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Union Cabinet approves inclusion and amendments in Central List of OBC for eight states

The Union Cabinet on 1 December has given its approval to notify inclusion and or amendments in the Central List of Other Backward Classes (OBC) notified in respect of the eight states of Assam, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttarakhand.

On the recommendation of the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC), a total of 2479 entries for inclusion, including its synonyms, sub-castes.

India-US ink agreement worth Rs 5000 crore for 145 M777 artillery guns

India and the US on 1 December, inked a nearly Rs. 5,000 crore deal for 145 M777 ultra-light howitzers, which will be mostly deployed near the borders with China.

This is the first deal for artillery guns since the Bofors scandal in 1980s.

"India has today signed the Letter of Acceptance which formalises the contract between India and US for these guns," sources said.

The deal for 145 American ultra-light howitzers, costing about Rs. 5,000 crore was recently cleared by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS).

Border tunnel: Did Samba attackers sneak into India through 80m long tunnel?

An 80-metre-long, 2 feet by 2 feet tunnel was found by Border Security Force (BSF) near the international border near Chamliyal in Jammu that is assumed to have been used by the three suicide attackers who were killed in a firefight in Samba sector on 29 November. However, it could not be said where the tunnel originates in Pakistan.

BSF director general K K Sharma told media about the tunnel on 30 December and added that the terrorists appeared to have crawled through the tunnel.

Pay day blues: RBI assures people of no cash crunch but ATMs still run dry

The Reserve Bank of India on 30 November assured that the government is ready for pay day cash rush and there will be not be much problems in dispensing cash. According to media reports, the government are in process to print the new Rs 500-rupee note to meet the massive demand for cash till 7 December.

However, banks officials are reportedly saying bank branches are yet to receive the new Rs. 500 notes and Rs. 100 notes are still in short supply.

It's World AIDS Day. Can we get a condom emoji already?

Remember Durex's brilliant baingan flavour joke for sexual health awareness? No? Well, our WhatsApp emojis don't have a condom option, so Durex went for the next best thing - eggplant.

Now, ahead of World AIDS Day on 1 December, the condom brand has launched an unofficial safe sex emoji called "Umbrella with Raindrops". This is a part of the same #CondomEmoji campaign. Go on Twitter, and use it wisely.

For more information, read this.

Life forms existed without oxygen? Research suggests so

All our hunt for life outside Earth and we never considered the possibility of some existing without oxygen. Well now, researchers have discovered fossils of 2.5 billion-year-old sulfur-oxidising bacteria that existed just fine without any oxygen. On our own planet.

The ancient life forms were found fossilised in two separate locations in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa, the report says.

"These are the oldest reported fossil sulfur bacteria to date," said Andrew Czaja, Assistant Professor of Geology at University of Cincinnati in the US.

UN warning: Over 500,000 civilians in Mosul are running out of drinking water

A "catastrophic" drinking water shortage has hit the residents of war torn Mosul. Up to 500,000 civilians have been affected, the UN warns. This is happening as Iraqi forces are advancing against the Islamic State group in the city.

"Nearly half a million civilians, already struggling to feed themselves day to day, are now without access to clean drinking water. The impact on children, women and families will be catastrophic," said Lise Grande, UN humanitarian coordinator in Iraq, AFP reports.