Current Affairs Daily Digest: December 21, 2016
The Current Affairs Daily Digest for December 21, 2016 with important tid-bits on current affairs.
National Current Affairs
CBSE decides to make board exams mandatory for Class X from 2018
The governing body of Central Board of Secondary Exams (CBSE) has decided that Class X Board exams will be compulsory from academic session 2017-18. Currently, it is optional for CBSE students to choose either the Board exam or a school-based examination. Besides, the council also decided to extend three language formula (English, Hindi and modern Indian language) to class IX and X as well from the current VI to VIII while foreign language might be treated as fourth and elective subject.
NGT imposes Rs 50,000 fine on airlines emptying human waste from their planes empty in air
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has ordered to impose a fine of 50,000 rupees on airlines whose aircraft empty toilet tanks in air while landing and splattering human waste on houses near airports. It has directed aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to issue a circular to all airlines, whose planes are involved in the act, to pay fine as environmental compensation. Normally, the waste in the aircraft tanks are disposed of by ground handling personnel once the plane lands. But there are cases where lavatory leaks occur in the air.
CCEA approves doubling of Rajpura-Bhatinda railway line
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has given its approval for doubling of Rajpura-Bhatinda railway line in Punjab. The 172.64 km long railway line is expected to be completed in five years. The doubling of line will ease the traffic bottlenecks and bring more revenue to Indian Railways by capacity enhancement of the route. The districts of Patiala, Barnala, Sangrur and Bathinda would benefit from this project
Union Government announces Rs 207 crore project for protection of Majuli island
The Union Ministry of State for Development of North Eastern Region has announced to provide 207 crore rupees for protection and development project of world’s largest river island Majuli located along river Brahmaputra in Assam. The amount will be spent for safeguarding land loss due to erosion and protect 80 kilometer length of bank line on right bank of river Brahmaputra along Majuli island. Nearly 1 lakh 60 thousand people reside at Majuli river island which is one of prime tourists destination of North East. It is also hub of neo-Vaishnavite cultures initiated by Srimanta Shankardeva.
Union Cabinet approves sale of part of HAL’s surplus, vacant land
The Union Cabinet approved sale of part of surplus and vacant land of Hindustan Anti-biotics Ltd (HAL) at Pimpri in Pune, Maharashtra to meet the liabilities of HAL. The proposal includes sale of HAL’s surplus and vacant land of about 87.70 acres. It will facilitate mitigation of sufferings and critical condition of the employees.
ALIMCO inks MoU with UK trust to produce affordable wheel chairs
Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation of India (ALIMCO) has inked MoU with UK based Motivation Charitable trust to produce affordable wheel chairs in India. Through the agreement, technology transfer will enable ALIMCO to produce cost effective and affordable wheel chairs. It is also directed at lessening the dependency of import of the products from China.
Union Cabinet approves creation of Indian Enterprise Development Services
The Union Cabinet gave its approval to the Cadre review and formation of a new service in the name of Indian Enterprise Development Services (IEDS). Read more
States Current Affairs
Maharashtra Government announces to create separate OBC ministry
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has announced to create separate Ministry for Other Backward Classes (OBCs). This ministry will be headed by an independent minister. It was announced on concluding-session of Kunbi Mahotsav held at Shahapur in Thane district.
Haryana Government issues petro cards to drivers for digital payments of fuel
Haryana government has issued petro cards to drivers in the state for cashless payments for fuel. For this purpose two oil companies, namely Indian Oil and Bharat Petroleum were shortlisted.
Banking, Business & Economy
RBI modifies circular on depositing over Rs 5000 in banks in old notes
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has modified the old currency deposit rules and withdrew the 5000 rupee limit for depositing money in old currency notes for fully KYC (Know Your Customer) compliant accounts only. The KYC complaint account holders will not be questioned over depositing more than 5000 rupee of old currency notes of 500 and 1000 rupees. Earlier RBI had announced that deposits in old notes will be limited to 5000 rupee, and those exceeding the sum will come under scrutiny.
India surpasses Britain to become world’s sixth-largest economy: Forbes magazine
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. Read more
India ranks 4th in 2016 Global Wind Power Installed Capacity Index
India ranked 4th in the Global Wind Power Installed Capacity index with cumulative installed wind power generation capacity of 25,088 MW in 2015. The index was released was released as part Global Wind Report: Annual Market, flagship publication of the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC). Read more
Defence Current Affairs
China Commissions its first 7-tonne Helicopter
China has commissioned AC352, its first seven-tonne helicopter marking a new development in the China’s helicopter industry. It is a multi-purpose twin-engine helicopter with a 7.5-tonne maximum take-off weight and is capable of carrying up to 16 passengers. It can be used for operations like search and rescue, law enforcement, general transport and medical assistance.
National Security Guards to participate in Republic Day celebrations for first time
For the first time National Security Guards (NSG), an elite counter-terror force of India will participate in Republic Day celebrations on January 26, 2017. This will be first time in the history of annual Republic Day celebrations that the specialised paramilitary force will take part. Till now, only the contingents of Army’s Special Forces participated at the parade on the Rajpath during Republic Day celebrations.
Long range nuclear-capable subsonic cruise missile Nirbhay testfired
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 test was conducted by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). Read more
Science and Technology Current Affairs
Mark Zuckerberg reveals Jarvis AI that controls his home
Facebook Co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has revealed Jarvis, an Iron Man-inspired Artificial Intelligence (AI) system butler that controls the lights, appliances, temperature, music and security in his house. It uses several artificial intelligence techniques, including natural language processing, speech recognition, face recognition, and reinforcement learning. It is voice by legendary Hollywood actor Morgan Freeman. Zuckerberg developed Jarvis as part of his personal challenge for 2016.
Scientists witness the birth of an ice cloud for the first time
US based researchers for the first time have observed the creation of ice crystals on individual atmospheric particles in the laboratory. This observation gives an unprecedented glimpse at most critical but least understood parts of the process of cold clouds formation. Read more
Molten Jet Stream discovered deep inside Earth’s core
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. Read more
Researchers develop first Chikungunya Vaccine
Researchers from United States have developed the first vaccine for Chikungunya fever made from an insect-specific Eilat virus. The newly-developed vaccine does not have any effect on people, which makes it safe and effective for humans. Read more
International Current Affairs
UK, Argentina sign deal to identify soldiers buried on Falkland Islands
The United Kingdom and Argentina have signed a deal to identify 123 Argentine soldiers who died in the 1982 Falkland island conflict and buried on the islands. The agreement was negotiated by the International Committee of the Red Cross. The identification will be based on DNA samples taken from the remains of buried soldiers. The 1982 Falkland Islands conflict, British had recaptured its overseas territory in the South Atlantic after it was invaded by Argentina. In this two-month around 649 Argentine soldiers were killed conflict, while 255 British service personnel died.
AIBA grants full membership to Boxing Federation of India
International Boxing Association (AIBA) has unanimously granted full membership to the recently-formed Boxing Federation of India (BFI). With this, India’s return to the international boxing fold is complete after it was suspended for the past four years over the issue of administrative logjam.
Persons in News
Veteran Malayalam actor Jagannatha Varma passes away
Veteran Malayalam actor Jagannatha Varma passed away in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. He was 77. He had an impressive presence in Malayalam cinema for over four decades. He was among the most familiar faces on screen in Malayalam cinema. To concentrate on his acting career, he had quit his job as a Superintendent of Police. In a career spanning three-and-a-half decades, he donned key roles in hundreds of films.
Former Bihar Minister S P Tarun passes away
Former Bihar Education Minister and veteran Congress leader Surendra Prasad Tarun passed away after prolonged illness. He was 88. He is a two-time former MLA from Atri in Gaya and Hilsa in Nalanda district. He had served as the Minister of State (MoS) for education in the Congress government of Bindeshwari Dubey from 1985-1988.
Deepak Agarwal appointed as CEO Noida Authority
Uttar Pradesh government has appointed Deepak Agarwal as Chief Executive Officer of Noida Authority. He will replace P.K Agarwal. Deepak Agarwal is a 2000-batch IAS officer of UP cadre. Prior to this appointment he was serving as CEO of Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority (GNIDA).