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CURRENT AFFAIRS: IMPORTANT DAYS
47th Anniversary of Vijay Diwas celebrated on 16th December 2018
- India celebrated Vijay Diwas on 16th December 2018 marking the 47th anniversary of its victory over Pakistan in the 1971 war. On this occasion, the Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman along with the heads of the three armed forces paid tributes to the martyrs at Amar Jawan Jyoti at the India Gate in New Delhi.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: NATIONAL
Government notifies Flight and Maritime Connectivity Rules, 2018
- The Union Government has notified Flight and Maritime Connectivity Rules, 2018, thereby allowing phone calls and internet on flights and ship voyage within India’s territory. The Indian and foreign airlines and shipping companies that are operating in India can provide in-flight and maritime voice and data services by partnering with an Indian telecom company having a valid licence. The rules regarding this will be called as the Flight and Maritime Connectivity Rules, 2018.
Operation Oliva: Coast Guard launches operation to safeguard turtles
- The Coast Guard launched an exercise along the serene sea waters of Gahirmatha marine sanctuary in Odisha to protect the endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles. The Coast Guard ‘Operation Oliva’ exercise as part of its annual mission to ensure the safe mid-sea sojourn of breeding Olive Ridley sea turtles.
MMRDA terminated LTSE and took over Monorail
- The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) terminated the contract of Larsen & Toubro and Scomi Engineering (LTSE) for the Mumbai Monorail. MMRDA took over the Operations and Maintenance (O&M) of the Monorail. The move ends months of speculation about the future of the transport system, which has been plagued with issues. LTSE was an independent company in which L&T and Scomi Engineering had 55% and 45% stake respectively. L&T was to complete the civil works of the project, while Scomi Engineering was to provide rolling stock and handle the O&M.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: INTERNATIONAL
India signs bilateral annual Haj agreement with Saudi Arabia for pilgrimage next year
- Haj agreement 2019 was signed between India and Saudi Arabia by Union Minister for Minority Affairs, Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, and Haj and Umrah Minister of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Dr Mohammad Saleh bin Taher Benten at Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. This year more than 2,100 women have already applied to go to Haj without ‘Mehram’ (male companion) after the Modi Government had lifted the ban on women going to Haj without Mehram last year and they had also been exempted from the lottery system.
|Saudi Arabia Capital
||Mohammad bin Salman
CURRENT AFFAIRS: STATE
Foundation Stone of Institute of High-Altitude Medicinal Plants (IHAMP) laid in Jammu and Kashmir
- Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for AYUSH Shri Shripad Yesso Naik and Union Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Dr. Jitendra Singh laid the foundation stone of Institute of High Altitude Medicinal Plants (IHAMP) with an estimated cost of Rs. 100 crore at Bhaderwah in District Doda in Jammu & Kashmir. The institute will be a dedicated facility for research in medicinal plants found at high altitude and shall also become a major source of income for the farmers in cultivation of medicinal plants.
|Jammu and Kashmir Capital
||Jammu and Srinagar
||Satya Pal Malik
Bhupesh Baghel to become the new CM of Chhattisgarh
- Bhupesh Baghel, who is also the president of Chhattisgarh Pradesh Congress Committee, will be the new chief minister of Chhattisgarh state. Bhupesh Baghel has been named as the leader of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) by the newly elected legislators in Raipur on 16th December 2018.
Indias first private UAV factory inaugurated in Hyderabad
- India‘s first private sector unit for manufacturing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) was inaugurated by Telangana’s Home Minister Mohammad Mahmood Ali at Adani Aerospace Park in Hyderabad, Telangana. The 50,000 square feet facility has been built by the Adani Group and Israel-based Elbit Systems.
|Andhra Pradesh Capital
CURRENT AFFAIRS: BANKING AND FINANCE
OBOPAY Card: new generation pre-payment instrument for enterprise customers launched by OBOPAY, Federal Bank and MasterCard
- OBOPAY, the global financial technology company, announced the launch of a new generation pre-payment instrument called- OBOPAY Card-in partnership with Federal Bank and Mastercard. It is built as a one-stop solution that facilitates easy disbursements and payments by enterprises. The multi-wallet facility that allows dedicated payments and allocation of money for various purposes, The ‘Split transaction’ feature which provides payment flexibility to users and multiple payment scenarios among many others. Card to card money transfer, making online payments, withdrawing cash at ATMs. This card can be used for multiple payments such as bank accounts for using salary, digital wallets for payments, food coupons for food coupons, insurance cards for an insurance claim.
Global debt reached all-time high of USD 184 trillion, says IMF
- Debt worldwide reached a record-high of $184 trillion in nominal terms, a nearly 222 per cent of the GDP in 2017, according to a report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). On average, the world’s debt now exceeds $ 86,000 per person more than 2 times the average income per-capita. The world’s top three borrowers – the US, China and Japan accounted for more than half the debt.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: BUSINESS
Amazon India signed MoU with FISME to empower MSME sector
- Amazon India partnered with the Federation of Indian Micro and Small & Medium Enterprises (FISME) to encourage MSMEs to sell products online through e-commerce. Amazon.in will collaborate with FISME to conduct various events and workshops across the country to educate MSME. B2C exports to enable them to sell across multiple international locations.
Sonata Software to acquire U.S. headquartered Sopris Systems
- Sonata Software, an IT software services and solutions provider, announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire U.S.-headquartered Sopris Systems, a Microsoft Dynamics 365 enterprise partner. The firm hasn’t yet disclosed the value of the deal yet. Sopris specializes in helping project-centric and field services companies improve business performance.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATION
Ranil Wickremesinghe sworn-in as Prime Minister of Sri Lanka
- On 16th December 2018, Ranil Wickremesinghe has once again become the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka after the end of the weeks-long political crisis in the island nation.
Uday Shankar to head Disney-Star merged entity in India
- Uday Shankar, currently chairman and CEO of Star India and president of 21st Century Fox, Asia, will lead the India and Asia Pacific business of The Walt Disney Company once it completes the acquisition of 21st Century Fox’ assets. Disney agreed to buy Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox for about $52.4 billion in stock last December.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: COMMITTEE
Government Forms Panel Under BBB to Select MD for PSU Insurance Firms
- The government has constituted a seven-member panel to select managing directors of public sector insurance companies. The panel would be headed by Banks Board Bureau (BBB) chairman B P Sharma.
- The other members of the panel are Financial Services Secretary, Department of Public Enterprises Secretary and Chairman of Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India. Besides, three insurance sector experts G N Bajpai, Mathew Varghese and T Bhargava — have been appointed on the selection panel.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: AWARDS AND HONOURS
Jharkhand gets Krishi Karman award in rice category
- The Union Ministry of Agriculture had selected Jharkhand for “Krishi Karman” award in the rice category. The award which carries a cash prize worth Rs 2 crore and a citation will be given away in February 2019 by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. As a gesture of appreciation to the farmers of the state for achieving the milestone, two progressive farmers, i.e. one male and one female, would also be given ‘Agriculture Minister’s Krishi Karman Award,”.
Miss Philippines Catriona Gray crowned Miss Universe 2018
- Miss Philippines Catriona Gray was crowned Miss Universe after she won the final round of the Miss Universe 2018 pageant, held in Bangkok, Thailand on December 17. The final three contestants included Miss Philippines, South Africa and Venezuela.
Ashok Amritraj was honoured with the French Knight of the National Order of Merit
- Producer Ashok Amritraj was honoured with the French Knight of the National Order of Merit. French Minister of Europe and Foreign Minister, Mr. Jean-Yes Le Drian presided over the occasion. Mr. Amritraj has been the producer of Hollywood films such as Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance with Nicholas Cage and 99 Homes starring Andrew Garfield. The former CEO of National Geographic Films and United Nations Goodwill Ambassador was lauded for his contribution to the world of cinema and Indo-French film industry.
Iranian Film Dark Room bags ‘Suvarna Chakoram’ award at Kerala film festival
- Iranian director Ruhollah Hejazi’s “The Dark Room” was selected as best film at the 23rd International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) in Thiruvananthapuram, India. The award for best director went to Lijo Jose Pellissery for his film “Ee.Ma.Yau” from India. Iranian director Asghar Farhadi’s latest movie “Everybody Knows” was the opening film of the festival.
Tata Steel bags Prime Ministers Trophy for the Best Performing Integrated Steel Plant for the year 2016-17
- Tata Steel Limited had been declared as the winner of the Prime Minister’s Trophy for the ‘Best Performing Integrated Steel Plant’ in the country for the performance year 2016-17 making it the fourth consecutive year for Tata Steel being honored with this coveted award. Along with the trophy a cash award of Rs. 2 crores was also given to the company. Having won the PM’s Trophy 11 times and receiving the Certificate for Excellence twice, Tata Steel has been recognized as the best-integrated steel plant 13 times, since the inception of this award in 1992-93.
Amitav Ghosh won the Jnanpith Award
- The Bharatiya Jnanpith announced that Amitav Ghosh, an eminent novelist, has been chosen for this year’s Jnanpith Award. The announcement was made on 15th December 2018. The award is given to an author for outstanding contribution towards literature.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: SCHEMES AND PROGRAM
ECO Niwas Samhita 2018 Launched By Power Ministry
- Ministry of Power has launched the ECO Niwas Samhita 2018, an Energy Conservation Building Code for Residential Buildings (ECBC-R). The Code was launched on the occasion of National Energy ConservationDay 2018 (14th December) in the presence of Chief Guest Smt. Sumitra Mahajan, Hon’ble Speaker, Lok Sabha.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: DEFENCE
ISRO to launch communication satellite GSAT-7A
- India will launch its latest communication satellite, GSAT-7A aboard Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle on December 19, 2018 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. GSAT-7A, which weighs about 2,250 kg, is the 35th communication satellite built by ISRO.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: SPORTS
PV Sindhu wins maiden BWF World Tour Title
- PV Sindhu, the 2016 Rio Olympic silver medallist, created history on 16th December 2018 as she became the first Indian to win the BWF World Tour Finals. She defeated Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara, the 2017 world champion, by 21-19 21-17 in the final match that lasted for an hour and two minutes. Earlier, Sindhu defeated Ratchanok by 21-16, 25-23 in the semi-finals to enter the finals of the season-ending BWF World Tour tournament.
Belgium wins Hockey World Cup 2018 Title
- Belgium Hockey team won their first ever Word cup title on 16th December 2018 after they defeated The Netherlands in sudden death. Belgium, which also won a silver medal in Rio Olympics 2016, made history by beating the opponents by 3-2 in the penalty shoot-out after finals ended without any goal.
Djokovic and Halep wins 2018 ITF world champions
- Novak Djokovic and Simona Halep have been named as the 2018 International Tennis Federation (ITF) world champions by the governing body of global tennis. World number one Djokovic receives the honour from the ITF for the sixth time, while it is the first year that Romania’s top-ranked Halep has been recognized. Djokovic had a maximum speed of 36.02kph, better than anyone else but was second to Andy Murray in terms of average speed, the Brit scoring 15.89 kph as compared to Djokovic’s 14.89 kph. Halep, the former French Open finalist, had a maximum speed with 23.04 kph while World No. 1 Angelique Kerber’s average speed at 14.27 was the highest.
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