Current Affairs 17th December 2018

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17 December 2018

The Nepal government has banned the validity of Indian currency notes of Rs 2,000, Rs 500 and Rs 200 denominations in the country. India is currently Nepal's largest trade partner, and their decision to ban all Indian currencies above Rs 100 denomination would also affect Nepalese people and business for their transactions. The Indian government had introduced new currency notes of Rs 2,000, Rs 500 and Rs 200 after the demonetisation of old notes in 2016. However, the citizens of Nepal have been using the new Indian currency in their country for nearly two years now.

17 December 2018

The England and Wales Cricket Board announced that, Former international spinner Ashley Giles has been appointed as the new managing director of England men's cricket. He replaces Andrew Strauss who stepped down in October. Giles was a part of England's 2005 Ashes-winning team. The 45-year-old Giles who previously served as England's limited-overs coach, played 54 Tests for England and later worked as a national team selector from 2008 to 2014.

17 December 2018

India and France also agreed to enhance their strategic partnership through cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, civil nuclear, defence and security, space, trade and economic sectors. India's External Affairs Minister (EAM) Sushma Swaraj stated that Paris and New Delhi are working together on multiple international forums including Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The two nations are jointly working on Jaitapur nuclear power project.

17 December 2018

Besides dedicating the new IIT Bhubaneswar campus, Modi will lay the foundation stone for IISER, Berhampur. On the occasion of bicentenary celebration of the historic Paika Rebellion, PM Modi will also release commemorative coin, postage stamp and inaugurate the Chair at Utkal University in memory of country’s first independence movement. The Paika Rebellion, also called the Paika Bidroha, was an armed rebellion against British East India Company's rule in Odisha in 1817. The Paikas were the traditional militia of Odisha who served as warriors.

17 December 2018

Scientists from the Aalto University and the University of Helsinki in Finland have developed an Artificial Intelligence (AI) tool that can successfully predict whether a patient is at risk of developing a serious, and possibly life-threatening infection after surgery. Staphylococcus epidermidis which is responsible for serious infections was combined large-scale population genomics and in vitro measurements of immunologically relevant features of these bacteria. They were then able to use machine learning to successfully predict the risk of developing a serious, and possibly life-threatening infection from the genomic features of a bacterial isolate.
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17 December 2018

A Study from Sheppard Pratt Health System in the US has found that Probiotics, commonly referred to as 'good bacteria', may help treat bipolar disorder and other psychiatric mood disorders. Bipolar disorder is a psychiatric condition characterized by dramatic shifts in mood from depression to mania. In bipolar disorder, the previous studies have shown that inflammation, or overstimulation of the body's immune system, is a contributing factor in the disease. With this in mind, the researchers developed a probiotic supplement aimed at reducing inflammation caused by microbial imbalances in the gut. The results indicated that changes in intestinal inflammation can alter the trajectory of psychiatric mood disorders and that modulating the intestinal microbiota may be a new avenue of treatment for patients suffering from these. Currently, the standard treatment includes a combination of psychotherapy and prescription medications.

17 December 2018

PV Sindhu defeated world number five Nozomi Okuhara of Japan to record her 300th career match victory across categories and clinch the BWF World Tour Finals women's singles title. Sindhu, who is ranked sixth worldwide, won the final with scoreline of 21-19, 21-17. It was the 23-year-old shuttler's first title victory in 2018, after having lost five finals this year.

17 December 2018

Belgium defeated Netherlands in the final at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar to clinch the men's Hockey World Cup for the first time. This is the second consecutive time that Netherlands finished second in the tournament. Australia crushed England 8-1 to win Bronze medal in Odisha World Cup 2018.

17 December 2018

Catriona Elisa Gray became the fourth woman from the country to win the title. Tamaryn Green from South Africa was named the first runner-up while Miss Venezuela Sthefany Gutiérrez stood third at the pageant which was held in Bangkok, Thailand. India was represented by 22-year-old Nehal Chudasama, who couldn't qualify for top 20.

17 December 2018

A new artificial archipelago of five islets was created in Markermeer, one of Europe's largest freshwater lakes under an ambitious project. The five islets were built in two and a half years and have already served as a resting place for 30,000 swallows this year.   It has already attracted greylag goose, common tern, and several species of waders. Experts recently counted 127 kinds of plants, most of which have been brought in by windborne seeds. The project was initiated by Natuurmonumenten, a Dutch non-governmental organization working for the preservation of nature. The project cost around 60 million euros (USD 68 million).

17 December 2018

NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) captured the image of the InSight lander which recently touched down on Mars, the Red Planet.  The InSight lander, heat shield, and parachute were spotted by HiRISE (High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) in one set of images taken on December 6, and again on December 11. They are within 1,000 feet of one another on Elysium Planitia.  While the HiRISE team at the University of Arizona also tried to take an image of InSight during landing, MRO was at a much less opportune angle and was not able to take a good picture. 

17 December 2018

Bangladesh in its 47th anniversary of the ‘Victory Day’, 16th December, honoured 12 Indian war veterans, marking its emergence as an independent nation following the 1971 Liberation War. President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urged the nation to work together for the prosperity of the country.  It honoured the 12 Indian armed forces personnel for sacrificing their lives during the 1971 war. In India, Vijay Diwas (Victory Day) is celebrated every year on this day to mark India’s decisive win over Pakistan and the birth of Bangladesh.

17 December 2018

Indian Cricket Team captain Virat Kohli became the second fastest player to score 25 Test Centuries after scoring 123 runs on the third day of Second Test against Australia at Perth. He is only behind of former Australian captain and cricketing legend Sir Don Bradman.

17 December 2018

Sri Lanka’s ousted Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn into office two months after being removed by President Maithripala Sirisena, thus bringing an end to the weeks-long political crisis in the country. Mr. Wickremsinghe was removed as Prime minister on October 26 and was replaced by Mahinda Rajapaksa who resigned on 15th December after failing to garner a majority in Parliament. Mr. Wickremsinghe has been sworn in as Prime minister for the 5th time, creating a record in Sri Lanka.

17 December 2018

The Indian Navy will be formally inaugurating the Information Fusion Centre (IFC) for the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) this week. The IFC-IOR is established with the vision of strengthening maritime security in the region and beyond, by building a common coherent maritime situation picture. This Centre will pave for the exchange of information on white shipping or commercial shipping with countries in the region to improve maritime domain awareness in the Indian Ocean. The Indian Navy is mandated to conclude white shipping information exchange agreements with 36 countries and three multi-national constructs White shipping ♦ White shipping means sharing and exchange of advance information regarding the identity and movement of non-military commercial vessels ♦ There is a particular color code for ships    (i) White is the color code for commercial ships    (ii) Grey is the color for military vessels    (iii) Black is the color for illegal ships

17 December 2018

Ashok Kumar Singh, Lok Sabha Secretariat assumed charge as Secretary, National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST). NCST is empowered to investigate and monitor matters relating to safeguards provided for STs under the Constitution or under other laws or under Govt. order.

17 December 2018

Producer Ashok Amritraj was honored with the French Knight of the National Order of Merit for his contribution to the world of cinema and Indo-French film industry. The award was presented to him at the Closing ceremony of 2-day Indo-French Professional Meeting for the Film and Television Industry held in Mumbai, India.

17 December 2018

The Congress has named Bhupesh Baghel as the Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh. Three CM’s are to be sworn-in today. Congress president Rahul Gandhi, along with former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will be first attending the swearing-in of Ashok Gehlot and his deputy Sachin Pilot, scheduled for 10.30 a.m at Rajasthan. The swearing-in of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister-designate Kamal Nath will take place at Bhopal’s Jamboree grounds at 1.30 p.m. Mr.Baghel will take the oath at 5 p.m. in Raipur.

17 December 2018

Indian-American Shree Saini crowned Miss India Worldwide 2018 at the 27th annual global pageant held in the Fords City of New Jersey. It is Organised by the New York-based India Festival Committee (IFC). Sakshi Sinha from Australia was declared as the first runner-up and Anusha Sareen from the United Kingdom declared as the second runner-up.

17 December 2018

Australia became one of the few countries to formally recognize West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel however it will not move its embassy from Tel Aviv until a peace settlement is reached. Both Israel and the Palestinians claim Jerusalem as their Capital and this despite is not resolved yet. USA under the leadership of Donald Trump already recognized the disputed city as the Capital of Israel.

17 December 2018

Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for AYUSH Shri Shripad Yesso Naik and Union Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Dr. Jitendra Singh laid the foundation stone of Institute of High Altitude Medicinal Plants (IHAMP) with an estimated cost of Rs. 100 crore at Bhaderwah in District Doda in Jammu & Kashmir. The institute will be a dedicated facility for research in medicinal plants found at high altitude and shall also become a major source of income for the farmers in cultivation of medicinal plants.

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