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1. Russia test-launches Tsirkon hypersonic missile in the Arctic
Russia successfully test-fired a Tsirkon hypersonic cruise missile in the Arctic.
- The frigate Admiral Gorshkov in the White Sea fired a Tsirkon hypersonic cruise missile, hitting a naval target 450 km away in the Barents Sea at a speed of over Mach 8.
- In early January, the same frigate test-fired a Tsirkon missile for the first time, striking a ground target over 500 km away.
- Last month, the warship deployed in the White Sea destroyed a naval target in the Barents Sea with a Tsirkon missile.
2. Japanese spacecraft carrying asteroid soil samples nears Earth
A Japanese spacecraft is nearing Earth after a yearlong journey home from a distant asteroid with soil samples and data that could provide clues to the origins of the solar system.
- The Hayabusa2 spacecraft left the asteroid Ryugu, about 300 million kilometers (180 million miles) from Earth, a year ago and is expected to reach Earth and drop a capsule containing the precious samples in southern Australia on December 6.
- Scientists at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency believe the samples, especially those taken from under the asteroid’s surface, contain valuable data unaffected by space radiation and other environmental factors.
3. Health Minister seeks help of journalists in eradicating Tuberculosis by 2025
Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan has sought the help of journalists in eradicating Tuberculosis by 2025.
- Addressing the students of Indian Institute of Mass Communication digitally, Dr Vardhan said that the active participation of journalists will help in large scale awareness generation among the public.
- He said that Journalists have worked round the clock from ground zero to provide information to the public.
- He also paid his tribute to those who have sacrificed their lives in an attempt to provide information to the people.
4. Madras High Court refuses to intervene in merger of Lakshmi Vilas Bank with DBS Bank
The Madras High Court has refused to intervene in the merger of the Lakshmi Vilas Bank-LVB with the DBS Bank.
- The Lakshmi Vilas Bank suffered serious deterioration of its financials leading to the RBI imposing a month long moratorium.
- The RBI also made an amalgamation scheme for the LVB with the DBS Bank.
- It has helped to lift the moratorium for its depositors and its 563 branches and its ATM network are functioning under the DBS banner.
- A case was filed against the merger in the Madras High Court.
5. Environment Minister Prakash Javadeker launches India Climate Change Knowledge Portal
Minister of Environment,Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar launched the India Climate Change Knowledge Portal.
- The portal will have all the major steps the Government is taking at both national and international levels to address the climate change issues.
- It will be a single-point information resource that provides information on the different climate initiatives taken by various Line Ministries enabling users to access d status on these initiatives.
6. India, Vietnam sign implementation agreement on hydrography
India and Vietnam signed an implementation agreement (IA) on hydrography.
- The agreement was signed during a virtual bilateral meeting between Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his Vietnamese counterpart General Ngo Xuan Lich.
- During the bilateral meeting, both the leaders also noted that the defense cooperation between the two Asian nations have expanded considerably.
- Vietnam and India share a cordial relationship and have repeatedly expressed shared concern relating to China.
7. Tamil Nadu CM thanks SC for including Pongal festival days in its holiday’s list
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswamy has thanked the Supreme Court for including Pongal festival days in its holiday list.
- The harvest festival falls on January the 14th and 15th and they are declared as holidays for the Supreme Court.
- Pongal is a multi-day harvest festival of South India, particularly in the Tamil community.
- It is dedicated to the sun god the Surya and corresponds to Makar Sankranti, the harvest festival under many regional names celebrated throughout India.
- The three days of the Pongal festival are called Bhogi Pongal, Surya Pongal, and Mattu Pongal.
8. Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project: NHSRCL signs contract with L&T
The National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) signed a contract with Larsen and Toubro (L&T) for the construction of 237 km of viaduct and other installations for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project.
- At Rs 24,985 crore, this is the country’s biggest infrastructure contract for design.
- The company will finish the job in four years.
- The 508-km bullet train project will connect Mumbai with Ahmedabad with trains running at 320 km per hour.
9. FIFA World rankings: Belgium No. 1, France and Brazil follows
With Belgium still at No. 1, FIFA released its final rankings list for 2020.
- Defending World Cup champion France is in second place, with Brazil third and England fourth.
- European champion Portugal rounds out the top five, with Spain in sixth.
- FIFA will host the European draw on Dec. 7.
10. Legendary Bangladeshi actor, Liberation Warfighter Aly Zaker passes away
Eminent Bangladeshi actor and cultural personality Aly Zaker passed away in Dhaka.
- He tested COVID 19 positive two days back in a Dhaka hospital where he was undergoing treatment.
- Aly Zaker was a towering figure of Bangladesh in theatre, television, and films.
- Aly was involved in the Liberation War movement of Bangladesh against Pakistan.
- He was also a founder trustee of the Liberation War Museum in Dhaka.
- He was awarded the second-highest civilian award of Bangladesh ‘Ekushey Padak’ in 1999 for his contribution in the field of theatre.