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- The Union Government has decided to rename Ross, Neil and Havelock islands of Andaman as Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Island, Shaheed Dweep, and Swaraj Dweep, respectively. The announcement about renaming is expected to be made by PM Narendra Modi on 30 December that marks the 75th anniversary of the Netaji’s visit to the Andaman Islands. After the Japanese captured the Andaman Island during the time of the Second World War, Netaji had hoisted the flag at Port Blair on December 30, 1943.
- The Madhya Pradesh Government has conferred the annual Tansen Samman upon eminent Sitar Player Manju Mehta for her contribution in the field of Hindustani Classical Music. Tansen (earlier names Ramtanu Pande/Mohammad Ata Ali Khan) was the legendary court musician of Akbar. Instituted by Madhya Pradesh Government, the first Tansen Samman was conferred upon Sitar maestro Ustad Abdul Haleem Jafar Khan in 2000.
- The Lok Sabha has passed the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, famously referred to as Triple Talaq Bill. The bill would replace the ordinance passed in the month of September. The bill makes the all declaration of triple talaq, including in written or electronic form, to be void (i.e. not enforceable in law) and illegal attracting up to three years’ imprisonment with a fine.
- The government think tank, Niti Ayog has released the second Delta Ranking of the Aspirational Districts Programme. The second delta ranking measures the incremental progress made by 111 Aspirational Districts between June 1, 2018, and October 31, 2018, across six developmental areas of health and nutrition, education, agriculture and water resources, financial inclusion, skill development, and basic infrastructure. The Transformation of Aspirational Districts programme was launched in January 2018.
- Andhra Pradesh got its own High Court on December 26, 2018 in Amravati and will start functioning from January 1. Andhra Pradesh High Court will be the 25th High Court in the country. Hyderabad High Court has been functioning as common high court for Telangana and Andhra Pradesh till now after bifurcation of undivided Andhra Pradesh. Telangana was carved out of the state in 2014, with Hyderabad as its capital.
- CA Kuttappa, a Dhronacharya awardee, took over as India’s new chief boxing coach during the beginning of the ongoing national camp, on December 10, 2018. He succeeds veteran boxing coach SR Singh, who has now retired. Hailing from the Chenanda family in Mysore, CA Kuttappa has been coaching the Indian men’s boxing team since 2009 May. Prior to that, he was serving as a Subedar in the Indian Army.
- The Election Commission of India (ECI), for the first time, has banned all kinds of tobacco in polling booths during the general elections in 2019. The move is aimed at effectively implementing tobacco control laws across the nation. The presiding officer of each polling booth will be nominated as the nodal officer for ensuring tobacco-free status at their booths.
- Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki declared on December 26, 2018 that Palestine would initiate an application to gain full state membership at the United Nations in January 2019. The decision has been taken upon Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ instructions. To secure full state membership, the Palestinians would require the support from at least nine out of the UNSC’s 15 member states. Palestine has been recognised by the UN as a non-member observer state since 2012.
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