Current Affairs Daily Digest: December 25-26, 2016
The Current Affairs Daily Digest for December 25-26, 2016 with important tid-bits on current affairs.
National Current Affairs
Union Government launches Lucky Grahak Yojana & Digi Dhan Vyapar Yojana
The Union Government launched Lucky Grahak Yojana for Consumers and Digi-Dhan Vyapar Yojana for Merchants to promote digital transaction. These schemes aim at encouraging people to move towards significantly higher usage of digital transactions through the offer of incentives. It is also an attempt to curb corruption and the black money menace. Winners will be selected on a daily and weekly basis under the Lucky Grahak Yojana and weekly basis under the Digi-Dhan Vyapar Yojana up to 14th April 2017, when the schemes will culminate with a mega draw. Only those transactions that take place through Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), RuPay Cards, Unified Payment Interface (UPI) and Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AEPS) are eligible for these schemes. Read more
Union Textiles Ministry launches online portal JUTE-SMART
The Union Ministry of Textiles launched JUTE-SMART’ an online portal to facilitate purchase of Jute bags from the Jute industry by the state procurement agencies. It was launched on the occasion of Good Governance Day. The portal seeks to provide an integrated platform for use by all the stakeholders to allow easy access to information, more transparency and ease of doing business for the jute sector.
PM Narendra Modi inaugurates new campus of National Institute of Securities Markets
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated a new campus of National Institute of Securities Markets (NISM) at Patalganga in Mumbai. NISM is an educational initiative of Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). Presently it was operating from its campus in Vashi and Navi Mumbai. However, infrastructure was not adequate to meet the growing needs of the institute. NISM was established in 2006 by the SEBI. It is involved in various capacity building activities aimed at enhancing and increasing the participation in the securities markets. The institute has six schools of excellence. SEBI is the regulator of the securities market.
Government launches Smart Consumer mobile App & OCMC
The Union Government has launched ‘Smart Consumer’ mobile App and an ‘Online Consumer Mediation Centre (OCMC)’ to provide speedy redressal of consumer grievances. Apart from this, a helpline 14404 was also launched for consumer related grievances on the occasion of National Consumer Day (24th December). Read more
Google India, Ministry of Consumer Affairs tie up for Digitally Safe Consumer campaign
Google India has partnered with the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs to launch nationwide Digitally Safe Consumer campaign to raise awareness among consumers about online safety and better protect consumer interest online. The campaign is expected to be rolled out in January 2017. Read more
6,117 Kuchipudi dancers set new Guinness World Record
As many as 6,117 Kuchipudi dancers set a new Guinness World Record by performing together in a single event in Vijayawada district of Andhra Pradesh. The Guinness World Record adjudicated for the 12-minute “Jayamu Jayamu” item as the ‘Largest Kuchipudi dance’ performance. Read more
Ministry of External Affairs launches Twitter Seva
The Union Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has launched Twitter Seva to directly engage with citizens in country and abroad, tourists and business travellers for speedy resolution of their visa and passport queries. Twitter Seva will enable the MEA, through its Twitter handle (@MEAIndia) to strengthen its primary relationship with Indian citizens by providing fast, efficient and real-time public services. Read more
Defence Current Affairs
DRDO successfully flight tests Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon
The Defence and Research Development Organization (DRDO) successfully flight tested Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon (SAAW) from Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft at integrated test range in Chandipur, Odisha. Read more
India successfully test-fires nuclear capable ballistic missile Agni-5
India successfully test-fired its home-grown long range intercontinental surface-to-surface nuclear capable ballistic missile Agni-5. The state-of-the-art surface-to-surface missile was test fired successfully from the launch complex 4 of the Integrated Test Range from the Abdul Kalam Wheeler Island off Odisha coast. It was the fourth developmental and second canisterised trial of the missile. Read more
Science and Technology Current Affairs
India’s Team Indus partners with Japan’s Hakuto to share ride to moon
Indian private aerospace starup company Team Indus has partnered with its competitor Hakuto of Japanaese startup ispace Inc to carry its four-wheeled lunar rover to the Moon’s surface. In this regard both entities have signed a commercial agreement. It makes first-of-its-kind collaboration of two private space enterprises competing in the Google Lunar XPRIZE (GLXP). TeamIndus’s 600 kg spacecraft will be launched on ISRO’s PSLV rocket on December 28, 2017. Now Team Indus’s spacecraft will also carry Hakuto’s 4 kg robotic rover. The GLXP announced in 2007 encourages private-funded entities to land on the Moon and rove on its surface for at least half a kilometre. All qualifying teams must launch their spacecraft by December 31, 2017.
Western Pacific Biotwang
Western Pacific Biotwang is the name of a newly discovered whale call. It was first recorded in 2014 and now scientists have proved that it belongs to a species called the minke whale. The sound ranges from a low moan to a screechy metallic tone. The Western Pacific Biotwang sound or Minke whale’s call ranges in frequency from 38 to 8,000 hertz (cycles per second) and lasts 2.5 to 3.5 seconds. The Minke whale is the smallest species of baleen whale. It gets its food by filtering krill and small fish from the water through baleen plates in its mouth.
Scientists discovers blocking protein activating immune response
Scientists have discovered a blocking protein that activates the body’s immune response. This protein can be used to reduce chronic activation of the immune cells. Thus it will give immune cells in body opportunity to restore their fighting strength. It may also help in better treatment of HIV that cripples immunity of the body by destroying immune cells.
India’s first 2G Ethanol Bio-refinery to be set up in Punjab
The foundation stone of India’s first 2G (Second Generation) Ethanol Bio-refinery was laid at Tarkhanwala village in Bathinda, Punjab. Central Government Public Sector Undertaking (CPSU) Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) is setting up this project at a cost of 600 crore. Read more
Scientists develops first Biological Pacemaker using Human Stem Cells
Scientists from Canada have developed the first functional pacemaker cells using human pluripotent stem cells. The cells can regulate heart beats with electrical impulses. It paves the way for alternate biological pacemaker therapy. Read more
Scientists identify as world’s most heat resistant materials
A team of UK-based researchers have identified Hafnium carbide (HfC) and Tantalum carbide (TaC) as the world’s most heat resistant material. They can withstand record melting point temperatures up to 3958°C (approx 4000°C). New Laser-heating techniques were used to find the temperature at which TaC and HfC melted, both separately and in mixed compositions. Read more
Scientists build bacteria-powered battery on a paper sheet
US-based scientists have developed a bacteria-powered battery (bio-battery) on a single sheet of paper, which is capable of powering disposable electronics. The paper-based bacteria-powered battery design is part of a new field of research called papertronics, which is a fusion of paper and electronics. Read more
States Current Affairs
Odisha Government to launch DAMAN programme for malaria control
The Odisha Government has decided to launch Durgama Anchalare Malaria Nirakaran (malaria control in inaccessible areas) DAMAN, a new malaria control programme for five years. This programme will be implemented in 8 thousand villages of all 79 blocks of eight high malaria endemic southern districts of the state. They are Koraput, Nabarangapur, Malkangiri, Kalahandi, Gajapati, Rayagada, Nuapada and Kandhamal. It will benefit around 80 lakh high-risk population of the State. Odisha alone contributes around 38% of the reported malaria cases and 28% of malaria total malaria deaths in the country. Till end of October 2016, a total of 3 lakh 71 thousand people tested positive for malaria in the State, which is highest among any state in the country. Notably, around 69 persons died of malaria in the State till October 30, 2016, which is highest in the country.
PM Narendra Modi lays foundation stone of statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj
The Prime Minister laid the foundation stone of the statue of 17th century Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj on an island off the Mumbai coast in Arabia Sea. He also performed Jal pujan for the grand memorial Shiv Smarak of Maratha king. The statue is expected to be the world’s tallest. It will be 210 metres tall and will be constructed entirely in the sea on an oval-shaped rocky outcrop of 15.96 hectare. The first phase of the memorial will be completed by 2019 and the entire memorial by 2021. On completion it will surpass the height of the Statue of Liberty in New York (US) and the under construction Statue of Unity of Saradar Vallabhbhai Patel in Gujarat.
Persons in News
Dr Barbara Jatta becomes first ever female director of Vatican Museums
Dr Barbara Jatta was chosen by Pope Francis as the first woman to direct the Vatican Museums. With this she becomes the highest-ranking female administrator in the Vatican. Prior to this, she was serving as the Deputy Director of the Vatican museums. The Vatican Museums are among the most popular in the world and reportedly drew six million visitors in 2015. It has total of 54 museums,1400 rooms, chapels, and galleries. These museums were founded by Pope Julius II in the 16th century.
Salman Khan tops 2016 Forbes India Celebrity 100 List
Bollywood superstar Salman Khan was ranked first on the 2016 Forbes India Celebrity 100 List with an estimated income of Rs 270.33 crore. Shah Rukh Khan was ranked second (earned Rs 221.75 crore) followed by Virat Kohli, aAkshay Kumar and MS Dhoni. The Forbes’ ranking is based on two parameters viz. estimates of entertainment-related earnings and estimates of fame during the period October 2015 to September 2016. However, in terms of fame the list was is topped by ace cricketer Virat Kohli followed by Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan.
British singer George Michael passes away
British singer George Michael passed away at Goring, Oxfordshire. He was 53. He had launched his career with Wham! in the 1980s and continued his success as a solo performer till his death. Michael had sold more than 100 million albums in his career spanning almost four decades. His talents as a songwriter, singer and music producer made him one of the world’s biggest-selling artists.
Dinanath Bhargava who sketched national emblem passes away in Indore
Dinanath Bhargava, a co-artist in the team that sketched the national emblem ‘Lion Capital of Ashoka’ and decorated the pages of the Constitution’s manuscript passed away. He was 89. He was chosen by noted painter Nandlal Bose, then the Principal of Kala Bhavan Shanti Niketan, in the group for designing the pages of the Indian Constitution’s manuscript. He was born on November 1, 1927 at Multai in Betul district of Madhya Pradesh. The national emblem of India was adapted by the Government of India on 26th January 1950. It has been taken from the Sarnath Lion capital erected by Ashoka. It has only three lions are visible and the fourth one is hidden from the view. All the lions are mounted on an abacus. At the centre of the Abacus, there is a Chakra (wheel) which symbolizes the Dharma Chakra (Eternal wheel of law).
Sports Current Affairs
Yoga derecognised as a sport
The Union Sports Ministry has derecognised yoga as ‘priority sport’. The decision was taken after the government concluded it will not be possible to conduct competitions. Earlier in September in 2015, Yoga was recognised as a sport and was added in the list of priority sports. There were issues over the formation of national sports federation for Yoga as many entities were staking claim to form a recognised body. With this, Yoga will now come under the prerogative of the Ministry of AYUSH.
Days and Events
25 December: Good Governance Day
The Good Governance Day was observed on 25 December to mark birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The day was established in 2014 to foster awareness among the Indian people of accountability in government. On this occasion, Good Governance campaign was launched for 100 days. During this campaign Ministers and Members of Parliament (MPs) will travel across the country and attend programmes highlighting the government’s key initiatives. It seeks to improve delivery systems, to promote digital transformation and take forward the connectivity revolution in all sectors.