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CURRENT AFFAIRS: DAYS
International Day of Neutrality
- Every year on December 12th, the International Day of Neutrality promotes the importance of peaceful, friendly, and mutually beneficial relations between countries.
- When a country is neutral, it means they are not taking a side in times of war or conflict. One of the best-known examples of neutrality is the country of Switzerland. During both World Wars, Switzerland remained neutral. Their neutrality goes back as far as 1815. As a result of their permanent neutral status, Switzerland has become a safe haven for thousands of refugees over the
International Universal Health Coverage Day
- Universal Health Coverage Day is celebrated annually on December 12 and is promoted by the World Health Organization.
- December 12 is the anniversary of the first unanimous United Nations resolution calling for all nations to provide for their citizens affordable, quality health care.
- International Universal Health Coverage Day aims to raise awareness of the need for strong and resilient health systems and universal health coverage with multi-stakeholder partners.
- Theme 2019 is Keep the promise
CURRENT AFFAIRS: NATIONAL
Inauguration of Navarms 2019 4th International Seminar Cum Exhibition on Naval Weapon Systems
- The fourth edition of International Seminar cum Exhibition on Naval Weapon Systems ‘NAVARMS – 2019’ with the theme ‘Make in India – Fight Category: Opportunities and Imperatives’ was inaugurated by Admiral Karambir Singh, Chief of the Naval Staff at Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, Development Enclave, New Delhi.
- The inaugural session of the seminar was attended by more than 300 delegates from three services, Min of Defence, DRDO, DGQA, DGAQA, OFs, DPSUs, Indian and international Industries and reps of foreign mission of friendly countries.
- The NAVARMS – 2019 Exhibition on defence technology was inaugurated by the CNS. The Exhibition comprised of exhibits from Ordnance Factory, DPSUs, private industries (both domestic and international) and Indian Navy showcasing cutting edge and niche defence technologies.
India Announces a “Green Window” to Catalyze Climate Finance.
- The Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA), the country’s premier public finance institution, is considering an allocation of $20 million in seed funding to set up its pioneering “Green Window” aimed toward catalyzing private investment and expanding the Indian clean energy market.
- A green window is a financing approach designed leverage limited government funds to attract private capital to achieve climate and clean energy goals.
- The IREDA Green Window builds on the globally successful green bank model. Green banks across the world have supported projects worth $50 billion in the last five years.
- The aim of the IREDA Green Window is to drive investment into underserved segments of the clean energy market. Under MNRE and IREDA’s leadership, the Green Window is based on extensive market research and stakeholder discussions involved in financing clean energy.
- As India moves towards becoming a USD 5 trillion economy, the country’s aim to install 450 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy capacity would be one of the major drivers of its economic growth.
- IREDA is discussing allocating approximately $20 million for the Green Window. With the seed capital, IREDA plans to leverage an additional $80 million from both domestic and international sources to establish a facility of $100 million.
President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.
- According to the Act, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014 and facing religious persecution there will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship.
- The amendment is not applicable to the tribal areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram or Tripura as included in the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution and in the areas covered under the Inner Line Permit.
- The Inner Line Permit regime is applicable in Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram
External Affairs Ministry to host 6th Indian Ocean Dialogue, Delhi Dialogue XI
- External Affairs Ministry will host the 6th Indian Ocean Dialogue and Delhi Dialogue XI at the Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra in New Delhi.
- For the first time, these two dialogues will be held consecutively and on similar Indo-Pacific theme.
- The theme for Indian Ocean Dialogue is “Indo-Pacific: Re-imagining the Indian Ocean through an Expanded Geography”.
- The theme for this year’s Delhi Dialogue is “Advancing Partnership in Indo-Pacific”, and is being organized with the assistance of the Research and Information System for Developing Coun
Two plus 2 India-US dialogue to be held on Dec 18: Ministry of External Affairs.
- The Second India-US 2 Plus 2 Ministerial Dialogue will be held in Washington DC on 18th December.
- Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will lead the Indian delegation.
- External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar will meet their US counterparts for a comprehensive review of cross-cutting foreign policy and defence and security issues in India-US relations.
|External Affairs Minister||Subrahmanyam Jaishankar|
|Constituency||Rajya Sabha, Gujarat|
Ekamra Kshetra to replicate Jagannath temple project
- After the positive response for beautification project of Jagannath Temple in Puri, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced a package for revival and preservation of the heritage value and grandeur of Lingaraj Temple and its surroundings on 66 acre of land.
- The package for Ekamra Kshetra in the first phase includes Outer Access Road Development, Lingaraj Entry Plaza, Bindu Sagar revival plan, parking space, Lingaraj Heritage Complex, development of amenities for Kedar Gouri-Mukteswar complex, Heritage e-auto project, relocation projects and heritage interpretation centre.
|Odisha Chief Minister||Naveen patnaik|
|Odisha Governor||Ganeshi lal|
IBM’s weather forecast system for accuracy of forecasts in India.
- International technology company IBM Plans to make a high resolution weather forecast model that will also rely on user generated data to improve the accuracy of forecasts available in India.
- IBM GARF, as the forecast system is called, can generate forecasts at a resolution of 3kms. This is a significantly higher resolution than the 12-km models used by the India Meterological department to generate forecasts.
- These weather forecast techniques rely on dynamic modeling and collect a trove of atmosphereic and ocean data, crunch it in supercomputers and generate forecasts over desired time-frames-three days, weekly or fortnightly.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: INTERNATIONAL
Johnson is set to be re-elected as British prime minister with a landslide majority
- Boris Johnson is set to be re-elected as British prime minister with a landslide majority in the country’s general elections, an exit poll suggested on Friday, a victory that will end the uncertainty over Brexit and will help him to take the UK out of the European union.
|UK currency||Pound Sterling|
8-yr-old Licypriya Kangujam from India urges leaders at COP25 to act on climatic change
- Kangujam may be the youngest climate activist in the world . Eight-year-old Licypriya Kangujam from Manipur speaks at the Climate Summit in Madrid, spain.
- The young activist from Manipur who has already spoken in 21 countries on climate change, gave the world a glimpse of her resolve as she urged global leaders to “act now against climate change”. Madrid, Spain
|Manipur Chief Minister||Biren singh|
|Manipur Governor||Najma heptulla|
Bougainville Votes to Become World’s Newest Country
- The South Pacific region of Bougainville voted to become the world’s newest nation by gaining independence from Papua New Guinea.
- More than 98% of valid ballots favored independence.
- Bougainville is an island in Papua New Guinea. The Bougainville referendum is a key part of a 2001 peace agreement that ended a civil war in which at least 15,000 people died in the cluster of islands to the east of Papua New Guinea mainland.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATION
Ashok Leyland names former JCB India chief Vipin Sondhi as MD & CEO.
- Chennai based commercial vehicle manufacturer Ashok Leyland appointed Vipin Sondhi as its MD and CEO for a period of 5 yrs.
- Sondhi was the MD and CEO of JCB india for about 14 years. Prior to Sondhi, the Hinduja group company was being led by Vinod Dasari, who quit to join Royal Enfield as CEO in April.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: AWARDS AND HONOURS
Nirmala Sitharaman among world’s 100 most powerful women: FORBES
- The Forbes 2019 list of ‘The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women’ has been topped by German Chancellor Angela Merkel
- Sitharaman, a newcomer on the Forbes most powerful women list, is ranked 34th.
- Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, HCL Corporation CEO and Executive Director Roshni Nadar Malhotra and Biocon Founder Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw have been named among the world’s 100 most powerful women by Forbes.
- The Forbes 2019 list of ‘The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women’ has been topped by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, followed by President of the European Central Bank Christine Lagarde in the second spot and Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, ranked third. Also on the list is Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina (29).
|Union Minister of Finance And Corporate Affairs||Nirmala sitharaman|
|Constituency||Rajya Sabha, Karnataka|
Gurgaon based startup won space Oscar award
- The Gurugram based startup blue sky analytics has created an application called zuri that won the Copernicus masters award also called spaceoscars, under the social entrepreneurship category.
- The award was given by earth observation program managed by EU in parternership with European space agency(ESA)
Climate activist Greta Thunberg is Time’s Person of the Year
- Teen activist Greta Thunberg to be named Time’s Person of the Year.She is the youngest person to be honoured with the title in the 92 year history of TIME magazine.
- Greta Thunberg, was born in Stockholm, Sweden, she began a global movement in August 2018 creating a campaign outside the Parliament of Sweden called ‘Fridays for Future’, a global student movement pushing the government to take immediate action on climate change, by her active involvement she became the most compelling voice on the significant issue of Global Warming faced by today’s world.
- Last year’s Time winners included slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi; the staff of the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland, where five people were shot to death; Philippine journalist Maria Ressa; and two Reuters journalists,
- Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo.
Padmeswar Gogoi was awarded the Siu-Ka-Pha Award
- The Siu-Ka-Pha Award was presented to noted educationist, Botanist and folklore researcher Dr. Padmeswar Gogoi.
- The award recognized his effort and contribution in the field of botany and science.
- Siu-Ka-Pha Award was instituted by the central committee of different ethnic groups and organizations of Golaghat district, Assam.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
ISRO launches surveillance satellite RISAT-2BR1
- The Indian Space Research Organisation successfully launched radar imaging earth observation satellite RISAT-2BR1 on board the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-C48 rocket from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.
- Nine other foreign commercial satellites were also launched on board the PLSV-C48 to mark its 50th mission.
- Six customer satellites belonged to the United States and one each from Israel, Italy and Japan.
- The 628-kg satellite is meant for applications by the military and also used in various fields like agriculture, forestry and disaster management support. The mission life of the RISAT-2BR1 is five years.
NASA scientists develop map showing presence of water ice on Mars
- NASA scientists have developed a map detailing the presence of water ice on Mars, with some believed to be as little as 2.5 centimetres below the Red Planet’s surface.
- The researchers, including those from the American space agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California, said in a press statement that water ice will be a key consideration for any potential landing site on Mars.
|NASA Head Quarters||Washington DC, USA|
|NASA Administrator||Jim Bridenstein|
CURRENT AFFAIRS: SUMMITS AND CONFERENCE
Symposium on Scope of Science of Ayurveda in Global Health.
- The Ministry of External Affairs, in association with the Ministry of AYUSH, organized a Symposium on “Scope of Science of Ayurveda in Global Health”, in New Delhi.
- The objective of the symposium was to create awareness on the potentials & efficacy of Ayurveda and other systems of AYUSH and to promote AYUSH at a global level.
- The event was also meant to help familiarize the audience with the robust infrastructure and regulatory provisions governing Ayurveda in India, as well as, make aware of the opportunities in education & skill development in the field.
Workshop on Bamboo cultivation to be held in Jammu and Kashmir
- In Jammu and Kashmir, a first of its kind workshop on Bamboo cultivation will be held on 19th and 20 of this month in Jammu.
- Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh will inaugurate the exhibition.
- The workshop will focus on promotion of Bamboo cultivation in the potential Kandi areas of Jammu and its value addition as an economic activity and to generate entrepreneurship and employment opportunities.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: BANKING AND FINANCE
IBC (Second Amendment) Bill, 2019 introduced in LOK SABHA.
- The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Second Amendment) Bill, 2019 has been introduced in the Lok Sabha. It was introduced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman during the pre-lunch session.
- The amendment is for streamlining corporate insolvency resolution process and to protect last-mile funding to promote investment in sectors that are financially distressed. Union Cabinet gave its approval to the amendment.
Mastercard ties up with Federal Bank for identity check security for digital transactions
- Global payments technology major Mastercard has joined hands with Federal Bank to provide an additional layer of security for digital transactions.
- Mastercard Identity Check is a global authentication program that uses the latest authentication standards of EMV 3-D Secure to provide an additional layer of security for digital transactions and facilitate higher approval rates, improving the authentication experience for merchants, issuers and cardholders.
- It provides banks with a secure and user-friendly way to authenticate cardholders without the use of static passwords, increasing approval rates.
- The facility decreases online shopping cart abandonment, reduces fraud and improves conversion rates for e-commerce merchants.
Government to sell 100 per cent stake in Air India
- The government has decided to sell its entire 100 per cent stake in Air India under the proposed disinvestment process, Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Thursday.
- The national carrier, which has a debt burden of more than Rs 50,000 crore, has been making loss for long and as part of revival efforts, the government has decided on disinvestment.
- Air India Specific Alternative Mechanism (AISAM) has been reconstituted and the re-initiation of the strategic disinvestment of Air India has been approved.
- AISAM has approved the 100 per cent sale of Government of India stake in Air India for the re-initiated strategic disinvestment of Air India.
Tech Mahindra bags smart city project from Pune’s Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation
- IT company Tech Mahindra has bagged a smart city project worth Rs 500 crore from Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) in Pune.
- Through this project, Tech Mahindra will engage with more than 15 lakh citizens of PCMC in Pune district by enabling the technology-led transformation to convert it into a smart and sustainable city.
Moody’s cuts India’s GDP growth forecast to 5.6 per cent for 2019
- Moody’s Investors Service on Friday said it has lowered its 2019 GDP growth forecast for India to 5.6 per cent as slow employment growth weighs on consumption.
- It expects economic growth to pick up in 2020 and 2021 to 6.6 per cent and 6.7 per cent respectively, but sees the pace of growth remaining lower than past.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: SPORTS
FICCI India Sports Awards 2019: Rani Rampal Wins Female Sportsperson Of The Year
- Rani Rampal, Indian women’s ho ckey team captain, won the Sportsperson of the Year Award 2019 (Female) at the FICCI India Sports Awards 2019. The awards ceremony was held at the FICCI Federation House, in New Delhi.
- Also, Asian Games gold medalist shooter Saurabh Chaudhary won the Sportsperson of the Year Award 2019 (Male).
Final list of awards:
- Best Company Promoting Sports (Public Sector) -Central Coalfields Limited, Railway Sports Promotion Board
- Best Company Promoting Sports (Private Sector) -Centre for Sports Science
- Best NGO Promoting Sports -Subroto Mukherjee Sports Education Society
- Special Recognition NGO Promoting Sports -My Angels Academy
- Best Professional Services Company -The Sports School
- Best Sports Start-up -FanCode Powered by Dream11
- Best National Sports Federation -National Rifle Association of India
- Sportsperson of the Year (Female) -Rani Rampal
- Sportsperson of the Year (Male) -Saurabh Chaudhary
- Para-Athlete of the Year -Sandeep Chaudhary
- Special Recognition Para-Athlete of the Year -Manasi Joshi
- Breakthrough Sports Person of the Year -Amit Panghal
- Special Recognition Breakthrough Sports Person of the Year -Esow Alben
- Coach or Support Staff of the Year -Satyanarayana
- Lifetime Achievement Award (Administrator) -Govindaraj Kempareddy
- Lifetime Achievement Award (Athlete) -Pankaj Advani
- Best State Promoting Sports -Odisha
- Best Sports Journalist -Kamesh Srinivasan
- Special Recognition on the theme of Building New India Through Sports & Fitness -Chitharesh Natesam – India’s First Mr Universe
Rohit Sharma named La Liga’s first India brand ambassador.
- Rohit is the first non-footballer in the league’s history to become brand ambassador
- One of international cricket’s premier batsmen, Rohit Sharma was on Thursday named the first-ever India brand ambassador of La Liga, the top Spanish football league.
- The current ICC World No. 2, Rohit is the only batsman in the history of the game to have scored three double hundreds in the 50-overs format including a world record 264.
Pakistan cricket board appoints Mushtaq Ahmed as spin bowling consultant.
- The Pakistan cricket board has appointed former test leg spinner Mushtaq Ahmed as spin bowling consultant for a one year term.
Wasim Jaffer becomes first Indian to play 150 Ranji matches
- Veteran opener Wasim Jaffer became the first player in Indian cricket to feature in 150 Ranji matches.
- The 41-year-old from Maharashtra, who has been an important part of the title-winning Vidarbha team in the last two years, achieved the rare distinction during their Group A opener against Andhra Pradesh.
- Jaffer is followed by Madhya Pradesh batsman Devendra Bundela (145 matches) and Amol Muzumdar (136 matches), who have played for Mumbai and Assam
- . Overall, Jaffer has played 253 first-class games, scoring 19,147 runs at an average of 51.19. He has scored 57 hundreds and 88 fifties with 314 being his highest score.
Ashleigh Barty named WTA Player of the Year
- The WTA has announced world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty as its Player of the Year.
- The 23-year-old won four titles from six finals in 2019, including the WTA Finals in Shenzhen and her maiden Grand Slam singles trophy at the French Open.
- Barty became the first Australian to be named WTA world No. 1 since Evonne Goolagong Cawley in 1976, and recorded the most matches won on tour this season, with 57.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: OBITUARY
Telugu act or Gollapudi Maruti Rao passes away
- Veteran actor and literary figure Gollapudi Maruthi Rao passed away at Gollapudi, who established himself as a writer, had worked for a regional news paper as a sub editor in 1959.
- He also worked in All India Radio for two decades.