under the pact, both countries will start collecting data in accordance with the global standards in 2018 and exchange it from 2019 onwards.
- The pact is based on the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement on the Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information (MCAA) also known as Common Reporting Standards (CRS) on AEOI.
5. Indian journalist gets International Press Freedom Award:
- Indian Journalist Malini Subramaniam has been conferred with the International Press Freedom Award for her reporting from Chhattisgarh's Naxal-infested Bastar area.
- She is one of the four journalists felicitated for their commitment to a free press.
- Subramaniam, a contributor to 'Scroll', has reported on abuses by security forces, sexual violence, jailing of minors and other issues in the region.
6. Pankaj R. Patel appointed as the new president of FICCI:
- Pankaj R Patel, chairman & managing director of Cadila Healthcare Ltd (Zydus Cadila) has been elected as the new President of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) for the year 2017.
- He will take over from Harshavardhan Neotia as the new president of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) for the year 2017 during the FICCI Annual General Meeting to be held on 16 and 17 December.
7. China agrees to import rice from 17 mills in India:
- China has agreed to import rice, non-basmati and basmati varieties from 17 registered mills in India.
- These mills are in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
- It is considered as a major breakthrough in India’s efforts to ensure market access for Indian products (especially rice) in China as it is the world’s largest rice importer.
8. Sebi officials to chair IOSCO Panels:
- Two officials of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), Parmod Kumar Nagpal and Amarjeet Singh are elected as chairpersons of two committees set up by IOSCO (International Organisation of Securities Commissions) announced by IOSCO’s Asia-Pacific Regional Committee chairman by Mr. Ashley Ian Alder.
- Nagpal would chair the Committee on Issuer Accounting, Audit and Disclosure while Singh would be the chairperson of the Assessment Committee (AC).
9. NABARD to disburse Rs. 21000 crores to farmers:
- The Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das announced that NABARD (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development) would disburse Rs. 21,000 crore the farmers to help them sow winter crops ahead of the sowing season.
- The money would be disbursed to District central cooperative banksfor onward payments to farmers.
10. Airtel Payments Bank starts pilot services in Rajasthan:
- Airtel Payments Bank Ltd (Airtel Bank), a subsidiary of the country’s largest telecom operator Bharti Airtel, has rolled out a pilot of its banking services in Rajasthan.
- Customers in towns and villages across Rajasthan will now be able to open bank accounts at Airtel retail outlets, which will also act as Airtel banking points and offer a range of basic, convenient banking services.
11. Balamuralikrishna, veteran Carnatic singer passes away:
- Mangalamapalli Balamuralikrishna, Carnatic singer and composer passed away in Chennai at the age of 86.
- He was also the recipient of the Padma Vibhushan (1991), the Mahatma Gandhi Silver Medal from UNESCO (1995), the Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettresby the French Government (2005) etc.
12. Acclaimed physicist and ex-ISRO chief Prof MGK Menon dies at 88:
- Acclaimed physicist and ex-Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Prof MGK Menon passed away on 22nd November, aged 88 years.
- A recipient of the Padma Vibhushan, Menon had also served as Director of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research at the age of 35.