Current Affairs Today – December 26 2015

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Current Affairs Today 26 December 2015

INDIAN AFFAIRS

Union Government brings 376 drugs under the NLEM

The Union Government has added 106 drugs including that of HIV/AIDS, Cancer and Hepatitis C to the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM). In this regard, Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s core committee has revised the NLEM.

  • The committee was headed by M. Katoch, former secretary of Department of Health Research.
  • The revision includes addition of 106 essential medicines and deletion of 70 medicines.
  • With this total number of essential medicines in the list have gone up to 376 from earlier 348 medicines.

This move will ensure their availability across the country at affordable prices. The new list takes cues from the World Health Organisation (WHO’s) 2015 list of essential drugs and medicines that satisfies the priority healthcare needs of people and ensure affordability.

National Food Security Act launched in Assam

Panchayat and Rural development minster of the state Rakibul Hussain launched the Food Security Act (FSA) in Nagaon district of Assam to address the hunger of the people.

  • Under this Act, every person belonging to priority households will be entitled to receive 5 kg of food grains per person per month at subsidised prices not exceeding Rs. 3.00 per kg for rice.

About NFSA:
National Food Security Act (NFSA) is an Act to provide food and nutritional security in human life cycle approach by ensuring access to adequate quantity of quality food at affordable prices for people to live with dignity.

  • Under NFSA 2013, a total of 2 crores 11 lakh 69 thousands have been identified as priority households in the State of Assam and 22 lakhs 65 thousands 136 household in Nagaon district will be benefitted by the scheme.

AP State ranked first in e-transactions

According to the National e-Transaction Count maintained by the Electronic Transaction Aggregation and Analysis Layer (Etaal) under the Union Department of Electronics and Information Technology

Andhra Pradesh has tops the list registered a quantum leap with 111.88 crore transactions since the start of the year.

  • AP is followed by Telangana with 87.34 crore transactions.
  • Kerala stood at 3rd rank which had registered 67 crore e-transactions in 2015, representing a 15- fold growth from 3.69 crore transactions in 2014.

Toppers in e-services:
Andhra Pradesh leads the list with 263 services followed by Telangana (225), Madhya Pradesh (206), Gujarat (195) and Kerala (180).

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

PM Modi visit to Afghanistan & Pakistan

After two days visit to Russia, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi landed in Afghanistan to inaugurate the newly-built Afghan parliament building in Kabul.

  • The building is the latest symbol of a longstanding diplomatic effort by New Delhi to cultivate its links to Afghanistan.
  • It was constructed by India at a cost of USD 90 million.
  • The construction of building was started in 2009 and has missed its completion deadlines at least 3 times since 2011, and has gone over-budget by double the original costing of $45 million.

Seychelles government allows India to build Naval Base on its Assumption Island

Seychelles government allowed India to build its first Naval Base on the Assumption Island in the Indian Ocean region (IOR) as a joint project between both countries which will help to enhance mutual security along our western seaboard in IOR.

  • On completion, the naval base would be used by the defence forces both countries.
  • It would help India to exercise greater control over the strategic western region of IOR to the piracy-prone eastern African coastline that commands vital energy (oil) sea transport lines.

Keys:
Seychelles Capital – Victoria
Seychelles Currency – Seychellois rupee

BANKING & FINANCE

19.52 Bank accounts opened under Prime Minister’s Jan Dhan Yojana till December

As per RBI, banks opened 19.52 crore accounts under the Prime Minister’s Jan Dhan Yojana till the first week of December.

  • RBI’s half-yearly report on the operations and performance of scheduled commercial banks showing most of these accounts are in rural areas.
  • As on December 9th, 7 million RuPay debit cards have been issued.

As many as 92.6 million beneficiaries have been enrolled under the Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana and 29.2 million under Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana. 13 lakh account holders have been enrolled under Atal Pension Yojana as on December 16.

BUSINESS

Alibaba agrees to invest $1.25 bn in Chinese online food delivery service

The e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd plans to inject $1.25 billion in a Shanghai-based food delivery service, Ele.me.

  • With this move Alibaba is likely to acquire 7% stake in Ele.me, which will make it the biggest shareholder of the company.

Ele.me is a part of online-to-offline (O2O) services trend in China, where customers use their smartphones to order offline services.

  • Earlier Ele.me raised $350 million from investors, including CITIC Private Equity, Tencent Holdings Ltd, JD.com Inc, Dianping and Sequoia Capital.

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

Johnny Depp leads Forbes Most Overpaid Actors list

Actor Johnny Depp (52) has been named Hollywood’s most overpaid actor in 2015 by Forbes. According to the magazine he only returned $ 1.20 for every $ 1 he was paid.

  • The “Black Mass” star replaced last year’s most overpaid movie actor Adam Sandler to top the list.
  • Depp’s last four Pirates of the Caribbean movies grossed a combined $3.7 billion, making it one of the most successful franchises ever. But as Lord Charlie in Mortdecai or Dr. Will Caster in Transcendence, he failed to strike box office gold despite pocketing millions personally.

APPOINTMENTS

Amway India signs Farhan Akhtar as Nutrilite brand ambassador

Amway India signs Farhan Akhtar as Nutrilite brand ambassadorDirect-selling FMCG firm Amway India on Friday announced Bollywood actor Farhan Akhtar as its brand ambassador to promote Nutriliterange of the products.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Tech Mahindra launches contactless wallet MoboMoney

IT major Tech Mahindra has launched first of its kind “Tap N Pay” contactless digital payment wallet MoboMoney for the Indian masses. MoboMoney has been billed as India’s first commercial NFC ecosystem rollout that would allow consumers to convert cash into e-cash for making payments.

MoboMoney:

  • MoboMoney is a prepaid wallet, issued in the form of an NFC (Near-Field Communication) contactless tag.
  • It can be used to ‘Tap n Pay’ on a network of NFC-enabled merchant point-of-sale device.
  • Consumers can load their wallet by paying cash at the merchants as well as using their credit/debit cards and Internet banking.
  • The money loaded to make over the counter payments, recharges, bill payments, as well as online purchases.

About Near field communication (NFC)
NFC is a short-range high frequency wireless communication technology. It basically is a set of protocols that enable two electronic devices (one usually us a portable device such as a smartphone) to establish radio data communication with each other by bringing them closer typically, 10 cm (4 in) from each other.

ENVIRONMENT

U.S. listed Indian Lion in “endangered” species

The United States will place a breed of lion found in India and Africa in the endangered species list in a bid to curb the dramatic decline of their population.

  • As per U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, it will list Panthera leo leo (a subspecies of lion) located in India and western and central Africa as endangered
  • Panthera leo melanochaita, located in eastern and southern Africa, will be listed as threatened.

Strong earthquake hits Afghanistan, Pakistan

A 6.2-magnitude earthquake hit northern Afghanistan and Pakistan, two months after more than 300 people were killed by a quake in the same mountainous region.

Strong shocks were felt in the Afghan capital Kabul at 11:14 p.m.Tremors were felt as far away as New Delhi, officials said.

  • The U.S. Geological Survey said the earthquake, initially reported as magnitude 6.4, was at a depth of 126.5 miles (203 km) and centred 51 miles (82 km) southeast of the town of Feyzabad, capital of the Afghan province of Badakhshan.
  • A magnitude 6.2 quake is considered strong and can cause severe damage.
  • A magnitude-7.5 quake hit northern Afghanistan and Pakistan on Oct. 26, destroying thousands of houses and killing more than 300 people.

SPORTS

Kusal Perera handed four year ban for doping

Kusal Perera handed four year ban for dopingSri Lankan wicketkeeper-batsman Kusal Perera faces a four-year ban after the ‘B’ sample has tested positive for a prohibited substance.

  • The International Cricket Council (ICC) provisionally suspended Perera after he failed an out-of-competition anti-doping test in October.

Sri Lanka Cricket sent back Perera from their tour of New Zealand earlier this month while also promising to provide support for the dashing left-handed batsman to get back on the field as soon as possible.

Djokovic, Federer in race to be first $100m man

Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer are poised to become the first $100 million men in tennis in 2016, in a gripping sub-plot to the new grand slam season.

  • No player in the history of the sport has broken through the $100m on-court earnings barrier but world No 1 Djokovic and world No 3 Federer should reach the landmark next year.

Djokovic (28) has just over $94m in prize money while Federer (six years the Serb’s senior) has banked $97.3m.

Indian referee selected for 2016 Rio Olympic Games

Indian referee selected for 2016 Rio Olympic GamesAn international level referee Ashok Kumar was selected for officiating in the Rio Olympics next year by the United World Wrestling (UWW). Ashok Kumar currently serving as a warrant officer in the Indian Air Force.

  • A total of 50 referees, including supervisors and instructors, have qualified for the Olympics. The United World Wrestling (UWW) has picked nine referees from Asia and Ashok Kumar is the only one from India for the first time.

The referees have been selected based upon their performance during the 2015 World Senior Wrestling Championship held at Las Vegas from September and subsequently the clinic conducted for these referees at Sochi, Russia from December.

OBITUARY

Veteran actress Sadhana passes away in Mumbai

Veteran actress Sadhana passes away in MumbaiVeteran Hindi film actress Sadhana known for popularising the fashionable Sadhana cut passed away in Mumbai at the age of 74.

About Sadhana :

  • Born in 1941, the actress was one of the top actors of the 1960s and 70s. She is remembered for her roles in blockbuster films like ‘Love in Simla’, ‘Hum Dono’.
  • Sadhana was known for her on-screen simple looks as well glamour quotient and is closely associated with some of the most memorable Hindi film songs during the 1960s.
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