Current Affairs Today – December 30 2015

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Current Affairs Today 30 December 2015

INDIAN AFFAIRS

Financial Aid of Rs. 6,794 crore for three drought-hit states

The states of Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh have been badly affected by drought in the year 2015 due to deficit rainfall. To improve the current situation and restore it back to normal, the Union Government has approved a financial aid of Rs 6,794 crore for these three states.

  • The government has approved Rs 3,100 crore for Maharashtra, Rs 1,672 crore for Chhattisgarh and Rs 2,022 crore for Madhya Pradesh.

In December, Maharashtra government had announced a relief package worth Rs 10,512 crore for more than 15,000 drought-affected villages across 14 districts of Marathwada and Vidarbha areas.

Haryana Government sets educational qualification for municipal polls

Haryana Government has decided to amend Section 13 A of Haryana Municipal Act 1973 and Section 8 of Haryana Municipal Corporation Act 1994.

Objective: To make minimum educational qualification compulsory for aspirant of contesting local body polls on the lines of Panchayat polls.

  • Minimum educational qualification for male candidates: Matriculation
  • Females and males belonging to scheduled caste: Middle pass.
  • Candidate should have functional toilet at home and he or she should not be defaulter of cooperative bank loans and electricity department.

Earlier amendments: The state government has amended the Panchayati Raj Act fixing qualification for candidates to contest Panchayat polls.

*Key points: Haryana

  • Haryana Chief Minister:ManoharLalKhattar
  • Capital: Chandigarh
  • Largest city: Faridabad

BHEL commissioned Prayagraj power project unit in Uttar Pradesh

Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. (BHEL) has commissioned a 660 MW unit of the Prayagraj Super Thermal Power Project at Barain Allahabad district in Uttar Pradesh.

First super-critical thermal unit in the state to achieve capacity addition on attaining full load.

*Super-critical units: Theseare more efficient and eco-friendlyby consuming lesser coal.

Greenfield thermal power project is owned by Prayagraj Power Generation Company Limited (PPGCL) which is a subsidiary company of Jaiprakash Power Ventures Limited.

About BHEL:

It is owned by the Government of India and is a power plant equipment manufacturer and operates as an engineering and manufacturing company based in New Delhi, India, with orders of 43 sets of supercritical boilers and 38 sets of supercritical turbine generators by various customers.

*CEO: B. PrasadaRao

Three day Veda Convention and Vedic Conference begin in Kerala

Minister for Tourism and Culture A.P. Anilkumar initiated a three-day Veda Sammelanam.

Organised by: KasyapaVeda Research Foundation (KVEF) and Maharshi Sandeepani Rashtriya Veda VidyaPrathishtan(Ujjain), under the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development.

  • Comprises of treatises on different subjects being presented by scholars from Haridwar to Tamil Nadu.

*Key points: Kerala

  • Nicknames: God’s Own Country, Spice Garden of India, Land of Coconut Trees
  • Capital:Thiruvananthapuram
  • Governor: Sathasivam
  • Chief Minister:OommenChandy

No interviews for junior-level government jobs from January 1

All central government ministries and their Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) were told to dispense with the requirement of interviews for selections at junior level posts, however, they may continue with skill or physical test.

From January 1, 2016, there will be no recruitment with interview at the junior level posts in government of India ministries, departments, attached and subordinate offices, autonomous bodies and PSUs.

Decision for: All Group ‘C’ and non-gazetted posts of Group ‘B’ category and all such equivalent posts.

Orders:

  • For specific posts where the ministry or department wants to continue undertaking interview as a process of recruitment, a detailed proposal seeking exemption will have to be sent to the DoPT(Department of Personnel and Training with the approval of the minister or minister-in-charge.
  • Report so to be furnished with the approval of the minister or minister-in-charge shall include the details of the name and number of posts where the interview is discontinued and posts for which the exemption has been required.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Hotline launched between Taiwan & China after historic summit

China and Taiwan launched a first hotline to build mutual trust between the longtime rivals.

  • It has been launched on the sidelines of meeting in Singapore between Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The phone line was formally inaugurated by the chiefs of cross-Strait affairs from both sides as both the countries initiated several measures in recent. The conversation took place between China’s office’s director Zhang Zhijun and Taiwan’s mainland affairs chief Andrew Hsia.

WHO declares Guinea Ebola free

Guinea has been declared Ebola free after the death of more than 2,500 people from the virus leaving Liberia the only country still counting harmfulepidemic.

There were more than 3,800 Ebola cases in Guinea out of the more than 28,600 cases during the epidemic. A total of about 11,300 people died. A country is declared Ebola free 42 days after the recovery or death of the final patient and if there are no new infections.

  • Liberia was declared Ebola free in May and September, but each time new cases emerged.
  • With a death rate of up to 90 percent, Ebola is described as “one of the world’s deadliest diseases”.

What is Ebola?
Ebola is a viral hemorrhagic fever and one of the deadliest diseases known to humanity.

Symptoms: Fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. This is followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function, and in some cases, both internal and external bleeding.

Key points:Guinea

  • Capital: Conakry
  • Currency: Guinean franc
  • President: Alpha Conde

BANKING & FINANCE

India Post payment bank to be operational by March 2017

During Good Governance Day conference Union Minister for Communications and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad announced that India Post Payment Bank will start operations in March 2017.

The Reserve Bank of India had granted in-principle approval to 11 applicants, including Postal Department, in August to set up payments banks.

World Bank, Barclays, Deutsche Bank and ICICI Bank, have expressed interest to form partnership with India Post.

Highlights of initiatives:

  • Launch of a National Centre of Geo-Informatics, a platform for sharing and collaborating GIS data source that will aid central and state governments in planning, decision-making and electronic delivery of services.
  • A mobile application for Digital Locker
  • MTNL will now offer free roaming to its customers from January 1.
  • Broadband limit has been increased to 2 mbps from 512 kbps, mobile towers will be set up in Naxal-affected areas in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.

Key points:

  • JS Deepak, secretary of the department of electronics and IT (DEITY)
  • Ajay Kumar, additional secretary at DEITY

BUSINESS

Russia inks $1 billion deal with HAL to manufacture 200 Kamov 226T helicopters

Russia’s Rostech State Corp. has tied up with Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL)

Highlights:

  • Purpose: For manufacture of at least 200 Kamov 226T light helicopters to replace the ageing fleet of Cheetah and Chetak, and also provides for maintenance, operation and repair of helicopters.
  • Worth:$1 billion under the Make in India initiative.
  • First Indo-Russian high-tech project implemented by the Indian government within Make in India initiative.

Modi is set to inaugurate a new helicopter production facility of HAL at Tumkur in Karnataka.

Out of the 181 Cheetah and Chetak helicopters held by the army, 51 were 40 years or older, and 78 were between 30 and 40 years old.

Key point:

  • Chief executive officer, Rostech:Sergei Chemezov
  • RussiaCapital: Moscow
  • Currency: Russian ruble
  • President: Vladimir Putin

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

Jnanpith Award conferred upon Gujarati writer Raghuveer Chaudhary

Eminent Gujarati novelist, poet and critic Raghuveer Chaudhary (77) has been chosen for the 51st Jnanpith Award for 2015 for his contribution to Indian literature.

  • Chaudhary is the 4th Gujarati writer to receive this prestigious award after Uma Shankar Joshi (1967), Pannalal Patel (1985) and Rajendra Shah (2001).

The Ministry of AYUSH has been conferred with the ISO 9001:2008

The Ministry of AYUSH has been conferred with the ISO 9001:2008 – Certificate for applying Quality Management System for “Provision of Policy Formulation, Development and Implementation of Programmes for the Propagation & Growth of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha & Homeopathy”.

  • The Certificate has been issued by TUV India Pvt. Ltd. Indian operations of a German Firm, TUV Nord Group, appointed by the Quality Council of India, which is the nodal organization for ISO 9001:2008 Certification.

This Certification has placed Ministry of AYUSH in a unique position enjoyed by only a few Ministries/Departments of Government of India, which are ISO 9001:2008 certified.

  • The ISO 9001:2008 certification is an international standard that defines good management practices. The certification aims at providing a global standard that spells out quality and trust.

APPOINTMENTS

Giorgi Kvirikashvili elected as Prime Minister of Georgia

Giorgi Kvirikashvili elected as Prime Minister of GeorgiaThe Georgian Parliament confirmed Giorgi Kvirikashvili as the country`s new prime minister. The Parliament has approved the new government by 86 votes to 28.

About Giorgi Kvirikashvili :

  • Kvirikashvili, 48, became Georgia`s third prime minister since the Georgian Dream coalition came into power in October 2012, preceded by Bidzina Ivanishvili and Irakli Garibashvili.
  • Kvirikashvili has also been serving as foreign minister since early September 2015. Before that he was the economy minister.

Key points :

  • Georgia Capital : Tbilisi
  • Georgia Currency : Lari

ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS

CCI clears RBS India-Sanctum Wealth deal

Fair trade regulator CCI has approved the acquisition of Royal Bank of Scotland Group‘s India wealth management business by Sanctum Wealth.

  • Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) signed an agreement to transfer the India private banking operations to Sanctum Wealth Management in September.
  • The deal comprises transfer of client relationships and staff.

Sanctum Wealth Head: Shiv Gupta.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

LRSAM Barak 8 Missile successfully tested from INS Kolkata

The Indian Navy successfully conducted the maiden firing of its newly developed Long Range Barak 8 Surface-to-Air Missile (LR SAM) crossing a significant milestone in enhancing its anti-air warfare capability.

  • The firing trial of the LR SAM has been jointly carried out by the Indian Navy, DRDO and Israel Aerospace Industries on the Western Seaboard by INS Kolkata, wherein the missile successesfully intercepted an Aerial Target at extended ranges.

About LRSAM Barak 8 Missile :

  • LRSAM includes a Multi Functional Surveillance and Threat Alert Radar (MF STAR) for detection, tracking and guidance of the missile.
  • The LR SAM was jointly developed by India and Israel and has been manufactured by M/s Bharat Dynamics Limited, India.
  • Its main features are long range, active radar seeker missile, vertical launch and multiple simultaneous engagements.

SPORTS

ICC ODI ranking: Afghanistan enter top 10

The Afghanistan cricket team cruised into the top 10 in the International Cricket Council One-Day International (ODI) rankings for the first time after win the first match against Zimbabwe.

  • Afghanistan will have an opportunity to remain at the tenth position should they win the five-match series against Zimbabwe. A series loss, however, means they will return to their original World no.12 ranking behind Zimbabwe and Ireland.

Key points :

  • First : Australia
  • Second : India
  • Third :South Africa

OBITUARY

Renowned Marathi Poet & Padma Bhushan awardee Mangesh Padgaonkar passes away

Iconic Marathi poet and recipient of Padma Bhushan, Mangesh Keshav Padgaonkar has been passed away due to brief illness. He was 86.

  • He translated works of Mirabai and published a book “Mira”. He also translated works of Kabir and Surdas in Marathi alongwith Shakespeare’s plays “The Tempest”, “Julius Ceasar” and “Romeo and Juliet”.
  • His translations of “Bible: The New Testament” was published in 2008.

Veteran singer Subir Sen passed away

Veteran singer Subir Sen passed awayVeteran singer Subir Sen known for his work in Chhoti Bahen died of lung cancer.He was 81.

About Subir Sen :

  • From the 1950s till the 1980s, the melodious singer had sung a number of hit songs.A hit filmAas ka Panchhi marked the peak of Sen’s popularity.
  • In the 1950s, Sen added a unique romantic touch to hit Bengali songs such asMonalisa tumi ki bolona.
  • Some of his well-known songs includeDheere chalao zara with Lata Mangeshkar in Aas Ka Panchhi and Humein un rahon par chalna hai in Masoom.
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