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Current Affairs December 2 2018

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2.75 lakh people avails CLSS under PMAY (U)
On 29th November,2018,Around 2.75 lakh beneficiaries have availed a subsidy scheme under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban), with Gujarat topping the chart. Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh had the most number of beneficiaries under the Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS) after Gujarat.
i.Over 88,000 beneficiaries have been disbursed CLSS in Gujarat, while 74,000 people have availed the subsidy in Madhya Pradesh in three categories – economically weaker section (EWS), low income group (LIG) and middle income group (MIG) categories under the PMAY (U).
ii.The PMAY (U), launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June 2015, aims to ensure “Housing for all by 2022” by providing financial assistance to beneficiaries.

NITI Aayog organized dialogue on ‘Health System for A New India’, the first event of a dialogue series for the 15 year vision document
On November 30, 2018, NITI Aayog initiated a series of Development Dialogue through its first event on “Health Systems for A New India: Building Blocks” in New Delhi.
i. The conference featured senior government functionaries, and eminent national and international experts in the healthcare space.
ii. The conference focused on strengthening governance, policy and regulatory frameworks and institutions for a developed health system that can grow to a globally competitive healthcare insurance.
About Development Dialogue:
i. The Development dialogue would encourage long-term social and economic development.
ii. Overall, the series aims to facilitate multi-sectoral conversations on India’s developmental issues, which constitute a part of the country’s 15 year vision document.
NITI Aayog:
♦ Chairman: PM Narendra Modi.
♦ Vice-Chairman: Rajiv Kumar.
♦ CEO: Amitabh Kant.

eDrishti: software to help Railways Minister keep track of punctuality of trains launched by Indian Railways
On November 29, 2018, the Indian Railways launched a software named- ‘eDrishti’, that will enable the Union Railway Minister Shri. Piyush Goyal to keep track of punctuality of trains as well as freight and passenger earnings from anywhere in the country.
i. The software has been developed by the Centre for Railway Information System (CRIS).
ii. This would enable the railway minister to know the following:

  • A day’s freight and passenger earnings,
  • Freight loading and unloading,
  • Punctuality,
  • The progress of major projects,
  • Public grievances,
  • The movement of trains across the country,
  • Details of railway stations,
  • Video monitoring of the IRCTC kitchens,
  • Live status of reserved and unreserved passengers travelling on trains.

iii. The software has also been connected with the base kitchens of the Indian Rail Catering and Tourism Corp (IRCTC).
Ministry of Railways:
♦ Union Minister: Shri. Piyush Goyal.
♦ Minister of State: Shri. Manoj Sinha, Shri. Rajen Gohain.
♦ Chairman of Indian Railways Board: Ashwini Lohani.

Health ministry approved formula for compensation to patients who received faulty hip implants by subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson Pvt Ltd
On November 29, 2018, the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India approved formula for compensation to the patients receiving faulty Articular Surface Replacement (ASR) hip implants manufactured by M/s. DePuy International Limited, U.K (M/S Johnson & Johnson Pvt Ltd).
i. The approved formula would see patients being compensated anywhere between Rs. 30 lakh and Rs. 1.23 crore, depending on the age and level of disability of the patient.
ii. The decision was taken by a Central Expert Committee under the Chairmanship of Dr. R.K. Arya, Director, Sports Injury Centre that determined the quantum of compensation.
iii. This was based on the recommendations of an expert committee, constituted by the Ministry, under the Chairmanship of Dr. Arun Kumar Agarwal, that examined the issues relating to faulty ASR Hip Implants.
iv. Furthermore, all state and union territory governments have been requested by the ministry to form state-level committees to examine affected and send their recommendations to the central committee that has proposed the compensation formula.
About the Formula:
i. According to the decision of compensation, the following formula was approved:
The B x R x F + Rs 10 lakh towards non-pecuniary damages, where, B is the base amount i.e., Rupees Twenty Lakh (Rs 20,00,000), R is the Risk Factor-Disability (ranging from 1 to 2.5), F is the Age Factor (from 16 to 65 and more).
Ministry of Health & Family Welfare:
♦ Union Minister: Shri. Jagat Prakash Nadda.
♦ Minister of State: Shri. Ashwini kumar Choubey,  Shri. Anupriya Patel.

India has one-third of world’s stunted children: Global nutrition report
India is facing a major malnutrition crisis as it holds almost a One-third of the world ‘stunted children’, according to a Global Nutrition Report 2018.The report classifies India as experiencing two forms of malnutrition anemia and stunting. Stunting or low height for age is caused by long term insufficient nutrient-intake and frequent infections.
Key points
i. With 46.6 million children who are stunted, India tops the list among 140 countries followed by Nigeria ( 13.3 million) and Pakistan (10.7 million).
ii. India also accounted for 25.5 million children who are wasted followed by Nigeria (3.4 million) and Indonesia (3.3 million).
iii. The World health organization is a Global Nutrition Report Partner.
About WHO
♦ Headquarter: Geneva, Switzerland
♦ Head: Tedros Adhanom

DAIC and JNU signed MoU to collaborate in research activities & policy formulation for Socio-Economic Transformation & Sustainable Development
On November 30, 2018, Dr Ambedkar International Centre (DAIC) and Jawaharlal Nehru University signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for Socio-economic Transformation and Sustainable Development.
i. The MoU will facilitate and enhance research activities and policy formulation aimed at Socio-economic Transformation and Sustainable Development.
ii. This would define the areas for fundamental, academic research in which both the parties would work in a collaborative framework to benefit from each other’s initiatives.

15th India Health Summit held in New Delhi
From 29th November to 30th November 2018, The leading industry body, Confederation of Indian industry (CII) organised its Annual Flagship, 15th India Health Summit-2018 in New Delhi.
Key points:
i. The theme of the summit this year is ‘Indian Healthcare – A Changing Paradigm’.
ii. Ms Anupriya Patel, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare released a report, ‘Creating the New Ecosystems to Provide Healthcare’ on the occasion.
iii. Union Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship & Petroleum and Natural Gas Shri Dharmendra Pradhan also addressed the summit.
Dr Jitendra Singh moots ‘Heli-Clinics’ for remote areas
At India Health Summit-2018, Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh mooted “Heli-Clinics” / Helicopter Clinics for remote areas, which could particularly be of great help to provide specialized medical care to people living in inaccessible hilly terrains of the States like Jammu & Kashmir and Northeast.
Dr. Jitendra proposed that on each day of the week, one super-specialist doctor like Cardiologist or Diabetologist or Nephrologist or Gastroenterologist, etc. can, set up a Helicopter OPD along with the requisite para-medical staff and medicines.
Confederation of Indian industry (CII):
♦ CII President: Rakesh Bharti Mittal
♦ CII Headquarters: New Delhi

President of India inaugurated four day 13th CII Agro Tech India – 2018 in Chandigarh
On December 1, 2018, the President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, inaugurated the four day 13th edition of CII Agro Tech India-2018 in Chandigarh.

13th CII Agro Tech India – 2018 in ChandigarhThe fair would conclude on December 4, 2018.
i. The International Agro Technology and Business Fair was organized by Confederation of Indian Industries. 
ii. The theme for the 2018 edition was “Technology in Agriculture: Increasing Farmer’s Income”.
iii. Great Britain was the partner country while the focus countries were Canada and China.
iv. Also the host states were Punjab and Haryana and the partner ministries included Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare and Ministry of Food Processing Industries.

Hornbill Festival of Nagaland commenced along with 55th Statehood Day; CM launched North-East region’s 2nd Tourist Police
On November 26, 2018, Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio launched the state Tourist Police at Police Headquarter in Kohima.

Hornbill Festival of NagalandNagaland became the second state in the North East to introduce Tourist Police after Arunachal Pradesh.
i. He also released the Tourist Police Handbook and launched Nagaland Police FIR Mobile App.
ii. Tourist Police will be deployed during Hornbill Festival of Nagaland, which is from 1st December to give safety and security of tourists.
About Hornbill Festival of Nagaland:
♦ The Hornbill Festival is one of the most cherished festivals of Nagaland.
♦ It is named after Hornbill, one of the most venerated bird species in the state.
♦ The 10-day festival is celebrated annually during the first week of December, i.e. from December 1-10.
♦ It is organized by State Tourism and Arts and Culture Department, Government of Nagaland to encourage inter-tribal harmony and promote culture and traditions of the different tribes of the state.
♦ The 19th annual Hornbill Festival in 2018 is being celebrated at the Naga Heritage Village in Kisama, located around 12 kilometers from the capital of the Nagaland, Kohima.
♦ It would also marked the Nagaland Formation Day.
55th Nagaland Statehood Day:
December 1, is annually seen as Nagaland Day since its formal inception as state in 1963, with the enactment of the state of Nagaland Act in 1962.
i. On December 1, 1963 Nagaland was inaugurated as the 16th State of the Indian Union by Dr Sarvapelli Radhakrishnan, the then President of India.
ii. December 1, 2018 marked the 55th Statehood Day and was celebrated at the Secretariat Plaza in Kohima.
♦ Capital: Kohima.
♦ Chief Minister: Neiphiu Rio.
♦ Governor: Shri. P. B. Acharya.
♦ National Parks & Wildlife Sanctuaries: Intanki National Park, Fakim Wildlife Sanctuary, Puliebadze Wildlife Sanctuary, Rangapahar Wildlife Sanctuary.
♦ Festivals: Amongmong festival, Hornbill festival, Tuluni festival, Yemshe festival, Nazu festival, Sekrenyi festival.

Three services (navy, Army and Air Force) conduct joint drill off Goa and Karwar coasts
From 17th November to 23rd November 2018, A large scale tri-service exercise involving the Navy, the Army and the Air Force ‘Madad 2018’ was conducted at sea off Goa and Karwar coasts in a move aimed at fine-tuning joint war-fighting capabilities and enhancing operational synergy. The biennial exercise was coordinated by the Indian Navy’s Western Naval Command in consultation with Headquarters Integrated Defence Staff (HQIDS).
i. The Kolkata Class destroyers, Landing Ships, Fleet support ship with ship borne helicopters, MARCOS and other force levels from all the three maritime commands of the Indian Navy were deployed in the exercise.
ii. The exercise also saw participation of Amphibious troops, Special Forces, Engineers along with support elements from the Indian Army, and C-17, C-130J, IL-76, AN 32 aircraft and Garuds of the Indian Air Force (IAF).

India’s first indigenous film festival to be held in Odisha next year
India’s first international indigenous film festival will take place in February next year in Odisha. It will be an initiative of activist film collective ‘Video Republic’.
Key points:
i. The three-stop event will kick off in Bhubaneswar on February 19 and 20, moving on to Puri from February 21 to 23 and will eventually culminate in an interaction with the adivasi communities at Niyamgiri.
ii. Films made by indigenous people or made by non-indigenous filmmakers in collaboration with the indigenous communities will be shown in the event.
About Odisha:
♦ Odisha Governor: Ganeshi Lal
♦ Odisha CM: Naveen Patnaik
♦ Odisha Capital: Bhubaneswar
♦ National Parks (NP) in Odisha: Bhitarkanika NP, Kanger Ghati NP, Simlipal NP

Tamil Nadu increased health insurance cover to Rs 5 lakh from Rs. 2 lakh under CMCHIS
On November 30, 2018, the Tamil Nadu government hiked the health insurance cover under the Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme (CMCHIS) from Rs two lakh to Rs five lakh.
i. This would come into effect from December 1, 2018 and would benefit 1.58 crore families as a cashless scheme.
ii. Through this the state would cover 1027 medical procedures for most of those who earn less than Rs. 72,000 per annum.


India’s chairmanship of Kimberley Process, from January 2019, announced in the 15th KPCS 2018 plenary session held in Brussels, Belgium
India took over the chairmanship of Kimberley Process from EU during the four-day 15th Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) Plenary 2018, that was held in Brussels, Belgium, from 12th-16th November 2018.

India’s chairmanship of Kimberley Process

i. The chairmanship of the KPCS for India would be operation from January 2019.
ii. And the next Intersessional session is slated to be held in India as Chair.
iii. Botswana and the Russian Federation will serve as Vice-Chair during the period of 2019-2020.
About the Plenary session:
i. The 4-day Plenary witnessed discussion on environmental challenges in diamond mining and industry responsibility.
ii. In the 4-day long plenary, India was represented by Commerce Secretary, Dr. Anup Wadhawan.
iii. India’s role as the Chairman of KPCS would consist of:

  • Improving living standards of people who are dependent on the production, trade and manufacture of diamonds,
  • Uplifting Artisanal & Small-Scale Mining (ASM) through capacity building, technical assistance and education on valuation,

iv. On the sidelines, India held bilateral meetings with Botswana, USA, Russian Federation & World Diamond Council to discuss on various issues related to KPCS and its working groups.
Other News:
i. India also chaired the Ad hoc Committee on Review and Reform (AHCRR)
ii. It focused on the issue of funding of Permanent Secretariat (PS), Multi Donor Trust Fund (MDTF), peer review mechanism and consolidation to the core document.
India is the founding member of KPCS and is actively involved in KP activities to ensure that almost 99% of the diamond trade in the world is conflict free.
About KPCS:
♦ Launched: 2003.
Ministry of Commerce:
♦ Union Minister: Shri. Suresh Prabhu.
♦ Minister of State:  Shri. C R Chaudhary.

India has highest number of children, teens with HIV in South Asia: Report
On 30th November 2018, a report by UNICEF (United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund ) which was released ahead of AIDS day estimated that 1,20,000 children and adolescents aged 0-19 were living with HIV in India in 2017, the highest number in South Asia.
The report titled ‘Children, HIV and AIDS: The World in 2030’ warned that around 80 adolescents will be dying of AIDS every day globally by 2030 if progress in preventing transmission is not accelerated.
Key points
i. In India, an estimated 120,000 children and adolescents aged 0-19 were living with HIV in 2017. In Pakistan, this number was 5800, followed by Nepal (1,600)and Bangladesh (less than 1,000).
ii. In 2017, the estimated number of children under 5 years old newly diagnosed with HIV was 43 per cent lower than the comparable estimate in 2010 a decline greater than the 35 per cent recorded globally.Children aged from 10–19 years fell by 25 percent between 2010 and 2017.
iii. “The report makes it clear, without the shadow of a doubt, that the world is off track when it comes to ending AIDS among children and adolescents by 2030,” said UNICEF chief Henrietta Fore.
♦ Headquarter: New York
♦ Founded: 11 Dec 1946
About World AIDS day:
♦ Designated on 1 December every year since 1988.
♦ The theme for the World AIDS day 2018 is “Know Your Status”.

Australia the first country in the World to recognise ‘orphanage trafficking’ as slavery
On November 30, 2018, Australia became the first country in the world to criminalize the act of falsely inducing children into orphanages as a form of slavery.
i. The Modern Slavery Bill was passed by both houses of parliament and under it the new law, so-called “orphanage trafficking” will be treated as a slavery and trafficking offense.
ii. Evidence shows that about 80 per cent of these children have family who could care for them if they had the right support.

UK amended weapons bill to ensure the right to possession of kirpans by Sikhs
On November 30, 2018, the UK government amended the Offensive Weapons Bill 2018 to ensure right to possession of kirpans by Sikhs.
i. The move would maintain status quo in continuing to legally safeguard the sale, possession and use of large kirpans and to not criminalise the Sikh community for the sale or possession of one.
ii. The move was led by the first female Sikh MP in the House of Commons, MP Preet Kaur Gill.
iii. The bill is aimed at strengthening existing legislative measures on offensive weapons, focusing on corrosive substances, knives and certain types of firearm.
iv. It would also ban the sale of corrosive substances to anyone under the age of 18.


20-character LEI code mandatory for market participants regulated by the Central Bank: RBI
On December 1, 2018, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) made Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) code mandatory for all market transactions regulated by the central bank.
About LEI:
i. The LEI is a 20-character unique identity code assigned to entities who are parties to a financial transaction.
ii. The participants of the implementation include:

  • Government securities markets,
  • Money markets (markets for any instrument with a maturity of one year or less) and
  • Non-derivative forex markets.

iii. However they exclude individuals and transactions undertaken on recognised stock exchanges.
iv. This is a key measure taken by RBI to help improve the quality of risk management by bettering the accuracy of the financial data in the system.
Globally, LEI is used in areas relating to banking, securities market, credit rating and market supervision.
♦ Founded: 1st April 1935.
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai.
♦ 24th Governor: Dr. Urjit Patel.

Interest subsidy for MSME sector exporters increased to 5 per cent: RBI
On November 29, 2018, Reserve Bank of India increased the interest subsidy, called the Interest Equalisation rate, to 5 per cent from 3 per cent on post and pre-shipment export credit for MSME sector.
To boost the exports in the MSME sector
Key Points:
i. The subsidy is given under ‘Interest Equalisation Scheme on Pre and Post Shipment Rupee Export Credit’ and will be applicable from November 2, 2018.
ii. The scheme (earlier called Interest Subvention Scheme) was announced by the government in November 2018 for all exports of MSME and 416 tariff lines.
iii. The scheme covers mostly labour intensive and employment generating sectors like- processed agriculture/food items, handicrafts, readymade garments, glass and glassware, medical and scientific instruments, and auto components/parts.
Other News:
RBI had also relaxed the guidelines for NBFCs on securitisation transactions by relaxing the Minimum Holding Period (MHP) requirement for originating NBFCs.

Net stable funding ratio (NSFR) norms for banks to be operational from April, 2020: RBI
On December 1, 2018, RBI announced the date of its implementation of the Net Stable Funding Ration (NSFR) norms to be from April 1, 2020.

Net stable funding ratio (NSFR) norms for banks to be operational from April, 2020i. In the backdrop of global crises since 2007, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) proposed certain reforms to strengthen global capital and liquidity regulations with the objective of promoting a more resilient banking sector.
ii. The NSFR norms were thus issued and from the aforesaid date the NSFR norms would be active in the Indian banking sector.
iii. The norms would be applicable for Indian banks at the solo as well as consolidated level, whereas, foreign banks operating as branches in India, the framework would be applicable on stand-alone basis (for Indian operations only).
What is NSFR?:

  • The NSFR is defined as the amount of available stable funding relative to the amount of required stable funding.

It can be seen as:

  • Available amount of stable funding/ Required amount of stable funding ≥ 100%
  • This explains that ratio should be equal to at least 100% on an on-going basis. The available funds is the portion of the capital and liabilities that can hold enough stable funding to cover the duration of their long-term assets, that is mainly defined as more than one year.
  • These basically require the banks to maintain a stable funding profile in relation to the composition of their assets and off-balance sheet activities.

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SBI increased interest rates for fixed deposits less than Rs. 1 crore
On November 28, 2018, State Bank of India (SBI) revised its fixed deposit (FD) interest rates on select maturities by 0.05-0.10 per cent or 5-10 basis points.
i. The hiked interest rates are on deposits below Rs. 1 crore.
ii. These changes were done ahead of the fifth bi-monthly monetary policy review outcome on December 5.
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India’s economy grows at 7.1 per cent for 2nd part of 2018-19
On 30th November 2018, Central Statistics Office (CSO) released a report showing that Indian Economy grew at 7.1 per cent in the second quarter (July-September) of 2018-19 which is lower than the first quarter in which GDP growth was 8.1 per cent.
As per the report of CSO, despite having Manufacturing growth at 7.4, Indian Economy growth moderated in the second quarter of 2018 but it is higher than the second quarter of 2017-18 which shows a growth rate of 6.3 per cent.

Avoidance of double taxation treaty between India, HKSAR became effective
On November 30, 2018, a double taxation avoidance agreement came into effect between India and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) of People’s Republic of China.
i. The agreement would ensure avoidance of double taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income and improve transparency in tax matters.
ii. It would also stimulate more the two-way flow of investments, technology and personnel from India to HKSAR and vice versa.
iii.The agreement was originally signed on March 19, 2018 between the 2 countries.
Also on November 26, India and China have amended the bilateral tax treaty which will help prevent tax evasion by allowing exchange of information.
♦ Capital: Beijing.
♦ Currecy: Renminbi.


Myanmar Leader Suu Kyi was the First Leader to Be Stripped Of Freedom Of Paris Award
On November 30, 2018, Mayor Anne Hidalgo of Paris, France revoked the honour of Freedom of Paris Award from the Myanmar Leader Aung San Suu Kyi due to failure on Myanmar’s Rohingya minority issue.
i. This move made Suu Kyi the first person to lose the freedom of the French capital.
ii. Due to her inaction on the matter, she had already been stripped of her honorary Canadian citizenship and her Amnesty International’s “Ambassador of Conscience Award”

Abhinav Bindra: First Indian to get the Blue Cross, highest shooting honour by ISSF
On November 30, 2018, India’s Olympic and world champion shooter Abhinav Bindra was conferred the Blue Cross, the ISSF’s highest award at the General Assembly in Munich.

First Indian to get the Blue Cross, highest shooting honour by ISSFHe is the first Indian to be awarded the Blue Cross.
i. It was bestowed upon him for his outstanding services as the chairman of the International Shooting Sport Federation’s Athletes Committee.
ii. Also the committee has brought out a comprehensive Athletes Handbook, for the benefit of shooters around the world.
iii. Bindra was succeeded in the post by the American shooter Kimberly Rhode.
Other News:
Additionally, National Rifle Association of India president Raninder Singh was awarded the ISSF diploma of honour gold medal at the general assembly.
About Abhinav Bindra:
i. Abhinav Bindra became the first Indian to win an individual Olympic gold medal by winning the top prize in the 10m Air Rifle event at the 2008 Games in Beijing.
ii. He remains to be India’s lone individual Olympic gold medalist.
iii. He was was given the Arjuna award in 2000, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna in 2001 and the Padma Bhushan in 2009.
♦ Headquarters: Munich, Germany.

Four Indian-origin women among Forbes list of top female US tech moguls
Four Indian-origin women have been named by Forbes among America’s top 50 female technology moguls, a list that includes tech heavyweights IBM CEO Ginni Rometty and Netflix executive Anne Aaron.

Four Indian-origin women among Forbes list of top female US tech mogulsPadmasree Warrior, former chief technology officer (CTO) of Cisco, Komal Mangtani, senior director at app-based cab aggregator Uber, Neha Narkhede, chief technology officer and co-founder of streaming platform Confluent and Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan, CEO and founder of identity-management company Drawbrige are in the list.
Key points
i. Padmasree Warrior (58) served in executive positions at both Motorola and Cisco and is now the US CEO of the Chinese electric-autonomous-vehicle startup NIO.
ii. Mangtani, an alumnus of Dharmsinh Desai Institute of Technology in Gujarat, heads business intelligence at Uber. Currently, she serves on the board of nonprofit organization. Women Who Code and led Uber’s USD 1.2-billion donation and partnership with Girls Who Code to increase access to computer science.
iii. Narkhede, who studied at Pune University, had as a software engineer at LinkedIn helped develop Apache Kafka, which can process the huge influx of data coming from the site in real time.
iv. Forty-three-year-old Sivaramakrishnan’s company, Drawbridge, uses large-scale artificial intelligence and machine learning to identify the different devices people.
About Forbes
♦ Editor in chief: Steve Forbes
♦ Country: United States
♦ Founder: B.C. Forbes and Walter Drey.


Dr. Ajay Bhushan Pandey takes over as Revenue Secretary
On 30th November 2018, UIDAI(Unique Identification Authority of India)  CEO Dr. Ajay Bhushan Pandey took over as the Revenue Secretary in the Finance Ministry after Hasmukh Adhia retires.

Dr. Ajay Bhushan Pandey takes over as Revenue SecretaryDr. Ajay Bhushan Pandey, a 1984-batch IAS officer of Maharashtra cadre with over 34 years of experience in state and Central governments, was welcomed to his new office by the outgoing Finance and Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia.
Key points
i. Dr. Pandey would continue to head the Unique Identification authority of India (UIDAI) as its CEO, where he had played a key role in establishing and steering Aadhaar across the country and drafting the historic Aadhaar legislation. He would also hold his position as the Chairman of Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN), the IT arm of the new indirect tax system.
ii. Prior to joining UIDAI in 2010, he played an important role in reforming power distribution system as Managing Director of Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company where he brought down transmission and distribution losses remarkably and helped the state in tiding over massive power shortage, the government said in a statement.
iii. Dr. Pandey said his priority as the Revenue Secretary would be to increase tax compliance, stabilize the implementation of GST, bring transparency and simplification of laws and procedures for better tax administration and ease of business.
About Revenue Secretary
♦ Department: Ministry of Finance.
♦ Finance Minister: Mr. Arun Jaitley
♦ Parent Department: Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology
♦ Chairman: J Satyanarayana.

Georgia elects its first female president Salome Zurichishvili
66 Years old Salome Zurabishvili has won Georgia’s presidential election, becoming the first woman to hold the office in the country. She will take oath for the office on 16th December 2018.

Georgia elects its first female president Salome ZurichishviliKey Points
i. The French-born ex-diplomat, backed by the ruling Georgian Dream party, had taken 59.52 % of the total votes and defeated her rival candidate Grigol Washadze who received 40.5% of the votes.
ii. The election was seen as a test of Georgia’s democratic credentials as it seeks European Union and NATO membership.
iii.  She had served as Foriegn Minister of Georgia from March 20, 2004 to October 19, 2005 and was previously an ambassador in the French Foreign Service.
♦ Capital: Tbilisi
♦ Currency: Georgian lari

Paul Polman step down as Unilever’s CEO
Unilever’s Chief Executive Paul Polman will step down next month after ten years in the job. The Anglo-Dutch group was forced to ditch a controversial post-Brexit plan to move its headquarters from London to the Rotterdam, Netherlands.
Key points:
i. Mr Polman will be succeeded by Alan Jope, the Scottish executive who has been running Unilever’s beauty and personal care business, its biggest division.
ii. The new CEO’s agenda will be Unilever’s bid for GlaxoSmithKline’s Indian Horlicks nutrition business, where it is competing against consumer giant Nestle, as well as handling any fallout from a possible no-deal Brexit as Britain is due to leave the EU in March 2019.


Chinese firm unveils plans to provide free worldwide WiFi with 272 satellites
On 29th November 2018, A Chinese Internet Technology firm, LinkSure Network which markets itself as a Global Innovative Mobile Internet Company specializing in free internet access, content and location based services unveiled a plan to provide free worldwide WiFi service with a constellation of 272 satellites by 2026.
The Company founded in 2013 in Shanghai will launch its first satellite in 2019 from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in Northwest China’s Gansu province and by 2020 it will launch 10 satellites. The Company will invest 3 Billion Yuan (USD 431.4 million).


WMO pointed 2018 to be the fourth warmest on record besides speculating 75-80% chance of El Niño within next 3 months
On 29th November 2018, Days before the beginning of COP24 climate summit in Poland, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has released a report pertaining to present climatic condition of the earth.
Key points:
i. The global average temperature for the first 10 months of the year was nearly one degree Celsius above the pre-industrial era (1850-1900).
ii. The earliest date for which a reliable estimate of temperature covering the whole planet could be made was 1880 and this year comes in just behind 2016, 2015 and 2017 in the ranking of the hottest years ever recorded.
iii. The 20 warmest years ever measured have been in the past 22 years.
iv. There is a 75 to 80 % chance of a moderate El Nino event forming in the next three months, possibly impacting weather patterns in several regions.
v. The forecast El Niño is not expected to be as powerful as the event in 2015-2016, which was linked with droughts, flooding and coral bleaching in different parts of the world.
World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
♦ President: David Grimes
♦ Secretary General: Petteri Taalas
♦ Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland
About Poland
♦ Capital: Warsaw
♦ Poland Currency: Polish złoty


Minjee Lee becomes the first woman to win Australia’s Greg Norman Medal
22 Years old Australian Golfer, Minjee Lee became the first woman to win prestigious Greg Norman Medal as the best Australian golfer on the international stage after her brilliant performance in 2018.

Minjee Lee becomes the first woman to win Australia's Greg Norman MedalMinjee Lee who breaks into the Top 10 of the world ranking with the sixth rank joined the Jason Day and Marc Leishman in the list of winners of Australian golf’s prestigious individual honour.

Lionel Messi surpasses Cristiano Ronaldo to be Champions League top goal scorer
On 28th November 2018, Barcelona striker Lionel Messi surpassed his long rival Cristiano Ronaldo from Portugal after scoring his 106th Goal against PSV Eindhoven to reclaim the Champions League Record of having the most goals for a club.

Lionel Messi surpasses Cristiano Ronaldo to be Champions League top goal scorerPortugal star, Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 105 goal playing for Real Madrid and leads the competition’s all time chart with 121 Champion league goals.


Former 41st US President George HW Bush passed away at 94
On December 1, 2018, the former US President George HW Bush passed away at 94.

US President George HW Bush passedi. He was the 41st president of the United States and had been in leadership during the end of the Cold War.

Spider-Man, Iron Man co-creator Stan Lee died of cardiac arrest
On 12th November 2018, Marvel Comics Legend, Stan Lee who revolutionized the Comics industry in 1960s died due to heart and respiratory failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center at an age of 95.

Spider-Man, Iron Man co-creator Stan Lee diedSpider-Man, Iron Man co-creator Stan Lee diedHe was the co-creator of one the most popular comic characters Spider-Man, Iron Men, Doctor Strange, Scarlet Witch, Ant Man, X-Men, Fantastic Four, Black Panther and Daredevil.

Singer Mohammed Aziz passed away at 64
On November 29, 2018, bollywood singer Mohammed Aziz passed away at 64.
i. Born in Ashoknagar, West Bengal, he was famous for the evergreen tracks such as “My name is Lakhan”, “Aap ke aa jane se” and “Dil le gayi teri bindiya”.
ii. He was a versatile singer who had a prominent presence in Bollywood, Bengali and Odia film industries with a total record of 20,000 songs.
iii. He made his film debut with Bengali film, “Jyoti”.


30th World AIDS Day seen globally on December 1, 2018
December 1 is seen as the World AIDS day globally to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness.

World AIDS Day seen globally on December 1i. It was founded by UN organization World Health Organization (WHO) in 1988 as the first ever global health day.
ii. Thus, 2018 marked the 30th anniversary of World AIDS Day.
iii. The theme for the 2018 version is “Know Your Status”.
iv. WHO advocates to achieve 2 goals at the 30th anniversary:

  • Urge people to know their HIV infection status through testing, and to access HIV prevention, treatment and care services
  • Urge policy-makers to promote a ‘health for all’ agenda for HIV and related health services, such as tuberculosis (TB), hepatitis and non-communicable diseases.

♦ Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland.
♦ Director-General: Tedros Adhanom.

Armed Forces Week commenced from Dec 1 to Dec 7
December 1, 2018 marked the start of the Armed Forces week till December 7, 2018.
i. December 7, 2018 will mark the 70th Armed Forces Flag Day.
ii. The Armed Forces Flag Day was first celebrated in India on 7th of December in the year 1949.
iii. This day is commemorated in order to collect the funds from people all around the country for the wellbeing of the staff of the Indian Armed Forces

Border Security Force celebrated its 54th Raising Day on December 1, 2018
On December 1, 2018, the Border Security Force, BSF along with Pakistan and Bangladesh celebrated its 54th Raising Day.
i. The main ceremony was celebrated at Chhawla Camp in New Delhi.
ii. BSF has been India’s first wall of defence since 1965.
iii. The motto of BSF is: Duty Unto Death.