National Current Affairs
Implementation of Rs. 50-crore National Hydrology Project in Haryana
- Implementation of the Rs 50-crore National Hydrology Project to be set up in Haryana with 100 per cent assistance from the Centre.
- The project aimed at improving the extent, quality and accessibility of information about water resources, and strengthening the capacity of water resource management institutions in the country.
- The project would also develop and demonstrate tools for water resources assessment, hydrologic and flood inundation forecasting, water infrastructure operations, groundwater modelling, and river basin and investment planning.
Haryana Government Announces Ban on Carrying Arms At Wedding Function
- The ban was announced after several incidents of celebratory firing were reported, including the death of an orchestra dancer in Bhatinda.
- The ban was imposed under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Codeand as per an official release firing in the air is also an offence, which is punishable by six months’ imprisonment.
BRICS Heads of Revenue and Experts on Tax Matters, Meet held in Mumbai
- BRICS countriesHeads of Revenue, namely the Federative Republic of Brazil, the Russian Federation, the Republic of India, the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of South Africa held a meeting in Mumbai.
- Meeting aimed to discuss the potential areas of cooperation and exchange opinions and views based on their existing commitment to openness, solidarity, equality, mutual understanding, inclusiveness and mutually beneficial cooperation.
- They reiterated their commitment to actions taken to ensure the fairness of the international tax system particularly towards prevention of base erosion and shifting of profits, exchange of tax information and capacity building of developing countries.
India to train Vietnam’s Sukhoi fighter pilots
- In order to further boost to its growing defence tieswith Vietnam, India has agreed to train the southeast nation’sSukhoi-30 fighter pilots.
- India already trains Vietnamese sailors in operating Kilo class submarines.
Aadhaar-based ticketing system for senior citizens from April 1 mandatory
- Aadhaar-based ticketing system for senior citizens will be implemented in two phases.
- Phase 1:From January 1 to March 31, 2017, requirement of Aadhaar verification for getting concessional tickets for senior citizens will be on a voluntary basis.
- Phase 2:From April 1, 2017, reservation of rail tickets for senior citizens will be directly linked to Aadhaar or Unique Identification (UID) cards on a mandatory basis for availing concessions at both counter and e-tickets.
- Passengers in the senior citizen category will need to carry any of the original documents, including Aadhaar card, for the purpose of identity proof
British and Indian Navy Exercise ‘KONKAN-2016’ begins
- The 12 day annual bilateral maritime exercise between the Indian Navy and the Royal Navy KONKAN 16 began on December 5, 2016 at Mumbai.
- This exercise will provide valuable opportunity for both navies to interact and cooperate in the field of Maritime Security Operations.
Business & Economy Current Affairs
RBI Authorize RXIL for 1st trade receivables exchange platform
- RBI authorized the Receivables Exchange of India (RXIL),promoted by SIDBIand NSE, to launch the country’s first trade receivables exchange platform, TReDS, for MSMEs, buyers and financiers.
- The trade receivables discounting systems (TReDS),an automated system driven platform is expected to benefit MSMEs by facilitating them to auction their trade receivables at competitive market rates through transparent bidding process on the platform by multiple financiers.
- The Receivables Exchangeis an auction based marketplace connecting large sellers of trade receivables to a broad network of institutional buyers.
HDFC Life launched two micro insurance products
- HDFC Life has launched two micro-insurance scheme named Jeevan Suraksha and Credit Suraksha to provide financial security to its customers
- Aim :To address the needs of the Employees of Micro Finance Institutions, Co-operatives and Members / Employees of other homogenous groups to provide financial security at a nominal cost in the event of unfortunate death of a Member / Employee.
- Jeevan Suraksha :
- It will provides insurance cover maximum 2 lakhs against untimely death.
- 3 premium payment options – Yearly renewable, Single pay & Regular pay.
- Credit Suraksha :
- It will provides insurance protection against outstanding loan liabilityup to Rs 2 lakhs in the event of untimely demise of the insured member.
- 5% discount on premium of the younger life assured.
Vijayawada Parliamentary constituency becomes first to have health insurance for all
- Health insurance scheme, Swatha Kutumbam in Vijayawada which became India’s first constituency to have health insurance for all people include new born for a year
- Under this insurance scheme every individual has to pay Rs 1 per day or Rs 120 per month per family as premium.
- It covers medicines, diagnostics, and post-surgery care will be covered.
Drug Technical Advisory Panel suggests one-time licensing for drugs
- Drugs technical advisory board has recently recommended one-time licensing for manufacture and sales of drugs,with a condition that there should be at least one annual inspection and in cases where risk is high, more inspection should be conducted
- It has proposed making influenza drugs Oseltamivir and Zanamvir available widely at all pharmacies, by putting it in the Schedule H1 list. The two drugs have been treated as Schedule X drugs, available at select pharmacies.
- Schedule X is a class of prescription drugs in India covered under the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules introduced in 1945.These are drugs which cannot be purchased over the counter without the prescription of a qualified doctor.
9 Indian Companies listed in least empathetic companies in the world
- The latest 2016 Empathy Global Index lists nine Indian companies at the bottom 10 among 170 companies of the world.
- The list of Least Empathetic Companies of India
|1.Bharat Petroleum||6.Larsen & Toubro|
|2.Sun Pharma||7.Indian Oil|
|3.ICICI Bank||11.State Bank of India|
|5.Bharti Airtel,||13.Reliance Industries|
|24.Aditya Birla Group|
- The List of top Most Empathetic Companies of the World
2. Alphabet (Google) and
Government Further extends MIP on select steel products till February 4
- To protect Domestic Steel Industryfrom cheaper imports, the government on December 4, 2016 extended the Minimum Import Price (MIP) on 19 products further for two months, till February 4, 2017.
- MIP ranges between USD $643-$752per tonne. The 19 products include semi-finished products of iron or non-alloyed steel, flat-rolled products of different widths, bars and rods.
People in News
Tamil Nadu CM and AIADMK Supremo Jayalalithaa Passed Away at 68
- Tamil Nadu Chief Ministerand All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) Supremo J Jayalalithaa passed away at Apollo Hospital in Chennai on December 5, 2016 at 11:30 pm following cardiac arrest .
- She was a leading actress before her entry into politics and had entered into film industry when she was 16 years old.
- She served as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for six times: 1991 to 1996, in 2001, from 2002 to 2006, from 2011 to 2014, 2015 to 2016 and May 2016 to December 2016
O Panneerselvam sworn in as new Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
- AIADMK leader Panneerselvam was sworn in as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadufollowing death of Chief Minister Jayalalithaa.
- This is for third time he has sworn in as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. Earlier he had served CM for two brief periods from 2001-02 and 2014-15 after Jayalalithaa was unseated from the post by the courts on various grounds.
- Previously in Jayalalithaa’s government he had served as Minister of Revenue Department (March 2002 to December 2002), Minister for Public Works (December 2002 to May 2006) and Finance Minister (May 2011 to September 2014).
Shavkat Mirziyoyev Wins Uzbekistan Presidential Election
- Interim leader Shavkat Mirziyoyevbecome the new President of Uzbekistan after he has secured 6 percent of the votes in the presidential election.
AirAsia India appoints Amar Abrol as Managing Director
- Abrol was appointed as CEO of the airline in April 2016.
- He was appointed as the Managing Director of Chennai based AirAsiaIndia during the company’s board meeting in November
Alexander Van Der Bellen Sworn in as Austrian president
- Ex-leader of the Greens, Alexander Van Der Bellenhas won the Austrian presidential election, gaining 6 percent of votes more than his opponent Norbert Hofer.
- Van der Bellen will become the first nationally elected European head of state with a green background.
- Alexander Van der Bellen is an Austrian politician and economist. In May 2004, Van der Bellen received the Grand Decoration of Honour in Gold with Star for services to the Austrian republic.
BS Bhullar appointed chief of aviation regulator DGCA
- Senior bureaucrat BS Bhullarhas been appointed as the chief of aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation
- He is the successor of M Sathiyavathy,first woman chief of the aviation regulator.
- Bhullar was working as additional secretary in civil aviation ministry and was also holding additional charge of the DGCA.
Sachin and Binny Bansal co-Founders of Flipkart named Asians of the Year
- Flipkart founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal have been chosen for the 2016 ‘Asian of the Year’ by Straits Times of Singapore as part of a group called the ‘The Disruptors’.
- The other names included in the ‘disruptors’ group are the founders of Tencent, Go-Jek, Razer and Grab.
Environment & Ecology
MoES Conducts Winter Fog Campaign WIFEX 2016-17 in New Delhi
- The Ministry Of Earth Sciences(MoES) launched an ‘observational’ campaign at Indira Gandhi International Airport on December 6, 2016 to conduct an intensive ground-based measurement campaign in Delhi to understand different physical and chemical features of fog and the factors responsible for it.
- The goal of the Winter Fog Experiment (WIFEX)is to develop methods for forecasting winter fog on various temporal and spatial scales, and help reduce its adverse impact on aviation, transportation and economy, and loss of human life due to accidents.
Science & Technology
Google launches app ‘Trusted Contacts’
- The app is a personal safety device that will give your nearest location to your selected contacts.
- Concerned contacts can request location data to the users.Users can respond to the request and signal that they are safe to their contacts by denying the location data request.
- If there is no response, then the location is shared automatically even if the phone is offline, the last known location is shared with the contact.
Researchers find Novel Route to Drug Discovery
- Researchers from the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), Delhi have found a novel route to discover new drug targets and potential drugs for parasites that cause several diseases such as Loa loa nematode (roundworm) and Schistosoma mansoni platyhelminths (flatworm).
- There are limited treatment options and there is the usual threat of drug resistance.
- Both these parasites cause a major health burden particularly in African countries.
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