Current Affairs Today – December 14 2015

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Current Affairs Today 14 Decemeber 2015

INDIAN AFFAIRS

Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe visit to India – An Overview

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was in India on a three-day from Dec 11 to Dec 13 for firming up on India’s first bullet train and over progress in the talks on a civil nuclear deal.

  • After the delegation-level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe both nations have inked 16 agreements.

Cancellation and Refund of Railway Tickets – New Rules

With effect from 12 November 2015, certain provisions of Railway Passengers (Cancellation of tickets and refund of fare) Rules have been amended and comprehensive Railway Passengers Rules 2015 have been notified through Gazette Notification G.S.R. 836(E). dated 4 November 2015.

  • The information was given by the Minister of State for Railways Shri Manoj Sinha in Rajya Sabha.

Haryana joins UDAY scheme for debt-laden discoms

Haryana became the 11th state to join UDAY scheme (Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana) for reviving debt- laden discoms.

  • Other states communicated in-principle approval to the Power Ministry for joining the UDAY scheme includes – Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Punjab and Jammu & Kashmir.

About UDAY
UDAY aims at reviving ailing state electricity boards and operational efficiencies of power distribution companies. It envisages on reducing interest burden, cost of power and AT&C losses.

  • The discoms will become sustainable to provide adequate and reliable power enabling 24×7 power supply.
  • The scheme provides that states would take over 75% debts of discoms as on September 30 in 2 years.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference

2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference or COP 21 was held in Paris, France from 30 November to 12 December 2015. It was the 21st yearly session of the Conference of the Parties with a proposal of achieving zero GHG emissions growth by 2060-80.

  • The conference reached its objective for the first time to achieve a global agreement onreduction of climate change in the Paris Agreement, which was adopted with acclamation by nearly all states.
  • On the sidelines of summit 189 parties had submitted their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) on climate actions.

TAPI gas pipeline work instigated by Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan started work on its 1,814 Km natural gas pipeline to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India (TAPI) project funded by Asian Development Bank. It designed to reduce its dependence on gas sales to Russia and China.

  • The ground-breaking ceremony took place at city of Mary of Turkmenistan which was attended by Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani, Pakistan Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif and Indian Vice President Hamid Ansari.
  • Project outlay$10 bn
  • Completion timeDecember 2019
  • Leading partnerTurkmengaz

Gambia declares itself an Islamic Republic

Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh has declared the tiny West African country an Islamic republic as because Islam is the majority religion of its citizens and is an attempt to break away from the country’s colonial past.

Rights of minorities

  • Rights of Gambia’s Christian community will be respected who make up about eight percent of the country’s population
  • There will be no mandates on dress.

Keys

  • Gambia is a popular beach destination for British tourists.
  • About 90 percent of Gambia’s 1.8 million people are Muslim.
  • The country gained independence from Britain in 1965.
  • Gambia Capital – Banjul
  • Gambia Currency – Gambian dalasi

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

Etihad Airways wins world’s leading airline award

At the annual World Travel Awards Grand Finale gala ceremony 2015, Etihad Airways has been awarded the World’s Leading Airline award for the seventh consecutive year.

  • The company also bagged further two awards, World’s Leading First Class and the World’s Leading Cabin Crew.

About Etihad Airways:

  • Etihad Airways is the second-largest airline of the United Arab Emirates.
  • Headquarter – Khalifa City, Abu Dhabi
  • Establishment – 2003
  • Parent company – Etihad Aviation Group
  • Chairman – Mohammed Mubarak Al Mazrouei

About World travel Awards
World Travel Awards was established in 1993 to acknowledge excellence across the tourism industry and is widely recognised as a hallmark of ultimate quality.

  • The awards are decided through a global vote by more than 500,000 travel professionals and high-end tourism consumers from 171 countries.

APPOINTMENTS

First women councillors elected in “Conservative Kingdom”

A historic step for poll in which women can vote and be candidates, female winners are declared across the Saudi Arabia where women are banned from driving and face routine discrimination.

  • Salma bint Hizab al-Oteibi was elected to the council of Madrakah, a region in the holy city of Mecca.
  • Rasha Hefzi, a prominent businesswoman who won a seat in Jeddah.
  • Municipal council elections indicated 17 female winners. These included four in Jeddah, one near Mecca and others in Tabuk, Ahsaa and Qatif.

Zensar Technologies names HCL Technologies’ Sandeep Kishore as CEO

Zensar Technologies names HCL Technologies’ Sandeep Kishore as CEOIT Company Zensar Technologies announced appointment of Sandeep Kishore as company’s Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director. He will succeed Ganesh Natarajan. Kishore will join Zensar on January 12, 2016. He will be based in San Jose, California.

About Sandeep Kishore

  • Currently Mr. Kishore is HCL Technologies Corporate Vice President and Global Head for Life Sciences & Health Care and Public Services businesses.
  • An alumnus of IIT Bombay, he has over 25 years of experience in the IT industry.

Govt Appoints Justice L Narasimha Reddy to Head Judicial Committee on OROP

A five-member judicial commission with representatives from military fraternity, the government appointed Justice L. Narasimha Reddy, former Chief Justice of Patna High Court to head the one-man judicial committee.

Committee  for : To look into the implementation of One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme.

  • The committee is as per the points of the notification issued by the government on November 7 for implementing OROP. A statement issued by the Defence Ministry.
  • The committee based in Delhi, will submit its recommendations within six months of the date of its constitution.
  • The committee was swiftly rejected by the veterans agitating over the issue.

O P Longia new national president of IIMM

Senior supply chain professional O P Longia elected as its new National President of the Indian Institute of Materials Management (IIMM).Ranbaxy was elected unopposed as the national president of IIMM for 2015-17 at its national convention held in Vadodara.

About IIMM :

  • Mumbai-headquartered IIMM, an NGO, is the apex body of nearly 10,000 supply chain, materials and purchase professionals and is run with funding from its members.
  • IIMM is engaged in modernising the supply chain knowledge pool in the country as per global norms through its academic and research programmes.

It is represented on several bodies of the government and is affiliated to the International Federation of Purchasing and Supply Chain Management.

ACQUISITION & MERGERS

HealthFore Technologies to merge with Oscar Investments

Healthcare IT solutions and advisory services company HealthFore Technologies will merge with Oscar Investments, pursuant to the approval of scheme of amalgamation between the two entities.

  • In this regard, the combined entity will be renamed as HealthFore Technologies Ltd.
  • As per the scheme of amalgamation, shareholders of HealthFore Technologies Ltd will receive 3 shares of Oscar Investments for every 20 shares held in HealthFore Technologies Ltd.

The boards of HealthFore and Oscar have unanimously approved the scheme and will now seek requisite regulatory approvals including the shareholder’s approval.

About Oscar Investments Limited (OIL)
It was incorporated on January 25, 1978 as a public limited Company in Mumbai to carry on the business of an investment company and to finance industrial enterprise and to promote companies engaged in industrial and trading business.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Mobile app to help choose energy efficient appliances

Power Minister Piyush Goyal launch a mobile app on the occasion of the National Energy Conservation Day to help consumers compare and choose energy efficient appliances available in the market.

About App :

The mobile application will allow consumers to instantly compare personalised energy savings across all products of a specific class and thus enable them to choose more efficient products available in the market.

National Energy Conservation Day Programme :

  • Goyal present two top rank award of excellence – 41 units for first prizes and 42 units for second prizes to the National Energy Conservation Award winners, who are the best energy performers in different sectors.
  • The participating units of 2015 Awards programme have collectively invested Rs 2,384 crore in energy conservation measures and achieved an annual monetary savings of Rs 2,928 crore.

ENVIRONMENT

Philippines evacuates 700,000 ahead of Typhoon “Melor”

Hundreds of thousands of people have been evacuated from central Philippines as a typhoon made landfall bringing heavy rain and winds of up to 95 mph.

  • Typhoon Melor known locally as Nona, has led authorities to ground at least 40 domestic flights, while 73 ferries and hundreds of fishing boats were ordered to remain in port. There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.

Disaster authorities have temporarily closed schools and some offices and evacuated about 750,000 people in three provinces.

  • Around 20 major typhoons pass through the Philippines each year.

Keys

  • Philippines Capital: Manila
  • Philippines Currency: Philippine peso

Odisha engages WTI to prepare Wildlife Management Plan

Odisha government has engaged Wildlife Trust of India to prepare a comprehensive wildlife management plan for the state.The MoU beween state forest and environment department and WTI was signed and as per the agreement management plans will be prepared for protected areas as well as areas outside .

  • At present, only protected areas including 19 wildlife sanctuaries and two national parks have management plans.
  • These protected areas cover only 10.37 per cent of state’s forest area and 5.36 per cent of its total geographical area.
  • A major objective behind the pact will be to reduce animal mortality by identifying conflict zones.

Factors responsible for wildlife deaths such as poaching, deliberate and accidental killings through electrocution and train hits will also be mapped by WTI

Key points :

  • Odisha Capital : Bhubaneswar
  • Odisha CM : Naveen Patnaik
  • Odisha Governor : C. Jamir

SPORTS

Badminton World Superseries Finals 2015

The 2015 BWF Super Series Finals is an annual badminton tournament held under the Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Sports Council) from 9-13 December at the Hamdan Sports Complex in Dubai.

  • Japanese shuttlers Kento Momota emerged as the champion of men’s single category and while Nozomi Okuhara grabbed the champion title in women’s singles categories.
  • World No. 5 Momota beat Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen by 21-15, 21-12.
  • World No. 4 Okuhara defeated China’s Yihan Wang by 22-20, 21-18.

Anthony Joshua beats Dillian Whyte for British heavyweight title

Olympic champion Anthony Joshua (26) defeated former kick-boxer Dillian Whyte to won the British heavyweight title with a bruising seventh-round knockout and edge closer to a possible shot at the world crown.

  • He took his record to 15 knockouts from 15 fights since turning pro after winning 2012 Olympic gold in London.
  • Joshua’s latest win raises the prospect of a clash with WBO and WBA heavyweight champion Tyson Fury if his fellow British fighter beats Wladimir Klitschko in their world title rematch.

Vijay Kumar won gold in the 59th National shooting championship

Vijay Kumar won gold in the 59th National shooting championship

Olympic silver medallist Vijay Kumar with a score of 588 defeated Gurpreet Singh by two points to win the centre fire pistol gold in the 59th National shooting championship.

Venue : Dr. Karni Singh Range, Tughlakabad.

  • Pemba Tamang, who won the rapid fire pistol gold in a dramatic climax after having qualified in the sixth place with a modest 560 beat Harpreet Singh 49-48 in the shoot-off to take the bronze in centre fire pistol after being tied on 582.
  • Achal Pratap Singh Grewal won his third gold after having clinched the top spot in air pistol and standard pistol.

Men: 25m centre fire pistol

FirstVijay Kumar 588
Second Gurpreet Singh 586
Third Pemba Tamang 582

Juniors

FirstAchal Pratap Singh Grewal 562
SecondShivam Shukla 558
Third Rushiraj Atul Barot 557

Rome to stage 2022 Ryder Cup

Rome won the right to stage the 2022 edition of golf’s Ryder Cup for the first time.
The cream of world golf will descend on the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in seven years’ time for the biennial contest between Europe and the United States announced by Ryder Cup organisers.

Four nations: Austria, Germany, Italy and Spain had been competing for the right to stage the 2022 edition.

  • Rome organisers now have seven years in which to carry out the changes to the course that will be necessary to test the mettle of the world’s top golfers
  • Next year’s tournament will be held in Hazeltine National in Minnesota, while France will host the 2018 event and Whistling Straits in Wisconsin hosts the 2020 Ryder Cup, two years before it returns to the old continent.

Anirban Lahiri savours winning Asian Tour’s Order of Merit crown

India’s golfer 28 year old Anirban Lahiri has described lifting the coveted 2015 Asian Tour’s Order of Merit crown.  He become the fourth Indian golfer to win the region’s biggest award.

  • He won twice on the region’s premier Tour, broke into the world’s top-50, posted a top-five finish in a Major, qualified for his maiden Presidents Cup and earned his PGA Tour card.Another key highlight was an equal fifth place finish at the PGA Championship where he became the best Indian finisher at a Major championship.

Asian No 1 golf legends:

Thongchai Jaidee and Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand and countrymen  Jeev Milkha Singh(2006, 2008), Arjun Atwal (2003) and Jyoti Randhawa (2002).

IMPORTANT DAYS

National Energy Conservation Day

National energy conservation day is celebrated every year by the people all over the India on 14thof December every year.

Purpose :To aware people about the importance of energy as well as saving or conserving the more energy by using less energy.

  • The Energy Conservation Act in India was executed by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) in the year 2001. The Bureau of Energy Efficiency is a constitutional body which comes under Government of India and helps in the development of policies and strategies in order to reduce the energy use.

Highlights :

  • On Nov 14th Pranab Mukherjee inaugurating the Annual National Energy Conservation Day in New Delhi to promote energy efficiency, along with high energy prices and structural changes in the Indian economy towards the services sector have resulted in a sharp decline in energy intensity of the Indian economy.
  • The National Painting Competition organized every year by the Ministry of Power has seen involvement of school children in spreading the message of energy conservation in the country