1. NASA InSight lands on Mars 7 months after launch
NASA’s InSight spacecraft landed on Mars after nearly a seven-month, 458-million-kilometre journey, and a 6.5-minute parachuted descent through the Red Planet’s atmosphere. The 360-kg lander also shared its first photo from Mars, showing an area called Elysium Planitia, where it will dig five metres below the surface. The $993-million mission will measure the Mars’ internal heat and study quakes.
2. Sunil Arora new Chief Election Commissioner, takes charge on Dec 2
Sunil Arora, the senior-most election commissioner, was appointed the new Chief Election Commissioner after President Ram Nath Kovind cleared his appointment for the post. The 62-year-old will take over the charge from OP Rawat on December 2. A 1980 batch IAS officer of the Rajasthan cadre, Arora was appointed to the election body in September last year.
3. China developing its own $9 bn system to rival US-run GPS
China is developing a $9 billion global navigation system to rival and eventually replace the US-run GPS in the country. The alternative system, called BeiDou, is set to be implemented in a wide variety of systems including smartphones, autonomous cars, planes and ships. BeiDou, which is currently operational in China and neighbouring regions, will be globally available by 2020.
4. Ohio becomes the first US state to accept taxes in Bitcoin
Ohio will become the first US state to accept payment of taxes by businesses in Bitcoin. Businesses can pay 23 different taxes with Bitcoin, from employee withholding tax to fuel and sales tax, through an online cryptocurrency portal. Businesses that operate and pay taxes in the state will be eligible to register on the portal.
5. InterGlobe Aviation Chairman Devadas Mallya passes away
The Chairman of InterGlobe Aviation, which operates the country’s largest airline IndiGo, Devadas Mallya Mangalore passed away. “Mallya’s sudden demise is an irreparable loss to the company,” the company said. Mallya had previously served as Chairman and Managing Director of Bank of Baroda and Bank of Maharashtra.
6. Lewis Hamilton wins season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Mercedes’ British driver Lewis Hamilton, who had claimed his fifth world championship in October, won the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Hamilton finished ahead of Ferrari’s German driver Sebastian Vettel with Red Bull’s Dutch driver Max Verstappen finishing at the third place. Two-time F1 champion, Spain’s Fernando Alonso finished 11th in his farewell Grand Prix.
7. Delhis AQI improved to poor category
The National Capital Region’s air quality showed an unusual improvement on 25th November. The change is due to the increased wind speed, favorable for dispersion of pollutants, but settled in the “poor” category. The overall air quality index (AQI) of Delhi was recorded at 262, which falls in the “poor” category.
8. FAO to team up with Telangana for seed development
Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations has offered to collaborate with Telangana for South-South Cooperation in the development of the seed sector in African countries.
The offer by FAO was made in Rome with Principal Secretary (Agriculture) C. Parthasarathi and Director of Telangana State Seed and Organic Certification Authority K. Keshavulu, FAO assistant director-general Bukar Tijani said Indian seed industry is gradually expanding its market and establishing business operations in the African countries as those countries grow similar crops as India.
9. Uber Eats appointed Alia Bhatt as its first brand ambassador of India
Uber Eats announced the appointment of actress Alia Bhatt as its brand ambassador. India will be the first country where the global company appointed an ambassador.
10. Nariman Light House to be inaugurated
A rooftop memorial at Nariman House, the Jewish centre in Colaba, is to be formally inaugurated on Monday, the tenth anniversary of the Mumbai terror attacks. The memorial will be called the Nariman Light House.
The waterfall monument constitutes the names of all the victims of 26/11 terror attack including the policemen and National Security Guards and plaques of the sites where the terrorists attacked, surrounded with lush green plants.
11. Monaco to host 2019 Laureus Awards on February 18 2019
The ‘Oscars of sports’, the Laureus World Sports Awards 2019 will be held in Monaco on February 18 next year. Sport’s premier global awards ceremony will celebrate the best of 2018 across eight individual and team categories, with the winners collecting a prized Laureus Statuette.
Sports fans around the world will also get to play their part by voting for the Laureus Sporting Moment of the Year Award. Former India cricket captains Kapil Dev, Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar are members of the Laureus Academy.
12. UP government cleared the proposal to build Ram statue
The Uttar Pradesh government has cleared a proposal to build a 221-meter-tall statue of Lord Ram on the banks of the Saryu river in Ayodhya. The government did not furnish the details of the funding, the construction agency and the location of the statue. The size of the statue will outdo the 182-meter-tall statue of Sardar Patel in Gujarat.
The Yogi Adityanath government had last year announced that it would construct a Ram statue in Ayodhya as part of the “Navya Ayodhya” scheme of the UP Tourism Department to develop the town as a tourist hub.
This is not the only Ram statue the BJP government is planning in UP. The government also plans to build a statue of Lord Ram at Shringverpur, a site near Allahabad revered by Nishads.
13. Indian Constitution Day is observed on 26 November
On this day in 1949, the constitution was adopted which came into force on January 26, 1950, marking the beginning of a new era in the history of India. On 19th November 2015, during the year-long celebration of the 125th birth anniversary of Dr. B R Ambedkar, Government of India declared November 26th as the Constitution Day. Previously this day was celebrated as Law Day.
14. India To Host 50th Union World Conference On Lung Health In 2019
The 50th Union World Conference on Lung Health will be held in Hyderabad, a global organization working in this field announced. The conference ‘Ending the Emergency: Science, Leadership, Action’ which will start in October 2019, the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease stated.