Latest Current Affairs – December 10 & 11 2018
1. Myanmar to grant visa-on-arrival to Indians
Myanmar will provide visa-on-arrival to Indian tourists entering the country through the international airports of Nay Pyi Taw, Yangon and Mandalay to further people-to-people interactions, President Ram Nath Kovind said. This comes as President Kovind is on an official visit to Myanmar. President Kovind called Myanmar a key partner of India’s ‘Act East’ and ‘Neighbourhood First’ policies.
2. Anushka, Kartik named India’s Hottest Vegetarians by PETA
Actors Anushka Sharma and Kartik Aaryan have been named India’s Hottest Vegetarians of 2018 by the animal rights organisation PETA. “Their compassion means they’re as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside,” said Sachin Bangera, PETA India’s Associate Director of Celebrity and Public Relations. Rajkummar Rao, Alia Bhatt were named India’s Hottest Vegetarians by PETA last year.
3. Ex-SBI chief Bhattacharya appointed SWIFT India Chairperson
SWIFT India, the local unit of SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication), has appointed former SBI chief Arundhati Bhattacharya as its Chairperson. Bhattacharya will succeed MV Nair who retires after about 5 years of heading SWIFT India. SWIFT is a messaging network used by financial institutions to securely transmit information and instructions using a system of codes.
4. ‘The Guardians’ are TIME magazine’s Person of the Year 2018
TIME magazine has named ‘The Guardians’, a group of journalists, as its ‘Person of the Year 2018’. The group includes Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, marking the first year TIME has chosen a deceased person as ‘Person of the Year’. The others are Filipina journalist Maria Ressa, Reuters’ jailed journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, and US newspaper Capital Gazette.
5. 164 nations adopt first-ever global migration agreement
As many as 164 countries adopted the first-ever global migration pact in Morocco. The UN’s Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration aims to enhance international cooperation on migration issues. The US, Australia, Austria, Chile, Hungary and Poland are among the nations that have pulled out from the non-binding pact.
6. RBI fines Indian Bank ?1 crore for cyber security violation
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has said it imposed a fine of Rs 1 crore on state-owned Indian Bank for violating cyber security norms. The bank was penalised for failing to adhere to the guidelines and directions issued by RBI. Indian Bank said the penalty will not have any material impact on it.
7. Shaktikanta Das appointed as RBI Governor for three years
Shaktikanta Das, who was Economic Affairs Secretary when demonetisation was announced, has been appointed as the RBI’s 25th Governor for a period of three years. He is a 1980 batch IAS officer of the Tamil Nadu cadre and is currently a member of the Fifteenth Finance Commission. Das also represents India at the G-20 in the role of a sherpa.
8. Russia sends nuclear-capable bombers to Venezuela
Russia has sent two Tu-160, strategic bombers capable of carrying nuclear weapons, to Venezuela in an apparent show of support to President Nicolás Maduro’s regime. The bombers’ deployment follows Maduro’s visit to Russia last week. As per reports, the US previously considered taking military action against Venezuela, accusing Maduro of leading an “authoritarian dictatorship”.
9. MNF wins majority in Mizoram, Cong loses last foothold in Northeast
Mizo National Front (MNF) has secured the required majority of 21 seats in the 40-member Mizoram Assembly, thus it is set to come in power after 10 years. With this, Congress has lost its last foothold in the Northeastern states. So far, Congress has secured five seats and BJP has won one seat in the state Assembly.
10. Former Kerala Minister CN Balakrishnan passes away
Former Kerala Minister and senior Congress leader CN Balakrishnan passed away on Monday after his health deteriorated due to pneumonia. Balakrishnan served as the Cooperation and Khadi Minister in the Oommen Chandy government. He was also the Thrissur District Congress Committee president for 17 years and a long-standing aide of former Kerala CM K Karunakaran.
11. France declares emergency amid ‘yellow vest’ protests
French President Emmanuel Macron declared a state of “social and economic” emergency amid the ongoing ‘yellow vest’ protests in the country. Macron announced a monthly increase in the minimum wage by €100. He also announced to cancel taxes on overtime labour and introduce special tax exemptions for pensioners earning less than €2,000 per month.
12. NTPC aims maximal utilisation of fly ash produced at its stations
Fly ash, a by-product of coal, can be effectively utilised in the cement industry, bricks industry, road embankment, mine filling, land development and is also a source of micro and macro-nutrients in agriculture. NTPC uses fly ash produced at its power stations and works toward its sustainable utilisation by deriving maximum usage.
13. Scientists find ecosystem below Earth twice as big as oceans
A global team of scientists has discovered ecosystem below the Earth that is almost twice as big as its oceans. Deep Carbon Observatory researchers, who are nearing the end of a 10-year-long study, examined samples from undersea drilling sites and boreholes more than five km deep. This subterranean ecosystem is estimated to contain 15-23 billion tonnes of micro-organisms, scientists added.
14. Centre rejects separate religion tag for Lingayats
The Cente has rejected Karnataka government’s request to recognise Lingayat as a separate religion. In a letter to Karnataka High Court, the Centre said that the Lingayat community “has always been classified under Hindus ever since 1871 census”. The letter further said that scheduled caste communities of Lingayat sect would lose all benefits if it becomes a separate religion.
15. Railway employee conferred Sahitya Akademi Award for novel
An employee of Indian Railways, Shyam Sundar Besra, has been conferred with the Sahitya Akademi Award 2018 for his novel ‘Marom’. Written in Santhali language, the book is based on natural, social, economic and political conditions of Santhal Pargana, a statement from Ministry of Railways read. Besra works as the Chief Inspector of Ticket in Asansol Division of Eastern Railway.
16. RBI Governor Urjit Patel quits citing personal reasons
RBI Governor Urjit Patel resigned from his post citing personal reasons, effective immediately. “It has been my privilege and honour to serve in the Reserve Bank of India in various capacities over the years. The support and hard work of RBI staff, officers and management have been the proximate driver of Bank’s accomplishments in recent years,” he said.
17. Vijay Mallya to be extradited to India, says UK court
A UK court ruled that 62-year-old fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya will be extradited to India in Rs 9,000 crore loan default case. Mallya, who left India in March 2016, challenged his extradition on grounds of “human rights conditions” in Indian jails in the past. “I’ve offered to repay 100% of the principal amount…Please take it,” Mallya tweeted earlier.
18. India successfully test-fires nuclear-capable Agni-5
Indigenously developed surface-to-surface nuclear-capable ballistic missile Agni-5, which has a strike range of 5,000 km, has been successfully test-fired from Dr Abdul Kalam Island off the Odisha coast. According to reports, this is the seventh trial of the missile. Agni-5, unlike others in the series, is the most advanced in terms of navigation and guidance, warhead and engine, officials said.