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- Gujarat tops the list of states in distribution of LED bulbs as part of country-wide campaign for reducing power consumption, according to a senior official. Gujarat has distributed 70 crore LED bulbs till December 12 from the date of its launch earlier this year, he added. Maharashtra, ranked second, has distributed over 2 crore LED bulbs so far.
- India has surpassed Russia, France, Japan and Saudi Arabia to become the world’s fourth largest defence spender, claimed the 2016 Jane’s Defence Budgets report. With an expenditure of over ₹3 lakh crore in 2016, India is now behind the US, China and the UK. The report further estimated that India will surpass the UK in defence spending by 2018.
- The Uttar Pradesh Cabinet approved the recommendations of the seventh pay commission. More than 16 lakh government employees and 6 lakh pensioners will stand to benefit directly from the implementation, a report has stated. Notably, the seventh pay commission will add a burden of ₹24,000 crores on the state government.
- The Delhi High Court said that any child born out of rape is entitled to compensation, independent of any such relief granted to the mother. The verdict was delivered after the court noted that there was no such provision under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act or under the Delhi government’s victim compensation scheme.
- The Delhi High Court has ordered that the identity of minors subjected to sexual offences should not be disclosed anywhere in judicial records. The victim should be referred by pseudonyms during the course of the investigation and trial, it said. The direction was issued after a judge revealed the identity of a girl raped by her stepfather in court documents.
- A month after demonetisation, India has become the first country to give discounts on digital payments. While a discount of 0.75% has been announced on digital payment of fuel, up to 10% discount will be given on e-payment of insurance policies, highway tolls, and railway tickets. The government has also waived off service tax on online transactions below ₹2,000.
- The Supreme Court has ruled that erstwhile rulers need not pay income tax on the money earned by letting out a portion of their residential palace. The court was hearing a 38-year-old dispute between the legal heirs of Maharao Bhim Singh of Kota and the Income Tax Department. The royal family is the owner of Kota’s Umaid Bhawan Palace.
- Malaysia installed its 15th king, Sultan Muhammad V, in a ceremony marked by honour guards and Islamic prayers in the national palace in Kuala Lumpur. The Sultan is reportedly known for his relaxed persona, and is interested in reading and extreme sports. The ruler of Malaysia is changed every five years between rulers of its nine states.
- Priyanka Chopra has been announced as the UNICEF Global Goodwill Ambassador to promote child rights at the UNICEF 70th anniversary event. She was presented as the ambassador by former footballer David Beckham and actress Millie Bobby Brown. “I look forward to working with my fellow advocates to…ensure that we build a world where children’s rights are…protected,” she wrote.
- Facebook’s 32-year-old Co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, with a net worth of $50 billion, has topped Forbes’ list of America’s Richest Entrepreneurs Under 40 years of age for this year. Zuckerberg is followed by another Facebook Co-founder Dustin Moskovitz and Uber Co-founder Garrett Camp. Snapchat Co-founder Evan Spiegel and Instagram Co-founder Kevin Systrom also made it to the list.
- The EU has signed a deal with Cuba on political dialogue and cooperation, with Cuba being the only Latin American country to lack such an agreement earlier. This comes after EU repealed its 1996 policy which stated that Cuba must improve its human rights conditions before normalisation talks with EU. The deal covers issues like trade, human rights and immigration.
- Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo was named the world’s best footballer of 2016 after winning the Ballon d’Or The 31-year-old forward led Portugal to their maiden EURO triumph and also helped Real Madrid win the Champions League this year. Ronaldo, who has now won the award four times, is second on the all-time winners’ list behind Argentina’s Lionel Messi.
- The 2017 Ashes series will feature a day-night Test for the first time, to be held from December 2-6 in Adelaide. The pink ball Test will be the second match of the series, with Brisbane hosting the first from November 23-27. England currently hold the Ashes, having won the tournament 3-2 on home soil last year.
- Indian cueist Pankaj Advani won his 11th World Billiards Championships title after beating Peter Gilchrist of Singapore in the tournament’s final in Bengaluru. Advani beat multiple world champion Gilchrist in the tournament’s 150-up format final by six games to three to register his 16th world billiards title overall.
- Chapecoense goalkeeper Danilo, who died in the Colombian plane crash, has been posthumously named as Brazil’s player of the year. Danilo’s mother, Ilaides Padilha, collected the award on his behalf at a ceremony in Rio de Janeiro. Danilo, whose last-gasp save in the semi-final helped his side reach the Copa Sudamericana final, got 48% of the fan votes.