Top 15 Current Affairs 20th December 2016

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20 December 2016

Government is planning to start soon a toll free number 1955 for taking feedback of telecom subscribers on call drops. “Short code 1955 has been allotted for IVRS system on call drop,” an official source said. Provisioning of this number will be mandatory for telecom operators and should be accessible for local and STD calling. As per a letter by the Department of Telecom to operators in last week of November the ‘1955’ number “is for the outbound calls to the subscribers, the IVRS system will have to present a pre-defined CLI (caller line identification) to the subscribers, through short code ‘1955’.”  

20 December 2016

Maharashtra forest department will launch a state-wide call centre facility from January 6. It will operate from Goregaon in Mumbai and is currently functioning on a trial basis. Citizens will soon be able to call on a 24x7 toll free number (1926) to lodge complaints or get information about a variety of issues related to forests and wildlife. The call centre would circulate the query within the network and try to respond with a feedback within a minimum of 48 hours and maximum of four days. General enquiry information can be disseminated during the call itself. The forest department appointed one SAAR IT Solutions Pvt Ltd in Goregaon for the service. The information technology (IT) director, the state forest department, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the company till August 2017. The interactive voice response system (IVRS) will have three languages  Hindi, English and Marathi

20 December 2016

According to recent World Health Organization (WHO) survey of 33 countries has shown that African nations developing lifestyle diseases. It is mainly due city life and its modern trappings which have brought bad habits to developing African nations such as smoking, harmful use of alcohol, a poor diet and low levels of physical activity. Lifestyle diseases are defined as diseases linked unhealthy lifestyle of people. These diseases appear in countries which are on path of becoming more industrialized and people live longer life. These diseased are commonly caused by alcohol, drug and smoking abuse as well as lack of physical activity and unhealthy eating. Some of the diseases that impact lifestyle are heart disease, stroke, obesity and type II diabetes.  Developing African nations will see more die of chronic lifestyle diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes than infectious diseases by 2030. There is rise in non-communicable diseases to changes in developing societies. It is estimated that 46% of Africans suffer high blood pressure, the highest worldwide. Due to legislation and policy weaknesses daily tobacco use ranges from 5 to 26% in Africa and is growing. Cigarettes are often a fraction of the price in Africa than in Europe. Most people in Africa were not eating enough vegetables and fruits. The rise of junk food and unhealthy diets has led to under nutrition and obesity. Averages of 35% of people were overweight and that the average time spent in moderate or high intensity physical activity is less. Women were more likely to be inactive and overweight. Governments in African countries should raise domestic financing mechanisms so they can accommodate this growing burden. Besides there is urgent need for reorganisation or reorientation of whole health system in Africa.  

20 December 2016

The Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) has revised North East Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy (NEIIP), 2007. The revision of policy stipulates mandatory disbursal of subsidies payable to all industrial units in northeast through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) mechanism by Chief Controller of Accounts (Industry). Industrial units which had commenced production on or after December 1, 2014 and on or before March 31, 2017 will be eligible for incentives as per the revised norms of subsidy. It will also include existing units which go in for substantial expansion and commence commercial production on or before March 2017. For this purpose, the industrial units need to get themselves registered on the e-payment portal by providing required bank details.  The subsidy for the existing and new industrial units going for substantial expansion will be limited Rs 3 crore per industrial unit operating in services sector and Rs 5 crore per industrial unit operating in manufacturing sector. The limit for automatic approval of subsidy at the rate of 30% of the investment in plant and machinery will continue to be upto Rs 1.5 crore per unit. In case for grant of capital investment subsidy higher than Rs 1.5 crore and upto a maximum of Rs 5 crore will be approved by empowered committee chaired by Secretary, DIPP.  

20 December 2016

A fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus) was sighted in the moderately dense mangrove surrounding of the Gilalakalandi harbour near Machilipatnam, Andhra Pradesh. The movement of the fishing cat was sighted moderately dense mangrove area which is home for Asian sea bass fish species seed. Fishing cat  : The fishing cat is a medium-sized wild cat of South and Southeast Asia. It is the state animal of West Bengal. They live foremost in the vicinity of wetlands, along rivers, streams, oxbow lakes, in swamps and mangroves. Threat: Destruction of wetlands and over-exploitation of local fish stocks. International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has classified it as ‘vulnerable’ species and is protected under the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972.

20 December 2016

After claiming his second Wimbledon title and maiden ATP World Tour Finals crown, Britain's world number one Andy Murray won a record third BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.  Murray previously won the award in 2013 and 2015 after his London 2012 Olympic gold and maiden Wimbledon title in 2015.

20 December 2016

Corporation Bank has bagged the SKOCH silver award for attaining the position of number1 channel partner of LIC of India for the past three financial years, according to a press release by the bank here.  It said that the bank was also awarded order of merit under other three categories. CK Gopal, General Manager of the bank, received the award in the presence of Nilesh Sathe, Member of IRDAI, and Sameer Kochhar, Chairman of SKOCH Foundation, in New Delhi recently.

20 December 2016

University of Toronto scientists have discovered the oldest water sample dating back to about two billion years, more than 500 million years more ancient than the previous oldest samples.  The water pool was found at a depth of nearly 3 kilometres in a Canadian mine. The discovery could give clues about life forms beneath the surface of other planets. The new discovery for the oldest water source beats the old record by 500,000,000 years. Water also found in Kidd Mine at 2.4 kilometers was estimated to be 1.5 billion years old. Although no ancient sources of water beneath the Earth’s surface have ever been found to contain life, the recent finding suggests it is capable of sustaining life. Traces of sulphate in the water provided scientists with a clue that it could have supported primitive life such as unicellular organisms, prompting scientists to consider similar possibilities below the surface of Mars, Saturn or other planets and moons. 

20 December 2016

The Reserve Bank of India said that it will issue Rs 50 denomination banknotes in the Mahatma Gandhi Series-2005, with inset letter ‘L’, ‘R’ in both the number panels, bearing signature of Dr Urjit R.Patel, Governor, Reserve Bank of India, and the year of printing ‘2016’ printed on the reverse of the banknote.  These banknotes would have the ascending size of numerals in the number panels and without intaglio printing; the banknotes are similar to Rs 50 banknotes issued earlier in Mahatma Gandhi Series-2005. The Central Bank said that all the banknotes in the denomination of Rs 50 issued by the RBI in the past will continue to be legal tender. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced on November 8 to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes

20 December 2016

Researchers have found that Zika-linked abnormalities, that occur in human fetuses, are more severe than previously thought and other birth defects are more common than microcephaly, a condition in which babies are born with very small heads. The findings of the research were published in the New England Journal of Medicine in December 2016. Findings Microcephaly is not the most common congenital defect from the Zika virus as per Karin Nielsen, senior author of the study and Professor at David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles. However, the absence of this condition does not mean that the baby will be free of birth defects as there are problems that are not apparent at birth and such difficulties may not be evident until the child attains the age of six months. The damage during fetal development from the mosquito-borne virus can occur throughout pregnancy. Zika infection during pregnancy is associated with fetal death, fetal growth restriction and a spectrum of central nervous system abnormalities. 42 percent of infants, born to the Zika-infected mothers, were found to have microcephaly, brain lesions, or brain calcifications in imaging studies, lesions in the retina, deafness, feeding difficulties, and other complications. The study was based on a sample size of 345 women who were enrolled from September 2015 through May 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The researchers evaluated 125 women infected with Zika and 61 who were not infected with the virus and had given birth by July 2016. There were nine fetal deaths among women with Zika infection during pregnancy, five of those in the first trimester. Fetal deaths or abnormalities in the infants were present in 46 percent of Zika-positive women, contrasted with 11.5 percent of Zika-negative women.  

20 December 2016

India won the five-match test series against England, 3-0-1. In the fifth and final test played at M. A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, England wrapped up the second innings at 207 in 88 overs. Karun Nair’s triple century in first innings of the fifth test-match against England was the key factor in the enormous win of India. India's first innings total was its highest score in Tests and was the most runs made against England by any team. 1st Match: The first match was played from 9 to 13 November 2016 at Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Rajkot. The match was declared drawn. England’s Moeen Ali was declared the Player of the Match. 2nd Match: It was played from 17 November to 21 November 2016 at Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium, Visakhapatnam. India won the match by 246 runs. India’a Virat Kohli was the Player of the Match. 3rd Match: It was played from 26 to 30 November 2016 at Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali.  Indian won by 8 wickets. India’s Ravindra Jadeja was the Player of the Match. 4th Match: It was played from 8 to 12 December 2016 at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai. India won by an innings and 36 runs. India’s Virat Kohli was the Player of the Match. 5th Match: It was played from 16 to 20 December 2016 at M. A. Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai. India won by an innings and 75 runs. India's Karun Nair was declared as the Player of the Match.  

20 December 2016

Renowned environmentalist Anupam Mishra passed away on 19 December 2016 in Delhi following a prolonged illness. He was 68. His seminal work on water conservation 'Aaj Bhi Khare Hain Talab' fired the imagination of common people and ecology warriors and gave wings to India's indigenous wisdom on this subject. Anupam Mishra : Born in Wardha, Maharashtra, Mishra started his career as a writer-activist with the Gandhi Peace Foundation in 1969. His first assignment was being part of a team negotiating the surrender of the dacoits of Chambal. He wrote books including Aaj Bhi Khare Hain Talaab (Lakes are still Standing, 1993) and Rajasthan Ki Rajat Boondein (Radiant Raindrops of Rajasthan, 1995). His work 'Aaj Bhi Khare Hain Talab' was born out of his involvement with the drought in Rajasthan in 1987 and demonstrated how ponds nourished people living in the hinterland. First published in 1993, 'Aaj Bhi Khare Hain Talab' has seen 40 editions in about 10 languages till date including a Braille edition. It has sold a staggering 200000 odd copies. He was the editor of the bi-monthly ‘Gandhi Marg’ published by the Gandhi Peace Foundation. He opined that India had been a water-literate society in the past and harnessed traditional knowledge to improve the present. He was the recipient of various awards including Jamnalal Bajaj Award, Amar Shaheed Chandrashekhar Azad National Award and many others.

20 December 2016

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has unveiled the landmark Charter on Citizen’s Rights in Tehran. The charter was unveiled to counter the accusations of Western nations about Iran’s ongoing human rights violations, including brutal practices such as public execution, torture, violence against women and discrimination against minorities. Highlights : The charter is primarily aimed at restricting the powers of State agencies vis-à-vis citizen’s civil and political rights. The charter guarantees a number of rights such as right to a fair trial, freedom of speech and freedom f movement. The charter also provides for equality of law and non-discrimination on the basis of nationality and religion. Though all these rights are provided in the post-Islamic revolution constitution of 1979, it is for the first time a clear list is provided by the authorities. However, it is still unclear that how far the institutions such as the judiciary and the Revolutionary Guards are bound by this charter. Since the 1979 Islamic revolution, these powerful institutions are in the hands of conservatives who are not answerable to the President of Iran. The hardliners argue that their priority is to protect the revolution against dissenters and outside interference. Hassan Rouhani : He is the seventh president of Islamic Republic of Iran He assumed the office on 3 August 2013. He has been a member of Iran's Assembly of Experts since 1999 and also a member of the Expediency Council since 1991. He is a member of the powerful Supreme National Security Council since 1989. In 2013, TIME magazine named him in its list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.

20 December 2016

The World Wildlife Fund reports that a group of researchers discovered 163 new species in the Greater Mekong region. A rainbow-headed snake, a dragon-like lizard and a newt that looks like a Klingon from Star Trek were among the 163 new species that were found in the region. In all, 9 amphibians, 11 fish, 14 reptiles, 126 plants and 3 mammals were described for the first time. Scientists also discovered a rare banana species from Thailand. Between 1997 and 2015, there have been 2409 new species discovered in the Greater Mekong. This adds to the over 430 mammal species, 800 reptiles and amphibians, 1200 birds, 1100 fish and 20000 plant species already known to science. Greater Mekong region : The Greater Mekong is an international region of the Mekong River basin in Southeast Asia. It holds irreplaceable natural and cultural riches and is considered one of the world's most significant biodiversity hotspot. The region has a diverse geographic landscape including massifs, plateaus, limestone karsts, lowlands, fertile floodplains and deltas, forests and grasslands. It encapsulates 16 of the WWF Global 200 ecoregions and habitats for an estimated 20000 plant species, 1300 fish species, 1200 bird species, 800 reptile and amphibian species, and 430 mammal species. The region's biodiversity is ranked as a top-five most threatened hotspot by Conservation International. The WWF also states that the region is particularly vulnerable to global climate change.

20 December 2016

The Madras High Court banned the unauthorised functioning of Sharia courts in Tamil Nadu on 19 December 2016. The ruling came after the hearing of a petition filed by 29-year-old Abdul Rahman who claimed to have been forced to divorce his wife by one such court in the city. Rahman who is an engineer employed in the Gulf sought justice for his victimisation. His plea was heard by a bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice M Sundar. Highlights : The bench ordered a ban on all such courts functioning in an unauthorised manner on the premises of mosques in the city. The bench further stated that religious places are only meant for religious purposes and asked the state government to ensure that such courts do not function. The bench also demanded a status report from the police within four weeks. Though Chennai police denied the existence of such courts, a police report did confirm the existence of some dispute redressal sessions at the Makka Masjid Shariat Council on Mount Road in Chennai. Rahman is his petition too mentioned that the court functioned on the premises of the Council and was dealing mostly with matrimonial disputes and passing divorce orders like any other regular court. His plea demanded that a court intervention is necessary to safeguard the interests of innocent Muslims whose fate is decided by these illegal courts and councils. According to A Sirajudddin, Rahman’s lawyer, the young engineer approached the Sharia Court to resolve his marital issues and reunite with his wife. However, the court forced him to sign a consent letter for talaq and pronounced talaq on his behalf, showing the letter as a proof of his consent. Rahman was forced to approach the High Court after the police failed to take any appropriate action in his case. The Sharia court claiming to follow the ‘Sharia law' governs the members of Islamic faith worldwide. The ruling passed by these courts is religiously binding for the believers. The topics raised in these courts cover both personal and public matters including crime, politics, marriage contracts, prayer, fasting, trade regulations, religious prescriptions, and hygiene.

20 December 2016

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has voted to deploy UN observers to Syrian city Aleppo to monitor evacuations and report on the fate of civilians. The council unanimously adopted a French-drafted resolution 2328 (2016) that marks the first show of unity in months among world powers on the issue. The measure tasks the UN with carrying out “adequate, neutral monitoring and direct observation on evacuations from eastern Aleppo and other districts of the city”. Points of the resolution : Take note of the efforts to carry out evacuations of civilians and fighters from Aleppo. The evacuations must be conducted in accordance with international humanitarian law and principles. Ensure the voluntary, safe and dignified passage of all civilians from the eastern districts of Aleppo under the monitoring of and coordination by the UN. All parties shall allow complete, immediate, unconditional, safe and unhindered access for the UN to ensure that humanitarian assistance reaches people through the most direct route. The Secretary-General must take urgent steps to make arrangements to allow the observation by the Un of the well-being of civilians. The Secretary-General shall report to the Security Council on the implementation of this resolution within 5 days of adoption of this resolution. Military Confrontation in Aleppo : Aleppo, the largest city in Syria, is seeing a major military confrontation (also known as Battle of Aleppo) between the Syrian opposition in partial cooperation with the Army of Conquest and the Syrian Armed Forces of the Syrian Government, supported by Hezbollah and Shiite militias and Russia. The Army of Conquest includes Al-Nusra Front, formerly al-Qaida's Syrian branch. The battle began on 19 July 2012. It is a part of the ongoing Syrian Civil War. The large scale devastation of the battle led combatants to name it the "mother of battles" or "Syria's Stalingrad". The battle caused catastrophic destruction to the Old City of Aleppo, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The battle represents one of the longest sieges in modern warfare and one of the bloodiest battles of the Syrian Civil War. The battle left an estimated 31000 people dead, almost a tenth of the overall war casualties, which is estimated to be at least 400000.

20 December 2016

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat has unveiled the statue of renowned Tamil poet and philosopher Thiruvalluvar on the premises of Mela Bhawan in Haridwar. Thiruvalluvar is a renowned poet believed to have lived between 3rd Century BC and 1st Century BC. Thiruvalluvar : Thiruvalluvar is a celebrated Tamil poet and philosopher. His contribution to Tamil literature is the Thirukkural, a work on ethics. It is one of the most revered ancient works in the Tamil language. It is believed that he was born either in Thiru Mylai (Mylapore) Chennai in Tamil Nadu or in ThirunainarKuruchi, a village in Kanyakumari District of Tamil Nadu. The Tamil poet Mamulanar of the Sangam period mentioned that Thiruvalluvar was the greatest Tamil scholar. The first mention of the name Thiruvalluvar was found in the 10th century in a text called Thiruvalluvarmaalai. It is believed that he was a weaver and the supposed house he lived is now converted to a temple. There is a 133-foot tall statue of the celebrated erected at Kanyakumari at the southern tip of the Indian subcontinent. There is also a statue of Thiruvalluvar outside the School of Oriental and African Studies in Russell Square, London.

20 December 2016

Scientists have discovered a huge dead zone in the Bay of Bengal. The area, estimated to be around 60000 square km, is reported to contain little or no oxygen. The area is also said to host microorganisms, which remove a large amount of nitrogen from the ocean. Though dead zones can be found in other oceanic bodies as well, there has been no indication of nitrogen loss there. Researchers from the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research’s National Institute of Oceanography reported that though some amount of oxygen does exist in the Bay of Bengal, the concentrations are lesser that what standard techniques could detect.  The oxygen level is stated to be around 10000 times lesser that the amount found in the air-saturated surface waters. The microbes present in the Bay of Bengal are in fact capable of removing all the nitrogen from the water but traces of oxygen stop them from doing so.  Though there is some evidence of nitrogen-removing microorganisms existing in other well-known dead zones well, they are reported to work at a much slower rate. According to Wajih Naqvi, the former director of National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), if the last amount of oxygen is removed from the ocean then, the bay would become a cause of nitrogen removal from oceans across the world. Complete removal of nitrogen could affect the nitrogen balance in marine life and also the rate of their productivity. Dead zones : Dead zones are large areas in the ocean that have low oxygen concentration. The marine life in these areas mostly suffocates and dies or if they are mobile like the fish then, they leave the area.  Though at many times, dead zones occur naturally, scientists are also of the opinion that they are created due to increased human activity.  The main cause of the zones created by humans is nutrient pollution. Excess nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) can result in the overgrowth of algae, which later decomposes in the water consuming excess oxygen, depleting the supply available for the marine life. Dead zones can be found in virtually every oceanic body, the largest encompassing almost the whole bottom of the Baltic Sea. Another large dead zone is located in the Gulf of Mexico. Other dead zones occur off the western coasts of North and South America and off the coast of Namibia and western coast of India. Global warming triggered by climate change is predicted to lead to an expansion of these dead zones. However, it is not certain whether the climate change would lead to the removal of the last traces of oxygen from the bay as well.  

20 December 2016

YES Bank, India’s fifth largest private sector bank has partnered with Ola, one of the popular mobile apps for transportation, to provide cash-on-demand at customer’s doorstep. Customers will be able to use the Ola app to book a cab and opt for ‘cash at their doorsteps’ that will be enabled using Point-of-Sale (PoS) machines powered by YES Bank. The bank, in a statement, said the service will be available across 10 cities — Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Pune, Kolkata, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Jaipur. Users in these cities can request an on-demand cash withdrawal, right at their doorstep, by clicking on a special “YES Bank” icon that would be visible on the Ola App on December 20 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. “Customers can swipe their debit cards to withdraw an amount of up to ₹2,000 per card. This is enabled using PoS Machines powered by YES Bank available in Ola cabs which will drive down to the customer depending on his/her request; placed through the Ola app.

20 December 2016

Keeping in line with falling interest rates, organised sector workers will earn 8.65% on their provident fund savings this year.  This follows a decision by the apex decision-making body of the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) to reduce interest rate on provident fund deposits to 8.65% for 2016-17 from the current 8.8%.  Although union representatives on the EPFO board of trustees sought for the rate to be retained at last year's level, the agency opted otherwise. The move is in line with the falling rate regime with the RBI cutting key lending rates and banks reducing deposit rates following the demonetisation move last month.  Taking into account relevant factors, the Central Board (of Trustees) decided to recommend 8.65% interest to its subscribers for 2016-17. Roughly 17 crore subscribers' accounts will be updated with this interest rate upon acceptance by the government, labour ministry officials said after the 215th meet of the Central Board of Trustees (CBT), the EPFO's decision making body. The rates need to be notified by the labour ministry, which will look at the projected earnings and expenditure of the EPFO for the current financial year. 

20 December 2016

Weeks after India demonetised its high-value currencies, Pakistan’s Senate on 19 December 2016 passed a resolution that seeks withdrawal of high denomination Rs 5000 currency notes. This currency note will be withdrawn in a phased manner. The resolution was passed with an aim to curb the flow of black money in the nation. As per reports, the currency notes will be withdrawn in three to five years and this time period will help the government to purge markets of the notes. The resolution was tabled in the upper house of Pakistani Parliament by Senator Usman Saif Ullah Khan of Pakistan Muslim League. His resolution was endorsed by the majority of lawmakers. As per reports, the resolution said, the withdrawal of bank notes of Rs 5000 will encourage the use of bank accounts. It will also reduce the size of the undocumented economy. Zahid Hamid, a lawmaker, said that this withdrawal would create a situation of crisis in the market and people will resort to foreign currencies in absence of banknotes of Rs 5000. At present, 3.4 trillion notes are available in the market of Pakistan of which 1.02 trillion notes are of Rs 5000 denominations. The resolution and its aim hint that the move is inspired by India’s demonetisation, which was announced on 8 November 2016 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. After the announcement, banknotes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 were pulled out from circulation. Earlier on 11 December 2016, Venezuelan government also announced the demonetisation of Bolivar Fuerte 100 banknotes. He gave 10-days time to Venezuelans to exchange the notes at the central bank of the country. Amid protests and looting, this time period of 10 days was extended up to 2 January 2017.

20 December 2016

Prime Minister Narendra Modi  unveiled first ever Indian Institute of Skills at Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh. On this occasion, Modi also launched Kaushal Pradarshini to portray major skill development initiatives of the Union Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE). Indian Institute of Skills :  The institute at Kanpur is the country’s first ever Indian Institute of Skills. The primary objective of the institute is to empower India’s youth to be more employable and self-sustainable. The institute has been conceptualised by the Prime Minister during his visit to Singapore’s Institute of Technical Education. The institute is inspired by the Singapore model of training and would adopt various best practices from the country. The plan is to set up six such institutes across the country in coming years. Kaushal Pradarshini : It is a skill exhibition for the youth of Uttar Pradesh.The exhibition showcases state-of-the-art vocational training practices across different sectors. It will remain open for public view at the Railway Grounds in Kanpur between 19 December 2016 and 22 December 2016. The Indian Institute of Skills and Kaushal Pradarshini initiatives were launched in line with the vision of making India the Skill Capital of the World. Some of the other skill development initiatives announced by the Union Government in recent times are - The Union Budget 2016-17 identified Education, Skill Development and Employment as one of the nine pillars to transform the Indian economy. The objective is to provide quality education, better skills and employment opportunities. In March 2015, the Union Cabinet approved Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana to impart skill training to youth at an estimated cost of 1500 crore rupees.  National Mission for Skill Development was launched in July 2015 to train a minimum of 300 million skilled people by 2022.

20 December 2016

Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar  was appointed as the 44th Chief Justice of India by the President Pranab Mukherjee. Justice Khehar will be sworn-in as the Chief Justice of India on 4 January 2017. He will retire from his office on 27 August 2017. The incumbent Chief Justice T S Thakur on 6 December 2016 had communicated his recommendation to the Union Government to appoint Justice Khehar. Justice Thakur will retire on 3 January 2017 after tenure of a year. Justice Khehar will be the first Chief Justice of India from the Sikh community.  Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar : Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar had led the five-judge constitution bench of the Supreme Court that struck down the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act for the appointment of judges. He also led the bench that in January 2016 set aside the imposition of President’s rule in Arunachal Pradesh. He also headed the bench that passed a verdict of equal pay for equal work for the benefit of people engaged as casual and contractual employees who work like regulars and daily wagers. He was a part of the bench that sent Sahara Chief Subrata Roy to jail after hearing the matter relating to the refund of money invested by people in his two companies.