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Current Affairs Today – December 11 2015

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Current Affairs Today 11 December 2015


“2016: UK-INDIA Year of Education, Research and Innovation” instigated

On the sidelines of PM Narendra Modi visit to UK, India and United Kingdom launched a joint initiative “2016: UK-INDIA Year of Education, Research and Innovation” in New Delhi to increase mobility of students and faculty.

  • The programme was launched by Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Smriti Irani and the Secretary of State, Business Innovation and Skills, UK, Mr. Sajid Javid.
  • Apart from above, 20th Year of the Chevening Gurukul Fellowship Programme for Leadership and Excellence, the United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s leading fellowship in India.

E-Auction of NTC instigated by Ministry of Textiles

National Textile Corporation (NTC) has started e-auction of yarn. The first e-auction of NTC yarn was launched by the Union Minister of State for Textiles (I/C), Shri Santosh Kumar Gangwar.

  • The decision has been taken to give maximum opportunity to dealers for lifting of NTC stock and thereby reduce inventory and improve cash flow.

Mills selected for selling of produce through e-auction
Vijamohini Mill, Kerala Lakshmi Mill and Rajnagar mill have been selected for selling of its produce through e-auction.

Health Ministry released “India Health Report: Nutrition 2015”

Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Jagat Prakash Nadda and Union Minister for Women and Child Development, Maneka Gandhi released the “India Health Report: Nutrition 2015” and “Global Nutrition Report” .

  • The report was released during an event “Made in India: Good Nutrition for All: Implications of the Global Nutrition Report and the India Health Report for Nutrition Security in India” organized by Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

Union Cabinet approved 4000 crore rupees proposal for shipbuilding industry

Union Cabinet chaired has approved Rs 4,000 crore budgetary supports for introducing measures to encourage shipbuilding and ship repair industry in India under the ambitious ‘Make in India’ programme.

Features of Proposal

  • The policy will be in force for 10 years.
  • To counter the cost-disadvantages, the govt will grant a financial assistance of 20% of the contract price or the fair price, whichever is lower following the delivery of the ship.
  • The assistance will be reduced by 3% in every 3 years and will be given for all types of ships.
  • It also includes grant of Right of First Refusal for Indian shipyards for govt purchases, tax incentives and grant of infrastructure status for shipbuilding and ship repair industry.

The shipbuilding industry has the same impact as infrastructure sector due to higher multiplier effect on investment and turnover and high employment potential due to multiplier effect.


UNCTAD released “Handbook of Statistics 2015”

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has released Handbook of Statistics 2015 which provides a comprehensive collection of statistical data relevant to the analysis of international trade, investment and development, for individual countries and for economic and trade groupings.

  • It revealed that the global trade in services grew by 5% while merchandise trade stagnates and foreign direct investment falls.

Indo-Pak declared 10-point Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue

India – Pakistan relations have taken a pleasant turn after both nations have agreed to engage in a “comprehensive” dialogue dubbed as 10-point Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue (CBD). The 10-point CBD will succeed the 8-point Composite Dialogue Process (CDP) structured dialogue aka Resumed Dialogue.

  • The decision has been taken on the sidelines of Hearth of Asia Conference in Islamabad & was declared in a joint statement that was issued after a meeting between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Pakistan Prime Minister’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz.

India and South Korea ink MoU on taxation treaty

India and South Korea have inked a new MoU on suspension of collection of taxes during pendency of Mutual Agreement Procedure (MAP) procedure.

  • This MoU will relieve the burden of double taxation for taxpayers in both the countries.
  • Apart from this, both countries also have agreed that transfer pricing dispute cases will be taken up for MAP under the revised Double Tax Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) between India and Korea.

About Mutual Agreement Procedure (MAP)
MAP is an alternate dispute resolution mechanism that allows competent authorities of particular nation and its treaty partner to negotiate a mutually acceptable settlement.

Key points :

  • South Korea Capital – Seoul
  • South Korea Currency – South Korean won
  • South Korea PM – Hwang Kyo-ahn
  • South Korea President – Park Geun-hye

India is second most ignorant nation of the world: Survey

The survey conducted by Ipsos MORI, a London-based market research firm reported India as the second most ignorant nation in the world after Mexico. Survey has polled 25,000 people from 33 countries.

  • The rankings of the nations were based on the “Index of Ignorance” which was determined by questions about wealth that the top 1 % own, obesity, non-religious population, immigration, living with parents, female employment, rural living and internet access.

Highlights of Report:

  • Most Indians “underestimate” how much of their country’s wealth is concentrated in the hands of the top 1%.
  • Indians “hugely overestimate” the proportions of non-religious people in the country to be 33% when the true figure is under 1 %.
  • India fell in the list of nations which overestimate representation by women in politics.
  • Indian population seriously underestimates the rural population of the country and thinks more people have internet access than in reality.
  • In India the average guess among online respondents for internet access is 60%, an overestimation of the true picture of 41%.

UN Security Council adopted Resolution on Youth, Peace and Security


The United Nations Security Council adopted a historic resolution on youth, peace and security that urges greater representation by young men and women in the prevention and resolution of conflict amid the rise of radicalization to violence and violent extremism amongst youth, which can be conducive to terrorism.

  • The resolution was introduced by Jordan during its presidency of the Security Council in April.

Highlights of Resolution on Youth, Peace and Security

  • It covers the protection of youth in armed conflict, including all forms of sexual and gender-based violence.
  • The Council also urged Member States to increase their political, financial, technical and logistical support.
  • It also encourages all those involved in the planning for disarmament, demobilization and reintegration

The Resolution creates a paradigm shift away from the idea of young people being seen as a threat to security towards the very real notion that they have the power to transform violent conflict.


Luxembourg became the 10th country to ratify AoA of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

Luxembourg became the 10th country to ratify the Articles of Agreement (AoA) that will lay the legal framework for the China-initiated Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

  • Apart from Luxembourg, Australia, Austria, Brunei Darussalam, China, Mongolia, Nepal, New Zealand, Singapore and United Kingdom ratified the 60-article agreement so far.
  • These 10 countries are among the 57 founder-member countries of the multilateral bank that has its headquarters in the Chinese capital Beijing.
  • Among the 57 founder-member countries, except Philippines all other 56 countries have signed the AoA and 46 countries are yet to ratify it.

RBI issues guidelines for cross-currency futures

RBI issued guidelines for introduction of cross-currency futures and exchange traded cross-currency option contracts in multiple currency pairs.

  • Under the new contracts, residents and foreign portfolio investors will be allowed to take positions in the cross currency contracts without having to establish underlying exposure subject to the position limits as prescribed by the exchanges.

Cross currency futures available for

Euro (EUR)-US Dollar (USD), Pound Sterling (GBP)-USD and USD- Japanese Yen (JPY), while on the exchange traded option contracts front, Euro-Rupee (INR), GBP-INR and JPY-INR have been added to the existing USD-INR pair.


MoU Signed between ICIS and NBCC for Construction of ICIS at Tirupati and Noida

The construction of Indian Culinary Institutes (ICIs) at Tirupati and Noida was begin with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Indian Culinary Institute (ICI) Society and the National Buildings Construction Corporation Ltd. (NBCC) at the Ministry of Tourism, New Delhi.

  • The MoU was signed by Dr. Preeti Srivastava, Joint Secretary & Ex-officio Director, ICI on behalf of ICI Society and Rajendra Chaudhari, Director (Commercial) on behalf of NBCC Ltd. Secretary, M/o Tourism Vinod Zutshi and Joint Secretary, M/o Tourism Shri Suman Billa also graced the occasion.
  • Andhra Pradesh Government has transferred land measuring 14.21 acres at Tirupati in favour of ICI Society for construction of ICI Tirupati.


Lifetime membership of MCC conferred on Mahela Jayawardene

Former Sri Lanka Captain and country’s second highest Test run-scorer Mahela Jayawardene has been conferred with Honorary Life Membership of Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC).

  • The membership recognized his 18-year career in which he played 149 Test matches and scored 11,814 runs at an average of 49.84.
  • With this achievement he became the 14th Sri Lankan cricketer to get the MCC Honorary Life Membership.

Naseeruddin Shah honoured with Lifetime Achievement Award

Veteran Bollywood actor Naseeruddin Shah and French actress Catherine Deneuve are honoured with the lifetime achievement award at the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF).

Naseeruddin Shah honoured with Lifetime Achievement Award

  • The 12th edition of the festival opened with the screening of Lenny Abrahamson’s suspenseful and heartrending drama Room based on Emma Donoghue’s 2010 best-selling novel of the same name.

About Naseeruddin Shah :

  • Shah has appeared in over 200 films in a remarkable and diverse career spanning 40 years.
  • A National School of Drama graduate, Shah made his movie debut with Shyam Benegals “Nishant” in 1975 and went on to star in some of the biggest films of the parallel cinema movement in India.
  • His major films of this period include “Sparsh”, “Paar”, “Aakrosh” and “Chakra”. Shahs other major roles were in “Monsoon Wedding”, Hollywood movie The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen”.


P K Singh takes charge as SAIL Chairman

PK singh takes charge as SAIL chairman

P K Singh took charge as the chairman of the domestic steel giant SAIL.He had been serving as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Durgapur Steel Plant since 2012.

  • Singh started his career in SAIL at the Bokaro Steel Plant in 1980. He also worked at the IISCO Steel Plant, Durgapur Steel Plant and Bokaro Steel Plant.
  • Singh took over the baton from MSME Secretary Anup Pujari who held the additional charge of SAIL Chairman.

About SAIL :

  • Steel Authority of India Limited(SAIL) is one of the largest state-owned steel making company based in New Delhi and one of the top steel makers in world. With an annual turnover of 50627 crore (US$7.6 billion) (FY 2014-15).
  • It is a public sector undertaking which trades publicly in the market is largely owned byGovernment of India and acts like an operating company.

FreeCharge appoints Anshul Kheterpal as CFO

Freecharge online payments company appointed  Anshul Kheterpal as the chief financial officer.

  • Prior to his appointment at Freecharge, Kheterpal was CFO and Principal Officer for Airtel Money. He was also until recently part of the steering committee of the BBPS and represented Airtel Money in the executive council of PCI.

CEO and co-founder of FreeCharge : Kunal Shah

Mauricio Macri sworn in as President of Argentina

Mauricio Macri has been sworn in as Argentina’s first non-Peronist president in 14 years, ending more than a decade of populist government with a promise to revive the country’s struggling economy. He is the  successor of  Cristina Fernández.

  • Presidential election held in November 2015 Mr Macri had won the election by securing more than 53 per cent votes. He had defeated his rival Daniel Scioli of ruling Peronist Party who secured 47 per cent votes.
  • He was the third leader elected from outside the “Peronist” movement founded by Juan Peron since the end of the country’s 1976-1983 dictatorship.

Key points :

  • Argentina Capital : Buenos Aires
  • Argentina Currency : Peso


ICC announces OPPO as Global Partner

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced a new global partnership with OPPO for four-year deal which runs from 2016 until 2020.

About OPPO :

  • OPPO is one of the world’s leading mobile telephone device companies launched in China in 2004.
  • OPPO is established itself as one of the world’s leading electronic and technology service providers. It has a strong presence in more than 20 countries and a significant number of regions worldwide, including Australia, China, USA and right across Africa, Europe, the Middle East, South Asia and Southeast Asia.

Key people :

  • Vice President and Managing Director of OPPO : Sky Li
  • ICC Chief Executive : David Richardson

Dharamsala to host World T20 India-Pakistan match

Dharamsala will host the World Twenty20 2016 match between India and Pakistan on March 19 while the tournament semi-finals will be played in Delhi and Mumbai,fixtures released by the ICC.

Men’s Event :

The men’s event will be played in two stages between March 8 and April 3.

  • Group 1 :South Africa, England, West Indies and Sri Lanka
  • Group 2: India, Pakistan, New Zealand and Australia

Women’s Event :

The women’s tournament will kick off from March 15 with India taking on Bangladesh and New Zealand playing Sri Lanka.

  • Group A : Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Ireland
  • Group B :England, West Indies, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.


International Mountain Day

International Mountain Day

International Mountain Day is observed every year on December 11. FAO is the U.N. organization mandated to lead observance of International Mountain Day.

  • International Mountain Day”, was designated by the United Nations General Assembly in 2003 to highlight the importance of sustainable mountain development.

Purpose :

To create awareness about the importance of mountains to life, to highlight the opportunities and constraints in mountain development and to build alliances that will bring positive change to mountain peoples and environments around the world.

Theme : “Promoting mountain products for better livelihoods”.