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5 INDIAN SAILORS KIDNAPPED IN NIGERIA RELEASED, SAYS SUSHMA SWARAJ
1.The five sailors were kidnapped on December 11 in Warri, Nigeria.
2.On December 18, the minister said India’s High Commissioner to Nigeria AR Ghanashyam met Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on the matter and that the sailors were safe. he thanked President Buhari for securing the release of the captive sailors.
SYRIA READY TO TAKE PART IN GENEVA PEACE TALKS: MINISTER
1.Syria is ready to take part in peace talks in Geneva and hopes that the dialogue will help it form a national unity government, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem said on Thursday during a visit to Beijing.
2.The U.N. plans to convene peace talks in Geneva toward the end of January.
TELANGANA IS SECOND STATE TO SET UP ZOROASTRIAN JURY
1.With Telangana setting up a 15-member Zoroastrian jury to aid the settlement of marriage and divorce, the Parsis in the State can decide on such matters within the community. Telangana becomes the second State after Maharashtra to set up the Zoroastrian jury.
2.Of the 15 members now selected from within the community, just five, acceptable to both the parties, will chair the jury. Also, the husband and wife who want a divorce will get to recommend two jury members each to suit their comfort. The fifth member of the jury will remain ‘neutral’ in the matter.
3.The Parsi community in the twin cities is small with just 1200-1400 members.While an average of six marriages happen each year in the community, at least one divorce takes place within a span of a year-and-a-half. In the matter of divorces in the State, the Parsi jury will send its advisory decision to the city civil court, the judge of which will later pass his/her judgement.
TRIPURA, MEGHALAYA TO GET SIX MORE BORDER MARKETS
1.Union government has sanctioned a proposal to open six more border haats (markets) in its northeast frontier with Bangladesh. Four such facilities to trade limited commodities with participation of buyers and sellers from both countries are presently functional in Tripura and Meghalaya.
2.Officials on Thursday said the success of border haats at Srinagar and Kamalasagar in Tripura, Kaliachar and Balat in Meghalaya, encouraged the Centre to accept plan to set up six additional haats in both the States. They said new border haats would come up at Raghna and Kamalpur in north Tripura; and Nalikata, Bholaganj, Rangkut and Shivbari in Meghalaya.
BLUEPRINT OUT, ODD-EVEN RUN FROM JANUARY 1
1.Cars of many dignitaries, two-wheelers, CNG-run vehicles, emergency vehicles and those driven by women drivers (with no men passengers and with only children below 12 years of age) and cars driven, or occupied, by differently abled persons are exempt from the rule, which is set to roll out on January 1, 2016.
2.As per the formula, vehicles with registration number ending with an odd number will be allowed on odd-number days and those with even numbers will be allowed on even-number ones.
3.Violation of the rule will invite a penalty of Rs. 2,000, which will be enforced by personnel of the Delhi Police and the Transport Department with help from 10,000 NCC and NSS volunteers who would dissuade motorists from breaking the rule. The plan would remain in force from January 1 to 15, between 8 am and 8 pm, except on Sundays.
4.Mr. Kejriwal, however, is out of the exemption list and said that he would do car pooling with his Ministers.
INDIAN-AMERICAN DOCTOR IS OHIO’S FIRST POET LAUREATE
1.A 36-year-old Indian-American doctor has been named the first Poet Laureate by the US state of Ohio for showcasing a variety of styles in his poetry.
2.Amit Majmudar, a diagnostic nuclear radiologist, was named to the two-year honorary position by governor John Kasich who created the honour.
3.His essays and literary criticism have appeared in a number of publications as well including the New York Times, The Kenyon Review and Poetry Daily.
‘ATAL SETU’: NORTH INDIA’S FIRST CABLE-STAYED BRIDGE OPENED IN JAMMU AND KASHMIR
1.North India’s first cable-stayed bridge–the fourth of its kind in the country–that will provide close connectivity among the three states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab was on Thursday thrown open to traffic.
2.The 592-metre span bridge was constructed by Border Roads Organization (BRO) at a cost of Rs 145 crore. It is a joint venture of Indian Railway Construction Company Limited (IRCON) and SP Singla Construction group. Out of 592 metre span bridge, 350 metres is cable-stayed while rest is plain bridge.
PUTIN GIFTS MODI GANDHI’S HANDWRITTEN NOTES AND A VINTAGE INDIAN SWORD
1.During their inforrmal meeting at the Moscow Kremlin on December 23, Vladimir Putin presented Narendra Modi a page from the diary of Mahatma Gandhi.
2.Putin also gifted Modi a late-18th century Indian sword from Bengal province that features intricate silver artwork.
2015 ENDS ON A GOOD NOTE FOR IPOS; RS 13,600 CRORE RAISED
1.The longstanding drought in initial public offering (IPO) has finally come to an end, as 21 companies have entered Dalal Street in 2015 with IPOs to garner Rs 13,600 crore. This is the highest figure in five years, hinting at an impressive future in the coming years.
2.Amongst the best performers are InterGlobe Aviation, running the country’s largest airline IndiGo (Rs 3,017 crore), Coffee Day Enterprises, owners of the largest coffee chain Cafe Coffee Day (Rs 1,150 crore), Alkem Laboratories (Rs 1,350 crore) and Inox Wind (Rs 1,020 crore).
INDIA AND RUSSIA TO JOINTLY MANUFACTURE KAMOV 226 HELICOPTER UNDER ‘MAKE IN INDIA’
1.India and Russia took forward a project to jointly manufacture military choppers under the ‘Make in India’ initiative even as other plans, including one to construct frigates, took a backseat during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Moscow.
2.2. Among the 16 agreements inked during the visit, the only one on defence cooperation – a significant facet of the bilateral relation – referred to plans to manufacture 200 of the KA 226 light choppers for the Indian armed forces. State owned HAL is believed to have pipped a proposal by the Anil Ambani owned Reliance Defence as the main partner for the contract that is expected to cost over $ 1 billion.
U.P. TO HONOUR CELEBRATED INDIAN-AMERICAN ENTREPRENEUR
1.Frank Islam’s journey from the hinterlands of Purvanchal to the power galleries of the Potomac fits the proverbial ‘American Dream’. For his success story, the 63-year-old celebrated Indian-American entrepreneur is set to be felicitated by the Government of Uttar Pradesh, the State where he was born.
2.On January 4, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav will honour Mr. Islam with the ‘Uttar Pradesh Ratna Award’ at the U.P. Pravasi Diwas in Agra.
3.The ceremony is being held to recognise the contributions and achievements of NRIs hailing from the State.