Current Affairs 7th December 2018

NATIONAL NEWS

Iceland’s Foreign Minister arrives in India

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iceland, Gudlaugur Thor Thordarson, arrived in India on an eight-day visit to the country. Thordarson is scheduled to address the Iceland-India Business Seminar at The Oberoi hotel in New Delhi.

  • On December 8, the Icelandic Foreign Minister will meet External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj at the Jawaharlal Nehru Bhawan and hold talks over bilateral issues.

Cabinet approves Shahpurkandi Dam project on river Ravi in Punjab

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the implementation of the Shahpurkandi Dam Project, Punjab on river Ravi. For this, central assistance of Rs. 485.38 crore (for irrigation component) would be provided over five years from 2018-19 to 2022-23.

  • On completion of the project, an irrigation potential of 5,000 ha in Punjab and 32,173 ha in Jammu and Kashmir is expected to be created.

Cabinet approves Agricultural export policy to double farmers’ income by 2022

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the Agriculture Export Policy, 2018 with an aim to double farmers’ income by 2022. Exports of agricultural products would play a pivotal role in achieving this goal.

  • The Agriculture Export Policy has the vision to harness the export potential of Indian agriculture, through suitable policy instruments, to make India global power in agriculture and raise farmers’ income.

Shipping Ministry approves Rs 156 cr Freight Village in Varanasi

The government said it has given its nod to develop a Rs 156 crore freight village in Varanasi adjoining the inland waterways terminal on river Ganga that will boost the logistics industry in the holy city.

  • The Varanasi freight village will be developed by the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI).
  • The freight village “will serve as a cargo hub, and a centre for aggregation and value addition. It will also provide support to stimulate development of a professional logistics industry in Varanasi.
  • Extra info.:
    Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) Headquarters: Noida

Exim Bank extends USD 500 mn loan to Tanzania

Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) has extended a credit facility of USD 500 million (about Rs 3,542 crore) to Tanzania for water supply projects in the African country. Under this agreement, of the total credit by Exim Bank, goods and services of value of at least 75 per cent of the contract price shall be supplied by the seller from India.

  • The remaining 25 per cent of goods and services may be procured by the seller for the purpose of the eligible contract from outside India.
  • Extra info.:
    Tanzania Capital: Dodoma 
    Currency: Tanzanian shilling

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Dubai Crown Prince launches world’s largest Arabic audio library

Dubai Crown Prince Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has launched the largest Arabic audio library in the world. The Dubai Audio Library, which targets seven million visually impaired people in the Arab world, was an initiative undertaken by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in collaboration with the website Bookshare.org.

  • The RTA was seeking to provide 300,000 books in Arabic. More than 10,000 volunteers will convert Arabic books into digital format and edit them before uploading them to the website.

Luxembourg to become first country to make Public Transport Free

Luxembourg is set to become the first country in the world to make all its public transport free. Fares on trains, trams and buses will be lifted next summer under the plans of the re-elected coalition government led by Xavier Bettel, who was sworn in for a second term as prime minister recently.

  • Now, from the start of 2020 all tickets will be abolished, saving on the collection of fares and the policing of ticket purchases.
  • Extra info.:
    Luxembourg Capital: Luxembourg City 
    Currency: Euro

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Apple acquires London-based music firm Platoon

In a bid to further cement its position in the global music space, Apple has reportedly acquired London-based creative services and music start-up Platoon for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition of A&R and creative services company Platoon is aimed at tapping emerging artists for Apple Music.

  • The Apple deal gives Platoon the backing and resources to accomplish its vision and continue its goal to develop original music and visual content.

India’s per capita media consumption grew 9% for 6 years: Report

Media consumption in India grew at an annual per capita rate of 9 per cent over the last six years, far outpacing the US and China in this regard, according to a joint report released by the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) and theBoston Consulting Group (BCG).

  • Although the country’s rate of media consumption was at twice the pace of China and nine times that in the US, there is “ample headroom” in India for growth to continue, said the report titled “One Consumer, Many Interactions”, released at the 7th CII Big Picture Summit in New Delhi.

APPOINTMENTS

Indian-origin Lawyer Shamila Batohi appointed head of South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority

Prominent Indian-origin lawyer Shamila Batohi has been appointed to head South Africa’s prosecuting authority, the first woman to head the agency facing criticism for its handling of the investigations against former president Jacob Zuma over corruption charges.

  • Batohi will start her new role as the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) in February 2019.

Krishnamurthy Subramanian appointed as new Chief Economic Advisor

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) approved the appointment of Dr. Krishnamurthy Subramanian as the new Chief Economic Advisor (CEA) for a term of three years. This comes nearly six months after former CEA Arvind Subramanian stepped down from the post.

  • Krishnamurthy currently serves as an associate professor of finance and as the executive director of the Centre for Analytical Finance at the Indian School of Business.

AWARDS

Sahitya Akademi announced winners in 24 languages

India’s National Academy of Letters, Sahitya Akademi has announced the names of prestigious annual Sahitya Akademi Awards for litterateurs 2018 in 24 languages. 7 Books of Poetry, 6 of Short Stories, 3 of Literary Criticism and 2 of Essays have won this years Sahitya Akademi Awards 2018.C

Malala Yousafzai honoured by Harvard University

Nobel Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai has been honoured by Harvard University for her global work promoting girls education.

  • The 21-year-old received the 2018 Gleitsman Award from the Centre for Public Leadership at Harvard Kennedy School for her global movement to equip girls with 12 years of free, quality and safe education.

Budapest officially awarded 2023 IAAF World Championships

The Hungarian capital city of Budapest was awarded the IAAF World Athletics Championships in 2023 at the IAAF Council in Monaco which means the World Championships will return to European soil after a six year hiatus following Doha in 2019 and Eugene in 2021.



IMPORTANT DAYS

International Civil Aviation Day

International Civil Aviation Day is annually observed December 7 to raise awareness of the importance of international civil aviation and the role that the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) plays in international air transport.

  • The current theme for International Civil Aviation Dayis “Working Together to Ensure No Country is Left behind,”.

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