Current Affairs Today – December 3 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.

CAT Dec 3

INDIAN AFFAIRS

Government gave nod to introduction of Regional Centre for Biotechnology Bill, 2015

The Union Cabinet led by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given nod for introduction of a Bill to establish a Regional Centre for Biotechnology in Faridabad. It is currently active at the NCR Biotech Science Cluster, Faridabad.

Objective:

To provide a legal status to the Centre so as to function autonomously and also an Institution of National Importance for education, training and research in the fields of biotechnology.

Key points:

  • Hub of biotechnology proficiency in the countries in South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) region, and in the Asia region to address human resources needs.
  • Programmes: Relevant to industry comprising bio-drug discovery science, Nano-science and medicine, imaging techniques, designer crops, bioengineering and biomaterials, intellectual property, technology transfer and regulation to achieve and overcome the unavailability of skilled human resources in India.

MoU between India and Iran on visa facilitation

Iran india

The Union Cabinet led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi ratified the signing of agreement between India and Iran on visa facilitation for Diplomatic, Official/Service and Ordinary passport holders.

  • Resident Diplomatic Missions in the host country would, within 20 working days, issue a cost-free visa valid for three months assigned on long-term missions to the Diplomatic Missions or the Consulates General.

Costless visas of three months’ validity for

  • Visiting close family members i.e. blood relations such as parents, siblings, adult children and in-laws
  • Other close relatives of the assignees, on the payment of visa fees due would be issued.

Key points: Iran

  • Capital and currency: Tehran, Rial
  • Supreme leader:Ali Khamenei
  • President: Hassan Rouhani

MoU between India and Germany for Capital Goods Sector and Solar Energy

The Union Cabinet led by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ratified a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Germany to magnify bilateral cooperation in the field of Solar Energy by expandinguse of solar energy in India through technical as well as financial cooperation.

Agreement:Germany would provide concessional loans in the range of one billion Euros over the next five years through Kreditanstalt fur Wiederaufbau(KfW). It will be used for providing soft loans to the end-users through partner banks.

*Key points:

  • Cooperation in the field of solar roof tops
  • Development of solar parks or solar zones
  • Solar off-grid applications to improve the access to clean and sustainable energy.

Memorandum of Understanding between India and Maldives in the field of sports and youth affairs

The Union Cabinet led by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi given its nod for a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Maldives in the field of sports and youth affairs.

Benefits:

Expand knowledge and expertise in the areas of sports science, sports medicine, coaching techniques, participation in youth festivals and camps as a result improvement in execution of India’s sports persons in international tournaments and strengthening of bilateral relations between the two countries.

*Key Points: Maldives

  • Capital and Currency: Male, Rufiyaa
  • President: Abdulla Yameen

India signs pact with Bahrain for cooperation on terrorism, organised crime

India and Bahrain signed agreement to provide cooperation to tackle international terrorism transnational organized crime and psychotropic substances and was inked during the talks between union home minister Rajnath Singh and his counterpart Lt Gen Sheikh Rashed Bin Abdulla Al-Khalifa at New Delhi.

Aim: To strengthen cooperation and information sharing to ensure faster investigations and prosecutions of traffickers and organised crime groups in either country.

  • As per report compiled by United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC) after southeast Asia, south Asia with India at its Centre is the fastest-growing region for human trafficking in the world. Every year more than 1.6lakh people have been trafficked.

*Key points:Behrain

  • Capital, Currency: Manama, Dinar
  • King:Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa
  • Crown Prince:Salman bin Hamad bin

Memorandum of Understanding between India and Israel in the field of water resources management and development cooperation

India-Israel

The Union Cabinet led by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its nod for signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Israel in the field of water resources management and development cooperation.

Benefit:

To strengthen the techniques in efficient use of water, micro-irrigation, recycling/re-use of waste water, desalination, aquifer recharge and in-situ water conservation techniques.

Earlier agreements in this field: With Australia, Rwanda, Cambodia, Iran, Iraq, Fiji, China

Key points:Israel

  • Capital & Currency: Jerusalem, Israeli new shekel
  • Prime minister: Benjamin Netanyahu

Union Cabinet approves DTAC agreement with Japan

The Double Taxation Avoidance Convention (DTAC) which was signed between India and Japan in 1989 has been amended in order by the Union Cabinet to facilitate tax-related exchange of information.

  • The protocol will facilitate exchange of information as per accepted international standards on tax matters, including bank information and information without domestic tax interest.
  • The protocol signed between the countries also has a provision to offer assistance to each other country in collection of revenue claims as well as for exemption of interest income from taxation in the source country with respect to debt claims insured by the government or government-owned financial institutions.

Goa Government launches National Food Security Act, 2013

The Goa Government has launched National Food Security Act, 2013 with an aim to benefit more than one third of the state’s population.

About the act:

  • National Food Security Act, 2013 is about forecasting sufficient quantity of quality food at affordable prices to people to live a life of dignity under Article 21 of Constitution.
  • Under the act near about 5,11,000 people will get 5 kilograms of subsidized rice or wheat per person per month in Goa.
  • Rice will be given at the subsidized rate of 3 rupees per kg and wheat at the rate of 3 rupees per kg to target persons.
  • The Act will also include the Midday Meal (MDM) Scheme, Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme and Public Distribution System (PDS) under it to provide subsidized food grains.

Union Cabinet gives nod to establish 6 new IITs

The setting up of 6 new IITs in the country has been approved by the Central Government in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala and Karnataka.

  • Each new IIT will have an initial intake of 180 students in its first year which would increase to 450 in the second year and to 928 (840 Undergraduates, 80 Postgraduates and 8 PhDs) in the third year of their operation.
  • The total cost for running these IITs is Rs 1,411.80 crore and will be incurred between 2015-16 and 2018-19. Each new IIT will have teacher to student ratio of 1 : 10 and before shifting to their permanent campuses, they will be operated from their temporary campuses for the initial period of three years.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Brazil entered longest recession since 1930s

The world’s seventh largest economy Brazil’s economy shrank 4.5 percent year-on-year in the third quarter that is sharper than expected recession and its GDP shrank 1.7 percent from the previous quarter.

Reason:

  • Primary reasons for recession are constant global economic slowdown, shrinkage in exports and unprecedented scandal at the government-run oil company Petrobras.
  • All these reasons together have had impact on economy in the country and thus diminishing economy.

Unemployment  rate:8.9 percent during July-September 2015 higher from 6.8 percent in 2014-15.

Household spending: Cut down by 4.5 percent during July-September 2015.Real, Brazil’s currency down about 31 percent against the dollar.

Inflation: 10 percent which is the highest in 12 years

Key points: Brazil

  • Capital & currency: Brasilia, Real
  • President: DilmaRousseff

Russia, WADA agreed on road map to reform Russian Anti-Doping Agency

Moscow and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) signed an agreement to reform Russia’s anti-doping agency.

  • The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) suspended Russia last month after a report by a WADA independent commission found evidence of state-sponsored doping and large-scale corruption in Russian athletics.
  • Russia’s anti-doping agency RUSADA and anti-doping laboratory have been suspended over the report has undertaken to retrieve IAAF membership in time for its track and field athletes to compete at next year’s Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games.
  • WADA’s report accused RUSADA of consistently violating international testing standards and allowing athletes banned for doping to compete in spite of being suspended from competition, among other condemning indictments.

BANKING & FINANCE

Axis Bank launches country’s first ‘display variant’ debit card

Axis bank

Country’s third largest private bank Axis Bank has launched country’s first ‘display variant’ debit card which will ease generating one time password (OTP) over SMS while transacting.

  • The card has an embedded EMV chip, a display screen and a touch-sensitive button which helps generating the OTP on the card itself. So the customer will not have to wait for receiving the OTP via SMS or mail while transacting.
  • The card will allow free ATM access across the world, offers on lounge access, loyalty points on transactions and an air accident insurance of Rs 25 lakh and a personal accident insurance of Rs 5 lakh.

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Vijay Kumar Choudhary elected as Bihar assembly Speaker

Senior Janata Dal (United) leader and five-time MLA Vijay Kumar Chaudhary has been elected as the new Speaker of the Bihar State Assembly. He was elected unanimously by all the political parties.

  • He is a close associate of Bihar’s Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and is popular among political parties for his soft and suave nature.
  • He had severed as JDU leader of Legislature Party and had served as the Minister for Water Resources, Agriculture and Information & Public Relations Departments in the cabinet under Nitish Kumar.

Sir Venkatraman Ramakrishnan assumed Presidency of the Royal Society

Renowned Indian-born American and British biologist, Sir Venkatraman Ramakrishnan has been appointed as the President of the British Royal Society. With this he became the 61st President of Royal Society and has joined the elite group of scientists such as Isaac Newton, Joseph Banks, Humphry Davy, and Ernest Rutherford, who had held the same position.

About Sir Venkatraman Ramakrishnan:

VenkatramanRamakri

  • He was born in Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu.
  • In 2009, he shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Thomas A. Steitz and Ada Yonath for studies of the structure and function of the ribosome.
  • He was elected as a member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) in 2002 and a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2003.
  • He also received India’s second highest civilian honor, the Padma Vibhushan, in 2010.

SPORTS

India’s Thakur Anoop Singh won gold medal in World Bodybuilding and Physique Championships

Indian bodybuilder, Thakur Anoop Singh has earned the title of ‘Mr World’ by winning a gold medal in a world bodybuilding meet held in Bangkok, Thailand.

  • He had also won Bronze in Men’s Fitness Physique (Senior) category at 49th Asian Bodybuilding and Physique 2015 which was held in Tashkent.
  • He was forced to leave his job as a pilot in 2008 when the world was hit by recession and after that he turned to small screen. In the Mahabharata series that began in 2011, he played the role of Drithrashtra.

OBITUARY

Veteran industrialist MAM Ramaswamy passes away

Co-Founder of Chettinad Group headquartered at Chennai and former parliamentarian, MAM Ramaswamy passed away at the age of 84.

About MAM Ramaswamy:

  • He was a politician from Janata Dal (Secular) party and was a Member of the Parliament of India representing Karnataka in the Rajya Sabha.
  • He was known as MAMR in political, business and sports circles and was widely known for his philanthropic activities.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Theme for 2015: Inclusion matters: access and empowerment for people of all abilities

History:

It has been commemorated since 1992 to promote awareness and activatesupport for critical issues regarding inclusion of persons with disabilities in society and development.

Highlights:

  • By 2050, 66% of the world’s population will be living in cities. To evaluate the progress and to design a “New Urban Agenda”, United Nations’ Third Global Conference on Housing and Sustainable Development – Habitat III  will take place in 2016 that will provide a platform for the world’s urban development policy-makers and practitioners
  • The Department of Economic and Social Affair organizes a Photo Exhibition since 2015 that will work to help change misperceptions to counter stigma and stereotyping about persons with disabilities.