Current Affairs Today – December 4 2015

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CAT Dec 4

INDIAN AFFAIRS

Lok Sabha passes The Bureau of Indian Standards Bill, 2015

Lok Sabha has passed The Bureau of Indian Standards Bill, 2015 by a voice vote to establish Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). The bill has proposed to make BIS as the National Standards Body of India and enable the government to bring more products, systems and services under ambit of standardisation.

  • The bill on standardization was pending for over 30 years and will replace the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 1986.

Union Cabinet approved rehabilitation package for Bangladesh enclaves

Union Cabinet approved rehabilitation package for Bangladesh enclaves

Central government approved Rs.1006 crore rehabilitation package for the people affected after the exchange of enclaves between India and Bangladesh.

  • Union Cabinet meeting led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved rehabilitation package and upgradation of infrastructure of former Bangladesh enclaves in Cooch Behar district after exchange of enclaves between India and Bangladesh. Infrastructure development and rehabilitation assistance will help harmonious integration of areas and people.
  • Rs 898.50 crore as the fixed cost of strengthening and creation of infrastructure in Cooch Behar district and former Bangladesh enclaves in India.
  • Rs 107.49 crore as a variable cost is likely to be encountered for the rehabilitation.

Key Points: Bangladesh

  • Capital & Currency: Dhaka, Taka
  • Prime minister: Sheikh Hasina
  • President: Abdul Hamid

PM launches Accessible India campaign in Delhi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a campaign that to make government buildings, public transport, tourist places, international airports and railways stations disabled-friendly on December 3, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Arun Jaitley unveiled the Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan.

Aim: To increase participation of people with disability in day-to-day practices. Sugamya Bharat is a right step towards an inclusive society.

Initiatives:

  • 75 railway stations and 27 international airports and about 5,000 public buildings would be rendered to make them accessible.
  • All government websites W3C compliant that means all websites would have a text-to-speech feature which would make them accessible to the visually impaired.

Superhead of the Accessible India campaign: Joint secretary Mukesh Jain

NGT announces Rs 5,000 fine on use of plastic in Chandigarh

National Green Tribunal announced a fine of Rs 5,000 on anyone found using or dealing with plastic material in Chandigarh to make the city pollution-free.

Reason: The direction came while hearing an appeal by Chandigarh resident Rishi Dev Anand who has suspected gross failure in waste management system and in tackling garbage disposal.

  • 370 metric tonnes of garbage was produced day-to-day in Chandigarh which was being dumped irrationally.

Key points:

  • National Green Tribunal: It is a specialized body equipped with the necessary expertise to handle environmental disputes including multi-disciplinary issues.
  • Chairperson: Justice Swatanter Kumar

Himachal Pradesh became first state to launch Rotavirus vaccination project

Himachal Pradesh has become the first state in the country to launch Rotavirus vaccination project. Chief Minister Shri Virbhadra Singh launched this project from Dharamsala in district Kangra by dispensing the Rotavirus drops to the children under five years. It will help in monitoring the deaths amongst small children due to Diarrhea.

  • Rotavirus infection amount to 30,000 deaths in India annually. It would be soon presented in Vellore in Karnataka and Pune in Maharashtra State with technical assistance of International Clinical Epidemiological Network bearing the entire cost of vaccines.
  • Rotavirus: Rotavirus is a genus of double-stranded RNA virus in the family Reoviridae. Every child in the world has been infected with rotavirus at least once by the age of five.

Union Government releases postage stamp to mark centenary year of ZSI

Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Communications and Information Technology, announced that the India Posts would soon launch postal stamps to celebrate biodiversity of India’s flora and fauna. It will also celebrate the centenary anniversary of the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI).

Zoological Survey of India (ZSI):

The ZSI was founded on July 1 in 1916 under the British rule. The organisation has been instrumental in protecting and conserving the animals and birds of India for the last 99 years. It is the highest organisation in order of animal research and classification in India and operated by the Ministry of Environment and Forest Affairs

Union Minister of Environment: Prakash Javadekar

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

WHO released estimates of the global burden of foodborne diseases

The World health Organisation (WHO) has released its first ever report on global estimates of foodborne diseases. The report is named as “Estimates of the global burden of foodborne diseases” – the most comprehensive report to date on the impact of contaminated food on health and well-being.

  • Based on the available information, it is known that the global burden of foodborne diseases is considerable, affecting people all over the world – particularly children under 5 years of age and people in low-income areas.

Xi announces $60 billion of ‘funding support’ for Africa

China’s president Xi Jinping has announced a funding support of $60 million to Africa at a summit in Johannesburg for development purposes which includes $5 billion of grants in zero interest loans (and) $35 billion in preferential facility and export credit loans and concessional loans.

  • Chinese president also announced drought aid for the continent.
  • It is seen that inspite of the slow growth of the Chinese Economy, China’s commitment to Africa will continue and it will be focused on 10 projects over the next three years.

Key Points:

  • China’s Capital: Beijing
  • South Africa’s President: Jacob Zuma
  • South Africa’s Capital: Pretoria

Britain launches airstrikes against IS-controlled oil fields in Syria

Britain struck in the Omar oil fields in eastern Syria that help finance the Islamic State group and Germany prepared to send scouting aircraft to the Middle East as coalition forces stepped up efforts to fight the militants.

  • Many of the oil fields had been hit by the U.S. led Operation Inherent Resolve, Britain chose a target with low risk of security damage in Syria.
  • Russia is also bombing Syria outside the U.S.-led coalition. Moscow supports Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, while the United States and its associates are against him.

IS(Islamic State):

The jihadist group Islamic State (IS) burst on to the international scene in 2014 when it detained large swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq. It has become dishonorable for its brutality, including mass killings, abductions and executions.

Leader: Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

UN Agencies released report on prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Asia-Pacific region

According to a UN report, India, China and Pakistan are among the 10 countries in the Asia-Pacific that account for 98 per cent of youngsters aged 10 to 19 living with HIV. As per report it is facing a “hidden epidemic” of HIV among adolescents.

The Asia-Pacific Inter-Agency Task Team on Young Key Populations including UNICEF and the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS published the report ‘Adolescents: Under the Radar in the Asia-Pacific AIDS Response’.

Key highlights:

  • In 2014, 220,000 adolescents between 10-19 years were projected to be living with HIV in Asia and the Pacific.
  • India is among the 10 countries in the region that is 98 per cent of those aged 10-19 are living with HIV. Other countries are Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.
  • 50,000 new infections in 2014 among those aged 15 to 19

BANKING & FINANCE

MMTC eyes tie-ups with SBI, ICICI, India Post for gold coins

MMTC eyes tie-ups with SBI, ICICI, India Post for gold coins

As a part of gold monetisation programme of the Union Cabinet, Metals and Minerals Trading Corporation of India (MMTC) has decided to strengthen marketing network for selling Indian Gold coins by entering into tie-ups with SBI, ICICI Bank and India Post.

  • Presently, MMTC is retailing ‘Indian Gold’ coins through 22 outlets. After the tie-ups, initially 100-150 branches or outlets in the country will be finalized for selling Indian Gold Coins and later it will be a national launch.

Key Points:

  • The ‘Indian Gold’ coin is of 24 carat purity and has the national emblem of Ashok Chakra engraved on one side and the face of Mahatma Gandhi on the other.
  • Initially, the coins will be available in denominations of 5, 10 and 20 grams.
  • MMTC Headquarters: New Delhi

RBI announced revised Priority Sector Lending norms for Regional Rural Banks

The reserve bank of India has revised the priority sector lending guidelines for Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) according to which the RRBs will have to increase 18% of their total outstanding towards agricultural activities.

  • A target of 7.5 percent of total outstanding will be diverted towards micro enterprises and another 15 percent for weaker sections. The new norms will be implemented from January 1, 2016 and will be monitored on a quarterly and annual basis.

BUSINESS

Wipro to buy IT services firm Cellent AG for Rs. 514 crore

India’s third largest IT services company, Wipro has announced to acquire Germany based Landesbank Baden-Wuerttemberg (LBBW), Cellent AG for about Rs.514 crore.

  • Cellent AG currently employs around 800 consultants and serves the DACH market region. With this deal all its employees will become a part of Wipro.

Key points:

Cellent AG is a leading IT consulting and software services company and has been offering IT solutions and services to its customers in the DACH region of Germany, Austria and Switzerland for the past 14 years.

NTC signed Integrity Pact with Transparency International India

National Textile Corporation (NTC) Limited signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Transparency International India (TII) to adopt Integrity Pact. With this  NTC become the first textile corporation in India to sign such a pact.

Integrity Pact:

It is a tool in which all activities and transactions between a company or government department and their Suppliers are handled in a transparent and corruption-free manner. It forbids any kind of bribing, favour or any other unethical practice, which is closely scrutinized by honorary Independent External Monitors (IEMs).

Key Points:

  • Transparency International India (TII): TII is a non-government, non-party and non-profit organisation of Indian citizens with professional, social, industrial or academic experience.
  • NTC(National Textile Corporation Limited): It is a Central Public Sector Enterprise under the Ministry of Textiles which was built-in April 1968 to manage the affairs of sick textile undertakings in the private sector, taken over by the Government.

Chairman and managing director of NTC: PC Vaish

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

Adidas India’s Pulin Kumar won prestigious INBA Award

Pulin Kumar

A group senior legal and compliance director of adidas India, Pulin kumar has been conferred with the Indian National Bar Association’s (INBA) General Counsel of the year 2015 – Retail Award on the occasion of INBA’s Annual International Conference-66th National Law Day.

  • He has received the award for his contribution to the legal field in and outside the country for more than 21 years.

About INBA:

  • INBA confers awards in 12 categories for general counsel in the field of technology, infrastructure, real estate, retail, corporate, privacy and data protection, law firm and insurance.
  • INBA also recognises top women lawyers, young women general counsel, young emerging lawyers and global general counsel through its annual awards.

APPOINTMENTS

Indian-American Dr Vijay M Rao named as Chairperson of RSNA

Indian-American Dr Vijay M Rao(an All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) graduate) was named as the chairperson of the prestigious Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) Board of Directors.

  • She was the David C Levin Professor and Chairperson of Radiology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University.

About Dr. Vijay M  Rao:

  • Served on the editorial boards of multiple journals, has published more than 200 papers, 250 abstracts in medical literature, and a dozen book chapters.
  • Co-edited MRI and CT Atlas of Correlative Imaging in Otolaryngology(the oldest medical speciality in the United States).

M C Mishra appointed new CBDT member

A senior IRS officer, M C Mishra has been appointed as a member in the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), the apex policy-making body of the Income Tax department.

About M C Mishra:

  • M C Mishra is a 1979-batch Indian Revenue Service officer.
  • He was posted as the Chief Commissioner of Income Tax in Pune.
  • After his portfolio being notified by ministry, he may soon get the charge of Personnel and Vigilance or Income Tax.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Aurobindo gets USFDA nod for multi disease treatment injection

Durg maker Aurobindo Pharma has received the approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) to manufacture and market Dexamethasone Sodium Phosphate Injection USP, 4 mg/mL (1 mL, 5 mL and 30 mL vials) in USA. The product is expected to be launched by the last quarter of the current fiscal.

  • Dexamethasone Sodium Phosphate Injection can be used in the treatment of various conditions such as severe allergic reactions, arthritis, blood diseases, breathing problems, certain cancers, eye diseases, intestinal disorders and skin diseases.

Key Points:

  • Aurobindo Pharma Headquarters: Hyderabad

 IMPORTANT DAYS

Navy day celebrated across the country

Navy Day

Every year 4 December is celebrated as the Navy Day in India to celebrate the magnificence, achievements and role of the naval force to the country. India celebrated 44th anniversary of the India Navy on December 4 2015.

  • Navy Day in India is celebrated to commemorate the courageous attack on the Karachi harbor during the Indo-Pakistan war (at 4th of December in the year 1971) by the Indian Naval Missile boats as well as to reverence all the martyrs of that war.

Theme: “Indian Navy – Ensuring Secure Seas for a Resurgent Nation.”