Current Affairs

Current Affairs Quick Recap – December Week I & II

CURRENT AFFAIRS December Week I & II

AWARDS AND HONOURS

 NAME OF THE AWARD AWARD WINNER KEY POINTS TO NOTE
ICCR distinguished ideologist award Prof. Yu Long Yu For the contribution of foreign scholars to the development of Indology
Top in Global Education Rankings Singapore Primary 4 and Secondary 2 students topped both subjects in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS)
Best cities award Kolkata Kolkata is the only Indian city to receive the prestigious award. It received the award during the C40 Mayors Summit held in Mexico City.
Athlete of the Year Usain Bolt Bolt will retire next year, following the 2017 World Athletics Championships in London.
world’s 22nd most connected airport Delhi Airport Topped by Chicago Airport
International Children’s Peace Prize Kehkashan Basu
Miss Supranational 2016 Srinidhi Shetty She also won the title of Miss Asia-Oceania.
Highest French civilian Award John Kerry
First Indian to medal at Mr Olympia Iqbal Sayed The Mr Olympia amateur event held in Hong Kong.
Nature Photographer of the Year Contest La La Land ‘Best Picture’ at Critics’ Choice Awards
Best Footballer in the World Cristiano Ronaldo He has been voted the best player in the world for a fourth time.
Brazil player of the year Chapecoense goalkeeper Danilo He killed in the Colombian air crash last month
ITF World Champion Britain’s Andy Murray and Germany’s Angelique Kerber
Most Improved Player of the Year award PV Sindhu The Award conferred by  Badminton World Federation (BWF)

APPOINTMENTS

NAME DEPT/FIELD
Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn Thailand King
Shavkat Mirziyoyev Uzbekistan President
Alexander Van der Bellen Austrian President
O. Panneerselvam Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
Nana Akufo-Addo Ghana President
Adwaita Gadanayak Head National Gallery of Modern Art
Rajendra Kumar New CBDT member
Paolo Gentiloni Italian Prime Minister
Bill English New Zealand PM
Antonio Guterres UN Secretary General
Pulkit Trivedi India’s new Industry Director
Lt Gen Naveed Mukhtar Director General of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
Saina Nehwal Integrity Ambassador of Badminton World Federation (BWF)
 J Ravichandran Interim Chief of National Stock Exchange

NATIONAL ROUND-UP

  • A 1946 picture of Mahatma Gandhi with his Charkha (spinning wheel) in the foreground is among the 100 most influential images of all time.
  • Chief minister Chandrababu Naidu, who is an ambassador, will now act as the convener of a 13-member committee announced by the Union government to promote cashless transactions in India.
  • Government has launched a massive campaign to educate people about digital payments.
  • The Union Cabinet has approved Central Assistance of 2000 crore rupees for 36,384 displaced families from Pakistan occupied areas of Jammu & Kashmir (POJK) and Chhamb.
  • The Union Cabinet has given its approval for liberalization, simplification and rationalization of the existing visa regime in India.
  • The Union Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval to the negotiating position adopted by India at the recent 28th Meeting of Parties (MoP) to the Montreal Protocol in Kigali, Rwanda.
  • The Union Cabinet has given its approval for inclusion of 15 new castes and modification in 13 other castes in the Central list of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in respect of 8 states.
  • The government has issued directions prohibiting certain manufacturers from emitting a potent greenhouse gases with high global warming potential into the atmosphere.
  • Amazon recently announced that is bringing its global Startup program Launchpad to India.
  • India crossed the $300 billion foreign direct investment (FDI) milestone between April 2000 and September 2016, firmly establishing its credentials as a safe investment destination in the world.
  • Consumers will be able to buy genuine khadi products online from an e-commerce portal to be launched by the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC).
  • UGC has asked all universities and colleges across the country to launch a month-long campaign to create awareness about cashless transactions.
  • Hindi is considered as 10th most powerful language in the “World Power Language Index” published by World Economic Forum on december 2, 2016.
  • The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has issued an advisory saying it has decided to ban the use of newspapers for wrapping and packing of food items.
  • The Sardar Patel Cricket Stadium in Motera, Ahmedabad is set to become the biggest cricket stadium in the world, as far as seating capacity is concerned.
  • A nationwide toll-free helpline number “14444” will be launched soon to educate people and provide support related to cashless mode of transactions.
  • The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee marked his 81st birthday by launching a 100 Million for 100 Million Campaign organized by the Kailash Satyarthi Childrens Foundation at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
  • Ace women badminton player Saina Nehwal will be provided land by the Haryana government to set up a badminton academy in the state.
  • The Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA), Hyderabad has achieved carbon neutral status.
  • A bill stipulating up to two- year jail term and a maximum fine of Rs 5 lakh for discriminating against differently-abled persons was passed by the Rajya Sabha.
  • The Union government is planning to link entrance examinations, including the Common Admission Test (CAT) conducted by the Indian Institute of Management, the unified National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to medical colleges and the University Grants Commission’s National Eligibility Test (NET), with Aadhaar.
  • The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has banned the sale and use of glass coated thread in the entire country, including Chinese Manjha.
  • India has become the world’s fourth largest spender on defence, following a 13.1% increase in its 2016-17 defence budget.
  • India has become the first nation to subsidize the use of digital cash after the government unveiled a raft of measures including discounts on online payments for insurance policies, rail tickets and highway toll charges.

SNIPPETS FROM THE STATES

  • Himachal Pradesh Raj Bhawan would go cashless and all payments be made online.
  • Haritha Keralam, an ambitious programme envisaged by the Kerala government to make the state clean, protect its water sources and soil.
  • Union Minister of Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari has laid the foundation stones for 17 road projects at a cost of Rs 1152 cr in two functions held at Jiribam and Imphal.
  • State-run energy behemoth ONGC will set up a new ‘basin’ in Agartala by the end of next year as it looks to focus more on exploration of oil and gas in the North-East region.
  • Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandababu Naidu launched the website apedb.gov.in of the Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board (APEDB).
  • Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has launched Narmada Seva YATRA at Amarkantak. The Narmada Sewa YATRA will create awareness about the conservation of the river.
  • Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has given approval for implementation of the Rs 50-crore National Hydrology Project to be set up in the state with 100 per cent assistance from the Centre.
  • West Bengal government has announced setting up a panel for prevention of child trafficking in the wake of a child smuggling racket being unearthed in the state.
  • The Odisha government has decided to appoint one thousand Banking Correspondents in about one thousand unbanked Gram Panchayats of 107 blocks across the State.
  • The Andhra Pradesh government has launched AP Purse, a new platform to help people in the state move to cashless payments using mobile wallets.
  • Ministry of AYUSH has support the World Ayurveda Foundation is organising the 7thWorld Ayurveda Congress on December 2-4 at Science City in Kolkata.
  • The state of Nagaland on its 53rd statehood day, a state known for scenic beauty and talented citizens will take the state.
  • The Maharashtra Government has started an application named Maha Wallet to encourage the cashless transaction.
  • The Punjab government has launched its ambitious amphibious bus project at the Harike wetland near Amritsar.
  • The Karnataka government is set to launch an online portal for trading livestock, beginning with the auction of cattle and sheep.
  • Maharashtra has ranked second in the country in distribution of LED bulbs as part of country-wide campaign for reducing power consumption. Gujarat tops the list.
  • Kerala government decided to hand over 70 acres of land at zero cost in Palakkad district for setting up the permanent campus of Indian Institute of Technology.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

  • ICICI Bank has announced that it will transform 100 villages into ‘Digital Villages’ in as many days as part of its continuing effort to provide digital ecosystem across the country, including rural India.
  • The Reserve Bank of India has put withdrawal limits on bank accounts opened under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) which are funded through deposits of Specified Bank Notes (SBNs) after November 9. T
  • Central Mine Planning and Design Institute Ltd (CMPDI) the consultancy arm of Coal India Ltd., has signed a memorandum of understanding with investment banker SBI Capital Markets.
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has clarified that banks will have to bear the full liability in the event of any security breach or compromise in the authorised card network.
  • Public Sector Company MMTC will tie-up with the State Bank of India (SBI) to sell government-minted “Indian Gold Coin”.
  • Yes Bank has partnered cab aggregator Ola to set up mobile ATMs across 30 locations in the country that will allow people to withdraw up to Rs 2,000 per card.
  • Public sector player Bank of Baroda has raised Rs. 1,000 crore by issuing bonds that are compliant with global capital adequacy norms or Basel III.
  • In order to promote digital transactions across the country, government has asked banks to install 10 lakh additional Point of sale (PoS) terminals within four months.
  • The Committee on Digital Payments, headed by former Finance Secretary Ratan P. Watal, submitted its final report.
  • Minister of State ( I/C) for Youth Affairs and Sports Vijay Goel has led a Mobile and Digital Banking induction campaign for youth at Maj. Dhyanchand National Stadium.

INTERNATIONAL ROUND-UP

  • The BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries have agreed to share tax information automatically as per their commitment to ensure the fairness of the international tax system.
  • Singapore’s teens are the best in the world, according to international education survey.
  • In all three subjects, Singapore students demonstrated knowledge and skills equivalent to almost two additional years of schooling compared to students in the US, France and Sweden.
  • Regular rail service through the world’s longest tunnel began on carrying passengers deep under the Swiss Alps from Zurich to Lugano.
  • The Venezuelan government is to withdraw its largest banknote from circulation in its latest attempt to tackle the world’s worst inflation crisis.
  • Softbank Group is looking for investing partners as it assembles the world’s largest private equity fund and may connect with Apple for a small portion of the $100 billion.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi was placed at 9th position among 74 of the world’s most powerful people list released by the Forbes Magazine.
  • China has successfully launched Fengyun-4 satellite, first of its new generation weather satellites into geostationary orbit.
  • Japan’s space agency (JAXA) successfully launched a Kounotori 6 (HTV-6) spacecraft that will deliver a large magnetic tether, a space junk collector technology into orbit.
  • English has been ranked first in the top 10 most powerful languages in the world according to the 2016 World Power Language Index (PLI).
  • Researchers from the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), Delhi have found a novel route to discover new drug targets and potential drugs.
  • The South American economic bloc Mercosur has suspended Venezuela from it for violating the bloc’s democratic principles and failing to meet its basic standards.
  • Scientists from Russia have developed a new unique, low-cost method for producing high-quality nuclear fuel using electricity. It is alternative novel method that forms the basis of powder metallurgy and involves electric pulse sintering under pressure.
  • An independent panel of British scientists and experts has formally given nod to introduce so-called three-parent baby fertility treatments or mitochondrial gene therapy (MGT) procedures.

INDIA AND THE WORLD

  • Konkan 16, the 2016 edition of the annual bilateral maritime exercise between the Indian Navy and the Royal Navy, is being held till December 16 in Mumbai and Goa.
  • India and Indonesia on Monday signed three agreements following delegation-level talks here headed by Prime Minister and visiting Indonesian President Joko Widodo.
  • A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed on cooperation in the area of youth and sports. Another MoU was signed on cooperation in the area of standardisation.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will launch 83 satellites, 80 of them foreign, in one go in January. The 80 satellites weighing 500 kg, belong to Israel, Kazakhstan, Netherlands, Switzerland and the U.S.
  • The drugs technical advisory board recently recommended one-time licensing for manufacture and sales of drugs, with a rider that there be at least one annual inspection and in cases where risk is high.
  • The Union Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) has launched Winter Fog Experiment (WIFEX 2016-17) to study presence of extended periods of fog in northern parts of the country.
  • ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle successfully launched the 1235 kg RESOURCESAT-2A Satellite from Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota.
  • India International Science Festival (IISF-2016) inaugurated in New Delhi.
  • Japan has launched a cargo ship bound for the International Space Station (ISS), carrying a ‘space junk‘ collector that was made with the help of a fishnet company.
  • The Fengyun-4 satellite, the first of China’s second-generation weather satellites in geostationary orbit to have been launched, is also the country’s first quantitative remote-sensing satellite in highest orbit.
  • The Indian Space Research Organisation has roped in a consortium of six companies to deliver the country’s first industry-built spacecraft by late 2017.

IMPORTANT DAYS

DATE OBSERVED DAY
December 1  World AIDS Day
December 2  World Computer Literacy Day, International Day for the Abolition of Slavery
December 3  International Day of People with Disability or World Disability Day
December 4  Indian Navy Day
December 5  International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development
December 7  International Civil Aviation Day, Indian Armed Force Flag Day
December 9  The International Anti
Corruption Day
December 10  World Human Rights Day,International Children’s Day of Broadcasting
December 11  International Mountain Day, UNICEF Day
December 14  National Energy Conservation Day(India)

SPORTS

WINNER TITLE SPORT/ VENUE
India Women’s Asia Cup Held in Terdthai Cricket Ground, Bangkok.
Pankaj Advani World Billiards Championship Singapore
Olympian Shiva Thapa Gold in national boxing championships
Magnus Carlsen World Chess Championship 2016 He retained the title after defeating Sergey Karjakin of Russia.

OBITUARY

NAME OF THE PERSON FIELD
Fritz Weaver Actor
Sammy Lee Olympic gold medal-winning diver
J. Jayalalithaa Tamil Nadu CM
John Glenn American to Orbit Earth
Ramesh Prabhu Politician

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