Current Affairs Daily Digest: December 16, 2016
The Current Affairs Daily Digest for December 16, 2016 with important tid-bits on current affairs.
National Current Affairs
e-Tourist visa extended to citizens of 161 countries: Government
The Union Government has extended the facility of e-Tourist Visa (e-TV) Scheme for citizens of 161 countries. Read more
5th India-Arab partnership conference held in Muscat, Oman
The fifth edition of the India-Arab Partnership Conference was held in Muscat, Oman from December 14 to 15, 2016. Theme of the conference was ‘Partnership towards innovation and cooperation in IT’. Read more
SC bans liquor shops on national, state highways across India
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. Read more
Government appoints Sunil Arora as IICA Director General
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has appointed Sunil Arora as Director General and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA). He will have tenure of 5 years or till attaining 65 years of age. He is IAS officer of 1980-batch Rajasthan cadre. He had retired as Information and Broadcasting Secretary earlier in 2016. Presently, he is serving as an advisor at Prasar Bharati. IICA is a think tank that comes under the Union Corporate Affairs Ministry. It focuses on matters impacting functioning of corporates. It works towards capacity building with various stakeholders including regulators and professionals, among other activities.
VK Sharma appointed as chairman of LIC
The ACC has appointed VK Sharma as Chairman Life Insurance Corp. of India (LIC), India’s biggest insurer and investor. He will have tenure of five years. Since September 2016, he was serving as acting chairman of LIC. He was also serving as LIC’s managing director (MD) since 2013. State-owned LIC is India’s largest financial institution with over Rs22.10 trillion in assets i.e. over 15% of India’s gross domestic product (GDP) of Rs. 134 trillion. It is most profitable entity in country with around Rs.40,000 crore profit last fiscal.
States Current Affairs
Thal Favang Kut festival begins in Mizoram
The ‘Thal Favang Kut’ festival organised by Department of Tourism, Government of Mizoram began in state capital Aizawl with enthusiasm and fervour. It is a post-harvest festival which is celebrated after harvesting the paddy. It is celebrated every year in to thank the almighty as well as to promote tourism in the state.
Haryana becomes first state to launch Mahila Police Volunteer initiative
Haryana became the first state in the country to launch Mahila Police Volunteer (MPV) initiative for safety of women. It was launched by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar. Read more
International Current Affairs
Bangladesh celebrates 45th anniversary of victory over Pakistan
Bangladesh celebrated 45th anniversary of victory over Pakistan and its emergence as a new country on the map of the world on 16 December 1971. On this day, Chief of Pakistani Army General AAK Niazi along with 93,000 Pakistani troops surrendered to allied forces of Mukti Fouz and Indian Army at Ramna Suhrawardy Udyan in Dhaka following a defeat. India had entered war on 3rd Dec 1971 after being attacked by Pakistan on the western front. The 13-day war culminated in birth of the new Bangla nation from eastern Pakistan.
EU agrees to extend sanctions on Russia for six month
European Union leaders meeting in Brussels agreed to extend sanctions on Russia for another six months. The sanctions were extended in light of Russia’s failure to abide by the Minsk agreements on Ukraine. The EU had slapped sanctions on Russia after it annexed Ukraine’s Black Sea peninsula of Crimea in 2014 and went on to supporting separatist rebellion in Ukraine’s industrial eastern region.
Rio de Janeiro accorded UNESCO world heritage status
The UN cultural body UNESCO has accorded world heritage status to Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro (nicknamed as Marvelous City). It has been registered as “Carioca Landscapes between Mountain and Sea” on the UNESCO world heritage list. Read more
Brexit word added in Oxford English Dictionary
The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) has officially added word ‘Brexit’ in it. It is among 1,500 new words added to the OED. Read more
Environment, Science & Technology Current Affairs
Babies made from three people approved in UK
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) of United Kingdom has given approval to clinics seeking licences for three parent baby technique or mitochondrial replacement therapy (MRT). The approval aims to prevent children being born with deadly genetic diseases. Doctors from Newcastle who had developed this technique are expected to be the first to offer the procedure and have already appealed for donor eggs. The first such child could be born in UK at the earliest by the end of 2017. Read more
Majuli set to become country’s first ever carbon neutral district
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. Read more
Persons in News
Nigeria’s Amina Mohammed named UN’s Deputy Secretary-General
Nigeria’s Environment Minister Amina Mohammed was named as the Deputy Secretary-General of United Nations. It was announced by incoming UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Besides, Senior Brazilian foreign ministry official, Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti will serve as Guterres’ chief of staff and South Korea’s Kyung-wha Kang was appointed to the new position of special advisor on policy.
Indian-American Savita Vaidhyanathan elected as Mayor of Californian city
Savita Vaidhyanathan became first Indian-American woman to get elected as new Mayor of key Californian city of Cupertino, globally known for its Apple headquarters. She holds an MBA and had worked as a high school Math teacher and as an officer in a commercial bank as well as in non-profit management. She has been a Cupertino resident for over 19 years and has been deeply involved in several community activities in the city. Cupertino one of most educated small towns in US with local public schools ranking highly.
Mumbai teacher Kavita Sanghvi nominated for Global Teacher Prize 2017 in UK
An Indian physics teacher Kavita Sanghvi has made it to the list of top 50 contenders for The Global Teacher Prize 2017 by Varkey Foundation. She was shortlisted from over 20,000 nominations and applications from across 179 countries for the $1-million prize for her experiential method of teaching physics. At present, she is Principal of Mumbai’s MET Rishikul Vidyalaya
Nobel-winning economist Thomas Schelling passes away
Renowned economist Thomas Schelling who won a Nobel Prize in economics in 2005 for using game theory to explain nuclear strategy passed away. He was 95. His best-known book was The Strategy of Conflict (1960), in which he had used game theory (a mathematical analysis of strategies used in competitive situations) to analyse negotiations between nuclear powers.
Banking, Business & Economy Current Affairs
Government clears strategic disinvestment of Pawan Hans
The Union Government has approved the strategic disinvestment of state-owned helicopter services provider Pawan Hans Helicopters Ltd. The entire government stake will be sold to a strategic buyer identified through a two-stage auction process. Pawan Hans was incorporated in 1985 with primary objective of providing helicopter support services to oil sector for its off-shore exploration operations, charter services for promotion of tourism and services in remote and hilly areas. Union Government owns 51% and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) owns the rest 49%. It has a fleet of 46 helicopters.
Sports Current Affairs
India’s Smriti Mandhana named in first-ever ICC Women’s Team of the Year
India’s opener batswoman Smriti Mandhana was named in the International Cricket Council (ICC’s) Women’s Team of the Year 2016. This is for the first time ICC has named a women’s team of the year. Women’s Team of the Year acknowledges and appreciates outstanding performances of women’s cricketers over a 12-month period. The first of kind women’s team of the year 2016 will be captained by West Indies’ Stafanie Taylor. It also comprises three players from New Zealand, two each from Australia, England and West Indies and one South African.