Current Affairs of Last Month – GK Eduwrap December 2016 PDF format – Free Download

GK Eduwrap Monthly (December)

 

 

 

Read Current Affairs of last month online, all summarized well into one digest GK Eduwrap. Also, covering all the latest questions of General Knowledge asked in General Awareness for Bank PO.

 

 

Click here to download GK Monthly Eduwrap for December 2016 in PDF Format

 

 

 

Quick Overview

National – Across the India

Mergers & Acquisitions

Memorandum of Understanding

International – Across the Globe

Appointments & Resignations

Science & Technology

Sports

Economics & Banking GK

Important Dates

Awards & Recognition Bills – New & Amendments

Death

 

 

National – Across the India

 

 

1. The Union Cabinet has given its approval for inclusion of 15 new castes and modification in 13 other castes in the Central list of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in respect of 8 states.

 

These states are – Assam, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Uttarakhand.

 

 

 

2. The Supreme Court has ordered cinema halls to mandatorily play the national anthem before every screening and all those present in cinema halls have to “stand up to show respect.”

 

National-Anthem-Image

It will show respect to the National Anthem as well as to the National Flag.

 

 

 

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3. The NITI Aayog has constituted a 13-Member Committee on promotion of cashless society and digital economy. It will be headed by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu.

 

 

 

4. The Union Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval to the negotiating position adopted by India at the recent 28th Meeting of Parties (MoP) to the Montreal Protocol in Kigali, Rwanda.

 

 

 

5. The Union Cabinet has approved Central Assistance of 2000 crore rupees for 36,384 displaced families from Pakistan Occupied areas of Jammu & Kashmir (POJK) and Chhamb.

 

 

 

6. The Union Cabinet has given its approval for liberalization, simplification and rationalization of the existing visa regime in India.

 

The approval will stimulate economic growth and ease travel for foreigners. It will facilitate entry of foreigners for tourism, business and medical purposes.

 

 

 

7. The Union Cabinet on 30 November 2016 approved the Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP) Phase-III.

 

MUTP-Phase-3

The estimated cost of the project is Rs 8679 crore with completion cost of Rs 10947 crore.

 

 

 

8. The Border Security Force (BSF), the biggest border guarding force in the world celebrated its 51st Anniversary of Raising Day.

 

On this occasion, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh presented prestigious “Maharana Pratap Trophy- 2016” on the BSF Punjab Frontier.

 

 

 

9. Vittiya Saksharata Abhiyan (VISAKA) was launched by the Union Ministry for Human Resource Development (HRD) to make people aware about the cashless economic system.

 

It is a campaign by Higher Educational institutions for digital economy.

 

 

 

10. The Trial run of Lucknow Metro train was flagged off by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.

 

Lucknow Metro train

The solo trial run of the metro was undertaken by two young women pilots Prachi Sharma and Priyanka Sharma.

 

The trail run of the first phase of the metro project covers around four kms between Transport Nagar and Single Nagar Metro stations.

 

 

 

11. The Hornbill Festival began in the Naga Heritage village of Kisama.

 

Hornbill Festival

The festival coincides with the Statehood Day of Nagaland which is observed on 1st December 2016.

 

It is tourism promotional extravaganza to revive, protect and preserve the richness and uniqueness of the Naga heritage.

 

It is also called as the “Festival of Festivals”.

 

 

 

12. The Delhi High Court has quashed ban imposed on 344 fixed dose combination (FDC) drugs by the Central Government over fears that they are potential health and safety hazards.

 

The HC held that Centre had acted in a haphazard manner and did not take the advice of the statutory bodies under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act before issuing ban notification.

 

 

 

13. The Supreme Court has approved Central Government’s Graded Response Action Plan to tackle different levels of pollution in Delhi-NCR.

 

The apex court also has asked Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to upgrade its existing infrastructure and set up additional monitoring stations in Delhi-NCR.

 

 

14. The 7th World Ayurveda Congress (WAC) was held from 2nd – 4th December 2016 at Science City in Kolkata, West Bengal.

 

It was organized by the World Ayurveda Foundation with the support of the Union Ministry of AYUSH to facilitate development and growth of AYUSH system of medicine comprising Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy.

 

 

 

15. India has agreed to train Vietnam’s Sukhoi-30 fighter pilots, boosting growing defence ties between both countries.

 

Sukhoi-30

In this regard agreement was signed during bilateral discussions between Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and his Vietnamese counterpart, General Ngo Xuan Lich in New Delhi.

 

 

 

16. E-commerce giant Amazon has launched its global startup program ‘Launchpad’ in India.

 

The program will enable Indian startups to sell their products overseas.

 

In this regard, Amazon India has tied up with Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP)’s Start Up India and NASSCOM.

 

 

 

17. The President of India, Pranab Mukherjee was on a visit to Haryana on 6th December 2016, where

 

He inaugurated the International Gita Mahotsav-2016 at Kurukshetra.

 

The event showcases the importance of Gita in modern time.

 

 

 

18. The Supreme Court has ruled that Horse Racing is not animal cruelty, whereas Jallikattu (Bull Racing) has been ruled out as illegal because it involves torture to bulls.

 

 

 

19. NITI Aayog has launched a series of incentives for encouraging digital payments for day to day financial transactions like buying or selling goods/services, transferring money etc., at the district, taluk, and panchayat level.

 

This will include providing a fund of Rs 5 lakh per district administration.

 

 

 

20. The world’s first hospital train, Lifeline Express has got two additional coaches for cancer treatment.

 

Lifeline Express

These coaches will be used for detecting and controlling oral, breast and cervical cancer, preventing stroked and providing family health services.

 

 

 

21. The Allahabad High Court has ruled that the practice of triple talaq (Talaq-e-bidat) among Muslims is unconstitutional and violates the rights of women enshrined in the constitution.

 

The order was passed by HC Justice Suneet Kumar while hearing a petition filed by a woman who claimed her husband arbitrarily divorced her.

 

 

 

22. The Union Cabinet has approved the development of Phase – 1 of the Pune Metro Rail Corridor Project.

 

It comprises two corridors: Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC)-Swargate covering a length of 16.589 km and Vanaz to Ramwadi with a length of 14.665 km.

 

 

 

23. Paytm had Launched Offline Money Transfer with Toll Free Number 180018001234.

 

Paytm

Through this number, non-smart phone users can make transactions through their Paytm wallets.

 

 

 

24. Kerala Government has launched Haritha Keralam Mission, a comprehensive programme for creating new sustainable development perspectives in the state.

 

Haritha Keralam Mission

It was launched by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in the state capital Thiruvananthapuram.

 

Singer K.J. Yesudas and actor Manju Warrier were the mission ambassador.

 

 

 

25. The 2016 India International Science festival (IISF) has been started at CSIR-National Physical Laboratory (NPL) Campus in New Delhi.

 

It was inaugurated by the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

 

The theme of the science festival was “Science for the masses”.

 

 

 

26. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has banned the use of newspapers for wrapping and packing of food items.

 

FSSAI had issued an advisory to all states and Union territories and asked commissioners of food safety to restrict the use of newspapers for packing, serving and storing of food items.

 

 

 

27. The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting has organized the 28th State Information Ministers Conference on 9th and 10th December 2016 at Vigyan Bhawan.

 

 Venkaiah Naidu, Minister for I&B will chair the conference on 10th Dec, 2016.

 

 

 

28. To enhance cooperation in education between the two countries, India will establish a center of excellence in information technology at Egypt’s oldest and most prestigious Al-Azhar University.

 

Al-Azhar University

India’s leading computer IT organization, the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) had discussed the establishment of the centre with Al-Azhar University’s department of IT and department of engineering.

 

 

 

29. The ministry of electronics and information technology (MeitY) launched a TV channel named ‘DigiShala’ to push digital transactions.

 

The channel would be managed by Doordarshan (DD) and piggyback on its infrastructure.

 

 

 

30. The famed Gotthard Base Tunnel (GBT) has started regular commercial rail service in Switzerland.

 

Gotthard Base Tunnel (GBT)

The first regular train to use GBT ferried passenger from Zurich to Lugano. The twin-bore GBT is world’s longest and deepest railway tunnel with length of 57-kilometer.

 

It had overtaken Japan’s Seikan tunnel (53.9 kilometers) as the longest rail tunnel in world after it was opened in June 2016 for its maiden ride.

 

 

 

31. The central zonal bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Rajasthan government to cancel allotments of salt pans in the Sambhar Salt Lake.

 

Ruling in this regard was given by NGT bench headed by Justice Dalip Singh and expert Satyawan Singh Garbyal on a petition filed by Ajay Dubey.

 

 

 

32. President Pranab Mukherjee has launched a ‘100 Million for 100 Million’ Campaign at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

100 Million for 100 Million’ Campaign

The campaign was conceptualized by Nobel peace prize winner Kailash Satyarthi and was organized by the Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation.

 

 

 

33. Madhya Pradesh Government has launched five months long Narmada Seva Yatra to turn the Narmada river pollution free.

 

It was launched by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan at Amarkantak.

 

 

 

34. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated a cheese plant of Banaskantha Cooperative Milk Producers Union (Banas Dairy) at Deesa in Gujarat.

 

The event marked the launch of the celebration of the Golden Jubilee year of Banas Dairy (part of AMUL brand).

 

 

 

35. Punjab Government has launched country’s first amphibious bus project at the Harike wetland near Amritsar.

 

amphibious bus

The amphibious bus named “Harike Cruise” travels on land and as well as in water.

 

 

 

36. The Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs to launch “Vanjeevan”, the National Resource Centre (NRC) for Tribal Livelihood issues in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.

 

It will be launched in collaboration with UNDP and National Scheduled Tribes Finance and Development Corporation (NSTFDC).

 

 

 

37. The Indian Air Force (IAF) organized seminar to increase awareness about organ donation.

 

Around 500 air warriors and their families joined hands to strengthen the organ donation movement in the country.

 

 

 

38. 2016 IHS Jane’s Defense Budgets report has revealed that India is world’s fourth largest defense spender.

 

defence spender

In this edition of report published by US research firm IHS Inc, India has surpassed Russia, France, Japan, and Saudi Arabia to become the world’s fourth largest defense spender.

 

 

 

39. The sixth edition of Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference on Housing and Urban Development (APMCHUD) began in New Delhi.

 

The three days’ conference addressed issues ranging from crowded city centres to peripheral expansion, metropolitan based urban population growth, megacities, and urban corridors etc.

 

 

 

40. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has imposed an interim nationwide ban on usage of glass-coated ‘manja’ for flying kites, as the sharp string poses a danger to humans, animals, and bird.

 

ban on Manjha

The ban order will apply on nylon, Chinese and cotton manja coated with glass.

 

 

 

41. The Union Cabinet approved India’s approach to Climate Change Negotiations at the 22 Conference of Parties (COP) to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), held in Marrakesh, Morocco in November 2016.

 

Climate Change Negotiations

The approval aimed to safeguard interest of poor and vulnerable groups by laying stress on adaptation, damage and loss while protecting the development space.

 

 

 

42. The Union Government has extended the facility of e-Tourist Visa (e-TV) Scheme for citizens of 161 countries.

 

e-Tourist Visa

This period registered a growth of 168.5% over same period of previous year. This indicates success of the e-TV Scheme.

 

 

 

43. The Supreme Court has ordered a ban on all liquor shops on national as well as state highways to reduce drink driving and road accidents that claim thousands of lives every year across the country.

 

The three-judge SC bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur gave its order on a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by an NGO called ‘Arrive Safe’.

 

 

 

44. Haryana became the first state in the country to launch Mahila Police Volunteer (MPV) initiative for safety of women.

 

It was launched by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar.

 

Mahila Police Volunteer is a joint initiative of Union Ministry of Women & Child Development and the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.

 

 

 

45. The Supreme Court ordered that Indian Airforce (IAF) personnel cannot keep beard.

 

It held that Central Government’s decision to ban beards in the IAF does not infringe upon fundamental rights

 

 

 

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46. The ‘Thal Favang Kut’ festival organized by Department of Tourism, Government of Mizoram began in state capital Aizawl with enthusiasm and fervor.

 

Thal Favang Kut’ festival

It is a post-harvest festival which is celebrated after harvesting the paddy.

 

 

 

47. Himachal Pradesh became 6th state to attain 100% Aadhaar coverage based on the 2015 Population.

 

Delhi, Telangana, Haryana, Punjab and Chandigarh have already achieved full coverage.

 

 

 

48. Government announced a new income declaration scheme ‘PM Garib Kalyan Yojana’

Pradhan-Mantri-Garib-Kalyan-Yojana

Under this scheme the persons who haven’t declared their actual incomes yet, have a chance to declare it till 31st March 2017.

 

Those who will declare their income must pay a fine of 50 % of the unaccounted money and 25% will remain locked for 4 years.

 

Government will use this money from penalty under this scheme for social schemes.

 

 

 

49. The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has issued the draft notification for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Pet Shop) Rules, 2016 to regulate pet shops.

 

The objective of these proposed new rules is to make pet shops accountable and to prevent cruelty inflicted on animals kept in such pet shops.

 

 

 

50. Rajasthan Government has launched Annapurna Rasoi Scheme to provide quality meal at cheap price to poor and needy on lines with Tamil Nadu Government’s Amma canteens.

 

 

 

51. The Union AYUSH Ministry has launched ‘Swasthya Raksha Programme’ to promote health and health education in villages.

 

Swasthya Raksha Programme

 The programme was initiated through Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS), Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy (CCRH), Central Council for Research in Unani Medicine (CCRUM) and Central Council for Research in Siddha (CCRS).

 

 

 

52. The Union Government has decided to set up a single permanent Tribunal to adjudicate all inter-State river water disputes.

 

This single body will subsume all existing tribunals for resolving grievances of inter-State water disputes in a speedy manner.

 

 

 

53. The Union government has formed a high-level inter-ministerial task force to look into all the strategic aspects of Indus Water Treaty (IWT) with Pakistan.

 

Indus Water Treaty

Mandate of Task force is to take all important strategic and policy decisions.

Thus, it will be an all-powerful body, which will take decisions regarding the treaty.

 

 

 

54. Prime Minister has laid the foundation stone of the first ever “Indian Institute of Skills” in the country at Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh.

 

The Exhibition highlighted state-of-the-art vocational training practices across different sectors, and would be open for public view at the Railway Grounds, Kanpur between 19th to 22nd December 2016.

 

 

 

55. Amid tight security, Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh inaugurated two new districts, which were carved out of as many Naga-dominated districts.

 

Naga-dominated districts

Singh inaugurated Pherzawl, carved out of Churachandpur district, and Noney from Tamenglong district.

 

 

 

56. Government is planning to start soon a toll-free number 1955 for taking feedback of telecom subscribers on call drops.

 

Provisioning of this number will be mandatory for telecom operators and should be accessible for local and STD calling.

 

State-run telecom firm MTNL has been directed to configure this short code.

 

 

 

57. Thaawarchand Gehlot, Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment released the first issue of a National Newspaper dedicated to Senior Citizen, ‘Saanjhi Saanjh’.

 

Saanjhi Saanjh

This newspaper carries important and useful news pertaining to elderly persons besides inspirational stories.

 

It will serve as a bridge between old and new generations.

 

 

 

58. Scientists have found a huge ‘dead zone’ of an estimated 60,000 square kilometres in Bay of Bengal.

 

This area is said to supports microbial processes that remove vast amount of nitrogen from the ocean.

 

The study published in Nature Geosciences.

 

 

 

59. The 12-foot-tall stone statue of renowned Tamil poet and philosopher-saint Thiruvalluvar was inaugurated at Mela Bhawan in Haridwar, Uttarakhand by Chief minister Harish Rawat.

 

Thiruvalluvar

Thiruvalluvar is renowned Tamil poet and philosopher-saint believed to have lived between 3rd Century BC and 1st Century BC.

 

 

 

60. The Union Cabinet gave its approval to the Cadre review and formation of a new service in the name of Indian Enterprise Development Services (IEDS).

 

Its creation will help to strengthen the organization and to achieve the vision of Startup India, Stand-up India, and Make in India.

 

 

 

61. As per report submitted by Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology, there was an alarming rise in forest fires across India.

 

rise in forest fires across India

The report said that the number of forest fires has touched 24,817 in 2016 from 15,937 fires in 2015. It shows alarming rise 55% in the past year.

 

 

 

62. The Union Ministry of Coal has launched Coal Mitra, a web portal for allowing flexibility in utilization of domestic Coal.

 

The Coal Mitra Web Portal aims at optimum utilization by private as well as public power companies of the coal.

 

 

 

63. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has imposed a complete ban on burning of waste in open places across the country and announced a fine of Rs. 25,000 on each incident of bulk waste burning.

 

The green panel’s judgement was given on the petition seeking directions to local bodies in states and Centre for improving solid waste management methods.

 

 

 

64. The Centre has approved the promulgation of an ordinance to enable industries to pay wages by cheque or by direct credit into bank accounts of workers earning up to Rs. 18,000 a month, without taking their explicit consent as required under the present 1936 law.

 

industries to pay wages by cheque

The ordinance proposed changes to Section 6 of the Payment of Wages Act of 1936.

 

 

 

65. The Centre has reconstituted a committee that was tasked with assisting the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB).

 

The committee will prepare a manual on how projects, common to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, ought to be handled.

 

 

 

66. The Union Ministry of Textiles has decided to establish a Bunkar Mitra-Handloom Helpline Centre where experts in the field of textiles will answer professional queries of weavers.

 

Bunkar Mitra-Handloom Helpline Centre

This helpline initially will be provided in 7 languages viz., English, Hindi and 5 other regional languages Tamil, Telugu, Kannada Bengali and Assamese.

 

 

 

67. NITI Aayoga along with Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has rolled out Performance on Health Outcomes index.

 

This index will rank States on the basis of their performance on measurable health indicators.

 

 

 

68. The Odisha Government has launched the Biju Sishu Surakshya Yojana with an aim to facilitate care and protection towards orphans and HIV infected children of the state.

 

Biju Sishu Surakshya Yojana

It is a scheme to nurture the orphan and HIV-infected children residing in different child care institutions and orphanages.

 

 

 

69. The Union Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has announced new passport rules by changing Passport Rules, 1980 to streamline, liberalize and ease the process of issue of passport.

 

The new rules aim to speed up and simplify the passport delivery process and will help single mothers, orphaned children, and sadhus obtain passports with ease.

 

 

 

70. The Union Government has launched ‘Smart Consumer’ mobile App and an ‘Online Consumer Mediation Centre (OCMC)’ to provide speedy redressal of consumer grievances.

 

Smart Consumer’ mobile App

A helpline 14404 was also launched for consumer related grievances on National Consumer Day (24th December).

 

 

 

71. The foundation stone of India’s first 2G (Second Generation) Ethanol Bio-refinery was laid at Tarkhanwala village in Bathinda, Punjab.

 

bio-battery

Central Government Public Sector Undertaking (CPSU) Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) is setting up this project at a cost of 600 crore Rupees.

 

 

 

72. The Union Government launched Lucky Grahak Yojana for Consumers and Digi-Dhan Vyapar Yojana for Merchants to promote digital transaction.

 

Lucky Grahak Yojana

These schemes aim at encouraging people to move towards significantly higher usage of digital transactions through the offer of incentives.

 

 

 

73. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated a new campus of National Institute of Securities Markets (NISM) at Patalganga in Mumbai.

 

NISM is an educational initiative of Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

 

 

 

74. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has laid the foundation stone of Char Dham highway development project (Chardham Mahamarg Vikas Pariyojna) in Dehradun, Uttarakhand.

 

The Chardham Mahamarg Vikas Pariyojna is an ambitious initiative to improve connectivity to the Char Dham pilgrimage centres in the Himalayas.

 

 

 

75. Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari inaugurated Sagarmala Development Company’s (SDC) office in New Delhi to promote port-led development in the country.

 

Sagarmala Development Company’

The Sagarmala Development Company has been incorporated under the Companies Act, 2013.

 

 

 

76. The Kerala Government has approached the Union Government for allowing use of antlers of spotted deer and sambar for Ayurveda medicines.

 

antlers of spotted deer

Kerala State Board for Wildlife (SBWL) under chairmanship of CM Pinarayi Vijayan has forwarded proposal to National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) and Ministry of Environment and Forests.

 

 

 

77. The Union Government has approved the re-designation of the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor Project Implementation Trust Fund (DMICPTF) as National Industrial Corridor Development & Implementation Trust (NICDIT).

 

NICDIT will be the apex body to oversee integrated development of all industrial corridors across the country.

 

 

 

78. Assam Government rolled out ‘Atal-Amrit Abhiyan’, a health insurance scheme to provide coverage against several critical illnesses.

 

Atal-Amrit Abhiyan

Atal-Amrit Abhiyan aims to make quality health care affordable to every individual member of a family in the state.’

 

 

 

79. The National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) has given its clearance for the Ken-Betwa inter-linking of rivers (ILR) project, paving the way to begin work for linking two rivers.

 

Ken-Betwa inter-linking of rivers

The clearance of NBWL was required since the project requires diversion of forest land from core area of Panna Tiger Reserve.

 

 

 

80. Union Government launched Swachh Swasth Sarvatra initiative to strengthen health centres in open defecation-free (ODF) blocks.

 

Swachh Swasth Sarvatra initiative

The objective of this initiative was to strengthen community health centres in 708 ODF blocks across the country to enable them to achieve higher levels of cleanliness and hygiene.

 

 

 

81. The Union Cabinet gave its approval to the proposal of Union Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) for ratification of International Solar Alliance (ISA) Framework Agreement by India.

 

The Agreement was opened for signature on the sidelines of 22nd Conference of Parties (CoP) meeting United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at Marrakesh, Morocco.

 

 

 

82. For the first time in the country, Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) launched 25 buses that run 100 per cent on bio-diesel.

 

25 buses that run 100 per cent on bio-diesel

KSRTC expected to save 86.68 lakh per annum by using bio-diesel for 25 buses.

 

The vehicles retrofitted with Bio-Diesel Kit with which they can run on 100 percent Bio-Diesel for effective control over pollution.

 

 

 

83. The Nedumkayam tribal colony in Malappuram district of Kerala has become the first fully-digital tribal colony in the country.

 

 

 

84. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has launched an initiative ‘Transform Maharashtra’ at IIT Bombay’s ‘Mood Indigo’ festival.

 

The initiative will seek participation from over two lakh students from across 500 colleges.

 

 

 

85. The Union Government has proposed setting up Financial Data Management Centre (FDMC) based on the recommendation of a committee set up under the Department of Economic Affairs (DEC).

 

FDMC

The Committee was headed by Ajay Tyagi, Additional Secretary in Union Finance Ministry and has submitted its report and a draft bill titled The Financial Data Management Centre Bill, 2016.

 

 

 

86. President Pranab Mukherjee has given assent to Payment of Wages (Amendment) Ordinance, 2016, to enable industries to pay wages by cheque or credit into the bank accounts of workers.

 

The ordinance amended the Payment of Wages Act, 1936 to encourage cashless transactions.

 

 

 

87. The Government of Telangana to launch ‘Bike Ambulances’ to help patients in remote areas.

 

Bike Ambulances

The ‘bike ambulances’ will be used in remote areas, mainly inhabited by tribals and also congested localities in Hyderabad and other cities.

 

 

 

88. The Union Ministry for Petroleum & Natural Gas has met the 1.5-crore target for LPG connections that were to be added under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) in the 2016-17 financial year.

 

This Target was achieved within a span of less than eight months since the launch of the scheme which is implemented across 35 States/UTs.

 

 

 

89. Haryana state Government has decided to set up a pilot corridor for the ‘Caterpillar Train’.

 

Caterpillar Train

This train will fly over city’s traffic, in Gurgaon city.

 

The concept of Caterpillar Train is also known as C-Train.

 

 

 

90. The Bihar Cabinet has declared 50 per cent reservation in all judicial services for aspirants belonging to the Extremely Backward Classes, Other Backward Classes, Scheduled Castes, and Scheduled Tribes.

 

Bihar Cabinet

The reservation will be in both Superior Judicial Services and Subordinate Judicial Services

 

 

 

91. ‘World Bhojpuri Conference’ was held in Varanasi from 29th December 2016 to 1st January 2017, in which participants from over 18 countries are likely to be present.

 

During the conference, a ‘Bhojpuri Ratna’ award and ‘World Bhojpuri Karmayogi’ award were conferred on over 25 people including Mauritius Prime Minister Anerood Jugnauth, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh, Jharkhand CM Raghubar Das, BJP MP and Bhojpuri actor Manoj Tiwari, Bollywood actors Amitabh Bachchan and Shatrughan Sinha and other personalities.

 

 

 

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International – Across the Globe

 

 

1. The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has formally inscribed Yoga in its representative list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

 

Decision in this regard was taken by the Inter-governmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage meeting held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

 

 

 

2. China and Pakistan launched a direct rail and sea freight service with the first cargo train departing from China’s southwestern Yunnan province.

 

direct rail

The service was launched with the first cargo train loaded with 500 tonnes of commodities left Kunming, the capital of Yunnan, an inland province in southwest China departed for Karachi.

 

 

 

3. The sixth edition of ‘Heart of Asia- Istanbul Process of Afghanistan’s conference, an annual regional gathering of Asian and other countries was held in Amritsar, Punjab (India).

 

Heart of Asia

It was inaugurated jointly by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

 

It concluded with adaptation of Amritsar Declaration with its prime focus on terrorism.

 

 

 

4. The annual bilateral maritime exercise Konkan 16 between the Indian Navy and the Royal Navy (British Navy) started in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

 

Konkan 16

The 2016 edition of the exercise (from 5th to 16th December 2016) will play an important chapter in the maritime interactions.

 

 

 

5. The BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) countries have agreed to share tax information to ensure the fairness of the international tax system.

 

They had reaffirmed their commitment to prevent base erosion and shifting of profits (BEPS), exchange of tax information and capacity building of developing countries.

 

 

 

6. Singapore has the highest achieving students in international education rankings, with its teenagers coming top in tests in maths, reading and science.

 

 

 

7. The Russian-Indian- Indra NAVY-2016 Naval Exercise has started from 14th December and will be held till 21st December.

 

The exercise will be held in the city of Visakhapatnam and in the Bay of Bengal.

 

 

 

8. Venezuela will launch a new 20,000-bolivar banknote to help people struggling with large bundles of currency notes during the country’s economic crisis.

20,000-bolivar-banknote-Venezuela

The biggest denomination banknote currently in circulation is 100 bolivars.

 

 

 

9. According to a report, as many, as 797 terrorist attacks were recorded in India in 2015, up 4% since 2014.

 

India was ranked seventh in the list of countries most impacted by terrorism in 2015, according to the Global Terrorism Index (GTI), 2016, released by the Institute for Economics & Peace, a think-tank based in Sydney, Australia.

 

 

 

10. India has offered tsunami early-warning-system to South China Sea (SCS) countries like Vietnam, Malaysia, and Philippines as part of soft-diplomacy.

 

tsunami early warning-system

India already provides earthquake and tsunami-warning alerts to several countries in the Indian Ocean neighborhood, as do Japan and Australia.

 

 

 

11. A deep-water port built in Myanmar’s Sittwe by India is ready to be commissioned.

 

 

Thus, Kolkata-Mizoram trade route via Myanmar will be opened.

 

The Sittwe port is starting point for the Kaladan Multi Modal Transit Transport Project in Myanmar.

 

 

 

12. Qatar has formally announced the end of its controversial “kafala” labour system.

 

kafala

Under this controversial system, all foreign workers working in Qatar required a local sponsor, in the form of an individual or company, and need their permission to switch jobs or leave the country.

 

 

 

13. The ninth edition of exercise INDRA NAVY, an annual bilateral maritime exercise between Indian Navy and Russian Navy began in the Bay of Bengal.

 

The primary aim of exercise INDRA NAVY-16 was to increase inter-operability amongst the two navies and develop common understanding and procedures for maritime security operations.

 

 

 

14. The seventh edition of India, Maldives bilateral EKUVERIN Exercise 2016 began at Kadhdhoo, Laamu Atoll, Maldives.

 

EKUVERIN Exercise 2016

The aim of 14-day platoon level joint military exercise was to conduct military training between armies of both countries with emphasis on amphibious & counter insurgency, counter terrorism operations.

 

 

 

15. The fifth edition of the India-Arab Partnership Conference was held in Muscat, Oman from 14th -15th December 2016.

 

Theme of the conference was ‘Partnership towards innovation and cooperation in IT’.

 

 

 

16. The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) of United Kingdom has given approval to clinics seeking licences for three-parent baby technique or Mitochondrial Replacement Therapy (MRT).

 

three parent baby technique

The approval aimed to prevent children being born with deadly genetic diseases.

 

 

 

17. The world’s first cloned goat bearing superfine Cashmere wool was born in north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

 

first clone goat

The goat will be raised in a base for animal husbandry research conducted by experts from agricultural universities in southwest China’s Yunnan Province and Inner Mongolia.

 

 

 

18. India ranked 4th in the Global Wind Power Installed Capacity index with cumulative installed wind power generation capacity of 25,088 MW in 2015.

 

Global Wind Power Installed Capacity index

The index was released as part Global Wind Report: Annual Market, flagship publication of the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC).

 

The index was topped by China, followed by US and Germany with cumulative installed wind power generation capacity of 145362 MW, 74471 MW and 44947 MW respectively.

 

 

 

19. Hong Kong, a China-administered special territory has decided to withdraw visa-free facility for Indians from January 23, 2017.

 

This decision was taken on the ground to prevent illegal immigration as number of Indian asylum seekers was on the rise.

 

 

 

20. The Global Wage Report 2016-17 released by the International Labour Organization (ILO) has found that India suffers from huge gender pay gap.

 

Global Wage Report 2016-17

It showed that India has the worst levels of gender wage disparity (men earning more than women in similar jobs) with the gap exceeding 30%.

 

 

 

21. South Korea President Park Geun-hye has approved a military intelligence sharing pact with Japan.

 

This deal mainly aimed at countering the North Korean threat.

 

 

 

22. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet has approved 5.13 trillion yen ($43.6 billion) in defence spending for the fiscal year starting in April 2017.

 

Shinzo Abe

It was Japan’s highest annual defence budget announced so far. It is up by 1.4% from the initial budget for the current fiscal year.

 

 

23. China’s top legislature has passed Environment Tax Law to levy environment tax on polluters, especially on heavy industries.

 

environment tax law

It will enter force on 1st January 2018.

 

The law aimed to improve taxpayers’ environmental awareness, force companies to upgrade technology and shift to cleaner production

 

 

 

24. Colombia’s Congress passed a law granting amnesty to Marxist FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) rebels as part of historic peace deal reached between rebels and Government.

 

Marxist FARC

The Senate passed the bill 69-0 votes after the House of Representatives approved it by 121-0 votes.

 

This is another step to formally end to 52 years of Columbian civil war (Latin America’s longest conflict).

 

 

 

25. India has started supplying an additional 80 MW of power to Nepal from 1st January 2017, which will increase the total transmission of electricity to the neighboring nation to 400 MW.

 

additional 80 MW

In a swift response, within 20 days the Power Grid Corp installed an additional 220/132kV, 100MVA transformer at Muzaffarpur substation in India.

 

 

 

Sports

 

 

1. Grandmaster Magnus Carlsen of Norway has won the 2016 World Chess Championship for the third consecutive time. He retained the title after defeating Sergey Karjakin of Russia.

 

Magnus Carlsen

Karjakin had tied against Carlsen in 12 regular rounds but was beaten in the final phase of four quickfire games.

 

 

 

2. 2016 world champion Nico Rosberg has sensationally retired from Formula 1 with immediate effect.

 

The German driver, 31, won the title less than a week ago, beating Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton to his first Drivers’ Championship.

 

 

 

3. India’s Mukesh Kumar has become the oldest golfer to win an Asian Tour title when he lifted the Panasonic Open after it was curtailed to 54 holes due to fog.

 

Mukesh Kumar

The 51-year-old Mukesh, who has 123 PGTI titles under his belt, turned in a two-under 70 in the final round to total 10-under 206 to claim the trophy, his first on the Asian Tour.

 

 

 

4. Argentina won the Women’s Hockey Junior World Cup 2016.

 

They won the trophy by defeating Netherlands.

 

 

 

5. Mumbai-based Civil Engineer Iqbal Sayed became first Indian to win a medal at the Mr. Olympia Asia 2016’s Classic Bodybuilding category.

 

He has won a silver medal in the event held in Hong Kong beating participants from 20 countries.

 

 

 

6. The Sardar Patel Cricket Stadium (popularly known as Motera Stadium) in Ahmedabad is set to become the world’s largest seating capacity cricket stadium.

 

Sardar Patel Cricket Stadium

The renovated stadium will have seating capacity of about 1,10,000 people from current 54,000 people.

 

 

 

7. Ace Indian cueist Pankaj Advani has won his 11th World Billiards (150-Up format) Championships title.

 

Pankaj Advani

In the summit clash held in Bengaluru, Karnataka he defeated Peter Gilchrist of Singapore by six games to three.

 

It was his overall 16th world title.

 

 

 

8. India’s largest indoor sports arena will come up in New Town area of Kolkata, West Bengal.

 

It will come up on ten acres of land near the Deer park in Eco Park.

 

 

 

9. Andy Murray and Angelique Kerber were named ITF (International Tennis Federation) World Champions of the year 2016.

 

Andy Murray and Angelique Kerber

Andy Murray (Britain) has won 9 titles in this year and sealed the year-end rankings top spot.

 

Angelique Kerber (Germany) has won Australian and US Open titles as well as a silver medal in Rio Olympics.

 

 

 

10. India created history by winning the FIH Junior Hockey World Cup after a gap of 15 long years with a clinical 2-1 victory against Belgium in the final.

 

FIH Junior Hockey World Cup

It was also the first time that a host nation had won the tournament since its inception.

 

 

 

11. Atletico de Kolkata beat Kerala Blasters 4-3 and claimed their second ISL title in three years at a jam-packed Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Kochi.

 

 

 

12. Karun Nair became the second Indian after Virendra Sehwag to score a triple ton in Test cricket as he smashed unbeaten 303 runs off just 381 balls.

 

Karun Nair

India had declared their first innings at 759 for the loss of seven wickets in the fifth Test against England which is their highest ever team total in Tests.

 

 

 

13. Ravichandran Ashwin, India’s premier off-spinner was named as the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Cricketer of the Year, while Virat Kohli was chosen to lead the ODI Team of the Year.

 

Ravichandran Ashwin

Ashwin was the only Indian in ICC’s Test Team of the Year and was also named the Test Cricketer of the Year.

 

 

 

14. Cricket Australia has named Indian Test skipper Virat Kohli as the captain of the board’s ODI Team of the Year.

 

Virat Kohli

Indian pacer Jasprit Bumrah was the only other Indian who made it to the list.

 

 

 

15. Fourteen-year-old double-trap shooter Shapath Bharadwaj became the first junior to qualify for the senior national team after finishing second in the selection trials held in Patiala.

 

 

 

16. Former world number one and 2008 French Open champion Ana Ivanovic has retired from tennis at the age of 29.

 

The Serb has been out with injury since August and dropped to 63 in the world rankings, having won just 15 matches in 2016.

 

 

 

17. Meghalaya will host the 2022 National Games, which will coincide with the state’s 50 years of statehood.

 

2022 National Games

The state had pledged 5 crore rupees as the bid amount for the game.

 

The upcoming National Games will be hosted by Goa in November 2017.

 

 

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Awards & Recognition

 

 

1. A 1946 picture of Mahatma Gandhi with his ‘charkha’ (spinning wheel) in the foreground is among the 100 most influential images of all time, as per a compilation by Time magazine of “images that changed the world”.

 

Mahatms-Gandhi

The black and white photo of a bespectacled Gandhiji taken by Margaret Bourke-White shows the Father of the Nation sitting on a thin mattress on the floor, head bent down as he is reading the news while his spinning wheels sit in the foreground.

 

 

 

2. Microsoft’s Satya Nadella and Mastercard’s Ajay Banga are among four leading India-born CEOs who have sealed a place in Fortune’s Businessperson of the Year list topped by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Those India-born CEOs are: –

 

Nadella has been ranked fifth

 

Ajita Rajendra on the 34th spot

 

HDFC Bank’s Managing Director Aditya Puri on the 36th position

 

Mastercard’s Ajay Banga on 40th.

 

 

 

3. The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) has, for the first time, broken into the top 15 universities in the latest Times Higher Education (THE)’s BRICS and Emerging Economies University Rankings 2017.

 

 

 

4. Sachin Tendulkar’s autobiography “Playing it my Way” has won the Crossword Book of the Year Award (Autobiography category).

 

Playing-it-my-Way

The book gives a rare insight into the life of arguably the greatest batsman of all time, who was even called the ‘God of Cricket’ by his fans.

 

 

 

5. The second Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) Ideologist Award for the year 2016 was awarded to Prof. Yu Long Yu of China.

 

The award is bestowed upon eminent Indologists working abroad who have made an outstanding contribution to the study/research/teaching of India’s history, philosophy, thought, art, culture, literature, languages, civilization, society etc.

 

 

 

6. All India Football Federation has won the AFC Developing Member Association of the Year Award at the Asian Football Confederation’s Annual Awards Night.

 

 

 

7. Katy Perry honoured with the humanitarian award at UNICEF event.

 

Katy Perry

Hillary Clinton honoured singer Katy Perry with an Audrey Hepburn Humanitarian Award at UNICEF Gala.

 

 

 

8. Usain Bolt and Almaz Ayana were crowned 2016 IAAF World Athlete of the year award.

 

2016 IAAF World Athlete of the year

Sprint king Usain Bolt from Jamaica has been awarded the 2016 IAAF World Athlete of the Year award in the male category for the sixth time.

 

Earlier he had won it in 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013.

 

Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia won the award in women’s award category.

 

 

 

9. Hailakandi district of Assam has become the first district to pay wages to tea garden workers through individual bank accounts.

 

The task was completed before the 15th December 2016, the deadline set by the state government for cashless transactions of salary payments to the plantation workers.

 

 

 

10. Prime Minister Narendra Modi won the reader’s poll for TIME ‘Person of the Year 2016’.

 

Narendra Modi

Modi won 18 percent of the vote, significantly more than his closest rivals, including U.S. President Barack Obama, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange.

 

 

 

11. The Straits Times of Singapore has chosen Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal for the prestigious “2016 Asian of the Year” as part of a group called the “The Disruptors”.

 

 

 

12. Indo-U.S. Relations in an Age of Uncertainty, the book by longtime America-watcher B.M. Jain was released.

 

The book narrates the India-America relations and their future in the Trump-Modi era

 

 

 

13. The list of ‘Top 10 Indian Movies in 2016′ based on the IMDb Users Ratings has been released.

 

Pink, Airlift, Dear Zindagi

Amitabh Bachchan starrer movie ‘Pink’ has been ranked first.

 

Akshay Kumar’s ‘Airlift’ has been ranked second.

 

‘Dear Zindagi’ has been ranked third.

 

 

 

14. Nickelodeon’s Kids Choice Awards were declared as-

 

Icon of the Year – Shah Rukh Khan

 

Best Actor – Salman Khan for ‘Sultan’

 

Best Actress – Deepika Padukone for ‘Bajirao Mastani’.

 

 

 

15. Corporation Bank has bagged the ‘Best MSME Bank Award 2016’ instituted by Assocham.

 

Similarly, Vijaya Bank has been adjudged ‘Best Bank for SME Lending award’.

 

 

 

16. Bharat Earth Movers Limited Ltd (BEML) has bagged the ‘CII National Quality 2016 Award’.

 

 

 

17. Multimedia artist Helen Marten won the Turner Prize, which is Britain’s top award for contemporary art.

 

Marten was selected from a shortlist including Michael Dean, Josephine Pryde, and Anthea Hamilton.

 

 

 

18. US President-elect Donald Trump has been named as the Time magazine’s Person of the Year for 2016.

 

Donald-Trump

He won the award for his stunning victory in the US Presidential election.

 

 

 

19. The 2016 World Power Language Index (PLI) announced that English language is the most powerful language in the world.

 

English language

The index was published by World Economic Forum (WEF).

 

Hindi language was ranked 10th in the 2016 PLI.

 

 

 

20. Two Indian-origin men Vivek Ramaswamy and Apoorva Mehta have figured in Forbes magazine’s second annual list of wealthiest entrepreneurs under the age of 40.

 

Forbes magazine

Vivek Ramaswamy, a successful biotech entrepreneur was ranked 24th on with a net worth of $600 million and Apoorva Mehta (cofounder of Instacart, a grocery delivery service) stands at 31st spot with a $360 million net worth.

 

 

 

21. Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo from Portugal has won the prestigious 2016 FIFA Ballon d’Or Award.

 

He has earned this title of world’s best football player for fourth time.

 

 

 

22. Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has been named as one of 15 Foreign Policy Global Thinkers.

 

She was named in the decision-makers category for fashioning a novel brand of Twitter diplomacy.

 

 

 

23. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was placed at 9th position among 74 of the world’s most powerful people list released by the Forbes Magazine.

 

Narendra Modi

The list gives the annual ranking of the World’s Most Powerful People based on their financial resources, scope and use of power and the number of people they impact.

 

 

 

24. The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) has officially added word ‘Brexit’ in it.

 

It is among 1,500 new words added to the OED.

 

 

 

25. The UN cultural body UNESCO has accorded world heritage status to Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro (nicknamed as Marvelous City).

 

Rio de Janeiro

It has been registered as “Carioca Landscapes between Mountain and Sea” on the UNESCO world heritage list.

 

 

 

26. Sahaj International School in Kochi will be the first residential transgender school in the country.

 

 

 

27. Indian Council of Food and Agriculture (ICFA) presented ‘Global Agriculture Leadership Award 2016′ to Tata Sons Interim Chairman Ratan Tata in Mumbai.

 

 

 

28. Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis, ISRO chairman A S Kiran Kumar, UK-based scholar John Ralston Marr and Hari Katha exponent Kamala Murthy have been selected for SIES-Sri Chandrasekarendra Saraswati National Eminence Award.

 

Each award carries a cash prize of INR 2.5 lakh, a citation, a shawl and an ornamental lamp.

 

 

 

29. Stephanie Del Valle from Puerto Rico was crowned the Miss World 2016.

 

Miss World 2016

Yaritza Miguelina Reyes Ramirez from the Dominican Republic as the first runner-up.

 

Natasha Mannuela from Indonesia as second runner-up.

 

India’s Priyadarshini Chatterjee only made it to the top 20.

 

 

 

30. The Coimbatore City Municipal Corporation has been selected for Digital India Award instituted by Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.

 

The corporation will receive the Digital India Silver Award in the category of “Most Innovative Citizen Engagement” and installing and implementing free WiFi Scheme in its various offices.

 

 

 

31. The Dharwad-headquartered Karnataka Vikas Grameena Bank (KVGB) has bagged two awards for inclusive insurance from Skoch Group for 2016.

 

The bank bagged the awards in life insurance and micro insurance sectors under the order of merit category.

 

 

 

32. Priyanka Chopra, has made it up to the list of IMDb’s most popular celebrities’ list beating many Hollywood celebrities.

 

Priyanka Chopra

Standing at number 55, she is ahead of Hollywood’s big names like Jennifer Aniston, Emma Watson, Leonardo Di Caprio, Johnny Depp, Scarlett Johansson, and others.

 

Priyanka is the only Indian who’s on the list.

 

 

 

33. Andy Murray was chosen for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year for a record third time.

 

Andy Murray

Murray beat the gold medal-winning triathlete Alistair Brownlee into second place and showjumper Nick Skelton, in third.

 

 

 

34. The Sahitya Academy has announced the names of 24 poets and authors who will be conferred the prestigious 2016 Sahitya Akademi Award.

 

Winners for this awards are as follows:

 

2016 Sahitya Akademi Award

Play: Swarajbir (Punjabi)

 

Essay: Nrisinghaprasad Bhaduri (Bengali)

 

Criticism: Aziz Hajini (Kashmiri) and Nizam Siddiqui (Urdu)

 

Short stories: Chahatrapal (Dogri), Shyan Darihare (Maithili), Moirangthem Rajen (Manipuri), Asaram Lomate (Marathi), Paramita Satpathy (Odia), Bulaki Sharma (Rajasthani) Vannadhasan (Tamil)

 

Poetry: Jnan Pujari (Assamese), Anju (Bodo), Kamal Vora (Gujarati), Prabha Varma (Malayalam), Sitanath Acharya (Sanskrit), Gobinda Chandra Majhi (Santhali), Nand Javeri (Sindhi) and Papineni Sivasankar (Telugu).

 

 

 

35. Kaisa Matomaki and Maksym Radziwill have jointly won the 2016 SASTRA-Ramanujan award for mathematics for their ‘revolutionary’ collaborative work on short intervals in number theory.

 

Their mathematical work dwells on properties of numbers in “short intervals.”

 

The two mathematicians worked with Fields medalist Terence Tao in making a breakthrough on the Chowla conjecture.

 

 

 

36. Eminent modern Bengali poet Shankha Ghosh was chosen for the prestigious Jnanpith Award for the year 2016.

 

Shankha Ghosh

He is the 52nd recipient of Jnanpith Award.

 

He is sixth Bengali litterateur to bag this prestigious literary award after Tarasankar Bandyopadhyay (1966), Bishnu Dey (1971), Ashapoorna Devi (1976), Subhash Mukhopadhyay (1991) and Mahasweta Devi (1966).

 

 

 

37. According to Indus Valley Civilization expert Jonathan Mark Kenoyer, Harappa was peaceful in comparison with all other first civilizations cities because of its urban planning.

 

The efficient water supply, proper sewage treatment and good drainage systems in Harappa were main reason for conflict avoidance.

 

 

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38. Eminent Rajasthani litterateur Dr. Satya Narayan was chosen for the 26th Bihari Puraskar 2016 by the K. K. Birla Foundation.

 

He was chosen for his Hindi book titled Yeh Ek Dunia published in 2010.

 

His Yeh Ek Dunia is a meticulous depiction of various circumstances of life in contemporary world.

 

 

 

39. China has 108 Feet tall stone statue of Gautam Buddha in Leshan city.

 

Gautam Buddha

It is the tallest statue in the world which was carved out of a cliff.

 

This statue was constructed in 713 A.D. in Tang Dynasty as a Chinese Monk named Haitong gave the idea hoping the Buddha would calm the turbulent waters.

 

 

 

40. 6,117 Kuchipudi dancers set a new Guinness World Record by performing together in a single event in Vijayawada district of Andhra Pradesh.

 

6,117 Kuchipudi dancers

The Guinness World Record adjudicated for the 12-minute “Jayamu Jayamu” item as the ‘Largest Kuchipudi dance’ performance.

 

 

 

41. After Note-ban, Ajmer has topped the 5 best districts to promote cashless transactions.

 

cashless transactions

PM Modi awarded scroll of honor to Ajmer Collector Gaurav Goyal.

 

Four other districts are Rajkot (Gujarat), Krishna (Andhra), Jamshedpur and Bokaro in Jharkhand.

 

 

 

Mergers & Acquisitions

 

 

1. The Competition Commission (CCI) in the last week of November 2016 approved the merger of Bharatiya Mahila Bank Ltd (BMBL) with the country’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI).

 

BMB-Logo-+-SBI-Logo

In August, the SBI board cleared the merger of Bharatiya Mahila Bank Ltd (BMBL) and that of five associate lenders with itself.

 

 

 

2. Public sector company, MMTC has tied-up with the State Bank of India (SBI) to sell government minted “Indian Gold Coin”.

 

 

 

3. The Women and Child Development Ministry has tied up with India Post and State Bank of India.

 

The-Women-and-Child-Development-Ministry,-India-Post-and-SB

The agreement was to offer more payment options to buyers and simplify shipping of products bought from “Mahila Ehaat”, an online marketing platform for women entrepreneurs.

 

 

 

4. Digital payments platform Paytm has collaborated with major National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) toll concessionaries to enable cashless payments at all state, national and city toll plazas.

paytm-nhai

This partnership will facilitate commuters across the country pay their toll charges instantly using Paytm mobile application by scanning the QR code placed at toll payment counters.

 

 

 

5. YES Bank, India’s fifth largest private sector bank has collaborated with Ola, one of the popular mobile apps for transportation, to provide cash-on-demand at customer’s doorstep.

 

yes bank and ola

Customers will be able to use the Ola app to book a cab and opt for ‘cash at their doorsteps’ that will be enabled using Point-of-Sale (PoS) machines powered by YES Bank.

 

 

 

6. Google India has collaborated with the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs to launch nationwide Digitally Safe Consumer campaign.

 

Google India

It will raise awareness among consumers about online safety and consumer protection.

 

The campaign is expected to be rolled out in January 2017.

 

 

 

7. Twitter and ICICI Bank announced a partnership that integrates a slew of digital customer care support features for the bank, benefiting millions of its customers with direct online response to their queries and feedback in real-time.

 

Twitter and ICICI Bank

ICICI Bank is the first bank in India to implement the new features to its Twitter account for customer care.

 

 

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Appointments & Resignations

 

 

1. The Union Government has given senior IPS officer Rakesh Asthana additional charge of the post of Director, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

 

Rakesh Asthana

He took charge following the retirement of Anil Sinha.

 

 

 

2. Chitra Ramkrishna has quit as the Managing Director and CEO of the country’s premier bourse.

 

Her tenure was scheduled to end in March 2018.

 

 

 

3. AIADMK leader O. Panneerselvam sworn in as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu following the death of Chief Minister Jayalalithaa.

 

O. Panneerselvam

This is for the third time he has sworn in as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.

 

 

 

4. Justice Jagdish Singh (JS) Khehar will be the next Chief Justice of India based on the recommendations by present Chief Justice of India Mr. T.S. Thakur.

 

 

 

5. The President of Pakistan has appointed Justice Mian Saqib Nisar as the 25th head of the Supreme Court with effect from Dec 31.

 

Mian Saqib Nisar

He will replace Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali.

 

 

 

6. Senior bureaucrat B S Bhullar was appointed as the Chief of Aviation Regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

 

 

 

7. Bernard Cazeneuve was appointed as the French Prime Minister on 4th December 2016 after PM Manuel Valls resigned to seek the Socialist Party’s ticket in 2017 presidential elections.

 

 

 

8. Uzbekistan’s interim leader, Shavkat Mirziyoyev has won a crushing presidential election victory to succeed the late Islam Karimov.

 

 

 

9. The Board of Directors of IDFC Bank has approved the appointment of Ms. Veena Mankar as the Non-Executive Chairperson, up to July 26, 2018.

 

Ms. Veena Mankar

The appointment is subject to approval of the RBI.

 

 

 

10. Ghana’s main opposition leader Nana Akufo-Addo has won the presidency in his third run for the office.

 

The country’s election commission said Akufo-Addo received 53.8% of the vote, with John Mahama on 44.4%

 

 

 

11. Vistaar Financial Services Private Limited, a leading NBFC (Non-banking Financial Company), announced the appointment of Mr. C.B. Bhave as the Non-Executive Chairman and Independent Director of the Company.

 

Mr. C.B. Bhave

His appointment will be effective from November 17, 2016.

 

Bhave served as the Chairman of Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) from February 2008 for a period of three years.

 

 

 

12. Lt Gen. Naveed Mukhtar was appointed as new chief of Pakistan’s powerful spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

 

He will replace Lt Gen. Rizwan Akhtar.

 

Lt Gen. Naveed Mukhtar possesses a vast experience in the field of intelligence and has headed the counter-terrorism wing of ISI.

 

 

 

13. Writer and scholar Akshaykumar M. Kale has been elected as the President of the 90th Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan.

 

Akshaykumar M. Kale

He is a critic of modern Marathi poetry. He was professor and head of Marathi Department at RTM Nagpur University.

 

 

 

14. Paolo Gentiloni has been named as Italy’s new Prime Minister.

 

His appointment comes after reformist leader and former PM Matteo Renzi resigned in wake of the referendum defeat.

 

 

 

15. Pulkit Trivedi was appointed as industry director of Facebook’s-commerce, retail, travel, and financial services verticals.

 

He has rich experience of 18 years and has worked with Microsoft, IBM and HCL in past.

 

 

 

16. Indian Actress Priyanka Chopra was appointed as UNICEF’s Global Goodwill Ambassador.

 

Priyanka Chopra

It was announced by soccer player David Beckham and British actress Millie Bobby Brown on the eve of UNICEF’s 70th anniversary in New York.

 

 

 

17. Former Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres was sworn in as the 9th UN Secretary-General.

 

Antonio Guterres is Portuguese politician and diplomat. He was Prime Minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002.

 

 

 

18. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has appointed Sunil Arora as Director General and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA).

 

He will have tenure of 5 years or till attaining 65 years of age.

 

 

 

19. The ACC has appointed VK Sharma as Chairman Life Insurance Corp. of India (LIC), India’s biggest insurer and investor.

 

VK Sharma

He will have tenure of five years.

 

 

 

20. Former Information and Broadcasting Secretary Sunil Arora was appointed as the Director General and Chief Executive Officer of the Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA).

 

 

 

21. Volkswagen group firm Audi appointed Rahil Ansari as head of the Operations.

 

Rahil-Ansari

Rahil will join the company from February 1, 2017.

 

 

 

22. Suzlon Energy has appointed Sanjay Baweja as its Chief Financial Officer.

 

Kirti Vagadia (Group CFO) will continue in his position and will focus on strategy, shareholder and board related matters at the Group level.

 

 

 

23. The government has appointed vice chief of army staff Lt. Gen Bipin Rawat as the new Army chief superseding his two senior officers.

 

Lt. Gen Bipin Rawat

Rawat will replace General Dalbir Singh.

 

 

 

24. Vice chief of air staff Air Marshal B. S. Dhanoa was appointed as the new chief of the Indian Air Force.

 

Dhanoa will take over from IAF chief Arup Raha.

 

 

 

25. Jharkhand cadre IPS officer Rajiv Jain was appointed as the new chief of Intelligence Bureau (IB).

 

He is at present serving as the Special Director in the IB.

 

 

 

26. Bollywood actor Priyanka Chopra appointed as the brand ambassador of the Assam Tourism.

 

Priyanka Chopra

She will drive the campaign, “Awesome Assam”.

 

The agreement is signed for two years.

 

 

 

27. Lt. Gen. Vinod Vashisht took over the reins of National Cadet Corps (NCC) as its Director General on 23rd December 2016.

 

Vinod Vashisht

He is a graduate from Defence Services Staff College.

 

 

 

28. Actor turned politician Mithun Chakraborty has resigned from Rajya Sabha citing poor health condition.

 

He has submitted his resignation to Rajya Sabha Chairman.

 

He was nominated to the upper house by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for the TMC in February 2014.

 

 

 

29. Viral Acharya, a professor at the Stern Business School of New York University, was named deputy governor of RBI.

 

Viral Acharya

Acharya is a graduate from the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay and has a Ph.D from Stern School of Business, New York University, will oversee the important monetary policy department and research.

 

 

 

30. Anil Baijal, a former bureaucrat has been appointed as the 21st Lieutenant Governor of Delhi.

 

He will succeed Najeeb Jung who had resigned before completion of his term and is returning to teaching profession.

 

 

 

31. The Jammu and Kashmir Cabinet has recently appointed the 1986 batch IPS officer Dr. Shesh Pal Vaid, Special DG, Coordination and Law and Order as the new Director General of Police.

 

Dr. Shesh Pal Vaid

He will succeed DGP K Rajendra from 31st December 2016.

 

 

 

32. Romanian President Klaus Iohannis has designated veteran leftist Sorin Grindeanu as the new Romanian head of government.

 

Sorin Grindeanu

It was decided a few weeks after the prevailing uncertainty due to Left’s victory in the parliamentary elections on December 11.

 

 

 

33. Incumbent Chief Minister and former Congress rebel Pema Khandu and six other lawmakers were suspended from the People’s Party of Arunachal (PPA) for allegedly breaking party discipline.

 

PPA is likely to propose the name of another leader, Takam Pario, as Mr. Khandu’s replacement.

 

 

 

34. Government has suspended the deemed recognition, granted by it to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) until the IOA reverses its decision to appoint Suresh Kalmadi and Abhay Chautala as Life Presidents.

 

Indian Olympic Association

Following the suspension, IOA will cease to enjoy the privileges and prerogatives bestowed on it by the Government as the National Olympic Committee (NOC).

 

 

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Economics & Banking GK

 

 

1. Private sector lender DCB Bank launched its own mobile and tab based digital wallet Cippy Wallet app.

 

This app will encourage consumers to experience cash free purchases from the mobile phone for day-to-day needs.

 

 

 

2. The premier cyber security agency CERT-In has cautioned bankers, customers, and traders against skimming and malware attacks on micro ATMs and Point of Sale (POS) terminals.

 

cyber security

The move comes as usage of POS and micro-ATMs counters have witnessed a sharp surge post demonetization.

 

 

 

3. RBI is going to issue new currency notes of Twenty and Fifty Rupees’ denomination in the Mahatma Gandhi Series-2005.

 

The old currency notes of Rs. 20 and Rs. 50 denomination issued by the Bank will continue to be legal tender.

 

 

 

4. The Drugs Technical Advisory Board (DTAB) has recommended one-time licensing for manufacture and sales of drugs.

 

If the recommendation is approved, it will change the renewal of licenses for each formulation which rests with state regulators and takes around three years.

 

 

 

5. India has received over US $300 billion US Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) between April 2000 and September 2016.

 

The cumulative FDI inflows during the period amounted to the US $310.26 billion.

 

 

 

6. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has declared that the banks must bear the full losses in the event of any security breach or compromise in the authorized card network.

 

RBI

Banks issuing the cards will offer the ‘payment authentication solutions’ of the respective card networks on an optional basis to their customers.

 

 

 

7. The Reserve Bank of India has withdrawn the incremental cash reserve ratio (CRR) by 100%.

 

 

 

8. The Reserve Bank of India authorized the Receivables Exchange of India (RXIL), promoted by Sidbi and NSE to launch the country’s first trade receivables exchange platform for MSMEs, buyers, and financiers.

 

 

 

9. The Reserve bank of India (RBI) in its fifth bi-monthly monetary policy review for year 2016-17 kept the key rates unchanged.

 

Read the complete detail at “https://scoop.eduncle.com/rbi-5th-bi-monthly-monetary-policy-statement”

 

 

 

10. 100 banks joined National Financial Switch network as direct members.

 

NFS

Direct members are those banks that directly participate in clearing and settlement with NPCI and they can also act as a sponsor bank.

 

 

 

11. NABARD is going to support banks for deployment of two PoS (Point of Sales) devices per village in one lakh villages having a population of up to 10,000 to facilitate more cashless transactions in rural India.

 

The effort is going to cost NABARD an estimated Rs 120 crore.

 

 

 

12. The Union Government has announced package of incentives and measures for promotion of digital and cashless economy in the country.

 

package of incentives and measures

It was announced to supplement the surge in the digital transactions aftermath demonetization of old Rs.500 and Rs. 1,000 notes for promotion of digital cashless economy and cutting out cash transactions.

 

 

 

13. Pakistan had lifted an “undeclared” ban on import of ginned cotton from India, days after rejecting a consignment of 10,000 bales of cotton from India citing violation of plant quarantine rules by importers.

 

cotton from India

Earlier, the Department of Plant Protection (DPP) of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research put cotton imports from India on hold through Wagah and Karachi port from November 23, saying the shipments did not fulfil phyto- sanitary conditions, Dawn newspaper reported.

 

 

 

14. State Bank of India will divest 3.9 per cent of its stake in SBI Life Insurance Company to global investment firms KKR and Temasek for Rs. 1,794 crore.

 

 

 

15. Canara Bank has launched a prepaid card as part of efforts to attract more and more people towards cashless transactions.

 

Prepaid card lets the cardholders use the same for cash withdrawal, purchases at point of sale or internet.

 

 

 

16. Madhya Pradesh has organized country’s biggest and first ever crop insurance claim distribution programme under Prime Minister Crop Insurance Scheme in Ujjain district.

 

crop insurance claim distribution

In this programme, insurance claims worth Rs. 4,416 crore were distributed to 20.4 lakh farmers of the state.

 

 

 

17. The Directorate General of Anti-Dumping and Allied Duties (DGAD) has recommended imposition of definitive anti-dumping duty on imports of steel tubes and pipes from China in an attempt to safeguard the domestic industry from cheap imports.

 

 

 

18. Oil prices in international market shot up by 4% to their highest level since 2015.

 

The international benchmark for oil prices Brent Crude Futures soared to US$57.89 per, highest level since July 2015.

 

 

 

19. The Uttar Pradesh Cabinet has approved the recommendations of the seventh pay commission.

 

The pay hike almost 10 to 15% in the pay of employees will be implemented from January 17, 2017.

 

 

 

20. RBI has directed banks to keep daily record of new currency notes.

 

daily record of new currency notes

It comes in view of seizures by Income Tax Department and other law enforcement agencies of large quantities of high denomination notes after post demonetization drive.

 

 

 

21. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has lowered its growth forecast for Indian economy to 7.0% as an aftermath of demonetization.

 

 

 

22. India is going to contribute $5 lakh to the United Nations’ Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) for the year 2016-17.

 

CERF allocates approximately 450 million US Dollars in a year for humanitarian operations in about 50 countries.

 

 

 

23. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) came down to 3.63% in November 2016 as against 4.20% reported in October 2016.

 

Consumer Price Index

The decline in inflation was largely due to the demonetization of high-denomination currency notes announced by Union Government.

 

 

 

24. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) set a limit on the Merchant Discount Rates (MDR) for debit card transactions up to INR 1,000 at 0.25% and for transactions above INR 1,000 and up to INR 2,000 at 0.5% to promote greater adoption of digital payment methods.

 

 

 

25. SBI has launched ‘Mobicash Mobile Wallet’ in association with state-owned telecommunications company Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL).

 

Mobicash Mobile Wallet

It will provide a mobile wallet to the masses and works with smart as well as normal feature phone.

 

 

 

26. RBI lowered charges on debit card payments up to Rs2,000 to encourage digital transactions.

 

The MDR for debit card payments, including for payments made to government, will be capped at 0.25% for transactions up to Rs1,000 and 0.5% between Rs1,000-2,000.

 

 

 

27. Employees Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) has reduced interest rate on provident fund deposits to 8.65% for 2016-17 from the current 8.8%.

 

The move is in line with the falling rate regime with the RBI cutting key lending rates and banks reducing deposit rates following the demonetization move last month.

 

 

 

28. As per SBI report, card transactions have fallen to a nine-month low, posing a new challenge to the government’s demonetization drive.

 

demonetization

The aggregate of debit and card transactions at point of source (PoS) terminals fell to a little more than Rs. 35,000 crore in November, the lowest since February.

 

 

 

29. ICICI Bank, India’s largest private sector bank has launched EazyPay mobile application for merchants that allows all-in-one acceptance payments platform.

 

EazyPay mobile application

This app consolidates all digital wallets, QR code, Unified Payments Interface (UPI), and credit & debit cards modes of payments.

 

 

 

30. Karnataka Vikas Grameen Bank launched ‘Bank Sakhi’ scheme.

 

Bank Sakhi

With the help of the scheme, the cashless transactions will be promoted in rural areas and women will be employed in villages.

 

 

 

31. The Union Cabinet approved promulgation of Specified Bank Notes Cessation of Liabilities Ordinance to penalize persons holding banned 500 and 1,000 rupee notes.

 

Specified Bank Notes

It will come into force once it gets Presidential assent as per Article 123 of the Constitution.

 

It will make possession of a large number of demonetized 1,000 and 500 rupee notes beyond threshold amount a penal offence.

 

 

 

32. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved Road Connectivity Project for Left Wing Extremism (LWE) Affected Areas to improve rural road connectivity in worst LWE affected districts critical from security and communication point of view.

 

 

 

33. Non-banking finance company Au Financiers (India) has received final approval of the Reserve Bank to start operations as small finance bank.

 

Au Financiers (India)

The company has operations in 10 states with 300 branches.

 

 

 

34. Mobile wallet firm Mobikwik has received an in-principle approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to set up a Bharat Bill Payments Operating Unit (BBPOU).

 

 

 

35. South Indian Bank has introduced a full-fledged NRI-focused mobile banking application.

 

SIB Mirror

This app is named as SIB Mirror+ across major mobile platforms.

 

 

 

36. The Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) has approved six Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) proposals worth Rs 1,200 crore.

 

It has approved the proposals of, Star Den Media Services, Sanofi Synthelabo India, Idea Cellular Infrastructure Services, Menarini India, Boehringer Ingelheim India and Recipharm Participation.

 

 

 

37. RBI has extended the period of enhanced Prepaid Payment Instruments (PPI) limit of Rs 20,000 as part of efforts to promote digital payments.

 

Prepaid Payment Instruments

The limit has been extended till the completion of review of the PPI guidelines.

 

 

 

38. The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has extended the last date for availing the Direct Tax Dispute Resolution Scheme to 31st January 2017 from the earlier deadline of December 31, 2016.

 

CBDT

This extension aims to give companies one more month to accept its offer to settle retro tax disputes with Government.

 

 

 

39. Chinese e-retail giant Alibaba, which has made investments in India’s Snapdeal and Paytm, is setting up its first office in India in Mumbai. The office will be located at the commercial Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) in Mumbai.

 

 

 

Bills – New & Amendments

 

 

1. Rajya Sabha has passed the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2014.

 

Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2014

The bill repeals Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunity Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act of 1995.

 

 

 

2. The Union Cabinet has approved the draft Major Port Authorities Bill, 2016 to replace the existing Major Port Trusts Act, 1963.

 

Major Port Authorities Bill, 2016

The bill aims to empower 12 major ports to perform with greater efficiency on account of full autonomy in decision-making.

 

 

 

3. The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council has approved the draft Central GST (CGST) and State GST (SGST) laws along with Compensation Bill to bring the GST into implementation, country’s biggest indirect tax reform.

Central GST

The CGST and SGST laws contain a total of 197 provisions and five schedules.

 

 

 

4. Gujarat Government announced its ‘Biotechnology Policy-2016’ to establish state as a preferred destination for manufacturing of biotechnology products.

 

biotechnology bill

The policy has provisions for various incentives for investors who are keen to set up their units in the state.

 

 

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Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)

 

 

1. India has signed government-to-government (G2G) deal with the United States (US) to buy 145 M-777 Ultra-Light Howitzers worth $750 million under the Foreign Military Sales program.

 

 

 

2. KPMG and Microsoft India has announced a strategic Internet of Things (IoT) Advisory partnership to accelerate the digital transformation of large and mid-market enterprises in the country.

 

KPMG and Microsoft

The IoT Advisory will help enterprises deploy solutions that can drive Cloud-based automation, generate operational insights through IoT, provide better customer relationship management and analytics, improve organizational agility and increase workforce mobility.

 

 

 

3. Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corporation, and Hindustan Petroleum Corp have signed a pact to build India’s biggest oil refinery at a cost of $30 billion on the west coast.

 

 

 

4.  The Union Cabinet has approved Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Vietnam on Cooperation in the field of Information Technology.

 

The MoU aims to develop sustainable and a long-term cooperation between both countries based on the equality and mutual interest in the areas of IT.

 

 

 

5. The Union Cabinet has approved Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Afghanistan on cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space.

 

The MoU envisaged cooperation between both countries for application of space technologies in various sectors like – Agriculture, Education, Weather Forecasting, Rural Health, Telecommunications, Urban Development, Sanitation, Resource Mapping Navigation and Remote Sensing etc.

 

 

 

6. The Union Cabinet has given its approval to Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and United Kingdom (UK) to support Ease of Doing Business in India.

 

 

 

7. India has been designated as a major defence partner of the United States.

 

India -US

It puts India on a par with the closest allies and partners of the US.

 

The agreement in this regard was reached between Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and US Secretary of Defence Ashton Carter in New Delhi.

 

 

 

8. India and Indonesia have signed three agreements in various areas including fishing, standardization and youth affairs and sports to enhance strategic partnership.

 

India and Indonesia

These agreements were signed after delegation level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting President of Indonesia Joko Widodo in New Delhi.

 

 

 

9. The European Union signed agreement with Mali regarding return of migrants who have reached Europe’s shores, and whose asylum requests have been refused.

 

It was to address root causes of illegal migration and to enable the return from Europe of Malian migrants.

 

 

 

10. The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has signed a contract with consortium of six private companies to deliver India’s first industry-built satellite by late 2017.

 

The European Union (EU) and Cuba have signed a deal to normalize ties between them. Prior to it, Cuba was the only Latin American country not to have a cooperation deal with the 28-nation EU.

 

The EU had blocked ties with Cuba for decades over issues such as trade, human rights, and migration.

 

 

 

11. Cuban government has signed a deal with Internet giant Google to provide faster access to Google’s data.

 

Google-Cuba

The deal allowed Google to install servers on the island nation which will store much of the company’s most popular content.

 

 

 

12. The Union Cabinet has approved MoU between India and Kyrgyzstan on cooperation in field of agriculture and food related industry.

 

The proposed agreement covered various activities in the field of agriculture and allied sector.

 

 

 

13. The Union Cabinet has approved MoU signed between ISRO and United States Geological Survey (USGS) for Cooperation in exchange and use of US Land Remote Sensing Satellite Data.

 

ISRO

It will also allow USGS to receive ISRO’s Resourcesat-2 (AWiFS and LISS III) data of US region.

 

 

 

14. The Union Cabinet has approved MoU between Ministry of Rural Development and Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) to improve effectiveness of rural development programmes in country.

 

The Inter-Governmental MoU on Joint Technical and South-South Cooperation will provide for collaboration on activities of common interest to support an integrated approach to rural poverty reduction through activities.

 

 

 

15. State-owned power producer National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and aluminum producer National Aluminium Co. Ltd (NALCO) have signed MoU to establish a 2.4 giga watt (GW) Coal based power project at Gajmara, Odisha.

 

 

 

16. India and Kyrgyzstan have signed six MoUs/ Agreements including in the fields of tourism, agriculture. and food industry etc.

 

Signed Agreements are as follows:

 

India and Kyrgyzstan

MoU on cooperation in the field of Tourism

 

MoU in the field of cooperation in youth exchange

 

MoU on cooperation in the field of Youth development

 

MoU on exchange of information on training programmes of diplomats

 

Agreement on cooperation in the field of Agriculture and Food Industry

 

MoU on cooperation in the field of Broadcasting and exchange of audiovisual programmes

 

 

 

17. The Indian Army has entered an agreement with the IIT-Gandhinagar (IITGN) to set up a research and development (R&D) cell on the campus.

 

IITGN and indian army

Staffed by the faculty and research students, the R&D cell will attempt to solve the technical challenges faced by the army.

 

The agreement will also enable IITGN and Indian Army to collaborate in various other areas i.e. critical technology requirements of the army, sharing of professional and technical knowledge, and other activities of mutual interest.

 

 

 

18. Haryana government has signed a memorandum of understanding with Andhra Pradesh to assist in compiling a centralized database of its population to ensure efficient and effective implementation of welfare programmes.

 

 

 

19. CBDT signed two unilateral Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs) with Indian taxpayers pertaining to the Information Technology and automobile sectors.

 

The international transactions covered in these two agreements include software development services, IT enabled services (ITES), manufacturing and business support services.

 

 

 

20. India and Singapore have signed a Third Protocol to amend DTAA (Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement) for the avoidance of double taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income.

 

India and Singapore

It was signed in line with India’s treaty policy to prevent double non-taxation, curb revenue loss and check the menace of black money through automatic exchange of information.

 

 

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Science & Technology

 

 

1. An independent panel of British scientists and experts has formally given nod to introduce so-called three-parent baby fertility treatments or mitochondrial gene therapy (MGT) procedures.

 

 

 

2. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will launch 83 satellites, 80 of them being foreign, in one go in January next year.

 

Eighty satellites weighing 500 kg belonged to five foreign countries – Israel, Kazakhstan, Netherlands, Switzerland and the US.

 

 

 

3. Private sector lender Yes Bank launched SIMsePAY.

 

Yes-Bank

It allows any account holder to do money transfers, pay utility bills and other mobile banking services, without the need for smart-phones or internet.

 

 

 

4. Private sector RBL Bank has launched ‘Aadhaar Payment Bridge System’ (APBS) for small ticket micro-finance loan disbursements.

 

The APBS system can now enable MFIs to disburse loan amounts directly in Aadhaar enabled bank accounts through RBL Bank.

 

 

 

5. Scientists from Israel have created the world’s first ‘water-wave laser’ that emits a beam through the interaction of light and water waves.

 

water-wave laser

The study conducted by the team of researchers from Technion-Israel Institute of Technology led by Professor Tal Carmon.

 

 

 

6. TeamIndus, a private aerospace startup company is planning to send a spacecraft to the moon aboard, an Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) rocket on 28th December 2017.

 

It will be India’s first private moon mission to be launched. It will be launched onboard of ISRO’s workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).

 

 

 

7. Scientists from Russia have developed a new unique, low-cost method for producing high-quality nuclear fuel using electricity.

 

It is an alternative novel method that forms the basis of powder metallurgy and involves electric pulse sintering under pressure.

 

 

 

8. The Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram launched ‘Stanpan Suraksha’ mobile application to promote breastfeeding and keep a tab on “inappropriate” promotion of baby food items.

 

The mobile application has been developed by the Breastfeeding Promotion Network of India (BPNI).

 

 

 

9. Maharashtra has launched its own mobile wallet named “Mahawallet”.

 

Mahawallet

With the launch, Maharashtra will become the first state to have its own mobile wallet.

 

It will allow users to transfer funds to or from other mobile wallets such as Paytm and Mobikwik.

 

 

 

10. Researchers from the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), Delhi has found a novel route to discover new drug targets and potential drugs.

 

These new drug targets route and potential drugs are mainly for parasites such as Loa loa nematode (roundworm) and Schistosoma mansoni platyhelminths (flatworm) that cause several diseases.

 

 

 

11. The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has successfully launched remote sensing Satellite Resourcesat-2A into its dedicated orbit.

 

 

 

12. Andhra Pradesh Government has launched AP Purse mobile application.

 

It will promote digital transactions among the people.

 

 

 

13. The Union Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) launched Winter Fog Experiment (WIFEX 2016-17).

 

It will study the presence of extended periods of fog in northern parts of the country.

 

 

 

14. Scientists from US including one of Indian origin have created a nanoceramic material that can be used for safer, cheaper nuclear reactors.

 

nanoceramic material

The new material is made of aluminum oxide nanoceramic coating.

 

It can withstand high temperatures, the harsh effects of radiation and also become tougher under radiation.

 

 

 

15. China has successfully launched Fengyun-4 satellite, first of its new generation weather satellites into geostationary orbit.

 

 

 

16. Scientists for the first time have detected trace amounts of ammonia in the upper troposphere, the lowest atmospheric layer of Earth.

 

It was detected by team of researchers from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany.

 

 

 

17. Researchers discovered Atlantic killifish, a fish species which has evolved to be 8,000 times more resilient to toxic waste compared with normal fish.

 

Atlantic killifish

The fish species lives in the heavily polluted East Coast estuaries of US such as the Elizabeth River in Virginia and the Newark Bay in New Jersey.

 

 

 

18. Software giant Microsoft India has launched its first full-scale Cybersecurity Engagement Centre (CSEC) in New Delhi.

 

It is Microsoft’s seventh Cybersecurity Centre in the world.

 

It will function as a satellite to the its Redmond Digital Crimes Unit (DCU).

 

 

 

19. NASA is building a robotic spacecraft dubbed as ‘Restore-L Spacecraft’ to refuel, repair satellites currently in orbit.

 

Restore-L Spacecraft

In this regard, NASA has awarded a $127 million contract to California-based satellite company Space Systems/Loral to build Restore-L Spacecraft.

 

 

 

20. Pakistan Army has successfully test fired an enhanced version of an indigenously-designed Babur cruise missile.

 

Babur cruise missile

The missile incorporates advanced aerodynamics and avionics that can strike targets both at land and sea with high accuracy.

 

 

 

21. Indian Navy’s eight landing craft utility (LCU) L-58 was launched by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd (GRSE) in Kolkata, West Bengal.

Indian-Navy’s-eight-landing-craft-utility-(LCU)-L-58

It is the last vessel in a series of eight ships of LCU MK-IV project designed and built by GRSE for the Indian Navy.

 

 

 

22. The Department of Telecom (DoT) is going to launch ‘Tarang Sanchar’ portal that will let users check radiation compliance status of mobile towers and transmitters across country.

 

Tarang Sanchar

Using this portal user can also request to get a BTS tested by DoT to assess its electro-magnetic frequency (EMF) compliance level.

 

 

 

23. Power Ministry is going to launch GARV-II app to ensure transparency in implementation of rural electrification programme.

 

It will provide real time data of all six lakh villages of the country.

 

GARV-II will have a citizen engagement window ‘SAMVAD’ to enhance participation.

 

 

 

24. Scientists for the first time have discovered the so-called molten jet stream within the Earth’s molten iron core using latest data obtained from three European satellites called Swarm.

 

molten jet stream

The three satellites were launched in 2013 with the goal of studying Earth’s magnetic field.

 

The latest satellite data that helps create a sharpest ‘x-ray’ view of the planet.

 

 

 

25. Researchers from United States have developed the first vaccine for Chikungunya fever made from an insect-specific Eilat virus.

 

The newly-developed vaccine did not have any effect on people, which makes it safe and effective for humans.

 

 

 

26. Long range nuclear-capable subsonic cruise missile Nirbhay was successfully test fired from the launch complex 3 of the Integrated Missile Test Range in Balasore, Odisha.

 

Nirbhay

The test was conducted by the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO).

 

It was third launch of Nirbhay. The maiden launch was conducted in March 2013 and second test was conducted in October 2014.

 

 

 

27. China successfully launched TanSat, a global carbon dioxide (CO2) monitoring satellite to understand the effects of climate change.

 

carbon dioxide monitoring satellite

It was launched on board of Long March-2D rocket from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in northwest China’s Gobi Desert.

 

It was the 243rd mission of the Long March series rockets.

 

 

 

28. China has launched a global carbon dioxide monitoring satellite to understand climate change.

 

The 620-kg satellite TanSat was put into orbit by Long March-2D rocket from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in northwest China’s Gobi Desert.

 

 

 

29. The World Health Organization (WHO) has expressed confidence that a prototype vaccine for Ebola may be 100% effective in protecting against the deadly virus.

 

vaccine for Ebola

The vaccine was initially developed in Canada by public health authorities before being taken over by pharmaceutical giant Merck.

 

 

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30. The Defence and Research Development Organization (DRDO) successfully flight tested Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon (SAAW) from Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft at integrated test range in Chandipur, Odisha.

 

Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon (SAAW)

SAAW is an indigenously designed and developed 120-kilogram class smart weapon. It has been developed by DRDO.

 

 

 

31. A team of UK-based researchers has identified Hafnium carbide (HfC) and Tantalum carbide (TaC) as the world’s most heat resistant material.

 

They can withstand record melting point temperatures up to 3958°C (approx 4000°C).

 

New Laser-heating techniques were used to find the temperature at which, TaC and HfC melted, both separately and in mixed compositions.

 

 

 

32. US-based scientists have developed a bacteria-powered battery (bio-battery) on a single sheet of paper, which is capable of powering disposable electronics.

 

The paper-based bacteria-powered battery design is part of a new field of research called papertronics, which is a fusion of paper and electronics.

 

 

 

33. Scientists from Canada have developed the first functional pacemaker cells using human pluripotent stem cells.

 

The cells can regulate heart-beats with electrical impulses.

 

paves the way for alternate biological pacemaker therapy.

 

 

 

34. India successfully test-fired its home-grown long range intercontinental surface-to-surface nuclear capable ballistic missile Agni-5.

 

missile Agni-5

The state-of-the-art surface-to-surface missile was test fired successfully from the launch complex 4 of the Integrated Test Range from the Abdul Kalam Wheeler Island off Odisha coast.

 

 

 

35. China has successfully tested the latest version of its fifth-generation stealth fighter jet J-31 (now renamed the FC-31 Gyrfalcon).

 

The newest version of twin-engine FC-31 took to the air for the first time recently.

 

It is considered as China’s answer to the US F-35, the world’s most technically advanced fighter.

 

 

 

36. Railway launched a new feature called Fog Alert in online portal and mobile app Rail Yatri to help train travelers plan their journeys better in the winter.

 

Fog Alert

The feature allows users to check if a train is delayed due to fog.

 

 

 

37. The Odisha Government recently decided to launch a new malaria control programme, DAMAN, in remote tribal-dominated areas.

 

The annual expenditure for the programme will be Rs 24 crore from the state budget.

 

 

 

38. A team of international astronomers has discovered Vela super cluster, one of the biggest super galaxy clusters near the Milky Way.

 

 Vela super cluster

It was spotted by a research team of astronomers from South Africa, Australia and Europe with help slew of telescopes including the Anglo-Australian Telescope (Sydney) and South African Large Telescope (Cape Town).

 

 

 

39. The Union Government has launched Integrated Voice Response System (IVRS) system in a bid to tackle the call drop menace.

 

IVRS

The system was launched at multiple locations including Delhi and Mumbai to obtain direct feedback from subscribers on call quality on the issue of frequent call drops.

 

 

 

40. China has successfully launched two high-resolution remote sensing satellites SuperView-1 01 and 02 to get commercial images.

 

These satellites were launched on-board of Long March 2D rocket from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre in Shanxi Province.

 

They will provide commercial images at 0.5-meter resolution.

 

 

 

41. The Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) has delivered ICGS AYUSH, the 20th Fast Patrol Vessel (FPV) to the Indian Coast Guard.

 

ICGS AYUSH

With this, CSL has completed construction of 20 FPVs for the Indian Coast Guard.

 

 

 

42. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched UPI based mobile payment application called BHIM (Bharat Interface for Money) at the Digi Dhan Mela held in Talkatora stadium, New Delhi.

 

The app is rebranded version of UPI (Unified Payment Interface) and USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) for simpler digital payments without cash.

 

 

 

Important Dates

 

1. International Day of Persons with Disabilities, celebrated on 3rd December 2016 is an international observance promoted by the United Nations since 1992.

3rd December 2016

The observance of the Day aims to bring the Persons with Disabilities into the mainstream.

 

The theme for this year’s International Day is “Achieving 17 Goals for the Future We Want”.

 

 

 

2. The Indian Navy Day was observed annually on 4th December 2016 to celebrate the magnificence, achievements, and role of the naval force of the country.

 

Indian Navy Day

The observance of the day commemorates the launch of Operation Trident by the Indian Navy against Pakistan on 4th December 1971.

 

 

 

3. The International Anti-Corruption Day 2016 was observed across the world on 9th December 2016.

 

This year’s theme is ‘United against corruption for development, peace, and security’.

 

 

 

4. The Human Rights Day 2016 was on 10th December 2016 observed across the world.

 

Human Rights Day 2016

This year’s theme is “Stand up for someone’s rights today”.

 

 

 

5. The Union Government is going to observe the birth anniversary of the father of Indian Constitution B. R. Ambedkar 14th April as “Water Day” in the country.

 

B-R-Ambedkar

The idea behind observing Water Day on the birth anniversary of Dr. Ambedkar is to sensitize people about managing precious water resources.

 

 

 

6. National Energy Conservation Day was observed all over India on 14th December 2016.

 

It was celebrated to make people aware of global warming and climate change and promote a conscious effort towards saving the energy resources.

 

 

 

7. Bangladesh celebrated 45th anniversary of victory over Pakistan and its emergence as a new country on the map of the world on 16th December 1971.

 

Bangladesh

On this day, Chief of Pakistani Army General AAK Niazi along with 93,000 Pakistani troops had surrendered to allied forces of Mukti Fouz and Indian Army at Ramna Suhrawardy Udyan in Dhaka following a defeat.

 

 

 

8. The Department of Telecom (DoT) is going to launch ‘Tarang Sanchar’ portal that will let users check radiation compliance status of mobile towers and transmitters across country.

 

Tarang Sanchar

Using this portal user can also request to get a BTS tested by DoT to assess its electro-magnetic frequency (EMF) compliance level.

 

 

 

9. Power Ministry is going to launch GARV-II app to ensure transparency in implementation of rural electrification programme.

 

It will provide real time data of all six lakh villages of the country.

 

GARV-II will have a citizen engagement window ‘SAMVAD’ to enhance participation.

 

 

 

10. Scientists for the first time have discovered the so-called molten jet stream within the Earth’s molten iron core using latest data obtained from three European satellites called Swarm.

 

molten jet stream

The three satellites were launched in 2013 with the goal of studying Earth’s magnetic field.

 

The latest satellite data that helps create a sharpest ‘x-ray’ view of the planet.

 

 

 

11. Researchers from United States have developed the first vaccine for Chikungunya fever made from an insect-specific Eilat virus.

 

The newly-developed vaccine did not have any effect on people, which makes it safe and effective for humans.

 

 

 

12. Long range nuclear-capable subsonic cruise missile Nirbhay was successfully test fired from the launch complex 3 of the Integrated Missile Test Range in Balasore, Odisha.

 

Nirbhay

The test was conducted by the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO).

 

It was third launch of Nirbhay. The maiden launch was conducted in March 2013 and second test was conducted in October 2014.

 

 

 

13. China successfully launched TanSat, a global carbon dioxide (CO2) monitoring satellite to understand the effects of climate change.

 

carbon dioxide monitoring satellite

It was launched on board of Long March-2D rocket from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in northwest China’s Gobi Desert.

 

It was the 243rd mission of the Long March series rockets.

 

 

 

14. China has launched a global carbon dioxide monitoring satellite to understand climate change.

 

The 620-kg satellite TanSat was put into orbit by Long March-2D rocket from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in northwest China’s Gobi Desert.

 

 

 

15. The World Health Organization (WHO) has expressed confidence that a prototype vaccine for Ebola may be 100% effective in protecting against the deadly virus.

 

vaccine for Ebola

The vaccine was initially developed in Canada by public health authorities before being taken over by pharmaceutical giant Merck.

 

 

16. St. Stephen’s Day, celebrated on 26th December every year, is a Christian saint’s day to commemorate Saint Stephen, the first Christian martyr or protomartyr.

 

St. Stephen's Day

It is also called as the Feast of Saint Stephen.

 

 

 

Death

 

 

1. Former international hockey umpire and veteran administrator, Phulel Singh Sujlana, passed away in Mumbai.

 

Phulel Singh Sujlana

He has officiated some matches first at the international level as an umpire at the 1978 Asian Games in Bangkok.

 

 

 

2. Former Indian defender and Coach Syed Abdus Salam, the best defender at the 1956 Melbourne Games, passed away in Hyderabad.

 

 

 

3. Cho Ramaswamy, Actor, political commentator, theatre personality and editor of Thuglak (Tamil Magazine) passed away.

 

 

 

4. Former US aviator, astronaut John Glenn passed away in Columbus, Ohio, US. He was 95.

 

He was the last surviving member of the Mercury Seven Mission.

 

He was first American to orbit Earth and had circled three times earth in 1962 aboard Friendship 7 space capsule.

 

 

 

5. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa passed away after suffering a cardiac arrest. She was 68.

 

Jayalalithaa

Jayalalithaa was one of the country’s most articulate and determined political personalities and a top film actress of the 1960s and 1970s.

 

She was famously known as Puratchi Thalaivi Amma (revolutionary leader) or Amma.

 

 

 

6. A gunman shot and killed Russia’s ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov as he gave a speech at a photo exhibition in Ankara.

 

Andrey Karlov

The gunman was an off-duty policeman who told him: “We die in Aleppo, you die here.”

 

 

 

7. Anupam Mishra, a noted Gandhian, journalist, environmentalist, and water conservationist passed away at the age of 68 at the All India Institute for Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

 

Anupam Mishra

He had been awarded the 1996 Indira Gandhi Paryavaran Puraskar (IGPP) award instituted by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India.

 

 

 

8. Dinanath Bhargava, a co-artist in the team that sketched the national emblem ‘Lion Capital of Ashoka’ and decorated the pages of the Constitution’s manuscript, died at the age of 89 in Indore.

 

Dinanath Bhargava

Bhargava was chosen by noted painter Nandlal Bose in the group for designing the pages of the Indian Constitution’s manuscript.

 

 

 

9. George Michael, the British pop superstar has died at the age of 53.

 

George Michael

The cause of death was heart failure.

 

 

 

10. Veteran Sri Lankan politician Ratnasiri Wickremanayake, who served twice as Prime Minister, passed away after a brief illness.

 

Ratnasiri Wickremanayake

Wickremanayake served twice as the Island Nation’s Premier, first from 2000 to 2001 and then from 2005 to 2010.

 

 

 

11. Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister and seasoned BJP leader Sunderlal Patwa died in Bhopal after suffering a heart attack. He was 92.

 

Sunderlal Patwa was a two-time Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh.

 

 

 

12. Vera Rubin, who has transformed modern physics and astronomy has passed away.

 

Vera Rubin

She was famous with her observations showing that galaxies and stars are immersed in the gravitational grip of vast clouds of dark matter.

 

 

Click here to download GK Monthly Eduwrap for December 2016 in PDF Format

 

 

GK Eduwrap will help you keeping aware about all the major happenings of the country and the world and update your current affairs/general knowledge.

 

This will help you in preparing for all the competitive exams like IBPS, SSC, RRB etc.

 

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