Latest Current Affairs – December 26 & 27 2018
1. Govt can check online food, grocery delivery items any time: FSSAI
The FSSAI has revised its regulatory guidelines for online food and grocery delivery platforms. Under the new rules, the government can now sample the products at any point in the supply chain for quality checks. Further, the online platforms can only sell products with a shelf life of 30% or 45 days before expiry, at the time of delivery.
2. Cabinet approves plan to list six state-owned companies
The Union Cabinet headed by PM Narendra Modi has approved a plan to list six government-owned companies and dilute stake in Kudremukh Iron Ore Company. The six firms to be listed include RailTel Corporation, National Seed Corporation India and Tehri Hydro Development Corporation. The government, however, did not elaborate on the timing of the proposed share sales.
3. NASA’s 1st woman executive, ‘mother of Hubble’ passes away at 93
The first-ever woman to hold an executive position at NASA, Nancy Grace Roman, passed away at the age of 93 on December 25. Roman was the first Chief of Astronomy in the Office of Space Science at NASA Headquarters and is referred to as the ‘mother of Hubble’ telescope. She had joined NASA in 1959 and had retired in 1979.
4. Cabinet approves death penalty for ‘sexual crimes’ against minors
The Union Cabinet has approved amendments to the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, including the provision for death penalty for “committing aggravated penetrative sexual assault crime” on children. “The amendment is expected to discourage the trend of child sexual abuse…due to strong penal provisions incorporated in the Act,” the government said.
5. Barack Obama named most admired man for 11th year in a row
Former US President Barack Obama has been named the most admired man by Americans for the 11th year in a row, according to an annual poll conducted by Gallup. US President Donald Trump finished second for the fourth consecutive year. Meanwhile, Former US First Lady Michelle Obama ended Hillary Clinton’s 17-year run as most admired woman.
6. Belgium ends the year as No. 1 in FIFA global rankings
Belgium will end the year as No. 1 ahead of world champions France in the global rankings released by FIFA recently. Belgium have 1,727 points by FIFA’s calculations to 1,726 for France. Brazil are third on 1,676.
FIFA rankings 2018:
7. China launched first satellite for space-based broadband to rival Google
The satellite was launched from a Long March 11 carrier rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in north-western China. The satellite is the first in the Hongyun project planned by China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp (CASIC).
The Hongyun project, started in September 2016, aims to build a space-based communications network to provide broadband internet connectivity to users around the world, especially those in the underserved regions.
8. Manipur Assembly passed anti-mob violence bill
Manipur Assembly led by CM N Biren Singh passed the ‘Manipur Protection from Mob Violence Bill’ to reduce the number of mob lynchings in the state. The bill recommends life imprisonment for those involved in mob violence if it results in the death of a victim. The assembly also passed the Manipur Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2018 unanimously.
9. Mission Indradhanush: Indias immunisation growth rate since launch rises to four per cent
In December 2014, Mission Indradhanush was launched for a targeted approach to immunisation in India, in a bid to change the tardy annual growth rate of 1 per cent.
Between 2014 and 2018, India’s annual immunisation growth rate has risen to 4 per cent, with an unprecedented 16 per cent rise in the number of fully immunised children.
The word Indradhanush was chosen to represent the seven vaccines that were subsequently included in the Universal Immunization Program against these seven diseases – tuberculosis, poliomyelitis, hepatitis B, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus and measles.
10. India’s first music museum to be set up in Thiruvaiyaru
The country’s first music museum will be set up with assistance from the Central government in Thiruvaiyaru, Tamil Nadu, the birth place of Saint Tyagaraja, one of the Trinities of Carnatic music. The other two of the Trinity are Muthuswami Dikshitar and Syama Sastri. The Tyagaraja Aaradhana Music Festival which is held annually in January in Thiruvaiyaru attracts musical talents from all over the world.
11. InSight lander places its first instrument (SEIS) on Mars
The US space agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced that its InSight lander has deployed its first instrument Seismometer (SEIS) onto the surface of Mars, completing a major mission milestone that will allow scientists to peer into the Martian interior by studying ground motion also known as marsquakes.
The Insight will deploy two more instruments namely Rotation and Interior Structure Experiment (RISE) and Heat Probe (HP3) to study Mars’ deep interiors.
12. Union Minister Suresh Prabhu Confers Skoch Golden Jubilee Challenger Award
Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu conferred the Skoch Golden Jubilee Challenger Award at the 55th Skoch Summit in New Delhi. The Skoch Challenger Awards are the highest independently instituted civilian honors.
The Commerce and Industry Minister was awarded for his contribution to reforms, particularly in the power sector reforms.
Other Awards Conferred:
1. Skoch Chief Minister of the Year Award: Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee.
2. SKOCH Sprinter of the Year: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu.
13. Japan announces IWC withdrawal, will resume commercial whaling
Japan is withdrawing from the International Whaling Commission (IWC) and will resume commercial whaling in July 2019, in a move expected to spark international criticism.
The IWC, established in 1946 to conserve and manage the world’s whale and cetacean population, introduced a moratorium on commercial whaling in 1986.
14. Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting inducted into ICC Hall of Fame
Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting became the 25th Australian cricketer to be officially inducted into the International Cricket Council’s Hall of Fame at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
A three-time World Cup winner (including two World Cups as captain in 2003 and 2007), Ponting did a lap of honor as part of his induction during the tea break on Day-1 of the Boxing Day Test between India and Australia at MCG.
In February 2018, he was also inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame. Ponting is the highest run scorer for Australia in both Tests and ODIs, with 13,378 runs in the longest format and 13,704 runs in the 50-over format.
15. Govt extended ban on import of milk products from China for 4 months will April 23, 2019: DGFT
The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) announced the extension of the ban on import of milk and its products, including chocolates, from China for four months till April 23, 2019. The ban was first imposed in September 2008 and later extended due to the suspicion of the presence of melamine in some milk consignments from China.