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CURRENT AFFAIRS: NATIONAL
Cabinet approves AIIMS for Madurai in Tamil Nadu and Bibinagar in Telangana
- The Union Cabinet approved setting up of two new All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) at Madurai, Tamil Nadu, at a cost of Rs 1,264 crore and at Bibinagar, Telangana, at a cost of Rs 1,028 crore. It will be set up under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY).
Central Hall of Parliament to have portrait of Atal Bihari Vajpayee
- The Central Hall of Parliament will soon have a portrait of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. A decision to this effect was taken by the Committee on Installation of Portraits/Statues of National Leaders and Parliamentarians in the Parliament House Complex, chaired by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: INTERNATIONAL
Zambia has joined as a member of International Solar Alliance
- India has welcomed Zambia as a member of the International Solar Alliance, with Vice President Venkaiah Naidu expressing hope for an early ratification of the Framework Agreement by Zambia.
Trump orders US military to create ‘Space Command’
- United States President Donald Trump on Tuesday (Dec 18) ordered the creation of “Space Command”, a new organisational structure within the Pentagon that will have overall control of military space operations. The command will be separate from Mr Trump’s goal to build an entirely new branch of the military called “Space Force”, which has not received approval from Congress.
|US Capital||Washington DC|
United Arab Emriates President declares 2019 as Year of Tolerance
- United Arab Emirates (UAE) President H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has declared 2019 to be the “Year of Tolerance.” to highlight UAE as the Global Capital of Tolerance, instilling the values of co-existence and peace in local, regional and international community’s The Year of Tolerance will focus on “Five Pillars”.
|UAE Capital||Abu Dhabi|
|President||Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan|
CURRENT AFFAIRS: STATE
Tamil Nadu fishermen get NavIC-powered ISRO Gadgets
- The Tamil Nadu government has distributed 200 NavIC- powered satellite-enabled communication devices developed by ISRO to 80 fishing boat groups in Tamil Nadu. These gadgets will help the Tamil Nadu fishermen to get cyclone and weather updates on a real-time basis.
|Tamil Nadu Capital||Chennai|
Odisha CM announces Rs 10 cr for building Odiya Cultural Centre in Surat
- Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has announced financial aid of Rs 10 crore for establishment of Odiya Cultural Centre in Gujarat’s Surat for their social celebrations.
Haryana opens National Cancer Institute
- The National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Jhajjar, Haryana, which is also India’s largest cancer hospital, opened for public service with the formal inauguration to be held in January. The NCI, which is a project under Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) will be headed by Dr G.K. Rath who is also the chief of Institute Rotary Cancer hospital at AIIMS.
|CM||Manohar lal Kathar|
|Governor||Satyadev Narayan Arya|
Cabinet approves construction of New 4 – Lane Bridge across river Ganga on NH-19 at Patna in the State of Bihar on EPC Mode
- The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved construction of a new 4 lane bridge across river Ganga on NH-19 at Patna parallel to existing MG Setu. The Construction of 5.634 km long bridge across river Ganga is expected to be completed by January 2023 with a capital cost of Rs. 2926.42 crores.
Jammu and Kashmir Becomes first State To Bring Law Against Sextortion
- Jammu and Kashmir become the first state in the country to enact a law banning sexual exploitation of women “by those in positions of authority, having a fiduciary relationship or a public servant”, Under Section 354E of the Ranbir Penal Code (RPC). Any person committing the offence of sextortion shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term not be less than three years, but may extend to five years and with fine.
|Jammu & Kashmir Capital||Jammu & Srinagar|
|Governor||Satya Pal Malik|
Global telecom to set up research centre in Bengaluru
- Global telecom, British Telecommunications giant, said it plans to set up a research centre in Bengaluru in partnership with the Indian Institute of Science. The British Telecom Indian Research Centre will focus on the development of artificial intelligence, mobility and cyber-security technologies for use in the company’s programmes, products, and services.
|Governor||Vajubai Rudubai Wala|
CURRENT AFFAIRS: BANKING AND FINANCE
Govt authorises public sector bank CEOs to request for look-out circulars against wilful defaulters
- To check wilful defaulters and fraudsters from fleeing the country, the government has now authorised CEOs of public sector banks (PSBs) to make request for issuance of look-out circulars (LOCs) against suspects.
Capital First merges with IDFC Bank to create IDFC First Bank.
- IDFC Bank and non-banking financial company (NBFC) Capital First have announced completion of their merger, creating a combined loan asset book of Rs 1.03 lakh crore for the merged entity IDFC First Bank. “IDFC Bank and Capital First merged effective 18th December 2018. Merged entity to be called IDFC First Bank, subject to shareholders’ approval,” the firms said in a joint statement.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: BUSINESS
Ola will boost Vogo’s supply by investing in 1,00,000 scooters on the Vogo platform, worth $100 million
- Vogo, a scooter sharing start-up, has partnered with Ola, the ride-hailing company. Ola will boost Vogo’s supply by investing in 1,00,000 scooters on the Vogo platform, worth $100 million. Vogo’s offerings will also be available for Ola’s customer base of over 150 million, directly from the Ola app. Every Vogo scooter comes with an Internet of Things (IoT) device that allows the customer to access the key via a one-time password (OTP).
Telecom ministry announced that 5G services likely to be rolled out by August 2019
- Department of Telecommunication (DoT) said it expects to complete processes for 5G spectrum auction by August 2019 and the services will be rolled out by 2020. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended auction of about 8,644 MHz of telecom frequencies at an estimated total base price of Rs 4.9 lakh crore, which includes radio waves for 5G services. The roll out of 5G services in India will have an impact of USD 1 trillion on the economy.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATION
Pranab K. Das new CBIC Chairman
- Senior bureaucrat Pranab Kumar Das has been appointed as Chairman of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), the apex policy-making body for indirect taxes.
Star India chairman Uday Shankar elected Vice President of FICCI
- Uday Shankar is the first ever Indian media and entertainment executive to assume the leadership position in a national industry chamber – The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). Shankar entered media as a political journalist with The Times of India and rose to become the CEO and editor of ‘Star News’. He spearheaded the launch of 24-hour Hindi news channel ‘Aaj Tak’ in 2000, and ‘Headlines Today’ in English in 2003, as editor and news director of ‘TV Today’ Group.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: AWARDS AND HONOURS
Sonam Kapoor named PETA India’s 2018 Person of the Year
- Actress Sonam Kapoor, a vegan, has been named People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India’s Person of the Year for 2018.
Indian Film Period. End of Sentence Made It to Oscars Shortlist
- ‘Period. End of Sentence’ made it to the Oscar shortlist in the Documentary Short Subject category. This is a film about women in India fighting against the deeply rooted stigma of menstruation and delving upon the work of real-life ‘Pad Man’ Arunachalam Muruganantham. A total of 104 films had originally qualified in the category.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: BOOKS AND AUTHORS
PM releases book on renowned cartoonist R.K. Laxman
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi released a book “Timeless Laxman”, based on the life and times of legendary cartoonist, the late R.K. Laxman. The book has been penned by cartoonist’s daughter-in-law Usha Srinivas Laxman.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: SCHEMES AND PROGRAM
Cabinet approves expansion of beneficiaries list under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana
- The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by Shri Narendra Modi cleared the proposal of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas to expand the list of beneficiaries under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana.
- The people who were not covered under the scheme on account of their name not included in either in Socio-economic caste census (SECC) list or in the list of the seven identified categories – SC/ST households, beneficiaries of Pradhan Matri Awas Yojana (AAY) Gramin, Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY), Forest dwellers, Most backward classes (MBC), Tea and Ex-Tea Garden tribes, people residing in islands/river islands.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: RANKING
India ranked 108th in WEF’s Gender Gap Index
- India has come at 108th position in the recently released Gender Gap Index 2018 by World Economic Forum. India was ranked at the same position in 2017 rankings as well. Iceland holds the top spot in the index for the 10th consecutive year.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: DEFENCE AND SCIENCE
Indra Navy-18 Joint Exercise concluded between India and Russia
- Indra Navy-18, a bilateral naval exercise, between India and Russia concluded on 16th December 2018. It was a 4-day maritime exercise that took place in the Bay of Bengal.
Scientists discover ‘Farout,’ the most distant solar system object ever seen
- Astronomers had discovered the most distant object ever seen in the solar system — and it’s so far away that they nicknamed it “Farout.” Known formally as 2018 VG18, the object is the first to be observed at a distance of more than 100 astronomical units from the sun. One AU is the distance from Earth to the sun, or about 93 million miles.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: SPORTS
Marathon runner Apoorva Chaudhary sets a national record
- Apoorva Chaudhary, the 28-year old ultra runner from Bijnor in Uttar Pradesh, created a national record by completing 176.8 km in the women’s 24-hour event at the NEB 24 Hour Stadium Run held at New Delhi under the aegis of Athletics Federation of India.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: OBITUARIES
Famous classical singer Pandit Arun Bhaduri passed away
- Famous classical singer Pandit Arun Bhaduri passed away on 17th December 2018 at the age of 75, after a prolonged illness. He is survived by his wife and son.
Ex-Nepal PM Tulsi Giri passes away
- Former Nepalese Prime Minister Tulsi Giri passed away in Kathmandu. He was 92. The veteran politician breathed his last in his residence at Budhanilkantha after suffering from liver cancer. Giri was politically active from 1960 to 2005.