Current Affairs Today – December 19 2015

Dear Readers, We cover some important news in Current Affairs Today Section, which are not covered in Daily Detailed News, More Current Affairs coverage will help you to Score Good Marks in Competitive Exam.

December

INDIAN AFFAIRS

MLAs of Arunachal Pradesh Assembly passed resolution to remove Speaker Nabam Rebia

The Arunachal Pradesh Assembly today passed a resolution to ‘impeach’ Speaker Nabam Rebia by a voice vote and signatured consent of 33 members, including 20 rebel Congress MLAs, 11 of BJP and two independents, in a vote boycotted by the supporters of Chief Minister Nabam Tuki.

  • Amid high drama, 34 MLAs seeking removal of the Speaker, including his deputy Thongdok, met at the community hall for the session.
  • Thongdok called out the name of Rebia to enable him offer a clarification, if any, on the impeachment notice but the Speaker was not present. The resolution was then put to vote and was supported by the members.

Uttar Pradesh government bans use of polythene bags across the State

The Uttar Pradesh cabinet has approved a complete ban on the distribution, manufacture and sales of polythene carry bags in the state.

  • The polythene ban in the state is being initiated because of the court’s order and also because it is environment friendly.
  • The Allahabad high court had last month directed the Uttar Pradesh government to issue a notification enforcing a complete ban on the sale of polythene across the state by December 31. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) too had recently banned the use of polythene along the Ganga, including areas in Uttar Pradesh.

Key Points:

  • UP Chief Minister: Akhilesh Yadav
  • Governor: Ram Naik

PM Narendra Modi inaugurates top Police Officers’ Conference in Gujarat

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has formally inaugurated the All-India conference of Directors General of Police (AICDGPs) at Dhordo in white Rann of Kutch region near Bhuj, Gujarat.

  • Three day conference was inaugurated in the presence of Union Minister for Home Rajnath Singh, Minister of State for Home Kiran Rijju and Haribhai Patel.
  • The conference was organised by Intelligence Bureau (IB).

West Bengal Government approves proposal for formation of 5 new districts

WB

The Government of West Bengal has approved the proposal for introducing five new districts in the state. The total number of districts in West Bengal will increase to 25 after the formation of these five districts.

  • The approval came recently after the decision was taken in a state Cabinet meeting chaired by the state Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata.
  • As per the online reports, the five new districts will take six months-one year’s time to come into existence. The state administration needs to get formal permission from the court and create the basic infrastructure for these new districts.

Jharkhand Assembly passes Single Window Clearance Bill, 2015 along with five others bills

Jharkhand Assembly has passed Single Window Clearance Bill, 2015 along with five others bills. The Bill was passed, with four amendments, after hour-long debate in the Assembly.

  • The treasury bench, however, did not agree to any amendment in Factory (Jharkhand Amendment) Bill and it was passed without any amendment. The opposition parties staged a walk out on that.
  • The other five bill passed by Jharkhand Assembly are –Jharkhand Cinema Amendment Bill , Factory (Jharkhand Amendment ) Bill, Bihar Industrial (National & Festival Holiday and Casual Leave) Jharkhand Amendment Bill, Contract Labour (Exchange & Stoppage) Bill and Jharkhand Value Added Tax (Amendment) Bill.

Narendra Modi hands over Shyamji’s UK Bar certificate to CM Anandiben Patel

Prime Minister Narendra Modi handed over the certificate, acknowledging Indian barrister and nationalist leader Shyamji Krishna Verma’s posthumous reinstatement to the UK Bar to Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel at a function in Gujarat.

  • The certificate was given to PM Modi in the presence of UK Prime Minister David Cameron, during his visit to London last month.
  • The certificate will be kept in the Kranti Tirth, a memorial of Verma built in the port town of Mandvi in Kutch, where Shyamji Krishna Verma was born in 1857.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

UN Security Council adopts resolution on Syria peace plan

The United Nations Security Council has unanimously adopted the resolution developed by the five permanent members of the council.

  • The agreement will create a roadmap toward a peace process end the five-year civil war in Syria.
  • It includes preparations for a ceasefire monitoring mechanism that would come into effect as soon as the representatives of the Syrian government and the opposition have begun initial steps towards a political transition under UN auspices.
  • The resolution also contains previously agreed upon terms for a transitional government, with elections to be held under UN supervision, and calls on all parties to permit the delivery of humanitarian aid.

BANKING & FINANCE

RBI launches quarterly ‘Inflation Expectations Survey of Households’ for December 2015

  • Reserve Bank of India, RBI, has launched the quarterly ‘Inflation Expectations Survey of Households’ for December 2015.
  • The survey seeks qualitative responses from households on price changes in the next three months as well as in the next one-year and quantitative responses on current, three-month ahead and one-year ahead inflation rates.
  • The apex bank also launched the December 2015 round of the Consumer Confidence Survey (CCS). It has been carrying out the survey on a quarterly basis since June 2010.
  • The survey targets at capturing subjective assessments of around 5,400 respondents across six metropolitan cities — Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai and New Delhi.

BUSINESS

US lifts 40-year ban on oil exports

US lifts 40-year ban on oil exports

United States has lifted a 40-year ban on oil exports, marking a historic shift for the booming US oil industry.

  • The ban was first imposed in 1975 as the United States was reeling from the 1973-1974 Arab oil embargo. Arab members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries had banned oil exports to the United States in retaliation for Washington’s support of Israel during the Arab-Israeli war.
  • With the end of the ban, all 9.2 million barrels produced in the United States a day and the 490.7 million barrels stockpiled commercially are available for export.

APPOINTMENTS

Jeff Williams appointed as Chief Operating Officer of Apple Inc

Jeff Williams appointed as Chief Operating Officer of Apple Inc

Jeff Williams was appointed as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Apple Inc. The post of COO of the company had been lying vacant since Tim Cook’s ascension to position of Chief Executive Officer of Apple Inc in 2011.

  • Williams has been working with Apple Inc for about 17 years.
  • He played a key role in Apple’s entry into the mobile phone market with the launch of iPhone. He continues to supervise development of Apple’s first wearable product Apple Watch.

New envoys to Indonesia, Thailand, New Zealand appointed

Government appointed new envoys to Indonesia, Thailand and New Zealand.

  • Bhagwant Singh Bishnoi, a 1983 batch IFS officer, has been appointed India’s next Ambassador to Thailand, succeeding Harsh Vardhan Shringla.
  • Bishnoi is currently posted as Deputy Permanent Representative of India in the UN in New York.
  • 1988 batch IFS officer Sanjiv Kohli, at present Joint Secretary in MEA, has been appointed as the next High Commissioner of lndiato New Zealand.
  • Nengcha Lhouvum Mukhopadhaya, a 1980 batch IFS official, has been appointed as the next Ambassador of lndia to Indonesia. She will succeed Gurjit Singh.

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

US University announces APJ Abdul Kalam Fellowship for Indian Students

The University of South Florida has launched APJ Abdul Kalam fellowship worth $156000 for Indian students those who wish to pursue PhD in specified fields of science and engineering at the institution. Under this fellowship students would receive a tuition fee waiver amounting to $84500 in four years, plus a stipend of $18000 per year.

  • The USF already has 800 Indian students enrolled for this year. This fellowship will be effective from 2016-2017, to attract more.
  • Ralph Wilcox, the head of USF said that Dr Kalam was an honoured visitor to the University of South Florida, and he spoke at great lengths about the importance of green energy and sustainability.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

India to buy Russia’s S-400 Triumf missile systems

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has approved to purchase of five units of S-400 Triumf Air Defence Missile Systems from Russia. The approval was given by the Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar during DAC meeting in New Delhi.

  • Parrikar also cleared the purchase of about Rs 25,500 crore worth of defence equipment, including the crucial six regiments of Pinaka rocket system, for the Indian Army.
  • The S-400 Triumf, an upgraded version of the S-300 missile system is a long-to-medium-range, surface-to-air missile system, and is designed to intercept a range of ground-based and airborne targets, including stealth aircraft, strategic carriers, and cruise and ballistic missiles at a distance of 400km.

ENVIRONMENT

Country’s biggest wildlife rescue centre commissioned in Maharashtra

Maharashtra Chief Minister, Devendra Fadnavis has inaugurated India’s biggest Wildlife Rescue Centre named as Gorewada Zoo and Wildlife Rescue Centre at Gorewada near Nagpur, Maharashtra.

  • The rescue centre will house sick, injured and rescued animals. There are four wards with a burial ground on the same premises. The idea has been taken from Gir Forest National park and Wild life sanctuary, Gujarat. The hospital has state-of-art facilities and equipped with x-ray machine, operation theatre etc.
  • The foundation stone for this rescue centre was laid by former Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan.

SPORTS

Cheteshwar Pujara named as brand ambassador of Rajkot half marathon

Cheteshwar Pujara named as brand ambassador of Rajkot half marathon

Cricketer, Cheteshwar Pujara named as the brand ambassador of the first Rajkot half marathon to be held on January 24. The marathon is jointly organized by the Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC) and the city police. The 21km half run will be flagged off from Race Course ground and also end at the same spot.

  • The half marathon is aimed at creating awareness about traffic and cleanliness.
  • More than 30,000 people are expected to take part in that event. A special website has also been launched for the marathon.

OBITUARY

Theatre artiste Chatla Sriramulu passes away

Chatla Sriramulu, noted writer and theatre artiste passed away in Secunderabad. He was the first artiste from Andhra Pradesh to receive the Emeritus Fellowship from the Human Resources Department of the Government of India.

  • Sriramulu was awarded ‘Best Actor’ twice by the Andhra Nataka Kala Parishad. He was awarded the Certificate of ‘Producer and Teacher’ by the British Drama League, London in 1970.
  • He was also a recipient of the Central government’s Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1982.

British Novelist Peter Dickinson passes away

Peter Dickinson, 88 – year old renowned British novelist passed away in Winchester, Hampshire. He was best known for children’s books and detective stories.

  • He was the first author to receive twice the prestigious Carnegie medal in 1979 and 1980 awarded annually by librarians for the outstanding new children’s book in Britain
  • He wrote 60 books which have been translated into 53 different languages.
  • His first novel for children “The Weather monger” was published in 1968 and his last book “In the Palace of The Khans” was published in 2012.