Current Affairs Updates - 14 December 2017
New Appointments: National
Nakul Chopra, currently President of AAAI and Senior Advisor at Publicis Communications, has been elected as the next Chairman of BARC India.
- Chopra, the third chairman of BARC India, succeeds Viacom18 Group CEO Sudhanshu Vats, who has completed his one-year tenure. He had joined the BARC India Board in September 2016. BARC (Broadcast Audience Research Council) India is an industry body set up to design, commission and supervise an accurate television audience measurement system for India.
Asian Tennis Federation (ATF) president Anil Khanna has been nominated for four key positions of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) for a two-year term.
New Appointments: International
Buddhist monk Dhammapiya from Tripura has been elected as the new secretary general of the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC).
- He was elected on the post at the second general assembly of the IBC held here, said a statement from the organisation.
- The IBC is a global Buddhist forum for preservation and development of heritage sites of the religion in India and other parts of the world.
The Reserve Bank of India said the limits for investment by foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) for the January-March 2018 quarter has been increased by 6,400 crore in Central Government Securities (G-Secs) and 5,800 crore in State development loans (SDLs).
- Within G-Secs, the general investment limit has been enhanced by 1,600 crore to 1,91,300 crore and the long-term investment limit by 4,800 crore to 65,100 crore. The revised investment limit for FPIs in SDLs will be 45,100 crore against the existing limit of 39,300 crore.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) today lowered India's GDP forecast for the current fiscal by 0.3 percentage points to 6.7 per cent.
- It has also revised downward the gross domestic product (GDP) outlook for next fiscal beginning from March 2018 to 7.3 per cent from 7.4 per cent mainly due to rising global crude oil prices and soft growth in private sector investment.
The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) approved its first loan to China, its largest shareholder, to reduce its dependence on coal by over 600,000 tonnes annually by building a natural gas distribution network for villages.
- The USD 250-million-loan will fund a project to connect 216,750 households in approximately 510 villages to the natural gas distribution network, the bank said.
- The project is expected to reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions by 595,700 tonnes, particulate matter by 3,700 tonnes, sulfur dioxide by 1,488 tonnes and nitrogen oxide by 4,442 tonnes, it said in a statement.
Feminism has been named word of the year by the American dictionary Merriam-Webster.
- The US dictionary said that it had seen a 70% increase in online searches for the word in 2017, compared to 2016. The largest spike in searches came in the last weeks of January, following the Women’s March in Washington DC and around the world.
South Korea banned its financial institutions from dealing in virtual currencies such as Bitcoin, as the cryptocurrency soars in a bubble fuelled by retail speculators, many of them from the country.
- The hyper-wired country has emerged as a hotbed for cryptocurrency trading, accounting for some 20 per cent of global Bitcoin transactions -- about 10 times its share of the world economy.
The World Bank Group (WBG), is to stop financing oil and gas exploration, in a bid to help combat climate change.
- After 2019, the WBG – which includes the World Bank and three other institutions – will stop investing in upstream oil and gas, it announced at the One Planet Summit in Paris on Wednesday.
- The summit was hosted by French president Emmanuel Macron, with 164 world leaders, government members, business leaders and prominent figures joining him at the Elysee presidential palace in Paris.
Application / Portal
In order to strengthen the ecosystem for government services, Karnataka State government will be launching a digital platform 'Seva Sindhu' to address the issues of the common citizen.
- Speaking to the media, Law Minister T B Jayachandra expressed that the Seva Sindhu portal would meet all the requirements of citizens regarding government services. He also noted that the interactive platform would provide all useful information about local events, employment opportunities, and others. The portal will provide services like income, domicile, caste, birth, death certificates, ration card, approval of social welfare schemes and other administrative work.
Rajasthan has become the first state in the country to offer free e-mail address in Hindi to its residents.
- The facility —email@example.com (in Devanagari script) — will lead to millions of new users who are not comfortable with English e-mail ids.
- The first e-mail id that was created was that of the chief minister, Vasundhara@rajasthan.bharat (in Devnagari). All the government personnel in the state will soon have an email id in Hindi too.
Schemes / Programme
The Bihar government has launched Safe City Surveillance Scheme for checking crime against women.
- It aims to bring all major public places under watch of close-circuit television (CCTV) cameras and improve overall crime control in the state. The scheme has been launched in a phase-wise manner, will commence from capital city Patna. It has specially launched for checking crime against women.
India to share expertise to make Nigeria food sufficient
- The Indian government has shown great interest on the new initiatives of the Federal Government of Nigeria, particularly the Green Alternative initiative – a roadmap to make Nigeria self-sufficient in agriculture and a major exporter of agricultural products. This was in formed by Indian Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister, Radha Mohan Singh during his meeting with Nigerian counterpart, Audu Ogbeh in New Delhi today.
China signs 99-year lease on Sri Lanka’s Hambantota port
- Sri Lanka has formally handed over its southern port of Hambantota to China on a 99-year lease, which government critics have denounced as an erosion of the country’s sovereignty.
India will host the 3rd annual meeting of the Board of Governors of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) at Mumbai. Theme: 'Mobilizing Finance for Infrastructure: Innovation and Collaboration'
- The MoU was signed by joint secretary (multilateral institutions division) in the Ministry of Finance Sameer Kumar Khare on behalf of the government of India and AIIB's vice- president and corporate secretary Danny Alexander.
Dredging Corporation of India (DCI) and the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) have signed an MoU for facilitating supply of sand for highways construction work.
- As per the pact, business intermediaries will ship and store the sand at various ports in India and market it here. NHAI will facilitate the process by displaying the availability of sand at various stockyards at the ports. As per the MoU, DCI will dredge at South East Asia locations to generate large volumes of sand. This dredging will be done for the purpose of obtaining sand.
Moscow and Cairo have signed an agreement to construct Egypt’s first nuclear plant.
- The preliminary agreement between the countries was signed in 2015. A loan from Russia would cover 85 percent of the construction costs, and Russia's Rosatom would service the plant’s four reactors for 60 years, company chairman Aleksey Likhachyov said on Monday.
Summit /Conference / Events / Host
The Second UNWTO/UNESCO World Conference on Tourism and Culture to be held in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman, 11 – 12 December 2017.
- It will bring together, for the second time, Ministers of Tourism and Ministers of Culture as well as private sector stakeholders and experts with the objective of building and strengthening partnerships between the Tourism and Culture sectors and enhance their role in the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Awards & Honours
The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity will honor brothers Piyush Pandey (executive chairman and creative director Ogilvy South Asia) and Prasoon Pandey ( film director) with the Lion of St. Mark award at the 2018 festival.
- The Lion of St. Mark award is given for the outstanding contribution to the creative industry award. Piyush earlier won his first Cannes Lions awards with two Gold Lions for his work on an anti-smoking campaign in 2002.
- Piyush was also the first person in the Advertising and Communication category to be awarded with Padma Shri by the Indian government in 2016. While Prasoon directed the first Indian campaign to win a Lion, for Ericsson’s ‘One Black Coffee’ in 1996.
India's Lakshmi Puri Among 6 Diplomats To Receive 'Power Of One' Award At UN.
- The awardees included outgoing British Ambassador to the UN Matthew Rycroft; Lebanese Ambassador to the UN Nawaf Salam who was elected to the International Court of Justice last month and Indian head of the UN Women Lakshmi Puri.
- The other awardees were Maged Abdelaziz, the former Permanent Representative of Egypt to the UN; Ion Botnaru, the former Permanent Representative of Moldova to the UN and Yuriy Sergeyev, the former Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the United Nations.
Sports: Awards & Honours
Shubhankar Sharma held his nerve to sign for a closing 69 and win a first European Tour title at the weather-delayed Joburg Open.
- Heavy storms on Sunday forced the event at Randpark Golf Club into a fifth day, with Sharma holding a four-shot lead with his ball on the eighth green when the hooter sounded.