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CURRENT AFFAIRS: IMPORTANT DAYS
The Indian Navy is celebrated Submarine Day on December 8
- The Indian Navy is celebrating Submarine Day on December 8. The day commemorates the induction of the first submarine, the erstwhile INS Kalvari, into the Navy on this day in 1967.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: NATIONAL
Union Cabinet approves implementation of Shahpurkandi Dam on river Ravi in Punjab
- Union Cabinet has approved implementation of Shahpurkandi Dam Project on river Ravi in Punjab. It also has approved central assistance of Rs. 485.38 crore (for irrigation component) over five years period from 2019 to 2023. The project will be implemented by Punjab Government with central assistance. It will be completed by June 2022.
SC approves Centre’s Witness Protection Scheme
- Supreme Court has approved Witness Protection Scheme 2018 and directed Union and State Governments to enforce the same. This scheme was framed by Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in response to PIL seeking protection for witnesses.
Cabinet approves launch of National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems
- Union Cabinet has approved launching of National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems (NM-ICPS). It will be implemented by Department of Science &Technology under Ministry of Science and Technology for period of five years. The objective of Mission is to addresses ever increasing technological requirements of the society. It also takes into account international trends and road maps of leading countries for next generation technologies.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: INTERNATIONAL
Japan government has recently enacted controversial law to accept foreign blue-collar workers
- On December 8, the Japanese government enacted a new law to bring more blue-collar foreign workers into the country, in a controversial move to address chronic labour shortages. Under the new law, Japan plans to bring in 345,000 foreign workers in construction, food services, nursing and other sectors for 5 years. The law will take effect in April 2019 and create two new visa categories. The first status allows foreign nationals with skills in sectors facing severe shortages to obtain five-year visas, which will not allow them to bring their families. The second status allows foreign workers in those fields who hold stronger qualifications and pass a more difficult Japanese language test will be able to obtain a visa that can be extended indefinitely, eventually leading to residency, and will be able to bring over family.
Luxembourg become the world’s first country to make all its public transport free by 2019
- Luxembourg is set to become the first country in the world to make all its public transport free by 2019. The move is aimed at addressing environmental issues and the problem of traffic congestion. Apart from providing free public transport, Luxembourg also intends to legalise cannabis and introduce two new public holidays. Earlier, Luxembourg introduced free transport for all people under the age of 20.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: STATE
Delhi government has launched ‘Mukhyamantri Tirth Yatra Yojana’ for senior citizens
- The Delhi government has recently launched the ‘Mukhyamantri Tirth Yatra Yojana’ for senior citizens — which offers free travel packages on five religious circuits for senior citizens from the national capital. The scheme will enable 1,100 senior citizens from each Assembly constituency of Delhi per year to undertake free pilgrimage, the expenses for which will be borne by the Delhi government. Under the scheme, any resident of Delhi above 60 years of age will be eligible for the scheme and those above 70 years can have one attendant. The scheme does not have any income criterion, but preference will be given to those who are from the economically weaker section. It will be given out on first-come-first-served basis.
World Bank assisted project SMART launched in Maharashtra
- Maharashtra Government has launched World Bank assisted State of Maharashtra’s Agribusiness and Rural Transformation (SMART) Project to transform rural Maharashtra. This project aims to revamp agricultural value chains, with special focus on marginal farmers across 1,000 villages. This initiative is in line with Union Government’s step towards doubling farmers’ income by 2022. The launch of project which was followed by signing of 50 memorandum of understandings (MoUs) between big corporates and farmers producer groups.
||Chinamani Vidyasagar Rao
CURRENT AFFAIRS: BANKING AND FINANCE
RBI to introduce Ombudsman Scheme for Digital Transactions
- Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced to introduce ‘Ombudsman Scheme for Digital Transactions’ to provide cost-free mechanism to redress grievances of customers related to digital transactions. The scheme will be notified by end of January 2019. It will cover services provided by entities falling under RBI’s regulatory jurisdiction. The scheme is being implemented taking into consideration rise in digital mode for financial transactions which is gaining traction in the country. There is emerging need for dedicated, cost-free and expeditious grievance redressal mechanism for strengthening consumer confidence in this channel.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATION
Krishnamurthy Subramanian has been appointed the new Chief Economic Advisor (CEA)
- Dr Krishnamurthy Sub ramanian has been appointed the new Chief Economic Advisor (CEA) for a period of three years. The post of CEA had been lying vacant since Arvind Subramanaian left the finance ministry after a four-year stint. Dr Krishnamurthy is currently working as an Associate Professor and the executive director at the Indian School of Business (IBS), Hyderabad. The CEA is the ex-officio cadre controlling authority of the Indian Economic Service (IES) & is under the direct charge of the Minister of Finance.
Preeti Saran has been elected to an Asia Pacific seat on the UN’s Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR)
- Preeti Saran, a former senior Indian diplomat, has been elected unopposed to an Asia Pacific seat on the UN’s Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) for a four-year term beginning on the 1st of January 2019. Members of the CESCR serve in their personal capacities as experts and do not represent their countries even though they may have been nominated by their own nation. All States parties are obliged to submit regular reports to the committee on how the rights are being implemented.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: AWARDS AND HONOURS
Mushtaq Ahmad Tantray has bagged 2018 Sahitya Academy Award for the Kashmiri language
- Mushtaq Ahmad Tantray, a prominent Kashmiri short-story writer and eminent broadcaster, bagged 2018 Sahitya Academy Award for his collection of short stories “AAKH’’. Mr Tantray is presently posted as Head of the Regional News Unit at Radio Kashmir Srinagar. “AAKH”, a collection of eighteen short stories, published in 2012 had earlier bagged the best book award in Kashmiri at the state level from State Academy of Art, Culture and Languages for the year 2014.
Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has been conferred the Skoch Award for National Significance
- The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), the nodal Ministry of the Government of India (GoI), has been conferred the Skoch Award for National Significance at an event held recently in New Delhi. The award was received by Secretary of MNRE, Anand Kumar. The award has been conferred on the Ministry considering its purpose and critical role played in installing about 73 GW renewable energy capacity in the country. With 21% of total installed capacity, within the year renewable energy grossed a magic figure of providing one billion units of electricity in the country.
24 poets and authors 2018 Sahitya Akademi Award
- India’s national academy of letters Sahitya Academy has announced names of 24 poets and authors who will be conferred the prestigious 2018 Sahitya Akademi Award in 24 different Indian languages. The award has recognised premier works in 24 Indian languages that includes seven books of poetry, six novels, six short stories, three of literary criticism and two of essays.
- Novel: Inderjeet Kesar (Dogri), Anees Salim (English), Chitra Mudgal (Hindi), Shyam Besra (Santali), Ramkrishnan (Tamil) and Rahman Abbas (Urdu).
- Literary Criticism: KG Nagarajappa (Kannada), Ma. Su. Patil (Marathi) and Prof. Dasarathi Das (Odia).
- Essays: Prof. Sharifa Vijliwala (Gujarati) and Dr. Kolakaluri Enoch (Telugu).
- Bhasha Salman 2017 and 2018
- Sahitya Akademi also announced its Bhasha Salman for year 2017 and 2018. Yogendra Nath Sharma was awarded for North zone; Gagendra Nath Das for Eastern zone; G Venkatasubbiah for South zone; and Shailaja Bapat for Western zone.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: SUMMIT AND CONFERENCE
80th Session of Policy Commission Meeting of World Customs Organisation held in Mumbai
- The 80th Session of Policy Commission of World Customs Organization (WCO) was held Mumbai, capital of Maharashtra. It is being organized by WCO and hosted by Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), under Union Finance Minister.
India Water Impact Summit 2018 held in New Delhi
- The India Water Impact Summit-2018 was held in New Delhi. It was jointly organized by National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) and Centre for Ganga River Basin Management and Studies (cGanga).
CURRENT AFFAIRS: SCHEMES AND PROGRAM
Maharashtra government has launched SMART initiative for agribusiness & rural transformation
- In a bid to transform rural Maharashtra, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has launched a unique initiative called “SMART”, which stands for State of Maharashtra’s Agribusiness and Rural Transformation. This World Bank assisted project aims to revamp agricultural value chains, with special focus on marginal farmers across 1,000 villages. The initiative will support post-harvest value chain and bring efficiency to benefit economy at large.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: RANKING
India is the fourth highest emitter of CO2 (carbon dioxide) in the world
- According to the study by the Global Carbon Project, India is the fourth highest emitter of CO2 (carbon dioxide) in the world, accounting for 7% of global emissions in 2017. India’s emissions look set to continue their strong growth by an average of 6.3% in 2018, with growth across all fuels — coal (7.1%), oil (2.9%) and gas (6%). The world’s top 10 Co2 emitters were China, the US, the EU, India, Russia, Japan, Germany, Iran, Saudi Arabia and South Korea. The study said that while China and India still rely heavily on coal, the US and the EU are slowly decarbonising.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: DEFENCE
Clean Sea-2018: Indian Coast Guard conducts Exercise at sea off Port Blair
- Indian Coast Guard (ICG) has conducted Regional Level Marine Oil Pollution Response Exercise titled ‘Clean Sea– 2018’ at sea off Port Blair, Andaman & Nicobar (A&B) Islands. The objective of exercise was to ascertain preparedness of IGC, resource agencies and other stakeholders in responding to major oil spill in line with provisions of National Oil Spill Disaster Contingency Plan (NOS-DCP). ICG ships Viswasth, Vijith, Rajveer, Rajshri, 4 interceptor boats and its air assets Dornier and Chetak helicopters participated in the exercise.
GSAT-11: India’s heaviest satellite launched from French Guyana
- Indian Space Research and Organisation (ISRO) has successfully launched India’s heaviest and most-advanced communication satellite GSAT-11 into space. It was launched on board of Ariane 5 VA-246 rocket from Kourou Launch Base, French Guiana.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: SPORTS
Eliud Kipchoge Caterine Ibarguen have been named male and female world athletes of the year at the IAAF Athletics Awards 2018
- Kenyan distance runner Eliud Kipchoge and Colombian long & triple jumper Caterine Ibarguen have been named male and female world athletes of the year at the IAAF Athletics Awards 2018. The pair were honoured by the IAAF at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco.