Current Affairs Today – December 7 2015

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Current Affairs Today 7 December 2015

INDIAN AFFAIRS

Naval exercise INDRA NAVY-15 commences in Vizag

The 8th edition of a bilateral exercise between the Indian and Russian navies “INDRA NAVY” started from December 7 in Visakhapatnam and will continue till December 12 with an aim to strengthen the strategic relationship between the two countries.
(Exercise initiated in 2003)

  • The scope of INDRA NAVY- 2015 includes wide ranging professional interactions during the Harbour phase and a diverse canvas of operational activities at sea across a spectrum of maritime operations.

Delhi & Tokyo may ink pact for India’s first Bullet Train

India and Japan are planning to ink an agreement on ‘Bullet Trains’ during Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit.

  • Abe’s Special Adviser Hiroto Izumi will be in Delhi this week for high-level talks to finalise the terms of the agreement on high-speed trains, known as Shinkansen in Japan.
  • The first train is planned between Mumbai and Ahmedabad.
  • The project will cut travelling time between Mumbai and Ahmedabad from seven to two hours.

Japan is likely to agree to finance the Rs 90,000 crore plus railway project through a soft loan at 0.5% interest with repayment tenure of 50 years.

National Youth Festival in Chhattisgarh from Jan 12

For the first time, Chhattisgarh will host the 20th National Youth Festival on January 12-16, 2016, at Naya Raipur. More than 6,000 students across the country are slated to participate.

  • The festival is being held on the occasion of 153rd birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda.
  • Every year, the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda is observed as the National Youth Day.
  • The festival is being organized by Union ministry of youth affairs & sports, state government, National Service Scheme and Nehru Yuva Kendra.

The event will have contests in 18 different areas including folk dance, classical music and drama. A 38-member organising committee headed by Raipur divisional commissioner Ashok Agrawal has been constituted for organizing the event.

Odd-even number scheme: Delhi government to provide full proof plan on driving rule by Dec 25

Delhi Transport Minister Gopal Rai has announced that State Govt will come out with a “full proof plan” for Odd-even number scheme before December 25.

  • The measure has been suggested by the AAP dispensation with an aim to curb air pollution in Delhi.
  • The scheme is to be implemented from January 1.

The city government is also planning to strengthen the public transport system by introducing more buses and increasing the frequency of Metro trains to accommodate the rush of commuters.

What is odd-even number scheme?
It allows vehicles with number plates ending with an odd number to be driven on one day while those ending with an even number can be plied the alternate day.

  • Odd-numbered cars will be allowed to ply on Monday, Wednesday and Friday while even-numbered vehicles will run on the other days – Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
  • Emergency services like ambulances and public transport will not be under the ambit of the restriction.

Shri Kalraj Mishra inaugurates Global SME Summit 2015

Union Minister for MSME, Shri Kalraj Mishra inaugurated Global SME Summit 2015 at India Habitat Center in New Delhi.

  • Theme – “Make in India through Global SME partnerships”
  • This summit is organized by CII in partnership with Ministry of MSME

The objective of this summit is to connect the Global SMEs with the Indian SMEs for mutual business development and explore the emerging Indian market. This summit will also work towards creating a strong platform for key decision makers, business leaders and multilateral, global funding agencies to address issues common to SMEs and identify cross-border partnership opportunities.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

2nd FOCAC summit held in South Africa

The 2nd FOCAC (Forum on China-Africa Cooperation) Summit and 6th Ministerial Conference were held on 4 to 5 December 2015 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

  • Participants – 36 African leaders, five heads of governments and the Head of African Union Commission.
  • Theme“Africa-China Progressing Together: Win-Win Cooperation for Common Development”
  • The summit was chaired by the President of China Xi Jinping and Co-chaired by the President of South Africa Jacob Zuma.

BANKING & FINANCE

RBI abandoned COR of 56 NBFCs from conducting business

The Reserve Bank of India has cancelled the certificate of registration (COR) of 56 non-banking finance companies (NBFCs).

  • These companies cannot transact in the business of an NBFC as laid down under the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934.

Federal Bank launches service to recharge mobile phone

Federal Bank has launched missed call service for account holders in Chennai to recharge their mobile.

  • For availing the service, account holder shall do a one-time registration from his registered mobile number by sending the SMS ACTMOB<space><BeneficiaryMobileNumber><space><recharge amount><space><last three digits of the account number> to 9895088888.

Once registered, the beneficiary has to just make a missed call from his mobile number to 8431700700, and their phone will be recharged immediately and the amount debited to the account-holder’s bank account.

  • The maximum amount of recharge that can be done using missed call service is limited to ₹500 per day per account. Customers may call the Toll Free number 1800 425 1199 for further details regarding the service.

IDFC Bank selects TCS BaNCS for core banking

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), a leading IT services, consulting and business solutions organisation, has announced that IDFC Bank has selected TCS BaNCS for core banking, a move that will enable it to offer next generation banking services that are more personalised, convenient and faster.

  • IDFC Bank started operations on October 1, 2015 with 23 branches, powered by TCS BaNCS.
  • TCS has deployed more than 300 similar projects worldwide.

In about nine months, IDFC Bank has implemented solutions for core banking, corporate loan origination, financial inclusion and Global Limits and Exposure Management (GLEM) from the TCS BaNCS suite and has integrated them with a host of additional systems within the bank.

  • It has started operations in rural banking, corporate and wholesale banking and treasury in the first phase.

ACQUISITION & MERGER

Paytm acquires Near.in in a deal worth Rs 13 cr

Paytm has acquired Near.in, an online marketplace for hyper-local services in a cash and stock deal, estimated at between $1.5 million-$2 million (Rs 10 crore-Rs 13 crore)

  • The acquisition of the Gurgaon based start-up in is considered as a strategic move by Paytm to boost its online-to-offline play.

About Near.in
It was founded a little over a year ago by Sunil Goyal, Lomesh Dutta and Akshay Khanna provides services like home repairs, appliance repair and pest control. It also helps customers find music classes, yoga classes and salon services among others.

Tata Trusts partnered with Khan Academy for free online education

Tata Trusts partnered with US-based non-profit Khan Academy.

Aim: To provide free online education to Indians through open-access online platforms.

Partnership

  • It will not only hire Indian teachers but also create online content in Indian languages, primarily based on NCERT textbooks.
  • First phase: Focus on creating educational resources that will benefit children from middle- and low-income families in urban areas.
  • Second phase: Content in several Indian languages and to create content for Indian students, first with subtitles, and finally original content in various Indian languages.

Key points:

Khan Academy had nearly 2,700 freely viewable videos of around 10 minutes each on subjects like maths, science, and computer science, as well as humanities and test prep.

Hedge fund analyst-turned-founder of Khan Academy: Salman Khan

Hedge fund: It provide benefits to capital markets by contributing to market efficiency and enhancing liquidity. They undertake risks by serving as ready counterparties to entities wish to hedge risks.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Nirma University fetched “Excellence in Technology for Education Delivery”

Nirma University has been awarded under the category of “Excellence in Technology for Education Delivery” during the FICCI Education Awards 2015 as a part of the event under the 11th FICCI Higher Education Summit 2015.
(FICCI – Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry)

  • The event was organized at FICCI Federation House, New Delhi by FICCI in association with the Ministry of Human Resource Development, GOI.
  • FICCI Higher Education Excellence Awards aim to recognize institutions and individuals working to improve Higher Education quality in India.

Hyderabad Police gets Express IT excellence award

Union Telecom and Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad presented ‘Express IT excellence award’ to Hyderabad City Police in acknowledgment with IT initiatives launched by them in last one year in Bengaluru.

Hyderabad’s Additional Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Anjani Kumar and Head of IT core team of Hyderabad Police Srinath Reddy received the award on behalf of the Hyderabad City Police.

Key points:

  • Hyderabad police is the only police organisation received the ‘Express IT Excellence award’ that was given in recognition of various IT initiatives and IT applications launched by them.

PAHAL scheme included in Guinness Book of World records

Petroleum Minister Shri Dharmendra Pradhan presented the certificate in recognition of PAHAL as the largest cash transfer programme in the world, received from Guinness Book of World Records to the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.

About PAHAL Scheme: Pratyaksha Hastaantarit Laabh
Launched in 54 districts of the country on 15.11.2014 and in remaining districts of the country on 1st January, 2015. LPG consumers who join the PAHAL scheme will get the LPG cylinders at market price and receive LPG subsidy directly into their bank accounts.

As on 3rd  Dec, 2015, 14.62 crore LPG consumers have joined the PAHAL scheme and are receiving the subsidy directly into their Bank Accounts.

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGN

Kaher Kazem appointed General Motors India head

Kaher Kazem appointed General Motors India headGeneral Motors has appointed Kaher Kazem(currently chief operating officer (COO) of GM India) as President and Managing Director of its India operations replacing Arvind Saxena.

Benefit: His track record will enable the company to deliver to Indian consumers the great vehicles they want and the world-class customer experience they deserve

About Kazem:

  • Joined GM Holden in Australia in 1995 as a senior engineer.
  • President and MD of GM Uzbekistan from 2012

General Motors(GM): An American multinational corporation that designs, manufactures, markets and distributes vehicles and vehicle parts and sells financial services.

HQ: Detroit, Michigan

Girnar Soft appoints Umesh Hora as CFO

Girnar Soft appoints Umesh Hora as CFOGirnar Software Pvt. Ltd the operator of Cardekho.com, Gaadi.com and several other automobile websites appointed Umesh Hora as its chief financial officer.

Girnar Soft group: It operates auto portals like CarDekho.com, Gaadi.com, Zigwheels.com, BikeDekho.com and price comparison website PriceDekho.com and has specialised portals like TyreDekho.com and TrucksDekho.com.

Girnar Soft CEO: Amit Jain

Umesh Hora: Commerce Graduate from Punjab University and a rank-holding Chartered Accountant from Institute of Chartered Accountants of India(ICAI).

He was earlier CFO with restaurant search platform Zomato Media Pvt. Ltd and has worked with PricewaterhouseCoopers as an Associate, Analec Infotech, WNS Global Services and Datamonitor India.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Orbital ATK resupply mission successfully launched

Orbital ATK’s CRS Orb-4 launched successfully from Space Launch Complex 41 at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

  • Cygnus spacecraft took flight atop a ULA-produced Atlas V rocket and was packed with more than 3,200 kilograms of crew supplies, hardware and scientific experiments.
  • Purpose: For commercial resupply services
  • Benefit: Successful launch would resume the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s commercial cargo flights to the station as a result ending its dependence on Russian and Japanese rockets.

Key points:

  • Orbital is using Atlas V rockets from a joint venture(JV) of Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp.

Technology varsity in Madhya Pradesh ‘discovers’ anti-cancer molecules

Instigated by the tested properties of turmeric, varsity claimed to have discovered anti-cancer molecules in fighting the dreaded disease in an effective manner.

Rajiv Gandhi Proudyogiki Vishwavidyalaya (RGPV) announced that it has applied for a US patent of the discovery of the new anti-cancer molecules code:

CTR-17 and CTR-20: The molecules stimulates anticancer activity through a mechanism involving

Obstruction of cancer cell division by inhibition of tubulin

Tubulin: A protein which is important for many important cellular functions i.e. chromosome segregation during cell division, intracellular transport, development and maintenance of cell shape, cell motility and distribution of molecules on cell membranes.

Research: It was carried out in partnership with Advanced Medical Research Institute’s Dr Hyoun Lee’s team.

Key points:

  • RGPV: It is the only university in the country that has carried out research of this kind

SPORTS

Watson Crowned Hero World Challenge Champion

Watson crowned Hero World Challenge championAmerican professional golfer Bubba Watson clinched the title of Hero World Challenge. He is followed by Patrick Reed and Ricky Fowler at 2nd & 3rd positions respectively

  • Bubba won the Masters Tournament in 2012 and 2014.
  • Watson is one of the few left-handers on the PGA Tour & registered his sixth top-five finish in last 10 worldwide starts.

About Hero World Challenge
The Hero World Challenge is a golf tournament hosted by Tiger Woods, which takes place each December. It features a small number (currently 18) of top-ranked golf pros. The tournament is a benefit for the Tiger Woods Foundation.

  • Established – 1999
  • Prize fund – $3,500,000

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Civil Aviation Day

International Civil Aviation Day is annually observed on December 7.

Aim: To raise awareness of the importance of international civil aviation and the role that the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) plays in international air transport.

ICAO: It is a United Nations (UN) body responsible for developing international standards for aviation safety.

This day is celebrated globally through various activities such as seminars, published material, educational lectures, classroom activities, and news announcements on international civil aviation topics related to the day.

Facts:

  • First commercial flight: Took place on January 1, 1914 in the United States. Piloted by Tony Jannus , two seater with a very small flight deck for 23 minutes at an altitude of 15 feet between St. Petersburg and Tampa.