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1. Indigenously developed Air-to-Air missile Astra successfully test fired
1. Indigenously developed Beyond Visual Range (BVR) air-to-air missile, Astra, was on 25 December 2015 successfully test fired. The test was conducted by the Indian Air Force off the coast of Odisha near the Integrated Test Range (ITR), Balasore.
2. In addition to this air trial, the missile underwent successful ground based trials in early December 2015 near Pune.
The tests were aimed at validating the ECCM (electronic counter-counter measure) features of the missile to overcome any jamming.
3. After carrying out some more trials, including air launch trial with a warhead, the missile is expected to be inducted into the Air Force in 2016.
2. Satyavati Berera became first woman COO at Big 4 in India
1. Satyavati Berera on 27 December 2015 became the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Big Four accounting firm in India. With this, she became the first woman to reach the level of a COO.
2. Berera will take charge as COO on 1 January 2016. She will replace Neil Wilson, who is moving to London as global operations partner with PwC. She will be second only to chairman Deepak Kapoor in hierarchy.
3. Renowned science-fiction writer George Clayton Johnson died
1. Popular science-fiction writer George Clayton Johnson, who penned the script for the first Star Trek episode, The Man Trap, passed away on 25 December 2015 due to cancer in Los Angeles, California. He was 86.
2. Born on 10 July 1929 in Cheyenne, Wyoming, Johnson debuted into the entertainment business in 1959 when he wrote the I’ll Take Care of You episode for Alfred Hitchcock Presents.
3. The renowned writer is also known for co-writing the novel Logan's Run with William F. Nolan, the basis for the MGM 1976 film. Besides, his television scripts for The Twilight Zone including Nothing in the Dark, Kick the Can, A Game of Pool, and A Penny for Your Thoughts earned him immense fame.
4. Globe Soccer Awards 2015 conferred
1. The Globe Soccer presented the sixth edition of Globe Soccer Awards 2015 to the winners at a ceremony held in Dubai, UAE.
Awarded for excellences in the field of football, Globe Soccer Awards are the first and only awards for the Best Club Director and the Best Agent of the Year.
2. The awards conferred were based on the performance of the players and football clubs in 2015.
3. List of Winners
Best Player of the Year- Lionel Messi
Best President of the Year- Josep Maria Bartomeu
Best Club of the Year- F.C. Barcelona
Best Media Attraction in Football- F.C. Barcelona
Best Coach of the Year- Marc Wilmots
Best Agent of the Year- Jorge Mendes
Best Referee of the Year- Ravshan Irmatov
Best Academy of the Year- Benfica
5. Reliance Jio launched 4G telecom service
1. Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd (RJIL) or Reliance Jio launched 4G telecom service. The service was launched at the Reliance Corporate Park in Navy Mumbai to mark the birth anniversary of Dhirubhai Ambani, founder of the Reliance Industries Limited (RIL).
2. However, at present, it is limited to 85000 employees and their families of the company, while the commercial services are expected to begin by April 2016.
6. Shiva Keshavan clinched silver at Asian Luge Championship
1. Shiva Keshavan grabbed a silver medal in the 18th edition of the Asian Luge Championship held in Nagano, Japan.
2. The first place was claimed by defending champion Hidenari Kanayama of Japan. On the other hand, South Korea's Kim Dong-hyeon grabbed the third place.
7. China passes its first Counter-Terrorism law
1. China’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee, the top organ of China’s parliament has adopted the country’s first counter-terrorism law. The legislation was approved with large majority at the end of a week-long bimonthly session China’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee.
2. The law expanded the definition of the term terrorism and is the latest attempt of China to address terrorism at home and help maintain world security. The law grants overarching powers to security agencies and also allows the military to venture overseas on counter-terror operations.
8. No LPG subsidy for consumers with taxable income of more than Rs. 10 lakh
1. Rich people in India will no longer get a subsidy for cooking gas (LPG) from 2016 onwards.
2. In a decision to restrict subsidy only to those who need it, the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas on Monday announced that from January 2016, the benefit of subsidised LPG will not be given to a consumer whose annual taxable income is more than ₹ 10 lakh in the previous financial year.
The subsidy will also not be given if the consumer’s spouse has an annual taxable income of more than ₹ 10 lakh.
3. To being with the withdrawal of the subsidy will on a self-declaration basis wherein those in the highest income bracket will mention this at the time of the booking from January 2016 onwards.
While it is not known how many LPG customers fall in the highest income bracket, data from a parliamentary committee shows that in 2011-12, there were 20 lakh taxpayers in the highest income tax bracket. A Petroleum & Natural Gas Ministry official declined to comment on the projected savings from the withdrawal of the subsidy for such category of consumers.