December 2015 Current Affairs Study Material. (for the Study Material International,India & World, National, States, Conferences,Awards & Honours, Sports & Games, Economy, Science & Technology,Persons in News,Places in news and more..
December 2015 Current Affairs Study Material
Mahatma Gandhi International Centre in Sri Lanka
The President of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena inaugurated the Mahatma Gandhi International Centre (MGIC) in Matale, Sri Lanka. The center was inaugurated as a tribute to the contribution of Mahatma Gandhi to humanity and the continuing relevance of his principles and philosophy to mankind. It was funded under the Indian government’s Development Cooperation Partnership with Sri Lanka.
German military aid to fight ISIS in Syria
The German Cabinet on 1 December 2015 approved a mandate offering military assistance to back the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Syria. The move is aimed at supporting France and the international alliance in its fight against the organisation. The mandate is for one year at a cost of 134 million euros (142 million dollars) and can be extended next year.
Paris pact on Water and Climate Change Adaptation
A broad coalition of nations, river basin organisations, business and civil societies from across the globe on 3 December, 2015 announced the Paris Pact on Water and Climate Change Adaptation. It aims to make water systems which are very foundation of sustainable human development more resilient to climate change impacts. It also seeks at promoting financial sustainability and new investment in water system management. The announcement was made as part of the ‘Water Resilience Focus’ event under the Lima to Paris Action Agenda (LPAA) on climate change.
President of Argentina – Mauricio Macri Blanco
On 10th December 2015, Mauricio Macri Blanco was sworn in as the President of Argentina by replacing Cristina Elisabet Fernandez de Kirchner. Macri is the leader of the centre-right Cambiemos (Let’s Change) coalition. Earlier to this appointment, since December 2007, he held the office of government of Buenos Aires, the capital city of Argentina.
Afghanisthan joins World Trade Organisation
Afghanisthan has joined the World Trade Organisation (WTO) calling it historic membership to boost the war-torn nations economy and build peace. The WTO has formally approved Afghanisthan’s membership at it’s 10th ministerial conference in the kenyan Capital Nairobi, Afghansthan has become the 164th WTO member and the 36th least developed country (LDC) to join the global trade body after 11 years of negotiations. Now Bhutan is the only SAARC member which has so far not joined the multilateral trade body.
INDIA & WORLD
Railways inks pact for loco factories
The Railways has signed two contract agreements with US based GE and France based Alstom to set up locomotive factories in Bihar’s Marhowra and Madhepura districts respectively with a aim of boosting manufacturing and employment in the state. The contract valued at Rs. 40,000 crore, is spread over 10 years. The agreement was signed in the presence of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu. The pact also marks the first big FDI in the railway sector.
MoU between India and Iran on visa facilitation
The Union Cabinet on 2 December 2015 approved the signing of the agreement between India and Iran on visa facilitation for Diplomatic, Official/Service and Ordinary passport holders. As per the agreement, on presentation of an official note by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stating the purpose of the visit, a non-extendable gratis entry visa will be issued within three working days, with a validity of up to fifteen days, to political authorities and officials travelling for specific bilateral purposes or to participate in a conference or seminar.
India and South Korea MoU on taxation treaty
India and South Korea have inked a new memorandum of understanding (MoU) on suspension of collection of taxes during pendency of mutual agreement procedure. This MoU will relieve the burden of double taxation for taxpayers in both the countries during the pendency of Mutual Agreement Procedure (MAP) proceedings. Besides, both countries also have agreed that transfer pricing dispute cases will be taken up for MAP under the revised Double Tax Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) between India and Korea.
Union Cabinet approves MoU between India and UK in energy sector
The Union Cabinet approved for signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on cooperation between India and United Kingdom in the energy sector. The MoU will provide a framework for technical assistance in the energy sector along with in-kind grant and other support through relevant projects initiated by UK. The programme under MoU would help to improve energy security and reliability of supply at both centre and state levels. It would also improve energy access and facilitate sustainable economic growth. The main focus will be on the electricity market structure and the integration of renewable energy into the grid. The MoU also includes the integration of renewable energy into the grid. It includes off-shore wind energy and solar energy and Tidal energy.
Construction work TAPI gas pipeline project begins
The construction work of 1800-kilometre-long Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project has been started at the ancient city of Mary of Turkmenistan. The function was attended by Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Indian Vice President Mohd Hamid Ansari. TAPI gas pipeline project is a proposed trans-country natural gas pipeline from Caspian Sea, Turkmenistan to India through Afghanistan and Pakistan.
NHAI approved pilot project on greenbelts
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has approved a pilot project for developing greenbelts along the national highways (NHs). The project was submitted by National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), Nagpur for undertaking scientific studies on designing greenbelts along national highways. The project will be implemented on a 5 Km stretch on NH-7 in Nagpur region at an estimated cost of Rs. 11.80 crore.
Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV) injection
As part of Global Polio Endgame strategy, India has launched Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV) in New Delhi. The vaccine was launched by the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare J P Nadda. The launching of IPV would enable children to get double protection from polio i.e. orally and in the form of injection. IPV and OPV together will further strengthen the children’s immune system and will provide double protection against polio. IPV injection will be given to children below one year of age along with the third dose of the Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) at the routine immunization sessions free of cost.
Indian Railways flags off first double decker
Indian Railways has flagged off the first inaugural service of the Goa to Mumbai double-decker air-conditioned Shatabdi train. The fully air conditioned double-decker train was the first of its kind in the country and was flagged off from Panaji by Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu. The train will run thrice a week between Margao Railway Station and the Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT) in Mumbai. It has total eight compartments with a seating capacity of 120 in each compartment.
Commemorative coins on Dr B R Ambedkar
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has released 2 commemorative coins on Dr B R Ambedkar as part of the 125th birth anniversary year celebrations of B R Ambedkar. The coins are of 10 rupee and 125 rupee denomination and were issued on the 60th Mahaparinirvan Divas of Babasaheb Ambedkar.
Union Cabinet approved Amendments in the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950
Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 16 Decemeber 2015 gave its approval for introduction of a Bill in the Parliament for Amendments in the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950. The bill seeks to modify the list of Scheduled Castes in respect of Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Kerala, Odisha and West Bengal and in the Central List of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) of Chhattisgarh, Haryana and Kerala consequent upon inclusion of certain castes or parts thereof in the lists of Scheduled Castes. After the Bill becomes an Act, members of the communities included in the list of Scheduled Castes will be able to derive benefits meant for Scheduled Castes under the existing schemes like Post Matric Scholarship, National Overseas Scholarship, Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship and others. They will also be entitled to the benefits of reservation in services and admission to educational institutions.
Broad gauge rail line in Assam
Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has inaugurated the land mark Silchar-Lumding broad gauge rail line in the state of Assam. The rail lines brings Assam’s under developed Barak Valley on the broad gauge map. The Lumding-Silchar broad gauge line project under Northeast Frontier Railway was sanctioned in 1996-97 and was declared a National Project in 2004.
Maharashtra is the biggest economy in India
The latest report by credit rating agency Brickwork Ratings said that Maharashtra is the biggest economy in India at Rs. 16.87 lakh crore in terms of gross state domestic product (GSDP). Maharashtra is followed by Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh. Maharashtra’s GSDP has grown by 11.69 per cent for the financial year ended March 31, 2015. Maharashtra earns approximately 70 per cent of its total receipts through tax revenue.
First International festival on Birds in Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh Government has launched International festival on Birds to promote state as an international bird-watching destination. The three-day international festival (from 4 to 6 December 2015) on birds was inaugurated by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav at the National Chambal Sanctuary (NCS) in Agra. It has been jointly organised by the State Forest department in collaboration with Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI). Over 80 Indian ornithlogists and around 25 top international bird experts and are participating in the first-of-its-kind festival.
NGT bans registration of new diesel-run vehicles in Delhi
National Green Tribunal (NGT) has ordered ban on registration of new diesel-run vehicles in Delhi to curb the growing menace of air pollution in the capital city. The ban on registration of new diesel vehicles will be valid till 6th January 2016. NGT also ordered the central and state government to stop buying diesel cars in Delhi.
Delhi became first state to implement Road Safety recommendations
To deal with traffic violations in the city, the Delhi Traffic Police decided to start implementing recommendations of the Supreme Court appointed committee chaired by Justice KS Radhakrishnan from 15 December 2015 onwards. With this decision, Delhi Traffic Police is the first in the country to implement the directions of the Supreme court appointed three-member committee on Road Safety. Expected Effects of implementation include Suspension of driving licences for three months and other fines for drunken driving, over-speeding, using mobile phone while driving, and carrying passengers in goods vehicles. Fines for first offence and subsequent offences in case of over speeding will be 400 rupees and 1000 rupees respectively and others.
27th ASEAN leaders Summit 2015
27th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders summit held in Kaula Lumpur, Malaysia. This summit was chaired by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. In this summit, the leaders of 10 nations grouping signed a declaration for launching ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) like European Union. The declaration was signed in front of United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
China hosts 1st BRICS media summit
China hosted the first Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS) media summit in Beijing for creating an alternative media platform for the 5 emerging economies. 25 media organisations participated in the 2 day summit which aimed to create a new institutional framework to benefit the media of five emerging economies of BRICS grouping. In the first summit, leaders of 25 Media organisations from the 5 BRICS countries pitched for building consensus to deal with climate change, terrorism,and other key global issues.
26th Conference of Southern Zonal Council held in Vijayawada
The 26th Conference of Southern Zonal Council (SZC) was held on 12 December 2015 at Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh. The conference was chaired by the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. The conference was attended by Ministers of five states-Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala and Puducherry. The five states and Puducherry together form the Southern Zonal Council. The conference deliberated issues of common interest to the members of the council such as peninsular region industrial corridor, coastal security, introduction of peninsular tourism trains and finalisation of inter-State reciprocal transport agreement. Some other substantial issues of Centre State and Inter-State matters were also discussed in the conference.
Combined Commanders Conference on INS Vikramaditya
Combined Commanders Conference, an annual triservices event chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was held on board INS Vikramaditya about 50 kms off Kochi coast. This is the first time when the conference was held outside New Delhi. It was attended by Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval, all three services chiefs and other senior officers of three armed services. The Conference is also known as the Unified Commanders’ Conference (UCC). During this conference India’s defence policy, doctrine and operational challenges are discussed in detail. Prime minister also reviewed exercise like firing of surface-to-surface missile by INS Nirghat during this conference. Prior to conference PM revived the tri-services guard of honour at Southern Naval Command.
14th Meeting of Heads of Governments of SCO Member
The 14th Meeting of the Heads of Governments (Prime Ministers) of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Member States on Regional Economic Cooperation was held in Zhengzhou, China. Key discussions include : Exchanged views on a wide range of issues of international and regional economic growth. Discussed prospects and measures for improving economic and humanitarian cooperation for further strengthening of mutual understanding and traditional friendship between peoples of the SCO member states. Leaders issued a joint statement on regional economic cooperation which emphasized the importance of China’s One Belt, One Road initiative for developing infrastructure in the region.
AWARDS & HONOURS
E-India Award for Delhi Development Authority
The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) was on 1 December 2015 awarded with the E-India award for adopting technology to serve the public and using resources efficiently through mobile applications. The award was given under the category of Digital India IT Initiatives for extraordinary IT initiatives in the field of land protection and engineering projects.
Violinist L Subramaniam honoured with ITC Sangeet Samman
Renowned violinist Lakshminarayana Subramaniam was honoured with the Sangeet Samman at the ITC Sangeet Sammelan 2015 held on 4 December 2015 at the Victoria Memorial Hall, Kolkata. The artist is known for his virtuoso playing techniques and compositions in orchestral fusion. Subramaniam has been awarded with the Lifetime Achievement Award by Limca Book of Records in 2012. He also won the President’s Award for Best Violinist, All India Radio in 1963. In 2001, the renowned violinist was honoured with the Padma Bhushan.
Indian-American Frank Islam selected for 2015 Uttar Pradesh Ratna Award
Indian-American entrepreneur and philanthropist Frank Islam has been selected for the prestigious 2015 Uttar Pradesh Ratna Award. He has been chosen for this award in recognition of his achievements and outstanding contributions in a foreign country. He will be bestowed upon with award by UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav at the inaugural UP Pravasi Diwas on January 4, 2016 in Agra. In 1994, he had founded an Information Technology (IT) firm the QSS with him as the sole employee. Later the company employed more than 2,000 employees and its sales was US 300 million dollars before it was sold in 2007. Currently, he heads the FI Invest Group a firm that he established after selling his IT Company.
Wipro won 2015 Aegis Graham Bell Award
Global software giant Wipro on 11 December 2015 won the 2015 Aegis Graham Bell Award for developing a solution for the Internet of Things (IoT). Wipro’s IoT solution, Universal Data Parser (UDP), fetched the prestigious award. The Aegis School of Business established the Aegis Graham Bell Awards as a tribute to the father of the telephony, Sir Alexander Graham Bell. The award is intended to promote innovation, entrepreneurship in the field of Telecom, Internet, Media & Edutainment (TIME) and to provide recognition for outstanding contributions in this field in India.
Dilip Kumar conferred with Padma Vibhushan
Legendary actor Dilip Kumar has been conferred with the prestigious Padma Vibhushan, country’s second highest civilian award. It was bestowed upon him by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis at his residence in Mumbai, Maharashtra. Union Government had selected veteran actor for the Padma Vibhushan on the eve of 66th Republic Day. He is famously known as Tragedy King. He also won the Padma Bhushan (1991), Dadasaheb Phalke Award (1994), Pakistan’s highest civilian award Nishan-e-Imtiaz (1998) and Guinness World Record for winning the maximum number of awards by an Indian actor.
Pranab received Garwood Award
President Pranab Mukherjee on 17th December received Garwood Award for Outstanding Global Leader in Open Innnovation from US Berkeley – Haas Business school of California at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi. The award was presented to the president for taking initiative of hosting and gathering global innovators on the inclusive innovations at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
SPORTS & GAMES
15th World Snooker Title for Pankaj Advani
Ace Indian Cueist Pankaj Advani won the IBSF World Snooker Championship. He defeated China’s Xingtong by 8-6 score. This is the 15th World Title for Pankaj. He also became the first person in history to won both the Billiards and Snooker World Titles in the same year.
India won 2015 Men’s Junior Asia Hockey Cup
Indian men’s junior hockey team won the eight edition of Men’s Junior Asia Hockey Cup. In the finals held in Malaysia India defeated Pakistan with 6-2 goals. Harmanpreet Singh of Indian team scored highest four goals in the finals. South Korea won the bronze medal by defeating Japan in this tourney. Eight international teams participated in the 8th junior Asia Hockey cup.
Hockey World League Final winner Australia
Australia has won the 2014-15 Men’s Hockey World League Final by defeating Belgium. In the final match played at Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel Stadium, Raipur Australian team defeated Belgium by 2-1 goals. India was placed at third place in this league after defeating Netherlands by 3-2 goals in the penalty shoot-out.
New IPL teams – Pune, Rajkot
Teams from Pune and Rajkot will compete in the Indian Premier League (IPL) replacing the suspended Chennai Superkings and Rajasthan Royals for a period of two years. The Pune franchise was bought by New Rising, Kolkata based Sanjeev Goenka Group while the Rajkot franchise was won by Intex Mobiles. A meeting of the IPL Governing Council finalised the IPL-9 dates between April 9 to May 29, 2016.
Elizabeth won gold in 59th National Shooting Championships
On 11th December 2015, the Women’s 50m Rifle 3 Positions Gold at the 59th National Shooting Championships was won by Kerala’s Elizabeth Susan Koshy. She won the first gold for Kerala in the 2015 National Games women’s 50m Rifle Prone event. She represented India in the 2013 and 2014 World Cups and won silver in the Asian Shooting Championships. Anjum Moudgil from Haryana bagged the silver medal while Gaayathri N of Tamil Nadu settled for the bronze.
RBI keeps key rates unchanged
In it’s fifth bi-monthly monetary policy statement, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 1 December, 2015 kept key rates-repo and CRR unchanged. RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan left the benchmark interest rate, the repo rate unchanged at 6.75 per cent and the CRR at 4 per cent. RBI set to achieve its target of getting inflation down at 6 per cent by January and is aiming to reduce the number further to 5 per cent by March 2017.
World Bank launches Transformative Carbon Asset Facility
The World Bank has launched a 500 million dollars Transformative Carbon Asset Facility (TCAF) to help developing countries pay for emission reductions and combat climate change. The scheme will reward countries for reducing emissions by paying a fee for each tonne of carbon dioxide (CO2) reduced. Of the total 500 million dollars, Germany, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland have jointly pledged an initial 250 million dollars investment.
United Nations Human Development Report 2015
The United Nations Human Development Report 2015 was released on 14 December 2015 with the title Work for Human Development in Ethiopia. As per the report, 2 billion people lifted out of low human development in last 25 years. In the 2015 report, India with a score of 0.609 has been ranked 130 out of 188 countries in terms of Human Development Index (HDI). In the 2014 report, India was ranked 135 out of 187 countries. With better health and education outcomes and reductions in extreme poverty, 2 billion people have moved out of low human development levels in the last 25 years. 830 million people are classified as working poor who live on under 2 US dollars a day. The report stresses the key roles that work can play in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). It estimates that around 45 million additional health workers will be needed to meet SDG.
World bank approves loan for swach bharat abhiyan
The World Bank has approved a loan of 1.5 billion dollars to support the Central government’s flagship cleanliness drive Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). The loan disbursed over a five year period will be used for the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) Support Operation Project. Funds will also be used to develop the capacity of MDWS in programme management, advocacy, monitoring and evaluation. The World Bank will also provide a parallel 25 million dollars technical assistance to build the capacity of select state governments in implementing community led behavioural change programmes targeting social norms to help ensure wide spread usage of toilets by rural households.
NSE launches three new group indices
The National Stock Exchange (NSE) has launched three separate indices on three corporate houses of India viz. Tata, Aditya Birla and Mahindra Group. The first of its kind three separate indices based on corporate houses have been designed to reflect the performance of companies belonging to the respective corporate group. Each of three indices will comprise all the companies of the respective business group. Nifty Tata Group Index: It includes 25 companies across 12 sectors with a total market capitalisation of 7.51 lakh crore rupees. It represents 7.83 per cent of the total market capitalisation of companies listed on the NSE. Nifty Aditya Birla Group Index: It consists of eight companies across seven sectors with the market capitalisation of 2.08 lakh crore rupees. It represents 2.17 per cent of the total market capitalisation of companies listed on the NSE. Nifty Mahindra Group Index: It consists of seven companies with a market capitalisation of about 1.64 lakh crore rupees. It represents 1.71 percent of the total market capitalisation of companies listed on NSE.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Supersonic interceptor AAD missile test fired successfully
India has successfully test fired it’s indigenously developed supersonic interceptor missile which is capable of destroying any incoming ballistic missile, from a test range off Odisha Coast. The interceptor named as Advanced Air Defence (AAD) missile, is a 7.5 metre long single stage solid rocket propelled guided missile equipped with a navigation system, a hi-tech computer and an electro-mechanical activator.
Interceptor boat ICGS C-422 Commissioned
Interceptor boat ‘ICGS C-422’ was commissioned into Indian Coast Guard to further enhance its vigil along Pondicherry and South Tamil Nadu coast in the Bay of Bengal. ICGS C-422 is the 36th interceptor boat to be inducted into the Coast Guard service. The boat is capable of multiple tasks including interdiction, surveillance and search and rescue.
First IVF puppies in US
Scientists in the US have created the world’s first litter of puppies concived in a test tube, a breakthrough that may help eradicate disease in dogs and humans. The advance through in vitro fertilisation (IVF) opens the door for conserving endangered canid species, using gene editing technologies to eradicate heritable diseases in dogs and for study of genetic diseases.
World’s first dengue vaccine – Dengvaxia
The Mexican authorities on 9 December 2015 approved the use of the first-ever vaccine against dengue fever, “ Dengvaxia” which will be publicly available for the first time. The Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risks (COFEPRIS) approved Dengvaxia for the prevention of disease caused by all four dengue virus serotypes in preadolescents, adolescents and adults, 9 to 45 years of age living in endemic areas. According to a World Health Organization (WHO) report published in late 2014, the vaccine had an average rate of effectiveness of about 60.8 percent in protecting against the four strains of dengue now circulating.
ISRO successfully launched PSLV-C29
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully placed six commercial satellites from Singapore in their dedicated orbits. These satellites were launched using Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C29) from the first launch pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. This successful launch coincides with the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Singapore in year 2015. The major payload was TeLEOS-One remote sensing satellite weighing 400 kg. It would be used for urban planning and disaster monitoring of Singapore. The other five satellites included two micro satellites and one nano satellite. These satellites are VELOX-CI (123 kg), VELOX-II (13 kg) 6U-Cubesat technology demonstrator, Athenoxat-1, Kent Ridge-1 (78 kg) and Galassia (3.4 kg) 2U-Cubesat.
PERSONS IN NEWS
Dr Henk Bekedam -WHO representative to India
Senior World Health Organisation (WHO) public health specialist Dr. Henk Bekedam has taken charge as the new WHO representative to India. He has worked for 19 years with WHO as its representative in China and Egypt, Director of Health Sector Development in the WHO Western Pacific Region office in Manila.
Sir Venkatraman Ramakrishnan assumed Presidency of the Royal Society
Sir Venkatraman Ramakrishnan on 1 December 2015 assumed Presidency of the Royal Society in London. He was elected to the office in March 2015 by the society’s council and will serve for up to five years. With this appointment, he became the 61st president of the society.
Prakash Kumar Singh is new SAIL chairman
Prakash Kumar Singh has been appointed as the new chairman of the Steel Authority of India (SAIL). P K Singh was chosen to become the chairman of the country’s largest steelmaker in the public sector by govern-ment head-hunter Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB). The post of permanent chairman in the company has been lying vacant since incumbent CS Verma was refused an extension by the government in June.
Ahmad Javed as Indian Ambassador to saudi Arabia
Mumbai Police commissioner Ahmad Javed has been appointed Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, which has a 2.8 million-strong Indian community. He is expected to take up his assignment shortly as Javed is scheduled to retire on January 31, 2016. Ahmad Javed is the IPS officer of 1980 batch from Maharashtra Cadre. He had recently replaced Rakesh Maria as the Mumbai Police commissioner.
Karnataka Lokayukta resigns
Facing the prospect of his removal, controversial Karnataka Lokayukta Justice Y. Bhaskar Rao has resigned over an alleged extortion racket in the antigraft ombudsman’s office involving his son. Rao is on a long leave since July last after his son was arrested by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) in connection with the case.
Prakash Kumar Singh is new SAIL chairman
Prakash Kumar Singh has been appointed as the new chairman of the Steel Authority of India (SAIL). P K Singh was chosen to become the chairman of the country’s largest steel maker in the public sector by government head-hunter Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB).
Latvia’s Prime Minister resigned
Latvia’s first female Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma announced her resignation on 7 December 2015. Straujuma’s resignation came after she fired the transport minister in November 2015, sparking rumours of discontent within the centre-right Cabinet that took office in January 2014. Until a new government is chosen by the Latvia parliament, Straujuma will head the three-party coalition that includes centre-right Unity party, the Greens and Farmers party and the far-right National Alliance in a caretaker capacity.
Japanese tamil scholar Noboru Karashima passed away
Distinguished Japanese historian of South India and South Asia Noboru Karashima (82) passed away. He is credited with playing a critical role in developing Indo-Japan cultural ties. He was a tamil scholar and was president of International Association of Tamil Research (IATR) from 1989 to 2010. He was president of Japan Association for South Asian Studies from 1996 to 2000.
Chettinad Group founder MAM Ramaswamy passed away
Veteran industrialist, former parliamentarian and the founder of Chettinad Group, MAM Ramaswamy died on 2 December, 2015 in Chennai. The Chettinad Group has diverse interests in cement, granite, engineering among others. He was the first to enter the Guinness Book of World Records for having won 100 Classics in Horse racing. He was the Member of Parliament representing Karnataka in the Rajya Sabha.
Farmer’s leader and Agro-economist Sharad Joshi passed away
Renowned economist, agriculturist, prolific journalist, and noted farmers’ leader Sharad Joshi (80) passed away on 12 December 2015 in Pune, Maharashtra. Joshi was the founder of Shetakari Sanghtana (farmers’ Organisation) an NGO dedicated to the cause of farmers in Maharashtra. Shetkari Sanghatana, in its heyday, was known for the innovative methods of agitation to draw attention to the problems of the farmers. He also founded an organisation of rural women, Shetkari Mahila Aghadi (SMA), which was known for its work for women’s property rights.
Sushma Swaraj visit to Pakistan
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj visited Pakistan on 8-9 December, 2015. She went to Islamabad to attend the ‘Heart of Asia’ 5th Ministerial Meeting on Afghanisthan held in Islamabad on 9 December. During her visit to Pakistan, she met with Pakisthan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and External Affairs Minister Sartz Aziz and held bilateral talks to improve the bilateral ties between the two nations.
Japan PM Visited India
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited India on 11-13 December, 2015 for a three day official visit. He met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and held annual summit talks with him on the ocassion of his visit both the nations agreed to major deals including the introduction of Japan’s bullet train technology in India and an agreement on nuclear partnership clearly sets the stage for elevated bilateral ties in the future. The proposed bullet train link between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, which will have access to a soft Japanese loan of 12 – 15 billion dollars at a concessional interest rate of 0.1 percent. Abe along with Narendra Modi visited varanasi and attended the Ganga aarti on the banks of river Ganga. India and Japan signed a number of agreements including one on civil nuclear energy co operation, India’s first bullet train and the transfer of defence equipment and technology.
French President to be chief guest at 2016 Republic Day Celebrations
French President Francois Hollande will be the chief guest at the 2016 Republic Day Celebrations. He would be the 5th highest dignitary from France to be chief guest of Indian Republic Day parade. In 2015 US President Barack Obama attended the Republic Day parade.
Swati Dandekar as US Director of ADB
Indian -origin Swati Dandekar has been appointed as the United States Director of the Asian Development Bank (ADB). She was nominated to ADB by US President Barack Obama and was designated with rank of an ambassador. Swati was the first Indian born American citizen to win a state legislative seat in the United States.
Azim Premji ranked fourth in World’s 20 Most Generous People list
Wipro’s Chairman Azim Premji was the only Indian and stood at the fourth position in the Wealth-X’s World’s 20 most generous people list with 8 billion dollars. Wealth-X released the World’s 20 Most Generous People list. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates was adjudged as the top philanthropist in the world with 27 billion dollars, Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway is at second position with 21.5 billion dollars followed by George Soros, Founder of Soros Fund Management with 8 billion dollars.
Amitabh as most followed in Twitter
Twitter released the list of most followed ones in Twitter. With 18.1 million followers, bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan remains as the most followed one. With 16.5 million followers on Twitter Sha Rukh Khan is in second place and with 16.4 million followers Prime Minister Narendra Modi takes the third position. Modi is the only non-bollywood personality who has in the top 10 list. Modi’s ‘Selfie with Daughter’ campaign on Twitter was one of the most popular hashtags on the site. Amir Khan and Salman are at 4th and 5th places respectively. At number six in the list actress Deepika Padukone followed by Priyanka Chopra and Hritik Roshan.
Nishi Vasudeva named CEO of the Year
Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) Chairman and MD Nishi Vasudeva has been chosen CEO of the Year at the 17th annual Platts Global Energy Awards, often called the Oscars of energy. While Reliance Industries has bagged the CSR Award. The CEO of the Year, Nishi was also honoured by Platts as its 2015 Top 250 Asia CEO of the Year.
PLACES IN NEWS
World’s largest cloning factory in China
China is building world’s biggest animal cloning factory to recreate sniffer dogs, pets and beef cattle. The factory would be built Tianjin Economic and Technological Development Area (TEDA). The cloning factory will include cloning laboratories, a gene bank and a science education centre and will be constructed at the cost of 31 million US dollars. The factory would produce 100,000 cattle embroys annually and later expand the annual out put to one million.
Central Research Institute in Yoga and Naturopathy
Central Council for Research in Yoga and Naturopathy (CCRYN), an autonomous organization under the Ministry of AYUSH is going to establish a Central Research Institute in Yoga and Naturopathy in Binjhagiri village of Odisha. Morarji Desai Natural Institute of Yoga, New Delhi is an autonomous organization under Central Government which is engaged in activities primarily related to education in Yoga.
Varanasi and Jaipur designated as members of UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network
Two Indian cities for first time have been designated as members of UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network (UCCN). Two cities are Varanasi City (Uttar Pradesh) has been added in the City of Music category of network and Jaipur City (Rajasthan) has been added in the City of Crafts and Folk Art category of network. They are among the 47 cities from 33 countries that have been designated as new members of UNESCO Creative Cities Network. UNESCO Creative Cities Network covers seven creative fields including Crafts and Folk Arts, Film, Media Arts, Gastronomy, Design, Literature and Music.
Myanmar launches first Unesco biosphere reserve
Myanmar has launched the country’s first Unesco Biosphere Reserve – Inle Lake in Shan state, opening a new chapter in its commitment to bio-diversity and eco-system conservation. The 489,721 hectares’ Inle Lake was designated as Myanmar’s first biosphere reserve under Unesco’s Man and the Bioshpere programme in Paris in June this year. It was one of 20 places added at at the Unesco’s 27th Man and the Biosphere (MAB) International Coordinating Council (ICC) meeting.
CCRYN : Central Council for Research in Yoga and Naturopathy
ADB : Asian Development Bank
ICHR : Indian Council of Historical Research
TOPS : Target Olympic Podium Scheme
Assocham : The Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry of India
TCAF : Transformative Carbon Asset Facility
NPCI : National Payments Corporation of India
INBA : Indian National Bar Association
ABLF : Asian Business Leadership Forum
AEC : ASEAN Economic Community
Books in News
Priya Parmor’s novel among 100 notable books of 2015
Indian-origin author Priya Parmor’s historical novel “Vanessa and Her Sister”, has been included in the NewYork Times’ 100 Notable Books of 2015. Parmor’s fabricated journal is an uncannu success. In ‘Venessa and Her Sister’, Parmor gives truth and definition to the character of a woman whose nature was as elusive as her influence was profound.
Sharad Pawar’s autobiography On My Terms released
On My Terms: From the Grassroots to the Corridors of Power, an autobiography of Sharad Pawar was released by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 10 December 2015. The book was released on the 75th birthday of Pawar, the Maratha strongman and the leader of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). In this book, Pawar has detailed his experiences of political and social issues spanning 50 years.
Two books on president released
The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi on 12 December released two books` “Speeches of the President – Vol. III” and “Presidential Retreats” in Rashtrapati Bhawan, on the ocassion of 80th Birthday of President Pranab Mukherjee.
“The Bose Brothers and Indian Independence – An Insider’s Account” book released
Book titled “The Bose Brothers and Indian Independence – An Insider’s Account” was relased in month of November. Author of this book is Madhuri bose who is grand niece of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. This book is based on role of the Bose Brothers in the Indian freedom struggle ie. Sarat and Subash Chandra Bose. It reveals their interactions with contemporary leaders like Chittaranjan Das, Jinnah, Motilal and Jawaharlal Nehru, Vallabhbhai Patel and Mahatma Gandhi.
N. Gopalaswami committee on Sanskrit promotion
A 13 member expert committee headed by former Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) N. Gopalaswami has been constituted by the Union Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry exclusively on Sanskrit promotion. The committee recommends measures to integrate the study of the ancient classical language with other disciplines and also suggests changes in Sanskrit education in schools and Universities.
Arvind Subramanian Committee suggests GST rate of 17-18 per cent
Chief Economic Advisor Dr Arvind Subramanian led Committee has recommended standard rate for Goods and Services Tax (GST) at 17 to 18 per cent. The Committee has submitted its report to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in New Delhi. Important points of the report: 1. The committee recommended standard Goods and Services Tax (GST) rates at 17-18 %. 2. The panel suggested a revenue neutral rate of 15-15.5 % and dropping of 1% additional tax on inter-state trade. The panel was set up by the government to suggest a road map of rates for GST but the final decession on the precise number would be taken by the proposed GST council.
L Narasimha Reddy Judicial Committee on OROP
The Union Government on 14 December 2015 appointed Justice L Narasimha Reddy, retired Chief Justice of Patna High Court, to head the Judicial Committee which will look into the implementation of One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme for the exservicemen. The Committee will submit its recommendations in six months. It may give interim reports to the Government on any of the matters related to its terms of reference. The committee will look on measures for the removal of anomalies that may arise in the implementation of the OROP as notified by the Government, any other matter referred by the Union Government on implementation of the OROP or related issues. In making its recommendations, the Committee shall take into account the financial impact of its recommendations.
AP Shah Judicial Commission on RIL-ONGC gas dispute
The government has set up a judicial commission headed by former chief Justice of Delhi High Court Ajit Prakash Shah to look into the findings of the international consultant Degolyer & Mac Naughton in the gas dispute between Reliance Industries (RIL) and state owned oil and National Gas Corporation (ONGC).
IMPORTANT DAYS & DATES
December 1 – World AIDS Day
December 2 – World Pollution Prevention Day
December 3 – World Disabled Day
December 4 – Indian Navy Day
December 9 – International Anti-Corruption Day
December 10 – World Human Rights Day
December 11 – UNICEF Day
OTHER ARTICLES YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN
CURRENT AFFAIRS BIT BANK : OCTOBER 2015
OCTOBER 2015 CURRENT AFFAIRS STUDY MATERIAL
SEPTEMBER 2015 CURRENT AFFAIRS STUDY MATERIAL
CURRENT AFFAIRS BIT BANK : SEPTEMBER 2015
ABBREVIATIONS AND TERMS
CURRENT AFFAIRS 2015 QUESTION ANSWERS (MCQ) : JUN 2015
CURRENT AFFAIRS QUESTIONS ANSWERS FOR JUNE 2015-ONE LINERS
Important days / dates – National and International