Latest Current Affairs – December 14 & 15 2018
1. Ashley Giles appointed England’s director of cricket
Former England cricket team spinner Ashley Giles will succeed former captain Andrew Strauss as the managing director of England’s men’s cricket in January, the ECB has confirmed. Tom Harrison, the chief executive, described Giles as “the standout candidate amongst a very strong field”. Giles was a part of England’s 2005 Ashes-winning team.
2. NGT orders reopening of Sterlite copper plant in Tamil Nadu
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) set aside Tamil Nadu government’s order to close Vedanta’s Sterlite copper plant in Tuticorin permanently. Calling the closure “unjustifiable’, the court asked Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board to provide required clearances for opening the plant in three weeks. It also directed the company to spend Rs 100 crore over three years for welfare activities.
3. MNF leader Zoramthanga sworn in as Chief Minister of Mizoram
Mizo National Front chief Zoramthanga was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Mizoram. Zoramthanga, who has been the Chief Minister of Mizoram twice, was a close aide of MNF founder Laldenga. Zoramthanga has said that his first priorities will be to impose “a prohibition on liquor, repair roads and implement Social Economic Development Programme”.
4. Amitav Ghosh becomes first writer in English to win Jnanpith
Writer Amitav Ghosh has been conferred with the 54th Jnanpith Award, a literary award presented to an author for “outstanding contribution towards literature”. Ghosh is the first Indian writer in English to win the award. “Ghosh is a path-breaking novelist…His fiction is endowed with extraordinary depth and substance,” a statement from Bharatiya Jnanpith read.
5. Star India CEO Uday Shankar named Chairman of Star and Disney India
The Walt Disney Company has announced the appointment of Uday Shankar as Chairman of Star and Disney India, and President of The Walt Disney Company Asia Pacific. Shankar is currently President, 21st Century Fox, Asia, and Chairman and CEO of Star India. Disney agreed to buy Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox for about $52.4 billion in stock last December.
6. Ireland Parliament votes to legalise abortion
The Irish Parliament passed a bill to legalise abortions following a landmark referendum earlier this year. The legislation allows for terminations to be carried out up to the 12th week of a pregnancy, in the case of a fatal foetal abnormality or where the physical or mental health of the mother is in danger.
7. Ashok Gehlot named Rajasthan’s CM, Sachin Pilot to be Deputy CM
Senior Congress leader Ashok Gehlot will be sworn in as the Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Congress announced. The 67-year-old, who has served as the state’s Chief Minister twice, won from Sardarpura seat by defeating BJP candidate Shambhu Singh by a margin of over 40,000 votes. State Congress President Sachin Pilot has been selected as the state’s Deputy Chief Minister.
8. Kamal Nath to take oath as Madhya Pradesh CM on December 17
Congress leader Kamal Nath will take oath as the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh on December 17 at the Lal Parade Ground in Bhopal. After he was officially declared as the Chief Minister-designate, the nine-time Lok Sabha MP said, “I was not hungry for the chief minister’s post… I was hungry to get Congress back in Madhya Pradesh.”
9. Himachal passes resolution to declare cow ‘Rashtra Mata’
The Himachal Pradesh Assembly passed a resolution to declare cow as ‘Rashtra Mata (mother of the nation)’. “Cow isn’t bound to any caste, creed or religion…People abandon cows when they stop giving milk, so there is a need for such a move,” Congress MLA Anirudh Singh said. The Assembly is set to forward the resolution to the Centre.
10. IRDAI allows single personal accident cover for multiple vehicles
Customers will not have to purchase separate Compulsory Personal Accident (CPA) cover for each new vehicle they buy from January 1, IRDAI has said. Instead of a ‘bundled’ personal accident cover, vehicle owners can buy CPA cover separately. In September, the insurance regulator raised the minimum insurance cover for owner-driver to Rs 15 lakh for an annual premium of Rs 750.
11. UN honoured Indian startup ‘HelpUsGreen’
Uttar Pradesh based startup HelpUsGreen has been honored by UN for its works to clean River Ganga by recycling tonnes of floral waste. UN presented the award to the 14 other countries along with India at the Nations Climate Action award ceremony during the UN Climate Change Conference in Katowice. According to UN the startup flower cycled 11060 metric tonnes of temple waste by the women working with the startup.
12. EU parliament approves ‘world’s largest’ free trade deal with Japan
EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement will remove duties on almost all agricultural and industrial products as well as open up the service sector and procurement. It also moves to eliminate non-tariff barriers to trade.
The deal will create an open trading zone covering 635 million people and almost one-third of the world’s total GDP. Japan’s Parliament has already approved the agreement. EU businesses export €58 billion ($66 billion) in goods and €28 billion in services to Japan every year.
13. ISRO to launch GSAT-7A Communication Satellite on December 19
India will launch its latest communication satellite, GSAT-7A from Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota onboard the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle GSLV-F11 on December 19. The 2,250 kg GSAT-7A is the 35th Indian Communication satellite built by ISRO. GSAT-7A can be used by the Indian Air Force and the Indian Army.
14. Justice Tarun Agarwala appointed Securities Appellate Tribunal presiding officer
Justice Tarun Agarwala retired Chief Justice of the Meghalaya High Court appointed as the presiding officer in the Securities Appellate Tribunal, Mumbai. Justice Agarwala will remain presiding officer for a period of five years or till the age of 70 years, whichever is earlier.
The Securities Appellate Tribunal is a statutory body established under the provisions of Section 15K of the Securities and Exchange Board of India(SEBI) Act, 1992, to hear and dispose of appeals against orders passed by the SEBI or by an adjudicating officer under the Act. Justice Agarwala graduated from Allahabad University with a law degree.
15. SAIL Hockey Academy Wins Aga Khan Gold Cup Tournament
Steel Authority of India’s Hockey Academy beat Army XI Danapur to clinch the 115th All India Aga Khan Gold Cup hockey tournament held at Major Dhyan Chand hockey stadium in New Delhi. Jay Prakash Patel scored the match-winning goal for the SAIL Hockey Academy (SHA) in the final match.
16. International Cricket Council ropes in Royal Stag as official sponsor for next five years
International Cricket Council (ICC) signed a contract with Pernod Ricard India Pvt Ltd, the makers of whiskey brand Royal Stag for a five-year global partnership as an official sponsor. The size of Royal Stag’s sponsorship deal is estimated to be $5-6 million per year.
The partnership which will last until 2023 would allow Royal Stag a comprehensive presence across broadcast, digital and on-ground activations of all ICC global tournaments, including the 2019 World Cup, T20 World Cup, World Test Championship and U19 World Cup and Women’s World Cup.
17. Djokovic and Halep wins 2018 ITF world champions
Novak Djokovic and Simona Halep have been named as the 2018 International Tennis Federation (ITF) world champions by the governing body of global tennis. World number one Djokovic receives the honour from the ITF for the sixth time, while it is the first year that Romania’s top-ranked Halep has been recognized.
Djokovic had a maximum speed of 36.02kph, better than anyone else but was second to Andy Murray in terms of average speed, the Brit scoring 15.89 kph as compared to Djokovic’s 14.89 kph. Halep, the former French Open finalist, had a maximum speed with 23.04 kph while World No. 1 Angelique Kerber’s average speed at 14.27 was the highest.
18. Operation Oliva: Coast Guard launches operation to safeguard turtles
The Coast Guard launched an exercise along the serene sea waters of Gahirmatha marine sanctuary in Odisha to protect the endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles. The Coast Guard ‘Operation Oliva’ exercise as part of its annual mission to ensure the safe mid-sea sojourn of breeding Olive Ridley sea turtles.
19. National Energy Conservation Day celebrated on December 14
The main aim of National Energy Conservation Day is to create awareness among the people about the significance of our energy resources and also to minimize the energy consumption.
In India, Energy Conservation Act was implemented by Energy Efficiency Bureau (BEE) in 2001. Energy Efficiency Bureau (BEE) is a constitutional body which works under Government of India and helps in the development of policies and strategies to reduce use of energy.
20. Dam Safety Bill 2018 introduced in Lok Sabha by MoSPA&WR
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and Water Resources Arjun Ram Meghwal introduced the Dam Safety Bill 2018 in Lok Sabha. The surveillance, inspection, operation, and maintenance of specified dams for prevention of dam failure related disasters.
Constitution of a ‘National Committee on Dam Safety (NCDS)’, chaired by Chairman of CWC, to evolve dam safety policies and recommend necessary regulations. Establishment of ‘National Dam Safety Authority’(NDSA) as a regulatory body to implement the policy, guidelines and standards for dam safety in the country, Constitution of ‘State Committee on Dam Safety’ by the State Governments for proper surveillance.