Current Affairs 6th December 2016 - Banking, SSC, UPSC Affairs

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Dr BR Ambedkar, the father of the Indian Constitution, was in news on 6 December 2016. He came into news on his 60th death anniversary. On the occasion, lakhs of people converged at Chaitya Bhoomi to pay homage to him. Chaitya Bhoomi is the place where Ambedkar was cremated after his death on 6 December 1956. Remembering Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar on 125th Birth Anniversary and his contribution to Indian Constitution Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) made adequate arrangements for pilgrims who come to visit Chaitya Bhoomi on Mahaparinirvan Diwas. Details of preparation at Chaitya Bhoomi by MCGM : It set up 10 control rooms to guide visitors. About 11 ambulances were placed at service at various locations around Shivaji Park and Chaityabhoomi. Around 750 workers have been put on duty round the clock at the venue and Dadar Chowpatty beach, which has the book stalls. About 200 mobile toilets, water tankers, utility vehicles and fire engines were set up to aid the visitors Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar : Born on 14 April 1891 at Mahu in Madhya Pradesh, Babasaheb, was an Indian jurist, economist, politician and social reformer He inspired the Dalit Buddhist Movement and campaigned against social discrimination against Untouchables (Dalits), while also supporting the rights of women and labour. He was Independent India's first law minister and the principal architect of the Constitution of India. He earned doctorates in economics from both Columbia University and the London School of Economics. In his early career, he was an economist, professor, and lawyer.Later, he turned up to be a political activist and involved himself in campaigning and negotiations for India's independenceIn 1956 he converted to Buddhism, initiating mass conversions of Dalits. He was posthumously conferred with the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award in 1990. He died on 6 December 1956  

The world’s first hospital train, Lifeline Express is all set to get two additional coaches for cancer treatment. The decision was announced by the Ministry of Railways on 5 December 2016.  Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu along with Health Minister JP Nadda will be inaugurating the new additions. The coaches are purely equipped for detection and control of oral, cervical and breast cancer and prevention of stroke. They will be accompanied by three fully equipped operation theatres. ]These additions just add more strength to the existing life-saving services present on the five-coach train, as it is already equipped to conduct surgeries for sight, hearing, clefts, burns, broken bones and treatment of epilepsy and dental issues.  Around 10000 people are estimated to benefit from the project at each location.  Lifeline Express : Funded by Impact UK, the project was developed by the Indian Railways and Union health Ministry. It also receives funding from international charitable sources, Indian corporate houses, and individuals. The train became fully functional on 16 July 1991. The main objective behind the service was to provide immediate medical aid to disabled adults and children living in remote and otherwise inaccessible areas of India, where advanced medical services are not available. It has by far treated over one million disabled poor Indians living in the rural areas, completely free of cost. The train’s staff comprises around 200,000 medical professionals from across the world, all of whom have donated their services for the cause. The train has taken up almost 177 projects across the country and conducted more than one lakh surgeries. The service’s 178th project will start at Satna, Madhya Pradesh from 15 December 2016 and will go on until 5 January 2017. Besides providing instant medical aid, the service aims to improve the efficiency of existing government body and health infrastructure and services in the remote areas. It also aims to encourage the local bodies to gain more understanding on the programme and then provide follow-up services once the train departs.

The annual bilateral maritime exercise Konkan 16 between the Indian Navy and the Royal Navy (British Navy) started in Mumbai, Maharashtra. The 2016 edition of the exercise (from 05 to 16 December 2016) will play an important chapter in the maritime interactions. It will familiarise navies of both countries with each other’s planning processes and further enhance synergy and inter-operability. Konkan 16 will be conducted in two phases in Mumbai and Goa. The first phase (05 to 09 December 2016) will be held in Mumbai. In it there will be a command planning exercise involving the two navies, where planners from both sides will undertake planning for combined maritime operations. The second phase is a LIVE EXERCISE (LIVEX) will be held from 12 to 16 December 2016 at Goa. It involves interaction between the Indian Marine Commandos (MARCOs) and the Royal Marines. Both phases will involve sharing of best practices and lessons learnt from recent operations, especially in the field of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) and Non-combatant Evacuation Operations (NEO). The exercise KONKAN has been named after the Western coastal region of India. It was institutionalised in 2004. Since then, the exercise hosted in rotation by both the Navies. It has grown in complexity, scale and intensity. Successive editions of KONKAN exercises have built on past experiences and have enhanced operational inter-operability between the two navies. This cooperation between the two navies is a positive and tangible symbol of commitment in ensuring a positive climate for maritime security and economic development. It will further strengthen the existing bonds of friendship between India and UK and enhance India’s capability to work together to contribute towards maritime security in the global commons.

Haryana government in the first week of December 2016 banned the carrying of arms at wedding functions. The ban was announced after several incidents of celebratory firing were reported, including the death of an orchestra dancer in Bhatinda. The ban was imposed under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code and as per an official release firing in the air is also an offence, which is punishable by six months’ imprisonment. Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Ram Niwas said it has been noticed that most often people indulge in celebratory firing during the occasions of marriage. The incident occurs after they consume alcohol. Thus, to make sure that such incidents don’t take place, the Police Department has been directed to put a check on carrying of arms at wedding functions, it will be done in the coordination of the concerned district magistrate.  

Public sector company MMTC will tie-up with the StateBank of India (SBI) to sell government-minted "Indian Gold Coin. The state-run bullion trader, which has already tied up with over half a dozen banks, has so far sold one lakh pieces of "Indian Gold Coin" and has set a target of selling 5 lakhs units in the next few years. The coin is available in denominations of 5gm, 10gm and 20 gm bar. These lenders are Indian Overseas Bank, Vijaya Bank, Federal Bank, Yes Bank, Andhra Bank, ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank. The coin is being sold to customers through their 400 designated branches across the country. MMTC will now enter into a similar agreement with the country's largest lender, Prakash said, adding the coin is also available at all the 383 outlets of the PSU. Prakash was in the city yesterday to preside over an event at 10th global trade show organised by the Vadodara Chamber of Commerce and Industries (VCCI). The coin is India's first-ever sovereign gold offering and the only one to be hallmarked by Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) for purity. The coin has the national emblem Ashoka Chakra engraved on one side and Mahatma Gandhi on the other. Its other unique features include 24 Karat 999 fineness purity, positive tolerance both in weight and purity, tamper proof packaging and advanced anti-counterfeit features. MMTC also plans to upgrade its gold coin minting facility, Prakash said. "We will modernise our facility so that we can mint more pieces of the coin when its demand increases." Balkrishna Shukla, a Director on board of MMTC, said through the coin, the government aims to reduce dependence on gold imports to meet the local demand. The coin, manufactured by Security Printing and Minting Corp, is made from the yellow metal collected under Gold Monetisation Scheme of the Central government.  

To encourage each district in the country to encourage digital payments for day to day financial transactions without fear, the NITI Aayog has taken an initiative to transfer Rs.5 lakh to each district to implement the move. To give a boost to cashless digital payment systems across districts, talukas and panchayats. The central government has taken number of measures such as incentives for digital payments for day to day financial transactions like buying or selling goods/services, and transferring money to promote the transition to the cashless digital payment systems. For availing the incentive, district administration will have to use the funds to increase the number of mobile and Aadhar cards linked to bank accounts, issue of Rupay cards and PIN numbers and download of apps. The district collector, commissioner or magistrates would have ensure that individualstransiting to digital payment mode should do at least two successful transactions by any of the given five methods: Unified payment interface (UPI), Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), AadhaarEnabled Payments, E-wallets and Rupaydebit/credit/prepaid cards. The top 10 best performing districts of India will be awarded the Digital Payment Champions of India Award by NITI Aayog. The 50 panchayats which go cashless will be awarded digital payment award of honour.  

The Finance Ministry made it mandatory on December 5, 2016 for all Government Departments to make Electronic Payments to suppliers, contractors or institutions if the order value exceeds Rs 5,000, to give a boost to Digital Payment System. To attain the goal of complete digitization of government payments, the ministry has lowered the amount for making such payments from Rs 10,000 to Rs 5,000. Ministry of Finance has directed all the ministries and departments to ensure implementation of the same with immediate effect. The Finance Ministry has instructed PSU and private banks to waive the transaction cost for all payments made through debit cards.

In line with the central government’s Digital India initiative, the Goa Government will on Monday launch its ambitious scheme providing limited free talktime and Internet data to the youth in the state. Goa Yuva Sanchar Yojana will be unveiled across the state.  The scheme will  provide 100 minutes talk time and 3 GB Internet data free with a SIM card (every month) for youths aged between 16-30 years The government has tied up with  Vodafone for the scheme which is expected to benefit nearly 1.25 lakh youth.  Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar  said the government has made a provision to discontinue with the scheme if a beneficiary is found to be misusing it. The Digital India initiative is a flagship programme of the Modi Government that seeks to transform the country into a digitally-empowered society and knowledge economy. Launched in July last year, the programme aims to provide a much-needed thrust to areas like broadband highways, universal access to mobile connectivity, public Internet access programme and e-Governance.

Actor Samuel L Jackson will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) at the opening of the festival on December 7. The 67-year-old actor will be part of an interactive session with fans on December 9. He is known for his role as 'Ultimate Nick Fury' in Marvel films and for films like 'Pulp Fiction'. Samuel Leroy Jackson is an American actor and film producer. Jackson has achieved critical and commercial acclaim, surpassing Frank Welker as the actor with the highest-grossing film total of all time in October 2011, and he has received numerous accolades and awards. He is married to LaTanya Richardson, with whom he has a daughter, Zoe. Samuel L. Jackson is ranked as the second highest all-time box office star with over $4,713.7 million total box office gross, an average of $68.3 million per film.

 India has agreed to train Vietnam’s Sukhoi-30 fighter pilots, boosting growing defence ties between both countries. In this regard agreement was signed during bilateral discussions between Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and his Vietnamese counterpart, General Ngo Xuan Lich in New Delhi. Air Forces of both countries have signed a programme for cooperation. It covers a cross-section of activities, including training of pilots and exchange of experts. Under it, Vietnamese pilots will be trained in India. The two Air Forces are working out the numbers, scope and the cost of training. Both India and Vietnam operate Russian Su-30 fighter jets. However the models of fighter jets operated by both countries differ slightly in their configuration. India already is training Vietnamese sailors in operating Kilo class submarines. Vietnam has been inducting Russian made Kilo class submarines since January 2014. Besides, both countries also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on peacekeeping as well as exchange of delegations. India and Vietnam have steadily stepping up their cooperation, especially in defence sector, against the backdrop of the growing assertiveness of China in the Southeast and South Asai region. Recently, bilateral ties between both countries received a further fillip after Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Vietnam in September 2016, on his way to the G-20 Summit in Guangzhou, China. During this visit, the bilateral relationship between both countries was upgraded from a “strategic partnership” to a “comprehensive strategic partnership.

Senior IAS officer B.S. Bhullar was appointed the Chief of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on 5 December 2016. At present, Bhullar, a 1986-batch IAS officer, is working as an Additional Secretary in Civil Aviation Ministry. He was also holding the additional charge of the DGCA. The post of the Chief of DGCA was lying vacant for over four months after M Sathiyavathy, a 1982-batch IAS officer of the union territories cadre, was named as new Union Labour Secretary in July 2016. She was the first woman chief of the aviation regulator. Directorate General of Civil Aviation : The Directorate General of Civil Aviation is the Indian governmental regulatory body for civil aviation under the Ministry of Civil Aviation. It investigates aviation accidents and incidents.It is headquartered in New Delhi. Lately, the Indian government has been planning to replace the organisation with a Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). The CAA is said to be modelled on the lines of the American Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

O Panneerselvam was sworn-in as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu on 5 December 2016. He succeeded AIADMK supremo and former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister who earlier died at the Apollo Hospital. Governor Ch. Vidyasagar Rao administered the oath of office and secrecy for Panneerselvam at a somber ceremony at the Raj Bhawan. Other 31 ministers of the erstwhile Jayalalithaa Cabinet were also sworn-in. This was Panneerselvam’s third swearing-in as Chief Minister. Earlier, he had served Tamil Nadu as its Chief Minster, during 2001-02 and 2014-15, after Jayalalithaa was unseated by the courts. Tamil Nadu government has announced a seven-day State Mourning from 6 November 2016. The government has also declared a three-day holiday for all educational institutions in the state. O Panneerselvam : Panneerselvam was born on 14 January 1951. He is a member of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) party of Tamil Nadu.Panneerselvam served as the chairman of Periakulam municipality in 1996. He became the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu in September 2001 when then Chief Minister Jayalalithaa was barred from holding office by the Supreme Court of India. He served the office till 2002. He also served as the Finance Minister of Tamil Nadu in the Jayalalithaa cabinet from 2011 to 2014.

Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, J Jayalalithaa who suffered a cardiac arrest on Sunday passed away on 5 December 2016. She was 68. AIADMK supremo breathed her last at 11:30 PM at the Apollo Hospital. She was put on heart assist device following the attack and her condition was stated to be critical by senior doctors at the Apollo hospital. The minister was brought in with complaints of temperature, dehydration, and congestion on 22 September 2016 but after the tests, it was revealed that there was a collection of fluid in her lungs and she was put in intensive care. However, the 68-year-old former actress was on her way to full recovery when she suffered the cardiac arrest, following which a team of best doctors was employed to revive her including UK-based intensivist Dr. Richard Beale and a special team dispatched from All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi. The Delhi team comprised three renowned doctors, pulmonologist Dr. G Khilnani, anaesthesiologist Dr. Anjan Trikha, and cardiologist Nitish Nayak.  Despite this, her situation was reported to be highly critical, she passed away on Monday evening, leaving hopes of thousands of Tamilians high and dry. All of Tamil Nadu has been brought to a standstill. Many schools and offices shut early today, as tension enveloped the city. The news of her critical state itself had wreaked havoc outside the Apollo hospital, leading to the summoning of thousands of police officials from around the state. Paramilitary forces have also been called in to control the worsening situation. After her death, the state government has announced a seven-day State Mourning from 6 December 2016. During this period, the national flag on all government buildings will be flown at half-mast. The government also declared a three-day holiday for all educational institutions in the state. Besides, the neighbouring union territory of Puducherry has also announced a holiday for all government offices and educational institutions on 6 December 2016 as a mark of respect to Jayalalithaa. J Jayalalithaa : In the 1980s, she was made the propaganda secretary of AIADMK by founder-leader MG Ramachandran She entered the Rajya Sabha in 1984 In 1989, she was elected to the Tamil Nadu assembly for the first time after which she became the Chief Minister of the state in 1991 She is the second female chief minister of Tamil Nadu after Janaki Ramachandran Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa held guilty in disproportionate assets case She is called Amma (Mother) and Puratchi Thalaivi (Revolutionary Leader) by her followers.The five-time Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa was a pioneer of several social sector schemes like Cradle to baby scheme aimed at fighting the curse of female foeticide Amma Canteens to provide low-priced food to the urban poor Other similar pro-poor schemes launched by her included 'Amma salt', 'Amma water' and 'Amma medicines'. Before starting her political career, she acted in over 100 movies mostly in Tamil, Telugu and Kannada.  She also acted in few Hindi and English films.She made her debut in a Kannada movie at the age of 16. Some of her films included Vennira Aadai (her first Tamil movie), Pattikada Pattanama, Aayirathil Oruvan (for which she won Filmfare Award for Best Actress in 1973) Sri Krishna Satya Her last film was the Nadhiyai Thedi Vandha Kadal (1980) She was born on 2 February 1948  

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