Odisha to set up 45 new fast track courts
• Aiming at expediting the trial of cases relating to women and children, the Odisha government said it will set up 45 new fast track courts.
• Of these, 21 courts would be dedicated for cases of rape and sexual harassment of women and the remaining 24 fast track courts will specifically deal with Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) cases, Law Minister Pratap Jena said.
• The fast track courts will function under Additional District Judges as per provisions of Orissa Civil Courts Act, 1984.
Switzerland is country partner of Bio Asia 2020
• Government of Telangana announced that Switzerland will serve as the country partner for the 17th edition of BioAsia.
• Consistently ranked number one, Switzerland Ais widely known for innovation in big pharma with the presence of eminent pharma and life-sciences companies like Novartis, Roche, Lonza and FerringPharma.
• With the theme ”Today For Tomorrow,” BioAsia 2020 is scheduled to be held from February 17 to 19.
Alberto Fernandez sworn in as president of Argentina
• Argentina’s Peronist leader Alberto Fernandez was sworn in as president, marking a shift to the left for Latin America’s third-largest economy, which is suffering rampant inflation, credit default fears and rising poverty.
• Fernandez takes over from conservative Mauricio Macri, who symbolically handed the incoming leader the presidential baton and sash.
Banking and Economy
ADB Lowers India’s GDP forecast to 5.1% for FY2019; 6.5% for FY 2020
• The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has lowered India’s economic growth forecast for FY 2019 to 5.1 percent from earlier estimate of 6.5 percent in its latest Asian Development Outlook 2019 Update.
• GDP forecast for 2019-20: 5.1%
• GDP forecast for 2020-21: 6.5%
India among top 10 countries with higher climate performance: Report
• India, for the first time, ranks among the top 10 in this year’s Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) released at the COP25 climate summit in Spanish capital Madrid.
• The index is jointly presented by Germanwatch, NewClimate Institute and Climate Action Network.
• The current levels of per capita emissions and energy use in India ranked 9th in the high category showing that emissions are still comparatively low,
Infosys wins 2019 UN Global Climate Action Award in ‘Carbon Neutral Now’ category
• The Indian IT services major Infosys Ltd has been awarded with the United Nations Global Climate Action Award in the ‘Climate Neutral Now’ category at the ongoing 2019 UN Climate Change Conference in Madrid, Spain.
• Infosys has been honored for its carbon neutral program, which delivers scalable, innovative and practical climate actions that address climate change and help drive progress on many other sustainable development goals
Science & Technology
ICSSR Chairman BrajBihari Kumar Passes Away
• Dr BrajBihari Kumar, Chairman of the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), has passed away.
• BB Kumar was appointed as the chairman of the ICSSR in May 2017.
FICCI set to organize 9th Global Sports Summit “TURF 2019”
• After the successful execution of the previous 8 editions, FICCI returns with the highly prestigious Global Sports Summit “TURF” which is slated to be held at the FICCI, Federation house in the national capital on December 11.
• This will be the 9th edition of the Global Summit which will witness esteemed sports personalities, administrators and members from the Indian sports fraternity be a part of the event.
• These awards are an attempt by FICCI to acknowledge the contribution and felicitate sports achievers and the various stakeholders who co-create the evolving sports ecosystem. The event is powered by FIT INDIA, Partner State: Odisha Government, Summit Partner: Star India, Brand Partners: Tata Edelweiss.
13th South Asian Games concluded in Nepal
• India concluded the South Asian Games with their highest medal tally in the history of the tournament.
• The contingent was able to win 312 medals, which includes 174 gold, 93 silver, and 45 bronze medals.
• India had claimed 309 medals in the 2016 edition of the South Asian Games and by winning 312 this time around, the contingent has broken their record.
• Nepal concluded the tournament at the second position in the medal tally with a total of 206 medals. Sri Lanka and Pakistan are on the third and fourth spots respectively.
Indian Grandmaster R. Praggnanandhaa wins London Chess Classic FIDE Open 2019
• India’s young grandmaster R. Praggnanandhaa has won the London Chess Classic FIDE Open 2019 Championship.
• The 14-year-old finished joint first with Anton Smirnov of Australia, with a score of 7.5/9.
• The third seed scored a rating performance of 2699.
National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) Ropes in Suniel Shetty as Brand Ambassador
• Bollywood actor Suniel Shetty was appointed as the brand ambassador of the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA).
• NADA along with the All India Football Federation (AIFF) recently conducted anti-doping awareness workshops for all footballers.
• The mass athlete awareness program against doping, which is a NADA educational programme, is set to be a regular fixture from 2019-20 onwards.