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- Bharti Airtel has launched a pilot of India’s first payment bank in Rajasthan with 7.25% interest on deposits in savings accounts. Airtel subscribers’ mobile numbers will act as a bank account number and transfer from Airtel to Airtel phone numbers will be free. Payments bank can accept deposits of up to ₹1 Lakh per account, but cannot issue loans.
- Pankaj Patel (Chairman and managing director of Cadila Healthcare), has been elected as the President of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industries (FICCI) for 2017. Apart from this, Pankaj Patel is also on the advisory committees and academic councils of several educational institutions. He will be succeeding Harshvardhan Neotia.
- RBI has doubled the balance limit for digital wallets (eg- Paytm) to ₹20,000. This is done in the wake of government’s demonetization move and increased efforts towards cashless economy.
- India became an associate member of CERN, which is the world’s largest nuclear and particle physics laboratory. As a member nation, CERN requires India to make an annual contribution of approx ₹77 crore.
- India signed a ‘Joint Declaration’ for the implementation of Automatic Exchange of Information with Switzerland which will allow India to receive financial information of accounts held by Indian residents in Switzerland starting 2018.
- SpaceX has been selected by NASA to launch satellites aimed at surveying all of Earth’s surface water for the first time ever. The satellite will survey at least 90% of the Earth’s surface waters and that too twice in the span of every 21 days.
- Indian Journalist, Malini Subramaniam has been conferred with the International Press Freedom Award for her reporting from Bastar area situated in Chhattisgarh, which was Naxal infested.
- In the outlined policy plans for the first 100 days in office, the US president elect, Donald Trump has vowed to withdraw the Trans Pacific Partnership on his first day as President. TPP is a trade between the US, Japan and 10 other Pacific Rim countries, notably excluding China.
- The government of Syria has rejected the UN’s proposal to end the ongoing fight which is happening in the city of Aleppo. This was said by the Foreign Minister, Walid-al-Muallem, according to whom the proposal is in contravention to “national sovereignty”.