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Current Affairs December 7, 2015 (Summary)
1. SINGAPORE KNOCKS OFF MAURITIUS AS TOP FDI SOURCE
Singapore has replaced Mauritius as the top source of foreign direct investment (FDI) into India during the first half of the current fiscal. During April-September 2015, India has attracted $6.69 billion (Rs 43,096 crore) FDI from Singapore while from Mauritius, it received $3.66 billion (Rs 23,490 crore), according to data from the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).
2. ARMED FORCES FLAG DAY OBSERVED
The Armed Forces Flag Day is a day dedicated to India towards collection of funds from people of India for the welfare of the Indian Armed Forces personnel. It has been observed annually in India on December 7 since 1949. Over the years, it has become a tradition to commemorate this day as an honour to the soldiers, airmen and sailors of India.
3. ENVIRONMENT MINISTER’S STATEMENT AT COP-21 IN PARIS
Union Environment Minister PrakashJavadekar has reiterated that India would ensure that the principle of Common But Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR) is respected and that rich countries pay back their debt for overdraft on carbon space. He said that for India, the question is of the present and future of 1.27 billion people and their aspirations to develop.
4. INDIA DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION OF OVERSEAS INDIANS MEET
The Union Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs, Smt. Sushma Swaraj chaired the Fifth Meeting of the Board of Trustees of India Development Foundation of Overseas Indians IDF-OI in New Delhi. She is the Chairperson of (IDF-OI), a not-for-profit Trust set-up by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs to facilitate philanthropic contributions by overseas Indians to social and development projects in India.
5. JHARKHAND JOINS UDAY SCHEME
Jharkhand Government has conveyed its in-principle approval to Ministry of Power (MoP) for joining UDAY Scheme (Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana). The Scheme – UDAY (Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana) has been launched to improve financial and operational efficiencies of power distribution companies (DISCOMs). It envisages reducing interest burden, cost of power and AT&C losses. Consequently, DISCOM would become sustainable to supply adequate and reliable power enabling 24×7 power supply. The scheme provides that States would take over 75% debt of Discoms, as on 30th September, 2015 in two years.
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6. UTTAR PRADESH TO INVEST IN BASIC URBAN INFRA
Uttar Pradesh Government seeks to invest Rs.3,287 cr for improving water supply and sewerage network services and provision of green spaces and parks in 60 cities under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) Action Plan for 2015-16, submitted to the Ministry of Urban Development. Out of this, Rs.1,519 cr is to be spent on water supply schemes in 60 mission cities, Rs.1,698 cr on sewerage projects in 24 cities and Rs.70 cr on providing open spaces in 58 cities.
7. KIDAMBI SRIKANTH LOSES IN INDONESIA MASTERS FINAL
Indian Kidambi Srikanth’s gallant fight ended with a narrow three-game loss against home favourite Tommy Sugiarto in the men’s singles finals of the USD 120,000 Indonesian Masters Grand Prix Gold badminton tournament.
8. INDIA WIN BRONZE IN FIH HOCKEY WORLD LEAGUE
India avenged their 3-1 defeat to Netherlands in pool games to come out victorious in the third-place playoff in the FIH Hockey World League Final. It was also a come-from-behind win for India as they claimed their first medal at a major FIH event after 33 years.
9. DELHI TO HAVE ALL-WOMEN PCR VANS SOON
For the first time, the national capital will have ‘all-women PCR vans’ plying in certain zones, with the department selecting eight female constables as drivers of patrol vehicles. The initiative is likely to be launched by next month and areas around India Gate and south Delhi’s Vasant Kunj have been chosen for running the pilot project.
10. F1 ROOKIE MAX VERSTAPPEN BAGS THREE FIA AWARDS
Dutch teenager Max Verstappen topped an incredible Formula One rookie season by taking all three International Motoring Federation (FIA) awards at a special ceremony in Paris. The 18-year-old Verstappen took the ‘Personality of the Year’, ‘Rookie of the Year’ and ‘Action of the Year’ awards, the first time anyone has claimed more than one in the same season.
11. GANGOTRI GLACIER GETTING LESS SNOWFALL
A research shows that the health of the majestic Gangotri glacier that feeds the river Ganges has been affected, as the maximum temperature in the region has shot up by 0.9 degree Celsius and snowfall reduced by 37 cm annually. A team of climate scientists recorded and analysed snow and meteorological parameters for a period of 13 years from 2000 to 2012 and found a warming trend.
12. MYSTERY OF ARSENIC RELEASE INTO GROUNDWATER SOLVED
Stanford scientists have solved an important mystery about where the microbes responsible for releasing dangerous arsenic into groundwater in Southeast Asia get their food. Groundwater in many countries, including India, China, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Vietnam, contains concentrations of arsenic 20 to 100 times greater than the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) recommended limit. Arsenic is bound to iron oxide compounds in rocks from the Himalayas, and gets washed down the major rivers and deposited in the lowland basins and deltas.
13. GOVERNMENT ORDERS QUICK ISSUE OF INCOME TAX REFUNDS
In good news for lakhs of taxpayers awaiting their IT refunds, the government has directed the taxman to “expeditiously” settle claims involving less than Rs 50,000. According to government data, over Rs 5,400 crore is locked in pending refunds, which has become a major grievance for taxpayers.
14. EVERY 5TH FOOD SAMPLE FOUND ADULTERATED, MISBRANDED
One out of every five samples of food items tested by public food safety labs in the country has been found “adulterated and misbranded”, with maximum in Uttar Pradesh followed by Punjab and Madhya Pradesh. Over Rs. 10.93 crore penalty has been imposed in 2,795 cases, while culprits have been convicted in 1,402 cases so far this year, according to the testing report of public laboratories released by the Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
15. YEMEN’S ADEN GOVERNOR KILLED IN GRENADE ATTACK
The governor of Yemen’s Aden province Jaafar Mohammed Saad was killed when a suicide bomber rammed his car into the governor’s convoy in the western part of Aden city. Saad, a former general in the army of the former southern Yemen before the Marxist state merged with northern Yemen in 1990, was appointed governor in October.
16. MERCEDES-BENZ PLANT IN GERMANY ROLLS-OUT 20 MILLIONTH VEHICLE
The Mercedes-Benz plant in Sindelfingen (Germany) has recently made history by producing its 20 millionth car. The jubilee car, an S-500 Electric Plug-in Hybrid, is available to fans and employees for special occasions.
17. INDIAN BOXERS REGISTER WINS IN CHINA
Asian Games bronze-medallist L Sarita Devi (60kg) returned to competitive boxing after her one-year ban with a resounding victory in the opening contest of the training-cum-competition assignment in the Chinese city of Qian’an. World Championships bronze-medallist Shiva Thapa (56kg) beat Thailoand’s Yuttapong Thong Dee 3-0, while Commonwealth Games silver-medallist L Devendro Singh (49kg) notched up a Technical Knockout against China’s Yang Yufeng in the third round of his bout. Another Commonwealth Games silver-medallist Mandeep Jangra (69kg) thrashed Thailand’s Nick Fisher 3-0. Asian Championships silver-winner Vikas Krishan(75kg), on the other hand, got the better of another Thai Kh Mr Aphisit 3-0.
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18. GREEK PARLIAMENT APPROVES AUSTERE BUDGET
The Greek parliament approved a 2016 budget featuring sharp cuts in spending and some tax increases to satisfy the country’s international lenders at a time of growing austerity fatigue. The budget makes 5.7 billion euros ($6.2 billion) in public spending cuts including 1.8 billion from pensions and 500 million from defence. The savings are greater than this year’s 1.5 billion euros. It also included tax increases of just over 2 billion euros.
19. MURALI VIJAY FINED FOR BREACHING ICC CODE OF CONDUCT
Indian opener Murali Vijay was fined 30 per cent of his match fee for showing dissent against the umpire after being given out in the ongoing fourth and final Test against South Africa in Delhi.
20. PM NARENDRA MODI RELEASES COMMEMORATIVE COINS ON AMBEDKAR
Prime Minister Narendra Modi released two commemorative coins of Rs. 125 and Rs. 10 denomination as part of the 125th birth anniversary year celebrations of Dr B R Ambedkar. The coins were issued on his death anniversary, which is being observed as “Mahaparinirvan Divas of Babasaheb Ambedkar”.
21. JNU NOTIFIES NEW SEXUAL HARASSMENT POLICY
Jawaharlal Nehru University, which received maximum number of sexual harassment complaints by any educational institution in Delhi in the last two years, has notified a revamped sexual harassment policy that also includes penalty provisions for false complaints.
22. SCIENTIST DEVELOPES NEW 3D SOFTWARE TO TRACK EMBRYONIC DEVELOPMENT
An Indian-origin scientist Hari Shroff, has developed a new, open-source 3D software that can track the embryonic development and movement of neuronal cells throughout the body of the worm, and it is now available to scientists. Hari Shroff is the head of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) research team. The new technology will be pivotal in their project to create a 4D neurodevelopmental “worm atlas” that attempts to catalog the formation of the worm nervous system.
23. RECIPE FOR PAINLESSNESS IN HUMANS DISCOVERED
Scientists have discovered a potential recipe for painlessness in humans, by using mice genetically modified to lack a nerve channel that enables people and animals to feel pain. The sodium channel Nav1.7 is particularly important for signalling in pain pathways and people born with non-functioning Nav1.7 do not feel pain.
24. GHAZIABAD HOSTS CYCLE MARATHON TO HIGHLIGHT POLLUTION
A group of cycling enthusiasts from Go Cycle Club (GCC) organised “Cyclathon” in Ghaziabad in a bid to highlight worsening air pollution in the town, adjoining Delhi in Uttar Pradesh. About 400 people participated in the 9-km cycle marathon. School students and adults from all age groups also joined in to help create awareness about the city’s air pollution. The rally was flagged off by veteran Olympian Harbans Lal Suri.
25. FC GOA BEAT DELHI DYNAMOS IN INDIAN SUPER LEAGUE
FC Goa snatched a dramatic come-from-behind 3-2 win against Delhi Dynamos and become the top side after the group phase of the Indian Super League.
26. CANADA SENDS FIRST URANIUM CONSIGNMENT TO INDIA
Canada has sent the first uranium consignment of 250 tonnes to India for its nuclear power reactors, over two years after the civil nuclear deal signed between the two countries came into force. In April, Cameco signed a uranium supply contract with India after the nuclear cooperation agreement between Canada and India came into force in September 2013. The contract to supply 7.1 million pounds of uranium concentrate (about 2,730 tonnes uranium) to India’s Department of Atomic Energy was worth around Canadian Dollars 350 million ($262 million).
27. HOCKEY WORLD LEAGUE FINAL: AUSTRALIA BEAT BELGIUM TO LIFT TITLE
World champions Australia defeated Belgium 2-1 to clinch the title of the second edition of Hockey World League (HWL) Final at the Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel Stadium (Ahmedabad).
28. NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISORS OF INDIA & PAKISTAN MEET
India and Pakistan issued a joint statement after the National Security Advisors of the two countries met in Bangkok. According to Statement, discussions were held in a candid, cordial and constructive atmosphere.
29. PAKISTAN PROPOSES 8 NEW SITES FOR UNESCO’S WORLD HERITAGE LIST
Pakistan will push for inclusion of eight more of its sites in the list of UNESCO’s world heritage sites. The eight new sites recommended by experts were Central Karakoram National Park, Juniper Forest in Ziarat, Deosai National Park, Karez System, the ancient city of Bhambhore in Sindh, Hingol National Park, Kallar Kahar’s Salt Range and Nagar Parkar in Sindh.
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30. FIRST DOUBLE-DECKER GOA-MUMBAI SHATABDI TRAIN FLAGGED-OFF
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu flagged off the inaugural service of the Goa-Mumbai double-decker air-conditioned Shatabdi train, which will run thrice a week between Goa’s Madgaon railway station and the Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT) in Mumbai.
31. NEPAL’S MADHESI LEADERS MEET FOREIGN MINISTER
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj met top leaders of Nepal’s restive Madhesi community, who are agitating against the country’s new Constitution adopted in September, and urged a speedy political solution for restoring normalcy in the Himalayan nation. The Madhesi Morcha has been protesting for almost four months in Nepal’s southern Terai plains, blocking movement of vehicles between India and land-locked Nepal thus creating widespread shortages in the Himalayan nation.
32. FERRY SERVICE LAUNCHED IN GULF OF KUTCH
To reduce the distance between Okha in Saurashtra and Mandvi in Kutch by about one-tenth, Vadodara-based Dwarka-Kutch Ferries and Tourism Pvt Ltd launched the state’s first passenger ferry service between the two towns. The ferry service, which will be operational from December 21, will initially make two trips between Okha in Devbhoomi Dwarka district and Mandvi in Kutch district, thereby, reducing the distance between the two towns from about 450 km via the road journey to merely 44 km or 24 nautical miles on the sea route in the Gulf of Kutch.
33. TATA TRUSTS TIES UP WITH KHAN ACADEMY FOR FREE ONLINE EDUCATION
Tata Trusts announced it will be supporting US-based non-profit Khan Academy to provide free online education to Indians through one of the biggest open-access online platforms.
34. NADELLA TO UNVEIL TELANGANA IT POLICY
Satya Nadella, Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft, is likely to unveil the new IT policy framework of the Telangana Government during his visit to Hyderabad on December 28. Telangana is coming out with several sectoral policies and the IT Policy, a policy in innovation and start-ups, among a couple of others to boost gaming and animation, and electronic design manufacturing, all of which have been developed with industry inputs, are set to be unveiled later this month.
35. AP BONDS TO RAISE ₹1,500 CR
The Andhra Pradesh government has announced plans for 10-year dated security for an aggregate amount of ₹1,500 crore. The auction for sale will be conducted by the RBI in Mumbai on December 8.
36. GULF-BASED NRI BUSINESSMAN WINS TOP LONDON AWARD
An NRI businessman KT Mohammed Rabeeh Rabeeulla has been honoured with the Person of the Year award this year by a newspaper in London for his outstanding contributions to community welfare. KT Mohammed Rabeeh Rabeeulla, managing director of the Jeddah-based Shifa Al Jazeera Medical Group – a leading private healthcare provider in the Middle East, has been chosen for the award by London-based Asian Lite newspaper.
37. LISA PATHFINDER CARRIES ADVANCED NASA THRUSTER TECH
The LISA Pathfinder spacecraft is on its way to space, having successfully launched from Kourou, French Guiana. On board is the state-of-the-art Disturbance Reduction System (DRS), a thruster technology developed at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California. LISA Pathfinder, led by the European Space Agency (ESA), is designed to test technologies that could one day detect gravitational waves.