Bullet Express Current Affairs, December, 2016

National

The Union Ministry of Law and Justice has constituted a High Level Committee (HLC) to review institutionalisation of arbitration mechanism in India.

The Union Ministry for Petroleum & Natural Gas has met the 1.5-crore target for LPG connections that were to be added under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) in the 2016-17 financial year.

Union Government launched Swachh Swasth Sarvatra initiative to strengthen health centres in open defecation-free (ODF) blocks.

The Union Government has approved the re-designation of the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor Project Implementation Trust Fund (DMICPTF) as National Industrial Corridor Development & Implementation Trust (NICDIT).

According to recently released annual report of the Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs, the tribal population in India lags behind other social groups on various social parameters.

The Kerala Government has approached the Union Government for allowing use of antlers of spotted deer and sambar of Ayurveda medicines.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has laid the foundation stone of Char Dham highway development project or Chardham Mahamarg Vikas Pariyojna in Dehradun, Uttarakhand.

Gujarat Government announced its ‘Biotechnology Policy-2016’ to establish state as a preferred destination for manufacturing of biotechnology products.

The National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) has given its clearance for the Ken-Betwa inter-linking of rivers (ILR) project, paving the way to begin work for linking two rivers.

Assam Government rolled out Atal-Amrit Abhiyan, a health insurance scheme to provide coverage against several critical illnesses.

Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari inaugurated Sagarmala Development Company’s (SDC) office in New Delhi to promote port-led development in the country.

As many as 6,117 Kuchipudi dancers set a new Guinness World Record by performing together in a single event in Vijayawada district of Andhra Pradesh.

The Union Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has launched Twitter Seva to directly engage with citizens in country and abroad, tourists and business travellers for speedy resolution of their visa and passport queries.

The foundation stone of India’s first 2G (Second Generation) Ethanol Bio-refinery was laid at Tarkhanwala village in Bathinda, Punjab.

The Union Water Resources Ministry has reconstituted a committee that was tasked with assisting the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB).

According to report submitted by Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology, there is alarming rise in forest fires across India.

The Union Ministry of Coal has launched Coal Mitra, a web portal for allowing flexibility in utilization of domestic Coal.

Hong Kong, a China-administered special territory has decided to withdraw visa-free facility for Indians from January 23, 2017.

The Madras High Court has banned all unauthorised Sharia courts in mosques across Tamil Nadu, saying centres of worship were only to be used for religious purposes.

The 12-foot-tall stone statue of renowned Tamil poet and philosopher-saint Thiruvalluvar was inaugurated at Mela Bhawan in Haridwar, Uttarakhand by Chief minister Harish Rawat.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid foundation stone of the country’s first Indian Institute of Skills (IIS) in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh to make India the Skill Capital of the World.

The Union Government has decided to set up a single permanent Tribunal to adjudicate all inter-State river water disputes.

The Union government has formed a high-level inter-ministerial task force to look into all the strategic aspects of Indus Water Treaty (IWT) with Pakistan.

The Union AYUSH Ministry has launched ‘Swasthya Raksha Programme’ to promote health and health education in villages.

India and Tajikistan have signed four agreements in areas including on double taxation avoidance, money laundering and counter-terrorism.

The Supreme Court in a landmark verdict held that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and did not enjoy sovereign status, either under its constitution or that of India.

Rajasthan Government has launched Annapurna Rasoi Scheme to provide quality meal at cheap price to poor and needy on lines with Tamil Nadu Government’s Amma canteens.

The Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY) notified along with other provisions of Taxation Laws (Second Amendment) Act, 2016 came into effect from 17 December 2016.

The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has issued the draft notification for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Pet Shop) Rules, 2016 to regulate pet shops.

State-owned power producer National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and aluminium producer National Aluminium Co. Ltd (NALCO) have signed MoU to establish a 2.4 giga watt (GW) Coal based power project at Gajmara, Odisha.

Assam government has launched ‘Sustainable Action for Climate Resilient Development in Majuli’ (SACReD, Majuli) to make river island Majuli country’s first ever Carbon Neutral district by 2020.

The Supreme Court ordered that Indian Airforce (IAF) personnel cannot keep beard. It held that Central Government’s decision to ban beards in the IAF does not infringe upon fundamental rights.

Haryana became the first state in the country to launch Mahila Police Volunteer (MPV) initiative for safety of women.

The Supreme Court has ordered a ban on all liquor shops on national as well as state highways to reduce drink driving and road accidents that claim thousands of lives every year across the country.

The Union Cabinet has approved MoU between Ministry of Rural Development and Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) to improve effectiveness of rural development programmes in country.

The Union Government has extended the facility of e-Tourist Visa (e-TV) Scheme for citizens of 161 countries.

The fifth edition of the India-Arab Partnership Conference was held in Muscat, Oman from December 14 to 15, 2016.

The Union Government has launched Lucky Grahak Yojana to encourage consumers and Digi Dhan Vyapar Yojana to encourage merchants for transition to digital payments.

Rajya Sabha has passed the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2014.

The Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs is going to will launch "Vanjeevan", the National Resource Centre (NRC) for Tribal Livelihood issues in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.

Madhya Pradesh Government has launched five months long Narmada Seva Yatra to turn the Narmada river pollution free.

President Pranab Mukherjee launched a ‘100 Million for 100 Million’ Campaign at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Punjab Government has launched country’s first amphibious bus project at the Harike wetland near Amritsar.

The central zonal bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Rajasthan government to cancel allotments of salt pans in the Sambhar Salt Lake.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Law and Justice, has called for transparency in the appointments process on the part of the judiciary and the government.

According to the 2016 Global Terrorism Index (GTI) India was ranked 7th among 163 countries in the list of most impacted by terrorism in 2015.

The tropical cyclonic storm Vardah over southeast Bay of Bengal is expected to hit Andhra Pradesh coast between Nellore and Kakinada.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has banned use of newspapers for wrapping and packing of food items.

The 2016 India International Science festival (IISF) has started at CSIR-National Physical Laboratory (NPL) Campus in New Delhi.

Kerala Government has launched Haritha Keralam Mission, a comprehensive programme for creating new sustainable development perspectives in the state.

The Allahabad High Court has ruled that the practice of triple talaq (Talaq-e-bidat) among Muslims is unconstitutional and violates the rights of women enshrined in constitution.

The Union Cabinet has approved Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Afghanistan on cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space.

Andhra Pradesh Government has launched AP Purse mobile application to promote digital transactions among the people.

The Supreme Court has ruled that horse racing per se is not animal cruelty.

The Union Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) has launched Winter Fog Experiment (WIFEX 2016-17) to study presence of extended periods of fog in northern parts of the country.

The Drugs Technical Advisory Board (DTAB) recently recommended one-time licensing for manufacture and sales of drugs.

The Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram launched ‘Stanpan Suraksha’ mobile application to promote breastfeeding and keep a tab on “inappropriate” promotion of baby food items.

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has found an ancient camping site used by pre-historic man, at an altitude of about 4,200 metres near Saser La in Nubra Valley, Ladakh.

All monuments and archaeological sites protected by the ASI have been declared as polythene free zones.

The Supreme Court has ordered cinema halls to mandatorily play the national anthem before every screening and all those present in cinema halls have to “stand up to show respect.”

Hailakandi district of Assam has become the first district to pay wages to tea garden workers through individual bank accounts.

The 7th World Ayurveda Congress (WAC) was held from December 2 to 4, 2016 at Science City in Kolkata, West Bengal.

Indian Defence

Long range nuclear-capable subsonic cruise missile Nirbhay was testfired from the launch complex 3 of the Integrated Missile Test Range in Balasore, Odisha.

The Defence and Research Development Organization (DRDO) successfully flight tested Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon (SAAW) from Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft at integrated test range in Chandipur, Odisha.

India successfully test-fired its home-grown long range intercontinental surface-to-surface nuclear capable ballistic missile Agni-5.

Indian Navy’s eight landing craft utility (LCU) L-58 was launched by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd (GRSE) in Kolkata, West Bengal.

The seventh edition of India, Maldives bilateral EKUVERIN Exercise 2016 began at Kadhdhoo, Laamu Atoll, Maldives.

The ninth edition of exercise INDRA NAVY, an annual bilateral maritime exercise between Indian Navy and Russian Navy began in the Bay of Bengal.

According to the recently released 2016 IHS Jane’s Defence Budgets report, India has become the world’s fourth largest defence spender.

India has been designated as a major defence partner of the United States. It puts India on a par with the closest allies and partners of the US.

The annual bilateral maritime exercise Konkan 16 between the Indian Navy and the Royal Navy (British Navy) started in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

International

China has successfully launched pair two high-resolution remote sensing satellites SuperView-1 01 and 02 to get commercial images.

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has successfully launched a solid fuel rocket named Epsilon-2 from the Uchinoura Space Center in southern Japan.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet approved approved 5.13 trillion yen ($43.6 billion) in defence spending for the fiscal year starting in April 2017.It is Japan’s highest annual defence budget announced so far.

According to recent World Health Organization (WHO) survey of 33 countries has shown that African nations developing lifestyle diseases.

India and Kyrgyzstan have signed six Memoranda of Understanding (MoU)/ Agreements including in the fields of tourism, agriculture and food industry etc.

The world’s first cloned goat bearing superfine Cashmere wool was born in north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

The NASA has successfully launched constellation of eight mini-satellites as part Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS) into space to improve hurricane forecasting.

China has launched its first fully-owned overseas satellite ground station near the North Pole enabling it to collect satellite data anywhere on the Earth at fastest speed in the world.

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) has officially added word ‘Brexit’ in it. It is among 1,500 new words added to the OED.

The UN cultural body UNESCO has accorded world heritage status to Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro (nicknamed as Marvelous City).

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was placed at 9th position among 74 of the world’s most powerful people list released by the Forbes Magazine.

The sixth edition of Asia Pacific Ministerial Conference on Housing and Urban Development (APMCHUD) began in New Delhi.

Pakistan Army has successfully test fired an enhanced version of an indigenously-designed Babur cruise missile.

The Union Cabinet has approved MoU signed between ISRO and United States Geological Survey (USGS) for Cooperation in t exchange and use of US Land Remote Sensing Satellite Data.

The famed Gotthard Base Tunnel (GBT) has started regular commercial rail service in Switzerland.

India has offered tsunami early warning-system to South China Sea (SCS) countries like Vietnam, Malaysia and Philippines as part of soft-diplomacy.

English has been ranked first in the top 10 most powerful languages in the world according to the 2016 World Power Language Index (PLI).

The BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries have agreed to share tax information automatically as per their commitment to ensure the fairness of the international tax system.

India has agreed to train Vietnam’s Sukhoi-30 fighter pilots, boosting growing defence ties between both countries.

The sixth edition of ‘Heart of Asia- Istanbul Process of Aghanistan‘ conference, an annual regional gathering of Asian and other countries was held in Amritsar, Punjab (India).

Business and Economy

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched UPI based mobile payment application called BHIM (Bharat Interface for Money) at the Digi Dhan Mela held in Talkatora stadium, New Delhi.

The Union Government has proposed setting up Financial Data Management Centre (FDMC) based on recommendation of a committee set up under the Department of Economic Affairs (DEC).

The Union Government has launched Integrated Voice Response System (IVRS) system in a bid to tackle the call drop menace.

Google India has partnered with the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs to launch nationwide Digitally Safe Consumer campaign to raise awareness among consumers about online safety and better protect consumer interest online. The campaign is expected to be rolled out in January 2017.

The Union Government has launched ‘Smart Consumer’ mobile App and an ‘Online Consumer Mediation Centre (OCMC)’ to provide speedy redressal of consumer grievances.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently launched National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS) during his recent visit to Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh.

Recently released Global Wage Report 2016-17 released by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) has found that India suffers from huge gender pay gap.

The Union Cabinet has approved a draft ordinance to empower states and allow industries to pay workers’ wages digitally, through a direct bank transfer to accounts or by cheque in a bid to encourage cashless transactions.

According to report published in Forbes magazine, India has surpassed its colonial masters United Kingdom to become world’s sixth-largest economy in GDP terms for first time after nearly 150 years.

The Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) has revised North East Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy (NEIIP), 2007.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has opposed a move to establish a separate entity to regulate payments and settlements as recommended by Ratan Watal Committee for Digital Payments.

The Department of Telecom (DoT) will soon launch ‘Tarang Sanchar’ portal that will let users check radiation compliance status of mobile towers and transmitters across country.

The Union Power Ministry is going to launch new mobile application GARV-II to provide real time data of all six lakh villages of the country.

The Union Cabinet has approved the draft Major Port Authorities Bill, 2016 to replace the existing Major Port Trusts Act, 1963.

The Union Government has announced package of incentives and measures for promotion of digital and cashless economy in the country.

The Union Cabinet has approved the development of Phase – 1 of the Pune Metro Rail Corridor Project.

The Union Cabinet has approved Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Vietnam on Cooperation in the field of Information Technology.

The Union Cabinet has given its approval to Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and United Kingdom (UK) to support Ease of Doing Business in India.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has clarified that banks will have to bear the full liability in the event of any security breach or compromise in the authorised card network.

E-commerce giant Amazon has launched its global startup program ‘Launchpad’ in India.

India has received over US $300 billion US Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) milestone between April 2000 and September 2016.

The Public Financial Management System (PFMS) after implemented on full scale will help Union Government to save a significant amount on interest costs.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is going to issue new currency notes of Twenty and Fifty rupees denomination in the Mahatma Gandhi Series-2005.

The Indian Navy Day is observed annually on 4 December to celebrate the magnificence, achievements and role of the naval force of the country.

New Appointments

The Union Government has appointed Viral V Acharya (42) as new Deputy Governor at the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

The Union government has appointed senior IPS officer Rajiv Jain as the new chief of Intelligence Bureau (IB).

The Union Government has appointed Air Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa as the next Chief of the Air Staff of the Indian Air Force (IAF).

The Union Government has appointed Lt. Gen. Bipin Rawat as new Chief of Army Staff (CoAS).

The Union Government has appointed senior IPS officer Anil Dhasmana as new chief of Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), India’s external intelligence agency.

Former Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres (67) was sworn in as the 9th UN Secretary-General.

Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar (64) will be the next Chief Justice of India (CJI).

AIADMK leader O. Panneerselvam (65) was sworn in as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu following death of Chief Minister Jayalalithaa.

Awards

Eminent Rajasthani litterateur Dr Satya Narayan was chosen for the 26th Bihari Puraskar 2016 by the K K Birla Foundation. He was been chosen for his Hindi book titled Yeh Ek Dunia published in 2010.

A team of international astronomers has discovered Vela super cluster, one of the biggest super galaxy clusters near the Milky Way.

Eminent modern Bengali poet Shankha Ghosh was chosen for the prestigious Jnanpith Award for the year 2016. He is the 52nd recipient of Jnanpith Award.

The Sahitya Academy has announced the names of 24 poets and authors who will be conferred the prestigious 2016 Sahitya Akademi Award.

Kaisa Matomaki and Maksym Radziwill have been jointly won the 2016 SASTRA-Ramanujan award for mathematics for their ‘revolutionary’ collaborative work on short intervals in number theory. Their mathematical work dwells on properties of numbers in “short intervals.”

Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis, ISRO chairman A S Kiran Kumar , UK-based scholar John Ralston Marr and Hari Katha exponent Kamala Murthy have been selected for SIES-Sri Chandrasekarendra Saraswati National Eminence Award. They will be presented awards in different categories.

Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo (31) from Portugal has won the prestigious 2016 FIFA Ballon d’Or Award.

Sprint king Usain Bolt from Jamaica has been awarded the 2016 IAAF World Athlete of the Year award in male category for sixth time. Earlier he had won it in 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Science and Technology

US-based scientists have developed a bacteria-powered battery (bio-battery) on a single sheet of paper, which is capable of powering disposable electronics.

Scientists from Canada have developed the first functional pacemaker cells using human pluripotent stem cells.

A team of UK-based researchers have identified Hafnium carbide (HfC) and Tantalum carbide (TaC) as the world’s most heat resistant material.

Scientists for the first time have discovered the so-called molten jet stream within the Earth’s molten iron core using latest data obtained from three European satellites called Swarm.

UK-based researchers have found that stem cells harvested from pregnant woman’s amniotic fluid can be used to strengthen weak bones.

China successfully launched TanSat, a global carbon dioxide (CO2) monitoring satellite to understand the effects of climate change.

US based researchers for the first time have observed the creation of ice crystals on individual atmospheric particles in the laboratory.

Scientists including those from India have found a huge ‘dead zone’ of an estimated 60,000 square kilometres in Bay of Bengal.

Scientists have discovered as many as 163 new species in the ecologically diverse Greater Mekong region of the Southeast Asia. It includes 3 mammals species, 9 amphibians, 11 fish, 14 reptiles and 143 plants.

Software giant Microsoft India has launched its first full-scale Cybersecurity Engagement Centre (CSEC) in New Delhi.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is building a robotic spacecraft dubbed as ‘Restore-L Spacecraft’ to refuel, repair satellites currently in orbit.

Researchers discovered Atlantic killifish, a fish species which has evolved to be 8,000 times more resilient to toxic waste compared with normal fish.

Scientists for the first time have detected trace amounts of ammonia in the upper troposphere, the lowest atmospheric layer of Earth.

China has successfully launched Fengyun-4 satellite, first of its new generation weather satellites into geostationary orbit.

Scientists from US including one of Indian origin have created a nanoceramic material that can used for safer, cheaper nuclear reactors.

The Indian Army has launched a “Veterans Outreach App” in a bid to reach out to its ex-servicemen.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully launched remote sensing satellite Resourcesat-2A into its dedicated orbit.

Death

Former US aviator, astronaut John Glenn passed away in Columbus, Ohio, US. He was 95.

Veteran journalist Cho S Ramaswamy passed away in Chennai following a prolonged illness. He was 82.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa passed away at the Apollo Hospitals, Chennai following cardiac arrest. She was 68.

Special Days

The National Mathematics Day is observed every year on 22nd December to celebrate birth anniversary of great Indian autodidact Mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan. This year, it is 129th birth anniversary of Srinivasa Ramanujan.

The Indian Navy Day is observed annually on 4 December to celebrate the magnificence, achievements and role of the naval force of the country.

Current Affairs Round Up Bullet Points, November, 2016 Current Affairs Round Up Bullet Points, October, 2016

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Comments ( 1 )

  1. Saloni Jain
    2 months ago
    Thanks for the notes,these are very helpfull..