Current Affairs 13th December 2018

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13 December 2018

In Mizoram, the new government of Mizo National Front (MNF), headed by Mr. Zoramthanga will be sworn in on 15th December. It was decided at a meeting between Governor Kummanam Rajasekharan and a delegation of the MNF party led by Zoramthanga at Raj Bhavan in Aizawl.  

13 December 2018

Japan selected the Chinese character for ‘disaster’ as its ‘defining symbol’ for 2018. The country selected it as it was hit by deadly floods, earthquakes, and storms. The event was organized by the Japan Kanji Aptitude Testing Foundation. Japanese TV stations broadcast the annual announcement live, with Seihan Mori, master of the ancient Kiyomizu temple in Kyoto, writing the character on a huge white panel with an ink-soaked calligraphy brush.  At the end of every year, the general public votes for the Chinese character they think embodies the key news and events of the previous 12 months. A total of 20,858 people out of 1,93,214 chose the character ‘disaster’.

13 December 2018

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) appointed a joint committee to look into a plea alleging operation of hazardous industries in south-east Delhi’s Sarita Vihar.  The instructions came after a plea moved by the Aali Vihar Vikas Manch, which alleged that hazardous dyeing units were operating in Bhim Colony, Aali Vihar, and Sarita Vihar.  A Bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel appointed a joint committee comprising representatives from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the Delhi Pollution Control Committee and Sub-Divisional Magistrate of South-East district, to take action. The Bench made this decision as it observed at least 50 factories are causing air, water, and noise pollution in the area and also choking the water-flow systems. If the drains get choked, the water spills out onto the roads. The hazardous chemicals are highly affecting the water quality.

13 December 2018

Route Mobile Limited (Route Mobile), a cloud-communication platform service provider and a member of Oracle Partner Network (OPN) announced the collaboration with Oracle Marketing Cloud, part of Oracle Customer Experience (CX) Cloud Suite, which empowers organizations to take a smarter approach to customer experience management and business transformation initiatives.

13 December 2018

Sri Lanka’s former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe won the vote of confidence from a majority of Sri Lankan parliamentarians, including 14 from the opposition Tamil National Alliance (TNA), as their preferred candidate to serve in the post. He received 117 votes in favour in the 225-member legislative body.  The motion which was moved by Sajith Premadasa, deputy leader of Mr.Wickremesinghe’s United National Party (UNP), sought to demonstrate the support that the deposed leader has in the House.
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13 December 2018

India’s first Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence established by the European Union was inaugurated at the Department of European Studies (DES) at Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal by Ambassador of the European Union (EU) to India and Bhutan, Tomasz Kozlowski. The award comes with a grant of €1,00,000 to pursue India-EU interdisciplinary studies in culture, literature, education and society.

13 December 2018

The Bombay High Court imposed Rs.1 lakh penalty on the State government for not coming up with a new building for the district and sessions court in Sangli, a city in Sangli district, Maharashtra, despite many extensions. The court, in 2015, had made a proposal for the construction of a new building consisting of two wings. Earlier, the State had said that work at A wing would be completed by August 31, 2017. The court had also directed the State to ensure that B wing was readied on or before December 31 so that the functioning of the court can commence there from January 1, 2019. The Court would have been justified in issuing a notice of contempt to the State for breach of the undertakings. The order said that the Rs.1 lakh will be utilized for setting up a permanent fund for providing legal aid to poor and needy litigants or holding legal literacy camps in villages.

13 December 2018

Congress party chosen MP statue unit president Kamal Nath as the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh. He will replace outgoing Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. A one-line resolution has been passed at the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting in Bhopal to choose the Madhya Pradesh chief minister.

13 December 2018

Anti-corruption campaigners have condemned the British Home Office’s decision to backtrack on plans to suspend a golden visa scheme for wealthy investors. This is just days after the government has announced the suspension. The British Home Office had said that it was planning to suspend the Tier-1 (investor) visa scheme that enables its holders to gain a swifter route to settlement in the U.K. until new safeguarding rules were brought in in 2019.  Transparency International reported that the Tier-1 (investor) visa scheme is mainly used by Russian, Chinese and Indian nationals. In India, 82 have applied for an investor visa through this route between 2008 and March 2018. Tier-1 (investor) visa scheme: ♦ The scheme is open to those who invest at least £2 million in the U.K. government, shares or businesses ♦ It offers a faster route to settlement in the country ♦ For people who invest over £10 million can apply to settle after two years ♦ For people who invest over £5 million can apply to settle in three years

13 December 2018

The Climate Change Performance Index was released on the sidelines of COP24 Un Summit in Katowice, Poland. U.S. dropped from 56th to 59th place due to high emissions and poor ratings for the federal government’s policies. The bottom 5 consisted of: Saudi Arabia (60), US (59), Iran (58), Korea (57), Chinese Taipei (56).

13 December 2018

Manika Batra, India’s star paddler, was awarded the International Table Tennis Federation’s (ITTF) Breakthrough Star Award 2018 during a ceremony at the Grand Hyatt Hotel.  In the Commonwealth Games 2018 at Gold Coast, Manika won four medals including a historic women’s singles gold, team gold, women’s doubles silver (with Mouma Das) and mixed doubles bronze (with G.Sathiyan). She had also bagged the bronze in mixed doubles (with A. Sharath Kamal) at the 2018 Asian Games.

13 December 2018

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) indigenously developed Light Utility Helicopter achieved important milestone of flying at 6 Km altitude in Bengaluru. It is 3-ton class new generation helicopter designed and developed by indigenously Rotary Wing Research and Design Center (RWRDC) of HAL. It will replace ageing fleet of Cheetah and Chetak helicopters used by Indian Armed Forces.  

13 December 2018

NASA’s InSight spacecraft has used a camera on its robotic arm to take its first selfie, a mosaic made up of 11 images. This is the same imaging process used by Curiosity rover mission, in which many overlapping pictures are taken and later stitched together. Visible in the selfie is the lander’s solar panel and its entire deck, including its science instruments. In the coming days, the scientists and engineers will be deciding where in this workspace the spacecraft's instruments should be placed. They will then command InSight's robotic arm to carefully set the seismometer, called the Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure, or SEIS, and heat-flow probe, known as the Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package, or HP3, in the chosen locations. Both work best on level ground, and engineers want to avoid setting them on rocks larger than about a half-inch (1.3 cm). The Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy, and Heat Transport (InSight) mission is a robotic lander designed to study the deep interior of the planet Mars.

13 December 2018

Comptroller and Auditor General Rajiv Mehrishi became the Vice-Chair of the UN Panel of Auditors for a term of 2 years ending on June 30, 2020. The decision was taken in the panel’s annual meeting in New York which was held from 3 to 4 December 2018. The panel is currently chaired by the Comptroller and Auditor General of the UK and consists of External Auditors of the United Nations and its agencies. Presently, the panel consists of 11 countries — India, Germany, Chile, Canada, France, Italy, the Philippines, Ghana, Indonesia, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

13 December 2018

The Tamil Nadu State government has declared four districts, Nagapattinam, Pudukkottai, Thanjavur and Tiruvarur, as districts severely affected by Cyclone Gaja. This is to seek a relaxation of the rules for implementing the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS). As per the MGNREGS, the man-days can only be 100. But by declaring the districts as severely affected by the cyclone, a relaxation can be sought of the rule and increase the man days by another 50. Few other benefits can also be availed from the Centre. Besides the four districts, Kodaikanal taluk of Dindigul district has been declared severely affected by the cyclone. So far, the State has released Rs.1,171 crore towards relief operations in the wake of Cyclone Gaja.

13 December 2018

She was honored by Chief minister N.Biren Singh who also handed over a cheque of Ten lakh rupees. The Chief Minister declared that the Imphal West DC Road towards Game Village will be named as MC Mary Kom Road.

13 December 2018

Asian Development Bank (ADB) in its supplement report “Asian Development Outlook (2018)” retained India’s FY19 growth forecast at 7.3% and 7.6% in FY20 despite downside risks posed by stress in the non-banking sector, limited fiscal space as well as escalating trade tensions. The country’s GDP growth moderated to 7.1 percent in the second quarter of 2018-19 from 8.2 percent in the first quarter, averaging 7.6 percent growth in the first half. India is maintaining growth momentum on rebounding exports and higher industrial and agricultural output.

13 December 2018

The Meghalaya High Court asked the Centre to bring in a law to let people of religious and ethnic minority communities from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan to be given citizenship without any cut-off year or any questions asked. This is after a writ petition filed by Amon Rana, an Army recruit, who was denied domicile certificate by the Meghalaya government. Justice S.R.Sen said that the Centre should have a law allowing Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis, Christians, Khasis, Jaintias and Garos from neighboring countries to live in India with full dignity without making any cut-off year and be given citizenship without any question or production of any documents. He also said that such people may be allowed to come at any point of time to settle in India and the government may provide rehabilitation properly and declare them citizens of India.

13 December 2018

The Indian Navy launched its first non-tethered Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle (DSRV) system at the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai. The DSRV is used to rescue crew members from submarines stranded underwater in the high seas. The cost of one system is Rs.1,000 crore. In March 2016, the Indian Navy had signed a Rs.2,000 crore contract with the U.K.-based James Fisher Defence (JFD) for two submarine rescue systems as well as maintenance for 25 years. Admiral Lanba said the second system would be inducted in April and would be based at the Eastern Naval Command in Vishakapatnam. Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle (DSRV) system: ♦ The flyaway Deep Sea Submarine Rescue System can be operated in very rough conditions with a wave height of 4 to 6 metres ♦ It can be operated at a depth of 650 meters with 12-14 hours endurance time ♦ It can rescue 14 people at a time ♦ It is also equipped with a decompression chamber that can accommodate submariners and a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), which can be used to beam images and provide immediate assistance

13 December 2018

India signed an ascension pact to the 30-member Trans-Regional Maritime Network (T-RMN) at Italian Naval Headquarters in Rome, Italy. The T-RMN consists of 30-member countries and is led by Italy.  

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