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1. Renowned violinist Itzhak Perlman won 2016 Genesis Prize
1. Renowned Israeli-US violinist Itzhak Perlman was announced as the 2016 Genesis Prize Laureate for his accomplishments as a musician, teacher and advocate for people with disabilities.
2. Perlman will receive the award on 23 June 2016 from Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at a ceremony in Jerusalem.
2. Mahindra Group acquired Italian auto design firm Pininfarina
1. Tech Mahindra and Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd, part of the Mahindra Group, on 14 December 2015 acquired Italian car designer Pininfarina SpA for 165 million US dollars in an all-cash deal.
2. Pininfarina is well-known for designing cars for Ferrari, Maserati, Rolls-Royce and Cadillac.
3. Highlights of the acquisition
• For the acquisition of Milan-listed Pininfarina, Tech Mahindra and Mahindra and Mahindra have formed a 60:40 joint venture.
• The joint venture will acquire 76.06 percent in Pininfarina from its controlling shareholder Pincar Srl at a price of 25.3 million euros.
• The joint venture will buy out the remaining 23.94 percent ordinary shares of Pininfarina through an open offer.
• The JV will also infuse 20 million euros into Pininfarina by way of a rights issue, which would be executed before the end of 2016.
• Tech Mahindra and Mahindra and Mahindra have also signed definitive agreements with the lenders and creditors of Pininfarina to restructure the existing debt.
• It will also provide a corporate guarantee not exceeding 114.5 million euros to the lenders, creditors and lessors of Pininfarina.
• Pininfarina will continue to be an independent company with Paolo Pininfarina continuing as the chairman of the board.
3. World Bank Group, FIRST Initiative launched Principles for Public Credit Guarantee Schemes
1. World Bank Group and FIRST Initiative launched Principles for Public Credit Guarantee Schemes (CGSs).
The principles provide a generally accepted set of good practices that can serve as a global reference for the design, execution and evaluation of public CGSs that serve small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
2. Why the principles were launched?
As per an estimate of the World Bank, up to 68 percent of formal SMEs in emerging markets are either unserved or underserved by financial institutions, with a resulting credit gap estimated to be close to 1 trillion US dollars
To fill the gap, governments across the world, the governments across the world have been launching CGS to provide third-party credit risk mitigation to lenders by absorbing a portion of the lender’s losses on loans made to SMEs in case of default.
4. West Bengal Government honoured Bappi Lahiri and Kumar Sanu with Lifetime Achievement Awards
1. The West Bengal Government honoured music composer Bappi Lahiri and singer Kumar Sanu with Lifetime Achievement Awards.
State Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee handed over the awards at the inauguration of the annual Bangla Sangeet Mela.
2. Besides, Bollywood musician Shantanu Moitra was awarded with the Sangeet Mahasamman Award.
The Bishesh Sangeet Samman was awarded to Dwijen Mukhyopadhyay, Ajoy Chakraborty and Sandhya Mukherjee.
Vocalists Nachiketa, Sriradha Bandyopadhyay, Dileep Kumar Bose and Fakir Alamgir were honoured with Special Sangeet Samman.
5. Saudi Arabia launched 34-nation Islamic Military Coalition to counter terrorism
1. Saudi Arabia announced the launch of Islamic Military Coalition to counter terrorism. The coalition will be led by Saudi Arabia and see the participation of 34 nations.
2. It was established in pursuance of the principles and objectives of the charter of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which calls for member states to cooperate to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.
3. The coalition includes nations with large and established armies such as Pakistan, Turkey and Egypt as well as war-torn countries such as Libya and Yemen.
6. Rajasthan becomes the first state to submit smart city plan
1. Rajasthan has become the first state in the country to submit smart city plans for three selected cities to Union Government. In this regard, state government has submitted smart city Proposals of Udaipur, Kota and Ajmer to Union Ministry of Urban Development.
2. Under the proposal the investment outlays proposed by state government for developing these 3 cities as smart cities are Kota 1,493 crore rupees, Ajmer 1,300 crore rupees and Udaipur 1,221 crore rupees respectively.
3. State Government is also forwarding Smart city proposal for Jaipur Cilty with an investment proposed 2,403 crore rupees prior to December 15, 2015 deadline. Overall Rajasthan has proposed a total investment of 6,457 crore rupees for 5 years for developing these four cities as smart cities.
7. Anirban Lahiri wins Order of Merit crown of Asian Tour
1. India’s star golfer Anirban Lahiri (28) has won the coveted Order of Merit crown of Asian Tour for year 2015. In the 2015 season world No. 41, Lahiri has earned $1,139,084 a way ahead of second-placed Scott Hend of Australia who has earned $491,631.
2. With this he became only the fourth Indian golfer to win this coveted award after Jeev Milkha Singh (2006, 2008), Arjun Atwal (2003) and Jyoti Randhawa (2002).
3. Anirban Lahiri has won twice on the Asia’s premier Tour to be ranked into the world’s top-50 golfers. He has posted a top-five finish in a Major (PGA Championship) that helped him to mak his maiden appearance at the Presidents Cup and earning his PGA Tour card.
8. Indian-origin politician Pravin Gordhan becomes South Africa’s Finance Minister
1. An Indian-origin politician, Pravin Gordhan has been appointed as South Africa’s new Finance Minister. With this he becomes country’s third Finance Minister in a week.
2. He replaces David van Rooyen who was appointed on 10 November 2015. Earlier President Jacob Zuma had sacked incumbent Nhlanhla Nene from Finance Ministry.
9. Union Government appointed L N Reddy Judicial Committee on OROP
1. Union Government has appointed former Chief Justice of Patna High Court Justice L Narasimha Reddy as head judicial committee on One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme. The one member judicial committee will look into the implementation of OROP scheme for retired defence personnel.
The Terms of Reference for the Committee
2. The committee will examine and make recommendations on removal of anomalies arising In the implementation of the OROP Scheme as notified by the Union Government on 7th November 2015. Out of inter-services issues of the 3 forces due to implementation of the scheme. Implications on service matters in any other matter referred by the Union Government on implementation of the OROP or other related issues.