1. Haryana, Karnataka and Kerala top State Energy Efficiency Index 2019.
- The Union Government has released the “State Energy Efficiency Index 2019”. The index was released during the ‘Review, Planning and Monitoring (RPM)’ meeting held in New Delhi.
- The index is developed by Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) along with Alliance for an Energy Efficient Economy (AEEE). The SEE Index 2019 traces the expansion and achievements of Energy Efficiency (EE) drives running in 36 states and union territories.
- The SEE Index 2019 constitutes quantitative, qualitative and outcome-based 97 indicators to check energy efficiency initiatives, programs and outcomes in five distinct areas: transport, industry, agriculture, buildings, municipalities, and DISCOMs. State Energy Efficiency Index 2019 has divided States/UTs into 4 groups on the basis of Total Primary Energy Supply (TPES) desired to meet the State’s/UT’s actual energy demand through electricity, coal, oil, gas, etc. across all the sectors. The 4 groups are: ‘Front Runner’, ‘Achiever’, ‘Contender’ and ‘Aspirant’.
- The State Energy Efficiency Index 2019 was topped by Haryana, Karnataka and Kerala while Manipur, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand and Rajasthan performed worst in their respective groups.
- The states of Haryana, Karnataka and Kerala were in “Achiever” group and there was not a single state in the “Front Runner” group.
2. Ruler of Oman Sultan Qaboos bin Said passes away.
- The longest serving ruler of Oman Sultan Qaboos bin Said passed away. He was a charismatic and visionary leader who transformed Oman into a modern and prosperous nation. He was ruling Oman since 1970.
- The Sultan is the prime decision-maker in Oman and holds the portfolio of Prime Minister, supreme commander of the armed forces, minister of foreign affairs, minister of finance and minister of defence.
- The former culture minister Haitham bin Tariq Al Said was sworn in as the country's new ruler.
Currency: Omani Rial.
3. Israel unveils revolutionary laser-based air defense system.
- Israeli Ministry of Defense announced that it has successfully developed a laser-based air defense system. The system is meant to intercept aerial threats ranging from as mortar fire, drones, medium range Grad rockets, anti-tank missiles as well as long-range missiles, currently at the disposal of Iran-backed terror groups in Syria and Lebanon.
- The system is set to be tested in six months' time at an undisclosed location in northern Israel. If the interception test is successful, the laser-based system will be dispatched for field use along Israel's border with the Gaza Strip.
- The technological development will enable the long-range targeting and stabilization of laser beams, allowing them to intercept targets at great distances.
President: Reuven Rivlin
Prime Minister: Benjamin Netanyahu
4. India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier Vikrant to be commissioned by 2021.
- The manufacturing of the country's first indigenous aircraft carrier Vikrant is currently under phase three.
- It is likely to be commissioned by early 2021. This carrier is being built at the Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) in Kochi.
- Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh on December 3 had said that Vikrant will be fully operational by 2022 and it will have a fleet of MiG-29K aircraft.
Navy Chief: Admiral Karambir Singh
5. SBI lowers GDP estimates to 4.6% in FY20 from 5%.
- The SBI lowered the economic growth forecast to 4.6% from the earlier 5%.
- The latest SBI Ecowrap report even predicted growth rate to remain below 6 percent for the two years in a row.
- The SBI Research Desk stated that factors like government expenditure are the key factors in determining the overall growth outlook for FY20.
Headquarters: Mumbai, India
Chairman: Rajnish Kumar
6. Hudco appoints M Nagaraj as Chairman, Managing Director.
- State-owned Housing and Urban Development Corporation (Hudco) said that M Nagaraj has been appointed the company's Chairman and Managing Director.
- Nagaraj is also Director (Corporate Planning) of the company. He has experience of around 28 years in a multitude of sectors such as housing, infrastructure finance, skill development and microfinance in the social sector, and international trading.
- Hudco provides loans for housing and urban infrastructure projects.
7. Sakthivel takes over as Apparel Export Promotion Council of India Chairman.
- Apparel Export Promotion Council of India (AEPC) said it has appointed A Sakthivel as the new chairman of the organisation.
- Sakthivel said the industry had been struggling to survive and the exports growth were stagnant.
- Sakthivel along with some exporters had founded Tirupur Exporters Association in 1990.
8. Nation celebrated the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda as National Youth Day on 12th January.
- The nation is celebrating the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda as National Youth Day on 12 January. One of the greatest spiritual leaders of India, Swami Vivekananda introduced the world to the Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga.
- He became popular in the western world after his famous speech at the World's Parliament of Religions held in Chicago in 1893.
- Vivekananda was the chief disciple of the 19th-century mystic Ramakrishna Paramhansa. He was the founder of the Ramakrishna Math and the Ramakrishna Mission.
9. Smriti Irani launches Yashaswini Scheme for Women entrepreneurship in Goa.
- Union Minister for Women and Child Development and Textiles, Smriti Irani launched Yashaswini Scheme for Women entrepreneurship in Goa. The event was held at Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Stadium at Taleigao near Panaji.
- The Minister said that the development of women is the base for the development of the nation. Under Yashaswini scheme, women self-help groups will be given interest free loans of upto Rs Five lakh for business.
- Swasthya Sakhi Project and breast cancer screening initiative were also inaugurated on the occasion.
Governor: Satya Pal Malik
10. RBI extends recurring payments feature to UPI.
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will now allow consumers to give an e-mandate for recurring payments made through Unified Payments Interface (UPI).
- This functionality will allow UPI users to bypass additional factor authentication (AFA) every time a payment is made to a regular merchant by giving a onetime instruction to the UPI service provider.
- This facility was earlier available for card and wallet based payments. The limit on such recurring transactions has been set at Rs 2000.
Founded: 01 Apr 1935
Headquarters: Mumbai, India
Governor: Shaktikanta Das