National

Modi flags off 100th 'Kisan Rail' service, says govt will continue to work to strengthen farmers

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the 100th run of the Kisan Rail service in the country between Sangola in Maharashtra and Shalimar in West Bengal.

Already produced 40-50 million dosages of Covishield vaccine: Serum Institute

Serum Institute of India has already produced around 50 million dosages of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine ''Covishield'' and plans to scale it up to 100 million by March next year even as it awaits approval for emergency use authorisation, a top company official said on Monday.

Bengal Forest Dept radio collars tiger in Sunderban Tiger Reserve

The West Bengal Forest department has put a radio collar on a male tiger in Sunderban Tiger Reserve, a top forest official said.

 

International

Trump signs Tibet policy to preempt Chinese move on Dalai Lama's succession; China firmly opposes

Washington/Beijing: US President Donald Trump has signed into law a bill that reaffirms the right of Tibetans to choose a successor to the Dalai Lama and calls for establishing an American consulate in Tibet.

Vaccinators line up as Oxford/AstraZeneca jab on brink of approval in UK

The UK''s National Health Service is lining up thousands of medics and volunteers on Monday to be ready to deliver jabs up and down the country as the Oxford University vaccine against COVID-19 is on the brink of getting regulatory approval.

Properly handle differences, China tells Oli and Prachanda

China on Monday appealed to the warring factions of the Nepal Communist Party to properly handle their disputes and strive for political stability as a high-level delegation of the Chinese Communist Party made efforts to bring about a rapprochement between feuding leaders.

China denies seeking additional guarantees for USD 6 bn loan for rail project in Pakistan

China on Monday termed as baseless the reports that it has sought additional guarantees from Pakistan for sanctioning a whopping USD 6-billion loan for a railway line project and backing away from its initial financial commitments to the multi-billion dollars China-Pakistan Economic Corridor due to weakening financial position of its all-weather ally.

Niger votes in presidential, legislative elections - (A)

Niger voted Sunday in presidential and legislative elections that could see the West African countrys first democratic transition of power since independence amid a growing threat from jihadists in the region. A good turnout was seen in the capital throughout the day, said observers .

Amid pandemic, Pacific islands work to offset food shortages

Coronavirus infections have barely touched many of the remote islands of the Pacific, but the pandemic''s fallout has been enormous, disrupting the supply chain that brings crucial food imports and sending prices soaring as tourism wanes.

Hezbollah doubled its precision-guided missiles in a year

The leader of Lebanon''s Hezbollah said Sunday his group now has twice as many precision-guided missiles as it had a year ago, saying Israel''s efforts to prevent it from acquiring them has failed.

Avalanches kill 12 in mountainous area near Iran's capital

Iranian rescue workers have ended their search for survivors following a series of avalanches that killed 12 people in a mountainous area north of the capital, state TV reported.

 

Business

Stock markets scale new heights on US stimulus dose, Brexit deal

Mumbai: Extending gains for the fourth straight session, key stock indices Sensex and Nifty raced to new peaks in line with broad-based rally in global equities as investors cheered a USD 2.3 trillion US stimulus package and last-minute Brexit deal.

2021 will witness lot of regulatory efforts channelled towards virtual assets: SBI official

The use of crowdfunding websites create additional risk and the year 2021 will see a lot of regulatory effort channelled towards virtual assets, a senior SBI official said on Monday.

Rupee rises 6 paise to 73.49 against US dollar amid stocks rally

The rupee appreciated by 6 paise to close at 73.49 against the US dollar on Monday, following a rally in stock markets and weakness in the American currency.

Asian stocks advance after Trump signs $900B aid package

Asian stock markets rose Monday after President Donald Trump signed a 900 billion economic aid package, helping to reduce uncertainty as governments re-impose travel and business curbs in response to a new coronavirus variant.

NHAI updates FASTag app to provide balance status to users

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) on Monday said it has updated the FASTag app to add a new feature to provide balance status to users.

Flipkart Wholesale app logs 75 pc month-on-month growth in customer base

Flipkart Wholesale app, which currently offers fashion products to retailers in 23 cities, witnessed 75 per cent month-on-month growth in customer base since its launch in September, according to a statement.

 

Legal

Interfaith marriage: HC quashes FIR, says adult woman has right to live as she wishes

The Allahabad High Court has quashed an FIR lodged against a Muslim man over a marriage with a Hindu woman, ruling that she had a right to live her life on her own terms.

Right of being represented through lawyer is part of due process clause, says SC

New Delhi: Right of being represented through a lawyer is part of due process clause, the SC has said while setting aside the Allahabad High Court order which had dismissed an appeal filed by a man in a 1987 murder case noting that his counsel had not appeared during the hearing.

SCBA expresses shock over search at Delhi lawyer's premises, assault of another in UP

The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) on Monday expressed shock and deep concern on the arbitrary, illegal and brazen exercise of brute power by the police against lawyers, including the search conducted at the premises of an advocate representing some of the accused in the north-east Delhi riots cases.

 

Entertainment

When the silver screen went dark: Bollywood counts its losses in year of pandemic

Mumbai: As productions halted, theatres shut their doors and audiences settled down in front of their screens, the Hindi film industry hit pause button in the year that was resulting in revenue losses of maybe thousands of crores.

Farah Khan, Vikrant Massey's social media accounts hacked

Choreographer-director Farah Khan and actor Vikrant Massey on Monday said the security of their social media accounts has been compromised and efforts are on to restore their profiles. Khan said while both her Twitter and Instagram page were hacked, she was able to reinstate the latter thanks to her husband, director Shirish Kunder. "My Twitter account has been hacked as of last evening. Please do not click or reply if you get any message from it as it maybe used to hack into your account too..." she wrote in a photo message shared on Instagram.

AR Rahman's mother Kareema Begum passes away

Oscar-winning music composer AR Rahman''s mother, Kareema Begum, died here on Monday, sources close to the family said. Rahman uploaded a picture of his mother on his official Twitter page, without a caption. Condoling her death, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami posted on Twitter, "Sad to know that Kareema Begum, mother of music great A R Rahman died of illness." DMK President M K Stalin also extended his condolences.

Shefali Shah to star in Hotstar series 'Human'

Actor Shefali Shah has announced her next project, a web-series "Human", set up at streaming platform Hotstar.

'Shakuntala Devi' director Anu Menon's next a murder mystery

Director Anu Menon and production house Abundantia Entertainment are set to reunite for a murder mystery after Vidya Balan-starrer "Shakuntala Devi", the makers said on Monday. According to a press release, the film is in the final stages of screenplay, with principal photography expected to begin in April-May 2021.

Sonam Kapoor Ahuja's 'Blind' starts filming

Mumbai: Shooting for actor Sonam Kapoor Ahuja''s upcoming movie "Blind" has started in Glasgow, Scotland. The action-thriller, directed by Shome Makhija, centres on a blind police officer in search of a serial killer.

Kirti Kulhari takes break from social media, thanks fans for love for 'Criminal Justice'

Actor Kirti Kulhari on Monday said she will be away from social media for a few days.

Sports

Rahane's century is one of the most important tons in Indian cricket's history: Gavaskar

Melbourne: Sunil Gavaskar feels Ajinkya Rahane''s century in the ongoing Boxing Day Test here, after the Adelaide humiliation will go down as one of the most important innings in the history of Indian cricket.

Shikhar Dhawan to lead 20-member Delhi squad in Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy

Senior India opener Shikhar Dhawan will lead a 20-member Delhi squad at the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy National T20 Championships, which will kick off the 2020-21 domestic season next month.

It's just been very poor batting so far from Australia: Ponting

There were no demons in the MCG pitch but very very poor batting by the Australian batsmen, said the legendary Ricky Ponting, lashing out at the home batters for playing rash shots against the Indian bowlers in the second Test.

New Zealand 431; Pakistan 112-6 at tea on day 3 of 1st test

Captain Mohammad Rizwan helped Pakistan weather the second session better than the first Monday on the third day of the first cricket test against New Zealand.

Andy Murray receives Australian Open wild-card entry

Five-time Australian Open finalist Andy Murray has been given a wild-card entry into the first Grand Slam tournament of next year.

Umesh, Ashwin leave Australia at 65/2 at tea

Melbourne: An absolute peach from Umesh Yadav and Ravichandran Ashwin''s wizardry earned India a wicket each before Australia reached 65 for two on the third day of the second Test.

 

GK Snapshots 

1. 6th India International Science Festival 2020 held virtually; Prime Minister Narendra Modi Inaugurates event
2. UP Govt to Set up India’s First Mega Leather Park in Kanpur
3. India’s First Lithium Refinery to be Set up in Gujarat
4. India ranks 3rd in list of Countries with most Publications on AI from 2015-2019, China tops list : Nature Index 2020 Artificial Intelligence
5. Hardeep Singh Puri launches ‘E-Sampada’ Web Portal & Mobile App for Management of all GoI Estate Services
6. Justice Rajindar Sachar’s Autobiography “In Pursuit of Justice: An Autobiography” was Launched Posthumously
7. Govt of Odisha Appoints Suresh Chandra Mohapatra IAS as the new Chief Secretary
8. Assam Cabinet approves Bill to make ‘Bodo’ as Associate Official Language of the State


LAST MONTHS G.K.

January 22 : 18, 18, 01

December 21 : 30, 29, 28, 27, 25, 24, 23, 22, 22, 21, 18, 17, 16, 15, 14, 08, 07, 06, 06, 04, 03, 02, 01

November 21 : 20, 18, 18, 18, 17, 17, 11, 10, 09, 09, 08, 06, 03, 02, 01

October 21 : 24, 23, 21, 20, 19, 18, 16, 16, 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 08, 08, 07, 06, 04, 01

September 21 : 07, 04, 03, 02, 01

August 21 : 11, 10

July 21 : 10, 10, 09, 09, 08, 06, 05, 03, 02, 01

June 21 : 08, 07, 07, 05, 04, 03, 02, 01

May 21 : 29, 28, 27, 25, 24, 23, 22, 20, 19, 18, 17, 17, 14, 13, 11, 10, 10, 08, 07, 06, 05, 04, 03, 01

April 21 : 16, 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 09, 08, 08, 07, 05, 03, 02, 01

March 21 : 18, 17, 16, 15, 13, 12, 10, 10, 09, 08, 05, 04, 03, 02, 01

February 21 : 27, 26, 25, 24, 23, 22, 21, 20, 19, 18, 15, 13, 12, 12, 11, 10, 08, 06, 03, 01

January 21 : 27, 25, 23, 22, 21, 20, 19, 18, 16, 15, 14, 12, 11, 09, 08, 07, 06, 05

December 20 : 30, 29, 28, 24, 21, 18, 17, 15, 11, 07, 03, 01

November 20 : 24, 20, 19, 18, 12, 11, 10, 09, 08, 07, 06, 05, 04, 03, 02

October 20 : 31, 30, 29, 29, 27, 26, 23, 22, 21, 20, 19, 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 09, 08, 08, 07, 06, 06, 03, 02, 01

September 20 : 30, 29, 29, 26, 25, 24, 23, 22, 21, 19, 18, 17, 16, 15, 14, 12, 11, 10, 09, 09, 08, 07, 05, 04, 03, 02, 01

August 20 : 31, 29, 28, 27, 26, 25, 24, 22, 21, 20, 19, 18, 17, 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 10, 08, 07, 06, 05, 04, 03, 01

July 20 : 31, 30, 29, 28, 27, 25, 24, 23, 22, 21, 20, 18, 17, 14, 13, 10, 09, 09, 08, 07, 06, 04, 03, 02, 01

June 20 : 30, 27, 26, 24, 23, 22, 20, 19, 18, 18, 17, 16, 13, 12, 11, 10, 09, 06, 05, 04, 03, 02, 01

May 20 : 30, 29, 28, 26, 25, 23, 22, 22, 22, 22, 22, 16, 14, 13, 11, 09, 08, 07, 07, 05, 04, 02, 01

April 20 : 30, 28, 27, 25, 24, 23, 22, 21, 20, 18, 17, 16, 15, 14, 13, 11, 10, 09, 08, 07, 07, 07, 04, 03, 02, 01

March 20 : 31, 27, 26, 25, 24, 22, 21, 19, 18, 17, 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 09, 07, 06, 05, 04, 04, 03, 02

February 20 : 29, 28, 28, 26, 25, 24, 21, 20, 19, 18, 11

January 20 : 13