Current Affairs Daily Digest: December 19, 2016

The Current Affairs Daily Digest for December 19, 2016 with important tid-bits on current affairs.

National Current Affairs

Political parties can’t accept old notes in donation: Government

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said that political parties cannot accept donations in old 500 and 1,000 rupee notes since these bills have been demonetised. He made this announcement while clarifying that the Union Government has not granted any new exemption to registered political parties either after 8th November demonetisation or in the last two-and-a-half years. He also mentioned that conditional tax exemptions historically given to the income of political parties continue. Income and donations of political parties fall in the purview of Section 13A of the Income Tax Act 1961 and so far there are no changes in its provisions.

India-Nepal Folk Crafts Festival kicks off in Kathmandu

The India-Nepal Folk Crafts Festival (INCF) began in Kathmandu. The festival is an initiative of South Asia Foundation (SAF) to promote cultural exchanges between the two neighbours. It aims to promote crafts based bilateral relations and enhance cultural exchanges between the artisans of both countries. The SAF was established in 1991. Since then it has been working to enhance the livelihood of the artisans of the region and contributing towards strengthening the crafts sector of both the countries.

Government writes to States, UTs to implement SC’s order on national anthem

The Union Home Ministry has written to States and Union territories for necessary action on Supreme Court’s order regarding National Anthem. It has asked Chief Secretaries of all the States to take necessary action in this regard. Earlier, the Supreme Court had ordered all the cinema halls in the country to play the National Anthem before the start of the feature film. Read more

Government to set up single tribunal to arbitrate inter-State water disputes

The Union Government has decided to set up a single permanent Tribunal to adjudicate all inter-State river water disputes. This single body will subsume all existing tribunals for resolving grievances of inter-State water disputes in a speedy manner. Read more

Union Government forms high-level task force on Indus Water Treaty

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. It will be headed by Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary Nripendra Mishra. Mandate of Task force is to take all important strategic and policy decisions. Read more

Power Ministry to launch GARV-II Mobile App to monitor rural electrification programme

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 purpose of the mobile application is to ensure transparency in implementation of rural electrification programme.  Read more

Telecom Ministry to launch Tarang Sanchar portal check radiation compliance of mobile towers

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. Using this portal user can also request to get a particular BTS tested by DoT to assess its electro-magnetic frequency (EMF) compliance level. Read more

AYUSH Ministry launches Swasthya Raksha Programme

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

States Current Affairs

Lanura is first village to go cashless in J&K

Lanura in Budgam district has become the first village to go ‘cashless’ in Jammu and Kashmir. At least one member of each household in the village has been trained in using the Electronic Payment System (EPS), It was achieved due to the efforts of the CSC e-Governance Services India Limited and the National Informatics Centre.

Goa celebrated 55th Liberation Day

Goa celebrated its 55th Liberation Day on 19 December 2016. On this day in 1961 Goa was liberated from Portugues rule after a prolonged freedom struggle and military operation. It was granted statehood in 1987. Later on it went ahead to become one of the richest and highest per capita income states of the country.

Uttarakhand Government gives nod for 7th pay panel recommendations

Uttarakhand Government has approved the recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission. It was approved by state Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Harish Rawat. The recommendations will be implemented from January 1, 2016. The salary hike will benefit the 2.5 lakh State government employees and pensioners. It will be costing the exchequer 3200 crore rupees.

Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah inaugurates first air ambulance service in Bengaluru

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah inaugurated state’s first air ambulance service at HAL airport in the state capital Bengaluru. The air ambulance service has fleet three newly built helicopters which are specially designed to fulfill the requirements of the patients while transporting them from one place to another.

Actress Priyanka Chopra to be brand ambassador for Assam tourism

Actress Priyanka Chopra will be the brand ambassador for Assam tourism. In her new role, she will work to promote Assam tourism globally. In this regard, Assam government have made an agreement with her for two years.

Persons in News

Miss Puerto Rico clinches 2016 Miss World crown

Stephanie del Valle (19) of Puerto Rico has been crowned Miss World 2016. She was crowned by Miss World 2015 Mireia Lalaguna of Spain. First runner-up in this competition was Yaritza Miguelina Reyes Ramirez of Dominican Republic, followed by Natasha Mannuela of Indonesia. Del Valle is a student who speaks English, Spanish and French and plans to join the entertainment industry.

Noted economist Saumitra Chaudhuri passes away

Noted economist and former member of erstwhile Planning Commission  Saumitra Chaudhuri passed away due to lung cancer. He was 62. He was appointed member of the Planning Commission in June 2009 and was one of the longest serving members of the Planning Commission. He also had served as chairman of the Committee for Formulation of All Industry Rates of Duty Drawback ( 2005-06 to 2009-10) in the Union Ministry of Finance.

Henry Heimlic, developer of life saving Heimlich manoeuvre passes away

Doctor Henry Heimlich, developer of life saving Heimlich manoeuvre passed away due to heart attack. He came up with the Heimlich manoeuvre which saved thousands of choking victims. The manoeuvre was simple technique of wrapping arms around victim from behind, making a fist just over the victim’s navel and thrusting up sharply. He had won the prestigious Lasker Award for public service in 1984.

International Current Affairs

World’s first Goat with superfine wool cloned in China

The world’s first cloned goat bearing superfine Cashmere wool was born in north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. Cashmere wool is obtained from Cashmere goats and few other types of goat. The wool fibre obtained from clonned goat is less than 13.8 micrometres thick. It is much finer than the average of 15.8 micrometres of the famous Erlang Mountain goats in Inner Mongolia. Read more

World’s largest non-permanent indoor ice rink opens in Paris

The world’s largest non-permanent indoor ice rink was recently opened at the Grand Palais in Paris, France. The rink is 2,700-square-meter skating space and will be open until January 2, 2017. The idea behind it is also to highlight the steel and glass architecture of the Grand Palais, one of Paris’s foremost exhibition spaces.

December 18: International Migrants Day

The International Migrants Day was celebrated on 18 December by the international community to recognize the efforts, contributions, and rights of migrants worldwide. Observance of the day marks anniversary of the UN’s International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families. It was approved by the UN General Assembly on Dec. 18, 1990. Earlier in September 2016 the UNGA had adopted New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants. The declaration is set of commitments during UN members first ever summit on large movements of refugees and migrants to enhance the protection of refugees and migrants.

Iran strikes 100-jet deal with Airbus

Iran has finalised an agreement with Airbus to acquire 100 jetliners. The first aircraft of it will be delivered in mid-January 2017. Under this deal, Airbus will supply four types of aircraft: its medium-haul A320 and A321 aircraft and the long-haul A330 and A350.

Ukraine nationalises country’s largest bank

Ukraine has nationalised the country’s largest bank PrivatBank in an attempt to avert a financial meltdown. This decision falls in line with International monetary Fund’s (IMF) demands for Ukraine to stabilise its financial sector in order to achieve sustainable growth. It is even said that Government took over PrivatBank after months of rumors that it was heavily burdened by bad debts. PrivatBank controls one-third of east European country’s bank deposits and has branches in Baltic States also.

Banking, Business & Economy Current Affairs

Amazon launches ewallet in bid to increase cashless transactions

Amazon India launched its online wallet Amazon Pay Balance, in a bid to increase cashless orders. It can only be used to make Amazon-based transactions. Money in it can be credited with money using internet banking or debit or cards. It will facilitate users to make fast payments for purchases from the e-commerce portal and also get faster refunds.

China no longer the biggest foreign holder of US debt

China is no longer the biggest foreign holder of US debt. Japan surpassed China to emerge as the largest foreign US debt owner, marking the first time the countries swapped places in nearly two years. China’s large holding of US debt fell to $1.12 trillion at the end of October 2016. Japan held $1.13 trillion US debt. Decline in China (world’s second-largest economy) in US debt comes as uses its currency reserves to support its currency Yuan.

EPFO lowers interest rate on EPF to 8.65% for FY17

The Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has lowered the interest rate on provident fund deposits to 8.65% for the current fiscal, from 8.8% in 2015-16.  This decision was taken with consensus after detailed consultations with all stakeholders at the 215th meeting of EPFO’s apex decision making body, the Central Board of Trustees. Roughly around 17 crore subscribers’ accounts will be updated with this interest rate upon acceptance by the Government.

Sports Current Affairs

Atletico De Kolkata wins 2016 ISL title

Atletico De Kolkata FC won the third edition Indian Super League (ISL) football tournament. It is second time the football club has won this tournament in three years. In the final match held in Kochi, Atletico De Kolkata FC defeated Kerala Blasters 4-3 in a penalty shootout. In the regular stipulated time both teams were one goal each in the stipulated time.  Earlier it had inaugural title of this tournament in 2014.

India wins 2016 Men’s Hockey Junior World Cup

India won the 2016 Men’s Hockey Junior World Cup title by defeating Belgium by 2-1 goals. The final match was held at Major Dhyan Chand Stadium in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. This is first time host country has won the Junior World Cup. The third place was bagged by Germany after it was defeated by Belgium in semi-final.

Karun Nair becomes second Indian cricketer to score triple century in Tests

Indian batsman became second Indian cricketer after Virender Sehwag to score triple century in Tests. He scored 303 runs (unbeaten) in the first innings of the fifth and final test-match against England played at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. He is third Test player after West Indies legend Garry Sobers (365*) and Australia’s Bob Simpson (311) to convert their maiden Test century into a triple century.

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