1. LT Gen Rajeev Chopra takes over as  Director General of NCC

  • Lt Gen Rajeev Chopra assumed the appointment of Director General of NCC (DGNCC).Commissioned in the Madras Regiment in December 1980, Lt Gen Chopra is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla and Indian Military Academy, Dehradun.
  • The General Officer commanded a Corps in Eastern Theatre and has also been the Commandant of the prestigious Infantry School. He is also the Colonel of The Madras Regiment since Jun 2016.
  • He is a graduate of Technical Staff Officers Course, has attended the Higher Command Course at National Defence University, China and National Defence College, New Delhi.

2. Renaming of DEpartmentk of Industrial Policy and Promotion

  • The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has been renamed as the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade with a mandate to deal with matters related to start-ups, facilitating ease of doing business among others
  • The newly-named department under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry will look into matters related to promotion of internal trade, including retail trade, welfare of traders and their employees, facilitating ease of doing business and start-ups.
  • The move comes amidst a demand by traders' body CAIT for forming a separate ministry for internal trade.

3.  Finance minister Piyush Goyal arrives at Finance Ministry; to present the Interim Budget

  • Finance minister Piyush Goyal will present the Interim Budget for 2019-20 amid heightened expectations that he will announce an income support scheme for distressed farmers who have seen their incomes stagnate because of plunging prices, barely enough to pay for loans and input costs.
  • The budget, the last before April-May Lok Sabha elections, will be keenly watched for cues about the government’s intent on creating jobs, in the face of the latest set of data showing four-decade high unemployment rates.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government's sixth and final budget before the polls due by May is supposed to be an interim budget or a Vote on Account.

4.  ICC ropes in Coca-Cola as official sponsor

  • The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced a five-year global partnership deal with beverage manufacturer Coca-Cola Company.
  • The partnership will see Coca-Cola’s brands becoming exclusive non-alcoholic beverage partners of the ICC until 2023.
  • ICC also signed sponsorship with Alcobev brands, Royal Stag and Bira 91.

5. Paytm enters hotel booking business, buys NightStay

  • Paytm has launched hotel bookings on its platform and acquired NightStay, which offers deals on last-minute bookings at luxury hotels
  • Its hotel partners include chains like Sarovar, Zuri, Treebo, Indian Hotels Co’s Ginger, Sterling and Vresorts.
  • Paytm planned to invest 70 million for its growth in the travel segment.

6. NSC members resign after row over NSSO employment report

  • The two remaining non-official members of the National Statistical Commission (NSC) including the acting chairman of the apex statistical body PC Mohanan have resigned from their post leaving the body defunct.
  • The chairman’s post of NSC is vacant since 31 July, 2018 when Radha Binod Barman retired.
  • In November, Mohanan had raised objections to the Niti Aayog getting involved in the release of the back-series GDP (gross domestic product) data.

7. Ujjivan Small Finance Bank launches Ujjivan Bank Kisan Suvidha loan for small and marginal farmers.

  • Ujjivan Small Finance Bank (SFB) announced the launch of Ujjivan Bank Kisan Suvidha loan to offer financial credit services to small and marginal farmers.
  • It is the first bank in this category to offer collateral free loans for both agriculture and allied activities such as dairy purchase and maintenance.
  • The product is launched across four states namely, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Karnataka and Odisha.

8. Punjab govt gave approval for Smart Village Campaign worth of Rs 385 crores

  • Punjab government approved a rural development scheme”‘Smart Village Campaign” worth Rs 384.40 crore to build village infrastructure and provide essential amenities.
  • Getting approved by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, Reformation and implementation of the scheme would be financed with funds from the 14th Financial Commission and MGNREGA.
  • Projects worth Rs 25 lakh would be approved by a committee of deputy commissioner and additional deputy commissioner (Development) while those above Rs 25 lakh would be given sanction by a state-level committee headed by the joint development commissioner.
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