- Today is International Jazz Day.
- This day is being observed to break down barriers and create opportunities for mutual understanding and tolerance.
- The Day is intended to raise awareness in the international community of the virtues of jazz as an educational tool, and a force for peace, unity, dialogue and enhanced cooperation among people.
- A Pakistani court jails 10 men for life for the attack on education activist Malala Yousafzai.
- Ms Yousafzai, who was 15 at the time, was shot in the head on board her school bus in the Swat valley in 2012, in an attack that shocked the world.
- Note : She was awarded last year's Nobel Peace Prize for campaigning for children's rights, despite the risk to her life.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi has proposed that SAARC countries should conduct regular joint exercises for relief and rescue works during natural disaster, in a telephonic conversation with Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif today.
- India will provide e-Tourist Visa to 31 more countries, including France and Canada, enabling the citizens of these nations easy entry to the country.
- The e-Tourist Visa had been launched in November last year for 45 countries from nine designated Indian airports.
- With the latest addition, the total number of countries under this scheme will go up to 76.
- The logo for International Day of Yoga was launched by External Affairs Minister Sushma
- The United Nations General Assembly had on December 11 adopted an India-led resolution declaring June 21 as the 'International Day of Yoga'.
- This came less than three months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed the idea.
- The Lok Sabha today passed Finance Bill, 2015, by a voice vote.
- The Bill contains the government’s tax proposals for the fiscal FY16.
- This bill allows the central government to withdraw Rs 62.03 lakh crore from the Consolidated Fund to meet its expenditure during 2015-16, thus completing the second phase of the budgetary exercise.
- Note : The budgetary exercise for 2015-16 will be completed with the passage of the Finance Bill by Parliament.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch three ambitious Social Security Schemes pertaining to the insurance and pension sector on 9th of next month at Kolkata.
- Those are
- Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana,
- Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana and
- the Atal Pension Yojana.
- The two insurance schemes to be launched, namely Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana and Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana would provide insurance cover in the unfortunate event of death by any cause and disability due to an accident.
- Whereas the pension scheme, Atal Pension Yojana, will address old age income security needs.
- Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz has relieved his younger half-brother of his duties as crown prince and appointed his nephew, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, as the new heir apparent.
- Shanta alias Bimba Modak (97), eminent Marathi film and stage actress of yesteryear, has passed away.
Science & Technology
- Taxi hailing app Uber today said it has upgraded its ‘SOS button’, which when pressed will now send a real-time alert to the local police control room directly to respond to the emergency.
- The US-based firm had introduced the SOS button in February 2015, following concerns of safety after a woman was allegedly raped in New Delhi by a driver working for the firm.
- Earlier, using the SOS button, users could dial 100 as well as share their trip details and real-time location with up to five friends and family members.
- Now, the police will also receive details like GPS location, rider and driver information like name, photo and vehicle number.
Business & Economy
- In a boost to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Make in India' initiative Japan and India today signed a five-point action agenda to increase bilateral trade and investment between the two nations.
- The five-point agenda includes
- development of selected townships in India as Japanese industrial townships,
- promotion of investment and infrastructure development,
- further development and cooperation in IT sector,
- enhancing cooperation in strategic sectors and
- Asia-Pacific economic integration.
- Note : India stood at 7th position in terms of number of reactors in operation country-wise globally.
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