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1) International Day of Persons with Disabilities: 3 December
•Since 1992, the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) has been annually observed on 3 December around the world. The theme for this year’s IDPD is “Empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality”.
•This theme focuses on the empowering persons with disabilities for the inclusive, equitable and sustainable development envisaged in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
2) Asia Pacific Summit-2018 Begins in Kathmandu
•The Asia Pacific Summit-2018 began in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. The theme of two-day Summit is “Addressing the Critical Challenges of Our Time: Interdependence, Mutual Prosperity, and Universal Values”.
•Around 1500 participants from 45 countries, including India, attending the summit. They will discuss various global issues, including peace, development, good governance and role of parliamentarians, climate change and role of media.
3) India’s 1st Engine-Less ‘Train 18’ Breaches 180 kmph Speed Limit
•India’s first locomotive-less train, known as Train 18, has breached the 180 kilometres per hour speed limit during a test run at Kota-Sawai Madhopur section in Rajasthan. When this indigenously designed train is made operational, it will become the country’s fastest train.
•Train 18 is capable of touching 200 kilometres per hour provided the rest of Indian Railways’ system, such as tracks and signals, permit. With 16 coaches, the train will have the same passenger carrying capacity as that of the Shatabdi Express. ‘Train 18’ will commence its commercial run from January 2019.
4) EAM Sushma Swaraj Co-Chairs India-UAE Joint Commission Meeting
•External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj visited United Arab Emirates to co-chair the 12th session of the India-UAE Joint Commission Meeting for Economic and Technical Cooperation with UAE Foreign Minister, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi.
•Mrs Swaraj also inaugurated a Gandhi – Zayed Digital Museum in Abu Dhabi to mark the celebrations of 150 years of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth and centenary celebrations of the birth of Shaikh Zayed, founder of the modern UAE.
5) South African President To be Chief Guest At Republic Day Celebrations 2019
•South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will be the Chief Guest at the 2019 Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi. The anouncement was made by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. India is celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Mr Modi also stated that Mr Ramaphosa’s visit will further cement business and people to people ties between India and South Africa.
6) Global Agriculture & Food Summit 2018 Held in Jharkhand
•Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh inaugurated Global Agriculture and Food Summit 2018 in Ranchi, Jharkhand. Seven countries, including China, Israel and Malaysia are participating in the two-day Summit. The aim of the Summit is to promote Jharkhand as a key player to attract investment in the agriculture sector.
•Several dignitaries attended the inaugural ceremony including Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das and NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant. The summit will focus on organic farming in horticulture, dairy, poultry and fisheries, and food processing.
7) Leftist leader Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador Sworn in as Mexico President
•Leftist leader Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has been sworn in as the new Mexican President following his landslide victory in the July 2018 presidential election. Lopez Obrador, 65, took oath before a crowd that included world leaders and a strong majority in both houses of Congress.
•Lopez Obrador also reaffirmed his intentions to sell Mexico’s official presidential plane, to not live in the presidential palace and announced he will receive 40% of his presidential salary.
8) Katowice Climate Change Conference 2018 Held in Poland
•The UN climate summits, i.e. so called COP (Conference of the Parties) are global conferences, in the course of which action for climate policy is negotiated. The Climate Change Conference 2018 was held in Katowice, Poland. Previously, Poland hosted them twice – in 2008, in Poznań and in 2013, in Warsaw.
•For the first time, the climate summit took place in Katowice. This year’s summit included: 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24), 14th Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 14) and the 1st Conference of Signatories to the Paris Agreement (CMA 1).
9) FSSAI Launches New Campaign To Eliminate Trans Fats By 2022
•The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) launched a new mass media campaign calling for the elimination of industrially produced trans fat in the food supply.
•Called “Heart Attack Rewind”, the 30 second public service announcement (PSA) – the first mass media campaign of its kind – will support FSSAI’s global target of eliminating trans fat in India by the year 2022, a year ahead of the global target by the World Health Organization (WHO) for complete elimination of trans fat.
10) Hindustan Unilever Board Approves Merger with GSKCH India
•FMCG major Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) announced that its board has approved the merger with GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare (GSKCH India)through an-all equity deal, valuing the total business of the latter at Rs31,700 crore.
•The transaction is an all-equity merger with 4.39 shares of HUL being allotted for every share in GSKCH India, which sells consumer healthcare products, including popular drink brand Horlicks. Post the acquisition, the turnover of the company’s Foods and Refreshment (F&R) business will exceed Rs10,000 crore.
12) Siddhartha Bhattacharya Joins NATHEALTH as Secretary-General
•NATHEALTH has announced the appointment of Siddhartha Bhattacharya as Secretary-General. In his new role, Siddhartha will lead the organization and work with key partners in realizing NATHEALTH’s vision/mission to spearhead the goal of high quality, affordable health for all.
13) Moody’s Estimates India’s Real GDP to Grow at 7.2% in FY 2018-19
•Moody’s Investors Service’s annual Banking System Outlook on India estimated the country’s real gross domestic product (GDP) for the current financial year and next fiscal to grow at 7.2% and 7.4%, respectively.
•In its banking system outlook, the global rating agency stated that the growth will be driven by investment growth and strong consumption. It also stated that the operating environment will be stable, supported by robust economic growth.
14) Atlawim Debebe of Ethiopia Wins Pune International Marathon
•It was again all Ethiopian Show in Pune International Marathon 2018. Atlawim Debebe of Ethiopia won the Full Marathon with the timing of 2 hours 17 minutes 17 seconds. Teshome Getachew claimed second and Bekele Asefa third position. Both of them are also from Ethiopia.
•In women’s Full Marathon Pascalia Chepkogei from Kenya stood first with the timing of 2 hour 50 minutes 27 seconds. Belew Mekonnen and Fekede Tilahun of Ethiopia claimed second and third position. Dekebe Tafa and Degefa Gezmu both from Ethiopia are winners of the men’s and women’s half marathon.