Current Affairs 10th December 2018

NATIONAL NEWS

AIIB clears $400-m loan for water supply project in AP

The board of Beijing-headquartered Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank’s (AIIB) has approved a $400-million loan for a water sanitation project in Andhra Pradesh, taking the overall exposure of the bank to India to $2 billion spread over nine projects.

  • The new project is expected to have a positive impact on women and girls in affected communities. The project will also reduce health risks and health expenditures for women in Andhra Pradesh.

India’s first underwater museum to open off Puducherry coast

India is set to get its first underwater museum off the Puducherry coast, giving a boost to tourism in the Union territory. INS Cuddalore, a minesweeper decommissioned in March after it travelled 30,000 nautical miles in 30 years, will be turned into a museum.

  • The minesweeper will be deployed in the seabed 7 km off Puducherry at a depth of 26 metres. The 60-metre long and 12-metre wide vessel will be a popular destination for scuba diving and snorkelling. The Navy has agreed to gift the vessel to promote tourism in Puducherry.

1st International Conference on Sustainable Water Management starts in Mohali, Punjab

In order to promote sustainable policies for water management, India is organising the first international conference on ‘Sustainable Water Management’ on December 10-11 in Mohali in which experts from across the globe will participate.

  • Governor of Himachal Pradesh Acharya Devvrat and Secretary, Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, U P Singh will be the Guest of Honour at the inaugural session of the conference.
  • The conference is being jointly organised by the National Hydrology Project, and Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation in collaboration with the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) at the Indian School of Business, Mohali.
  • A number of experts from reputed organisations from India and foreign countries including Australia, United Kingdom, US, Spain, Netherlands, Republic of Korea, Canada, Germany and Sri Lanka will participate in the event.

Shi Yomi becomes 23rd district of Arunachal Pradesh

Arunachal Pradesh got its 23rd district with the formal inauguration of Shi Yomi, carved out of the West Siang district. The district, consisting of four circles Mechuka, Pidi, Tato and Monigong. Two more districts would be created, which would increase the total number of districts to 25.

  • The Arunachal Pradesh Assembly had on August 29 passed a bill for the creation of three new districts, Pakke-Kesang, Lepa Rada and Shi Yomi. 

Ex ‘Indra Navy 2018’ commences in Visakhapatnam

Russian Federation Navy (RuFN) ships Varyag, Admiral Panteleyev and Boris Butoma arrived in Visakhapatnam to participate in INDRA NAVY-18, the bilateral maritime exercise between the Indian Navy and the Russian Federation Navy.

  • The primary aim of the exercise is to increase interoperability amongst the two navies, develop common understanding and procedures for maritime security operations.

Ex Aviaindra 2018 commences in Jodhpur

A service-specific exercise between the Indian Air Force (IAF) and Russian Federation Aerospace Force (RFSAF) will commence at Air Force Station, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, from December 10 to 21.

  • EX AVIAINDRA-2018 is the second in the series of bilateral joint exercise, which is planned in two phases between India and Russia.  The exercise focused on anti-terrorist operations in a bi-lateral scenario and enhanced the co-operation and understanding each other’s Concept of Operations. 

RLSP Chief Upendra Kushwaha quits as Union Minister

Union minister of state for human resource development Upendra Kushwaha, resigned from the Union Council of Ministers. The Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) chief is likely to quit the BJP-led NDA alliance.

  • The development comes a day when the opposition parties are meeting to discuss a strategy to take on the BJP-led NDA in the Lok Sabha elections in 2019.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

China launches first-ever space mission to the dark side of the moon

China has launched a rover that will land on the far side of the moon, a global first that would boost Beijing’s ambitions to become a space superpower.

  • The Chang’e-4 lunar probe mission named after the moon goddess in Chinese mythology launched on a Long March 3B rocket from the southwestern Xichang launch centre. No lander or rover has ever touched the surface there, positioning China as the first nation to explore the terrain.

BANKING & FINANCE

SEBI Renamed ITP as ‘Innovators Growth Platform’

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) passed a slew of relaxations for start-ups in sectors like e-commerce, data analytics and bio-technology to raise funds and list them on stock exchanges.

  • The proposed changes include renaming the ‘Institutional Trading Platform’ (ITP) of start-ups’ listings as ‘Innovators Growth Platform’.
  • The relaxation came in the wake of demands from various stakeholders to make the norms easier and the platform more accessible considering the expanding activities in the Indian start-up space.

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

CAD Widened To 2.9 % Of GDP In Q2

India’s current account deficit (CAD) widened to 2.9 per cent of the GDP in the second quarter of the fiscal compared to 1.1 per cent in the year-ago period, mainly due to a large trade deficit, the RBI said. The CAD, or the difference between outflow and inflow of foreign exchange in the country’s current account, was USD 19.1 billion during the quarter ended September 30, 2018.

  • RBI’s preliminary data on India’s balance of payments (BoP) for July-September 2018-19 further revealed that net services receipts increased by 10.2 per cent on a year over year basis, mainly on the back of a rise in net earnings from software and financial services.

Myntra’s CEO Ananth Narayanan resigns

The chief executive officer of Myntra, a unit of Walmart Inc-owned Flipkart. Myntra CEO Ananth Narayanan‘s position will be abolished as Flipkart’s Amar Nagaram is set to head the unit. 

  • Myntra’s chief revenue officer, Mithun Sundar, and human resources head Manpreet Ratia have also resigned. 

SPORTS

Khelo India Youth Games 2018 to be held in Pune

Khelo India Youth Games-2019 will be held in Pune of Maharashtra. Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, Sports Minister Col Rajyavardhan Rathore said, nine thousand youth will participate in this edition of the game.

  • He said, his Ministry is trying to develop a sports system that connects local talents to global podiums. The government will also involve private organisations to supplement its efforts to groom the talents in various disciplines. 

APPOINTMENTS

Arundhati Bhattacharya to be SWIFT India Chairman

SWIFT India Domestic Services, the local unit of SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) global that facilitates international payments functions for banks, has appointed Arundhati Bhattacharya, former chairman of State Bank of India, as its chairman.

  • Bhattacharya, who had served nearly four decades at the State Bank of India, would succeed MV Nair who retires after about five years of heading SWIFT India.

AWARDS

Ratan Tata conferred steel industry’s lifetime achievement award

Eminent industrialist Ratan N. Tata was conferred the Steel Users Federation of India (SUFI) Lifetime Achievement Award for his association and contribution to the industry. The award was bestowed on Tata by Union Minister for Steel Choudhary Birendra Singh and other dignitaries besides 450 delegates from 10 countries representing the industry attending the 2nd SUFI Steel Awards in Mumbai.

  • In the special category, M. Junction won the ‘Digital India Award’, JSW Steels Ltd. got the ‘Make In India Award’ and Metal Street bagged the ‘Start-Up India Award’.

OBITUARIES

Former Colombian president Belisario Betancur passes away

Former Colombian president Belisario Betancur, who steered his country through one of its most turbulent periods in the 1980s, passed away. He was 95.

  • He was the first president to summon the rebel groups that emerged in the 1960s to a dialogue with the government, assuring them he would work to achieve peace.

Senior Journalist Jagdish Thakkar passes away

Public Relations Officer (PRO) in the prime minister’s office and senior journalist Jagdish Thakkar passed away in New Delhi. Thakkar, 72, who was unwell for soe time, passed away at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences.

  • Thakkar had previously served with many Chief Ministers of Gujarat. He was known for his simplicity and warm-hearted nature.

Mushirul Hasan, noted historian, passes away

Historian Mushirul Hasan, who has extensively written on India’s Partition, passed away on 10 December. He was 69 years old. An alumnus of the Aligarh Muslim University and the University of Cambridge, Mr. Hasan was the Vice-Chancellor of the Jamia Millia Islamia University.

  • In his book When Stone Walls Cry, He presents the unknown facets of prison life of the Nehrus and how that transformed their vision and character.

IMPORTANT DAYS

Human Rights Day

Human Rights Day is commemorated every year all over the world on 10 December. It was first announced to be celebrated every year by the United Nations General Assembly on 10th of December in the year 1948. 

  • This year it will be the 70th anniversary of Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This year the Human Rights Day would be celebrated with the theme “Stand Up For Human Rights”.
  • A ‘Mobile Film Festival’ would also take place in Paris in December which will be collaborated with ‘YouTube Creators for Change’ programme with the theme #StandUp4HumanRights, which is also the official hashtag for the campaign.

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