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We therefore brings Daily Current Affairs, which are the summary of the Current Affairs which we cover in our Current Affairs Magazine. You can get read these current affairs in detail in our Monthly Current Affairs Magazine which will be available shortly.
Current Affairs Summary December 1, 2015
DELHI JANLOKPAL BILL 2015 INTRODUCED
AAP government introduced the Delhi Janlokpal Bill in the Assembly, which provides for Lokpal that will have powers to even probe acts of corruption against Union Ministers and Central government officials. A four-member selection committee, chaired by the Delhi High Court Chief Justice will select the three-member Lokpal. The other members of the Committee will be the Chief Minister, Speaker of the State Assembly and the Leader of the Opposition. Under the Bill, the Lokpal can be removed only through a process of impeachment and it will require at least two-thirds majority in the Legislative Assembly. AAP has an unprecedented 67 MLAs in the 70-member Delhi Legislative Assembly.
JPC ON LAND ACQUISITION GETS EXTENSION
The term of the joint parliamentary panel (JPC) on the controversial Land Acquisition Bill was extended till the last day of the Winter session (December 23). The panel chairman SS Ahluwalia had sought a fresh extension as the committee was unable to finalise the report.
RAILWAYS SIGNS CONTRACTS WITH GE, ALSTOM
Indian Railways today signed two contract agreements with GE and Alstom to set up two locomotive factories in Marhowra and Madhepura respectively. The contract value is Rs. 40,000 crore spread over 10 years.
DEFENCE & AEROSUPPLY CONCLAVE IN HYDERABAD
Second Edition of the global conclave was inaugurated by ESL Narasihmhan, Governor of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. The three-day Defence & Aerosupply India 2015 organised by Kenes Exhibitions and Government of Telangana is expected to serve as a platform for potential collaborations in the sector.
OLA RAISES $500 MILLION
Cab aggregator Ola has raised about ₹3,300 crore ($500 million) in a Series F round. Baillie Gifford, Falcon Edge Capital, Tiger Global, SoftBank Group, DST Global and Didi Kuaidi participated in this round. Ola will use the money to accelerate its growth. Ola has grown by over 30 times in the last one year, now clocking over one million booking requests a day. It has over 3.5 lakh vehicles registered on its platform.
NRI BHARGAVA UNVEILS POWER-GENERATING BICYCLE
NRI billionaire and philanthropist Manoj Bhargava revealed the centrepiece of his affordable and clean energy project, an electricity-generating hybrid bicycle called ‘Free Electric’. The bicycle, to be priced between Rs 12,000 and Rs 15,000 per unit, converts human mechanical energy into electricity. Depending on the usage, the device can provide up to 24 hours of electricity after an hour of peddling. The device is meant to provide an affordable and clean source of electricity to the economically weaker sections, especially in rural areas.
ONLY 3.2 BILLION PEOPLE NOW ONLINE: UN REPORT
Some 3.2 billion people are now online, representing 43.4 per cent of the global population, but the number still falls significantly short of reaching the anticipated goal of 60 per cent by 2020, according to a United Nations report. While the proportion of households projected to have Internet access in 2020 will reach 56 per cent, exceeding the ‘Connect 2020’ target of 55 per cent, only 53 per cent of the global population will be online in 2020. The report ranked the Republic of Korea first in the information and communication technology (ICT) 2015 Development Index (IDI).
CAMERA TO MEASURE GREENHOUSE GASES UNVEILED
A camera so advanced that it can photograph and film methane in the air around us is now presented by a team of researchers from Linkoping and Stockholm Universities. It can be an important part of the efforts to measure and monitor greenhouse gases.
NEW PHASE OF CARBON DISCOVERED
Researchers from North Carolina State University have discovered a new phase of solid carbon, called Q-carbon, which is distinct from the known phases of graphite and diamond. They have also developed a technique for using Q-carbon to make diamond-related structures at room temperature and at ambient atmospheric pressure in air. Phases are distinct forms of the same material. Graphite is one of the solid phases of carbon; diamond is another.
CRISPR TECHNOLOGY TO EDIT CROP GENES
CRISPR gene-editing is allowing rapid scientific advances in many fields, including human health and now it has been shown that crop research can also benefit from this latest exciting technology. A team of scientists have shown that the very latest gene-editing technology CRISPR, can be used to make targeted changes or edits to specific genes in two UK crops, a broccoli-like Brassica and barley, and that these edits are preserved in subsequent generations.
CHINA RELEASES NEW REPORT ON CLIMATE CHANGE
China’s Ministry of Science and Technology released the 900 page paper titled, “The Third National Climate Change Assessment Report,” which details the serious consequences that global warming will have on China. The report predicts a 40 to 60 centimeter rise in sea levels, putting China’s prosperous coastal cities in jeopardy. Melting glaciers and permafrost also threaten massive infrastructure projects such as the Three Gorges Dam and the high-altitude rail link to Tibet. China is the world’s top emitter of greenhouse gases, and emits nearly twice the pollution of the United States.
INDIA’S RANKING IN GLOBAL INNOVATION INDEX
“The Global Innovation Index” (GII) is a publication brought out by Cornell University, INSEAD, and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) as co-publishers, and their Knowledge Partners. The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) was their knowledge partner from India for the year 2015. India’s position in the GII rankings during current year 2015 is 81 and in 2014 it was 76.
CHAMPIONS TENNIS LEAGUE MATCH
The Nagpur Orangers beat Hyderabad Aces 22-20 in a Champions Tennis League (CTL) clash, including an exciting Women’s Singles contest between Swiss legend Martina Hingis and Jelena Jankovic of Serbia, at the Sports Authority of Telangana State stadium.
TRIBAL ADVISORY COUNCIL
Tribal Advisory Council (TAC) has been established in the States having Scheduled Areas namely Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan and Telangana. Besides, two other States viz, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, have also set up TAC. Part B of the Fifth Schedule to the Constitution provides for establishing a TAC in each State having Schedule Areas and also in any State having Schedule Tribes but not Schedule Areas.
VIRUS RESPONSIBLE FOR BIRTH DEFECTS IN BABIES
The Brazilian government says the dengue-like Zika virus is connected to a surge of cases of babies born with small heads, a condition known as microcephaly, in the country’s northeast.
EUROPEAN UNION, TURKEY AGREE ON DEAL
The European Union and Turkey agreed on a deal to stem the migrant crisis, including a three-billion-euro ($3.2-billion) aid package for Syrian refugees in Turkey. The EU also agreed to open a new chapter in Turkey’s stalled bid for membership of the bloc in exchange for Turkey’s cooperation in reducing the flow of refugees and migrants. Visa requirements for Turkish citizens visiting the EU’s passport-free Schengen area would also be relaxed by October 2016.
HEART SURGERY PERFORMED USING 3D MODEL
Chennai-based Frontier Lifeline Hospital used 3D model for the first time to study a complex congenital heart disease of a two-year-old boy from Bahrain before performing the surgery. 3D printing and modelling of human organs has huge potential. The 3-D model, made of plaster of Paris, was developed using the child’s CT scan images, which were outsourced to a Canadian company for ₹49,000.
NMPT TRADE MEET IN MYSORE
New Mangalore Port Trust (NMPT), in association with Mysore Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Nanjangud Industries Association, organized a trade meet in Mysore. The purpose of the meet was to interact with importers and exporters of Karnataka, especially from the Mysore-Nanjangud region, where a large volume of container cargo is generated.
STORMY WEATHER PUTS INDIA’S POWER GRIDS AT RISK
Scientists have warned that stormy space weather sweeping across the equator could threaten vital power grids in regions including India, which were long considered safe from such events. Researchers found that equatorial electrical disruptions threaten power grids in India, countries in Southeast Asia, Africa and South America, where protecting electricity infrastructure from space shocks has not been a priority.
PRESIDENT PRESENTS IGNITE AWARDS
President Pranab Mukherjee presented the APJ Abdul Kalam Ignite Awards 2015 at the Indian Institute of Management – Ahmedabad (IIM-A). The awards were given out to young children who had come up with innovative products or ideas for ease of daily lives.
QUIKR TO BUY COMMONFLOOR FOR $200 MILLION
Classifieds portal Quikr is set to buy property portal Commonfloor.com for $200 million. While the founders of Commonfloor will get 20 per cent in cash, existing investors, including Google Capital and Accel Partners, are likely to get a 10 per cent stake in Quikr. Commonfloor will be merged with the recently launched QuikrHomes, a platform for customer engagement and management tools for builders and brokers.
AMAN GILL TO HEAD BALAJI MOTION PICTURES
Balaji Motion Pictures, a subsidiary of Balaji Telefilms Ltd, has appointed Aman Gill as the CEO. He will report to Sameer Nair, Group CEO Balaji Telefilms.
UP, GUJARAT, MAHARASHTRA TOP IN SICK MSMES
There were 5.37 lakh sick units in the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) sector, which contributes 8 per cent to the country’s gross domestic product. Uttar Pradesh has the highest number of sick units at 84,063, followed by Gujarat at 49,383 sick units and Maharashtra with 49,293 such units.
ISRAEL SUSPENDS EU ROLE IN PEACE PROCESS
Israel suspended contacts with European Union bodies involved in peace efforts with the Palestinians after the bloc started requiring the labelling of exports from Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
ANDY MURRAY WINS DAVIS CUP
Britain won the Davis Cup for the first time in 79 years in Ghent when Andy Murray defeated David Goffin 6-3, 7-5, 6-3 to take an unbeatable 3-1 lead over Belgium.
DIALOGUE ONLY WAY FORWARD FOR IMPROVING INDO-PAK RELATIONS: BAN-KI-MOON
Improved relations between India and Pakistan could create a more conducive environment for the two nations to stem the threat posed by terrorism, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said, asserting that dialogue is the only way for them to resolve the differences.
NARENDRA MODI ARRIVES IN PARIS
Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Paris to attend the crucial climate change conference at which a legally binding universal agreement between nations to curb green house gas emissions is expected to be achieved. PM Modi would join an estimated 150 Presidents, Prime Ministers and Heads of States at the crucial climate summit.
INDIA, FRANCE TO LAUNCH GLOBAL SOLAR ALLIANCE
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Francois Holland launched an international solar alliance aimed at eventually bringing clean and affordable solar energy within the reach of all. India’s national plan focuses on solar. The aim is to reach capacity of 100 gigawatts by 2022.
ASHWIN GETS SECOND SPOT IN ICC TEST RANKINGS
Ravichandran Ashwin’s ascent means that England pacer James Anderson and Pakistan leggie Yasir Shah drop to joint third on 846 points, while England’s Stuart Broad falls to fifth. Indian leg-spinner Amit Mishra jumped two spots to be 31st, while left-armer Jadeja moved up a place to be 11th
WORLD AIDS DAY
World AIDS Day on December 1 is used to unite people in the fight against HIV, the human immunodeficiency virus first identified in 1984, to show their support for people living with HIV and commemorate those who have died. Globally about 36.9 million people are living with HIV including 2.6 million children. In 2015, Cuba was the first country declared to have eliminated mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
ANIRBAN LAHIRI 39TH IN WORLD GOLF RANKINGS
India’s Anirban Lahiri jumped two places to be 39th, while S.S.P. Chawrasia moved up three places to be 239th in the latest world golf rankings. Third-highest-ranked Indian golfer is Rashid Khan, who went down three places to be 279th. Delhi’s Chiragh Kumar moved down three places to be 307th, while former Asian Tour champion Jyoti Randhawa was down by four places to be 390th. The United States’ Jordan Spieth continues to remain on top, followed by Jason Day of Australia and Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland.
BS-VI ENGINE REGULATIONS TO ROLL OUT BY 2021
Road Transport Ministry has decided to push forwards the date of implementation of BS-VI fuel in India to 2021. Originally, BS-VI was expected to arrive by 2024 following BS-V technology which was slated for 2020. This progressed to the ministry pushing back BS-VI by a year to 2023 which has now been advanced by a further 2 years.
20 NATIONS PLEDGE TO PROMOTE CLEAN TECHNOLOGIES
Twenty countries, including India, the US and China, launched an initiative to double their clean energy research and development budget over the next five years as part of global efforts to tackle climate change. The total amount of money being committed by these 20 countries – under Mission Innovation — amount to USD 20 billion, about half of which would come from the US.
Northern China choked under some of the worst smog this year, with levels in Beijing soaring to 22 times healthy limits, triggering the city’s second-highest pollution alert on the eve of global climate change talks. Concentration of PM2.5, tiny airborne particles which embed deeply in the lungs, reached over 560 micrograms per cubic metre in the capital, well over the recommended maximum of 25 micrograms.
ANIL KUMBLE RESIGNS AS MENTOR OF IPL CHAMPIONS MUMBAI INDIANS
Anil Kumble was associated with Indian Premier League (IPL) champions Mumbai Indians from January 2013. The former Indian captain is now a TV commentator.
BAYERN MUNICH ANNOUNCES RECORD PROFIT AFTER TAX FOR 2014-15
Bayern Munich made a record profit after tax of 23.8 million euros ($25.2 million) last season. Bayern had a turnover of 523.7 million euros ($555 million) for the financial year 2014-15, slightly below that of the previous year.
CIPLA TO LAUNCH HIV DRUG ‘EFAVIRENZ’
Drug major Cipla Ltd is ready to launch low dose ‘Efavirenz’ used in treatment of HIV infection. The company announced “its readiness to supply its combinations Tenofovir/Emtricitabine/ Efavirenz and Tenofovir/Lamivudine/ Efavirenz with a dose of 400 mg of Efavirenz as a first-line initial therapy for HIV infection”.
VOLVO BUS SERVICE FROM NEPAL BORDER TO DELHI
Uttar Pradesh Minister Yasar Shah inaugurated Volvo bus service between Rupaidiha on Indo-Nepal border in Bahraich district and New Delhi. He said the present broad gauge rail service was not available in these areas, therefore, Bahraich, Shravasti and Rupaidiha would be connected with other places in the state and the country through bus services.
INDIAN TELLY AWARDS 2015
Bollywood actors Raj Babbar, Poonam Dhillon and Kapil Sharma, along with television actors Karan Patel, Devoleena Bhattacharjee and Sriti Jha, won awards for their performances in television shows at the 14th edition of the Indian Telly Awards 2015 in Mumbai. Kapil, who made his debut in Bollywood with Kis Kisko Pyaar Karoon, won the award under the category of Talk Show Host while his show Comedy Nights with Kapil won the Best Comedy Show award. The BestJodi award was won by lead onscreen couples Raman and Ishita (played by Karan and Divyanka Tripathi) from Yeh Hai Mohabbatein, and Abhi and Pragya (played by Shabbir Ahluwalia and Sriti) from Kumkum Bhagya.
TURKEY AND EUROPEAN UNION SIGN MIGRANT DEAL
Leaders of the European Union met Turkish premier Ahmet Davutoglu in Brussels to finalise an agreement, as Europeans struggle to limit the strain on their 28-nation bloc from taking in hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees. A key element is 3 billion euros ($3.2 billion) in EU aid for the 2.2 million Syrians now in Turkey. The money is intended to raise their living standards and so persuade more of them to stay put rather than attempt perilous crossings to the EU via the Greek islands.
BHARTI AIRTEL TO UPGRADE MOBILE NETWORK
Bharti Airtel Ltd, India’s biggest telecommunications carrier, will invest Rs 60,000 crore ($8.98 billion) over three years to upgrade its network, as competition heats up in the world’s second-biggest mobile phone market. The investment plan comes as Reliance Industries Ltd prepares to launch the nation’s biggest 4G broadband network and take on Bharti Airtel.
UN PROPOSES NEW TAX FOR GLOBAL ROAD SAFETY FUND
A new tax could be imposed on new vehicles, imported used cars tyres and even on tyres which would contribute towards a global road safety fund. The proposal was made by the United Nations at the recent global summit on road safety in Brasilia in order to generate funds which would deal specifically with road accidents and related events.
ASHOK LEYLAND BAGS ORDER FROM COTE D’IVOIRE
Hinduja Group firm Ashok Leyland has bagged order for 3,600 vehicles worth $200 million (about Rs 1,335 crore) from Cote D’Ivoire. It has signed a contract with the government of Ivory Coast, for supply of the vehicles which include trucks and buses and will be delivered over the next 12 months.
PRESIDENT OPENS AMUL UNIT IN GUJARAT
President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated Amul’s state-of-the-art feed manufacturing plant in Kapadwanj in Gujarat’s Kheda district.
ISRAEL BREAKS NEW GROUND IN THE WINE INDUSTRY
The wine, called marawi and released last month by Recanati Winery, is the first commercially produced by Israel’s growing modern industry from indigenous grapes. It grew out of a groundbreaking project at Ariel University in the occupied West Bank.
LIFETIME AWARD AT DUBAI FILM FEST
Veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah will be honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 12th edition of the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF).
ROBERT LEWANDOWSKI GETS FOUR GUINNESS RECORDS
FC Bayern Munich star striker Robert Lewandowski was presented with four separate official Guinness World Records certificates for his incredible nine-minute, five-goal haul for the Bavarian football giants against Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga.
MAGGI STARTED PRODUCTION AT ALL PLANTS IN INDIA
Nestle India has resumed production of Maggi noodles at all five facilities in India. Nestle, which relaunched Maggi noodles on November 9 after a ban of five months, has started production of Maggi noodles from its Tahliwal plant in Himachal Pradesh. Nestle manufacturers Maggi noodles at its plants in Nanjangud (Karnataka), Moga (Punjab) Bicholim (Goa) and Tahliwal and Pantnagar in Himachal Pradesh.
TAMIL NADU HAS MAXIMUM NUMBER OF OPERATIONAL SEZS
As many as 36 Special Economic Zones (SEZs) are operational in Tamil Nadu, followed by Telangana and Karnataka. In Telangana and Karnataka, 26 SEZs in each state are operational. Presently, a total of 204 SEZs are exporting. As many as 225 non-operational zones are there in different states of the country.
DELHI GOVERNMENT LAUNCHES E-DISTRICT PROJECT
Residents in the national capital will now be able to access a host of Delhi government services online and get documents verified for the issuance of nearly a dozen certificates under an ambitious ‘e-District project’ that was launched today by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. As part of the project, the government has completely digitised caste data from 1962 to present that was available in its records. The certificates that have been chosen in the first phase of the project include OBC, SC/ST, domicile, disability card, income, solvency, survivor, death order, marriage registration, birth order and ‘lal dora’.
MUMBAI NOW UNDER CCTV SURVEILLANCE
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis launched the first phase of the Mumbai city surveillance project covering south Mumbai – from Colaba to Worli – where 1,381 cameras have been installed. The project of installation of over 6,000 CCTVs would be completed before the 26/11 terror attacks anniversary next year. After all three phases of the project are completed, there will be 100 per cent command and control system integration. The entire project to install CCTVs at all the crucial places in the city is expected to cost around Rs. 949 crore.
GDP GROWTH ACCELERATES TO 7.4% IN Q2
Higher manufacturing output pushed India’s GDP growth to 7.4 per cent in the September quarter as compared to 7 per cent between April and June 2015. Manufacturing sector grew by 9.3 per cent in the September quarter as compared to 7.9 per cent in the same quarter last year. According to India Ratings & Research, manufacturing growth was highest in 12 quarters.
INJECTIBLE POLIO VACCINE LAUNCHED IN INDIA
India’s first injectible inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) was launched by Health Minister JP Nadda as part of the country’s commitment to global polio eradication. 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. In the first phase, the vaccine will be introduced in six states — Assam, Gujarat, Punjab, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh, Mr Nadda said.
FERRARI RETURNS TO INDIA
Italian supercar maker Ferrari has launched its new showroom and service centre in New Delhi on Mathura Road. The company has appointed Select Cars as its new dealer for the North and Eastern regions. The showroom can accommodate up to three cars and will offer full service capability with a personalization area to support customers to configure their new Ferrari.
12,000 KM OF NATURAL GAS PIPELINE APPROVED
Around 1,175 kms of gas pipeline is pending for award due to the ongoing Supreme Court case regarding the proposed Ennore-Bengaluru-Puducherry-Nagapattinam-Madurai-Tuticorin stretch, while the government has authorized the laying of another 11,900 kms. The country is having about 15,000 kms of natural gas pipeline infrastructure and an additional 15,000 kms of pipeline is required for completion of National Gas Grid.
COURT DECLARES IRELAND ABORTION LAW AGAINST HUMAN RIGHTS
Northern Ireland’s restrictive abortion legislation is in breach of human rights law, the Belfast High Court found in a judgement hailed as “historic”. The case was taken by the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission in a bid to allow women and girls to access abortion in cases of rape, incest, or where their baby has no chance of survival, without facing criminal charges. The law in Northern Ireland currently bans abortion unless it is required to save a woman’s life or if there is a serious risk to her health.
INDIA AND IRAN TALKS FOR TRADE AGREEMENT
India and Iran have agreed to open up a channel for exchange of information to start preliminary consultations for a preferential trade agreement (PTA). In the second meeting of the Joint Working Group held on 18-19 November, both sides agreed to open up a channel for exchange of information, etc for this purpose.
ASSAM, TRIPURA REGISTER RISE IN NEW HIV CASES
Assam and Tripura are among the north-eastern states that recorded the highest rate of annual increase in HIV cases. Assam has registered a rate of increase from 0.04 per cent in 2007 to 0.07 per cent in 2011 with the number of cases increasing from 1,219 to 2,408 during the same period. In Tripura, the number of cases has increased from 567 cases in 2007 to 951 in 2011. Assam, however, is categorised as a low HIV Prevalence state with an adult HIV prevalence of 0.07 per cent while Manipur has the highest estimated adult HIV Prevalence in the country at 1.22 per cent in 2011.
SEBI SETS NORMS FOR LISTING OF STOCK EXCHANGES
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) said it will allow stock exchanges to list their own shares, paving the way for BSE Ltd and the National Stock Exchange (NSE) to conduct initial public offerings. India’s stock exchanges have long sought regulatory approval nod to sell shares publicly. Lack of a formal process for stock exchange listing had made the task tougher.
INDIA’S ECONOMY GROWS FASTER THAN CHINA
India’s economic growth picked up in the July-September quarter, outpacing China on improving domestic demand and manufacturing activity, which could persuade the country’s central bank to keep interest rates unchanged. Asia’s third-largest economy expanded by a 7.4 per cent annual rate in the second quarter of the current financial year 2015/16 that ends in March, compared with 7 percent in April-June.
SAINT GOBAIN SHUTS DOWN MAHARASHTRA PLANT
Glass firm Saint Gobain Sekurit India has decided to shut down its plant in Maharashtra as the facility had become economically unviable. It has been decided to close the Bhosari plant of the company with effect from the close of business hours on November 30 2015.
RBI EASES OVERSEAS BORROWING RULES FOR LOCAL FIRMS
According to RBI, India will allow offshore insurance companies, pension funds and sovereign wealth funds to lend to local companies for the long term, easing the rules for offshore borrowing. The RBI said it was taking a “more liberal approach” for long-term foreign currency borrowing as well as for external commercial borrowings denominated in Indian rupees.
NEW LISTING REGULATIONS COME INTO FORCE
Listed companies will face monetary penalties and suspension of trading for non-compliance with the Securities and Exchange Board of India’s new listing regulations, including for timely and proper disclosure of price sensitive developments, which are coming into force from December 1. To comply with the new norms, several companies informed exchanges that they approved and adopted a policy on determination of materiality and have further authorised certain officials for the purpose of determining materiality of an event and for the purpose of making disclosures to the bourses under new regulation.