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Major News and Events of 26 December 2015

What Happened on 26 December 2015


North India feels Strong Tremors as 6.4-magnitude Earthquake rocks Afghanistan

Just two months after a 7.5-magnitude earthquake destroyed thousands of houses and killed over 300 people in Afghanistan and Pakistan, strong tremor of 6.4-magnitude was recorded near Afghanistan- Tajikistan border on late Friday night. Extent of the tremor was felt in northern India, especially in Delhi, Jaipur, Chandigarh, and NCR (National Capital Region). Delhi Police tweeted that there were no news of any kind of casualty or damage due to the earthquake. Reports of US Geological Survey say that depth of the earthquake is spread over an area of 203.5 kilometres. It is learnt that in northern India, tremors were felt at around 12.48am IST.

Korada Ramana and Sanjita Chanu win Gold on 1st Day of Senior National Weightlifting Championships

On the first day of Senior National Weightlifting Championships, played at SAI centre of Patiala, gold medals were won by Korada Ramana and Sanjita Chanu in their respective 56kg and 48kg categories. In the 48kg category, Sanjita Chanu lifted 173kg (95kg in clean-and-jerk and 78kg in snatch) to secure a gold. The silver and bronze medals in this category were won by Mirabai Chanu and Chandrika Tarafdar. In the 56kg men’s category, Korada Ramana lifted a total 251kg (142kg in clean and jerk and 109kg in snatch) to win gold. Silver and bronze medals in this category were won by Jamjang Deru and Guru Raja respectively.

Former ISRO Chief G Madhavan Nair slams India's Educational System

G Madhavan Nair, renowned scientist and ex-Chairman of ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) slammed the current schooling education system of India and urged for renewing thrust in the scientific and research fields for bringing forth the next stage of technical innovation in India. He criticized the current schooling system that encourages rote learning and compared it with factories churning out products. He also gave example of China, which has overtaken India in the field of science and research manifolds. G Madhavan Nair stressed upon the need to bring forth such an educational system that encourages school students to get engaged in laboratory experiments.

IT Ministry to start connecting Rural India on Dec 28 as part of "Good Governance Day"

Union Minister of Communications and IT, Ravi Shankar Prasad, is all set to launch a slew of schemes for marking “Good Governance Day” on 28 December 2015. One of the major announcements will be initiation of the process of digitally connecting all rural post offices throughout India. Digitization of rural post offices will include equipping rural postmen with biometric hand-held devices that are powered by solar energy. Officials say rural post offices are planned to receive 1.30 lakh hand-held devices by March 2017. This project will initially be launched in pilot circles in Rajasthan, Bihar, and UP. Launch of core banking facilities across 12,000 post offices will also be done.

PM Modi makes 'Sudden' Birthday Diplomacy with Pak PM Sharif

Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday evening created a sort of political earthquake by paying 150 minute ‘unscheduled’ visit to Pakistan, while returning from his 3-day Russia-Afghanistan tour. This is the first ever Prime Ministerial visit to Pakistan after ex-PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s Lahore visit in 2004. PM Modi’s special IAF Boeing 737 touched down at Allama Iqbal International Airport, Lahore, at 4.50 PM IST where he was received by Pak PM Nawaz Sharif. PM Modi gave him a warm hug wishing on his birthday, which coincides with birthday of AB Vajpayee. Modi also visited Sharif’s palatial residence in Lahore’s outskirts – Raiwind – where the two held one-to-one interaction on peace talks for the larger good of the two countries. PM Modi, after reaching India, visited the ailing 91-year old ex-PM Vajpayee to greet him on his birthday.

Foreign Secretaries of India and Pakistan likely to meet on 15 Jan

After a ‘sudden’ visit to Pakistan by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, sources reveal that foreign secretaries of both the countries are scheduled to meet in Islamabad on 15 January 2016. The bilateral development comes after NSA level talks between Ajit Doval (NSA of India) and Lt. Gen (Retd.) Nasir Khan Janjua (NSA of Pakistan) in Bangkok, followed by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s Islamabad visit early this December. Reports say S Jaishankar, Foreign Secretary of India, will meet Pakistani PM’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz, in Islamabad, and will discuss bilateral comprehensive dialogue’s modalities, as discussed during Swaraj’s Pakistan visit.