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- The government has banned Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for its involvement in several killings, bombings and other terror activities during its violent campaign for the secession of Punjab. KLF will be the 40th organisation to be proscribed under the UAPA law. The Khalistan Liberation Force came into existence in 1986 with the objective of establishing an independent Khalistan by the secession of Punjab from India through violent means.
- Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik inaugurated the National Children’s Science Congress to be held between 27-31 December at SOA (Deemed to be university) in Bhubaneswar, Odhisa with the theme “Science, Technology and Innovation for a Clean, Green and Healthy Nation”. This is the 26th edition of the National Science Congress. National Children’s Science Congress is a nationwide Science Communication programme started in the year 1993.
- Prime Minister of Bhutan Lotay Tshering arrived in India on 27th December for a three-day visit. The Visit is significant because it is taking place during the Golden Jubilee year of the establishment of formal diplomatic relations between the two countries in 1968. India established a special office of India in Thimphu in 1968. The India-Bhutan bilateral relations are governed by the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation signed in 1949. The treaty was revised in February 2007. Lotay Tshering is the 3rd democratically elected Prime Minister of Bhutan.
- China’s BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) has started offering global service. Pakistan has become the first foreign nation to use the BeiDou system ending its reliance on GPS. China’s BeiDou Navigation Satellite System was the fourth global navigation system after US’s GPS, Russia’s GLONASS and the European Union’s Galileo. The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) named NAVIC provides accurate real-time positioning covering India and a region extending 1,500 km around it.
- The central government has launched Subhash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskaar annual awards to recognise the excellent work done by individuals and institutions in the country in the field of disaster management. Only Indian nationals and Indian institutions are eligible for this award. For the year 2019, the award would be announced on January 23, 2019, the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.
- Indian Railways is building the country’s first vertical-lift bridge to connect Rameswaram in the Arabian Sea to mainland India. The bridge will allow ships and steamers to pass through without any hindrance. The new bridge would replace the existing 104-year-old Pamban Bridge. The New Bridge will have a 63-metre stretch which will lift up while remaining parallel to the deck to allow access to the ships. Pamban Bridge was the first sea bridge of India and was the longest sea bridge in India until the Bandra-Worli Sea Link was opened in 2010.
- The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved Submission of India’s second Biennial Update Report (BUR) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) towards the fulfilment of the reporting obligation under the Convention. It aims to provide an update to India’s first biennial report to the United Nation’s body on climate change.
- The United Arab Emirates on December 27, 2018 resumed its diplomatic services at its embassy in Damascus in Syria after six years of suspension. The move signals a thaw in the relations between the two countries, as also with the Arab world. The decision follows a careful reading of the latest developments and a conviction that the next phase requires Arab involvement to protect Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
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