International News Affairs
- The United States today announced that the government will ban citizens from traveling to North Koreadue to “the serious risk of arrest”.
- Insurance giant Swiss Re is preparing aninsurance policy for the Mesoamerican Reef in Mexico to prevent its further deterioration.
- Under the scheme, which is the first for a natural structure, the premiums will be paid by hotels and government, and money to pay for the repair of the reef will be released if a storm strikes.
- The US Defence Department today announced that it will not make military reimbursements to Pakistanfor 2016 fiscal.
- This comes after US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said that Pakistan had not taken sufficient action against the Afghan insurgent group Haqqani Network.
- Note: Earlier, the US Senate had voted to impose tougher conditions on defense aid to Pakistan.
National News Affairs
- The government is pro-actively considering having two separate time zones in the country.
- This came after Odisha MP B Mahtab raised the issue and said that there was a gap of nearly two hours in the sunrise between the eastern and western regions of the country.
- The government has said that India has less than 1 doctor for every 1,000 people, which is less than the World Health Organisation standard.
- Around 8.18 lakh doctors may be available for active service, giving a doctor-population ratio of 0.62:1000, the Minister of State for Health Anupriya Patel said.
- Note : The WHO prescribes a ratio of 1:1000.
- Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Gopal Baglay was appointed as Joint Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO)
- He will have the tenure of 3 years.
- He is going to replace Vinay Mohan Kwatra, who has been named as India’s Ambassador to France.
- Sanjay Kothari, a 1978-batch IAS officer of Haryana cadre, has been appointed as the Secretary to President-elect Ram Nath Kovind.
- Senior journalist Ashok Malik has been appointed as the Press Secretary to Kovind.
- The Deputy President of the UK Supreme Court,Brenda Hale has been appointed as the first female president of the UK Supreme Court.
Banking, Business & Economic News
- Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said that the Financial year may soon begin from Januaryin sync with the calendar year.
- Important Note: In May, Madhya Pradesh became India’s first state to shift its financial year format to January-December from the present April-March cycle.
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has refused to deposit cash of over ₹200 crore in old notes from 31 district central cooperative banks in Maharashtra.
- RBI argued that the cooperative banks collected the notes after they were demonetised, but the banks claim they were collected before.
- For a 4th consecutive year, US retail giant Walmart has topped the 2017 Fortune Global 500 list with a revenue of $486 billion.
- Important Points to Note :
- 7 Indian companies were featured in this list.
- Indian Oil, with revenues of over $53 billion in previous fiscal, is the highest ranked Indian company and placed 168th globally.
- Important Points to Note :
Current Sports Affairs
- Taking India’s medals tally to three, the Indian para-athlete Karamjyoti Dalal won a Bronze Medal in discus throw at the ongoing World Para Athletics Championships