1. Pranab K Das appointed new Chairman of CBIC
- Senior bureaucrat Pranab Kumar Das (1983-batch IRS officer of Customs and Central Excise Cadre) has been appointed as chairman of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) from (1st January 2019).
- He will take over from current Chairman S Ramesh (retires on 31st December).
- The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) is the apex indirect tax policy-making body under the Finance Ministry.
- The CBIC is headed by the Chairman and consists of six members.
2. 22nd December: National Mathematics Day
- The National Mathematics Day is being observed on 22nd December every year to celebrate the birth anniversary of great Indian Mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan.
- Ramanujan Prime and Ramanujan theta discoveries have inspired further research on this mathematical subject.
- He passed away on 6th April 1920.
- In 2011, the National Mathematics Day was instituted by the Union Government to celebrate Ramanujan’s 125th birth anniversary.
3. Three astronauts return from International Space Station
- Three astronauts have returned to Earth after more than six months (197 days) aboard the International Space Station.
- A Russian Soyuz capsule carrying Serena Aunon-Chancellor of NASA, Sergey Prokopyev from Russia and German astronaut Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency landed on the snow-covered steppes in Kazakhstan.
- Russian rescue teams in helicopters and all-terrain vehicles rushed to the landing site to extract the astronauts from the capsule charred by a fiery ride through the atmosphere.
- It was the first mission for Aunon-Chancellor and Prokopyev, while Gerst flew his second to a total of 362 days in orbit, setting the ESA's flight duration record.
4. Former PM Manmohan singh releases 'Changing India' book
- The former prime minister Manmohan Singh has released the 'Changing India', a five-volume book on his public life.
- The book has been Published by Oxford University Press.
- The book is being described as a definitive expression of the former prime minister's perspectives on a wide range of economic, social and political issues as they evolved under his long and eventful career.
Volumes of Books
- The first volume is titled 'India's Export Trends and the Prospects for Self-Sustained Growth'
- second volume 'Thoughts on Trade and Development'.
- The third volume is dedicated to 'The International Economic Order and the Quest for Equity in Development'.
- The fourth volume focuses on 'Economic Reforms: 1991 and Beyond'.
- The fifth volume 'The Prime Minister Speaks' has two parts, deals with the prime ministerial years.
5. Union Government to set up a panel to look into tax issues faced by start-ups
- The Union government has decided to set up an expert committee to look into all the taxation issues being faced by startups and angel investors.
- The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said in a statement that no coercive action or measures to recover the demands of completed assessment under income tax would be taken" against such firms.
- It said the committee of experts from IITs and IIMs will make recommendations on individual cases of recognised startups.
- The notification of the committee formation will be issued by the DIPP shortly.
6. Mobile app for global aviation summit launched
- The civil aviation ministry along with the Airports Authority of India (AAI) jointly launched an official mobile app 'GAS 2019,' for the global aviation summit to be held in Mumbai next month.
- The two-day summit which will take place from 15th January is expected to be attended by a host of dignitaries from India and abroad.
- The summit is being hosted by the civil aviation ministry along with the AAI and industry lobby Ficci.
- The app named 'GAS 2019’ is available on both play store and iOS.
Banking & Finance
7. RBI limits total outstanding ECBs to 6.5% of GDP
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to have a rule-based dynamic limit for outstanding stock of External Commercial Borrowings (ECB) at 6.5% of GDP at current market prices.
- The soft limit works out to USD 160 billion for the current financial year.
- As on 30th September 2018, The outstanding stock of ECBs stands at USD 126.29 billion.
8. Govt to infuse Rs 83,000 crore in PSBs in next few months
- According to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, The Union government will infuse 83000 crores in Public Sector Banks in next few months in the current fiscal.
- The recapitalisation will enhance the lending capacity of state-owned banks and help them come out of the RBI's Prompt Corrective Action, PCA framework.
- Recognition of non-performing assets in the public sector banks is complete, and the downslide in bad loans has begun.
- The union Govt. has moved proposal in Parliament for enhanced bank recapitalisation outlay from Rs 65 thousand crore rupees to one lakh six thousand crore rupees in the current financial year to propel economic growth.
9. Mithali & Harmanpreet retained as captains for Indian Women's ODI and T20 team
- Mithali Raj (Indian Women's ODI) and Harmanpreet Kaur (T20 team) were retained as captains for the Indian Women's team.
- India will play three ODIs in New Zealand beginning on 24th of next month as part of the ICC Women's Championship before playing three T20 Internationals.
10. Premier Badminton League begins in Mumbai
- Today, Premier Badminton League (PBL) started in Mumbai.
- Total nine franchises will take part in the tournament, with the final to be played on 13th January 2019.
- The semi-finals and final games will be held in Bengaluru.
- Olympian and World Champion Carolina Marin of Spain and India's Rio Olympics silver medallist PV Sindhu are all set to take part in it.
- The teams will battle it out for the prize money of Rs 6 crore.
- Premier Badminton League is a franchise league has the rights to operate and execute the Premier Badminton League.
- The nine teams are Delhi Dashers, Ahmedabad Smash Masters, Awadhe Warriors, Bengaluru Raptors, Mumbai Rockets, Hyderabad Hunters, Chennai Smashes, North Eastern Warriors and Pune 7 Aces.
'Thoughts of the day'
"I am who I am today because of the choices I made yesterday.”
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