Current Affairs Updates - 16 December 2017
New Appointments: International
Gurbir S Grewal, the first Sikh-American in US history, to be next attorney general of New Jersey
- The move has been welcomed by the South Asian Bar Association (SABA).
- Grewal, who has spent most of his legal career in public service, is currently the Bergen County prosecutor. Working for the most populous county in New Jersey, Grewal serves a community of almost a million people with his staff of 265.
Narinder Batra formally took over as the new president of the Indian Olympic Association after winning elections at the Annual General Meeting
Public sector lender Corporation Bank said it has reduced its marginal cost of funds based lending rate (MCLR) by 0.1 percentage point for overnight loan maturities.
- The tenor-based MCLR, for all new rupee loans and advances including renewals, is to come into effect from December 15, the bank said in a regulatory filing. For the rest of the tenors, the bank has kept the MCLR unchanged.
Inflation based on the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) accelerated to an eight-month high of 3.93% in November, from 3.59% in October, adding to the string of worrisome economic data released this month.
- WPI-based inflation rose mainly on account of a sharp increase in fuel and food prices, according to data released by the commerce ministry. While fuel price index rose by 8.8%, food prices index rose 6.06%. The increase in food prices was led by the sharp rise in vegetable prices that rose by 60% mainly due to soaring onion prices.
Indian diaspora is largest in the world, US remains top destination for migrants: World Migration Report 2018
- As the country has the largest number of migrants abroad, India also receives the highest amount in remittances (68.91 billion dollar). The largest migration corridor is from India to UAE, where 3.5 million Indians were residing in 2015.
In the latest list released by Forbes, Michael Jordan has been named as the highest-paid athletes of all time.
- The 54-year-old has a whopping 1.7 billion dollar in the bank. Former world number one golfer Tiger Woods is standing at the second spot. Late America golfer Arnold Palmer is at No.3 with incredible 1.4 billion dollar to his name.
NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission will launch the Atal Tinkering Lab’s Community Day in the national capital on 15th December, 2017.
- The day will mark the Community Drive Initiative in which 25 young Mentors will engage with more than 200 students who are not enrolled in the formal education system.
- CEO NITI Aayog, Mr. Amitabh Kant will launch the initiative in which these mentors will visit four locations in New Delhi to conduct brief sessions with children from various NGOs, on how innovations can help resolve the problems in the communities.
Govt raises import duty on electronic items including cellphones, TV to boost Make in India
- Imported mobile phones, television sets, digital cameras, microwave ovens, LED bulbs and a number of other electronics goods are set to become costlier after the government raised import duty on them in a notification issued.
Google opens a research lab on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Beijing, China.
- It will be its first such centre in Asia.
- The "Google AI China Centre" will join the other AI research groups that the company has in other parts of the world, including in New York, Toronto, London and Zurich.
Application / Portal
Mumbai Metro launched a new security app ‘Secucare’, which can be downloaded on Android and IOS platforms, for raising an alarm to ensure passengers’ safety.
- Through the app, commuters can raise an alarm in case of any problem.
- The control room will be alerted once the alarm is raised. The security personnel in the control room will be able to track the exact location of the passenger through the application.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed on Thursday between the Haryana government and the Airports Authority of India (AAI) in New Delhi for development of the International Aviation Hub at Hisar.
- While advisor, civil aviation, Ashok Sangwan signed the MoU on behalf of the state, head of business management Anil Kumar Gupta signed on behalf of the AAI.
- The development has taken place after a detailed study of various projects or models in the country and the impact on grassroots development of the Rohtak-Hisar-Sirsa Region by 2030.
Nokia joins hands with IIT-Delhi to work on analytics and Artificial Intelligence
- The collaboration will allow IIT-Delhi to leverage Nokia’s technological leadership and expertise in communications networking to conduct research in these areas.
- The talented students and faculty of India’s premier institute will work in projects with Nokia’s top technical minds to explore ways to make networks more efficient and reliable.
FundsIndia.com, a leading investment platform for mutual funds (MFs) and equities, has partnered with Yes Bank to launch Unified Payments Interface (UPI) on their Android app for MF payments.
- UPI offers the benefit of instant processing of payments and is currently the fastest way to complete mutual fund transactions, compared to net banking, NEFT and other payment methods. Investors will now be able to complete payments for their transactions in less than a minute," FundsIndia said.
China-sponsored Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank has approved a USD 335 million loan for an electric metro project in Bangalore.
- The investment in the Bangalore Metro Rail Project-Reach 6 (R6) is AIIB's first metro project and its first joint financing partnership with the European Investment Bank, which is the project's lead financier with 500 million euros in funding," state-run Xinhua news agency quoted an AIIB statement as saying.
Summit /Conference / Events / Host
Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar hosted the 4th India-Australia-Japan Trilateral Dialogue with Secretary of Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Australia Ms. Frances Adamson and Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan Mr. Shinsuke J. Sugiyama, in New Delhi.
- The three sides highlighted the growing convergence of their respective countries’ interests in the Indo-Pacific region and underscored their shared commitment to peace, democracy, economic growth and a rules-based order in the region.
The Eleventh World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference (MC11) was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
- The conference was chaired by the Argentine Minister Susanna Malcorra who had led the Indian delegation to Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu.
Hyderabad is all set to host the World Telugu Conference (WTC) being organised by the Telangana government with Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu inaugurating the five-day event.
- President Ram Nath Kovind would be the chief guest at the valedictory function of the WTC on December 19 at L B Stadium, senior official of the state government said today.
The 14th Inclusive Finance India Summit began in New Delhi today to build consensus on strategies and a unified vision for achieving universal financial inclusion in India.
- "The summit offers a platform for a plethora of information to all the thought leaders and industry veterans to debate and discuss the issues and challenges involving the Financial Inclusion in the country, " said Vipin Sharma, CEO Access Development Services.
Awards & Honours
Jitesh Singh Deo from Lucknow bagged the Mr. India World 2017 title.
- The finale of the gala sponsored by Peter England, was held at Bandra Fort here. It was judged by Bollywood's "Queen" Kangana Ranaut, designer Manish Malhotra and tennis player Mahesh Bhupathi among others.
Sports: Awards & Honours
World youth champion Sachin Siwach was named the Asian Boxing Confederation’s best youth boxer of the year after winning an online poll conducted by the continental body.
- Siwach, who won the world title last year, claimed the Asian youth championships silver this year besides a gold at the Youth Commonwealth Games.