Current Affairs Today
The government has banned Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) for its involvement in killing of innocent people and police officers, several bombings on civilian targets in India, collection of funds for terror activities through extortion, kidnappings, bank robberies and assassination attempts of important government functionaries.
The outfit has been banned under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (UAPA).
The KLF came into existence in 1986 with the objective of establishing an independent Khalistan by secession of Punjab from India "through violent means".
The federal cabinet approved the issuance of Pakistan’s first renminbi-denominated bonds to raise loans from Chinese capital markets, as the country gradually moves towards giving the Chinese currency a status at par with that enjoyed by the US dollar.
The interest rate may range above 5.5% but the final price can only be determined at the time of launching the bond.
The Philippines has also raised RMB1.46 billion through renminbi-denominated bonds at an interest rate of 4.75%.
In the Long-term Plan of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (2017-30) both countries had decided to use renminbi as the second international currency to lessen Pakistan’s reliance on dollar.
♦ Current Finance Minister of Pakistan - Asad Umar
The concession for a person of the third gender, aged 60 years or above, will be available from January 1, 2019.
Till now, only men who are 60 years and above, and women aged 58 years and above got the concession. The rate of concession is 40 per cent for men and 50 per cent for women.
Though a column for transgender (T) was introduced in the reservation form, the concession was not admissible to them.
As of December of 2018, the Indian Railways offers concessions on ticket prices to 53 different categories ranging from 10 per cent to 100 per cent.
He will become acting Chief Justice of AP High Court, with effect from Jan 1, 2019.
Earlier, the Union Law Ministry issued an order signed by President Ram Nath Kovind, which said Andhra Pradesh will have its own High Court at its capital Amaravati and the Hyderabad High Court shall become High Court for Telangana.
French infrastructure giant Vinci has agreed to acquire control of London's Gatwick Airport, the world's second-busiest single runway airport after Mumbai, for $3.7 billion.
Vinci, which manages 45 airports in 12 countries including Chile and Cambodia, will own a 50.01% stake in Gatwick Airport.
The purchase comes ahead of the UK's departure from the European Union on March 29.
The Union Cabinet approved the draft National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Bill, 2018. The NCIM will promote the availability of affordable healthcare services in all parts of the country.
The draft Bill will enable the constitution of a National Commission with four autonomous boards for the purpose of conducting overall education in Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha, and Sowarigpa. There are two common boards, namely the board of assessment and rating to assess and grant permission to educational institutions of Indian systems of medicine, and board of ethics and registration of practitioners of Indian systems of medicine to maintain a National Register and ethical issues relating to practice under the National Commission for Indian Medicine.
The Bill proposes an entrance and an exit exam that all graduates need to clear to get practising licenses. This is to assess the standard of teachers before appointment and promotions.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that India will help Bhutan’s development needs by providing Rs.4,500 crore while visiting Bhutan’s Prime Minister Lotay Tshering. Dr.Tshering indicated his government’s commitment to maintain warm ties with India.
Bhutan remains one of the key recipients of development assistance from India. According to the Ministry of External Affairs, India provided Rs.4,500 crore for the 11th five-year plan that lasted between 2013 and 2018. India is committed to supporting Bhutan’s next five-year plan to begin shortly.
Mr. Modi said that to share the benefit of the South Asian Satellite, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is moving ahead with plans to set up a ground station in Bhutan that will help in telemedicine, disaster relief, and climate trends.
The Tripura government approved the proposal for replacing the school syllabus prevalent under the previous Left Front regime with the NCERT curriculum in all the State-run and aided schools from the next academic session, beginning April 2019.
It had also suggested the implementation of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) syllabus across all government and government-aided schools in the State.
The government had also decided to bring an ordinance to constitute a State-level higher education board in accordance with the directives of the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development.
The Union Cabinet approved relaxation in various norms including the clearance of projects or activities falling in the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ), allowing for greater use of coastal areas for tourism and industrial growth. This will enable redevelopment of these areas to meet the emerging needs.
The move for 2018 Notification comes after a series of representations received by the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change from various Coastal States/UTs for a comprehensive review of the provisions of the CRZ Notification, 2011, particularly related to the management and conservation of marine and coastal ecosystems, development in coastal areas, eco-tourism, livelihood option and sustainable development of coastal communities etc.
The recommendations were further examined in consultation with Members of Parliament of Coastal States and Union Territories besides other concerned Ministries of Government of India. A draft notification was issued in April 2018 for inviting comments from the public at large.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik inaugurated 26th edition of National Children’s Science Congress in Bhubaneswar in which as many as 800 students from ten Asian and seven Gulf countries are participating.
This year’s theme is ‘Science, Technology and Innovations: For clean, green and healthy nation’.
Croatia’s captain and Spanish club Real Madrid’s midfielder Luka Modric was named the Balkan Athlete of the year beating Men’s tennis world number one player Novak Djokovic. The poll to name Balkan Athlete of the year was organized by the Bulgarian News Agency (BTA).
Serbian player Novak Djokovic got the second position whereas women’s number one tennis Romania’s Simona Halep got the third position in the Balkan’s poll.
Luka Modric leads Croatia to the FIFA World cup final and bagged player of the tournament for the FIFA 2018 organized in Russia.
The Bombay High Court gave clearance to the annual Sunburn music festival in Pune provided norms regarding noise pollution and prohibition of underage drinking were followed at the three-day event. The festival is to take place in Pune from December 29 to 31. The judgement comes after the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by a BJP corporator, seeking that the authorities be directed to ensure that noise pollution norms are followed by the organisers. The PIL also wanted the court to prohibit consumption of alcohol by underage revellers.
A vacation bench of Justice Bharati Dangre directed local police and civic authorities to ensure that noise norms and other laws are followed at the Electronic Dance Music (EDM) event.
The Cabinet approved the Gaganyaan programme, which will send three Indian astronauts to space for up to seven days by 2022 at a cost of Rs.10,000 crore. As part of the programme, two unmanned flights and one manned flight will be undertaken.
The demonstration for the first human spaceflight is targeted to be completed within 40 months of the sanction date. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has developed the launch vehicle GSLV MK-III, which has the necessary payload capability to launch a three-member crew module in low earth orbit.
The ISRO has also tested the crew escape system which is an essential technology for human space flight. Elements of the life support system and the space suit have also been realized and tested.
According to data from Dealogic, a global Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) and capital markets data provider, India has been getting more foreign investment than its neighbor China for the first time in two decades.
In 2018, India whose financial market is supported by stable fundamentals, a bankruptcy code and fresh opportunities in sunrise sectors, saw more than $38 billion of inbound deals compared with China’s $32 billion.
China, which has historically been the favorite for emerging market bets, is facing slowdown nowadays because of its trade standoff with the United States.
India has a busy Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) calendar in 2018 and it will continue to see good traction in inbound M&As besides, global investors are typically focusing on India despite short-term uncertainty over the political climate.
According to Bloomberg data, Deepak Parekh-led HDFC group overtook Tata Group become the country’s largest conglomerate in terms of market capitalization.
The total market capitalization (MACP) of the group’s five listed companies is currently valued at Rs 10.40 lakh crore, which is Rs 1,185 crore more than that of Tata Group.
HDFC Bank, a part of the group, is only the third company in Indian corporate history to cross the Rs 5-lakh crore market capitalization threshold, after TCS (Rs 7.16 trillion) and RIL (Rs 7.09 trillion).
According to data furnished by the Reserve Bank of India, between 2015 and 2017, private lender ICICI Bank penalized the highest number of employees for defrauding bank assets in the last three year out of 60 scheduled commercial banks operating in India.
It is followed by State Bank of India and Punjab National Bank.