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- Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced that the state government is set to bring its own e-wallet system, named ‘Maha-Wallet’, to promote a cashless economy. The move comes a month after the Centre announced to demonetise old high-value currency notes to curb corruption, black money menace and terrorism. The Centre has been batting for a cashless economy since then.
- A central control room has been set up in Karnataka to monitor the activities of the prisoners through 445 CCTV cameras already installed in eight central prisons in the state, reports said. The initiative comes in the wake of Supreme Court’s order to put prisons under CCTV surveillance to ensure that the human rights of the prisoners are protected.
- The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully launched the Resourcesat-2A satellite from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. The 1.2-tonne satellite will be placed into a polar Sun Synchronous Orbit by the PSLV-C36 launch vehicle. The satellite is intended for resource monitoring and to continue remote sensing data services to global users.
- India’s first Heritage Military Transport Park was inaugurated in Bengaluru to document and educate future generations on the contributions of the mechanical transport fleet to the armed forces. Currently, five vintage vehicles – Jeep, Jonga, Nissan Vehicles, 1 Ton and Shaktiman – are on display and more vehicles will be added in the future.
- Chinese scientists have developed a non-toxic propulsion system to enable satellites to carry more payload and save on launching costs. The ammonium dinitramide (ADN) propellant was tested successfully in the recently launched Shijian-17 satellite. According to scientists, the new propulsion system helps an orbiting satellite sustain its altitude against atmospheric drag and gravity.
- US Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced the US will return nearly 10,000 acres of land on the Japanese island of Okinawa back to Japan this month. This is the largest transfer of US-occupied land since 1972 when US returned most of Okinawa, which had been under US control since the end of World War II in 1945.
- Technology giant Google announced that it will attain its goal of running entirely on renewable energy in 2017, a year ahead of schedule. This includes its worldwide data centres and corporate offices. Google claims to be the world’s largest corporate buyer of renewable power with its purchase of wind and solar energy.
- Bangladesh’s Supreme Court upheld death sentences for Mufti Abdul Hannan, chief of Islamist militant group Harkatul Jihad al-Islami, and two of his associates. The militants were found guilty of an attack on a British envoy in 2004, which resulted in deaths of three policemen. The militants will be hanged unless they appeal against the verdict.
- Islamic State’s radio station Al-Bayan, which broadcasts in Iraqi territories controlled by ISIS reportedly launched an ‘Agony Uncle’ phone-in show where terrorists and their sympathisers can get answers to their personal problems. Clerics provide answers to questions presented to them on a variety of topics concerning Islamic law on the show whose name translates to ‘Fatwas Over the Airwaves’.
- Google parent Alphabet has been named the Company of the Year by Fortune magazine in its annual Blue Ribbon ranking. The list recognises the “best of the best” organisations that have appeared on four or more Fortune lists in 2016 like Fortune 500 and Most Admired Companies. Nike and Apple rank third and seventh on the Blue Ribbon list respectively.
- The TIME magazine has named US President-elect Donald Trump as Person of the Year 2016 and called him the President of the ‘Divided States of America’. US state of California had started a campaign to leave the US after Trump’s election victory. Trump had won the presidential elections, despite losing the popular vote by a record 26 lakh votes.
- A new law allowing umpires to send off players for violent conduct during matches has been proposed by the Marylebone Cricket Club’s World Cricket committee. Violent behaviour includes threatening an umpire, physical assault or any act of on-field violence. The law, subject to approval by the main MCC Committee, is expected to come into force from October 1, 2017.