Latest Current Affairs – December 28 & 29 2018
1. Modric beats Djokovic to win Balkan athlete of the year award
Croatia captain Luka Modric was named Balkan Athlete of the Year, becoming only the second footballer to clinch the award after ex-Bulgaria footballer Hristo Stoichkov in 1994. The 33-year-old received 75 points in the poll, beating Serbia’s world number one tennis player Novak Djokovic, who topped the annual poll five times in a row between 2011 and 2015.
2. IndiGo worst performing airline for consumers: Parliamentary panel
A Parliamentary Standing Committee led by Derek O’Brien has said that India’s largest airline IndiGo is the “worst-performing” carrier for consumers. “IndiGo has not responded despite many complaints. The airline is very rigid. Indigo even charges for 1-2 kg overweight of baggage,” O’Brien said. The same committee had criticised IndiGo in January for “discourteous and rude behaviour” of its staff.
3. Israel Parliament votes to dissolve government
Israel’s Parliament, the Knesset, voted 102-2 to dissolve the government, triggering early general elections for April 9, 2019. Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu announced earlier this week his decision to disband his coalition. Netanyahu would be contesting the polls amid allegations of corruption against him and his wife.
4. Lok Sabha passes bill to make instant Triple Talaq criminal offence
The Lok Sabha has passed the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2018, following a debate. The bill proposes to make the method of Muslim men instantly divorcing their wives by uttering “Talaq” thrice as “unconstitutional” and “arbitrary” and suggests a three-year jail term to husbands who follow the method. It will now be presented in Rajya Sabha.
5. HDFC Group overtakes Tata Group as India’s largest business house
HDFC Group has overtaken Tata Group to become India’s largest business house in terms of market value. The combined market capitalisation of five listed companies from HDFC Group stood at ?10.4 lakh crore as of December 26, according to Bloomberg data. This was higher than the ?10.38 lakh crore market value of 25 listed companies of the Tata Group.
6. Railways develops AI robot ‘USTAAD’ to check for faults
Railways has developed an artificial intelligence-powered robot to check for faults in trains called USTAAD, which stands for ‘Undergear Surveillance Through Artificial Intelligence Assisted Droid’. The robot examines parts of coaches in real time with an HD camera and transmits them over Wi-Fi. “The camera…can be rotated in any direction as per command given by the engineers,” Railways said.
7. Telangana, Andhra to have separate High Courts from Jan 1
Telangana and Andhra Pradesh will have separate High Courts from January 1, 2019. President Ram Nath Kovind issued orders stating that Andhra Pradesh will have a separate HC which will function from Amravati, the capital of the state. Since the bifurcation of the state on June 2, 2014, Andhra and Telangana have had a common HC at Hyderabad.
8. Russia successfully tests new hypersonic nuclear missile
Russia successfully tested the new hypersonic missile system Avangard, which is capable of carrying nuclear and conventional warheads. Russian President Vladimir Putin hailed the successful launch and said that the new missile system will be deployed in 2019. Putin had earlier said the missile could hit almost any point in the world and evade a US-built missile shield.
9. Ex-Governor Bimal Jalan to lead RBI’s panel on excess reserves
The RBI has appointed former Governor Bimal Jalan as the Chairman of the Economic Capital Framework committee formed to address the issue of RBI reserves. The committee will submit its report within a period of 90 days from the date of its first meeting. The six-member panel also includes RBI Deputy Governor NS Vishwanathan and Economic Affairs Secretary SC Garg.
10. PV Bharathi appointed MD and CEO of Corporation Bank
PV Bharathi has been appointed as the Managing Director (MD) and CEO of state-run Corporation Bank. Bharathi, who currently serves as Executive Director in Canara Bank, will take over charge on or after February 1, 2019, and remain in the post till March 31, 2020. Further, Birupaksha Mishra was appointed as Executive Director in Corporation Bank.
11. Dale Steyn becomes South Africa’s highest wicket-taker in Test cricket
Fast bowler Dale Steyn has become the highest wicket-taker for South Africa in Test cricket, achieving the feat by dismissing Pakistan opener Fakhar Zaman in the first Test at Centurion on Wednesday. Playing in his 89th Test, the 35-year-old overtook former South Africa captain Shaun Pollock, who had taken 421 wickets in 108 Tests.
12. Thailand 1st Southeast Asian nation to legalise medical marijuana
Thailand has become the first Southeast Asian nation to legalise the use of marijuana for medical use and research. The junta-appointed parliament voted 166-0 to amend the Narcotic Act of 1979 to legalise the medicinal use of marijuana. Marijuana was used in Thailand to relieve pain and fatigue until its use was criminalised in the country in the 1930s.
13. Padma Shri winner who helped deliver 15k babies for free dies at 98
Padma Shri awardee Sulagitti Narasamma, who helped deliver over 15,000 babies free of charge in rural Karnataka has passed away aged 98 in Bengaluru on Tuesday. She suffered from a chronic lung disease and had been placed on ventilator support for five days. She is survived by four sons, three daughters and as many as 36 grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
14. Bahuda Rookery is developed as another Olive Ridley Nesting Site in Odisha
Odisha forest department has started preparing the beach at the Bahuda river mouth in Ganjam district to lure the endangered turtles to come over for mass nesting next year. The Bahuda rookery is located around 20 km to the south of Rushikulya rookery coast, a major mass nesting site of olive ridleys on the Indian coastline.
15. GHMC is awarded the Best Capital City in the Swachh Survekshan 2018 rankings
The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has been awarded Best Capital City in the Solid Waste Management in the Swachh Survekshan 2018 rankings. Swachh Survekshan was launched by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) under Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban). The Swachh Survekashan survey ranks cities on various sanitation parameters. The GHMC was also at the 27th place among 4,041 cities.
16. Air Marshal Rajeev Sachdeva takes over as Deputy Chief of Integrated Defense Staff Operations
Defense Ministry appointed Air Marshal Rajeev Sachdeva who had served in three out of four wings of Integrated Defense Staff (IDS) headquarters as the Deputy Chief of Integrated Defense Staff (Operations). Air Marshal Sachdeva was commissioned as an Indian Air Force pilot in December 1981 and has logged over 7200 hours of transport and instructional flying experience. Apart from being a Category ‘A’ flying instructor, he has also held some of the prestigious appointments in Air Force, Joint Services and National Technical Research Organization (NTRO).
17. Madhya Pradeshs Divya Patidar Joshi crowned Mrs. India 2018 title in New Delhi
Divya Patidar Joshi from Madhya Pradesh was crowned with Mrs. India 2018 title at the Mrs. India My Identity Beauty Pageant 2018 finale held in New Delhi. She defeated 24 promising contestants and won all the rounds of Beauty with Brain contest along with Best Cat Walk title.
18. Study says Ganges River Dolphins decreases as the salinity increases
A recent study covering 100 km of rivers and channels around the Sunderbans found that an increase in salinity in the water system has resulted in a decrease in population of the Ganges River Dolphins in the region. It also said that the national aquatic animal is no longer sighted in the central and eastern parts of the archipelago. The species are available only in the western part of Sunderbans, where the salinity is lower.
Ganges River Dolphins has been classified as endangered by the IUCN Red List. The species was once found in tributaries of the Ganga in West Bengal. Researchers and experts said the sighting of the dolphin has dipped over the years in the 534-km stretch from Farakka Barrage to Sunderbans.
19. Madhya Pradesh Declares Kuno as National Park
Madhya Pradesh State government has declared Kuno wildlife sanctuary as a national park in compliance with the last condition imposed by a Supreme Court-appointed committee for the much awaited ‘translocation of Asiatic lions from Gir in Gujarat.’ The move is expected to pave way for translocation of lions from Gir in Gujarat to Kuno.
20. Dwijing Festival Begins in Assam
In Assam, the third Dwijing Festival begun on the bank of Aye river at Chirang district. Around 15 lakh tourists will participate in the festival. Assam PHE minister Rihon Daimary inaugurated the festival in presence of several dignitaries.
Chief Minister Sarbanand Sonowal will attend the event. Adventure sports, food mart, cultural events, traditional games are being organized in the 12-day long event.
21. Modi Government banned Khalistan Liberation Force under UAPA
The government has banned Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) for its involvement in killing of innocent people and police officers, several bombings on civilian targets in India, collection of funds for terror activities through extortion, kidnappings, bank robberies and assassination attempts of important government functionaries.
The outfit has been banned under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (UAPA). The KLF came into existence in 1986 with the objective of establishing an independent Khalistan by secession of Punjab from India “through violent means”.
22. India pips China in FDI inflows for the first time in 20 years
According to data from Dealogic, a global Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) and capital markets data provider, India has been getting more foreign investment than its neighbor China for the first time in two decades.
In 2018, India whose financial market is supported by stable fundamentals, a bankruptcy code and fresh opportunities in sunrise sectors, saw more than $38 billion of inbound deals compared with China’s $32 billion. China, which has historically been the favorite for emerging market bets, is facing slowdown nowadays because of its trade standoff with the United States.