Read current affairs online with GK Eduwrap. It covers the last week current affairs in a comprehensive manner ensuring you prepare confidently for the general awareness for bank exams.
National – Across the India
1. The Union AYUSH Ministry has launched ‘Swasthya Raksha Programme’ to promote health and health education in villages.
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).
2. 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.
3. 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.
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.
4. 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.
5. Amid tight security, Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh inaugurated two new districts, which were carved out of as many Naga-dominated districts.
Singh inaugurated Pherzawl, carved out of Churachandpur district, and Noney from Tamenglong district.
6. 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.
7. Thaawarchand Gehlot, Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment released the first issue of a National Newspaper dedicated to Senior Citizen, ‘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.
8. 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.
9. 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 is renowned Tamil poet and philosopher-saint believed to have lived between 3rd Century BC and 1st Century BC.
10. 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.
11. As per report submitted by Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology, there was an alarming 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.
12. 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.
13. 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.
14. 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.
The ordinance proposed changes to Section 6 of the Payment of Wages Act of 1936.
15. 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.
16. 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.
This helpline initially will be provided in 7 languages viz., English, Hindi and 5 other regional languages Tamil, Telugu, Kannada Bengali and Assamese.
17. 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.
18. 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.
It is a scheme to nurture the orphan and HIV-infected children residing in different child care institutions and orphanages.
19. 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.
International – Across the Globe
1. The world’s first cloned goat bearing superfine Cashmere wool was born in north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.
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.
2. India ranked 4th in the Global Wind Power Installed Capacity index with cumulative installed wind power generation capacity of 25,088 MW in 2015.
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.
3. 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.
4. The Global Wage Report 2016-17 released by the International Labour Organization (ILO) has found that India suffers from huge gender pay gap.
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%.
5. 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.
6. 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.
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.
1. 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.
It was also the first time that a host nation had won the tournament since its inception.
2. 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.
3. 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.
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.
4. 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.
Ashwin was the only Indian in ICC’s Test Team of the Year and was also named the Test Cricketer of the Year.
Awards & Recognition
1. Stephanie Del Valle from Puerto Rico was crowned the 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. Priyanka Chopra, has made it up to the list of IMDb’s most popular celebrities’ list beating many Hollywood celebrities.
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.
5. Andy Murray was chosen for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year for a record third time.
Murray beat the gold medal-winning triathlete Alistair Brownlee into second place and showjumper Nick Skelton, in third.
6. 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:
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).
7. 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.
8. Eminent modern Bengali poet Shankha Ghosh was chosen for the prestigious Jnanpith Award for the year 2016.
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).
9. 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.
Mergers & Acquisitions
1. 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.
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.
Appointments & Resignations
1. The government has appointed vice chief of army staff Lt. Gen Bipin Rawat as the new Army chief superseding his two senior officers.
Rawat will replace General Dalbir Singh.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. Bollywood actor Priyanka Chopra appointed as the brand ambassador of the Assam Tourism.
She will drive the campaign, “Awesome Assam”.
The agreement is signed for two years.
Economics & Banking GK
1. SBI has launched ‘Mobicash Mobile Wallet’ in association with state-owned telecommunications company Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL).
It will provide a mobile wallet to the masses and works with smart as well as normal feature phone.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. As per SBI report, card transactions have fallen to a nine-month low, posing a new challenge to the government’s demonetization drive.
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.
5. ICICI Bank, India’s largest private sector bank has launched EazyPay mobile application for merchants that allows all-in-one acceptance payments platform.
This app consolidates all digital wallets, QR code, Unified Payments Interface (UPI), and credit & debit cards modes of payments.
Bills – New & Amendments
1. 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.
The CGST and SGST laws contain a total of 197 provisions and five schedules.
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
1. India and Kyrgyzstan have signed six MoUs/ Agreements including in the fields of tourism, agriculture. and food industry etc.
Signed Agreements are as follows:
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
Science & Technology
1. 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.
Using this portal user can also request to get a BTS tested by DoT to assess its electro-magnetic frequency (EMF) compliance level.
2. 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.
3. 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.
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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
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.
6. China successfully launched TanSat, a global carbon dioxide (CO2) monitoring satellite to understand the effects of climate change.
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.
8. 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.
9. The World Health Organization (WHO) has expressed confidence that a prototype vaccine for Ebola may be 100% effective in protecting against the deadly virus.
The vaccine was initially developed in Canada by public health authorities before being taken over by pharmaceutical giant Merck.
1. The National Mathematics Day was observed on 22nd December 2016 to celebrate birth anniversary of great Indian autodidact Mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan.
This year, it was 129th birth anniversary of Srinivasa Ramanujan.
2. The National Consumer Day was observed on 24th December 2016 to highlight the consumer movement and promote the basic rights and responsibilities of all consumers.
On this day, the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 had received the assent of the President.
The theme for celebration was Alternate Consumer Disputes Redressal.
1. A gunman shot and killed Russia’s ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov as he gave a speech at a photo exhibition in Ankara.
The gunman was an off-duty policeman who told him: “We die in Aleppo, you die here.”
2. 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).
He had been awarded the 1996 Indira Gandhi Paryavaran Puraskar (IGPP) award instituted by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India.
Important Abbreviations used in this Article
|CCRAS||Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences|
|CCRH||Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy|
|CCRUM||Central Council for Research in Unani Medicine|
|CCRS||Central Council for Research in Siddha|
|IIS||Indian Institute of Skills|
|IEDS||Indian Enterprise Development Services|
|KRMB||Krishna River Management Board|
|MEA||Ministry of External Affairs|
|GWEC||Global Wind Energy Council|
|ILO||International Labour Organization|
|KVGB||Karnataka Vikas Grameena Bank|
|BSNL||Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd|
|EPFO||Employees Provident Fund Organization|
|UPI||Unified Payments Interface|
|DRDO||Defence Research and Development Organization|
|AIIMS||All India Institute for Medical Sciences|
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