1. On 18th December 2020, Shri Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry launched Australia Economic Strategy Report 2020 prepared by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) team, led by Ambassador Anil Wadhwa, Former Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs, with contribution from KPMG, India. The report was by launched during the CII’s virtual session on enhancing India Bilateral Economic and Trade Relationship in sectors like defence, sports, textile designing, digital gaming etc.
2. On 17th December 2020, the 20th Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Council of Ministers (COM) meeting 2020 hosted virtually by United Arab Emirates (UAE) where Indian side was represented by Vellamvelly Muraleedharan, Minister of State (MoS), Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). It should be noted that the UAE is the chairman of IORA for a period 2019-2021 on the theme “Promoting a shared destiny and Path to Prosperity in the Indian Ocean”. France became the 23rd member of the IORA. Sri Lanka will be the Vice Chairman of IORA for the period 2021-23.
3. As per the Consumer Price Index (CPI) data released by the Government of India, India’s retail Inflation based on CPI declined to 6.93% in November 2020 from 7.61% in October 2020. The inflation rate for rural area was 7.20% and urban area 6.73% in November 2020 against 7.75% and 7.33% in October 2020.
4. On 16th December 2020 Amar Singh College, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir received the ‘Award of Merit’ in the 2020 UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) Asia Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation. It is one of the 7 award winners of the 2020 awards. It is the first International Award given to cultural heritage in Kashmir. Amar Singh College is built nearly 80 years ago.
5. Defence Minister Mr. Rajnath Singh felicitated 45 eminent Scientists from DRDO for their extraordinary research work & Contribution. DRDO Lifetime Achievement Award 2018 to Mr.N V Kadam for contribution towards development of control and guidance schemes for missiles and Agni Awards for Excellence in self reliance 2018 to Mr. Amit Sharma, he is the youngest awardee to receive the award in the cyber-security domain.
6. According to the ‘Human Freedom Index 2020: A Global Measurement of Personal, Civil and Economic Freedom’ – 6th Annual Report released by Cato Institute of United States & Fraser Institute in Canada. The overall score of 6.43, ranked 111 in the list of 162 countries. New Zealand (score-8.87) topped the index followed by Switzerland (score-8.82) & Hong Kong (score-8.74). It was prepared by Ian Vasquez and Fred McMahon. India was ranked 94 on the HFI 2019.
7. On 18th December 2020, Union Minister of Defence, Mr. Rajnath Singh handed over 3 New Indigenous Systems – Border Surveillance System (BOSS), Indian Maritime Situational Awareness System (IMSAS) & ASTRA MK-I missile all developed by Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) to the Chiefs of 3 Armed Forces – Indian Navy, Indian Air Force (TAF) & Indian Army at a function held in DRDO Bhawan, New Delhi. ASTRA MK-I is a Beyond Visual Range (BVR) Missile capable of being launched from Sukhoi-30, Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), MIG-29 & MIG-29K. It is the 1st Air to Air missile developed by India.
8. On 18th December 2020, External Minister S.Jaishankar virtually launched the book ‘Reporting India: My Seventy Year Journey as a Journalist’ written by Asia News International (ANI) Chairman Prem Prakash. The book came as an outcome of the author’s experience over the years, where he has interacted with almost all the Prime Ministers of India.
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