Current Affairs Updates - 24 & 25 December 2017
National Farmers’ Day (Kisan Diwas) 2017 was celebrated on 23rd of December
- National Farmers Day or Kisan Diwas is celebrated in the honor of Chaudhary Charan Singh who was the fifth Prime Minister of India. He served the country as Prime Minister for a very short tenure starting from 28th of July 1979 till 14th January 1980.
New Appointments: National
Lieutenant General B S Sahrawat took over the reins of National Cadet Corps as its Director General.
- The General Officer is a third generation army officer. He is alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla and Indian Military Academy, Dehradun. He was commissioned in December 1980 in 13th Battalion (Rezang La), the Kumaon Regiment.
M. Subbarayudu appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Republic of Peru
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Saturday announced the appointment of former India wicketkeeper-batsman Saba Karim as the new General Manager (GM) of its Cricket Operations.
- The GM's position was lying vacant after India fielding coach MV Sridhar resigned from it citing issue of conflict of interest.
- Karim will assume office from January 1, 2018 and report to BCCI CEO Rahul Johri and assist him in meeting the Indian cricket board's vision and strategy.
Professor Dhirendra Pal Singh was appointed the chairman of the University Grants Commission (UGC)
- He has been appointed the UGC chairman for a period of five years, according to the order issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT).
New Appointments: International
UN chief Antonio Guterres has appointed former senior US government official Henrietta H Fore as the new executive director of UNICEF.
- She was the first woman to be appointed Administrator of the US Agency for International Development and Director of US Foreign Assistance in the Department of State, she held these positions between 2006 and 2009. From 1989 to 1993, she was working as the USAID Assistant Administrator for Asia and for Private Enterprise.
South African human rights activist Kumi Naidoo has been appointed as the next Secretary General of Amnesty International.
- We are delighted to be welcoming Kumi as our new Secretary General. His vision and passion for a just and peaceful world make him an outstanding leader for our global movement, as we strengthen our resolve for a world where human rights are enjoyed by all,” said Mwikali Muthiani, Chair of the Board of Amnesty International through a media release.
Ranveer Singh appointed English Premier League’s 1st brand ambassador in India
- The English Premier League has formed an official partnership with Indian film actor Ranveer Singh. The Bollywood star is a passionate football fan and will help promote the Premier League to fans in India and globally.
SBI Card and Bharat Petroleum have announced the launch of the BPCL SBI Card, claimed to be the ‘most rewarding fuel co-branded credit card in the country.’
- Launched on the Visa platform, the card offers 2,000 bonus points worth 500 on payment of joining fee. The annual membership fee is 499, which will be reversed on annual spends of 50,000 or more Apart from savings of up to five per cent on fuel purchases, the BPCL SBI Card will offer up to 70 litres of free fuel per year to cardholders, according to an official spokesman.
Quikr acquires HDFC's digital, realty units in all stock deal
- The all-stock deal will see HDFC pick up around 3.5% stake in Quikr for the two businesses, according to sources, which have collectively been valued at about Rs 357 crore.
Patanjali has been ranked as India's most trusted Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) Brand by the Brand Trust Report India Study 2017 and has been announced as the most attractive brand in India.
- The Patanjali Ayurved Limited was established in 2006 by Ramdev, along with Acharya Balkrishna, with the objective of establishing science of Ayurveda in accordance and coordination with the latest technology and ancient wisdom.
Airtel Payments Bank CEO Shashi Arora Quits Over Aadhaar e-KYC Row.
- Airtel Payments Bank managing director and chief executive officer Shashi Arora has resigned in the wake of the firm’s e-KYC (know your customer) licence suspension by Aadhaar-issuing body Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).
- “Shashi has decided to move on to pursue opportunities outside of Airtel. We wish Shashi the very best for his future endeavours,” the company said in a statement.
Mission Clean Energy: Maharashtra set to generate 25,000 MW electricity through solar power
- Maharashtra set to generate 25,000 MW electricity through solar power. Rather Maharashtra as a state tops in generating power through renewable energy around 7,500 MW.
India, Russia hold talks to firm up economic & cultural relations.
- External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is holding meeting of the India-Russia Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation with visiting Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin.
The Union Cabinet has approved auctioning of more than 680 FM channels in 236 cities, including those in border areas of Jammu and Kashmir.
- A total of 97 channels in 56 cities were sold in Batch-I, while 66 channels in 48 cities were sold in Batch-II. “Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the way for conducting the auction of 683 channels in 236 cities in subsequent batches,” the statement said. The meeting was held Wednesday but the decision was made public on Thursday, reports PTI.
Vijay Rupani will continue as chief minister of Gujarat and Nitin Patel as his deputy, union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced.
- Vijay Rupani was chosen as Legislature party leader unanimously, Nitin Bhai Patel as the deputy Legislature party leader in a meeting today. Will inform you all about the swearing in soon," Mr Jaitley told reporters, also adding, that all the BJP's legislators were present at the meeting.
The Uttar Pradesh Assembly passed a bill to award death penalty and life imprisonment to those dealing in spurious liquor if its consumption leads to any death.
- The UP Excise (Amendment) Bill 2017, which was tabled in the House yesterday by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Suresh Khanna repealing the ordinance brought by the government in September in this regard was passed by a voice vote.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin visits India.
- Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin visited India from 16-17 July 2012. Mr. Rogozin, was accompanied by senior Russian Government officials and representatives of trade and industry.
India’s first air-conditioned local will ply between Churchgate and Virar from December 25
- The first service of the 12-coach EMU will commence at 2.10 pm between Andheri and Churchgate.
Uttar Pradesh' Tourism will be the benefactor of loans worth 40 million dollar, approved by the World Bank Board of Executive Directors.
- The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) has granted the loan which has a 5-year grace period, and maturity term of 19 years.
India’s first home-grown high purity gold reference standard - the Bharatiya Nirdeshak Dravya (BND-4201) - was launched at the India Government Mint, Mumbai.
- BND-4201, which is the reference material for gold of ‘9999’ fineness (gold that is 99.99 per cent pure), will be beneficial to the consumers and public at large to ensure purity of gold, said IGM, Mumbai, in a statement.
The United Nations Security Council placed new sanctions on North Korea that significantly choke off fuel supplies and order North Koreans working overseas to return home.
- The sanctions, proposed by the United States and adopted by a vote of 15 to 0, were the third imposed this year, in an escalating effort to force the North into negotiations. China and Russia joined in the vote, in a striking display of unity, but only after the Trump administration agreed to soften a couple of the provisions.
Science & Technologies
A new gravitational wave detector to measure ripples in the fabric of space and time is set to be built in India by 2025, in collaboration with universities from across the globe.
- The new Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) detector will add to the two already operational in the US. The LIGO detectors discovered the first gravitational waves produced by two giant merging blackholes last year. The research won a Nobel Prize in Physics this year.
Defence & Railway
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully test fired a Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air Missile (QRSAM) from a defence base off Odisha coast.
- The short-range weapon system was fired from a canister mounted on a rotatable truck-based launch platform at the Launching Complex-I (LC-I) of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur-on-sea at about 2.30 pm.
Books & Authors
The book, "The Way I See It" — a Gauri Lankesh Reader, has been edited by writer and sociologist Chandan Gowda and was launched at the Mumbai Press Club
- The six sections of the book comprise Lankesh’s early reportage in various publications and selected articles she wrote for the Kannada language Gauri Lankesh Patrike, which she edited.
Schemes / Programme
MEA launches SAMEEP to take Indian foreign policy to students across the country
- The foreign office is on an "outreach" mission as a new programme, SAMEEP, aims to take Indian foreign policy and its global engagements to students across the country.
The Union government will formally launch the 'Ganga Gram' project as part of its clean Ganga mission, named Namami Gange, for holistic sanitation development in villages on the banks of the Ganges.
- In August, the Centre declared all 4,470 villages on the banks of the Ganges, located in Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal, open defecation-free (ODF).
India to set up IT centre in Egypt's Al Azhar University
- India will be establishing a Centre of Excellence in Information Technology (CEIT) at Al Azhar University, Egypt's highest religious authority and one of the world's most eminent seats of Sunni Muslim learning, officials have said.
An MoU for setting up a 1,800-crore petrochemical park in Kochi, was inked by the Kerala government and fertiliser major FACT, owned by the Centre.
- It will come up in 481 acres of land owned by the Fertilisers and Chemicals Travancore, the State Government said.
- The park was aimed at making Kochi, a hub in petrochemical production chain on par with Jurong in Singapore and industrial complexes in South Korea.
Summit /Conference / Events / Host
The seventh edition of the India International Coffee Festival (IICF) being organised by the India Coffee Trust and State-run Coffee Board to promote the Indian coffees globally will be held in Bengaluru from January 16-19.
- Karnataka Tourism Minister Priyank Kharge said IICF will help promote Kodagu, Chikkamagaluru and Sakleshpura not just as the coffee growing estates but also as tourist destinations in view of their great landscape, and unique culture and cuisines.
AYUSH Ministry has shook hands with Commerce and Industry Ministry; Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Pharmexcil to organize the International AROGYA 2017 – First Edition of International Exhibition and Conference on AYUSH and Wellness with the theme ‘Enhancing the export potential of AYUSH’.
- This event was attended by many dignitaries and manufacturers. During the conference important topics relating to Standardization and Quality Control in AYUSH Sector, Enhancing the export potential of AYUSH and Business opportunities, Integrative Healthcare etc. were extensively deliberated to understand the International perspective.
The UN General Assembly has decided to mark the 100th anniversary of Nelson Mandela's birth by holding a high-level meeting focusing on world peace ahead of the annual gathering of world leaders in September 2018.
- A resolution adopted on Friday without a vote says the "Nelson Mandela Peace Summit" will include speeches by top UN officials, the chair of the African Union Commission and member states.
Sports: Awards & Honours
Rohit Sharma: India batsman equals fastest Twenty20 international century against Sri Lanka.
- India's Rohit Sharma scored the joint fastest Twenty20 international century, reaching the landmark from 35 balls in an 88-run victory over Sri Lanka.
Vijender Singh beats Ernest Amuzu to retain WBO Oriental & Asia Pacific pro boxing titles
- The 32-year-old Haryana pugilist, who is currently sixth in WBO rankings, fought in the mega show called ‘Rajasthan Rumble’. It wasn’t a technical knockout and Vijender Singh had to fight out all 10 rounds to earn the victory. This was his 10th straight win in his pro boxing career.
Renowned Bengali singer, composer and lyricist Jatileshwar Mukhopadhyay died at a city nursing home after prolonged illness.
- With his demise, Bengal lost one of the its most eminent personalities from the golden era of music. Mukhopadhyay had the rare distinction of being a singer-composer-songwriter.
Former UP governor Banwari Lal Joshi passes away
- Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday expressed grief over the death of former Uttar Pradesh Governor Banwari Lal Joshi, saying he was a “true son” of Rajasthan.
Former astronaut Bruce McCandless II, famously captured in a 1984 photo documenting the first untethered flight in space, has died.
- McCandless flew alongside the space shuttle Challenger in a jetpack-style craft called a Manned Maneuvering Unit, using his hands to control his movement a few meters away from the shuttle. It was the first-ever spacewalk that didn't employ "restrictive tethers and umbilicals," NASA said.