Current Affairs
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Important Current Affairs 24th December 2018

(National News)

10 Indian news firms selected for Google News Initiative Funding 

Google has selected 87 news organisations from 23 countries for funding under its Global News Initiative (GNI). Of these 87 organisations selected, 10 are from India. The funding aims at helping the organisations in building video capabilities and experiment with new formats for video journalism.

Google News Initiative

Google has become a go-to site for getting information about a wide range of topics and Google aims to build a more informed world. This is closely interlinked with reporting of journalists and news organizations. Google search and YouTube are dependent on a healthy ecosystem of publishers producing great digital content. But the growing fake news and rapidly changing business models for journalism has become a challenge to the news industry.

Information Fusion Centre – Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR)

The Defence Minister of India formally inaugurated the Information Fusion Centre – Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR) Indian at the Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC) in Gurugram on 22nd December 2018. The IFC for Indian Ocean Region has the primary objective of jointly monitoring the vast Indian Ocean Region.

IFC-IOR will provide a way to tackle these challenges through collaborative and cooperative efforts.The Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC) in Gurugram was sanctioned in March 2012 and became operational in November 2014.

Vedangi Kulkarni: Indian woman becomes fastest Asian to cycle the Globe  

A 20-year-old Pune woman Vedangi Kulkarni has become the fastest Asian to cycle the globe. She has completed the 29,000 km distance required to qualify as bicycling across the globe. She has spent 159 days peddling up to 300 km a day in 14 countries.The world record is in the name of British adventurer Jenny Graham (38) who had cycled the globe in 124 days in 2018.

India overtakes Germany to become seventh largest Stock Market 

India's stock market has overtaken Germany's to become the seventh-largest in the world with a market capitalisation of $2.08 trillion. This is the first time in seven years that India moved past the equity market of Europe's largest economy, according to Bloomberg. At $27.07 trillion, US is world's biggest stock market, followed by China ($5.46 trillion) and Japan ($5.41 trillion).

(International News)

Volcanic Tsunami 

Indonesia was hit by a Tsunami. As the giant tsunami waves crashed into coastal towns on the islands of Sumatra and Java, at least 281 people were killed and 1,016 were injured.

About Tsunami

Tsunami refers to a series of waves in a water body caused by the displacement of a large volume of water, generally in an ocean or a large lake.

Tsunamis are different from the normal sea waves. Normal waves are generated due to the wind and Tides are generated due to the gravitational pull of the Moon and the Sun, whereas Tsunami is generated by an abrupt movement on the ocean floor due to the triggering points like Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, underwater explosions, landslides, glacier calving or meteorite impacts.

The new capital of Burundi 

The government of Burundi has declared Gitega as the country’s new political capital on 22nd December 2018. Bujumbura, the previous capital of Burundi, will serve as the economic capital of the country. The government has decided to hold future Cabinet meetings in Gitega and to establish five ministries in Gitega from the start of 2019. Gitega’s population is around 30 000  as compared to Bujumbura’s 1.2 million.

China launched its First Satellite for Space-based Broadband Services 

China has launched its first communication satellite on 22nd December 2018 to offer broadband internet services to users worldwide. The communication satellite was launched using a Long March 11 carrier rocket which took off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in north-western China.

Aim

The satellite aims to rival Google and other companies which have similar plans for providing Internet services worldwide.

(Space News)

Nuclear Capable Agni-IV successfully test-fired 

India has successfully test-fired nuclear-capable long-range ballistic missile Agni-IV from the Dr Abdul Kalam Island in Odhisa. It was the 7th trial of Agni-IV missile. DRDO had positioned Radars and electro-optical systems along the coast of Odisha for tracking and monitoring all parameters of the missile and two naval ships were anchored near the target area to witness the final event.

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Important Current Affairs 23th December 2018

(National News)

Government approved Mahindras Rs.1,900 crore tourism plan

The Maharashtra State government has approved a film-centric entertainment destination to be developed by the Mahindra Group in Kandivali, with an investment of Rs.1,900 crore in Mumbai. According to a recent Government Resolution (GR), the Bollywood theme-based tourism project will be developed on 82,950.5 sq.m. belonging to the Mahindra Group. Earlier this year, a high-powered government committee accorded it the ultra mega project status.

CMRL to launch mobile app to book a ride 

Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) is to soon offer its commuters a facility to book a ride through its mobile app, for travelling to areas around stations. For this project, CMRL has tied up with a firm to offer the service. The firm’s icon for this service will be created in the Chennai Metro Rail mobile app and when commuters touch the icon, it will direct them to the firm’s vehicle booking page and they can hire a car.

Tripura government plans fresh literacy survey 

The Tripura government has planned to conduct a fresh survey on the literacy rate in the State. A survey conducted in 2014 had recorded 95% literacy rate in the State. This survey was conducted by the Indian Statistical Institute. About Tripura: Formation: 21 January 1972 Capital City: Agartala Governor: Kaptan Singh Solanki Chief Minister: Biplab Kumar Deb Deputy Chief Minister: Jishnu Deb Burman Legislature: Unicameral (60 seats) Official languages: Bengali, English, Kokborok.

(International News)

‘Hand-in-Hand’ counter-terrorism military exercises concluded 
India and China concluded the ‘Hand-in-Hand’ military exercise on 22nd December 2018 in China’s Chengdu city. This was the 7th edition of the ‘Hand-in-Hand’ military exercise. The  ‘Hand-in-Hand’ military exercise did not take place last year due to prevailing tensions between both sides after 73-day military standoff at Doklam.
This year’s exercise, which began on 11th December, focused on urban terrorism in which Indian and Chinese armies conducted the drills while living and dining together to build up a sense of camaraderie.

(Awards News)

40 workers conferred Prime Minister Shram Awards 2017

The Union Government has announced to confer the Prime Minister’s Shram Awards 2017 to 40 workers across country. These awardees have been selected among the workers of Departmental Undertakings & Central and State Government PSUs and Private Sector companies having 500 or more workers.

About Prime Minister Shram Awards 2017:

  • This year, no one was awarded the prestigious Shram Ratna Award.
  • Three nominations were chosen for the Shram Bhushan Award which carries a cash prize of Rs. 1,00,000/- and a ‘Sanad’. Smt. Myneni Sharada from BEL, Shri B.B.V. Prasada Rao from Naval Dockyard and Sh. Sudip Pachhal from Tata Steels have been selected under this category.
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Important Current Affairs 22th December 2018

(National News)

National Mathematics Day 

India celebrated 22nd December 2018 as the National Mathematics Day honouring the 131st birth anniversary of famous Indian Mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan. Since 2011, 22nd December is celebrated as National Mathematics Day every year. The Indian government had also declared 2012 as the National Mathematics year. The National Mathematics Day is celebrated to honour his contribution to the field of Mathematics and also to keep his legacy alive to inspire the future mathematicians.

NITI Aayog releases Sustainable Development Goals Index 

The NITI Aayog has released a first-of-its-kind Sustainable Development Goals index released on 21st December 2018. According to the SDG Index, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu have been ranked on top 3 positions and are on track to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

The recently released Sustainable Development Goals Index aims to promote healthy competition among States by evaluating their progress in social, economic and environmental terms that will help India in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) by 2030.

Tata Motors partners with Zoomcar to deploy Tigor EVs in Pune 

Tata Motors has partnered with self-drive rental car firm Zoomcar to offer the electric version of its compact sedan Tigor in Pune city as part of the shared mobility plans. Under the partnership, Zoomcar expects to deploy 500 electric vehicles in over 20 cities with Tata Motors in the next one year. Tata Motors is committed to the Centre’s vision of driving electric mobility in the country.

Gujarat tops government's first-ever state startup rankings 

Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has awarded Gujarat as the best performer in Start-up Ranking 2018. Other states ranked top performers were Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha, and Rajasthan. The laggards in the list of performers, categorised as ‘beginners’ include Chandigarh, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Puducherry, Sikkim, and Tripura. ‘Emerging’ States, placed at a notch higher than the beginners include Assam, Delhi, Goa, Jammu & Kashmir, Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Uttarakhand.

10 Central Agencies authorised by Government to snoop on “any” 

The Union government has notified 10 Central Agencies giving them the power to intercept, monitor and decrypt all the data contained in “any” computer system in India. The Cyber and Information Security Division under the Home ministry issued this notification.

The 10 agencies authorised by the central government are the Intelligence Bureau, Narcotics Control Bureau, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, CBI, National Investigation Agency, Enforcement Directorate, Central Board of Direct Taxes, Research and Analysis Wing, Directorate of Signal Intelligence (in Jammu & Kashmir, the North-East and Assam) and the Delhi Police.

(International News)

US Defence Secretary James Mattis resigns from his post

The United States Defence Secretary James Mattis has resigned from his post on 21st December 2018. His resignation came after his disagreement with the US President Donald Trump over the withdrawal of US troops from Syria. James Mattis, however, will be occupying the position till February 28 so as to allow sufficient time for his successor to be nominated.

(Awards News)

Mamata Banerjee awarded the Skoch CM of the Year Award 

The Chief Minister of West Bengal has been awarded the Skoch Chief Minister of the Year Award for the year 2017. The award was given to Mamta Banerjee recognising her contribution in the overall development of West Bengal as West Bengal emerged as the best-performing state in the field of Governance. According to Skoch Group, Mamata Banerjee was chosen for the prestigious award keeping in mind the West Bengal’s  performance in governance, culture, finance, urban and rural development.

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Important Current Affairs 21st December 2018

National news

State’s Startup Ranking 2018 Announced
The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) announced results of thefirst ever States’ Start-up Ranking 2018 at an event in New Delhi today. DIPP began this exercise from January, 2016.
States have been identified as leaders across various categories such as Start-up policy leaders, incubation hubs, seeding innovation, scaling innovation, regulatory change champions, procurement leaders, communication champions, North-Eastern leader, and hill state leader.
Best Performer – Gujarat
Top Performers - Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha, and Rajasthan.
Beginners - Chandigarh, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Puducherry, Sikkim, and Tripura.
About DIPP
Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion was established in the year 1995, and was reconstituted in the year 2000 with the merger of Department of Industrial Development. 
The department functions under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India.


Government launches Conservation Projet for Asiatic Lions
Asiatic lions, that were once found in a range extending from Persia (Iran) to Palamau in eastern India, were almost driven to extinction by indiscriminate hunting and habitat loss.
According to the last census in 2015, there were 523 Asiatic Lions in Gir Protected Area Network spread over 1648.79 square km, comprising Gir National Park, Gir Sanctuary, Pania Sanctuary, Mitiyala Sanctuary adjoining reserved forests, Protected Forests, and unclassed forests. 
The ministry has already included Asiatic Lion in Gujarat in the list of 21 critically endangered species for recovery programme and financial assistance under the species recovery component of CSS-DWH.


NITI unveils ‘Strategy for New India@75’
The Niti Aayog has said average annual growth of 8 per cent during 2018-19 to 2022-23, with the concluding year yielding 9-10 per cent expansion, is needed to generate sufficient jobs and make India a $4-trillion (Rs 285 trillion) economy.
It is a detailed exposition across forty-one crucial areas, that recognizes the progress already made, identifies binding constraints, and suggests the way forward for achieving the clearly stated objectives.
The forty-one chapters in the document have been disaggregated under four sections: Drivers, Infrastructure, Inclusion and Governance.

Sports news

W.V.Raman appointed Women’s Cricket team Coach
W.V. Raman, the former India opening batsman who is at present a key member of the BCCI’s player-development programme, has been announced as the Indian women’s cricket team head coach

International news


Belgium PM Charles resigns
 Mr Michel lost the backing of the nationalist New Flemish Alliance (N-VA) over his support for a UN migration deal signed in Marrakesh last week.
Mr Michel, 42, took office in October 2014 after forming a right-wing coalition, becoming at 38 the country's youngest prime minister since 1841.


The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty
Russia has confirmed that the United States of America has decided to cancel the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty signed between Russian and the USA in 1987.
Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a chilling warning Thursday about the rising threat of a nuclear war, saying "it could lead to the destruction of civilization as a whole and maybe even our planet."
About INF
The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty, formally Treaty Between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Elimination of Their Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles) is a 1987 arms control agreement between the United States and the Soviet Union (and later its successor state the Russian Federation). Signed in Washington, D.C. by President Ronald Reagan and General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev on 8 December 1987, the treaty was ratified by the United States Senate on 27 May 1988 and came into force on 1 June 1988.


Mattis resigning as Pentagon Chief
U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis resigned on Thursday, December 21, 2018, after clashing with President Donald Trump over the abrupt withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria and after two years of deep disagreements over America’s role in the world.

Space news

NASA’s 1st flight to moon, Apollo 8, marks 50th anniversary
Fifty years ago on Christmas Eve, a tumultuous year of assassinations, riots and war drew to a close in heroic and hopeful fashion with the three Apollo 8 astronauts reading from the Book of Genesis on live TV as they orbited the moon.
The Apollo 8 crew is still around: Borman and Lovell are 90, Anders is 85.

Appointments 


Harsh Vardhan Shringla appointed as India’s Ambassador to US 
Shri Harsh Vardhan Shringla has been appointed as the Ambassador of India to the USA on 20th December 2018. Presently, Mr. Shringla is serving as the High Commissioner to the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and will take up the assignment soon. He will be succeeding Navtej Sarna as the ambassador to the United States of America.

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Important Current Affairs 20th December 2018

National News

State of Goa celebrates 57th Liberation Day
Goa celebrated the 57th Liberation Day on December 19, 1961 to mark getting independence from the 450-years of Portuguese rule. Every year 19th December is celebrated by India as on this day Operation Vijay was completed by the Indian Forces liberating Territories of Goa, Daman and Diu and the Anjadiv Island and from the Portuguese rule.


Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016
Lok Sabha has passed Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill 2016 on 19th December 2018 to protect surrogacy in the country. The bill has banned commercial surrogacy and allows only altruistic surrogacy. The bill protects the rights of the surrogate mother and the child born from surrogacy and promotes ethical surrogacy.


Provisions of Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill 2016:
•    The bill is applicable to all the states of India except Jammu and Kashmir.
•    The bill provides the constitution of National Surrogacy board and State Surrogacy board for regulation of surrogacy process.
•    The bill is providing surrogacy to only Indian citizens. Thus, Foreigners, NRI and PIOs are not allowed.

BORI launched an e library of 1000 rare books in Pune
The Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute (BORI) launched an e-library of ancient religious and historical works. BORI houses one of South Asia’s largest and most invaluable agglomeration of rare manuscripts. Nearly 1,000 rare books and manuscripts in Sanskrit and its related languages are presently available for readers worldwide to savor in this first phase of digitization.

President rule has been imposed in Jammu and Kashmir from today
President’s rule is imposed in Jammu and Kashmir from 20th December as the Governor’s rule expired in the state on 19th December 2018, after six months. The Centre is learnt to have recommended President’s rule after a report by Governor Satya Pal Malik. Now, President Ram Nath Kovind will have to issue a proclamation declaring that the powers of the legislature of the state shall be exercisable by or under the authority of Parliament.

NFAI and FTII sign MoU for transfer of land for construction of film storage facility
National Film Archive of India (NFAI) and Film & Television Institute of India (FTII) today signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for transfer of three acres of land for the construction of storage facility for films and film material. The land belonging to FTII at their Kothrud campus in Pune will be transferred to NFAI for this purpose. Shri Bhupendra Kanthola, Director FTII and Shri Prakash Magdum, Director NFAI signed the MoU today.

Ganga River Basin Management Plan 
The cleaning of rivers is an ongoing process and this Ministry is supplementing the efforts of the State Governments in addressing the challenges of pollution of river Ganga by providing financial assistance. Under Namami Gange Programme, variety of coordinated activities meant for cleaning of river Ganga including treatment of municipal sewage, treatment of industrial effluent, drain bio-remediation, river surface cleaning, rural sanitation, river front development, construction of ghats and crematoria, afforestation & biodiversity conservation, public outreach program etc have been taken up. So far a total of 254 projects have been sanctioned at an estimated cost of Rs. 24,672 crore to clean the Ganga river.

Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram in Identified Minority Concentration Areas
The Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram(PMJVK) earlier known as Multi-sectoral Development Programme (MsDP) is an area development programme implemented in identified Minority Concentration Areas (MCAs) of the country for the remaining period of 14th Finance Commission. These areas are identified as per Census, 2011 data related to backwardness indicators and population of all notified minority communities as a whole residing in the area.

Space News

Satellite GSAT-7A successfully launched by ISRO
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully launched the communication satellite GSAT-7A on 19th December 2018 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.
About GSAT-7A Satellite:
•    ISRO’s GSAT-7A satellite is the heaviest satellite (2250 kgs) with an indigenously developed cryogenic stage that has been launched by GSLV.
•    GSAT-7A is a high-tech communication satellite having new technologies including a Gregorian Antenna.
•    GSAT-7A will offer services to the users in Ku-band over the Indian region.

Awards

Asma Jahangir is awarded the UN Human Rights Prize
Asma Jahangir, the late Pakistan lawyer, and human rights activist, has been awarded the UN Human Rights Prize for 2018. Her daughter Munizae Jahangir received the prestigious award on behalf of her mother. Jahangir was announced as one of the four winners of the quinquennial prize in October.

International News

Three day India-China Film Festival
In order to strengthen people-to-people connect and deepen cultural understanding between the two countries, an India-China Film Festival is going to be organized during the 1st India-China High Level Mechanism on Cultural and People-to-People Exchanges from 22nd to 24th December, 2018. The three day Festival will be organized at Siri Fort Auditorium II, New Delhi by the Directorate of Film Festivals, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India.


 

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Important Current Affairs 19th December 2018

(National News)

Capital First merges with IDFC Bank to create IDFC First Bank

The IDFC Bank has merged completely with the non-banking financial company Capital First on 18th December 2018 into a new entity to be called as IDFC First Bank. The merger between IDFC Bank and Capital First was announced on 13th January 2018. V Vaidyanathan, who is the founder and chairman of Capital First Ltd, has been appointed as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the newly formed IDFC First bank.

‘Shiksha Setu’ Mobile App

Haryana Government has launched a mobile app named as ‘Shiksha Setu’ with an aim to help the students of the state. The ‘Shikhsa Setu’ App will help in bringing transparency in the Education Department and in the administration of colleges in the state.

Important

  • This mobile app will contain all the information related to attendance, fee, online admission and scholarships in all the Haryana government colleges.
  • The details of lecturers of government colleges and officers of the Directorate can be accessed through the mobile app.
  • The app will provide the students with instant information about assignments and updates of important notices, circulars and other programmes.

National Cancer Institute (NCI) opened in Jhajjar

India’s largest Cancer Institute, National Cancer Institute (NCI), has opened on 18th December 2018 in Jhajjar, Haryana for public services. The National Cancer Institute will be formally inaugurated in January 2019.

About

  • The National Cancer Institute (NCI) will act as the nodal institution for all cancer-related activities in India.
  • It will work towards evolving new cancer control strategies, which include new models of prevention, early diagnosis and therapy, for the developing nations.
  • Development of human resource in various branches of cancer management is another area where NCI will work.

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.

The Global Gender Gap Report is published annually by the World Economic Forum since 2006. The Global Gender Gap Index is an index that measures gender equality across four key pillars which are economic opportunity, political empowerment, educational attainment, and health and survival.

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Important Current Affairs 18th December 2018

Obituary news

Yoga Exponent Geeta Iyengar Passes Away
Dr. Geeta S. Iyengar, the eldest daughter of legendary Yoga guru, B.K.S. Iyengar and a noted exponent of the yogic science in her own right, passed away at her residence on Sunday, aged 74.
Dr. Iyengar’s sudden death comes barely two days after the conclusion of the birth centenary celebrations of ‘Yogacharya’ Iyengar held at the city’s Balewadi sports complex.
Her book ‘Yoga: A gem for women’ became the primer for women across the world and was translated in half-a-dozen European languages.

National news


Lok Sabha passes transgender rights Bill
The Lok Sabha on Monday passed a bill seeking to empower the transgender community by providing them a separate identity.
The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016, seeking to define transgenders and prohibit discrimination against them, was introduced in the Lok Sabha two years ago.
It was passed with 27 amendments.
Highlights of the Bill
The Bill defines a transgender person.
A transgender person must obtain a certificate of identity as proof of recognition of identity as a transgender person and to invoke rights under the Bill.
The Bill prohibits discrimination against a transgender person.


India’s first railway university
India’s first railway university has been opened in Vadodara– It is named as the National Rail and Transportation Institution (NRTI).
The Railway University will be first of its kind institution in the nation and the third in the world after Russia and China.

Sports news

Joshna Chinappa Wins Her Record 16th National Title
Joshna Chinappa and Mahesh Mangaonkar bagged the women’s and men’s singles titles respectively at the National Squash Championships in New Delhi on Sunday. Both of these wins were memorable for the champions for different reasons.Squash star Joshna Chinappa equalled Bhuvneshwari Kumari’s record of 16 national titles by edging out Urvashi Joshi. Mahesh Mangaonkar won his maiden crown on the concluding day of the premier domestic event.

International new


Indonesian Volcano Eruptss
Mount Soputan, on the northern part of Sulawesi Island, erupted twice Monday morning. A volcano in Indonesia has erupted, blasting columns of thick ash 24,000 feet into the sky.
Soputan, which stands 5,853 feet tall, is one of Indonesia’s more than 120 active volcanoes. Indonesia, an archipelago of more than 260 million people, is prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions due to its location on the Pacific “Ring of Fire.”


Australia recognizes West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that the Australian government officially recognizes West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Both Israel and the Palestinians claim Jerusalem as their Capital and this despite is not resolved yet.


Wickremesinghe : New Sri Lanka’s PM
On Sunday morning Wickremesinghe was sworn in by Sirisena, who had sacked him on October 26 and appointed former president, the pro-China Mahinda Rajapaksa, in his place. The move brought the country’s government to a standstill.
Delhi will now push for an early implementation of India funded development projects in Sri Lanka

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Important Current Affairs 17th December 2018

International news

Mahinda Rajapaksa resigns as Sri Lanka’s PM
Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was appointed as Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister by President Maithripala Sirisena in a controversial move, resigned.
Rajapaksa was appointed as the Prime Minister on October 26 by President Sirisena in a controversial move after sacking Ranil Wickremesinghe, which plunged the country into an unprecedented constitutional crisis. 


In Saudi Arabia: the right to race 
Less than six months after the kingdom lifted its ban on women driving.
This weekend, Saudi Arabia plays host to the Formula E Championship, the world’s first fully electric, international, single-seater racing series. The fifth season launches in Ad Diriyah, and the organisers have publicised their commitment to encouraging gender equality, incentivising teams with female participants at the in-season test that will follow the race.

National news


India recorded 95 tiger deaths in 2018, 41 outside reserves
According to the National Tiger Conservation Authority’s (NTCA) records till December 15, 2018, there were 95 cases of tiger deaths in the country. Of this, 41 cases of tiger deaths outside tiger reserves have been reported.
The NTCA maintains the official database of tiger mortality in the country, and compiles figures from reports sent by different States on the basis of recovery of bodies or seizure of body parts.
One of the major reason why tigers are dying in Maharashtra is because many of the tigers are living outside tiger reserves.
After Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh recorded 22 deaths (11 outside and 11 inside tiger reserves), followed by Karnataka, with 15 deaths (six outside tiger reserves and nine inside) being recorded.


Cyclone Phethai 
Nearly 350 vulnerable coastal villages of 30 mandals in the north coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh and many districts of South Bengal have been put on high alert by the respective administrations in view of cyclone Phethai.

Sports news


Junior hockey World Cup to be held every two years
The International Hockey Federation (FIH) on Saturday announced that henceforth the Junior World Cup will be held every two years but the world body seemed clueless about the host nation and exact timing of the next edition.
The Junior World Cup was last held in 2016 at Lucknow.


Sindhu creats History
India’s P.V. Sindhu let out tears of joy and relief when she finally laid her hands on a gold medal by claiming the World Tour Finals with a win over 2017 world champion Nozomi Okuhara on Sunday.
With the straight-game victory, Sindhu became the first Indian to win the BWF World Tour Finals title.Playing her third successive season-ending finale, Sindhu, who had lost in the summit clash to another Japanese, Akane Yamaguchi, to settle for a silver in the last edition, prevailed 21-19 21-17 in a match that lasted an hour and two minutes.


Virat Kohli Becomes Second Fastest To 25th Test Century 
Virat Kohli on Sunday became the second fastest to 25 Test centuries with his sixth ton in Australia, joining boyhood hero Sachin Tendulkar, and celebrated by suggesting he lets his bat do the talking.
It was also Kohli’s sixth century in Australia, lifting him equal with Tendulkar as the only Indian batsmen to reach that tally, and gave him the honour of becoming the first Test centurion at the new Perth Stadium.
Kohli is now the 11th batsman to complete 1000 Test runs in a calendar year overseas and the third Indian to achieve the mark after Rahul Dravid and Mohinder Amarnath. Kohli is also the first Indian skipper to breach the milestone and the third overall captain after Australia’s Bob Simpson and South Africa’s Graeme Smith.
 

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Important Current Affairs 16th December 2018

(National news)

Bhupesh Baghel named Chattisgarh CM

Five days after the Congress party swept the Chhattisgarh polls, State Congress chief Bhupesh Baghel has been named as the next Chief Minister.

He will take oath at 5 PM on Monday.

(Environment news)

Climate talks deliver ‘rule book’

Nations on Sunday struck a deal to breathe life into the landmark 2015 Paris climate treaty after marathon UN talks that failed to match the ambition the most vulnerable countries need to avert dangerous global warming.

Delegates from nearly 200 states finalised a common rule book designed to deliver on the Paris goals of limiting global temperature rises to well below 2°Celsius.

At their heart, negotiations were about how each nation funds action to mitigate and adapt to climate change, as well as how those actions are reported.

Developing nations had wanted more clarity from richer ones over how the future climate fight will be funded and pushed for so-called “loss and damage” measures. This would see richer countries giving money now to help deal with the effects of climate change many vulnerable states are already experiencing.

The final statement from the Polish COP24 presidency welcomed “the timely conclusion” of the report and invited “parties to make use of it” — hardly the ringing endorsement many nations had called for.

(Sports news)

Hockey World Cup

It took the team an extra shot, a nerve-racking 60 minutes and some tense moments but in the end, maiden finalist Belgium proved more than equal match for three-time winner the Netherlands, being crowned the new champion of world hockey at the Kalinga Stadium here on Sunday with a 3-2 win in shootouts.

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Important Current Affairs 15th December 2018

National news

Tamil Nadu CM urges PM Modi to withdraw Dam Safety Bill
Chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to instruct the Union water resources ministry to withdraw the Dam Safety Bill, 2018, introduced in the Lok Sabha. 
Main Concerns are:
National Dam Safety Authority will act as the State Dam Safety Organisation for a dam that is owned by another state.
Industries extracting groundwater including mining-dewatering units and those that use groundwater for packaged drinking water would also need to apply for a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the government. 


Industries must pay for using groundwater
The Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) has notified a water conservation fee (WCF) that industries will need to pay on groundwater extraction starting from June.
Industries extracting groundwater including mining-dewatering units and those that use groundwater for packaged drinking water would also need to apply for a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the government. 
The government has a list of groundwater blocks, called assessment blocks. These are classified as ‘safe,’ ‘semi-critical,’ ‘critical’ and ‘over-exploited’ depending on the groundwater draft.


Kevadia Railway Station
The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, laid the foundation stone of the Kevadia Railway Station in district Narmada, Gujarat.
It would lead to an increased flow of tourists from across the country and beyond and make their travel to the ‘Statue of Unity’ faster as well as more convenient. He said that building the Kevadia Railway Station is a tribute by Indian Railways in honour of Sardar Patel.


Mahila Kisan Awards programme launched by DD Kisan
DD Kisan today launched a first-of-its-kind reality show 'Mahila Kisan Awards'. To be telecast from 17th December, the show will see participation of women farmers from across the length and breadth of India, including from Jammu & Kashmir, all the states of North Eastern Region.
The format of the show will include two woman farmers talking about their achievements in each episode. Judges will score these contestants based on their assessment. 


Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to dedicate Raebareli-Fatehpur-Banda section of NH-232 to the nation this week
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will dedicate to the nation the Raebareli-Fatehpur-Banda section of NH-232 at an event in Raebareli on Sunday, the 16th of December. The 133 km project has been completed at a cost of about Rs 558 crore. It is an important link between the mining areas of Bundelkhand, pilgrimagecentreChitrakoot, the state capital Lucknow  and the Purvanchal districts of the state. 
After renovation, the travel time between these two cities has come down to just 2.5 hours

National Medical Devices Promotion Council to be set up under DIPP
To give a fillip to the medical device sector, which is a sunrise sector, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu, announced setting up of a National Medical Devices Promotion Council under the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) in the Ministry of Commerce & Industry. 
Commerce Minister was speaking at a programme on the occasion of 4th WHO Global Forum on Medical Devices, at Andhra Pradesh Medtech Zone, in Vishakhapatnam.

Appointments


Shri Ashok Kumar Singh assumes charge of secretary
Shri Ashok Kumar Singh, Lok Sabha Secretariat Service, Additional Secretary, Lok Sabha Secretariat has assumed charge as Secretary, National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) .

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