1. Kendall Jenner becomes world's highest paid model in 2017
• American model Kendall Jenner beat Gisele Bündchen to become the world's highest-earning model in 2017, as per Forbes. The 22-year-old model's earnings have been estimated to be $22 million (?142 crore). Gisele, who has been the highest-paid model since 2002, was ranked second in the list this year, with earnings of $17.5 million (?113 crore).
2. World's largest space telescope completes cryogenic testing
• NASA's James Webb Space Telescope, which would be the largest-ever space telescope when launched in 2019, has completed its final phase of the 100-day vacuum testing at -266ºC. The tests included an alignment check of Webb's 18 primary mirrors, to make sure the gold-plated, hexagonal segments act like a single mirror. The $8.8 billion telescope took 20 years to build.
3. US to end protected status for Haitian immigrants
• The US will end a residency programme that protects Haitian immigrants from deportation in July 2019, the Homeland Security Department said. Former President Barack Obama's administration had granted the protected status to Haitians in 2010 after an earthquake in Haiti. The department said that conditions in Haiti had improved significantly, giving Haitian immigrants 18 months to return home.
4. Cabinet approves agreement between India and Philippines on co-operation and mutual assistance in customs matters
• The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the signing and ratifying of an Agreement between India and Philippines on co-operation and mutual assistance in customs matters.
• The Agreement will help in the availability of relevant information for the prevention and investigation of Customs offences. The Agreement is also expected to facilitate trade and ensure efficient clearance of goods traded between the countries. This Agreement shall enter into force after the necessary national legal requirements for entry into force of this Agreement have been fulfilled by both the countries.
5. Cabinet approves India's Membership for European Bank for Reconstruction & Development
• The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved India's Membership for European Bank for Reconstruction & Development (EBRD) Necessary steps will be initiated by the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance to acquire the membership of the EBRD.
6. Cabinet approves signing of India - Russia Agreement on cooperation in combating terrorism and organized crime
• The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval for signing an Agreement on Cooperation between India and Russia in the field of combating all forms of terrorism and organized crime. The Agreement is proposed to be signed during the upcoming visit of Indian Delegation, led by Home Minister, to Russia from 27-29 November, 2017.
7. Cabinet approves continuation of the scheme on Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs beyond the 12th Plan Period
• The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for continuation of the scheme on Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA) for another three financial years (FYs 2017-18 to 2019-20) and providing Grants-in-aid of Rs.18 crore to the Institute. It will make the Institute self-sustainable by the end of FY 2019-20.
8. Cabinet approves revisedsalaries, gratuity, allowances and pension for the Judges of the Supreme Court and the High Courts
• The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the revision in the salaries, gratuity, allowances, pension etc. of the Judges of the Supreme Court and the High Courts and retired Judges of Supreme Court and High Courts. It follows the implementation of recommendations of the 7thCentral Pay Commission in respect of Civil Servants.
• The approval will pave the way for necessary amendments in the two laws viz. Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Act, 1958 and High Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Act, 1954, which govern the salaries of Chief Justice of India (CJI), Judges of Supreme Court of India, Chief Justices and all Judges of High Courts.
9. Cabinet approves setting up of the 15thFinance Commission
• The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the setting up of the 15thFinance Commission. Under Article 280 (1) of the Constitution,it is a Constitutional obligation. The Terms of Reference for the 15thFinance Commission will be notified in due course of time.
10. Cabinet approves Wage Policy for the 8th Round of Wage Negotiations for workmen in Central Public Sector Enterprises
• The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the Wage Policy for the 8th Round of Wage Negotiations for workmen in Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs).
11. Cabinet approves expansion of umbrella scheme "Mission For Protection And Empowerment For Women" and introducing a new scheme ' Pradhan Mantri Mahila Shakti Kendra'
• The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for expansion of the schemes of Ministry of Women and Child Development under Umbrella Scheme "Mission for Protection and Empowerment for Women" for a period 2017-18 to 2019-20.
• CCEA has also given approval to the new scheme called ‘Pradhan Mantri Mahila Shakti Kendra', which will empower rural women through community participation to create an environment in which they realize their full potential.
• Expansion under Beti Bachao Beti Padhao has also been approved based on the successful implementation in 161 districts. The financial outlay during 2017-18 to 2019-20 will be Rs.3,636.85 crore with a Central Share of approximately Rs.3,084.96 crore.
12. Successful firing of Brahmos Air Launched Missile from Su-30 MKI Aircraft
• Today, IAF has successfully fired the BrahMos air version anti shipping missile from its frontline Su-30 MKI fighter aircraft off the Eastern Coast. The launch from the aircraft was smooth and the missile followed the desired trajectory before directly hitting the ship target. The missile was fired by the test crew comprising Wg Cdr Prashant Nair and Wg Cdr KP Kiran Kumar. The chase aircraft was flown by Sqn Ldr Angad Pratap and Gp Capt Badrish N Athreya.
• The air launched BrahMos missile is a 2.5 ton supersonic air to surface cruise missile with ranges of more than 400 kms. The IAF is the first Air Force in the world to have successfully fired an air launched 2.8 Mach surface attack missile of this category. The integration on the aircraft was very complex involving mechanical, electrical and software modifications on aircraft. The IAF was totally involved in the activity from its inception.
• The software development of the aircraft was undertaken by the IAF engineers while the HAL carried out mechanical and electrical modifications on aircraft. One of the major challenges overcome by scientists of RCI, DRDO in the missile development was optimization of Transfer Alignment of the inertial sensors of the missile.
13. Delhi airport may become first in India to get bulletproof vehicles
• If a proposal of the Central Industrial Security Force gets nod, the Delhi airport may soon get a fleet of bulletproof vehicles as part of the Quick Reaction Team (QRT) to minimise the damage in case of an attack.
• The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), which provides security to 59 of the 98 operational airports in the country, has asked for bulletproof vehicles at Delhi and other sensitive airports. The CISF recently deployed Sherpa, an armoured vehicle that can withstand 10kg of explosives and numerous bullets, on trial basis, but wants a smaller vehicle for the QRT fleet.
14. UK to have driverless cars by 2021
• British finance minister Philip Hammond is to announce USD 99 million funding for Artificial Intelligence and plans to put driverless cars on UK roads by 2021. Hammond will announce regulation changes to allow Britain’s driverless car industry, which the government estimates will be worth 28 billion pound by 2035, to get cars on the road within as little as three years.
• The minister, who is under a pressure to deliver an eye- catching budget following Brexit spats with cabinet colleagues, will also announce a 400 million pound fund for companies hoping to roll out electric-car charge points across the country.
15. India, Sweden to work closely in promoting clean technologies
• India and Sweden expect to work closely in adopting and promoting green technologies where small and medium enterprises would play critical role.
• Addressing the India–Sweden Innovations’ Accelerator Programme here today, Niklas Eriksson, First Secretary, Section for Trade, Economic and Cultural Affairs, Embassy of Sweden said India has strong presence of large Swedish companies which are very old and offering direct and indirect employment opportunities to about 1 million persons.
He highlighted the need for small and medium companies of Sweden to invest in India and engage in new clean technologies.
16. Paytm invests in lending startup CreditMate
• SoftBank and Alibaba-backed Paytm today said it has invested in Mumbai-based lending startup CreditMate. The fintech major, however, did not disclose the investment amount.
CreditMate was founded in 2016 by Jonathan Bill, Ashish Doshi and Aditya Singh.
• The company focuses on secured lending against two-wheelers. As a part of the deal, Paytm will also leverage CreditMate’s proprietary credit and asset valuation technology and loan management system. Paytm is also creating a loan management system for its customers. “We are constantly innovating to provide access to financial services and lending specifically targeted at the large majority of Indians who do not have access to such products.
17. Meg Whitman steps down as HP Enterprise CEO
• Meg Whitman, one of the most prominent women in Silicon Valley and a one time candidate for California governor, announced today she was stepping down as chief executive of Hewlett Packard Enterprise. HPE president Antonio Neri will take over as head of the company at the start of February, with Whitman keeping a seat on the board at HPE, one of the firms created in the 2015 breakup of Hewlett Packard.
Whitman, 61, was the top executive at eBay from 1998 to 2008 and has been a key figure in the male-dominated tech industry.
• She is also one of the wealthiest women in tech, with an estimated net worth of USD 3.2 billion, according to Forbes.
18. IKEA opens first Hej Home in India at Hyderabad
• IKEA, the Swedish furnishing retailer opened its first experiential centre Ikea Hej (Hello) Home close to the IT hub of Hyderabad and their upcoming first store in the country. The Hej Home provides some insight into Ikea products and solutions which its future customers can actually buy when the store opens in India at Hyderabad early next year. The Hej Home, designed and set up over a six-month duration, highlights what the retailer stands for and what to expect from an IKEA store.
• Potential future IKEA customers can experience its products before they can actually buy it from its stores in spring 2018. Ikea Hej Home reflects its understanding of life at home in India and its unique home furnishing solutions for homes. It also gives a peek into IKEA’s long-standing relationship with India, its history and philanthropic activities. It showcases the IKEA food and room settings based on its learnings of Life at Home in Hyderabadi families, especially those living with children.