INTERNATIONAL Current Affairs
NATIONAL Current Affairs
INDIA & World Current Affairs
CONFERENCES Current Affairs
SPORTS Current Affairs
ECONOMY Current Affairs
AWARDS & HONOURS Current Affairs
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY Current Affairs
APPOINTMENTS, RESIGNS & DEATHS
President of Argentina – Mauricio Macri Blanco
On 10th December 2015, Mauricio Macri Blanco was sworn in as the President of Argentina by replacing Cristina Elisabet Fernandez de Kirchner. Macri is the leader of the centre-right Cambiemos (Let’s Change) coalition. Earlier to this appointment, since December 2007, he held the office of government of Buenos Aires, the capital city of Argentina.
German military aid to fight ISIS in Syria
The German Cabinet on 1 December 2015 approved a mandate offering military assistance to back the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Syria. The move is aimed at supporting France and the international alliance in its fight against the organisation. The mandate is for one year at a cost of 134 million euros (142 million dollars) and can be extended next year.
Mahatma Gandhi International Centre in Sri Lanka
The President of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena inaugurated the Mahatma Gandhi International Centre (MGIC) in Matale, Sri Lanka. The center was inaugurated as a tribute to the contribution of Mahatma Gandhi to humanity and the continuing relevance of his principles and philosophy to mankind. It was funded under the Indian government’s Development Cooperation Partnership with Sri Lanka.
Paris pact on Water and Climate Change Adaptation
A broad coalition of nations, river basin organisations, business and civil societies from across the globe on 3 December, 2015 announced the Paris Pact on Water and Climate Change Adaptation. It aims to make water systems which are very foundation of sustainable human development more resilient to climate change impacts. It also seeks at promoting financial sustainability and new investment in water system management. The announcement was made as part of the ‘Water Resilience Focus’ event under the Lima to Paris Action Agenda (LPAA) on climate change.
Afghanisthan joins World Trade Organisation
Afghanisthan has joined the World Trade Organisation (WTO) calling it historic membership to boost the war-torn nations economy and build peace. The WTO has formally approved Afghanisthan’s membership at it’s 10th ministerial conference in the kenyan Capital Nairobi, Afghansthan has become the 164th WTO member and the 36th least developed country (LDC) to join the global trade body after 11 years of negotiations. Now Bhutan is the only SAARC member which has so far not joined the multilateral trade body.
Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV) injection
As part of Global Polio Endgame strategy, India has launched Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV) in New Delhi. The vaccine was launched by the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare J P Nadda. The launching of IPV would enable children to get double protection from polio i.e. orally and in the form of injection. IPV and OPV together will further strengthen the children’s immune system and will provide double protection against polio. IPV injection will be given to children below one year of age along with the third dose of the Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) at the routine immunization sessions free of cost.
NHAI approved pilot project on greenbelts
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has approved a pilot project for developing greenbelts along the national highways (NHs). The project was submitted by National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), Nagpur for undertaking scientific studies on designing greenbelts along national highways. The project will be implemented on a 5 Km stretch on NH-7 in Nagpur region at an estimated cost of Rs. 11.80 crore.
Union Cabinet approved Amendments in the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950
Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 16 Decemeber 2015 gave its approval for introduction of a Bill in the Parliament for Amendments in the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950. The bill seeks to modify the list of Scheduled Castes in respect of Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Kerala, Odisha and West Bengal and in the Central List of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) of Chhattisgarh, Haryana and Kerala consequent upon inclusion of certain castes or parts thereof in the lists of Scheduled Castes. After the Bill becomes an Act, members of the communities included in the list of Scheduled Castes will be able to derive benefits meant for Scheduled Castes under the existing schemes like Post Matric Scholarship, National Overseas Scholarship, Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship and others.
Maharashtra is the biggest economy in India
The latest report by credit rating agency Brickwork Ratings said that Maharashtra is the biggest economy in India at Rs. 16.87 lakh crore in terms of gross state domestic product (GSDP). Maharashtra is followed by Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh. Maharashtra’s GSDP has grown by 11.69 per cent for the financial year ended March 31, 2015. Maharashtra earns approximately 70 per cent of its total receipts through tax revenue.
Broad gauge rail line in Assam
Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has inaugurated the land mark Silchar-Lumding broad gauge rail line in the state of Assam. The rail lines brings Assam’s under developed Barak Valley on the broad gauge map. The Lumding-Silchar broad gauge line project under Northeast Frontier Railway was sanctioned in 1996-97 and was declared a National Project in 2004.
NGT bans registration of new diesel-run vehicles in Delhi
National Green Tribunal (NGT) has ordered ban on registration of new diesel-run vehicles in Delhi to curb the growing menace of air pollution in the capital city. The ban on registration of new diesel vehicles will be valid till 6th January 2016. NGT also ordered the central and state government to stop buying diesel cars in Delhi.
Delhi became first state to implement Road Safety recommendations
To deal with traffic violations in the city, the Delhi Traffic Police decided to start implementing recommendations of the Supreme Court appointed committee chaired by Justice KS Radhakrishnan from 15 December 2015 onwards. With this decision, Delhi Traffic Police is the first in the country to implement the directions of the Supreme court appointed three-member committee on Road Safety. Expected Effects of implementation include Suspension of driving licences for three months and other fines for drunken driving, over-speeding, using mobile phone while driving, and carrying passengers in goods vehicles. Fines for first offence and subsequent offences in case of over speeding will be 400 rupees and 1000 rupees respectively and others.
INDIA & World
India and South Korea MoU on taxation treaty
India and South Korea have inked a new memorandum of understanding (MoU) on suspension of collection of taxes during pendency of mutual agreement procedure. This MoU will relieve the burden of double taxation for taxpayers in both the countries during the pendency of Mutual Agreement Procedure (MAP) proceedings. Besides, both countries also have agreed that transfer pricing dispute cases will be taken up for MAP under the revised Double Tax Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) between India and Korea.
Railways inks pact for loco factories
The Railways has signed two contract agreements with US based GE and France based Alstom to set up locomotive factories in Bihar’s Marhowra and Madhepura districts respectively with a aim of boosting manufacturing and employment in the state. The contract valued at Rs. 40,000 crore, is spread over 10 years. The agreement was signed in the presence of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu. The pact also marks the first big FDI in the railway sector.
Construction work TAPI gas pipeline project begins
The construction work of 1800-kilometre-long Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project has been started at the ancient city of Mary of Turkmenistan. The function was attended by Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Indian Vice President Mohd Hamid Ansari. TAPI gas pipeline project is a proposed trans-country natural gas pipeline from Caspian Sea, Turkmenistan to India through Afghanistan and Pakistan.
MoU between India and Iran on visa facilitation
The Union Cabinet on 2 December 2015 approved the signing of the agreement between India and Iran on visa facilitation for Diplomatic, Official/Service and Ordinary passport holders. As per the agreement, on presentation of an official note by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stating the purpose of the visit, a non-extendable gratis entry visa will be issued within three working days, with a validity of up to fifteen days, to political authorities and officials travelling for specific bilateral purposes or to participate in a conference or seminar.
Union Cabinet approves MoU between India and UK in energy sector
The Union Cabinet approved for signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on cooperation between India and United Kingdom in the energy sector. The MoU will provide a framework for technical assistance in the energy sector along with in-kind grant and other support through relevant projects initiated by UK. The programme under MoU would help to improve energy security and reliability of supply at both centre and state levels. It would also improve energy access and facilitate sustainable economic growth. The main focus will be on the electricity market structure and the integration of renewable energy into the grid.
Japan PM Visited India
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited India on 11-13 December, 2015 for a three day official visit. He met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and held annual summit talks with him on the ocassion of his visit both the nations agreed to major deals including the introduction of Japan’s bullet train technology in India and an agreement on nuclear partnership clearly sets the stage for elevated bilateral ties in the future.
15th World Snooker Title for Pankaj Advani
Ace Indian Cueist Pankaj Advani won the IBSF World Snooker Championship. He defeated China’s Xingtong by 8-6 score. This is the 15th World Title for Pankaj. He also became the first person in history to won both the Billiards and Snooker World Titles in the same year.
India won 2015 Men’s Junior Asia Hockey Cup
Indian men’s junior hockey team won the eight edition of Men’s Junior Asia Hockey Cup. In the finals held in Malaysia India defeated Pakistan with 6-2 goals. Harmanpreet Singh of Indian team scored highest four goals in the finals. South Korea won the bronze medal by defeating Japan in this tourney. Eight international teams participated in the 8th junior Asia Hockey cup.
Hockey World League Final winner Australia
Australia has won the 2014-15 Men’s Hockey World League Final by defeating Belgium. In the final match played at Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel Stadium, Raipur Australian team defeated Belgium by 2-1 goals. India was placed at third place in this league after defeating Netherlands by 3-2 goals in the penalty shoot-out.
Elizabeth won gold in 59th National Shooting Championships
On 11th December 2015, the Women’s 50m Rifle 3 Positions Gold at the 59th National Shooting Championships was won by Kerala’s Elizabeth Susan Koshy. She won the first gold for Kerala in the 2015 National Games women’s 50m Rifle Prone event. She represented India in the 2013 and 2014 World Cups and won silver in the Asian Shooting Championships. Anjum Moudgil from Haryana bagged the silver medal while Gaayathri N of Tamil Nadu settled for the bronze.
World Bank launches Transformative Carbon Asset Facility
The World Bank has launched a 500 million dollars Transformative Carbon Asset Facility (TCAF) to help developing countries pay for emission reductions and combat climate change. The scheme will reward countries for reducing emissions by paying a fee for each tonne of carbon dioxide (CO2) reduced. Of the total 500 million dollars, Germany, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland have jointly pledged an initial 250 million dollars investment.
United Nations Human Development Report 2015
The United Nations Human Development Report 2015 was released on 14 December 2015 with the title Work for Human Development in Ethiopia. As per the report, 2 billion people lifted out of low human development in last 25 years. In the 2015 report, India with a score of 0.609 has been ranked 130 out of 188 countries in terms of Human Development Index (HDI). In the 2014 report, India was ranked 135 out of 187 countries. With better health and education outcomes and reductions in extreme poverty, 2 billion people have moved out of low human development levels in the last 25 years. 830 million people are classified as working poor who live on under 2 US dollars a day. The report stresses the key roles that work can play in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). It estimates that around 45 million additional health workers will be needed to meet SDG.
World bank approves loan for swach bharat abhiyan
The World Bank has approved a loan of 1.5 billion dollars to support the Central government’s flagship cleanliness drive Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). The loan disbursed over a five year period will be used for the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) Support Operation Project. Funds will also be used to develop the capacity of MDWS in programme management, advocacy, monitoring and evaluation. The World Bank will also provide a parallel 25 million dollars technical assistance to build the capacity of select state governments in implementing community led behavioural change programmes targeting social norms to help ensure wide spread usage of toilets by rural households.
RBI keeps key rates unchanged
In it’s fifth bi-monthly monetary policy statement, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 1 December, 2015 kept key rates-repo and CRR unchanged. RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan left the benchmark interest rate, the repo rate unchanged at 6.75 per cent and the CRR at 4 per cent. RBI set to achieve its target of getting inflation down at 6 per cent by January and is aiming to reduce the number further to 5 per cent by March 2017.
Violinist L Subramaniam honoured with ITC Sangeet Samman
Renowned violinist Lakshminarayana Subramaniam was honoured with the Sangeet Samman at the ITC Sangeet Sammelan 2015 held on 4 December 2015 at the Victoria Memorial Hall, Kolkata. The artist is known for his virtuoso playing techniques and compositions in orchestral fusion. Subramaniam has been awarded with the Lifetime Achievement Award by Limca Book of Records in 2012. He also won the President’s Award for Best Violinist, All India Radio in 1963. In 2001, the renowned violinist was honoured with the Padma Bhushan.
E-India Award for Delhi Development Authority
The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) was on 1 December 2015 awarded with the E-India award for adopting technology to serve the public and using resources efficiently through mobile applications. The award was given under the category of Digital India IT Initiatives for extraordinary IT initiatives in the field of land protection and engineering projects.
Indian-American Frank Islam selected for 2015 Uttar Pradesh Ratna Award
Indian-American entrepreneur and philanthropist Frank Islam has been selected for the prestigious 2015 Uttar Pradesh Ratna Award. He has been chosen for this award in recognition of his achievements and outstanding contributions in a foreign country. He will be bestowed upon with award by UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav at the inaugural UP Pravasi Diwas on January 4, 2016 in Agra. In 1994, he had founded an Information Technology (IT) firm the QSS with him as the sole employee. Later the company employed more than 2,000 employees and its sales was US 300 million dollars before it was sold in 2007. Currently, he heads the FI Invest Group a firm that he established after selling his IT Company.
Wipro won 2015 Aegis Graham Bell Award
Global software giant Wipro on 11 December 2015 won the 2015 Aegis Graham Bell Award for developing a solution for the Internet of Things (IoT). Wipro’s IoT solution, Universal Data Parser (UDP), fetched the prestigious award. The Aegis School of Business established the Aegis Graham Bell Awards as a tribute to the father of the telephony, Sir Alexander Graham Bell. The award is intended to promote innovation, entrepreneurship in the field of Telecom, Internet, Media & Edutainment (TIME) and to provide recognition for outstanding contributions in this field in India.
Dilip Kumar conferred with Padma Vibhushan
Legendary actor Dilip Kumar has been conferred with the prestigious Padma Vibhushan, country’s second highest civilian award. It was bestowed upon him by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis at his residence in Mumbai, Maharashtra. Union Government had selected veteran actor for the Padma Vibhushan on the eve of 66th Republic Day. He is famously known as Tragedy King. He also won the Padma Bhushan (1991), Dadasaheb Phalke Award (1994), Pakistan’s highest civilian award Nishan-e-Imtiaz (1998) and Guinness World Record for winning the maximum number of awards by an Indian actor.
Interceptor boat ICGS C-422 Commissioned
Interceptor boat ‘ICGS C-422’ was commissioned into Indian Coast Guard to further enhance its vigil along Pondicherry and South Tamil Nadu coast in the Bay of Bengal. ICGS C-422 is the 36th interceptor boat to be inducted into the Coast Guard service. The boat is capable of multiple tasks including interdiction, surveillance and search and rescue.
Supersonic interceptor AAD missile test fired successfully
India has successfully test fired it’s indigenously developed supersonic interceptor missile which is capable of destroying any incoming ballistic missile, from a test range off Odisha Coast. The interceptor named as Advanced Air Defence (AAD) missile, is a 7.5 metre long single stage solid rocket propelled guided missile equipped with a navigation system, a hi-tech computer and an electro-mechanical activator.
ISRO successfully launched PSLV-C29
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully placed six commercial satellites from Singapore in their dedicated orbits. These satellites were launched using Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C29) from the first launch pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. This successful launch coincides with the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Singapore in year 2015. The major payload was TeLEOS-One remote sensing satellite weighing 400 kg. It would be used for urban planning and disaster monitoring of Singapore. The other five satellites included two micro satellites and one nano satellite. These satellites are VELOX-CI (123 kg), VELOX-II (13 kg) 6U-Cubesat technology demonstrator, Athenoxat-1, Kent Ridge-1 (78 kg) and Galassia (3.4 kg) 2U-Cubesat.
World’s first dengue vaccine – Dengvaxia
The Mexican authorities on 9 December 2015 approved the use of the first-ever vaccine against dengue fever, “ Dengvaxia” which will be publicly available for the first time. The Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risks (COFEPRIS) approved Dengvaxia for the prevention of disease caused by all four dengue virus serotypes in preadolescents, adolescents and adults, 9 to 45 years of age living in endemic areas. According to a World Health Organization (WHO) report published in late 2014, the vaccine had an average rate of effectiveness of about 60.8 percent in protecting against the four strains of dengue now circulating.
26th Conference of Southern Zonal Council held in Vijayawada
The 26th Conference of Southern Zonal Council (SZC) was held on 12 December 2015 at Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh. The conference was chaired by the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. The conference was attended by Ministers of five states-Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala and Puducherry. The five states and Puducherry together form the Southern Zonal Council. The conference deliberated issues of common interest to the members of the council such as peninsular region industrial corridor, coastal security, introduction of peninsular tourism trains and finalisation of inter-State reciprocal transport agreement. Some other substantial issues of Centre State and Inter-State matters were also discussed in the conference.
27th ASEAN leaders Summit 2015
27th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders summit held in Kaula Lumpur, Malaysia. This summit was chaired by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. In this summit, the leaders of 10 nations grouping signed a declaration for launching ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) like European Union. The declaration was signed in front of United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
China hosts 1st BRICS media summit
China hosted the first Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS) media summit in Beijing for creating an alternative media platform for the 5 emerging economies. 25 media organisations participated in the 2 day summit which aimed to create a new institutional framework to benefit the media of five emerging economies of BRICS grouping. In the first summit, leaders of 25 Media organisations from the 5 BRICS countries pitched for building consensus to deal with climate change, terrorism,and other key global issues.
14th Meeting of Heads of Governments of SCO Member
The 14th Meeting of the Heads of Governments (Prime Ministers) of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Member States on Regional Economic Cooperation was held in Zhengzhou, China. Key discussions include : Exchanged views on a wide range of issues of international and regional economic growth. Discussed prospects and measures for improving economic and humanitarian cooperation for further strengthening of mutual understanding and traditional friendship between peoples of the SCO member states. Leaders issued a joint statement on regional economic cooperation which emphasized the importance of China’s One Belt, One Road initiative for developing infrastructure in the region.
Combined Commanders Conference on INS Vikramaditya
Combined Commanders Conference, an annual triservices event chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was held on board INS Vikramaditya about 50 kms off Kochi coast. This is the first time when the conference was held outside New Delhi. It was attended by Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval, all three services chiefs and other senior officers of three armed services. The Conference is also known as the Unified Commanders’ Conference (UCC). During this conference India’s defence policy, doctrine and operational challenges are discussed in detail. Prime minister also reviewed exercise like firing of surface-to-surface missile by INS Nirghat during this conference. Prior to conference PM revived the tri-services guard of honour at Southern Naval Command.
Sir Venkatraman Ramakrishnan assumed Presidency of the Royal Society
Sir Venkatraman Ramakrishnan on 1 December 2015 assumed Presidency of the Royal Society in London. He was elected to the office in March 2015 by the society’s council and will serve for up to five years. With this appointment, he became the 61st president of the society.
Dr Henk Bekedam -WHO representative to India
Senior World Health Organisation (WHO) public health specialist Dr. Henk Bekedam has taken charge as the new WHO representative to India. He has worked for 19 years with WHO as its representative in China and Egypt, Director of Health Sector Development in the WHO Western Pacific Region office in Manila.
Ahmad Javed as Indian Ambassador to saudi Arabia
Mumbai Police commissioner Ahmad Javed has been appointed Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, which has a 2.8 million-strong Indian community. He is expected to take up his assignment shortly as Javed is scheduled to retire on January 31, 2016. Ahmad Javed is the IPS officer of 1980 batch from Maharashtra Cadre. He had recently replaced Rakesh Maria as the Mumbai Police commissioner.
Prakash Kumar Singh is new SAIL chairman
Prakash Kumar Singh has been appointed as the new chairman of the Steel Authority of India (SAIL). P K Singh was chosen to become the chairman of the country’s largest steelmaker in the public sector by govern-ment head-hunter Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB). The post of permanent chairman in the company has been lying vacant since incumbent CS Verma was refused an extension by the government in June.
Karnataka Lokayukta resigns
Facing the prospect of his removal, controversial Karnataka Lokayukta Justice Y. Bhaskar Rao has resigned over an alleged extortion racket in the antigraft ombudsman’s office involving his son. Rao is on a long leave since July last after his son was arrested by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) in connection with the case.
Latvia’s Prime Minister resigned
Latvia’s first female Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma announced her resignation on 7 December 2015. Straujuma’s resignation came after she fired the transport minister in November 2015, sparking rumours of discontent within the centre-right Cabinet that took office in January 2014. Until a new government is chosen by the Latvia parliament, Straujuma will head the three-party coalition that includes centre-right Unity party, the Greens and Farmers party and the far-right National Alliance in a caretaker capacity.
Chettinad Group founder MAM Ramaswamy passed away
Veteran industrialist, former parliamentarian and the founder of Chettinad Group, MAM Ramaswamy died on 2 December, 2015 in Chennai. The Chettinad Group has diverse interests in cement, granite, engineering among others. He was the first to enter the Guinness Book of World Records for having won 100 Classics in Horse racing. He was the Member of Parliament representing Karnataka in the Rajya Sabha.
Japanese tamil scholar Noboru Karashima passed away
Distinguished Japanese historian of South India and South Asia Noboru Karashima (82) passed away. He is credited with playing a critical role in developing Indo-Japan cultural ties. He was a tamil scholar and was president of International Association of Tamil Research (IATR) from 1989 to 2010. He was president of Japan Association for South Asian Studies from 1996 to 2000.
Swati Dandekar as US Director of ADB
Indian -origin Swati Dandekar has been appointed as the United States Director of the Asian Development Bank (ADB). She was nominated to ADB by US President Barack Obama and was designated with rank of an ambassador. Swati was the first Indian born American citizen to win a state legislative seat in the United States.
Farmer’s leader and Agro-economist Sharad Joshi passed away
Renowned economist, agriculturist, prolific journalist, and noted farmers’ leader Sharad Joshi (80) passed away on 12 December 2015 in Pune, Maharashtra. Joshi was the founder of Shetakari Sanghtana (farmers’ Organisation) an NGO dedicated to the cause of farmers in Maharashtra. Shetkari Sanghatana, in its heyday, was known for the innovative methods of agitation to draw attention to the problems of the farmers. He also founded an organisation of rural women, Shetkari Mahila Aghadi (SMA), which was known for its work for women’s property rights.
Nishi Vasudeva named CEO of the Year
Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) Chairman and MD Nishi Vasudeva has been chosen CEO of the Year at the 17th annual Platts Global Energy Awards, often called the Oscars of energy. While Reliance Industries has bagged the CSR Award. The CEO of the Year, Nishi was also honoured by Platts as its 2015 Top 250 Asia CEO of the Year.
IMPORTANT DAYS & DATES
December 1 – World AIDS Day
December 2 – World Pollution Prevention Day
December 3 – World Disabled Day
December 4 – Indian Navy Day
December 9 – International Anti-Corruption Day
December 10 – World Human Rights Day
December 11 – UNICEF Day
Current Affairs December 2015 Study Material : study material covers all parts of current affairs for the month of December 2015 like international, national.