OPEC to meet in Vienna
• The members of Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other oil-producing countries are scheduled to meet in Vienna to discuss ways to manage the oil output, supply glut and demand slowdown.
• US President Donald Trump urged OPEC members not to slash production at their upcoming meeting, saying global oil prices should remain low.
• Over the past two months, oil prices have plunged and a barrel of Brent crude currently stands at around USD 60.
• However, OPEC's third-biggest producer Iran has called to be excluded from any decision to cut production.
• OPEC meeting comes up at a crucial time as Qatar had earlier announced to exit the group.
Noted agriculturalist Jayaraman passes away
• Noted agriculturalist Jayaraman, who pioneered the protection and propagation of indigenous paddy varieties in Tamil Nadu, passed away in Chennai on December 6, 2018.
• Hailing from Thiruthuraipoondi, Jayaraman has been credited with documenting and protecting more than 170 paddy varieties.
• His diligent work in the field of protecting the gene prototypes of indigenous paddy varieties won him the National Award in 2015 and a state award in 2011.
VVIP chopper case: 5-day CBI custody for Christian Michel
• Christian Michel, alleged middleman in the Rs 3600-crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal, was produced before a Delhi court, which allowed his five-day custodial interrogation by the CBI.
• Michel, a citizen of the United Kingdom, was brought to India recently following his extradition by the UAE in connection with the case.
• He was produced before Special CBI Judge Arvind Kumar, who remanded him in police custody for five days.
• Earlier, the judge allowed discussions between Michel and his advocate for five minutes.
• His counsel opposed the police remand plea on the ground that Michel did not have any paper of the case, including the charge sheet to argue.
Air pollution kills 7 million every year: WHO
• Exposure to air pollution causes 7 million deaths worldwide every year and costs an estimated USD 5.11 trillion in welfare losses globally, as per the World Health Organisation (WHO) report.
• The report was released at the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24) in Katowice, Poland.
• Human activities are destabilising the Earth’s climate and leading directly to poor health.
• The true cost of climate change is felt in hospitals and in lungs. The health burden of polluting energy sources is now so high, that moving to cleaner and more sustainable choices for energy supply, transport and food systems effectively pays for itself.
• When health is taken into account, climate change mitigation is an opportunity, not a cost.
High Court bars release of 'Ram Janmabhoomi'
• The Bombay High Court barred the release of Ram Janmabhoomi movie unless it is certified by the Censor Board and directed that the trailer be removed from YouTube.
• The movie was scheduled for release on December 6, the day Babri Masjid was demolished in 1992.
• The movie allegedly shows polarisation of Hindus and Muslims with the backdrop of the Babri Masjid demolition.
• A Division Bench of Justices B.P. Dharmadhikari and S.V. Kotwal was hearing a petition filed by Azhar Tamboli, a social worker.
• The petitioner is aggrieved by the poster and trailer of the film that ‘hurt religious sentiments’.
• The petition said the trailer was highly provocative, promoted communal disharmony and was violative of Section 5B (principles for guidance in certifying films) of the Cinematograph Act.
India pays homage to Dr B R Ambedkar on his 63rd Maharparinirvan Diwas
• India paid homage to Bharat Ratna Dr BR Ambedkar on his 63rd Mahaparinirvan Diwas on December 6, 2018.
• The Father of the Indian Constitution, Dr Ambedkar was a jurist, economist, politician and a social reformer who campaigned against social discrimination of Dalits, women and labourers.
• He died on December 6, 1956 and the day is observed as Mahaparinirvan Diwas every year.
• A number of functions are being organised all over the country to mark the occasion. In Mumbai, a two-day exhibition of paintings based on the theme of secularism was inaugurated at Chaitya Bhoomi yesterday.
PM Modi most followed world leader on Instagram
• Prime Minister Narendra Modi emerged as the most popular global leader on social media platform Instagram with 14.8 million followers.
• According to a list published by online platform twiplomacy, Modi is followed by Indonesian President Joko Widodo with 12.2 million followers.
• With 10 million followers, US President Donald Trump is at the third position on photo-sharing platform.
• The picture of newly married Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli and his wife, actress Anushka Sharma meeting the prime minister has become the most liked picture posted by any world leader. The picture received 18,34,707 hearts since all three have a combined following of 55 million on Instagram.
• The picture of Modi standing at a bus stop in snowy Davos ahead of the World Economic Forum 2018 is the second most liked picture with a total of 16,35,978 likes.
RBI approves Amalgamation of SBM Bank (Mauritius) Limited, India with SBM Bank (India) Limited
• The Reserve Bank of India approved the Scheme of amalgamation of SBM Bank (Mauritius) Limited, India with SBM Bank (India) Limited.
• The amalgamated entity has been granted licence by the Reserve Bank to carry on the business of banking in India through Wholly Owned Subsidiary (WOS) Mode under section 22(1) of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.
• The Scheme has been sanctioned in exercise of the powers contained in sub-section (4) of Section 44A of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.
• The Scheme will come into force with effect from December 1, 2018.
• All the branches of SBM Bank (Mauritius) Limited in India will function as branches of SBM Bank (India) Limited with effect from December 1, 2018.