1. HRD Ministry Launches Initiatives for Online Professional Development Using SWAYAM


Human Resource Development Ministry has launched a major and unique initiative of online professional development of 1.5 million higher education faculty using the Massive Open Online Courses platform SWAYAM. In the first phase, 75 discipline-specific National Resource Centres (NRCs) have been identified. National Resource Centres (NRCs) are tasked to prepare online training material with the focus on new and emerging trends, pedagogical improvements and methodologies for transacting revised curriculum.

Prakash Javadekar is the present Human Resource Development Minister of India.


2. 'Go to Village' Mission Launched in Manipur

Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh launched 'Go to Village' mission throughout the state from Konuma ground. The mission was launched in 60 villages of all the 60 Assembly constituencies. The mission is aimed at identifying the eligible and deserving beneficiaries in every corner of the state and delivering government services at their doorstep.

Manipur CM- Nongthombam Biren Singh, Governor- Dr Najma A. Heptulla.


3. 4th Regional Conference on ‘Futuristic, Resilient and Digital Infrastructure’ Concludes in Bengaluru

The 4th Regional Conference on ‘Futuristic, Resilient and Digital Infrastructure’ organized by the Ministry of Finance in collaboration with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), and Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS) concluded in Bengaluru.

The 2-day Conference was a lead-up event to the 3rd Annual Meeting of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) which is going to be hosted by the Government of India in June 2018 in Mumbai.

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank President- Liqun Jin.

AIIB Headquarters in Beijing, China.


4. Government Announces Project to Strengthen Namami Gange Programme

The 11th Executive Committee meeting of National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) recently approved the project encompassing the use of Geographic Information System (GIS) technology for Namami Gange programme with a total budget of Rs 86.84 crore. In order to facilitate the Ganga rejuvenation task through the GIS technology, the National Mission for Clean Ganga has tied-up with the Survey of India.

The National Mission for Clean Ganga also approved the project to strengthen the State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) of five main stem Ganga basin states, namely, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal. The project was approved at an estimated cost of Rs 85.97 for 5 years.

Nitin Jairam Gadkari is the Minister of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation

 Survey of India is the oldest scientific department in the country set up in 1767.


5. Venkaiah Naidu On 5-Day Visit to South America

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu emplaned for a five-day visit to South America's Guatemala, Peru and Panama. Bilateral trade and investments are expected to be mainly discussed during the visit. This will be the Vice President's first overseas visit after assuming office. He will be accompanied by a high-level delegation, including Minister of State for Tribal Affairs Jasvantsinh Sumanbahi Bhabhor.

Guatemala Capital- Guatemala City, Currency- Guatemalan quetzal.

Peru Capital- Lima, Currency- Sol.

Panama Capital- Panama City, Currencies- United States Dollar, Panamanian balboa.


6. No Nobel Prize In Literature This Year

The Swedish Academy has decided to postpone the 2018 Nobel Prize in Literature, with the intention of awarding it in 2019. The decision has been taken in the wake of a sexual and financial scandal that has engulfed the Swedish Academy, the cultural institution responsible for awarding the prestigious prize. For the first time since 1949, the secretive jury will not unveil a winner this autumn.

Kazuo Ishiguro was the winner of Nobel Prize 2017.



1. 12th Informal Meeting of SAARC Finance Ministers Held in Manila

The 12th informal meeting of SAARC Finance Ministers was held in Manila, Philippines, on the sidelines of the 51st Annual Meeting of Asian Development Bank (ADB). The meeting was attended by the Finance Ministers/Heads of Delegations from the SAARC member states. Finance Minister of Nepal Yuba Raj Khatiwada chaired the meeting.

SAARC stands for South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation.

Its member states include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, the Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

President of ADB- Takehiko Nakao, ADB Headquarters- Manila, Philippines, Opened on- 19th December 1966.


2. California Surpasses UK to Become World's 5th Largest Economy

US state California's economy has surpassed that of the UK to become the world’s fifth largest, according to new federal data released. With a GDP of $2.7 trillion, California is now only behind the US, China, Japan and Germany.

The UK and India are next on the list, followed by France, Brazil and Italy respectively. Despite having a population of only 40 million compared with the UK’s 65 million people, California’s gross domestic product of $2.7tn has overtaken the UK’s $2.6tn.